“I’m one of the worst drivers I’ve ever seen. And I just want you all to know that if you’re ever on the highway behind me, uh… I hear you honking, and I also don’t want me to be doing what I’m doing.”
“Fancy meeting you here.” Harry watched amusedly as Malfoy whirled around in surprise and almost dropped his champagne flute.
“Potter.” He sounded breathless, caught off guard. “I thought you were in Egypt on some mission.”
Harry cocked his head to one side and gave Malfoy a quizzical glance.
“I see you’ve been keeping tabs on me.”
“That’s not-” Malfoy’s cheeks turned rosy as he quickly looked away. “Your name is always all over the paper.”
“This was a secret mission,” Harry replied, trying not to snicker.
“Yeah, well… It’s- it’s hard to escape you. People talk about you everywhere. Everywhere!”
“Sure,” Harry said, taking a sip of champagne.
“Auror Potter! Auror Potter!” A small, middle-aged man behind Malfoy began waving frantically at Harry, almost jumping up and down in his excitement.
“Oh no,” Harry muttered. Malfoy took a look over his shoulder and rolled his eyes.
“Auror Potter! We didn’t expect you to be back so soon,” the middle-aged man said, clasping one of Harry’s hands and shaking it vigorously.
“Mister Franklin,” Harry said, barely able to hide his annoyance.
“You were on a mission I presume? Was it undercover? Did it go well?”
Harry sighed and briefly closed his eyes.
“Mister Franklin, a gala is hardly the place for an interview, is it?”
Mister Franklin chuckled and clasped Harry’s hand even tighter.
“You know how it is with us reporters, we never rest.”
“Oh yes, I know,” Harry said. “However, I am currently unavailable for a statement.”
“But Auror Potter-”
“If you will excuse me, Mister Franklin,” Harry interrupted him, freeing his hand from the other man’s grip and placing it on Malfoy’s back. “I have important business to attend to.”
He ignored the incredulous looks Mister Franklin and Malfoy were giving him and pushed through the crowd. Harry noticed how Malfoy’s body twitched under his touch. It made Harry’s stomach flip. He hadn’t planned to be so bold but escaping a reporter from the Daily Prophet always took priority.
He hoped Mister Franklin wasn’t following them. But even if he left them alone, almost every other person in the room was sure to assault Harry sooner or later. But he couldn’t leave yet. He had promised Kingsley he’d stay at least two hours. And now, after bumping into Malfoy, he had another reason to stay.
When Harry spotted the double doors leading to one of the balconies, he let out a sigh of relief. That could work. He gently pushed Malfoy outside, who was completely flustered at this point.
“What do you think you’re doing?” he snapped, slapping Harry’s hand away and smoothing down his robes.
“What? I really didn’t want to talk to that reporter,” Harry said shrugging.
“But why did you drag me along with you?” Malfoy studied him suspiciously and Harry noticed how he was clutching his champagne flute.
“I wanted to keep talking to you,” Harry said, surprised Malfoy had to ask.
“And what gave you the impression I wanted to keep talking to you?”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Harry said, knitting his eyebrows together. “Feel free to go. It wasn’t my intention to bring you out here against your will.”
Malfoy narrowed his eyes. After a moment, he turned and walked to the edge of the balcony, resting his elbows against the railing.
It took Harry a moment to realise Malfoy wasn’t leaving after all. He was waiting for Harry to join him. Harry made sure the goofy smile had somewhat vanished before he stepped up beside Malfoy, mimicking his pose, and looked out to the garden below.
“It’s a little bit like Romeo and Juliet, isn’t it?” Harry said, relishing the sudden quietness around them.
Malfoy let out a snort and Harry was pretty sure he was rolling his eyes.
“For that you’d have to be standing down there, you knobhead.”
“I didn’t mean… I just meant the setting reminds me of-” He raised an eyebrow. “Are you saying you’d want me to be standing down there, serenading you?”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Malfoy muttered. But Harry had the impression his cheeks were getting pinker by the second. “Besides, Romeo didn’t serenade Juliet.”
“He didn’t? Huh. I thought he did,” Harry said frowning. “Well that’s good I guess. I’m rubbish at singing.”
There was a long silence after that and Harry wondered what Malfoy was thinking about. He heard him take a deep breath before he finally spoke again.
“I guess we are a bit like Romeo and Juliet.”
Harry looked at him in astonishment.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, our families weren’t exactly enemies but I have often wondered what would have happened if my father hadn’t- if it weren’t for my father…maybe it wouldn’t have been impossible. Or forbidden.”
“Forbidden,” Harry repeated dumbstruck. “You mean to say…”
“I’m not saying anything,” Malfoy said quickly, clamping his mouth shut.
“I think you just did,” Harry insisted, giving the other man a toothy grin. “I have to admit, when I saw you tonight I didn’t think it would lead up to this.”
Malfoy didn’t reply and just stared at the fountain in the middle of the garden below them.
“It’s not too late, you know,” Harry said quietly. “We could still… well, how about we start with dinner?”
“Dinner?” Malfoy sounded skeptical. When he gulped down the rest of his champagne, Harry couldn’t contain a snicker.
“Dinner.” He turned to Malfoy and bit his lip. “All you have to do is say yes.”
When Malfoy didn’t say anything, Harry tentatively moved his hand down the railing and placed it on the other man’s.
“Just say yes.”
Harry watched as the corner’s of Malfoy’s mouth twitched and his body gave a little shiver.
“It’s that easy?”
“Yes,” Harry said. Malfoy cleared his throat and kept his eyes on the garden while his lips stretched into a smile.
“Is that a yes?” Harry asked. Malfoy turned his head to look at him, his eyes shining brightly.
A character with an ambiguous skin tone and/ or racial identity is not good representation, even if you headcanon them as a POC. The likelihood is that the writer also perceives this character as white. Stating white skin tone/ race is often unknowingly perceived as unnecessary, due to our (society’s) gross, internalised bias that the ‘default’ is white.
Do not give credit to an author for allowing their characters to be headcanoned as POC. A headcanon is something you or a group of people believe, but not necessarily the author. If the author wanted true representation, they would have downright and concretely stated their character’s skin colour/ race in the texts of their work. By all means, headcanon race, but just be wary about giving credit where credit is not due. No one deserves brownie points for doing a sloppy job.
Stating a character is “tanned” or “olive-toned” is also not good representation. These are often considered ambiguous terms because, first and foremost, white people can be tanned. Olive can work, but there is dispute over whether it is similar to using tan, so it’s generally not recommended to use it.
Please just plainly state your characters’ races every time, even if they’re white. If your character has brown skin, or is black, or Caucasian, just say it. When you do this for POC characters, their race becomes visible, which is good for representation. When you do this for a white character, it helps to remove the awful implication that “white is the default” for both yourself and the reader.
My favorite things about this gif in no particular order: •The “I don’t know Emily, I’m about to give birth to a child DO I SEEM OKAY” shrug •Emily’s “to hell with coffee. mY WIFE IS IN LABOR” •Hotch’s “Please hold, JJ. I remember this with Haley: you have plenty of time, and I’m really gonna need this coffee.” •JJ’s ~relatable~ look of sheer annoyance with Garcia at the very beginning