Disclaimer: J. K Rowling and associates own these characters. I have nothing except imagination.
Pairings: Harry/Draco slash, past Harry/Ginny and Draco/Astoria.
Warnings: Mild swearing, some angst.
Summary: Draco Malfoy tried so hard not to give in to temptation.
On March 27, 2021, Harry James Potter disappeared, leaving behind a wife and three children behind.
March 27th is also the day that Astoria Malfoy née Greengrass found herself escorted out of her home, holding in one hand a letter that demanded—in flawlessly polite language, of course—that she get the fuck off Malfoy property. According to the Malfoy family solicitor, Mr. Malfoy was "unavailable for discussion at this time."
Draco taps his stirring rod against the side of the cauldron, letting the last of the liquid slip down into the mixture, then dampens the flames beneath until they're barely flickering. Only a few minutes to go now—the potion is already emitting curious, spiral-shaped fumes.
"Are you still brewing?" comes a sleepy voice from the other room. "Come to bed."
"I have to let it simmer," Draco protests, but he walks toward the door anyway. "You've never quite appreciated the delicacy of the brewing process."
"Oh, the process of messing about at half-past two with salamander tails and beetle wings, or whatever it is you use?"
"I don't 'mess about'—Malfoys have more dignity than that," Draco sniffs, nearing the bed.
Soft laughter greets him. "What are you making, anyway?"
Taking a breath, Draco carefully perches on the very edge of the covers. "Love, let me tell you a story," he whispers. "Once, there was a man who loved someone very, very much." He presses a kiss onto a bare shoulder. "But he knew that his love would never, ever return those feelings. So the man tried everything he could to move on. He married and saw his love do the same. Yet, still, he couldn't let go, and he despaired.
"After years of misery the man broke and did what he'd sworn to never do. He brewed a very powerful potion-perhaps the most powerful in the world."
"What was the potion like?"
Draco blinks, surprised. "It was—it smelled like Quidditch leather and rose gardens, like chocolate and caramel."
"That doesn't sound so bad," says the other man, settling more deeply into the blankets. "Did it taste good?"
"It—" Draco bites his lip and blinks furiously for a moment. When he starts again, his words are hurried, tumbling over each other like pebbles in a current. "The man—this weak, desperate man—used the potion. Finally, for the first time, he was happy. And his love, he was happy, too.
"So they loved, and taught each other, and understood what they hadn't before, and—it can't be a sin, to seek happiness, can it?" He is pleading now, asking for forgiveness, for salvation.
"Sounds like a story I heard once." The words are soft, blurred with sleep. "Merope thought she'd found happiness, too. But she didn't want to use the potion anymore, and her love left."
"Harry?" Draco's face is very white. "Who's Merope?"
Draco abruptly stands up. "I—I have to check on the potion. Sleep, love."