Author's Notes: (NOT A SONGFIC!) Not everything in the warning is in the first chapter, which is short... you'll have to wait.
Faint of Hearts
Right behind him- inches away.
And or a full ten seconds he didn't move.
A bright, violent flash of red caught his vision, and he cried out in surprise as the Gryffindor seeker crashed violently into him. He realized, in one terrifying moment, that they had both left their brooms in the air as they plummeted to the ground.
He tried to scream, only to find the air knocked out of his lungs. He could see his teammates watching him as he fell, somehow slower than he should've been falling; he could see the Gryffindor seekers tipping their brooms downward, in a slow-motion attempt to catch Harry before his inevitable fall.
Not that he would be hurt, Draco mused, closing his eyes, sensing more than seeing the approaching earth. Harry's weight was on top of his; he would hit the ground, his body most likely breaking the fall of the other. He felt strangely calm about that fact.
He felt his body hit the ground; and sink, and bounce back into the air, in a very disturbing way. The ground felt like rubber, and it had stretch to meet the two boys. He squeezed his eyes tighter, ignoring the sudden, shocked screams, and the way Harry's grip on him had tightened considerably. His arms were around Draco's chest, one of the reasons he was finding it hard to breath. Draco, terrified as they hit the ground and bounced a second time, wrapped his arms around the boy's neck, choking as he tried to catch a breath.
He third time they hit the ground, it rippled, like a waterbed, and eventually settled, leaving the two unharmed, yet terrified.
They sat still for a moment, not daring to move. Draco finally opened his eyes and stared into the sky. The sun was shining mercilessly into his face. He still couldn't breath, and started nervously as he realized he was still slinging to Potter.
"Get- get off!" he coughed, pushing the Gryffindor roughly off of him. He gasped; his chest ached, and he coughed again, his eyes watering in pain. He saw Harry sit up, letting his arms fall limply to his sides. His eyes were still wide, his breathing uneven. Draco looked down and saw the snitch in Harry's right fist. For some reason, his hands began to tremble.
He remembered how the Gryffindor had gotten onto the team in his first year; a miracle. He remembered how he had defeated Draco in every match, how he had humiliated him in the incident with the Dementors costumes. He remembered how he had been defeated by no one, with he obvious exception of the Boy-Who-Lived. He remembered how humiliated he had been when his father discovered he was jealous.
He remembered it all, and his jaw clenched. "You son of a bitch!"
He started at the scream. He hadn't been expecting it. Did he even realize he had the snitch?
His face turned from numb shock to incoherent anger. "What the hell is your problem?" he said finally, giving Draco a hateful look.
"You are!" he shrieked, not caring that he was admitting a secret he didn't even know he was keeping.
Something twitched in his expression. "Are you going to cry again?"
That was it. That was the final humiliation. That was all it took.
He screamed something incoherent and launched himself at the startled seeker, unsurprised to know that he had been crying. They hit the ground, which remained hard and unforgiving this time. He slung his fist into the Gryffindor's face before he even knew what he was doing.
He was, just as quickly, tossed onto his back. Harry grabbed his collar and used it to slam his head into the ground. Black spots erupted in Draco's vision, dazing him. He felt his hands grab harshly onto a neck before he realized he was even struggling.
He strangled him, ignoring the students that were running toward them, ignoring the terrified screams and yells, ignoring the teachers, and, ignoring the snitch, which was now flying away from them, back into he sky.
"Bastard!" he heard Harry scream, having successfully pried the hands from his neck. He drove his fist into Draco's stomach. "I didn't need you to give me the snitch!"
"You didn't have to tackle me, you ignorant fuck!" He seized the boy's raven hair with his right hand and pulled viciously. He noticed that his glasses, which had been broken with Draco's first punch, had fallen, one of the shard of glass giving him a vicious cut, which was now bleeding profusely. He froze for a moment, watching, somehow calmed as he watched a single drop of blood trail from the bridge of his nose- where the cut was- down, slide carelessly across his top lip, finally dripping from his chin, landing softly on Draco's green robes, spreading slowly.
He started as Harry grabbed his hair from the other side, mimicking Draco's move. He tugged, and Draco, crying out in pain, did the same. They were both screaming and fighting when Boyer grabbed Draco and hauled him backwards, laughing. Laughing.
"Malfoy, you sick freak! That was brilliant!" He only stared as Boyer embraced him, squeezing his shoulders. He felt someone else grab his back collar.
"DRACO LUCIUS MALFOY! HARRY JAMES POTTER! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU TWO?"
( Poor boy getting into another fight I feel guilty about what I said )
Draco felt oddly settled as Madam Pomfrey held a washrag to his nose to stop the bleeding. "Take this," she told him, handing him a small vial. "It's heal all the small bruises. And this, too, it'll stop the bleeding."
"Thank you." he said immediately, his voice strangely grateful. They hadn't been bothering him that much, really. He swallowed the sweet contents of the first glass and set the other onto the bedside table, knowing it was bitter.
He turned and looked at Harry, who was holding another cloth to his nose and massaging the side of his neck, wincing at the bruises that were inevitably forming. He looked expectantly at Madam Pomfrey, who had just returned from her office.
"I'm so sorry." she told him, looking sincere. "I'm out of potion. I just gave Mister Malfoy the last of it."
( I would have more if that Potions Master would just do his job )
"That's okay." he told her, smiling to ease her guilt. "It's fine."
"I'll see if there's any in the Potions classroom." she said, turning. "Can I trust you two to stay civil?"
"Yes, Madam Pomfrey." Draco said immediately, surprising her. She had expected sulky silence.
She gave him another curious look as she left. His gaze immediately fell on Harry, who was making a face as he had to refold the rag, which was quickly running out of room.
Draco picked up the vial beside his bed and stepped off the bed, holding it out, his expression hidden by the cloth. He saw Harry glance up at his eyes, before accepting the vial, swallowing the contents without pause.
"Thank you." he said a moment later, after the bleeding stopped. He used another, cleaner washrag to clean off his face.
"I'm sorry." Draco said before he could stop himself. He blushed, then busied himself with checking the cloth at his nose. The bleeding had already stopped on its own.
He expected something along the lines of a derisive snort. Instead, he turned when he heard Harry say, his voice unusually soft, "I'm sorry, too."
There was another moment of silence; content, not awkward silence, the kind that makes you want to sigh. Draco looked up at him again. He didn't want to question the apology, or explain his. He didn't know why he had apologized, really. He just needed to do it. He just needed him to know he was sorry. Because he was sorry. He really was.
He felt himself smile when he realized he couldn't catch Potter's thoughts. He didn't know what he was thinking. The thought was comforting.
He finally felt safe.
"I am sorry to say," Dumbledore sighed, his voice quiet. "That you have both been dropped from your house teams."
Neither of them spoke. Draco found himself glancing nervously at Harry, who looked disappointed, but calm. He knew it had been the first game for him since the Umbridge incident last year. He expected him to be angry. He could tell that Dumbledore did, too.
McGonagall was angry. He could tell, even without the obscenities that were flashing through her mind. Snape, sitting at his left, was somehow nothing. He didn't feel calm, or angry. Draco could feel what he was feeling; nothing. He felt completely dead. Draco frowned. He recalled his Head of House's demeanor as one that said 'screw it. I give up.' He was depressed. Predictable, if you had been taught by the man, but unsettling all the same.
"Slytherin," Dumbledore said suddenly, startled Draco, who realized he had been staring at Snape. "will need to find a replacement Seeker within three weeks for their upcoming match. Gryffindor will have six to seven, depending-"
"Ginny Weasley can play Seeker." Harry said suddenly, looking up at his Headmaster. "She's changed her mind. She wants to. There's someone else who wants to play Chaser for her- I think his name is Richardson."
Dumbledore was unsettled not by his quick response, but by how cheerful he seemed to give it, how completely unfazed he appeared. Draco could tell, looking into Dumbledore's expression, that he took this as a sign of mental trauma.
"That- that would be suitable." McGonagall said finally, glancing at Harry.
(My God that poor boy he reminds me of that lovable mutt oh don't cry now your beyond that Minerva)
Draco mentally shook himself to kill McGonagall's thoughts. He knew about the incident last year from his father. He didn't like to think about it. It made him sick.
He looked back at Harry, who was relieved that his team was in no danger of being shorthanded. He saw Draco watching him. He looked at the armchair for a moment, perhaps nervous, then back Draco, giving him a somewhat relieved smile. Or, more accurately, a twitch of the mouth.
He didn't quite smile. Draco knew he couldn't bring himself to it.
"Did you hear?" cried a voice, one that echoed down the halls with a sharp demand for attention.
Students, most of them Gryffindor and Slytherin, (arguing over the match) turned to the new voice and it's bearer, a tall, skinny fourth year Ravenclaw. She was known for her gossiping, and her inability to keep a secret.
"They decided on the match!" She looked around, relishing the rapt attention she was seeing in the faces of her classmates. She paused just long enough for suspense, not long enough to be prodded into continuing.
"Since the score before the snitch was Slytherin, 220, Gryffindor, 30, they decided it doesn't matter who caught the snitch." She continued before this could settle into the minds of her listeners. "They think Harry Potter caught the snitch, but if he did, the score would still be two-twenty to one-seventy. Slytherin wins no matter what."
Cried of outrage mixed with mirth greeted her statement. She frowned, waving her arms above her head to get their attention. "I'M NOT FINISHED!" she shrieked.
They turned back to her, startled.
"That's not all." she continued, voice calm once more. "you should hear what happened to Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy." she paused for effect again, barely unable to contain herself. "They were both kicked off their teams."
The room was silent.
"Potions; an advanced handbook,
"An expert's guide to the theory of potion brewing,
"When and why; How to brew the perfect potion."
Madam Pince looked at the girl in front of her. "How long will you be needing these?"
"A week." she said, tapping her foot restlessly. She frowned as the librarian took time to sign and stamp the inside of each book. "Thank you." she said irritably, taking the books swiftly from the older woman's hands.
"What are you doing?" a voice asked her. She ignored Ron, who was seated across from her, a strange smell in the air. She wondered vaguely if it was tobacco.
"Homework." she said coldly, sitting and opening the first one.
"Didn't go to the Quidditch game?" he said, more of a statement than a question.
"No. I've- better things to do."
"Hmm." he glanced at the homework for a moment. "Did you hear that Slytherin beat us?"
"Fantastic." she said uncaringly, scratching her nose, where a new patch of acne had appeared overnight.
"Harry got kicked off the team. So did Malfoy. They got into a fight."
She slammed the book closed, her eyes flashing. "I don't have time for any more of your games! I'm sick of it all! I just want to study!"
"Mrs. Granger!" Madam Pince shouted, scowling. "So would the others in the library. Please keep your voice down!"
She gathered up her books and left the library, fumbling in her pocket. Ron watched her leave. He had actually enjoyed her anger; it was better than the soft looks the teachers gave him. Nonetheless, he found the cigarettes in his pocket and left the library, ignoring the looks he was receiving. Sympathy.
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