The haunting sounds washed over him. The song was a very sad sounding melody, beautifully played by expert fingers on an acoustic guitar.
Lucius Malfoy stood slightly back from the door, not willing to interrupt the teen playing the guitar. Which teen it was, he wasn't sure. He had a house full of them right now.
His only child and heir, Draco, had invited about 20 friends to the house for this, the first Christmas season after the defeat of the Dark Lord. Lucius' wife, Narcissa, had chosen to remain by Voldemort's side after Lucius and Draco had defected. When Harry Potter had destroyed Voldemort, all of his loyal Death Eaters had also been destroyed, leaving Lucius a widower and happier than he could ever remember being.
The notes were growing in intensity and the musician now had a rather large audience. Draco was standing in the doorway, his arms around his girlfriend, Hermione Granger. She had tears in her eyes and on her cheeks. Lucius had never hated anyone for their blood ties, or lack thereof, it had only been what was expected of him, as Voldemort's right hand and as a Malfoy. Blaise Zabini had his arm slung over the shoulders of his latest conquest, Seamus Finnegan, who had his arm around the waist of Dean Thomas. That should make for some interesting evenings, thought Lucius.
Ron Weasley, while never really Draco's friend, had been included in the invitation simply because of who he was dating...Pansy Parkinson. If her parents had still been alive, they would have hexed them both to Wales and back, the Weasleys were considered blood traitors, after all. That also had never bothered Lucius. His whole problem with the Weasleys stemmed back to the fact that he had wanted to date Gideon Prewett, but his father and Marcus Prewett had vetoed that immediately. Abraxas Malfoy wouldn't have a poof for a son. The feud had carried over to Molly Prewett and, by marriage, to Arthur Weasley.
He was still trying to figure out who was playing the guitar when the song ended. There was a collective indrawn breath, and the guitar started again. This song was just as sad as the first, but it had the promise of a happier ending. He listened carefully as Granger spoke to Draco in hushed tones.
"I wish that he could find someone to love him. Just him, not who he was made to be." Draco leaned down and kissed the side of her neck.
"I know, Love. I wish we could help. He's just too damned proud to let anyone help him. He deserves love; he deserves forever. He gave us our forever."
Potter. That was who was playing the haunting melodies. Lucius hadn't known that the boy was that talented. Draco could play, but not like this. Not like he was pouring his heart and soul into the music. Lucius wanted to see Potter's face as he played. He wanted to see if he was as enraptured by his music as Lucius was. He had a feeling that, like with everything Potter did, he was unaware of his audience.
The couples started to drift away, leaving Lucius alone again with the music. It ensorcelled him, drawing him into the room with Harry. Potter's back was to the door as he played, so Lucius quietly walked around him. He got his first look at the raven haired boy's face and he was trapped. There were tears streaming down his cheeks from his closed eyes and the expression on his face was one of never ending pain. Lucius wanted to end that pain, to take it away and never see that expression on that beautiful face again.
The song ended and Harry dried the tears from his face without opening his eyes. "Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here." (1)
"Who said that?" Harry jumped slightly as Lucius spoke.
"Albus Dumbledore. Right after the Feast in my first year."
"He was correct. And a very wise man...sometimes."
Harry slanted a look at the older man from under his lashes. "Only sometimes?"
Lucius smiled slightly. "Yes. If he had been a wiser man, he would have seen what effect the war had on you."
"Oh, he knew. He hated the fact that I was made into something that I had no wish to be. I didn't want to be anyone's hero. I just wanted to be a normal kid. I just wanted to be liked and wanted for the first time in my life." Harry sighed deeply. "He didn't know that the whole 'Hero Thing' would backfire on me and people would alternately love me and then hate me."
"If he knew, why didn't he put a stop to it?"
"By the time he and I realized what was happening, it was too late. I was the poster child for 'The Light'. If I had tried to change it or change my image, the whole thing would have come crashing down on me. I never wanted to be a hero. I just wanted to be me."
"You have that chance now. You can be who and what you want to be. You could even disappear. I don't think anyone would think any less of you."
"They would. I need to be seen throughout the rebuilding. After that, I can go. Until then, I'm stuck here, alone, playing hero." A single tear found its way under his lashes and Lucius reached out to gently wipe it away.
"You needn't be alone."
"Who's going to want to be with me? The hero, The Boy Who Lived...The Boy Who Lived To Be Gay."
"Your music has made me realize how alone you are. You need not be alone. I would willingly be with you. Guarding your back, holding you up, supporting you." Lucius knelt in front of Harry.
"Why would Lucius Malfoy want to be with Harry Potter? I'm the same age as your son."
"Music is the strongest form of magic. Your magic has wrapped itself around me. I couldn't fight my way free, even if I wanted to. I don't want to. I want to take your pain away. I want to be the one you turn to for strength, when you find you can no longer go on. I want to be yours." Lucius slowly leaned in and brought his lips to meet Harry's. The kiss was gentle, there were no expectations from this kiss, just a need to comfort and the need for comfort.
Neither of them saw the couple standing in the doorway, watching them. Draco put his arms around Hermione's waist and hugged her tightly.
"Father is right. Music is the strongest form of magic there is. It may just have brought Harry the love he needs."
"And the love your father needs, too. Did he tell you about the Prewetts and his father?"
Draco nodded. "Yes. I think you're right, Love. He's needed someone to care for. Mother wouldn't let him be himself. He couldn't show me his love. It wasn't a thing done by a Death Eater. Now that she's gone, he can be who he really is." He pressed his lips to her neck again. "If he wants Harry, and Harry wants him, I give my full approval. They need this."
The couple moved away from the door, allowing the two inside the room to learn to lean on each other. To begin to learn to love.
(1) Quote from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.