Nineteen Reasons… 1/19
Author: MK Malfoy
Characters: Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter
Summary: At King's Cross, nineteen years after Voldemort was defeated, Draco Malfoy nodded curtly at Harry Potter. Contrary to popular belief, the nod was not the result of a sense of obligatory politeness — there were nineteen reasons for that nod. Epilogue-compliant. Each chapter will be a separate story detailing a meeting between Harry and Draco.
Warnings: Sexual situations in future chapters, possibly adult language, and angst
Disclaimer: I own none of what I write about; it is all Jo's and her friends!
On 01 September 2017, At King's Cross, nineteen years after Voldemort was defeated, Draco Malfoy nodded curtly at Harry Potter. Contrary to popular belief, the nod was not the result of a sense of obligatory politeness — there were nineteen reasons for that nod, and each of them enriched Draco's and Harry's lives a bit more than the previous, so that by the time of the curt nod, the two men had forged a relationship that neither time nor marriage could destroy.
Reason Number One:
Funerals, tears, eulogies, goodbyes that would be forever: it was all too much.
"Fred Weasley died young, yes, but he died fighting for a just cause, and you can all take comfort in that…."
No. How could anyone take comfort in that? Would the loss be any less meaningful had Fred or any of the others not died fighting for a just cause?
Fred and the others had died. It didn't matter why or how. All that mattered was that they were gone, and they weren't ever coming back.
"Harry!" Ginny cried out as she tried to catch him. Her voice was thick with emotion, but as she continued to yell, her voice became weaker, and eventually stopped.
Harry ran faster. He couldn't face her; he didn't want to face anyone. This was all his fault. Had he not returned to Hogwarts, Fred would still be alive.
The steady, light rain that had served as a fitting backdrop for the four funerals during the past two days now began falling with a vengeance and hit Harry in the face as if he were being stoned with a million tiny rocks; perhaps he was: it seemed fitting. God, Merlin, whomever had a say in what went on up there — if anyone did — could be reminding him that he had done a bad thing, and that requital would now be required.
Harry ran, and ran, and ran until his legs could carry him no further, then he collapsed in the wet grass and allowed himself to cry for the first time in three days. He hadn't shed a tear in public, and he wouldn't, because no one wanted to see Harry Potter, their hero, fall apart. He had finally rid the world of Voldemort — he was their very own David, and people wanted him to be happy, because they were happy.
Had these people who wanted him to celebrate with them ever lost anyone close to them? Had they ever seen the life run out of someone? Had they ever been the reason someone they loved died? Had they sat through four funerals in two days and not allowed themselves to show any emotion?
It wasn't fair. None of this should be happening. Why hadn't he been the one to die? He had been prepared — he had walked into the Forbidden Forest ready for Voldemort to kill him. His father had told him they were proud of him, and his mother had stayed close to him as he had walked to his impending death. He had confronted death, and he had faced a fear unlike any that he had ever known. He hadn't wanted to die, yet he was prepared and had made his peace with the inevitability.
So why had he lived? Yes, there were reasons, and Harry was aware of many of them, but that made little difference as he looked up into the darkened, rain-filled sky and shook his head as the rain pelted his face. Why had they died and why had his life been spared?
"Potter?" called out a rough voice, whose footsteps were becoming more pronounced with each passing second.
Bloody brilliant. It would have to be Malfoy who found him, in the midst of what any male would consider an unnatural show of emotion. Harry wiped furiously at his eyes, then stood and turned as he tried his best to glare. Malfoy stood inches away, and he didn't look at all happy. If anyone had to come after him, why… why, did it have to be Draco bloody Malfoy? "What are you doing here, Malfoy? Aren't you and your parents off to celebrate the demise of the Dark Lord? I heard your mother trying to console Andromeda, and she said the three of you were off to Spain after the funeral." Harry again wiped at his eyes, trying to rid himself of any proof that he was human.
"Yes, we are about to leave, Potter. It wasn't my idea to come fetch you. My mother sent me after you. Everyone is worried about you," replied Malfoy in a very un-Malfoy-like manner that resembled concern.
"Oh? You are worried about me, are you?" Harry asked, his voice a much higher pitch, his cadence not at all normal to his ears. "Well, don't be. Why don't you go back to your mummy and daddy so the three of you can go off to Spain and laud the wizarding world's great fortune of finally being rid of Voldemort." Harry began walking back toward the cemetery and tried his best to ignore Malfoy, whose footsteps were closing in on him. Obviously no one was going to leave him alone, so if that was how it was going to be, then so be it. If it was a happy Harry everyone wanted to see, then that is the person they would have. He stopped and plastered a smile onto his face, then turned toward Malfoy. "It is so good to know that six years of animosity can be overcome because your mummy sends you after me. How very sweet of you to care." Smiling was taxing while Harry felt completely deflated and upset, but that is what they wanted so…
"You are such a drama queen, Potter. Grow up. I am sorry that your life has been manipulated as it has. It is unfair, but it is not my fault. Do you think I wanted to follow you and bring you back? No, I didn't. I knew that you needed to get away, and I thought that was the right thing for you to do, but the Weasleys are worried about you. They just buried their son an hour ago, yet they are worried about you. My mother saw and heard their worry, and she asked me to come see how you were. You are not the only person who is grieving, Potter."
Harry's fake smile faltered and he shook his head. "Did I say I was the only one grieving, Malfoy? I don't recall making such a statement. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to everyone since I have worried them needlessly," Harry said with as much vitriol as he could muster, which wasn't a lot by this point. He began to walk again, but he knew Malfoy hadn't quite finished with him, and when Malfoy stepped in front of him and crossed his arms across his chest, Harry knew he wasn't going to escape hearing what Malfoy had to say. He began to shake, and opened his mouth to say something, but he was too angry to speak, so he closed his mouth and waited for what Malfoy had to say.
"My aunt died, Potter. I didn't know her very well, but my mother has lost a sister, a sister whom she loved. For as long as I can remember, my mother has been the one to care for me and she has seen to my needs. For the past four days, I have had to be the one to see to my mother's needs. I have had to get her to eat; I have had to sit with her for hours as she sits there and stares at nothing; I have had to watch my mother and father pull away from one another because my mother blames my father for getting us involved with Voldemort, even though it was my mother's father who got her and her sister involved." Draco paused for a few seconds and shook his head sadly as he turned toward the cemetery. "So quit acting as if you are alone; you're not," were his parting words.
Malfoy walked away, and when Harry eventually made his way back to the cemetery, the Malfoys were gone. He hugged Ginny when she approached him, but his thoughts were of the words Malfoy had spoken. As completely mad as the thought was, Harry wanted to run after him.