#couch #laughter #snitch

Prompts: @hedwig4evr (lucky number one! <3)
Author: @queenofthyme

Draco walked into the eighth year common room with his head downcast as always. He spoke to no-one. No-one spoke to him. 

He was making a beeline for his favourite armchair right by the fire - it was always empty, everyone knew it was his - when he heard it. Laughter. 

He knew exactly whose laughter and exactly where from. There was no need to look up. But as always, he did.

Harry Potter and his friends, Weasley and Granger, were in their usual spots on the widest, comfiest couch in the room, tucked into a corner by the dormitory stairs. They were all laughing, Potter the loudest of all, while taking turns to grab at the golden snitch zooming above their heads. 

Potter had beaten Draco in the Gryffindor vs Slytherin Quidditch match in the morning. Again. Draco had been training constantly - it’s not like he had much else to do, or anyone else to hang out with - and yet he had still been defeated. It was disheartening. He wondered whether he should just give up on Quidditch. Maybe on Hogwarts too. It’s not like anyone wanted him here.

He was still staring when Potter looked up, his eyes falling on Draco’s. Draco quickly turned his head - making it more obvious he’d been staring - and continued on towards his chair. It was no couch, but it would do.

“Malfoy!” Potter’s voice called out behind him. 

Draco hesitated before turning back. He didn’t want to look too eager. Potter probably just wanted to gloat about the match. 

But when he finally did turn to Potter, the git was already laughing again with his friends again, paying no mind to Draco. 

Draco stomped over, feeling very much like a dog called by his owner. He didn’t like it. He crossed his arms and stared down at the three Gryffindors. 

Potter stood up, the snitch following his movements. He held out a hand. Draco stared at it. 

“Good game, ” Potter said.

Weasley and Granger had stopped laughing. Everything was silent. Draco kept staring at Potter’s hand. It was shaking a little. 

Just when Potter looked like he was about to drop his hand, Draco shot out his own and caught it in a firm shake. Potter’s hand was clammy. 

Potter smiled, as broad as his face. “You flew brilliantly today. It made me nervous.”

“You always fly well,” Malfoy said in return. It came out sounding forced but he meant it. 

“Thanks.” Potter, unlike Draco, had no problem sounding genuine. 

They stood there silently for no longer than a beat but it seemed a very slow, awkward one. Draco nodded politely and moved to walk away. 

“Wait,” Potter called out, louder than required. 

Draco paused. “Yes?”

Another silence. Draco supposed the laughter would start up again as soon he left. His presence seemed to bring everything down. 

As there didn’t seem to any further words coming out of Potter’s mouth, Draco was left to stand there awkwardly. His eyes were drawn to the golden snitch fluttering by Potter’s ear. It was hardly moving now. He could easily reach out and take it. 

So he did. Or at least he tried. The snitch seemed to know he was coming and zoomed to the side at the last millisecond. Draco tried again, the snitch few away. Frustrated, he reached out with both hands, but only continue to grasp air. 

He heard Weasley snigger. His face reddened. He looked like an idiot now. His only saving grace was to actually catch the damn snitch. So he tried again. Nothing. 

Granger was soon laughing too and Draco grew angry. He didn’t like being made the fool. Especially not by the perfect golden trio. 

One last time, he told himself. But once again, his hands closed over nothing, the wings of the snitch just grazing his fingers, always out of reach. 

That’s when the sound hit him: Potter’s laughter. Except this time he was right here with him and not only that, Draco was causing it. And it didn’t sound cruel, or mocking. It didn’t sound like Potter was laughing at him at all. No, it was bubbly and bright and basically what Draco imagined sunshine to sound like. 

Draco dropped his gaze to take in Potter’s face. It really was a sight when he laughed - full and joyful and pure. Draco never wanted to look away. 

His anger had faded, almost as soon as Potter had started laughing, but now Draco’s face was red for another reason entirely. He needed to stop looking at Potter immediately. But he couldn’t. 

When Potter stopped laughing, he seemed to finally find his words from earlier. “You should sit with us.”

Draco blinked. Sit at Potter’s couch? With Granger and Weasley? Surely that’s not what he meant. 

Weasley seemed to have the same though because he blurted out, “What?”

Granger shushed him. 

Draco just stared at Potter. He had no idea how to respond to such a suggestion. He wanted to ask why but the words never came out. Potter seemed to understand regardless.

He leaned in to Draco, close enough that Draco could smell his shampoo, and whispered: “I think you need a laugh.”

Draco agreed.

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