Chapter Three - Sunshine
Draco always woke first, rose on one elbow to stare down at his boyfriend... lover... soulmate... all of those things, somehow all rolled into one. Harry was infused with a sort of warmth, of light, that radiated out of him. Out of his skin, his hair, his eyes when his heated gaze rested on Draco. It seemed impossible that so much light could be so tightly bundled and crammed into one small body. For it was a small body, Draco mused, sitting a little back from the other boy and reclining on his elbow. So small to be saving the world.
But then, Draco had heard once that a teaspoon of the sun would weigh so much...He couldn't remember the exact number, but he knew it was huge. Draco may have been crafted out of water and air and been full of space, but Harry was dense. He had presence. When he entered the room, people knew. And the greatest thing, the most adorable thing about it was that Harry had absolutely no clue. He had a casual way of handling his body, jerking his shoulders in a shrug, throwing his arm out in gesticulation. The world noticed this too. Not only his presence, but also his normalcy.
Draco couldn't relate to either. He had been crafted, as all in his family were crafted, to be insubstantial. To creep around, slink in and out of shadows undetected but for the longing they left in their wake. He was acknowledged but not known. It was a curse of sorts-especially when all he wanted was to make himself different. To choose his own path. He had had enough of his destiny being forged by others, had enough of being denied his own choices. It had happened since his childhood, and would have continued to happen.
If not for Harry.
Draco couldn't really remember when his attitude towards the other boy had changed. He remembered making the choice to not be a MALFOY anymore, and to start being Draco. He remembered screaming at his father to let him alone, and then scrambling (for the first and last time in his life, as scrambling was simply plebian) out the window, flying away, determined to build a new life. He also remembered returning home, face burning with shame, after he had encountered his father again. But he couldn't recall when he decided to be nice to Harry.
He remembered when other people noticed, of course. On the train to Hogwarts, the beginning of their sixth year. Just nodded and said hello, walked past without pushing him into the nearest compartment. Harry had stared, his eyes calculating, but he said nothing. Other people did-they took that incident and butchered it and it fed the rumor mill for a good two months. Harry had put him under an Imperious Curse. Harry had joined Voldemort. Draco had been high. Thousands of reasons floated around for a long time, until everyone noticed that Draco was that way to everyone now. He wasn't pushing anyone into walls as he walked past.
Draco started watching Harry, started wondering what all the fuss was about. Why did people love him? Why did people like Ginny Weasley and that Creevey boy hang all over him? Why did girls have pictures of him stuck up on their walls?
And then Draco figured out why.
He could definitely remember when he realized. Potions class, just before Thanksgiving their Sixth year. Harry was talking with Weasley over their boiling cauldron. His arm was formed in an arc above his head in a wild motion conveying something that surely had something to do with Quidditch. The steam rose off the liquid in the cauldron, brushing his face with faint gray tendrils every once and awhile. First one would brush his cheekbone, highlighting it, then one would linger around his mouth, which was full and smiling at his friend as Weasley spoke, then animated and excited when it was Harry's turn to speak. Another bit of steam ghosted in front of his eyes, and they lifted, met Draco's across the room. And Draco could remember thinking, Oh.
He wasn't quite ready to tack a picture of Harry up in his dorm room, but he certainly paid the other boy a great deal more attention than he had before. And when Christmas break rolled around, and Lucius told Draco he wasn't welcome at the Manor that year, Draco didn't really care. He liked the peace and quiet when no one was in his dorm room.
It didn't occur to him that Harry wasn't going home that year either, that Harry never went home. Or maybe Harry didn't have a home.
There were only three students at Hogwarts that year, so they were placed together in Ravenclaw dorms. Draco didn't mind-it was still quiet, and yet not lonely. He found he enjoyed a brief conversation with Harry every few days, and pretty soon found himself staying up until three o'clock in the morning talking to the boy by a dying fire. He then found himself waiting for Harry to come back whenever he went out, looking up expectantly at the door when it opened, disappointed when Eric Appleton walked through instead. He got the impression that Harry did the same thing.
They took a walk in the snow one day, around the lake. There were a few snowballs lobbed, and more than a few insults traded, but that just made it all the more enjoyable. The walk ended with a steamy kiss as they both stood in a foot of snow.
That was it-that kiss sealed Draco's fate. He felt those lips on his, felt the amazing warmth and light flowing through them to his own, and when they parted Draco felt like he had swallowed a small sun. He felt as if something had lodged itself deep in his gut, burning brightly and incessantly, trying to shine out through him, make itself known to the world.
And maybe, he thought to himself as lay back down on the bed and curled closer to Harry, maybe he had swallowed something that day. Maybe he had swallowed sunshine.
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