Title: Steal Me With a Kiss
Pairings: Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy
Summary: The night following the Sectumsempra curse being used on Draco finds Harry in the hospital wing, attempting to apologize.
Disclaimers: The wonderful world of Harry Potter is not at all mine and obviously belongs to the brilliant J. K. Rowling. The plot, however, is mine.
Word Count: 2896 words
Notes: Done for a prompt [post-sectumsempra]. Not too fond of the ending to be honest. One-shot.
Harry was restless.
He turned in his bed, conflicted and tortured by his own thoughts. He knew it would certainly not be expected or welcome by Draco, but he had to do something. He had to give some sort of apology, because he had really screwed up this time. Harry couldn't just ignore someone who was lying mortally wounded in the hospital wing because of something he'd done. He wasn't that type of person, never was. So he threw the covers off and stood.
After shoving his glasses on, grabbing his wand and map, and sweeping his Invisibility Cloak over himself, Harry quietly snuck out of the room, closing the dormitory door with care. He made his way down the winding steps, looking to see beforehand if anyone was still in the common room. It was doubtful at this hour, but he didn't want to raise suspicions.
As expected, it was unoccupied and silent but for the infrequent crackling of the dying fireplace. Harry rushed through the room and towards the portrait hole. He climbed through and out, the Fat Lady scowling sleepily as he did.
Harry took out the Marauder's Map once he was sure the Fat Lady had gone back to sleep. He scanned it as he walked, making sure the quickest route to the hospital wing was clear. Harry didn't see anyone at the time, so he muttered the words and pocketed it once more.
In the silence of the corridors, it seemed like Harry's heart was pounding at an incredible volume. He was nervous, he realized, noticing his slightly damp hand. He scowled and gripped his wand tighter, trying to ignore this fact. He wondered what he would say, how he would say it. Sorry for nearly killing you; thought an unexpected visit during midnight would make up for it. Come to think of it, would Draco even be awake at this time of night?
Harry ignored this and kept walking at a quick pace.
The way down felt all too quick when he had reached the doors of the hospital wing. Exhaling slowly, Harry pushed one open cautiously, not wanting to alert Madam Pomfrey. Hearing nothing but his own breaths, he opened it enough for him to slip through and closed it once more. His eyes quickly accustomed to the darkness and he moved forward, invisible. He scanned the wing for an occupied bed, and he found it in a dark corner. Harry walked over, holding his breath and watching for any signs of movement. Soon enough, he was standing a foot away from the bed in which Draco Malfoy slept.
Harry stared over him, entranced. The Slytherin's breaths were short and light, and Harry watched the light rise and fall of his chest. He knew that they were heavily bandaged underneath the white sheets, and felt a pang of regret. Harry moved his gaze over to Draco's pale face, some white-blond strands falling over his forehead. His lips were parted slightly, and his eyelashes, which were hardly visible, nearly made contact with his skin. Harry forced back an urge to move the fallen hair away; Draco looked so much younger without it swept back. Rather, everything about Draco Malfoy sleeping made him look younger, though he looked just as ill and weak as he did prior to this.
Harry nibbled his lip, considering what to do. Would it be best to just leave now and forget this ever happened, or should he leave something, perhaps a note? Writing down his most sincere apology and never having to face Draco would be much easier, he had to admit, but he was already here, and without parchment or ink. He kept his eyes on the sleeping figure, thinking.
He was still contemplating his options when a small noise emitted from Draco. Harry froze and held his breath as he watched Draco's eyes open tiredly. Draco mmfed and winced as he moved up slightly in his bed. His head dropped, glaring at his chest, causing more of those strands to fall in his face. Harry couldn't stay here.
Taking a short step back, Harry was careful not to make too much noise, but the stillness of the wing must have heightened Draco's senses. The blonde looked back up at once, his grey eyes staring straight at Harry, though unseeing. Harry stood still and watched Draco's eyes narrow.
"Is someone there?" he asked quietly, his voice weak.
Harry felt the weight on his chest increase at this. Draco couldn't have been having it easy lately. He was crying, for Merlin's sake, and on the same day, nearly killed. He'd been looking awful too, lately, in all honesty. And what was he saying in the bathroom, that he could be killed?
A strange urge overtook him once more, but this time it won. Harry took off the Cloak in one movement, keeping his eyes trained on Draco. The latter's eyes widened at the sight, and his mouth opened. Harry whipped out his wand and cast a hushed Muffliato just in time.
"Potter?" Draco said shakily, backing in his bed slightly. "What are you doing here? What did you just do?"
"It's just a spell to make sure we won't be heard," Harry said, and he knew it was the wrong thing to say, for Draco furrowed his brows.
"What, are you going to try and murder me again?" Draco scowled, bitterness in his eyes. "Thanks for that, by the way."
"No – no," Harry stuttered, daring to take a step closer. "I just wanted to say that I'm sorry. I don't know how much of a difference a lousy apology will make –"
"But I couldn't just ignore this."
Draco watched Harry fidget.
"It was a really horrible thing to do, but I swear if I had known what the spell did, I would never have cast it."
One of his eyebrows rose.
"Are you saying you didn't even know what that curse did? How incredibly thick of you."
Harry ignored that last comment and nodded, "Not at all. I just saw it, read it before in a book, and y'know, reflexes. You were going to use Cruciatus on me," he added defensively. At the look on Draco's face, he hurriedly said, "Not that it's any excuse. I still shouldn't have used it; you're right, it was stupid. I-I was stupid."
Draco looked slightly pleased at this statement, but he still seemed rather reproachful.
"I won't forgive you, if that's what you're asking," Draco said, removing his strong gaze from Harry and back onto his bed. "But I do recognize your apology."
Harry felt his chest grow lighter and his mouth twitch into a smile.
"Brilliant, thank you! That's really all I wanted from you, I mean I didn't really expect to be forgiven, I just wanted an apology out there," he said in a hurry. "I'll leave now, since you probably still hate me and everything, bye."
And Harry turned to go, but Draco's words stopped him fully.
"I don't hate you."
They were soft – softer than any words Draco had spoken from the start of their midnight conversation. Harry slowly turned back to look at Draco, who was glaring at the foot of the bed opposite of Harry.
"You don't hate me," Harry said slowly, confusion rising in his head. "I – what?"
"I don't hate you," Draco calmly repeated, his grey eyes still fixed firmly on the ground. "I don't think I ever have, to be honest. Sure, it may have been annoyance, envy, and any other thing I was feeling at the time, but it was never hate."
His eyes flicked upwards to Harry, who stood, shocked into silence.
"I don't really care if you believe me or not; I just didn't want you to have any false impressions of me."
Could it be true? He reflected on some of their past conflicts – there were much too many to remember every single one – and remembered mostly anger from Draco. Though, considering what he had just said, Harry recognized bitterness as well. It was never real evil, never real animosity. It was what Draco had said – annoyance, which was easily recognizable, and envy. He supposed it made sense: envy of his fame and maybe even of his friends, for they hadn't been turned down by Harry. But Draco had been vague about anything other than that. Harry frowned.
"What else?" he thought aloud.
Draco heard him, though Harry spoke rather softly, and his response was no louder.
"If anything about this situation isn't humiliating enough, this will be."
"Tell me," Harry said firmly.
Draco gave a small, weak smirk and shook his head.
"What have you got to lose?" asked Harry, definitely curious now.
"The withering remnants of my dignity."
"Really, have some respect, Potter," Draco frowned at him. "In the same day, you've caught me crying – and in front of Moaning Myrtle, no less – and in the process putting the pieces together of your little mystery, starring me. You've nearly killed me soon after, and now I'm admitting things to you, one of which being that I was envious of you when I was a child. I think that if I can keep anything private, it's this."
This just increased his curiosity, of course.
"Right, I'm sorry, but you can't leave it at that. Come on, Malfoy. It can't be that bad compared to all those things. I did nearly kill you," Harry pointed out.
"And I'm not like to forget it."
Harry's brows furrowed in thought. What could possibly be so bad that it could make everything else that's happened the past day pale in comparison? Coming up with absolutely nothing, Harry tried again.
"Please. I'm the curious type; you should know that."
Draco's lips twitched in amusement.
"I do, what with your stalker tendencies and all."
Harry was mortified to feel a flush heat his cheeks and hoped it was too dark for Draco to see.
"I – I don't have stalker tendencies," Harry stuttered unconvincingly. "I just want to know what's happening…around the school."
"That may involve me, right?" Draco still looked entertained, which Harry hated. He thought for a second, the corner of his lips upturned. "I'll ask you to lay off, and you do, and I'll tell you what else I feel when you're being nosy and obnoxious."
Harry bit back a retort and nodded. "Right."
"And you keep your word," Draco said sternly. "No more house elves either; Merlin, you must have been desperate to have some house elves tail me. Weren't one of them my family's?"
He nodded once more. "Dobby, yeah. I freed him in second year to your father's dismay."
Draco gave a hmmph and looked at Harry.
"We both get what we want, no fuss, no arguments, just a deal. So? Is this agreeable to you?"
"Yes," said Harry, curiosity burning through him at this point.
Draco studied him once more, and Harry realized just how deep his eyes were and how uncomfortable he felt when they were piercing his own. He was just about to look away when Draco nodded.
"Fantastic," said Draco. He looked to be gathering himself before he took in a breath and began. "I feel attraction and lust when I'm near you, and it bothers me considerably. I mean, look at you. I don't think you understand cleanliness past a quick shower, and those glasses – my God, Potter, how long have you had them? And don't even get me started on your hair. But I have to admit, I do find you to be very fit and I suppose your helping people thing has got its good qualities, even though it's really irritating. All in all, you're infuriating, and the fact that you manage to be attractive as well makes it even more so. Now that I've told you, will you stop stalking me and leave me to my business?"
Harry's mouth had gone very dry, and his mind was having a difficult time processing most of what Draco Malfoy, of all people, had just said. His mouth opened, but nothing came out. When he finally did manage to, it was a stuttered mess.
"I – I'm sorry?"
"I like you, Potter," Draco said slowly, as if Harry was a small child, "And don't make me say it again."
When Harry didn't say anything, Draco sighed and leaned back, eyes closed.
"It's been ages, you know. Years, to be honest. But I never actually thought I'd be telling anyone – except Blaise or Pansy, of course – especially you. You'd better keep your word, Potter, or both you and I will be very regretful."
Harry watched Draco open his eyes slightly, squinting at him.
"You can leave now," Draco said matter-of-factly. "You've given me your apology, and I've changed my mind. I accept it, so our business is done, right? Just never curse or follow me again and we'll get along just fine."
Thoughts were finally starting to form in Harry's mind, and then massive guilt crushed his insides. If this whole situation wasn't horrible enough, this made it much worse. So not only did he nearly murder someone while they were privately emoting, but this happened to the person who had strong feelings for him for years, by him? Harry ran a slightly shaky hand through his messy hair, and Draco tsked at him.
"What, are you trying to make it even worse?"
Harry stared at the Slytherin, conflicted and guilt-ridden and regretful, and he stared back, inquisitive and tired. There had to be something he could do to help this situation. Something besides a badly-timed apology. An idea came to Harry, and he wondered if it would work, or if it was even tactful.
He found that he was just going to go for it when he stepped forward, Draco looking curiously at him.
"I appreciate the movement, but could you say something as well? Your silence is unnatural."
Harry moved forward once more, now only a foot away from Draco's bed. Draco's head tilted up to see him better, and Harry's brows knit together.
"I'm really sorry," Harry finally said quietly. "For everything."
And Harry saw something he'd never seen before from Draco: troubled surprise.
"I didn't want to make you upset, Potter," Draco said with a frown. "Well maybe just a bit, but that wasn't my biggest intention. You've already told me how sorry you are; you don't have to make this any more uncomfortable than need be."
Harry ignored this.
"Is there anything I can do?"
Draco looked taken aback. He then frowned, narrowing his eyes at Harry.
"What is this, Potter? Pity? I don't need it."
"An apology. And call me Harry," he said, intent on fixing this as best as he could. "And again, what can I do? I can't just leave it like this and you know I can't. So just tell me."
Draco stared at Harry for a few long moments, then asked something he wasn't expecting.
"Are you gay, Po – Harry?"
Harry felt his face heat up as he managed a what.
"Are you gay?"
"I – er, well, I'm not sure to be honest," Harry tripped over the words, his neck growing hot now. But it was true; he had always felt so uncomfortable around girls, so off. And the whole regretful thing with Cho was lousy, to be honest. He hadn't even thought of another girl since, but he may have caught himself admiring a few male students around school. He swallowed dryly, and attempted to look Draco in the eye. "I might be?"
"Would you like to find out?" Draco asked, a smirk on his face.
Harry cocked his head, and Draco gestured for him to come closer. Harry obliged and sat down on Draco's bed. The Slytherin eased his back up onto the headboard, a slight wince in his movements. Harry's hand jerked just a bit, as if to help, and he was sure Draco saw it too, for he smiled for the first time that night.
"I can handle it," he said softly, his eyes meeting Harry's own; Harry felt himself flush underneath his intense gaze. "If you don't want to do this, just say so."
Harry shook his head. "I can handle it."
Draco rolled his eyes, and before Harry knew it, he was leaning in. His scent filled Harry's nose and he could see those deep, grey eyes clearer than ever before. Harry closed his own and met Draco halfway, their lips touching hesitantly. Harry was filled with a warmness he had never experienced before and pressed harder on Draco's lips, causing a little surprised sound emit from him. Harry supposed Draco took his response as a good sign, for Draco sought entrance into Harry's mouth. Harry allowed this with ease, and the pleasure he got from it was so astounding and so new.
He didn't know how long it lasted but he knew that it was refreshing and thoroughly enjoyable. They parted, eyes bright and breaths heavy, and Draco smirked.
"You enjoyed it, then."
"That obvious?" Harry asked, looking away nervously.
"Incredibly," Draco said. "I'm pleased, and you're completely forgiven."
"Brilliant," Harry answered, turning his gaze back to Draco, and having it fall to his lips. Their eyes met once more. "Can we snog again?"
"You really don't have to ask."