"Forget it," said Harry, shaking his head firmly. "No one can help. It's just us. If you're still with me, that is."
He looked up into Hermione's anxious face, searching it for something -- anything.
"Are you joking?" demanded Ron. "We're with you no matter what."
Hermione said nothing; she merely nodded, her eyes suddenly bright.
"To London, then," said Harry, and held out his hands to his best friends.
They Disapparated together, leaving behind three empty bottles of Butterbeer and a little bit of childhood.
Blaise knows what it takes for girls to start tripping over themselves. A little bit of mystery, just a tiny hint of animal in his voice, eyes narrowed just enough to convey either interest or disdain, and a smile that's just this side of knowing. I did learn from the best, thinks Blaise, glancing at his mother's portrait.
Origin of Love
And Harry knows he's not going to let go, because all that "she's Ron's sister" rubbish was about a simple thing, really. The strongest, most lasting love springs from friendship... and no friendship has been stronger than the one Harry shared with Ron. Harry rests his head against the rock and runs his finger down Ron's freckled arm; they listen to the water lap the cliffs below and say nothing, because they don't need to.
She Hangs Brightly
Harry follows the articles week after week and grits his teeth. He looks at the pictures of her, flashing her teeth at the camera like she's a miniature, pug-faced incarnation of Gilderoy Lockhart. He listens to the WWN interviews; her sinuous tone, her rich, deep contralto -- so unlike the snide, girlish voice he remembers from school. How is it that she should have become unreachable? Of all the girls from Harry's year, why Parkinson? I'll have you, Harry thinks. The thought echoes in his mind; it's supposed to remind him of something, but he doesn't care. He looks at the only picture he has of her and falls asleep, dreaming of deep dark eyes and a pale neck, exposed.
queerditch_pub drabbles from tonight:
Harry/Draco - Ball lightning
Thunder shook the walls of the shack; the candle on the table flickered uncertainly, as though deciding whether it should go out or not. Fang whimpered and tried to burrow himself deeper underneath Malfoy's empty bed. Harry glared at the blankets thrown haphazardly together and wondered what was keeping Malfoy.
The weather had taken a serious turn for the worse in the past hour, and Harry didn't fancy staying here any longer than he needed to. Malfoy was supposed to bring information about where Ron and Hermione were being held; he'd promised he wouldn't come back without it.
Maybe he's not coming back, thought Harry, his stomach flip-flopping at the thought. Maybe he's been lying, maybe he hasn't really joined our side. Ever since Malfoy showed up, half-naked and shivering, at Godric's Hollow six months ago, Harry hadn't been able to shake the feeling that the blond git wasn't putting all his cards on the table.
He expelled a frustrated breath and rose to pace the shack's grimy floor for what felt like the hundredth time that evening. Thunder roared again outside and Fang gave a high-pitched whine from his hiding place.
"It's only a thunderstorm," Harry said to the dog. "It'll be over soon."
Fang barked. Harry frowned. Acting on a gut feeling, he crossed the room and opened the door, getting a faceful of cold, stinging rain the minute he did so. A cloaked figure -- Malfoy! -- was heaped at his feet, and above it hung what looked like an orange fireball. It glowed softly as though defying the rain, and floated gently in a circle above Malfoy, illuminating the few stray blond hairs that peeked out from beneath his cloak's hood.
Apparating during a thunderstorm can cause a ball lightning to form either at the point of Disapparation or the destination point, said Wilkie Twycross's voice in Harry's head. Be careful, because ball lightnings are wild magic and thus highly unpredictable.
Harry leant down and saw that Malfoy's eyes were closed, his rain-splattered skin paler than it should have been. Slowly, keeping an eye on the fireball, Harry leant down and pulled Malfoy up from the ground by his arms and dragged him inside. Malfoy gave a soft moan and called Harry's name, but didn't open his eyes.
Harry shut the door and leant his back against it. He wondered if the lightning would go away soon.
He was even more curious about what caused Malfoy to call his name and not someone else's.
Harry/Draco - Wind
In the winter, the wind bites, like a million tiny insects bent on stripping his skin away. Draco pulls his scarf up to hid his face. Minutes later, the scarf wet from his breath, and it smells like his breakfast and coffee, but at least it protects his skin from the wind's stingers. The wind creeps up his calves and lashes at his back, so Draco rises, brushes the snow off his knees and walks away, but not before saying goodbye.
In the spring, the wind seems gentle, caressing his skin and ruffling his hair playfully. It makes him think of the Hogwarts lake and the ripples across it in April. He tugs his cloak tighter around himself; the spring's wind is flighty and dishonest. It carries a chill not unlike the one that's settled permanently around Draco's heart, like a pillow of not-feeling. He carefully places the lilies he brought onto the dark stone and says goodbye again.
In the summer, the wind is welcome. It smells like candyfloss and fresh-boiled corn, and Draco breathes in deeply, remembering a Paris summer just like this one. The pillow around his heart thins out a little, and Draco breathes out, shutting out these thoughts. He traces the letters on the stone, so cold, unwarmed even by the afternoon sun. He can never bring himself to say goodbye in the summer.
In autumn, the wind carries memories of summer and promises of winter's bite. It brings rainclouds and casts everything into a slate grey that Harry always said reminded him of Draco's eyes. Draco shuts his eyes and says goodbye again, and again, but he can never feel sincere, not in autumn. Not when Quidditch season starts and everyone is talking about the next match and the next rising star.
Harry Potter's gravestone stands proud and dark, surrounded by flowers and tokens of appreciation, but only Draco is here every day, in every kind of wind.
Harry/Draco: Sunrise, Sunset
They shout at each other, accusations sharp as the slivers of the mirror Draco broke last time they were rowing. Harry walks away this time, and the next morning, the house is empty (Draco's gone).
After that, every day is the same: Harry rises with the sun. He doesn't remember when he began to enjoy mornings, and then realises that he never did (Draco did).
He sits on the porch and drinks tepid tea before going for walks. He answers fan mail and wonders if there's a place in the world where no owl can find him (where Draco can't find him).
When the sun sets, Harry stands at the edge of the ocean and watches the water play, flickers of red and orange and yellow like drowning autumn leaves. He wants to dive into the freezing water and save the leaves (like he once saved Draco).
After the sun is finally gone from the sky and the first stars peek hopefully out at him, Harry pulls his cloak's hood over his head and walks back to the house. The waves sing to him, of sorrow and loss (he can't have lost Draco forever).
The shards of the broken mirror are still on the floor. Harry mutters a charm and they float up into the air and reassemble themselves inside the mirror's frame. Harry stares at himself in the new-old mirror and runs a hand through his hair (Draco used to do that once).
Harry's fingers release their grip on his wand and it falls to the floor with a sharp sound that startles Hedwig. She hoots unhappily and turns her head away. The candlelight flickers and fades. Harry sits in the darkness and tries to figure out what the silence is telling him (Draco's breathing is missing).
Harry falls asleep at the table, slumped forward onto his folded arms.
He dreams of a sunset he doesn't have to watch alone.
Harry/Draco: Torrential rain
London hasn't seen rain like this in decades. The usual dull orange haze above the city is pitch-black now, water streaming down in thick sheets. The rain drenches wood and stone, seeming to seep right into buildings, benches, trees. A mangy cat trots by, fur hanging off it in mud-stained clumps. Draco wrinkles his nose.
"Impervius," he mutters under his breath, pointing his wand at his cloak, and huddles under it, watching the swaying streetlights' shadows intently. He can't feel the rain anymore, save for a few drops that slide inside the hood and fall onto his face. He casts a tentative glance up; the rain shows no intention of letting up. Draco thinks he can see dark clouds roiling above, but perhaps it's only a trick of the light.
Then there are hands on his chest and he's pushed against the wall of the soaked building behind him. "What are you doing?" he mutters irritably. "I'll get wet, Impervius here or there." But there is hot breath on his face and his eyes flutter closed.
"Sorry I'm late," says Potter, the tip of his nose cold against Draco's cheek, but the rest of him is warm, too warm. "I was followed, so I took a Portkey to Clapham first. Disapparated as soon as I lost the tail," Potter mumbles, his voice lower like it always is when he's turned on.
Draco sighs. "Inside pocket," he says, opening his eyes. He can't allow this warmth, welcome though it may be, to sway him in his decision. His chest feels tight, too tight, he needs to get away from here, from him.
"What's wrong?" asks Potter, stepping back a little, suspicion on his face.
"Nothing," says Draco. He reaches into his robes and fishes out the key -- the final thing Potter needs in this war. He presses it into Potter's palm and forces Potter's fingers over it. Draco lets his hands linger on Potter's for a moment, then he lets go, the pain in his chest unbearable. "I have to go."
He walks out into the rain without looking back. He doesn't know if those are tears on his face or if the Impervius charm has run out.
In the end, it doesn't matter.
Harry/Draco: Playing in the lightning
The lightning splits the sky in half, and Harry laughs. His face feels hot despite autumn's dark chill that nips at his skin, reaching icy fingers down to his bones. Vaguely, he knows that it's over, that he's won, but he's got a score to settle.
"Come out, come out, wherever you are," he calls into the night. Aims a curse at the hedge, destroys it in a jet of red light. He sees Malfoy duck down just in time and roll away.
Malfoy shoots a lightning-blue bolt out of his wand at Harry.
"Protego!" The bolt bounces off the shield and ricochets into the now-burning hedge. "You can't run from me now, Malfoy. It's just us left. Nobody else," taunts Harry.
"You're mad," calls Malfoy, his voice wavering in the wind.
"And you're dead, Malfoy. Do you hear me? Dead!" bellows Harry, fighting the urge to laugh. He doesn't know why it's funny, it just is. Ginny's broken body looms in front of his eyes, still so pretty even for all the blood. Harry blinks furiously, willing the image away, but he knows it'll haunt his nightmares forever and a day.
He's tired of fighting, tired of this war, of being scared. He's won, and he's going to be the one to write the history books. Malfoy's scrambling to his feet, bringing his wand up. Harry laughs, and another flash of lightning illuminates Malfoy's mud-splattered face, his blond hair.
Harry raises his wand, and it's as though it's not his hand, and not his mind, and not this place or this time. "Avada--"
He's tackled to the ground in a rush of warmth.
"Harry, what the bloody fuck are you doing? I'm on your side, remember? Fucking hell." Malfoy's voice is harsh and panicked in his ear. "It's over, do you hear me?"
"...Draco?" Harry stares up at him, realising in horror what he has just almost done. "Oh, no."
"That doesn't even begin to describe it, you mad bastard," rasps Draco.
"Dead, I saw." Draco pauses. "I'm..."
Harry's face grows hot again. "Don't. You know you aren't sorry."
Draco narrows his eyes. "No. Look at it this way, Potter. Now you won't have to tell her about us."
"Shut up. I'm leaving now. You want to see me again, you know where to find me."
Draco Disapparates and Harry is suddenly so alone. He feels the rain lashing at his face but doesn't register it.
It really is over.
Harry/Draco: Desert Sunshine
Harry squints at the sky; it's impossibly azure, like something out of a picture book, not quite real. The sand is everywhere; it feels like a thin film of sand has wrapped itself around Harry's body. He can feel grains of sand between his eyelashes; he doesn't even attempt to try and brush them away.
The sun is high above him now, scorching hot, and it feels like one huge ray of sunlight is trying to bore a hole through his skull. He breathes in the dry, harsh air and feels its searing heat in his chest. He couldn't have picked a better place to get away to after the war. He knows the sun will chase the cold, stark memories of the war away, from the darkest recesses of his mind -- sunshine this strong can't do anything but.
He rolls his shoulders and walks back to the house. He carefully shuts the door and briefly leans his forehead against the warm, fragrant wooden wall.
"Is the week over yet?" comes a feeble inquiry from the bedroom.
Harry grins. "No, it's still Tuesday." He walks in and bites his lip as he sees Draco sprawled out naked on the bed, his arse cheeks shining white, the rest of him red. "I told you not to stay out in the sun yesterday, you didn't listen."
"Mmmprh," says Draco, and turns his head sideways. "I hurt everywhere."
"You've got a wand," sayd Harry with a shrug and a mock look of indifference. "Use it."
"I hate you."
"No, you don't."
"You are a cruel, heartless man, Harry Potter."
"I learned from the best."