Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, J K Rowling does. I am not profiting from this story but merely borrowing the characters used below for my own creative pursuits.
A/N: If you think you've read this before, you have, but I've made a few changes. Mostly issues with grammar and flow, some minor characterization. There was only one scene with a major change, but the outcome of the story remains the same.
Beta: Jennie! [Tsubasa Hane] Thanks for chopping up my story! I think Untouchable is beta for it. Hahaha.
Alone at a small picnic table made for four, Draco watches the fire blazing in the middle of the large group of cheery eyed seventh years and eight years. His arm unconsciously subconsciously lowers his twig closer to the starving flames of the little fire in his cup. The two marshmallows at the forked tip roast even faster, quickly browning and then shriveling up into burnt, inedible masses. Grumbling, he waves the smoking twig in the air in to cool.
Sneaking a small glance towards the brunet he frowns in disgust, anger and jealousy to see the youngest Weasley draping herself so comfortable over Harry's frame. Her arms wrap around him too gently and her fingers are dancing too delicately over his shoulders. He scoffs. What Harry needs is someone just as strong to sit beside him; petite Ginevra Weasley in all her daintiness is certainly not that someone.
He tucks a fist under his chin and sticks the now much shorter twig into the flames, watching with a detached pleasure as the orange and yellow wisps lick at the ball of sugary fluff.
"Potter on your mind?" A sweet voice cuts through his musing. The owner of said voice situates herself next to him, resting an arm loosely around his shoulder. She follows his line of sight to Harry and hums in confirmation.
"Sod off, Pansy," Draco drones.
He sighs melodramatically, hoping Pansy will realize that he's really not in the mood for her taunts today.
"Why don't you go find Blaise?" he suggests. "I'm sure he misses the scent of your perfume and your oh, so sweet voice whispering into his ear. Whatever."
He wishes Harry's scent would flood his senses. He wishes that Harry's soothing voice would whisper erotic words into his ear. He wishes that Harry's warm lips would accidently brush against his earlobes, then his neck, tease him into a heated frenzy until he couldn't compute anything but the sensations taking over his body. But when he glances up, those warm lips are wrapping themselves around an undeserving marshmallow and Draco's fantasy shatters around him.
"He's off somewhere plotting against the Gryffindors. I got bored," Pansy replies nonchalantly.
"And you decided to join me, why?"
She pats his shoulder as she speaks. "To save you from yourself Draco, as only I know how to do."
"Sod off, Pansy."
"Oh, I'll sod off, alright," she tosses back, but she doesn't move.
Draco notices this and sighs, resigning to his fate for the next few minutes. But it's quiet between them, so he props his head on his fist in a way that he hopes conceals his line of vision from Pansy.
Hermione screams "Let's play a game!" and he gets the sudden impulse to roll his eyes at the waves of enthusiasm that moves through the group. But the impulse wanes and the waves enthusiasm evades him. Pansy must feel the same because she doesn't seem the least bit interested in whatever game the Gryffindors have cooked up this time. Instead, she sits beside him, nonchalantly picking at the ends of her hair with a scrutinizing interest.
Hermione levitates the empty bottle of Ogden's Finest that was passed around earlier. "I was thinking Spin the Bottle?" she continues.
Horny bastards, the lot of them, Draco thinks while watching the gathering strays with mild interest. All of a sudden the seats around the campfire aren't quite as empty and everyone's eyes are filled with excitement. Everyone but Harry.
Harry, he whispers in his mind. He is tempted to whisper the name out loud because it feels so deliciously taboo on his lips when he simply mouths it to himself; with every whisper, his voice raises an almost unnoticeable amount, but he notices because each slight increase is a risk that he is taking of being discovered as a lunatic, or worse, an admirer. But his admiration runs much deeper. He swears by it!
"Honestly Draco, are you going to sit there and mouth his name all night? I think he's bound to catch on eventually."
Draco is startled out of his thoughts. "I thought you left, Pans."
She throws both arms around him now, embracing him in a tight hug with her eyes glued to Harry over the dancing flames. "Aw, Drakie, you know I'd never leave you!" She mocks, accentuating her wide smile with a wet kiss to his cheek.
In alarm, his eyes flit to Harry and they make contact for a only moment, but that moment is long enough for Draco mind to flood with shame because Harry has seen one of the last things he wanted him to see. And Draco just knows that the boy is bound to make stupid inferences and jump to conclusions because as The Gryffindor, that's just what he does.
Draco pushes Pansy off him, almost forcing her completely off the small bench and into the patchy grass. And as much as he would like to yell at her and spit fire about how she probably just ruined what little chances that he has with Harry, he sees a knowing smirk on her face and wants to recognize it as a good thing because it usually is. But after what just happened, he's unconvinced.
Hermione takes a turn at spinning the bottle. Draco watches Harry's bright green eyes as the reflections of the fire off the spinning bottle also reflect in his eyes. His eyes dazzle, more alive than Draco's ever seen them in such a calm state.
Was it okay to scrutinize handsomeness this much? Draco felt there must be a point where he pays so much attention to Harry that the information just leaks out of his small, refined pores. Or maybe if he knows too much, it will all come tumbling from his lips like Granger tended to ramble when asked a simple question that really didn't need all that much elaboration. And if there was any day ideal for such an episode, it would be one where he cannot—even for his own sake—control the slideshow of images both imaginary and real flashing across his mind.
"Draco? Earth to Draco," Pansy yells in his ear and snaps her fingers before his eyes.
It was like there was a whole level of his consciousness dedicated to Harry and he would get lost in its many different rooms for days on end as he suffered through endless hours of intense longing. Harry was untouchable, though. He stood on top of a high pedestal in a shining spotlight and Draco was sure there was an invisible halo above his perfectly tousled hair. Anyone who's ever been in the spotlight knows how difficult it is to see everyone else, especially people you didn't care for.
"Draco!" Pansy startles him again.
This time, he actually tries to pay attention to what she has to say and nods his acknowledgment.
"As I was saying," she starts, grabbing his chin so he is looking at her and not allowed to have even one eye resting on Harry—though it doesn't stop him from trying—"you're acting like a lovesick puppy, Draco. If you want him, go for it."
"It's complicated, Pans."
"Nothing's ever that complicated."
He gives her a look that she ignores.
"Look," she orders, pointing her two index fingers, upwards "This is you," she says, motioning to her right finger, "and this is Potter—right—Harry," she says interrupting him with a raise of her left hand before he can protest her choice of name.
"You want Potter, so you march your pert little ass over there and do something before I have to intervene! And you don't want that. So. This is what I want to see by the end of tonight," she finally says, pressing the two fingers together. "And if possible, this," she adds with a lewd gesture that includes Finger Draco plunging in and out of a channel made by Finger Harry.
"Pansy!" He slaps her hands down. "Could you be any more obscene?"
"Always," she replies, patting his hair affectionately before getting up to search for Blaise. She throws some last words over her shoulder: "I mean it's not like you two aren't already friends, yeah?"
Yeah. Friends. Something like that.
And that's why it's complicated.
"What's up with Malfoy?" Ron slurs.
Harry's face scrunches in confusion. "What do you mean?"
"He's been giving you the stink eye all night, mate. Tell me you've noticed?" he squawks.
Harry rolls his eyes and tosses back the rest of his butterbeer before throwing the cup into the fire. He peaks at Draco, who's slouched over and watching a marshmallow roast over the small flame of his cup. Draco glances up and barely maintains eye contact before his eyes darted back to his marshmallows.
"That's not the stink eye, Ron," Harry mutters as if it is completely obvious. "I think he looks lonely. We should invite him over."
"I don't know, mate."
Harry watches Draco surreptitiously for a bit longer. He shrugs.
"Whatever. Okay, who has the bottle?" he yells in exasperation to no one in particular, adding "—of Firewhiskey!" when someone points to the empty bottle they are using for their game.
Meanwhile, Draco, who's alone on the bench once more with a heated face, is trying to look anywhere but at the Golden Trio plus Weaslette. He can feel their gaze in his direction, even after he looked away. There's a crawling sensation on his skin as though something bizarre is going on around him, but he forces it away, too afraid to draw his gaze away from the engraved hearts on the bench table.
He imagines what it would be like to be within Harry's inner circle, all buddy-buddy and carefree. Sure, he can loosen up a little when the situation calls for it, but he's naturally reserved and there's the fact that they've grown up together, with each other, and who is he? The son of a Pureblood snob who attempted to kill the one person that could and did save them all. But that's just the way things are.
You don't necessarily get to pick who you love, and it's just his luck that he ends up falling for the one person that's out of his reach.
He allows himself to glance again towards the circle of students around the fire. Harry's face is bright with excitement and a little bit of drunkenness as he awkwardly waves his arms in the air. When he sees that he's caught Draco's eye, he beckons him over with a flick of his wrists, an invitation that Draco considers for only a split second—the smallest possible amount of time—before dragging his self out of the bench.
Pansy glances up briefly to say, "Good riddance." She then returns to inspecting her hair, murmuring quietly to herself as Draco walks away. "Bloody hell, are those split ends?"
He feels like everything is happening in slow motion as he advances toward the jolly group of friends and classmates, his twig with a slightly browned marshmallow swinging dramatically beside him. Just then, Ginny walks out of the small cabin. She throws a glare in his direction, though it looks more like an attempt at an evil squint than anything else.
And then he notices that there are only two spots left around the fire. One is a few feet away from Harry, between two girls he recognizes as seventh years, and the other is right next to Harry. Glancing briefly at Ginny, he sees that she too is zoned in one spot next to Harry and when their eyes meet for the second time, he knows what he has to do. Like a predator, he sizes up the distance between him, his "prey", and his competition. It is too close to be sure.
His comfortable saunter turns into a brisk walk, and he finds himself nearly speed walking to approach the large group before Ginny. Soon enough, and with surprisingly little effort, he settles in next to Harry, comfortably sitting on the flat-topped boulder.
That's one small step for Draco, one giant leap for 'Draco and Harry'.
"Ow! What the fuck, Malfoy?" Harry exclaims. "Care to not poke me with your twig?"
What? "Err yea, my apologies," he stumbles out automatically, moving his arm. "So, whose turn?" he asks, trying to will his sudden awkwardness away.
When another bottle of Firewhiskey goes around the circle to rev them up for the game, he passes it on without a swig. You know, just in case. Just in case Harry spins the bottle and the neck points at him. He silently prays to the Fates and whatever deity is watching them, hoping that things happen in his favor just this once.
Trying to be positive, he steals a glance at Harry who happens to be biting the Weaslette's ears playfully. Somehow, she snuck her way back to him, snuggling into his chest like she belonged there. From the look on Harry's face when she fell into his lap, he didn't mind it one bit, much to Draco's chagrin.
Draco is disgusted at the way Harry's tongue and teeth nip at her undeserving flesh. He's more so annoyed that he's reached the point where he genuinely cares what Harry does with his tongue.
::A Short While Later::
Draco, who is now the only sober person around the campfire, is roaring with his own fire within. A fire of desire and lust, but most of all, of frustration at the way the ridiculous Muggle game is turning out. There seems to be some invisible force that is preventing the bottle from even slowing to stop in his direction. The situations makes him feel a frustrated anguish, but all he can do is sit and continue his brooding while everyone else continues to get drunk and no one notices the Weaslette plotting against him.
There's a collective, stretched out ooh when the bottle points towards Draco and for a moment he thinks that it's finally his turn to kiss Potter, but then he realizes that he's been keeping such close tabs that he would know if that was the case. It wasn't. This was the case of a silly little seventh year puckering her purple glossy lips in his direction and her eyes are unfocused, and her hair a messy mane, but there are worse things.
There are worse things. There are worse things, he keeps repeating to himself. And he wants to vomit at the smell of her perfume mixed with sweat and the alcohol on her breath, but there are worse things.
Her lips press against his and slide roughly, generously spreading the purple slime. Considering he's not attracted to girls at all, it's just about the worst kiss he's ever had, and he can feel the slime on his lips. It tastes awful, but there are worse things.
She pulls back with a satisfied smirk on her face as though she just blew him away with an out-of-this-world kiss. He gives her a tight smile not to completely burst her bubble and in her drunken state, she probably believes that he kissed her back just as fervently as she had tried to.
Many unwanted kisses later, he starts to feel that sitting with Harry and the group of raucous teens had not been a smart decision. He's neither given nor received a kiss from Harry, and between Ginny trying to kill him with her eyes and Pansy sneaking in suggestive gestures from where she seats on the bench with Blaise, he certainly doesn't need Granger giving him strange looks from her spot next to Weasley.
He feels out of his element, like he's being judged by everything he does or says. The whole situation has him unusually self-conscious and this time there is no mask or façade to hide behind. It's just him and as much as he wants to be as relatable as everyone else here seems to each other, it's frankly not possible.
Silently, he remains by Harry's side and now that everything is settled with the war and they're not in school anymore there's really nothing for them to talk about any longer.
Not a lot is happening in his favor, but nature must be on his side, and she couldn't have picked a better time. Even though he hasn't had much to drink, he feels the pressing urge to visit the loo. He leaves in relief, happy to finally have a reason to remove his self from the circle of eyes that seem to be focused solely on him like his own personal audience. He can't tell if it's real or if he's imagining it.
Inside the larger than average cabin, a mix of seventh and eighth year kids laze around the living room. There is a group of students around a long table that was probably transfigured because he's certain it wasn't there when he woke up this morning. They are playing an unusually intense game of cards. Every few seconds, after someone makes a play, there is an overall bristle in the group as everyone else readjusts their position in their seats. Some rearrange the cards in their hand, glancing suspiciously at their neighbors, then at the most recent player. One person takes a sip from her perspiring glass of what appears to be iced tea. The cup is loud when it returns to the table.
There is another group of students by the large fireplace, mostly couples just chatting, some snogging on the small couches around the warm hearth. Arms and legs are draped over the sides of the couch and Draco quietly longed to have someone to fall off the furniture with. Someone like maybe Harry, and they would be so caught up in each other that they wouldn't notice they were no longer on the couch and continue to kiss passionately late into the night.
With a desperate sigh, he continues deeper into the cabin and as he approaches the kitchen, the aroma of something sweet and warm embraces him. He peeks in to see a table full of cookies, pastries, little cakes, and tarts; and amidst it all is Neville and Luna, both covered in flour, powdered sugar, and other ingredients that hadn't quite made it into the mix. They glance up at the same time and Draco isn't surprised at their mirror images of contentedness.
"Hey, Malfoy," Neville says.
"Draco," Luna greets.
"Hey, so," he replies slowly, glancing around at all the baked goods between them.
"Looking for someone?" Neville asks.
"No, just headed to the loo," he replies, gesturing his thumb in the way he was headed.
They're both staring at him, but with a soft "oh" Neville returns to kneading the dough in his hands while Luna continues to stare at him.
"It all looks wonderful, Luna," he feels he should say, and he does.
She smiles sweetly. "That's a nice thing to say, Draco. I think so too."
"Yea, well," he says pointing again towards the loo.
"Watch your step," she adds as he walks away.
On his way back, he stumbles over something small and furry in his path that he's sure hadn't been there when he took that step. Bracing himself against the wall after losing his balance, he glances on the floor around him, looking for what he had nearly tripped over, but finds nothing. Not even the shadow of a small creature scurrying away.
He continues down the hallway and the smell of Neville and Luna's adventures in the kitchen fills his nose again. Normally, he wouldn't satisfy his sweet tooth in front of a crowd but all he's eaten are some toasted marshmallows and some butterbeer to wash it down so, really, a Danish or two sounds good right now. It all looks wonderfully delicious from where he's standing, several meters away. He's closing in with each slow second of passing time until a small, strong arm wraps around his forearm and yanks him into the nearest room.
"I know what you're up to, Malfoy," she announces with her arms crossed above her chest.
"Don't deny it, Malfoy, you've been staring at Harry all night and though he's as oblivious as they come, I'm not. Ron saw you staring. He doesn't know what it means, but I do," she rattles off, moving forward to poke him in the chest. "I do," she repeats a little louder, her hand resting on his shoulder, "And I'm willing to help you," she breathes Firewhiskey in his face.
"Granger, I'm not sure where you're going with this, but I'm not interested in your little drunken joke," he says, brushing her hand off his shoulder.
"I'm serious, Malfoy! Harry fancies you. He just doesn't know it." She gently taps his cheek and her other hand comes up to do the same.
Draco stares down at her glazed brown eyes, wondering if he should even believe anything she has to say. Granger was never one to lie or do something without a purpose, but as a Slytherin, he's always suspicious. The way he sees things, Harry doesn't even care to develop their relationship anymore than a few polite conversations about the weather or the news while Draco would give anything for just one meaningful conversation with the dark haired boy.
"He fancies you," she reassures.
"Right. And he doesn't know it. Bullshit, Granger." Draco scoffs and turns to leave the room.
She grabs his forearm to stop him. "I'm serious, Malfoy."
"I don't believe you," he spits out. It's simple as that. "Give me one good reason why I shouldn't just walk out that door," he commands boldly but with desperation heavy in his mind.
"He's the one that suggested you sit with us."
That much he knows already, and as much as it warms him to know that Harry wanted him to sit in their circle, it isn't good enough. He needs a better reason for him to believe that Harry sees him as more than what they used to be.
"That has nothing to do with me." Harry is just that kind of person.
"It has everything to do with you," she retorts quietly, scrambling for some truth to get him to stay. "The other day after lunch, he kept talking about how you were wearing your hair different," at this, Draco hand subconsciously travels to his hair, "and how he thinks you look so much better with it this way than gelled back. Of course, he didn't use those exact words but-"
"What do you get out of this?" A proper Slytherin always has to know.
"You fancy her?" he squeaks out.
Ignoring his reaction, she clears her throat before responding. "Are you in or not?"
Draco extends an arm in partnership. "I'm in."
"So I'm going to go back out and you'll wait a few moments before coming out too. And then I'll charm the bottle so you get to kiss Harry, and he'll realise what he really wants," she says hurriedly with slightly slurred speech. "And that's you," she finishes with a finger pressing into his solid chest.
Draco goes over everything in his head once more to make sure he understands the simplicity of her simply ingenious plan. One, Granger leaves the room and he sticks around for a few minutes, staring at the wall or something. Two, he's supposed to walk out nonchalantly and sit himself next to Harry, who's not going to notice any suspicious happenings when all of a sudden, the bottle points to Draco and then to him after it hadn't happened once since they've been playing. And then three, while they're kissing, Harry is supposed to have a sudden epiphany about his slight subconscious attraction to Draco, and it's magically going to bloom into something wonderful and lovely and sweet, like everything he's ever fantasised.
"Granger," he sighs, "I will attest to you being one of the brightest witches in our year, but I am not sure this is one of your brightest ideas."
"Trust me. It'll work. Harry already fancies you—"
"—he just hasn't realised it," Draco mimics.
Hermione glares, but continues. "And when you kiss he'll finally come to terms with it," she explains patiently, reaching for the doorknob. "Are you in?" She asks exasperatedly.
"And what about..." He trails off with a hand gesturing randomly, "Weaslette" at the tip of his tongue. But now that Granger's plotting with him to help get the object of his affection, he doesn't want to possibly insult her or her object of affection. Not to her face anyway.
She smiles coyly and flips her hair over her shoulder before turning the knob on the door. "Ginny? Don't worry about her."
After Hermione leaves, he goes into the kitchen and nibbles on an oatmeal craisin walnut cookie, or two. And a peanut butter one, or two. And admittedly a pumpkin tartlet and a piece of the scrumptious blueberry crumb cake, or two, but he needs his energy for what's about to happen, and maybe if Harry can taste the sweetness on his lips and tongue still, he'll find him all the more alluring and irresistible.
He waits a few minutes, enjoying the sugary flavours exploding in his mouth before leisurely strolling out the door. Outside, there seems to be some kind of argument around the campfire. The bottle that is supposed to be spinning so unrequited lovers like him can surreptitiously lay a kiss on their desire's lips is laying on the ground, abandoned, just like he was starting to feel The Plan should be.
Well, there's always tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that, an optimistic voice in his head offers.
But a more pessimistic voice cuts in, and rather realistically adds that The Plan can only be in effect if they decide to play Spin the Bottle tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that. And even then, "The Plan," the voice sneers, was never foolproof to begin with.
"Malfoy's a prick!" a male voice calls out.
Draco attention narrows on the voice just in time to see another boy, a Gryffindor seventh year, raise a cup to the air as he yells, "And he's an arse!"
"Well, he can just go fuck himself then!" A much too familiar voice throws out, and the loud laughter of the one and only Harry Potter cuts through everyone else's.
Shock. That's what Draco feels.
Draco freezes and stumbles slightly in his steps only a few feet away from his destination. He feels sick as he storms past the raucous group and into the surrounding forestry; he's gravely disappointed that Harry would even utter such harsh words. He thought they were past that.
And as much as he wants to believe otherwise, he knows what alcohol does to people: it lowers their inhibitions. So if Harry feels it is okay to say that now, then he must have been thinking it all along. That alone hurts, but what hurts the most is that Harry probably doesn't know how much those words affect him. He feels like he cares about Harry more than Harry will ever bother to want to care about him.
He glances briefly at Granger and for a moment she catches his eye, but he doesn't look long enough to see her nudge Harry with an elbow or to her whisper in his ear. Frankly, he's pissed. He realises that he's simply walking away without uttering a word in self-defence. The situation is all the more worse because even minutes afterwards, he can't think of anything he could have said that would have made a difference or redeemed him from the careless word slaughter.
As he makes his way through the bushes and thickets, past tall grass and twine and vines, thorns and sharp edges of dry branches scratch at his skin. The farther he gets from the site, the denser the forestry and the deeper the cuts. It's not until a particularly long thorn breaks through the superficial skin, deep enough that blood starts to bead at the head of the wound does he realise his mistake of braving the woods alone.
Not for the first time that night, he rejects his knee jerk decision and curses himself for being even slightly irrational where Harry is involved. Because at the moment what he needs is to clear his mind of Harry Potter. He needs the peace and quiet of a locking charm, a silencing spell, and dark ink scratching at rough parchment, not the worry of what woodland creatures exist around him that could possible endanger his life.
What he wants the most, though, is Harry Potter. So much, that it's almost a need. And as much as he wants to be left alone, since all he can do is wallow in his loneliness in the wilderness, he wishes that Harry followed after him to beg for his forgiveness. Because that's what he wants the most right now, and he remembers catching Granger's eyes and prays that she isn't coming after him because he certainly doesn't want anyone following him, save for Harry.
In the midst of the thickets, he hears the trickle and splashing of a stream or a small river and moves towards the calming sound. He's momentarily distracted from himself and his main objective diverts from getting away from point A to moving towards point B.
Not too long after, the thick forestry starts to thin and the sound of flowing water is clearer than it was before, now much crisper and close. Above the also shortening plants and bushes, he can only see the profile of large rocks lining the edge of the small body of water and with each tentative step forward, the ground is softer and wetter beneath his feet. He stumbles upon a small log that seats firmly into the ground, and with a bit of inspection, he supposes it will do since he is wandless. Another decision he regrets. But he didn't think he would be storming into the woods in the middle of what was supposed to be a laid back bonfire.
There are fireflies and lightning bugs, and all sorts of fluorescent flying things. If he was back home, he wouldn't doubt for a minute that they are fairies, but he knows from earlier in the week that they are insects. Usually, he is bothered by their presence within a three meter radius of where he is, but tonight they don't seem to acknowledge his presence and remain fleeting and fluttering slightly above the cooling surface of the water.
He watches their random movements and fluidity, entranced by the tiny white-yellow-green lights dancing freely in front of him and for once in his life, he feels that itch to reach out and gently embrace one of the small creatures in his palms.
You're not a child; he scolds himself, hugging his arms to his body. And the words sound rehearsed and the tembre is familiar, but the voice isn't his.
Such beautiful things should be untouchable anyway, only to be appreciated from a distance.
He draws his legs to his body and rests his chin on his knees, losing himself in his thoughts as the twilight fades to early dusk.
There's a faint rustling behind him and from the rhythm. He recognises it to be a person, but at this point, he's too tired to care. His cold hands curl into loose fists as he tries to discern the person's distance—or proximity—to where he is. Too jumbled up with emotions that he freed, his mind isn't capable of such a task, but soon enough, Draco feels weight settle onto the log beside him.
"Draco," Harry says, laying a warm hand on Draco's shoulder. Draco's continues to stare out at the water, not responding to Harry's plea except for the clenching of his fingers into tight fists, and his nails are digging into his palms.
Harry nervously picks at a loose thread on the knee of his jeans. "I wanted to say sorry..." he says slowly, feeling very out of his element apologising to Draco of all people. Harry is quiet as he thinks about what to say to draw Draco out of silence, but it spreads on. Just when he's about to spew out whatever comes to his mind next, Draco finally speaks.
"I thought we were getting to know each other," he says quietly. "I thought we were going to be friends." And I never wanted to start liking you.
The way he says those words, so dejectedly and innocently, he sounds like a child who has just been severely disappointed by a broken promise. Harry feels obligated to console him. He slides his hands down Draco's arms to curl his warm fingers around cool ones. He feels a weird, visceral twisting in his stomach because this is Draco Malfoy in front of him, simply wanting to be human, wanting something as simple and honest as connecting with another soul; it makes his breath falter and he wants to curl into a ball and sleep till morning.
"We are friends," he says.
Draco draws his hand away and pulls his knees to his chest. His open expression surprises Harry and the brunet is taken aback by the whirlwind of emotions in his stormy eyes.
"Yes, and I'm sure you speak just as kindly of all your others friends while they are not present."
Said boy jumps off the log with arms strained at his sides, fingers curled into fists. "And stop calling me that! You have no right! It's Malfoy to you," he hisses heatedly.
"Draco," Harry persists with a plea, "I'm trying to apologise," and he sounds pained, like it hurts him that Draco is so unwilling to speak to him without that cutting edge to his voice.
"Well, don't. Just leave me be," he says quietly, stuffing his hands into his pockets. "I'm Draco Malfoy, and I couldn't care less whether you're here to apologise or drown yourself. I don't have any feelings!" he yells. "Isn't that what everyone thinks? I don't feel pain! Regret! Guilt! Want...and I don't know how to care or love," he spits bitterly. "I'm the fucking Ice Prince, so you can take your stupid Gryffindor holier-than-thou act and go perform it for someone who actually cares!"
"You don't know what you're talking about," Harry responds calmly after Draco tirade.
Draco crosses his arms over his chest and bites back rather sarcastically, "Please, enlighten me."
"You're being a hypocrite, Draco. Since we were first years, all you ever did was be a prick to everyone that wasn't some rich, Pureblood Slytherin. You teased and made life hell as if we all didn't have our own lives to worry about. You couldn't give a damn about everyone else because you were too concerned trying to make yourself look better than them all the time. Does that sound like someone you would want to be close to?
"And I realise now that it must have been hard to make friends when everyone thought you were a git, but you were a git even before then. And I also realise that it's not entirely your fault, but the least you could do is get off your bloody high horse and stop being so fucking dramatic just because one person said awful things about you. It's not like you haven't said a million things about everyone else!"
Draco stares blankly before turning away. "Like I said, don't worry about me."
"Malfoy. Just shut up. If anyone deserves to be dramatic, it bloody well isn't you." Harry hates to play the Chosen One card, but in the past eight years, he discovered—only to lose—and survived more than every one of them had in their whole life, and he won't let Draco continue to deceive his self into a state of self-pity. All of them gathered around the fire have separate life stories, each one different than the next, but yet, all impacted by the war somehow.
"So, it's back to Malfoy now," Draco retorts nonchalantly. He peers at his fingernails in the dimming light.
"You're so full of yourself!" Harry yells, shoving Draco against a tree. "The world doesn't fucking revolve around you and it's about time you realised that. I followed you out here because I thought I saw a glimpse of someone real when you walked away. I saw you sitting right there," he stresses, pointing at the spot on the log, "and you actually looked like something else mattered to you besides being in control or trying to be better than everyone else, and then I try to apologise and all you can do is sit there and act like the same old git you were before. Why? Because something as mundane and stupid as someone calling you names is beyond your control! Since when has that ever bothered you? And do you know who you're talking to?" His hand is forcing Draco's shoulder into the rough bark.
"You're Harry James Potter. Boy Who Lived. Golden Boy. Wizard Extraordinaire. Should I go on or is your ego inflated enough?" Draco growls angrily. Even while forced against a tree with a fuming Harry Potter in front of him, Draco continues to stoke the fire, not wanting to care, and attempting not to.
A more vulnerable part of himself soaks up the passion of the moment between them, savouring each detail: the warmth of Harry's hand seeping through his sweater; the fire in his bright green eyes; the flushed tint of his cheeks; but most of all, the electricity between them, charged and crackling.
"What's the matter with you?" Harry huffs. "Seriously." To Draco's disappointment, Harry arms drops.
He sighs uncharacteristically, and nervously combs a hand through his hair. "It's nothing."
"I know you're lying, Draco."
He stares tiredly at Harry who's waiting for the truth, neither confirming nor denying his words.
Harry holds his hands up in acceptance. "I'm just going to say what I came for. I'm honestly sorry that I said that. I know that we aren't really close friends, and that we haven't ever been on amicable terms until more recently, but that doesn't excuse what I did. I was a little caught up in the moment and even if you can still be a downright prick at times, you didn't deserve to be put in that situation."
Harry rolls his eyes before adding with a slight grin, "And you don't have to go fuck yourself."
Draco accepts with a curt nod but otherwise remains unmoving as he watches Harry from beneath heavy lashes.
Harry's hand drifts to the back of neck as silence surrounds them again. "Yeah, well, we should head back before they start to think we've done each other in."
He pulls out a wand that Draco recognises it to be one of the four emergency wands that were kept in the cabin in case something went wrong. Technically, this wasn't an emergency, he believes. He just wanted to go for a walk and get some breathing space. He didn't ask for anyone to come after him, nor did he cry out like a damsel in distress that needed saving.
"Why do you have an emergency wand?" The words escape from his thoughts.
"Finding you was an emergency," Harry states blatantly. As he walks ahead of Draco, the wand lit faintly lit at the tip, his steps are careless, following a quasi-path of crushed weeds and tall grass.
"It's called a flashlight," he retorts, quoting Harry's exact words from the night of the storm when the lights went out the week before.
Harry angrily pushes aside the hanging vines that threaten to whip at his face as he goes by. "I apologise that the wand doesn't live up to your expectations, Draco. Next time I'll try to consider your preferences in being rescued with Muggle devices before I come chasing after you."
Draco bristles. "I didn't need to be rescued."
Harry scoffs and turns to Draco who's a lot closer than he thought. "Sure, and you know your way back?" he questions with the wand shining brightly into Draco eyes.
Said boy pushes the wand aside in barely contained annoyance. "I would've found my way eventually, yes."
"Right, well, apparently this is my fault and if you had been attacked by some wild beast, it would weigh on my conscience until the day I die," Harry mutters sourly. Then he continues on their way.
"Yes, I'm sure it would weigh quite heavily on your conscience," he replies sardonically.
"Drop the self pity act, Draco. It really doesn't suit you," Harry advises as he shoves a straggly plant out of their path.
"I don't pity myself. I just know what people think of me."
"And so? Why should it matter? I know what people think of me too."
"And it's obviously gone to your head."
Harry freezes. "You know it's not like that." And he's not sure why he cares what Draco thinks it's like.
He's facing Draco again, watching more closely. "You know what, Draco. Don't play ignorant."
"Well, I have my ideas, but I doubt they're close to the truth..."
"Okay," Harry sighs. "Some people think I'm crazy, that I have too much magic, too much power. Some people are afraid of me, they think I'm unstable," Harry chuckles lightly, and Draco thinks it's rather befitting of a madman with the look he has in his eyes. "And since it got out that I was one of Voldemort's horcruxes, some people just avoid me all together because they think that I'm evil, unstable, and crazy, and that one day I'm going to wake up and want to take over the Wizarding World...like Tom Riddle."
"And that's a bad thing, how?"
Harry simply scoffs at Draco's comment. He can't decipher from his tone whether that was meant to be a compliment or...something else entirely.
"You couldn't, anyway. You don't have the desire for darkness in you. And you're too selfless."
"Maybe I could, maybe I do, and maybe I'm not. And maybe he thought he was being selfless too."
"Honestly?" Draco questions rhetorically, "I don't think so. And anyone who thinks otherwise is either rather thick, got hit by one too many hexes during the war, or has been living under a rock for the past eight years." Harry stifles a small laugh, but even that bit of humour can't chase away the sullen cloud settling over his mind.
"I know, but I'll always be Harry Potter, and people are always going to have expectations and I'm too selfish not to live up to them because I hate that feeling...knowing you disappointed someone, that you could have made a difference but chose not to..."
Draco's trying to understand Harry's backwards thoughts, but he's not quite able to wrap his mind around how trying to meet the expectations of others make one selfish. A little cowardly, he can attest, but selfish?
"It seems I'm not the only one being hypocritical."
Harry pauses to face Draco. "What do you mean?"
"Expectations and the fact that you feel you have to live up to them. Does that not sound like a particular someone you're currently talking to? Look where that got me."
"Hm, I suppose," Harry says, then moves on.
"Listen. I might not be the best person to tell you this, but I think you just need to do what's best for you for once. Only you know what you truly want and no amount of persuasion from anybody else should stop you from doing the right thing. Personally, I don't understand why you feel like you have to...hide behind an illusion of expectations and whatnot, you're so untouchable regardless."
"You know I'm not repeating that."
"That's a sort of weird thing to say, you know. What do you mean—ow!" His hand flies to his cheek. "Christ, something bit me!" He rubs at the offending spot and glances at his hand to see a smear of blood.
"Geez, Potter, it's probably just a mosquito!"
"It's going to itch forever!" Harry complains as he rubs furiously. "Is it still bleeding?"
"Let me see." Draco hand grazes Harry's hot cheek, his thumb running over the slightly raised skin. But then his fingers curl to his chin; there, his attention is drawn to slightly parted lips. He breathes deeply to dislodge the breath caught in his throat, but the feeling of something swelling in his chest remains. Those enticing lips are right there before him, soft and supple, and he's tempted to lean in for just the briefest moment, just a little brush of skin on skin, but he's not about to fall to pieces. He knows better than to act on the impulse and draws away to awkwardly pat Harry's shoulder.
"Were you going to kiss me?" Harry says simultaneously.
With his back turned to Harry, Draco takes deep breaths, trying to quell the sudden onset of anxiety. Sweat breaks out on his brows, tingling, and the beat of his heart is echoing so loudly in his ears that he fears Harry can hear it too.
He gasps as strong arms wrap around him and Harry's chest is pressing into his back.
"It's okay," he mumbles and Draco can feel the vibrations of his voice move through him.
It's so easy, the way he feels wrapped up in him but it can't be that simple because it's never that simple. He struggles to get out of Harry's embrace as he starts to realise just how vulnerable he is, but the more he struggles, the tighter Harry holds him. And with a stray elbow to his ribs, a stunned Harry loses his grip and stumbles back, watching Draco critically, scrutinising.
"I'm sorry...I didn't realise," Harry says.
"Why would you want—what about you and..." Draco trails off.
"Ginny? Ginny and I? We're just—we're not together."
Draco tosses him a scathing look. "I must have just imagined her tongue down your throat then," he snapped back.
"We're close, but we're not together."
"I don't think that's quite the word you're looking for, close."
"Friends with benefits."
"Friends with benefits?"
"Yes, friends with benefits, and quit repeating everything I say!"
"Because it's annoying!" Harry responds.
Draco supports his body against the tree. He couldn't look Harry in the eyes. Not right now. "No, you idiot, why her?"
Harry sighs. "We tried a relationship and it didn't really work out." At Draco's expression, he adds, "What, you thought we were going to get married or something? I'm glad I have your stamp of approval," he says sarcastically.
"Fuck you, Potter."
Somewhere deep down he always knew that she wasn't really his type even if they looked like they were so in love with the way she was always draped so comfortable over him.
Draco turned to suggest that they continue back only to come face to face with Harry. All of a sudden it was Harry's lips on his and he's too shocked to respond because all he can think of is how it's nothing like he's dreamt; it's so much more awkward and wet, and real.
A tongue probes his lips apart and Harry's breath and saliva mixes with his as the brunet explores the moist cavern that is his mouth. He relaxes into the embrace and a content moan escapes him when Harry's hand pulls him closer, pressing their bodies together, together, together. When Harry breathes, Draco becomes conscious of that fact that his hands that found their way to Harry's chest. His face heats up rapidly and after giving a few pats to the firm muscle beneath his hands, he releases his desperate grasp on Harry's jumper, a barely apologetic look on his face as he smoothes out the fabric. Thoroughly.
"So..." he starts eloquently.
Neither one willing to talk about what transpired between them, they silently approach to campsite to find it void of campfire or drunken students. Draco hurries ahead and is at the door poised to pull the knob when Harry wraps his fingers around his pale wrists.
"So, err," he begins hesitantly, "let's keep this between us, yeah?"
For what seems like a long time to Harry, but not enough time to Draco, the silence between them is profound and heavy; and what happens next depends completely on how Draco chooses to play the ball that Harry has just tossed so carelessly into his court.
"Of course, Potter."
Months after the kiss-that-must-not-be-mentioned, it is graduation day.
Families and extended relatives gather in the Great Hall while the seventh and eight years students assemble outside the closed doors, many of them pulling nervously at the hems of their sleeves and teasing each other about finally growing up and how amazing it will be to be out in the real world.
Draco staggers from the dorms for the returning "eight year" students, his robes smooth and draping flawlessly over his slim body. Every fine hair is in place and the expression on his face is just as unreadable as the Marauder's Map is to someone who doesn't solemnly swear to be up to no good. He remains at the back of the large group, waiting patiently for McGonagall to call his name in the long list of students so they can file into the Great Hall in alphabetical order.
There are two lines: one will diverge to the left and the other to the right. Reading through the list of their classmates in his head, Draco desperately hopes that he is not left walking in stride with Harry, sitting next to Harry, or even anywhere close to the inconsiderate brunet—though worse comes to worst, he's prepared with a tirade poised very carefully on the tip of his tongue.
There are not enough letters between Malfoy and Potter, Draco soon realises. He's reluctant to give in to the Gryffindor constantly calling his name behind him as McGonagall moves along the rest of the alphabet. It's just a constant stream of "Draco, Draco, Draco," spilling from his lips and said boy can feel Pansy's gaze taking in the scene from her place by Harry's side. And later she's going to want to know what really happened that night that he got lost, and he's going to have to admit that Harry really is the spoiled Golden Boy that Blaise thinks he is as the boy honestly believes he can have Ginny and then go around secretly kissing him whenever he feels like it.
While he ponders over how fortunate he is, it finally hits him that Harry will be sitting next to him throughout the three hour long ceremony. With this realisation, he has half the mind to just fuck it all and leave the damned castle this very instant and have his letter sent to the manor. But his stubborn side doesn't want Harry to know just how much his persistent whispering in his ears and sly advances are getting to him. He doesn't mutter a word to Harry as McGonagall finishes the list and the only response he has to anything Harry says or does is to pull his hand away and stuff them in the pockets of his robes after Harry's hand accidentally brushing against his.
All through the ceremony—even while Hermione stands before them to deliver what he thinks is supposed to be an inspirational and life-changing little composition—Harry is quiet and unresponsive. It's clear to anyone who's paying attention that his mind is elsewhere, and he has a pensive expression as though he can't quite understand why he is sitting in a stiff chair in some stuffy robes next to Draco Malfoy, of all people. But Draco's watching his every move like a hawk through his periphery, all the while thinking that if Harry is able to pull it off—whatever plan he's thinking up that's occupying his mind—then he just might store his tirade for another stormy day.
When the ceremony is over, the chairs disappear and the room is transformed into a reception hall. Draco slips away as Harry is cornered by a mob of Weasleys and just before he leaves the room, they make eye contact, swallowing around the lump in his throat at the realization that he's been caught. Stopping by the dorms, Draco tosses his dark robes and formal attire, slipping into something more comfortable to brace the warmer temperatures outside. As he walks down the halls, he sees many families hugging their graduates, pictures are taken and silliness ensues. He turns a blind eye to it all.
He's in front of the double doors leading to the courtyard, ready to force them open and allow the bright sunlight and warm summer breeze to caress his skin. Breathing in, he pushes the doors out with an exhale; just as he's about to step outside to take in the scents of the lazily dancing wind, a familiar hand falls on his shoulder and the fantasy of an escaped prince collapses around him.
"What is it, Pans?"
"Just thought I'd, you know," she says easily, "Stop by and...I don't know, ask you why the bloody hell you didn't tell me Potter fancied you?" And she manages to finish the stated question with an accusing screech directly in his ear.
"I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch that. Maybe you want to say it just a little louder?" He hissed not so quietly in that tone that is reserved for mocking a best friend.
"OH, so something happened in the woods, a little—" Draco immediately shuts her up with his hand over her mouth.
"Honestly, Pansy, you have no tact."
"Draco, one of us has to be honest. Well?" she begs to know.
Dropping his hand that found its way into his hair, he drags her away from the doors and strides assuredly toward that one tree with the thick trunk and the large canopy that is always there to shelter his thoughts even on those quiet days.
While she plops down to the ground, rather ungracefully he wants to mention, he remains standing, leaning against the tree with one leg bent, crossing his arms over his chest, and focusing his eyes on the main doors in the near distance.
He takes a deep breath. "He kissed me."
Pansy squeals and nearly jumps off the ground in excitement. "Draco, that's wonderful! I told you, all—"
"But he asked that we keep it quiet, Pansy," he forces out. "So much for Gryffindor courage."
"So...that's why you were ignoring him earlier?"
"Very mature, Draco."
"I think I've been very mature about this whole situation. It's been months since this stupid infatuation reared its ugly head into my life and I haven't slipped him any potions." His chin slips a few inches higher and his voice grows more insulted and defensive with each word; Pansy simply stares intuitively.
"I think you should talk. You want to be closer to him and he obviously wants to be closer to you too. Why does the fact that you shared a forbidden romantic snog deep in the woods change anything?"
"We were NOT snogging! It was...an accidental kiss," he whines to the wind.
"What was that?"
"Nothing, Pansy. We weren't snogging. It was just a little peck."
"Right, and you're not blushing at all," she replies with a smirk when his palms rush to his flushed cheeks. "Whatever happened, you can't avoid him forever."
He sighs and sinks to the ground beside her. "I know."
With a wink, she offers that they talk at the Graduation Ball that night, suggesting it like he really has a choice in the matter.
"I know," he says.
"What are you going to wear?"
Draco stares across the courtyard where families filter from the overly crowded hall to take more picturesque photographs of this wonderfully glorious day. Well, the weather sure was pleasant, but that's about all the good that he has to say about the moment and the day thus far. That, and the fact that by the end of the night he won't have to tolerate the lot of classmates he's put up with for the past eight years.
So what would he wear to this final act?
"I don't know."
"What about this one?"
"No," he drawls, grabbing it and pulling at it with his hands around the torso, "the material isn't made for movement. Don't you see how stiff it is?"
"Okay, this one?" She asks, holding up a myrtle-green shirt.
"No, too dull. Isn't the theme Midnight Light?" He asks with emphasis on the specificity.
"It's Moonlight Path," she corrects. "This one then?"
He stares at it for a few moments before deciding. "Maybe."
Pansy rolls her eyes and adds the grey shirt into the Maybe pile which is sufficiently smaller than the No pile. There isn't even a Yes pile.
"Well, that's all of it. It's the grey, the dark purple or the black."
"Wait, what about the trousers?"
"Grey or black—honestly Draco, I'll pick for you," she finally says, tossing all the clothes in her arms onto the bed. She picks up a pair of trousers and a shirt, sending everything else into his trunks with a wave of her wand. "This and this," she gestures, the trousers in one hand and the shirt in another, "is perfect. Wear the black shoes and the black belt if there is any confusion," she adds before leaving him to prepare.
As she walks away, he glares at her for undermining his fashion sense, hoping she can feel the fiery heat of his gaze on her back. The only reason he agreed for her to help is because he wants to look stunning for his final entrance even if it is really only for one person. He lays the metallic ash coloured trousers on the bed and the black shirt goes down on top of it. Rummaging through his trunks, he pulls out his black belt with the silver buckle and the black Italian shoes that he saves for special occasions. Then with a satisfied nod, he grabs his toiletries and maintains a confident gait all the way to the shower, knowing that if things don't turn out the way he hopes they will, he'll at least look good trying.
Draco enters the Graduation ball with a small group of Slytherins. After his eyes adjust to the dim lighting in the transformed Great Hall, he immediately spots Harry by the refreshments, the silver rim of his glasses reflecting the silver blue light that covers everything in the room. It reflects off his hair and creates a sort of abstract halo over the messy head of raven locks. He is wearing black slacks and a dark purple button up shirt that fits a little loosely, but is snug enough to show the trim body beneath the soft fabric.
When he walks through the door, he notices that Harry glances at him for an infinitesimal amount of time before he returns to his conversation with the Weasley. Draco also notices how within the second, Harry's gaze again shifts away from Weasley and focuses on him, in fact their eyes meet and Harry stares for a while.
A smile twitches at the ends of Draco's lips, and though he's glad that he's managed to catch the attention of the most important person in the Hall, he doesn't let the satisfaction show because he doesn't want Harry to know that his attention brings him pleasure. He settles for a smug smirk instead and opts to carry on through the crowd of students no matter how badly his mouth is watering to simply taste one of those scrumptious looking mini chocolate éclairs that sit so seductively on that silver platter. And with the knowledge that they are under a cooling charm he knows that the cream inside will be thick and almost frozen—just the way he likes them—and that combined with the silky milk chocolate coating the top so generously...it's bound to be decadent and just so melt-in-your-mouth delicious. But Harry is standing right there and practically hovering over the tray. If he moved another inch, he might find himself on the table itself and—hmm, that thought doesn't bother Draco so much.
He tries to dance to the horrible Wizard Rock being blasted and by the time that one song he hates by The Parselmouths starts to play, he can't pretend that he's not absolutely sick of the entire farce. He knows that Harry has been watching him since; if not all the while, for a majority of it. Though he's always been one to know proper decorum and how to carry one's self and all that rot, dancing while Harry Potter is watching you is an entirely different cup of tea. It is a steaming hot cup that has to be handled with care, and Draco's not sure just how well he's holding up. He's very modest about his abilities when it comes to moving his body in synchrony with music and believes he's doing rather well despite the circumstances, but that's just his ego talking. A Waltz or a Tango he can perform with his eyes closed, in his sleep even, but this, this pounding beat with its vibrations and melodic screeching, was something else.
Every move, though comfortable behind closed doors, feels awkward and scrutinised under Harry's intense gaze. When Ginny whispers something into Harry's ear that causes him to break his focus, Draco decides that he's earned himself those éclairs he's been eyeing.
A small dish of treats in one hand and a cup of punch resting on the edge of the table, he watches Harry dance: by himself, with Ginny, with everyone it seems. He is too outgoing not to. While Draco stands on the sidelines, eating sugary things and drinking funny coloured drinks that taste just as strange with a recognisable hint of pumpkin juice.
He spots Hermione walking towards him and welcomes her company.
"Hi Draco," she returns, picking a jam roly-poly off his plate.
His instinct urges him to smack her hand for picking off his plate without permission but he digresses. He utters a "tut-tut" of disapproval with a side to side wave of his index finger, a clear sign that his plate is off limits to her wandering hands.
They watch their classmates move on the dance floor and it doesn't come as a surprise when their eyes settle on a particular pair.
"They look good together, don't they?"
"What I think doesn't matter," he replies. Without missing a step he adds, "The sky looks good," motioning towards the depiction of the night sky on a full moon above them. "The Hall looks wonderful in general. I think you and the rest of a committee planned it excellently. If you'll excuse me, nature calls."
"Yeah, Luna was a great help..." Hermione offers.
He nods and leaves the Great Hall in a move that's not dramatic enough without his robes swishing around his ankles.
Staring at his reflection in the mirror, Draco is relieved that their graduation ball is not a completely formal event like the Yule Ball was. There is a faint sheen of sweat covering his skin and his cheeks are tinted pink from dancing and the heat of the large space that is equally filled with too many moving bodies.
After washing his hands, he tightens the red knob and loosens the blue knob, letting the water run over his hands before splashing it onto his face. The cool water making contact with his heated skin comes as a great relief and tendrils of his fine hair stick to his forehead in curls and waves.
He lets his head hang and the rivulets of water that stream down his face gather as drops on his brows, his nose, his chin. His loose hair catches some of the drops as he shivers and he finally stands and mutters a simple drying charm to his face and hair, glancing at his reflection one more time to catch green eyes watching him from not too far away.
"Enjoy the show?" Draco asks at the same time Harry asks him if he's alright.
This simple question causes him to hold his tongue at whatever biting comment his mind was about to think up, and he's almost sorry for being sarcastic, but he's not because that's Draco.
"Just fine, Potter," he replies. He takes in Harry's attire now that he can see him more clearly and under the brighter lights of the lavatory, he ascertains that Harry's shirt that now clings to his sweat damped body is, in fact, aubergine. And it goes brilliantly with his eyes.
"Why have you been ignoring me, Draco?" He asks those words so innocently.
The disbelief boiling within him tempts him to yell but he keeps his voice levelled and his words escape as a sad echo of what he's truly feeling. "Are you really that thick?"
"Hey," Harry closes the distance between them and forces his way into Draco's personal space. "There's no need to start throwing insults. I just want to know why you're being like this."
"I'm not being any different than my usual self. Maybe you need to examine some actions on your part that would cause you to feel that way," Draco responds dryly.
"I don't understand. What—"
"What I am going on about? Listen to me, Potter. And answer me if you can possibly find an answer in that airy brain of yours. Since when is it okay to..." and as he's about to say it, he realises that he's acting like a bloody girl—a bloody lovesick girl—getting all upset that Harry kissed him and then wanted nothing else to do with him after that. And all of a sudden, all his arguments and valid reasons fly out the window because it was just a kiss—just that and nothing else—so why did that change anything about the relationship between them? Harry shags the Weaslette whenever he so feels and they're friends, granted he can kiss anyone under the same reasoning and have it mean nothing more.
Their brief connection in the woods drifts to his mind, but he chalks it up to Harry having a few drinks and he always has loose lips where saving people and his emotions are concerned. But Draco, ever the tenacious Slytherin.
Harry stumbles over his words. "OH, is this about...err, the kiss?"
"Yes," he admits.
Harry's eyes widen comically. "And I've been trying to talk to you, but you've been ignoring me!"
"Well, here's your chance."
Harry's used to Draco's moods, but he can't help the sigh that leaves his lips. "I told Ginny about the kiss because I didn't feel comfortable...doing...stuff anymore, and she said that I needed to talk to you because she knows you like me too." Harry ends quietly, looking to Draco to either confirm or deny what has just been said.
When Draco makes a little sound in the back of his throat that sounds like he's choking on his words, Harry takes that as a yes. But he wants to be sure. "Is this true?"
"A fair bit," he confesses.
At this, Harry closes the remaining space between them and is pressing Draco into the sink. The blond heats up and retains his composure to the best of his abilities with a very warm, well dressed Harry pressed up against him. With Harry so close to him, he notices that his eyes are—if possible—greener up close, and he can see himself reflected in his glasses and in his eyes, though not both at once. He finds it's dizzying and slightly hypnotic when he tries.
"If it makes you feel any better, I think I like you too," Harry mutters between them, their bodies and their breaths heating up the close space that they share.
How strange yet befitting those words are: Draco can't help the low chuckle that erupts from his lips and his eyes crinkle at the ends with genuine laughter because Harry has no idea what those words mean to him. He would have never admitted it so freely and openly. And it's a relief because now he knows that those meaningful moments they had in the woods weren't for naught after all and now he can cherish them as something more than a reminder of what could be and a memory of what will be, sentimentally.
He doesn't know what they are or what this means for either of them, but he knows that he's willing to give into this silly infatuation, and maybe, just maybe—
Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, he thinks.
"Why didn't you say so?" and with that, he grabs Harry by the collar and kisses him deeply...and with tongue. He tugs on soft lips between his teeth, sucking delicately, and letting go, he pushes Harry firmly on the shoulder, "Go take a piss before you wet yourself, Potter."
Harry grins widely and struts to the nearest cubicle.
Inspired by the song, Untouchable Face by Ani Difranco