As I have got a lot of reviews telling me that things felt incomplete, I have written a short epilogue to tie up some of the loose ends. I do realise many of you wanted a sequel instead, but like I mentioned a couple of chapters back; I am bored with story, and any continuation would not be any good. I hope this epilogue is enough to satisfy you a bit at least :)
Hermione rushed into the room Harry was currently occupying. He (and Draco, though the boy had headed off to his home early in the morning, saying something about having some unfinished business to take care of) had been given a different room temporarily, and it had taken Hermione a surprisingly long time to find it. But the minute she had been able to find out where it was she had rushed over, not even wasting time to knock before entering and throwing herself around Harry's neck.
"Oh Harry!" She gasped, breathlessly, "Are you alright? They wouldn't tell me what had happened, and everyone is going around talking about how you were being assaulted by Malfoy!"
Suddenly the dam that had been holding her feelings back broke completely, and she sniffled into his shirt, unable to stop the tears.
"It's my fault! I pushed you towards him, and now you suffered for it! I'm so so sorry! I shouldn't have listened to what Blaise was saying, I should have gone to the police instead! I never thought he would do something like that thought, never!"
Harry couldn't hear the rest of what she was saying, because she sped up her talking to inhuman speeds and sniffled all the while.
"Hermione..." he tried, petting her hair gently while feeling incredibly awkward. "Hermione... Draco didn't assault me. Hermione... will you listen to me! Hermione!"
In the end he snapped at her, and she shut up just as her head snapped upwards. Harry tried giving her a warm smile, but he was sure it ended up as more of a grimace than anything else.
"Now, Herm," he began, "Listen to me for a moment." He waited until he was completely sure that he had her attention before continuing, retelling the events of that night. She stayed silent for a long minute after he had finished, taking in what he said, considering it from all angles. Truth to be told, what had happened hadn't been strictly her fault, but she still couldn't help but feel guilty. For all her logic she had managed to overlook taking the matter of Zabini's blackmailing to the police, and if she had only done that the moment he approached her, none of it needed have happened.
When she spoke, it was with a low voice.
"I'm still sorry, Harry." she looked straight at him when she said it. "I could have stopped it, had I only gone to the police about Zabini. He came to me, way back, and threatened to harm my parents if I didn't help Malfoy get his claws into you. And I did it, like a fool I did it, because I didn't think it would cause so much harm. I'm so so very sorry, Harry!"
It was Harry's turn to be quiet then, and he stayed silent for so long that Hermione didn't know what to think. He must be so furious with her, so angry that he keeps himself from talking because otherwise he would simply explode. When he finally made a noise, it was to laugh, long and hard, to the point where he was shaking.
"Oh, Hermione," he said, voice weak from the laughter, "I forgive you. Even thought I feel disappointed in you, and sad because I believed you to be my true friend, I forgive you. Things have been just... strange, ever since I got transferred here, strange and odd and unhappy. And Draco was the strangest one. But right now, I can only take things in a stride. Maybe it's because I've just survived a crazy killer, but I forgive you."
Draco looked around the finely decorated room. His father sat opposite of him, and Blaise was sitting by Lucius side. It had surprised Draco at first, finding the dark-haired aristocrat there, but he didn't question it. After all, it would be a lot easier to take care of thing with the two of them there already. His father was sneering and it made Draco tired. When was his father every happy about anything? What was so wrong with showing off his emotions every once in a while?
The blonde shook his head. It didn't matter, that wasn't why he was there.
"I need you to stop."
The statement was followed by a loud snort from Blaise and by silence from his father. They were both staring at him, his father raising a finely manicured eyebrow as he asked what Draco was talking about.
"I think you know." Draco replied. "You" he turned to his father, "need to stop trying to run every aspect of my life. I am mature enough to decide on who I date by myself, and you," he turned to Blaise this time, speaking quickly and with enough strength that the other men couldn't interrupt him, "need to get over me."
The two men started speaking the moment he fell silent, their voices fighting to be the one heard. Eventually, and predictably, Lucius was the one who won.
"While you are staying under my roof, son, my word is law." His sneer deepened. "And I will not let you date a filthy peasant."
Draco rewarded him with a cruel smirk. "Well, I know one way that could be easily solved."
The gasp his father let out made him laugh. The fact that his father had not ever expected that he would be willing to leave just proved how much the man did not know him. "I'll take my things when I leave here later."
"You will do no such thing!" his father yelled at him, the first time Draco had ever seen his father lose his composure so completely. "The moment you set foot outside the door, you will be no son of mine!"
The threat of being disowned did not surprise Draco. He had, in fact, counted on it. But while his father might mean it at that moment, while shock and anger was ruling him, the younger blond was pretty sure that he wouldn't be able to sustain the conviction. His father had, after all, only one child. And the family needed an heir.
But it was time to move things on, and so he turned to Blaise, who was sitting very still in his chair, face frozen as he regarded the scene that had been played out in front of him.
"So, Blaise," Draco said, "what was it you wished to say?"
"I am not in love with you. I'm only looking out for your best."
The answer came out flat and without any of the emotion Draco knew Blaise would have normally infused his speech with normally.
"Is that so? Then I thank you for that, dear friend, but ask that you allow me to make my own decisions in love." If he put any emphasis on the last word, he made sure not to make it visible on his face.
"And now, father, Blaise, I will take my leave. I hope that you will think over my words and come to me personally if you have any further issues with how things are going. Good day."
He left the room even as his father called out for him to wait. But he didn't, and neither of the other men followed him as he went upstairs to pack.
Harry and Draco met up later that day in the new dorm-room they shared. Harry raised an eyebrow at the luggage the blond was dragging behind him as he entered the room, but he didn't comment. Pointing it out felt somehow like he would be destroying the sentiment that followed by implication. Instead, he got up from the bed.
"Need any help unpacking?"
Draco smiled back at him, a real smile.
It was comfortable, working side by side, trying to fit all of Draco's clothes into the small wardrobe.
"Ugh," Draco complained, "what were they thinking, believing that our clothes would fit in such a cramped box?"
Harry laughed at that, and marvelled at how easy it came now. Marvelled at how much he enjoyed Draco's company. He didn't love the man, far from it, but now... now they were taking a path in which it might actually happen, and he found himself wanting to follow it. It wouldn't be an easy path by any accounts, he was sure that Malfoy senior and Zabini wouldn't give up so easily, but still... in the end, Draco might actually be worth it.
He smiled back at his companion.
"We'll just have to make do with what we have."
So this is now well and truly the end. The build-up of their relationship will have to be done in your minds, or if someone wants to write a sequel themselves. No, Draco and Harry did not get together in this story, even though my early thoughts were that they should. However, I also started this as a pwp, so hey, let's not put too much attention on old thoughts^^.
I hope you enjoyed it either way! Feel free to R&R!