A Very Belated Friendship
Prompt: There’s a blooming friendship between Narcissa Malfoy and the Chosen One
It’s the first Christmas after the war when the letters start coming. Harry is not helping Mrs. Weasley. He is also not in the company of his best friends. In fact, he is alone in No.12, Grimmauld Place, sipping his tea near the window. Kreacher is busily making dinner that can be considered suitable for one on a Christmas night. Suddenly a medium brown owl swoops inside his open window and lands in front of Harry. He looks at the owl confusedly, and the owl only stares at Harry with a tilted head. Whose owl are you? His consciousness asks because it’s not The Weasley’s owl nor it belongs to the ministry. It is too elegance to belong to the ministry, clearly the owner takes their time on grooming the bird to perfection. He is pulled from his reverie by a gentle nip on his finger. He smiles softly to the owl when it lets him caress its feather. He tries to ignore the pang in his heart by the sight. He missed Hedwig more than he can express right now. He pulls the letter from its feet to stir his mind away from sensitive topic. Like white snowy owl. And green light. And death. He assumes the owl will go back to its owner, but it only flies above Harry’s head twice and settles on his left shoulder, happily nipping his ear and hair gently. He only shakes his head and let the creature gets comfortable, focusing on the letter at hand. There’s no sender’s name, which makes Harry suspicious, and thus makes him cast a revealing spell towards the letter, but there’s no dark or lethal magic on it. Once he carefully opens the letter, he begins reading.
Dear Mr. Harry Potter,
Good evening, Mr. Potter. This letter might come as a surprise for you as I have also surprised myself on sending it, but it is not to be dwelled with too much thought as I have no intention to disturb you. Happy Christmas, Mr. Potter. I hope you celebrate this day in the warmth company of your loved ones.
P.S. Oh, the owl is a Christmas present from me, she loves staggering on people’s shoulder. Please take care of her.
It takes Harry a full ten minutes before he can understand the letter completely. Narcissa Malfoy was sending him a letter on Christmas, full with Christmas wishes and even went through the trouble of buying him an owl as a Christmas present. A very beautiful creature that is now staggering on Harry’s arm. He can never buy any pet, not since Hedwig, but the beauty in front of him has already captured his heart completely. Rory –sort for Aurora. He’ll call her Rory. After that he immediately writes back to Mrs. Malfoy, thanking her for the present, wishing her a very merry Christmas, and also sending his regards to Malfoy – Draco. After that he pulls out Hedwig’s old place and lets Rory to familiar herself on her new place. She immediately purrs and sleeps after eating the food Harry gives. He asks Kreacher to pack the diner and Apparate with it to the Burrow unannounced. That night he aborts his plan to stay away from the Weasley as it’s their first Christmas without Fred, and follow Mrs. Malfoy’s advice to be in the company of his loved ones.
After the first letter much to Harry’s surprise, there are more to come and in no time they have chatted back and forth with letters. At first it was a little bit awkward and formal as Harry didn’t know how to act with all the warm attention he’s getting from a Malfoy, but then he gathered his wits, asked Narcissa to call him Harry, and started reaching out first. Well, after two months, he dared to invite Narcissa to The Black House, there they chatted over dinner like old friends. When the calendar marked as April, Harry went to Malfoy Manor for the second time in his life. Narcissa was hell bent on redecorating the dark and gloomy Manor, and Harry decided to help. Surprisingly, Malfoy also helped along with a polite gesture toward Harry and a much warmer gesture toward his mother. He kept coming back for a full week until the tasks were done. In that week, Harry has seen things he’d never guess he’ll be seeing from Malfoy. Seriously, three days ago, Malfoy sneakily swiped a stripe of green paint on Narcissa’s left cheek and grinned widely as he admired his art before he pecked her green cheek, leaving the paint on his lips, which made Narcissa laughs.
“There. Perfect.” He had heard Malfoy said softly when Narcissa was laughing, and casted a very warm look toward her. Gone all the sharp edges of Malfoy, gone all the sneers and superior looks, and gone all the infuriating arrogant trademark of Draco Malfoy. What’s left was just a kid with mischievous act to bring a smile toward his mother face. What’s left was a kid who shoots his mother a warm look and calls her perfect when she can’t see. And in that moment Harry had nothing to hold on to as he felt his heart stuttered a little bit.
It’s in the middle of June when Harry suddenly wakes up sweating and screaming inside the Black House. It’s in the middle of June when Harry mindlessly goes to the Malfoy Manor past midnight by Floo. It’s in the middle of June when he staggers towards the Manor’s kitchen in the verge of having a panic attack. Draco was just sipping a mug of tea to erase the nightmare that had woken him prior, and the sudden intrusion surprised him.
“Po—” he almost scolds Potter for not having any manner, seriously it’s past midnight. Potter’s figure in his house is no longer a strange thing. Since his mother and Potter had redecorated the house on April, Potter’s appearance in the Manor had been frequent, not that he’s complaining though. He almost scolds Potter, but one look on his ashen face stops his tongue. Draco leaps to his feet and stops before he could reach for Potter with worry when he heard the heavy breathing from the other boy. “Potter, what’s wrong?” Draco’s voice is tinged with concern that he tries to mask. Potter is holding his body with a hand on the wall and the other on his knees, panting like he has been running a marathon, sweat clings onto his thin pajamas.
“Nightmare. I think I’m having a panic attack.” Draco sighs. Of course his mother was sleeping when needed, just his luck.
“Potter, I need you to listen to me. Will you listen to me?” Draco says calmly. Potter nods. “There’s a wall on your left, sit on the floor, your back to the wall.” Potter follows the instruction. “Now, breathe and count with me.” Draco starts counting in the same rhythm with Harry’s breathing pace. “Potter, I’m going to touch you now. Is that okay?” Potter nods again. Draco takes Potter’s hand and put his palm on his chest. “Breath with me.” They synchronize their breathing rhythm until Harry looks much calmer. “Are you okay?” Draco dares to ask.
“Yes… Thank you, Draco.” And for the first time in history, Draco gives him a genuine smile. He gets up to make another mug of tea, and cast a warming charm over his mug before sitting beside potter on the floor and giving Potter his tea. He hides another smile by sipping his mug, he’s Draco now.
“Any reason why you suddenly going here?” Draco starts. Harry only shakes his head. “A careless action in the spurt of the moment then. How Gryffindor of you, Potter.” Potter only laughs. “Wanna share nightmares?” Draco asks again, nonchalantly. Potter snorts in his mug, but decides to tell Draco about his nightmares. The night gets wasted with mugs of tea, shared nightmares, concealed smiles, and some occasional smirks and laughter. Harry ever imagine that he’ll witness this side of Draco –for Merlin’s sake, he’s Draco now – ever, but here they are, sharing nightmare and sipping tea on Draco’s kitchen floor in pajamas after midnight. And Godric helps him, because his heart once more stutters uncontrollably.
That morning, Narcissa has a special surprise as she sees his son asleep on the kitchen floor with his only arch-enemy, full clothed, both backs to the wall, and the head with jet black hair stays comfortably on the shoulder of the blond. She has never smiled wider because maybe it’s the start of something beautiful.
A salvation for one.
Redemption for the other.
A very belated friendship.
Maybe it could even bloom to be the truly long waited relationship.
With a mug of coffee in her hand, she faces the window, watching the world coming to life in the start of another day.
Smiling, she hums a gentle lullaby.