Title: a mix of snow and petals
Summary: It's been two years since The Incident, and Harry still hasn't gotten completely over it, still can only get by day-to-day. Enter Draco, who will do anything to reestablish his name in the Ministry and the Wizarding World...
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning(s): Angst, humour (Crangst?!), CAPSLOCK!Harry, and fluff. (Sorry!) And I guess you could classify this as hurt/comfort, in a way?
Word Count: ~5,200
Author's Notes: grey_hunter, I hope that you like this! Also, I'd like to thank my betas, A, (without whom this would still be three paragraphs long and possibly full of errors) and C (without whom I’d be missing a lot of spaces and have a lot of extraneous periods). You both are dolls!
i. [daily grind]
Harry still takes the Invisibility Cloak out on Sundays. It is mostly habit, anymore--he's been out of school for eight years, and the war's been over for three. There's really no reason to use it, save for wanting to, but the thing is, he doesn't want to. It brings back too many memories. Which makes it mostly habit, and he mostly hates it.
On Mondays, he goes to work. The whole Auror thing didn't work out for him. (Actually, it didn't really work out for much of anyone: demand has lessened considerably since the war ended, and the desirability of the job has followed suit, what with the number of fatalities during the war and aftermath thereof.) A lot of things haven't really worked out for him, when all is said and done. Sure, he has the name, the face. He has all the money he could want, but none of the purpose. He doesn't really like his job, but it's something to do, something he needs to do. Anyway, it's fitting. He has the money and the name he needs to back the House Elf Protection Committee and Union, and it seems to be the proper tribute to Hermione.
Tuesdays, he takes long bubble baths. He tells himself it is for rejuvenating, for relaxing, for the breath of the childhood he never really had, but deep down, he knows that it's more of a getting-by-till-Wednesday sort of thing.
Wednesdays are reserved for Ron. Ron isn't doing so great, even two years after The Incident. Of course, Harry isn't doing great, either, but Ron is a hundred times worse. He lives in a small, smelly flat in a crappy part of town, forgets to feed the fish, and rarely goes outside. When Harry visits, they sit on the couch and stare at the broken television set. They don't talk much, anymore. There isn't much of anything to say.
Thursdays are also work days. He always has ham sandwiches on Thursdays. His secretary doesn't approve. He doesn't care.
On Fridays, he and Ginny picnic at the place where the Giant Squid died, protecting the students of Hogwarts in the final attack. They eat food the squid would, in honour of it. It feels ridiculous every time, but they neither of them want to stop doing it.
Saturdays he visits Hermione's grave.
ii. [mix it up a little bit]
Work isn't fun, by any stretch of the imagination, but the real problem with it is that it isn't fulfilling. It's the same host of complaints, the same host of issues every.single.week.
Not that he minds. It's something to do, and he needs something to do. It just isn't very... it isn't what he had expected. Even when he took on the job, he didn't expect it. He'd expected something other than...
Frankly, its mindless drudgery though loads of red tape, and he is quite sick of it.
But there isn't anything else to be done. He has his job; he's made a commitment. And even if he hadn't done, he couldn't simply abandon it-- Hermione never would have, and, as such, he can't bring himself to stop. Then there's the fact that if he did stop working with the house-elves, he wouldn't have anything to do. Besides, no-one else would ever take the job. Plus, it is his money funding the entire organisation.
A part of him recognises that the last reason is possibly the most persuasive, but the rest of him hates to admit that he might do something based on how it could profit him and him alone.
Mostly, though, it's all about getting by, day to day. Work is Something To Do, which Harry needs. Things like 'interesting' and 'fun' really don't have to play into it at all (do they?), so long as he's 'doing'. He doesn't hate his work. He doesn't feel anything about it.
And then, one particular foggy Thursday in late April, he comes in to see Malfoy sitting at his desk.
"Hi," Harry says, upon walking in on Malfoy swiveling in his chair.
Malfoy stops, abruptly. "My apologies," he says, smoothly, and stands.
"I don't," Harry considers. "I don't care."
Malfoy nods, peering at him through half-squinty eyes.
"Are your eyes okay?" Harry asks.
"Yes, they are," Malfoy says, squinting more. "You're different."
"I'm older," Harry returns. "What do you want?"
"I am here," Malfoy says, "a reformed man." (Harry snorts, a little. Malfoy ignores him.) "I have come to donate. To the cause here, the, um."
"The house-elves?" Harry asks, rubbing his forehead. He doesn't need this, not now. Not another bundle of, of confusion to go on top of everything else.
"Yes!" Malfoy looks almost triumphant. "I have three thousand Galleons to donate to the cause of the house-elves."
Harry doesn't really know what to say to that. Three thousand Galleons is... quite a bit. Almost quadruple what the House Elf Protection Committee and Union has received during its two years of existence -- not including what he's put into it. He isn't even sure that they could use that much... "I don't know if we can use that much money."
Malfoy frowns. "I'm donating three thousand Galleons. You can, can refinish your desk, if there's that much extra."
"That wouldn't be right," Harry says. "To use the money for personal purposes."
"Using it for making your office look better isn't personal," Malfoy says. "It's promoting a better image to persons with potential deals."
"Yeah, well," Harry says, and Malfoy shrugs:
"I'll come back later. Feel free to notify the press."
And Harry watches, wordlessly, as Malfoy sweeps out of the office.
At Ron's the next day, Harry considers mentioning the Appearance of the Malfoy. Doesn't. Ron probably can't handle knowing, when push comes to shove. Probably.
The next day, Malfoy's at his desk again-- only he's on the right side of it, this time. "Potter," he says. "Potter. Did you know that the average life span of a hit wizard is 37 years?"
Harry frowns. "No," he says, simply. He doesn't see what this has to do with -- well, anything.
Malfoy nods. "It probably isn't. I read that in the Quibbler."
It's all Harry can do to keep from snorting. "You. Read. The Quibbler."
"Oh, yeah," Malfoy says. "And then I dance with Muggle ... things."
Harry doesn't know what to make of this Malfoy. He's used to someone who-- who-- well, for one, he's used to someone who argues and attacks and isn't generally at all amusing. Not that Malfoy's being amusing. He's just being strange, which, when Harry bothers to actually think about it, isn't that different at all. At least he isn't busy killing people or anything, and Harry is pretty sure that Malfoy did kill people during the war. That's why he was in Azkaban until (apparently) recently, right? Killing people?
Harry realises that he's been standing there, almost-but-not-quite behind his desk, not talking, and notices that the silence between them has grown tense. He speaks. "So," he says. "You want to donate money."
"Yes," Malfoy reaffirms. "And I really wouldn't mind it if you took a few pictures while I do so. Promote my renewed image of, oh, benevolence. Should do the trick."
"You're donating to look good." Harry massages his temples. "Well, okay, I'm not going to tell you you can't do it, but I'm not going to take any pictures."
Malfoy leans in, over Harry's desk, and squints at Harry, much like he did the Tuesday prior. "You're not very much like you were in school, are you," he says, and Harry understands that this is not a question.
"I'm not," he agrees. "In school I had something to do." And perhaps it isn't the smartest idea, mentioning this to Malfoy, but then again, Malfoy was in Azkaban for two years and prisoner of the Order for four years before that. According to him (and Veritaserum), back when he was still kept under lock and key at 12 Grimmauld Place, he'd only actually killed three times-- all for defense.
Anyway, the time to remember the war is over. And although Harry can't exactly move on, he can be courteous. Maybe. Satisfied with his internal justification, he continues. "Out of school, too, until I killed Voldemort."
"You have this?" Malfoy suggests, looking put-out enough with himself that Harry suspects that Malfoy really would be anywhere but here, that he's only making idle chitchat so that Harry will spread this meeting to the media.
"Yeah, well." Harry runs a hand through his hair. "This is for Hermione. Not me. I'm just doing this for, for her."
"Why can't she do it herself, then?" Malfoy asks, and Harry freezes.
"You... oh, go make the payment to Angela. She's in the office just to the right of this, and she takes care of all financial transactions, anyway," Harry says, shortly, standing abruptly and leaving the room.
An owl reaches him the next night:
I am terribly sorry about asking about Hermione Granger today. I did not realise that she was dead. Donation has been made, but it hasn't raised me in the public’s eye enough.
Making you more of a presence in the Wizarding world will, however, I think. Thus, I'm going to wake you up a little (so to speak). Consider it both a gift for you and for me.
Harry crumples it in his hands. (Hermione didn't deserve to die; no one had expected a Muggle illness to take her, it was too soon, it was--)
Malfoy is waiting just outside the fence to Harry's house (small, cottage-like) when he gets back from Hermione's grave.
"What are you doing here?" Harry asks, pushing his way into his (albeit tiny) yard.
"Livening you up a bit, of course," Malfoy returns. Obviously, Harry should have known better than to ask, Malfoy's tone is saying. "Like I mentioned in my owl last night?"
"Oh, right," Harry says. "No, thanks." He pushes past Malfoy to the door. "I'm good."
"No, you aren't," Malfoy says, but he allows Harry to open the door and take a step inside before making his move. He closes the door behind them and looks around the house, lips thinning as he takes in the state of the room before him.
Harry doesn't need to follow his gaze to know what he's thinking. He's a few days overdue for his next fit of cleaning, which means that the house is rather distressingly messy (but it's not as if he wants to impress Malfoy, anyway).
After a moment, Malfoy speaks, and it's obvious he's trying very hard to be optimistic. "It's even worse than I thought," he says, almost to himself, eying a stray wrapper with distaste. "I suppose there's no chance I can get away with calling an elf to fix all this."
Harry stares at Malfoy, incredulous. "I didn't invite you in," he says, a little redundantly. "And, and, and you're right. No house-elves."
"Pity," Malfoy says. "House-elves could possibly make some... dent, in this mess."
Harry tells him to get out. Malfoy doesn't. Rather, he says: "This is a mess. You're a mess. We're going for coffee, in a place that isn't this hideous inside."
Harry isn't sure which to protest first-- that his place wasn't that messy, or that he didn't like coffee. But, as it turned out, he didn't get to say either-- Malfoy had him by the arm, and was dragging him out of his house and down the street.
Harry retrieves his wits by the time they get to the corner. "MALFOY," he bellows, wrenching his arm from the other man's grip. "What are you doing?"
"Blowing some life into your existence," Malfoy says. "I'm distressed by your lack of anger-- although, just now, you showed a shadow of your former self, I suppose. But I figure that the world has noticed that you've been in a bit of a slump, and if I get you out of it, that has got to be worth more than donating some money to some paltry house-elf fund."
Harry protests: "You can't very well just, just enter my workplace and then my life, Malfoy. I don't even like you, and--"
"I detest you," Malfoy says, examining a fingernail. "Are you quite done? I have a name to make."
"No!" Harry says. "You're not going to make your name off of me. I refuse to let you do that, Malf--"
"You don't really have a choice, you know," Malfoy turns around, shoving his hands in his pockets. "I've sort of made up my mind." He turns back to Harry. "Hey, do you mind if I move in?"
Harry stares at Malfoy. "Yes, I mind."
"Good!" Malfoy says. (Obviously, he isn't paying much attention to what Harry is saying) "I'll move in in the morning."
"You're going to what?" Harry asks. "No. No! I refuse. You're not allowed to."
"Again, I find myself not too concerned with what you want me to do," Malfoy says. "You'll fix up the guest bed for me, yeah?"
"You know," Harry points out, "telling me that you're going to, to move in and take control of my life really isn't the way to... get me out of my slump. NOT THAT I'M IN ONE. But don't you think that's sort of... counterproductive?"
"'Course it goes against the purpose," Malfoy says. "Remember: getting my name back! Stuff never happens if you follow the rules exactly, Potter, which I'm sure you remember from back at school." He nods, as if to affirm what he's just said. "Oh, hey, should I call you Harry? If I’m going to help you reaffirm your self-confidence?"
"Since when is this about self-confidence?!" Harry half-questions, half-exclaims, but Malfoy is already walking away. "See you tomorrow!" Malfoy calls, over his shoulder, and Apparates before Harry can say anything.
He just glances about, furtively, to make sure no Muggles witnessed the Apparation. Satisfied, he goes back to his house and triples the strength of his wards.
He hides under his Invisibility Cloak all Sunday and doesn't answer the door when Malfoy (or, at least, he thinks it's Malfoy. He doesn't really check) knocks. He doesn't have any problems. He's full of life! Sure, he's not sneaking around, but sometimes he needs to take a break. Right? Anyway. He doesn't have any problems with getting by. He was managing just fine before Malfoy showed up.
He goes back into work on Monday. His secretary points one of her impossibly long fingernails at Harry's office door. "Mr. Malfoy is waiting for you," she says. "He said you told him he had to finalise the transaction with you?"
Harry frowns. "No, I didn't," he says. "But, um." He isn't sure what else there is to say. "Thanks."
"Oh," she says, as he goes into his office. "If I had known you didn't want him to... I wouldn't have let him..."
"It's fine, Angela," Harry says, and goes in.
Malfoy's waiting with a suitcase. "I'll be coming home with you, Potter," he informs him. "Your secretary is nice."
"Thank you. You're not welcome," Harry says. "I mean..."
Malfoy laughs. "I know what you mean, Potter. I like coffee."
"Why should I care what you like?"
"You'll find I'm unbearable, mornings, when I do not have my coffee," Draco announces, folding his hands in his lap.
Harry pauses. "Somehow that doesn't bother me."
Malfoy just smirks.
Malfoy goes home with Harry. Harry isn't sure how (or when) he'd agreed to this-- probably sometime around the ninety-eighth time that Malfoy informed him that he was going to go home with Harry and, through some chain of events that Harry had stopped bothering listening to, reestablish his own name with the Ministry (Harry doesn't tell him that this is probably futile, but, really, it is. The Ministry seems to shrink each day, and, with it, the minds of its employees. Sometimes, Harry fancies that Percy Weasley is the most liberal of the lot-- and knowing Percy...) and the rest of the Wizarding world. Malfoy sets up in the guest room (small, in a very cramped room; Harry had been using it for his suits for the past year or so), and Harry goes to his fridge.
He's sort of embarrassed at the contents-- chocolate and beer, namely, with a very dehydrated stalk of celery and a dried-out-looking hunk of cheese on one of the shelves-- and hopes that Draco doesn't find his way to the fridge. Or, rather, the entire kitchen; there's a half-eaten carton of Chinese takeaway on one counter, and it's been there for probably a week by this point.
But what Harry came for was a beer, and a beer he gets. He cracks it open, takes a swallow, and goes into the living room.
Malfoy is sitting there, legs crossed, fingers templed. "Do you always keep your plants unwatered?" he asks.
"And your bookshelves, they're dusty."
"They're Hermione's books," Harry says, sharply. "Why are you here?"
"Trying to bring life back into your existence!" Malfoy says, brightly. "As I've told you time and time again. Which will ensure my rise in the Ministry, et cetera, et cetera, culminating in you being happy, thus making the Wizarding world happy, especially with me. And then I get my fortune back. Are you gay?"
"I don't even want to try to follow your chain of reason-- what?"
"Are you gay?" Malfoy enunciates.
"No," says Harry. "I'm not. Are you?"
"Not at all!" Malfoy says. "Which is a pity, as that might make livening you up a bit easier. What's your take on prostitutes?"
"I am-- MALFOY," Harry shouts. "You can't expect m-- you can't expect to make me happy or lively -- which, I might add, I don't need, as I'm perfectly happy and quite alive -- with sex!"
Malfoy frowns. "Right," he says. "You're... are you even human?"
"No," Harry says, tightly. "I'm actually a Bowtruckle."
Malfoy pauses, stares at Harry. "There's hope for you yet," he says, and Harry can tell he's refraining from laughing.
Harry considers, turns, and goes to his room. Beer tastes better quiet.
He can't stop thinking about Malfoy's question, but he isn't gay. He's never kissed a man (except for Dean that one time, when they were both drunk during the war and Seamus dared them to, because everyone needed a laugh), nor had any urge to. And his lack of relationships with women-- well. He isn't looking for sex, and he already has friends. He's not gay. Malfoy was mistaken in asking him so inane-- no, so uninformed a question.
He falls asleep without changing out of his clothes, beer sweating on his bedside table.
Malfoy wakes him up the next morning. "Six o'clock! Up, up, up! Rise and shine! I need coffee! You need to exercise! ...God, I sound like my old House-elf."
Harry half-sits, and glares at Malfoy. "Is it really six?"
"No, it's actually six oh three," Malfoy says. "Get out of bed!"
"Today," Harry says, "is my day to visit Ron. You are not allowed to come. Nor are you allowed to wake me up at six in the morning. I go directly to his place after waking up and he doesn't get up till at least eleven, so my getting up now would be very inconsiderate."
Malfoy blinks at him. "I," he states, "am going to go out in search of coffee. When I get back, I expect you up and dressed. I would prefer you ate, too, but I can hardly expect that, given the contents of your kitchen--" (Harry reddens) "--so I'll bring you something. And then you can tell me about visiting Weasley."
Harry nods. That sounds reasonable to him, and he says as much.
For the first time in months, he gets up, showers immediately, and dresses (his clothes are wrinkled; this will not do). He goes into the kitchen, looks at the dirty dishes, and scoffs to himself. He isn't that bothered by them. They can stay dirty until he'll need them-- probably a while off.
When Malfoy comes back, he tsks. "Passable," he says. "Room for improvement, but okay for now."
"Only okay?" Harry asks. Malfoy disregards this. "What was the last thing you ate, Potter?"
Harry has to think for a minute. "Takeaway curry."
"And when did you eat this?"
"Not... too long ago," Harry says. Two days isn't all that long. He hasn't been hungry! (Which, he realises, isn't a great excuse, but it's true, which has got to count for something)
"Mhmm," Malfoy says. "Okay. You're going to eat something." And he plops a bag in front of Harry. "Preferably more than one something, at that."
Harry looks inside, and groans, but the food does smell good. He takes out a pastry and starts munching.
Ron's doing well, for Ron. He's dressed, drinking a cup of tea, and the vacant look in his eyes isn't as pronounced. Harry's glad, of course, but as always, there isn't much to say. Harry mentions Malfoy, and Ron just nods. It isn't till Harry's about to leave that Ron turns to him. "Malfoy?!"
Harry nods. "Didn't have much of a choice, really."
"Well," Ron says. "In that case..."
Harry nods. He understands what Ron means. "I'm sorry," he says. "Did you know, though, Malfoy didn't have any idea about... about... you know."
Ron nods, too. "I'm not surprised," he says, slowly, "that Malfoy would lie about it."
"It wasn't during the war!" Harry points out, wondering as he does so why he's sticking up for Malfoy.
"No matter," Ron sighs. "Well. Be smart, Harry. Kick him out if he, you know."
"I know," Harry says, and gives Ron an awkward hug. "Hey, I'm glad to see you more..."
"Awake?" Ron asks. "Alive? Yeah, me too." And Harry hears what he doesn't say, too: don't come to expect this.
And so Harry resigns himself to having Malfoy in his life. It isn't so bad, really, once he gets over Malfoy reminding him, every day, that he has to 'be more awake, be more alive, be less... lethargic, uncaring, supply your own adjective' and that 'I'm only in this for the name'.
Harry begins to suspect that Malfoy isn't in it, just for the name. One day, he tries to test Malfoy. Does things he knows Malfoy hates, pushes the limits (After all, he thinks, I'm as much a grown man as Malfoy is. I don't have to, oh, bend to his will or anything like that!), stays in bed past noon and doesn't go outside at all on Tuesdays.
Malfoy doesn't go away, just redoubles his efforts.
Harry doesn't know what to make of this, but he continues silently resisting Malfoy. Just to see.
Malfoy doesn't bring up the 'gay' thing again, either, but that doesn't stop Harry from obsessing over it, each and every night. Perfectly normal thing to do, he tells himself. Everyone thinks about whether they're gay after someone asks them if they are. But Ron says he doesn't, and Ginny says so, too. (But then again, Ginny also gets this knowing look, says 'no, nothing, never mind' when Harry asks her what it means-- very perplexing, that.)
His secretary tells him that he looks more 'rosy-cheeked' than normal, one day in late May. Harry just rolls his eyes. "Infernal Malfoy," he says, but doesn't explain. He's getting weary of all of Malfoy's chidings, but he doesn't really have the energy to kick Malfoy out. He likes his house clean, and Malfoy keeps it that way (asking for a house -elf every day, yes, but at least it's clean). Also, Harry's never been one to turn down meals that he, himself didn't have to procure, and Malfoy's good at keeping the refrigerator stocked (once, that is, he gets over the whole 'cold box without magic' thing). Harry has his shelf for his chocolate and beer; Malfoy fills the rest with more sustainable substances.
Early June: Harry decides that he's sick and tired of Malfoy telling him what to do, how to do it, and to be more lively. Malfoy's instructing him to get out his broom and fly for a bit is the last straw. "DRACO OCTAVIUS MALFOY," he bellows (trying very hard not to think about Malfoy's middle name, because it always makes him laugh, to think about it). "I AM SICK AND TIRED OF YOU TELLING ME WHAT TO DO TO BE MORE LIVELY. IF YOU REALLY WANT ME TO BE MORE LIVELY-- WHICH, AS I'VE TOLD YOU TIME AND TIME AGAIN, I DO NOT NEED-- THEN YOU NEED TO STOP TELLING ME HOW AND JUST LET ME DO IT."
"I'm impressed," Draco comments. "That, in and of itself, is a marked improvement. All right," he concedes. "I'll listen to what you think you should do," (this is said sceptically) "and perhaps we can work something ou--"
He's cut off as Harry kisses him, hard, angry, and only slightly desperately. If Harry expects Malfoy to be surprised, he's disappointed, for Malfoy kisses him back, catching Harry's back in his hands (just enough to push Harry's shirt up and oh dear but Malfoy will be upset when he realises that he's wrinkled Harry's new shirt, unless the fact that it's his actions that caused it to wrinkle) and muttering something that sounds suspiciously like knew it all along.
For someone who isn't gay, Malfoy kisses men pretty well.
And then it's not just kissing: Malfoy's teeth, which seconds before had been worrying Harry's lower lip, scrape along Harry's jawline to his ear. "Not gay at all, are you?" Harry murmurs, and Malfoy chuckles against his neck.
And then Harry's pushing Malfoy's shirt out of his trousers and up, and unbuttoning it with fumbling fingers, and Malfoy's pushing Harry's shirt off, too. "About damn time," Harry thinks he hears Malfoy say, but he could be mistaken. And then... and then...
Harry wonders, briefly, stupidly, why he's never done this before. Well, obviously, Ginny never wanted to, but that shouldn't have stopped him from... from... (ohgod, Malfoy, yessss)
Afterwards, he asks Malfoy if he's really straight, expects Malfoy to respond with 'are you?'
But he doesn't. He says, "Mmm. Yes, I suppose you could say that. That I'm gay, that is. Didn't want to make you too uncomfortable, if you weren't."
Harry blinks. "What, now?"
Malfoy turns, looks at him. "I'm gay, Potter. I didn't want to make you uncomfortable, if you weren't. Even though I knew all along that you were."
"You didn't want me... Malfoy, I didn't know you cared! And, and, how could you know I was gay!"
"Lucky guess? And," Malfoy reddens. "I didn't care. Don't care. Remember? Clearing my name, that's all."
Harry grins, suddenly reassured. "You keep telling yourself that, Malfoy."
iii. [a mix of snow and petals]
It's been thirteen months since that day in April that Draco showed up at the House Elf Protection Committee headquarters, and he is (he says) 'finally satisfied with the amount of life you show on a day-to-day basis'. (Harry just rolls his eyes, but Draco's right; he has noticed a difference in himself. Not just the gay thing, either.)
Ron still isn't that much better, but at least he gets out of his flat every once in awhile. Last Wednesday, when Harry visited, Ron'd actually picked up, and the couch wasn't covered with clothes. And he's been cultivating the chef within (or, at least, that's what he tells Harry when Harry asks), as is evidenced by the sudden profusion of fresh foods and a distinct lack of five-minute meals and takeaway cartons. He's realistic with himself, Ron is-- he tells Harry that he's not ready to get out, that he's still a little too upset about Hermione, but eventually, maybe with a little training, he'd like to look into the restauranting business. "Mum could have made millions," he tells Harry. "Good home cooking like that, or whatever. Think I can, too. Apparently I got her cooking gene," and he starts crying, silently, at this point. "Hermione told me about genes and all of, of that," he says, and Harry nods.
Harry still meets Ginny (and the new Giant Squid, who appeared one day in late June) every Friday. Yesterday, Ginny brought her daughter along, too (She married Zacharias Smith, of all people, and apparently she couldn't be happier. Their wedding was held at the lake. The Giant Squid II had a position of honour, Harry was best man, and Draco got the groom very drunk). Harry's brought Draco a few times, and Ginny's brought Smith, and the two of them get along famously-- which, of course, makes Harry and Ginny roll their eyes at each other and wonder why the two were ever introduced. For the most part, though, Fridays are Harry and Ginny time.
Today is Saturday, and Harry is visiting Hermione's grave (as always). It's the first time he's let Draco come with him, and the first time he plans on telling Hermione about him (He thinks, half-amused, that this is 'sort of like going to the parents' about his relationship with Draco.).
"Hermione," he says, standing at the foot of her grave, and shivers. It's cold out, especially for May. "Hermione, Draco is with me today. Um. He and I, it would seem..." This is harder than he thought it would be, especially since Hermione can't answer back, really. "It would seem that he is, essentially, my boyfriend. But," he hastens to say, "this isn't a bad thing! He's sort of, helped me. Get over you, your death. Um."
He shifts, and notices that it's started snowing, somehow. He half-turns, and there's Draco, catching snowflakes on his tongue. (He's gotten his fortune back, recently, and though proper respect might take a while, people are willing to see his merit. He's taking Harry to a Ministry function next Tuesday. Harry doesn't really want to go, but Draco's promised 'a reward, of course, perhaps with that chocolate stuff that you got me for my birthday')
"I'm happy, almost," Harry continues. "I don't think I will be happy, truly, for a while yet-- I mean, you aren't here, for one, and I think that maybe Ron isn't completely here, either, but I'm as happy as I can be without both of you being, being there. Draco's nice," and he smiles, a little self-consciously. "Even if he does keep saying that all he wants is his name, and then he's gone. I don't think he's going to go," and he suddenly realises that this is true, maybe, that he thinks that Draco isn't going to go once he gets all of his prestige in the Wizarding world back. "I don't want him to go," and that's a little closer to the truth. "But I think I'll be okay if he does." That isn't true, not at all, and he's pretty sure that Hermione can tell (Could. Could tell, if she wasn't so very... not alive), but, really. "And, um. I won't be here next week, but I'll be here the week after. Next week, I have a hearing, for the House Elf Protection Committee. The French Ministry, they think they might have similar interests. Fleur's going to be there, you know. She says she wants to have 'an important Ministry Position'" (here he effects her French accent) "and that this might help." He smiles, shivers again. It's snowing a little harder. "Fleur and Draco are similar, that way."
Draco's coming closer, and Harry knows that he wants to talk to Hermione, too. "Draco wants to talk to you now," he says. "But then I'll talk to you some more. Maybe in a little while, Ron will be ready to come back here, too."
And then winds gust through the cemetery as Harry steps back and Draco approaches the grave, pulling petals off of the flowering trees and swirling them with the snow. And the mix of snow and petals falls, cold and notcold at the same time, landing on Harry's shoulders and Draco's hair and Hermione's grave and, as he hears Draco start murmuring, I’m only in this for the sex, of course, Granger, for the first time in a long time (three years, almost), Harry thinks, everything's going to be alright. Maybe not perfect, but it will be okay.