Outside, people talked. Whispered. They all knew someone was there.
There, with Harry Potter.
Draco wished they knew it was him. How he’d made Harry shiver beneath him, how Harry had pressed him against the mattress. He wanted all of them to hear his name coming out in between gasps for air from their saviors’ mouth. And the way Harry’s name became his prayer the night before.
Draco wanted Harry’s kisses tattooed on his skin and the bruises to burn everyone elses. A throbbing reminder of how he’d felt when Harry pushed in.
But at the same time, Draco didn’t want anyone to know. That Harry had a sweet spot in his inner thighs and when Draco kissed him there the boy melted. That Harry didn’t know how to go slow and Draco had to pin his arms down and take control just so Harry could breath in relief. Or that Harry kissed so deeply, gave himself away so fully that Draco feared someone else would take him away from him.
Jealousy coiled in Draco’s stomach just from the thought of someone else seeing Harry right that moment, on top of him, sleeping peacefully and completely vulnerable.
When Harry’s lips touched his chest some time later, a sleepy smile forming on his lips, Draco wasn’t ready to meet those eyes yet.
It was out of his control. He had to reach out and cup Harry’s face like that, bring their lips together slowly, kiss him like nothing else mattered.
‘Morning’ his voice came out weakly once they parted. They stayed there, close enough for Harry to give Draco small kisses one after the other without even having to lean closer. The whispers filling the room were more intense now, right behind Harry’s thick bed curtains.
Guessing the Muffliato they’d cast the night before had probably worned out, Draco eyed Harry hoping the other would understand the question in his eyes. Harry smiled again and whispered in Draco’s right ear, so quietly he knew no one else would be able to hear his words but him.
'We don’t owe them anything’
It hit Draco what it meant for them. What it meant for Harry Potter to love Draco Malfoy and choose not to care if the world approved it or not. Harry gave him that wide, infuriating smile that could brighten the whole room before straddling Draco’s hips. The Gryffindor flame was there before he could process what he was doing.
You are lost, traveling the landscape of your dreams while you find your way home, so removed from your own path that it might as well not exist. While I know exactly where I am, and it is such a lonely place that I no longer know which of us is better off.
The Cambridge dictionary defines wilderness as ‘an area of land that has not been farmed or had towns and roads built on it, esp. because it is difficult to live in as a result of its extremely cold or hot weather or bad earth’. We have come to judge the earth by how hospitable it is or how it can serve us, and whatever is left over is deemed ‘bad earth’.. wilderness. Yet for many, we yearn for these places, these outcast lands. Our bodies hunt for those lonely reaches: the jagged toothed mountains, the darkest woods, the stark tundra.
I crave in nature what I resist in my mind. Struggles that are compounded by the tight quarters of my body are suddenly dislodged from my skull, cast out across the landscape, and diluted with terrible beauty. Reflected in the forbidding land, with its storms and its ruthlessness, the deserts of my mind are played out before me, made manifest and begging to show me how to traverse them.
It is not a cure; it is a mirror.
These places, the ones less traveled, less monetized, less touched by human hands, places reputed to be inhospitable, are perhaps most valuable to our spirit. They do not feed us, nor do they even welcome us; they simply show us that mountains can be scaled, and we can find water in our wastelands. Wilderness shows us that we were made to endure.