A/N: This was planted in my head last night after leaving a graduation party. This is in dedication to all those graduates out there and of course for Draco's birthday :) I hope you enjoy this one shot. It's probably one of my absolute favorites of the stories I've written. Let me know your thoughts!
It was the day of graduation at Hogwarts, finally. It was going to be a big graduating class as it included both seventh years and eighth years. Harry Potter and most of those who were in his year had returned for their 'eighth' year after Voldemort's demise. Despite the many changes that have come over Hogwarts since the battle it still felt like home to many of them and it promised a bright future for all the graduates. Things had changed that year. Students who hadn't been friends before became friends. All was nearly forgiven between the schools most popular enemies, Harry and Draco Malfoy. They were on a friend basis with each other and surprisingly it was going well. Draco didn't have many friends left at Hogwarts and Harry being the hero and kind-hearted soul that he is, took it upon himself to extend his hand to Draco and they'd been friends since.
All the 'eighth' years shared a dorm despite the house they were in. McGonagall tried to play it as there just not being enough of them, but they all knew it was meant for promoting unity between the very different houses. They didn't mind honestly. They all got along fairly well and it worked. That is why graduation was going to be a hard experience for them all in many ways.
"Potter, will you take that note from that blasted bird already?" Draco groaned from his bed across the room. It was early in the morning, maybe seven, and all the eighth years planned to sleep in late that day.
Harry made a sucking noise in his sleep like he was sucking up a long piece of drool. Draco made a disgusted noise from his bed and threw the blankets over his head. "What are you talking about Malfoy?" Harry asked sleepily.
"The blasted bird that's been pecking at the window for an hour of course," Draco replied in annoyance.
"How do you know it's for me? Why didn't you just open it and let it in?" Harry demanded. Neither of them were much of morning people and the early morning brought out the worst in them for each other.
Draco sat up the blankets falling down around his waist his bare chest shining in the sunlight that streamed through the window. Harry didn't have his glasses on and thanked Merlin for that because he could make out enough of Draco to know that he didn't have a shirt on and he'd rather not blush upon the sight. He was used to his usual dormmates being shirtless, but not Draco so it always made him uncomfortable if he could see him.
"I know it's for you because I tried to let it in and take it from him, but it just nipped at me and flew away. So when I shut the window again it came right back and started pecking once again," Draco explained in irritation.
"That doesn't explain how you know it's for me. It could be for Ron or Neville or Dean," Harry pointed out in annoyance.
"I saw your name on it alright? Just answer the damn owl so we can all get back to sleep," Draco barked. He threw the blankets back over his head and burrowed further into his bed. Harry sighed loudly and threw his blankets off, the morning air hitting his chest and goosebumps popping up on his arms and chest. He was grumbling something inaudible to Draco's ears as he walked over to the window. Draco was snickering under his blankets at Harry's irritation.
Harry opened the window and the owl flew in letting out an angry hoot as it landed on the nightstand next to Harry's bed. It ruffled its feathers as it waited impatiently for Harry to make his way back over to the bed. Harry continued to grumble as he made his way back to the bed. He reached out and took the small note that was tied to the bird's leg. It did in fact have his name on it and he turned to glance over at Draco's bed and glared at the form that was buried in blankets. He unrolled it and opened it. He read the note over and over again, his annoyance at Draco disappearing as it was replaced with a new emotion of curiosity and confusion. He looked up at the owl trying to figure out if he recognized it, but he didn't. He looked back down at the note and reread it.
I've watched you from the very first days of Hogwarts and I realized this year that I've been in love with you from the very beginning. I just wanted you to know before we graduate today.
Love always, Your Secret Admirer
P.S. If you respond, send it back with this owl. It knows where to find me.
"What the hell?" He said aloud.
"Bad news Potter?" Draco asked from his bed. He was sitting up again wearing a shirt this time.
"Um, I don't really know. Apparently I have a secret admirer," Harry commented.
Draco stood up from his bed wrapping his arms around him as he walked over to Harry's bed. He sat down next to him and took the note that Harry handed him. Draco read it over and quirked an eyebrow. "Don't you have a lot of secret admirers? What's so special about this one?" He questioned.
Harry took the note back with a glare and tossed Draco one of his jumpers that were sitting on top of his trunk. Draco slipped it on over his head and grinned at him.
"You'll be surprised to know that this is the first actual secret admirer letter that I've gotten that didn't give away exactly who it was. Besides this is entirely different from all the others I've ever gotten," Harry explained.
"Well, any guesses as to who it is?" Draco asked gesturing towards the note again.
"Um, no. It's not like it gives a lot of hints you know," Harry replied.
"Sure it does. Look, it says 'before WE graduate' so that implies either someone in our year or the year behind us. That narrows it down quite a bit and it's someone that's been here from the very beginning, not someone that transferred in later in the year or left and came back you know?" Draco explained.
Harry reread the letter and nodded when he picked up the hints. "Okay, so what should I do?" He asked.
Draco chuckled and rolled his eyes. "Isn't it obvious? You should respond. Maybe they'll give more hints in another note," Draco suggested.
Harry nodded in agreement and leaned over to grab some parchment and a quill from his night stand. He stared at the blank paper for a moment trying to decide what to write. Draco huffed next to him and stood.
"While you're figuring out how to respond, I'm going to go back to bed. Thanks for letting me use your jumper," Draco said as he walked over to his bed.
"You aren't going to help me write this?" Harry asked in alarm.
Draco laughed and shook his head. "I'm pretty sure you can write it yourself. Hurry up though so you can go back to sleep. You want to be well rested for graduation and the party tonight," Draco replied.
"Aw, thanks, I didn't realize you cared," Harry teased.
Draco scoffed and rolled his eyes before getting back into bed wrapping the blankets around him once again. He was still wearing Harry's jumper which surprisingly didn't bother Harry much.
Harry looked back down at the parchment and reread the letter once again before he started to write. After stopping every couple of words he finally finished the note and read it to himself once again.
Dear Secret Admirer,
Um, what the hell? You can't just drop something like this on me without giving me any more clues as to who you are. The ones you did give don't help me much. Who are you? I can't even begin to guess.
Sincerely, Harry Potter
He rolled up the note and attached it to the owl before it flew out the window and disappeared to the owlery. He shrugged his shoulders and closed the window once again before walking back to his bed and getting back in. He buried himself under the blankets turning his back on his sleeping dormmates. He thought about the clues in the note and what Draco said about them for several minutes before he fell into a restless sleep full of words floating around in his dreams.
"Get up! Ron, Draco, Harry! Come on boys honestly! This is the biggest day of our lives as of yet and you're all still sleeping? Get up!" Hermione Granger cried shrilly as she went from bed to bed shaking each boy roughly. All three of them sat bolt upright in bed at her voice and glared daggers at her. "Oh you can stop the glaring, it doesn't scare me. Get up all of you. It's getting late!"
Harry and Draco groaned together and laid back down pulling pillows over their heads. Ron stared at his girlfriend with goo-goo eyes and promptly jumped out of bed to get dressed. Seamus, Neville and Dean had gotten up before then as if knowing she was going to come in and do this.
"Mione, what time is it?" Ron asked his voice dripping with love for her. She smiled sweetly at him.
Wrapped around her little finger, Harry and Draco both thought at the same time.
"It's ten. Breakfast is nearly over," Hermione replied. This got Ron moving faster and within a minute he was dressed and ready to go. "Harry, Draco come on get up. Why are you two so tired?" She demanded.
"Potter got a blasted owl this morning from a secret admirer," Draco said from beneath his pillow. Harry blushed deeply under his own pillow knowing the look that his best friend was giving him.
"Ooo, a secret admirer?" Hermione cooed as she walked quickly over to his bed and sat down pulling the pillow away from his increasingly blushing face.
"Ugh, it's not a big deal Hermione. Go away," Harry said as he tried to grab the pillow back from her. She held it out of his reach and Harry didn't even try to reach for it. She was giving him a knowing look and he gestured to his nightstand where the note sat. She picked it up and Ron came over next to her to read it over her shoulder.
"Oh Harry, this is brilliant! Who do you think it is? Have you responded yet?" She asked excitedly.
"I have no idea. They didn't give me much to go off of and yes I wrote them back, but haven't received anything back yet. Now leave so I can get ready to go down to breakfast," Harry told her in mock anger.
She laughed gleefully and stood up from his bed and walked towards the door, Ron right behind her. Harry rolled his eyes as Ron and Hermione looked at each other lovingly before going out the door and leaving Draco and Harry alone.
"Those two better keep their distance. Their lovey doveyness is making me sick. I hope they get married soon so that it just might lessen. Ugh, who am I kidding it won't," Harry laughed knowing that he was very happy for his friends albeit still jealous to not have that in his life. Maybe that was what fueled him to react differently to this secret admirer note instead of all the others he's gotten in his lifetime.
"Not a romantic Potter?" Draco asked as he grabbed a pair of pants from his trunk and pulled them on.
"Of course I am, but I mean they're so loving and it's just sickening," Harry replied laughing once again.
"It doesn't make you sick. You're jealous of them because you don't have someone like that in your life to be all lovey dovey with as you said," Draco pointed out. Harry scoffed as he pulled on his own pants and slipped a t-shirt over his head. How right Draco was.
Harry sighed. "Yeah so what if I am? It's not like I'm going to find it anytime soon."
Draco looked at him for a moment noticing for the first time that Harry really was just an average guy who wanted a normal life. "You'll find it. Maybe this secret admirer is the one," Draco finally said. He gave Harry a tentative smile before he left the room leaving Harry to stare after him.
"Wow, first time he's said something truly genuine to me without being snarky," Harry said aloud before he left the room as well.
When he arrived in the Great Hall he was surprised to find that it was still rather full with students and he wondered if Hermione was exaggerating on breakfast almost being over. The owl post hadn't even arrived yet and that pleased Harry because he might be able to see who his admirer was. He walked to the Gryffindor table eagerly and sat down next to Hermione and looked up to the windows to wait for the owls to come in.
"What are you looking for Harry?" Hermione asked as she looked up as well.
"The post hasn't come yet so I'm going to be able to see where the owl I sent this morning goes and then I'll know who my secret admirer is. I don't think they thought this through at all. I mean hello we're in the same place and wouldn't I be able to pick out the owl and see where it landed? This is too easy," Harry said excitedly.
Hermione chuckled and glanced up once again. "Well, here they come now so pay close attention," She said pointing to the windows. Harry sat up straighter and scanned the owls for the one from the morning.
"There it is!" He exclaimed as he spotted the owl. It was flying overhead and going around in circles by each table and then finally it landed in front of Harry. Harry's face fell and he stared at it for a moment. "Stupid bird, you're not supposed to send it back to me. Find the person I wrote this to," Harry demanded. The owl hooted indignantly and stuck its leg out. Harry sighed and reached out and took the rolled up parchment. "I guess it was just a joke or something. Stupid Harry," he chastised himself.
"It has your name on it," Ron pointed out. Harry's eyes widened and he looked down at it and noted that it did say his name in the same script as before. He grinned as he unrolled it and began reading.
I apologize for my vague note. There are clues to give that would easily give my identity away such as how I look or my house. I'm afraid that if I give too much away you'll cease to be curious about who I am or you'll figure it out and hate me and I can't have that now or ever.
Yours always, YSA
Harry read the note several times, each time his face scrunching up into further confusion and worry. They think I'll hate them? He thought sadly. Hermione and Ron stared at him with concern on their faces. He absently handed it over for them both to read. They also read it several times and then set it down both concentrating on the words.
"Well so they have a unique look and I suppose that narrows it down some, but not much seeing as there are a lot of unique looks in the school and in each house. Plus each person's opinion is different. What's unique to this person may not be unique to you," Hermione pointed out.
"Yeah and why do they think you'd hate them? I mean that doesn't make sense," Ron added.
"I don't know," Harry said as he looked up and scanned the faces of every person in the room that was in his year or the year below. His eyes fell on Draco who was looking at him curiously. He lifted up the note and waved it in the air and Draco nodded in understanding.
"Well let's see, do you know if it's a girl or a guy who is writing to you?" Hermione asked as she read the letter once again.
Harry shrugged absently. "Why do you think it's a guy?" Ron asked in confusion.
"Oh Ronald, honestly," Hermione said knowingly. She rolled her eyes and patted Harry on the arm. "Let's finish eating and head down to the lake to get some fresh air and figure this out. There has to be more to this then we are seeing," she said turning to Harry.
"Yeah, well I'm not really hungry anymore. I'll see you guys down there," Harry said quietly as he grabbed the note and stood leaving his two best friends to stare after him.
"Poor Harry, nothing is ever going to be easy for him," Hermione commented as she watched him walk away, the owl following behind him.
"Why do you think it's a bloke?" Ron questioned again. Hermione rolled her eyes once again and sighed turning back to her food and ignoring Ron's question.
Harry stood near the lake looking out across it. He could see Dumbledore's tomb near the shore and he felt tears prick at the corners of his eyes. He hadn't been to the lake in awhile and as he sank to the ground to sit he realized why he didn't come here all that often. It reminded him of death and darkness.
"Potter, what are you doing out here all by yourself?" Draco asked from behind him bringing him out of his revere. He sat down next to him and followed the direction of Harry's eyes. He felt a tug on his heart as he looked at Dumbledore's tomb, remembering that fateful night.
"Uh, Hermione and Ron will be down in a bit. I just wasn't feeling very hungry and I left," Harry replied as he pulled his eyes away from the tomb and to the grass in front of him. He began absently pulling pieces of grass up. Draco looked at him in concern.
"What did the new note say?" He asked. Harry reached into his pocket and pulled it out handing it to him without saying anything. Draco read the note quickly and then set it down in front of him. "Well, at least they give a bit more information. Let's see, who looks unique in different houses?" Draco pondered as he tapped his chin in thought. He made a clicking noise as he came up with some possibilities.
"You have some suggestions?" Harry asked with a slight chuckle.
"Yes I do," Draco replied.
"Well, who are they?" Harry asked again.
"Let's see, we'll focus on our year first since I really think that's what year they're in," Draco began.
"Why do you think that?" Harry interrupted.
"Because in the first note they said they've been watching you from the beginning so one can assume that it means they've been there since your first year," Draco explained.
"Okay, that makes sense," Harry replied.
Draco nodded and continued with his thoughts. "Okay, so first one to come to mind is Weasley since he clearly has unique looks due to being a red head, but since we know he's madly in love with Granger we can rule them both out." Harry cringed and shook his head at the thought of either of his best friends being in love with him. He had never looked at either of them in that way. "Then there's Dean obviously because he's dark skinned and there aren't many dark skinned people in our year," Draco continued.
"No, I don't think so because he's with Ginny and from what I can tell they're in just as much love as Ron and Hermione," Harry pointed out.
Draco nodded in agreement. "Okay moving on, let's see the Patil twins are a possibility," Harry nodded at this and wouldn't mind one of them too much, but the idea that they are best friends with Lavender and just as giggly didn't make him too hopeful for them. "Then there's Michael Corner, Morag MacDougal, Su Li, Ernie MacMillan, Hannah Abbot and Susan Bones. They've all got uniqueness about them."
"Yeah well what about your house? You haven't mentioned any Slytherins," Harry asked.
"Yes well, there aren't many of us for one and two do you honestly see any Slytherins being in love with you? Although I suppose that would be completely unique in itself. So in that case, all of us Slytherins could meet these criteria," Draco replied.
"Even you?" Harry questioned half teasing.
Draco laughed and shook his head. "Excluding me because if I were responsible don't you think I'd be anywhere, but here trying to help you figure this out? I'm flattered though that you'd even consider me," Draco said.
Harry blushed slightly and looked away. "It's not like I was considering you per say, but you said that all the Slytherins could meet this so I just assumed you included yourself in that list," Harry replied quietly.
Draco shrugged and was about to respond before a rustle behind them signaled that Hermione and Ron had come to join them.
"Any luck Harry?" Hermione asked as she took a seat next to him.
"Malfoy and I managed to narrow it down to like twenty people or so," Harry replied half-heartedly.
"Well that is quite the narrowing down. How did you figure that out?" Hermione asked.
"I figured that this person is talking about just our year. Not the year behind us because of what they said in the first letter so once you count that in it pretty much cuts the list in half. Then picking out those who have unique attributes like this one here stated then we can narrow it down a bit more," Draco explained gesturing to the letter in front of him.
"That does make sense, yes. Are you on the list Malfoy?" Hermione teased.
"No, he took himself off," Harry responded bitterly.
Hermione, Ron, and Draco both looked at Harry in surprise. He blushed deeply and avoided all their gazes. "You sound a bit bothered by that Potter," Malfoy finally said.
"Yeah well, it wouldn't be so bad, would it?" Harry muttered. Draco didn't respond and Hermione and Ron were too speechless to say anything else. Harry sighed loudly and stood up. "I'm going to write this person back and see if I can get more information out of them. See you guys later," Harry said as he walked away quickly.
"Um, I think I'm going for a walk or something, yeah. Bye," Draco said in confusion as he too stood and took off in the opposite direction that Harry had gone.
"Something tells me I missed something really big there," Ron commented as he watched Draco's retreating form.
"I think we both did," Hermione replied looking deep in thought.
Harry sat down at a desk in the common room a blank piece of parchment in front of him and a pile of balled up paper in the rubbish bin next to him. He couldn't form the right words to respond to his secret admirer with his head in the wrong place. So stupid Harry. Way to just make things perfect between you and Malfoy. I'm an idiot. Harry thought angrily about himself. He sighed loudly and began writing once again, hopeful that this would be the winning letter. The owl hadn't left him alone since the morning and since it was well past lunchtime and neither Draco nor Ron and Hermione had come looking for him he wasn't too concerned.
So your looks are unique and you're in a house that would give you away? Well I've got news for you, every house has someone with unique looks in it, more than just one at that so that doesn't get me closer to your identity. And how could I hate you? I've only hated one person my entire life and everyone in the Wizarding world knows who that was. I could never hate you no matter who you turned out to be. Please give me something more…
Harry reread the note and smiled. This was the one he'd send. He rolled it up and attached it to the owl's leg and watched as it flew out the open window. He sighed and stood stretching. He flicked his wand banishing the balled up papers and walked upstairs to his room. He wanted to lie down, suddenly feeling very tired. He glanced at the clock and noted that graduation wasn't for another six hours so he wasn't too worried that he'd sleep through it. He climbed into his bed smiling at the empty room. His head barely hit the pillow before he was asleep.
A few hours had passed before Draco returned to the common room. Hermione and Ron were sitting in front of the fireplace talking quietly to each other. His eyes scanned the room looking for Harry, but found him to not be there. Several people were in the room trying to occupy themselves before they had to get ready for graduation. He walked over to the couch and took a seat next to Ron and Hermione.
"Have you guys seen Potter since this morning?" Draco asked.
"Where have you been? Both of you missed lunch this afternoon. We haven't seen either of you since then," Hermione responded.
"I was doing a lot of walking, you knew that. He wasn't at lunch either?" Draco questioned looking slightly worried.
"No. You look worried," Hermione inquired.
Draco blushed slightly. "Well, he seemed upset when he left so I was just a bit concerned about him in the sense that we don't need our golden boy sad on one of the happiest days of our lives. It would just bring everyone down." He tried to cover that he truly was concerned for the boy.
"Mmhmm," Hermione muttered giving him a knowing smile. Draco glared at her and sat back crossing his arms like a petulant child. She laughed this time and glanced over at the clock and gasped.
"Bloody hell Hermione, what's the matter?" Ron asked as his eyes snapped open. Apparently he had been dozing during Draco and Hermione's conversation.
"Look at the time. We must get ready to go. Oh I hope Harry is around here somewhere. He couldn't possibly miss graduation," Hermione said as she worried her lip.
"Harry went upstairs about three hours ago," Neville said from a chair nearby. "He seemed upset and he must be really tired because there's an owl in there that's not leaving him alone, but last time I checked he hadn't responded to it," Neville continued.
"Is he breathing?" Draco asked his voice rising slightly. Hermione, Ron and Neville both gave him a curious look.
"Of course he is. He's just sleeping," Neville replied in confusion.
"Malfoy you sure are acting strange," Ron commented. Draco glared at him and rolled his eyes.
"Well, it's a probable assumption. How can you ignore an owl that won't leave you alone unless you're dead or something?" Draco pointed out.
"Harry's a heavy sleeper when he gets a chance to really sleep," Neville replied. Ron nodded in agreement.
"Then maybe we should get him up since we all need to be down at the pitch in like an hour or so," Draco suggested. "Oh I just remembered I need to be down with the Slytherins before then. I think the rest of them are already down there," Draco exclaimed as he stood and ran upstairs. He went into the dorm and came back out again carrying his dress robes. "See you all down there." He jogged to the door and left before anyone else could say anything in response.
"Has he always been this strange?" Ron asked.
Hermione shook her head. "Only today has he been this strange. Since Harry started getting those notes. How interesting," she said thoughtfully as she walked towards the girl dorms. Ron and Neville stared after her and shrugged as they headed for their room.
When they walked in Harry was snoring loudly which he rarely did. The owl was hooting angrily next to him, but he wasn't reacting. Ron walked over and shook him hard. "Wake up mate! You've got another owl and we've got to get ready for graduation!" He bellowed. Harry snorted which caused Neville and Ron to begin laughing uncontrollably. He sat up quickly wiping his mouth and looking around the room in confusion. His eyes settled on the owl and he reached out to take the note and slipped on his glasses before unrolling it and reading it. Ron and Neville sat on either side of him reading the note over his shoulder.
Dear HJP (I like that),
You have no idea how much that warms my heart to hear that. I guess I can give you more hints knowing that you never hated me. I have this icy exterior that confuses many people, but honestly it's just a front. On the inside I am warm, loving and loyal. I'd love the chance to prove that to you. Meet me where the stars shine bright after graduation tonight. Hope to see you then.
Love Forever, Ice Prince
Harry gasped, his eyes widening as he read the letter over and over again. Ron and Neville looked thoroughly confused. "Harry, do you know who it is?" Ron asked.
Harry shrugged. "I might, but I'm not sure." He stood and grabbed some parchment and another quill and began scribbling furiously on it.
Dear Ice Prince,
Your letter is filled with so many hints. You realize this don't you? I have an idea as to who you are, but I honestly hope you're in love with me and not my name. I've had enough fame to last me a lifetime and if all you want from me is to be famous than you can forget it. I am not going to come to the Astronomy Tower and meet you.
Sincerely, Harry Potter
He rolled the parchment up and quickly attached it to the owl sending it on its way. He walked over to his trunk and began sifting through it looking for something.
"Harry, I'm a bit confused here. Your secret admirer is a guy?" Ron asked.
"Yes Ron he is. Shouldn't you two be getting ready? We have to be there in less than an hour. Where are Dean, Seamus, and Draco?" Harry asked as he pulled out his dress robes and hung them in the air to clean them and make them less wrinkly.
As if on cue the doors opened and Dean and Seamus walked in laughing. "Hey guys! Are you all ready for graduation?" Dean asked as he walked over to his own trunk and pulled out his dress robes.
"I'm ready for the partay afterwards!" Seamus exclaimed gleefully as he bounded into the bathroom doing a little dance in the doorway. Harry, Ron and Neville chuckled at him while Dean just rolled his eyes and smirked.
"Draco already went down with the Slytherins," Neville replied.
"Oh that's right. I forgot they were all walking in with them," Harry replied absently as he nodded his head in approval at his robes and started changing into his nice clothes. Neville stood and began getting ready, but Ron still looked dumbfounded as he stared at the note in his hands again.
There was a tap on the window and Harry looked up to see the owl back again. He jogged over and took the letter from it. He unrolled it and smiled as he read it.
I too have had enough of fame. My love for you has nothing to do with your name. It's you. It's always been you. Please meet me tonight.
Always yours, Me
Harry tossed this note at Ron and went back and got another piece of paper and quickly wrote his response.
Fine, I'll be there.
He attached it to the owl's leg once again and sent it off. He closed the window unaware that all his dormmates were staring at him. He looked up finally and grinned. "I have a secret admirer," He stated simply as he pulled his robe on and walked into the bathroom to make his hair look more presentable.
"It's a bloke," Ron said to them.
They all exchanged knowing grins. Ron let out an exasperated sigh.
"Not just any bloke," Harry said as he walked out of the bathroom and headed for the door. Dean, Seamus, and Neville were right behind him.
"Am I the only one who didn't know this?" Ron asked in exasperation. Everyone just chuckled as he grumbled and quickly got dressed.
He joined up with the rest of them as they went down into the common room to meet up with the rest of the eighth year Gryffindors. Hermione smiled broadly at her two favorite boys and gave Ron a big hug and kiss before turning to Harry and giving him an equally big hug and a peck on the cheek. She couldn't help noticing the smile on his face.
"You look happier than you did earlier. Less confused," She pointed out.
"He knows who his admirer is," Ron replied.
"Oh excellent! I am so happy to hear that. What are you going to do?" Hermione asked.
"I'm going to meet him after graduation," Harry replied. They began walking towards the door as they talked.
"I knew it! Oh Harry, I hope you'll finally get to be happy," Hermione cried tears at the corners of her eyes.
"Am I the only one?" Ron asked Dean and Seamus.
"Yes you are the only one," they chimed together as they patted him on the back and began laughing loudly. Soon Ron joined in and patted Harry on the back.
"I'm happy for you mate," Ron said.
"You say that now," Harry replied with a wink. They were already down to the Great Hall doors where most of the graduates were waiting. Draco was standing with Pansy and Blaise as well as a few other Slytherin graduates. Hermione lead their group over there and she embraced each of them leaving Draco for last. Harry congratulated them all as well and shook Draco's outstretched hand.
"You look better Potter," Draco commented.
"He knows who his admirer is!" Hermione exclaimed happily.
Draco quirked an eyebrow and looked over at the smug grin on Harry's face. "Oh really now? Who is it?"
"He's not telling anyone. I have a feeling we'll know at the party. He's meeting them after graduation," Hermione explained quickly.
He grinned. "Well, good I'm happy for you then. Now shall we all get graduated?"
Harry smiled and nodded his thanks. "Yes let's go. Hopefully it's not too long," He commented.
Ron groaned next to him. "I hope not too. I'm starving!" He cried rubbing his belly.
"Oh Ronald, you just ate like ten minutes ago," Hermione said with a roll of her eyes.
Ron and Hermione began play arguing back and forth as all the graduates made their way down to the pitch. Everyone was chattering excitedly with each other. Professor McGonagall was standing at the graduate entrance schooling her features as she looked down at all the graduates.
"Good evening everyone! I want to be the first to tell you how proud I am of all of you, especially all of you eighth years. I am so grateful that most of you returned to finish your education here and as the first graduating class of the new era in our world you will be getting extra attention. Tonight will be a new beginning for many of you and I only hope that you will all look back on your years here, both the good and the bad, with fondness. Now let's get you all in there before I begin blubbering like a small child," Professor McGonagall stated with a tight smile, her eyes swimming with tears.
There were several sniffles going around as she led the way through the entrance past the locker rooms. The rest of the teachers were waiting patiently near the pitch and as they got closer the graduates could hear the chattering of the crowd and knew that it was filled with many, many people.
Harry glanced around at his fellow graduates and received several smiles which he returned. Draco was standing next to him looking nervous. "Malfoy? I just want to say I'm glad we became friends. I hope that we'll hang out once were all done here still," Harry told him quietly.
Draco gave him a surprised look and smiled. "Me too Potter and we will. No reason not to," he replied.
Harry grinned and when the music started he felt his stomach drop. He was just as nervous as everyone else now. He followed the person in front of him as they walked out single file. He concentrated on his feet making sure that he didn't step on the person in front of him or trip over his own feet. The crowd erupted in cheers as the first student stepped out. Harry paled as he realized that this was it. After tonight he was off to the real world and he only hoped that he wouldn't be alone.
The ceremony had been really long and it was nearly ten o'clock before they were all heading back to the castle. The party wasn't due to start for another hour so that the graduates could spend some time with their families. Harry was standing with the Weasleys and the Grangers receiving several hugs from all of them. He was half listening to what they were talking about when his eyes fell on a certain fair-haired family. Draco caught his gaze and motioned for him to come over. He excused himself from his family and nervously made his way over to the Malfoys. They looked less harsh and more open which alleviated some of his nervousness.
"Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy, it's nice to see you again," Harry said cordially as he shook both their hands.
"Draco was just telling us about this party tonight," Narcissa commented with a smile.
"Ah yes, it's sure to be interesting. When you've got Slytherins and Gryffindors planning it together it's going to be quite the experience," Harry replied with a laugh.
"It's amazing to hear that Slytherins and Gryffindors are working together for an equal goal," Lucius drawled.
"Well, there's been a lot of that this year. And surprisingly there has been little hexing involved," Harry said. They all laughed easily with each other and Harry felt relieved that there were no longer any hard feelings between them.
"Don't you have somewhere to be Potter?" Draco questioned giving him a knowing grin.
Harry blushed. "Yes I do need to go somewhere, don't I? I have to say good bye to some people first. Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy, it was nice to see you again. I hope to speak again with you soon," Harry said with a slight bow in their direction. He shook Lucius hand again and received a hug from Narcissa that surprised him greatly.
"Thank you Mr. Potter," She whispered in his ear before she pulled away. Lucius gave him a nod of thanks as well which confused Harry. He wasn't sure what he was being thanked for exactly, but shrugged it off and gave them each a smile and turned to walk away.
He made his way back to the Weasleys and Grangers and said goodbye to them as well before he headed for the Astronomy Tower. He was half tempted to run by the common room and grab his map to see just who was up there waiting for him, to confirm or contradict his theory. He chose not to and headed straight for the tower. It was very dark outside and he knew that the stars would be shining brightly overhead which couldn't set the mood any better. He was very nervous as he ascended the last steps that lead to the entrance of the tower.
When he got to the top, he stopped in front of the doorway and stared at the knob nervously. What if I'm completely wrong? What if I am only hoping that it's the person I want? Harry thought anxiously. He sighed and pushed the door open. He stepped inside and looked around the room. There were candles floating about creating dancing shadows on the walls. As he shut the door behind him he felt at ease and excited to meet this secret admirer. He looked at the candles again and noted that they were set in a certain pattern. He was meant to follow them so he did and they lead to another stairwell that lead up to the roof of the tower.
He stepped out onto the rooftop and saw a blanket set out, but saw nothing else. He sighed and walked over to the blanket. He looked up at the sky able to pick out the constellations that were hanging overhead.
"Did you know that the Leo constellation hangs very close to my own?" A voice said from the shadows.
Harry grinned and looked over to where the voice came from and saw that his guess was confirmed. It was the person he was hoping to see on the roof. "No, I didn't know that. Care to show me what you're talking about?" Harry asked. He heard the person chuckle as they stepped over to the blanket and stood next to him. He pointed upwards.
"You see the constellation Draconis is to the north of the Leo constellation. You can see them both right there. We are opposites in the night sky as we are on earth," Draco explained.
Harry watched as he explained and then he turned to look at him his green eyes meeting the silver eyes of Draco's. "That's very interesting. I wonder why that is?"
"It's just the way the gods put us up there I'm guessing," he replied with a shrug.
They stood there in silence for a moment looking up into the night sky again. After awhile, Draco turned to Harry and took a deep breath. "Are you disappointed?" he asked quietly.
Harry looked away from the sky and looked over to Draco. He studied him for several seconds before he responded. "No, I'm not disappointed at all. I'm just curious as to why and how?"
Draco sighed and nervously laughed. "I'm not sure when it happened. I just looked at you one day even before the war and all of that and I realized that I loved you and that I cared about what happened to you. My mind was clouded with anger and hate for the Dark Lord and for everything he was doing to my family and those I cared about and it suppressed my feelings for you. Then when I came back for seventh year and you weren't here any longer it hit me all over again. I missed seeing you every day and the love I felt for you came back and boiling to the surface. I wanted to come after you just so I could make sure you were okay, but I didn't and then I saw you at my house and I saw that you were okay in a sense and I felt better. It cemented it further for me that I loved you. It took getting to know you this year as just Harry for me to get up enough courage to explore something more with you, but every time I would, I just chickened out," Draco explained quietly.
"Why now though? I mean going about it this way," Harry questioned.
"Why am I finally getting the nerve to tell you now? Because after tonight we are done here at Hogwarts. We won't be able to see each other every day like we have for the past several months and I wasn't sure if we'd even see each other in general after we are done here. I had to tell you now before it was too late," Draco said urgently.
"I would have seen you after school plenty. You're my friend and the truth is I've come to like you, a lot, and I love spending time with you. I wouldn't forget that once I was done here. Besides there's only so much of sappiness that I can handle with Ron and Hermione. I'd need you to keep me sane," Harry replied trying to lighten the mood.
Draco smiled and nodded in agreement. "I love spending time with you too. But I don't just want to be your friend. I want to be that someone you can turn to whenever you're down or need someone to pick you back up after a bad day. I want to be that someone who can look into your eyes and see the person not the name. I want to be that someone that makes you smile every day. The someone that you can love in return. And the someone that will hold you and kiss you and make love to you every day of your life," Draco confessed.
Harry blushed as his words became more and more personal and more and more pleasing to his ears. He realized then that he had been feeling this way towards him for a very, very long time, probably as long as he had. "I want all those things too, from you. I think I've loved you as long as you've loved me and I can't imagine anyone else in my life that could be all those things for me and then some, than you," Harry declared.
Draco smiled brightly at him and reached out tentatively to place his hands on Harry's waist. "So you're saying that you love me too and that you want those things with me," he summarized.
"Yes, I do," Harry whispered. He looked up at him and slowly placed his hands on his waist too.
Draco grinned and pulled the unsuspecting Gryffindor closer to him so that their bodies were pressed together. Harry squeaked as Draco wrapped his arms around his waist and pulled him into an embrace. It felt right to be in his arms like this and Harry smiled knowing that he couldn't be more than happier that he had guessed right.
Draco pulled back and looked down at him. He searched his eyes for a moment and took a deep breath knowing what was coming next. Draco leaned down and carefully and ever so slowly pressed his lips to Harry's. It was as if the heavens exploded above them as heat rushed to both their faces. The feel of each other's lips was perfect. Soon Harry was threading his fingers through Draco's hair and increasing the pressure of their kiss. Draco ran his hand slowly up his back to rest at the nape of his neck. He parted his lips slightly and brushed his tongue across Harry's trembling lips and nearly moaned in ecstasy when Harry opened his lips to him allowing him to explore the sweet mouth that belonged to Harry.
They stood there for several minutes exploring each other's mouths and bodies. Years of pent up feelings were bubbling to the surface and they found that all their emotions were fueling their kisses. This was perfect. They were perfect. There couldn't possibly be anyone more perfect for them than they were for each other. If they had been paying attention they would have noticed the subtle shift of the constellations above pulling the lion and the dragon closer together. Tonight was definitely the beginning of something new and neither boy could be any happier than they were in this moment. They had finally found each other and that was all that mattered.