Title: Love Is…
Author: Makoto Sagara
Series: Harry Potter
Archive: the usual suspects; anywhere else, please ask first
Genres: Angst, Drama
Warnings: angst, language, slash, ooc, EWE, death (main character)
Pairings: Harry/Draco, past Ron/Hermione
Summary: There's no comfort in the waiting room. Just nervous paces, waiting for bad news.
Disclaimers: Harry Potter is owned by J.K. Rowling, Scholastic Publishing, Warner Bros, and some other companies that are NOT me. I make nothing from this.
Author's Notes: I blame ForeverNocturnal for this. I was happy imagining the perfect Death Cab for Cutie song for Harry and Draco's relationship as "You Can Do Better Than Me" from the Narrow Stairs album. She said she always thought it was "What Sarah Said" from the Plans album. And the idea wouldn't go away. Your entire fault, Forever!
Draco paced outside of the emergency room that held his life, his breath, his air, his reason to exist, and tugged at his hair desperately. "I told him not to go. I told him he couldn't leave me," he whispered harshly, the words feeling as if they were ripped directly from his heart. Merlin, this day could only get worse, never better.
"I know, Draco," Hermione replied, linking their arms gently.
"Granger, what am I to do?" He looked at her, and in her big brown eyes, he could see his reflection. What he saw scared him like nothing else. "What do I do if…" His voice died in a choked-back sob.
"Shhhhh," she whispered soothingly, rubbing one hand along his back. "You have to just wait. We don't know what's going to happen right now, and right now, we'd not be doing any good by panicking."
"Why are you so bloody rational right now?" Draco asked, wishing his parents weren't in France on a second honeymoon. He so wanted a hug from his mum. He hadn't felt like that in years, and the feeling left him raw and lost.
"Because it's Harry, I suppose." She shrugged, wrapping an arm around his slender waist affectionately. "I'm worried, of course I am. He's my best friend. We've been there for each other since we were eleven. However, I have faith that he's going to be fine, that we're all going to be fine."
He stared down at his friend –the unconventional friend that he'd made after being with Harry for two years, who continued to be one of Draco's closest friends for the last ten years– and wondered for her sanity. "You're so fucking full of it, Granger." He shook his head fondly. "But thank you."
"Hermione!" A familiar, and unwelcome, voice shouted from down the hallway. Both Draco and Hermione turned to see Ronald Weasley standing there, panting, his face as red as his hair. "Have you heard anything?"
"How. Dare. You." Draco was livid, white with rage as he shook, hands balled into fists at his side. "You have no right to be here."
"Why you bloody arse-"
"Ron!" Hermione left Draco's side, moving forward to stop her ex-husband from assaulting the distraught blond. "I thought you were going to stay with Rose and Hugo?"
"Mum and Dad offered to watch them so I could come here and check on Harry," the redhead muttered, glaring daggers at the other man. "How is he?"
"We haven't heard from the Healers yet, so we don't know right now," the woman whispered. "There's nothing we can do but wait."
Ron slumped to the ground against the nearest wall, his face going pale as tears started to well up in his lifeless, blue eyes. "He's right. It's all my fault. I should have been watching our backs, but I was too busy running my yap with that suspect."
"You couldn't have known there was another person in that place," Hermione said, kneeling next to her ex-husband, the man she'd managed to remain friends with, even after a rather acrimonious divorce, for the sake of their children. "You'd both checked the area, and you only found the two. You can't blame yourself."
"Mr Malfoy-Potter?" A voice called, getting everyone's attention. "I'm your… husband's Healer. My name is Riechmacher."
"Yes," Draco said, his voice cracking, hope dying in his chest as he saw the look on the Healer's bland face. "How long?"
"It's unknown, but now would be the time that I can allow you to sit with him," the Healer said sympathetically. "I have to tell you that Mr Potter looks very bad. You may not want to-"
"Of course I want to see him!" Draco yelled, his hands balling up again.
Harry looked nothing like Draco remembered from just that morning. His glasses were missing. His skin was a sickly, pale shade, except for the angry cuts and bruises that covered his face. Gone were the usual traces of smiles and happiness that Harry seemed to radiate everywhere he went.
It was as if Draco was looking at a horrid facsimile of the man he loved.
With great reluctance, Draco picked up the clammy, pale right hand of his husband as he sat down next to him. "Harry…" He choked back a sob that threatened to overwhelm him. "Oh, Merlin, Harry, what am I going to do with you? Hermione's outside, standing guard so the Weasel can't come in while I spend these last few moments with you." He placed the hand he held up to his lips and kissed it. It brought back memories of doing the same thing over the twelve years of their relationship. "Mother and Father will probably be upset that I didn't contact them right away. I…I didn't want them to worry if there was nothing that could be done. The Healer said that he doesn't know how long you have left."
Draco gave in and began sobbing, almost hysterically, as he leaned forward to place his head on Harry's shallowly moving chest. "Why? Why would you do this to me? Don't you know that…I don't want to live without you? Please, don't leave me. Please," Draco begged, repeating the last word over and over. He kept doing that until his grief pulled him under into the blackness of oblivion.
How long he stayed there, draped over the side of his dying husband's bed, Draco had no clue. When a hand gently touched his shoulder, he shot up with his wand in hand and a curse on his lips.
"It is nice to see that you are still vigilant at a time like this," his mother said sadly.
"Mother, what are you doing here?" he croaked, ashamed at how scratchy his voice sounded.
"Ms Granger called your father and me at the chateau. Why did you not do so yourself, Draco?" Narcissa chided.
"I- I didn't want to ruin your second honeymoon," he whispered.
"Oh, my darling," she said, gathering her son to her in a breath-stealing hug. "You're an idiot, sometimes, my beautiful boy. Of course we would be here with you at a time like this. Your father is outside speaking with the Healer right now."
"Mother, what shall I do without him?" Draco asked desperately, tucking his head against her neck and breathing in the familiar scent she wore.
"I am sure that Harry would not want you to waste away," Narcissa answered, rubbing his back affectionately. "If anything, he would want you to live for the both of you."
"I don't think I can," he whispered sadly. "I don't want to live without Harry."
"Draco, you will cease this dramatic and unsightly behaviour now," Lucius stated from the doorway. "You should remember where and who you are."
"Lucius," Narcissa said coolly, pulling away from their son reluctantly. "A little tact and compassion would not hurt at a time like this. Our son-in-law is dying in that bed right there, and it wouldn't kill you to allow our son his period of grief right now."
The Malfoy patriarch shut the door and stepped up to his wife and son, crushing them both in a surprising embrace. "Forgive me, Draco," he whispered. "I know how upset you are, and I apologize for seeming uncaring." When Draco only nodded mutely, Lucius pressed a kiss to his child's head, something he hadn't done since Draco was a small boy. "Your mother and I will stay with you until it is over, and then you shall come home with us."
Draco was too tired to fight, too upset to care, and he only nodded, grateful for the love and warmth that both of his parents seemed to be showing him at this time. He allowed his mother to move him to the chairs next to Harry's bed and take his hand. Lucius conjured another chair and took up the vigil on the other side of the room, patiently waiting until the inevitable came.
Three days later, the Boy Who Lived, Harry James Malfoy-Potter, passed away due to complications suffered from the unknown Dark curse he received while out on a mission. Draco didn't leave his side the entire time. He only ate when Hermione and Narcissa brought him food, and he showered and changed into clean clothes in the room's private bathroom.
Never once did Harry wake up. If he had, he would have seen the Malfoy and Weasley families getting along, speaking to one another civilly where they could. He would have seen George and Ginny giving bone-crushing hugs to his distraught husband, finally, and Bill offering any kind of assistance to Draco. He would have seen Hermione and Ron hugging each other desperately, burying the hatchet of their differences after four years of strained relations. He would have seen Narcissa, Fleur, Angelina, Molly and Penelope, Percy's wife, trading household tips. (Because who would have believed that Narcissa Malfoy enjoyed baking and had made birthday cakes for both of her sons every year?)
And when he passed away, he would have seen Draco and Ron holding one another up while the both cried –their animosity towards one another finally buried and gone with the loss of their mutual best friend.
His funeral was the most widely attended event in Wizarding history, outdoing even Dumbledore's. It lasted for far longer than anyone who actually knew Harry wished, with people who hadn't really understood him pontificating on the many things that Harry had done, both as a teenager in his defeat of Voldemort and as an Auror and private citizen. By the time the speeches reached a fourth hour, the Malfoys and Weasleys stood up as a group and thanked everyone for coming, asking that they be left alone while they buried Harry in Godric's Hollow with his parents, Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks, and Sirius Black.
When everything was finally over, Draco ignored everyone's protests that he shouldn't return to the home he'd shared with Harry alone, telling them all that he was a grown man and would do what he liked. Eventually, he did cave in and say that Hermione could come and check on him if it would make everyone happy and that he would come and have dinner with both families when he felt a little better.
He left them all at the graveyard and Apparated back to Number 12 Grimmauld Place with a heavy heart. Kreacher came and took his cloak, hanging it up with a sad look on his ancient face. "Kreacher is sorry to be interrupting Master Draco, but there is being a letter addressed to you in the library."
"Do you know who it's from?" Draco asked.
"No, Kreacher is not. It popped up right after the magic was letting Kreacher know that Master Harry died."
"Oh," Draco whispered. There were so few documents that could do that, and he both wished for and against this being a dying declaration. "If anyone Floos or shows up, I am not to be bothered."
"Yes, Master. You is liking some tea, perhaps?"
"That would be fine. Thank you, Kreacher," Draco said, adopting Harry's mannerisms with the house-elf, now that the man wasn't there himself to do so. When the elf had headed off to the basement kitchen to make tea, Draco walked up the stairs to the second floor library.
Sure enough, sitting on the desk that Harry had used for all of his business at home was an envelope of creamy parchment. When Draco picked it up, he smiled at the thought that Harry had used Draco's own parchment to write this last letter. He lifted it gently to his nose, inhaling the woodsy, musky scent of Harry right from the parchment.
Carefully, Draco sat down in the comfortable leather chair and opened the letter. Harry's familiar scrawl greeted him and, for a moment, Draco had to resist the urge to break down into hysterical sobbing. Gathering what courage he could, he began to read the words Harry had left for him.
My dearest Draco,
Merlin, if you're reading this, the worst has happened. Please believe that I never wanted to leave you like this. I loved our life together and there was no one else that I could imagine loving as much as I loved you. You made waking up every day worth more than our combined Gringott's vaults.
Speaking of, the Goblins should be contacting you soon about the reading of my will. Just the formalities, they assure me, but you know as well as I do that the little money-grubbers love the drama they can get with anything happening. You're getting the house, so don't worry. You can do with it whatever you like. Also, the vacation home near Cannes is yours.
Draco smiled through his tears. They'd loved that house. It had been purchased two years into their marriage and every holiday since then had been spent there, relaxing on the stretch of beach that bordered their property.
My love, what I have to say next you're likely to hate, but please read it all the way through before you start cursing my name. While our life together was magical, both literally and figuratively, I don't want to see you waste away in mourning me. Please live again. I'm sure that someone of our acquaintance has probably said something like this to you, but you really should listen, instead of being a stubborn git.
I'm gone, Draco. I know that this will be hard for you to do, but you can't mope around Grimmauld Place for the rest of your long life. You'll have 100 years or so before your death, and I hope that you do. That's a long time to mourn.
Fall in love again. Get married. Have children for the both of us. I know that we discussed many ways that we could have children to carry on our lines, and I wish that I was there to share the experience for you. Remember when we talked of surrogacy? Well, Luna has agreed to carry a child of mine with some of the sperm that we agreed to save. I know you remember that conversation. Talk to Luna again when you're ready.
If you don't get married again, I will understand, but please don't hurt yourself. I love you too much to see that, and you, better than anyone else, know that I won't abandon you forever.
Draco, please forgive Ron. I'm sure that he had something to do with why we're not together. He's always been too brash for his own good. At least you know Hermione's there for the two of you. I've sent her a letter that will appear to her like this one for you. Ron'll get another at the reading of my will.
Please remember that I love you, Draco, more than anything or anyone I've ever met. Despite all of the trouble we had when we were kids, you've made me the happiest man on the face of the planet. I can only hope that I've managed to do the same for you. Grieve for me and then move on. You'll always have the memories of us, but you can't live on those, my love.
Merlin, I don't know how to end this, so I shall just say that you have my heart, forever and always.
Draco put his head down on the desk, letting the tears fall as Harry's words and love rolled over him in undeniable waves. While he didn't think that he'd be able to ever love again the way he'd loved Harry, he would talk to Lovegood. If he couldn't have Harry with him, at least he'd have a piece of his beloved husband with him in the form of a child. And, maybe, just maybe, he could continue the Malfoy line in the same way. Lucius wouldn't even be able to complain, since Lovegood, while odd, came from a distinguished line of purebloods on both sides of her family. She was perfect.
With a bit of a plan, Draco decided he needed a nap. He'd worry about the rest of the world tomorrow. Right then, he needed to be in the bed he'd shared with Harry and be lost in the memories for a little bit.
~ Finite ~