I didn't want to be anyone's excuse to cry and I didn't want to hate myself either. I was still here, still alive and I could feel everything. Even if I didn't want to.
It had been winter for a long time for me. I had been cold and withdrawn from life but now I craved the spring.
I had never told anyone why I was the way that I was. It was no one else's business. I wasn't scared, I just didn't trust them enough to tell them.
The day the new boy started at my school was the day my winter came to an end. He was blonde, gorgeous and he had looked at me.
No one had ever taken much notice of me, the boy with glasses who sat in the corner and never said a word.
I had been an outcast since I could remember. Parent's dead, aunt, uncle and cousin who didn't care, bullied by peers and teachers alike and yet he looked at me.
There was no malice or hatred in his silvery blue eyes, instead there was something I almost didn't recognize. Kindness.
He smiled, I remember him smiling and I remember the feeling of disbelief that it gave me. I couldn't recall when I'd last been smiled at.
I felt the whole classroom erupt in soft whispers of amazement and shock when he took a seat next to me. Ever since I had enrolled at this school one thing was always certain. The two seats either side of me would remain empty. But he sat there like it didn't matter.
Even the teacher faulted at this. The teachers at this school recognized me as the social outcast just like the students. They were no better at helping me to fit in, every school had to have a misfit and at Hogwarts Secondary that was me.
"Hey, I'm Draco."
"Harry" I muttered in response, keeping my head down and trying not to look at him. I was convinced that this was a trick. Any moment he would do something and I would be the laughing stock again.
"You don't mind me sitting here?" He asked and again I heard something in his voice, something that I'd never heard directed at me before.
"No, no, not at all." I wasn't used to such interaction. No one at this school had held a conversation with me in the four years I'd been here so far. School had been a sanctuary for me away from the abuse my Uncle threw at me. Despite having no friends here it was nice to just be ignored for a change.
The class went by smoothly enough, a shock as I expected Draco to make a fool of me but he didn't. Classes had always been easy for me, I had no distractions and I found that I absorbed information and retained it with little effort.
When the bell rang I threw all of my books into my backpack and went to leave the room. The shock of change threw me and seeing as it was now break I wanted to piece together some resemblance of normality by spending my twenty minutes in the library, reading.
However I wasn't to regain my resemblance of normality as Draco followed me from the classroom and caught up with me outside the library just as I was about to go inside.
He was smiling at me again. I couldn't understand why he was so happy to be seen with me, everyone else at this school would have run a mile. Even the bookworm and all around smarty pants Hermione avoided me.
Through the glass doors that led into the library I could see that she was already there with boyfriend Ron. They always occupied the table next to mine, never interacting with me but never teasing or mocking me either. We had an understanding the three of us. I didn't bother them and they didn't bother me either.
"Can I join you Harry? I kind of need a study partner for the upcoming exams. I was hoping that it would be you." He asked.
"Why?" I blurted out before thinking it through and then added, "No one ever wants to talk to me, I'm sure you'll have lots of friends, why talk to me?"
"I don't like superficial people. They're all too fake. You don't seem to be like that at all." Draco said and he was still smiling. He was immaculate, everything about him was perfect. None of the other fifteen year old boys at Hogwarts could have pulled off this perfection.
I didn't know what to say to him, I just nodded at him. "We should go in then, we've only got twenty minutes till next class." I said and it sounded dumb even to me. Draco just nodded and opened the door for me, waiting for me to go inside.
Spending time with Draco was amazing. Never before had another person been so nice to me. For the duration of break we both just sat and read. Neither of us spoke but we didn't need to. The next two hours were dedicated purely to science. Just like me Draco was in the top set and once again he sat next to me.
Once I was adjusted to having company throughout the class I found that it was nice. We worked together, sharing our knowledge. Draco was smarter than me but not by much so we were well matched intellectually.
I discovered that his Dad was an army Dad so they moved around a lot. His Mum had brought him here to sit his exams so he was going to be here for at least a year. He had taught himself most of what he knew so he didn't fall behind in his studies. His Dad expected excellence and that was what Draco gave him.
During the lunch hour we ate together. I occupied my usual space in the furthest corner of the dining hall. I sat and picked at the stale piece of bread and sliver of cheese that my aunt had thrown in a box for me to eat. She'd even put a carton of milk in for me today but it had expired a week ago.
Draco had brought money and bought food from the selection the school had. The smell of the cheese burger and chips was overwhelming. It made my mouth water just looking at it but I didn't give away my desire for it. Uncle Vernon wouldn't put up with begging, even if I only looked like I wanted it.
He watched me pick at the pathetic excuse for lunch with confusion and worry. "Harry, this may seem like a personal question but why are you eating that?"
"My aunt packed it for me." I explained. I didn't want to go into detail about my home life, or lack thereof. I didn't know Draco well enough to have him listen to my sob story of a life.
"Aren't you hungry?" He asked, I just shrugged. Without another word he got up and left me to it. When he got back he was carrying another tray. There was another cheeseburger, a mountain of chips, two chocolate bars and two cans of Coke. He placed the tray on the table and pushed it towards me. "Eat this."
"You didn't have to do that." I said, completely dumbfounded by this amazing act of kindness that Draco had just shown towards me.
"No, I didn't but I wanted to. You're so small and skinny, you can't survive on that. Besides, we're friends and that's what friends do, they look out for each other."
"Yes, why, is that a problem?"
"No, it's just that I've never had friends before."
At this Draco looked positively shocked, however he didn't say anything about it. I was grateful for that as I didn't want to go into it. I paced myself and managed to devour half the burger and a substantial amount of the chips along with both cans of Coke and one of the chocolate bars. I had never felt so extremely full as I did right then.
As we ate three girls from our year came up to our table. All of them asking if Draco would like some company while he ate. Each time he replied the same way, he had company and motioned towards me. Every time he motioned towards me the girls would look at me in disgust and annoyance as if it was my fault they were being rejected.
"Why do they treat you like that?" Draco asked as we bussed our trays and headed for the door. We had half an hour left of lunch and I planned to spend it in the library again.
"I don't fit in here." I said as we headed for the library.
"I don't get that. You're nice and everything, why don't they like you?"
As we crossed the playground I saw my cousin stood with all of his thuggish mates. I bowed my head and started to walk a little faster. Draco sped up his pace too and started looking around for the cause of my panic. He didn't have to look far as Dudley spotted us as I knew he would.
"Oh look its Potty Potter!" I heard him shout and my heart sank.
"Gay boy Potter!" Another of his mates yelled.
I sped up in an attempt to get away from them. Draco however had stopped. I turned to see where he was and saw that instead of following me he was heading towards them. I had to stop and watch as he did this because I wasn't sure if he was going to join them in their mockery of me or fight them.
"What did you say?" He asked them calmly.
"What do you care."
"I care because Harry is my friend."
"Is he your boyfriend?" Dudley taunted and they all laughed.
"I don't know what your problem is but leave Harry alone."
They all burst out laughing again. I stood frozen to the spot, watching in horror, unsure of what to do. Draco's fists were clenched as he watched them laugh. He wasn't the biggest of guys but Draco wasn't exactly small either. Dudley had bulk on his side, he had his mates too but something was telling me not to underestimate Draco.
"Two little queer boys together. How cute."
"Say that again!" Draco asked of him calmly, his smile was gone but in place of it was a smirk.
"What you going to do if I do Gay boy?"
With that said Draco drew back his fist and threw the first punch.