Title: Hearts Open (at the Close)
Betas: Krystle Lynne and Rainien
Summary: Harry wins the war and loses himself. It's Draco's job to heal him, but that might just be impossible. Especially after Harry takes matters into his own hands.
Rating: Adult (NC-17)
Warnings: explicit sex, dubious consent bordering on non-con, suggestions of mental imbalance
Word Count: 20 040
Author's Note: There are seven parts to this story. Updates will be every few days. Enjoy!
Harry hated colours.
Everything was so bright in this place, bright and ugly with colours full of meaning where this meant that and this colour was good and that was bad.
Purple pills were to calm, and blue pills were to sleep, and purple and blue made dark blue, and dark blue was to wake up, so that made no sense. And Harry hated it when things made no sense.
Draco was lime green. Lime green was such a stupid colour, a hated colour, the worst colour of all. It reminded Harry of bad things, dark and evil things, spells and eyes (not his not his) and death.
Draco sighed as he made another note on his clipboard. He hated the pens they had to use. There was something so unsatisfying about a pen that held ink within. There was no mystery to it.
Most of the time he didn't really mind the steady encroachment of all things Muggle into his precious wizarding world. Or rather, he minded very much, but he knew better than to say anything about or against it. In this new world, created and made possible by Harry Potter, Draco's kind was obsolete. He'd had to make himself useful in order to stick around, and his penchant for problem solving and potions had made him into a competent Healer.
How ironic that Harry, all glory and beauty and shining, pure truth, was the only one not enjoying the fruits of his labour. And Draco, who didn't deserve the life he lived—even he could admit that—was now an important member of the wizarding community.
Healing minds was a thankless job most days. If the damage couldn't be healed by potion or spell, there was little hope that the patient would ever get better. Talking helped, sometimes… but mostly Draco's patients were long-term. Long-terminal.
Draco opened the door to Harry's room. It was the best room in the hospital, of course—nothing less for the Saviour, though Harry couldn't really appreciate it.
"Harry?" he called, not seeing the man immediately upon entering. There were wards all over this room—Harry had a high risk of self-harm, though to Draco's knowledge, he'd never actually hurt himself. Only tried to kill himself. There was a difference, Draco knew. Harry didn't want pain; he just wanted it to end.
Harry came out of the bedroom, his black robes perfectly fitted. If he didn't speak, one would never know there was anything wrong with him. He looked just as he had in their school days. The same age, too. Harry didn't seem to age.
Sitting on the window seat, Harry looked outside wistfully. He wasn't allowed outside his room. His wild magic was too dangerous and only seemed to become worse when introduced to the elements.
Crystal window decorations hung by Harry, casting rainbows over the room and a spectrum of light over Harry's face. He squinted and looked away, idly twirling one of the glittering crystals until the string from which it dangled twirled and twisted.
When he freed it, it spun madly.
"How are you today, Harry?"
"Fine, Draco. How are you?"
Harry refused to call him by his title, but Draco was long past caring.
"I'm doing well, thank you. Care to talk about what the mediwizard told me when I came in today?"
"No, that's all right," Harry said calmly, digging his nails into the seat.
"That's too bad. We have to talk. Mediwizard Bates said you attacked him last night."
"That is not what happened. Bates is a fucking Death Eater. I saw it. I saw it!" Harry's voice ended in a strident cry, his eyes welling with frustrated tears.
Draco sighed. "May I sit with you, Harry?" he asked in his calmest voice. It almost always worked with Harry.
Harry immediately took a deep breath and sighed. He tapped the window three times with a blunted fingernail and then nodded his permission to Draco.
Talking a seat by the window next to Harry, Draco glanced outside. There were many patients on the lawns, enjoying the fresh air and exercise. Draco'd always thought it cruel for Harry to have a window facing this direction. Much better would be the other side of the room, which looked out over a seemingly endless forest. But Draco's supervisor had thought that Harry would benefit from seeing the recovery of others.
Only Harry's problem wasn't really mental. Harry's magic could no longer be controlled or contained. It manifested itself whenever he became agitated or upset, which was often. It was a vicious cycle—Harry desperately wanted to control his magic, and his inability to do so was slowly driving him mad. But the amount of wild magic, which was akin to Muggle electricity, in the air around Harry constantly, was shorting his own brain.
Or so it had been explained to Draco. He didn't think Harry was beyond reach, not totally. He was just beyond recovery. He could still live a semi-normal life under these conditions. They just had to find a balance. Draco wasn't really interested in healing Harry any longer; he just wanted to make the man's life as normal and bearable as possible.
It was the least he could do, after all. Harry had saved the world.
"You know Bates isn't really a Death Eater, Harry. There aren't any of those left."
Harry laughed without humour. "You're still here."
Draco nodded slowly. "True. Very true, Harry. But as I've told you before, I'm the only Marked employee of this faction of St. Mungo's. And in any case, Bates is a half-blood."
Sighing, Harry traced his finger around the glass. When Draco angled himself to see what Harry was encircling, it appeared that he was drawing circles around all the patients on the lawn. "I know that. I know he's not bad."
"So what happened?"
"I had a bad dream," Harry whispered, closing his eyes though his fingers still moved.
"What did you dream about?" Draco asked in his patented Harry voice. His pen was poised and ready to transcribe, but Harry reached out and touched Draco's hand softly.
"Don't write it down, okay?" he asked softly, his green eyes searching Draco's.
Draco frowned and thought a long moment before nodding. "All right. But I'll have to put it in the file later."
"Tell me about the dream."
His dreams came in black and white. The only colour was green. Green was the worst colour. Of all the colours, only green was death. People thought black meant death, but they were silly and naïve and hadn't seen their friends torn down, falling, falling, all because of green.
And then the green had chased him, and he'd run. Harry'd always been so fast, but no one could outrun the green, it was faster, there was so much of it.
You had to mean it, and so many people meant it.
In the dream, they were falling all around him, softly like leaves in a cool breeze, only there was nothing refreshing and renewing about this. Strike of green and death. Strike of death and green.
And when the green finally struck Harry—and it always, always did—it didn't hurt anymore.
Draco pulled Harry into a loose embrace. He felt for Harry at times like this. He hated feeling so fucking impotent. There was nothing they could do for Harry's dreams, of course. Dreamless Sleep meant that Harry couldn't control his wild magic, and the few times they'd tried it, he'd awoken in a destroyed room, sometimes cursed by his own errant magic. Harry's desire to end it all was deep-rooted, and his magic worked with him when he was asleep, and that meant Harry would eventually kill himself if given the opportunity.
Draco had even tried Muggle pharmaceuticals, but the reactions were just as strong and even less predictable. It took Harry days of recovery to get over the effects of Muggle drugs in his system, and during those days, his magic was a whirlwind.
There weren't many other options for Harry.
"In your dream, who killed you?" Draco asked softly, pulling back and letting his interested but detached mask slip back down.
Harry only shrugged and looked back out the window.
"Was it you?" Draco pressed.
Turning sharply, Harry opened his mouth to speak, but then his eyes narrowed and his lips closed with an audible snap.
"You can't kill yourself with the Killing Curse," Harry said, so quietly Draco almost didn't hear it.
"How do you know, Harry?" Draco asked, though he suspected he knew the answer.
But Harry only shrugged again. Draco felt that old irritation well up inside him at his former schoolmate. He knew Harry was sick, but did he have to be so… nonchalant? Draco was trying to help, and Harry only seemed to want to avoid it all!
"Have you tried to cast it on yourself?"
"It's unforgivable," Harry whispered, fingers running restlessly over the cuff of his robes.
"But you didn't succeed, so there's nothing to forgive."
"That's not how it works," Harry said, suddenly insistent. "You don't have to succeed, you just have to cast."
"Do you think you need forgiveness?" Draco found it difficult to keep to one line of questioning when it came to Harry. With his other patients he was able to steer them back on track, leading them until they understood what he was getting at. But Harry led him so far off course that he sometimes feared he'd never get back.
"Why, do you forgive me?" Harry was laughing, his eyes bright and filled with mirth, but there was nothing behind them. Though he was lucid, Draco had to wonder how deep his questions were penetrating.
Harry made a slashing gesture with his hand, and Draco was shocked to feel a resultant twinge in his chest. The dampening spells on Harry and on the room should have meant that Harry couldn't do any wandless magic…
And if he could make Draco feel slight pain under such conditions and with such a casual wave of his hand, what could he do outside the room, and with malicious intent?
Draco breathed deeply. "We were children, both of us. Playing grown-up games. We didn't know what we were getting into. I hardly think you have more to be forgiven for than I do."
"But I don't care about you," Harry said, not unkindly and looking genuinely puzzled. "I thought we were talking about me." He almost sounded reproachful, as if Draco should try to stay on topic.
"We are," Draco said easily, fingers unconsciously pressing against his old Sectumsempra scar. People claimed they couldn't see it, but Draco swore it was there. "I forgive you, Harry. For hurting me and for anything else you think you did."
"What do you think I think I did?" Harry asked, and then burst out laughing. The sound was foreign, though Harry's bitter or even hysterical laughter was a sound often heard by all. This real laughter was sweet and high, with a soft gasp at the end as he watched Draco.
Draco laughed, too.
"Never mind," Harry said, chuckling. "I don't even know what I was asking."
"I think you think you let a lot of people down," Draco said seriously, a moment later. "I think you think you're the cause of a lot of death, but I think you're wrong. You never even killed anyone, not really. The Dark Lord died because of a reaction to a simple spell, not an Unforgivable. Not many people would have had that type of… honour."
Draco had thought for many years that it was cowardice, but maybe he'd been wrong.
"I killed them." Harry's voice had a dreamlike quality. "But I wouldn't do it again. Not even if Voldemort won and everyone else died. Does that make me a bad person?"
"I don't think so. You have a lot of regret, too much. You did what you had to do, and now look. Everyone's free."
Harry sighed and began making circles on the glass again. "Everyone's free," he repeated softly.
Draco never really did get used to the way his wand was set to vibrate when he was needed at the hospital. The sound of it rattling on his bedside table made his fingertips go icy, and he'd stare at the thing a long moment before realising that he had to get up and tend to whatever needed his attention.
Not even bothering to dress properly, Draco draped his Healer robes over his pants and ran a weary hand through his tangled hair. It was time for a haircut.
He Floo'd directly into his office, and the wards immediately announced his presence to whoever was looking for him. He waited patiently, and sure enough, mediwizard Bates crashed into his doorjamb a minute later, looking pale and strained.
"It's Potter," he wheezed, looking at Draco with pleading blue eyes.
"What's he done this time?" Draco demanded as he immediately began striding toward Harry's room. Bates hurried behind him, two steps for every one of Draco's.
"I think he's having a nightmare."
"A nightmare? Why did I need to be called in for that?"
Bates was panting a little now, and Draco unkindly thought that perhaps mediwizards should be better trained for endurance.
"No one could control him, sir," Bates explained.
"Who's the doctor on the floor tonight?"
Bates hesitated before saying, "Healer Kimm, sir, she—"
Draco swore. Kimm was famous for trying out new techniques, often brought in from the Muggle world. She didn't know Harry like Draco did, and she'd caused him more harm than good in the past.
"What did she do?" Almost there. Draco thought he could hear wailing.
"Nothing. She went in, saying she was going to hypnertise him or something, but then he…" Bates trailed off and put his hand on Draco's arm. Draco sneered at the presumption, but lifted an eyebrow as he waited for the nervous man to continue. "Potter… he said your name. He asked for you."
"He's awake then?" Draco asked, pausing outside Harry's door. He could definitely hear strained noises coming from within. There was a small crowd of interns and apprentice healers outside the door, all utterly useless, of course.
"No, in his sleep, sir," Bates whispered.
Draco frowned, but he quickly came back to himself. "Back to work, all of you! Don't you know any better?"
The crowd quickly dispersed with Draco glaring at their backs. He quietly opened Harry's door and let himself in, careful to reinforce the wards behind him and around him. Harry's wild magic was downright disastrous during nightmares, and Draco was as worried for himself as he was for Harry.
He opened the bedroom door and almost immediately the coppery taste of magic in the air dimmed, but it was still strong enough to choke him.
Harry was lying on his back, thrashing wildly. The sheets and pillows were tossed about the room, and despite wearing only pants, a thin sheen of sweat covered Harry's form.
A form that drew Draco's eyes from top to bottom like the finest piece of art. But an anguished cry broke Draco's scrutiny, and he quickly strode beside the bed and put a hand on Harry's chest.
"Harry, shh, you're safe. You're at St. Mungo's in your room. No one can hurt you here." Perching on the edge of the bed, Draco continued to speak in a quiet, calming voice. The coppery taste subsided more, and the impression that the entire room was vibrating diminished.
"I'm here, okay? You're fine, and I'm here, and everything's going to be okay." Draco knew he was pushing the boundaries with Harry; he shouldn't be touching him, he should have another doctor in here to make sure nothing went wrong. But he couldn't help but feel that only he could get Harry through this.
Harry's body settled with a whimper, his tensed muscles relaxing into the bed. Even the frown on his forehead smoothed out a little, and Draco pressed his finger against it to help it along. In repose, Harry was…
"Draco?" came his sleep-rough voice.
"I'm here," he said automatically, drawing his hand back quickly.
"Green," Harry whispered. "Green."
"No, Harry," Draco soothed, letting Harry take his hand back and put it on his forehead. His fingers moved to push the messy hair from Harry's face, and Harry leaned into the touch minutely. "No green, all right? Just you and me."
"Just you," Harry said sleepily, obviously unable to keep awake. "Stay?"
Draco shouldn't. He really, really shouldn't. He loved his job, he loved his life. Harry was messing all that up, and the man couldn't even leave his room! When had Draco given him so much power?
"I'll have to speak with the staff first," Draco heard himself saying.
"I'll wait," Harry said, nodding decisively though he didn't look capable of staying awake long enough to ensure Draco came back.
But after speaking with Bates and Kimm, telling them he'd be monitoring Harry from within the room, Draco did return.
Harry was sitting up against the headboard, his knees drawn against his chest. The bedclothes were still strewn about the room, and Draco could feel Harry's eyes on him as he picked everything up and made the bed around Harry.
"Stay?" Harry asked again.
"Just this once," Draco said sternly, taking a seat in the armchair that occupied the corner of Harry's bedroom.
But Harry didn't move to lie down, and Draco let out a frustrated huff. "Aren't you tired?"
"Exhausted," Harry admitted, his eyelids moving slowly to emphasise his words.
"Then sleep," Draco said, curtailing his annoyance.
"Can you come sit with me?"
And all the warning bells in the world couldn't make Draco stay in his seat when Harry looked at him with huge green eyes that were full of abandonment and need.
He perched stiffly on the edge of bed and pulled back the covers, indicating that he wanted to Harry to get under them. Harry did, but pushed them down around his waist, and the action drew Draco's eyes. Harry had a thin trail of midnight hair beneath his navel leading into his pants, though it seemed to be the only body hair he had. His skin looked impossibly smooth and tan, despite the fact that Harry hadn't been outside in ages.
"Do you want to talk about your dream?"
Harry's head slowly turned to face Draco. "No, please."
Draco sighed. "I'm trying to help you, but you're not letting me. Don't you want to go outside again, Harry? Don't you want to see your friends and be free again, maybe go flying or even use a wand?"
"I can't ever do those things again," Harry said matter-of-factly, sounding only a little mournful, like he'd become accustomed to the idea.
"I don't believe that's true," Draco countered. "I think you can get better. I don't waste my time with hopeless cases, you know." It wasn't exactly true; he had to deal with all variety of cases, some who would never take a step, let alone take a step outside. But he needed Harry to see that recovery was possible.
"I'm glad you're helping me," Harry whispered. He reached out and lightly touched Draco's hand, which was resting on the coverlet. Harry was hot; too hot. Or maybe Draco was cold.
"I don't feel like I am," Draco admitted in a rare moment of weakness. "I want you to get better."
Draco took his hand away, absently caressing it with his fingers. "It doesn't seem right that you're here and everyone is… out there."
Harry shrugged. "I can't hurt anyone in here."
Draco didn't mention the orderlies and mediwizards that had been victims of Harry's wild magic—he thought that might be counter-productive.
"Don't you miss it outside?" Draco wanted to keep up the dialogue as long as possible—this was the most lucid Harry had been in some time—but his patient was obviously having trouble keeping his eyes open.
"What's out there that I don't have in here?" Harry asked sleepily, blinking up at Draco.
Everything, Draco wanted to say. There was nothing in the room that could compel Harry to want to stay, not really. He had all the comforts he needed, but those were things, and even Draco knew things had never impressed Harry.
"I don't know," Draco said instead. "Why don't you tell me?"
But Harry's eyes were closed and his breathing had become steady. Draco gave in to impulse and brushed the hair from Harry's face, his fingertip grazing the mark that had brought Harry down to this.
Harry's hand shot out and grabbed Draco's, bringing it to his mouth, where he pressed a soft kiss against Draco's wrist.
Draco meant to jerk his hand away, but it didn't quite happen. But when Harry's tongue slipped past his lips and tasted the translucent skin, Draco stood, taking his hand with him.
"Tastes red," Harry murmured. He tucked his hand under his cheek, and Draco stared, shocked and confused, as Harry fell asleep.
Red. What did red taste like? Draco had gathered that green was bad, but red…
Without taking his eyes off Harry, Draco sat heavily in the armchair again. He brought the lights down enough that he could only see Harry by the slightly glowing quality of his golden skin.
He did fall asleep, but it seemed to take a very long time.
He dreamed in red.
Something smelled really good. Something was really warm. Something was touching him in all the right places.
Draco's eyes opened with quickly, but all he could see was black. When his eyes focused, he realised it was hair. Black hair. And that really wasn't right.
A low moan startled him, and he almost pushed the weight on his lap onto the floor, but stopped himself just in time—probably to his own detriment.
"Harry, stop," Draco demanded, voice rough and body confused.
"S'okay, feels good, doesn't it?"
That wasn't exactly the point, but Draco wisely didn't disagree. It was also too clear from his body's response that it did, indeed, feel good.
He grabbed Harry's hips, forcing the body that was straddling him to stop rocking against him. Harry still had pants on and Draco was fully dressed—he hadn't been so close to coming just from frotting fully clothed in ages, not to mention the fact that he'd been asleep for most of it.
"Potter, what the fuck are you doing?" Draco asked, reverting to childhood addresses in his confusion.
"Felt like touching you," Harry explained, pulling back so Draco could actually see. Harry's face was flushed, his eyes sparkling, pupils blown. Draco didn't need to look down to see that Harry was extremely aroused—he could feel it well enough.
"Why like this?" Draco asked, but the breathless way in which he asked took away from the professional demeanour he was trying to affect.
"Only way that touching feels good," Harry explained. He reached down and began to stroke his own cock outside his pants, and Draco watched, entranced, for a moment before collecting himself and grabbing Harry's wrist, stopping the enticing action.
"You know I can't touch you like this, Harry. I could lose my job and it won't help you heal."
"But I feel better," Harry said in a whining voice, hips jerking forward.
Draco couldn't take it anymore and pushed Harry off of him. Harry landed gracefully, making Draco glare at him. Why wasn't he all dishevelled and sweaty like Draco was? Why wasn't he confused and uncertain and scared and…?
But he was those things if he thought that sexual touching was the only touch that could bring him comfort.
"I'm leaving now," Draco said sternly. He didn't want to encourage any sort of petulant or self-destructive behaviour—but more than that, he needed to get away. Harry nearly naked and squirming had done things to him… things he needed to take care of.
But Harry began to exhibit the type of behaviour that would keep him under lock and key forever if he didn't learn to control it. His eyes went blank and eerily bright, his entire body stilled, and magic fairly crackled along the surface of his body.
The magic extended to and enveloped Draco, and it would have been sexual if it weren't so frightening and out of control. The room seemed to blur and vibrate around Draco until all he could clearly see was Harry, who was staring at him—into him—with a fierceness that seemed to set them both on fire.
"Harry," Draco gasped as shots of energy danced along his skin and inside him. "Harry, stop."
"You'll stay," Harry said intently, magic thundering in Draco's ears as Harry used it to emphasise his words.
The pleasure and pain was unbearable—it climbed to a peak that Draco's mind couldn't fathom, and he knew he was moments away from losing consciousness altogether. This sort of power wasn't meant to be borne, not by someone like Draco. Only Harry could carry that burden, and he was damaged for it.
"I'll stay," Draco whispered; he was weak and he knew it, but the sacrifice of his professionalism was nothing compared to what might happen if he didn't get Harry back to himself.
The words were a switch, and Draco fell to his knees, panting, as the energy sucked back into Harry as if the man was some sort of magical vacuum. And Draco had a serious case of magical blue balls. "Fuck," he groaned, his body trembling with aftershocks.
"You said," Harry reminded him. He extended a hand to Draco, looking pleased with himself.
Draco nodded and took the hand, allowing Harry to pull him up. "You'll never get better like this." Draco meant it as a warning, but he heard it come out as a lament, and he winced.
"You said," Harry repeated.
Draco watched him crawl into bed and squirrel under the covers as though he'd merely made a trip to the loo instead of raping Draco's faculties with his wild magic and then blackmailing him and likely costing him his job. Sighing, Draco turned back to his armchair, utterly exhausted.
"No, Draco," Harry said. "I want you to stay with me. Here." He patted the bed beside him.
Draco shook his head. "There is absolutely no way I can do that, Harry. Absolutely not."
Biting his lip, Harry frowned. "I promise I won't do anything like what I did to wake you up. And I promise I won't use my magic like that on you again."
Though dead on his feet, Draco tried to weigh in his mind the benefits to such an arrangement. If he slept in the bed this one night, Harry would never come on to him again and he'd never use his magic against Draco again. The knowledge that he was safe would make Draco's job a lot easier, not to mention more comfortable.
"How do I know you'll keep your promise?" Draco asked. "I can't make you take a wizard's oath or anything."
Harry laughed, and it was that familiar Hogwarts laugh. Draco was transported for a moment, and Harry's next words didn't help.
"I'm Harry Potter. Would I lie?"
Draco didn't know. But the bed looked really soft, and it was only a few hours until dawn, anyway. Without a word, he climbed onto the bed and settled as far on the edge as possible without falling off. He could feel Harry's eyes on him and managed to stay awake until Harry's breath evened out.
Just before sleep took him, Draco realised something. If Harry could control his magic like that, well, it wasn't really wild after all…