Continuation of this (sort of).
Harry Potter thought he would never fall in love again.
How could he, after everything that had happened?
He felt empty inside, not capable of any emotion; except despair.
He didn’t blame his friends for being in love. He was happy for them. At least, if that was what happiness felt like. He didn’t know anymore. He couldn’t even remember the last time he’d felt happy.
How could he, after they had lost so many loved ones?
He didn’t know what day it was, what month. Everything blurred together and didn’t make sense anymore. Dragging himself out of bed became harder every day. Because… what did it matter? What difference would it make if he just disappeared? He had served his purpose. Nobody needed him anymore.
Going to classes seemed so pointless. What did he care if he’d pass his N.E.W.T.s? It wasn’t like he had any plans for his future.
How could he, if he didn’t even know how he’d make it through today?
His friends were keeping their distance. He’d pushed them away so many times, they had stopped trying. At least for now.
Ginny had tried to talk to him a few days ago and it had broken his heart to tell her that nothing had changed. Being with her just didn’t feel right anymore. It didn’t feel right to be with anyone right now. He just wanted to be alone.
Playing Quidditch didn’t bring him the joy it once had. Treacle Tart tasted like paper. Hogwarts didn’t feel like home anymore.
He wanted to escape, wanted to leave everything behind. He didn’t have it in him to fight anymore, to push through.
How could he, when everything around him was crumbling down?
It was funny, really; irony of fate, if you will, that a seemingly insignificant incident made Harry momentarily forget about his despair.
He was walking down a corridor when he spotted something on the floor; a piece of parchment. He wouldn’t have given it a second look, if he hadn’t recognised his own handwriting. He frowned as he picked it up and read it. He had totally forgotten about this. But why was it here?
He waited until classes were over, when Malfoy was stuffing his books into his bag, to walk over to him.
“I think you dropped this,” Harry said. Malfoy blinked at him, then at the parchment. He suddenly looked less pale than he usually did.
Harry didn’t ask him how it had ended up in the corridor. The only explanation was that he was carrying it around with him, even though Harry had given it to him weeks ago. Had he even looked at it?
“You know what, I think you need that more than me right now,” Malfoy murmured and stuffed the last book into his bag.
“What is that supposed to mean?” Harry didn’t like the sympathetic tone of Malfoy’s voice.
“You know exactly what I mean, Potter,” Malfoy said. “Don’t think I haven’t noticed the changes. All you do these days is mope. And while I can’t exactly blame you for that, it’s depressing. So honestly, while you’re being like this, these words mean nothing.” He pointed at the parchment. “How am I supposed to believe that, when the person who wrote this doesn’t seem to believe it himself?” Malfoy gave him a weird look before he turned away to leave. “I thought you were giving me hope, but I guess these were just empty words.”
Harry was rendered speechless. It was like Malfoy had smacked him right across the face. It didn’t mean nothing. They weren’t just empty words. He had really meant them. But, as much as he hated to admit it, he could see Malfoy’s point.
He tossed and turned all night, unable to forget the look on the Slytherin’s face. It wasn’t fair of him to throw something like that in Harry’s face. But, again, he had to admit that Malfoy wasn’t wrong.
As Harry stared at the ceiling of his dorm, he came to a decision. He would show Malfoy that he believed what he had written. That there was hope. He didn’t want Malfoy to lose faith… like he had.
It was subtle at first. Harry would sit next to Malfoy in classes, look for him in the library…
When Hermione came to talk to him in the common room a few weeks later, Harry realised it might have not been as subtle as he had thought.
“Whatever happened between the two of you, I think it’s good,” she said. She was smiling at him, but she still looked a little sad. Harry said nothing. “I don’t understand what’s going on exactly, but I’m glad you’re better.”
Harry frowned at her. Better? She patted him on the shoulder and went over to the window, to continue studying with Ron.
Harry stared at the book in front of him, not taking in what he was reading. What was Hermione talking about? He didn’t feel any different.
“Wrong chapter, Potter.”
Harry looked up to see Malfoy throwing down his bag and sitting down beside him on the sofa.
“We already covered that two weeks ago.” He took the book from Harry’s lap and flipped through the pages. Harry watched him and was very aware of the fact that their shoulders were touching. As his stomach made a little flip, his eyes widened. He did feel different.
While he had been busy trying to show Malfoy that he could believe in him, making an effort to show him he could be better, he hadn’t realised that it had happened for real. And apparently it hadn’t been the only thing that had happened.
“Are you okay?” Malfoy asked, brushing Harry’s bangs out of his face like it was the most normal thing in the world. It made Harry smile.
“Yeah,” he murmured, not so subtly moving closer to the Slytherin. “I’m okay.”
A few weeks ago, that would have been a lie. Now, Harry still felt a little off balance, but there was one very significant difference. He had hope.
Not so long ago, Harry Potter thought he would never fall in love again.
Turns out, he couldn’t have been more wrong.