Author: Aima D. Duragon
Rating: This chapter is PG-13 for language and innuendo.
Warnings: slash (H/D)
Spoilers: SS, CoS, PoA, GoF, OotP, HBP, DH
Disclaimer: All characters in this story are owned by JK Rowling, but the actual story is mine, which I suppose is some small accomplishment :)
A/N: Soooooo, I wrote this fic for Protego Totalum who was kind enough to send me a very intriguing fic request :3 (I'm sorry it took me so long to finish it though!). This was initially going to be a kind of PWP one-shot...but I dunno, that just didn't sit well with me so I made it into more of a hurt/comfort fic. I may however do a second chapter which would be PWP lol.
When you're overwhelmed and you've lost your breath
When the space between the things you know is blurry nothingness
When you try to speak but you make no sound
And the words you want are out of reach, but they've never been so loud
If your heart wears thin I will hold you up
And I will hide you when it gets too much
I'll be right beside you, I'll be right beside you
I will stay
Nobody will break you
"…And that's why leather pants are a must have in every young wizard's wardrobe."
Harry laughed heartily, "I hardly think that's a valid argument, Draco." He threw the blonde a teasing smirk, enjoying the way his grey eyes lit up in response. He always enjoyed everything about his walks with Draco. It had been their tradition for the last year or so to go on a walk somewhere every Sunday afternoon. The two young men never really went anywhere—the road simply led and they followed, but the comfort of each other's company was more than enough to entertain them. Today they were walking down a rather busy street in downtown London, taking a certain pleasure in blending in with the crowd.
Draco threw an arm over Harry's shoulder and pulled him in close. "And why is that, love?"
Harry shivered at the sensation of Draco's hot breath on his ear. "Because," Harry tilted his head slightly, so as to give the Slytherin better access to the skin he was now torturing, "I don't think every bloke in England wants you goggling at their backside. And besides, the only arse you should be looking at is mine."
"Oh," Draco purred, nipping at Harry's ear appreciatively, "I don't think your arse is exactly wanting for attention." Just to prove his point, Draco's arm dropped from Harry's shoulder, sliding down the slope of his back and father down still. The blonde's fingers splayed and gave a firm squeeze.
"Draco!" Harry batted him off, flushing. "We're in public!"
Draco grinned boyishly, "Those glasses really do the job, don't they."
Harry shook his head and remained silent, but he didn't bother trying to hide the amusement in his expression. It was truly amazing how far they'd come in just three years—this winter would mark their second anniversary. Whenever Harry thought about it—which was actually quite often—he always had a hard time remembering why there had been such a heated animosity between them back at Hogwarts. But he certainly didn't have trouble remembering how it had all changed. It had all come about rather strangely really. They had been coincidentally paired for a six month training segment at the Auror Academy. Naturally, they had refused to work together, and naturally the instructors refused to reconsider their pairing.
The first couple weeks of their training had passed as was expected: with each of them in the infirmary at the close of the day. Eventually though, the actual hostility in their fights began to fizzle out. They both noticed the change, but with varying degrees of welcomeness. That was when things first started to go awry. Draco had taken to offhandedly throwing verbal jabs at Harry, for no rhyme or reason beyond the want to pick a fight. Harry too would make the occasional dig, just to get under Draco's skin.
The amount of trips to the infirmary increased in number, and the tension between them mounted. It had all been very odd. Even when Harry had come to terms with the fact that he no longer hated Draco, he had still felt a very physical need to fight with him. On the days they didn't fight, Harry always went home feeling restless, like something was fidgeting just beneath his skin, begging to be let out.
Then one day, Harry found that he had had enough.
He called Draco to his flat, explaining that they needed to work something out—that their grades and performance were both going to suffer if they didn't get themselves under control. Draco came, though he had made it obvious that he had been rather inconvenienced by the trip.
"What's this all about, Potter?"
"Malfoy," Harry's temper had already been simmering, though from what he hadn't known, "you know what this is about. We can't continue to go on like this."
"What, you mean with you getting your face pounded into the ground every day? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it's no real loss—you've always been hideous."
Harry growled, his hands clenching into fists. "Malfoy, think of our training! You're jeopardizing—"
"So are you!"
"Now you listen to me, you arrogant, ferret-faced—"
And then Draco had thrown him back against the wall, pinning him with a bruising force. There had been more yelling, about what Harry couldn't really remember. All he remembered was Draco's thigh moving between his legs and—oh that was it. The next thing Harry knew, he was grabbing a fistful of Draco's hair and crashing their lips together. Oh yes, that was definitely it. Then they were falling to the floor in a tangle of limbs, frotting like two hormone-crazed teenagers.
And the rest was history.
"What are you thinking about?" Draco asked, pulling Harry from his reverie.
"Mmm," Harry licked his lips as he stared at the other boy, "you in leather pants."
"Well, that's easy to believe. I do have a first class arse after all."
"And you're so humble about it too."
Draco smirked becomingly, "I don't notice you contradicting my statement."
"Yes, well, that's only because—"
Harry stopped dead in his tracks as the familiar voice sent a sharp tremor down his spine and into his feet. He had imagined it. He had to have imagined it. But no, there they were, standing not ten feet in front of him. The Dursleys. Draco stopped too, staring confusedly at the trio that stood before them.
It had been four long years since Harry had seen the Dursleys, but his heart didn't seem to care. It was pounding fiercely against his ribcage even as he struggled to keep down the bile that had surged up his throat. Harry shrank a little into the warmth of Draco's side despite himself, and he felt the blonde's gaze move to the side of his face.
"Hello," Harry muttered meekly. This was not what he needed right now, especially in front of Draco. They hadn't exactly discussed much of Harry's past, and frankly Harry had wanted to keep it that way for as long as possible. Nothing good could possibly come of it.
His uncle stared at him with large, slightly protruding, eyes, and his third chin began to tremble—a clear sign of an oncoming fit. "Well speak up, boy, how have you been?"
Boy. Harry's face colored with shame. "Fine," Harry said, hating that his voice sounded choked. "You?"
Silence enveloped them. Now that they had fulfilled their societal formalities, it was obvious they were all quite unsure of what to do. Dudley was standing detached from his parents, not bothering to pretend that he wouldn't rather be anywhere else, while Aunt Petunia stood curled into her husband's side, her mouth pinched with contempt. She was the first, however, who seemed to notice Draco. Harry watched as her eyes moved over the Slytherin, taking in his fine clothing and aristocratic good looks with obvious disdain, and he watched the realization light her eyes as she noticed how close together he and Draco stood.
"Who is this, Harry?" Petunia asked, her voice as tight as it was shrill.
Harry felt the blonde tense beside him at the barefaced discount of manners. Stiffly, Draco held out his hand to Vernon, but Harry was surprised to see a cordial smile on his lips. "Hello, I'm Draco Malfoy. I don't believe I caught your name, sir."
Harry's uncle looked down at Draco's hand like it was diseased. "You're one of those freaks too, aren't you?"
Draco retracted his hand coolly and placed it in the pocket where Harry knew his wand was kept. Trepidation buzzed through Harry's nerves, and he inched closer to the blonde to run a calming hand down his arm.
Harry recoiled, but Vernon hadn't missed the movement, and Harry watched with mounting fear as his uncle's cheeks went from red to an unsightly purple. Apprehension rising in his chest, Harry could do nothing but wait for the onslaught to begin.
"So this is what has become of you, hm?" Vernon spat. "It wasn't enough for you to run off to that freak school—no—now you've gone off and become a pervert on top of it all? You know, I always saw it in you. And to think of all the things you could've done to our poor Dudley. How I rue that day we took you in, you pathetic little stain—"
"Dad," Dudley grabbed Vernon by the arm, "come on, let's just go."
Somewhere deep down, Harry's blood was simmering, but shock made him keep his tongue. Beside him, Harry could feel Draco trembling with what he could only assume to be rage. Why the Slytherin remained silent, Harry didn't know. Maybe he was just as shocked as Harry was.
And without another word, the three turned to leave. Dudley threw Harry a small nod before setting off after his parents, leaving Harry and Draco to stand alone in the crowd.
"What the bloody hell was that?" Draco turned, giving Harry an expectant look.
"I'd like to go home," was all Harry could manage to reply.
"Please, Draco." Harry grabbed for Draco's arm once more, feeling something in him cracking and about to burst open. "Please, I just want to go home."
Draco's eyes moved across his face, and Harry watched as confusion was slowly overcome by worry. "Alright, Harry," Draco said, taking Harry's hand in his own and squeezing it tightly. "We'll go home."
Later that evening saw Harry hunched over a cup of tea, lost in thought. Thankfully Draco hadn't pressed him for information about their run-in with the Dursleys, but Harry knew he was going to have to explain sooner or later. Harry chanced a peek at the living room and saw the blonde hovering near the bookshelves. He had been slowly inching his way towards the dining room for the last hour, which meant the explaining would probably have to come sooner rather than later. Harry supposed he couldn't really blame Draco. Their Auror training had been nothing less than brainwashing, and as such, neither of them could sit still until the itch of their curiosity had been scratched.
Harry turned back to his tea, frowning. But what could he possibly say? Harry had never really considered himself particularly enwrapped in his own self-image, but admittedly, he had spent the larger part of the last eleven years trying to escape who he'd been with the Dursleys.
How could he not want to forget? All they things they'd said…all they things they'd made him do—he very much doubted they'd ever felt any real sort of emotion towards him besides hatred. Harry could have loved them, he knew, if only they had let him.
Harry looked up to see Draco standing over him, looking uncharacteristically sullen.
Harry smiled timidly, "I suppose you're wanting to talk about what happened today?"
"Well, I was actually going to ask you why you've chosen to insult me by not drinking the tea that I slaved so long over. Then I was going to craftily delve into a myriad of topics, which I suppose would have eventually lead into a discussion about today's events, but if you really want to skip all of that bantering fun, that's perfectly fine with me." With his signature Slytherin smirk, Draco pulled out a chair next to Harry and took a seat.
Harry couldn't help the flush that flooded his cheeks. "Where do you want me to start?"
"I think names are generally a good place."
"Right." Harry frowned and looked back down at the table. "Well, their names are Vernon, Petunia, and Dudley Dursley. Vernon and Petunia are—um—my aunt and uncle."
"Oh," Draco blinked, seemingly surprised. "Well I'm certainly glad you don't bear any family resemblance."
Harry knew he was meant to laugh, but he couldn't bring himself to conjure up the sound.
The blonde cleared his throat. "So, I gather you don't get on well with them?"
"That's a bit of an understatement."
Silence bore down on Harry like a weight. He knew Draco was waiting for him—he knew that he should say something, but he found that his voice was caught in his throat. He had been running away from this for so long, he didn't know if he had the strength to turn around and face it. He was standing on the edge now, staring distantly down into the shadowy chasm below, knowing he would have to dive down, yet somehow hoping he could blissfully remain aloft forever. But the darkness was biding, and Harry knew the moment was coming. He just hoped that Draco would be able to pull him back out after it was all over.
Harry took a deep shuddering breath and blew it out. "When I was young, my aunt and uncle told me that my parents had died in a car crash."
"And you…believed them?" Draco asked gently.
"You honestly believed that two wizards could be killed by a car crash?"
"I didn't know they were wizards. Before I got my letter from Hogwarts, I didn't even know that I was one—they never told me."
Draco stared at him in wide-eyed blank shock.
Harry felt a small tremor of trepidation start in his neck and travel down to the base of his spine. "They knew what I was though. And because of what I was, they treated me like I was some sort of freak. Draco…the things they did to me…they—they treated me like…" but Harry couldn't finish. This was it; this was the point of no return. One more word and he would have no choice but to dive in—deep down into that darkness he had so long ago shut away. And what he would find down there he didn't know—he didn't want to know. The pain he'd locked away…he didn't know how fresh it still was. He didn't know how much it would still hurt.
"Harry," Draco reached out and grabbed Harry's hand, wrapping his fingers firmly around Harry's palm, "you can tell me."
Harry looked at the blonde, staring deep into those grey eyes he had come to know so well. He had thought that by now he would know them well enough to never find himself surprised by their expression. But now, as he stared into them, he saw no hint of the expected reactions of anger and worry laced with an underlying pity. Instead, all he saw was love, shining through without restraint and basking Harry in its warm glow. And suddenly Harry knew that he didn't have to fear the darkness—that this light was so bright he would never be able to lose his way.
Harry squeezed Draco's hand in return and somehow managed a smile. Draco's hand felt warm and familiar in his own. "I love you, Draco."
"I love you too, Harry."
And that, Harry realized, was all he needed. He opened his mouth and began his story, fearlessly plunging himself into the dark, knowing that Draco's light would find him in the end, and lead him back home.
A little short yes, but I hope you found it heartfelt! And Protego Totalum, I hoped you liked your fic!
Reviews are always greatly appreciated! :)