Harry woke early, long before Draco.
He looked over at the sleeping blonde and was stricken by the innocent beauty of his companion. In sleep, he looked… somehow younger. The usually tense jaw muscles were relaxed and his mouth hung very slightly open. His eyelashes fanned out he breathed deeply, the duvet over his body rose and fall gently with his every deep breath. He lay on his front, each arm bent upwards at a right angle.
Like an angel drying his wings, Harry thought. He couldn't wrench his eyes away from Draco for a good ten or twenty minutes, when the blond began to stir in his sleep, almost as if he was aware Harry was watching him. At that point, Harry thought it best to remove himself from the situation and went into the bathroom.
The hot spray was welcome on his skin, stinging it from porcelain pale to bright scarlet red. He washed fairly quickly, not wanting to be late to see Ron and Hermione at breakfast. Yes, he'd seen them both every day in the Hospital Wing but it hadn't quite been the same as actually spending good quality time with them.
Back in the bedroom, he dressed from the waist down then fumbled in front of the mirror, combing his hair with clumsy but elegant fingers, attempting still to make it lie flat, despite how impossible it had proved in the past. He sighed when the back sat up rebelliously, refusing to stay with the rest of it.
"You know, Potter," Draco sneered behind him. "Polite company does usually require a shirt."
"Yeah, Malfoy, you're right," Harry replied through the mirror, one eyebrow raised cynically. "Just a shame I don't have any polite company, isn't it?"
"Whatever," Draco sneered. "Can't you get ready a little bit more quietly? I'm trying to sleep here."
"Sleep? Aren't you going to get ready? Breakfast's in half an hour," Harry reminded the blond. Draco frowned and at first Harry expected another sarcastic quip. He was surprised when Draco's pale skin flushed a delicate pink.
"Yeah, well, I don't want to go down for breakfast," he told Harry curtly.
"What? Why?" Harry asked. "You should eat breakfast, it's what gives your energy for the rest of the-" He stopped mid-sentence, mildly amused at how Hermione-like he sounded.
"I've told you already, Potter," Draco pulled his knees up to his chest and suddenly looked sad, vulnerable. It was a shock for Harry. "I'm a social pariah now. Everyone hates me. The outward insults I can deal with – just about. It's the whispering I hate. They all sit and talk about me like I'm not even there. Even… even my old friends. Crabbe and Goyle and Pansy and Astoria and the others. I get the dirtiest looks from them. They all slag me off, I know it. I know I was never really Britain's most loved before but at least there was people who'd put up with me. Now… now even my parents don't want me."
A single tear rolled down Draco's cheek and Harry was taken aghast. For a second, he could do nothing. Then he moved to the foot of Draco's bed and put a cautious hand on Draco's arm.
"I'll sit with you, if you like," he said, gently. "We can sit at the end of the Griffyndor table. Nobody sits down at the end, it'll be just you and me."
"You don't have to do that," Draco shook his head. "I don't need your charity."
"It's not charity," Harry sighed. "I'm trying to repay you for saving my life here. And I've heard enough times from Hermione that I must eat breakfast or I won't have enough energy to get me through the morning and I'll be just exhausted by lunchtime. I'll feel better if you do eat."
Draco watched him for a while, then sighed.
"Fine," he said. "If it'll get you off my back, I'll come down and sit with you. But I'm not eating."
"Right. Okay," Harry said, feeling that it wasn't a good idea to push the blond further. "Well, I'm just gonna go get a wash, then we'll go down whenever you're ready – okay?"
"Okay," Draco smiled, watching Harry's retreating back. "Hey Po – Harry?"
It was the first time Harry had heard Draco use his first name in all the years they'd known each other. It caught him off guard and he turned to face the blond boy behind him.
"Yeah?" Harry replied, with a half-smile.
"Thank you," Draco grinned widely.
"No problem," Harry returned the smile. And they shared the same thought.
Maybe this won't be so bad after all.