FACING THE FIRE-a oneshot by TrulyTheOne

Love is a fickle thing. Normally it comes in different varieties for different people and it tends to grab us by the throat and take us by surprise. Most people don't even realize that the wonderful feeling they have deep down in their stomach is love. One of those people was Harry Potter.

Sitting alone in the Gryffindor common room as the fire slowly died and all that was left were the hot embers, Harry gazed longingly out the rain splashed window. The first day of classes had come and gone swiftly, leaving no imprint upon his fragile mind. Since the death of Harry's godfather, Sirius Black, the past year, Harry had led a life of sorrow and woe. Nothing could fill the empty and seemingly bottomless hole in his heart. The flames that had once enveloped him as emotions often did were now frozen solid. The Ice Queen herself had invaded Harry's mind, body and soul. Hermione and Ron, being the best friends that they were, had both tried to console Harry's loss. But they knew nothing of what he felt. They had never loved and lost, never felt the pang at seeing a relic and thinking, 'That once belonged to him,' or 'He will never have another one of those.' Never. Because the one true thing that Harry had loved was lost forever in the abyss of Fate's hands. Fate could be a bitch, but did she not have a soul? Did she not have a heart? Couldn't she see the torment in Harry's dull, emerald green eyes?

The answer was yes, Fate knew what she had done to Harry. She had known long before Harry had been born on that fateful July night that Sirius Black had to be taken in order for Harry to gain more than what had been lost. Harry was to gain a soul mate who was going to fill the large and dark crevice inside of Harry. The only thing that Harry seemed to be needing was a shove.

"Harry?" a small voice came from behind the large chair in which Harry sat dozing. "What are you doing down here at this hour? It's nearly three am."

"I couldn't sleep," Harry answered his tired eyed friend Hermione. "Why are you up?"

"I had a bad dream, thought I would have a walk to shake the jitters. Would you like to come with?"

Harry nodded and grabbed his robe from off the arm of the chair. He followed Hermione out of the portrait hole, not making a sound even when the Fat Lady yelled back at them for awaking her from a wondrous dream. Who knew if portraits even dreamt? No one.

As the two silent teens roamed the deserted halls of Hogwarts, lightning flashed outside and lit up the hallway. Then all went black again, like candles being blown out on a birthday cake. But in that instant of pure light, a shadow had been cast upon the opposing wall. It seemed to be a huddled person, sitting behind the last statue in the corridor. Hermione had stopped, not wanting to take another step, afraid it was a lurking teacher or worse, an intruder. But Harry, who had nothing left to lose in life anymore made to step forward.

"No, Harry, you can't" Hermione quietly hissed, grabbing Harry's black robes. "We don't know who it is!"

"I don't care, 'Mione. Just let me be!" Harry whispered back, jerking away. He took another step forward, feeling afraid for the first time in months. Whoever it was, Harry wanted to know, he needed to know. An unbearable strain was coming from his gut, a tug almost, like an invisible string was tied to the waist of Harry's pajamas and the other end was in the hands of whoever was behind the statue. With another couple steps, Harry came upon the large statue. It was the statue of Iorek the Wizard, the most feared and awed wizard of the fifteenth century. He had not only mutilated those who did not follow him (much as Voldemort did) but he also had invented the love spell and taught villages of witches and wizards about the idea that love could survive all. He had been the first, and certainly not the last, romantic.

Harry carefully peeked around the base of Iorek and gasped. What he found was beyond comprehension. It disobeyed every evil rule out there. It even disobeyed the laws of reason….Draco Malfoy was sitting with his knees against his chest, silently crying as he looked into the empty darkness. What Draco had to cry over, Harry didn't know nor could he fathom. Draco was second best in the entire fifth year, girls worshiped the expensive leather shoes he walked in and he was the wealthiest man in all of Europe. Not to mention that he had the Dark Lord as his master which gave him immense power, power which, when in the wrong hands can corrupt individuals. So why was Draco crying? And here of all places?

Another flash of lightning emitted from the clouded sky and the rain lashed harder than ever, as if trying to drown the world in something other than sorrow.

Draco looked up suddenly. He must have seen another shadow when the lightning had occurred. He immediately wiped away the tears that streaked his pale cheeks and stood up. "What the fuck do you want Potter?" he hissed venomously.

In the instant that Harry had seen Draco cry, he thought that just maybe the Slytherin had changed. Obviously that was too much of a feat for anyone so noble as Draco. "I'm walking the bloody halls, what the hell does it look like Malfoy? I'm dancing with tigers?" Harry spat right back.

"Get the fuck out of here."

"Or what? You're going to make me? I'd like to see you try without the forces of Lord Voldemort behind you."

Unexpectedly, Draco pushed Harry violently against the opposite wall, crushing his windpipe in the process. A squeak of surprise was heard from farther down the corridor show reminding Harry that Hermione was still there. "Don't ever, EVER, say his name in front of me again, Potter. I am not his lackey. I do not fight with the forces of evil."

Harry barely managed to breathe but he wouldn't have let Draco know, even if it meant he was going to pass out quite soon. Already he could see ebony spots in front of his eyes. Not long until he, the Boy Who Lived, passed out.

Draco let go of Harry and let him slide down the wall, coughing. "Wouldn't want precious, perfect Potter to pass out that easily, would we?" he taunted.

"At least I can proudly say I know what side I fight for."

Growling, Draco kicked Harry in ribs. "I know what side I fight for." Rolling up his left sleeve, Draco brandished his bare white arm. There was no mark, no sign that he fought the evil cause.

Harry was flabbergasted. He had thought, almost knew instinctively, that Draco was a Death Eater. Again, Draco had thrown another curve ball at him. Clutching his ribs, Harry stood up. "Why were you crying?"

"Crying?" Draco laughed bitterly. "Do you mean, I, Draco Malfoy, have been crying? You are mistaken Potter!"

Shaking his head, Harry asked again. "Why were you crying?"

Smashing his balled fist into Harry's perfect teeth, Draco shouted, "I was not crying!"

At this point, any sane person would have stayed down and shut their mouth. But Harry had not been thinking sanely since his godfather had died, so why start now. Spitting out a mouthful of blood, Harry once again got to his feet. "Why were you crying?" he repeated for the third time.

This time Draco did not lash out at Harry as expected, but rather he took four small steps back and fled, running into Hermione as he did so. He never looked back to see if he was in pursuit. He didn't stop running until he had reached the portrait to the Slytherin common room. Out of breathe, he finally looked back. There was no one there. Harry had not followed and no one had heard him frantically escaping from a scene he was too embarrassed to want to remember.

Left in Draco's questionable wake, Harry and Hermione slowly made their way back to their own dorm room, not speaking as there were no words to describe what had gone on between the two rivals.

The next morning, Hermione had to use a Concealing Charm on Harry's face as his bottom lip and right cheek were severely bruised and swollen. "Thanks 'Mione."

"No problem Harry. You sure you don't want to tell me what happened last night?"

Harry shook his head. "There is nothing to tell," lied Harry. "I pissed him off, he pushed me, then kicked me and continued to pummel my face. Can we just get over it? And don't tell Ron. He'll just overreact like he always does."

"Like who always does what?" Ron yawned, stumbling down the stairs.

"Nothing. Just talking about Professor Binns," Hermione lied. No matter how Harry had been behaving since the unfortunate accident, she wasn't about to lose his friendship as well as his trust.

"Mmm. So who is up for breakfast? I am starving!" Ron smiled, unaware of last nights mishaps.

The three teens walked down to the Great Hall with various thoughts filling their minds. Ron was only thinking of food. Hermione was thinking of Harry's behavior since the death of Sirius. And Harry was of course thinking about Draco and the "fight" they had had last night. There was nothing logical about Draco's behavior. He had given off the air of hating Harry but had not even finished pounding Harry to bits, which was Draco's favorite past time. One could also not forget that Draco Malfoy had indeed been crying, whether the said person denied it or not. All Harry could see was the anguish written all over the silver-grey eyes of his sworn nemesis. Whether or not they were sworn enemies, Harry was determined to find out what was bothering Draco. He had to because he felt that invisible tug again.

After breakfast, Gryffindor had double Potions with the Slytherins and Harry was going to use his time wisely. Instead of sitting next to Hermione and Ron, Harry grabbed the seat next to the lonely Draco, in the back of the classroom.

Draco furrowed his brows, glaring daggers at Harry. "What the fuck do you think you're doing, Potty?"

"Taking a seat," Harry defended himself. "I'm not moving either. There are no more seats left even if I wanted to."

Cursing, Draco saw that Harry was indeed right. All the seats in the dungeon had been taken. He sighed, frustrated. Why couldn't Harry just leave him the hell alone? Was that too much to ask? Obviously the answer was yes. Harry just had to butt in where his ass wasn't wanted. "Fine, but I am warning you now, if you screw up today's lesson in anyway other than the fact that you are breathing, I will have to finish beating the shit out of you! Got it?"

Harry nodded in a cheerful way. He knew it would irritate the hell out of Draco, and he was right on. Draco was irate, twitchy and steaming the entire class. Every question Harry asked, Draco ignored. Every statement that Harry uttered, Draco replied sarcastically. It would seem to an outsider that Harry was getting no where with Draco, but Harry knew he was breaking down the barrier. Last night, after much thinking and little sleep, Harry came to the conclusion that Malfoy had no true friends. Sure, he had his cronies and followers, but no one that Draco could be seen having a meaningful talk with. If nothing else, Harry was going to prove to Draco that there was at least one person he could talk with, himself.

When class had finished, Draco took off with Harry in hot pursuit. When he had reached a deserted corridor he faced Harry. "What the bloody fucking hell is your problem? Can't you leave a person be you fucking asshole?"

"Now Malfoy, that stung a little." Harry patted his heart.

"You are seriously infuriating me! Don't you get it you stupid Gryffindor prat? I-Want-To-Be-Alone! So shoo!!" Turning on his heel, Draco stomped off like a little child.

Unsure if he should follow or wait for another time, Harry stood in the middle of the hallway when he heard someone call out his name. Looking behind him he realized it was Hermione and Ron.

"Where did you go?" Hermione asked.

"No! Why did you sit with Malfoy?" Ron overrode Hermione.

"Ron!" she elbowed him in the ribs. "We were worried about you. Why did you run off like that?"

"I had some stuff I had to do," Harry lamely replied. "Come to think of it, I have to do some homework. I'll be in the Library."

"But-" trailed off Hermione as her friend rounded the corner, "we don't have any homework."

In the quiet Library, Harry searched for Draco. Sure enough, he had sat himself between two rarely used isles. 'Bingo,' Harry thought. He had known just where the perfect quiet and alone place was. Where better than between dusty books which didn't talk to you.

"Why were you crying?" Harry asked, sitting next to Draco.

Draco held still and let out a long breath. "What do you want, Potter?" He sounded as if he had been defeated.

"I want to know why you were crying last night."

"Is that all?" Harry nodded. "If I tell you, will you just please bugger off?"


Sighing, Draco realized he had no control left of the situation. "Where do you want me to start?"

"The beginning, duh."

"Don't get smart with me Potter, or I'll tell you to fuck off." Harry settled down and motioned zipping his lips. "Ok, well, it started last year after Father was thrown in Azkaban. I realized that I wanted nothing to do You-Know-Who. When I had denied the Dark Mark, You-Know-Who started to kill off my family one by one, to show no one disobeyed him. He started with my mother, then my father and by the end of the summer there was no one left with the Malfoy name except myself." Draco paused, gathering his strength. "To top it off, when I tried to talk to my friends about it, they shunned me and told me they supported no one who denied the Dark Lord. Not only that but I didn't get the OWL's I wanted and so I can't become an Auror."

Harry choked. "You want to be an Auror?"

"Yes, Potter." Draco drawled. "Why not? Anyways, the other night was a fluke and it won't happen again. That's for sure. Are we done now?"

As Harry had known, Draco had no friends. Now was his chance to show he did have at least one, but Draco stood up and walked away from Harry as if they had never met. Just as Harry thought he was close to understanding the complex mind of Draco, he was proven wrong. Could he really be the one to show Draco the true light?

That night Harry could not stop thinking about Draco. The way that his perfectly placed hair surrounded his fair complexion and magnificent eyes. The way he seemed to saunter into a room yet it was more like a glide. The way he opened up to Harry in more ways than one. Since he had found the chink in Draco's chain, Harry needed to wrench the chink open and break that chain. It was the tug again. That tug was constantly there lately, and Harry figured it was because of Malfoy. He had been sent down to him in order to not only put his own life back together, but his sworn enemy's as well.

Without thinking, Harry quietly pulled the curtains back on his four poster bed. He grabbed his clothes and quickly dressed. As Harry was making his way out the room, he hit a squeaky floor board. Ron stirred and Neville gave a thunderous snore, but no one awoke. Sneaking through the common room and out the portrait without waking anyone or anything was truly an amazing feat. But making his way back to the place where he had found Draco crying, without running into anyone, was going to be the hardest feat of all. But luckily, Harry didn't run into anyone until he had gotten to Iorek's statue.

"Draco?" Harry asked the dark figure, letting his own guard down.

The figure stood up, and certainly enough it was Draco. "You used my first name."

"Oh, well-"

"No, I liked it," Draco admitted. "I was actually hoping you would come tonight. I was lonely, couldn't sleep for shit either."

Harry took a step closer, feeling the heat roll off of Draco's body. "I wanted to see you, to tell you that you may think you have no friends but you do…Me."

For the first time in Harry's life, Draco had let his guard down and smiled a true and beautiful smile. "Thanks Harry, I'm glad. But I don't want just a friend, I want more."

Having said what was on his mind, Draco grabbed the front of Harry's robes and hauled him into an empty classroom. Harry looked surprised but was willing as he crushed his lips to Draco's. Heat shot up his belly and seemed to burst out of the top of Harry's head. No kiss had ever been so tantalizing to the point that he craved more. Harry found his fingers wrapped in Draco's silky hair, creating a stir in his loins that was as potent as a drug. He wanted no other man like he wanted Draco.

Laying Draco on his back, Harry stradled the older boy and ripped Draco's black shirt off, exposing soft white skin and hard abs. Draco's arms wound around Harry's neck pulling the boys closer, creating a hot, slick temptation between the two. Suddenly, Draco rolled Harry over onto his back and preceded to kiss Harry's neck, unbuttoning his shirt as he went. Harry whimpered and moaned in ecstasy, pushing Draco farther off the edge. Fumbling with Harry's belt loop, Draco quickly undid his lover's pants to release the hidden erection. As Draco began to rub up and down on Harry's throbbing dick, Harry undid Draco's pants.

With every ounce of clothing off, Draco turned Harry around and muttering a lubrication spell prepared to enter Harry from behind.

The lubricant was cool inside Harry opposed to the heat that flamed from desire. "Hurry," he moaned. Without a second pause Draco grabbed Harry's hips and thrust his full erection into the boy, going back and forth, back and forth. Harry screamed Draco's name over and over as Draco steadily went faster until he errupted.

Sweaty and hot, the boys lay spooning on the cold ground. Harry had known all along what he had needed to do, and he was right. He had needed to face the fire.