A/N: I wrote this as a comment fic a while ago for the First Time Fest, run by Marguerite26, over on Live Journal. The prompt from meddie_flow was: 'Harry/Draco - first time cuddling. And I see it with very little fluff, I mean when they get to that part after grudges and anger and much seriousness :P' This is what I came up with.
There is a delicious piece of fan art by m_dono which I also had in the back of my mind when I wrote this. You can find a link on my posting of this story LJ account.
This was written quickly and is unbetaed, so any mistakes are all my own.
Disclaimer: Characters are the property of JK Rowling, et al. This ficlet was written for fun, not for profit.
Knowing Harry Potter
"Potter," said Draco. Harry looked up, his face guarded.
"Malfoy," he said. They nodded at each other, and walked off in their separate directions.
Draco heard Weasley say, "I don't know why you bother giving that pillock the time of day, Harry," before their voices drifted off into the distance. Draco smiled to himself. If only Weasley knew.
Three days later when Draco watched as Harry spun down out of the sky, cloak flapping uselessly in the wind as his unconscious body hurtled to the ground, he couldn't help the way he sprang to his feet, the way he held his breath.
"I wouldn't cheer too loudly when he lands," said Blaise, looking around him quickly. "Even amongst us. Come on, Draco," he hissed, dragging Draco back down into the hard seat of the stand. Draco let himself be pulled down, but his eyes didn't leave Harry. When he landed with a thud which seemed to reverberate around the pitch, Draco's hands were clenched in tight fists. The game was abandoned, and a sorry line of students trailed after Headmistress McGonagall as she levitated Harry back to the school. And then the rumours began to spread, whispers rushing through the crowds.
"He's broken every bone in his body...
"...St Mungo's for sure."
"I heard he was dead."
"...In a coma."
After a while, Draco stopped listening. He sat by the fire in the common room, his arms wrapped around his knees.
"I don't know why I'm so upset," a tearful voice said. Draco looked up: Pansy was sat near him, twisting her hands in her lap. "A few months ago, I wouldn't have cared. I tried to hand him over myself!" Her face was white, and her eyes red. "He's just... he's been the only one..."
Draco nodded. Harry was the only one to always say hello, to never complain about who he was partnered up with. Things had been hard for the Sytherins, and although the goodwill of Harry Potter wasn't quite enough to stop the name calling, or the shoves, it took a little of the sting away. Of course, some still hated Harry – Theo for example. Draco had thought he would, but—
But it hadn't worked out like that.
He gave Pansy a quick, awkward squeeze on her shoulder, then left the common room in search of somewhere quiet. On his way he passed the hospital wing, and the crowd of students bearing Bluebell Flames in jars. He gritted his teeth and pushed through, not stopping until he got to the place beyond Dumbledore's tomb where the trees met the edge of the lake.
Finally, away from everyone else, he let himself fall to the ground, cold and damp though it was, and rub his hands hard over his eyes. Damned idiot! He wasn't supposed get hit by Bludgers or fall from his broom. He was supposed to be here, leaning against a tree, idly throwing stones into the lake, his face a picture of ease. Normally, after a game he would meet Draco here, and they would talk, candidly, about just how messed up their lives were. It was how Draco knew that Harry hated being back at school, how disconnected he felt from his friends. It was why he was 'Harry', not 'Potter'.
The first time had been an accident; both seeking the same isolated spot. There had been some half-hearted throwing of insults, which had slowed to silence. Neither really cared enough, anymore. They hadn't arranged it, but both had returned after the next match. Chatting here became the only tolerable part of the week. Honestly, getting injured playing the bloody Hufflepuffs! Draco hated the fawning Potter-worship almost as much as Harry did, and now everyone was doing it: hands clasped to their chests, weeping and wailing for their hero.
They all thought they knew him, owned him. But none of them did.
When the sun had sunk below the trees, Draco headed back to the castle. The Bluebell glow lit the faces still crowded, waiting for news. As Draco tried to skirt the edges, the door creaked open and out stepped Weasley and Granger. A burly looking boy who Draco recognised as a Hufflepuff Beater stepped forwards.
"Is he...?" he asked, his voice weak with sorrow.
And then Weasley and Granger were pushed aside, as a tired but whole Harry Potter stepped out from behind them. He looked at the crowd with a weary look of resignation. Then he saw Draco, and his head lifted up, his eyes brighter for a moment.
Without thinking Draco stepped forward, ran almost, until he had reached Harry.
"You idiot," he said, and the next moment, somehow, Draco was hugging him, clinging on tight, his head buried in Harry's neck. There was no hesitation as Harry's hands moved to Draco's back, and returned the embrace. It was warm and strong, being in Harry's arms, and Draco whispered again, "You idiot," before closing his eyes.
There was a rising roar of noise in the background, and then Harry was pulling away, and dragging Draco back into the hospital wing. The startled faces of Weasley and Granger disappeared behind the heavy door as it closed. Harry's grip on Draco's arm did not relax until they were shut in a small side room.
"That's better," said Harry.
"Such an attention seeker," murmured Draco.
Harry reached out and took his arm again, more gently this time, and pulled him closer. When they were standing close enough for Draco to feel the heat of Harry's body, he put his arms around him for another hug. This time a shuddering breath left Draco's body, and Harry rubbed his hand over Draco's back.
"It's ok, I'm ok," he said. Draco rested his head on Harry's shoulder, his cheek brushing against Harry's.
"It is now," he said.