Author's Notes: Enjoy!
The Sweetest Goodbye
Leaning on one elbow Draco watched his lover sleep. Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived. Draco didn't give a fuck about him. But Harry was also the boy he loved, even if he'd never say it. His Malfoy pride kept those words buried deep.
He looked so beautiful when he was asleep. The soft blue light of the room melting in with his messy raven locks. Draco loved Harry's hair. He loved to play around with the stray strands, kneading his fingers through the silky mass. He would never say it though; Draco preferred to call it "Trying to bring some order to the tangled mess of Potter's head". Harry always laughed when he said that, followed by desperate attempts to bring disorder to Draco's well kempt hair – very much uncalled for as Draco would point out between his frantic attempts to dislodge Harry's sneaky hands.
After his father's arrest at the end of fifth year, Draco had gone through an identity crisis. His tendency to use his father to define himself had come back to hit him. Hard. He had decided not to attend his sixth year at Hogwarts, instead choosing to stay at home to be tutored while he tried to figure out who he was. At least his financial situation had been stable. His mother had managed to use the few contacts they still had in the ministry to keep their assets from being frozen. The Malfoy name still had some bearing in the wizarding world at least. After sixteen years of his father's influence, it took Draco a while to figure out that most of his beliefs were not truly his but were actually his father's.
Draco had also started to doubt his - or perhaps more accurately his father's - belief that Voldemort was the most powerful wizard alive. It was laughable to perceive this ridiculous concept as he found it profoundly difficult to defeat an infant. And although he had no love for the muggles, Draco realised that death was perhaps too harsh a punishment for being born non magical.
And Potter. Harry Potter, the bane of his existence. The more he thought about it, the more he realised that if it weren't for his father's forceful insistence to be Potter's friend, he would never have screwed up so badly and perhaps they could've been friends, after of course he'd gotten through Weasley.
Draco had returned at the beginning of seventh year. Harry noticed because he had felt the Slytherin's absence throughout sixth year. Not surprisingly, the constant irritating presence of Draco Malfoy was not missed by any; Ron had been most pleased muttering, "Good riddance. Hope he never comes back," at any given opportunity. The Slytherins had found a new leader, Blaise Zabini, though he did not have Draco's authority nor did he present as much of a challenge as a seeker in Quiddich.
The Slytherins shunned Draco upon his return. To Harry it seemed that Draco didn't much care. He had been given his own bedroom, sat alone in all his classes and to all their surprise, had stopped the verbal abuse to Harry and his friends. He no longer acted as if he was better than everyone else; he just kept to himself, only talking when he had to. The only normality had been the reinstalment of Draco as the Slytherin seeker. It seemed the Slytherins' desire not to be thrashed by Gryffindors had overwhelmed their dislike of Draco. Harry was glad because during sixth year, Quidditch had been too easy, causing Harry to lose interest in the fight for the Quidditch Cup as he knew they'd win anyway even if he didn't catch the snitch. Harry had been surprised of how his enjoyment of the game depended on Draco's presence in the opposing team.
That year, after their first Gryffindor vs. Slytherin match which Harry had won, to no one's surprise, Draco confronted the Gryffindor seeker, extended an arm and said "Good match Potter".
And Harry - whose arm had moved by its own accordance to grip the Slytherins' hand - had found that he was unable to formulate a coherent reply in his mind and then found that even if he was able to think of something to say, it would have been very difficult to get it out due to the fact that his mouth was doing a very good impression of a fish face.
After Draco had moved away, the whole of Gryffindor Quidditch team and a few other highly concerned Gryffindor fans had crowded around Harry expressing their concern over the intentions of the rogue Slytherin.
Harry had decided after a couple more incidents, which involved Draco being civil to him and him responding with the fish face, to take the initiative, to return the favour to say the least. So one day after Potions, which was spent listening to Snapes' endless complaints about his presence in the classroom, Harry had gone to the Slytherin and asked him for help.
He had been secretly hoping for Draco to be so surprised that he would perhaps reply with the fish face, but to his utter disappointment Draco didn't. Instead the familiar smirk once more graced the Slytherins' face. It was not a smirk of malice however but one of clear amusement.
"You want my help Potter?"
So Harry rambled on, stating all the pros and ignoring all the cons of Draco tutoring him, trying not to stumble over the huge gaps in his explanations of how the world would be better off because of it. His eyes however, never left the Slytherins' and the smirk on Draco's face faded into what Harry could have sworn was a gentle smile.
Draco had replied with a simple "Ok" and left, leaving a very surprised Harry, again sporting the fish face.
Later Harry had received an owl from Draco, reading "My room. 9 pm". There had been no directions as to how to get there and the Marauder's map had come in very handy. Harry tried not to ponder on what he would have done if there were no map and he was forced to ask Draco for directions. He had a sneaking suspicion that somehow he would have been left with the fish face, which tend to happen whenever Draco was concerned.
So that was how it all began. At first it had been once a week, then twice a week. After, when they had realised that their desire to be in each other's company went beyond the necessity of potions tutoring, exchange of passwords occurred as well as the extensive use of an invisibility cloak.
It had been wonderful, slowly discovering each other, both boys coming to realise that their need for each other went beyond anything else they've ever felt before.
Draco rejoiced in finding someone who didn't demand things, who didn't threaten him, whose utmost desire was simply to love him. And Harry did. Love him. More than anything he'd ever encountered in his life. He cherished the way Draco saw him, the true him. And he cherished Draco for accepting the true him and loving him for being himself.
Harry never asked Draco about whether he'll join the light. He knew that was Draco's decision and he trusted that Draco would make the right one in the end.
Draco loved Harry even more for this, having never been trusted to such an extent.
Draco sighed, falling back on to the bed. He could not feel anything but the despair rising up, from where he did not know nor did he care... much. He could remember it, the moment when his world stopped spinning, when Harry told him, "I'm leaving."
Harry stood there, at the centre of the room, and just said it. Draco, who was sitting on his bed catching up on ‘History of Magical Art,' froze. He couldn't move, couldn't breathe, he couldn't think. He just stared at the words on the parchment, which didn't make any sense anymore. Nothing made any sense anymore. Because Harry was leaving.
He'd been expecting it of course. How could he not, with the war drawing ever so close, with more and more disappearances every week. But he hadn't known how he would react, how it would feel to hear Harry say those words.
He must have gotten off the bed because the next thing he knew, there he was, standing at the side of the bed, his world rapidly shrinking to contain only Harry.
His fists were clenched, fingernails biting in to his skin. His eyes were closed, clenched shut, not wanting to see Harry. Harry, who would not be here tomorrow.
He looked up then, ever so slowly, finally meeting Harry's eyes. Harry who was watching him through those Oh-so green eyes filled with love and...and the infinity of sadness. Draco broke then. Seeing the look in those eyes, which he treasured so much. And then he hated. Simply hated everything. He hated the world, Voldemort, his father and even Harry for being so noble, for caring so much that he felt it necessary to offer his life to keep the world safe. The fucking world...the fucking world...oh god...
He took care to show nothing on his face. Harry did not need to know.
But Harry saw. In Draco's eyes, those liquid silver eyes, Harry saw the emotions slowly overwhelming Draco. And suddenly he was there, sliding his arms around Draco, holding him, kissing him, trying desperately to mend what he had broken.
As he clung to Harry, trying so hard not to let the tears come, Harry whispered
"It'll be over soon."
And so they ended up on Draco's bed. And made love one last time. They went slow, so achingly slow that Draco felt like laughing and crying at the same time. But he knew Harry wanted this, to etch every single moment, every single moan, every single whisper on to his mind, so it would last a lifetime.
Draco put his arms around Harry, knowing he'd be gone tomorrow. "I do love you, you know," he whispered, making it real. He knew saying those words would make everything even more painful, but also knew that not saying it would be an even bigger mistake. So Draco fell asleep, holding his dream in his arms.
It wasn't fully dawn yet when Harry woke. His heart lurching when he saw Draco, sleeping, looking like the angel he was. Harry closed his eyes, fighting back the sudden urge to cry, to scream that none of it was fair. He opened his eyes, knowing he couldn't stay. Gently, he pressed a kiss upon Draco's forehead, smiling sadly when Draco instinctively moved closer to him. "Stay safe." A prayer he knew wouldn't be answered. Harry put on his clothes and left, saying goodbye to the only love he had ever known.
When Draco woke in the morning, Harry was gone. In his place was a piece of parchment folded in two. He picked it up with trembling fingers, eyes closed, trying to hold off the despair for a little while longer.
I've never written a letter like this before – saying goodbye without knowing if I'll ever say hello again. You are the only one I have loved ever so much that I actually know I have to let go of. Call me selfish but I don't want to. I'll keep you to my heart and you'll stay with me until I die. Who knows, if all goes right maybe beyond that. It's strange that I once felt I knew you, someone cruel who cared for no one else but himself. But I was wrong wasn't I? I was wrong about so many things.
I love you too, you know, don't you dare ever believe otherwise. But I have to go. It's, ‘my destiny,' apparently. I just want you to remember that I will never forget you, Draco and I will never leave you.
I could never forget what we have.
When he finally opened his eyes and read Harry's final words, he knew he would not be able to stop the tears and found that he did not want to. As he clutched the parchment in his hand, shoulders heaving with every desperate sob, Draco thought he could hear Harry say those words "I love you too, you know".
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