sirona_fics: (when years have passed h/d)
[personal profile] sirona_fics
So this is an awfully old fic, written almost a year ago, last August for the H/D Travel Fair. I don't know why I never posted it here; probably something to do with those pesky Arthur and Eames taking over my life back then! ;P But the last few days I've been heeding [livejournal.com profile] altri_uccelli's excellent H/D fic recs, and I've been slowly but surely remembering why I love that pairing so much. And also that was the first time that me and Altri talked properly, over that fic; and for that I will be forever grateful for writing it, because it brought her into my life. <3

So here it is, posted to my LJ for posterity's sake.

Title: There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done.
Prompt Number: PROMPT #144
Travel Destination: Europe: UK
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Harry/Draco, implied Ron/Hermione, implied Ginny/Neville
Summary: The Roma have come to England, with their fortune telling and their magic tents. They are rumoured to be able to show people the way to gain their true desires – for all his scepticism, Harry can’t fault the results.
Warnings: implied violence/abuse at the start of the story, unrelated to the pairing or the other main characters; some swearing, a smidgen of (resolved) angst.
Word Count: ~10,700
Author's Notes: The Roma tribes really do originate from India – or so an old History textbook tells me. Harry and Draco’s route in Sofia is perfectly achievable – I have walked it myself many a time. Some of you may recognise certain lines – I just couldn’t help myself. They belong to Christopher Nolan; I’ve just twigged them a little. The lyrics and the title are from All You Need Is Love, by The Beatles. Betaed by [livejournal.com profile] nicevenn.



“I think that is all, Healer Potter,” the immaculately-turned-out solicitor across from him says.

Harry’s eyebrows rise in incredulity, scrunching his forehead. Healer Potter?! he repeats to himself, shaking his head. He’s never going to get used to Draco – Malfoy, he reminds himself for the hundredth time – calling him that.

“Uh, great?” he mutters, half-questioning his own words. “So, you think you have enough to prosecute Hendrickson?”

“Indeed we do. You have been of great assistance,” Malfoy says, the corner of his lips lifting ever so slightly. “How is your patient’s recovery coming along?”

There is genuine concern in his tone; Harry is marginally reassured that the reserved bastard still feels something, at least.

“Matilda’s doing all right, thank you for asking. Fortunately for her, the Aurors got there in time to stop the assault on her, and catch the sick bastard this time. She’s still in a bit of a shock, as is to be expected; she’s much luckier than the others.”

Malfoy shifts a little in his chair, eyes a fraction wider than a moment ago. Harry attempts to smooth his face back into neutrality, but he’s failing miserably if Malfoy’s reaction is any indication. He knows he must look rather intimidating, but he can’t help it – the series of violent rapes and assaults disturbed the wizarding community greatly, and Harry feels livid every time he thinks about the other eight women suffering from various degrees of PTSD and shock, not to mention the physical healing processes they have all been undergoing.

“Healer Potter, do stop trying to glare me into submission. I’m putting the bastard away for a long time, you may count on that.”

Harry does. There is no one better than Dra—Malfoy in the field of legal prosecution for magical crimes, except maybe for Hermione, who is his counterpart at the Ministry. She is still pissed at Malfoy for quitting their department to start his own legal practice, even after he has offered her a position as a partner in his firm.

He shakes his head ruefully. “Sorry,” he murmurs. “I just can’t believe how long it took to bring the fucker down. Lack of evidence, my arse,” he growls at Malfoy, baring his teeth.

Malfoy nods, an almost non-existent crease forming between perfectly shaped, pale eyebrows. “Yet another screw-up for Cormac, yes. I continue to question how Granger stands to work in the department with him as her superior.”

“Hermione is furious with Cormac for disregarding her research, and so is the DMLE – they could have arrested Hendrickson much, much sooner if it had been Hermione at the helm. I shouldn’t be surprised if she comes knocking at your door in a day or two. She’s had enough of Cormac’s shite."

A faint smirk crosses Malfoy’s face as he stares across St Mungo’s conference room, where they have been holed up for the better part of the afternoon. His fingers tap out a smug rhythm against the walnut meeting table as he narrows his eyes in contemplation.

If Harry didn’t know any better, he would still believe that there is something going on between Malfoy and Hermione, even though she is engaged to Ron, and Malfoy is rumoured to have different requirements for his dates. The one time when Harry tentatively raised the issue with Hermione, the resulting tongue-lashing still made his cheeks heat up in embarrassment. The fact remains, Malfoy and Hermione make a lethal prosecution team.

It has been some time since he has seen Malfoy this relaxed, he realises. The usual detached mask has been temporarily put aside in favour of a much more genuine expression. Harry takes the rare opportunity to find out something he’s been wondering about for the past week.

“Are you coming tonight?” he asks, a hopeful note infusing his voice despite his best efforts.

Malfoy’s features immediately smooth back into their usual blankness, seemingly without conscious effort. It makes Harry want to yell at him, slam his fists down on the table, just do something that evokes any kind of reaction from the unemotional bastard. He misses the Malfoy he could wind up with no more than a few well-chosen words – that incarnation of the man is long gone. The composed professional opposite him bears only a passing resemblance to his younger self; Harry can barely see it in the tall, broad-shouldered, cold and determined man he meets on a semi-regular basis.

“I have been informed that I have no choice in the matter.” Malfoy’s voice is without inflection, a statement of fact giving no clues as to what he thinks about it.

Harry hates it. He sighs in defeat and pushes back the surprisingly comfortable leather-and-chrome chair to leave.

He doesn’t know why Malfoy is looking at him like that, or what he sees in Harry’s face that makes him blurt out, “Pansy and Millicent are making me go with them.” He looks horrified at his lapse of control.

Harry wants to punch the air and crow in triumph at the small victory. He settles for a wide, genuine smile instead. “See you there, then,” he tells him and walks out of the room, leaving behind an irritated-looking Malfoy, two spots of light pink flaring high on his cheekbones as he puts his paperwork away and follows him out of the door.

---

“I cannot believe that you two are so excited to see a bunch of charlatans,” Harry grumbles much, much later as a buoyed Ginny and Hermione wave impatiently at him to hurry up from further along the path.

“For the last time, Harry, they aren’t charlatans!” an exasperated-sounding Ginny throws back at him.

Harry rolls his eyes; at his side, Ron sighs. “You might as well give up, mate,” he says, voice a little rough from talking to customers all day at George’s shop. “You know you’re never going to win that one, and for the love of Merlin, do not start Hermione on the history of the Roma again! I can’t take any more!” he stage-whispers dramatically.

Harry sees Hermione stop suddenly ahead of them, and cringes. “Damn it, Ron,” he whinges, but it’s too late.

“You two have no respect for the bravery of the Roma people! They have wandered across Europe for centuries, passing from one country to another, helping strangers along their way, not welcome anywhere themselves, with no permanent homes, and all because of that ancient Indian curse levelled at their ancestors! How can you belittle their plight and their achievements? They are an ancient tribe who can teach us so much…”

That is when Harry and Ron tune her out. Once Hermione gets started on learning, all hope of a reprieve is lost.

“Oh, look, there’s Malfoy,” Harry interrupts her sometime later, almost weak with relief.

Hermione immediately gets distracted and brightens. Ron, however, scowls at Harry darkly.

“Sorry, mate, but I had to make her stop before my brain liquefied,” Harry says, chagrined.

Ron looks mollified. “Fair dues,” he mutters; Harry grins at him.

“You know there’s nothing going on there, I don’t know why you keep glowering at Malfoy like that – you’ll scare him away!” Ginny admonishes. “Nice one, Harry,” she says as an aside, letting Ron’s “If only” pass unnoticed. Harry winks at her.

“Draco,” Hermione calls out and waves at him, oblivious to Ron’s displeasure.

Harry sees Malfoy turn and spot them – there is still light in the sky, if only barely, and torches are lit along the grassy path leading to the cluster of enormous, brightly coloured tents up ahead. Malfoy is dressed flawlessly as always, in charcoal-grey robes reminiscent of Snape’s with their high collar and long row of tiny buttons down the front. Harry has dreams about those buttons.

The muted colour makes Malfoy’s pale hair and skin almost shine in the falling darkness. He looks aloof and unapproachable, and Harry wants to muss him up more than ever.

“Granger,” Malfoy drawls, greeting the rest of them with a cool nod; apparently they are not worthy of a verbal greeting.

Harry nods back amiably – at least he acknowledged them this time. Ron narrows his eyes from beside Harry but opts not to deck Malfoy – Hermione’s countless admonishments seem to be taking.

Hermione immediately draws Malfoy aside and starts talking to him urgently. Harry sees work-mode fall over him like a cloak, and grits his teeth to keep from growling at them.

“Nauseating, isn’t it?” a dry voice states behind him and he turns to face Pansy and Millicent, the latter being greeted eagerly by Ginny.

“Hi, Pansy,” he replies, sending her a small smile. “Well, they do work together.”

“So do we, but you don’t see me fawning all over you,” she drawls, cut-glass tones as familiar to him now as Malfoy’s.

“Hermione’s not ‘fawning’. They’re probably discussing the Hendrickson case,” Harry returns, frowning.

Pansy’s expression turns dark. “Yes, they probably are,” she clips out. “Never thought I’d be rooting for Granger to move jobs and start working with Draco.”

Harry sighs. “Can we not talk about work for one goddamned night?” he snaps, loudly enough to make Hermione turn and look at him, chastised.

“You’re right, Harry, of course. We’ll talk about it tomorrow, Draco, okay? At lunch?”

“Fine,” Malfoy says with a slight shrug.

“Merlin forbid you have to relax for one bloody evening, Draco,” Pansy sniffs at Harry’s side. Draco raises a pale eyebrow, but his look is apologetic enough that even Harry catches it.

“Oh, let’s go already! I can’t wait to get started!” Ginny bursts out impatiently and, linking an arm through Millicent’s, leads the way up the hill.

Harry shakes his head, but knows better than to say anything. The farther up they go, the more the path starts teeming with people of every size and shape, dressed in all sorts of colourful robes and even casual Muggle wear. By the time they reach the entrance, Glastonbury Tor is looming over them imposingly, façade glowing from the myriad torches and candles.

The tents are enormous, lit from all sides, the colours inside shimmering even through the thick fabric. Ginny and Hermione determinedly lead the group to the entrance of the largest tent, where most of the people have congregated. Harry follows sedately behind them, making an effort to suspend disbelief. He, more than anyone, should know how unexpected magic can be, so he really shouldn’t be so sceptical of the whole thing.

They wait in the queue for some time; Ginny keeps looking around for Neville, but apparently he has sent an owl saying he was going to be late. Finally, they are allowed inside, and Harry’s head spins when he looks around – the roof of the tent is almost eleven feet above them, and the space inside is vast – it is obviously magically enhanced. The walkways are lined with countless stands selling all sorts of stuff – a magical bazaar the likes of which he has never experienced before. There is food and drink from all corners of the world, and the languages spoken are so varied that the resulting cacophony of voices is enough to make his head spin.

“Dobar vecher, dragi gosti,” a voice cuts through the noise with the help of a Sonorus.

Harry frowns in confusion before Hermione hits their group with a translation charm. Harry can see other people in the room do the same for themselves and their friends.

“What is that language?” Ginny wonders, entranced.

“It’s Bulgarian; the group organising the event here tonight is from Bulgaria. Apparently, the Roma tribes take turns to organise the events,” Hermione says enthusiastically.

“So this is Victor’s language? Is that why you recognise it, Mione?” Ginny says slyly and nudges at Hermione’s side; she promptly blushes.

“As it happens, yes, it is,” she replies with all the dignity she can muster while she’s this flustered. Ron’s scowl deepens. The rest of them laugh teasingly at her.

The announcer goes on – this time Harry can still hear the strangeness of the foreign language, but the meaning arrives perfectly clear in his mind.

“Welcome to our fair! We have many, many things planned for you here tonight! We invite you to partake from the offerings of our brothers and sisters before you proceed to the outer tents for your chosen adventures.

“Remember, at any time one of us is ready to answer any questions you may have about the experiences you choose for yourselves this night. At the end of the evening, even if you should decide to stay in one of our portals for a longer period of time, you will be transported back to this tent to make your way home. Do not fear. There is nothing here this evening that may harm you. Our magical protection as hosts to you, our guests, is most powerful and impossible to break with malicious intent. You will be as safe as it is possible in our world. Now, please, enjoy!”

Harry has yet to see the speaker, but he doesn’t hold out much hope for it happening in this heaving throng; it isn’t important, anyway. He can picture the exotic stranger in his mind, bedecked with strange shawls and golden rings on every finger. The slight lag of the translation charm leaves him with a feeling of exhilaration for the upcoming adventure that he hasn’t felt since forever. He looks around at his friends, recognising the same excitement in their faces. Even Malfoy has a slight smile in the corners of his mobile lips. Harry perks up – the evening suddenly looks much more promising.

“This way, mate,” Ron calls at him and he turns to see him heading for the nearest food stall. Delicious smells waft from the steaming bowls and tease his senses – Harry suddenly finds himself starving.

“Oh, there’s Neville! We’ll find you later, Harry,” Ginny tells him and drags Millicent away to meet her boyfriend. Pansy sniffs at their backs and makes her way towards an explosion of colour – a stand selling hand-printed scarves, by the looks of it. Hermione and Malfoy have converged on a nearby stall covered with beautifully crafted scrolls of parchment, and hundreds of tiny bottles of ink in every shade imaginable. Bunches of long, feathery quills peek from large quill stands; Hermione looks set to buy half the stall. Harry knows that they will be there for some time, especially considering the piles of books surrounding the ink stand.

He shrugs and follows Ron to the food stall – he hasn’t had time to eat all day, and the scents are irresistible. Ron is already consuming quantities of stuffed vine leaves and yoghurt. Harry eyes the aubergine moussaka intently.

“This one, please,” he says, pointing it out. The old, wrinkled lady in a vibrant shawl and long, flowing skirt deftly cuts out a large square and serves it on a sturdy paper plate, handing him a fork. Harry digs in with alacrity; it is just as delicious as the smell promises.

They pay the smiling woman and move on. Ron is almost childishly excited, pointing out interesting boxes that snap at you if you try to open them, beautiful carvings that move, shiny dragon-skin boots, a gorgeous wizarding painting of a forest in early spring, sunlight glinting through the unfurling young green leaves. Harry is particularly taken with the latter – seeing the wind tease at the new leaves, ruffling them gently – it gives him a sense of peace and hope no object has ever incurred in him. He pays for it on the spot and asks it be sent to Grimmauld Place by owl tomorrow morning. The dark-skinned, robust man grins at him, revealing several gold teeth, and nods.

Everyone is smiling, Harry realises when he looks around at the stall owners. Their clothes are simple, threadbare in places, faded in others; their faces are deeply tanned from their life out of doors, and more lined than people their age he sees on a regular basis – but all of them are so happy, smiling amiably to their customers, launching into long conversations at the smallest encouragement, eager to tell their story and learn their newly met friends’ one in return. Sometimes Harry sees wiry, tall men wearing simple dark trousers and chequered shirts wave payment for their wares away – instead, inviting their customers to sit around small tables, offering them strong, sweet tea, keeping an eye on their stalls while listening attentively to the stories they request instead of money.

The visitors all look spellbound by this cornucopia of sights, sounds, smells – a feast for the senses. Harry thinks he might be content just to circle the makeshift market for the rest of the evening, losing himself in the crowd, no longer Harry Potter the Saviour but simply Harry, the Healer with too many patients that he cares too deeply about.

He tries not to be disappointed when Ginny finds him at last and drags him away towards the outer tents. The crowd thins as they get closer to the far wall of the main tent; Harry spots five doors leading into different directions. The rest of their group is waiting there for him, by some miracle still holding together.

“Okay,” Ginny says, slightly breathless from anticipation. “Who wants to go where?”

Harry turns along with everyone to look at the doors. Above each door there is a sign in intricate, beautiful letters that make no sense to him. As he watches, the letters shimmer and rearrange themselves into shapes and words he can understand: Away, Ago, Along, Assess, Ascend.

He looks back at the group, seeing the others look just as confused as him – apart from Hermione, who is frowning, and Malfoy, who has his lips pursed.

“As far as I can work it out,” Hermione says slowly, as if she’s thinking out loud, “Away stands for the timeline of Now, but in a different place. Maybe that transports us to another country...” she muses, eyes bright with the challenge.

“Hmm, yes, and by that logic Ago will lead us into the past,” Malfoy adds pensively.

“Right,” Hermione agrees. “What do you think Along stands for?” she asks him.

Malfoy scrunches his eyebrows in thought. “Would you say that it might be along the timeline, so in the future? We have the Now, we have the Past, so it’s a logical progression.”

Hermione hesitates. “Not quite,” she murmurs; then her eyes widen. “Draco, I think it refers to what might have been! It shows you an alternative reality based on what would have happened if you had made different choices in the past!”

Everyone but Malfoy is staring at her, completely baffled. Malfoy, however, looks impressed. “A sideways jump into an alternative reality – clever Roma. Nicely done, Granger,” he murmurs to her distractedly, and Hermione preens.

Both of them stare at the final two doors, Hermione tapping at her lower lip absently while Malfoy worries his in concentration. Harry can hardly tear his eyes away from his mouth.

“You two really need to learn to think outside the box,” Pansy drawls, and Harry gives her his immediate attention. He knows from personal experience that Pansy has a mind like a steel trap.

“Do enlighten us, then,” Malfoy drawls back, both eyebrows raised.

Pansy smirks. “The Roma are known for offering insights into a person’s life and possible future, yes? So then, based on the Along stage, the last two would refer to a look inside one’s inner self. By that logic, Assess would refer to one being able to assess the current state of one’s life objectively.

“’To ascend’ generally means to reach another level. I would imagine that to reach through to the Ascend stage, one would be required to pass through the Assess stage. If that is the case, then the Ascend stage will allow you to see and understand ways of improving your life. It might show you your secret hopes for the future, much like it would have focused on your decisions in the past.”

Hermione is looking at Pansy with stars in her eyes. Harry doesn’t think she’s been this impressed by anyone in a long time. Malfoy is smiling at Pansy, a small, self-mocking twist of his lips; Harry is not prepared for how devastatingly attractive this expression makes him look.

“Well, well, Pansy Parkinson, I never,” he says, obviously impressed.

“Your condescension, as always, is much appreciated, Draco, thank you,” she deadpans back at him.

Harry laughs, because he can’t not. He has become rather fond of Pansy in the past couple of years that they have been working together, him as Healer and her on St Mungo’s Board of Directors. Malfoy smiles wryly back at her.

“Well then, let’s go or we won’t get the chance,” Millicent says, eyeing a spot behind their group.

They turn to see that some of the crowd is starting to move their way, and they had better make their choices sharpish.

Harry has absolutely no desire to relive his past; once was more than enough for him, especially since he knows there isn’t a way to control what the portal might show him. Nor does he want to visit the Along portal – he holds no delusions; he is well aware what the consequences of him making different choices would be. Probably fewer people dead, for one thing – he tries and fails not to let himself think of Sirius and Snape yet again. For another – if he never sees Voldemort’s ugly face again, it would be too soon.

He eyes the Away door instead; a trip somewhere far away sounds like just the ticket for him. He’s been dreaming about taking a holiday for over a month now; maybe somewhere warm – the recent incessant rain is rather depressing, even if it is a staple of the British summertime.

“I’m going to go on a trip,” he tells the rest of them. “Any takers?” he asks as he makes his way over to his chosen option.

“I want to go to the Along portal,” Hermione pipes up.

“Me, too,” Pansy says with a vaguely unhappy expression on her face.

“Pansy, you don’t have to—“ Malfoy tries to say, but Pansy interrupts him with a downward slash of her hand.

“Yes, Draco, I do,” she tells him, “and so should you.”

Malfoy frowns minutely; Harry wonders if anyone else sees the almost unperceivable shudder that goes through his tall frame. ‘I’d really rather not,’ his drawn expression seems to say.

Pansy just looks at him, implacable. “Draco Lucius Malfoy, do not make me rehash that conversation again, in front of all these people. The outcome won’t be any different now than it was before,” she warns.

Malfoy bares his teeth at her in a display of temper Harry hasn’t seen on him for almost a decade.

She sighs. “You know it has to be done, Draco. How else will you ever move on?” she asks, and the weariness in her voice is palpable.

Malfoy’s rigid shoulders seem to slump. He nods faintly, but the sight doesn’t seem to make Pansy any happier. Harry wonders how much going through with this is going to cost Malfoy.

“I am going to take a break first, however,” Malfoy says, heading purposefully towards where Harry is standing next to the Away door; Harry’s breath stutters in his chest when he sees the intent in Malfoy’s eyes.

For an insane moment he thinks Malfoy’s going to kiss him, devour him, and he can hardly wait for it; but then Malfoy’s past him and has his hand on the door handle, ready to turn it.

“Coming, Potter?” he asks, a trace of his old arrogance in his voice, almost making the question into a taunt.

“You two go on ahead,” Ginny says when she sees that none of the others make a move to follow. “We’ll see you on the other side.”

“Meet up at Glastonbury Tor when we’re done, okay?” Ron tells everyone, and they nod.

“Good luck,” Millicent says softly, throwing everyone a look.

Harry can feel the atmosphere shift. So far the evening has been fun, exciting, enjoyable in every way; he hasn’t felt this happy and relaxed in months. Now, though, they are quite literally heading into the unknown, and everyone will have to face some harsh truths before the end of the evening. His shoulders almost slump in defeat – why the hell can’t fate leave him alone for one bloody night? – but he can’t deny that he is really looking forward to visiting the Assess and Ascend portals. Maybe they will help him to finally be able to put his finger on what has been making his life so unsatisfying of late.

Malfoy opens the door and warm light spills through the crack. Harry remembers that he still has a brief respite from the upcoming revelations, and he follows Malfoy through eagerly.

---

They come out in a small alley, the portal shimmering closed behind them and a small carving of a star staying behind on the sturdy brick wall. Harry takes a careful look around to memorise the setting, so that they can Apparate back later, and sees Malfoy do the same. They venture out of the alley to exit on a well-lit street lined with shops, bars and restaurants. The air is humid and hot, even in the falling dusk – Harry can feel himself starting to sweat already. There is still some light in the sky to the west, he realises when he turns in place to take everything in.

On the corner of the teeming street he spots a building with a tall, gilded spire that glints with the residual light from the sunset – it must be a church, Harry realises. He notices Malfoy staring across the rooftops towards their right, and sees the enormous gilded domes dominating the skyline that must have caught Malfoy’s attention. Another church, perhaps? Darkness is falling quickly now, and the cubes seem to come alive, shining softly as if lit from within.

The streets are bustling with people. It is Friday night, and it seems everyone in – he presumes they are in the capital, so – Sofia has decided to come out and play. The noise is as loud as the tent they have just left, and Harry can feel the excitement infuse his blood. He wants to lose himself in the flow, just like he has done before.

“Where to?” he asks Malfoy enthusiastically, turning to look at him.

Malfoy’s eyes are still stuck to the view, and there is a calmness in his stance that Harry hasn’t seen before.

“Would you like to walk over to explore?” he asks. That direction is as good as any in a city they don’t know.

“Yes, let’s,” Malfoy replies and flashes him a smile.

With his pale hair and skin, Malfoy looks almost alien in between the tanned, dark-haired Bulgarians. Harry fits in much better with the crowd, but he is well aware of the curious and frankly admiring glances the oblivious man at his side receives. Irritation twists in his gut and he glares at the inquisitive looks he sees on far too many people’s faces.

Malfoy looks at him oddly – only then does Harry realise he’s scowling, no doubt intimidating the hell out of everyone on the street.

“Would you rather not go that way?” Malfoy asks, obviously assuming Harry has a problem with the suggested direction.

“Not at all,” Harry replies and waves at him to lead the way.

They walk up the street and turn right at the next corner, leaving the smaller church behind. There are lots of bars with tables and chairs lining the pavement, full of chattering punters all dressed to the nines. Harry is astounded by the number of beautiful women wearing the skimpiest clothes imaginable, and it is quite obvious to him that plastic surgery must be very much in fashion with women his age. The men are mostly dressed in jeans and T-shirts, and he notes that they certainly keep in shape – the tight shirts outline well-pumped muscles to the extent that he wonders if he and Malfoy have crashed a bodybuilding convention. The girls dressed in the shortest skirts and the barest tops hang on the arms of the men with the widest necks on offer. Harry shakes his head. He doesn’t know what women see in them; they look like glorified gorillas to him.

Not so the man walking by his side, he thinks with a smugness he really has no right to feel. Only an inch taller than him, Malfoy commands people’s attention like he was born to it. His frame is no longer that of the scrawny kid he was at seventeen – shooting up too fast for his muscles to keep up, the stress of his loved ones’ lives and deaths hanging over his head for too long.

The skinny boy has bulked up – broad shoulders, tautly muscled back, gorgeous legs going on for miles, a posterior that has been known to keep Harry up at nights – in short, Malfoy is too bloody gorgeous to be allowed, Harry thinks with a spike of want. Malfoy’s stride is relaxed, yet no less determined than usual. His eyes dart everywhere, keeping track of his surroundings without fail. Even when he has left England and all his responsibilities behind for the evening, Malfoy still seems on edge. It’s infuriating, Harry thinks, and unsettling. He wonders if Malfoy ever lets go anymore. It must be a lonely existence, holding himself so tightly wound all the time.

They walk up the street, past several museums, a large square of what look like hotels and upscale boutiques, and an even larger building, the letters on its side proclaiming it to be the country’s Parliament. At the next corner to their left the huge building seems to pop up from the yellow cobblestones, illuminated by what look like several large projectors at the edges of the square, all set up to beam up towards the church – if it could even be called a church – it is more cathedral-sized. Harry stops in his tracks for a moment, admiring the gorgeous structure. Meanwhile, Malfoy starts making his way slowly around it, strolling the perimeter and trying to take it all in.

Harry follows sedately. The cathedral is quite beautiful, turned golden by the strobe lights, and covered in at least a hundred curved windows. On the far end of it there is a large sign – Harry vaguely sees the large, ornate letters rearrange themselves again until he can read, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. He wishes the place was open, so that he and Malfoy could look around inside, but it is long past sunset, and even the most liberal-minded church must close its doors sometime.

He and Malfoy keep circling until they are back to where they came from. The square holding the Cathedral is completely empty apart from the two of them; Harry can’t imagine what the crowd must be like on a Sunday.

Malfoy sighs – so deeply that it seems to start in the soles of his feet. “I suppose we’d better go back,” he says unenthusiastically.

Harry huffs regretfully. It has been a nice interlude, but it really is time to go back. He has a strange feeling in the pit of his stomach – part annoyance, part relief, part anticipation. He realises that the only thing he wishes wouldn’t change is Malfoy standing quietly by his side, close enough that their shoulders might touch if Harry leans towards him. Close enough that his scent reaches Harry clearly – bergamot, tranquil and clear, like a hot cup of Earl Grey tea on a cold morning. Harry inhales deeply; something inside him unclenches, and he can breathe again. He hadn’t even realised there was something, some unnamed tension keeping him on edge until is has dissipated. He smiles unreservedly at Malfoy and sees the man blink – had it been anyone else, Harry might have said that he must have been unsettled, but this is Malfoy, and that’s unlikely.

“Apparate?” he asks quietly, unwilling to break the comfortable silence they have fallen into.

“Indeed,” Malfoy nods, reaches for his wand and disappears with the usual crack.

Harry follows him back to the alley they came out of. Malfoy lifts the hand still clasping his wand, and taps gently on the shimmering star engraved in wall. The doorway gleams open again; Malfoy looks back at Harry for a brief second before stepping through.

Harry trails after him, and when the light has toned down he looks around in surprise. They are not back at the main tent – instead, they seem to have reached a round room with six closed doors leading away from it. Unlike in the Ministry of Magic in his fifth year, this time the doors are clearly marked – the five from before, and a sixth one that simply says, Back.

“Well,” Malfoy says crisply, “here we are. I must say goodbye for now, Potter. I have some unfinished business to take care of.” His voice is resigned but determined. Without hesitation, he strides to the door marked Along and reaches for the round handle.

Harry cringes at the thought of what Malfoy is about to experience. “Are you sure?” he asks tentatively. He is not at all comfortable with watching Malfoy walk head-first into a world of probable misery – after all, who would want their wrong choices and mistakes thrown back in their faces?

“In this instance, Pansy is correct,” Malfoy sighs in defeat. “I must do this. I can’t stop thinking, ‘what if?’ I can’t move on with my life, the way I keep rehashing my choices in the past.”

Malfoy is uncharacteristically candid – Harry thinks the weight of what is coming must be affecting him more than he realises. He looks at Malfoy fretfully, but he’s not the man’s keeper. Malfoy makes his own decisions, ill-advised or no. Harry feels his mouth twist anxiously, but he does Malfoy the courtesy of not second-guessing him.

“Good luck,” he says softly instead, and realises he means it.

---

“Good luck,” Potter says to him, and Draco can see the sincerity in his too-green eyes hidden by unflattering black frames.

Something clenches inside him. He does not want to walk through that door, knowing what undoubtedly waits for him on the other side, but he has no choice. To say the least, his mother would never let him hear the end of it if he folds now. He had made her a promise; likely she knew he would have walked away from this otherwise.

He’s stalling, he knows; he spares one last glance at Potter, all but twisting his hands together in worry. A decade ago the sight would have made him want to laugh, a bitter, self-hating sound that would hold no amusement and all contempt. He doesn’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that he no longer despises Potter quite so much – at all, really, if he’s being honest with himself – even when the man drives him crazy with his constant fidgeting, never able to stay still, always on edge around him. Draco wonders if the two of them are just unable to co-exist in any semblance of cordiality.

Potter gives him a small smile, and the sight twists his gut. He turns resolutely away, forbidding himself to return the gesture. Smiling at Potter would lead to relaxing his guard around him, and that would only end in disaster.

He twists the doorknob and enters the already familiar blast of light. When his eyes adjust, he finds himself back in Malfoy Manor ten years ago. He catalogues the decorations displayed proudly on every available surface – the heavy silver candelabras, the porcelain vases – so delicate that the hand-painted drawings look more like lace; the Gainsboroughs and Turners on the walls in the long gallery, the Aubussons laid all over wooden floors polished to a high shine. None of these things can be found in the Manor any longer – the reparations to the magical community had taken their toll on the Malfoys. If it hadn’t been for Potter’s testimony at their trials… he’d rather not think about the likely consequences.

Flashes go off in the corner of his eyes, and when he looks out of the window, he sees the sun circling rapidly along the sky, over and over again – days and nights passing in the blink of an eye. At one point a sharp, thin sound shatters the silence and makes Draco start violently; he knows that sound. He hasn’t heard it in over a decade, but he still has nightmares about Voldemort laughing.

He realises that he must be back to a time during his seventh year at Hogwarts. There isn’t much he would have, could have changed before this time. He would still have stood up for his father, would still have tormented Potter, would still have gone through the nightmare that was his sixth year if it meant keeping his mother and father alive. Knowing what he knows now, he would have switched sides in an instant – hindsight is a bitch, however, and at the time he could see no way forward but to carry out his assignment. Regardless, he would still have lowered his wand and not taken Dumbledore’s life.

He could only think of one time when he might have made a different choice, when he had chosen a path clearly and with the full knowledge of the possible repercussions, and that was the night when a disfigured Potter had been dragged through the doors of the Manor along with the starving, muddy Granger and Weasley. He had known it was Potter, of course he had, but at that time he had been becoming aware of exactly what the path he had chosen was going to bring for him and his family. So he had chosen – lie, say he didn’t know whether it really was or wasn’t Potter, give him a chance to escape.

Draco holds no illusions about himself. He is not a particularly pleasant man, sunk as he is in his character and routine. He hates himself for it, but sometimes, when the creditors come calling, or his father’s parole offices jeer unpleasantly when they ‘evaluate his condition’ – laugh and lord it over him, in reality – he cannot help but wonder what his life might have been like if he had just said ‘yes, it is Potter, I am sure of it.” It would have certainly meant Potter’s death. Could he have deadened himself to it, to the other inevitable deaths that would have followed the demise of the Saviour, for the sake of his family’s prosperity?

Well, he’s about to find out, he realises when the flashes of sunlight suddenly stop and he hears a commotion at the main entrance. Soon enough, he hears his name being called. Invisible to everyone, Draco quickly slips inside the room Potter is being dragged into, and sees his younger self standing there, pale as a ghost and staring at Potter’s swollen face.

Contrary to the relief Draco had always thought he would feel, had he been given the opportunity to change his family’s fortunes, he feels nothing but dull dread turning his blood to ice at the thought that he is about to watch himself give Potter up to be murdered. Seeing Potter there on his knees, waiting for the other Draco to turn him in, Draco suddenly remembers -- it is as if the floodgates have been opened, and every emotion he has tried to suppress for over a decade comes surges into the open – despair, self-hatred, hopelessness, blind determination to see this through to the bitter end. He remembers thinking that even if he died for his decision in that moment, at least he would have done one thing right.

Draco feels sick, standing in the shadow and watching his younger self lie to save Potter’s life all over again. Sick from wasting so much time on delusions he should have faced from the start – he has never, not once, truly regretted his choice back then. Finally, finally he can allow himself to make his peace with it. Obviously, even in an alternative universe, he still wouldn’t have sold Potter out – it is time he recognises this and accepts it, he knows. Wondering about what might have been infers a desire to change the past, which Draco has now discovered that he lacks utterly and completely.

He turns his back on the scene and leaves the room, heart lighter than it has been in years. There is something to be said for closure, he thinks, and allows himself a smile of relief. Even young, terrified and facing almost certain death if he had been discovered, he had done the right thing.

He reaches the long corridor again and doesn’t even spare a glance for the furnishings he had admired earlier. He would give those and more to have his world remain just as it is, with Potter alive and well, and being an insufferable pain in his arse in more ways than one.

“Harry,” he whispers quietly and closes his eyes, just for a moment. Now that he has laid his past to rest, Draco allows himself to wish, just this once, wish that fate is on his side. It’s not, he knows – too much bad blood for that – but at least he is respected by the people who matter to him, and by Harry; and maybe Draco Malfoy, the pure-blood heir isn’t worthy of the Saviour’s attention, or his love, but maybe Draco the Solicitor that’s doing his best, is.

He taps on the shimmering star in the centre of a Turner painting of the sea at sunset and the doorway slowly glints open. Draco steps through it without looking back.

---

He comes out in the same round entryway as the last time. To his shock, he sees Potter sitting down by the Assess doorway, long legs stretched out before him and hands loosely folded in his lap. His head is leaning back against the wall, and his eyes are closed. His hair is an absolute mess, and he is chewing on his lower lip. Draco wonders how long he has been sitting there.

“Draco!” Potter exclaims and jumps to his feet, then stops, looking slightly abashed. “Er, Malfoy. That was fast, you’ve only been gone ten minutes!” He looks Draco over intently, checking his face for signs of what has happened to him.

“Ten minutes, you say?” Draco echoes in wonder. It had felt like an entire lifetime.

Potter nods, his relief at Draco’s tranquil demeanour plain to see – Draco has always been able to read Potter’s face like an open book. “Are you—is everything okay?” Potter asks tentatively, and Draco can only stare at him.

Harry Potter has been worried. For him. Draco’s chest squeezes, and for a moment he can’t get enough air. Why this should hit him now, he has no idea – Potter has spent years trying to worm his way closer to Draco, and Draco has made every effort possible to stop him from doing so. Only now does he realise that he has been fighting a losing battle all this time; Potter has already managed to bury himself deeper into Draco’s life than anyone else.

Potter looks at him steadily, no uncertainty or doubt anywhere to see. Draco still feels a little awkward, trying to reconcile his newfound revelations to what he now realises has been there all along. He doesn’t look away, though – if there is one thing he’s absolutely sure of, it is that he knows what he wants and is willing to fight to get it.

“Shall we go on, then?” Potter says, gesturing to the last two doors.

Draco had thought that he would be afraid to see what is behind the last two doors, but after what he has just been through, this should be a doddle.

“Let’s do it,” he says and smirks in challenge.

Potter seems taken aback for a moment, before he smirks back, and it’s Draco’s turn to blink. Who knew that Potter could be so… enticing when he smirked? Surely it’s against the rules for the poster boy of Wholesomeness to smirk in such an interesting manner?

“Should we go in together?” Potter asks as they reach the door.

Draco thinks about it for a minute, and realises with a strange, liberating rush that whether or not Potter can see the flashes of Draco’s life that are about to be shown, Draco has nothing to hide. It is a completely novel experience; he likes it.

“I’m up for that if you are,” Draco says confidently.

“Yeah, all right then,” Potter grins happily and reaches for the doorknob.

---

The moment they step through the door, they are sucked in through the void. Harry thinks it’s very much like being pulled into a Pensieve – the same sinking feeling, as if he is diving into deep water. When he rights himself he notices that he and Malfoy are suspended in what seems like a transparent bubble of some sorts. Harry looks around curiously, but there is nothing to see – the space around them is blank, a faint purplish-grey colour that soothes and doesn’t command their attention. Malfoy turns slowly in place next to him, taking in their new environment. Harry opens his mouth to ask him what he thinks this is, when the space around them starts swirling and turns clear.

Images start appearing, as if pulled over from some other place. Harry sees himself in the St Mungo corridors, wearing the lime green Healer robes he doesn’t particularly like and striding swiftly from room to room, a pile of charts held tightly under one arm. It shocks him to see how drawn and exhausted he looks – he has never considered how much of a toll his job is taking on him.

The picture changes and he sees himself walking home. Trudging, more like – his feet are dragging. He sees himself dip into the supermarket and come out a few minutes later with a small shopping bag. That was last week, he remembers – he bought a few frozen meals, since he knew that he had three twelve hour shifts in the next four days and would have hardly had time to cook. Considering how gruelling the shifts can be, he might not even have made it to the take-out down the street.

Shift – he is struggling to unlock the front door just as lightning splits the sky in two and he gets drenched in under a minute.

Shift – the empty house, textbooks strewn everywhere, several pairs of shoes kicked off at the door, him throwing his wet coat over the back of the sofa, dumping a takeaway bag on the table.

Shift – him asleep on the sofa in front of the telly, Have I Got News For You flickering silently in the background, a case file in disarray on the floor where it has slipped out of his hands.

Shift – him hugging Ginny, arms loose around her waist; him pulling back and placing a gentle kiss on her cheek and letting her go; her smiling at him sadly and reaching behind to grasp Neville’s hand; Harry shaking Neville’s other hand amiably, waving the two of them off from his doorstep; stepping inside, closing the door gently behind him.

Shift – pub night with Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville, Seamus, Dean and Luna. Almost all of them are dancing while he sits at their table, swapping horror stories of his day at the hospital with Luna, who seems to be the only person to have made him laugh recently.

Shift – Jonathan walking out of the door, closing it behind him with a soft click that does not do justice to the finality of the gesture.

Shift – the graveyard at Godrick’s Hollow, Harry sitting on the grass telling his parents, Sirius, Remus and Tonks about his week. He knows it’s a Sunday, because he always goes there on Sunday mornings whenever he isn’t at work.

Harry doesn’t like what these flashes are telling him, but he does know that they are nothing but the truth. His days are full, but his existence is emptier than he ever could have imagined it being all those years ago. He is aware that Malfoy is staring at him with his eyebrows scrunched together and a thoughtful expression on his face that doesn’t bode well for Harry. He tries not to fidget, a nervous habit he is trying to break.

Just then the flashes stop for a few moments, and the surface swirls again. Then other images start to flicker, and this time Malfoy has the starring role.

He sees Malfoy receiving clients in his office, impeccably dressed in a three-piece bespoke dark grey Brioni suit. Harry once admired that same suit at the boutique Hermione had dragged him to, when she tried to get him to look handsome for his graduation from the Healer programme. Malfoy undoes the two buttons at the front to reveal a snugly fitted waistcoat and a pale blue pinstriped shirt that brings out the blue in his grey eyes. His tie peeks from the top of his waistcoat, tied in a – if Harry is not mistaken – full Windsor knot.

Harry has never seen Malfoy in Muggle clothes, let alone bespoke Muggle couture, and he literally has to take a step back so he is out of Malfoy’s immediate range of sight, because his jaw has just hit the floor and something interesting, but rather inappropriate, is taking place inside his own trousers. It’s a good thing Malfoy is riveted to the vision, since Harry couldn’t have spoken right now to save his life. He swallows dryly at the thought of Malfoy’s rather magnificent arse in those tailored trousers. This is not helping his predicament in the slightest.

Shift – Harry wants to groan at the loss of that sight, but he is distracted. It looks like later in the same day – the jacket is discarded and Malfoy has rolled up his shirtsleeves. It is debatable whether he looks less or more attractive now than before. The light from the windows has changed; it no longer floods the room, but slants at a different, lower angle. Malfoy looks like he has been sitting in the same place ever since his client had left – there are piles of paperwork sitting on his desk, and every now and again he reaches for a new file while placing the old one in a separate pile. He looks set to go on for hours.

Shift – he’s having tea with Pansy and scoffing at her good-naturedly for something she’s said. He waves a graceful hand, as if dismissing whatever argument she has presented. Pansy frowns and speaks more insistently, but Malfoy only smiles wryly at her and shakes his head gently. Pansy seems to groan as she slumps back in her chair in an uncharacteristic show of frustration. Malfoy drinks his tea without comment, but the corners of his mouth are downturned.

Shift – a thunderstorm drenches the garden beyond the porch where Malfoy is sitting in a wrought iron deckchair, looking pensively out into the rain. A tumbler of some amber liquid rests at his elbow. He is wearing a long-sleeved polo shirt and linen trousers – it must be a recent moment, since it is still summer and the weather must have been warm enough. The garden is enormous, the grass is lush and there are roses everywhere Harry can see – this must be Malfoy Manor, then.

The suspicion is confirmed when Narcissa Malfoy walks into the picture, settling in the empty chair on Malfoy’s right with a glass of white wine in her hand. Malfoy looks at his mother and sends her a faint smile, but doesn’t acknowledge her otherwise. They sit there, looking at the rain falling peacefully for some time, and Harry thinks this must be a regular occurrence because no words are exchanged.

Shift – Malfoy is arguing with a lithe, blond man Harry has never seen before. The man is furious, but Malfoy simply looks resigned, as if this is not something unexpected. The man storms out of the tastefully furnished living room. Malfoy drops his head for a moment and walks over to the cut-crystal decanter of whiskey or cognac, pours himself an inch into a heavy-based shifter. His face is almost unnaturally composed, as if the argument had been nothing more than a friendly disagreement.

Shift – Malfoy is walking through Diagon Alley looking straight ahead. To his left and right people throw him distrustful glances but otherwise ignore him. Harry stares at the tall, striking figure, and wonders if everyone in the wizarding world is cursed blind, to be ignoring this magnificent man.

Shift – Malfoy is talking to his father in what must be the study at Malfoy Manor. Lucius looks disappointed; Draco looks determined and unapologetic. Lucius sighs, sits back in his chair behind the large, elaborately carved mahogany bureau and flips a document folder closed. Greengrass, Harry reads the printed bold capital letters on the front of it. He wonders what that was about.

Shift – Malfoy at some society function or other, cutting a fine figure in sparse but flawlessly tailored dark blue robes. Harry sees him nod at many people, chat with others, always unfailingly polite, but the smile that curves his mouth never reaches his eyes.

Harry throws a glance in Malfoy’s direction – his lips are pressed together in a thin line and his face is closed-off, unreadable. There is a shift of air; Harry feels the same sensation as being thrown out of a Pensieve – when he looks around again, they are standing back in the round room with six doors. Harry staggers a little from the change, and Malfoy catches his elbow deftly, steadying him.

“Fuck,” Harry breathes, completely off-balance. “Thanks,” he tells Malfoy and straightens, brushing at his button-down shirt self-consciously.

Malfoy doesn’t respond, though he’s still looking at Harry intently. Harry tries out a small smile, but Malfoy makes no move to return it. Harry’s heart sinks. It probably hadn’t been the best idea to show the object of his affections just how boring his life really is, but how was he supposed to know that damned room would use Legilimency on its unsuspecting victims?

“Let’s just get that last room over with, eh? I don’t know about you, but I’m more than ready to head home after tonight.” Harry hears the weariness in his own tone and fights the urge to wince.

“Very well,” Malfoy agrees blandly and opens the last door, the one marked Ascend.

This time Harry is much more prepared for the pull, and hardly stumbles when he is deposited in the middle of a room. Unlike last time, there is no sphere around them, and no wall of pictures. Instead, the room they are in is large and cosy, cluttered with soft furniture, small tables and lamps scattered around the space. It is decorated in shades of cream and green, and it feels calm and peaceful in a way Harry has only ever sometimes felt at Hogwarts.

He looks around the empty room curiously, spotting the large bookcase crammed full of books, the coat thrown over the back of the sofa, the lit fireplace and the vase of flowers on the coffee table. It looks vaguely like the downstairs living room at Grimmauld Place, but Harry could never accomplish this sophisticated yet pleasant air by himself.

There is a TV set backed up against the far wall and a shelf of music and DVDs to its right. What truly startles him, though, is the picture above the mantelpiece. Without a doubt, it is the same painting that he purchased not four hours ago, of the sunny forest in springtime.

“This is Grimmauld Place,” Harry says, certain this time, and looks over at Malfoy for his reaction. “It’s my house.”

Malfoy is staring across the room at the vase of flowers. “That is a Malfoy family heirloom,” he murmurs so quietly that Harry has to lean closer to him to hear properly.

Harry blinks in surprise. “What’s it doing at my house, then?” he wonders out loud, and then blinks some more as he hears voices coming from the doorway across from them.

He starts forward curiously; after a moment, he feels Malfoy follow behind him.

“...still piping hot, Draco!” he hears, a laughing admonishment in a voice that sounds suspiciously like his own. He walks over to the doorway to see it leading into a lovely country-style kitchen, all cream cabinets and marble worktops. Two men – he and Malfoy – are standing close together by the oven, where the other Harry has just removed a baking tray of cookies from the oven, placing it on a cooling rack, while the other… Draco is trying to nick a cookie without burning his fingers.

“Yes, I know that, but you made me stem ginger and chocolate cookies, Harry, you can’t expect me to actually exercise restraint until they have cooled…”

“You’re just going to burn your mouth,” the other Harry returns, amused.

“A necessary risk,” Draco says gravely and snags a cookie, blowing on it frantically to cool it. The other Harry chuckles at his impatience and sets to scraping the cookies off the baking tray and onto a waiting plate by its side.

Draco deems the cookie cool enough and bites into it, groaning and closing his eyes in bliss. The other Harry stares at him, spatula hanging uselessly in the air. Draco opens his eyes and smiles at the other Harry, and Harry’s stomach clenches with longing to see that happy, affectionate smile directed at his counterpart by his Draco. Draco swallows his mouthful, walks over to the other Harry and kisses him deeply, holding him close and slowly running his hand down the other Harry’s back, tracing his spine. Harry notices that there is still an inch difference in their heights, but when they kiss it seems to disappear, nothing more than an ever-so-slight dip of the other Draco’s head and a minute raise of the other Harry’s chin.

Jealousy bursts in the pit of his stomach, and he can’t even think how fucked up it is to be jealous of himself because he gets to kiss Draco whenever he wants. The two of them look so damn happy together, the way they fit into each other’s body, like pieces of a whole, and Harry just wants; it’s absolutely killing him to watch his other self get something he has coveted for so long.

He turns sharply on his heel and walks out of the kitchen, the music he can hear from the small radio on the kitchen table just spiking his anger higher—

“There's nothing you can do that can't be done.
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
It's easy.
There's nothing you can make that can't be made.
No one you can save that can't be saved.
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you
in time - It's easy.

All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love, love is all you need.”


He hates how easy the two of them make it look, when his Draco is standing at the doorway frozen to the spot even as Harry walks past him and back into the living room. Now that he knows, he looks around and he can see the two of them everywhere – his coat over the back of the sofa, Draco’s propped-open legal text, Healing textbooks piled on top of each other on the bookshelves – the room screams of their togetherness.

A small noise makes him glance at the far door just in time to see a marmalade cat pad inside the room – they even have a bloody cat, how domestic does it get -- and he is dimly aware that he is breathing too hard, and his hands are clenched in firsts, his knuckles white from the pressure, and there is a prickling sensation in his eyes and at the back of his throat, and he can’t handle the thought that he might break down in front of Draco, because all he wants to be, all he’s ever wanted to be, for so many years, is that other Harry.

Someone clears his throat behind him – it’s Draco, of course, who else could it be? – it’s not helping him any.

“Potter?” Draco’s voice is uncertain, and it grates at him, because now that he has heard Draco call him ‘Harry’, that’s all he ever wants to hear from those lips again.

He turns to look at Draco – he’s standing there, hand slightly lifted, as if he wants to touch him but doesn’t dare. All of a sudden, Harry’s done with all of this. If there is even a chance that what he saw inside that room can come to pass, he can’t stand not doing anything a moment longer. He takes two long strides towards Draco, sees the trepidation flare in the grey eyes just before he reaches forward, grasps Draco’s robes and pulls him flush against his body.

Their lips brush together for the first time, and there are no fireworks, no explosions, just warmth flaring through every part of his body when he feels Draco’s lips move against his. The kiss is slow, tentative, just their lips rubbing gently together, but Harry can feel Draco’s warmth, his scent wreathe around him; and the earth doesn’t move, but he’s falling all the same, and he shifts his grip to Draco’s shoulders and holds on for dear life. Draco tilts his head a little, presses in a little more insistently, and it’s all Harry can do not to moan desperately into that mouth, clutch at him tighter.

Then there’s the feel of a hook in the base of his spine and they are thrown back out of the vision, still gripping at each other for balance. They land in a sprawl, legs tangled and Draco lying on top of him, pressing him into the floor. The heat that bursts through his body is like nothing Harry has ever felt before. He looks up into Draco’s face, and his expression punches him in the gut – the same fond smile that filled him with jealousy and hopeless longing just ten minutes ago now turned intently on him, not the other Harry. Harry smiles back and it’s easy, so easy, to twist their fingers together where Draco’s hand lies on Harry’s chest, and tug him closer again.

---

The door marked Back deposits them just where it says – back inside the main tent that is still bustling with people. Harry hardly sees them, focused as he is on the two of them walking as close together as they can, Draco behind him with his hand on the small of Harry’s back, as if he can’t bear not to touch him. Draco’s face is just as blank as before, but apparently now Harry can read it better, because he sees the tiny creases at the corners of his eyes and the ever-so-slight tilt at one corner of his lips for what they are – obvious shows of affection. The warmth thrumming through his blood has yet to dissipate – he has a sneaky suspicion that it will be quite some time before it does.

They reach Glastonbury Tor easily, as the crowd thins the further away from the tent they get. They walk up to the waiting group, shoulders almost touching and fingers brushing together every now and again. The girls are exchanging meaningful glances and smirking, but even that can’t diminish Harry’s glow. The two of them take the inevitable ribbing with grace – not much else they can do, but enough is enough, Harry decides, when Ginny starts pestering him for details of how ‘this miracle’ came about.

“Later,” he tells her and nudges Draco with his shoulder. “Let’s go home.”


END

Date: 2011-06-01 02:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] altri-uccelli.livejournal.com
Oh, I remember how much I LOVED that story, and yes! it was when we met! ♥ I'm so glad you reposted here, and maybe your Inception and H50 flisters will give H/D a try, which would be awesome. And it's got Inception quotes in it that I missed the first time around? *scurries to reread*

psst, altri-uccelli's got 2 c's :)

Date: 2011-06-01 02:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sirona-gs.livejournal.com
Inception pretty much stole my life away back then, so it was virtually impossible not to base Pansy at least a little on Eames, with his dry deliveries and cheeky pigtail-pulling! :D

Yeah, I just figured it out myself! /facepalm/

Date: 2011-06-01 03:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] altri-uccelli.livejournal.com
“Your condescension, as always, is much appreciated, Draco, thank you,” she deadpans back at him.

!!!!!!!!!!!

*flails MADLY*

So perfect, OMG! \o/

Date: 2011-06-02 10:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sirona-gs.livejournal.com
YAAAAY!! Pansy love! <3

Date: 2011-06-01 08:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vavikingwoman.livejournal.com
This was just wonderful. I am new to the world of Drarry and had never seen this fic before. It is just wonderful. Thank you for posting it here. I will have to check out your other fics another time.

Date: 2011-06-02 10:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sirona-gs.livejournal.com
Yay, thank you so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

Date: 2011-09-07 06:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] atira7.livejournal.com
*FLAIL* This was wonderful!! I so want more of them in the domesticity they saw!

Date: 2011-09-07 11:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sirona-gs.livejournal.com
Heee, thanks so much! That's the beauty of it -- they can have all of it in our minds! :D
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