Notes: for lillithium. 1,800 words.
Feedback: Yes please.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to JK Rowling.
Summary: Hogwarts has a reunion and Harry attends.
It was the ten year reunion for their graduating class and Harry wasn't looking forward to any of it. He wanted to be home, doing anything but standing at the entrance to the Great Hall as Hermione straightened his tie. The occasion called for dress robes, and Harry couldn't hide his discomfort. He, Ron and Hermione had just apparated in a few moments before. The charm that prevented Apparating within school grounds had been lifted for the occasion and Harry had decided it would be the least conspicuous arrival.
Harry glanced over at Ron, noting how much different his friend was from when they'd been at Hogwarts. Ron and Hermione, now married, had luckily agreed to come to the event with Harry. He hadn't wanted to make his entrance alone. There had already been much speculation as to who Harry would bring as his date.
Everyone would be watching to see how Harry had fared. After the defeat of Voldemort, Harry had chosen to live a life of obscurity as far from prying eyes as possible. He'd never really wanted all the fame that came with his deeds. Now he was just another wizard living in an undisclosed address. The money his parents had left for him had been more than enough for Harry to pursue whatever lifestyle he'd wished. Harry just had to figure out what that lifestyle would be.
The Great Hall looked as spectacular as it had all those years before during the Yule Ball. Harry took a deep breath. Music filled the room and just below the hum of melodic notes, Harry could hear chattering voices.
"Stop fussing with my tie," Ron said affectionately as Hermione finished with Harry and tugged at Ron's throat. It made Harry smile to see the way his friends were together. Often he would wish that he had what they had, but then he had something entirely different.
Hermione finished her fussing and lowered her hands to finally take a good look at the hall. Her eyes widened with wonder at the room. She looked up to see that the ceiling had been enchanted to look as though big fluffy flakes of snow were falling. They vanished ten feet above the dance floor. Banners from each house hung side-by-side on the far wall. Harry noted that the Slytherin and Gryffindor banners were touching. So much had changed from the time he'd been a student.
"It's just as I remember," she said with awe. She linker her arm through Ron's as they stepped into the room. Harry stayed a few feet behind them, hoping no one would notice he was there. It was foolish to even think that would be the case since the Ball invitation had pointed out that this was the class that Harry Potter had graduated from.
As he'd feared, the music stopped and actual trumpets sounded as Harry stepped over the threshold. Harry checked to be sure his dress robes were in order, and hoped that the whole demonstration would end quickly. That was when a familiar voice cut through the crowd.
"Don't pretend you aren't enjoying every moment of this pompous display," Draco Malfoy drawled.
Harry stepped forward and stood a few feet from Malfoy, who was dressed, as always, in the finest silk black suit, with a crisp, blindingly white tie. His shoulder-length, pale-blond hair glowed in the bright light of the room. He stood with his nose high in the air, and his eyes glittered with mirth. Unlike when they were all in school, Malfoy was not flanked by his old school friends. He was very much alone.
"What are you doing here?" Ron growled as he attempted to step past Harry. He was stopped by Harry's hand on his chest. Harry shook his head to show that he could handle the situation.
"As always, you know me so well, Malfoy," Harry retorted. Harry ignored Ron's sharp intake of breath and pushed past his friend to stand almost chest to chest with Malfoy. Around them the crowd stood silent as the two glared each other down. Then the moment was broken when the music started up once again.
"Potter," Malfoy finally said.
"Malfoy," Harry replied. They stood for a moment longer, eyes locked. Behind Harry, Hermione and Ron waited nervously. Harry ignored them completely, his attention on only one person.
"See you round, Mr. Potter," Malfoy finally said after a long, uncomfortable silence. The spell was broken and Malfoy walked past Harry, their shoulders brushed. Harry turned and watched the swagger of hips as the other man walked away.
"Unbelievable," Ron said, clearly outraged. "Merlin! What is he doing here?"
"The party is for everyone who graduated from our class," Harry reminded Ron.
Ron curled his lips in distaste. "Too bad," he muttered. Much too busy watching Malfoy wind his way through the crowd, Harry barely noticed the comment.
Hermione tugged on Ron's arm. "Let's not let the guest list bother us," she said sweetly as she urged Ron toward a group of other Gryffindor graduates. The crowd parted to allow for the trio. Harry smiled as he was greeted with pats on the back and enthusiastic handshakes.
"I'm going to walk around and see who else is here," Harry finally said after everyone had had their chance to speak with him. They were all happy to see him and very polite, but Harry needed some air. The place was rather stuffy with all the warm bodies and everyone crowding him so close. He hated the attention more than anything and wished that he could leave now that he'd made his expected appearance. He was glad to have seen his schoolmates again after such a long while, but Harry had always disliked the attention his name got him. That was something he hadn't missed at all.
He excused himself from the group, noting that Ron was much too busy catching up with Neville and Luna to even notice Harry's retreat. Hermione noticed and she followed him a few feet before Harry stopped and turned to face her.
"I know you want to leave," she said in a low voice.
They both scanned the room and stood in silence as they watched people they'd grown up with reconnect.
"Neville and Luna are engaged," Hermione said.
Harry looked into Hermione's eyes, only a bit startled by this revelation.
"They told us while you were standing right there, but I saw that you weren't really paying much attention," she continued. Hermione fiddled with the corsage on her wrist. Ron had insisted on getting her one, even though she'd told him it was rather silly. Harry thought it was romantic that Ron still adored Hermione just as much as the day he'd asked her to marry him.
"That's wonderful," Harry replied, though there was no excitement in his tone. He was happy for his friends. They'd all managed to make lives for themselves while Harry had hidden away.
"I know what you want to do, and I really think you should go," Hermione finally said. "I promise to keep Ron so distracted he won't even notice you're missing."
Harry took his friend's hands in his and smiled down at her. Hermione had always been there for him, through thick and thin, and that hadn't changed no matter what. He treasured her friendship dearly.
"Thank you," he said, releasing her grip and walking away. Harry was stopped more times than he could count and he shook hands and greeted each person, barely listening to a word they said. His eyes were set on the exit to the outside and he absently thanked some wizard he barely knew, extricating himself from the conversation he'd been dragged into.
As he stepped out into the cool, crisp evening, Harry breathed a sigh of relief. He quickly moved away from the castle and the crowds, his feet crunching on new-fallen snow. The clear sky sparkled with stars and the air, though cold, was refreshing. Harry shoved his hands into the pockets of his dress robes and rushed through the courtyard. He came to a halt at the heavy doors that led to a wing of the castle that wasn't in use for the evening.
He rushed inside, glad to be out of the cold, but also glad to be someplace much quieter. Harry paused in the dim hallway to look around. He took a moment to indulge in a walk down memory lane, recalling all the times he'd made his way through these corridors when he'd been much younger and far less wise. A dark figure at the end of the hall stopped Harry in his tracks. The light from the windows was much too dim for him to see who it was, but he knew.
Harry pulled out his wand and advanced on the still form. The tip of the wand lit and its bright light fell on Malfoy's pale features. Neither man spoke as Malfoy walked the last few feet to stand just inches from Harry.
"I'm glad you came," Harry whispered, his voice bouncing off the stone walls. "I thought for sure you'd stay away."
"And miss the look of horror on Weasley's face? Never," Malfoy said. He reached out and took hold of Harry's wand hand, shoving it aside to move in close enough to kiss Harry on the mouth. It was a warm, deep kiss that sent shivers through Harry's entire body. The wand's light extinguished and they were surrounded by pitch darkness. Harry's eyes readjusted enough to see the dim outline of Malfoy's face. He reached up and laid a hand on Malfoy's cheek.
"I promise to make it up to you," Harry whispered, pressing their foreheads together. For a while they stood close, taking in each other's warmth. "You look dead sexy," Harry added.
"Nobody saw you leave?" Malfoy asked as he stroked Harry's shoulder gently. Harry pecked a soft kiss on Draco's warm lips.
"Hermione noticed," he joked.
"I won't ever forget the shocked look on her face when she flooed into our flat and found us..." Draco started to say, but was cut off by another kiss.
"Yes well, let's not talk about that again," Harry said as he pulled Draco into his arms. They locked lips and were lost in a passionate kiss for a long while. Draco's hands roamed over Harry's broad shoulders while Harry wrapped arms round Draco's narrow waist, pressing their bodies close together.
"Can we leave now?" Draco said between kisses.
"I suppose I've made enough of an appearance," Harry replied distractedly. He lovingly caressed a lock of Draco's hair that had come loose, and then twirled it round his finger, luxuriating in the silky feel. Harry brought it to his nose and inhaled the scent of jasmine.
"I used that shampoo you bought for me," Draco said, lost in his own examination of Harry's untamed locks.
Harry smiled and kissed Draco again. "Let's go home."
The two did not break apart as they apparated away.