It had been 5 long weeks since the day I found Harry. Little by little, his strength had returned to him, and soon he was going about a daily routine there in my home. I still hadn't managed to screw up the courage to tell him how I felt, no matter how many times Hermione prodded me to do so.But Slytherins were men of thinking and plotting, not of blind action and so-called 'bravery', like the members of some houses I know.
But I was, without a doubt, falling deeper and deeper in love with Harry with every passing day. I was learning more about him, about what he liked and didn't like, about what scared him, about how to be his anchor and remind him where the earth was when he was having a panic attack.
There was so much I'd never gotten a chance to know or enjoy about him when we were younger. The fact that he continued to wear those same glasses- despite their dated style and countless repairs- because they reminded him of a pair his father once wore. Or that he had a sneaky sense of humor, making comments under his breath that you only caught on to later in the conversation. Or even the silly little things, like the way he would shake his head like a dog every now and again to try to get his mop of hair out of his eyes. All of those things that I had never stopped to notice before, had never wanted to notice before, were now priceless to me.
Harry's voice brought me out of my reverie, and back to the bright kitchen we were sitting in one morning. "Yes?"
"What are you staring at?" He raised an eyebrow at me, and I realized that I had just been sitting there with a dumb smile on my face, watching the way he was chasing those last few flakes of cereal around the bowl with his spoon, looking so much like a child that he couldn't help but be adorable.
"Oh, nothing, sorry," I mumbled, gradually re-entering the reality of just another average Tuesday morning. Not that any day was truly average, with Harry around. "Anyways, today I figured we could- shit!" I swore as a mindless gesture sent my arm sweeping across the table and Harry's glass falling over and smashing on the linoleum. I knelt on the floor to gather the shards, then looked up to apologize.
The sound of breaking glass must have triggered some awful memory, because instantly Harry was staring straight ahead, stiff as a board, unable to breathe in the midst of a panic attack. I grabbed Harry's closest hand in both of mine. "Harry," I said firmly. "Harry, look at me." I reached up and, gently but firmly, took his chin in my hand and turned his face to look right at me. "It's me, Harry. It's Draco. Everything's going to be alright. Come back to me, I'm right here. I'm right here. Come back, it's alright. I'll protect you, okay?"
Harry blinked- once, twice- and started to look as though he were actually aware of his surroundings again. "Thank you, Draco," he said breathlessly, still trembling a little in the aftermath.
"No problem," I responded, and started to pull my hand from his cheek, but Harry had reached up and held it there.
He smiled, a shy but genuine smile. "I love you. You know that, right?
Now it was my turn to go completely still. "You- what?"
The smile spread into a playful grin. "I confess my love to you and all you can do is gape at me?" He asked with his best attempt at coyness. He gave a dramatic sigh. "Oh, the way you lead a man on is torturous, Draco. It's a good thing Hermione's less shy about telling me things than you are- otherwise I might not know that you happen to love me back."
I almost didn't know the man who sat before me, playing with my hair and smiling at me with such warmth. "I- uh," I stuttered, trying to remember the words I had practiced countless times in my head, the words that would spill unto him the incredible, earth-shaking, heart-wrenching love and passion that I held for him. But right there, in that moment, I was simply speechless.
He leaned forward and playfully whispered to me, "You don't have to say anything. You can just kiss me, you know."
I may have been kneeling on the kitchen floor among glass shards and a puddle of orange juice, and he may have been a gangly, juice-shattered teenage boy who had just come out of a panic attack, and it may not have been a picturesque moment. But when I leaned forward and pressed my mouth to his with my heart in my throat and butterflies in my stomach, it was easily the most perfect moment that anyone could ever ask for.
"I love you, Harry Potter."
Excuse me while I go cry for a minute :'(
As much as it breaks my heart to say this- for this has been the most fulfilling and engaging and rewarding fic I've ever written- this will be the final chapter of To Heal What's Broken. I'd like to thank the academy- wait, no, that's the wrong speech. Ahem. I'd like to thank all of my wonderful readers for all of the reviews and encouragement. Sorry for (falsely) claiming that there would be a lemon here! I thought there would be, but the story decided to take a different direction. But this is not the last you'll hear from me! If you haven't already, click the box for Author Alert, and you'll be emailed the next time I post, which will be soon and often. I've got a couple of in-progress fics right now, and still more ideas that are churning around in my noggin (and on my hard drive). So definitely check back with me to read more! I owe something good. ;)