One night during 6th year, Harry couldn’t sleep and he got out of bed just after midnight to do what had become his daily routine, which is stalk Draco Malfoy while telling himself over and over again that “the git is up to something.”
So Harry finds him lurking in a dark empty corridor by himself. He gets there and sees Draco’s figure from a distance, but Draco keeps disappearing quickly. Harry becomes frustrated and then looks into the Marauder’s map and sees that now he’s gotten really close to him but he can’t find him. He turns his head in all directions and sees nothing.
As he’s looking around in suspense, Harry out of nowhere gets slammed against the wall and pinned by the chest. The startling movement causes him to drop the map and his wand with it. He looks over to see that Draco has got his left arm pressed on his chest while pointing his wand at him in his right hand. Harry freezes as he’s caught by surprise, feeling powerless by Draco’s grip and his terrifying glare. Draco comes closer to Harry’s face in a threatening way, making Harry’s legs go weak.
“What in Merlin’s name do you think you’re doing, Potter? Following me around in the middle of the night?” Draco snaps, not really showing how scared he is of why Harry is following him.
Harry is shaken up, but tries to collect himself. “J-just, you know…” he quickly retorts “trying to find out what you’re doing creeping around here in the middle of the night?”
Draco’s heart jumps now that Harry appears to be onto him, but he’s also furious and threatens to curse him.
“You haven’t the slightest idea of what I’m going through, Potter, who I’m dealing with. I don’t need the added pressure of dealing with you too.” His eyes are filled with anger.
“What do you mean ‘who you’re dealing with’? What’s going on, Malfoy?” Harry asks so curiously, narrowing his eyes at him.
“What’s going on is none of your bloody business.” Draco realizes that he rambled. “Stay out of this, Potter. I mean it.” His eyes are not only filled with anger, but something else Harry noticed… fear.
Harry can clearly see that beyond his flaming expression, Draco is actually scared of something, someone. He is scared out of his mind. Harry is struck by this realization.
“You’re in trouble, aren’t you?” Harry finds himself saying, almost with a concern in his voice.
But Draco refuses to admit anything. He’s not going to let Harry get to him. He covers by threatening him again.
“The only one in trouble here is you, Potter, since you always just love sticking that bloody nose of yours where it doesn’t belong. Is that why you’re really here? Is that what you really want? Because I can give you trouble, you know.” He presses his wand against Harry’s neck as if he’s about to curse him this time.
But Harry, to Draco’s confusion, doesn’t fight back.
“Go ahead,” Harry says almost so innocently, locking his eyes with him. “if that’s what you really want.”
Draco is taken by what Harry just said, how he looked at him, surrendering himself. Of course he can’t do it. Not only he doesn’t really have it in him, but he especially doesn’t have it in him to do it to Harry. He simply can’t for whatever reason he fails to understand. He may live to make his life difficult, but cursing him, possibly killing him, is something entirely different. And Harry somehow knew that. He just knew that Draco wouldn’t go that far with him despite how livid he seemed, which is why he doesn’t even attempt to fight back. It’s almost as if he let go of himself completely and put his fate entirely in Draco’s hands.
At that, Draco’s grip loosens. He seems to be lost in his own thoughts as he lowers his wand and just stares into Harry’s face, shaken and confused. There is a brief but a very intense silence that felt like a lifetime.
He suddenly let go of Harry completely, before turning and walking away. He starts running midway through, not wanting Harry to see that he’s probably getting emotional. Harry, however, immediately follows him, calling him and shouting his name.
It is at that moment where Harry is left completely perplexed, where for the first time he sees a very different side of Draco, and wonders if he started to maybe care for him? It’s where Draco is so desperate and so lonely and very much in need of someone, and that someone just might be his long-time sworn enemy.
Where things go from here, might just be the beginning of something both of them haven’t at all expected or thought was ever possible just moments earlier.