Harry caught himself once again watching Draco Malfoy. But this time it was because Draco seemed to feel better. At least better than months ago.
He was sitting in the library, a few feet away from the table Harry and Ron were sitting at, discussing the Potions homework with Hermione. Harry and his friends now were on a rather friendly basis with Draco Malfoy. Well, MOST of his friends...
“Wonder what he’s up to...“ Ron murmured suspiciously.
Harry shrugged. “They are both fond of Potions, of course they like learning together.“
“He broke up with Pansy, hope he doesn’t think he can get a new girl-friend in Hermione,“ Ron whispered.
Harry couldn’t hide a grin. “From pure-blood to Muggle-born girl-friend? His parents would kill him.“ Then he added, “Just trust Hermione.“
Now Ginny sat down next to Harry. “What’s so interesting about them?“ she asked, glaring at Draco and Hermione.
“Um, I just told your brother not to be jealous of Draco,“ Harry said.
“Maybe he should!“ Ginny hissed. “You’re getting quite obsessed with Draco!“ With that she stood up and rushed out of the library.
Harry stared after her.
“You really should follow her,“ Ron said evenly and started writing his essay on Transfiguration.
“Ginny, what’s up?“ Harry called when he reached her in the corridor.
Ginny stared angrily at him. “What’s up with you and Malfoy? At first I thought it’s just that you’re worried about him, but now, you’ve spent months watching him...“
“You didn’t see what I’ve seen them do to him,“ Harry said.
“And what did Voldemort do to him?“ Ginny asked agrily.
Harry glared at her. “I promised Draco not to tell anyone what I’ve seen. If you can’t guess...“
Her eyes grew small. “You mean...“
Did she guess...? Maybe she did, maybe not. “I’ve seen it all through Voldemort’s eyes,“ Harry whispered shuddering, “saw what he saw, felt what he felt...“
“And now,“ Ginny said slowly, “you feel an obligation to take care for Draco. Because you feel guilty in a way?“
Maybe Ginny knew him better than he himself did.
“In a way, yes,“ Harry replied.
Ginny took a step closer. “But you aren’t,“ she said softly, “it wasn’t you who gave the orders to... punish him.“
“But it felt like that,“ Harry said.
Draco looked up when a shadow fell onto him. Harry Potter again.
“You’re still doing that?“ Harry asked.
Draco glanced at the fresh cuts on his forearm. “I must find a new place to be alone since you’re now haunting Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom,“ he said evenly.
Harry sat down beside him. “I thought you were feeling better, but maybe I was wrong.“
“Well, there are still the nightmares, but I’m not scared of my own shadow any longer,“ Draco tried to sound indifferent, but as always when Harry mentioned “it“, his voice was shaking slightly.
“I’ve been thinking,“ Harry said.
“Really?“ Draco pretended to be surprised.
“Maybe it’s a stupid idea,“ Harry said, “Rowle and Yaxley are still alive, they are in Azkaban now. If I were in your position, I would want to face them, to shout at them what I think of them.“
Draco felt a leaden weight in his stomach. See them again? No, never! “You’re right!“ he sneered, “that’s a stupid idea!“
“It’s just...“ Harry seemed to be searching for words. “I realized, when you face your worst fears, they get smaller and smaller... Do you understand what I mean?“
Draco shook his head. He just wanted to forget, not to dive deeper into the memories.
“Like when you fight a boggart you’ve got to face your fear and turn it into something ridiculous...“
Draco snorted. “I can hardly imagine how I can make them ridiculous!“
“Well, they are in prison, you’re not!“ Harry replied.
“I doubt that I’ll be allowed to visit them,“ Draco answered evasively.
“I can arrange that,“ Harry said slyly, “the Ministry would do almost everything I ask of them.“
The lump in his stomach seemed to wander into his throat. “I can’t,“ Draco whispered.
“Well, think about it,“ Harry answered. Raising to his feet, he added: “Just tell me when you decided.“
“I can’t imagine why you want me to give you an allowance to visit Azkaban with Draco Malfoy,“ Kingsley said. “And why you want a chance to speak to Yaxley and Rowle alone, without any guards. Even though they don’t have any wands, they are still dangerous criminals.“
“I’m sure, Draco and I could defend ourselves if they try something,“ Harry replied. Only one week after suggesting to visit Azkaban, Draco had come to him and said he had decided to see THEM. And that he should arrange the meeting soon, or he’d probably back out.
“Why is it so important?“ Kingsley asked.
Harry sighed. “I promised Draco not to tell anyone. But he’s been... traumatized by something Yaxley and Rowle have down...“ Harry paused. “I think it might help Draco to get over it if he faces the culprits.“
“Or it might retraumatize him,“ Kingsley said. “Why so worried about him, he was a Death Eater as well?“
Harry felt anger rush into him. “He had no clue what he was getting himself into when he received the Dark Mark. And he was not the only one who did not foresee the consequences of his doing – Severus Snape, Regulus Black...“
“Al right,“ Kingsley said, raising a hand. The naming of some acknowledged heroes of the Wizarding World had sufficed. “I will arrange that you and Mr Malfoy will meet them. Under controlled security messarues.“
“Thank you, Shacklebolt“ Harry said, smiling. As an afterthought he added. “Oh, and may we also see Gregory Goyle? Before we meet Rowle and Yaxley?“
“Bloody Gryffindor bravery!“ Draco hissed, staring at the island he saw at the horizon. They were currently floating on a boat over grey waves to Azkaban.
“Wanna back out?“ Harry, who was standing next to him, leaning on the reiling, said.
“I wanted to back out from the moment on I agreed to your suggestion“ Draco replied.
Azkaban was a bleak island, grey rocks everywhere, a tower of black stone. Draco wondered how terribly depressing it must have been when the Dementors were still around.
They stepped off the boat onto the shore of the islands. One of the guards was expecting them, read the special permit Harry handed him, then led them inside.
They went through bleak corridors, up some stairs, and where led inside a Spartan room with a table, two chairs, and two long cages in which a person could stand, but hardly move. “The prisoners will be transfered into the cages soon,“ the guard said, looking at Harry and Draco curiously, then left them alone.
Draco felt himself break out in sweat. How should he go through this? Why had he agreed to Harry’s stupid idea anyway?
One of the cages rumpled, filled with white smoke... Draco nervously took a step back. But then Gregory Goyle appeared in the cage.
“Goyle!“ Draco called in surprise, took a few steps to the cage and grasped Goyle’s outstretched hand through the bars. Goyle grinned at him. “Malfoy?!“
Draco turned his head to look at Harry. “I thought you might want to see Goyle, too,“ Harry said smiling.
“Yeah, thanks,“ Draco said, then turned back to Goyle. The bulky young man looked a bit paler than usual, but except that not much had changed.
“How are you?“ Draco asked concernedly.
“Fine,“ Goyle said, “They give us enough food, and I have a bed to sleep in... Most of the other prisoners avoid me, because without a wand I am stronger than them...“
Draco sometimes wondered how simple life was for Goyle. A bed and food and people to bully was enough to make him content-
Then Goyle said: “I better avoid Rowle, though...“
Draco looked up, alarmed. “Why?“
Goyle shrugged. “A few days ago in the shower he suddenly pressed me against the wall, saying that he liked young meat...“
Draco felt his heartbeat accelerating in panic, but also anger. “And then?“ he asked hoarsely.
“I kicked his shin and ran away,“ Goyle answered. “I mean he’s even bigger than I, I wouldn’t risk a fight with him.... Draco, what did he mean when he said he likes young meat? Do you think he’s a cannibal?“
Draco couldn’t stop himself from laughing. “No, Goyle, he’s not a cannibal!“ Goyle looked at him worriedly. Should he tell him the truth, that Rowle was a rapist? Shatter the innocence? “Just keep away from him,“ Draco said earnestly, “make sure you’re not alone when you’re near him.“ After a second thought he added. “Write me if you need help. Maybe I can arrange something.“
Goyle looked at him with a surprised frown. “Thank you... I didn’t think you would so much as look at me. Now that I’m not useful to you anymore...“
Well, yeah, so his only friends judged him! But two years ago he would have acted like that. “I didn’t think I would, either,“ Draco said.
They talked a few more minutes until Goyle was retransferred to his cell.
Harry leaned forward in his chair when Thorfinn Rowle and Yaxley where transfered into the cages. Rowle was so big that his head almost hit the top of his cage. Rowle and Yaxley looked around in confusion first, then sneered when they saw Draco. He had taken a step back, paling.
“Draco Malfoy,“ Rowle said, smiling unpleasantly, “how nice of you to pay us a visit.“
“Did you miss us?“ Yaxley asked.
Harry would have liked to jump up and shout at them, but then they would only sneer at Draco for hiding behind a Gryffindor. He had to go through this alone.
Draco seemed to be out of words, just stared at them for a long moment. Harry was worried. Maybe this all had really been a stupid idea and he would just retraumatize Draco.
“Why don’t you come closer, Draco?“ Rowle said, leering.
Draco stared at him. “You’re pathetic!“ he whispered. Rowle’s leer faded. “Do you believe you can frighten me with your ridiculous threats? Who of us is it standing in a cage?“
Rowle and Yaxley now glared at Draco. “But you’ll always remember us, won’t you, Draco?“ Yaxley hissed. “I’ll certainly remember you... thinking of your sweet bum keeps me warm at night!“
What were they up to, Harry wondered. Trying to exert power by inflicting pain, even though they were imprisoned and Draco free?
But now Draco smiled at them, a sneering, arrogant twisting of the face that was not really a smile at all. “And I’m thinking of you rotting in Azkaban... How does it feel, being condemned to a life-sentence? And no Dark Lord will free you this time!“ His smile widened: “While I’m free to live my life like I want to.“
“Yeah, and you even have the right connections,“ Rowle hissed, nodding at Harry. “Scum! Making allies with the Dark Lord’s murderer! Did you raise your arse for Potter like you did for us?“
Draco’s hand reached for his wand. Harry raised to stop him – they were asked only to use wands in self-defence – but Draco let go of it the next moment. “So, you were loyal to the Dark Lord? Loyal to someone who’d drop you like hot coals the moment you stop being useful for him?“
“You were just not strong enough...“ Yaxley said, but Draco interrupted:
“No, I wasn’t stupid enough! I was not stupid enough to stay enthralled by the charmes of some lunatic psychopath! I wasn’t stupid enough to stay loyal to the end to someone who would without a second thought sacrifice ANY of us! Even those in his favour like Snape!“
“Snape?“ Rowle said, “no matter what they say, I’m sure he killed Snape because he knew of his betrayal...“
“He did not,“ Draco hissed, “he thought him to be on his side until the end.“ After a pause he slowly drew his wand, pointing it at Rowle. Harry took a step closer, hoping that Draco was just using it as a menace. “If you as much as put a finger on Gregory Goyle, I make personally sure that someone poisons your food. With a poison that leads to a slow, painful death...“
“You...“ Rowle spattered, “how will you...?“
“I have connections, and I have money,“ Draco said coldly, then glared at Yaxley, “same for you, Yaxley!“ With a haughty look on his face, he turned around. “Let’s go, Harry. I can’t see that scum any longer!“
Draco kept a stern face when he left the tower with Harry following. Harry was talking with the guard about some organisational stuff, then they crossed the beach to reach the boat.
Draco felt... he didn’t know what. A mixture of relief, anger, disgust.
Confusion, fear, triumph. All of it at once.
Without looking back he climbed onto the boat, leaned over the reeling and threw up.
“Draco?“ he heard Harry’s insecure voice. “Are you al right?“
Draco straightened up and looked at Harry. “Just a bit confused...“ he stammered. The boat, magically enchanted to bring them back to the British shore, started moving. It was windy and cold so Draco went into the cabin.
It was a small wooden cabin with two cots and a cabinet; they would have to spent a few hours on board. Draco opened the cabinet; in it was a small bar. He poured himself a glass of brandy against the bad taste in his mouth. Harry entered the cabin soon afterwards. Draco offered him a glass which he accepted with a nod.
Draco sat down on his cot and took a sip from his brandy. He noticed wearily that Harry was watching him carefully.
“What?“ Draco hissed.
“How...“ Harry hesitated. “Was it ok?“
Draco took another sip. Had it been ok to see them again? To see how pathetic they really were? How they still clung to their faith in Voldemort? It had been... revealing, in a way.
Yet why felt he that he could barely control his shivering, why was there such a huge lump in his throat? Harry sat down next to him, carefully putting a hand on his shoulder. Draco shuddered. Tears were welling up inside him, wanting to break free. But he couldn’t cry before Harry, could he?
“Let go,“ Harry whispered. Draco started crying.
Harry had been acting on impulse when he told Draco to let go. Draco started crying then, in deep sobs. Knees drawn to his chest, he sat hunched on the cot. Harry moved closer, carefully putting arm around Draco’s shoulder. Draco let it happen, even snuggled up and rested his head on Harry’s shoulder. Harry didn’t really know what to do. There had been few times in his life when he had cried, mostly when someone had died. How should he console Draco? But then, it probably was best just to let him cry.
Hary hugged him close until his sobs subsided. Then Draco slowly straightened up, gazing at Harry with tearstained cheeks and shining gray eyes. How came he had never noticed how beautiful Draco’s eyes were?
Then suddenly Draco’s lips met his. Harry thought he should better withdraw, instead he opened his mouth and moved his tongue into Draco’s. Draco started opening Harry’s robes. Harry slipped out of them as soon as they were open, then started peeling Draco off his robes as well.
His skin was smooth and pale, his body slender yet athlethic.
Just as he remembered. Harry closed his eyes and tried to forget the memories of another mind.
Draco wondered what had gotten into him, to seduce Harry. But then he was curious. How would it be? Would he be able to get through with it? He hadn’t had any sex since...
Draco moved his fingers over the smooth skin of Harry’s chest. Harry was slim, but Quidditch had refined his muscles.
Leaning back, Draco watched as Harry took off his glasses, then used a spell to broaden the cot they were lying on. Harry moved closer then, nibbling Draco’s neck. Draco closed his eyes, concentrating on the sensations of Harry’s lips on his skin, his hands roaming his body. Harry was all gentle to him... With a bitter taste in his mouth Draco forced back the memories of Bellatrix’s mocking gentleness. This was all different, and she was rotting in hell.
Draco rolled over to lie on Harry, licking a trail down his chest. Yes, being the active part was much more comfortable. Draco lapped the sensitive skin of Harry’s abdomen, listening with joy to his gasps of arousal.
Deeper he moved, to his groin. The smell of arousal slightly frightened him off. Draco tentatively licked along Harry’s shaft, but decided he better take it into his hand. Moving his fingers up and down Harry’s cock, he leaned on his elbow and watched with interest Harry’s rapt face, the twisting of his musles. Finally Harry’s whole body grew rigid and he came, spurting out his semen across his chest.
Harry opened his eyes. He had just come in Draco Malfoy’s hand. If someone had told him that three years ago... Looking at Draco, he saw that the Slytherin was still hard. Harry shifted his weight and pushed Draco down on the pillow.
Was there a small amount of fright in Draco’s grey eyes? But now he smiled reassuringly. Harry gently stroked Draco’s sides then moved to kneel between Draco’s legs. Slowly he took his cock into his mouth, sucking slightly. Harry swirled his tongue around the shaft, enjoying the small gasps Draco uttered. Lovingly he took care of Draco’s erection, in turns sucking and licking, until he finally came with a small scream.
Harry sat up, looking at Draco. His face was flushed and he was smiling slightly. Content with what he saw, Harry lay down beside him, putting an arm around Draco.
Harry must have dozen off. He woke up when the alarmclock told them that they would reach the British Shore within half an hour.
Draco was still lying next to him, snuggling up to him. Harry felt strangely protective about the Slytherin. But then he remembered why he should better not have slept with him.
“Ginny!“ Harry said.
Draco raised onto his elbow, gazing at him. “No need to tell her.“
“But...“ Harry stammered. Was it right not to tell Ginny that he had been unfaithful? “I shouldn’t lie to her.“
Draco shrugged. “It’s not a lie as long as she does not ask you whether you slept with another.“
So much about Slytherin morals.
Draco slowly rose, then started taking on his clothes. Then he gazed at him, thoughtfully. “Thanks,“ Draco said, “for everything.“
Harry nodded earnestly. “Thank you for letting me take care of you.“
Draco blinked, obviously not understanding.
They didn’t talk much until they reached the shore. Both knew instinctively, it had just been this one time. They would return to their normal lives, each of them, maybe they’d be friends, but lovers? No.
It was something else than love they shared.
18 years later
“What if the Sorting Hat puts me into Gryffindor?“ Scorpius asked worriedly, as Draco and his wife Astoria brought him to the Hogwarts express.
“Your grandfather Lucius would probably get a fit,“ Draco said evenly. Scorpius still looked worried, so Draco added: “but your mum and I wouldn’t mind.“
Astoria slightly frowned but didn’t say anything. Of course she would mind...
Draco looked up. “Potter again,“ he said, smirking. A few yards away he could see Harry Potter and his family, along with Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley and children. Draco curtly nodded at them. They returned the silent greeting.
Right after their graduation, Draco had seen Harry quite often, as they had visited each other regularly. But the visits had become less and less frequent, so that the last couple of years they had only met by coincidence on public events.
Draco said goodbye to his son and watched the train drive away. Then he turned around, walking towards Harry. But before he could come near, Harry was surrounded by a cloud of admirers.
Draco halted in his step, wanting to walk back to his wife, but then Harry looked in his direction, green eyes shining with joy: “Draco!“ he called, then pushed through the crowd towards him.
Draco smiled and grasped hands with Harry. “Hello Harry,“ he said, “long time no see.“
Harry grinned at him: “Would you and your wife like to come to the Leaky Cauldron with us? Ron and Hermione are coming, too...“
“Sure, why not,“ Draco said, beckoning to Astoria to come along. Astoria looked slightly surprised, but then followed when Draco and the Gryffindors left the train station.
Harry leaned back in his chair, smiling happily. Hugo and Lily Luna were playing peacefully on the floor, while Harry and his friends were talking about old times. Even Astoria was politely engaging into the conversation, though, Harry thought, Draco’s wife always was a bit stiff.
“... and do you remember Neville’s boggart, in year three?“ Ron said laughing.
Draco grinned. “I have to admit, that was funny, even though Snape always was my favourite teacher.“
Ron drew a face: “You only liked him because you were teacher’s pet.“
Astoria smiled. “I always regretted not having seen Longbottom’s boggart.“
Astoria was two years younger, she had not been in class with them.
Hermione, Ron and Ginny started talking about Lupin now, what a genius of a teacher he had been. Harry leaned forward to Draco. “I need a bit of fresh air.“ he said. “Want to go for a walk with me?“
“Sure,“ Draco said and they both left the pub.
Harry and Draco walked down Diagon Alley, at first engaging in small talk. Then Harry cast a Muffliato, so that no one heard their conversation.
“How about your nightmares?“ he asked directly.
Draco shrugged. “I hardly have them anymore. Maybe three or four times a year.“
Harry breathed out in relief. “Good. So you’re back to normal?“
“What’s normal?“ Draco asked. “I’m quite content with my life, if that’s what you mean.“
Harry smiled inwardly. Draco was now leading the Department for the Resocialisation of Criminals in the Ministry of Magic. Probably not a normal job, and not one of the prestigious ones Lucius would have prefered.
“And how about your nightmares?“ Draco asked.
“I sometimes dream of the war,“ Harry answered. “Once or twice a year. But I’m happy.“