( Broken Fall (
An inspired Harry Potter Fanfic by mercy_angel_09

I do not own Harry Potter, since all creative right go to J.K. Rowling and of course I'm sure that a copyright of some kind belongs to Scholastic Books and Warner Bros.

Warning: Slight OOC, slight yaoi (man x man), very loosely based upon the song "Crash and Burn" (hence the title) by Savage Garden.
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It was the night following a day filled with the House Games, a "friendly" competition between the four houses of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The warm May air wasn't causing a great amount of discomfort among the students, but for Harry Potter, the conditions weren't exactly pleasant either.

Each house had selected a team of well-rounded players, those who excelled in various areas and Harry and Hermione had both been chosen -Hermione because of her extensive knowledge of everything magical and Harry because he was the Boy Who Lived, as well as the star Seeker of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. They had competed in events like Broom Racing, with lap times determining the winner so any unsportsman-like conduct would be avoided (Harry, on his Firebolt won, of course) and the Spell Triathlon, where Hermione had left every other house (and seventh year student) in the dust.

So, Harry was to be found later that evening coming from the shower, having opted to leave his sweat-drenched shirt in the bathroom to be picked up and cleaned by one of the house elves, wearing his blue jeans and scarlet robe with the armband that identified his house name. His socks were also soaked with sweat and his shoes smelled of week old sun rotted garbage. He had promised his housemates that he wouldn't bring them to the tower, so they were also waiting to be cleaned.

Yes, the sixteen-year-old Harry Potter was walking around the Hogwarts castle in a perpetual state of half-dress.

He yawned as he started the climb to Gryffindor tower, but stopped on one of the landings when he heard what he thought was one of the girls being harassed by one of the boys.

But it wasn't a girl. And it certainly wasn't a normal boy.

Harry's eyes widened in shock and surprise as he found Professor Snape mounted upon none other than Draco Malfoy. He ducked behind one of the many tapestries, still gawking in shock at what he had seen. He heard what sounded like crying, but he wasn't sure. After a few moments where he was sure that he was going to vomit, he heard a soft moan from Malfoy and then a dissatisfied grunt from Snape.

Harry rolled his eyes. After spending three months in a room next to an extremely hormonal and Internet savvy Dudley, he had become used to the sounds of wild and erotic sexual acts in the dead of night. If that was an orgasm, then they were both extremely pathetic. Ah yes, the truth about Snape and Malfoy.

He could make out Snape's footsteps echoing down the hall, and then he heard soft and suppressed sniffles from Malfoy. Harry moved out from behind the tapestry, shaking his head with a sigh. The whole school thought that Draco and Pansy was an item, which naturally meant that they spent "quality" time together. Harry knew that Draco wasn't a virgin, but it wasn't Pansy who had deflowered him. "Pathetic." Then he turned and faced Malfoy.

Harry's green eyes locked with Malfoy's icy and vacant blue. He skimmed over the Slytherin boy once before coming to rest on the misty gaze.

"W-what are y-you looking a-at P-potter?" Draco choked, embarrassed that Harry had come across him in the middle of the ultimate humiliation.

Harry studied the damp eyes, the quivering lip, the small, pale body trembling under his intense gaze, and the small purplish bruises forming on Draco's arms and back. "You."

"Obviously!" Draco snarled as he stood up. He had been cowering in the corner where Snape had left him, but had now started to pull on what little clothing he had.

"Why do you let him do that?"

Draco was zipping up his tight pants as he replied, "I don't see why you care." He twisted his face in anger and concentration as he pulled the stubborn zipper to its final resting place. "Besides, it's none of your business."

"Hey, I'm glad that it's you and not me," Harry replied. "If you want to be Snape's call boy, that's fine with me."

Draco gave Harry a quizzical look as he pulled his robe on. He stood before Harry, barefoot, wearing nothing but a pair of tight blue jeans and his brilliant green Quidditch robe. "This really bothers you, doesn't it? It's too much for innocent little Harry Potter. Well I have news for you Potter, this is the real world and it stinks. "

"I would have thought that you had more self respect than that," Harry replied, narrowing his eyes at Malfoy.

Draco smirked as he examined Harry for the first time since the Boy Who Lived had the unfortunate luck of stumbling upon himself and Snape, in filgrante delicto. His cheeks were almost as red as his robe, something that Malfoy would not let him soon forget. He curled his lips into a nasty grin as he chuckled. "Oh, but I do. But I'm a firm believer in doing what the teacher says. I can't disobey my Head of House, now can I?"

"When it comes down to something like this, I thought that you would put up one hell of a fight. Maybe an owl to Daddy?"

Draco narrowed his eyes. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"Well, don't you always tell Daddy if something goes wrong? As I recall, you set him on Hagrid during our third year. Even though you deserved that scratch that Buckbeak gave you," Harry replied. "Unless this is a ploy to get you to pass."

Draco grunted. "What ever gave you that idea?"

Harry was becoming fed up with Draco and his insufferable attitude. The boy was a self-centered, spoiled git, and Harry felt as if he had spent more than enough time with him. "I've had enough. I'm going back to Gryffindor Tower," Harry muttered, brushing past Draco, who had taken a stand in the middle of the rather small corridor.

"Not so fast, Harry," Draco drawled.

Harry froze in his tracks. Draco had never _ever_ used his first name when directly addressing him before. Harry turned to see Draco's eyes burning with a familiar sort of hatred. They were slightly veiled by his loose blond bangs, making him more dangerous than usual.

"Imagine this Potter. Two boys, nothing in common, except for, perhaps, the way they're dressed."

Harry was then made painfully aware of his own state of dress. He too was barefoot, wearing only a pair of blue jeans and his school robe. And they both had their armbands from the earlier House Games.

"So, what's your point?" Harry asked, narrowing his eyes at Malfoy, who had pulled up half of his face into an evil smirk.

"Just that maybe we have more in common than you think."

"I don't sleep around with the teachers, if that's what you're implying."

"No, but usually you won't do something against the rules unless if affects you directly. Like when you went after the creature in the Chamber and you and Weasley got those stupid awards; the Dark Lord the year before that, and Sirius Black two years later! Let's face it Harry, you have a knack for getting into trouble, and me, well, I am trouble." He flashed a devilish grin.

"Draco Malfoy, you assume too much," Harry said, but he felt a strange stirring of emotion deep within him. Draco was the school's bitch. He didn't have to ask if there were any other teachers that Malfoy was involved with (but it was a pretty sure thing that at least one of the other instructors was involved with him, or at least Lucius Malfoy's evil dealings). As for himself, Harry couldn't be sure; he had never given it a thought before. Most of the teachers thought highly of him, because of his outstanding track record against anything unusual in the school and his ability to handle even the toughest situations with a clear and confident head.

"Is that so? I know that most of the teachers would do anything for you, including Professor McGonagall, even though she pretends to be impartial to the fact that you are the Great and Famous Harry Potter. And don't get me started on Hagrid!"

"That's enough, Malfoy."

"What are you going to do to shut me up? Call that Mudblood so she can slap me again? I don't think so. She's not within earshot Potter. You're on own this time."

Harry was clenching and unclenching his hands in and out of fists. Keep cool, he thought, Malfoy's just trying to get to you. "You know," Harry said slowly, "maybe we have one thing in common."

"That's the spirit," Draco grinned.

"A common burning hatred for one another," Harry continued, ignoring Draco's comment. "But I am not someone's little dummy who has to obey the puppet master's every whim. I am not sodomized by the system nor do I ever plan to be. That's your choice Malfoy and I don't see how that gives us any common ground. I'll make you a deal. I'll leave you alone if you leave me alone."

Draco's face fell and then Harry saw it in the icy gaze. It was the look of a boy who needed to be rescued, a boy who didn't know where his life was headed, for too many powerful forces were trying to decide that for him. Draco hadn't been making fun of him, he had been reaching out for him, and Harry, blinded by his own problems, hadn't seen it.

The blond Slytherin boy sunk to his knees, hanging his head. "I see how it is. High and Mighty Harry Potter is too big to do anything for someone else." He gave a sort of sick chuckle. "I should have realized that in the beginning."

Harry saw the tears slide down the pale cheeks, falling onto the green robe in medium-sized splotches. He swallowed the lump in his throat and in three strides was stooping over the pale boy, holding him as if he was going to break. He gently stroked the soft blond locks as he murmured, "I don't know why I didn't see it before."

"My father doesn't care about what happens to me. He only cares about himself. And my mother barely knows that I exist. Except when I get a bad mark. See, we have more in common than you thought. I may have parents, but it's as if they're not there," Draco murmured into Harry's robe as he held on to him.

Yes, of course. Why hadn't he seen it before?

Draco Malfoy, the Boy with Non-Existent Parents.

"Draco?"

"Yes Harry?"

"I'm here for you. But don't make this a public fact."

"What?"

"Well, you're in with a crowd that I'm destined to destroy. Sorry, but that's the way that the planets are aligned."

"Understood." But Draco paused inwardly. He actually listens to Professor Trelawney? he thought.

Harry looked up and down the hall, and quickly swallowed a gasp. He saw a pair of huge, lamp-like eyes staring back at him. "And Draco? It's time to get back to our dormitories. Filch will be here at any given moment."

"What makes you say that?"

"I just saw Mrs. Norris."

The two boys jumped up and dashed down the hall, leaving a meowing Mrs. Norris and a cursing Filch behind them, as Filch couldn't stand it when a student got the better of him. They came to the main stairwell, grasping the banister and gasping for breath.

"I'll" *pant* "see you" *pant* "later," Harry said as he made the first step up towards Gryffindor Tower.

"Likewise," Draco panted. He started to make his way towards the dungeons, but a few steps down he turned and looked up at Harry. "So, where do you think my life is headed?"

Harry shrugged. "How am I supposed to know? But at the moment, you're going to be stuck as a servant to Snape and your father if you don't do something soon."

Draco nodded slowly, allowing what Harry had said to sink in. "Okay. Now do me a favor."

"Why should I?" Harry asked.

"Because. You are still my enemy, and you always will be."

"Sounds like a good idea. I won't cross the line if you won't. Deal?"

"Deal."

The two genuinely smiled at each other, the first time since they had met in Madam Malkin's Robes for Every Occasion. They each headed off to their respective dormitories confident in their decision and in themselves.

And in the newfound love they had discovered in a moment of crisis.
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To clarify why it's called "Broken Fall" is because Draco basically hits his all time low by being discovered as Snape's Bitch by Harry and reaches out to him for a bit of a boost, and Harry breaks the fall of his emotions like in the lines of the song:

Let me be the one you'll call
If you jump I'll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
When you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn
You're not alone

Basically Harry becomes the person that Draco relies on in a sort of relationship (which is undefined at the moment) that they formed by Harry reaching out to a hurting and confused Draco.