Remember Me This Way

Every now and then
We find a special friend
Who never lets us down

His breathing slowed to a steady rhythm at last. Draco slowly reached out to gently brush away the remnants of the tears on the soft cheeks, careful not to disturb the boy's light rest. The moonlight filtered through the windows of their room, landing on his face and the bed, illuminating the wetness that was still glistening around his eyes. Draco did not wipe those away, for fear of waking him.

He sat there for many rounds of the clock that the glowing longer hand made, silently watching as the figure on the bed shifted now and then, uneasy even in his sleep. Draco would wait until he'd settled down in his new position, then lightly run his fingers soothingly through the baby soft raven hair, offering his own way of comfort. Harry was tired.

Draco schooled his expression back to its usual impassive, fighting hard against the tenderness that threatened to overwhelm him whenever he was around Potter. Maybe it had started when the war begun, maybe it was because of the way Potter looked at him, or maybe it had been there since he first laid eyes on the innocence in the boy's face…

Draco whispered softly in his nemesis's ears, as Harry shifted again to cuddle up to Draco's thigh. The blonde did not bother to remove it. He leaned back onto the headboard, content to savor the last few minutes of happiness.

He knew he had to go, even it meant never seeing Potter ever again. Draco silently cursed the world.

"If it doesn't go successfully… if I turn to Voldemort's side, if there comes one day when you have to fight me…" he said quietly, his thumb running over Harry's cheek. "You'll remember me this way, won't you? Because you know that's not me…"

"I'll come back. I promise."

Who understands it all
Reaches out each time you fall
You're the best friend that I've found

"You've got to be kidding, Malfoy…" Harry whispered in horror. Few things could unsettle him these days, but he should have expected cruelty to knock in the form of Malfoy.

The boy in question shrugged lightly. "You know someone has to do it, Potter. I can tell that your friends," he spat out the word, "are all pleasantly surprised to hear that you're not going to be the one who dies."

"WHAT KIND OF SHIT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!!" Harry exploded, closing the distance between them and landing a square punch on his lover's beautiful face.

Draco stumbled a step, then spat out the blood, and continued like nothing had happened, "I'm the only one among you Voldemort-murderers-wannabe who can get close enough to him, Potter, and you know that. Now he's going to give me an actual rank, and there will be no guards to oversee the ritual. When better to kill him?"

"You'll DIE, dammit!!" the boy screamed, his eyes darkening to a stormy green. He looked like he was about to throw another punch. "Malfoys are all so STUPID!"

Draco caught both his wrists deftly and pinned them behind his back, so his arms were also around Harry's waist, trapping their bodies together. Harry yelled obscenities until Draco tightened his grip to the point when he could barely breathe. It was only after a quarter of an hour that Harry stopped all the noise. Two thin tears ran silently down his cheeks, and he struggled again to free his hands so he could wipe them away. "Fuck it, Malfoy, let go!"

Draco observed Harry's face silently, noting how the emerald eyes avoided his. Feeling the familiar crumbling of something within him, his head dipped down almost involuntarily and he slowly kissed the salty tears away, tracing it from the bright green eyes down the tender cheeks to the jaw.

Harry stopped struggling and went limp. "Don't try this on me, Slytherin asshole," he croaked softly, voice hoarse and still choking on the lump in his throat.

Draco made no response, but slowly moved his mouth over Harry's, lightly tasting the sweet lips. His tongue grazed over the other boy's slightly dried lips, wetting them and requesting entrance. Harry pursed his lips tight and jerked his head away.

Draco frowned. "You're behaving more and more like a girl, Potter," he remarked.

Harry's head snapped up at once, and he let out a snarl, ready to retort. Draco smirked and took the chance to seize his lip again, this time catching his mouth open. Harry made a sound of frustration as he felt the invading tongue in his mouth, searching for his own. It took a while of teasing, but Harry finally conceded to kiss back. Draco's arms around him tightened, and his ministration on the mouth turned rough.

It was Harry who pulled back, out of breath. He glared at Draco without any humor. "I'm not."

"Not what?" Draco drawled lazily, his tone smug.

Harry brought up a knee and aimed for Draco's stomach, but the assault landed on his thigh instead, which was as high as he could bring his knee with the close proximity. "Tsk, tsk… so fierce…" Draco mock-sighed.

"I will be becoming a girl if I just stand still and melt under your kiss," Harry scowled..

"You want to, admit it," Draco taunted, laughing softly. He shifted his hold over Harry, and fell silent, burying his face into the slender shoulders, inhaling the faint sweet scent that was uniquely Harry's. They stood in the room, Draco holding Harry, for what seemed longer than eternity. With each passing minute, his grip got tighter, until Harry could barely breathe normally. But he didn't complain, because with each tick of the clock, it was as if he could feel Draco slipping away, the fine threads that were holding him there fraying… it felt good to have him physically there.

Finally, Draco released him, and pulled him towards the bed, their fingers lacing together. "Don't think so much, Potter…" he murmured, tucking the slight boy in, and settling down beside, on the cover.

The grip on his hand tightened. Harry looked away. "Don't go. Please."

Draco squeezed his hand back.

I know you can't stay
A part of you will never ever go away
Your heart will stay

When he came to, Draco was gone.

Harry sat on the big bed, soaking in the cold, the emptiness and the quiet. He willed them not to, in the silence in which the clock's ticking sounded so loud, but the tears fell all the same. Only now, there was no one to kiss them away.

He knew he would go, yet he could not bring himself to stop him. And Harry knew it was no use to go after him.

"Stupid Slytherin bastard…" He cursed, wiping away the tears fiercely, only to find more on his face. "Fucking stupid Malfoy…"

He clenched his fists in an effort to stop the trembles that were making their way through his nerves, and something cold that he never noticed before touched his palm. He opened his tightly shut eyes and stared, dazed, at the silver ring on his left hand.

It gleamed softly in the moonlight. Harry brought his fingers to its cool surface, tracing its smoothness. "Draco…?"

Then maybe it was his hallucination, or maybe it was real, but he heard a familiar voice whisper softly in his ear, painful and gentle, "Maybe, one day, someone who loves you and you love will come along… Innocent little Potter…"

He couldn't move, his breath hitched, and the voice slowly faded away into the deepest recesses of his mind. He waited in total silence for a long while, not daring to move, but the voice never came back.

Harry curled up and cried himself to sleep.

I'll make a wish for you
And hope it will come true
That life would just be kind
To such a gentle mind

It was a day after the funeral. Harry stepped into the room – their room – and stared blankly at the space. Someone had pulled the curtains open to let in the sun. It looked like it always had.

He knew it was no use mourning – everyone had told him that, and so he had said to himself. But he sat down on the bed all the same, taking in the way the light reflected in the mirror, inhaling the air that both of them shared just a few days ago.

He just had to go and die. Hero now, wasn't he? Savior of the world, Merlin's Order, First Class.

Harry fingered the patterns on the bed sheets, then felt something wet fall onto his fingers and roll down onto the picture of miniature broomsticks where it created a dark spot. Harry blinked, his mind refusing to think, and he fingered the spot again and again. The bed smelt like Draco.

Abruptly, he rose, angry with himself. What was the matter with him anyway? Caring so much for a selfish git like Malfoy. They were all the same. He would be laughing at him somewhere in Hell.

But his steps brought him to the wardrobe instead of getting him out, and his hand opened the heavy wooden door like there had been some sick programming done on him. Draco kept his robes in there. Harry stared at them, at the predominant colors of silver, green, and black that were rather different from his red and gold. Harry was not sure, but he thought he began to tremble.

So he took a slow appraisal of the room, then with a last look, exited and sealed the door behind him.

If you lose your way
Think back on yesterday
Remember me this way
Remember me this way
Hmm… remember me this way…

He didn't know he was watching. He kept his word as well as he could, although Harry didn't seem to sense him. He saw him weep the day he had locked their room away from the rest of the world, with a spell that only the two of them knew how to remove. He was always behind his back, wherever he went, bound by his own vow. But even so, he knew something stronger was keeping him there, a sense of something that he had left undone.

The days passed slowly at first. Harry seemed to be in a daze wherever he went, unaware of many things that went on around him. Draco was always around him, watching how Harry would stand at the door and stare for minutes on end, before remembering that he should open it with a key. And when he unlocked the door, he would star again, wondering why it would not open. It would take a few more minutes for him to turn the handle.

Draco watched his every antic with a kind of growing anxiousness, even though he did not admit so to himself. Watching the sparkle in his eyes die away seemed to be more painful then when the Dark Mark was branded onto his skin. This was another kind of marking altogether – a slow knife etching Potter's every expression and every tear into him. He never knew the dead could feel that magnitude of emotions.

It was the worst when Harry would come home and knock at the door, calling his name.

Or perhaps the worst was seeing his expression closed up when he realized no one would be answering the door.

Harry put an effort into maintaining a cheerful front for his friends, worried as they were. Draco knew the Weasel never wept too much for his death. Whenever no one was watching though, the smile would fall away altogether, like the strings holding the cheek muscles had been cut. Draco knew he cried at night, holding the ring on his right hand as he wept.

He would sit by the bedside like how he always used to do, burying his hand in the soft raven hair, as the sniffles slowed and stopped. He would remain there, whispering soothing words until Harry slept.

I don't need eyes to see
The love you bring to me
No matter where I go

Time passed.

Harry tried as best as he could to get over the past, but as time passed like it did, he could not help but accept the escalating feeling that Draco was there, watching him.

In the beginning, he thought he was plagued by his own memories, still unable to let go. He admitted to himself that he was not making any progress at moving on, but he could always feel the gentle but firm hands on his shoulders, reassuring him when he was confused. Everywhere he went, he could smell the scent of Draco, which never faded as the days toiled on.

And maybe it was his own wishful thinking, but it seemed that every morning, when he opened his eyes, he would see the sunlight streaming in through the window, and a figure by his bedside, with a smirk on his face.

And so time passed, and Harry knew, in the sub-consciousness of his mind, and in the depth of his heart. Nevertheless, he could sense Draco telling him to move on, and to forget him. Like he needed to be told; he had been trying every second that he breathed.

In the end, he found himself boy who seemed nice enough – someone he met at a party organized to get the Hogwarts alumni together. He was younger than Harry by three years, and used to be a star student from Ravenclaw, full of humor and sunshine, just like Harry, just unlike Draco.

Draco had watched as they shook hands and exchanged smiles, with a bitter taste in his mouth. He had turned away.

And I know that you'll be there
Forever more a part of time, you're everywhere
I'll always care

There seemed to be a problem somewhere, however. Harry's relationships never lasted too long. Draco watched and saw how Harry always grimaced after he tried to kiss his new flame. There was one attempt at sex with the first boy, but Harry had run to the restroom emptying his stomach halfway. He never got far with the rest.

Draco truly wished Harry could live his life in happiness but whenever he saw him with someone, his goodwill would just fall flat and he would do everything in his powers to curse whoever it was that Harry had latched on, or vice versa. Not that it actually worked… or maybe it did?

Two years passed in that fashion. Harry took up a profession as a writer as peace prevailed in the new era. He stayed home most of the time, cooped up in the study, writing and coughing. His friends thought it was the common flu, and so did Draco at first. But only he knew that there was more, because he was there when Harry hacked for minutes on end, bending over the sink and clutching his chest.

Draco would hug Harry from the back like what he always did, and he was sure Harry was aware, somehow, because he never moved during those times, and he always called his name, consciously or otherwise. The only difference was, Draco's arms could no longer hug him, hug him, the way he took for granted before.

I'll make a wish for you
And hope it will come true
That life would just be kind
To such a gentle mind

Draco was getting desperate. Harry's condition had taken a steep dive in the recent few days. The young man, now twenty-one, had not even been eating, nor taking enough fresh air. Harry did nothing but lock himself in the study all day, and sometimes all night, refusing to go to bed. He now used the guestroom.

Then Hermione visited one day, and Draco, for the first time, felt truly grateful that the mudblood existed. Harry was standing by the sink, trembling in the aftermath of a wave of coughs. He schooled his appearance as much as he could when the door bell rang, and answered the door with a strained smile. He felt like his cheek muscles had not been exercised for a long time.

The moment he saw his guest, his eyes lit up a little. Draco felt relief wash over him as he watched the scene play out before his invisible eyes. Hermione did not missed the pallor of Harry's face at all.

"Harry…" she began in a stunned sort of horror. "What happened?"

"What do you me-" But Harry never got any further, as he lapsed into another fit of endless coughing. He ran to the sink, and spat out blood for the first time.

Draco could only curse his own uselessness as Harry's friend, the mudblood friend, dragged Harry to the bedroom amidst protests, and tucked him in. Just like how Draco himself used to do. Hermione cooked that day, forcing porridge into Harry's unwilling mouth. Then they just sat there looking at each other, lacking a suitable conversation.

Finally, after long moments, Hermione laced her hands together and asked softly, "Harry… do you still think about him?"

Harry started, his eyes widening. And then he began to cough again. Hermione could only run her hand along his back, whispering soothing words. She did everything that Draco wished, deep inside, that he could do.

When Harry settled down again, he leaned back onto his pillow and looked dazedly at the white ceiling. Hermione sat by his bedside, singing a lullaby that would have seemed silly in any other circumstances.

"Herm?" Harry croaked.

"Yes?" she replied, pushing hair away from her friend's forehead.

"He's here…"

"What do you mean?" Hermione asked, a little uneasy, but willing to lend a comforting shoulder.

"Draco… he's here… he's always been here… I can feel him…" a tear fell from the corner of his eye and rolled down his temple into the pillow.

Hermione bit her lips, not knowing how to answer.

"I can feel him, Herm… he's always by my bed at night… I feel him touch me when I sleep. He's here…" Harry choked on his tears and the lump in his throat, and he gasped a little for air. "God… he never left… he came back after he went to Voldemort…"

"Harry…" Hermione felt her own tears falling.

"I've never told anyone, Herm, and it's killing me," Harry sobbed, covering his eyes with a hand. "I feel like he has something to say to me… that's why he can't leave… oh gods, he's been there all the while and I can't see him, I can't touch him… I feel like I've betrayed him…"

"Shh…" his friend shushed, pulling the blanket around him tightly. "If Malfoy's here… he wouldn't want to see you like this. Think for him, Harry… do you want him to see you in this state?"

"No, Herm… no! I- I just want him to come back! I… I don't want to live without him anymore, oh, fuck it, Herm…" Harry sobbed, his body shaking.

Draco put his arms around Harry again, buried his face into his shoulders, and cried with him.

If you lose your way
Think back on yesterday
Remember me this way
Remember me this way

Hermione left that evening, promising to return everyday in the future from then on. Draco was glad.

That night, at the time when Draco would curl up beside him on the bed, Harry was sitting on the wide window sill, one leg on the inside of the room, and one leg dangling outside, with a thirty-foot fall underneath. It was not the guestroom. It was the room he had locked away. Their room.

His crying had subsided, and now there was only a dead kind of emptiness inside him that hurt. He never bothered to wipe away the stains that the tears had left. His vacant green eyes stared at a framed picture on the tabletop. The two figures in it had their arms around each other, and were waving at him, radiating the happiness that he had detached himself from.

Draco stood beside the picture, knowing that Harry wouldn't see him, but not denying himself the hope. He fingered the glass gingerly. It had been taken on their one-month anniversary.

The clock struck twelve, and Harry closed his eyes.

"Draco…" he called out drunkenly, startling the subject. "Malfoy bastard… I know you're there. Come here… stand beside me…"

Draco obeyed, coming to Harry's side and touching his cheeks tentatively. Neither of them felt the contact.

"Are you there, Malfoy?" Harry called again. After a pause, he continued, "Tell ya what. I don't want to live anymore, okay? I'm tired of all this, and I just want to admit everything. I lived these fucking two years for your bloody sake, and don't get nothing for it. So I'm not going to care anymore. You're one selfish git, so I'm going to be selfish too, alright?"

"NO!!" Draco screamed, the meaning of Harry's words evident, but no one could hear him. He reached out to grab Harry, to pull him into the room, but his arms passed uselessly through the skinny body, just like how it had for two years.

"I'm going to see you now, Malfoy…" Harry whispered, giving the picture on the table one last look.

Draco felt a new kind of terror never before experienced in his mortal life. Harry was swinging his other leg over the windowsill already. In a hysterical desperation, Draco, tried to hang on to Harry's arms, and touched something cold. Something that actually felt cool to his non-existent hand.

And Harry stopped, feeling warmth holding on to his fingers.

And I'll be right behind your shoulder watching you
I'll be standing by your side in all you do
And I won't ever leave
As long as you believe
You just believe

He turned. Draco was standing there, warm, holding on to his hand.

He should have been shocked, or amazed, or frightened. But he felt none of that, as he stared harder, and his fingers curled around the pale hand that he had missed for an eternity.

"Potter…" the apparition said, in a voice of wonder.

"Malfoy…" Harry replied, in a thick voice. Then he jumped on his lover, putting his arms tightly around warm flesh. "Malfoy… Malfoy…" he choked.

Draco didn't know what happened, but he held on where he could, while one hand remained grasped with Harry's hand, gripping tightly, re-familiarizing with the sense of touch, and the feeling of the hand that he knew so well. He felt the ring.

"Draco…" Harry finally sobbed, tears finding their way down his cheeks. "Draco… Draco… don't leave, Draco, don't leave…"

Draco only held on tighter.

It seemed like they'd never let go, but Draco felt an unnamed urgency rising in him. He pulled back enough to quietly raise their entwined fingers. Both stared at the ring on Harry's finger.

"I think… it's the ring that brought me back, Harry…" Draco said quietly, looking at the silvery band. Harry merely stared, his arms around Draco, saying nothing.

"Harry…" Draco tried again.

"Hm?" Harry murmured, moving to place his lips on Draco's. It was a sweet and simple kiss; it was reliving a memory that both had buried.

Neither was willing to end it, but Draco pulled away first, latching on with more force to Harry's hand. With his other hand, he reached into his robe – the one he wore to confront the Dark Lord – to pull out an identical silver ring to Harry's. "It's still there…" he sounded relieved.

"Draco?" Harry inquired softly, as if a sudden noise, and the seeming illusion in his arms would shatter.

Draco looked into Harry's eyes, and smiled a little. Holding the gaze, he slowly eased the silver band off Harry's middle finger. Harry did not protest.

Both stared at the two rings held in Draco's palms. Then Draco closed his palm over his own ring, and held up the one that he gave Harry. Harry's eyes followed the ring, then flickered to Draco's eyes. Draco smiled again, then whispered clearly, "Will you marry me, Harry?"

Harry's green eyes slowly shifted from the ring to Draco's eyes again, then back to the ring. Another tear escaped his eye. "Yes, Draco," he replied, swallowing the lump forming in his throat.

Draco's smile broadened, and leaned forward, kissing Harry lightly, tenderly. When he spoke again, his voice was rough with emotions and tears. "I, Draco Malfoy, with these two rings as witnesses, take Harry James Potter as my lawfully wedded," he paused to take in a shuddering breath, "And vow to stay with him, now and forever, watching over him."

Harry bit down on his lower lip, but his tears were already pouring down his cheeks as Draco slid the ring onto his fourth finger on his right hand. He took the second ring from Draco's hands, and held it up, so the moonlight reflected off it. "I, Harry James Potter, with these two rings and Fate as witnesses, take Draco Malfoy as my lawfully wedded, and vow to stand by him and protect him till the end of my mortal life."

Hands shaking, he slid the ring onto Draco's fingers. They stared at each other in the silence, then encircled each other in another warm hug. It felt so real…

I'll make a wish for you
And hope it will come true
That life would just be kind
To such a gentle mind

The sun was rising. Draco held on tighter to Harry. They had not slept the whole night.

"I don't think I can stay, Harry…" Draco whispered hoarsely.

Harry was silent, and clutched at his hand almost painfully. "Don't go… please…"

Draco smiled sadly, and kissed the scar on his husband's forehead. "I'm sorry… for so many things… I never managed to protect you before…"

Harry was silent. Draco shifted his position, so that they were no longer leaning onto each other. His gray eyes met green ones, and he held up their hands between.

The sun crept over the horizon.

If you lose your way
Think back on yesterday
Remember me this way
Remember me this way

Draco closed his eyes, and kissed their entwined fingers. "I love you, Harry…" He held the gentle green gaze that smiled at him. "I love you…"

Harry tightened his grip, and smiled, half in resignation and half in contentment. "I love you too."

This way…

Draco vanished.

"Maybe, one day, someone who loves you and you love will come along… Innocent little Potter…"

Author's notes: http://www.geocities.com/saturndewicked/notesrmtw.htm

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Canon plot and characters are properties of the creators and distributors of the Harry Potter series and movies and are copyrighted to their respective owners. Author of this work claims no ownership, part or whole, of the canon plot and characters. No copyright infringement is intended. This fan fiction and all other relevant chapters and work, both text and non-text, are created for sole purpose of entertainment. Work is absolutely a non-commercial creation and no profits are made from the production, maintenance or display.

Remember Me This Way (the fiction above) is an original piece of fan work copyrighted to saturn de wicked. No part of this work is to be reproduced or adapted in any way without the author's permission.

Remember Me This Way, song from the Casper Motion Picture Soundtrack, is a copyright of MCA Records and sung by Jordan Hill. Author of this fan fiction claims no ownership of the song. The song is used in this fan fiction without permission from the copyright owners.