Pairing(s): Harry/Draco, Harry/Ginny, Harry/OMC
Summary: Sometimes, waiting could be the best thing that ever happened to you.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning(s): Crossdressing (not H/D), het.
Deathly Hallows compliant? Complaint but EWE?
Word Count: 4200
Author's Notes: I really hope you like this.
“I’m tired of waiting for you,” Ginny growled as she paced the floor. Harry stood silently and watched.
“I’m trying to wrap my head around things.”
Reaching over with lightening speed, she grabbed a vase off of the mantel and threw it at him, causing him to duck.
“Wrap your head around things!?! You told me you loved me and this is what I get!”
“Gin, please, sit down and talk to me like a normal human being.”
Ginny sat on the opposite end of the couch and stared at the wall in defiance. Harry shook his head, wondering if she’d ever grow up completely.
“Are you going to listen to me?”
“Yes.” She snapped but continued to refuse to look at him.
He sighed and fiddled his thumbs for a long moment, trying to get the words to come out in such a way that would make sense.
"I'm sorry. I really am and I wish with all of my heart that I didn't feel the way I do but I can't help it Gin, I just can't. I don't feel whole and I can't explain why. The only solution I can think of is this. Going away and trying to find myself."
"But you're right here!" she shouted, waving her arms at where he sat.
He smiled sadly. "I may be here physically but I'm not here mentally or emotionally. I feel so detached and out of sorts that my mind cannot wrap around it. I need to do this Ginny. I do."
"What about me?" she asked, her voice quiet and trembling. She slid closer to him on the couch and looked up into his eyes, wondering what she had ever done wrong to make all the sadness there.
"We'll make a deal," he said, grabbing her hands. "While I'm gone, our relationship will be nonexistent. You can date other people, I can date other people. But if I come back Ginny, if I come back it would mean that I'm ready and sure of this relationship and that I want to try to have something with you. But if you've found someone who you, for sure, want to spend the rest of your life with before I come back, tell me, so that if I haven't, I won't have to even come back. Is that alright with you?"
Crying, she sat silently for a long moment, staring at him and wondering what had happened between them to cause this. This Harry to be the one before her and not the Harry she had originally fallen in love with. She still loved him, yes, but deep down she knew that he was right, that he wasn't himself and that he needed to get away. She watched him as he stared at her, waiting for her answer to the question that would surely break her heart. He was so sad.
"Yes, it's alright with me. But Harry, answer me one question?"
He nodded his consent.
Biting his lip he looked away from her. "We jumped into this relationship much too early for me. I wasn't ready but I craved the attention and the love that it brought. I enjoyed seeing other people happy for me, for us, even when, after a while, I wasn't. Seventh year, and traveling all around England was amazing, despite the dire situations. And then when we came back, it was fighting. So much fighting and for so long. I'm so tired of fighting for my life. For the right to live the way I want to. I just need to get away from here. And I'm sorry that this feeling I've had has taken me this long to figure out. And most of all I'm sorry you got dragged into it."
She nodded, letting him know that it was okay, that even if they met other people and fell in love and got married to other people they would always be friends and they would always be family.
"Go," she said, pushing him off the couch, "Go and there’s no deal, Harry. You are not happy with me and I’m not going to force you to come back out of obligation.”
He swooped down and kissed her cheek softly, hugged her tightly and then he was gone and she was alone.
Ginny continued to gaze at the wall, wondering what he was going to do with his life now that they weren’t connected in any way.
It was weeks later that with a shove, Harry stumbled into the room, hearing a faint, “Here” before the door slammed behind him. Rubbing his head, he picked himself off the ground and looked around the room, wondering if he was in the right place. The room was large, overly large in his opinion, and sparely furnished with only a bed, wardrobe, and vanity. Sitting on the edge of the bed, Harry began biting his nails, a nervous habit that he had obtained after the war. Looking around the room once more, he noticed that there were neither mirrors, nor windows just a single other door in the far corner of the room.
With a sudden start he noticed the quiet, which was a bit strange due to the fact that this establishment was not magical. Wondering how that was possible, he rocked back and stood up. Moving silently, he opened the other door and vanished into the bathroom.
When he exited, a woman was lounging on the bed looking bored. She wasn’t quite beautiful in a drop-dead gorgeous way, but she was pretty with honey blonde hair and soft brown eyes. She glanced up at him from her nails, which she had been examining when he came into the room.
“I was wondering if you were ever going to come out.”
Harry’s eyes widened. “But I’m not ready!” He shouted and gripped at the door jam as if she was going to force him.
“Of the bathroom,” the woman finished staring at Harry as if he had a second head. He gulped and blushed as the woman settled herself into a sitting position. She crossed her legs with seemingly no difficultly and continued to stare at him.
“I’m Jane, who are you?”
He watched her intently after introducing himself but with a shy and quiet demeanor that made it seemingly impossible to tell if he was looking at her or at the floor. She was admiring his looks he noticed and had to fight off a blush. He had grown little since his seventh year and he was no where near as tall as Ron had become. Straightening to his full height about 5 feet 10 inches tall showed off the rest of his lean body which he had obtained from years of living with the Dursleys and playing Quiddtich.
“How old are you?” she asked suddenly and unexpectedly causing him to start and a small grin to turn at the corner of her lips.
He glared at that grin as he answered. “22.”
She raised an eyebrow, her shock evident. “You are awfully young to be seeking entertainment here.”
He shifted back and forth before looking up at her in determination. “I’m confused.”
She stood then and adjusted her boobs, one which had been falling lopsided to the other. “Have you ever done this before?”
“I’m not a virgin if that’s what you’re asking,” he snapped, embarrassed at the question and at himself.
“But have you ever done this before?” she gestured to herself at the question and understanding flickered in his eyes.
He backed up as she walked towards him but stopped himself before it became too evident. He did however, push her away when she leaned in to kiss him. Sighing heavily she opened her eyes and looked at him.
“Do you want this or not?”
“You came here because you said you were confused. I’m here to help you either not be confused anymore or to embrace a new lifestyle should you enjoy being fucked up the arse. Now, are we going to get this on or are you going to duck out now?”
Jane watched as a determined and stubborn glint entered his eyes, giving him a ‘don’t fuck with me’ kind of look. Dropping her hands to her hips, she stared him down, waiting for what she was sure would happen and happen it did. He flipped the light switch off and jumped her, pushing her back onto the bed. With what seemed like a growl, he ripped off the shirt that held the bra on. Slowly Jane transformed into the man she really was and Harry sat back on his haunches, gazing down at him, his wig in complete disarray, the woman’s clothing lying around the thin body. Dread filled Harry deep and thick and he scrambled off of her.
“I’m sorry. I can’t do this,” he said, sputtering, eyes flickering around the room for an exit.
Jane sighed, wondering what would happen to them if they walked out of the building, and then realized that these things happened all the time. Men came in, didn’t want to have sex in the room provided and took their whore with them to wherever they were most comfortable. If they left and didn’t have sex, it would just seem like they did to everyone else in the house. With that in mind, she adjusted her clothes and stood.
“Then let’s go out for burgers or something. You obviously don’t want to be here.”
“I do want to be here! I do!”
Jane looked at him. “You need your first time to be with someone you care about, not me.” She grabbed his hands, feeling concern for him and a deep seated hope, “Believe in what your heart is saying to you. I didn’t and now I regret it.”
He stared at her for a long moment before sitting on the bed and dropping his head into his hands.
She perched next to him and set a hand on his thigh. “I’ve been doing this for a long time and believe me when I say you are not the first one to realize that this was the last thing they wanted to do with someone like me.” She stood and straightened the skirt she wore then grabbed his hands, “Come on. Let’s get out of here.”
Together they left the building, some of the other ‘girls’ watching them go with knowing smirks, others simply ignoring them all together. Harry blushed all the way to the pavement then dropped Jane’s hand and together they walked towards a small café two blocks over.
He muttered his apologies when they sat down and she waved him off. He ignored her gaze as they ordered tea and as they waited for it.
“You’re in love with someone aren’t you?”
He looked away. “I was. I left her.”
Jane was quiet for a long moment as she looked at him hard, reading his face.
“You need to go to the place you were most happy at.”
He glanced out the window, sadness filling his eyes, “Maybe.”
Minerva McGonagall looked up from her work at the sound of the knock on her office door; she pinched the bridge of her nose and straightened, leaning back in her chair to have a clear view. “Enter.”
Harry slid the door open slowly and poked his head around it, smiling at the professor as he did so. Her eyes widened and she stood from her chair, moving around her desk as Harry entered the room and closed the door.
She perched on the edge of her desk much like she used to do when she was younger and more excitable and smiled at him. “How have you been?”
He sighed, glanced down for a split second, then up again. “Better.”
A concerned look passed over her features and she asked a silent question with her raised brows.
“I’m sure Molly told you about me and Ginny?”
Minerva shook her head. “She mentioned nothing.”
He leaned against the desk next to her and she grew silent, waiting.
“We broke it off.”
She blinked and looked sharply at him, but didn’t ask about it. “I’m sorry to hear that.”
“I’m not. I think I’m having a mid-life crisis.”
“You are far too young to have one of those awful things.”
He smirked at her and she sighed. “I got involved with a much younger man when that occurred with me. It did not last long but it was... fun while it did.”
His laughter filled the room and from it McGonagall had a feeling he hadn’t laughed that way in a while.
In a moment she was serious again. “What happened Harry? I thought you were going through with Auror training just like we planned.”
Harry looked at the ground, then out the window. “I’m tired of fighting.”
Nodding she moved back to her chair and he settled into the one in front of her desk. They sat in comforting silence as Harry looked around and as Minerva watched him. They were so engrossed in what they were doing that neither heard the knocking or the door opening until a voice called out.
“Come in!” she said sharply and glanced once at Harry, who stood and walked to the far wall to stare out the windows.
“Can you supervise a detention for me tonight?”
“Whom?” she asked with a sigh, not looking away from her desk.
“Edwards and Cabot.”
Harry heard rather than saw her lean back in her chair and glare at the other professor. “Is there a reason you always toss your detentions off on someone else?”
“No, of course not.”
“You are training to become a professor here Malfoy, you need to take care of all of your responsibilities.” She glanced over at the shadow. “I’d like to introduce you to our new training professor. If, of course, he’s decided to take the job.”
Harry smirked. “You offered me a job?” He glanced over his shoulder at them and felt Draco’s gaze on his face. “I didn’t get the memo.”
“You’re becoming a teacher?”
“Do you have a problem with it?”
“Too bad. I accept Minnie.”
Draco turned and stared at Minerva, wide-eyed, as he franticly shook his head ‘no’ but she only leered at him.
“I think it’ll be just what you need Harry.”
He turned around and she instantly noticed a difference, but she would ask him later why he had come here and ask herself where this idea came from.
“You’ll be happy to know that we just took on Neville Longbottom too.” She told Harry off-handedly.
Draco paled and Minnie grinned at him.
Over the next few months, Draco grew more and more annoyed at the world in general part due to the stress of being a professor but mainly due to Potter and Longbottom. The two had seemed to start right where they left off and everywhere he turned there they were, always talking about something or another, using ridiculous hand gestures and laughing at themselves and each other. The more and more he saw the two together, the more and more it angered him. Every time they turned a corner together, he would stomp off in the opposite direction upsetting students and more than often professors. It was after the seemingly eight-hundredth time that Minerva had been almost bowled over that she decided to do something about it, starting at the source.
“Harry!” Minerva called out as he passed her office alone one afternoon. She waited and listened as he turned to pause at her door.
“I need to speak with you.”
He smirked. “Isn’t that what we’re doing?”
“Don’t be sassy with me. I would like to speak about Mr. Malfoy. Please come in?”
“Of course but why Draco?”
She shook her head and he entered to her office. With a snap, a house-elf appeared and took their tea orders which they waited for in silence.
It was only after they had received their tea that Minerva spoke.
“I believe he’s lonely.”
“Well that’s all fine and dandy Minerva but what does this have to do with me?”
“Well, you two have been though a lot together.”
“Yes, a lot of fighting and hexing.”
She shot him a look and he closed his mouth, sipping his tea silently.
“You’ve still been though a lot together, Harry. Have you even spoken with him about it?”
“I hadn’t even seen him until that day in your office.”
“I think he needs someone to talk to. He probably feels very guilty.”
“And he should! Minnie, I don’t even understand how you can forgive him!”
She glanced away and stirred her tea absentmindedly. “It’s what Albus would have wanted for both of us to do. I’m not saying I forgive him completely but at least I’m attempting to.”
Harry sat back with a scowl.
“He begged me all summer to hire someone closer to his age and I told him repeatedly that we had enough professors. And then Pomona came to me right before term began and informed me of her intentions to retire and that she had the perfect person to take her place, so I hired Neville at her request. Plus, the more and more I watch Jonathan teach, the more and more I realize he’d much rather be back in France and you showed up. It was only natural.” She paused and sipped her tea, leaning back in her chair. For a moment Harry was harshly reminded of Albus but the moment ended and Minerva began speaking again. “You and Neville lived together for six years so it was simple for you to fall back into that easy friendship.”
Glancing over at him she smiled as his resolve dropped before her eyes.
“Harry,” she scolded gently, “I’m not telling you to ask for his hand in marriage. I’m only asking that you include him in some activities. There is no one else near the same age as the three of you.”
Harry made a face and stood. “I’ll see you at dinner.”
“Harry,” she began but he had already closed the door. Heaving a sigh, she finished her tea and allowed the memories to overcome her.
Harry kicked at imaginary stones as he walked down the hallway, hands deep in the pockets of his trousers.
“Someone die, Potter?” Draco drawled as he exited the staff lounge. He stood in front of Harry, shoulders thrust back, nose in the air, dressed in plain black robes.
“No.” Harry shook his head and stared fixedly at Draco for a long moment. “Would you like to join Neville and me for a drink Friday?”
Draco blinked, wondering what had just happened before nodding slowly. Harry grinned boyishly at him and Draco stepped backwards, bumping into the wall.
“I’ll see you in the Entrance Hall at eight then?”
With a soft wave Harry left leaving Draco curious and nervous.
Over the next few days, Draco avoided the two trainee professors, overly nervous about the outing (and not knowing why - he was a Malfoy, for Merlin’s sake). However, there was no avoiding Harry Potter when he seriously wanted to find you, and it was Friday right before dinner that Draco was cornered.
“Can I help you, Potter?”
“Yeah, if you didn’t want to go with us, you could have said something instead of being a prick and avoiding us this whole week. I was just trying to be nice.”
“I want to go.” Draco said, stricken.
Harry crossed his arms and glared at the blond. “Then why avoid us?”
“I’ve avoided you all year, why worry about it now? Did you honestly expect me to stop just because you asked me if I wanted to go for drinks?”
With a casual shrug Harry nodded, “I kinda thought you’d at least not go out of your way to avoid me and Nev.”
“You’ll be there?”
“Good. See you then.”
Still leaning against the wall, Draco wondered why his heart was beating widely and why his legs felt like jelly.
Dressed in trousers and a black jumper, Draco waited for the two ex-Gryffindors’ to show up and glanced up when he heard the sound of shoes on stone above his head. Coming down the stairs in black trousers and a red jumper was Neville, quickly followed by a denim-wearing Harry. He gulped but didn’t understand why, and the three of them walked out of the school and down to the village in high spirits.
Entering the bar, they found stools at a table and settled in.
“Drinks are on me, just don’t get smashed,” Harry said, grinning and heading to the bar.
“He’s so much happier,” Neville commented, watching Harry chat up the barkeep.
“What do you mean?” Draco asked, eyes trying not to look at Potters arse in those denims as he leaned over the bar. He shook himself and Longbottom gave him an odd look that he just shook off, motioning him to continue.
“Well, I’m surprised you didn’t notice. He was so upset when he first showed up here, I wondered if he would ever be happy again.”
Draco was silent as Harry walked back to their table managing to balance three mugs of firewhiskey and the rest of the night was spent in good humored conversation and a sly bit of observation on Draco’s part. He noticed subtle differences in Potter’s personality. He was quieter than his seventeen year old self and more attentive to the conversation. When you spoke, he looked straight at you and paid attention and seemed to be quietly interested in what you were saying. The more and more Draco watched Harry, the more and more he grew to like him.
And the more and more they went out on Fridays, sometimes with Neville, sometimes without, the more and more he grew to truly enjoy his company.
Draco sighed internally and dropped his head into his hands. He couldn’t figure out what was happening to him. Why he felt like this. Why he felt like this for Harry Potter of all people. He couldn’t believe it. If someone had told him he would believe he’d be falling in love with Harry Potter, he would have hexed them. But now, now the thought was so easy and simple to imagine that he couldn’t help thinking of it. Couldn’t help wishing it was true on both sides. Standing so suddenly he startled the Charms professor next to him, he stomped out of the room and ran almost directly into Harry.
“Draco. Are you alright?” the brunet asked softly, gripping the blond’s arms in strong arms.
Harry blinked. “Why me? I thought we were getting along finally?”
“Why can’t you see what I see?!”
“See what?” he asked franticly, searching the corridor around them, “Draco, you’re scaring me.”
Draco fumed and Harry simply stood there, eyes downcast before glancing up at Draco though his fringe. It was then that the blond leaned forward and kissed him, questioning the whole while what he was doing and why. He only stopped when Harry stepped forward and wrapped his arms around the slightly thinner boy and they kissed. They kissed and kissed and kissed in the corridor and didn’t stop.
As Harry walked, he remembered and he paused, setting a hand on the stone wall and smiling at the memories in this corridor. He laughed and some of the passing students shot him strange glances but he just grinned at them and they smiled back. If these walls could talk he thought to himself and allowed the memories to pull him in.
They gasped for air moments later and stared at each other before meeting again and again. When their lips were bruised and the shadows around them much longer than when they had begun, Harry held Draco close to catch their breath.
“You are so frustrating,” Draco muttered.
Harry laughed. “You are. Why didn’t you say anything?”
“How was I supposed to know that you’d feel the same?”
“I didn’t know. I’ve been confused for a long time, so much that I’m up for everything Draco.” He laughed. “I’ll have to tell you a story sometime.”
Draco sighed and shifted to subconsciously cuddle into Harry, who smiled and held him closer, marveling at this new relationship and praying that it would last.
With a laugh, Harry went searching for Draco among the book stacks to come upon a table stacked so high with books that he could not see around it. It took Harry a moment, but he realized that this is what Draco must have been doing and he set out to clear a space on the table so he could sit.
Glancing up, Draco watched Harry as he moved books, closed the open ones after marking their pages and stacked them according to subject before shrinking them to fit into a conjured box.
“There you are.”
“Hello.” Draco said offhandedly, as if he hadn’t been watching Harry for the past half hour.
Settling into a chair, Harry leaned on the table and grinned in a boyish manner while Draco stopped reading to stare.
“How’d you find me?”
With a tiny grin, Draco looked back down at the book to notice it missing. Harry held it upside down in front of him and appeared confused. “Do you understand this?”
“Yes.” Draco said simply and played with his fingers as he watched Harry attempt to make sense of the book. Finally the brunet put it down and set it off to the side.
“Give it back.”
“No, I have something for you.”
Draco’s eyes widened and he leaned forward in excitement. “What is it?”
With another boyish grin, Harry reached into his pocket and produced a small box, sliding it over to Draco, who took it with greedy fingers. He quickly opened the box and froze, staring down, then up, then down again before finally gazing straight into Harry’s eyes.
“Will you?” was all Harry asked, staring at him intently.
Draco stared down at the simple rings, one gold, one silver, and smiled before glancing up at Harry though his fringe, “Well, if you insist.”