Harry Potter can draw. It started when he was very small, still living in the cupboard under the stairs at the Dursley’s. He’d scavenge for broken bits of crayon or pencils Dudley has left about and he doodles tiny pictures on scrap pieces of paper around the house, snatching them up when Aunt Petunia has told him to throw them away.
As he gets older, but before Hogwarts, he doodles all over the margins of his papers in primary school. He gets in trouble for it all the time. When the school threatens to called his aunt and uncle it he doesn’t stop his incessant doodling, Harry stops drawing all together.
Until he gets to Hogwarts and realizes that his parents loved him so much, they wanted him to be so well cared for. They left him money. Harry sneaks into a shop and buys a sketch book before going to get his robes.
Harry draws, in secret. It’s the one thing he keeps secret from Ron and Hermione. He doesn’t mean to. It’s just that….well, he doesn’t think he’s any good. They’re just “doodles” anyhow. Nothing serious. Nothing special.
Except they are. Harry draws portraits. Elaborate, detailed portraits. So beautiful and life like. He’s got so many of Ron, of Ginny, of Fred and George, and all the other Weasley’s. He’s got sketches of Hermione and Luna and Neville, Dean and Seamus too. He even has sketches of Snape because his greasy hair and crooked nose are fun to draw. He has sketches of McGonagall because he feels he can’t get her stern expression just right. He even has sketches of Slytherins cause Artist!Harry doesn’t discriminate like that. He has quite a few sketches of a certain pointy faced blonde.
Then he, Hermione, and Ron go out on the road Horcrux hunting. Harry can barely sleep. He sketches wild, dark pictures in the hours he stands watch while Hermione sleeps. These are dark pictures, horrid pictures, fragments of things he sees when he makes the mistake of trying to sleep. His art becomes a mangled mash of his nightmares.
Then they’re captured, taken to Malfoy Manor….and Malfoy doesn’t give them up. Malfoy doesn’t identify him. Harry KNOWS Malfoy knows it’s him. Harry can’t get the look of Malfoy’s face out of his mind. The fear, the hope, the worry, anxiety, so much emotion. So much emotion that Harry has to draw it as many times as he can, whenever he can when they escape. He gets a fair few sketches done before the final battle.
The Battle of Hogwarts is won. Voldemort is defeated and in the year it takes for Hogwarts to be re-opened, Harry spends some much needed time away from the wizarding world. He is missed, there were tearful goodbyes. But Harry spends one year in a mental facility, of his own free will, to work on his depression, his anger management issues, his PTSD, his nightmares, and childhood trauma. Not everything is fixed in a year, onbvipusly, but he’s doing so much better and his art has improved IMMENSELY! The Mind Healers at the institution let him have special access to all sorts of art supplies. He got to dabble with water colors and acrylics and different types of papers and brushes and oh, he got to experiment and explore and it was glorious.
He finally returns to Hogwarts for his eighth year. He shows his art to his friends for the very first time. They love it. They can’t believe they never knew he was so talented. Harry bashfully accepts their praise.
When he runs into Malfoy for the first time, they lock eyes for what seems like an eternity. Finally, Malfoy snaps back into reality and quickly begins to walk away but Harry chases after him.
“Malfoy!” Harry’s footfalls echo through the empty corridor as he rummages through his bag while chasing after Malfoy.
“Malfoy, wait!” he nearly has it out of his bag when Malfoy whirls around to glare at him.
“Come to gloat now, have we?” Malfoy is sneering at him but Harry simply smiles. He learned a lot in therapy. He saw a lot that night in Malfoy Manor when he looked into Malfoy’s eyes. Malfoy can’t get under his skin the way he used to because Harry knows. He knows Malfoy is just hurting and doesn’t know what to do with it.
“I wanted you to have this,” Harry hands out a large sheet of parchment. A picture he’d drawn of Malfoy taking up most of the space. He’d done it completely from memory while in the gardens at the institute. He’d drawn Malfoy from head to toe in casual robes, his sleeves rolled up, his dark mark lost in an array of blue and red roses.
“Potter?” Malfoy takes the parchment with shaky fingers, flabbergasted to see his own face staring back at him. Potter has gotten everything right. His eyes, lips, nose, his body, it was so strickintly perfect that he almost felt uncomfortable.
“You got the flowers wrong,” Malfoy muttered quietly in a thinly veiled attempt to save face. He rolled up his sleeve to reveal his dark mark which was nearly unrecognizable amongst the narcissas that traveled from his wrist to forearm.
“Your mother,” Harry beamed up at Malfoy, nodding. “Excellent choice, of course, but I went through a bit of a rose phase that month. The other ones are better but I figured you could keep this one.” Harry blushed darkly when he realized what he’d allowed to come out of his big, big mouth. He averted his eyes, staring determinedly at the floor as he waited for Malfoy to say something, anything.
“There are more? Of me?” Harry could hear the arrogant smirk in Malfoy’s voice but when he finally looked up, Malfoy’s was smiling at him.
“I think I’d like to see them,” Malfoy whisperered, stepping closer until their noses were nearly touching. Harry gulped hard, nibbling on his bottom lip as he nodded.
“That…that could be arranged,” he whispered just as quietly, looking up again to see Malfoy’s eyes filled with so many emotions. They weren’t the same as last time. This time his eyes were filled with confusion, amusement, uncertainty…and wanting…so much wanting.
“I’ll always be with you, even if I’m not by your side,” Pansy whispered, her fingertips tracing Ginny’s collarbone. “Because every time you look at your skin, at that anchor on your wrist or the rose on your neck, you’ll think of me.”