What to say about this story...
Basic things to know: Songfic. AU seventh year, but only slightly; subtle changes to the timeline are referenced in the story, and if something isn't specifically mentioned then you can assume it's the same as in canon. This is a Drarry slash story, so if that bothers you, you don't want to read on. Our story opens with the boys already in a relationship.
I've been sitting on this fic for a long, long time, editing, reworking, trying to get it perfect. It's still not perfect, but at this point I doubt it will ever be. I just feel that the song, Glitter in the Air by P!nk, is just so lovely and transcendent. To me, it is the Drarry theme, and so I wanted to do justice to it. Whether I did or not... that's up to you to decide, isn't it?
P.S.: I now have a prequel of sorts up, called "One Condition." It's not necessary to read it before this one, because both stand alone, but I thought you might be interested :)
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry, Draco, or any other part of JKR's wonderful Potter universe. I write only for the love of the characters and for personal enjoyment, not for any money.
An Endless Night
Harry Potter appears quite suddenly in Draco Malfoy's bedroom. He looks up through his fringe, which, like all his hair, is noticeably longer than usual, and, upon catching sight of the stunned blond by the desk, smiles triumphantly for the briefest of seconds before he lurches forward, knees buckling.
Draco darts to his side to steady him. Harry's weight against his side, although less than it had been when he'd last held the man, is comforting and warm. A broken wand tumbles out of Harry's slack fingers, and only then does Draco really comprehend that not only has Harry smashed though the wards, he's Apparated completely silently. Both require a tremendous amount of energy, and it's no wonder the wand (not Harry's phoenix one, he notices idly) couldn't handle the power surging through it. Harry collapses gratefully onto the soft emerald sheets of Draco's bed, flopping down on his back. This leaves one of Draco's arms pinned underneath Harry- not that either of them really mind. Draco smiles and snuggles close to the dark-haired man, head on Harry's chest, listening to the steady beat of his heart.
Have you ever fed a lover with just your hands?
Closed your eyes and trusted, just trusted?
"Harry?" Draco prompts quietly.
"Hi," he replies, giving Draco's shoulders a little squeeze. Harry's voice bounces around his chest in echoey vibrations before slipping into Draco's ear like a caress.
Draco feels perfectly content merely to lie there and listen to Harry breathe, feel the warmth of his body, as an assurance that the man is alive. How he has worried, these past eight months, how many nights has he awoken with visions of Harry's crumpled body seared into his brain. Every day he dreaded getting the Prophet for fear of what news it might bring. But no, Harry is alright. Better yet, Harry is here. Each thump of his heart fills Draco with peacefulness and calm.
Harry's stomach chooses that moment to give a loud grumble, betraying the fact that Harry can't have been eating properly these long months on the run. Draco sits up, intending to call a house-elf for some food, but Harry shoots upright and grabs his wrist, stopping him immediately.
"Don't go," he whispers. "Please... I need you here with me."
Draco doesn't think of leaving for a second longer. Not when Harry's voice is so desperate and pleading. "Of course," the blond says. He sinks back down on the bed, feeling the calloused skin of Harry's fingers against his jumping pulse. Draco gently raises his hands to Harry's shoulders and begins to massage.
He smiles softly as Harry's eyes slip closed and a sigh escapes him. Draco's fingers move deftly, kneading in strong, sure circles. With each movement he can feel the tension leave Harry's body, months of uncertainty and hardship flowing away like water, just at Draco's touch. The warmth and pressure seeps in, rippling through each and every muscle, even the ones in Harry's stomach, and they cease their cramping and squeezing.
Have you ever thrown a fistful of glitter in the air?
Have you ever looked fear in the face and said "I just don't care?"
After the last gentle squeeze, Harry brings his hand up to grasp Draco's, still resting on his shoulder. He turns slowly and kisses Draco's fingers. Draco smiles and leans forward until his forehead rests against Harry's, their breath mingles. He whispers, "You're welcome."
Harry smiles slowly, the expression unfolding like a flower opens, and leans forward to cross the final distance between their lips. But before they make contact, the fireplace roars to life, and Draco scrambles off the bed to pull the curtains around it and shield Harry before the face appears in the flames. It belongs to Narcissa Malfoy, and is war-weary and lined. Draco kneels in front of his mother.
"Darling, we're having a meeting in the drawing room."
Years of rigidly controlling his reactions are all that prevent Draco from glancing over his shoulder to where Harry sits. "I'm sorry, Mother, but I will not be attending."
She is, understandably, taken aback. "Draco, listen to yourself! If you-"
"I don't care," he says bluntly, making his mother cringe. "I am entitled to one day to myself. You can tell whomever cares to ask that today I am unavailable for meetings or missions or anything of the sort."
Narcissa blinks coolly several times, unable to speak. Finally, she manages a curt, "As you wish," and withdraws from the fire in a whirl of green. Draco takes a deep breath and rises, hands shaking.
Harry pokes his head out of the curtains. "Was that wise? Won't they be angry?"
"Absolutely," Draco admits. "And the thought of what they might do is, frankly, terrifying. But my mother will have the sense to say I am taken ill, and I don't believe that anyone really nasty is in attendance, or she would have insisted."
Harry begins to worry his bottom lip. "Are you sure you-"
"Harry. You are more important," Draco assures him. Harry looks vaguely surprised, since Draco doesn't often say things like that outright, and trips forward to wrap Draco in his arms
It's only half past the point of no return
The tip of the iceberg, the sun before the burn
The thunder before the lightning, and the breath before the phrase
Have you ever felt this way?
Harry inhales deeply, reveling in that uniquely Draco scent of citrus and vanilla and something he can't quite name, though he has tried many times. The closest he's come is 'home.'
It is extraordinary how much that scent, and the man it came from, has come to mean to Harry in so short a time. It seems to hold continual promise, like a perpetual beginning, because no matter how far he goes with Draco, how often they kiss or touch or make love, there will always be more to come, and it will always be different and special. Magical, he sometimes thinks.
They're like a force of nature, he supposes. Outwardly opposing, seeming to clash, like fire and ice, or to compete, like thunder and lightning battling for attention in the sky. Yet they are part of some bigger whole, a single storm or cycle, and when they allow themselves to work together, the result is unstoppable and untamable.
And maybe as enduring as the forces of nature, too. Maybe some reminder would always be on earth, like ashes, to carry the memory, to preserve the beauty that was them, together. Maybe it wouldn't necessarily end, not completely, anyway, even after he-
"You're very quiet today," Draco comments, breaking though Harry's thoughts.
"Just thinking," he replies, reluctantly letting go. Draco grasps his hand and entwines their fingers.
"A lot of things," Harry answers, and now is the perfect opportunity to tell Draco, to broach the subject. It had been why he'd come, after all. But Harry looks into his lover's peaceful, joyous face and can't bring himself to say it. So he continues, "Remember how this all started?"
Draco smiles wistfully. "How could I not? It was the shock of my life, waking up to find you at my bedside in the Hospital Wing."
"Well, I had to see for myself that you were okay... have I told you how sorry I am about using that curse?"
"Many times. To the point of tedium."
Harry can't help but smile. 'Tedium' was one of those words that would seem horribly pretentious if anyone other than Draco used it. "Right... well, yeah, I was there in the Hospital Wing, and you asked to see my Patronus. Which was bloody bizarre, I'll have you know."
"Well, I really didn't get the chance to appreciate it properly the last time, seeing as how it was charging straight at me."
"In fairness, you were trying to sabotage my Quidditch game. Anyway, I've always wondered why you wanted to see it at all."
"I needed to feel happy. It had been so long since I could truly say I was happy... and Patronuses are basically concentrated happiness."
"Are you happy now?" Harry whispers. He always had that little bit of insecurity that reared its head at the most inopportune times.
"Harry, I've never been happier." As Harry leans over to kiss Draco, he feels that, should he cast it now, his Patronus would be the strongest in history.
Have you ever hated yourself for staring at the phone?
Your whole life waiting on the ring to prove you're not alone...
"Since you're here, I take it your mission is complete?" Draco asks hopefully.
Back to this again, Harry thinks, and the pain in his heart stabs violently. "No, not yet," he says, and sighs. "But I was lonely."
"Lonely? You were with Granger and Weasley; how could you be lonely?"
"Ron and Hermione are great," says Harry slowly. "But they're not... they've always been very into each other, and ever since Ron came back they're very much in their own world."
"A couples' world?" Draco asks shrewdly.
"Yeah. They got together about two weeks ago."
"It's certainly about time. Even Goyle was beginning to notice the tension between those two." That coaxes a reluctant smile out of Harry. Draco squeezes his hand. "Go on, Harry. You can tell me."
That sends another pang through Harry's heart. He's going to have to tell Draco, but it isn't what he is expecting to hear. And Harry himself has absolutely no idea what to say. He needs the comfort Draco provides, now more than ever. "I... I think some of it is my fault. Because I'm so used to doing things for myself, without help, because of how the Dursleys raised me. And I don't always tell them things, and they know that. But I- I just can't. They're in enough danger just being around me."
"You think they don't know that? They're fully aware of the risks, and they've accepted it. And, Harry- look at me- you have to stop blaming yourself for every bad thing that happens."
Have you ever been touched so gently you had to cry?
Have you ever invited a stranger to come inside?
"You're right," Harry says. He knows it's true, but that doesn't stop some things from being his fault...
"Aren't I always?" Draco asks, with his patented Malfoy Smirk that Harry has come to love so much.
"Most of the time, yeah," he admits. "Especially when it comes to me... I- there's actually another reason I feel so lonely. Because no one really understands me like you do."
Draco beams. "Funny, that, isn't it? I feel exactly the same way, yet when this all began, before we had that conversation in hospital, we were basically complete strangers."
"Not complete strangers," Harry corrects. He wraps an arm around Draco's shoulders, and the blond leans into the touch. Harry smiles to himself and begins to trace soft circles on Draco's arm, his fingers barely brushing the skin beneath Draco's robe, figure eights and spirals ghosting over gooseflesh. "We always did seem to know how to get under each other's skin, almost intuitively. But I know what you mean; we're lucky."
"Not lucky enough," Draco murmurs, so softly Harry almost doesn't hear him.
"Sorry?" he asks, and then is shocked to see tears welling up in Draco's eyes. "Draco, what's wrong?"
"Nothing," he sighs. "It's just... I thought everything would be over by now, and we could be together. But it's not, and it won't be for a long time."
"It'll be finished sooner than you think, Draco," says Harry, hoping he's been able to keep the emotional quaver out of his voice. The brief flash across Draco's eyes tells him he hasn't.
Draco raises his head to see Harry's face, and Harry drinks in the sight of the pale skin and angular lines he has grown to love so much. "Sometimes I believe that, Harry, I swear I do. But other times, it's just too much... I constantly feel as if time is slipping away, the clock is ticking, and everything we have, the perfect moments like this, are too fragile, that they'll be broken in an instant."
"Oh, Draco," sighs Harry, and leans down to kiss away his tears, heart breaking because he knows full well he'll be causing much more in a moment or two when he says what he needs to say.
It's only half past the point of oblivion
the hourglass on the table, the walk before the run
The breath before the kiss, and the fear before the phrase
Have you ever felt this way?
Harry's lips are warm and plaint and as plump as Draco remembers, and he doesn't even mind that they're chapped and cracked, because they taste like Harry- because they are Harry. It's a soft kiss, light, but as passionate as always, and Draco's breath catches as Harry pulls away and allows Draco a glimpse of his gorgeous eyes.
He is terrified by the words that well up in his throat, because although he has known for some time now, he's never said it aloud. What if Harry doesn't feel the same way? But he forces himself to speak anyway, while he knows he has Harry here to listen. They have no guarantees of tomorrow. "I love you."
"I love you, too," Harry breathes huskily, and now he is kissing Draco again, deep and long and fierce, running his hands through the silky blonde hair, pressing their bodies as close together as they can get, and then closer still. All the while, Draco notices the hot, salty tears leaking from Harry's eyes and sliding down his grimy cheeks.
Draco knows something important is coming, and he gently pulls back to look Harry full in the face. "What's the matter?"
The Gryffindor takes a huge breath, steadying himself, and opens his mouth to speak when there's a loud crack! and a house-elf appears in the room.
"Timmy, I forbid you from saying anything- anything- about this to anyone," Draco says sternly as the elf's wide eyes take in the sight of him and Harry. The creature nods. "What is it that you want, Timmy? I thought I told my mother I wasn't to be disturbed."
"Y-yes, Master," the elf squeaks. "M-mistress sent Timmy to tell Master Draco that- that Miss Bellatrix has arrived, a-and Mistress couldn't leave her to speak to Master herself b-but Miss Bellatrix is in quite the temper, a-and would be most displeased i-if M-master Draco d-doesn't come to the m-meeting."
"Thank you, Timmy," Draco mutters distractedly, mind whirring. Aunt Bellatrix is not someone to be crossed, but Harry needs him- they are on the verge of something monumental. "You may go."
"As Master wishes," Timmy says with a bow. "B-but, T-timmy is supposed to be telling Mistress... is Master Draco c-coming to the-"
Both Draco and Timmy turn to face Harry, who has risen from the bed and straightened his clothes. His eyes have that determined, stubborn look that Draco finds incredibly sexy and yet incredibly annoying. "But, you-"
"Please, Draco," Harry whispers, stepping close to grab his hand. "Don't get yourself hurt, for me. It's not- I don't want you to do that, and especially from her... you should go."
"What if I don't want to?" Draco asks fiercely. "What if I want to stay here, with you, and to hell with everyone else?"
Harry nearly smiles. "You need to go, Draco. And- and I have to go, too. Ron and Hermione will be wondering where I've gone."
"No, Harry, don't! You're safe here; Father still has enough say to keep everyone out of this wing; they'll never find you... and I want you here."
"I know," he says. "I wish I could stay, too... but I've got more things I have to do, in order to finish him."
Draco sighs deeply. "You and your hero complex," he says in a voice half-bitter, half-admiring. "It'd be foolish of me to try and stop you, I suppose."
Harry nods and tries to smile, but he's also trying not to cry and his face keeps slipping. He doesn't trust himself to speak, so he simply crashes his lips to Draco's again in the most passionate kiss to date (which truly is saying something). With one last pause to stare into Draco's eyes, drink in the lovelight shining out of them, he turns away.
"Goodbye, Draco." The blond can hear some unbearable sadness in Harry's cracking voice.
"Wait!" Harry turns back around. Draco slips his wand, his hawthorn and unicorn-hair wand, into Harry's hand. "Yours is broken, and I'd like you to have mine. Something to remember me by, when you're off doing whatever it is you need to."
Harry merely stares at the wooden cylinder for several long moments before he looks up again, eyes a bottomless pool of swirling, competing emotions. "I love you so much," he chokes out.
"I love you more," Draco answers, and launches himself forward for another hug and kiss.
"Is everything a contest with you?" Harry chuckles breathlessly, through tears. "Anyway... I'm so glad I got this time with you today, Draco. Stay safe. And- be happy."
"Same to you," he answers.
"M-master, the m-meeting..." Timmy ventures timidly.
Draco nods once, steeling himself. Harry squeezes his hand before stepping away and allowing Draco to slip out of the door. He sneaks one last peek at Harry's shoulders slumping dejectedly before Timmy whisks him down the hall.
There you are, sitting in the garden, clutching my coffee
Calling me sugar
You called me sugar!
When Draco returns to his room two hours later, he is aching from keeping his body so rigid and emotionally exhausted from holding back the flood of love and loss Harry's visit and departure has brought him. He can't stop thinking that Harry had wanted to say something important before he left. All he wants to do now is crawl into bed and sleep for days- ideally, until the war is over.
But he can't do that, because someone is already sitting there- Harry. Harry, with his hair now in its usual shorter- albeit still messy- style, face perfectly clean and shiny, clothes repaired, and in his hands a cup of warm coffee with a hint of hazelnut, just the way Draco likes it.
"Welcome back, love," he says with a grin. Draco is astonished- Harry, here, still, and all cleaned up looking practically irresistible. And he is tossing around the nickname "love" as casually as if they'd been using it for months instead of hours. Draco has never seen anything so incredible in his life- or anything that made his heart swell as big as it did just then.
"What are you doing here?" he asks, incredulously.
Harry smiles sheepishly. "Guess I didn't want to say goodbye just yet." Something prickles at the back of Draco's mind at Harry's phrasing, but he ignores it for the moment. He takes the coffee from Harry and sips; it's delicious.
"Won't Granger and Weasley be worried?" Draco asks.
"You're more important," he responds, with just the barest hint of a smirk at the echo. Draco smiles radiantly and just barely remembers to put the coffee down before flinging his arms around Harry and snogging him senseless.
Harry responds hungrily, and before long it's all hot breaths and roving hands and dueling tongues. They roll to the middle of the bed, and a beam of golden light from the setting sun spills into the room, lighting on Harry's face. Dark hair splayed out on the silk pillows, cheeks flushed, pale chest shining with sweat, and eyes shining with so much love and desire that Draco's heart skips a beat: this is an image Draco would like to save forever, imprinted into his memory for all time.
Have you ever wished for an endless night?
Lassoed the moon and the stars and pulled that rope tight?
They lay side-by-side under the covers, chests heaving, legs tangled but undeniably, perfectly content. Draco weaves his fingers through Harry's hair and Harry strokes the side of his face tenderly with one finger. Their thoughts are perfectly in-sync; neither want the moment ever to end.
"You alright?" Harry whispers.
"More than alright," Draco murmurs, snuggling close.
Harry's heart breaks at that, because he really can't put it off any longer, and in the next few minutes Draco will be as far from alright as possible. Before, Harry had thought that the generic goodbye would be sufficient, but the instant Draco left the room, and Harry felt the gaping hole in his chest, he knew that he owed it to this beautiful person to tell him everything, the whole truth. Draco deserved to understand, to be prepared.
"I- I have to tell you something." Harry's voice shakes.
Draco is immediately alert and upright. "I knew something was bothering you... Harry, what is it?"
"Horcruxes." Draco gives a startled gasp, and Harry grabs both of his hands and begins rubbing circles. It is as much to comfort himself as it for Draco's benefit. "That's what I've been doing these past few months. Searching for Horcruxes. He made six of them, Draco, and I've got to destroy all of them."
"Harry, that's..." Draco is rarely speechless, but he is now. Until quite suddenly a thought occurs to him. "But, why are you telling me this? If he reads my mind, finds out you know, he'll-"
"Kill me?" Harry finishes dryly. "As if he wasn't trying his hardest to do that anyway. Besides, you're an amazing Occlumens. Honestly, I doubt he'll be very concerned with digging around in people's minds too much in the near future... And, I couldn't not tell you. I need you to understand."
"Understand what?" Draco's voice is barely audible. His heart has frozen in his chest, hovering, waiting for the shock to hit.
"There's a seventh Horcrux. I was following a Patronus and it ended up being Snape's, and he- he told me. And You-Know-Who has to destroy this one himself- not like anyone else would be able to, anyway."
"What do you-"
Draco's heart shatters into a million tiny pieces right then and there. He can't breathe, can't see, can't think anything except... no. "No," he finally whispers. "No, it can't be! This is Snape; he can't be trusted! He- he's lying, surely, there's-"
"He showed me his memories, Draco. Dumbledore explaining everything... it's always been this way. I've got to do this."
"NO! No... no... you don't, Harry, there has to be another way, there has to." But even as he says it, Draco knows there can't be, or Harry would have taken it, done anything rather than leave him. "There has to..." he repeats feebly.
And Draco can't hold it back any longer; he gives way to his tears, loud, heart-wrenching sobs. Harry reinforces the Silencing spell on the door and pulls Draco close, cradling him against his chest. Harry himself cries, too, hearing his true love's heart breaking, tears falling onto Draco's perfect hair where they glisten like diamonds.
Have you ever held your breath and asked yourself
Does it ever it better than tonight?
"When?" croaks Draco, voice raw.
"Dawn," Harry responds simply. "Figured it was best to do it soon, before I lost my nerve... and it gives us this one last night together."
Draco squeezes Harry tighter, tighter than should have been possible, and buries his nose in his skin. He inhales deeply and holds it, letting Harry's scent sink into his lungs, the most perfect thing he's ever smelled. He never wants to forget it, ever.
"Hey," Harry says softly after several moments. "Remember when I came to see you in the field, that night after the Tower?"
How could Draco forget? He had been so sure Harry would never be able to forgive him, couldn't possibly feel the same way anymore after what he'd done. But the brunet, the wonderful, beautiful man in front of him, had merely wrapped him in his arms, much like they were now.
"I told you that I'd always be there for you, no matter what," Harry continues, voice barely louder than a breath and spoken directly into Draco's ear, words meant for him alone. "It's still true, you know. I promise I'll never really leave you." Harry has never been more sure of anything in his life. Ever fiber of his being strains for Draco's presence, and he can't imagine that changing just because he was dead. He would stay with Draco, watch over him, protect him, love him, for all of eternity. "I love you, Draco Malfoy."
And so, Draco and Harry spend the rest of the night wrapped in each other's arms, not talking, not even snogging, just resting in each other's embrace. Their breath, heartbeat, thoughts, very souls are in perfect harmony. Those, and their interlocked fingers provide a perfect channel for sharing, a communication far deeper than any mere words ever could have provided.
Neither of them sleep, or close their eyes for any longer than it takes to blink, afraid of missing even a second of this perfect night, praying for the morning to hold off as long as possible, dreading the sunlight that would arrive and shatter their perfect moment, this one shimmering, golden night of infinite warmth and love and heartache.