Remember Me

Characters~ Harry Potter & Draco Malfoy

Warnings~ SLASH, fluff, angst, slight OOC, trust and friendship, Hogwarts, Death Eaters, a few scenes from Movies 1-6 in an entirely new/alternative perspective...and I think that should be it. ^^";

Disclaimer~ I don't own Harry Potter in any way, shape, or form—nor do I make any money out of it. All credits go to the lovely J.K. Rowling herself. :D

Dedication~ Written for weaselatnature, who pretty much helped me find my inner Drarry in the first place. XD

Music on My Mind~ All that you Are by the Goo Goo Dolls (don't own)

Notes from the KIT-chan~

Alright—so this oneshot's pretty much based off of this really touching dream I had a few nights ago...

Yeah, I know, guys—I woke up crying again? Yes, as pitiful as it gets. =w="; However, this one's distinctively different from the others because 1) It's Draco and Harry. 2) Completely different story. You'll see upon reading this. 3) I actually felt their emotions in this dream, so it hurt even more for me to wake up... TToTT

And...yeah—I'll shut up now. ^^"; One last thing, though: the italicized words preceding each different scene are all either Harry's or Draco's thoughts floating around in their minds, depending on where they are in the story itself (mainly based off of words from this really good poem by an anonymous being, so I don't own that, either. ~wO).

Enjoy~ :D (Sorry it's long—this supposed oneshot was a b*tch to write. ^^";)

.::.*~Kit Shadow~*.::.

~o~

~All the things that you are,
Beautifully broken, alive in my heart,
And know that you are everything,
Let your heart sing and tonight, we light up the stars,
All that you are…~

That afternoon on a crisp fall evening, laughter had filled the air. Just near the other side of the playground, three small children—a raven, a redhead, and a brunette—could be seen playing by the swing set.

Now the raven, better known yet as Harry Potter, had been chasing the redhead around at the moment, as they'd been playing a nice game of tag with their brown-haired, petite friend sitting quietly and watching them on one of the swings while reading an interesting book she'd decided to bring for herself.

"Come on, Harry!" Ron had cried teasingly, suddenly darting behind Hermione.

In that instant, Harry had smirked, running swiftly in front of the brunette, exchanging glances between his two best friends with warm, glittering eyes as green as the shiniest emerald in the world.

At this, Hermione couldn't help but giggle, smiling as the raven jumped behind her and nearly tackled Ron to the ground.

"Hey!" the redhead sputtered with a laugh, lightly pushing the latter off of him. In response Harry chuckled softly, stumbling beside his friend.

So far, ever since they had all met, every single evening had been the same. The three of them would always come to the same area and spend time together as friends, doing all of such as from telling each other stories about one another's recent experiences to watching as the bright yellow-orange sun began to sink in the horizon.

Pretty soon, Harry, Ron, and Hermione were grinning at each other and laughed as the evening had slowly drawn to a close.

And not long after that, much to Harry's dismay, it had been time for both of his friends to go home with their parents, leaving him all alone in the empty playground.

"Ronald, it's time to go!" Mrs. Weasley called from the other side of the park. "Hermione, sweetheart! Your parents are waiting for you by the sidewalk!"

"All right! Tell them I'm coming!" the brunette replied, immediately picking up her book and getting up from the swing.

In that instant, both were on their feet, hesitating for a bit to look back at their raven-haired friend with sad eyes.

Hermione winced. "Oh. Harry...I'm sorry. You know we always hate it just as much as you do when we have to leave you here all by yourself." With that, she slowly shifted her eyes towards her red-haired friend. "Don't we, Ron?"

Ron's face was solemn. "Of course," he replied, managing a slight grin. Then he sighed turned to look straight into the raven's eyes. "Blimey, Harry—you know I'd rather spit up a thousand slugs from the back of my mouth than go and leave you alone like this every day..."

At this, Harry couldn't help but laugh softly. "Gee—thanks, Ron," he replied with a chuckle as a mental, disturbing but oddly amusing picture of Ron's idea appeared at the back of his mind. But after a while, he frowned and hung his head, letting out a small sigh as a dismal expression slowly became visible on his. "But it's alright. I'm used to this anyway. Neither of you have to feel sorry for me."

The brunette's eyes softened. "Harry..." In that instant, she reached a hand out to comfort the other by the shoulder.

Ron wrapped an arm over Harry's shoulders and gave a reassuring look.

"Aw, cheer up, mate...it won't be long before we'll all be here again to play another game of hide-and-seek."

The raven took a deep breath and smiled slightly at the thought with warm eyes. "I know that."

Hermione pursed her lips for a moment, then slowly shifted her gaze to meet his and spoke in a hushed, heartening tone. "Just comes to show that goodbyes can't be forever...and Ron's right—before you know it, tomorrow will have already come for us."

At that, Harry nodded once and held his breath when he'd found himself caught in a reassuring embrace.

"Take good care of yourself, all right?" the brunette whispered softly into his ear.

In response, he let out a sigh, darting his eyes from Hermione to Ron. "You, too. Both of you."

Ron grinned. "Oh, we will—though it's really you we should rather be concerned about."

Harry smirked back at the redhead, then calmly backed away from Hermione.

Soon, Mrs. Weasley's voice was ringing through the air again, calling her youngest son with slight impatience in her voice.

"Ronald!"

"I'm coming, Mum! Hold your horses!" Ron shouted back towards the direction of the front gate. Then he turned to look at the raven before shifting his gaze to his brown-haired friend.

"C'mon, 'Mione," he murmured reluctantly. "Your Mum and Dad's still waiting for you, too." He paused briefly, grimacing a bit. "And as much as I hate to be the first one to ever say this, we should probably go now..."

In that instant, Harry nodded once to Hermione and swallowed deep, exhaling sharply. "Ron's right," he spoke softly in as even a tone as he could possibly manage at that point, his countenance nonchalant. "You really should leave before the rain starts to pour..."

At that, the brunette frowned, eyes sad but filled with utter concern as she'd only just remembered hearing the weather forecast earlier that morning, and felt a twinge of remorse as she began to picture her spectacled friend soaking wet under a sombre grey sky.

"Promise me you'll stay dry," she exhaled sharply, her gaze intent on the latter that moment.

Harry paused and closed his eyes. "I will. Don't worry about me."

Hermione nodded once, then took a deep breath and turned to start walking with Ron towards the front gate on the other side of the park.

"See you tomorrow, mate!" the redhead called, glancing over his shoulder to wave at the raven.

Harry beamed back at the latter, then waved back to him as well. "See you," he managed to speak softly, wincing a little as the two eventually began to disappear from sight.

Soon enough, when he'd finally found himself all alone in the midst of the playground, a faint rumble of thunder could be heard from above, and Harry looked up to see the sky engulfed in billows of dark grey clouds.

With that, the young raven let out a sigh and hung his head miserably, turning to start his own search for shelter from the incoming storm.

~o~

Meanwhile, not far in a different section of the park, another trio of friends had decided to part ways as well.

Draco, Crabbe, and Goyle were standing near the back gate, watching as a flash of lightning filled the air and yet another rumble resounded in the ominous winds above.

In an instant, both brunets had cowered in fear, quickly rushing behind their blonde leader and covering their ears with their hands.

Malfoy rolled his eyes and sighed, glancing over at the two in utter disbelief. "Oh, grow up, you wet kittens," he drawled mordantly at them.

Both cringed slightly, then slowly raised their heads to look up at the latter, their expressions fearful.

"C-can we go home now?" Crabbe almost whimpered, briefly darting his eyes towards Goyle. "Our mums are going to have quite a fit if we're not home soon..."

At this, Draco let out a sharp exhale and put a hand to his forehead, closing his eyes and slowly shaking his head. "All right—fine. Whatever you say," the blonde muttered under his breath, not looking at either of them in response.

Hastily, the brunets nodded once and immediately began to stumble in the direction of the open gate behind them. But just as they were about to step out onto the sodden sidewalk, they'd stopped abruptly upon noticing that their leader, to their surprise, still hadn't moved an inch from where he was standing.

Instead, his back had been turned to them as he stared out into the opposite direction, grey eyes impassive but deep in thought.

At that moment, Goyle shot an inquisitive look towards Crabbe, then carefully walked back to approach the latter from behind.

"You coming, Draco?" he called, his tone barely audible as showers of rain suddenly started to pour down on them that instant.

It was enough for the blonde to hear though, and after a long moment of awkward silence Malfoy glanced back for a brief minute, shaking his head once. "No, you two go on ahead—my parents are still at work, so for now no one's really home," he replied with a light scowl. "I want to stay here for a bit longer."

Goyle frowned, then he glanced back to meet his other friend's gaze. At this, Crabbe only stared at Malfoy with perplexed eyes and opened his mouth to add his own comment to the matter.

"You sure you don't just want to come and stay over at my place again?" he called back to him, somewhat reluctant towards the odd impression the blonde was giving them that instant. He gulped, inhaling deep. "Mum says you're always welcome, and up to now, we've still got plenty of snacks to spare..."

But in response, Draco only shook his head and sighed with a slight grimace, expressionlessly waving the offer off before Crabbe even had a chance to finish his sentence.

"Not interested today, Crabbe," he spoke distantly, closing his eyes for a moment. "Maybe next time, if your mum really wants me over that badly."

The latter raised an eyebrow at him, then paused, knowing that at that point now, he'd been at a loss for other words to say in persuasion.

"Suit yourself then," he replied in a tentative voice, not taking his eyes off him once.

Goyle said nothing, frowning at Draco himself.

There was another long instant of silence between them once more, until the blonde had nodded farewell to both brunets and slowly turned away from them to face the opposite direction once more.

Though this time, he'd been staring absent-mindedly down at the tips of his shoes, now wet with the rain that had continued to fall harder and harder every second.

It wasn't until the point where all three of them were almost drenched did Crabbe and Goyle finally bring themselves to break their gaze from Malfoy, hesitantly turning their heads to proceed their exit through the back gate, their expressions still puzzled with incredulity.

And only then when the two were out of sight did Draco gradually look up from the puddles of water forming around his feet and peer straight ahead through the stormy wind to contemplate curiously as he observed none other than a shivering Harry Potter sitting over on one of the park benches nearby, with his knees curled up under his chin.

~o~

At that moment, the blonde had kept his gaze steadfast on the lone raven, his intent grey eyes almost a mirrored reflection of the clouds hovering above him.

Well, well—if it wasn't his worst enemy.

Sitting there all alone.

Stupidly getting drenched in the rain wearing only a pair of old, worn-out Muggle jeans and a red hoodie sweater.

Usually one would think that someone like Draco would yet to care for a sight so trivial to him—especially since that of all people, it included the one person he'd hated the most, the indignant feeling mutual to both entirely.

However...odd enough as it had been, things were completely different to the blonde, and for some reason, he'd begun to sense a strange but not unknown feeling coming from the very pit of his stomach.

Draco let out a sharp exhale, then swallowed deep. Of course, this had not been the first time he'd ever felt this way—at least not in the raven's presence. From day one despite the idea that neither he nor the other would ever get along at any point in their lives whatsoever, there had always been something that had been keeping Draco from ignoring the latter altogether.

Something that constantly tied his presence with that of the raven himself—which was why every single afternoon when he wasn't teasing or making fun of the usual three, he'd always find himself silently watching his adversary from the farther side of the playground, observing as he played with his two friends just near the swing set. And for each moment that he would look to see them in the playground together, in later times he would always end up watching the three of them part ways, Harry left all to himself in the empty park.

Only during these instants would Draco suddenly have that odd, aching feeling inside—one that he knew might as well have been the only thing that he could possibly have had in common with the raven—that sense of vast emptiness that he'd known all too well at that point...

Loneliness.

A bit earlier that day in the few minutes in the rare occasion where Crabbe and Goyle hadn't been paying much attention to him, he'd fully seen the Weasley boy and the Granger girl leave him all alone once more just near the tall trees. That time, he couldn't have helped but feel a slight twinge of pain for the latter, his gaze soft upon watching the sad expression eventually appear onto his face.

And now that he was actually seeing the poor raven this way—it was almost as if his heart was almost being ripped apart from the inside out, and he'd stiffened, eyes still scrutinizing on the boy's dismal profile that moment.

There had been no one else in the park except for the two of them.

After a while, Draco had taken a deep breath and sighed, closing his eyes as his inner Malfoy instincts gradually began to repeat the usual words over and over again in the back of his mind:

The Boy Who Lived is nothing more than a fool.

He befriends Mudbloods and Muggle-lovers alike.

He is not even a Pureblood to start with.

More or less, he probably hates you just as much as you hate him.

You'd only become a fool yourself if you went and befriended him as well...

But he was right there for him to reach, the final thought echoed distinctly from another corner of his subconscious, and there definitely had to be a reason why it'd just been the two of them present here in this one spot together at the same time.

It wasn't long before Draco had finally opened his eyes and was astonished to find himself already standing halfway between the back gate and the spectacled raven sitting on the park bench only a mere few feet away from him.

At this, he'd paused and waited briefly for a few minutes, more thoughts beginning to rush through his mind as he turned slowly to continue approaching Harry with tense eyes.

As Draco got a closer view of him, he noticed that his head was almost drooping, messy jet-black hair saturated with cold rain.

The blonde let out a sigh when he'd eventually stopped to stand in front of the raven, reluctance and a bit of apprehension hidden behind his deadpan, expressionless semblance.

Everything that he was about to do now was definitely in spite of his better judgment, and he knew that especially upon remembering the day Harry had first met his gaze with nothing but resent, his eyes steadfast and indignant towards him after he'd so terribly insulted Hermione Granger.

Since then, Draco had struggled to forget the painful memory, never wanting to see that look on the latter's face again. He swallowed, slowly shaking his head to remind himself once more that this was his worst enemy above all, who would most likely feel it awkward to find him suddenly being comforted by the one person he knew he'd hated most. And with that, it was all it took for him to proceed and greet the latter with the cold, distant impression that he'd usually give off towards most people, including his friends no matter what the cause for after all, he was indeed a Malfoy.

Within seconds, a scowl had gradually made its way onto his face, and he began to speak in a haughty, sarcastic tone.

"Well, look who's here. Plan on catching a cold today, Potter?"

In an instant, the blonde stopped to smirk impishly, expecting quietly at the back of his mind for a hot, quick-tempered response from the latter himself.

But in the next few minutes, he'd been greeted with nothing more than silence and the pitter-patter of rain falling around the two of them. At this, Draco paused and stared at the raven for a long time to find him as immobile as a statue.

Much to his surprise, Harry had not said a single word to him in retort this time.

Instead he'd only raised his head to meet the other's unswerving gaze, eyes bloodshot and cheeks flushed with streams of tears.

Immediately, Draco held his breath, eyes widening in horror.

Oh—Merlin. Harry was crying.

...if I cry or want to die, will you be there?

In that instant, Draco had winced, almost wanting to kick himself that moment for the first thing he'd just said to the poor raven.

Harry was still looking at him at that point, his big, pleading green eyes unwavering on the other's as a couple of more tears slowly continued to roll down from both of his rosy cheeks. Not to mention the fact that he was already soaked to the bone.

For a minute, the blonde was at a loss for words, not sure of what to say to the raven that instant. But he'd kept his expression calm and collected and gradually softened his gaze on him, looking upon him with all the composure that he could have possibly managed.

"Harry?" Draco heard himself murmur softly, searching into the latter's eyes with slight concern.

But there was no response. Harry didn't blink once, sniffling.

At this, Malfoy swallowed deep, then closed his eyes, raking a hand through his hair for a second before finally letting out a sigh.

"Always the stubborn one, are you? You're soaking wet, for Merlin's sake."

The raven paused, considering the other's comment. Then in a split second he frowned and narrowed his eyes at him in utter contempt of what he had assumed that instant to be a faint, derisive prickle hidden in the other's tone.

But just as quickly as the feeling had occurred to him, his irritation had suddenly faded into surprise when Draco had unexpectedly, from out of the blue, extended his hand out towards him at full length.

Immediately, Harry's eyes had widened tenfold at the sight, and he'd done nothing more than stare open-mouthed as he gazed down in shock at the soft, pale hand so close away from him.

At this, the blonde fought back a small smirk at the other's reaction, then lowered his eyes and exhaled sharply, unnervingly reaching over to take the latter's own hand in his.

"Come on. Let's get out of the rain already before either of us gets sick."

That instant, the raven was silent and looked up at him tentatively with a light flush before swallowing hard and giving the other's hand a slight squeeze.

If I'm sad, can you make me glad? Will you be there?

After a while, the two had been sitting next to each other just under a nearby tree, their hands just inches apart beside them. But the silence between both was almost deafening in the cold, windy air despite the pitter-pattering sound of the rain falling hard on either side.

Harry was the first to break it.

He'd glanced over at the blonde beside him before lowering his eyes to his feet, expression unreadable to the other and words spoken from his mouth a hushed, barely audible murmur.

"...thanks, Malfoy."

At this, Draco abruptly held his breath upon hearing the raven's words, eyes wide for a second.

He'd frowned, looking away from him. "...don't mention it," he muttered in reply.

But then the blonde closed his eyes, continuing to avoid the other's gaze as much as possible. He sighed.

"Don't let yourself think this changes anything between us, though."

There was a long pause.

"I know," was the reply in a soft voice.

~o~

Two short-lived conversations and an hour later, Draco had finally opened his eyes, reluctantly glancing over at the raven. At that point, Harry's gaze had been occupied in the numerous puddles forming a few feet in front of them.

Draco lowered his eyes, then spoke in a low tone.

"My parents won't be home from work for hours, so I'll be stuck here for the time being."

Harry took a deep breath before shifting his stare towards the blonde, green eyes calm and curious.

"Can't you go home anyway? It's better to be dry there than wet here under the pouring rain."

Draco frowned, looking at the latter. "That might be so, but no one's there waiting for me, Potter."

At this, the raven fell silent, slowly turning away from him.

Malfoy winced for a moment, then spoke again after another long pause. "Do you stay here often?" he'd asked quietly.

"Yes," Harry replied.

The blonde shuffled slightly in his position. "Don't you have a home?"

The other closed his eyes and shook his head in response. "No."

"A family?"

"No."

Before Draco could ask the next question, Harry had already turned to look at him with a solemn expression. "Both my parents are dead. I don't have anyone to take care of me but myself. I don't have any place to go."

The last few words bit sharply at the blonde's heart, and he'd swallowed deep that instant.

"So you just stay here like this every day...by yourself?" he'd asked in a soft murmur.

Harry frowned, nodding once in reply. "Yes."

Quiet tension had filled the atmosphere in the next few moments.

~o~

After three hours, the rain still continued to fall, both children staring blankly out into the stormy distance.

"You know...I never thought I'd say this, but I'm actually kind of glad you're here, Malfoy," Harry spoke in an even tone, gaze steadfast on the scattered showers before him. "Even if you can be a real prat at times."

At this, Draco paused for a moment, shifting his eyes towards the raven. "Hmph. Well—it is amazing for me as well to have tolerated your repulsive presence here for so long now. I definitely hate to say this too, but you're really not so bad yourself, Potter," he'd responded nonchalantly. In a split second, he'd looked up to notice a small smile from the other and stiffened.

Soon, Harry let out a soft sigh, lowering his eyes down to his hands folded on top of his curled-up knees, his gaze tentative.

"So...how long until your parents get home?"

In that instant, the blonde's face became rigid as the question reached his ears.

"Well, I'll have to go in a few minutes..." he replied reluctantly, eyes sombre and fixed on the latter. "Why do you ask?"

Harry closed his eyes, slowly shaking his head. "Nothing."

Silence.

For a moment, Draco looked at the raven with a sad semblance, frowning as melancholy gradually crept back onto the other's face.

He really doesn't like being alone, the words resounded from the back of his mind, almost making the blonde cringe.

"Look...I can come back, you know," he spoke grimly, lowering his gaze. "It doesn't always have to be like this."

Harry held his breath that instant, timidly raising his head to look into pools of grey.

The sight of his intent and pleading emerald green eyes had been so much more than breathtaking to Draco that instant, and as soon as he'd noticed the raven shiver with a flinch upon feeling the cold breeze that passed by, he'd quickly taken the latter's hands and held them warmly in his palms with wide eyes.

At that moment, Harry's lips had parted slightly with awe, and Draco quickly looked away from him, expression dismal but completely hidden with sympathy.

"I know we've had our differences then, but I don't like being alone, either—you don't need to hide that one from me," he'd continued in a hushed murmur.

Harry took a sharp intake of breath, exhaling slowly. "Malfoy—"

From that point on, every feeling had broken loose and spilled out between the two, especially on the blonde's part.

"...I've seen the way they leave you here every day when their parents come," he'd breathed, squeezing the other's fingers. "You don't always have to stay alone. I know what it feels."

The raven swallowed deep, gaze steadfast on him. "Draco..."

The blonde's eyes softened that instant, face solemn as he looked at the other. "Harry—I can help you. I can keep you company every day I can come back for just as long as you could possibly need." He paused, pursing his lips for a moment. "You could even stay at the manor with me sometime if it's possible."

The raven stiffened in response, expression incredulous and surprised. "But—you—"

In truth, Harry just couldn't believe what he was hearing from him that moment. Draco Malfoy was his rival, for Merlin's sake—and it made him wonder to the very end why all of a sudden this person was suddenly telling him these things to make him feel so...so comfortable, really. But for some reason at the same time, on the inside his heart was inconspicuously overflowing with happiness and joy at the thought of not having to stay by himself for a long while.

With that, all doubt had abruptly faded from his mind, and the raven closed his eyes, letting out a small sigh as he stopped to think, heart pounding vigorously.

The next few words came out in a soft whisper. "You'd really do that—for me?"

Suddenly, there was a long pause.

Before long, Harry had heard Draco suck in a gulp of air.

"...I thought you hated me," he continued, voice barely audible.

Malfoy let out a sharp exhale before bringing himself to come face-to-face with his one and only adversary and thought for a brief moment.

Hate...

"To make my answer as simple as possible in the situation we have here...I'd hate the thought of being alone more than I could ever hate you as my enemy," he replied in a slow, even tone.

At this, Harry opened his eyes, looking into the latter's own.

Draco swallowed deep before speaking again with a firm voice. "Now we may be polar opposites of one another...but we've still got this in common. I'm willing to put everything aside to do whatever it takes to make sure things no longer stay this way."

With that, he paused and lowered his eyes, frowning slightly at the raven. "I'm going to ask my parents if I can let you stay with me for a bit," he muttered.

Harry's face became rigid, his gaze now fixed on their hands held out in front of them. "Draco, wait—I—"

In that instant, the blonde suddenly stood up, his palms still holding his. "I have to go now. But I'll come back for you, Harry. I promise—just wait."

At this, the raven winced, raising his head to face the other open-mouthed. Don't leave, the words had echoed from the corners of his mind. But before he could say anything in reply to him, he'd found soft lips suddenly pressed against his and instinctively closed his eyes for just a second, as he'd quite peculiarly been placated with pleasant but somewhat familiar warmth surrounding the two of them in a short instant.

As soon as both had pulled back from one another, Harry only let out a soft sigh, staring down at his feet upon absent-mindedly reaching his hand up to touch his lower lip. "I trust you," he'd murmured quietly in response, eyes bright with happiness but then almost sad at the same time as the warmth that had comforted him for just a second had slowly started to fade away like it was never there. But as he noticed the blonde gradually begin to step away from him, he couldn't help but manage a small grin.

Draco's expression was sombre, but below it all Harry still noticed the slightest smile of reassurance. "I'll see you soon," he managed to speak with pained eyes as he started to make his way towards the back gate.

"Goodbye for now," the raven replied, longingly nodding once in farewell before the blonde eventually disappeared into the streets.

If my heart breaks and the earth quakes...will you be there?

It was midnight in the park, and Draco still hadn't returned.

Since then, the rain had never ceased to stop, leaving Harry trembling under the branches of the tree he continued to lean against.

He'd been waiting for over five hours now...

The raven shuddered as the cold breeze swept past, and instinctively, he wrapped his arms around his shoulders to hug himself, desperate for warmth.

Draco... he'd thought to himself, curling his knees up under his chin. Where are you?

Before long, the sound of footsteps could be heard just along the distance, and almost immediately Harry had raised his head to search for the source that instant.

But sadly enough...it was not the person he'd been expecting.

At that moment, a spectacled, elder man with snow-white hair and a long beard was approaching him carefully, a kind but concerned expression on his face.

"Hello, young one—do you seem to be lost?" he'd heard him ask hoarsely, blinking in the rain.

That instant, the raven had been lost for words, not knowing what to say in response.

At that point, he'd known only one thing: Draco wasn't coming.

After a while before coming to his own decision and listening to the man's comforting words of a roof over his head for the night, he hadn't help but finally leave the tree in reluctance to follow the kind and elder man back to his humble abode in a place far away, where he knew almost for a fact that he'd be well taken care of in the next hour.

When I feel the sorrow, do you have happiness to borrow? Will you be there?

Meanwhile, Lucius Malfoy had slammed his fist hard on the table at dinner, glaring at his son with a cold, raged expression.

At this, Draco recoiled slightly, mouth gaping in horror at his father's frightening reaction. "But Father—he has no one to take care of him. Can't we at least help—" he began, eyes wide with fear.

Lucius scowled at him in response, eyebrows raised high in utter disdain. "It is not your obligation as a Malfoy to go and help another who is not even of our kind. That boy well deserves his present fate today, as his parents were nothing more than fools!"

In an instant, the blonde had flinched, eyes fixed on his father.

Narcissa winced at the two, reaching her hand over to place it on her son's shoulder. "Now, now, Draco," she spoke in an apprehensive tone. "Listen to what your father says..."

Draco slowly shook his head, swallowing deep before letting out a sharp exhale. "But it isn't fair. Just because Harry's not a Pureblood doesn't mean that he's—"

"Silence!" Mr. Malfoy abruptly cut in, voice escalating in anger and his glare suddenly piercing daggers on him. "I will not ask you again, Draco. I refuse to hear any more from you about that Potter child this instant! He is nothing but a bad influence on you and to us all!"

"Lucius, please!" Narcissa cried fearfully, protectively shifting closer to her son in response.

At that moment, Draco immediately stood up from his seat in full defiance with a dark scowl forming on his pale face.

"No," he replied in a calm but firm voice.

~o~

Slam.

In less than a minute, the blonde had found himself locked up in his own room, forbidden to go outside for three weeks in the hopes that as a result in that time span, he would eventually forget about seeing Harry Potter ever again.

But both Lucius and Narcissa had been so very wrong to think even that of their one and only son.

A few hours later after all had gone to bed for the night and the last house elf had shut off the final remaining light in the manor. Draco had hastily risen from his sheets still dressed in his outside apparel, quickly unlocking the hatch of the lone window set across from him on the other side of his room. And with that, he'd stealthily made his escape, Apparating into the night with his father's filched ring in hand as soon as the first drop of rain hit the very nape of his neck.

~o~

To this time, the storm was still as fierce as ever, and as the blonde apprehensively ran through the park in search of the young raven, his anxiety had only continued to grow more and more when he hadn't seen the latter in the area where he'd left him before.

"Harry!" Draco had cried after a while, eyes darting in every direction as he continued to sprint. "Harry! Where are you?"

But all that greeted him that instant had been nothing more than dead silence and the soft pitter-patter of the rain around him. Sadly, it was quite a shame...that despite every one of the blonde's desperate attempts to find the missing raven-haired boy in question, the child he'd aimlessly been looking for was nowhere to be found. Before long, Draco had finally stopped in the middle of the playground and sorrowfully hung his head in remorse, wondering how long Harry had probably waited in the cold...just to see him come back.

And now to see that he was no longer there...made the blonde feel a strong twinge of pain deep down in the very core of his heart, as he'd cringed at the idea of how the raven would think of him now that everything had been too late.

"Harry..." Draco murmured quietly, closing his eyes and listening as the thunder resounded once more in the sky above.

~o~

"Here y'are, Harry. Make yerself at home, if y'would."

Later on that same night, Harry had stayed temporarily under the warm care of the elder man, his kind-hearted giant friend Hagrid helping him upstairs to the room he'd be sleeping in.

"Thanks, Hagrid," the raven replied softly, eagerly stepping into the small room and looking around at everything Albus Dumbledore had provided him for his stay.

Despite the size of the bedroom itself, it was all very heart-warming and welcoming to him. The bed and furniture were simple but quite quaint, and everything he could have possibly needed had been placed there at his disposal.

But then again Harry couldn't help but feel a twinge of pain deep down at the very bottom of his heart and winced.

That is...everything but Draco.

That night, it'd been hard at first for the raven to fall asleep without having numerous thoughts of the blonde Malfoy flooding his mind soon after, forcing him to stare aimlessly into the darkness through the window beside him and to watch the raindrops on the cold glass dimly lit by the faint moonlight.

But the minutes had passed, and because Harry hadn't gotten any sleep in the past few nights, it wasn't long before he'd finally managed to slip into a dreamless slumber, though the image of Draco Malfoy he'd still held in his mind that moment had still been as vivid as it ever was.

~o~

The next morning, Harry had woken up in a daze to find a plate of flapjacks and bacon set down on his bedside table next to a tall glass of warm milk. At that, he'd immediately rose from his bed to grab his glasses from aside, only to discover a small scrap of paper tucked just under the plate of food, a short note written on the front:

Made you breakfast, Harry. Eat up.

Hagrid

The raven's eyes softened that instant, a small smile forming on his face as he reached for his plate of food and placed it down on his lap, picking up his fork to begin digging into flapjacks.

But just as he'd been about to take his first bite, he'd suddenly heard the sound of faint voices coming from downstairs and carefully put his plate back down, silently climbing out of bed to listen curiously to the barely audible conversation from below.

Harry had at least made it to the top of the stairwell until he could just about see three silhouettes sitting together in the kitchen, two of them he'd made out to be Hagrid and Dumbledore in presumption. And based on the ideas that they'd been mentioning at the moment, it seemed that the topic of their discussion had been none other than Harry himself.

"Now, now, Cornelius..." Dumbledore murmured coolly. "Let's be reasonable here for just a moment. The boy has been living alone this whole time—fending for himself out in the streets."

At that moment, the third silhouette—a man from the Ministry of Magic by the name of Cornelius Fudge—shifted slightly in his seat, his face serious as he'd begun to furrow his brow in consideration. The raven swallowed hard, shifting his eyes towards Hagrid, who'd already been pleading to the man that instant.

"Sir—poor Harry's got nowhere else to go. Both his parents are gone..."

In response, Fudge closed his eyes, letting out a sigh. "And I understand that," he'd responded in a solemn voice. "Mr. Potter is need of a place to stay and a hand to hold. But I'm afraid that legal custody of the child can only go to a legal guardian..."

"And who in the world would that be!" Hagrid cut in with exasperation. "We know no one else...can't you just let him stay with us instead? Dumbledore and I—we'll take extra good care of the little one...for Lily and James's sake. Isn't that right, Albus?"

Harry frowned and closed his eyes as he'd listened to the rest of their murmured, soft-spoken conversation.

They knew his parents,the thought resounded in the corners of his mind. No wonder he'd felt so comfortable staying with them from the very beginning...

"There is always someone, Rubeus. No matter how distant the relatives are, they are the ones who officially have firsthand rights to taking care of the boy. We will do whatever it takes to find the proper keeper for him..."

There was a long pause.

"...but until the day we cease our search, I can consider leaving Mr. Potter under your temporary supervision. Ten days—that's all you will get, and if otherwise, he will be sent to the local orphanage located next to St. Mungo's..."

It wasn't until the room had suddenly grown silent did Harry finally open his eyes and suddenly hold his breath as the next sentence of the conversation was abruptly directed to him by Cornelius Fudge.

"Before I finally strike this deal with you, though...it would probably be best if we'd ultimately let the boy decide his own future for himself."

In that instant, all eyes were shifted up the stairwell in his direction, and with that, the raven tentatively came down from the top of the stairs, eyes curious as he exchanged glances with each of the three before him.

At the same time, any signs of tension in the atmosphere around them had slowly dissolved into warm welcome.

Hagrid was the first to speak.

"Good morning, Harry. Sleep well?"

Harry swallowed hard for just a second, then took a deep breath and nodded once with a small grin. "Yeah. I guess so." He paused, shifting his gaze over to acknowledge Dumbledore and Fudge in their respective seats.

"Good morning, Mr. Potter," Cornelius had sincerely greeted last.

The raven composed himself carefully before letting out a sigh and making eye contact with the member of the Ministry of Magic.

"I'd like to stay here for now, if you'd please let me, sir," he'd replied in a calm, even tone.

~o~

In the days that followed, Harry had definitely found himself very much well taken care of, what with Hagrid constantly around at his side giving him the attention he'd longed for terribly when he was at a younger age—and not to mention the fact that the kind-hearted giant would never cease to entertain him every time, taking him to bizarre places in the Wizarding World he'd never seen or been to before.

The hut was one of his favourites, though—where despite the Ministry's rules, he'd always been allowed a ride on Buckbeak the Hippogriff, who'd already taken a great liking to him at first glance.

However, in the same time that passed, as days came and nights fell, the raven had still not forgotten the blonde he'd pensively waited for long ago in the park under the harsh winds and stormy sky. And for every day that it would rain outside his bedroom window, the numerous thoughts of anxiety in his mind had only continued to grow worse and worse as he'd wondered aimlessly just what the latter was up to that instant, wherever he was.

Soon enough, it had come to a point where Harry would often climb out of his room in the middle of the night and run back to the local park to see if Draco had by any chance returned or perhaps had possibly...be waiting for him.

"Draco!" the raven would always cry out into the dark, eagerly turning his head in every direction to search for the pale-faced boy. "Draco! Are you there? Please—answer me!"

But for every time that he'd visit the same old spot where the two of them had waited together that specific evening...there would always be nothing but complete silence and the cold wind whirling past him making him shiver. Most of the time even, depending on when he would decide to sneak out in the later hours, it would be raining cats and dogs, just as it had been before.

Eventually on the last night, when Hagrid had finally brought himself to follow after little Harry outside all the way to the middle of the playground...the poor one had already given up, his pale cheeks flushed with wet tears and heart heavy with unrequited longing.

Draco's not coming back, the words kept repeating themselves over and over again in the back of his mind. He's not coming back...stop...

It was all a lie, the raven ultimately thought to himself that instant, mournfully shaking his head. It was all a lie...

"Harry!" Hagrid suddenly called from behind, standing only a few feet away from where the latter was standing. With that, the raven had sniffled and slowly turned around to see him walking towards him with a small cloak in his hands which had soon been draped over his shoulders in an instant.

"Harry—what're you doing out here at this time of night, huh?" the giant murmured concernedly, placing an arm over his shoulders to begin leading him back to the home of Albus Dumbledore. "You're gonna get yourself with a case of pneumonia just from standin' out here in this sheer cold..."

At this, Harry had said nothing but lowered his head with a solemn expression, obediently following a tired Hagrid as tears stayed hidden with the night rain that fell around them as they walked.

And despite the thoughts that were still painfully urging him to keep waiting for the blonde at that point, the raven had forced himself to ignore them and never looked back even once.

If I'm feeling pain and have nothing to gain, will you be there?

On the same night, however, Draco had just returned to the manor after yet another fruitless search for his raven-haired...acquaintance. And this time, it didn't take long for the house elves to thoroughly recognise the blonde's furtive actions, immediately reporting to their masters none short of fear that they would be punished for ever trying to keep the secret.

With that, Draco had half-heartedly Apparated back into his chambers, desolate to find both his parents waiting for him with disappointed expressions on their faces.

~o~

Several days following that occasion, the poor blonde had constantly found himself being restrained to the inside of the manor's corridors, no longer allowed to step outside "even for a minute," Lucius had scolded rigidly.

"Do not test me," his father's firm, authoritative tone resounded clearly in his head even to that point.

After that, Draco never dared to speak another word of protest to Lucius ever again—although he'd never once forgotten about the boy he'd for so long been longing to see as the sad image of the latter waiting endlessly for him out in the rain continued to stay imprinted at the corners of his mind.

More so, Malfoy had never stopped searching for Harry Potter, and little did he know that only four years later...their paths would cross again sooner than either of them ever thought they would—starting with the very day that they'd received their letters of acceptance into the renowned Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

~o~

For quite a while, it had been very difficult for Draco to believe the numerous rumours he'd heard being scattered all over the train that afternoon shortly after leaving Platform 9 ¾ at King's Cross, about the Boy Who Lived actually coming to the school to start his own first year just like they all were.

But later on, he'd eventually seen the raven for himself—standing there not far from where he was as they waited eagerly to be sorted into their own houses...with Weasley and Granger.

At this, the blonde had let out a sharp exhale and rolled his eyes in irritation, briefly glancing next to him to listen to Crabbe and Goyle have some idiotic conversation about raiding as many snacks as possible from the welcome feast that had been, unfortunately, to come shortly after.

Although as soon as Professor McGonagall had finished speaking and left to fetch the Sorting Hat inside, Draco had been almost more than delighted and quickly found that opportunity to approach the young raven, opening his mouth to talk just as everyone had grown silent.

"So it's true then," he'd spoken out loud, standing up straight from the wall he'd been leaning on that instant. "What they're saying on the train." He grinned high-handedly. "Harry Potter has come to Hogwarts."

In just seconds, all had begun to murmur and whisper to each other with wide eyes and looks of disbelief, some of them shifting their gazes over to see the raven-haired boy in question. Despite the fact that it was hidden under that messy jet-black hair of his, the lightning scar was just as distinct and visible to everyone present that moment.

"Harry Potter...?"

With that, the blonde stepped off the wall to approach the latter himself, his mouth curving up into a small smirk.

His eyes were still as verdant and pure as they had been before—very much like the emeralds he'd often seen his mother take from her jewellery box, and Draco had been almost glad to see the boy he had officially met over four years ago. But not long after meeting the other's fixed gaze, he couldn't help but realise...that something just wasn't there.

Something had been very different about the expression in Harry's eyes that instant. The bright, shining glimmer of curiosity that he'd usually find in his green irises had been missing altogether—instead now dull with what had seemed to be more like confusion and reluctance, along with a firm, impassive semblance that had seemed to set a barrier of indescribable distance between him and the raven.

But even so, the blonde had still managed with some small effort to maintain the composure on his face, his grey eyes steadfast on the other that point.

"So—it's you, isn't it?" he'd begun confidently, looking at the raven with calm but tentative eyes as he'd waited pensively for his response.

However, Harry hadn't said a single word and only stood there in silence, continuing to stare at the blonde so blankly as if...he'd had absolutely no idea who he even was—like they'd just been meeting for the first time, which had almost unnerved Draco himself upon noticing the atmosphere of slight tension that had suddenly risen around them that instant. But then again, after all, it had been nearly over five years since they'd last seen each other, which he could, for a fact, understand for the other at that point if he may have forgotten their encounter considering the possible occurrences that could have happened in between during their time apart. Maybe if he'd reintroduced himself again...it would hopefully jog his memory just a bit.

It hadn't been until a split second later when Harry had finally showed a genuine reaction after suddenly diverted his gaze away from Malfoy to look over his shoulder with a rigid countenance.

At this, Draco had swallowed hard, then reluctantly glanced back to see that Crabbe and Goyle had followed behind him, staring at the raven with—well, he could probably admit—quite intimidating expressions plastered on their round faces. With that, he'd let out a light exhale before turning his head once more to look at the raven reassuringly.

"Oh—this is Crabbe and this is Goyle," the blonde had spoken with aplomb, nonchalantly gesturing towards each in their respective positions. "And I'm Malfoy," he'd finished confidently, smiling slightly at the raven and nodding once. "Draco Malfoy."

At that moment, something familiar had definitely sparked in Harry's eyes, the tension surrounding them slowly ebbing away into some form of a neutral standstill.

Had it not been for the snicker that had abruptly arose from just behind the raven that instant.

Immediately, the calm expression on the blonde's face had instinctively morphed into a dark scowl as he quickly narrowed his eyes over to where an amused Ronald Weasley had been standing.

"Think my name's funny, do you?" Draco spat out in a cold tone, glaring piercing daggers at the redhead in question, and scoffed. "No need to ask yours. Red hair, and a hand-me-down robe? You must be a Weasley."

In that instant, Ron grew silent, and slowly his expression became serious as he met the blonde's icy stare.

With that, Draco had frowned at the latter, then turned to look back at Harry, speaking in a condescending tone.

"You'll soon find that some wizarding families are better than others, Potter. You don't want to go making friends with the wrong sort," he began, briefly glancing over at Ron once more before meeting his green eyes with a slight grin on his face. "I can help you there," he'd finished, offering a tentative hand out to the raven.

But in response, Harry had only stared at the hand in cold silence, knitting his eyebrows together as something vital had quickly changed in his expression that instant.

"I think I can tell the wrong sort for myself, thanks," the reply came out of his mouth in a cool, slightly bitter tone.

At that moment, Draco almost flinched upon meeting those familiar steadfast, indignant green eyes that he'd remembered so well from before, at the very back of his mind...and resented just as much as he did as he looked at Harry now. His cheeks flushed into a light pink, and he'd suddenly felt a twinge of pain down at the very bottom of his heart, forcing him to suck in a sharp intake of air.

It was as if their first encounter had happened all over again, and nothing had ever happened between the two in the past few years...

Before long, Professor McGonagall had reappeared from the castle doors, list of all first-year students and Sorting Hat in hand, and the blonde had had no choice but to back away from the raven in reluctance, turning away from him instantly with a solemn countenance.

If I lose this life game and feel the shame, will you be there?

From that day forward, both boys had eventually managed to avoid each other at Hogwarts, the old enmity that had once been formed between them beginning to rise again from the ashes.

But despite all that was going on amid the two, Draco had never once resisted the urge to keep himself the very least at a far distance away from Harry just enough to catch brief glances of him every now and then—when he wasn't tormenting the latter while he was with his friends, which had been a habit the blonde had only taken to recently due to the ever growing, remorsefully painful desire for the raven's attention burning deep inside. Other than that, he'd had no choice but to seem so vile on the outside, once more assuming the role of worst enemy.

At first, Malfoy had almost believed that Harry had truly forgotten about him, his sombre, desperate glances constantly gone unanswered and ignored...until that one morning when he'd actually caught the raven himself staring back at him with that same look of longing in his bright eyes, despite the new barrier between them.

It all began with their first flying lesson with Madam Hooch, and as far as the already unstable status of the young blonde's well-being had been concerned, things had only fallen downhill from there, from the moment that they'd been forced to duel one another for Defence against the Dark Arts to the day they'd both faced off as Seekers in their first Quidditch match together.

Since then, only Draco had noticed that warm spark of curiosity he'd long been waiting for in the latter's eyes start to return at a gradual pace, the faintest glimmer growing stronger and stronger as the years passed.

Although in the same time, neither had even bothered making any first advances of familiarity towards one another, and it killed Malfoy altogether, for at that point it still seemed as if Harry had no memory of the events that had occurred between them that one rainy day.

"Shut up, Malfoy," the raven had evenly shot back once during one of Hagrid's lessons, boldly approaching the blonde until they'd just been inches apart from each other, expressions firm and rigid as the rest of the class directed their questioning stares towards them. Malfoy had done nothing but swallowed hard, his gaze intent and scrutinizing on him that instant.

Somewhere deep in those gleaming emerald eyes, Harry was definitely hiding something that let him know he'd remembered just perfectly who he really was—and Draco had known it for a very long time.

However, the rising tension between the two had only continued to escalate so dramatically, and it wasn't until the inception of their fourth year that it had come to a point where this silent apprehension had finally surfaced—when Harry Potter's name was chosen from the Goblet of Fire and all hell had broken loose at Hogwarts when he'd been required to compete as a fourth challenger in the annual Triwizard Tournament.

~o~

That afternoon after the raven had just barely made it through the first task, Draco had found himself inside the Prefects' bathroom, leaning against a nearby sink and staring pointedly at his own reflection into the mirror before him, checking each detail of his normal semblance as he'd just recently been treated in the hospital wing following the result of Mad-Eye Moody's foul attempt to fully Transfigure him into a ferret.

To his content, everything had finally returned to the way it should be, but by the time he stares into his own eyes through the mirror, he can't help but see a hint of pensiveness and light anxiety hidden within dark pools of silvery grey. And then before he even realises it for himself, vivid thoughts of the raven running from the Hungarian Horntail begin to riddle his mind all over again, overwhelmingly much stronger than they had been before their encounter by the tree outside the school.

Draco had closed his eyes, letting out a long sigh and raking a hand through platinum blonde hair. Only he could see those feelings, though, and no one else—not even him.

Had it not been for the amused, poorly suppressed giggle coming directly from behind his back at that same moment.

The blonde had quickly whirled around, only to find nothing but thin air. But the laughter still continued to echo within the room, and a slight scowl formed on his pale face, his eyes searching aimlessly in different directions.

"Who's there? Show yourself," Draco had spoken firmly, taking a single step forward from where he was presently standing.

Suddenly, there was a moment of silence. Then after a few seconds, Moaning Myrtle had revealed herself from one of the bathroom stalls and swept over towards the blonde until she was only standing a few feet away from him, close enough for him to see through her.

"It's just me, silly boy," Myrtle giggled with a smile, eyes bright with enjoyment. She sighed, twirling around once. "What brings you here at this time of day...in a room as empty as this one, eh?"

At that, Malfoy stiffened, his expression tense that instant. But he still kept his composure. "I should be asking you the same thing," he replied evenly, staring reluctantly into Moaning Myrtle's vaporous irises. "How long have you been watching me?"

The apparition laughed airily. "Long enough to hear you murmur his name," she'd chimed in.

In response, Draco frowned, turning away from her with a grim semblance. "You know nothing of the sort," he spoke back in a reluctant tone.

Myrtle broke out into another wave of laughter, then smirked mischievously at the latter himself. "Oh, but I do, silly boy," she giggled amusedly, shifting closer to the blonde until his reflection could be seen. "I do. I know perfectly just who it is that you think about...every time you enter this very room to go and vent out so many curious emotions hidden so deep from within that seemingly cold, wretched heart of yours—Draco Malfoy."

Malfoy cringed, eyes wide for a brief moment. Fuck.

Myrtle closed her eyes and let out a sigh, peering over the other's shoulder. "He was just in here, too. For that second task that everyone's been talking about these days...and not just the other boy, I mean..." she trailed off, diverting her gaze towards the now empty bath on the other side of the room. Instinctively, Draco's eyes had followed hers in the same direction until they rested in the bubbles that remained floating around shallow residual water near the closed drain. His breath stilled.

"Harry James Potter," she purred the name with an intriguing edge to her voice. "You know, he's been here to this room almost as many times as you have, Malfoy."

The blonde swallowed hard for an instant, then lowered his eyes back down to the sink in despair.

"...I can help you, though," the apparition murmured quietly beside him, leaning her elbows on the sink to rest her head on her palms.

Draco only frowned, drawing his eyebrows together in disbelief and slowly shaking his head. "And what makes you think that you'll be able to help me?" he inquired, almost snapping at the latter.

There was a long pause. "Well, you could start by being a bit nicer," she replied calmly, backing away from the blonde, who'd only let out a small chuckle of incredulity.

But then Myrtle suddenly stopped in her train of thought and began speaking in a softer tone. "Hmph. At least you should know that by this time they've may as well have already gotten to his friends...he's all alone, you see, without any idea where they've gone or what to do about—oops, shouldn't have said that."

Immediately, Malfoy held his breath and whipped his head over his shoulder to look at her with grave eyes. "Say that again."

At this, Myrtle had only giggled once more before finally disappearing back into the nearest toilet. "Good luck..."

Shortly after, Draco had been standing rigidly in front of the bathroom sink, his expression grim as he stared out into the dim moonlight illuminating the room.

~o~

Later on that evening, the raven had been found sitting by himself in an empty library, surrounded with nothing but the soft light coming from the tip of his wand and numerous stacks of books taken straight from the Herbology section. Just as the blonde had suspected, neither Weasley nor Granger was present to accompany him that instant.

Oh, but what in the world was he to do? Right now he'd had absolutely no business whatsoever snooping around shelf after shelf like this...especially under the impression that he'd never be caught dead in the library doing his homework the very night before it's due...

Anything from that point forward would be too risky and definitely uncalled for. That is, unless...

That was when the large hands of the master clock on the room had instantly caught his attention, and soon afterward, his mouth had slowly curved up into a sly smirk.

No—he'd gotten that absolutely wrong. He could have an extra paper for Potions to buy him just enough time to...

Draco rolled his eyes and scoffed, quickly darting behind the nearest shelf. Of course he did. A few hours at most was all it would take.

~o~

It was ten minutes to midnight, and Harry had still been sitting there in the same area, turning page after page with his wand, eyes weary from staring aimlessly down at the small text.

By that time, Draco had emerged from one of the bookcases nearby, supposedly returning a book to one of the other shelves just beside the raven's head.

At this, Harry let out a yawn, rubbing both of his eyes before blinking at the blonde. "You're not a slacker," he spoke drowsily, peering at the latter with a tired expression. "What the hell are you doing here, Malfoy?"

Draco frowned, narrowing his eyes in irritation. "Simply returning something I borrowed a few weeks ago," he replied in an even tone. "Whydo you ask, Potter? Shouldn't you be preparing for that second task of yours tomorrow morning? Or are you busy right now thinking of another way to get me Transfigured into a different animal?"

The raven slowly shook his head, shifting his gaze with a small smirk as he glanced down at the pages of marine plant life laid out in front of him.

"Lakes. Gills. Something to help me breathe underwater tomorrow down at Black Lake...and I don't have a clue where to find it," he sighed, too exhausted to even shoot a single retort back to his worst adversary.

By the time Draco hears him yawn again, he sees that the latter has already rested his head on folded arms, leaning half-asleep on the surface of the table. The angelic, innocent expression on his lightly flushed face had been all it took for the blonde to unravel right then and there from the inside out.

"The library closes in a few minutes," the words had come out of his mouth in a calmer, quieter voice. "Thought you should know that while they're still dousing the lights off now."

Harry stirred slightly in his position, raising his head to gaze over at the blonde just as he yanked the open book he'd been reading earlier right from under his chin.

"Hmm..." he'd murmured sleepily, squinting through his glasses to see the latter placing the book back to its rightful place on the shelf, along with another that he'd set down on the large pile sitting on his left. "Malfoy...what do you think you're doing?"

Draco paused for a minute before answering in a cool, even tone. "Just what's reasonable," he spoke nonchalantly, taking another book from Harry's stack.

The raven blinked slowly before slowly shaking his head, leaning back in his chair to take his own book and mumbled as he slipped it back onto the shelf with a long sigh.

"S'not like you to do something like that, though. Self-preservation my arse—you're a sodding Slytherin, for Merlin's sake, and you're never reasonable at all..."

Malfoy glanced at the other for a brief moment, then impassively reached over towards the farther end of the table to retrieve the final book from the Herbology section.

If only it hadn't been one of those peculiarly rare occasions where he'd actually been too distracted that he hadn't even noticed Harry stand up just then from his seat right at the very last minute...

Thump.

~o~

Before long, both had found themselves leaning against the nearest bookshelf with eyes wide open in surprise and breaths still, Draco's wrists pinned down by Harry's hands as both found soft, tender lips roughly pressed against one another's.

~o~

Oddly enough, neither had bothered—or rather dared to move a single muscle that instant.

And not only that, it had actually taken the blonde a whole lot more than a couple of minutes before he had finally registered at the very top of his mind what had really been going on. Silvery grey irises were filled with nothing but anxiety as steadfast emerald green eyes stared back timorously—almost afraid. He could literally feel the raven's rapid heartbeat hovering just above his chest that instant, and it pained him so as not to move or breathe at the very slightest.

But the minute that Draco notices the slightest flicker in Harry's gaze, he is slightly more than overwhelmed to catch a familiarly childlike sparkle fully begin to elucidate tired, verdant eyes and to see, for not more than just a split second, the little raven he'd sat down with all those years ago start to return before him that moment in his arms.

By this time, Harry has still not budged an inch, and right as Malfoy finally exhales softly, his eyelids slowly drop with ease, pupils dilated. Only then does the knot of hard tension resting inside the blonde's heart that instant begin to gradually unwind in front of the latter himself and closes his own eyes as warm tongues instinctively begin to slide into one another's throats.

~o~

"Draco..." the hushed whisper had tickled the blonde's bottom lip as the other's slender fingers firmly held him in place by the back of his neck. "Draco...I..."

In an instant, Malfoy's grey eyes had darkened at the sound of the raven's soft mewl, and with that he'd slowly parted the latter's lips to deepen the kiss even further.

Harry let out a quiet whimper, his hands gradually sliding down into fists on the smooth white cotton of his school button-down.

After a while, Draco inhales sharply as he leans fervently into the latter's gentle touch, the pleasant feeling so warm and so pleasurable that it was almost maddening.

It takes all of the blonde's strength right then and there not to completely lose himself as the raven gasps and sighs into his mouth, the scent of citrus and hardwood filling the air around them.

But still with an effort he manages to maintain his composure. "Are you sure you don't remember me?" he breathes in a cool, even tone, sliding a hand up Harry's neck to rake through jet-black hair.

In response, the raven only hisses faintly, vulnerable and exposed in the other's open arms. "Fuck..."

At this, Malfoy couldn't help but smirk slightly against his lips, letting out a long sigh. "...or has it just been too much fun for you pretending to avoid me?" he eventually murmurs to him in a dismal voice.

But there was only silence.

This time, he gets no reply and immediately cringes as Harry slowly drags his tongue over his bottom lip.

Draco closed his eyes, groaning softly into the latter's mouth. "Harry..." he whispered, just barely audible that instant.

At this, the raven exhales sharply, hastily pressing himself full-length against the blonde's heated chest.

But the minute he finally senses the familiar taste of the other's bottom lip right upon his very own...the world abruptly stops in place as painful memories suddenly begin to flood back into his vast mind, the numerous recollections that he'd tried so hard to push away so long ago quickly rushing back up through the surface of his inner thoughts like a tidal wave, forcing Harry to stiffen immediately where he was.

And soon enough, at that same time Draco had been more than horrified to see every single thing that had been going through the other's mind with him in vivid detail—flashback after flashback of a young Harry Potter wandering endlessly through an empty playground, desperately crying his name out in the whistling wind as cold rain fell down upon him...and only to be greeted with dead silence along with the terribly agonizing grief of unrequited longing.

"Draco!" the smaller voice had echoed through his ears. "Draco!"

A sharp twinge of pain goes through Malfoy's heart, and with that, he sucks in a shallow gulp of air.

"Draco—where are you? Answer me, please!"

By the time Draco reluctantly looks up to meet Harry's gaze, the raven is already backed up against the bookshelf across from him, eyes wide and anguished with a hard expression on his almost blood-drained face with a hand lightly pressed against his bottom lip.

As the memories still continue to resonate in the far corners of the blonde's mind, all Draco can do at that moment is wince. The raven squeezes his eyes shut, looking away from him that instant as a small shudder runs down his spine.

Malfoy's countenance is only remorseful, and without thinking, he slowly reaches an arm out to reassure him from the other side of the small, enclosed space between them.

"Harry..." he murmured softly, eyes filled with regret.

But Harry only shakes his head from side to side, taking a deep breath and letting out a long, ragged exhale.

"Don't," he quietly whispers in a hoarse, agonized tone. "Please..."

At this, Draco frowns, painfully withdrawing his hand away from the raven before him, and watches sombrely as he disappears without a word out into the dark corridor in the near distance, not looking back to meet the blonde's wistful gaze even once.

As soon as he'd heard the door slam on the other side of the library, Malfoy had only stood there in silence, nothing but the dim moonlight filling the now dark and empty room.

When I feel the guilt from this creature I've built...will you be there?

Since that night, Harry had not spoken a single word to him, nor had he even bothered to direct any forlorn glances towards the blonde as he'd merely decided to avoid him as much as he possibly could. Though most of the time, Draco had seldom seen the raven at all, which had more so caused the never-ending guilt to weigh a lot heavier at the bottom of his heart.

Most unfortunately, however, things had only gotten worse by the very end of the Triwizard Tournament, when Harry had forever been traumatised and mentally scarred by the firsthand experience of Cedric Diggory's murder and when Draco himself had discovered the ominously dark side of his father's identity as one of Voldemort's nefarious henchmen.

By that time, a greater distance had separated the two even more...especially after the blonde had been forced to join the Death Eaters by Lucius's apprehensive coercions and the Dark Lord's terrible threats.

Soon enough within the years, everything had spiralled out of Draco's control the moment he had heard Voldemort conspiring a terrible plot with the other Death Eaters to kill Dumbledore within Hogwarts' walls...and Harry just after that. Since then, the uneasiness growing in the blonde's stomach had only continued to remain since he was meant to be the main culprit.

"You see...I cannot kill Harry Potter unless I obtain that wand," the Dark Lord spoke evenly, looking around at his followers. But then he paused briefly, swiftly glancing to the other side of the room where Draco had been standing rigidly, and smirked darkly. "But if, for some reason, the Elder Wand does not end up in my possession during the event...then the person who does successfully manage to Disarm the old fool shall have my full blessing to finish the deed himself."

~o~

Ba-boom.

Ba-boom.

"Avada Kedavra!"

"NO!"

At that moment, the blonde had watched in horror as Dumbledore, like a broken marionette, fell gracefully from the top of the Astronomy Tower after Snape had stepped in for him to "deal the final blow." And to make things worse, the Elder Wand had felt dreadfully cold in the palm of Draco's hand when he'd turned to see Harry's mortified, agonized expression as he rushed up the last staircase to aim barrages of Stunning Spells at all who had been present.

"Impedimenta! Petrificus Totalus!" the raven had cried, sending Fenrir Greyback and Amycus straight to the ground beneath them.

But before he could even point his own wand to the blonde himself, Snape had quickly pushed Draco out of the way, and the Death Eater standing beside him had instantly taken Harry down with a single Cruciatus Curse.

"CRUCIO!"

In a split second, the raven was on the floor writhing, his face twisted in absolute anguish—but then his arm instinctively jerked upwards, shooting a wordless Stupefy in the latter's direction.

With that, Harry shifted to roll over on his stomach, glaring piercing daggers at the blonde who'd been standing before him with a painful expression on his pale face.

Immediately feeling betrayed, the raven growled at the latter, eyes filled with anger and disbelief. "How could you!" he'd shouted at him, hands clenching tightly into fists. "How could you help them do this? You bastard—you really are the foulest git, aren't you!"

Draco had said nothing, eyes tormented as he met the other's stinging gaze and felt a twinge of pain jolt right through the very core of his heart. He'd all but remained at a loss for words, but that hadn't been until he'd begun to hear the voices of a couple more Death Eaters not far behind him, and his expression suddenly had grown stricken as he'd eventually found his own arm pointing the Elder Wand...directly towards the exact area where Harry was sprawled over, helpless.

"Draco, now's your chance!" one shrieked just from over his shoulder. "Finish him off! End it here!"

But he hadn't budged an inch, standing there torn between losing his own life in the end and taking his life just for the mere purpose of saving it. If he'd wanted to drop the Elder Wand right then and there, he could have very well done so just moments ago. And oh, it hadn't been until his voice had broken the tension did this runaway train of thought in his mind finally start to fade away.

"Kill me," the words had reached his ears in a cold, anguished tone. "Kill me, Draco."

In that instant, the blonde had looked down to meet the spectacled raven's intent, grim gaze and froze upon seeing the storm of torment inside dull, emerald green irises that had once been so bright.

Soon, he'd held his breath upon noticing him close his eyes, hanging his head as slender fingers clawed painfully at the floor beneath.

"What are you waiting for?" Harry had cried, after a few minutes of silence had passed. "Go ahead! Do it now! Kill me..."

No...

Draco was mortified, his hand almost shaking that instant. Physically hurting Harry himself had always been one thing, but torturing him by dark magic had been another idea he had never brought himself to do ever in his lifetime—and up to now, he really couldn't help but decide that it may as well still was, deep down from the very bottom of his now tainted heart.

"I..." the murmur began to escape under a forced exhale from his lips.

But before he could say anything more, a jet of red light had hit one of the nearby walls, nearly missing one of the Death Eaters that moment, and Snape had swiftly grabbed him by the arm, causing the blonde to drop the Elder Wand as he'd been led outside—away from the commencing chaos.

However, in just seconds, Harry was right behind them, shooting numerous Stunning Spells and hexes towards the two with all his might.

"Stupefy!"

Immediately, Severus had stopped abruptly in the middle of the present path, whirling around to block the raven's attacks and glancing over his shoulder to look at him with apprehension.

"Run, Draco!" he'd shouted, quickly ducking his head to just barely dodge a hastily aimed Cruciatus Curse.

At this, he'd had no other choice but to nod once, continuing further into the darkness of the Forbidden Forest. But at the same time, he couldn't help but glance back every now and then with remorseful eyes to see the betrayed expression plastered on the raven's face.

"Fight back!" he'd heard Harry cry, hurling another Crucio towards the top of Snape's head. "Fight back, you coward!"

It hadn't been until the very moment before Draco had Disapparated that he himself had felt terrible upon the sad realisation that the raven's stinging words had mainly been aimed towards him.

As you see, I need a heart...as I'm falling apart.

In the few days that followed, Malfoy had ended up in a lot of trouble with the Dark Lord himself, who'd nearly killed him had it not been for his father's driving influence.

However, in the end he'd just been punished all the same, and the blonde had yet to care about the few things his parents had allowed to be done to him, for it was already more than enough that the sheer guilt was overflowing from Draco's heart.

Eventually after hours of thinking and processing all the odds that had been against him up to that moment, he'd brought himself to the decision to go and set things right, absolutely at no matter cost it would take. He'd needed to talk to him now.

At that point, he had only known one thing for sure, and it was that he really didn't want to do this anymore. Never again did he want to see any more people die before his very eyes or suffer horribly under the hand of Lord Voldemort himself, and watching Harry writhe under that Cruciatus Curse had been far too painful a sight than it should have ever been.

As soon as the chance had finally presented itself to him, the blonde hadn't hesitated once before Apparating inconspicuously into the streets surrounding Grimmauld Place, following a path he'd seen Dobby use numerous times when the short little elf had still lived in the manor under his supervision.

But the minute he sets foot on wet blacktop, the first thing he sees is his back turned towards him, the raven standing rigidly out in the cold, pouring rain.

Without looking back, Harry recognises the new presence and only closes his eyes, swiftly continuing down the sidewalk without a single word.

At this, Draco winces, opening his mouth to speak in a hushed, nonchalant tone. "Harry."

That instant the raven clearly hears the blonde's voice, but he doesn't stop. Instead he just proceeds to unlock the door to what had once been the home of his beloved godfather, expression impassive.

It is only a matter of seconds before Draco begins to follow swiftly behind Harry as he places his hand on the doorknob and slowly twists it open from there. But the moment he reaches his arm out to touch the other's shoulder, the raven stops and glances back at him before hastily deciding at the last minute to Apparate into the front corridor instead.

Harry's eyes are duller than they were the night before, and at this point, they are only filled with nothing but pain and anguish. At this, the blonde only catches a brief glimpse before the latter has finally disappeared inside and freezes, his expression regretful.

He closes his eyes before letting out a long sigh, hanging his head in front of the closed door and knowing just for that instant that the raven was on the other side, waiting for him to go away. And Draco respected that as it was—but there were things that just had to be said that moment, none else.

The blonde takes a step closer to the door before speaking in a low but soft murmur.

"Harry—please. Wait."

No response.

Malfoy slowly shook his head, then paused for a long instant. "Look—I know I'm probably that one person you least want to see right now, but I promise you, I'm not here to try and make anything worse," he continued in a hard, even tone, eyebrows knitting together in a thoughtful expression. "I just...I just need you to listen to me for a minute, alright? Whether you decide to hear my words or not is your decision alone...all I'm here to do is to say some really important things that just need to be said—right now."

Nothing more than silence greets him from beyond the great wooden door, but Draco still waits hopelessly for the slightest response, wincing as the flashbacks of that rainy night repeated themselves over and over again in his head.

"Potter."

There is nothing.

~o~

Meanwhile on the other side of the threshold, Harry is pressed up flat on his back against the wood, feet planted firmly on the floor. His hand is clenching the doorknob, and his eyes are squeezed shut as he just barely hears Draco's soft murmurs from behind.

It is not until Dobby yanks lightly at his shirt sleeve does he lift his eyelids up to peer down sombrely into big, timid blue eyes.

"Dobby is very sorry that he let his old master Draco follow him back into Harry Potter's home. Dobby never meant for all of this to happen. Dobby is a careless elf," he had heard the latter speak to him in a hushed, timorous voice. "Does Harry Potter wish for Dobby to make Master Draco leave?"

Harry is quiet for a moment but then lowers his gaze to the floor and lets out a small exhale, shaking his head.

"Let me hear what he has to say first," he replies in a soft whisper.

After this, there is a long pause, and Dobby only nods once, stepping aside to leave him alone to listen in the empty corridor.

~o~

"Harry—look. You have to understand. It was never my intention for any of this to happen, and I'm..."

Sorry, Harry thinks to himself wistfully behind the wooden door, knowing almost exactly what had been going through the blonde's head when he was speaking, without even looking that instant.

I never wanted to hurt you. Please forgive me.

But it was too simple: Malfoys never apologized openly. The raven closes his eyes, fingers clawing into his palms as his hands slowly balled up into tight fists.

There is a long pause on the other side of the closed threshold, then a sharp exhale. "Harry, I..."

By the time Draco stops speaking, he merely sinks to the floor, staring up at the ceiling with an agonized expression. His words of regret hit him straight home, and at that moment, he swallows hard and bites his lower as he struggles to fight down the tightened knot starting to form at the very pit of his stomach. He is still afraid of letting his heart open up to the world again—reluctant to become vulnerable once more and trust this someone as much he knew he'd mistakenly done so before in his childhood.

Sorry wasn't enough, the thought echoed through from the very back of his mind that instant. Too much had already happened, and he'd already waited for him for far too long just to hear him speak about it and bring the painful memory back from the darkest shadows of his past. The fact was obvious that nothing he could do now would ever make things right the way they were between them again.

And so he'd sat there without budging a single inch...until finally he'd heard the sound of the blonde's footsteps making their way back down the front steps.

After a while, it was deathly silent, and the raven takes a deep breath, sighing.

For some reason, Harry is too exhausted to bring himself to get back up on his feet and only remains where he is on the floor until he eventually falls asleep with his knees curled up under his chin. His face is still slightly flushed from wet tears that had come down from earlier events.

~o~

Later on, however, after a few hours' past, he is surprised to find himself being woken up to see Dobby tugging at his sleeve once more and pointing anxiously towards the window nearby.

At this, the raven groans softly before groggily bringing himself up to his feet to peer out tentatively into the dark night, stiffening instantly to find a dark figure huddled up at the bottom of the front steps. Immediately, Harry rubs his eyes in disbelief and quickly reaches for the door to stand outside.

By this time, it has finally stopped raining, and the scent of sodden sidewalk is the first thing that greets him just upon stepping out into the darkness. As he glances around, there is nothing but the silent air and the cold wind against his face, but when he reaches the bottom steps, his breath stills at the sight of a sleeping Draco Malfoy curled over on one side, one hand sprawled over ebony-clad chest while the other hung limply at his side. Much to his astonishment, his face is for once seen angelic with tranquil repose, and Harry listens quietly as he just barely hears the hushed, steady pattern of the latter's breathing. For a moment, his eyes soften upon the rare glimpse of the blonde that he'd once known and trusted all those years ago, but his expression becomes apprehensive when he sees the faint shadows of insomnia lingering on alabaster skin below closed eyes.

~o~

The raven lets out a small sigh, then after a few moments, finally sits down beside the blonde and gazes longingly at him with intent eyes while at the same time sinking so deep into his own flood of thoughts, unsure.

"Will there ever be a time when I'll actually stop thinking of you?" the words escape from his mouth in a low, quiet murmur, barely audible.

Again, the memories of that rainy day flow back into his head, and Harry closes his eyes, slowly shaking his head and exhaling sharply. "Draco..."

You have no idea how much I've missed you, he ends up thinking solemnly to himself. Or how much I want to say I fucking love you, and it already hurts so much.

It isn't until he feels a light tap on his left shoulder that the raven eventually turns around to meet the timorous gaze of a concerned, wide-eyed Dobby.

"Harry Potter wants Draco Malfoy to leave...doesn't he?"

Harry holds his breath for an instant.

Dobby lowers his eyes tentatively, then glances over at the sleeping blonde before speaking again in a quieter tone. "...does Harry Potter wish for Dobby to take Mr. Malfoy back to his manor?"

There is a long pause between the two.

But after a while, the raven swallows hard, then looks purposefully in the same direction as the small house elf, his eyes intent and contemplative on Draco's serene semblance.

"No, Dobby," he manages to speak evenly, letting out an exasperated sigh as he briefly glances towards the other that instant. "I think I'm the one who's leaving tonight," he finishes in a firm, definitive tone.

At this, Dobby's eyes widen tenfold, and his mouth gapes open in incredulity. "Leaving? But where?"

Before he can say anything more in reply, Harry has already made his way back inside.

~o~

By the time the raven steps out onto the steps again, Dobby is still waiting by the front door, expression anxious.

"Are you sure you want to do this, Mr. Harry Potter, sir?" he asks meekly, shifting his gaze towards the small backpack slung over the latter's shoulder.

In response, Harry's eyes only soften as he bends down to meet the elf's concerned stare and gently puts a hand on his shoulder, glancing back at Draco where he lay. He takes a deep breath, then swallows hard. "Dobby..." he begins quietly, face solemn as he speaks, diverting his gaze away from the sleeping blonde. "Look—he'll follow me again if I don't do this now." The raven pauses slightly, letting out a sharp exhale. "It'll only be gone for a while—I promise I'll come back."

For a split second, there is a slight twinge in Harry's heart as the same familiar words come to recollect once more in the very corner of his mind, and he winces, his eyes steadfast on the elf, whose gaze is still as timid as ever.

"But Harry Potter hates the Muggle Dursleys..." Dobby murmurs softly under his breath. "Is he absolutely sure of where he is going?"

"...yes."

At that moment, the raven frowns, turning to look again at Malfoy as he continues to lie in undisturbed repose on the bottom step of the stairwell, countenance still unperturbed. "It's the only place where he won't be able to find me," the words slowly come out of his mouth in a soft whisper. "I have to go away." By this point, Harry's expression is pained as he stares at the blonde, who may as well have been dead to the world for all it mattered that instant. But after one long glance, he finally manages to peel his eyes away from the latter and begins to make his way down the winding street, Apparating with his backpack as soon as he'd turned on the nearest corner.

I'm sorry, he thinks agonizingly to himself as Grimmauld Place gradually disappears from behind his shoulder. I'm sorry, Draco.

Not someone to take and shove but someone that I can truly love.

It isn't until a bit over three hours after Harry leaves does Malfoy finally stir in his sleep and gradually begin to slip back into consciousness as he hears a small but strongly familiar voice calling his name over and over again in the darkness of his mind.

"Draco!"

"..."

"Draco!"

At this point, he is still stuck in his own dream, and he finds himself standing in the middle the very park he'd visited so long ago. To Draco's astonishment, it had been raining as hard as it had before, the stormy wind blowing against pale cheeks.

But this time, he is alone in the playground, and not a single soul is even there to accompany him at the moment. Instead, all that he hears is the cries of a young boy and his name resounding in the cold air, causing the blonde to hold his breath and whirl around in search of its sole source.

From the very beginning, however, Malfoy knows perfectly who these endless and desperate calls belong to, and he slowly closes his eyes, responding to the latter's voice.

"Harry," he shouts back calmly in a clear, meaningful tone.

There is nothing but the pitter-patter of rain.

But soon, the blonde hears a scuffle not far from where he is standing and quickly looks over to just enough to see the dark shadow of a small child rush past a nearby tree. In that instant, Draco swallows hard upon recognising the latter's figure in a split second, then without any second thoughts goes and rushes after him in hot pursuit.

By the time he has caught up to about seven feet away from the boy, a mess of dishevelled, jet-black hair is visible under the dim light in addition to the slight glimpse of distinctive round glasses resting on flushed ears. The blonde just barely fights back a frustrated cry rising to the top of his throat as he continues to chase after the running raven.

"Harry!" he calls again, almost breathless as he struggles to keep up with him.

But Harry doesn't look back.

However, only after what seems to be quite a long while, the raven finally stops in his tracks, and Draco stands not far from where he is, exhausted and leaning down on his knees to catch lost breath.

When he eventually manages to compose himself once more, he looks up wearily at the latter and winces as he notices how very still he is standing at that point, head almost drooping like a withering flower.

And even though Malfoy cannot see any part of his face that moment, he feels, deep down in his heart the hot tears streaming down the other's rosy cheeks. A faint sniffle is heard, and the blonde winces as he steps forward to approach the young raven.

Now they are only a foot apart from each other, but the minute Draco slowly reaches an arm out to touch Harry's shoulder, the boy suddenly disappears, and he instantly wakes up in a cold sweat, grey eyes bulging as he immediately sits up on the cold stone steps of reality.

At first, a small gasp escapes from the blonde's mouth, but then he stiffens instantly upon the dismal sight of a long, empty street before him and eventually comes back to the sad realisation that he is still outside on the front steps of Grimmauld Place, waiting vigilantly for the raven himself to open the door behind with at least some reply to the things he has just said in what seems like previous moments ago. But as hard as it had been for him to believe at that moment, the sun is already up, starting yet another new day.

Soon, Draco lets out a slow exhale, then carefully turns around to find the threshold still closed and grimaces when he finds the door locked tight after tentatively bringing himself up to his feet.

With this, he stands there in bleak silence, frowning and looking down at the damp ground below, hearing nothing but the soft sound of the wind blowing past his face.

"Harry," the blonde speaks again, this time in a hushed murmur.

There is no response.

I love you, the words come to him in a sombre, resounding thought.

He pauses for a long moment, then closes his eyes and lets out a small sigh before finally turning to make his way down onto the sidewalk into the morning light.

...but the problem is...I just don't know how to say it.

~o~

When Draco Disapparates, he does not go home, but visits the one place he'd always felt safe in as a child.

The playground is all but empty of children at this time of early dawn, but everything is still the way he had seen it before, dimly lit underneath a grey cloudy sky.

It is calm and quiet outside in the local park, and the blonde can't help but smile as he steps forward towards the tree where he had last seen the young raven all those years ago.

But almost instantly, he stops dead in his tracks when he hears a slight rustle not far from behind.

At this, the blonde closes his eyes and instinctively begins to reach for his wand in his pocket, maintaining a cool, impassive expression on his face.

~o~

King's Cross is almost vacant around the same time of first light, except for the recent crowd of passengers that get off from a train that has just come to a stop on the platform where Harry is standing.

The raven's semblance is solemn and sombre as long-lived memories of the blonde continue to repeat themselves over and over again in his mind, but after a while, he manages to suppress them, though he is still torn between taking the final step to push him out of his life forever and staying just to get his heart broken in pieces by the same person once more.

As the crowd rushes past him to leave the station, questions endlessly riddle his mind, and Harry closes his eyes, desperately wishing to make them all go away when he knows at that point that they will only grow louder and louder in his thoughts as he stands there detachedly with the reality around him.

Soon enough, Draco's words begin to echo distinctively in the far corners of his mind, and the raven clenches his teeth to bite back a frustrated sob.

This is it... he thinks to himself desolately, waiting as the train car in front of him finally empties out.

In just a few more seconds, King's Cross is empty again, and the minute the doors to the train are cleared, he takes his backpack in his hands and makes his way to step forward into the vacant area.

No more turning back.

But the very moment before he enters the unoccupied train car, something makes Harry stop right where he is outside.

And before he knows it, his scar is burning like the furnaces of hell, forcing the raven to fall back onto the floor before reaching his hand up to cover the searing pain that had caused him to cry out that instant.

~xXx~

Quickly the station disappears from sight, and he finds himself inside a dark room where Voldemort's voice can be heard from a close distance.

"He has been a fool to go and betray my orders for the last time..." he hears the Dark Lord hiss in a chilling tone.

In a split second, a violent shudder runs down the raven's spine.

His silhouette, along with another is standing on the other side of the room, and Harry just barely sees Voldemort's teeth glint dimly as he smiles terribly at the person kneeling down before him.

"...I am sure that you are more than worthy enough to dispose of him for me," he chuckled darkly.

By the time his wand is visibly withdrawn into bony, slender fingers that instant, the raven is horrified to see yellow-green smoke illuminate the shadowy figure before him to reveal what seemed to be a motionless Crabbe stuck under the influence of an Imperius Curse.

Harry's eyes widen tenfold, and he shifts his gaze to see the Dark Lord laugh maliciously.

"Do not fail me, Vincent Crabbe. I trust that you will follow after that ignorantly rebellious friend of yours. If Draco Malfoy cannot even obey my will as to take the life of my sole enemy, then he shall compensate with the loss of his very own. Kill him."

~xXx~

The raven lets out a gasp, and soon, the dark room fades around him, only to be replaced by vivid images of a young blonde standing despondently under a melancholy, stormy sky, his voice more and more audible above the sound of the strong winds.

"Harry! Harry, where are you!" he painfully hears him cry, wincing while he comes to the sad realisation as his words finally reach his ears that very moment.

"Harry, please come back...I'm sorry..."

After a while, time shifts forward to present-day, and Draco Malfoy himself is seen rigid-faced as he stands Disarmed before a greatly influenced Crabbe who has his wand gripped firmly in his hand.

Before long, a jet of green light is fired, and Harry's vision quickly ends.

~xXx~

"Draco," the name passes his lips in a soft whisper as he wakes up to find himself alone again in the dim light of King's Cross Station.

The raven groans, then stirs from the floor and slowly gets up to stare intently out into the rainy sky.

So if I'm blind...

Malfoy's eyes are still closed when he calmly pulls his wand out.

"I thought I told you to stay behind," he speaks in a hard, even tone.

But the latter doesn't even bother to answer. Right from the very beginning, the blonde already knows that he is under the thick influence of an Imperius Curse as much as who had given his friend the order before he whirls around quickly to face Crabbe with his own eyes.

"Petrificus Total—"

"Expelliarmus!"

Immediately, the brunette Disarms him where he stands, and Draco exhales sharply as he stares bleakly into dull, murky irises.

Fuck.

And you fall behind...

By this time, Harry had already Disapparated to the local streets, rushing relentlessly past the numerous trees surrounding him in the cold rain.

"Draco!" the raven cries desperately, running even faster as the image of deathly green light flashes once more in his mind.

In a few minutes, he turns on a nearby corner and shouts the blonde's name again, his eyes frantically darting around in different directions. But soon enough, he trips over a big puddle on the ground and falls hard on his face, guilt overflowing from the bottom of his heart. He stares remorsefully out into the harsh storm, and a flash of lightning flickers just over the spot where he is lying, broken and anguished.

Draco...I...

And if I'm lost...

"You don't have to do this," the blonde murmurs grimly, taking a step back away from Crabbe as he continues to approach him insidiously.

The brunette only smirks at his friend's words and points his wand out towards him that instant.

"The Dark Lord commands me to," he replies in a distant, sinister voice. "I have to do as I'm told."

At this, Draco merely rolls his eyes, letting out an exasperated sigh. "Good grief—of all the times that you've obdurately refused to listen to anyone else with that thick-headed skull, you decide to go back on your instinct just this once."

Crabbe only frowns at the comment before taking another firm step closer to the blonde.

"Lord Voldemort's orders triumph over all."

In that instant, Malfoy's countenance grows dismal, and he winces as he stands helpless in front of the cursed latter.

"Crabbe..." he murmurs quietly, shifting backward. "Crabbe, you moron—I know you're still in there somewhere. Snap out of it already."

But at this point, he has already lifted his arm to aim his wand towards the very middle of his chest, where only the remains of his broken heart had resided.

"Goodbye, Draco," he responds stolidly, withdrawing his hand back at the slightest to fire the one curse the latter has already been expecting.

Grey eyes widen with horror.

~o~

It isn't long, though, before Harry caught a glimpse of two figures on the other side of the street, facing each other as if at a standstill as neither of them had moved an inch.

At this, the raven rises from the sodden sidewalk to peer past the nearby gate and beyond the tall trees...only to see that one is pointing a wand at the other.

Immediately, his breath stills, and without any moment's hesitation, he is sprinting towards the park gate.

Will I be easy to find?

By the time the two come into close view, Harry quickly pulls out his own wand and rushes towards them in an instant, heart pounding almost as aggressively as Draco's had been at that moment while the desolate blonde closed his eyes in defeat.

In a split second, the raven manages to reach him.

"DRACO!" his voice echoes in the whistling wind.

Immediately, Malfoy's eyelids flutter open in disbelief. But before he can even turn to look at either of them...

"Avada Kedavra!"

"Expelliarmus!"

"BANG."

Above all...will you be there?

For a moment, everything is dark inside the blonde's mind. But then his vision slowly fades back into a blur, and Draco stirs on the ground, letting out a soft groan as he carefully lifts himself up to see an unconscious Crabbe lying just a few feet across from him on wet pavement.

At this, a terrible ache hurts inside Malfoy's head, and quickly he rakes a hand through dishevelled blonde hair to ease the searing pain.

Damn...what the hell just happened?

However, the feeling only gets so much worse when he catches the slightest glance of Harry sprawled out close beside him, motionless and face-down on the sopping grass. Immediately, he sucks in a gulp of air and his expression becomes grave.

As soon as the blonde's sight clears up just enough to see the poor raven at arm's length from where he is sitting, Draco is at his side in an instant, anxiously flipping him over on the ground and holding him by the shoulders.

"Harry..." he murmurs hoarsely, gazing apprehensively down at the latter's now ashen face with surprisingly fearful grey eyes. When he doesn't get a response, he swallows hard and shakes his shoulder once, cradling the raven's head gingerly in his arms.

"Harry," he speaks again, this time with a tense and slightly shaky catch to his tone.

But all he hears is nothing.

Draco lets out a sharp exhale and bites down hard on his lower lip as the raven remains inert and still in his position.

~o~

I'm dead, I think to myself. As the seconds pass, I can already sense life leaving me, and before long, I can hardly feel anything at all inside.

A light swims into the far darkness of my mind, and at this point, I know that it is almost time because it has become clear that my parents are waiting for me just on the other side, calling my name softly over and over again.

"Harry..."

With this, I take a slow, deep breath before stepping forward towards the white light, my hand instinctively reach out towards the other end of the road.

But just as I begin to move my feet, something makes me stop right where I am, and suddenly I stiffen as I hear a distinct but faint voice reach my own ears that very instant.

"Harry...Harry, please—wake up. You can't go just yet...I—"

At that moment, I perfectly recognise the voice coming directly at me from behind, and a twinge of pain goes through my heart as I begin to hear his words.

"Please...there are still so many things I need to say...Harry."

My breath catches for a second, and I close my eyes as a knot begins to form in the middle of my throat. Draco...

Soon enough, I hear a ragged inhale come from the latter that instant, and it takes every bit of my last nerve to lose myself at the same time when I hear the next thing he finally says.

"Harry...I love you. Please...I'm sorry."

"Draco," his name eventually escapes in a soft whisper from my lips. Then I quickly find myself alone in the park back on a day just as rainy as it had been before...

And to this point, I am still looking for him in the same open path out in the playground, searching aimlessly among the numerous trees. When there is nothing to be seen, I close my eyes and let out a sigh, hanging my head in what only seems to be left of crestfallen defeat.

But just as I turn to leave the painfully empty silence...

"Harry!"

My breath stills.

It's only then that I begin to hear another voice inside my head...saying I shouldn't be so blind.

"Harry!" he calls again, his voice now louder and stronger.

~xXx~

I exhale slowly, my arms limp at my sides...as I start to listen to all these things that you would probably hide. And from there, I can just say there are too many questions resounding through my mind as I hear your voice once more.

"Wait!"

Am I...your one and only desire?

Am I...the reason you breathe?

Or am I the reason you cry?

At this point, all but one word is merely sitting at the top of my throat, just waiting to burst through tightly closed lips.

"Harry!" the young blonde cries, his call echoing in the cold wind.

Soon enough, I stiffen when I feel a small, warm hand touch the back of my shoulder. I shiver, then lean into the touch, placing my hand over pale skin, and I open my eyes before I start to look back with desperate eyes.

When you think of me...I only think of you, too.

You don't know how much I love you...and how much I absolutely hate you...

As I catch a glimpse of drenched blonde hair and intent grey irises staring at me from behind, everything around me begins to disappear in a flash.

But in the end...no matter what I do...

"HARRY!" I hear him shout again, before everything turns back into dim light and rainy skies.

...I just can't forget about you.

~o~

"Harry," his tone is pained and hushed as he hovers concernedly over him.

When the raven opens his eyes slowly, he finds the other's face just inches away from his, silver eyes not looking directly at him but completely engulfed with regret and anxiety. Harry's gaze softens as he glances up at the latter and smiles faintly.

Somehow from this angle, he seems so beautiful under the rainy clouds, platinum blonde hair fallen perfectly over an ivory, angelic complexion dimly lit just under the stormy sky.

But Draco is trembling beside him, and carefully, the raven reaches over to gently take his hand into his.

In that instant, the blonde stiffens and immediately looks down to meet tired emerald green eyes.

"Harry," he whispers quietly, gingerly wrapping slender fingers around the raven's palm. He takes his other hand, shifting it underneath the back of Harry's head. "I..." he begins, but something in the raven's gaze stops him before he can even say anything else.

At this, Draco waits silently as Harry stares warmly at him before lifting his free hand up to caress the other's flushed cheek. The blonde closes his eyes that moment, exhaling slowly as he leans into the comforting touch.

And then the raven smiled the brightest he'd ever managed since ever before, raising his head up slightly to whisper one word into the blonde's ear:

"Always..." he murmurs softly, verdant irises shimmering as sunlight slowly emerges from the clouds above to elucidate both of their shining faces.

~Looking up there's only sky
Rest your head I'll take you high
And we won't fade into darkness
Won't let you fade into darkness
Where were we now?
You'll be safe…

Hold my hand, just in case
And we won't fade into darkness…~

~o~

Music on My Mind~ Where Would We Be Now? By Good Charlotte (don't own)

Notes from the KIT-chan~

Review? ^_^";

Phew...that was long, but I hope you all liked reading it. XD

Lyrics at the end are from a short but good song called Fade Into Darkness by Avicci (which I don't own) while the ones at the beginning are from All that You Are by The Goo Goo Dolls (another beautiful song that I also sadly do not own).

Thanks again to weaselatnature for re-kindling my inner Drarry flame! Even though the series has been finished, there's always more to come... XD

Till next time, loves~! ^~^

.::.*~Kit Shadow~*.::.