Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made, and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
A/N: I started writing this when I was having a down day. It turned out to be very therapeutic. =^;^=
Harry sighed and squinted at the sun that was just beginning to peek out from behind the horizon. The dark blues from the night sky were starting to fade as the morning colors made their way across the skyline. The stone steps he sat on were still chilly, so Harry wrapped the red blanket he had brought out a little tighter around him. He welcomed the warmth he could feel on his face, but his contemplative expression stayed the same.
This wasn't anything new, and yet, even now, Harry was still surprised he could feel this way. It had been some time since he'd had a nightmare this bad and woken up in a cold sweat. Through the years, Hermione and Ron had done their fair share to get Harry to open up and talk about the things that still haunted him, and his nightmares had diminished significantly since then. He had no problem talking about his past anymore; it wasn't as if he hadn't come to terms with his life up until now, but sometimes his mind had a will of its own and would replay events he'd rather not relive. Sometimes it wouldn't let him forget. Sometimes...
The soft voice cut through the fog in Harry's mind, and Harry looked behind him to see Draco standing in the doorway of their cottage.
"So, this is where you've been."
Harry could hear the relief in Draco's voice, and Harry automatically moved over to let the other man sit down beside him.
"Sorry," Harry said as soon as he felt Draco's body heat by his side.
Harry sighed. "About not telling you where I was."
"No need to apologize, Harry," Draco said after a few moments. "I understand."
Harry nodded and looked down at his feet. This wasn't the first time Draco had found Harry outside like this, and Draco did understand... probably more than anyone. Draco still battled with his own inner demons on occasion. There had been some nights where Harry had woken up to find Draco sitting at the foot of the bed with his head in his hands. Harry would lie perfectly still and wait until Draco returned to bed. Only then would Harry reach out for him and hold the man he had grown to love so much.
"Would you have done anything differently?"
Harry looked up at Draco and frowned. "What do you mean?"
"In the past. Would you change anything in the past if you could?" Draco asked, looking out across the grass.
Harry noticed then that Draco was still wearing his nightclothes and was outside without anything to keep him warm. If Draco had brought his wand with him, he had yet to make any effort at casting a Warming Charm. Harry enlarged the blanket and made a fuss about wrapping it snugly around them both.
Resting his head on Draco's shoulder, Harry said, "I probably would've said yes to that question during my time at Hogwarts. But now? No, I wouldn't."
"You wouldn't want your parents back?" Draco asked after a few moments of silence.
"Of course," Harry said with a smile, "but I had no control over that. I'd probably be dead if they had lived." Harry reached for Draco's hand underneath the blanket. "I wasn't in control of a lot of things in my life. I spent most of my life dwelling on the 'what ifs', and I quickly found out how pointless it was. My parents wanted the best for me, and they ended up dying to make sure that happened. I'm thankful for the life they've given me."
"You wouldn't change anything?" Draco softly asked.
"Nope," Harry confirmed with a sigh. He now knew what Draco was actually asking about. "I wouldn't even change our past, Draco." Draco's hand jerked ever so slightly in Harry's grip, and Harry squeezed in response and started to rub his thumb across Draco's knuckles. Harry knew his lover had always been hesitant to talk about his feelings; after all, Draco was a Slytherin to the bone, and anything that could resemble a weakness was kept close to the chest.
"But we hated each other. I was horrible to you."
"And I was just as horrible to you."
"But what if–"
"No, Draco," Harry interrupted, lifting his head off Draco's shoulder. "I know you're not proud of some of the things you've done in the past, and Merlin knows I wasn't a saint either, but what happened in our past is the reason I'm so confident about our future." Harry smiled and looked into Draco's eyes. "If we had been friends back in school, or if we had grown to be something more then, you would've been in even more danger than you already were, and that's something I don't like to think about."
When Draco gave him a small nod, Harry continued. "We've already seen each other at our worst, Draco, and we survived, became friends, and fell in love despite everything that's happened. Any problem we ever have in our relationship is pretty trivial compared to what we've dealt with in our past, and because of that, we can overcome anything. At least, I believe we can. What we've built together, our love, can stand up to anything." Harry leaned closer to Draco and brushed his lips against his lover's, watching as those gray eyes disappeared behind their lids. Pulling back, Harry whispered, "I wouldn't change a thing."
Draco slowly opened his eyes, and he gave Harry the sweet smile that always made his heart flutter. After darting his eyes back down to Harry's lips, Draco said, "Neither would I."
Harry smiled and motioned for them to stand and go back inside. "Draco," Harry said as Draco opened the door, "thanks for coming out here and–"
Draco's mouth quieted Harry, and the words Harry had meant to say turned into sighs as their tongues met and danced together in a kiss. Harry wrapped his arms around Draco's shoulders, effectively wrapping them again in the red blanket.
Draco pulled back first this time and whispered, "You can thank me inside."
Harry grinned and ushered his lover inside to do just that.