Harry Potter frowned as he set down the book he had been reading on the arm of his chair, ears almost twitching for the sound of the noise that had disturbed him again. He glanced at the clock rested on the mantel piece, eleven o'clock at night. He had almost been dozing in his chair, having been reading for a few hours now. He'd been nice and warm in front of the fire and it had been making him sleepy. That was all before he heard the sharp knock on his front door.
He reached for his book again, thinking he had imagined the whole thing, in his sleepy half conscious state but stopped short when he heard the same sharp knock. He hoisted himself out of his chair slowly and pulled his wand out of the waistband of his jeans and shuffled his way in his socks towards the door. He held his wand up as he unlocked the chain and pulled it open.
"Malfoy!" His wand arm faltered as he saw who was standing on his door step, head hanging lower than normal, a small frown on his face and a bag clutched in his hand, his eyes fixed downwards, at the floor. Harry noticed how he had flinched at the sound of Harry calling him Malfoy, but couldn't bring himself to call him anything else. Harry had never seen him in such a state before and he'd seen him in many different states. His hair was dishevelled and there were dark circles under his eyes. Even his clothes weren't up to their usual standard, his shirt was untucked from his trousers and he'd missed a button halfway down, and his trousers were crumpled and creased.
"Potter," Malfoy said in a hollow voice and nodded while shuffling his feet. Harry hesitated before he moved aside, giving enough room for Malfoy to slip inside, no questions asked. A mixture of curiosity and pity drove Harry to making the decision to let him back inside his house. Malfoy nodded his gratitude and stepped into the hall avoiding his eyes still, looking around him even though it should be more than familiar. Harry closed the door behind him, sealing them both off from the world outside.
"Erm, want to go into the living room?" Harry said, gesturing forward, he shuffled past him and led him into the cosy dimly lit room, snatching up his book as he went, closing it and storing it in the bookcase across the room.
Malfoy awkwardly shuffled around the door, alternating between rubbing the back of his neck and sweeping his thumb over the finger that used to hold his wedding band. Harry gestured for him to sit on the couch, and took his previous seat by the fire. He tucked his legs up and under himself and watched Malfoy from across the room. Malfoy couldn't decide whether he wanted to cross his legs or not and Harry had to refrain from sniggering at his obvious unease. It was just so weird to see him so uncontrolled and uncomfortable.
"I'm not going to ask any personal questions Malfoy." Harry said and ignored the twitch Malfoy gave at the sound of his surname. "All I need to know is why you choose me. Why did you choose to come here?" Harry said softly after a few minutes of awkward silence.
"That's why. Because I knew you wouldn't ask questions," Malfoy said, his focus on his shoes, that Harry now realised were scuffed at the toes.
"Are you sure that's all?" Harry asked his focus unfaltering towards Malfoy. His eyes were trained on every little movement that he was making. Like the way that his fingers were messaging where his wedding band used to be, and the way that his leg was jerking randomly, nervously.
"Yes." Malfoy said loudly with little to no conviction. He looked up at Harry, dropping his hands to both knees and sitting back in his chair, Harry could only assume that it was an attempt to make it look as if he wasn't lying. Harry knew him better than that.
"Liar," he said and their eyes met for the first time since Malfoy had stepped inside the house. Harry knew exactly what he was really feeling from just that look. He knew what he was going to say before he even thought about it, never mind said it. He was already, up and out of his chair and half way across the room before Malfoy formulated the words.
"Because I made a mistake. Because I miss you," Malfoy said quietly but with no quiver to his voice and sharing eye contact with Harry the entire time. Harry perched on the edge of the couch beside him and took his empty left hand and threaded his bare fingers through Malfoy's.
"That's all I needed Draco. You look tired," Harry said. Draco blinked once and nodded uncertainly, clearly taken aback by the sudden attention.
"Exhausted," he whispered, his eyes darting across Harry's face focusing on the smile that had appeared on his lips in the past couple of seconds.
"You know where the bedroom is, I'll be up in a minute," Harry said, pulling the other man up to his feet. He squeezed his hand before dropping it and stepping over to the fireplace, to start extinguishing the flames.
"That's all I needed to say?" Draco asked from the door, where he had stopped, slightly confused and uncertain, in case this was all some kind of trick or trap, some kind of payback.
"There is no point in messing around with fancy words and too many apologies. I know you mean it and I can see you're broken. Why waste time with words that don't even need to be said, when we already know the truth?" Harry said. Draco nodded and shifted the bag from one hand to the other. He left the room and Harry turned back to the fire, extinguishing it with a flick of his wand.
Harry shuffled around the room, socks sliding on the wooden floors while he plumped cushions and extinguished candles. He was contently warm and back to feeling delightfully sleepy now that he knew that his house was to feel like a home again, that it was fuller because its rightful occupants were both back in it.
Okay well this probably took me three hours to write, roughly, which to be honest is pretty damn good for me. Of course these three hours also included having something to eat and various browsing of the internet. It's not perfect, as I just finished it and have posted it but it's about as perfect as I need it to be. It's too long to be a drabble [or is it though? I don't know] but too short to be a one shot [Again, maybe it's not] so whatever you want to call this, here it is.
There I was working away on Home is where the heart is and this idea popped into my head and I thought I better write it before the novelty wore off. I'm still on that first chapter of the new story, it's just about breeching 5,000 words, but I'm almost finished it. I could easily [very easily] split it into three chapters but I promised my chapters would be longer and there would be less of them this time around. I do try to keep my promises. Plus I find that fics are easier to read when there are less but longer chapters, but maybe that's just me.