‘Malfoy’s up to something’
‘Ah, shit, not again’ Ron looked from his friend to his girlfriend, a desperate sigh escaping from his lips as he got up from the library table. Harry looked unfazed, his eyes still fixed on the blond who was sitting alone at a distant corner. ‘We need to do something…’
'I know, I’ll just go grab my cloak…’
'No, Harry.’ Harry stopped, finally turning around to look at his friends. Hermione had a strange expression on her face, a mixture of pity and amusement. Ron, however, looked just like that time during second year when they had to face Aragog. What caught Harry’s attention, though, was the way Hermione had spoken, almost like she expected him to hex Malfoy right then and there. 'This needs to stop, really. We know it’s been hard for you…’
Harry winced, he hated when she treated him like a child. And, for fuck’s sake, he was sure Malfoy was up to something because he was sitting alone, scribbling something Harry was sure wasn’t related to the potions book he had opened in front of him. And he had that look on his face, like, like… he was up to something.
'Wait- what are you talking about?’
'Your obsession’ Ron whispered again, refusing to look Harry in the eye.
'I’m not obsessed!’ A bunch of students glowered at him and Madam Pince sent the three of them a warning look from where she stood. Harry felt his cheeks heat up immediately and he had to do his best not to turn around and see if that had caught Malfoy’s attention.
Hermione was still staring at him like he was a lost puppy.
'Why would you think he’s up to something?’ she sounded like a psychiatrist.
'Just look at him! He’s alone, for fuck’s sake, he’s never alone. And, and he’s obviously not studying. I bet he’s scheming something from the way he’s staring at that paper’ Harry turned his head slowly to catch a glimpse of Malfoy and had to turn around quickly since the blond seemed to have noticed them and decided to stare back.
Harry felt his cheeks heat up again for some reason. He saw from the corner os his eyes the Slytherin walking through the door, throwing something at the closest trash bin on his way out. That was it, that was Harry’s chance.
'Harry- wait, where’re you going?’ Hermione looked worried now, but she and Ron didn’t hesitate to follow him. Harry walked straight to the bin and grabbed the tiny ball of parchment before gesturing the other two to follow him.
They walked out of the library and turned an empty corner where Harry started to open the ball, flattening the paper as best as he could.
Wait-what… holy shit.
'What is it- Harry… Are you blushing?’
Ron snatched the paper from Harry’s hands before Harry could react. He stared down at the parchment to see a thousand different drawings moving, amazing doodles that covered the whole page. Drawings of Harry.
'Well, I knew I was right’ Hermione’s voice startled them both. The girl sighed and gave Harry a little smile before grabbing the paper from Ron’s hands to take a closer look. Harry felt his cheeks heat up even more and a sudden urge to snatch the piece back took hold of him. His hand stopped mid air when Hermione spoke. 'He’s really good, isn’t he?’ She was still smiling.
'What? This- this is Malfoy we’re talking about! And- fuck, Harry, I don’t even know what to say…’
Ron looked from the piece of parchement in Hermione’s hand to Harry’s face, which was still beet red.
'Isn’t it obvious?’ Hermione sent Ron one of those looks, the ones they were both so used to. She looked at Harry expectantly but Harry just stood there, speechless. So Malfoy was drawing him, not scheming an evil plan, nor sulking, nor writing all the names he’d put on his black list. He was doodling nice, actually beautiful, drawings. Of Harry. Which meant the boy had probably spent a hell lot of time looking at him, at his hair, his neck, his shoulders. His eyes, his smile. Because he was smiling in one of them, actually laughing.
'It means he has a crush on Harry’ Hermione rolled her eyes like she hadn’t just said the most absurd thing.
Ron coughed and burst out laughing before realising that the girl wasn’t joking. He froze in place, turned his head slowly towards her, his mouth gaping.
'Can you hear yourself?’ he was whispering again, probably without realising it. 'Malfoy is a boy. Harry’s enemy. He hates Harry’ he spoke punctuating every word, his blue eyes blown wide.
'Oh, Ronald, are you blind? Are you going to tell me Harry’s obsession is hate?’
'I don’t have an obsession!’ Harry tried to yell but his voice faltered. None of them seemed to notice.
'I- I don’t know what it is! I wouldn’t say 'hate’ but… Oh, come on, Hermione, are you saying you actually think-’
'Just think about it for a second! I’m sure if Harry knew how to draw he’d probably be doing the same thing’
'I can draw- wait… what- I DON’T HAVE A CRUSH ON MALFOY!
'Holy. Shit’ Ron was staring at something above Harry’s head, his eyes blown wide like he’d just understood some complex potions theory. 'That… explains a lot’.
'NO IT DOESN’T! Harry snatched the paper from Hermione’s hand and stuffed it deeply in his pocket. That was absurd, that was… ridiculous! So maybe Malfoy wasn’t up to something, okay, he was wrong, but that- that didn’t mean…
'Harry’ Hermione sighed, pulling him into a hug. He tried to stay angry at her, thought about pushing her away but he couldn’t. He knew she wouldn’t say anything to make him feel bad, even though he still couldn’t believe both his friends would say something like that. Fuck, Malfoy? How could he have a crush on Malfoy? He hated him, the slytherin was a prick, an arrogant bastard…
He- he didn’t actually hate him. But he didn’t have a crush on him either!
Hermione pulled away. 'So you don’t have a crush on him. Okay, well, now that we know he’s not up to anything we can just drop it, right? I need to finish my transfiguration essay and you both need to finish your potions essays so we better go back in there’ She sent Ron a hard look before turning on her heels and marching to the library. Ron tried to follow her but Harry grabbed his arm, holding him in place.
'What the fuck?’ Harry whispered so Hermione wouldn’t hear him.
'Do you actually think I have a crush on- on Malfoy?’
Ron blushed and looked away. 'Mate, let’s just leave it, okay? We better get going-’
Harry strengthened his grip, bringing back Ron’s attention.
'I don’t have a crush on him. I don’t’
Ron nodded and gave him an unconvincing smile 'Whatever you say, Harry. As long as you stop talking about him’.
Except Harry didn’t. Harry couldn’t.
The next day Ron sat across from Harry at breakfast just to find his friend constantly searching the table at the opposite wall from them. Harry wouldn’t say a thing, wouldn’t pay proper attention to their conversation. Until he found what he was looking for and Ron had to watch as Harry’s cheeks were painted in pink, darker by the second.
The next day Hermione observed as Harry did the same thing, smiling widely - even though Ron had no idea why she’d do that - when Harry asked which classes Gryffindor had with Slytherin since now they were eighth years and their schedule had changed quite a lot.
And then they had herbology on thursday morning and Ron almost punched Harry when Professor Sprout took points from them because Harry 'couldn’t keep his eyes on his own table’.
Inside their dorms Harry would always have the map open in front of him, while studying, while talking to his roomates, even while changing, for Merlin’s sake. His finger would follow that small dot Ron never had to check to know who it was.
The worst part was that Malfoy was basically doing the same bloody thing.
Instead of his typical sneer the slytherin would blush and turn his gaze away everytime he caught Harry looking at him, which had been a lot. The rare times Harry wasn’t looking, and Ron unfortunately was, Malfoy would scribble on some random piece of parchment while casting glances at Harry. Some of them he would fold and hide in the middle of his notes. The other ones he would throw away just so Harry could fish them out of the trash bin. Harry thought Ron didn’t know he was doing that and, being his loyal friend, the ginger preferred to spare the other from the humiliation so he didn’t tell him he knew.
When monday rolled around Ron snapped.
'I can’t, that’s it, that’s enough’ Ron’s grip on his feather was so strong it broke in half, startling Hermione who was focused on her own potion. She opened her mouth to ask what was wrong when her eyes turned to Harry and consequently to Harry’s table where she could see small pieces of parchment with tiny doodles glued to the margins of Harry’s notes. She let out a giggle and Ron grunted, throwing his things inside his bag.
'Where are you going?’ Hermione stopped immediately when Ron pushed his chair to get up. He stopped before doing so and bent forward so he was face to face with the girl.
'Look at them, just look. They’re not even trying to hide anymore, they just keep staring at each other like- like, you know what I mean. And Harry just sighed, shit, if i see anymore of this I’m gonna puke’
Harry, apparently, wasn’t even listening, his eyes fixed on Malfoy who kept darting glances at him while scribbling fast. Harry knew he was drawing him and that alone was sending shivers down his spine. The boy decided not to think about that, not to think about anything actually because he knew that was fucked up, he should be creeped out after all. But he wasn’t, he was… happy? And maybe Malfoy would throw that one away and Harry would be able to keep it…
'He’s not even listening! Who are you and what did you do to our friend?!’ Harry turned his head away from those grey eyes to face a red face full of freckles in front of him. Ron seemed pissed, though Harry didn’t quite know why since his friend’s potion seemed to have turned out okay from what Harry could see.
'What happened?’ He looked at Hermione, who was trying really hard to hold her giggles when her face drained of color and her mouth dropped open. The next second long fingers were digging in Harry’s shoulder, turning him around forcefully. And there was Malfoy, right there staring at him with cold eyes. His mouth was a line, barely visible, until he opened it to speak and Harry saw how red his lips were contrasting with his pale skin.
‘Potter’ He yanked one of the pieces of parchment from Harry’s- shit shit shit, they were everywhere, the doodles, the ones that were supposed to be where Malfoy had put them, not on Harry’s things. Harry darted his eyes up, his mouth opening and closing while he tried desperately to think of something to use as an excuse but nothing came to his mind. ‘We need to talk. I’ll wait for you outside’. They were dismissed the next minute and neither Ron nor Hermione said a thing when Harry got up and left alone.
Fuck, fucking shit. He was an idiot, what would Malfoy think now? That he was stalking him, which he obviously wasn’t. It was just, the drawings… they were, er, nice. Right, he could say that-
‘How many?’ Harry stopped shortly where he was when he heard that voice from behind him. He turned around to meet Malfoy leaning against a wall, next to the huge hallway windows. His hair was like silk, each strand curling at the ends, completely different from the gelled neat style Harry was used to seeing. His expression was hard, almost hurt, and something weighed uncomfortably at the bottom of Harry’s stomach.
‘Five’ Harry heard his voice though it didn’t sound like his own at all. ‘I’m sorry-‘
‘I couldn’t sleep’ Harry closed his mouth, Draco turned his eyes away. ‘After the war ended, I couldn’t sleep. I would stay awake for hours just… thinking. And the faces of-‘ The boy gulped making Harry shiver. He knew, he knew exactly what Malfoy was talking about because he saw the same faces every night. All of them now populated his dreams with his parents, Sirius, Dumbledore.
Draco closed his eyes before continuing. ‘So I needed to get them out. I like drawing, you see’ He opened them and Harry felt his whole body warm with the instensity of the other’s gaze. ‘But yours- your face wouldn’t leave me alone’
‘So you started drawing me’ Harry took a step closer.
‘Yes. And it helped at first. But I came back- we came back’ He looked at the ceiling, closed his eyes again, inhaled. Harry took another step closer.
'You’re really good at it. They’re so… realistic’ Another step. If Harry reached out he could touch Malfoy’s hair.
Malfoy looked at him, grey piercing through green. 'You were everywhere’ His voice came out a whisper but his eyes were screaming. 'The papers, those pictures. You- you looked exhausted’
Harry let a sad smile form on his lips. He remembered the thousands of interviews, flashes of cameras, people screaming his name. He remembered the trials and he remembered Draco Malfoy’s face. Exhausted.
Draco was a victim of the war just like him.
'I couldn’t sleep’ Harry said, taking another step towards Draco, the last one.
'I wanted to reach you, but everyone kept saying I was-’
Draco’s eyes were wide, shining. Harry let his fingers play with his, intertwine, brush against each other. 'I guess I’ve been all along’ The blond whispered, lacing his fingers with Harry’s.
As classes ended, the corridors became more crowded by the minute. Noise, whispers, gasps of shock reached Harry’s ears but all he could think about was why had he waited so long to feel Malfoy’s lips moving against his own, how nice the Slytherin’s hands felt placed on his waist. And knowing that he didn’t care about anyone’s opinion was almost as good as knowing Draco didn’t either.