Hello, dollies. :) It's been a while! I'm working on a story right now that is fairly long, so I beg your forgiveness. It's going to be great, though, so it'll be worth it!

This little ditty is a birthday present for the lovely InLoveWithTheIdeaOfLove (there are periods between the words, but FF won't let me do that!) Happy birthday, darling girl. I hope it's been wonderful.

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K. Rowling. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

A Little More Love in the World

"Dumbledore would have been happier than anybody to think that there was a little more love in the world."

Harry walked down the flight of stairs to the Gryffindor common room, pulling on his cloak and scarf as he went. He needed to take a walk outside. He hadn't been alone in some time. In fact, the only times he was left to himself were after the lights were out and, ironically, those were the times he desperately wished he had somebody to share a bed with.

The war was over, but life hadn't changed as Harry had expected.

He'd anticipated a great weight to be lifted from his shoulders; to feel free. He had time to hang out with Ron and Hermione, to do whatever he wanted, because there was no early death hovering nearby. He could date Ginny and have time to get to know her and fall in love. To get married, even, if they wanted. There was time to explore relationships and emotions, and find out what it was like to be devoted to someone, because he was no longer devoted to Voldemort.

And, embarrassing as it was for him to admit, he could experiment with sex. During the war, it had been the last thing on his mind. He'd had no time for a decent relationship, let alone one that involved sex. Now he had all the time in the world to explore.

There was a world of opportunities now.

But that wasn't what had happened. Suddenly, Ginny held no attraction. They'd gotten as far removing her shirt, and Harry'd had to back out. Ron and Hermione, his once beloved friends, were just friends. Nothing more. No longer the people he stuck with through thick and thin, because there was no more thick. There was nothing. No purpose. Nothing to live for. Not even Ginny, who he'd once imagined himself marrying, gave him hope.

It was a Saturday, and Harry had been staring blankly into Sirius's mirror while everyone else was in the common room. All the "eighth years" were put into their own common room, because there were so few. Six boys: Malfoy, Nott, Neville, Seamus, Ron, and Harry; and five girls: Hermione, Lavender, Parkinson, Bulstrode, and Daphne Greengrass. No one failed to notice that neither students from Ravenclaw nor Hufflepuff had come back, as they had been able to finish their seventh years. Most had come back just to take their N.E.W.T.s in the beginning. It was only the Gryffindors, who had been active participants on the light side, and the Slytherins, active on the dark side, who hadn't properly finished school. Unfortunately, the males shared one dorm, as did the females. It was quite chaotic, even as they neared the end of December.

Harry was just pulling on his hat and gloves when Hermione stopped him before he could exit the portrait hole. It was located in a previously unused South Tower, the entrance in a seventh floor corridor.

"Where are you going, Harry?" He sighed before turning to face her. She'd noticed his declining mood and been adamant about figuring it out lately. It was driving Harry up a wall, and he thought if she asked why he was so down one more time he might just throw something at her head.

"Outside. I won't be long. I promise. I just need a walk." Hermione eyed him uncertainly. "Really, Hermione. I'm just taking a walk around the lake."

"What's wrong, Harry?" she asked, deep concern evident in her brown eyes. "You've been so distant. Please, talk to me. Would you like me to come with?" Without his approval she turned to head back toward the girls' dorms, but Harry stopped her with a hand on her shoulder.

"No." She turned back to him and bit her lip. "Hermione, I promise I won't be long. I just need some time alone." Again, she eyed him with worry.

"Okay. Just ... be back for dinner. You ... haven't been eating much ..." He could tell from her expression that she knew he wouldn't like to hear that. No, he hadn't been eating much, but it was simply because he hadn't been particularly hungry.

"I solemnly swear," he said with only the hint of a smile. She didn't smile back. She merely nodded and returned to her seat and book. Ron was playing wizard's chess with Seamus while Neville watched. Nott, Harry saw, was on the other side of the common room, reading by himself. Pansy and Millicent were talking nearby. Malfoy and the other girls were nowhere to be seen.

With a grateful sigh Harry exited the portrait and made his quick way down to the entrance hall, evading any students wandering about, and walked through the front doors into the bitterly cold winter air.

Even with his scarf, hat, gloves, and heavy cloak the wind bit at his skin.

He walked along the ground toward the forest, passing Hagrid's cabin as he went. He missed Hagrid. He missed the old Hagrid. After the war, his once-happy, outgoing half-giant friend was always on edge. He shook a lot, and he often stopped in the middle of sentences because he lost his train of thought. He was different. Everyone was different. Harry was different. It hurt.

He stopped at the edge of the forest, knowing immediately why he'd come here. It was where he'd entered the forest that night less than a year ago to die. Or so he'd initially thought. It was where he'd seen the ghosts of Sirius and Remus, of his mother and father; it was where he thought he might find solace again.

Harry walked without further hesitation into the damp darkness of the Forbidden Forest, allowing memories of that night to wash over him like a nightmare. His heart beat frantically in his chest as though he would once more find Voldemort waiting in a clearing to end his life. He could practically feel the weight of the Snitch in his pocket. He absent-mindedly patted his jeans, almost ready to feel it there. It wasn't there, though, because it was somewhere in these woods. Harry knew it would be nigh impossible to find, but he couldn't help scanning the forest floor anyway.

He wandered about for a few minutes aimlessly, stopping several times when a patch of sunlight would catch his eye.

He only stopped when he saw the clearing ahead. For a fraction of a second he thought he could hear Voldemort's high-pitched laughter, but it died away quickly and he strode purposefully forward, looking for something, though he didn't know what it was.

When he stepped through the trees into the clearing he gasped and stumbled backward, having been entirely unprepared for another presence.

Malfoy looked up from a log he sat on and his eyes went wide when he saw Harry.

"Potter?" he said, sounding as dazed as Harry felt.

"I ..." Harry began, but trailed off when he realized he had nothing to say. "Malfoy? What are you ... I mean, what ..?" He simply couldn't find words, so he stopped, choosing to stare at the blond boy in utter bewilderment instead. Malfoy flushed red and looked down at his feet. His fingers were restless in his lap. After a moment's silence he stood and began walking toward Harry, stopping again when he was halfway there.

"I just ..." He stopped before finishing his thought. He looked up at Harry with an unreadable expression. "I was just leaving."

Harry remembered to move a moment before it was too late, hopping in front of Malfoy and holding his arms out to stop him. Malfoy looked up at him in confusion, fear very subtly evident in his eyes.

"Malfoy, what are you doing here?" Harry managed, hoping he sounded more confident than he felt.

"I was thinking," Malfoy said quietly, refusing to meet Harry's stare. "But I'm leaving now."

"Wait," Harry said, moving in front of him once again when he tried to leave. Malfoy met his eyes this time, and Harry saw that he was beginning to get annoyed.


"I ..." He trailed off, unsure of what to say. He knew he should have just let the boy go, but he was deeply curious as to what he'd been doing in the forest, and in this spot. Malfoy raised an eyebrow. Harry felt himself flush. "Why here?" he asked lamely.

"I'm not sure that's any of your business, Potter," he said coldly. Harry bit his lip. He didn't know why he was so interested. He just knew that he was. And on top of that, he felt a niggling little part of his brain telling him that he wanted the company. Draco Malfoy's company, specifically. If there was anyone who wouldn't treat him as though he might break at any moment, it was this boy, and Harry desperately needed that. He frantically wracked his brain for something to say that would postpone Malfoy's departure.

"Was it an accident?"

"Was what an accident?" There was almost no trace of fear left in Malfoy's voice — he merely sounded irritated.

"This spot." Harry bit his lip, trying to think of a better way to phrase it. "I mean, did you find this spot on purpose, or was it just by chance —"

"Potter, why in the world would I have specifically sought out this particular clearing? No, it was not on purpose. Am I to assume you did mean to come here?"

Harry looked down, suddenly wishing he'd just let Malfoy leave. This was approaching dangerous territory. He hardly wanted to discuss the events of that night with Malfoy. He looked up again to find that Malfoy was looking at him skeptically. He rolled his eyes.

"Goodbye, Potter."

Harry pinched the bridge of his nose, quickly contemplating what he could possibly say to make Malfoy just stay longer.

He took a deep breath and turned around.

"Malfoy." The blond turned and stared at him in annoyance. Harry could feel his knees and hands shaking violently. "Er — canyoustay?"


Harry squeezed his eyes shut and tried again.

"Can you stay for a little?"

Malfoy's eyes were wide. "Why?" he asked suspiciously, as though Harry had offered him a particularly shady-looking Weasley sweet.

"I just …" He sighed and allowed himself a moment to gather his thoughts before looking back up at Malfoy and staring him directly in the eyes, feeling oddly relieved by the familiar gray ones staring back. "I'd like some company."

"From me?" Malfoy spluttered. It was a rare moment of ineloquence and Harry couldn't help but smile.

"From someone who won't treat me like I'll break any moment."

This seemed to be the right thing to say because Malfoy looked down and nodded, as though he knew exactly how Harry was feeling. And Harry thought that perhaps he did.

"Can I ask you a question, Potter?" said Malfoy suddenly.

"Uh — sure."

"Are you happy?"

The question was so blunt — so abrupt — that Harry was momentarily lost for words. What did he say to that? What should he say to that? What did that even mean? And why was Malfoy asking?

And then he realized that it was the first time anyone had ever asked. Hermione had asked what was wrong. People always assumed something was wrong. But no one ever just asked whether he was happy; he was never given the option of lying and saying that he was. And he felt strangely vulnerable because of it.

Which was why he surprised himself by answering honestly.

"No," he said, watching Malfoy for a reaction. But it never came. Malfoy merely nodded. "Why?"

Malfoy shrugged. "I thought you'd be unbearable when we came back." He looked up at Harry and folded his arms over his chest, looking almost as though he was hugging himself for warmth even though he was wearing plenty of clothes. "Like a stupid little ball of sunshine."

Harry couldn't help but smile softly. Malfoy was different, too — but in a good way. He still had that snarky, biting tongue, but the venom in his words was gone.

"Is that not what I turned out to be?"

"No," Malfoy said shortly. "You're worse." Harry's smile dropped immediately. The almost-warm bubble that had seemed to engulf him since he'd started talking to Malfoy popped. He hadn't realized he'd been nearly floating on the feeling until now. "I thought seeing you like that would make me miserable, but this —" he gestured to Harry and shook his head "— is unbearable. You're horribly depressing."

Harry looked at him sadly and said the only thing he could think of to say: "I'm sorry." He said it quietly enough that had anyone been standing more than a few feet away they wouldn't have heard it. But Malfoy did. He looked down.

"I miss everyone," he continued softly. "I … I came here — to this spot — because it's where Voldemort was waiting for me." Malfoy looked up finally, his eyes wide. "I had the Resurrection Stone, and I saw my parents. And Sirius and Lupin."

"The Resurrection Stone..? From … from the Tale of —?"

"Yeah," Harry chuckled. "It's a long story. But that's why I came back here today. I don't know … I guess I thought I might … it sounds stupid, but I thought maybe it would feel less lonely here. Like I'd be able to remember seeing my parents better if I came back …"

Harry glanced up and met Malfoy's eyes and for the first time he noticed how pretty they were. Not just the cold gray that they'd always been, but a silvery-blue. They held more life and depth than Harry could ever remembering seeing in them and he felt a tug in his stomach that had nothing to do with loneliness and everything to do with Malfoy.

"You wouldn't think I'd be lonely," he said, never looking away from Malfoy's eyes. "But I am. Truth is, I can't stand being around anyone anymore. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I'm so unhappy." He laughed bitterly and looked up at the sky through a small opening in the branches, wrapping his arms around himself subconsciously. "Maybe I should just stay here, you know?" And now he looked back at Malfoy, who still hadn't moved, but looked decidedly upset. "Let myself waste away. Or get eaten by some horrifying creature. That would be ironic, wouldn't it? If I died here, where Voldemort had intended to kill me in the first pl —"

Harry was taken entirely by surprise when his sentence was cut short by Malfoy, who had quickly taken a step forward and then pressed his mouth to Harry's. Harry gasped in surprise, flinching backward as he did so, but Malfoy followed him, putting his hands on Harry's shoulders this time to hold him in place. Harry's eyes remained open in shock for only a few more moments before he smiled and closed his eyes, catching Malfoy in a slow kiss. Malfoy's hands wound around Harry's neck and Harry found himself reaching out for his waist, finding the loops on his denims, and using them to pull Malfoy closer.

Malfoy broke the kiss off and breathed a laugh into Harry's mouth and Harry felt the smile that accompanied it. His neck was tugged forward so that their foreheads rested together. It was very cold out, but Harry could feel Malfoy's warm breath between them and it gave him goose bumps.

He opened his eyes.

Malfoy's face looked different. Softer, somehow. Up close he could see how long his pale eyelashes were. Right now there were resting against his high cheekbones.

"Why did you do that?" he asked quietly.

When Malfoy opened his eyes Harry saw the beautiful irises again and found himself thinking, I could fall in love with him. Malfoy shrugged.

"I wanted to."

"Just out of the blue?" Harry laughed. Malfoy smiled.

"Not really. I've wanted to do that for quite some time, actually. This just seemed like the right time, I suppose."

Harry's eyebrows rose beneath his hairline. "How long exactly?"

"A few years."

"A few —!"

"But," Malfoy said with a smirk, cutting him off, "as I've been waiting so long, I'd much rather continue rather than prolonging it anymore." He leaned forward again but Harry pulled away, smiling as he did so. Malfoy huffed in irritation.

"Was it only a kiss you've wanted?"

He saw a fire light in Malfoy's eyes and it sent a shiver down his spine. It was the first strong emotion other than depression that he'd felt in a long time. He couldn't put a name to it, though. It wasn't just lust — although that was surely there — but something warmer. Something comforting and exciting and hopeful all at the same time.

"Depends what you mean by that," said Malfoy quietly. Harry smiled and leaned in to kiss Malfoy again, just a brush of lips, but it served as a promise. He wasn't sure what that promise was, and he didn't think Malfoy was sure either, but it meant something. It had to, because once again Harry shivered, and it felt wonderful.

"Let's go back to the dorm," Harry said, feeling blood already beginning to rush south. It was a lovely feeling. He hadn't been turned on by something in months. Everything had seemed much too pointless. But suddenly this boy before him — whom he'd known for nearly eight years and only managed to fight with in that time — looked like the very embodiment of everything Harry could ever want. How he'd never noticed before, he didn't know. All he knew was that Malfoy looked absolutely gorgeous in the small bit of sunlight that peeked through the trees, his gray eyes sparkling with excitement and his cheeks dusted pink from the cold.

Hermione sat with Ron in a chair by the fireplace in the common room, trying not to mull over Harry's recent behavior because she knew it would get her nowhere. She couldn't help it, though! He was her best friend and he was so clearly hurting. But he wouldn't tell her what was wrong — he wouldn't let her help! She knew it was affecting Ron, too, but he hadn't said much on the subject.

She was startled from her thoughts when the portrait opened and she turned to find a sight that nearly had her eyes bulging out of her head in shock. Harry was stepping through the portrait, but his hand was interlaced with another, paler one, and attached to that hand, coming through the portrait a second later, was Draco Malfoy. Both boys were smiling like they had a secret which only the two of them shared.

She watched with her mouth hanging open (as did just about everyone else in the common room) as the two made their way calmly toward the stairs that led to the boys' dorms and ascended without saying a single word. Simultaneously everyone in the common room looked over to where Ron and Hermione sat.

Ron opened his mouth but nothing came out for a moment. He tried again.

"I'm going to che—" Hermione placed a hand on Ron's arm and forced him to sit back down, a smile beginning to make its way onto her face.

"Leave them," she said. And now she really did smile.

"But, Hermione …"

"I have a feeling we're going to get our best friend back, Ron. Let them be." She kissed Ron on the cheek and he sighed dramatically.

"As long as we never have to have Christmas dinner with good ole' Lucius."

Harry crawled on top of Draco, who was lying on Harry's bed, his breathing already harsh from anticipation. Harry smirked and lowered his head so he was breathing across Draco's throat. He felt Draco's breath hitch.

"Are you happy?" he whispered. Draco shook his head. "Why?"

It took a moment for Draco to respond. His knees, unconsciously it seemed, became tighter around Harry's waist.

"Because you looked miserable."

Harry smiled to himself before finally planting a small kiss to the underside of Draco's jaw. He heard Draco breathe his name—his first name—and suddenly the erection that had been burgeoning ever since the forest was completely stiff. He groaned and buried his face in the crook of Draco's neck and shoulder.

"It was all my fault?"

Draco gently pulled his head back up so they could look at each other, noses centimeters apart. Harry looked back and forth between Draco's eyes and found nothing but certainty there. It frightened him and made him inexplicably happy at the same time.

"Everything is your fault. Always."

"Does that mean I can make you happy?"

"It means I'm not sure anyone else can."

Harry shook his head with a smile and kissed Draco's cheek. Draco blushed beautifully.

"Draco Malfoy, when did you become a sap?"

Draco laughed. "When I realized it was the only way to win a Gryffindor's heart."

And even though that was possibly one of the corniest things Harry had ever heard, it made his heart flutter and his stomach do a somersault and he couldn't help himself as he attached his mouth to Draco's again, more passionately than before, and began fumbling with his clothing. Draco was making breathy little whimpers and moans and by the time Harry had divested them both of all their clothing he was harder than he could ever remember being in his life.

"Merlin, I'm so hard for you right now," he said into Draco's ear as he slipped a saliva-soaked finger into Draco's entrance. Draco arched and bit his lip.

"Yes," he breathed, and Harry wasn't even sure Draco was aware of having said it. "Please."

He was astounded by how tight Draco felt. Just this one finger must have been hurting him, but if it was, Draco wasn't showing it. He looked to be completely consumed by his own pleasure. Harry peppered small kisses all over his flushed face as he slowly drew his finger out and pushed it back in, settling into a rhythm that Draco could get used to. When he thought he had, he added another, and Draco only hissed once before relaxing again.

"I'm — I'm a virgin, you know," Draco said breathlessly, opening his eyes to meet Harry's. Harry felt so stunned for a moment that his fingers stopped moving. "Don't stop!" Draco shouted, but Harry didn't resume.

"Are … are you sure you want —"

"Merlin, Harry, I've never been more sure of anything in my life." He leaned up and kissed him soundly. Harry just barely kissed back, not because he didn't want to, but because he was so shocked. Yes, he'd thought Draco Malfoy had had his fair share of sexual encounters, but that wasn't what was so surprising. It was the fact that he wanted his first time to be with Harry. He must have noticed Harry's gobsmacked expression because he placed a gentle hand on Harry's cheek. "When you found me in the forest earlier," he whispered, "I was trying to figure out why I shouldn't just off myself." Harry's stomach churned. "And then you showed up and I thought, 'Oh yeah. That's why.'"

Tears sprang up in Harry's eyes before he could attempt to shove them away. He smiled a watery, incredulous smile and kissed Draco again at the same time that he pulled his fingers out of his arse. He licked his palm thoroughly and spread his saliva and precome over his impossibly hard length before lining it up with Draco's arsehole.

Draco smiled softly and closed his eyes, breathing deeply in preparation. Harry watched Draco's face carefully as he popped the head of his cock through. The sensation was unbelievable. He'd never really imagined himself with a bloke before, but this … this was incredible. It wasn't just the fact that it was a bloke, though. It was Draco. And suddenly Harry couldn't understand why he hadn't realized it before.

Of course it was Draco. Who the hell else could it be?

He found himself laughing and Draco's eyes opened. He raised an eyebrow.

"What's funny?" he asked breathlessly.

Harry inched the rest of the way in, loving the way Draco's eyes rolled back in his head, and leaned forward so that his lips were just touching Draco's.

"It's always been you," he whispered. Draco didn't open his eyes but Harry felt his breathing speed up. "It's why I've never been able to just leave you alone. And you've always know, haven't you?"

Draco did open his eyes now and the intensity of the gray made Harry dizzy for a moment.

"Not always." He hissed again as Harry pulled out slowly and pushed back in. Harry had to bite his lip to keep from groaning too loud. "But once I figured it out it felt like I'd always known."

Harry buried his face in Draco's neck and mouthed the skin there lazily as he started to build up a rhythm, paying special attention to the sounds Draco would make and trying to commit them to memory.

It took a few minutes, but he finally found a spot that made Draco scream out in pleasure and from then on Harry tried to target that spot on each thrust.

"Harry," Draco breathed, fingers tangled in his hair so tightly it hurt. "Harry, I'm … I'm so close …"

"Good." He sped up and Draco gasped, his fingers tightening and causing Harry to moan in both pleasure and sudden pain. "Let go. Let yourself go, Draco."

Draco whimpered and arched up enough so that his cock rubbed against Harry's belly, smearing precome there. Harry moved one of his hands from beside Draco's head and wrapped it around his leaking erection, stroking in time with his own thrusts.

"Yes!" he shouted, and now his legs wrapped around Harry's back and he tensed his whole body. Harry groaned and nipped at Draco's jaw. "Harry …"

"Come on," Harry urged. "Come for me."

"Kiss me."

Harry did, harder than any time before, and he swallowed Draco's shout of release as he came all over both of their stomachs. It took only a few more harsh thrusts before Harry, too, was emptying himself inside of Draco.

When they were both spent Harry dropped down on top of him and after a moment reached for his wand to clear the mess.

He turned back to Draco and they locked eyes. They both began laughing.

Harry cuddled against Draco's side and wrapped a leg around him, nuzzling into his bare chest. He listened to the sound of his heart and let it soothe him.

"What now?" he whispered. Draco was stroking his hair slowly. It was so comforting that he thought he could have fallen asleep in the span of a few seconds.

"Nothing," Draco said, and he could actually hear the relief in his voice. Harry's eyebrows drew together and he sat up on one elbow to look at him. Draco smiled so widely that it lit up his whole face. "Now we see what happens, one day at a time."

And in Harry's mind, which had once been filled with plans and destinies and prophecies and regrets, no words had ever sounded sweeter.