AN:2.6.13: Moving into Endworld Vault.
AN: I Liiiiiiiiive! Just tell me which mortal needs my protection, great ancestors, say the word and I'm – Oh, whoops, wrong story! Lol. Hi everyone! Long time no speak. Ugh. Sorry. I would have posted stuff earlier but my whole winter hit the fan. I'm still trying to piece crap back together. But, I heard 'Need You Now' on the radio today and got this sappy idea in my head. So enjoy the fruit of my random labor. I'm trying to work on my other stories but, it's slow going.
Warning: I own NOTHING!
'I wonder if I ever cross your mind,
For me it happens all the time'
Harry lay in his bed. Hands curled into his thick comforter. Blue and bronze curtains drawn until his world was nothing but him. He stared up at the ceiling, eyes looking beyond the stone work and gazing into distant memories. His eyes fluttered close when they began. It had started out so slow. A whisper in a crowd. They barely knew each other. Separated by blood, house and classes. They shared one class, though. Potions. He wasn't supposed to be noticed. The others avoided him. The quiet, brilliant boy-who-lived. They were supposed to partner up, but he wouldn't be picked. He didn't have friends like the others.
"Mind if I work here?" The voice, dignified and aristocratic with a hint of trepidation.
"Do whatever you wish," Harry muttered, refusing to look at the boy.
He never left the table after that day. And Harry wasn't alone after that. The dove grey eyes that met his without demands or preconceptions. Reassuring smile when he withdrew from conversation. They became wary acquaintances. Sometimes Harry would be found by the lake with his study work. Soaking in the day and the knowledge. He would join him sometimes. And they would talk about little things.
"Harry, will you help me with some of my homework?" He asked hesitantly.
"Sure, what do you need?" He didn't mind helping him. The only one who really tried to know him.
They were found in the library during their free time. Whispering quietly to each other over books and paper. Huddled close to explain better. Harry felt his loneliness slip away after that. Even when they couldn't sit with each other, especially at meals, they shared a companionable smile every so often.
That summer had been cruel. Owls exchanging notes and small letters. Beatings when Hedwig was found missing. Chores until his body ached. And the night terrors keeping him from sleep. Bruises littering his body. Cuts digging deep into pale flesh. Scars healing slowly. Every bone in his body aching. On the train, they sat in near silence. Exchanging several summer stories, Harry only had a few that would pass inconspicuously. He listened to his excited chatter over his parent's and their manor. All the things he'd done between their semesters. Harry was comforted by the sound, imagining himself in that summer bliss.
The year was heavy. As were the next three. Every year something big happened to separate them. But after the second task in the tournament everything changed between them. The fear he felt when he'd disappeared that morning, only to find him at the bottom of the lake. So cold. He had nearly blacked out. His heart crushing inside his chest. World narrowed down to the single Slytherin who made his life bearable. He avoided him for almost a week until most of the castle emptied for the winter.
He was trapped in the library doing his transfiguration paper. His back pressed into the nearest bookshelf, eyes wide at the accusations.
"You've been avoiding me for days! Are you angry with me? What did I do?" All Harry could do was shake his head, shutting his eyes to keep back the prickle of tears.
"What's wrong Harry?" The voice so close to him.
Harry gripped the sheets of his comforter tighter, eyes opening as they had in that moment. Why? Why couldn't these memories just sink away? He doubted Draco thought of him as much as he did.
'Another shot of whiskey, can't stop looking at the door,
Wishing you'd come sweeping in the way you did before'
Draco rolled over for what seemed the hundredth time that evening, eyes going straight to the door for the common room. He curled his fingers into a fist, nails digging into the palm of his hand. He tried to refuse the ache in his chest. The wound that refused to heal. The place Harry belonged. His eyes closed, going back to memories he'd tried to block.
He couldn't help but notice the great Harry Potter like every other witch and wizard did. He was a legend. He hadn't expected the small, slightly built boy with messy locks of jet hair and the deepest eyes that sparkled under torch light. He didn't really know what he was expecting. But not this quiet, obscure youth. The teachers seemed confused when Harry was sorted into Ravenclaw. His table mates observing him with curiosity but refusing to approach the new experiment. He watched the boy eat in silence, plate barely touched by food. Eyes cast at the table. Ignorant, or just avoiding, the stares of their peers. Draco wanted to sneer, but not at Harry.
No one wanted to be seen with Harry Potter in their first potions class. Everyone taking partners they knew. Draco waved Crab and Goyle away, setting his books at the empty seat beside the Ravenclaw. Harry hadn't cared if he sat their or not. So he continued to do so. Trying to figure out who Harry was.
He would sometimes follow Harry to the lake, watching for awhile as the boy just sat and read. Then joining him, either with his own work or just to talk about nonsense. When he got stumped he asked Harry for help, and was tutored there after. It had happened almost a month after winter break. They huddled in the library at their usual table. Shoulders rubbing together when one moved to turn a page or point something out. He turned slightly, catching Harry's rare smile. The small tug of his lip that wouldn't normally register. The loneliness in that single expression, the acceptance of a future with no one. It seemed like the first time his heart ever really beat.
Those years melted almost seamlessly together, separated by long summers spent waiting for contact. Harry never seemed to talk about his life away from Hogwarts. He said nothing about his home, his family, what happened during their time apart. He tried to accept it, to understand. But it was hard not to know what was happening. When the tournament started, Draco was surprised to hear Harry's name called. He worried over his friend quietly, trying not to let it show. Wondering how long he'd have to keep his feelings hidden. He had considered taking Harry to the Yule ball, asking him formally, but decided against it in the end. They went alone as friends and broke tradition. Sitting on the outskirts talking quietly until they were allowed to leave.
He'd woken the next day with Harry's arm wrapped around his shoulder, soaked and shivering. Relieved that the cold water made it acceptable for his face to flush fully.
Draco sat up in bed reaching for his nightstand. A small bottle of Firewhiskey tucked secretly inside. He took a long sip, gasping as the sting in his throat slowly faded. The tingle reminding him of days at Hogsmead. Cold winters wrapped in scarves and coats. Tucked quietly in dark corners with drinks and books. Faces flushed, eyes bright. An excuse to clasp hands together.
"Draco," Harry's eyes turned to him, losing him in the depths of their green expanse.
"Thank you," His head dipped to rest lightly against Draco's shoulder. Draco fought the urge to kiss those dark curls.
"Always," He whispered instead.
Draco knocked the back of his head against the stone wall trying to settle his thoughts. It didn't help.
"You've been avoiding me for days! Are you angry with me?What did I do?" Draco tried not to let the desperation leek into his voice. Harry closed his eyes and shook his head as an answer. Draco could feel his heart on the verge of breaking. He stepped closer, face level with Harry's. Separated by six short inches.
"What's wrong Harry?" He pleaded. Harry's eyes snapped open to stare at him. Draco's hands moved on their own, cupping that frightened face. He didn't want to be the cause for that fear, that pain that sorrow. Every bad thing he saw in the depths of those emerald gems.
"I – I like you," The answer was so soft, so quiet. Desperate for him to accept. To not abandon him. To stay and love him. Draco felt like time stopped with those three small words. His breath hitched slightly before he leaned forward. He pressed his lips gently against Harry's. Timid and careful. Not entirely certain this was what he meant. Hoping Harry wouldn't pull away. When he felt hands grip his arms, felt the slight added pressure of response, his heart hammered in his chest. Everything he wanted for years held in his hands.
Draco gulped more firewhiskey. Eyes burning, body shaking.
The door shut quietly, Draco looking up curiously. Only to smile at the thin figure moving towards him.
"Evening," Draco murmured against the thick black curls he loved. Arms circled his waist in answer. A soft reply whispered against his chest. He drew the curtains closed until the world disappeared outside of them. He brought full lips up to his own, running his hand through the long hair Harry had grown out over the years. Harry yielded when his tongue begged entrance. He could never get enough of his Ravenclaw.
Draco tried again to bang the memories away. Every secret night. Every stolen touch. They refused to leave.
'Guess I'd rather hurt then feel nothing at all'
- Lady Antebellum
Harry shoved the covers off his bed. Sick of the sleepless nights since they were torn apart. Umbridge had caught them holding hands in class as they did their book work. She had shrieked and called them names until Draco and Harry were forced to sit on opposite sides of the room. Draco's fellow Slytherins refused to let them near each other. Blocking Harry out of Draco's sight. Finally he'd just given up.
Harry traced the trails of scars across his arms. Remembering how Draco had kissed them so tenderly the night he had uncovered them. How accepting he had been of the truth behind his summers and the decreasing owls.
He hissed quietly. Carving a new trail amongst the older ones. His fingers pressed deep against his arm. The pain only distracted him for moments before he was swallowed by the emptiness again. He let the blood drip and smear across his pajamas. The silence of his dorm was not helping him at all. He tossed off the dirty sleepwear and pulled on his muggle jeans and sweatshirt. Ignoring the blood that blossomed on the sleeve. He took his father's invisibility cloak grudgingly and left the room. Climbing silently down the stairs in his soft soled shoes. He ignored the portrait that harrumphed indignantly at the rude awakening and fled into the corridor. The cold night air a fresh relief against his skin. He didn't glance at the way he was practically running. He just went. Needing to be away from everyone and everything now. When he finally stopped to catch his breath he recognized the wall beside him. The Room of Requirements. He paced with his mind in a haze. One sentence ringing above all others.
"I need a place to think,"
The door appeared without fanfare. He entered with a relieved sigh.
'I said I wouldn't call but,
I'm a little drunk and I need you now,
And I don't know how I could do without,
I just need you now,'
Draco capped the bottle with a slight growl. This wasn't getting him anywhere. He needed to think. To clear his head. Not sit drinking. He shoved the bottle back in his drawer. Shedding his sleepwear and donning his slacks and sweater. He rushed from the room. Not caring if his dorm mates woke or slept through his departure. His long stride ate the distance between the portrait hole and the stairs. He didn't wait for the man to yell at him but ran down the corridor. He drank in the cool breeze. Imagining the warmth he no longer had by his side. He pushed himself faster. He paused in front of the Room of Requirements, lungs burning slightly. He paced. His mind buzzing.
"I need a place to think,"
He barely stopped to notice the door. But barreled into the room. He eyed the all to familiar furniture. His heart lurching at the sofa covered in Burmese silks and rich cottons. The dark wood waxed into a perfect shine. Dove grey eyes roamed until he spotted Harry's favorite green velvet chair. His eyes caught on the huddled mass of muggle rags. Breath catching at the sight of rich dark hair spilling down a softly shuddering back. He found the strength to push his legs forward.
"Harry," The quiet whisper hung in the air for a moment. The figure stilled almost violently and turned to look at him.
"Draco?" The hoarse susurration shocked him. Puffy eyes peered at him through familiar heavy rimmed glassed, set crookedly on his nose. His heart lurched at the sight and he closed the space between them quickly. His arms pulling the boy into him.
"Harry, Harry, Harry," He chanted under his breath like a spell. Arms wrapped around his neck pulling him into coarse sweater fabric.
"Draco," the cry was barely audible, cracking as he sucked in breath.
"Never again," Draco hissed against the soft skin of Harry's neck.
"Don't leave, don't leave me," Harry whimpered.
"I swear it," Draco murmured, kissing the trails left by the tears. One hand curling in dark coils, the other clutching Harry's thin waist. He let his lips brush against the Ravenclaw's. Kissing desperately at the frantic response he received.
"My Harry, my love," He whispered as they pulled apart for air. He picked Harry up and moved them to the large couch they were more familiar with. He lay his lover down gently and promised never to let him go. Proving his dedication with gentle hands and soft lips. Loving Harry's body so completely he'd never need anyone but Draco.
They never heard the battle fought outside their private room. Never thought of Dumbledore's death in the Astronomy tower. All that mattered in their world was Harry and Draco. And never letting go.