Disclaimer: I do not own anything. Characters and Harry Potter all belong to J.K. Rowling. Lyrics belong to their respected owners as well.
A/N: Yay, a new story! It's long overdue from when I should've posted, so hopefully, it'll please all you Drarry loving people. This was inspired by the song: Painting Flowers by All Time Low, which might I add, is an amazing song that goes real well if you listen to it while reading this. You'll probably even see some of the lyrics within. Not sure how long this is going to be yet, but we'll see won't we?
Summary: Years before the war, Draco meets a unique little boy who has a true talent in art. Over time they are separated and even forgotten. Years later, that boy is much more than that. And the most important part? After all this time, he's still painting flowers for Draco. Slash. AU. DMHP.
This story contains Slash, OOC, AU, and OC's. I'll give warnings when appropriate for each chapter. Also, this is un-betad.
I am still painting flowers for you...
The young man pulled his scarf more securely around his neck to protect himself from the winter chill. The sky was still a pitch of darkness save for the small beam of light from the sky, as dawn slowly broke out over the city. The air of luxury and upper class was clearly felt as he walked down the neighborhood of London's most expensive flats. Uncrumpling the small piece of paper that was wrinkled from his clenched fist, it read:
1387 Ritzy Blvd.
He almost laughed out loud at the ridiculous name of the street. Ritzy? The neighborhood couldn't be described as anything else, but ritzy. The man smiled, he had no doubts that the man he was looking for lived here.
"1383...1385...Ah, bingo. 1387." Looking down the street, he noted it was still empty, just the way it should be. As he walked towards door of flat #1387, he reached under his coat before pulling out a single green rose. The man had conjured it himself and knew it was perfect, like it always was, and cast a simple charm on the rose before placing it on the door mat. A quiet sigh escaped the man, "It's been so long...too long." He took one last glance at the flat before him and apparated away.
Draco sighed softly as he stepped out of his shower with a towel around his waist. One of his favorite reason for his morning showers was because it allowed him to relax and wake up properly. Being 21, he was the youngest healer in the history of magic, and to hell if he wasn't proud of it. His parents would've never wanted him to take to a profession of such "unimportance," his father would've said. The war in the Wizarding World had ended a year ago, but for the most part, he still chose to live in the Muggle world, save for his job. His parents were dead, just like many of the innocent souls during the war, not that his parents were innocent in any way. The last time he had seen them alive was 4 years ago when he was out shopping for his godfather, Severus Snape. That certainly hadn't been a pleasant encounter, as it had resulted in Draco being forced to send a hex or two at his father before he apparated away. He realized later that day that if he hadn't been taking lessons for years with his godfather, he would've been dragged back to the Malfoy manor and most likely dead.
Water droplets scattered as Draco shook his head; he didn't need to start off his day in memory lane. He was, after all, pleased with his life despite the feeling of emptiness he sometimes felt in his personal life. Besides, he was usually too busy to acknowledge that bitter hole. He grabbed a pair of black denims and his favorite forest-green cashmere from his closet before heading down to his kitchen for a quick bite before work. Work took a lot of his time, but in all honestly, Draco didn't mind too much. Unlike St. Mungos, there wasn't any real rules to where he worked: a private healing clinic. Draco worked along the side of a few other healers at the clinic, but no one really questioned each other. For the most part, it was up to them if they wanted to work or not. So long as they payed the monthly rent to the chubby man named Todd, who owned the place, all was well.
The clock on the black painted wall ticked 8:21 and he cursed inwardly. One of his patients would be there in nine minutes and he had yet to take a glance at their folder. Even though no one at the place minded what time he decided to step in at, being late was bad for business. With a flick of his wand, tea was poured into a cup and two bagels were neatly packed into a small paper bag. Nothing like a steaming cup of tea on a cold winter morning, Draco thought, as he downed the tea. He picked up the bag and headed for the door, stopping only to grab his healer robes. Just as he was about to step out and into the world, he noticed a green rose lying at his doorstep. Draco didn't keep in touch with many people, but even the ones he did din't know where he lived. Frowning slightly, he poked his head out, only to find the usual empty and quiet streets of Ritzy Blvd.
He didn't have time for this mysterious rose; perhaps someone had simply got the wrong address. Upon picking up the rose, he could feel the tinge of magic that the rose held, and he stared. There was something about the rose that held recognition and resemblance, but he couldn't pin point it. Muttering a simple spell to check if it was cursed with dark magic, the rose glowed a warm light blue: it was harmless. He placed the rose on his coffee table and made his way out. It would simply have to wait, he thought, as he walked to the nearest apparation point.
"...And I just can't get over the fact that she's just like all those other people I know. I just don't know what to do anymore."
The man before Draco couldn't have been much older than himself, the only funny part was he was going to Draco for counsel. To be fair, he wasn't just a healer for physical wounds and such. He also played part time psychiatrist, and occasionally even, to put it bluntly, advice giver. Internally, he cringed, "advice giver" always sounded so cheap to him.
"And how old are you?" Draco asked, looking weary. It had been a long, busy day for him. If the only problem with the guy was girl problems, he might as well send him off. Draco rarely booted any of his patients out, or for that matter transferred them elsewhere, but so to speak he didn't really take interest in girl problems. One, being the fact that he, Draco himself, was gay and two, the healer next door loved dealing with this stuff. She was a women by the name of Trelawny, and practically lived off of gossip and relationship problems. Draco once heard her said something about "being young again". How she managed to grab a place as a healer, he hadn't the slightest clue.
"20," Dean replied a little uneasily.
"You're 20 and you're pinning after a girl with hormones as probably stable as a two year old's attention span?" Draco questioned. He wasn't usually this impatient, but he had little patience for relationship problems, when there could be people dying and needing his help. Sure he was being paid for this, but it's not like he was short on money. Oh no,he was far from that. After all, he was the Malfoy heir. No matter how much his parents despised him, he was their only child and naturally when they died, everything went under his name.
"I...well I care for her greatly," the man muttered softly.
"Look, not only are you being played here, but this girl-what was her name again? Oh right, Ginny, is definitely enjoying the attention you give her even though she clearly, as you've told me yourself, doesn't fancy you a bit," he snapped. Only when he finished did he realize that he was being rather unfair to this poor guy who obviously had a broken heart. Shit Draco, he thought to himself, calm the fuck down, you're professional, you don't snap at people.
Dean nodded, looking a little frightened at Draco's now obviously annoyance in his voice. "She also likes this other bloke, but he doesn't even glance her way once..."
"Has it ever crossed your mind that perhaps this other bloke realizes what a player Ginny is? Come on Dean, you can do better than this."
There was a moment of silence, before realization seemed to hit the man. "I...yeah, you're right. I think, I've got this," Dean said slowly.
Draco smirked, "Good boy. Now go out there and win another girl's heart; this one's just not worth your time. If you feel like you need to just rant at someone though, feel free to drop by again."
Dean grinned and nodded his thanks before getting up to leave.
He sincerely hoped that the man would not come see him again and trouble him with his relationship problems. Draco admitted that he gave good advice in relationships, besides never really having a solid one himself, but he didn't really take interest in it. The little interest he took in relationships had been long lost to the one person he ever loved, but that had been so long ago...
Grabbing his stuff, he exited the building. It wasn't until after dinner and when he sat down beside his coffee table, did Draco remember the mysterious flower from that morning. Admittedly, he had always had a soft spot for flowers. He twirled the green rose around in his hand over and over again. It really was stunning. Carefully, he touched a petal on the rose, but only to have it fall on his lap. Draco was taken aback as he had barely touched it and the petal had fell. It took him a moment before he realized that the rose was charmed to have petals consistently fall and fade away into green sparkling dust, but the best part was: the petals always grew back. The magic that flowed through the flower seemed to trigger something deep inside of him, and for that single reason he believed the rose wasn't misdelivered, but for him. Only, why would anyone place a rose on his doorstep and...what did it mean?
Draco's suspicions were confirmed the very next day when a portrait of a gardenia was placed on his doorstep. For the rest of that week, he would wake up each morning to either a beautiful portrait or a single flower on his doorstep. Never a note or anything more, just an image of a flower. And every time, there was always something unique about the way the flower was drawn or looked that made him think of the past. However, whenever his thoughts reached back far enough to his childhood, he would always force himself away from it. He didn't want to think of that again and he had long blocked off that part of him.
It was Friday and he had received 3 portraits and 2 flowers in total. To be honest, Draco himself had no idea why he didn't just throw them away if they were so meaningless. But in the end, he always reasoned it would be a waste of such fine art and beauty, and he would simply place it on his fireplace mantle. They were surely bringing a lot of color to his living room.
"Can you move it to the left?...Yeah, just like that...easy now, it's still healing," Draco told the man as he made notes and comments on his clipboard.
"Sir, your arm seems to be working rather smoothly now. It should be all healed within the next few days or so and you should have no problem at all getting back to work. Any questions or concerns?"
The middle aged man shook his head, "As soon as I can get back to my job, the better. I don't like taking time off as an Auror...criminals don't wait for you to get better."
"Understandable, just be more careful while handling dark magic. The next time you might actually lose your arm...alright?"
Nodding, the Auror made to leave the room, "Thanks, Healer Malfoy."
Filing away the folder, his office door was suddenly thrown open. "Malfoyyy," Blaise called out, stretching the syllables of the last letter in his last name.
"Excuse me?" Draco asked as he raised a brow and shut his file cabinet.
"What? We're just dropping in...don't you ever appreciate company?
"For all you know I did have company. Can't you at least knock?"
Blaise rolled his eyes, "Can't you at least be grateful we came to invite you out with us?"
He snorted very un-Malfoy-like, "Last I checked, you guys invite me all the time."
"That's because you never accept our invitation..., but whatever. Just come for drinks with us, mate. It's well past working hours."
"And actually we're not taking no for an answer tonight," Cecilia, whom was Blaise's girlfriend, added.
Draco sighed. As rude as they were, they were friends. Only sometimes they just didn't know how to take "no" for an answer. Guess this time he'd have to go, it had been a while since he last went out anyways.
A girl of silky blonde hair stepped forward and pushed Blaise out of the way. "Draco," she said with a smile. Astoria was a good friend of his, but he suspected she had a small crush on him, despite him stating matter-of-factly that he was only into guys. Out of all his friends, he could say that Astoria was the most sensible one.
"So, Draco...are you coming or are we dragging you there by force?" ...Or maybe not.
Heavy pounding music, drunken atmosphere, noise, sex-this was Delirious. To those who held the wealth, Delirious, was the hottest nightclub in all of London. Only those who had invitations were permitted to enter and Merlin knew how hard those were to acquire.
Draco merely rolled his eyes and downed his third vodka martini in seconds at the insistent of his friends. It's not like he couldn't hold his alcohol down or something and he supposed getting shit-faced drunk wasn't going to hurt him tonight; the distraction would certainly be welcome. Feeling a slight fuzzy and relaxed always made things simpler. Draco didn't particular seek anyone out; he wasn't a whore, nor was he some sex-deprived freak, but that didn't mean he couldn't look. So to speak, Draco was still picky in his choices even if he wasn't looking for a partner, just someone to fool around with for a night. Yes, just that...no harm done from fooling around when you were single, right?
The first to catch his attention that night was a male of jet-black hair on the dance floor. He was dressed in a dark grey striped tee with tight jeans that clearly hugged his bottom well. And the hair, Oh Merlin, was that some hair. The hair was messy in a way that plainly screamed, "I just got the shag of my fucking life, don't you wish you were me?" It was hot and in a way that Draco thought wasn't possible. Unconsciously, Draco licked his lips, this man was the sex and he hadn't even seen his face yet, which was currently facing the opposite of him. How the man swung his hips and danced to the loud beats, it was simply erotic. Determined to join the sexy god currently dominating the dance floor, Draco got up from the bar and waved a hand at his friends to tell them he would be back later.
Stepping onto the dance floor however, a strong hand grasped his arm and spun him around. His lips were met and brushed against one eager pair before he had the time to compose himself. He had sandy light brown hair and was about the height of Draco. Upon recognizing the man, he simply turned his face so that man was now kissing the side of his mouth instead. Darren. "Ahh, what Darren? No one caught your interest tonight?" he said with an amused look, momentarily forgetting his mission to join the delicious male on the other side of the dance floor. Darren was attractive and he had a great personality, but he was still just a friend. Or, a friend with advantages. They got off on one another on certain occasions, but had agreed that their relationship should step no further.
"You know no one stands out as much as you," he purred, their bodies swaying slowly to the rhythm of the music.
Draco smirked, "Always the one with compliments, aren't you?" Normally, he wouldn't mind spending time with his friend, but he had seen someone else that caught his eye earlier.
Instead of answering, the man leaned forward for another kiss, but Draco pulled away suddenly with a frown. He glanced over Darren's shoulder, but he saw nothing of interest. He had lost sight of the gorgeous man he had wanted to pursue.
"Aww Draco, don't be like that. Something the matter?"
Draco shrugged absentmindedly, scanning his eyes through the crowd, "Was just looking for someone."
Darren acknowledged that he wasn't going to get any response out of Draco and stopped trying, "Who?"
"Just...someone." There was still no sign of the dark haired male and he pried Darren's arm off his shoulders, before making his way to the spot he last saw the guy, "Sorry, Darren. I'll catch up with you later."
Darren shook his head, but let it go with a small smile, "Guess he found someone of interest."
He had made his way through most of the club, and even the bathroom, but he did not see the one he was looking for. Defeated, Draco made his way back to the bar for another drink, and quite possibly to remain there for the rest of the night. Even with his sleeves rolled up half-way in a stylish fashion, it was getting quite heated in the club. Pity, he hadn't even got a chance with the guy and he was now nowhere to be found.
Time dragged on in an endless blur as he downed drink after drink, losing himself in the taste of alcohol and movements of bodies on the dance floor. He payed no mind to Cecilia and Blaise who were nearing a full make-out session a couple seats away from him. If he wasn't going to get any action tonight, at least he'd make a damn good time of drinking. After all, it wasn't everyday that he came here.
An arm slung around his shoulders and the a familiar voice of his friend met his ears, "Cheer up, Draco! You look so down."
"I do not, Astoria."
"Then why aren't you out there mingling with the crowd?" she asked with an amused smile.
He shrugged and frowned, "Neither are you."
Astoria laughed lightly and batted her eyelashes at him, "I only have eyes for you, Draco."
Putting down his glass, he pointed at himself, "Gay, homosexual, don't do girls, won't do girls. End of discussion. Sorry Astoria."
Smiling, she picked up her glass of cranberry margarita, "I know...and whoever wins your heart is one lucky beast."
Draco stared at Astoria for a moment before smirking slightly, "Yeah...maybe." They made small talk for the rest of that night and into the early mornings, talking about nothing of real importance while downing alcohol. It was half past two when Blaise and Cecilia finally wandered over to them, and together they all made their way out of the club into the cool night breeze.
Blaise laughed and raised an eyebrow, "Astoria's drunk? I would pay to know what you did to get her that way, Draco."
Astoria grinned smugly, "He didn't do anything, it was my own choice."
Draco merely shrugged and Blaise eyed him suspiciously, "You sure you didn't do a little something? Kiss her, maybe? Or did you do the inevitable and...fuck her even?"
"Zabini, I'm gay," he slurred slightly with a roll of his eyes.
"You are so dense sometimes, Blaise," Cecilia sighed hopelessly.
"You should listen to your girlfriend more often, she's got a point."
"Asshole," Blaise muttered under his breath.
They fell into a comfortable silence after that. Nights outs were always the same event-wise, like a routine. They would chill out at a local club until they had had enough, and then by that time, they would usually be drunk enough that they didn't want to apparate home and instead would walk home. Cecilia and Blaise lived together and Astoria lived only a block away from them. Truthfully, Draco too lived only two streets away from them, but he never shared where he lived and they had stopped pestering him about it long ago when they realized he would not relent.
Little up ahead of them, Draco could make out a girl and a guy who seemed to be bickering.
"Why were you so close to that guy?" a fiery-red haired girl demanded.
"Gin, I fucking like guys, why the hell not?" replied a man. Draco chuckled, the man sounded a lot like he did whenever he had to point out that he was gay to people.
"The way he looked at you...I don't like it. It's like he wanted to eat you."
"We've been over this before. Leave it," he bit out.
"Leave it? I can't just watch as you flirt with other guys!"
"I can't believe you...I'm not your property, Ginny!"
Hm? Looking up with mild interest, he wondered. Ginny. He knew that name...why...ah, yes. His patient earlier that week had mentioned a female by the name of "Ginny." What a small world...was this possibly the same Ginny?
The red head moved closer to the male and wrapped her arms around him from behind. In a small voice she said, "But you came back."
Draco and his friends were getting closer to the two people, and his eyes widened in surprise, as he recognized the male to be the man with messy black hair, the very man he was looking for a couple hours earlier. Albeit, he still didn't know the man's name and he still couldn't see his face.
The man sighed like it was a great trouble talking, "I really didn't come back for you. You know I don't like you like that...I have other reasons."
She sounded annoyed then, "I know, I know. You came back because of your precious art." The the word 'art' was practically spat with disgust and for some reason it made Draco frown.
"Not the way you think."
"Tell me then, tell me what this big mystery is."
His head shook, "It's a long story..."
"You always say that. Why can't you just tell me?"
"And I'm being honest when I say that."
"I don't understand you anymore. You never tell me anything," she said, looking down at the ground.
Whether it was because he was wasted or just because, Draco decided right then that he disliked the female; she sounded like a whiny little bitch. If this was the same 'Ginny' that Dean was talking about, which everything seemed to point to so, he couldn't blame the guy up ahead for being rather cross with her.
"You don't have to, Gin. And I'm going. I would see you home safely, but I know for a fact you can take care of yourself," he replied
"Wait, Harry!" she yelled, grabbing onto one of his arms.
"Harry, please!" It sounded desperate now and the man turned around. For the briefest moment, his face was finally in the direction that Draco could see him. Stunning green eyes stared up at Ginny as he shook off her arm and gave her a small smile, and then nothing. He had apparated away into the night. Ginny seemed to hesitate for a moment, before too disappearing into the darkness.
That named seemed to hit him like cold ice, and he blinked a few times, wondering if he really heard correctly. But if the conversation and looks was anything to go by, everything seemed to fit like a puzzle piece.
"But you came back."
"...I have other reasons."
"You came back because of your precious art."
Art. The art that sat on top of his fireplace, the art that was painted flowers. Flowers. And the green eyes, ones that seemed to pierce right through his soul. No one had eyes like that.
He should've known from the start..., but who was he kidding? Truthfully, deep down inside, he did. He just hadn't had the heart to admit it and he was afraid. Afraid that it was true and he didn't know what to do, or that he was right and he still didn't know what to do. Yet here it was, the evidence, the proof, so crystal clear, it was staring right at him. He couldn't deny it anymore, it was true.
He was here. He was back. He was Harry Potter. And he'd be fucking the world if he didn't miss him.