Every morning, Harry made himself a cup of coffee. This was a rather new development, the coffee-drinking, but it still bothered Draco to watch Harry shuffle out of bed, dead-eyed, and head straight for the instant coffee, not a word or glance for Draco.
Still, he was glad that Harry left bed at all.
Draco still drank tea, he liked the variety in flavoring and scent, how it was colored but still slightly clear. When Draco looked into a mug of it he still knew that he was drinking, primarily, water- unlike coffee which just looked like brown and murky. Like chocolate gone mad and liquidy.
It was after the war that Harry had begun drinking coffee- they had gone home and not spoken much, just sat on the sofa and stared at the telly, neither of them registering the images that flashed quickly across the screen.
The next day, Harry hadn't wanted to leave bed, drawing the large blue comforter they shared over his head and curling up beneath it. Draco had bugged and whined and complained and insulted, all his best work, for a good hour and, then, finally he'd decided that drastic measures had to be taken.
He'd gotten on top of the bed and jumped up and down and around, all the while explaining very calmly that Harry would have to get out of bed sooner or later. Harry had emerged after that had gone on for ten minutes, pulled on his clothes and headed straight out. He'd returned with coffee and, that day, began to drink it. He drank it black, and that first day he'd crinkled up his nose in distaste before downing another big gulp of it.
It used to be that Harry barely ever slept, always wandering around Hogwarts in that invisibility cloak of his. Harry's nights were endless, useless unless spent having premonitions or sneaking around the castle. Now all he did was sleep, Draco had to spend ages and ages getting him to even open his eyes each morning.
Things had changed since they'd gotten together in the sixth year, back then they had so much to tell one another, so many things to do. Harry was always running around, Draco was always watching, waiting for him and his friends to come back. The world, for the first time to Draco's eyes, was rose and violet. It hadn't lasted long, his pastel-colored view of the world- things had gotten bad, even then, but Harry was still Harry. He still laughed and he still argued with Snape, his green eyes still shone with energy behind the round frames of his glasses.
It had started out rather roughly between them, with sex that was like fighting, and the two of them refusing to exchange words except when one wanted the other. Harry's friends had been sickened and Draco's friends hadn't cared, and it went on that way for a long time. But it had changed, quite suddenly, as the weeks became months and after a while Draco wanted to know what being with Harry was like outside of sex, and he began to notice the looks of longing Harry would shoot at him when he thought the blond wasn't looking.
Dumbledore died, suddenly, and Harry had come to Draco -Draco- for comfort. He had held Harry for hours as the dark-haired Gryffindor cried. They had kissed later that night, softly and slowly, and it felt like the first time, timid and tender, with so much affection that Draco had nearly cried from it. No one had ever kissed him like that.
But worse came next, worse was Ron. Draco could remember when Harry had chosen Ron as the person that meant most to him, and here Ron had gone and joined the Dark Side.
He understood Ron's choice, although Harry couldn't- Draco had always languished in Harry Potter's shadow too. It was easy to lose your way there, to be drawn into the dark corners of the cold hallways.
Draco figured that Harry had been blaming him for it since. Like if Draco had stayed with the bad guys, Ron never would have joined them. Like it was a trade-off. Best friend or boyfriend, Harry, which do you choose? 'Cept Harry had never gotten to chose, Ron had chosen for him.
And then the deaths began to mount up, and -as though to pay for the fact that Draco hadn't given a shit when Cedric died- Draco felt each death as thought he'd been best friends with the deceased. Cho Chang, Goyle, Lavender, Hermione, Millicent, Sirius- Sirius at Ron's own hands. There were more, so many more, in the fallout of the battle Draco stood and stared in shock, taking in so many bodies and so much death, bodies still and without any visible marks because when magic killed you, you were just dead. No goodbyes or final glances, just silence and drop down deadness. Wizards and witches of all ages, Diagon Alley had been near-destroyed, and Draco hadn't seen Harry around anywhere.
War was insane, Draco had thought to himself while he prepared for battle. To go somewhere and to know, to expect that you'd be killed. There was something terribly sick about that. But he'd gone and he'd fought and, shockingly, survived. So many others hadn't, though, and at seventeen years old Draco had never imagined he would be surrounded by so many bodies, looking like they could have just been asleep.
He'd sunk to the ground in a crouch, hugging his knees and rocking back and forth. Hours later, as the night began to fall and stars peeked their way past the clouds, Hagrid had arrived with an unconscious Harry. He'd put Harry down, helped Draco up, and said to get Harry away before the wizard press managed to reassemble themselves and came to see what had happened. Harry would never escape his fame if they caught him, and Hagrid doubted that Harry would be able to handle such scrutiny after all this.
So Draco went, on Hagrid's advice, to the Muggle world. He hated it, the idea made him feel ill, but then again he already felt ill from the days and days of battle. Of screams and cries, of watching some of the most powerful wizards he'd ever seen as they crumpled to the ground like so many dolls.
Draco took the first apartment he could afford, it was plain and small, almost a closet. Harry slept for hours and Draco rarely left his side, sat in a chair by the bed and reached out, running his hand gently over Harry's unruly black mop of hair. Finally, Harry opened his eyes and mumbled, "Glasses." Draco had handed them to him, Harry had put them on and looked at Draco, blinking. "Fuck," he'd muttered as he lay back down. "'M not dead."
Draco stood up and left the room, closing the door quietly behind him.
Draco hated nearly everything about the Muggle world. How, at night, he would lie in bed and it took ages to fall asleep, the sounds of loud television from the next apartment, cars screeching and honking at hours so late and terrible, drunken Muggles shrieking and laughing and yelling as they walked past the apartment building. He would lie, curled up in his blankets, and try to block it all out.
Sleep was no better, he always dreamt about death. Or his father, he would often dream that he was a child, that he had fucked up and his father was beating him. Saying you aren't cruel enough, strong enough- when the war comes you will die. He would wake up each morning at four am, have a tea and stare out at the darkened night sky. Sometimes he'd fall asleep in the chair, wake up and remember nothing of his dreams. He liked it better when he couldn't remember.
Days blended into each other, dragging by like a film being played in slow-motion, like a cigarette burning in the dark, small ring of fire burning away at the paper. He would watch Harry each night, watch him as he slept, and think Who is this stranger? How did I end up sharing a bed with him?
One morning, Draco woke up in the chair and found that Harry wasn't in bed.
He opened his eyes, rubbing at them and yawning, and as always his gaze immediately fell upon the bed beside him. No Harry.
He glanced over at the clock by the refrigerator, it was just after one p.m. He'd slept long, longer than he had in months. Getting out of the chair, he walked over to the window and paused in front of it, staring out at the blue sky. Not gray for once, it nearly made Draco smile.
He opened the window and leaned out, feeling the hint of warm weather in the air. Spring was coming. He looked down and saw Harry lying in the grass down below, resting, his body surrounded by litter and almost-brown grass and dirt. Draco crinkled up his nose. Wasn't like Harry did the laundry, was it?
He turned and headed over to the fridge, pulling it open and staring inside. Three green apples, a container of baking soda, cheese sticks and a jar of pickles. Draco sighed.
He got dressed and stuffed some money into his pocket, then headed outside and locked the door behind him. Harry was still lying in the grass when he got down there. Draco moved in, stood over his brown-haired boyfriend.
"We have to go to the shop."
Draco could have throttled him. "Which part of 'we' was difficult to understand?"
"All of it."
Sod it, Draco thought and began walking, straightening his back and stiffly moving away. He heard the sound of Harry's sneakers on the pavement as he jogged to catch up.
They didn't speak.
Draco pushed the cart while Harry shuffled along beside him, gazed fixed to the floor and hands in his pockets. Draco didn't care though, he loved the coming here. Moving up and down the numerous isles, he couldn't help but smile like a mad person.
The only Muggle thing that he truly liked, loved even, was the huge grocery stores. Isles and isles, shelves and shelves, all of food. So many different ones, so many varieties in brands, he loved it. Growing up, Draco had eaten whatever he'd been served by house-elfs. And it was delicious, mind, loads better than most food he bought here, but he'd never once been able to say 'Oh, I feel like having a salad, today,' because everything was picked for him.
He always looked forward to buying food now, the possibilities were just so great. So many choices. Draco liked having actual choices.
Slowly he headed through the fruit and vegetable section, selecting bananas, salad, vegetarian fake-turkey slices- he had no problem eating meat, Draco just really liked the taste of the faux-turkey. Harry followed at a bit of a distance, and when Draco would glance back Harry was always stare at his sneakers, as though the shoes held the answers to all the world's problems.
He moved into the bread section, surrounded by the smells of fresh bagels, baguettes, pastries. Draco didn't even know why he'd asked Harry to come with him, it's not like the two of them were talking or doing this together. He had waited those first days for Harry to wake, excited and scared for the two of them to be together.
Then Harry had been disappointed, he had been surprised. Draco's hopeful smile had fallen, slowly slowly pulling back and into a frown, before he'd gotten up and strode towards the door, leaving it open as he headed out into the harsh sunlight. Into the streets that smelled of rain and garbage and city-life.
Draco felt eyes on him, he knew the sensation from so long ago when he wasn't just an anonymous Muggle walking the streets each day, heading off to work at a mindless, simple job for low pay. He looked around at the other shoppers, none of them, and then turned and looked back.
It was Harry.
The brown-haired boy had removed his gaze from the yellow tiles and was watching him instead. There was a kind of - yearning in his eyes and Draco shivered because for a moment it felt just like it was before everything. So he broke eye contact and continued forward quickly, trying to avoid the ache building stronger and stronger inside him.
Turning back around and walking forward, Draco paused to consider the different types of bagels. Did he want whole wheat, plain, raison and cinnamon? He moved in closer to the glass boxes that they were contained in, studying them carefully. Draco could take hours in a grocery store.
He was still considering the bagels when he heard the sound of Harry clearing his throat at his side. "I can't believe you're still at the bagels," Harry said and something about his eyes were friendly. "I walked all around, looked at the teas and chose a coffee."
"A whole two sentences," the blond commented with a hint of his old snippiness. "I feel as though I should applaud. Or be grateful, something." He wasn't, though. He wasn't.
Harry held out his arms, which had been hidden behind his back. He was holding a small plant wrapped in bright neon pink wrapper. "It's a Begonia," Harry said, "For you."
Despite himself, Draco felt as though he was melting. Harry's green eyes were looking at him sweetly from behind his glasses, behind the long scruffy mop of black hair that he has always worn the same way. His cheeks burned and he wondered if he was blushing, if not his face was pulling a cruel trick to make him think that he was blushing.
Still, the blond thought that his boyfriend had put him through quite the emotional hell these past few weeks and he was not just going to roll over obediently at the first sign of affection. He could be a bastard too, whether or not Harry bothered to remember.
"I've been a prat."
"What brought on such an astute realization?" Draco asked, straightening up and attempting to look vaguely irritated.
"I was watching you as you entered and you're so happy here. I've never- you look around at this shop like it's special. Like it's so much more than just a big cold room stacked from floor to ceiling with too many brands. I remembered, I guess."
"What?" Draco sneered. "That you loved me? Bloody hell you're stupid." Still, he stepped away from the cart and moved toward Harry, taking the plant. "Thank you," he said.
Harry smiled, sort of- a bit of a wry half-smile really. "Well, you never said that you loved me for my intelligence."
"How do you go to a shop, watch me for five minutes and break out of your long, lonely funk?" he asked, as his heart has been broken and that doesn't go over well with him. You can't just break me down and then expect a hug.
Harry shrugged his shoulders and stuck his hands back into his pockets.
"Well I don't know either," Draco said, and turned away.
When he woke up at four the next day, instead of sitting by the window he packed a garbage bag with his few possessions. He clutched the Begonia to his chest.
I will be free of you, he thought, gaze lingering on Harry from the doorway. Then he turned and left, shutting the door ever so softly behind him.
Eventually, Harry got a job. At first, without Draco to bounce on the bed and annoy him, he had remained hidden under his blankets for as long as possible, willing himself to die. He would leave bed each day for about an hour, have something to eat and make a pot of coffee, when the coffee ran out he'd go back to his blanket-tomb.
One day, though, when he had barely any coffee left and no money, he decided that he should get a job. He spent all day searching, finally getting desperate and charming a Muggle girl into hiring him at a cafe. He had turned on the old Harry Potter charm, running a hand through his always messy hair, fidgeting with his glasses, acting awkward and shy. She didn't know that he'd fought in a war, she didn't know that he'd killed people.
She hired him within minutes, dispite his lack of experiance.
He didn't miss Draco at first, it was good to be on his own. Harry knew that he deserved to be alone. Draco had told him once, right before their first genuinely affectionate kiss Don't, Potter. You can't fall in love with me. Harry had thought he was mad, he was daft, it was too late. Should have told me sooner, he'd replied. Now Harry realized that he should have been the one to say Don't fall in love with me. Because Draco had, and Harry was the one who'd fallen out of love. Or thought that he had, thought it until too much time had passed, until it was too damn late. Begonias, you bloody fool. Like that could have made it all better.
It hadn't been Draco's fault either, how could Draco replace Ron- who Harry'd always been slightly in love with- how could Draco have competed with the boy who Harry's world had revolved around for so many years? Ron had been Hermione's, the two of them meant for each since that day on the train and that was fine, that was accepted and understood, but it didn't mean that Harry didn't look at his red-haired friend sometimes and wonder what it would be like to kiss his thin lips, to discover each of Ron's freckles.
He would miss Draco, though, miss him so much that he would have trouble breathing or taking steps or keeping his eyes open, when Harry went to a grocery store. He hadn't been lying when he'd told Draco in the shop that watching him had brought back memories of why he loved him in the first place. He missed the excited, open way that Draco had regarded the place, somewhere that Harry had taken for granted so many years.
After a while, it had occurred to Harry why Draco loved it so much. Choices. He had a feeling that growing up with Lucius Malfoy as your father didn't leave much place for decision-making.
But other than when he went to the shop for milk or coffee or food, he didn't think on Draco much. There were too many other people to miss, too many bodies piled up in his mind.
He loved working, having people order him around and yell at him for the coffee not being warm enough or the muffin being too crumbly, because it distracted him. And the girl at the cafe, with her shoulder-length blond curls and kind smile, the worried looks she'd shoot at him, it was nice. He liked her, even. One day when they were closing up she'd kissed him and he'd kissed her back until he had a flash of the war, of running someone through with his sword and then pulling it out, bloody and -
He'd pulled back, stammered an excuse, and ran.
He was always running away.
Days went by so slowly, each one felt like a whole week had back when he was in school. But still, they passed, and then it was three months and later six. London being always gray and foggy, and the smell of pastries and coffee at work each day were two things he could count on.
The girl didn't try to kiss him again and he was thankful. He didn't want any kind of affection. He visited the Dursley's once, he was older and had been through so much since when he'd last been there, he could take care of himself. But he hadn't made it past the front window, as he'd peered in and seen Dudley and his wife and she was holding a baby. Dudley was still fat and still ugly, and he was laughing, laughing, in a big plush chair with his feet up. Harry had felt sick so he'd allowed himself to vomit the little he'd eaten into the flowers. A mean smile had teased up his lips, a cruel wicked smile. He hoped that Dudley was fond of the flowers.
He would go to sleep on his right side each night and sometimes, after a particularly dark and gory dream he would wake up breathing heavily, listen for Dean and Ron and Neville and Seamus's snores of various volumes. Seamus had always had the loudest, almost snort-like ones. He'd wonder why are they so quiet? and then remember, punch his fist into his pillow and wonder again why he couldn't have just died with everyone else.
He never cried but sometimes he liked to smash his arm into the wall until it was red and hurting so bad that he would wonder why the hell he'd done it in the first place. He drank more cups of coffee than was healthy, would sometimes bum a fag off someone in the cafe and smoke it, watch the paper burn and singe, trace patterns in the ash-filled ashtray with the butts.
He started to invite the girl from work over sometimes after they closed up. She tried again to kiss him one day, almost a year after they'd met, but he'd pulled back and told her that he was gay. It wasn't entirely true, he liked her and was attracted to her although not as strongly as he'd been attracted to many of the boys at school, but he didn't want that. He didn't want her, not really. He would be using her.
She'd asked if he'd had his heart broken by a boy, she'd sensed that he was recovering before but just hadn't realized it wasn't a girl who'd left him. He shook his head and explained about Draco, leaving out the important bits, things like their being wizards in a magical school, the war. His heart hadn't been broken, he told her, the other boy's had. She looked as though she wanted to cry and he'd thought That's so silly. She barely knows me.
He wondered, then, if Draco ever cried for him, over him, about him. He knew that Draco woke up each morning unnaturally early, would sit up and do nothing for hours. Did Draco cry? Was Draco missing him right then, wandering the streets and moaning Harry's name?
She made coffee and they didn't talk much after that, just sipped the murky liquid in silence. She slept over in his bed while he slept curled up on the hard, wooden floor, shivering. He woke up and she was still asleep, face peeking out from the comforter, hint of a smile on her full girl-lips. He let her sleep until he knew that the both of them had to go in to work.
When he woke her, she smiled up at him with eyes that shone.
She said, "I dreamt about you and that boy you love. Was he blond?" Harry nodded. "Did he have strange colored eyes? Violet or gray or-"
"Gray." Harry looked away.
He could hear the sound of the clock ticking on the wall. The smell of coffee brewing suddenly made him nauseous and the desire to be anywhere else consumed him as he looked at her sleepy, smiling face.
His heart hurt.
He quit his job at the cafe and got one at a library instead, which he really didn't prefer but, he thought, whatever.
He was walking home one night after eight hours of shelving books and he was hungry. The library always made him hungry, and so weak. It reminded him of Hermione most of the time and at first he'd hated that, hated the way he'd see her at every table, bent over a book, bushy hair obscuring her face.
But he liked the feeling of the library, he liked the scent of sharpened pencils and older books, musty and worn with yellowing pages. He liked to read the books before placing them back in the shelves, open up the book at random and read whatever page his eyes hit on.
And he liked walking home after it rained, like on a night like that one, his sneakers going *splish splish* in the puddles and the air so fresh and clean, and the sky so open. Sometimes he would jump and skip to avoid stepping on the worms that came out of the ground during a storm, moving this way and that and feeling, finally, like the eighteen year old that he was.
*Grumble,* went Harry's stomach as he leaped.
He looked ahead of him and froze in place, hunger and worms and the rest of the world forgotten.
There was a boy, tall and thin with longish scruffy blond hair skateboarding toward him. And Harry knew, knew the way the boy held his back and knew that shade of blond and knew knew knew who it was. The boy was looking down at the road and paid him no mind, but looked up when he was so close that he would have to run over his feet and stopped.
Harry felt like he was eleven years old again and being told that he was a wizard for the first time.
Gray eyes, pointed face, skin so pale and beautiful.
"Famous Harry Potter," the boy said and almost-smiled.
"Not so famous anymore," he said and laughed. "You skateboard?" and he was still laughing, his wistful smile like a sunrise in the earliest hours of morning.
And it infuriated Draco, almost more than he could stand. Harry did not have the right to laugh at him. He held the board in one hand and clenched the other at his side, tightly. "What?"
"It's funny, is all." Lips turned up ever so slightly, lips that Draco used to dream about, that he used to lick ever so carefully and with such love, the tip of his pink tongue so invitingly beautiful. Harry continued, "I think that you probably make a better Muggle than I ever did."
Draco narrowed his eyes and didn't think he'd ever been more insulted. Not when Ron Weasley had first scoffed at his name, not in all the years Harry and him had hated each other. "I'm a wizard, Potter," and he spat out the name like he used to when they were children. Harry tried to conceal his surprise at that. Was this where they were now? Last names and anger, clenched fists and bitterness. "I will always be a wizard, so don't you even think for one sodding moment that me living with Muggles and knowing how to live like one makes me one."
"What does it make you then?" Harry asked, getting angry himself.
"Makes me a lot more fucking intelligent than you." And he put his board back on to the sidewalk, preparing to go.
Harry moved in closer, reaching out and grabbing the blonde by his shoulders.
"Fucking let go of me, Harry-" Harry wouldn't and, finally, like the sun coming out after a storm, Draco's face cleared and Harry saw the hurt there, the sadness. "Did you try very hard to find me?" he asked, and his voice was mocking. "Did you search for me, Harry, did you even notice I wasn't around anymore?"
"Of course I noticed."
"Did you care?"
Silence. That was all Draco needed. He wrenched violently out of Harry's grip and took two steps back. "You stupid git. Was there anyone else?"
Harry thought of the girl and looked down. He had quit his job there because he liked her, because he'd seen her face peeking out from beneath the blankets and he'd begun trembling, he couldn't like anyone ever again, not even a little, not like that.
"I-" and he stopped, because Draco didn't deserve lies.
"Since the day that I met you, I was second-best after that weasel. I was just the boy who actually would kiss you back, never the boy you actually wanted. And when you gave me that plant I almost stayed with you, almost stayed in that bloody place that made me want to kill myself every day. I took that Begonia and for a really long time I cared for it, watering it and feeding it and when it died I had my roommates throw it out and I cried. Over a plant, Harry, because that was the only nice thing you'd done for me since Ron went bad."
The conversation was over. Draco was already back on his skateboard and riding away.
How'd you grow up to be such a bastard, Harry?
He would sit on the steps of the library every day after that, sit and hope that Draco came by again. He needed to talk to him, to make him understand that he was sorry. It had taken a long time and yes, it had required for him to be a really quite a prat, but he wanted to make it up to Draco.
Seeing him that day had been quite the wake-up call. How could he have thought he was falling for some stupid girl who didn't even know him? Draco was- well, Draco had-
He had saved him.
And at first maybe Harry had resented that, resented each breath that brought air to his lungs, each meal that Draco foced him to eat, each affectionate touch and glance and-
But not now.
Of course, this being Malfoy, Harry was sure there's be groveling. That was, if, if he ever even saw him again. Which, each day that went by, Harry sitting pathetically on the steps and waiting waiting watching, was beginning to seem unlikely.
And then, finally, one day.
Draco was walking in the direction of the library with two other boys, each of them carrying skateboards and dressed similar to Draco's layered clothing. His trousers, which were only slightly baggy, were still relatively clean and looked ironed. His tee shirts, one short-sleeved over one long-sleeved, were both tight fitting and looked as good on him as any of those expensive clothes he used to wear.
He appeared quite deeply in conversation and Harry felt a pang of something- was Draco with one of those boys? He knew it wasn't a fair request for Draco to spend his life alone, but really. He couldn't imagine Draco with anyone else, didn't want to. Draco's lips, and his smell like expensive shampoo. The way his gray eyes would soften each time he looked at Harry, the way his arms felt when they were wrapped around him. He didn't want Draco alone, just with him. Harry looked down, suddenly scared to call out to him, fixed his eyes on the steps in front of him.
And his eyes. They felt sort of.
He wiped at them in irritation and thought You will not fucking cry and focused very hard on achieving that task, biting down on his lip so hard that it stung.
And then he heard a firmiliar drawl. "Famous Harry Potter," the voice said, just as it had two weeks ago when they'd last come face-to-face.
Harry looked up and saw Draco standing on the bottom step, arms crossed and half-smile firmly in place. The boys he'd been with were gone, had Draco sent them forward without him?
"I have to go to the shop and buy food," Harry said, standing up and brushing off his rear. His legs felt like jelly but he tried to hide that. Hoped he was hiding that. "I was wondering if you'd like to come."
He could tell that the other boy was tempted. "You were wondering?" he asked.
Harry nodded. "I've been sitting here every day, waiting in case you came by again." He gestured back towards the library. "I didn't where you lived or hung out, just that I'd seen you here before." He gestured to the library behind him. "I work here."
Draco raised an eyerbrow. "Interesting, that. I live around the corner."
"Where've you been then?" Harry asked. "I've been looking out for you for nearly two weeks."
"I've been staying with a friend, actually. After our conversation, I wasn't keen on alone time."
There was a silence, vaguely awkward. And then Draco tilted his head to the side and his eyes were sad and they looked at Harry as if to say why am I doing this? and outloud he said, "C'mon."
He was trying to remain impassive, Draco was, but it was so hard with the aisles of choices so proud and tall, everywhere. He knew that he should hate the place, it was cold and the lighting was horribly unflattering, but he couldn't help it. Any place that showed you ten different sorts of milk was okay by him.
They were halfway through the shop, Harry pushing the cart slowly with Draco walking at his side, when Draco finally spoke:
"You going to buy anything, then?"
Harry smiled. "No, actually. I don't really need-" He paused. Hesitated. Thought. "I just wanted to be with you. And I know how you love this place. And I love watching you when you're in this place."
"Right. Like the last time, when it made you fall in love with me all over again. For about five minutes." Harry's smile was gone but Draco didn't stop there. "So, tell me, did you care at all when I was gone the next day?"
"Not really," Harry admitted. He knew it sounded harsh, but Draco had wanted to truth. Harry wanted to give him the truth. "Draco, I had killed the man who killed my parents. I had to fight my best friend. Most of my friends died. Sirius, Dumbledore, the first girl I ever had a crush on. I wasn't exactly of my right mind." Then, mumbled, "Am still not."
"Well, I wasn't exactly sunshine and roses either, Potter. I woke up at four in the morning each day for six months. Do you know how bloody exhausted that makes you? I came here to live among people I despise for you. I got a job- a job, Harry." Draco recounted this like it was having to eat his own liver with toast. "A job," he emphasized again and Harry laughed.
After a moment, Draco did too. "Well, he said. It might be funny now in my current emotional state, but it wasn't funny then, you know." He shook his head, warily. "A job," he repeated in distain.
Harry looked around to see if anyone else was in the aisle. No. He abandonned the cart and moved in close to Draco. Draco's eyes were looking out at Harry through the bangs of his hair.
"I need you to come back," Harry said and his voice was quivering. Draco, who was certain that he shouldn't be falling for this, was falling for it. He reached out, clasped Harry's hand tightly and took a deep, shuddering breath.
"How do I know it's going to be different?" Draco asked. His eyes, his mouth, cheeks nose forehead fingertips arms legs stomach, all the parts Harry could and couldn't see, begged for some kind of reassurance. "You said so yourself that you're still not okay."
"Yeah, but I do leave bed now and I work and get dressed and haven't vomited in anyone's flower patch in a good long while." Draco's forehead creased in confusion and Harry shook his head and whispered, "Doesn't matter."
Nervously, Draco looked around. They weren't alone in the aisle any more, although none of the people seemed to care. Or where doing a great job of pretending they didn't. Either way, Draco was appreciative. "I've been waiting for you to notice," he said and sighed.
"Notice what?" asked Harry.
Draco shrugged and said, right before he pressed his lips against Harry's, "That I'm still here." They kissed, amidst the cereals and jams and cakes and coffees and teas, under the bad lighting and with horrible pop music being played from the scratchy radio in the ceiling. They kissed and Harry pulled Draco as close to him as he could, winding his hands through Draco's hair and teasing open the other boy's lips with his tongue and it was love love love and there was no one else and it didn't matter, even if Harry was supposed to be alone, even if he didn't deserve Draco in the slightest, because it felt like this was supposed to have happened a year ago.
When they pulled apart, Draco's eyes were wide and unblinking. "Fuck," he said and his mouth hung open with surprise. He felt dizzy, drunk on Harry's taste of sour apples and soda. "Do I get a Begonia this time?" he asked and his head was swimming.
Harry also couldn't think too well what's a Begonia again anyway? so he murmured "Shh," and let his eyes fall shut as they kissed again, and it was like falling, out of control and scary, but it was also like love and neither of them had felt anything like that in a long time, warm lips and darting tongues and gentle arms.
Epilogue. Days later.
You watch him as he stands out in the rain and wonder. What does the world look like from his gray eyes? His clothes are soaked, clinging to him, as the rain is coming down hard and fast, hitting the pavement around him.
You can't help but think he isn't entierly happy, skating off to his job in the morning and back again at night. He visits you on his lunch and you eat sandwiches on the steps if the library, gooseberry and peanut butter, tuna fish, whatever he picks out at the shop. You laugh a lot and kiss a lot and it's not bad. But maybe you, you are bad for him. In the end. Maybe he shouldn't have come back. Maybe you shouldn't have asked him to.
Maybe maybe, a million maybes. They don't matter.
You turn away from the window and walk quickly to the door, open it and head down the steps, almost running, you rush to his side.
He looks up at you, blond hair flattened and dripping.
"Come back inside," you tell him and smile. It's slightly forced and your sure that he can tell, but then he smiles back.
"I like the rain."
"I made tea."
"Do you think that's strange?" He looks troubled. Is his lip trembling?
"It's Earl Gray."
"Harry?" he says and his eyes are open like the sky. "I love you."
"Do you, though? Are you happy here?"
"As happy as I would be anywhere," he replies and his voice shakes. "I don't want to wake up alone ever again."
It's windy and the trees shake, the air whistles. The rain is cold against your skin. "You won't, Draco."
And then he's in your arms, hugging you so tightly and his hands are in your tangled wet hair. "Let's go in, then," he says and it's almost a whisper.
You take his hand, wet and slippery, and the two of you head inside to await your happy ending.