Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warnings: lots of life changing, pivotal drama. I'm keeping my mouth shut on this chapter because I want everything to be a surprise. I don't believe there's anything that will offend anyone. Let me know if I am wrong.
Author's note: I cannot apologise enough that this chapter has taken so long to be posted. First, I had final exams and then some serious RL issues came up that I needed to deal with. Unfortunately, I'm still dealing with the ramifications of them, but at least I do have some time to write again and this story is definitely not abandoned. Unfortunately, my beta is also super busy with school and RL, so I'm posting this chapter unbetaed even though I have gone over it several times myself. I didn't want to keep you all waiting any longer and decided to post this version until he gets a chance to look it over. Luckily, I think it's a really good chapter, which I spent a long, long time writing. I hope everyone enjoys it and thank you so much to all of you who have supported me with this story so far, especially all the lovely readers that contacted me to make sure I was alright when I hadn't posted. I love you all.
: :Nineteen: :
x x x
"People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. A soul mate's purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life."
: : :
I spent the rest of the night outside staring up at the stars, chugging massive amounts of firewhisky, and then inevitably puking.
I kept thinking about what you said about our kiss—that the kiss had meant something to you. If it did, then why didn't you run after me? Why didn't you try to find me before yesterday or insist on staying? Things were just too complicated; they always seem to be whenever you're involved.
One day, before things got so messed up between us, we were lying with Teddy by the river just enjoying a lazy summer afternoon. I remember telling you that you had a flair for dramatics, and you got terribly affronted and said that it wasn't your fault that drama followed you. Then I laughed and told you that if drama followed you, it was perfectly reasonable to claim that trouble followed me. The three of us laughed so much that day, sprawled out on our backs drawing in the cool breeze from the river and soaking in the sun. Things had been easy then; it had felt so real between us as if we were a real family. You. Teddy. Me.
But now things were just too fucking hard. We're quite a pair—between the drama the follows you and all the trouble that always seems to find me. There isn't a chance that we could have anything that resembled a real relationship. It wasn't practical. We would destroy each other.
Yes, that morning after puking out my guts, I finally accepted the truth. I couldn't keep torturing myself over you; it wasn't healthy and it wasn't fair to my family. There were only three weeks left of summer, and I planned to spend every minute enjoying them instead of brooding. I was going to find you and tell you that things were fine between us, but that kiss although brilliant, just couldn't happen again. First, I needed to eat something though. I cast a quick Tempus Charm and realised that it was a lot later than I had thought—past one. My stomach was rumbling, but I didn't want to return to the hotel or home to face Andie yet.
Then I remembered the food basket that you had left me. The night before, I had ignored the basket, partly out of spite and partly because I figured it would be filled with health food. When I opened the basket, I was surprised to see that it was much larger than I had expected; even though I've been living in the magical world for years now, little things like expanded picnic baskets still caught me off guard. The basket was filled to the brim but rather than the salad, lean meats, and fruits that I expected to find inside, it was filled with all of my favourites. There were several sandwiches, mostly steak sandwiches, on a hearty French baguette oozing with mounds of Gruyere cheese and caramelised onions. There was even a croque-madame sandwich complete with a fried egg on top. You must have placed several preservation and Heating Charms on the basket because the sandwiches were still piping hot. Besides the sandwiches, there was also a side of crisps and an entire array of sweets including, macarons, treacle tart, chocolate mousse, and of course, éclairs.
I was shocked. Why did you do this when you had constantly picked on me for eating all these rich foods? Hoping not to upset my queasy stomach further, I started eating one of the sandwiches, slowly, until I noticed that there was another compartment in the basket. Opening it with trembling hands, I expected more food or some beverages, but instead I found a large, woollen blanket and two pillows. Underneath the pillows there was a single bottle of your favourite champagne and two champagne flutes.
I gasped; the tremor in my hands became more forceful and started spreading down my back. After taking a deep breath and composing myself slightly, I took one of the pillows and hugged it to my chest—it smelt of lavender, of course. I was such a twat, a real fucking twat. You had done all this for me. Not that I deserved it. What had I done?
It was so obvious now. Last night when you found me, you had planned for us to have a picnic together underneath the stars and who knows what else. I had been so foolish and cruel, pushing you away and trying to salvage the last of my wounded pride. If I had just forgiven you or asked you to stay, who knows what might have happened? I might have woken up in the arms of the man I love.
I needed to find you. Immediately.
Quickly, I closed up the basket and put a tracking charm on it. One of the many perks of the hotel I was staying at included a complimentary luggage service. If you went out shopping for the day or had too much luggage to carry, all you had to do was put a special tracking charm on your bags with your hotel room number, and a house-elf would come track it down and bring it to your room. Originally, I had found the service silly and unnecessary, but right now I was thankful for it.
After casting some thorough cleansing charms on myself, I headed out to find you.
: : :
Somehow, I instinctively knew where to find you. I knew that you would be by that old stone bridge—what I hadn't planned on though, was that you would be an even bigger berk than I was.
You were walking on the bridge's ledge, pretending it was a tightrope, your arms spread out to the sides in a feeble attempt to balance. I was actually impressed because you seemed rather graceful on that ledge; however, in your right hand was a bottle of wine. What an idiot! You were always telling me that I pulled reckless, attention seeking stunts, but I have never attempted to scale the ledge of a bridge when I was noticeably intoxicated. Or at all. Thank god, you seemed to keep your innate, flawless balance and weren't wobbling at all. Naturally, you had to tempt the fates further by scaling the bridge by its end, where the water below it was surrounded by large rocks rather than in the middle where it had been safe to jump. I could have killed you.
Once you accidentally dropped the wine bottle into the deep water, I knew that you were far too pissed to continue scaling the bridge. It was just a disaster waiting to happen, so I crept over to the bridge, trying my best not to startle you and assumed that I was being stealthy. I think you might have a point about my rubbish Auror skills though. I've always thought I was crafty—that I trailed people, namely you, like a snake. I guess not. Even in your obvious state of intoxication, you noticed me.
"Oi, Potter," you called, turning around abruptly on your heels.
"Draco! Get down from there. Now!"
But I don't think you heard me, even though I was shouting at you like a frenzied mother, so before you got a chance to respond, you stumbled head first off the bridge.
My heart was racing; I was lost in a panicked fury. All I knew was that I had to stop you from falling since there was a good chance that you hadn't cast the protective cushioning charms. And even if you had, what if you couldn't swim in your drunken stupor?
Hungover or not, I Apparated to the underside of the bridge and then once I spotted you still hovering in the air, limbs flailing everywhere and a terrified look on your face, I yelled, "Aresto Momentum".
Luckily, the spell seemed to work and your speed declined; your lithe body hit the water with a torpid splash rather than the deadly crash that would have occurred if I hadn't cast the spell.
I dove in after you, not caring that I was fully clothed. With a surge of adrenaline coursing through my veins, I had you in my arms in mere seconds and then dragged you onto the shore carefully, gingerly, making sure that your head remained above the water at all times. I carried you onto the adjacent beach and then tried to slap you awake.
"Draco! Draco!" I cried. There was no response. Cradling your bony wrist in my hand, I let out a relieved sigh when I felt a rapid pulse. Thank Merlin. But you were still out cold. The fall and the water must have shocked you, yet I needed to wake you up, needed to address what possible injuries you had sustained.
"Wake up now, Malfoy!" I shouted at your listless body. "Wake the fuck up or I'm going to kill you!"
Your pale face, which was much more grey than white, let out a deep gasp and spit out water. Finally you opened your eyes; they were like pools of liquid silver, tungsten and clear. I had never been so relieved in my life.
"Ugh, Potter. Stop yelling."
"Are you alright?" I squeaked, still desperate but trying to lower my voice for your sake.
"What?" Groggily, you attempted to sit up. "I'm fine."
"Are you sure?"
"Why wouldn't I be, Potter?" You pressed your hands against your temples and started rubbing slow circles to alleviate the pressure that had undoubtedly accumulated. "My head feels like someone sat on it, but other than that, I'm just merveilleux."
"Right." I let out an exasperated sigh and pulled you close to me, trying to ignore how closely your wet shirt clung to your chest.
"You're an idiot, Malfoy. A big fucking idiot. What the hell were you thinking?"
You shrugged. "Um—I wanted to go for a swim."
"Well, you almost killed yourself. If I wasn't here, Merlin...I don't know what would have happened."
You shrugged your shoulders again and pulled out of my tight embrace. "I would have been fine," you insisted; your voice was so calm that I wanted to slap you. "Besides, you're the one that startled me."
"Yeah, sorry about that."
"Fuck, Potter. You don't always have to go around trying to save me. I'm not some bloody damsel in distress." You were frowning now and narrowing your eyes in that manner you always did when you were only pretending to be annoyed about something.
I laughed. It was a hearty laugh that came deep from my gut, and I was relieved as if a lead weight had been lifted from my shoulders, from my heart. You were alive and well, sitting in front of me, and berating me with your snarky wit. It was absolutely perfect.
"Well," I said, smirking back at you, "you might not be a damsel, but you sure are in distress a lot." I smiled again, my first genuine smile in days. "It's a full time job watching after your scrawny arse. I'm bloody exhausted."
"Hey," you protested, "my arse is not scrawny. I'll have you know that it is a rather fine arse. I get complimented on it all the time; in fact, just the other day—"
"Malfoy, don't you ever shut up?"
"Hmmph." You huffed, turning your head away from me like a petulant child. "You are very rude, Potter. Did anyone ever tell you that? You just can't interrupt people. It's not right...it's uncivilized. You are such a brute."
Yes, you were right there, lecturing me with your eyebrows raised so high they almost disappeared into your hair, and your silver eyes were shining brightly, so full of life, so full of that intense passion that was so uniquely you.
They say that true happiness isn't about wealth, fame, or even adventures. I already knew that to be true, but what I learnt that summer, what you taught me, was that life doesn't come predetermined and happiness doesn't find you. No, we have to make our own happiness and it comes from the little moments, the little gifts and scarce minutes of perfection that we are granted throughout our lives. Minutes like the one right in front of me when you were sitting there arguing with me about some petty topic—your hair flying wildly and your perfect skin taunting me with glistening water droplets.
Watching you there underneath the dizzy summer sun, I knew that I had finally found my purpose in life, my happiness. I just never imagined it would come in the form of a scrawny, blond, annoying git.
Yes, I decided right then that everything would be different. And for the first time in my life, I would take control.
"Malfoy," I said again, without a drop of venom in my voice, "shut the fuck up."
I grabbed you then and pulled you on top of me, removing all distance between us and smashing our lips together. Again. The first time we kissed had been like exploring the unknown; I had put every fibre of my being into that kiss, ravishing you and transferring to you my every feeling. I caught you completely off guard, and while you didn't push me away and accepted my kiss, you had barely participated.
This time, however, this second kiss was of epic proportions—the kind of kiss you read about in steamy romance novels and fairy tales. It was as if I had opened the floodgates and there was no turning back. I've had many kisses in my life, some have been sweet, some have been frantic, some lustful. But none like this. You kiss like you do everything in life with an insatiable determination and fiery spirit; even though I had initiated the kiss, it was you who took control. You were on top of me and holding me down, your strong hands digging into my back. You were mauling me, attacking me with your mouth, your tongue, your magic. It was engulfing, enrapturing, intoxicating. And—I never wanted it to stop.
You were like a drug to me, Draco Malfoy, an insurmountable fixation. And I was completely and utterly addicted.
I knew in that moment, as I ran my hands through your fine windswept hair and took in the lust and desire in your pleading eyes that I would never let you go again.
To be continued...
A/N: Yes, I know the wait was forever, but it finally happened. Draco and Harry are together! Even though the story is far from over, I would like to say that part 1 of the story has concluded. I want this fic to be a cycle in Harry's life. The first part is the build up of his relationship with Draco and then the second part of the fic will deal with their blossoming relationship and struggles and pressures they face. Don't worry though, there won't be any major issues for the next few chapters. Those will be happy and sexy. I'd love to hear your thoughts and promise that I will start posting regularly again as well as catch up with any reviews I missed.
Also, I want to mention that I created a yahoogroup for my fics. I know that has been wonky with email updates, and I still haven't been receiving mine, so I made this group instead. I recommend joining it because even if is having issues, I'll make sure to let you know through the email group. It's open membership and you don't need a yahoo email to join. The full link is on my profile.
groups dot yahoo dot com/group/iciclefics/
~*Last thing, I also wrote and recently posted a humorous fic called Wild, Crazy Monkey Sex. I think it's funny and that Harry/Draco fans will like it because it's crackish and features an overly smitten Harry and a bratty, scheming Draco, who dresses up as a sexy librarian. It hasn't gotten much love so far, so if any of the lovely readers of this fic need another hit of H/D try reading that. Thanks. = D
Until next time,
 The quote at the beginning of this chapter is by Elizabeth Gilbert. It doesn't belong to me.