by Abaddon

Actions speak louder than words. If asked, Draco Malfoy would say that was one of the first things he learnt that made him a man, as opposed to a child. Too long he had told his father he would be good and nothing had happened. Or rather, he'd always had his limelight stolen by Potter or Granger, because while he talked, they did. His father put up with excuses and barely hid his distaste until he finally found a use for his son.

Draco was very good with words, but words were only words and no amount of pleas could change the fact that in all regards he was a failure. Too ignorant to know what he was doing, and too arrogant to care. Unlike Potter, of course. Potter always knew what he was doing, and Potter always acted rather than spoke. While Draco simpered about on the sidelines and swore undying allegiance to a man who he could barely stand to look at without a grimace, Potter was out there and killing people left right and centre. Of course, he probably didn't enjoy it, being the hero and all that he was. Moral indignation was part of the contract for heroism, Draco figured; but then so was the unnerving ability to believe that one was invariably right, and thusly murder and all sorts of depravity took on a self-righteous, noble cast. After all, Potter was only acting for the good of the wizarding world in ridding it of the wretches who would follow Voldemort, and who could gainsay that?

Weasley and Granger typically hid behind words, just as Draco did, but they were too stupid to recognise their own failure. They consoled and aided the great Harry Potter, and he may not have been able to win the War without them, but when it came down to it, it was he with the stain of murder in his soul, and all they had were platitudes.

When Draco realised this, he did indeed act. He went to his father in Azkaban, and informed him of his decision to turn informer and betray the Death Eaters. To prove that his words were not hollow boasts, he showed Lucius the Prophet reports of the deaths that resulted from his information. Lucius had ranted and raved and foamed at the mouth, and called Draco all sorts of ungainly names -- hardly fit for the gentleman he'd always pretended to be -- and Draco had calmly replied that Lucius had always demanded action of him, and now here he was providing it. Besides, Draco thought that it was far better to be Potter's bitch than Voldemort's, and left it at that.

His father had been executed in the last stages of the War, so that he couldn't escape and rally the Death Eaters. Draco had not attended the execution.

He'd been at Potter's side, the perfect ally, the perfect friend. As he couldn't get Potter's single minded attention as his enemy, he tried things from a different angle. Weasley and Granger -- even Potter himself -- were sceptical, but Draco had proven his claims to be true, and not flinched as he betrayed men he had called friends to their deaths. Weasley and Granger had flinched, but then they were always weak. They weren't worthy of Potter. Not like he was.

That was one of the other first things he learnt that made him a man. Amongst the running and the fear and the terror and murder and the War that he loved Harry Potter, and everything made perfect sense when seen through that prism. Everything he'd done, everything he'd said, from that first meeting in Madam Malkin's to his love of Quidditch, Potter Stinks, the Inquisitorial Squad and beyond were explained when he realised that he loved Potter, and always had, and always would. He'd tried to prove himself worthy of Potter; his attention, his time, his affection. First as enemy, now as friend. It was so uplifting to have his life set out like that; there was no fear, no reluctance, no hesitancy. Merely the historical inevitability of what must come to pass: them, and no mistake.

After the War, their friendship continued, even blossomed, and Harry -- Potter -- was unaware of Draco's feelings for him. Hardly surprising when Draco had been so long unaware himself. Weasley and Granger were less accepting of him, but if they had to, all they needed to judge Draco with was in his acts. The blood he'd spilt in Harry's name was legend, including that of his own mother. Whispers rose from the ground he walked; he became a legend of the War, a mythic figure writ large on the minds of the populace, the cold blooded killer who'd seen Harry's truth and reformed. Conversations stopped when he entered the room. Everyone who was anyone invited him to their parties, along with all the other war heroes, but Draco got the feeling that his hosts would have much rather he'd stayed at home and kept to himself in the end.

Potter understood. Potter received the same mixture of adulation and disgust. He'd freed the wizarding world from a fate worse than death: bondage under Voldemort, and he'd paid the price. The glitterati and intelligentsia got to keep their hands clean, and wrinkled their nose in moral superiority over the fact he'd saved their lives. Their actions spoke louder than words as well.

Ostracised for knowing too little and seeing too much, Potter and Draco often went drinking, ending up swaying and singing old school songs along Astrolabe Lane in the small hours of the night. One night, they hadn't drunk nearly as much as normal -- the barman had refused their custom after a time, and Harry -- Potter, damn it -- hadn't let him show the wretch what for with a good Crucio, so they'd staggered back arm in arm. Draco's small flat was first -- he'd signed away all his possessions, all his inheritance to the Ministry to show Harry he was true -- and they climbed up the stairs to get to the small door.

"I love you," Draco said.

"Oh, fuck," Harry said in reply, and looked vaguely ill. Bidding Draco a quick goodnight, and refusing all attempts at solicitation or inquiries after his health, he stepped down the stairs taking two at time, and it crossed Draco's mind briefly that it looked as if he was fleeing, but of course that couldn't be right. That couldn't be how the story ended.

After all, Harry Potter was what explained Draco's very existence. He gave him purpose and reason, time and motion. Without him, he had no grandeur, no style. No audience to be brave for. If all this had been for nothing, Draco was just a petty little thug, and a part time psychopath. The very suggestion was intolerable.

Harry didn't respond to his owls for three days. When Draco asked their work colleagues and friends, they all clammed up tighter than a wizard under a full body-bind, and they'd all given him a funny look. Harry himself refused to open up his door no matter how much Draco yelled or kicked at it, even though Draco knew he was there. Finally, he did send one terse, angry letter in which he blamed Draco entirely for this situation because he had no idea that Draco could feel this way about him, it was neither welcome nor reciprocated and it was quite possibly the worst thing Draco could ever have told him.

Draco reeled. Potter -- Harry -- clearly couldn't understand that Draco's entire sense of being depended on him. Always did and always would. How could Potter be who he was without Draco? More to the point, how could Draco be who he was with no chance at Potter? If life was a book, Draco's narrative purpose concluded with 'settle down with Potter. Have lots of sex.' He had no function anymore, set adrift in a disturbing realm where his actions had no justification, no meaning, and all his history failed.

He continued being friends with Potter -- it was after all, all he had left. All Potter had allotted him. Draco grew to realise the trappings of the role he'd placed himself into, the limitations of such a narrative. He needed to sever old allegiances and define himself in a different way, but for now there was all the time in the world. Maybe Potter would see the light.

Their friendship, although somewhat strained by a private tragedy neither would speak of, grew solid and strong with a certain amount of boundaries seemingly acceptable to both parties. Potter created such boundaries at any rate, and Draco merely acquiesced. Several years later, and out of the blue, Draco killed him. It was a direct blow, with a knife, slipping through his ribs and straight into the heart. When he stared down at the body that lay at his feet, Draco was unsettled. He did not feel free, and yet the narrative had come to a conclusion. Even dying, Potter had been shocked, unable to grasp the depth of emotion that Draco felt for him. It was a scant few minutes before Draco turned the knife on himself, and one corpse joined the other. After all, he had nothing left to live for, and this was the final proof of his love; his one defining moment, and that was the way the story had to end.

Actions speak louder than words.


Silverlake: Authors / Mediums / Titles / Links / List / About / Updates / Silverlake Remix