Sleepy Man

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Author's Note: We just finished our musical called The Robber Bridegroom, and there was this incredible song that I knew I needed to write a story for it. If you want to hear it before/during/after reading the story, look up Patti LuPone "Sleepy Man" or Pia Douwes "Sleepy Man".


There was a song my mother used to sing. On the rare occasion when my father came home so tired, he would lay his head on her lap and she would sing to him. I would peek through the small crack of the door and see my mother and father become mom and dad. It was such a sweet song that it stuck with me. I would randomly sing it. My parents didn't say anything. They were probably embarrassed that I knew they loved each other.

It stayed with me through my years at Hogwarts. I made sure no one could hear me though. A Slytherin singing a sweet loving song? What would people say?

Until one night, after I was hit with Sectumsempra, someone did hear. I was trying to sleep in the hospital wing and I sang the song to help me sleep. I heard the door creak thinking it was Madame Pomfrey. I looked towards the door, but no one was there. I continued to sing; then came the rustle of fabric. At first, I was about to grab my wand but remembered that Snape took it away from me. I was left defenseless though I really wasn't once I heard the fabric move again.

Harry Potter stood by my bed; his face filled with guilt. I wanted to yell at him, blame him for putting me here. I couldn't. He looked so ashamed of what he did. Maybe the blood loss made me do it, but I scooted over in the bed and pulled the blanket up. His eyes changed to confusion and I shrugged slightly. What was I supposed to tell him? He inched over to the bed and stopped. He toed off his shoes and climbed in leaving his invisibility cloak on the floor. I finally knew how he got around after curfew.

Harry moved into my arms. Somehow, I had them open for him to fall into. Again, the blood loss though I doubt it. He laid his head on my chest and wrapped his arms around my waist. I closed my arms around him and felt wetness on my shirt. I looked down to see him sobbing quietly. I lifted my hand to touch his hair. He jumped from the sudden movement but settled even closer into my embrace.

"What was the song you were singing?" he quietly asked.

"I heard my mother sing it to my father once."

"Will you sing the rest?"

And I did.

I sang the song to him every night that we could spend together. Even though I still had my mission for the Dark Lord, Harry still came. I couldn't label us as boyfriends. It sounded too immature. Lovers perhaps. We didn't become lovers until the night before Dumbledore's death.

I held him in my arms as we snuggled under the blankets. Harry always loved to snuggle. I wiped the sweat off his brow. His eyes were drooping but popped open every few seconds. He never wanted to miss a thing.

"Go to sleep, Harry. I'll be right here," I whispered.

"Will you sing to me?"

"Always."

That was the last time I would hold Harry in my arms before everything went to hell. Harry didn't know that, but I knew. My time was running out, and I had to let the Death Eaters into Hogwarts soon. I didn't see Harry after my task was complete. It would be months before I saw him again. I didn't stop singing that song at night though, and I had a feeling that Harry sang it too.

I was thrilled and terrified when he was brought to the manor. I saw for my own eyes that he was alive, yet there was a chance that he was going to die in my house. When Aunt Bellatrix forced me to my knees to inspect his face, he looked at me and mouthed, "Been a busy day," and I knew I was forgiven. I didn't identify him.

The last time, we were back at Hogwarts – the final battle. He saved me from an inferno in the Room of Requirement.

"I'm right here, always near," he said to me before hauling me up on his broom.

Those words would always mean the world to me.

I'm not sure where he went afterwards. I know he was with Uncle Severus when he died. It was nice to know my godfather didn't die alone. I can't recall what I was doing after he left. I know I wanted to find my parents, but I was desperately looking for Harry.

He was with Voldemort however, and no one could get to them. We stood at the edge of the forest waiting for someone to come out the victor. I was never a religious person, but that night, I prayed Harry would walk out.

My prayers were answered. Harry walked out, but it wasn't meant to last. He was cut, bruised, and limping. It seemed I was the only one to notice; everyone else was busy cheering for victory or rounding up the rest of the Death Eaters. He smiled at everyone; then he started coughing up dark blood.

"Harry!" Everyone went silent when they heard me scream.

I sprinted to him, knocking anyone down who got in my way. He fell to his knees, blood trickling down from his mouth. I caught him before he fell forward.

"You're going to be okay. It's going to be fine."

I sat in the dirt cradling him to my chest. My sleeve was already covered in blood, but I continued to wipe his mouth. He looked in my eyes and smiled.

"I'm so glad I found you in time."

"Don't say things like that. You're going to be alright." I tried to smile but only a sob came out. "Madame Pomfrey," I searched for her through the crowd when Harry began to cough again, "Madame Pomfrey!"

"It won't work."

I looked down again.

"What won't?"

"I-I'm…dying, Draco." Those words echoed loudly in my head. I'm dying. "Voldemort laid a trap for me in case he didn't win. She can't do anything."

"No. Don't be silly. She's the best. Pomfrey fixed me, didn't she?"

"And that was my fault."

"No, it wasn't. I don't blame you. Never did."

"I'm so sorry."

"Don't! I'm going to fix this, okay?"

No one did anything. They recognized the curse on Harry: the opaque eyes, the pale skin, and the black blood were all there. I knew in my mind there was nothing I could do, but my heart… there's just some things that words cannot express.

I felt a calloused hand rest on my cheek.

"Don't cry," Harry whispered.

He tried to wipe away my tears, but he didn't have the strength. I held his hand against my face and continued to cry.

"I can't help it. We're finally free and…" I couldn't finish that sentence.

"We are free. I did it for you because I love you."

"Harry…" I held him tighter. I waited so long to hear those words. A part of me wished he never said them; maybe the pain wouldn't be so unbearable.

"Will you sing our song?"

I didn't answer him. Time was running out and I knew he wanted to hear the song one last time.

"Been a busy day," my voice cracked.

With some heavy seas
But you've done your best, sleepy man

Let your troubles lay
Let your breathing ease
While I rub your chest, sleepy man

You're all done with the run of the race...for today
You've got plenty of running to face
Come tomorrow

I'm right here, always near
Always lovin' my dear, sleepy man

Not a girl I know
Has a better deal
Than my life with you, sleepy man

If I let it show
How you make me feel
We'll be up 'til 2, sleepy man

You're all done with the run of the race...for today
You've got plenty of running to face
Come tomorrow

I'm right here, always near
Always lovin' my dear, sleepy man

His breath slowed, but I saw he had life still in his eyes. I was running out of time. This wasn't how it was supposed to be.

"Draco," his voice hitched, "I'm scared."

I wanted to close my eyes, but I continued to sing the last line before he left.

"I'm right here… always near… and I love you… my dear… sleepy man."

Harry's hand slipped out of my grip. He was gone. I placed a kiss on his forehead and closed my eyes. I did it. I told him I loved him.

And I cried.

~fin


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