This little Drarry one-shot is written for the ever-wonderful, ever-amazing @soupy-george!! Happy birthday, love, Merry Christmas, and I do hope you get to enjoy some well deserved time off!! <3
(Also, also, a massive big thanks goes out to @ash-castle and @chiseplushie for alphaing in a pinch. My friends are fantastic! Thank you so!)
The ceiling was snowing.
Laid out, flat on his back, on the Gryffindor house table in the Great Hall, Harry peered up at the enchanted sky, trying to pinpoint the exact moment the snowflakes stopped falling and disappeared from existence. It was 2:30 am on Christmas day, and he knew he should be in bed. Draco had planned their day out to the very minute, and he wouldn’t be happy if Harry put them behind schedule because he’d slept in. He had, in fact, already gone to bed a couple of hours before, but had gotten up again when sleep just wouldn’t come.
It always seemed to do that at this time of the year.
Harry wasn’t entirely sure why he was choosing to spend his hours of insomnia in the Hogwarts Great Hall. He’d always been fascinated by the enchanted ceiling – enchanted by it, you could say. The room felt even larger when it was empty, and with the lights glowing so very softly on the Christmas trees dotted at irregular intervals around the room, the air felt warm and gentle, giving the illusion of melting the snow that fell high above. The room made him feel accepted, as did the entire school, which had been a very rare event when he was a child.
Hogwarts had always been home to Harry. Now he… well, he guessed he just needed some of the magic the memories of his school years brought with them.
His father had probably laid here. Harry’s lips twitched at the thought, a sigh following the amusement like gloomy, rain-filled stormclouds. That was what his heart felt like at the moment. Heavy with not-quite-sorrow, but something awfully similar, and he stared up at the snowy ceiling, his imagination providing him with scenario after scenario of the Marauders during their years in school. Holidays had to have been a joy for them, hadn’t they?
Merlin, he wished he could have seen some of the pranks they’d pulled…
He’d never really thought about his parents at Christmas when he was at Hogwarts. He’d been too entranced by actually celebrating Christmas to give too much time to the family he’d lost as a baby. He had thought about them, of course, in the back of his mind – especially during first year – but the excitement of presents, and Christmas ham, and treacle tart had outweighed the constantness of missing his parents. That had changed after he’d left school, however, and now this sadness was a yearly tradition. One he didn’t much enjoy.
Thoughts of Remus and Sirius in their dorm, opening presents; thoughts of James and Lily married and decorating a tree, full of hope for the future. The war had shown him the meaning of loss, and seeing the anticipation of the students’ faces as Christmas approached made him crave what he should have had with an absurdly wicked keenness.
Why couldn’t that have been him?
Why did fate have to hand him such a raw deal?
“You’re being ridiculous.”
Craning his head back at the sound of a very familiar drawl, Harry watched his husband stroll down between the tables, heading in his direction. His dressing gown a pure silk, its colour somewhere between blue, green, and grey over a mint-green outfit he’d never admit to being pyjamas, Draco Malfoy looked like he should’ve been strolling the halls of some posh, upper class manor – like the one he’d grown up in – instead of an old stone castle. His pale blond hair was soft and clean, falling into his face in a way that defied the fact that he’d been dead to the world when Harry had gotten out of bed not long before, and his expression was still; calm.
Until you looked into his eyes.
Feeling said eyes focus fully on his face with unnerving intensity, Harry turned back to the snow falling from the ceiling. He didn’t look away when a shoulder pressed against his, nudging him over until there was enough room on the table for two. His breath left him in a rush at the feeling of an ankle hooking around his, a single, soft slipper brushing against the sole of his bare foot. His eyes closed.
The fucking twat always, always, knew how to get to him.
“Missing my family at Christmas is ridiculous?” he asked the man next to him quietly, voice sounding shockingly loud in the vast room. The snow should’ve had a muffling effect. Then again, it wasn’t real snow, so…
Warm fingers laced with his.
“No,” Draco said, the drawl gone now; his camouflage gone. He only ever did that with Harry, lost the mask that he wore constantly in society. It was something that Harry cherished. “Of course not. But mourning a life that never happened is.”
Harry sighed again and opened his eyes, his head turning until he was looking directly at the man he’d been married to for four years. The man who’d willingly moved to Hogsmeade when Harry had become the DADA professor at a school that, in later years, hadn’t held many happy memories for someone whose only choice was to become a Death Eater while still very much a boy. Draco didn’t see Hogwarts the way Harry did. But he’d still moved back into the area, and he still frequented the school when necessary – like now – because it was where Harry was happiest.
Because coming back to his home meant the world to the man Draco loved.
With that thought running through his head, Harry turned completely and shuffled over until he was lined up right against Draco’s side. Their ankles still twined together, he pressed his face into his husband’s chest and brought their intertwined hands up until they were clasped over his heart.
Draco didn’t say anything at Harry’s obvious need for comfort. Instead, all he did was wrap his arm around the other man’s waist and tug him closer.
“Your mother and father wouldn’t want you maudlin at Christmas, you know,” he murmured, still watching the snow, idly trailing his fingers over Harry’s pyjama-clad hip in a gentle caress Harry wasn’t sure he was aware of making. Huffing softly into the cool silk of Draco’s robe and pressing himself tighter, he ignored his husband’s rather indignant splutter when his forever-unruly hair invaded Draco’s mouth.
“I know. Can’t seem to help it.”
Draco spat out the last of his hair and hummed quietly. “Not sleeping isn’t helping. Sleep is more important than watching fake snow at three in the morning.”
Warmth lighting his chest, Harry chuckled and dipped his head to brush his lips over the fine, pale knuckles of the hand holding his. “You’re beginning to sound more and more like Hermione every day.”
He sensed more than saw the sharply arched brow. “Good grief, Potter, what a thing to say. And here I thought you liked me.”
“I do. I love you.” Then, a sigh. “Can’t sleep. Wish I could.”
Draco’s pause was as heavy as the flurry of the snowstorm mirrored in the enchantments blanketing the ceiling. His hand wrapped around Harry’s hip, pressing hard into cotton, but his voice was no different than normal when he spoke next.
Still quiet. Still composed.
Ever Harry’s anchor.
“Then you will come to me,” he said, tone so steady it was almost conversational. “I don’t know why I even have to say this. When you can’t sleep, when you can’t stop thinking, stop missing what never was, you will come to me. That is what I am here for.”
He turned then, until his front was to Harry’s front, sharp grey eyes locked on Harry’s. “You will not have the chance to miss a family that is right here. Understood?”
The words, the truth behind them, spoken by the man that he adored with every fibre of his being, rang like a bell through Harry’s blood. His body curled, heart racing, and Draco let go of his hand to wrap both arms around him, fingers intertwining at his back. How long they stayed like that, Harry wasn’t sure. All he knew was that he felt safe.
“Happy Christmas, Draco,” he mumbled, eyes closed and hands clutching green/blue/grey silk. Draco’s body shifted slightly, his cheek coming to rest on top of Harry’s head.