It was something else.
Some screwed up thing inside of me, something I never even knew was there. Maybe it's gone now. God, I hope so. Maybe, maybe this thing inside of me will disappear, has disappeared...
Once, Ron told me this phrase that is sometimes said in the wizarding world: "All great power eventually turns on itself."
It means that if anything becomes too great, too big, too powerful for comprehension, it has no choice but to destroy itself.
I laughed when I heard the phrase. It sounded absurd, because for one thing I didn't think it was true. If something grows powerful enough it should be less prone to destroying itself. It should be strong and virtually indestructible. And if something is so powerful that nothing can destroy it, why the hell would this power, instead of being grateful for this safety, choose instead to destroy itself? I guess it just didn't make sense to me.
The other reason this sounded absurd is simply because of the idea behind it. It makes me think of families huddled by the fire place, waiting patiently for some great power to get philosophical and decide that destroying itself is the only way to eternal bliss or whatever. Who's going to wait for that? What coward would just lurk around, biding their time while some evil is destroying the lives of everyone that person ever cared about, until it eventually destroys itself? Oh yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Let's wait for evil to be wrought and pain to be spread. Bring on the general mayhem and despair! We'll be quiet until everything is peaceful again and the world we know has been destroyed and then, when the power is gone and we're good and ready, perhaps we'll go have a cup of tea. Right. That's crazy.
But now I pray that the phrase is true. I pray every night into my pillow. I pray to the stars, because whatever there is inside of me, it's commanding. Powerful. So powerful and shaking and heart-wrenching that I can only wait for it to destroy itself.
Because I could never destroy it myself.
Tangled limbs. Too much space in between them. It drove him crazy, there always seemed to be that distance between them no matter how close they got. Always a warning space, always a shadow that stopped the two from truly knowing each other.
Harry Potter fell against the floor. Draco came after. The two seventh-years stared at each other. Harry never became lost in Draco's eyes. It was in Draco's eyes that Harry found himself.
Oh god. He really just thought that, didn't he?
Harry pushed Draco away.
"Don't be a prude now," Draco said with a laugh. "Little late for tales of chastity, isn't it?"
"We have to stop this."
"Yes. Yes, before it gets worse, we have to stop it right now before it becomes an-"
Harry was silent.
"All right then," Draco said languidly. "This'll be the last time."
"That's what we said last time."
"Yes. And the time before that, too. You see, we were lying, Potter. It won't be the last time. But when we say it will be, you feel better, don't you? You think one last time and then I'll slip quietly back into my role as Boy Hero. It's a way for you to feel less guilty."
"Since when do you care how I feel, Malfoy?"
"I don't." Draco frowned to himself. "Not really."
"We stop this now."
Draco shook his head with a small smirk.
"You don't believe me?" Harry said, turning on the other boy with a glare.
"Of course not."
Harry turned away. He glared at the wall in front of him. He felt Draco's lips on his neck. Almost automatically he turned and kissed him with a urgent needing. But as soon as Draco tried to respond Harry had pulled away again. His face was in his hands. Draco paused, sharp grey eyes watching him. He did not touch the other boy, simply looked at him, perplexed.
"God," Harry muttered. "How did we even get here?"
Fifth year. Voldemort's power growing. All sorts of people drawn to him, the strong, the weak, those seeking shelter, those seeking vengeance. Hogwarts remained a safe haven, sheltered from the magical world. It was a world in itself, a world of dances and butterbeer, harmless charms and Quidditch.
Or at least that was the facade it put on, the picture it tried to become. In reality, Hogwarts was part of the real world, just like everything else. Harry Potter drew danger to him and it was in Hogwarts where that danger manifested itself, became real. It wasn't only a home to him, it was a thrill ride. He told himself he wanted to be normal, to be like everybody else, but the truth of the matter was everyday he needed the danger more and more. Everyday that he was normal, everyday when life was uneventful, it was another day where something was lacking.
"What's wrong Harry?" Hermione asked, peering studiously over the cover of a massive book. They were in the library, studying for finals.
"Yeah," Ron said, peering over the same book as Hermione. "You look like an elephant just ate your grandmother or something."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Do you two honestly think I don't know what you're doing behind that book?"
Ron and Hermione looked at him innocently. Harry reached over and pulled the book down.
"Still on page one," he said with a smile. "After hours of studying?"
"Ron reads rather slowly," Hermione said with a sweet smile to Ron. Ron glared at her.
"Well forgive me. I don't happen to find great enjoyment in learning of the magical potency in cabbages. In fact, it bores me out of my skull."
"Studying is not about enjoyment, Ron! It's about getting a good education so as to become a-"
"-functional, productive member of society, yeah yeah yeah. I'm sure all of the great wizards of the world owe their success to The Joy of Cabbages."
Harry shook his head in amazement. "I don't understand it," he told them. "You two are one of Hogwarts' longest standing couples and yet you argue whenever you're not snogging behind a library book."
"That's not true," Ron said brightly. "We've broken up plenty of times!"
"That's right, plenty of times!" Hermione agreed.
"For about an hour. Then you're at it again."
"You're one to talk," Ron said with a sidelong look to Harry. He smiled slyly. "You and Ginny always seem occupied with your own studies. Funny that you should always study together, considering you take completely different classes and she's in another year." He glanced up. "Speak of the devil."
Ginny plopped into the vacant seat next to Harry, who promptly leaned over and kissed her. "Hello everyone," she said. "Having fun? Oh dear, Ron and Hermione aren't 'studying' behind one book again, are they? If you two think for a moment you're fooling anybody..."
"Sod off, Ginny," Ron said to his sister. "We're just studying. Fascinating stuff, this."
Harry smiled. "I thought you just said the topic bored you out of your mind."
"Well," Ron said, "I just got to a good part." He grinned wickedly to Hermione.
Hermione frowned at him. "You're such a-"
"Prince? Gentleman? King?"
Harry decided to let the two argue or snog or whatever they wished to do, and turned to Ginny. She smiled at him. She was, Harry told himself firmly, quite pretty. He returned the smile and reached for her hand.
"It's good to see you smile," Ginny said. "You've seemed a bit gloomy lately..."
"You're here. That's reason enough to smile."
"Did you hear that Ron?" Hermione said from behind the book. "How come you never say things like that to me?"
"Because whenever I try you laugh at me."
Harry turned back to Ginny. "I don't know why I've been, as you put it, gloomy. End of the year, I suppose... All these exams... After the next two years, that's it, you know? No more Hogwarts."
Ginny sighed. Suddenly remembering that Ginny would be here the year after that too, Harry quickly backtracked. "I don't mean you Ginny," he said hurriedly. "You'll always be a part of my life, you know that. I just mean... Life after Hogwarts. Seems impossible."
"Don't worry about it yet, Harry. You've still got a good two years here ahead of you." She tilted her head. "What else is troubling you?"
"Nothing. Really." He grinned. "Don't try to be so perceptive. I'm fine."
She jabbed him playfully in the ribs. "I'm not trying to be perceptive. I just want to make sure you're okay." She paused, suddenly turning serious. "Harry, are you-...This may sound silly, but are you..."
"Bored out of your mind?"
Harry blinked. "No! Of course not. Ginny, I don't find you boring in the least, my relationship with you is the most exciting and-"
"No Harry," Ginny interrupted. "I didn't ask if I was boring. I asked if... It's simply that...well..."
"It's just that nothing this year or last has really...happened. Nothing with Voldemort or anything of that nature. The Dark Lord is rising, people keep saying, but there's been no real evidence of that. And you, you haven't been threatened or harmed at all! Well, except for earlier this year when Draco Malfoy knocked you off your broom."
"I'm not bored, Ginny. I'm...glad that nothing has happened. Voldemort is bad."
Ginny laughed. "Voldemort is bad? Insightful, Harry. Very insightful."
"Look," Harry said, rather impatiently. "I'm fine. I really am. Don't worry about me, okay?"
"Okay," Ginny said softly. They were quiet for a moment, listening to the silence of the library as Ron and Hermione made out behind their book.
"Quidditch match tomorrow?"
"Yeah," Harry said.
"Last one. Championship."
"And then Fred and George will graduate and you'll be made captain, or so I've heard." Fred and George were co-captains this year.
"Right," Harry said.
"Going against Slytherin."
"You're going to kick their ass."
Suddenly Harry laughed. He drew Ginny to him and they kissed. For a while. When they finally pulled away they were sitting in the same chair, Ginny on Harry's lap. They smiled to each other.
"How can I be bored with a girlfriend like you?" Harry asked. "Why would I ever go looking for danger?"
They kissed again but inwardly Ginny frowned. She had never said anything about him looking for danger.
The shouts of the students (and teachers) of Hogwarts created quite a din the next noon. The Quidditch final against the two most competitive houses! Everyone was talking about the two teams and, more importantly, the Seekers of these two teams. Malfoy and Potter. The rivalry between the two had become famous in Hogwarts. Malfoy had been made captain of the Slytherin team and since then, surprisingly, their game had improved greatly. Malfoy was a genius strategist. The maneuvers of his team quite often left the Gryffindors baffled.
Fred and George Weasley knew this. They also knew that the only way to beat the Slytherins was to go back to the basics.
"It all comes down to one thing," Fred said, banging his fist onto a table for emphasis. "The Snitch.."
"Right," George said. "And who's job is it to find the Snitch?"
Everyone looked at Harry.
"Right," George said again. "The Seeker."
"This is how it's gonna go down," Fred said. "Harry sees the Snitch. Harry gets the Snitch. We win the game."
"That's it?!" Harry said. "That's your brilliant plan?"
"We never said it was brilliant," Fred said patiently.
"And I wouldn't quite call it a plan," George added. "It's not complex enough to truly be called a plan."
"Surely you guys have something else in mind!"
"Nope. Game all depends on you."
"Just kidding! We just wanted to see you sweat." Fred thumped Harry on the back, a bit too hard. "Right then, the rest of you gather round, we have some interesting techniques that just may outsmart the Slytherins."
Harry listened silently as Fred and George gave instructions to the rest of the team.
"All right," Harry said when they were finished. "I have a question. What about Malfoy?"
"What about him?"
"Well the last time we played Slytherin, Slytherin won."
"Malfoy knocked me off my broom and got the Snitch!"
"I remember," George said grimly. "Can't believe they didn't call it. Snape talked them out of it. The slimy git."
Harry sighed. "What can I do to make sure that doesn't happen again? What's the plan?"
"Don't get knocked off your broom."
Harry smiled. "Haha, very funny."
"We aren't kidding this time. Don't let Malfoy win. It's as simple as that." Fred gave him a wild grin. "And hold on tight to your broom!" He turned to the team. "All right then! Let's go win a cup, shall we?" he said, as if suggesting a stroll around the block.
The Slytherin team was already assembled in the stadium. They exchanged jeers and glares with the Gryffindor team. Malfoy strode up to Harry.
"So Potter," he said easily. "Ready to lose?"
"The only loser here is you, Malfoy."
"Is that so?" Draco said, stepping closer with a menacing glare. "I'd hold onto my broom stick, Potter. Sometimes the air...shifts. Sometimes things change. Sometimes your grip on things loosens, just a little bit. The slip is hardly noticeable but that doesn't mean it isn't there. I have good eyes, Potter. I notice things other people don't. You lose your balance, you start to slip. And when you start spinning out of control, I promise you I'll be there."
"Get away from our Seeker, Malfoy!" George spat hotly, suddenly noticing the two. They were standing quite close, faces mere inches from touching.
"Of course, Weasley," Draco said with a smile. He stepped away from Harry and mounted his broom. Harry did the same. There was a whistle and suddenly they were all shooting skyward, a blur of color, robes flaring.
The Seekers generally soared a good distance away from the rest of the game, anxiously searching for the Snitch. Harry reached this space first but Draco was not far behind him. Harry tried to catch the other Seeker's eye for over half an hour but Draco did not even look at him. He was all business, staring studiously at the world below them, scanning for the Snitch. No matter how hard Harry tried, he could not meet Malfoy's gaze. He was angry that he had not been able to return Draco's threat...
Was that what it was? A threat? When you start spinning out of control, I promise you I'll be there. It didn't sound so much like a threat now that it was echoing in Harry's mind. It sounded like an...oath. No. That didn't make any sense? An oath of what?
Pay attention, Harry! Biggest game of the year, right here, right now. This is what he wanted, you know, you're falling into his trap. Don't let his words get to you. NEVER let his words get to you.
But his words were getting to Harry. Only forty minutes into the game and suddenly Draco was spiraling downwards like a deadly bird of prey. Harry caught what he saw moments after, a tiny flicker of golden light lancing off of a small object. Anyone besides a Seeker would have passed it off as a stray ray of sunlight, a wristwatch catching the gaze of the sun. However Harry was specially adept at recognizing the consistent flicker of the object zooming across the sky, could catch the patterns of light as this object traveled along its inane route. It was the Snitch. And Draco was heading right for it.
Harry smiled grimly to himself. Sorry Malfoy, buddy. Not happening.
Harry soared after Draco, swooping in for the Snitch. However Draco was moving too swiftly, had gotten too much of a head start. Harry's mind told him that there was no earthly way he could catch up to the Slytherin Seeker.
No earthly way indeed.
Harry reached for his wand.
"Strigo," Harry muttered, pointing at Draco's broom. It stopped in midair, as if frozen. Draco stared at it in disbelief, then turned to Harry. Quickly Harry broke the spell and Draco's broom, no longer paralyzed, began speeding through their air once more. However the time the spell had given was enough to allow Harry to almost catch up with Malfoy. Of the two Harry was the better flyer and he was soon flying directly next to Malfoy. Draco twisted his head to look at him. He shook his head, a smile on his lips.
"Little Harry Potter, cheating?" he said, and zoomed ahead with a burst of speed. "Ah, no! Has he finally grown up? Has he decided to play the game the real way now?"
Harry began gaining on him. For a second Draco looked back at him and Harry, feeling pleased with himself, smiled sweetly. His smile quickly vanished however as Draco pointed his wand at him and muttered under his breath.
Harry's broom started spinning in circles. He urged it to go forward and it went backwards. He urged it to go up and it went down.
"Bastard," Harry muttered after Draco. Draco had sped a great distance ahead and, as a result of his concentration on the Snitch, the spell had faded. With another burst of speed Harry flew along. Draco was shocked to find, mere moments later, the Gryffindor Seeker flying next to him once more.
"You're a fast flyer, Potter," Draco said. "But I think that just maybe I'm faster."
Harry could see that Draco's broom was building to what promised to be a swift pace that Harry's broom might not be able to match. As Draco began to gain Harry grabbed the other's seeker's robe, holding him back. Draco shifted suddenly, slightly off balance on his broom. It was all Harry needed.
He grabbed the boy by his shoulder and pulled him close.
"You lose your balance," Harry whispered coolly into Draco's ear, "you start to slip."
He shoved Draco away from him so hard that Draco's hands fell from his broom and he and his broom both began plummeting rapidly downward.
"And when you start spinning out of control," Harry called after him, "I promise you I'll be there!"
He saw the Snitch glinting at him, not too far below. He dove for it. Yes, that's it Harry, almost there...
Suddenly he was jerked back with such force that for a moment he could not move his neck. He heard a rip. When he forced himself to turn he was not at all surprised to find Draco there, holding onto Harry's robe. He had torn part of the back.
"How dare you, Potter," he said, seething with anger. "How dare you throw my own words back at me like that."
"They're just words, Malfoy," Harry said with a grim smile. "They mean nothing."
Harry watched as Draco's eyes narrowed. They looked, Harry thought, like jagged ice.
"I see," Draco said slowly. "You don't want to play it like that."
"Oh?" Harry said with a surprisingly mocking laugh. "How do I want to play it then?"
"Like this." Draco punched Harry squarely in the jaw. Harry's broom shook. When his vision cleared he saw Draco, tumbling below, heading for the snitch.
He soared after him and attempted to deliver a blow to Malfoy's face. Draco ducked, but not quickly enough and Harry's fist connected with the side of his head. Draco let out a strangled cry in pain. He quickly restrained it and headed after Harry who was moving in on the Snitch. He came at the other boy from behind.
"Element of surprise, Potter," Draco whispered. "Never underestimate it." These words had barely reached Harry's ears before Draco threw his arms around the other seeker's neck and began to strangle him.
"What the devil is going on up there?" Professor McGonagall muttered. Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy had soared so high up that they could barely be made out. They had become two dormant dots in the sky. This was highly unusual as Seekers generally never stopped moving and were simply spiraling figures throughout the game. Harry and Draco had remained in relatively the same place for far too long.
"Should we stop the game and see what's going on?" McGonagall asked, turning to Professor Dumbledore. His eyes were squarely on the two Seekers up above, his expression unreadable.
"No, no," Dumbledore said finally. "Just send someone up there to determine what's wrong. We don't want to disrupt the other players."
McGonagall went to get Madam Hooch.
Let...go of me..." Harry managed. Draco's hands were still firmly enclosed around Harry's neck. The Snitch had been long forgotten.
"You wanted this, didn't you?" Draco asked calmly. "Words mean nothing, after all."
Harry's elbow shot back into Draco's ribs. Draco winced and weakened his grip on Harry enough for him to escape. He turned angrily on Draco.
"You," Harry said, glaring. His green eyes snapped like a crackling flame and for a second Draco just watched, mesmerized. He had always been mesmerized by fire.
Something in Draco's gaze caught Harry off balance but he quickly regained his train of thought. "Who do you think you are?" Harry demanded. "You boss people around, intimidate them into bending to your every whim, every-"
"-desire." Draco smiled. "Yes, I get it, Potter. But what about you, hm? You play the godly saint now but did you see yourself before? Did you see the anger in your eyes? The restlessness?" He grinned. "Now look at you. Acting like none of that existed, pretending in your head that you don't have any of those instincts in you, none of that restlessness for fear, danger..."
Harry tried to shove him off his broom but Draco easily avoided his hands.
"You're putting on this righteous act," Draco continued, "in order to put yourself in a better light. You want that spotlight on yourself, glorifying you, perfecting you. And me? You want me hidden, cloaked in shadow." Draco shook his head. "Not gonna work this time, Potter. There's no other world here, no teachers fawning over you, no students asking for your autograph. Just you and me, exactly as we are, no interference. Up here in the sky, alone, there's no shadow to cover me but yours. And I'm not gonna let that happen."
"You're right," Harry said distantly. "Up here in the sky we are alone. Up here in the sky we're equals. But down there, in the real world? You are scum. And I'm not. And that's what it comes down to, Malfoy."
Draco threw another punch but Harry was ready, had been setting Draco up for this. He caught the boy's fist and then lunged at him. He jumped onto Draco's broomstick and delivered another punch before Draco grabbed Harry's wrist and stopped him. They were both standing on the same broomstick, precariously balanced amongst the clouds. Harry's broomstick hovered there as if It were not quite what to do with itself.
"This what you wanted, Potter?" Draco muttered. "You wanted to take your anger out on me? Or is it something more?" He lips turned up in a smug smirk. "Is it that you need danger? Is it that you've had no challenges this year?"
Draco shook his head, his eyes never leaving Harry's.. "There's been nothing for you here at Hogwarts. Nothing that made your blood run cold and nothing that made your blood boil. You're sick of it, aren't you? Wandering through life like a lost soul, no sense of purpose and, more importantly no thrills, no excitement. Nothing is strong enough to give you the sense of danger you need, Potter, the thrill you've become accustomed to. Nothing terrifies you anymore." Draco suddenly turned intense, darkened slightly, and Harry watched as the ice in his eyes grew colder, sharper. "And I'm the only one who can give you that sense of danger, aren't I?"
Harry regarded him for a moment. Then he leaned forward and pressed his lips against Draco's, urgently, persistently. He grabbed the Slytherin by the shoulders, pulled Draco to him roughly, felt the roughness of the other's cheek. His face was pushed close against Draco's and he could feel Draco's eyebrows arch in surprise. The kiss grew deeper and Harry pushed Draco further and further along the broomstick until the other boy nearly lost his balance and, for a moment, faltered. The moment of space between their lips was enough for Harry to suddenly see himself clearly.
Draco looked up at him, one hand on the broomstick, steadying himself. For once he was silent.
They stared at each other for a long moment. Harry saw Draco's eyes change. The glassy blue ice-like quality was, for a moment, completely mirror-like. Harry could not see Draco but only himself, staring back through a blue shield. He looked weak and confused and he hated it.
At a loss for words, Harry shoved Draco again. Draco did not move for a moment, just stared at Harry in incredulous disbelief. His lips were quivering as if he was about to laugh. However after a moment he shoved Harry back, threw a punch and Harry did the same in turn. They continued like this, continued the offbeat dance that neither was willing to stop. Perhaps it was because the music would not end.
As they continued fighting their steps grew faster and faster, until it seemed as if they were really dancing. Now they truly were both spinning out of control. It seemed nothing would come to stop them, cease the music and bring them out of the sky.
"Harry Potter! Draco Malfoy! Stop this, this instant."
Madam Hooch was hovering below the two boys. For a moment she could not say anything else. How strange it was to watch them fight in the air like this. They moved with a graceful liquid ease. The fighting seemed almost choreographed, as if each boy already knew what the other would do, knew how the other moved and thought.
Which, Madam Hooch reminded herself severely, was silly, of course. This was not an art form! This was just two boys hideously disobeying the rules as, Madam Hooch thought, teenagers were apt to do. She blew a whistle around her neck and it echoed shrilly. Startled, the two looked at her in surprise. Draco almost lost his balance and Harry gripped his shoulder before he fell. Draco glanced up at Harry as if he was not sure what to think of this gesture.
"What is it you think you're doing?" Madam Hooch demanded. "Is this some sort of game, pray tell?"
Yes, Harry thought, that's exactly what it is. But he remained silent.
"Get back on your broom, Potter," Madam Hooch snapped.
Harry's broom was floating listlessly above Harry's head. Harry pulled himself up onto it, lifting himself from Draco's broom. He sighed, trying to act ashamed of himself, as he knew he should be. He looked down. It was a far way to look. Harry was faintly surprised at how high they had gotten.
They began silently descending back to earth. There was quite a small crowd gathered, waiting to meet them. At the head of it was Professor McGonagall. She was livid.
"Harry Potter!" she shrieked. Harry froze. Professor McGonagall, while severe, was also one of the biggest Quidditch fans around. On the Gryffindor team, one did not try to win simply for the sake of winning, one tried to win so they were not forced to avoid all contact with McGonagall until it was time to play the next game.
Harry was already perfecting this skill. He quickly looked away. McGonagall was not so easily avoided this time, however.
"What on earth were you doing up there?" She was still shrieking. "Hm?! Were you and Malfoy discussion poetry?! Attempting to solve world hunger?"
"Er," Harry said, "not quite."
"What in heaven's name was going on up there then?!"
"Perhaps we were all trying to talk like this," Draco muttered.
Harry hid a smile.
"What was that, Malfoy?!" McGonagall screeched.
McGonagall finally turned to Madam Hooch. "Tell me what you saw," she demanded.
"They were fighting, Professor," Hooch said respectfully, as if she for a moment was fearing a detention or something of the sort.
"In the sky?!" McGonagall cried incredulously.
"Yes," Madam Hooch said, as if she didn't quite believe it herself. "And they were doing it quite... well."
"Well," Dumbledore said proudly, "they are two of the best Seekers in Hogwarts history."
"Headmaster, I mean all the respect in the world, of course," McGonagall said in a tone that suggested she meant anything but, "however, pride is not the issue!"
"Oh, I quite agree, Professor," Dumbledore said, eyes betraying the smile he was hiding. "Still, it's rather impressive."
"Be that as it may," Madam Hooch said, "this is still some of the most outlandish behaviour that I have seen in all my years of teaching."
"What do you suggest we do?" McGonagall asked.
"Expel them from the game," Madam Hooch said simply. "Potter, as you well know you were being considered for captain next year. That decision will be put into question. Malfoy, the same goes for you."
"But the game can't go on without our Seekers," McGonagall said nervously.
"Surely there must be some other way," Dumbledore said.
"I suppose they could continue playing... As long as this fighting business does not start up again, do you hear me?" Hooch said sharply. "Hm?!"
Harry and Draco nodded mutely.
"And of course," McGonagall said, "they will naturally be punished most severely. The championship game is NOTHING to be sneezed at and you both shall pay the consequences! A daily detention for say, a month or two, that should do it, I think. Headmaster?"
"Yes," Dumbledore said sternly.
"Very well," said Professor McGonagall with a severe stare for Harry and Draco. "You shall be allowed to return to the game. Don't just stand there staring! Go!"
Both fifth years took to the air, exchanging not a word. On his way up Harry saw Fred and George scowling profusely at him. He understand why they were angry. He had had several chances to get the Snitch and he had successfully managed to miss them all. Oh well. He wouldn't miss such a chance again. Never again.
He looked at Draco who was scanning the sky, avoiding Harry's gaze once more, in his own world.
Harry concentrated on the sky. He saw the Snitch, speeding towards him. Lucky. Harry reached out his hand and flew to meet it. It fell into his palm and he closed his fist over it, letting out a cry in triumph. Almost immediately his team surrounded him.
They had won.
Harry should feel victorious now. He should feel glory. He felt nothing.
Out of the corner of his eyes, over the roar of the crowd, Harry saw the Slytherin team skulking off. Draco was looking back at Harry, an unreadable stare etched on his face. For a moment his eyes did that strange change again, that change where they suddenly gained the clarity of a mirror and Harry could see himself perfectly, reflected in Draco's gaze.
No. No. No more mirror-gazing, no more. He knew who he was. He knew what he looked like. He did not need Draco to show him.
Ginny ran up to him as he reached the ground. She threw her arms around him and kissed him.
"Oh!" Ginny exclaimed looking at his face. "You're bruised... What happened up there, Harry? Between you and Malfoy? You were both so high up, even our binoculars could barely make you out."
Harry didn't answer. He was staring at the sky.
"Harry?" Ginny said, growing more concerned. "What happened?"
He looked back at her, met her gaze. Her eyes were dark, like his, unclear and murky. He could not see himself so easily in them and he was glad.
Never again Malfoy, Harry thought, looking toward Draco's retreating figure.