EDITED: February, 2009
Author's Note: This was originally written for some challenge I chanced upon, but then for multiple reasons ended up not submitting. Blah blah. For those of you who haven't realized this, this is a story based on the romantic relationship between two members of the same gender, so if you don't like it, please don't waste your time reading it.
Must include: Sweetie hearts, requited love, romance, happy ending, in the HP world and must be 1000 + words. (It also must contain a quotation from a provided list, the one I chose is below.)
"It doesn't matter who you love, or how you love, but that you love."
Disclaimer: I am not J.K Rowling or Rod McKuen, for that matter, and therefore none of this is mine.
A handsome blonde tore his eyes away from the Gryffindor Table with annoyance, taking a somewhat vicious stab at his pancake. "What?" He asked in a voice laced with irritation.
"I thought you were trying not to stare at your lover boy." Blaise Zabini, an attractive black male, said with amusement. "To be blatantly honest, you're failing miserably."
"I do not love him." Draco retorted argumentatively while sneaking another glance at his raven haired interest, who was staring into his cup of coffee. Or tea. Or even pumpkin juice. Draco didn't know what he was drinking, because he wasn't where he wanted to be; beside him.
"That's not what you told us at the beginning of the year. I seem to recall someone who looked identical to you sitting down and saying, 'I'm in love with Harry fucking Potter.' Remember now? I said, 'too bad it isn't Harry fucking Malfoy, in a literal sense of course.'" He raised an eyebrow at his friend over a long swig of orange juice.
"I remember Theodore telling you to shut up because you're stupid." He snapped. In truth, he remembered that day quite vividly. His friends had been shocked, to say the least, and more then a little annoyed about who he was in love with, but eventually they got over their initial devastation and were, normally, quite supportive, with the exception of Blaise, who liked to bring it up all time. All the time.
But Draco didn't mind.
"Touchy, are we?" Blaise smirked at him, swirling his juice around in the glass. "Valentines Day is coming up. Isn't that when boys like you go crazy?"
"I'm gay, not a girl, idiot. Besides, of course I've noticed." He replied dully, ignoring his friend's amused expression. Girls had been giggling, flirting and batting their eyelashes all over the school, centering him out like they thought they could somehow change his sexual orientation, as though he wasn't actually interested in boys, he just liked pretending because it was fun. In fact, he thought darkly, everyone should try it. Be gay for a day. Ha-ha. That would be a riot.
Eventually, when a girl had come too close to him he'd ended up shouting that he was perfectly gay and she should leave him the hell alone. Everyone already knew, of course, thanks to that stupid Creevey boy, but he'd severely overestimated the intelligence of the females in Hogwarts. That or they were all in denial, which seemed likely because Draco wasn't wrong very often.
After that encounter, they'd swarmed Harry. He wanted to yell at them all to stop acting like desperate imbeciles and leave him alone. Obviously, from Harry's uncomfortable shifting and blushing he didn't like any of them, something Draco took great comfort in knowing. He wished they would just let him be. It wasn't as if he didn't have enough problems. After Lord Voldemort had been defeated the papers had taken to reporting Harry's personal life and trying to get interviews from him whenever he was out. For awhile, people had been in awe of the male, but after about a month back at school people realized he wasn't any different and had gone back to their old worshiping ways and had stopped bowing to him in the halls.
"Draco?" Theodore Nott, a stringy Slytherin in his year, prodded his shoulder with a butter knife. Thankfully, for the health of all his housemates, it had nothing on it, so he wasn't tempted to hex them all.
"Hmm?" He looked up from his plate. "I was thinking…"
"About Potter? Your love-"
"Shut up." He hissed, eyes examining everyone within a few meters of them for signs that they'd heard. "Do you want everyone to know?"
"If he doesn't know, how are you two going to get together?" Pansy Parkinson, a girl with a strong resemblance to a pug, said in an undertone from across the table.
"One, he is not gay. Two, we're enemies. He hates me. Three, I do not want him to know." Draco said with conviction, trying to pretend it didn't make him ache to say that. Of course he wanted him to know. Why wouldn't he want him to know? The problem was, once he did know, he'd tell Draco to fuck off, and then Draco would have to deal with the humiliation. And pain.
"One," Blaise imitated as he checked off his fingers. "You don't know that he's not gay. No one knew about you until last year. Has he ever said, 'hey, Malfoy, I hate your guts. By the way, I'm not gay, so don't even try?'"
"I didn't know about me until last year." He retorted, crossing his arms across his chest and disregarding his friend's pathetic attempt at mimicking Harry's voice.
"Exactly." Blaise said, nodding as though that explained the way of the world. "Two, you hated him too. That is, until you fell in love with him. He's probably just a late bloomer. You can tell since he's so scrawny."
"He is not scrawny." Draco said sharply, covertly looking at the Gryffindor.
"And three," Blaise said as though he had not been interrupted. "Three… I don't remember three but I'm sure it's as stupid as the other ones."
"What if…" He looked from Blaise, beside him to Theodore, Pansy, Vincent and Gregory uneasily. "What if he rejects me?"
They were all silent for awhile until Vincent spoke. "Why don't you make him like you before you tell him? Seduce him, or something."
Draco flashed him a rare smile. "Perfect."
"Really?" His large friend asked brightly.
"No. I will not try to seduce him."
"Why? That's how you've got everyone else." Theodore said, gesturing around the hall for emphasis.
"'Everyone else' has been a girl. And he's not just someone to get." He said, concealing his outrage with a dirty look.
"When did this happen?" Theodore stared at his friend, frowning and then looking around the table. "How did we never realize he was falling in love with Potter?"
Draco didn't answer, merely shrugged and shot another not so sneaky look at Harry. They all exchanged knowing looks that suggested all his glancing wouldn't go unmentioned.
"Think about this, Draco. You hint something is up to Potter, flirt a bit, get Granger to realize what is going on and she'll tell Potter. You act like you don't know he knows, he'll start noticing you, fall in love and you'll hook up!" Pansy said in a very Hermione Granger-ish kind of way, which was thoroughly disturbing.
"Shut up, Pansy." He snapped, "Why don't you get it that what I want isn't a quick shag?"
"No!" He exclaimed sharply. "I don't want a quick shag! I want a - a relationship! Not a one night thing to remember when I'm fifty!"
The group stared at him until Greg said what they were all thinking, very slowly, as though each word took considerable difficulty to say. Though, with him, you never did know. "You really love him."
Draco considered objecting and then sighed in defeat, letting his head fall slightly. "Yes."
"Oh, good. We've all decided then, seduction?" The only girl in their conversation said perkily, as though her heartsick friend's current mood was actually quite happy.
"Fine, flirtation, then."
He glared at Pansy and then agreed reluctantly. "Fine."
"And so here begins the seduction-" She leaned in as she spoke, eyes shining with excitement.
"I'm not going to seduce him!" He broke in, but no one even looked at him.
"Fine, then the Notice Draco Malfoy Plan."
"No, it does not have a name!" He protested, glaring as Theodore and Blaise laughed.
"Yes, it does."
"So we've all agreed. The Harry Potter Notice Draco Malfoy Seduction Plan?" She spoke like she was in a business meeting, presenting a new idea.
"Yep." They all said and watched Draco scowl around at them.
"Fine." He finally said, "Call it whatever you want. I'm not seducing him. Not at all. At all."
"This is so exciting!" Pansy squealed and all the males winced.
"Right." Draco glanced over to Harry and sighed. "Right."
"Harry, Malfoy is looking at you again." Ron, one of the many Weasley children sporting red hair and freckles, said with an amused voice. Harry looked up, only to find the blond scowling at Blaise Zabini, who was laughing.
"He's kind of strange." Hermione Granger said, her usually incredibly bushy hair in a loose bun, creating a nearly halo like appearance on her head.
"Just caught on, have you?" Harry asked, grinning playfully at her.
"He's been looking at you an awful lot." She continued, paying the owl who'd delivered her Daily Prophet. She adamantly refused to get a subscription and 'provide for their cause,' and said that when she gave the owls money, she felt like she was giving them some sort of compensation. When Harry had pointed out that the owls didn't exactly keep the money or use it, she'd ignored him the entire day, after a long speech about how the idea was what made it different,
"Harry, mate, maybe he has a crush on you." Ron chuckled, forking some eggs into his mouth. Ever since someone (everyone suspected it was Colin Creevey) had caught Draco snogging a seventh year boy the previous year Ron had found it immensely funny that he was gay.
"Shut up, will you." Harry said, annoyed, as he stared into his coffee.
"He may be on to something." Hermione said thoughtfully, unrolling her paper.
Ron choked on his juice with what seemed suspiciously like laughter as Harry gaped at her. She smiled at him, before burying her head behind the front page. It wasn't until she reached for some pumpkin juice that she noticed his expression hadn't changed, so she spoke again.
"But-but it's Malfoy!" Ron said indignantly, before munching on a piece of bacon, looking satisfied.
She rolled her eyes. "He is gay and Harry is quite attractive, not to me of course," she assured Ron. "There's a lot of tension between them, and it would make sense if Malfoy was noticing."
"But it's still Malfoy!"
"Harry doesn't seem to mind, do you Harry?" Hermione asked and Ron snorted, before turning to look at his friend.
"What? Yeah, I do." He answered, shooting a glare at Hermione. "What am I supposed to do, ask him to talk about it with me?"
"No." Ron muttered, "Tease him mercilessly."
"Ron," Hermione chided. "You shouldn't tease someone because of who they love."
He shrugged nonchalantly and devoured a muffin. "It's not who he loves, Hermione. I'm not like that. It's that it's him, as in Malfoy, loving Harry."
"I know, it does seem a bit weird, doesn't it." She said and smiled warmly at Harry, who was blushing, and went back to her paper. Ron shrugged and jumped into a conversation Dean and Seamus were having together.
Harry couldn't help looking up from his food. Malfoy?
Said Slytherin was staring down at his plate into the soggy remains of his pancakes. Harry couldn't actually see them, of course, but he knew that Draco always got pancakes, drowned them in syrup and then cut the edges so it was left as a square. After that was done to his satisfaction, he would abandon it to tear up a piece of toast and finally eat a muffin.
The miserable blond looked up and Harry, fearing he would notice that he was watching, looked away quickly and gulped down a glass of orange juice, blushing.
"What's wrong, Harry?" Seamus asked wickedly, waggling his eyebrows. "You look a bit flushed. Someone get your attention?"
Harry stuck out his tongue rather immaturely and Seamus gave it a pointed look, winking at him. "Seamus," he said in exasperation as Dean rested his hand on top of Seamus's protectively.
Seamus had taken to flirting heavily with all of his roommates - minus Dean - at the beginning of the year. However, Ron had gotten together Hermione and he'd left him alone. Neville would nearly jump out of his skin every time he touched him, so he'd taken pity on the boy and left him as well. It had soon become obvious to everyone else why he wouldn't touch Dean but would gaze at him or flirt extra hard when he was near.
At the beginning of November, Seamus had run his hand down Harry's side and caused him to yelp loudly. Dean had exploded, shouting about how annoying it was to have an incredible slut for a best friend. Seamus, being the loudmouthed and temperamental person he was, hadn't taken it sitting down and began to bellow about how he didn't understand why Dean cared so much about who he flirted with. This had continued all the way up to their dormitories and the people in the Common Room had had difficulty blocking out their enraged shouts. And then, quite suddenly, all noise had been cut out and then, ta-da, they were in a relationship.
Of course, Seamus still flirted with a few people because he liked watching their flustered behavior and he enjoyed seeing Dean get protective, though he wouldn't admit it. Harry was disgruntled to be one of the people he liked to still flirt with, and was immensely grateful that it hadn't strained his relationship with Seamus's boyfriend. But anyone would have to be a fool not to see the way Seamus felt about Dean, which was obviously why the latter was still with him.
It hadn't been very obvious when Dean had been with Ginny, but he got very protective over his romantic interest. If you stood too close to them or looked at them too long you would receive a glare. Once, Harry had laughed at something Seamus had said and patted him on the shoulder, only to be distracted and have it 'linger'.
Dean had actually growled, though he'd apologized later, and had wrapped his arm around Seamus's waist. Harry had ripped his hand away, actually quite unnerved by the anger in Dean's expression.
"Yes?" Seamus smiled innocently and moved closer to the dark skinned male beside him.
"Nothing." He mumbled and poked his pancakes weakly with a fork. He looked across the table in hopes of talking to his two closest friends, and found Ron and Hermione holding hands and talking quietly in what could only be a private way. He turned back to his right, only to find Seamus and Dean snogging heatedly, which made him inch over in the other direction. To his left Ginny was being fed by her serious boyfriend, Joshua. Annoyed, he looked for someone to share the frustration of being single in a table full of couples, only to find that Neville was at the Ravenclaw table with Luna Lovegood.
He groaned. Did everyone have someone special right now besides him? Even Neville, the most awkward boy to ever talk to a girl - excluding when Ron stuttered his way through asking out Hermione while Seamus egged him on from the corner, Neville watched with rapt attention and Dean stared at Seamus. In the end, she'd put him out of his misery and just kissed him. Harry had been the before confrontation pep talker and the post confrontation congratulator. – had someone.
The fact that he hadn't found someone he really liked yet was even worse because of the Daily Prophet. Once, he'd taken a girl named Patricia out to Hogsmeade and the next day there'd been a page long article full of lies about things that had happened, and wondering if this was the girl that would forever take him off the 'bachelor market'. The date hadn't even gone very well and he regretted asking her. All she'd done was twirl her finger in her hair and giggle in a high pitched voice.
"Hey, Harry." A girl of about fifteen with short black hair and blue eyes tapped on his shoulder. "Can I talk to you?"
"Sure…" He said while scrambling to find a way out of this one. He already knew what she wanted, and so many girls had asked him already it was embarrassing. He swung his leg over the side of the bench and stood up, following her.
"I was…wow." He followed her gaze to Seamus and Dean, who were still going at it.
"Yeah, I know." He said impatiently, waiting for her to ask him the inevitable. All he wanted was to finish his breakfast, not stand there while some silly girl ogled his friends.
"Oh…right." She tore her eyes from them and looked into his. "I was wondering if you were doing anything on Valentines Day?"
"Oh." He said, looking up at the ceiling awkwardly. "No, I'm not. I don't think I'm going to make plans."
The girl didn't seem to catch the last part, or just chose to ignore it, because she continued. "Do you want to do something with me?"
"No thanks." He said, his face warm. "Will I see you around?"
"On Valentines Day? Sure."
"No, I meant -"
"Before? Of course, when do you want to meet?"
"No - I don't want to -"
"Wait? Sure, let's skip class."
"No no no!" He burst out and felt immediately guilty. "I just don't want to go out with you."
"Oh." She looked mortified. "Oh God I'm so pushy!"
"No, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to lose my temper."
"Oh my God, I made the savior of the world lose his temper!" She looked really upset. "I'm such a loser!"
"Look," he said, feeling quite cross now. Why did all the sensitive, emotional girls with big tearful eyes always come to him? Were they all incapable of accepting rejection and walking away calmly? There was always so much crying, hands covering the face, long hair flying and skirt swishing as they ran away, making him feel bad. "I don't want to make plans with anyone, not just you."
She burst into tears and dashed out of the Great Hall. He walked back to the Gryffindor Table and Seamus cheered, "That's the seventh this week!"
"Piss off." He muttered, taking his seat at the table and trying to ignore the dark glares the girl's friends were shooting him.
"You know you could always just say you're gay until Valentine's Day is over." Dean suggested. "The girls would leave you alone."
"I don't think that's a good idea." Hermione said, biting her lip. What she didn't know - what no one knew but Harry - was that it wouldn't be entirely untrue. He wasn't quite sure what he was, because he'd realized at the end of the previous year that he was attracted to males. However, he also had liked Cho Chang, which obviously counted for something.
"He doesn't want the guys to swarm him, do you Harry?" Ron asked as they all stood up to leave.
"Not particularly." He said dryly, wishing he'd told them all the truth. It would be so much easier, not to keep such a large part of his life secret. He was sure they would understand…Sort of. He was sort of sure. "All the girls are getting frightful. They're all emotional and look on the brink of collapse when I say no! I don't see any males running around crying when they get rejected! Why can't girls be like that? And then their friends all send me hate mail, glare at me or burn me in effigy!"
"They burn you in effigy?" Ron raised an eyebrow at him.
"A girl apologized for it once." He said and Dean and Seamus laughed.
"They're not like guys because they're girls, Harry." Hermione said and smiled when Ron wrapped his arm around her waist.
"Are you trying to make me swear off girls altogether?" He asked, frustrated. While he didn't find them as attractive as guys, they were still pretty and he wouldn't object to kissing one, if given the choice, and if he liked her.
"Swear off girls? My my, imagine how disappointed we'll all be." Pansy said and they turned to face her.
"I thought you worshipped Malfoy? Or did you give up when you realized he was a lost cause?" Ron snapped at her and Draco looked up from the floor. He looked at Harry, who self consciously looked away and shifted.
"I don't worship anyone. Unlike you, I can afford not to serve." She smirked as Ron flushed.
"I suppose that's good," Hermione snarled, immediately backing up her boyfriend. "I can't imagine what else you'd be good for but to be someone's whore, though I doubt anyone would want someone as repulsive as you."
Pansy blushed and scowled at her, her voice quivering with anger. "I serve no one."
"It's a shame your father didn't feel the same way. But then, if he did he wouldn't have died at Voldemort's side." Harry snapped, wishing he could just hex her and be done with it. Even after Voldemort was gone, it was as though as many people were trying to continuously keep him alive as there were people wanting him to be gone.
"You'd do well to stay away from subjects such as those, Potter." Theodore said, as Pansy didn't appear able to reply; her face was white and her hands were curled into fists. "There are still students who don't have parents because of you."
Harry flinched at the underhanded blow. He knew that he hadn't murdered anyone. He knew that, but everyone else seemed to think that each dead Death Eaters was because of him, that somehow, he'd killed them all.
"How dare you suggest its Harry's fault." Hermione said viciously, eyes narrowed in rage. "You don't have any idea what you're talking about.
"Don't I?" Theodore asked mockingly. "If you do, why don't you enlighten us all? You might as well be good for something. But then, I suppose Weasley enjoys you, doesn't he?"
Ron let out a roar and leapt towards him. Seamus, Dean and Harry grabbed his arms, though Harry was finding it difficult not to punch the Slytherin senseless too. It would be so satisfying. He couldn't help but notice - he wasn't looking at him or anything - that Draco had said something to Theodore under his breath, looking furious.
"What's going on over here?" Professor McGonagall's voice separated the crowd and they relaxed into casual positions, as though they were having a friendly conversation.
"Sorry Professor, I dropped my books." Hermione said innocently, grabbing Ron's hand as she led the Seventh Year Gryffindors away, followed by the Slytherins. They reached the door to Charms and the two houses glared ferociously at each other before moving to their sides. Gryffindor was to the left and Slytherins to the right, which Harry found ironic.
Professor Flitwick took role call and then went straight to business, explaining the Trankose Charm, which allows the user to replace an object within a kilometer radius with one further away. Non-verbally, of course. All their classes used non verbal spells, and they had grown accustomed to that level of expectation. Once they'd gotten much practice, they were able to do it , if they concentrated.
Harry moved into a corner with Ron and Hermione. "Who wants to go first?"
"I will." Hermione said eagerly and summoned a cushion from the shelf. "We should try to switch this cushion with that book over there by Malfoy."
Without waiting for a response she set to work and managed to execute the spell perfectly by her third try. Then she spent five minutes perfecting the spell so she could do it without any difficulty ten times out of ten.
"You don't think…Malfoy couldn't really like me, could he?" He asked Ron, who had been smiling sappily at Hermione as she moved from the cushions to desks.
"I dunno, mate." He answered honestly, trying not to laugh. "He's always looking at you."
"But he can't! I'm…well I'm me." He insisted, noticing with annoyance that whenever he brought up Draco, Ron always seemed to be laughing.
"Good point, Harry." Ron said with amusement. "But if he fancies you, then you being you isn't such a bad thing, yeah?"
"You know what I mean." He said, exasperated. "Despite what Hermione says, I don't see how he could fancy me."
His red headed friend shook his head. "Neither do I. Don't look now, but he's staring at you."
He felt his cheeks heating up and nearly jumped out of his skin when Hermione touched his shoulder. "You go, Harry."
He moved forward to the red and white cushion, trying not to think about Draco. The cushion didn't even move when he tried the spell the first five times. To his annoyance he saw that Draco had successfully replaced his bag with a book from the shelf on the far side of the classroom.
"Well done, Mr Malfoy!" Professor Flitwick said cheerfully. "20 points to Slytherin!"
Harry gritted his teeth and tried the wand movements again, while wishing he knew a spell to make Draco's boxers shrink until it cut off his circulation. With a dark laugh he imagined what the Slytherin's face would look like. The cushion, again, didn't move, but Harry felt some sort of change come over him, like someone had poured lukewarm water down his pants. It wasn't exactly uncomfortable, but it was worrisome, because it was definitely not an everyday occurance.
If he'd looked at Draco - which he most certainly did not do - he would have seen the other Seventh Year pale considerably and his eyes widen. Very slowly his head turned in both directions and then he took a step away from his desk.
"Look at Malfoy." Ron snickered, nudging him. He looked again – er, for the first time - and saw Draco pull his trousers slightly away from his hip and look down, showing anyone who was looking something red with snitches on it.
Why does Malfoy have my boxers on? Harry thought idly and then blushed crimson. Oh God. Oh my God. Please no. Please, please, please no. Imitating Draco's action he checked his own underwear, mortified when he realized it was now emerald green and silky. "No fucking way!"
Ron looked over at him and began laughing hysterically, causing everyone in the room to glance at him. Draco and Harry locked eyes and they both blushed. The raven-haired male wished the floor would open so he could fall into it.
"Please, Ron, stop laughing." Hermione rolled her eyes in disapproval, but the corners of her lips were twitching.
"I didn't know you wanted to get into my pants that badly, Potter." Draco said and swaggered reluctantly over to the Gryffindor.
"Well this is your fault!" He snapped, stepping even closer so they were half a meter apart. "Red with snitches? How Gryffindor of you."
"At least they're not…" Ron looked at Harry with a sideways glance, as though he didn't think Draco could hear him. "What color are they, mate?"
"Green. Like jade." He couldn't help adding, stopping before he could say, 'Like my eyes.'
"Right, at least they're not jade." Ron said with dignity. "Like Harry's eyes, how coincidental."
"Are you accusing me of coordinating my underwear color with Potter's eyes." Draco asked incredulously, a low flush creeping up his neck. "I didn't know you were that dense."
"No, I was commenting on the fact that you do." Ron shot back and Harry found that letting Ron try to fight his battle was a lost cause.
"Leave it, Ron." He said in an undertone, grabbing his friend's arm and trying to turn their bodies in the other direction.
"What's going on, boys?" Their teacher asked from his position on the desk at the front of the classroom.
"Potter stole my-"
"I did not-"
"Yes, you did. I certainly did not-"
"Why would I ever-"
"-oh, please, you don't know what it looks like-"
"Boys! Stop this instant! What has happened?"
They both blushed and help up a piece of the offending fabric, too embarrassed to explain to their teacher. It was bad enough that the entire class was laughing at them. "Can you switch them back?"
"Charms is a class for learning. It is up to you to fix your mistakes." Professor Flitwick looks far too cheerful then should be allowed, they both thought as they turned back to each other.
"Potter, you do it." Draco said, annoyed. Instead of arguing he tried the spell, trying to lessen his mortification. Nothing happened.
"Maybe if you were closer." He said, once again wishing the floor would just swallow him up. Draco didn't say anything, merely moved so they were inches away. Nothing happened. "…Closer?" He asked, lips hardly moving as he spoke through gritted teeth.
The side of their hips were touching and they both leaned away, humiliated. "Hurry up, Potter."
"Malfoy, do you really want him to screw up a spell involving such a sensitive area?" Hermione asked sweetly and the Gryffindors roared with laughter.
They both paled and Draco stayed completely silent until his fingers were clutching something silky and green. They both hesitated and looked from their joined hips up to their faces, before springing away and returning to their former positions in the classroom, trying to pretend nothing had happened.
Hermione was smiling too brightly to be normal and Ron was looking slightly amused, but he couldn't say anything before Hermione told him to go practice the spell. He just patted Harry consolingly on the shoulder while attempting to cover up sniggers with coughs.
"Malfoy really is something else," she said, eyeing Harry in a way he didn't care for.
"Definitely." He agreed, looking at the wall behind her. "I'm thinking a cross between a ferret and his Father, who could really be anything."
"Hmm." She said thoughtfully and looked at him as he watched Draco correct Vincent on his wand movements, a blush still faintly visible on his cheeks. "I wonder if his mother would object terribly to the two of you."
"What?" He choked, gaping at her incredulously.
"Harry, honestly, stop being so closed minded." She admonished and he was sure that, in the five second pause between his answer, she was checking Ron out.
"Closed minded? Closed minded--Hermione you're suggesting I get with Malfoy." He said, trying to keep his voice quiet and still emphasis his point.
"What were you thinking about that caused you and Malfoy to switch underwear?" She asked, switching tactics.
He blushed and she nodded triumphantly, clearly thinking his flushed face meant something other then it really did. "I was thinking of ways to torture him. I don't even like guys." Lie, lie, lie. A voice in his head sang, but he ignored it.
"It's not a big deal, Harry. I've spent seven years at this school being insulted because of my parents, do you think I'm going to go homophobic on you?"
"I would have realized by now if I was gay." He said, determined to prove her wrong, while wishing he had the courage to just tell her she was right. "I kissed Cho. I would have noticed, and I definitely would have noticed if I fancied Malfoy. Which I don't. At all."
She didn't answer and this annoyed him more then any response she could have come up with. He glared at her back as she went over to correct Ron's spell casting and felt a slight pang of loneliness as the red-head tried again, succeeded and gave her a beaming smile, before kissing her.
He would have realized. Fancying a Malfoy wasn't just something a person could overlook.
As they listened to Professor Sprout explain the proper was to grow a Flaming Pouf plant, Harry was still thinking about Draco. Which was quite frustrating, really. He didn't even have Herbology with the git, and yet somehow the petals on the plant reminded him of the imbecile's hair.
She sent a medium sized pot flying lazily to each of them as well as three different types of soil. They were instructed on how to pick up the incredibly hot seeds of the plant and then set to work planting it in equal ratios for each soil type. They set to work as Harry groaned mentally. They had to observe it grow, figure out what nutrients it was going to eat, how much to water and observe its development throughout the next two months, and then hand in a seven inch essay summarizing all of that!
Why did he take N.E.W.T level Herbology? It was so pointless and stupid. Who cared about plants when your enemy might fancy you? Who cared about plants when all you could think about were deep, stormy grey eyes?
Their newest Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Jananda, was the most boring person the entire school had ever met. He looked boring, spoke in a monotone and never said anything interesting. The only story from his life he'd ever told the class was about when he watched Star Wars for the first time, and only half the class knew what he was even talking about.
"Hello class," he said in a nasally tone. "Today we will be learning magic without a wand, also known as wandless magic."
Despite looking forward to this moment since they'd seen it on the course curriculum, it took a few seconds to instill excitement in them. Nothing had ever sounded so boring. But after it sank in, they all sat up straighter and Harry felt a bubble of excitement.
"I don't expect any of you to be able to do it in the first few months; it is extremely difficult."
"But you can do it?" Seamus sounded impressed while Dean, predictably, glowered at their teacher.
"No. I cannot. That is why we have another teacher who is going to teach it to you. You're lucky he had this period free; we might have had to get someone from the ministry in."
Everyone turned to the door, because wasn't the person always supposed to walk in after they were introduced? It remained closed. Jananda didn't look inclined to speak again and they began to talk to their peers while he watched them looking, unsurprisingly, bored.
"Wandless magic? I've always wanted to learn." Ron said, his eyes gleaming. "Ever since I saw Percy turn George's face purple without a wand."
"Can't everyone do it, though?" Harry asked thoughtfully. "When I was younger I vanished glass, made my hair grow and blew up my aunt. I thought everyone could do it before they're trained."
"Essentially." Hermione replied. "But that was when we experience high levels of emotion and its unintentional. Wandless magic requires a great deal of discipline, because the magic is inside you and you have to control it without a wand to channel it through."
"Oh." He said and nodded. "That makes sense. I wonder who we'll have--"
It was unbelievable, really, how much everyone must still hate him. Professor Snape always seemed to be the most capable teacher in Hogwarts. He was quite sure McGonagall could do wandless magic, same with Flitwick and yet it was Snape who walked through the door with a scowl on his face, and it was Snape who announced that he and Draco would be partners.
Joy. Joy the fucking world.
"We've got Snape, then lunch, then Snape again!" Ron complained as they sat down at the Gryffindor Table. "This is so unfair."
"He must be quite qualified if he's teaching us, though." Hermione said, looking disappointed despite trying to convince them it was no big deal.
"He's an ugly git." Ron said, "It's bad enough we have three classes with the Slytherins, including Potions. Have you noticed we've never had Potions without them? For all I know, I could have had a hidden talent, but their presence made me do horribly!"
"We've always had classes with the Slytherins." Hermione pointed out and then switched her tone to teasing. "Besides, it gives Harry more opportunities to stare at Malfoy."
"I do not stare at Malfoy." He protested, blushing.
"You certainly were today." Hermione said smugly and Ron snickered.
He was saved the interrogation when someone tapped his shoulder. With a small sense of dread he turned to face her, her being a 15 or 16 year old Ravenclaw with black hair and blue eyes. "Could I talk to you?"
"Fine." He said rudely, feeling quite annoyed with these stupid girls. He followed her away from the table and gave his friends the middle finger as they laughed at him.
"I was wondering if you wanted to do something on Valentines Day." She said calmly, looking into his eyes.
"No, I do not want to do something with you on Valentines Day." He snapped, severely irritated. "Why don't all you girls just leave me the hell alone! I don't even know what your bloody name is. Have we ever even spoken in person? Honestly, I don't know what you all want, perhaps a picture in the Prophet? Yeah, well too bad. And don't go crying because I said no, it can't be that much of an emotional letdown if we've never met. Your eyes aren't even grey!"
He hadn't meant to say the last part and really didn't know what prompted him to so he just ignored that slip of the tongue.
"So that's a no?" She asked, a bit of hope still in her voice while her eyes filled up with tears.
"No. Sorry, but - I'm gay!"
"Well, I don't find that very surprising." She smiled and patted his shoulder, all traces of sadness gone. "I'm behind you all the way, bud."
And she left him stand there, staring at the way with an expression of shock and mortification. She didn't find it very surprising? '"I'm behind you all the way, bud."?' Was he supposed to feel offended or not?
"What did you say to that one?" Lavender asked eagerly and leaned forward.
"I, er, may have told her I was gay." He mumbled while extremely aware of the Ravenclaw girl whispering excitedly to Hufflepuffs and practically running over to her own table. Great. Of all the people to say that to, he'd said it to a gossip.
"You did?" Dean started laughing.
"Harry…" Hermione said in her best I'm-disappointed-in-you voice.
"Can we change the subject?"
His friends all looked at him with strange expressions, but obligingly went back to Snape abusing. On any other occasion he would have joined in, but he was a bit preoccupied with all the looks people were shooting him as word spread through the hall.
At the moment, a brave Ravenclaw was telling a First Year Slytherin. His eyes drifted over to Draco and he watched him eat his lunch, every bit the classic debonair. That was until Pansy suddenly gained an excited expression and began whispering feverishly to him.
When Harry remembered this moment, which he would for quite a long time, he would remember exactly how it happened.
Draco's mouth fell open – thankfully, there hadn't been food in it at that point - and his eyes widened in an expression of comical surprise. He looked like he was thinking of something distant and stared at the chattering girl beside him. Draco suddenly smiled and looked up, straight at him; their eyes locked and he blushed intensely, looking down as Draco didn't drop his eyes.
When he did look up, it was to find Hermione grinning knowingly at him in a way which suggested she had not missed the exchange. She didn't say anything, and he was glad for it. While Hermione was his dear friend, she didn't always posses one of the greatest qualities Ron had: to leave things alone.
As he walked to Potions people whispered about him and stared openly, much like when his name had come from the Goblet of Fire. He was used to staring by now - it had reached an all time high when he'd come back to Hogwarts after the defeat of Voldemort. Now, however, he only remained partially oblivious because his thoughts were centered on one Draco Malfoy. Perhaps, if Draco hadn't been his enemy for six years and he hadn't always been mildly obsessed with him, it would have seemed strange that the blond was receiving so much of his attention. Now, however, he could find nothing wrong with it.
They arrived at the classroom and walked right in, before splitting up to their desks. Snape's 'new and imaginative' way of torturing the Gryffindors had been to assign them their desks under the pretense of 'ensuring it was a good environment for learning in their last year'. So Harry, who had been in Snape's black books since day one, had been stuck beside Draco against the wall without a Gryffindor in talking distance. In fact, if Draco had murdered him, no one would notice until the end of class, when he didn't get up to leave.
"Potter." Draco said by way of greeting as he dropped his bag to the floor.
They sat down and Harry decided that their chairs were much closer then they're been before, but was adverse to moving away for fear of drawing attention to himself in Draco's presence. He only half listened to Snape as he talked about the potion they were making, his eyes drifting over to Draco on their own account, like a boat in water.
"Get to work."
He set to work grinding lizard scales, his mind only half there. Draco's arm was brushing his quite a lot, given the size of their desk. He only stopped himself grinding the scales into a powder too fine to use just in time.
The next ingredient was 15 diced beetles, and to his annoyance he'd finished his supply off the previous day and his new order hadn't arrived yet.
"You can have some of mine, I've got plenty."
"Oh. Er…thanks." He murmured as Draco passed him a jar from his potions kit.
"Mhmm." Was his only reply as Draco nimble hands went back to chopping dittany. They worked in silence, with Harry covertly looking at Draco in the reflection of his potion. It was quite clear, and so it didn't take long for him to find the angle that would clearly show him the blonde.
"So tell me, Potter." Draco began conversationally half an hour later. "Why the sudden confession of your sexual orientation? Or was it just your way of calling the dogs off?"
Harry, who was feeling quite flustered after all the contact they were having, replied in an uneasy manner. "No, I'm serious."
"Hmm." Draco sounded calculating. "Why now?"
"Why the sudden curiosity?" He shot back, getting read to dump in a handful of rustic fragments of wiggentree bark.
Draco caught his hand. "You skipped line ten."
He glanced up at the board and saw, to his chagrin, he had missed line ten. By adding that handful too early, he would have botched up the entire potion and received a zero, one which Snape would be too happy to hand back.
"Why are you being like this?" He asked suddenly, dropping the bark onto the table.
"Like what?" The Slytherin asked, sounded nonchalant about the whole thing.
"Being nice." He snapped, infuriated as Draco chuckled.
"I have my reasons." He replied after a slight hesitation and looked up at Harry from under long, blond eyelashes with smoldering eyes. It was the only time for the rest of the day he actually looked at Harry, but that look would stay in his mind for a long time.
Blushing furiously he returned to his potion and remained silent through the rest of class, merely grunting in thanks when Draco corrected his careless brewing style. He handed in a potion that was, thankfully, the exact shade as Draco and Hermione's.
As soon as the bell rang he was beside Hermione and Ron, whose desks were across the room. "Let's go."
"Why the hurry?" Ron asked as Harry rushed out the door.
"No reason." He said and jumped when Draco brushed past him while his friends followed, all smirking at Harry. In fact, Blaise looked quite smug and just before he walked out out the door he wiggled his fingers in a wave, winking.
"You idiot-" Draco's voice was cut off as the door closed.
"Are you su-" Ron's voice cut off as Harry stopped so abruptly he almost ran into him. They shot him concerned looks, but seemed to know enough not to mention it.
For the rest of the day Harry cast furtive, which were, naturally, noticed by everyone, looks at Draco, who didn't look at him once. They increased as his feeling of being ignored did, until Harry stared at the Slytherin through their entire Transfiguration lesson in hopes of getting a reaction from the boy. When nothing worked, he sulked through dinner and went to bed early, only to spend three hours pondering the strange behavior of his enemy - though that word didn't seem to fit, why? He fell asleep with a seductive voice whispering in his ear.
I have my reasons…
"How did you sleep?" Hermione greeted Ron with a kiss and a hug for Harry.
"Horribly." He muttered as Ron said, "Great."
They walked down to the Great Hall quite slowly, which left Harry brooding over the stupid supposedly romantic holiday that was tomorrow. Only girls liked Valentines Day, because it gave them a chance to be sickeningly silly, giggle every time someone of the male sex looked at them, and expect flowers, sweets, love letters or all from their boyfriends or secret admirers. The only males that had even semi positive feelings for the day were those in a relationship. Harry was neither female or in a relationship, so he was free to curse the day to hell.
Harry felt eyes on him the second he entered the Hall and looked instinctively over to the Slytherin Table. Draco smirked and winked at him, which made his face turn puce. With horror, he saw Ron look at him and then look at the Slytherins. He opened his mouth to deny whatever it was Ron thought he saw, but the redhead just snickered.
He sat with his back to the Slytherin for breakfast.
"This is the first tear free morning you're going to have this week." Dean said and bit his lip when Seamus began to lick syrup off his fingers.
"How are you going to go about telling everyone you lied?" Hermione asked, buttering some toast.
"I was thinking I won't." He mumbled, biting into a muffin. After seeing Draco with one every day, he'd started eating them. If someone ate them every day they had to be good, right?
"You can't live your life lying." Parvati said, leaning forward and staring at him like there was nothing she'd rather do then hear his answer.
"Except it…wouldn't be a lie." He said this very fast, despite the fact that rushing through sentences only worked to confuse people and make them think you're stupid. "I mean, I suppose I also like girls. But…not as much?" He looked up.
Hermione started beaming, Ron looked like he'd been expecting it and was happy, Seamus grinned, Dean smiled, Parvati and Lavender looked like they were having the best day of their lives. "You've finally accepted it!"
"You knew?" Harry looked at Ron in surprise. Of everyone, he'd thought Hermione would have suspected, given the knowing looks she'd been shooting him, but not Ron.
His friend shrugged. "It was sort of obvious. We all suspected but didn't want to mention it. Seamus has been trying to force it out of you for ages."
Instead of laugh he stayed sullen, not really caring that they'd discussed his sexuality behind his back. Maybe they were lying. Maybe it wasn't OK. Did anyone actually tell the truth anymore?
"It's…but isn't this supposed to be unnatural?" No one had made a big deal out of Seamus and Dean, but that had been because it had been such a long time coming and he assumed a lot of people feared Dean's wrath. Seamus got pretty fired up easily as well, but Dean had actually gotten in a screaming match with Demelza Robins when she suggested Seamus was a way of defying his mother, who was intent on his marrying someone she'd planned since birth. It ended with Dean hexing her nose to grow so big she couldn't lift up her head.
It took him a month to work off those detentions, but he told Harry later it was worth it. Harry couldn't help but think those two were made for each other, the way Seamus was hyper and talkative and Dean was artistic and more subdued, taking his fierce protection for Seamus out of the picture, of course.
"Harry, it doesn't matter who you love, or how you love, but that you love." Hermione said sagely and smiled. "The Wizarding World has enough reasons to be prejudiced they don't need this one. Only particular families actually care, I did a lot of research on this sort of thing when Seamus and Dean got together."
"Thanks." He said, feeling closer to Hermione then he had in awhile, since she and Ron started dating.
"Anytime." She smiled reassuringly at him and he looked over to Ron, the person he'd wanted to accept this more then anything. He'd fought with Ron before, many times, but nothing had been so permanent as part of who he was. He'd seemed fine, earlier, but sometimes he needed a few minutes to let it all sink in.
"It's fine, mate. I don't think I could get rid of you if I tried." The red headed said, but Harry sensed a large amount of truth under his words. "You're my friend, and will still be my friend whether or not you love a girl or a boy."
Ignoring Draco, while tiresome and mildly difficult, did not fill him with as much unease as it would have the previous day. The hardest part was not to look at him, and pretend he didn't care that the other male was looking at him. Apparently, he'd decided that ignoring Harry was futile, because every moment since the Gryffindor had stepped into the Great Hall, he'd felt eyes on him.
The fact that their relationship had turned from fights and hissed words in the corridors to this - what exactly was this, anyway? - was a large upheaval in Harry's everyday life in Hogwarts. Hermione was giving him knowing glances at every turn, Ron was either giving him sympathetic looks or pretending not to notice his frequent, and not very subtle, glances at Draco, and he was feeling quite confused.
And it had only been one day.
The event that occurred at lunch that day, which Harry would refer to as the Day of His Almost Execution, added to the chaos in his thoughts. Because really, who did Draco think he was, walking up and doing that?
It began as every other lunch had, except Harry sat with his back to the Slytherins again. They sat down, abused Snape, their large amount of homework and branched off into the subject of the meal. Often Quidditch, N.E., something amusing which had happened in a class or a particular event from the news. From that they would talk as friends do.
"Hey you two." Harry said suddenly. "I think you're right."
"What?" Hermione asked him, surprised and slightly confused.
He jerked his head in the direction of the Slytherin Table. "I think Malfoy really might fancy me."
"Why would you think that?" Ron asked sarcastically, but was silenced by Hermione.
"Why would you say that, Harry?" She asked kindly, folding her hands in her lap.
He shifted uncomfortably, hardly believing he was talking about this. "He was giving me looks all through Charms and Defense Against the Dark Art. And…well he was saying strange things. Like yesterday, during Potions, he was helping me and correcting my mistakes before I made them!"
"Hm." Hermione said in mock contemplation, which made Ron grin but Harry, who was so distressed by this revelation he didn't catch it, just watched her desperately. "Yes, it does seem very likely he fancies you."
"I think so too," Ron said, he couldn't help but join in. "In fact, maybe that's why he's walking over here to talk to you."
"What?" Harry yelped and whirled around. His eyes found Draco, who was striding over to him with a determined look on his face, and he turned back, eyes wide. "Shit! I need to run! Oh fuck! Fuck!"
He stood up, but froze when he found Draco standing three feet away from him. Whimpering, he backed into the table. "Potter, can I talk to you?"
"Er…I was going to go to the…the thing…you know." He murmured helplessly and glared as Seamus burst into laughter.
"It seems I caught you just in time, then." Draco said, his face arranged into an expression that one might have described as nervousness if it hadn't been Draco Malfoy. "Shall we?"
"No!" Harry said too forcefully. "Er… You can talk here."
"Hm. Commanding, are we? Don't worry, its an attractive quality." Draco said smoothly and Harry blushed furiously. It's amazing, Draco thought, he has no idea how nervous I am right now. Bloody fool.
"I've heard you've decided not to make plans for tomorrow."
"Damn right!" Harry said, hoping Draco would leave him alone so he didn't have to come to terms with his heart beating abnormally fast and his stomach doing flip flops. His hands helplessly reached for purchase on the edge of the table, but he couldn't find anything.
"So I wanted to know if you wanted to meet me tonight." Draco leaned in and Harry sucked in a breath, trying to regain his composure. Facing Voldemort had been so much easier. Well not really, but then he'd known exactly what he wanted and was going to do, whereas here, not so much.
"Why would I want to do that?" He asked fiercely while, deep down, he was actually leaping for joy.
Draco reached put and he couldn't move, couldn't flinch, as his thumb caressed his cheek. He cradled Harry's face and leaned in, barely registering that Harry had squeaked, before their lips were touching. "7:00 outside the Slytherin Common Room."
Something was pressed into Harry's hand and Draco stepped completely back, trying to arrange his face into one of calm control and only managing to look anxious. "See you."
Harry was feeling quite dizzy, and it took all his self control to turn around and sit back on the bench, before he dropped his head to the table. When he looked up he saw the entire Gryffindor Table watching him.
"What?" He snapped and they turned back to their food - except for the imbeciles he called friends, who were wearing amused expressions. "What?"
"What's new, Harry?" Seamus asked, grinning wickedly.
"Don't be stupid." He said, trying to snap but it came out as more of a whine. "What do I do?"
"What did he put in your hand?" Hermione asked, her eyes shining as she gripped Ron's hand.
He pulled out the piece of paper and read the neat script, his eyes widening. "Directions to the Slytherin Common Room."
Hermione let out a noise that sounded very much like a squeal, but of course she was much too dignified to do something like that. "Oh Harry! I wonder what you two are going to do!"
He snapped his head to look at her, rather then his plate, hard resolve worming its way into his head. "I'm not going."
He received blank stares.
"I said, I'm not going." He said, refusing to look at the Slytherin Table, where all his classmates were now staring.
"Why?" Seamus asked as he turned back to Harry.
"Why do you think?" He snapped and Dean glared at him as he stood up, slinging his bag over his shoulder and narrowly avoided hitting Seamus. "I'll see you in Potions."
He stalked from the hall, clenching the paper between his fingers so tightly it was a miracle it didn't turn into powder. As he left the Great Hall he looked back to where Draco was sitting, staring at his plate with an anxious expression while Pansy patted his shoulder, seemingly in an encouraging way.
The blonde glanced at the Gryffindor Table, an expression of longing on his delicate features, but upon realizing Harry wasn't there began searching the Hall. When his gaze reached the great wooden doors, he saw them close with a note of finality.
Potions was a horrific experience. On Fridays they had it last, and Harry was so horrifically awkward he managed to disfigure his potion so the end result was a sludgy black instead of a loose pink. That was with Draco's attempts at helping him. It became obvious to the blond that talking to Harry made it worse, because he jumped, blushed and moved as far away from him as he could. By the end of the hour and a half both were staring unhappily into their ruined potions, a first time occurrence for Draco.
When the end of class came, Harry left without a word to anyone and was lying on his bed before everyone reached the Great Hall for dinner.
"I'm not going!" Harry shouted and stalked furiously up the stairs to the boy's dormitory. Obviously his decision to go back into the Common Room had just been stupid. Stupid. Hermione and Ron followed him, still holding the small amount of food they'd brought for him.
"Why not, Harry?" Hermione asked, setting down the tray of food on his bedside table.
"Why are you two so caught up in this? It's Malfoy, for God's sake!" He yelled, pacing in front of his bed.
"Harry, calm down." Ron said angrily. "We're aware it's Malfoy, thanks. We're your friends-"
"Really? If you're my friends why are you trying to force something onto me!"
"Because you're being unreasonable!" Ron bellowed, "Because half the time you don't know what you want until you've lost it and we hate seeing you suffer because you haven't much experience with things like this! Because it's obvious that Malfoy feels something for you, and while I really dislike him I would overlook that fact for you!"
"Don't try to educate me in 'things like this', Ron. It took you years to work up the courage to ask out Hermione, and you only did it halfway!" He shouted and Hermione's eyes flashed.
"Don't try to use our relationship like that, Harry! These are different circumstances and Malfoy has already asked you! In front of the entire school and to reject him would mean extreme mortification, which you fully know about!" Hermione said this sharply, trying to keep from screaming at him.
"It's Malfoy! A month ago, we all hated him!" He shot back, unclenching his fists and trying to relax his hands, breathing deeply.
"Harry Potter you are blind!" Hermione shrieked and Ron squeezed her hand. "You didn't hate him! If I was sure you hated him we would not be having this conversation, though I can't exactly call it that since you're acting like a lunatic!"
"You don't understand." He said sharply. "You don't know what its like."
"Neither do you." Ron said, "Because you haven't even tried. Try to think about this, Harry. Think about what you're doing."
They turned to leave and Harry swore loudly after them, before collapsing on his bed. He was not going, and that was final. Nothing Hermione, Ron or anyone else could do would change his mind. And then, tomorrow, everything would be back to normal and he and Draco could go back to hating each other.
He tried to ignore the painful twinge in his stomach at that thought. Instead he opted to take a dinner roll and rip it into tiny pieces, that fell heavily to the floor, just like the pieces of his heart.
Draco sat nervously in the Slytherin Common Room, practically shaking. He was dressed in a pair of black trousers and a crisp black long sleeved shirt with silver embroidery around the collar and sleeves. In his hand was a single, blood red rose, which he was holding so tightly it was a miracle the stem hadn't snapped in half.
"Calm down, darling." Pansy said for the umpteenth time, rubbing his hand with hers. "God, your hand is cold."
"What if he doesn't come." Draco whispered, so nervous he felt like he was made of ice.
"He will." Pansy assured him. "It's nearly 7 o'clock now, do you want me to wait with you?"
He would have dearly liked to say that no, he was perfectly fine to wait by himself, but unfortunately, it didn't quite make it out. All he managed was a terrified noise in the back of his throat. Pansy didn't even laugh. She took his hand and led him out into the hall, glancing at her watch. It was actually 7: 05, but she'd figured that if Harry had to find his way down he might be late.
Draco was pacing in the hall, holding the rose behind his back as he chewed his lip nervously.
Pansy smiled. They would be so good together.
An hour later Pansy followed Draco back inside the Common Room. He strode right past her, dropping the rose to the floor and narrowly avoiding stepping on it. Everyone looked up, puzzled, as he walked almost silently up to the Boys' Dormitory.
"What happened?" Blaise asked, hoping that what he thought was true actually wasn't and Draco had merely gotten really angry at Harry for being stupid.
"He didn't come. The bastard didn't come." Pansy said, hardly believing it. Blaise and Theodore's expressions hardened. "I cannot believe such a cowardly, despicable piece of shit would have the nerve to stand up Draco."
She picked up the discarded rose, smiling bitterly as she remembered Draco fretting over which one was good enough to give to Harry out of a bouquet of the most beautiful flowers she'd ever seen. The flowers that any girl would have died to receive. She stormed up to her dormitory with the rose, leaving a shocked silence in her wake.
That night Draco's roommates pretended they couldn't hear him crying.
If Harry had thought things would go back to normal, he was sorely wrong. When he woke up, after a fretful night full of a girl who looked incredibly like Draco crying and telling him he was dead, he stumbled to get dressed. When he walked into the Common Room, everyone glanced at him and looked away quickly. Hermione and Ron both had extreme pity and disappointment showing on their faces.
"How did you sleep?" Hermione asked and kissed Ron. He smiled warmly at her.
Harry didn't respond and she didn't ask. She also didn't hug him and Ron didn't clap him on the back, as was usual. They waited for Neville, Seamus and Dean, who walked down holding hands while Neville walked in front, none of them would look at Harry. Lavender and Parvati always took longer then everyone else, but it was common knowledge that they would be up hours before sunrise on Valentines Day.
Normally the seventh years didn't go everywhere together, but it seemed as though it was natural to have a united front when facing something as horrible as Valentines Day. Harry realized with a jolt that he was the only person who would have a horrible day. He was the only one who didn't have someone to be with.
Fifteen minutes later, the two girls rushed downstairs, eyes bright and dressed in their most stylish robes – Dumbledore had decided that, because Valentines day was a joyous occasion, they ought to be able to wear what they want. Their expressions fell when they saw Harry.
"Shall we?" Parvati asked after an awkward silence fell over them.
The Great Hall was a nightmare. The walls were covered in pink, red and white tissue paper. Streamers hung all over the ceiling, and glittering red hearts floated above everyone, demonstrating the 'condition of their love'. It stopped over certain people, like Hermione, where it glowed a brilliant red. Both she and Ron beamed at each other, albeit shyly.
The food had all been dyed pink and there was pink and red confetti in the milk and juice from little cherubs with bows and arrows that threw it everywhere. On each plate there was a clear plastic bag of Sweetie Hearts with red ribbon tying them at the top. On some of the food were lips so that when you bit into them a bright red lipstick mark would appear on your cheek, and others made loud kissing noises.
Harry found this all rather horrifying. He sat down, unfortunately facing the Slytherin Table because Neville, Seamus and Dean took the only three empty seats on the side facing away from it. Lavender and Parvati began to chatter excitedly with each other, while Hermione and Ron talked quietly with each other.
At that moment Draco walked into the Great Hall, flanked by Vincent, Gregory, Blaise, Theodore and Pansy. The blonde girl was leading him by the elbow over to the Slytherin Table, an angry sneer twisted on her face. She said something quickly to Blaise, who nodded, and then parted from their group. As Draco stared at the food on the table blankly Harry looked away.
"Potter." He turned, as did Hermione and Ron while Dean, Seamus and Neville looked up. It was Pansy, glaring at him hatefully. "Here. This was supposed to be yours last night, but since you were being an arrogant bastard Draco couldn't give it to you."
She held out a red rose, each of its petals folded out to create the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen. Its stem was a pretty green, and it stood tall and straight. He didn't move and she lifted his hand and shoved the flower into it.
"I hope you're happy. You know what, Potter?" She sounded furious and angry tears filled her eyes. "He waited for you. He waited for an entire hour. He told me that he thought you'd just gotten lost, or were running late, or maybe you had to go save the world again because you always seem to have to do that. And you didn't come."
"Why should I have?" He said harshly, but it sounded weak as guilt gnawed at his mind.
"He loves you." Pansy whispered furiously and, despite that Hermione and Ron had turned back around he knew they had heard from the way Hermione's back stiffened. "He loves you and you destroyed him." She slapped him hard and there was a large SMACK noise. "I promised him you'd come. And you didn't. I hope you're happy."
She turned on her heel, leaving his sitting there, staring at the place she'd been and trying to ignore the tingling pain in his left cheek. Slowly, very slowly, he turned back around. Neville was staring at his plate, looking embarrassed while Seamus and Dean engaged each other in awkward conversation, pretending they hadn't listened.
"Oh no." Hermione sounded like something tragic had happened and he followed her gaze to, shockingly enough, the Slytherin Table. One of the floating hearts had stopped over Draco, and was glowing completely black. She turned back to Harry, anger flashing in her eyes. "How could you, Harry?"
"I…"He felt like something disgusting that got stuck to your shoe. He stared down at the bag of Sweetie Hearts and let out a sudden noise of indignation, all thoughts momentarily driven from his mind. Ripping open the bag so they cascaded onto his plate he pulled one out. It had his face on it. His face. On it. "What the fuck is this?"
"Oh my." Hermione gasped and picked one up. 'Be mine,' the Harry said in a high pitched voice.
No one laughed, despite the fact that it was the sort of thing most people would find hysterical. Instead, they couldn't help looking over at the Slytherin Table, where Draco seemed to have noticed the bag as well. He glared, took a fork, and stabbed it viciously, until Blaise took it from him nervously. As soon as the other male had turned away, he grabbed his butter knife.
"Who did this?" Harry asked in low voice, furious.
"Don't look at us like that," Neville snapped. "We don't know. So will you climb out of your pool of self pity for a second and realize that you're hurting Malfoy more then he is you? He is the one who threw himself out on a line in front of the whole school and was rejected, not you."
"I'm going to see Luna." He interrupted Harry and took a long drink of pumpkin juice, looking defiantly at him. "See you."
But Harry barely registered what Neville had said, because those were the exact words Draco had said to him after he'd…after he'd asked him out. It was startling, now that he thought about it, how easily he was reminded of the Malfoy. Not just those words, but it had been happening an awful lot in the past few months. He saw a flash of white and instantly thought of Draco's hair. Someone said something sarcastic and he would think of the Slytherin who he 'despised.'
It wasn't fair, he thought suddenly, that everyone should catch on to something even he hadn't realized. How was it that by rejecting Draco, he'd estranged his best friends? They acted like he'd mortally wounded them, when they weren't supposed to care about Draco at all. It was so confusing. "Why do you all care so much?"
"Because we love you and we want you to be happy." Hermione said in answer, frowning as Lavender let out a loud squeal, tittering with Parvati.
"Malfoy does not make me happy." He said, irritated by this constant mention of Draco. As if it wasn't bad enough that he thought about him all the time. It was besides the point that he'd brought the topic up.
"He could." Seamus said, shaking his head. "Why won't you admit it? Do you think it isn't hard for us to pair into couples and see you with no one?"
"Don't you think you've been alone for long enough?" Dean asked quietly, looking intently at him.
The post arrived before he could say anything. Hundreds of owls streamed through the rafters and landed on tables. Lavender and Parvati were giggling over Valentines they'd received. Hermione blushed crimson when a box of chocolate was placed in front of her, followed by a fancy card. She read it and turned shining eyes to Ron, who looked embarrassed.
"I didn't quite know how to-"
"I love you, too." She breathed and leaned forward to kiss him rather passionately, which Harry could have done without seeing and knowing that Hermione was capable of doing things with that much vigor.
Seamus and Dean had both given each other sweets and were snogging each other soundly, leaving Harry to stare into the dregs on his tea and try to ignore the mass of owls piled in front of him. One of them hooted and made to bite his finger, which he was tapping on the table, so he was forced to take the letters and packages off each single owl, leaving a large pile in their wake.
With a resigned sigh he opened the first one.
I adore you
When I'm blue
I think of you
I sure wish I knew
That I loved you
When I used to feel blue
And thought I just adored you
Happy Valentines Day!
He ripped it to shreds and threw it on the floor, blushing furiously. He hated when they wrote poetry, especially when they rhymed everything with 'you'. It was horribly. Just bloody awful.
I know you don't know who I am and probably don't care, because I'm just another rabid girl in the midst of a mass of worshippers, but I wanted to let you know I'll be thinking of your amazing eyes all day.
Have a Harry V-Day!
Enclosed was a box of chocolate he planned on throwing out the second he saw a garbage can. The lengths some of the girls went to make him notice them was startling, and he kind of pitied them. Did any of them realize he didn't want any of it? Did they realize the words they wrote made him cringe?
Dear the love of my life,
I am so in love with you
So when I sneeze and say achoo
I'll think of you
Because I know that forever and ever your eyes will be green and you
Will be a constant source of light in my life and you
Are even better then the relief of saying achoo
When you really have to sneeze.
I am your BIGGEST fan ever, and I love you. It took me two months to get that poem right, and I decided you, even a amazing as you are, have probably felt what its like to have to sneeze but end up squinting your eyes for so so so so so long and you look like your going to cry and I decided that the feeling you get after you DO sneeze is to great. LMAO! Seriously! Like, L-M-A-O!
Lucy Potter (I hope)
This one had compared him to the feeling of loosening the snot in your nose. And what did LMAO mean? He had no idea and stared uncomprehendingly at the letters. Lets Make An Ovum? He shuddered, no that was probably not it. That didn't even make sense. Look…Malfoy…Attracts…Others. His mind put that together and with an expression of horror he glanced up, almost expecting to see all sorts of men hovering around Draco.
I am like your biggest fan and totly love u for like the rest of my life and beyawnd. B mine, Valentin?
P.S Hopefully this jewel can join your family!
Harry groaned and buried his face in his hands. That last one had actually mentioned his…his…family jewels. These girls had never met him and had no idea what he was like. How could they possibly be in love with him? And the last one couldn't even spell. If Draco had written one, he definitely would have spelled everything right and would have known exactly what to say to express the sentiment he wanted, without the use of 'I love you.'
Why was he fantasizing about Draco giving him a love letter?
Because he fancied him, that's why.
It was so humiliating to have told off all his friends and then to know, deep down inside, that they were right. And now it was too late. Draco was a wreck, he couldn't talk to any of his friends because they should be spending the day with their significant other and he felt like a huge git.
After having so many people ask him out, he hadn't thought that the one person he'd hurt more then anything would be the one he wished he hadn't refused. How ironic. He looked up, trying to find Draco and instead found an empty space where the blond should have been.
"Come on, hun. Open the door." Pansy called through Draco's door, rubbing her temples. Nothing in the entire world could ever, ever, get Draco to open a door if he was upset. It was impossible.
"No." He said sharply and threw another Sweetie Heart at the wall, watching Harry's face break in half and join the many pieces of candy littering the floor. All sorts of broken hearts, all with Harry as the thing on top. How ironic. Just like real life. How many girls' hearts had he broken? Why did Draco possibly think Harry would look at him as anything other than just another stupid worshiper? In fact, he was worse than a worshiper. He was still the enemy.
'I love you!' The Harry in the heart said in a high voice and the blonde's heart twisted. Crack. Ha-ha. Now your heart's broken too. He thought stupidly, chucking another at the wall.
"Stay the hell away from me!" He roared, tears pricking the corner of his eyes. How could he have been so stupid to think that Harry would actually show up? All that nervous hope for nothing. Harry Potter was nothing but a low life, stupid, mean, cruel, self-centered, brilliant, self-pitying, imbecilic, handsome, ugly, prudish Gryffindor.
He was never coming out of this stupid room again.
"What the fuck do you want?" Pansy hissed as Harry drew near to her. She'd stepped outside the Common Room, intent on hunting him down, but conveniently enough, he'd appeared around the corner as the Portrait had closed.
"Don't talk to me." She snapped and slapped him for the second time that day.
"You just asked what I wanted." He snarled back, stepping out of reach as she moved to hit him again. "I want to talk to…to Draco."
"No." She spat at him. "How dare you hurt him like that and then come crawling back, realizing you made the biggest mistake of your sad fucking life! And now, exploiting his affections by using the directions he gave you to the Common Room?!"
"Pansy? You're making the portraits cringe with your screeching, not to mention me." Blaise stuck his head out of the Slytherin Common Room. Upon seeing Harry he scowled. "What do you want, scum?"
"To talk to-"
"He wants to talk to Draco." Pansy shrieked in near hysterics.
"Oh." Blaise looked very conflicted and retreated into the Common Room before opening it wide. "Fine."
"What?" Pansy's eyes bulged and Harry would have laughed, had his heart not been beating so loudly.
"Where's your wand?" Blaise asked him, glancing at his empty hands.
"In my pocket." He said, trying to stay calm. He was walking into enemy grounds unprotected. It's not enemy grounds, Harry. He chided, At least, hopefully not anymore.
"I know." He replied and stepped completely through, making no move to get his wand. The Slytherins stared at him, before turning back to what they were doing before. How anticlimactic. "Right. Where is he?"
"I'll take you." Blaise said, leading him up a set of carpeted green steps. He paused outside a door which read, 'Boys, Year 7.' "Draco?"
"Leave me alone!" The unmistakable voice of Draco Malfoy shouted and Harry heard several small objects hit the door.
"There's someone here to see you." Blaise continued, watching Harry from the corner of his eyes. The raven haired boy looked like he was facing his death and was shifting from foot to foot.
"Tell Pansy to-"
There was silence. Then a voice, nearly a whisper from the other side of the door. "You're lying."
"No. He's here. Without his wand out, too. Too bloody trusting." Blaise replied and Harry glared at him. "Say something, Potter."
"What?" He mouthed at Blaise, who shrugged. "Er…Malfoy?"
The door opened suddenly and forcefully. There was Draco, holding a bag of Harry Potter Sweetie Hearts in a pair of trousers and a silk shirt, gaping at The-Boy-Who-Lived. When he did speak it was not to Harry. "Thank you, Blaise. You may leave."
Harry was amazed that he sounded so calm; he felt like he might faint, which would be very unmanly and unacceptable. Blaise nodded and left, elbowing Harry in the back as he did so.
"Come in." Draco said stiffly, clutching the bag like his life depended on it. Harry walked through the door and heard it close with a menacing click. And then he was reeling forward. "Why are you here? To brag about the amazing feat you pulled off last night? Fine, gloat."
Harry regained his balance from the kick Draco had aimed at his calf. "No I wanted-"
"How could you?" Draco whispered, his voice full of venom. "How could you be so cold?"
"I'm cold?" Harry laughed bitterly. "Then what are you, frozen?"
"I never pretended to be brave and then go cower in a corner when something unexpected happened. I'm not the one who humiliated someone else in front of everyone! I'm not the one who broke someone else's heart!" Draco said, raising the volume of his speech as he went on.
"You shouldn't have given it to me, then!" Harry shouted, "I don't know what to do about things like this, I wasn't raised with love and ways to deal with it! I was raised shunned from everyone else because I was some sort of intense embarrassment."
"The only person who should be embarrassed about you is you." Draco snarled, "You try to pretend you're brave, Potter, but you're the only one in your bloody group of friends who hasn't took a chance to be happy."
"Everyone's happiness depended on me!" Harry bellowed, "EVERYONE! It was easier knowing I had a purpose then this stupid existence of living for yourself!"
"Yeah, right." Draco snorted, making his blood boil. "Everyone's happiness did not depend on you."
"YES IT DID! There was a prophecy, Malfoy! It was him or me, and if I lost then the entire world would be left in his control! How do you think it felt to have the world glorifying everything you've done out of pure luck and with your friends' help, and knowing you might fail? Do you think it was easy to see people look up to me and know I might fuck them all over?"
"It's over now." Draco said, his voice shaking. "You've got to move on. The only person who depends on you right now is you, because that's the only person you'll let depend on you. Everyone has noticed Weasley and Granger pulling away from you."
"Well good for you." He said furiously. "I came here to tell you I was sorry, not to fight with you so-"
"Then say it."
Harry glared at him for a second, but saw the vulnerability in Draco's eyes and dropped his gaze. "I'm sorry that I was scared and let you down. Do you get it? I was scared."
"So was I. Scared that you wouldn't come, and then you didn't." Draco said, sitting down on a bed and holding onto a post.
"I guess we both got let down." Harry said quietly. "Because I realized in the middle of the night that I wanted to go. Really badly."
"That makes two of us." Draco responded and they looked at each other. "P…Harry?"
"Yeah?" He breathed, his stomach flip flopping at the sound of his name. His real name. For a moment, he felt that the reason his parents had named him that, surely, was because they knew it would sound so perfect on Draco Malfoy's lips.
"I like you. A lot. Would you…er… fancy eating dinner with me… tonight?" He looked terrified, like he thought Harry would say no. Even though Harry's legs felt like they were made of jello and he had to use all his self control not to start crying out with happiness.
"Yes." Harry said, grinning and feeling quite sure he looked like a fool. Had his heart just exploded? It sure felt like it. And yet, it was the best feeling he'd ever had. "Yes, I'd love to."
Draco beamed at him and Harry felt like the sun's rays had been directed solely on him, only much, much more brilliant. He reached his shaking hand forward and Draco stared at it, his eyes bright, before taking it. Everything was brilliant.
Everything was right.
They walked downstairs hand in hand, past Pansy, whose eyes still seemed to be popping, and out into the dungeons.
That evening they entered the Great Hall together, and Harry didn't really mind the horrific pink, red and white decorations everywhere. All he could see was Draco, who looked so beautiful it was almost surreal. They sat down at the Slytherin Table, where Draco took his hand and looked like the happiest man on earth, which was impossible, because Harry was pretty sure he took that title for himself.
"Harry," he said softly, oblivious to the expression their interactions were getting.
"Draco?" Harry replied and looked over at him, smiling.
"I dunno." Draco said, flushing. "I just wanted you to say my name."
"Draco, Draco, Draco, Draco." He murmured, leaning in close. His heartbeat was quickening and their lips met again. Of the seven times they'd done that, it still had the same, earth shattering, sun exploding, happiness overflowing feeling. It wasn't long, but the brilliance of having kissed Draco made Harry dizzy and he rested his head on the blonde's shoulder.
He ignored the loud cheers from Seamus across the hall. He ignored Lavender's loud squeal and Parvati's shriek of excitement. He ignored Dean's encouraging grin as he yanked his boyfriend back into his seat and kissed him, and Neville's look of satisfaction. What he couldn't ignore was Ron's grin and nod, winking as Hermione gasped and beamed quickly at him before turning her radiant smile back to Ron. It seemed as though everyone was happy now.
"Pumpkin juice?" Draco asked quietly in his ear and he smiled, nodding, beating Draco's hand to the jug and giving them both some. The confetti floating around inside it wasn't even enough to make him feel sick, and he took in his surroundings cheerfully, content.
What he didn't even attempt to ignore – what he would never try to again - was Draco's sly glances and hand on his own, or the gradually expanding bubble within him, telling him everything was wonderful; everything was how it should be. Draco was all his. "Happy Valentines Day." He murmured and Draco squeezed his hand.
Maybe this day wasn't so bad after all.
Author's Note: Whew, finished! This is pretty cool, my first Drarry! I hope people liked it, despite how cliché I admit the ending was. All it was missing was the 'And they lived happily ever after, because Harry killed Voldemort and everyone was living in one big, accepting bubble of peace.'
I appreciate you reading, and Happy Valentines Day everyone!
Review review review!