Never Is A Promise
by zahra

"It's not the start," he said. "It's the end."


Every day Harry wakes up at the same time and leaves the bed on the same side. He puts on the same dressing gown and makes the same tea. His toast is always over done, and his butter always too hard. He washes, dresses, and floos to work without a second thought. He works, eats cucumber and tuna sandwiches for lunch, and makes a point of having a Chocolate Frog to remember Ron. Three minutes after five, he queues for the fireplace and floos home.

He only goes out sometimes.

This is Harry Potter's life.

He never deviates from the routine.


"It will never happen," remains the last thing that Draco Malfoy ever said to him.


Harry tries not think of Malfoy during the day. Some days it's easier, and he contents himself with pointless paperwork and owls to the friends that have survived. But more often than not, something will remind him of green and silver ties, and Harry will mysteriously vanish from his office with a word to no one. On days such as these, his thoughts will go towards fortresses in the middle of nowhere, and his feet will take him to the park. And there he will sit until nightfall.

Harry only thinks of him at night.

The darkness hides Harry's longing, and his wishes for a different life. Of course, there was never any alternative to the life he leads now. The possibilities of could and should and would are fruitless, but he entertains them all the same: his parents could still be alive. He should be known for nothing at all. Harry Potter could just be another wizard, another Muggle boy. In the dark he can fantasize about what would have happened, what should have happened.

All the never's that could have come to pass instead.


"I will never love you," he said.


The only thing that ever existed between Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter was sex. Fucking, shagging, buggering that was hard, fast and brutal, with no room for softness of heart or head.

That was what they had. That was all they had -- that's what Malfoy said.

He never held Harry in a post-coital cuddle or brought him trinkets when no one was looking. Malfoy never tenderly touched Harry or defended him against the attacks of his classmates. Malfoy never cosseted Harry or tried to keep him safe. Draco Malfoy never cared about Harry Potter; he was just another body for Malfoy to abuse as he saw fit.

Malfoy never did a lot of things.

Harry doesn't remember this.

Harry has forgotten the truth. He only remembers the idea. He doesn't remember that Malfoy never loved him. He doesn't remember the loneliness or the isolation. Harry only remembers what it was like to have someone who wasn't impressed by everything else.


"No one will ever understand you the way I do," he said.


Faceless strangers walk in and out of Harry's front door, climbing in and out of his bed, and Harry thinks that this will be what the rest of his life will be like. Boys and girls and men and women all vying for a place in his head. None of them seem to be him.

Harry's friends say his behaviour isn't right. That all this sleeping around isn't him, but they don't know Harry, and they don't know about him. If they did, then maybe it might make more sense. Or maybe not. They don't know the hole he's trying to fill.

Harry knows they don't understand him.

No one ever did. Except him.


"I will never leave them for you," he said.


Harry never cried over the end. It came and went; it's just that Harry never found closure. It was never over for him. Malfoy went away, gone but never far away enough to be forgotten. When the war came, and Harry was required to do his duty, in every breath he saw Malfoy's face. The light smattering of freckles over his nose and bruises that never seemed to fade.

Harry Potter loved Draco Malfoy in a completely unhealthy way. He worshipped him for his anger and destructiveness. Malfoy was the devil that Harry knew, and he never thought that something might be wrong with that, even when Malfoy left him.

He never expected Draco to come back to him, but he hoped.

One man's poison is another man's tonic.


"Promises are for fools," he said.


No one ever promised Harry anything, least of all Malfoy.

He was never been promised love or an easy life. He was never promised eternal life or everlasting loyalty. People in Harry's life didn't talk about never, they talked about the here and the now and a war that's over.

Harry never had a chance to talk about his sexuality with his mother. She never told him that all he had to be was himself. Harry's mother never promised him that he would be loved all the same. Harry never got to chat with his father. They never talked about Quidditch moves and the better broom.

Harry has never had a problem with the concept of 'never.'

Draco never wanted to be a part of Harry's world; Harry knows this. It was as clear as his eyes, and as sure as his name. Draco was a Malfoy, and he had responsibilities - there was never any room in his life for a would-be hero. Their time together was an aberration, something that he never denied.

When the war ended, Draco went to Azkaban, and Harry went to the Ministry, and they never saw each other again.

It was the only promise that Malfoy ever made him.


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