Title: Reflections of Love
Pairing(s): Harry/Draco, implied past Draco/Astoria and implied past Harry/Ginny
Summary: When Harry fulfils an old request, he finds things are not as they seem. But Christmas is a time for possibilities.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning(s): None that I'm aware of.
Epilogue compliant? sort of
Word Count: 6,669
Author's Notes: There are many people to thank for this story and all of them will be appropriately acknowledged when I am able. Until then, know that I love each of you for your invaluable assistance and support. I must, however, thank the fantastic mods of this fest for their patience and understanding. You all rock my world!
ghot you didn't give me anyone to talk to when this story took on a life of its own and I sincerely hope you like it.
Harry hunched in the doorway of Ollivander's, a gust of wind whipping past him down Diagon Alley. Leaning back against the glass he buried his hands into his pockets, his right hand circling the small glass globe that had brought him out today.
It was nearly dark on Christmas Eve and he had been in and out of practically every shoppe on the main path that afternoon, taking time in each one to listen in on conversations, hoping against hope that he'd pick up a clue about the whereabouts of Draco Malfoy. Silently he cursed Dumbledore for putting him in this position...tonight of all nights.
Why Diagon Alley he couldn't say, but he'd had this persistent nagging at the back of his mind which he was unable to ignore. A sigh crossed his lips as he pushed the door open and stepped into the dark, musty, narrow shoppe.
Inside, Ollivander's looked just as it had the first time he'd stepped through the doors as an eleven-year-old boy and again when he'd brought each of his children there when the time had come for their first wands. He shook his head to clear away the memories of how happy he thought they'd been then. Now wasn't the time for memories. He had a task to complete, and he wanted it over with so he could go home and wait for his children to visit on Christmas afternoon.
"Mr Potter." Mr Ollivander's voice came from behind a large stack of boxes. He moved to the counter, resting his hands on the edge. "Holly and phoenix feather, eleven inches, nice and supple. I remember selling you your wand as if it were just yesterday."
Harry nodded in acknowledgement.
"Don't tell me," Mr Ollivander continued, "you've gone and broken it again?"
"No, no," Harry replied quickly. "I just stepped in to get away from the weather." He knew immediately that Mr Ollivander didn't believe his story for a minute, but was saved from commenting further by another voice interrupting their conversation.
Harry looked up and turned automatically towards the voice. "Aberforth?" Harry queried, stepping forward. He looked at the man standing in the shadows between the rows of wand boxes. "It's been a long time." He stretched out his hand and clasped Aberforth's in it and shook it vigorously.
"So what is it that brings you out on Christmas Eve, Mr Potter?" Ollivander asked.
Harry opened his mouth to reply and was cut off by Aberforth.
"What you seek is closer than you think," Aberforth said softly, "and it would serve you well to remember that everything is not always as it seems."
Harry looked confused. "How do you...?"
"Do not forget who my brother was," Aberforth continued. "There is very little that occurred in his life that I was not aware of."
Harry raised his arms in frustration. "I'm not even sure why I'm doing this. How the hell am I supposed to know where..."
Aberforth smiled and cut him off again. "In time, all will become apparent, and what you truly desire will be within your reach. But only if you are willing to trust openly and completely."
Running a hand through his hair, Harry sighed. "Why does everything have to be a puzzle? Why can't you just tell me where to find Malfoy? Why all the cloak and dagger nonsense all the time?"
"Think, Harry," Aberforth replied. "Have there not been many times in the past twenty-five years that you've stopped and looked again...convinced you'd seen a glimpse of that blond hair or caught sight of him walking down Diagon Alley?"
Harry's brow furrowed.
"If you put your mind to it, the answer will come to you. Think about where you've been when those feelings were their strongest. The one place in Diagon Alley to which you've always been inexplicably drawn."
Harry's expression changed as he slowly began to understand what Aberforth was saying. "I have to go," he cried out, as he hurried to the door. Harry rushed down the street, sliding to a stop beneath the enormous striped purple awning. He looked up for the sign that hung above the door at Bonafidé's Perfumerie, but it was gone and the curtains were drawn. He moved closer to the door and noticed that it was not quite tightly closed. He placed a hand on the door and shoved, inhaling sharply as the door swung open. He reached down, wrapped his hand around the handle of his wand and stepped inside.
Draco moved slowly through his shoppe, his movements sluggish, as if each one was an effort in itself. With a flick of his wand the heavy velvet curtains in the front windows closed, cloaking the room in a darkness that matched his mood. He moved towards the door and stepped outside onto the stoop, pausing for a moment. Draco looked at the store front as if attempting to burn the image into his mind. Standing on his toes, he reached up and removed the shingle that was hooked above the door, smiling softly to himself, the memory of the day he'd hung it so many years before flashing through his mind. Draco walked back inside, pushing the door with his foot to close it behind him and then setting the sign on the countertop, the worn and uneven wood a sharp contrast to the polished tiger maple of the countertop below. His fingers traced the letters, Bonafidé's Perfumerie, feeling the dips etched into the wood, the effects of hanging outside for twenty-five years.
As a rule, he loved this time of day. The room so dark that the candlelight danced off the glass bottles on the shelves. The heady scents that his customers had sampled mingling together to create a fragrance as unique as any perfume he had created and sold in his shoppe.
Moving methodically, he stepped over to the closest shelf. He bent down to pull a wooden crate from under the counter. Reaching up, his fingers closed around the slender neck of the bottle. He tilted the bottle from side to side and watched the amber liquid as it coated the inside of the fine cut crystal, and he recalled the customers who had purchased Whispers, his first perfume. He had worked for weeks before the scent was just the right mixture of spices with delicate undertones of florals. It had been an instant success and Bonafidé Perfumerie had been born. Carefully wrapping the pink cut-glass bottle in a square of cotton, Draco placed it in the crate and moved to the next bottle on the shelf. He was nearly half finished when the door flew open. Draco froze at the voice that called out.
"Malfoy?! What are you doing in Mr Bonafidé 's shoppe?" He paused to take in the scene. "I don't understand," Harry shook his head. "Why are you taking his things off the shelves?"
Draco turned, leaned back against the edge of the shelf he had been removing the bottles from, and crossed his arms on his chest. "Harry Potter." It was Draco's turn to shake his head, exasperation evident in every movement. "Of course it is."
"I think you need to explain yourself," Harry said more firmly, closing the distance between himself and Draco as his grip tightened on the handle of his wand.
Malfoy stood his ground, coolly examining his hands before slowly looking up at Harry. "Before you think about casting any spells, I suggest you listen to me." Draco paused. "I am Pio Bonafidé, Harry, or at least the man you think he is."
Harry stopped, his hand dropping to his side, shock and confusion radiating off him and unconvinced that Malfoy was not lying to him. Unable to process everything so quickly he asked the only question that came to mind. "Since when have you called me Harry?"
Malfoy gave him his most enigmatic smile and answered. "Ever since you came in and bought your daughter, Lily, her first "big girl" perfume the day before she left for her first year at Hogwart's. Lily of the valley and Fresia. A recipe created for her and consequently sold and bottled using her name." Draco turned and lifted a small, frosted purple bottle from the shelf. The liquid inside gently rolled from side-to-side as the candle light flickered against the glass, Lily etched into the bottle in gold letters.
Harry stood, hands on hips with his feet apart, every ounce of him radiating defiance. "How...it's not possible for you to have used a glamour all these years without being detected," Harry said. His face took on a triumphant look now.
"Ten points to Gryffindor," Draco said with a smug smile. "The attar of roses and essence of blue lotus alone would have made that impossible. But there are always alternatives if one knows where to look."
"This isn't a game, Malfoy. Disguising yourself all these years is probably a crime if we were to examine the implications carefully." Harry's tone was calm, but the tight set of his jaw gave his irritation away.
"No crimes have been committed here, Harry. I've worked hard and treated every customer fairly and with more respect than many of them deserved," Draco said through gritted teeth. "And what's more, didn't you give up your Auror status when your marriage fell apart?" Draco's eyebrows raised, and he nodded at Harry's shocked look. "Which makes this absolutely none of your business."
Undeterred, Harry stepped closer. "How is it that not a single witch or wizard who's entered this shoppe has detected your true identity then, if you've not used glamours? No one has heard anything about the Malfoy family for years."
"Well isn't that just the million Galleon question?" Draco turned in a circle, his hand waving as he continued. "The mirrors are ensorcelled. It's an ancient and powerful magic that makes every patron, customer and passerby see me just as they imagine they should. Most see me as a doddering old Italian immigrant labouring in an apron. Others see a young Italian heart-throb with rather more teeth than sense. And still others a sexy, blond and tanned, thirty-something Italian aristocrat with a wicked accent and other skills to match."
Harry blushed, looking down at the floor when it occurred to him that that had been how he'd seen Mr Bonafidé and what had continually drawn him here. He looked at Malfoy. "I've been here countless times over the years and just as many times thought I'd seen you here, if only for a split second. But whenever I turned around to look for you...you'd be gone. I thought it was a trick of the light and after the dozenth time, I dismissed it as fancy. But it was you, wasn't it?" Harry asked almost rhetorically, his face showing that deep down he'd known the truth.
"The mirrors work very much like the fabled Mirror of Erised. The difference being that these mirrors also showed the viewers brief glimpses of themselves as they would like not to be seen, thus hastening their departure from the shoppe before they could become too curious about the elusive Mr Bonafidé. The Mirrors were created over nine hundred years ago by the same man who created the stone archway containing "the Veil" to which your godfather lost his life at the Department of Mysteries all these many years ago.
"My godfather lost his life to your psychotic bitch of an aunt, Malfoy!" Harry contested hotly.
"I won't argue the point that my Aunt Bella was a complete lunatic, but the point is that the magic of the mirrors is seamless, and if you had seen the real me in them, it would have been because it was what your heart desired. Legend tells us that any wizard who's had the good fortune to have seen all three of these objects, may, by using one, obtain the key to earthly happiness," Draco finished with a fairly resigned look on his face.
Harry began to speak and stopped. He pursed his lips, apparently in thought. "I've seen all three objects, Malfoy, and have yet to discover happiness." Harry looked towards Draco as he spoke, never quite meeting his eyes.
"Is it true?" Draco said in the merest of whispers, waiting until Harry's eyes met his before continuing. "Have you seen the Mirror of Erised?"
Harry nodded, unable to speak.
Draco examined Harry with a scrutiny that laid him bare before saying, "I think there's much to talk about. We both have questions we want answered. I'm going to put the kettle on. Would you care to join me?"
His hesitation didn't escape Draco. "Scared, Potter?" he taunted.
Harry lips curled in to a slight smile. "You wish." And he waved Draco on, still not certain what he'd just agreed to. He followed Draco silently toward the rear of the shoppe to a vestibule-like room lit only by firelight, two chairs arranged before the hearth. Harry wandered around the room, looking at the contents. Cozy was all Harry could think to say before practically falling into one of the overstuffed chairs.
Draco grimaced, appalled by Harry's manners but seated himself and set a tea tray between them on which he had placed biscuits and toast with an assortment of jams and marmalades. When the water was at a boil Draco asked what kind of tea Harry preferred and was startled to learn it was Earl Grey. Draco added several heaping teaspoons of Formosa Gunpowder to the pot and then added the water to steep.
"Not to be Earl Grey then?" Harry asked quietly.
"Not as you know it, Potter, no. Please be patient with me as it has been many, many years since I have had company," Draco replied even more quietly still.
They sat in companionable silence for a moment before Draco picked up his wand and waved it quickly in the air. A small set of cruets came silently through the air and landed itself neatly on the table. Malfoy poured each of them a cup. He then tapped the stopper of one of the cruets with his wand before lightly touching it to the rim of Harry's cup. The results were astonishing. Suddenly the whole room was filled with the scent of Bergamot oranges.
"Lemon, Harry?" Draco asked a wide-eyed Harry who could do nothing but nod. "I think you'll find this hits the spot," Draco said with a wicked little grin on his face.
"Now that we're set up, I suppose it's time that we got to it, eh?" said Draco a moment after preparing his own tea.
Harry shifted in his chair. He looked up at Draco, his head tilted to one side. "When I came into the shoppe tonight," he began and then stopped. He took a slow sip of tea, as if gathering his thoughts. "It seemed as if you were expecting me. Waiting for me even."
Draco's mouth curled at the edges. "It's kismet, Harry."
Harry's brow furrowed. "Kismet?"
"Think about it. Every single time something of any importance happened in my life, you were there." Draco shook his head and continued. "Over and over since the day we met in Madame Malkin's, nearly every triumph or every failure of mine has been witnessed by you. All the times I missed the Snitch in Quidditch, my attempts to get Hagrid fired. You even managed to save that bloody Hippogriff!" He looked down at his cup, swirled the tea and gave a soft sigh.
"Of course, as time went on my mistakes and failures were on a larger scale. You witnessed my complete breakdown over my situation that day in the loo, my inability to kill Dumbledore, following my parents despite the fact that I suspected that Voldemort wasn't going to win. And then, in spite of our past, you saved me in the Room of Requirement and pleaded with a Death Eater for my life."
Draco raised his eyes and looked at Harry. "So it seems appropriate that you should be the one to come bursting in on my last day here."
"Last day?" Harry said in obvious confusion.
Draco nodded. "Yes, last day. That's why you found me emptying the shelves tonight."
Harry sat up in his chair, set his cup on the side table and lowered his eyes to stare at the floor, while his hands ran up and down his thighs. He looked up through the fringe of his hair. "Draco," he said softly, his voice shaky, "are you going to...were you planning on..." He stopped and sighed audibly.
"I can see that age has not improved your speaking skills, Harry," Draco interjected. "And as brilliant as I am, it is impossible for me to select a coherent thought out of that. Am I what? Was I planning...? Give me a little more to go on."
Harry looked up and for a moment, Draco thought he saw a flash of fear cross Potter's face.
"Draco," Harry whispered, "please tell me you aren't planning to kill yourself."
Draco stared at Harry, his mind reeling. "Kill myself? What in Merlin's name are you on about?"
A blush rose on Harry's cheeks. "Well, you were taking everything off the shelves and now you said it was your last day," he trailed off.
Draco stood and walked to the fire. He rested a hand on the mantle and lowered his head. He stood there for several moments before turning to face Harry again. When he spoke, his voice was low and his tone resigned. "I spent the first eighteen years of my life being lied to by the people I trusted, the people who were supposed to protect me. My father spouted his pure blood shite and then kowtowed to a half blood maniac."
He moved to the side board and poured a healthy measure of cognac in a snifter, swirling it gently to warm the amber liquid. He took a sip before turning towards Harry and raising the glass in invitation.
Pouring a snifter and handing it to Harry, Draco continued. "I've spent the last twenty-five years being whoever it was my customers saw. I've worked hard and am pleased with how my business has grown. Scorpius is nearly done at Hogwarts and even so, he lives with his mother and her new husband in France. I managed to move beyond the Malfoy stigma, but now"– he took another sip of his drink – "I'm ready to move on. It's time for me to live my life for me. Whatever that means. I've yet to figure that out."
"But what of your business?" Harry asked. "Can you really just walk away from it?"
Draco smiled. "I sold several of my perfume formulas to one of the top perfumeries in the world, for a tidy sum. Some of them, Lily and Whispers obviously, will never be sold or bottled under any other name than Bonafidé's. Those perfumes will still be available to a few select clients via mail order."
"Now you've heard my story," Draco went on with a slight smile. "It's my turn to ask some questions."
Harry swirled the cognac in his glass, watching the liquid coat the sides of the crystal. "I imagine you want the same information everyone wants. What happened? Exactly what several of my friends warned me would happen." His voice was soft and tight. "I married because I wanted to be part of a family so badly that I lied to myself and ignored the fact that sex with a woman was not exactly a thrill to me. Is that what you wanted to hear? That Harry Potter was a fraud?"
"Enlightening," Draco replied wryly. "But in reality not what I wanted to know." Harry frowned when he looked at him, but Draco's face was impassive. "Why are you here, Harry? You obviously both wanted and expected me to be here when you arrived or you would not have seen me as I truly am," he stated curiously. "What could have brought the Saviour of the wizarding world out looking for me in such frightening weather, and, what's more, on Christmas Eve?"
Harry took a sip of his cognac, as if to put off something unpleasant, before beginning, "I wish you wouldn't call me the Saviour of the wizarding world." Harry lifted his hand to delay Malfoy's reply and continued, "First because you don't mean it and second because it isn't true. While it is true that I was the one who finally killed Voldemort, the real truth is that I had a great deal of help and no small amount of luck. As to why I've come here, that's something else altogether. Truthfully, I'd rather not be out tonight, but I was given this errand over twenty-five years ago by Dumbledore." Harry paused, then reached into the pocket of his greatcoat and extracted a small sphere.
He held it out, laying it on the flat of his palm to make it easier for the other man to see. Malfoy gasped and recoiled slightly.
"What is it exactly, Potter?" Draco asked hesitantly.
"Well according to the inscription it says it contains a Prophecy as given by S. Trelawney to A. Dumbledore on the evening of September first nineteen ninety-one," Harry said in an even tone. He looked levelly at Draco and then continued, "It was given to me the night Dumbledore was killed on the astronomy tower with the mandate that if I survived the war, I should seek you out on this specific night and give it to you..."
There was a long pause and Harry carefully placed the delicate globe on the table between them. Draco was an ashen colour and suddenly looked quite exhausted.
"What does it say when it's opened if I may ask?" asked Draco quietly.
"Dunno," said Harry, "I'm assuming that it's similar to the Prophecy Trelawney gave to Dumbledore regarding me and Voldemort. Voldemort spent years trying to find it and then trying to discover its secrets. But the actual Prophecy can only be heard by the person it references. In fact, "Harry's voice had changed as he pointed at a small shining silver light and minute tendrils of blue smoke swirling within the globe, "I've never seen a single thing inside it until this moment!"
Draco stared at the globe, unable to move. Curiosity finally won out and he leaned forward, poking a finger at the sphere and watching it roll slightly on the table, the blue smoke twisting around and around the silver rays of light.
"You really have no idea what it says then?" Draco asked again, this time studying Harry's face very carefully for any sign of deceit, but he found none.
"It's not necessarily bad news, you know," Harry said, clearly trying to reassure him. "It might be something marvellous."
"Good or bad, either way the fact that it is a prophecy is almost certainly something momentous, something from which there is no going back," Draco rambled thoughtfully. "Something that fundamentally changes a life. What if it's a change that I don't want? Or don't like? Once we listen to it, there's no turning back. And that crazy old coot must have had a reason that you needed to be the one to deliver it." He looked directly Harry. "Did you ever think of that?"
Harry sat stock still, staring at Draco intently trying to make sense of what he'd just said. His mind whirled. In all the years he'd had the sphere in his possession, he'd never once given a thought as to why Dumbledore had given him the task of delivering it to Malfoy.
"All I know," he finally said softly, "is that Dumbledore asked me to give it to you. It was one of the very last things he said to me." He paused. "If he felt it was important, then it must be."
"Still Dumbledore's man, then," Draco said with a slight smirk.
Harry shrugged. "Some habits die hard."
Draco nodded. "Have you any idea how I even go about this?" He gestured to the glass sphere. "I mean, how does one even hear a prophecy. I've touched it, and nothing. You had it for twenty-five years, and nothing."
Harry's brow furrowed. "Well, the first one broke before anyone could hear it…" He ran his fingers through his hair. "I've no idea," he said finally. "The last time, Dumbledore had a memory of the Prophecy, and he showed me in his Pensieve. But there's got to be a way," his voice had lowered enough that he might almost have been talking to himself. "He'd have never sent me here if there was no way…"
Draco picked the sphere up, looking for the etching on the glass. "Where is the inscription?" he asked, turning the ball in his hand. He couldn't see any etching on the glass at all.
"There," Harry said. "Under your thumb."
Draco lifted his finger and rotated the glass in his hand, but couldn't see anything. "There's nothing on this ball, Harry," he said in exasperation.
"But there is," Harry argued. "It's right there."
He reached across the table, and several things happened at once.
He touched the back of Draco's hand, and Draco was immediately aware that his hand was both warm, and slightly rough. The pads of Harry's fingers then made contact with the glass, and beneath Draco's thumb, script that he hadn't seen before began to glow, bright as fire. Before he had the opportunity to read the inscription, however, the entire ball began to glow with an unearthly light. Draco's first instinct was to throw it away from himself, but he couldn't let go. And apparently, Harry couldn't either. Their fingers seemed glued to both the ball, and each other. They exchanged a startled look as a mist began to lift from the prophecy, swirling in the air, slowly forming into a miniature diaphanous vision of Sybil Trelawney, shawls, beads and impossibly thick spectacles intact. She began to speak, and Draco felt a chill slip the length of his spine. Her voice was distorted, and faintly frightening.
"The only son of the Dark Lord's most trusted servant will search for years in darkness," she wheezed, her voice a raw croak. "Only when the reflection of the true light appears will he find his way. The only son of the Dark Lord's most trusted servant…"
She repeated the prophecy word for word three times in succession, then with a soft pop, her image disappeared.
Both men sat in stunned silence, their hands still touching the now clear glass ball. After a moment, Draco shook himself and, finally free to move, placed the clear sphere roughly on the table. He saw Harry jerk his hand back, then rub it reflexively on his thigh. It was then that Draco noticed that his palm was tingling, and he rubbed it with his other hand. They sat in silence for several minutes. Harry finally broke it.
"So what the bloody hell does that mean?" he mused thoughtfully.
"I…" Draco began, then had to pause and clear his throat. "I understand the first part," he was finally able to say softly. "It's been… dark, for me," he admitted faintly. "But the second part…"
Harry stared at him, his brow furrowed. "What was the wording again, exactly?"
"It said…" Draco paused, recalling the wording so as to be precise. "Only when the reflection of the true light appears will he find his way."
Harry continued to stare at him for a moment longer, then Draco saw excitement enter his eyes as he surged to his feet.
"Come on," he said, heading towards the door. Draco stared after him.
"What…?" he said, standing more slowly. Harry turned back.
"Only when a reflection of the true light appears. Reflection, Draco. Weren't you the one telling me about those mirrors?"
Draco caught his breath, his mouth slightly open. "Oh," he breathed, and pushed past Harry, sending him an arch look. "Very clever, Harry. Who knew you had it in you?"
Harry snorted lightly as he followed. "I get lucky once in a while."
They moved into the shoppe's main room, stopping in front of the closest mirror. He stared at it, his head angled to one side. "I still don't know what you're supposed to do. This is just a normal mirror. At least in the Mirror of Erised I saw what I wanted most in life. Right now I just see us, two middle-aged wizards looking for the secret to happiness." He turned to look at Draco. "Any life changing visions for you?"
Draco shifted to the left and then to the right. "Nothing here either," he said disappointed. "I always knew Dumbledore was mad as a hatter, and I suspect Trelawney wasn't far behind."
Harry smiled. "Dumbledore may have been many things, manipulative being at the top of the list, but one thing I know for certain, he never did anything without a reason."
Draco shrugged and stepped directly behind Harry. "We'll never know now. Maybe the mirrors aren't the key."
"It makes sense, Trelawney said reflection of the true light," Harry repeated."He leaned forward, running a hand along the edge of the mirror.
The entire border of the mirror panel began to glow, Harry and Draco's reflection vanished in a vapour and a new scene came into focus.
"Holy shite," Harry exclaimed, pulling his hand back. "Can you see that, Draco?"
"Of course I can see it," Draco replied in frustration. "I've seen our reflection since the moment we stepped in front of the bloody thing."
"No, it's not us," Harry said softly. "It's me. I'm in a yard." He paused as the scene began to move. "I'm working in a garden...it's in front of a cottage of sorts. The cottage seems to be at the end of a lane, there's only a large field of flowers as I look past it, and I can see a lake--or maybe it's the sea--behind the house. I can't see the other direction right now."
He rubbed his chin. "I seem to belong here. It's a stone cottage of sorts. Two-story with lots of windows. There's some ivy growing on it and a lovely flower basket hanging by the dark green front door."His voice was soft. "This looks like it's now. I mean I don't look any older than I am. I'm weeding in the garden and I look happier than I ever remember feeling."
The scene shifted and Harry gasped.
"What happened?" Draco asked.
"Sorry," Harry said quickly. "It changed and surprised me."
"Well, I still see nothing but us, right now as we are."
"Maybe you need to touch the mirror yourself," Harry suggested.
Draco brushed past Harry and placed his hand on the mirror. "Nothing," he said disappointedly.
"Try running your fingers on the edge," Harry offered. "That's what I did before the vision started."
Draco ran his long slender fingers along the edge of the mirror. "Perhaps there is no happiness in my future," he said dejectedly. "Tell me what else you see; maybe this was about you, after all."
Harry stole a glance at Draco before continuing. "It changed angles. Now I can see a bit of the road. I'm still happily digging in the dirt. The birds are chirping in the trees, but otherwise it's blessedly silent."
A shiver ran down Harry's spine. "I think I must have sensed someone. There's still no sound save the birds, but I looked down the lane and smiled. Now I can hear footsteps on the stone. They're moving closer, but I still can't see who they belong to."
He paused and looked at Draco. "Anything?"
Draco shook his head in reply.
"The feet belong to a bloke. I can see the shoes, they're not exactly trainers...they seem to be upscale trainers. Designer, I think. Black leather with a red and green stripe on the side."
"Gucci." Draco whispered. "I have a pair in my wardrobe."
Harry stared, mouth open as the picture shifted again. "It's changing again. It's panning up from the shoes, past the jean clad thighs. The bloke's wearing a black, snug fitting jeans and a leather bomber jacket. His chin is slightly pointed and his hair is..."
Harry stopped talking and swallowed thickly. "It's you," his voice barely audible. "You've seen me in the yard and you're smiling. You begin to move faster, the package under your arm swinging as you hurry towards me."
"What happens when I reach you?" Draco whispered.
"We kiss and I hold you close." Harry reached towards Draco, emotion reflected in his eyes. "Let me show you, Draco." He held his hand out. "Take my hand."
Draco stared at the outstretched hand. Memories rushed past him...Harry refusing his hand first year, hands raised in anger and finally a hand reaching to him in the midst of a room full of flames. Hesitantly, Draco slid his hand into Harry's and wove their fingers together.
Suddenly Draco buckled to his knees, grasping Harry's hand painfully.
"What is it, Draco? What do you see?"
Draco, near breathless, just shook his head, tears beginning to coalesce for what he imagined would be the last time.
"Cold, unimaginable cold," he said, teeth clenched. "Absolute darkness," he said, though this time less certainly. "Oh Gods, Harry, at first I feared that the mirror's only thought for me was death... but this is something else."
Harry knelt beside him murmuring over and over, "Tell me what you see."
"Nothing. I see nothing. I smell nothing. I taste nothing. I hear nothing."Draco could feel his throat and lips moving but no sound came out. His mind whirled and he hoped Harry could hear him. Pure terror coursed through his veins and he shivered involuntarily. I've been afraid many times in my life, Draco thought, and yet I've never known fear like this. No sooner had that thought occurred to him than he remembered that he wasn't alone. Fearing that he was on the edge of his sanity, he knew he needed to get a grip on his situation and decided that he would continue on as if Harry were right beside him, which he hoped he still was.
"Harry, I have no idea whether you can hear me or not, but I've entered into some kind of nightmare. I can only assume it's been created by the mirror," Draco's voice shook. "I have no use of my eyes or ears and when I reach out I feel only space."
Faintly, he could hear a voice calling, too low for him to make out the words, but he thought it must be Harry. There were soft brushes along his arms, like butterfly wings, and he wondered if Potter was touching him, but the other sensations were so overwhelming that he could not respond. Then, just as suddenly as it had begun, the darkness was gone, replaced by a vision of a bedroom unfamiliar to him. The walls were washed with soft pink light, as if it were either dusk or dawn, and there was a painting over the bed, a pastoral vision of wildflowers with a shimmering lake beyond. Much like what Potter had seen in his 'vision'. But the bed was his; he recognized the brass headboard, and the sight of his own hands curled around it.
"I'm kneeling on something soft," he murmured. "My bed. My hands are clenched around the brass headboard and the metal is cold. I'm kneeling in front of it. And I'm naked."
He gasped when the vision progressed. "Now there's a body pressing against my back. We're both naked and I feel heat radiating off the other body as it moves closer. His erection touches me first, pressing against the cheek of my arse. My heart is pounding. I want him so much, so much that I ache. He leans into me, and his body is firm and strong, and the arm that comes around me is shades darker than my own skin. Oh!" He moaned softly as he felt, actually felt, lips brush his nape, soft and damp, and a tongue flick his ear lobe.
"I love you," a voice whispered hoarsely, the hot breath stirring the short hair in front of his ear. "So, so much."
"I love you, too," he replied in his vision, and it was true. He could feel it in the almost painful expansion in his chest. He loved this man, with his whole being. Whoever it was, wherever he was, he loved him with everything in him. And new tears formed and spilled. He'd been waiting to feel this way for the whole of his life.
"He loves me," Draco said, not knowing whether or not he'd spoken the words aloud. "Someone loves me."
"I'll always love you," his vision went on. "Always."
He felt shifting behind him, and he arched his back helpfully as he was gently and slowly breached. He caught his breath; it had been years since he'd felt that, but there was no pain, just a slow, encompassing fullness that made his hard cock throb. His lover tightened his arm around Draco's chest, and he was lifted onto his lover's thighs, his head falling limply back onto a hard shoulder.
"Oh," Draco murmured, his voice filled with awe. "He's in me, and it's amazing. So hot, so full…"
"Kiss me," his vision lover murmured. "Kiss me, Draco."
He turned his head on a broad shoulder, and opened his eyes.
There before him was an angular face framed by thick black hair, sweat dampened strands just slightly parted to reveal a faded lightning bolt shaped scar on his forehead. And eyes as green as holly leaves, filled with so much love that it was almost painful. And as their lips met, the vision began to fade, and Draco reached out, making a sound of despair.
"No, not yet," he cried. "Not yet." He'd felt loved; for the first time since his mother had died, someone had loved him…
He felt a hand holding his, squeezing hard, as the sun-washed bedroom faded and the inside of his shoppe swam into focus. And then he could see himself, kneeling on the floor, and Potter next to him, his face a frightened mask of concern.
"Are you okay?" he was saying, leaning close. Draco could feel his body heat against his side, chasing away any cold that remained. "Was it horrible? Did he hurt you? Draco, you're crying. Tell me what you saw!?"
Draco turned his head and looked into the green eyes, the same green eyes as in his vision. They were so close, filled with an almost tangible concern.
"Who was it?" Harry asked, his voice rough. "Who was it?"
"It was you," Draco said faintly, his eyes devouring Potter's face. "Harry, it was you. But…how? We haven't seen each other in years, we don't know each other." He shook his head helplessly. "How is that even possible?"
"I don't know," Harry answered. "I only know that it feels like… it is." He smiled his crooked smile, and Draco's heart began to pound. "But I do know one thing for sure; Trelawney was mad as an old march hare, but her prophecies were usually dead on." He leaned closer, his eyes on Draco's face. "I can't imagine myself being anyone's ‘true light'," he paused, his smile self-deprecating as he studied Draco's eyes. "But… I think I'd like to be yours."
Draco's heart had expanded so much in his chest that it was almost painful. "Harry," he murmured, his eyes dropping to Harry's mouth. "Do you think… it's actually possible?"
Harry's smile mellowed. "Draco, it's Christmas," he whispered, leaning in until his lips were just barely brushing Draco's. "Anything is possible."
As the kiss deepened, and Draco felt himself being drawn into strong, secure arms, he allowed himself to believe.