Harry looked at the scarf. It was green and silver, with a bloody snake on it. And Draco had, somehow, forgotten to pack it. Harry laughed at that, the sound echoing in his apartment. Then, he stuffed the damn scarf at the bottom of his closet. Ron would have suggested he burn it, and Hermione would want to return it to Draco.
Harry shoved a pile of outdated dress robes over it for good measure.
That night he fixed a Bertha's meal for one, which was overcooked magical ramen. The only reason he even had it was because of the racist, bigoted, slimy- He exhaled.
“What happened to you, mate?” Ron asked him in the morning
“The usual,” Harry replied sharply, frowning more. So what if he sobbed himself to sleep. Auror training didn't stop for anyone, not even Harry Potter.
“Honestly, what bitch messed you up?” Some guy butted in, earning some laughs across the room. No conversation was truly private in the massive room, and why would there be any privacy? That would almost be convenient. Ron was pinching his brows but Draco would have smirked and added onto the joke and- fuck. Harry's eyes were shiny and he desperately wished he was better at concealment spells-
The lesson went on. Ron patted his back and when Harry vanished like a coward, no one told him off, since they all thought he was horribly sick with a muggle disease.
Eventually, as he was eating the last of the magical ramen, he got a knock on his door. When Harry opened it, he was surprised the pair hadn't come earlier. Ron took in Harry's swollen eyes and Hermione his messier than usual home. As the tension grew, and the silence became thicker, he broke it up with a “Tea?”
They nodded and he went to his cupboard to grab a bag of tea. “How've you been?” Hermione asked she came in.
Harry replied, turning away to analyze his selection of brews, “Not great 'Mione but everyone already knows that.” He hated the prophet. He hated the unethical reporters and rumors of a secret lover. He hated that most people already agreed the paper was ruined. He hated that he was so easy to see through. He hated that Draco still broke his heart to splinters each time he entered his thoughts.
“Mate,” Ron said, hand resting on his shoulder. “We're here for you.”
“Trust us.” Hermione pleaded. Harry gave up on the drinks and turned to face his friends. Their faces were open, honest, and so loving. “Please.”
He hesitated for a moment, but his Gryffindor self mustered the courage to get the first words out. “Draco was always a prat. But I guess I thought he could not be.” Harry scrubbed his face. “The mudblood thing, thinking muggles were weak and all of that bullshit.”
The two exchanged a look. “Yeah,” she said.
Ron nodded, adding, “He wasn't exactly quiet about that, though.” Harry cast his eyes down. He knew he was an idiot, but hearing it so plainly, well.
Hermione held his shoulders and led him to his worn couch. “What Ron means is, why is that an issue now?”
“I loved him, maybe. I know he can change. And when eighth year happened... maybe I just wanted to believe in him.” Harry paused, feeling more reflective, the rarest kind of bravery. “I spent my entire life hating him, and I was figuring out my sexuality, and it somehow easier to go from one extreme to the other.”
“No one's perfect at the romance thing,” Ron said. “It's not like you had time for practice while Voldemort was chasing us down.” They all snorted, feeling some of the weight in the room lift.
“The other night we- we fought. But that was normal. Hate, love, repeat. And I was just so sick of it. So I told him everything I thought about his pure-blood ideals. Draco decided those were more important than me. Than our relationship.” Harry was crying again and he felt arms around him and he unloaded it all. It reminded him of the endless nights talking about the war, and the tears they had shed. Suddenly, for the first time in a week, he was in his home, not thinking about his past romance.
Hermione whispered once it was quiet again. “You are enough. Don't let Malfoy have your sadness. He doesn't deserve it.”
The next morning, he threw out the rest of Bertha's Meal Packs before giving a pro-muggle interview to the Quibbler.