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Trying to breathe

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The unofficial eighth year was suppose to be the chance for the students who had an interrupted seventh year, caused by the war to come back and redo their NEWTS. Harry had come back of course. So had Ron and Hermione and quite a few other of their classmates. They had been helping throughout the summer to restore Hogwarts after the battle had ruined much of the castle and Quidditch pitch. It was tough work but they all wanted to put the war behind them and move on with their lives.
For Harry though it had been more of a distraction. He was consumed with guilt and grief. He was the reason why so many people were dead. Fred, Remus, Tonks, Colin, Lavender. He couldn't stand it. Harry hated himself. Every night when he was in bed, with the other helpers surrounding him sleeping, Harry lay awake replaying all their deaths in his head. It was all his fault. He wished he could've died along with Cedric in the graveyard during the Triwizard Tournament or followed Sirius through the Vale in the Department Of Mysteries.
As the summer drew to an end and the Hogwarts restoration had come to an end 10 days before schedule, Harry found himself panicking. He no longer had his distraction from the thoughts that consumed mind. It's your fault they screamed. Only if you died, none of this would have happened. Savoir of the Wizarding world, yeah right! You're weak. You're better off dead.
IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT
Harry wanted to hurt himself.

Those who had helped with the rebuild were survivors. Their families had joined and even those who had not fought came as well. Soon the castle was full of hard workers and determination to restore Hogwarts to its former glory. Quite a few people were angered to see Draco Malfoy, former Death Eater working amongst them. Harsh words were said and even a couple of hexes and punches were thrown. But after Harry Potter stood up and told the masses that, "Draco Malfoy is one of us. He is a survivor. Draco also saved my life. He had an opportunity to turn me over to Voldemort but he didn't. I owe him my life and so do all of you. Let him work in peace. The time for fighting is over." After that the hate was whispered in passing while they worked and through venomous glares. They had finished the restoration a full 10 days before schedule and the people who had been helping with the process had gone home and now the unofficial eighth years were hanging around the grounds waiting for school to start up once again.

Professor McGonagall, now the Headmistress of Hogwarts, thought it would be a nice idea to have all the returning students that were coming back to finish their eighth year share a common room and dormitories in a separate part of the castle. This was so that they could have a place to be free of the younger students and work in peace. The war had been hard on all of them and McGonagall had wanted them to be together. For they had fought the war together and now they held shared experiences and needed the shared strength to get back on their feet. When the dorm had been built and Hogwarts was ready for permanent occupants, the tired eighth years had stood in the middle of their new, unbiased common room in front of the Head Mistress awaiting their room assignments. At first when the returned had learnt they would be sharing, they had been sceptical with sharing the dorm with members of the other houses, especially Slytherin. Nobody wanted to share a room with the former Death Eater and the other two snakes that came back, Blaise Zabini and Pansy Parkinson. Automatically everyone thought that Draco and Blaise would be sharing the now two bedded rooms and Pansy would be bunking with another girl. However when McGonagall called out Harry and Draco's names to share, the students had stirred wondering why the hell, the Golden Boy and the Death Eater had been put together. The two boys looked at each other from across the room and sighed. They were both tired of fighting and even though they had not formally and verbally called a truce, they both knew that it was there. They also both had huge crushes on each other but of course no one knew that. After McGonagall had put the rest of the eighth years together, Ron+Dean, Hermione+Pansy, Neville+Blaise and so on, the now very tired teens had carried their luggage to their rooms.

For Ron and Dean it was wonderful. Both having shared with each other already for their first 6 years at Hogwarts up in Gryffindor Tower, they had no problem. Though it was a whole different story for Hermione and Pansy. After Hermione had said goodnight to Harry and kissing Ron, Hermione walked into her room to find Pansy sitting on the edge of one of the beds, still fully clothed and looking out the small window that they had. When Pansy heard the door close she looked up and half smiled, "Granger."
Hermione returned the small smile and said "You can call me by my first name now, if you want to, I mean. Since we're now sharing living quarters and all."
"Oh," Pansy said, half smile still in place. "Sure okay. Same to you Hermione."
With a quiet chuckle and eyes now on her very interesting shoes, Hermione asked with a fast pace, "Pansy, do you mind if I have the bed you're currently sitting on? I, um like it when I wake up and the sun is on me."
"Yeah, of course," Pansy said back.
"Thanks," Hermione replied.
Hopping up and moving her trunk so it was now on the other bed, Pansy opened it to start unpacking. A slightly awkward silence fell between the two as they folded clothes into their respective draws provided. Hermione coughed and said, "Well Pansy, I'm going to have a quick shower, so um." Hermione coughed again and walked towards the bathroom when Pansy nodded in response. As soon as the door was closed, Hermione let out a shaky breath that she wasn't aware that she was holding and thought to herself how strange this year was going to be.

Back on the boy side of the dormitories, Neville and Blaise picked their beds in silence. They hadn't spoken a word to each other since possibly when they shared potions classes, which was first year to fifth. Even then they both doubted it was more than 10 words. The air in their room was tense, unpacking in silence and changing into pyjamas was awkward. Both felt like they should say something, but didn't know what.
When they were settled in bed, Blaise picked up his wand to turn off the light, but before he said the spell he looked over at Neville staring at the roof, cleared his throat and said, "Goodnight Longbottom."
Neville, startled at the sudden saying of his name, turned his head to look back over at Blaise and told him goodnight as well.

In the room next them, Harry and Draco also picked their beds in silence. They chose by simply sitting on the nearest one to them when they entered the door together. Neither boy had spoken but they were looking at each other. Grey eyes meeting green. Green eyes meeting grey. It was the first time that they had been alone together since the bathroom in 6th year. Draco studied the raven haired teen in their silence. Harry looked so tired. He had dark bags under his eyes and he looked too thin. He was sort of slouching too which made Draco sit up a bit straighter. A few minutes passed and Harry's gaze dropped to his lap. Draco took this as his cue to speak. He cleared his throat awkwardly and said, "Thank you, by the way Potter. For telling the people to let me work in peace. You didn't have to do that for me you know. I can take the sharp jabs and insults they throw at me."
Harry shook his head and sighed, "Honestly Draco, I did it because I'm so sick of everybody fighting. I'm so tired of everything. Do you honestly think that if you hadn't been cleared of all the charges against you, you wouldn't be here?! You're here to help, you want to rebuild what was broken and get on with life. But no, they have to continue fighting." By this point Harry was breathing heavily.
Draco stared at Harry, "I didn't know you thought that way."
"Yeah well obviously. I wouldn't have stuck up for you otherwise. I'm sick of everything and everyone trying to pin the blame on someone else. You didn't want any part in what Voldemort made you do. But they're to stupid to see it!" Harry exclaimed.
"You're right Potter," Draco said calmly.
After a few beats of silence Harry said "Harry."
"What?" Draco asked, eyebrows raising in confusion.
"Call me Harry. We practically live together now, might as well get use to it."
"Oh yes. I had almost forgotten that the Saviour and a Death Eater have to share the same sleeping space," Draco joked trying to ease the mood.
"Ex Death Eater," said Harry.
Draco rolled his eyes, "Sure okay."
Harry stood and opened his trunk, aware that Draco's gaze was on him. He pulled out his pyjamas and walked into the bathroom, locking the door behind him. He turned the shower on hot and let the steam fill the air. Now since he had access to proper showers after going without for the better part of a year when hunting Horcruxes with Ron and Hermione, Harry now took full advantage of the hot water.
Harry took of his dirty, sweat stained clothing and threw them on the hamper and wiped the mirror free of steam with his hand. He stared at his reflection. Harry didn't recognise the person staring back at him. Disgusted with himself he jumped into the shower, biting back a yelp when the water burned his skin. Harry scrubbed himself raw trying to scrub away his grief and self loathing. He was the reason why so many were dead. When Harry got out of the shower and had gotten dressed he pulled out one of his razors that he used for shaving. His intention wasn't so innocent though. Using his wand to remove one of the blades, Harry pressed the silver metal to the skin upon his wrist. Harry already had ugly scars on his body, what was one more to add to the mix? He pressed hard, wincing as he drew the blade across his slightly tanned skin. I've felt worse pain than this Harry thought as he pressed a little deeper as he made the second cut. Blood oozed and dripped into the white sink as Harry continued to mutate himself. After each cut Harry felt a weight lift off his shoulders, he found that he could breath a little easier as more blood dripped into the sink.
As he reached the top of his forearm, Harry shut his eyes and let himself feel. This pain was a good pain. I deserve this pain. He could breathe.
He jumped when a loud bang hit the door of the bathroom, Draco was yelling at him to hurry the fuck up because he wanted to also take a shower and go to sleep. Harry sighed, "Sorry Draco. One more minute, just brushing my teeth."
He heard a muffled "Ugh fine bloody gryffindors" through the door as Draco moved away probably grabbing his own pyjamas.
Harry looked down, red coated the sink, his wrist was a mess. Fuck. He scourgified the blood and washed off his wrist. It screamed in protest as the water cleaned out the cuts, some deeper than others. Fuck Harry thought again as he saw how bad it was. The cuts were swollen and angry looking. Casting a quick cleaning charm to prevent infection, a neat little spell he learnt off Hermione when they were "camping," Harry brushed his teeth and hid the blade back with the others. Wincing at the sting of pulling down his long sleeve, he unlocked the door only to meet a mad looking Draco as he opened it.
"Um, sorry" Harry said in attempt to calm the blond.
Draco rolled his eyes, "Honestly Po-Harry, I thought I took long in the bathroom. Next time I'll go first shall I?"
Harry gave a small smile, "Sure Draco if you think that's best."
Huffing, Draco pushed past Harry and locked the bathroom door behind him.
With a heavy sigh, Harry made his way over to his bed. Looking at the bathroom door to make sure that it was in fact shut, he waited to hear Draco turn on the shower. When he heard it turn on, Harry gingerly rolled his sleeve back up and stared at the cuts he just made.
He should probably feel sick, or shocked that he could do something like that to himself. But he felt such relief. He was weightless for the first time after killing Voldemort. Rolling it back down when he heard the shower shut off and Draco climb out, Harry moved to get under his blankets but turned back around when the bathroom door opened and Draco walked out in nothing but a towel wrapped around his waist and go over to his now unpacked trunk. Harry felt his mouth go slightly dry as he looked at Draco's upper body. First of all he never knew that Draco's hair had a curl to it before (which was actually pretty adorable). Second was the fact that he was so beautiful. He was still pale even after spending so much time in the sun. Endless hours of putting the castle back together had left him rather fit (not that he wasn't already). And third, Draco had scars on his chest that were the aftermath the sectumsempra curse Harry has thrown at him.
Harry gasped horrified at what he had done to the Slytherin. Draco looked up from his searching for some lost item to see Harry staring at his scars, he had thought Harry was reacting to the Dark Mark but he soon realised and said, "Oh, I forget that they are their sometimes."
Harry's eyes whipped up to Draco's, "Holy fuck Draco I'm so sorry, I had no idea what that spell would do and I'm so so so sorry." He started to panic as he looked back down at the slightly pink scars.
"Salazar, calm down Harry seriously. It's okay. I don't blame you. I was just about to use the Cruciatus Curse on you and you were just defending yourself. The scars don't bother me anymore," Draco tried to use a reassuring tone, sensing the Gryffindors panic. "Harry, please it's okay. Don't worry about them. I don't... Harry!"
Draco's raised voice snapped Harry out of his haze, "Sorry. I just can't believe you still have those scars. If I had known, I would have let you use the Cruciatus Curse on me instead. Godric knows I deserve it."
"Right" Draco said with a weary voice. "Anyway, like I said don't worry about them. It's fine." Looking the Gryffindor in the eyes he shrugged and smiled. With that, he went back the the bathroom after successfully finding his lost comb.
After the door was closed once again Harry let himself crawl into bed, pull the blankets around his head and deflate. He couldn't believe he left scars on Draco. What was wrong with him?
He ruined everything.

When Draco came back into the room, Harry seemed to be asleep. His blankets were drawn tight around his head and he could hear steady breathing. Sighing, Draco hopped into his own bed and did the same. "Night Harry" he said to himself as he drifted off to sleep.

Chapter Text

In the morning when the Slytherin woke up, he looked over to see that Harry was still asleep. Oh well, he did say he was tired Draco thought as he got up to go to the toilet. He should be awake for breakfast.
After he got changed and fixed his bed hair, (thank Salazar Potter hadn't seen that) Draco walked into the eighth year common room to find Granger sitting on one of the sofas next to the fire, reading a book. He coughed to announce his presence and Granger looked up and gestured for him to sit beside her. Sitting down on the couch Draco started to say, "So does Potter always sleep this late," just as Hermione was about to say, "Harry should be up around lunch time."
Awkwardly laughing Draco made a you go first gesture with his hand.
Hermione smiled, "Well as I was saying , since there's no work today, Harry and Ron probably won't be up before lunch time."
"Oh," Draco nodded. After a brief pause he added, "Slobs."
Hermione burst out a startled laugh and Draco chuckled along with her.

------

Going down to breakfast with Pansy, Blaise, Granger and Longbottom a while later was something that Draco was going to have to get use too. Eighth years had their own table to sit at because the others would be too full. So even if they didn't want to sit together they didn't really have much of a choice. They made small talk about how the castle looked good as new and about the classes they were going to pick up again.
After breakfast the odd group of five split up. Hermione and Neville said goodbye to the Slytherins and made their way back to the common room, while the Slytherins went for a walk to talk about their first night sharing with the Gryffindors.
When Neville and Hermione entered the common room again they found that more of their classmates had woken and were now hanging around waiting for their friends to hurry up so that they could go to breakfast. Making her way over back to the couch to resume her reading, Ron came down stairs and plonked himself beside her.
"Morin' Moine" he smiled at her, leaning in for a kiss.
Meeting him halfway to return the kiss, she smiled at the red head. "To be honest Ronald, I didn't expect you to be up till lunch time."
Ron laughed, "Yeah well I was hungry and I wanted to go grab some Bacon sandwiches before they disappeared."
Hermione rolled her eyes at her boyfriend, "Of course Ron," she smiled and leaned in for another kiss. Pulling back she blushed and looked around the room, "So Ron tell me what you think of these sleeping arrangements?"
Ron grinned, "Its great 'Mione, really. Sharing with Dean is just like old times and now I know some neat silencing charms to block out his bloody awful snoring. Godric you should hear him." Ron paused and then gave a small cough, "I, uh mean it's a shame that you have to share a room with that pig Parkinson and how Harry has to share with Malfoy! Better him than me though, I'd be scared that the ferret would Avada Kedavra me in my sleep. Speaking of Harry, has he come down yet? Not like him to miss breakfast after the camping."
Hermione thought about what Ron had just said. Yeah it was going to take a lot to get use to, Gryffindors and Slytherins being civil towards each other but she was sure that they wouldn't kill them in their sleep. Not after the war at least anyway.
"Ron, I'm sure that Malfoy is not going to murder Harry. Anyway Parkinson has actually said for me to call her Pansy, since we are sharing the same room and everything. And no, Harry is still asleep."
Mouth hanging open a bit wide for comfort, Ron stared at his girlfriend. "Seriously?" he asked, "Is she going to be calling you Hermione now too?"
Nodding, she replied, "Well yes. I don't think we will ever be friends but we have to try and get along."
"That's true I suppose. Hey do you think that I should go wake Harry? Tell him to get his ass up and come down to breakfast?" Ron said.
"No, don't bother. Let him rest. If he's not up before lunch time you can go get him." Hermione smiled as Ron hummed in agreement. Standing up she grabbed Ron's hand and pulled him up so he was standing next to her. "Come on then," she said. "I'll accompany you to your bacon sandwiches."
With a laugh Ron followed her out of the common room.

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Out on the Slytherins walk, the trio had stopped and sat next to a tree the faced the lake. Draco leaned up against the bark and Blaise lay down so he was staring up and the morning sky.
"I can't believe we are actually back here at Hogwarts," Pansy spoke after she had lay down next to Blaise.
"Yeah," said Blaise. Draco and Pansy looked at each other and sighed. None of them had thought they would be welcome after the war and their trials.
"So Blaise," Draco started, "How is it bunking up with Longbottom?"
Blaise sighed, "It's awkward. I don't think I've said more than 10 words to him in my entire life. So I don't know where to start and attempt a conversation."
"You seemed fine at breakfast this morning," Pansy commented.
"Yeah that was because you guys and Granger were their with us. It's different when you're alone together," Blaise said.
Draco and Pansy hummed in agreement.
"That's the same with me and Granger," Pansy said. "It was tense at first but then she asked me if she could have the bed that I was sitting on. We also both agreed to call each other by our first names." Running a hand through her hair and sitting up with a start, Pansy looked at Blaise.
"What?" the two boys said together.
"That's what you can do Blaise!"
"What is?" Blaise asked.
"Ask Longbottom if you can call him by his first name. It's a good place to start. What do you think Draco?" Pansy looked at Draco when she spoke his name.
Draco nodded at her and then at Blaise, "Yeah last night me and Harry had a bit of a chat and we agreed to be civil. It's a bit hard to be civil though when he spends so long in the bathroom. Longer than me!"
At that, Blaise propped himself up on his elbow and raised his eyebrows at the blond. "He spent longer than you in the bathroom? Really?"
Pansy shrieked with laughter as Draco said "Yes, bloody Gryffindors."
Once she had stopped laughing and Draco told her to stop being such a prat, Pansy lay back down and said to Blaise "So are you going to call Longbottom by his first name now?"
Blaise sighed again and said, "Well I'll have to talk to him about it first but sure. There's nothing preventing me doing so is there?"
"Nope," Pansy smiled.

As the sun grew higher in the sky and more eighth year students had woken and made their way down to the grounds to lay in the sun before lunch started, the Slytherins went back inside to clean up. Inside the common room Ron and Hermione were arguing about waking up Harry.
"Honestly Ronald let him sleep. He's been through so much. Let him have one day to relax."
"But Hermione he needs to get up and join the living!"
"Leave him Ron, please."
The Slytherins stood their watching the couple bicker. Draco cleared his throat to get their attention, "Shall I go and see if the Golden Boy wants to "join the living" as the weasel just said."
"Don't call me that ferret."
"Boys that's enough," said Hermione as she stepped in between the two boys, preventing any hexes to be thrown if worse came to worse.
Draco rolled his eyes. "What's the big deal anyway?"
"Its a big deal ferret because Harry is our friend," Ron snapped
"He obviously just wants to be left alone. I would too if were my friend," Draco snapped back.
Ron made a move to pull out his wand but before he could Hermione said, "Don't Ronald. Don't be rude Malfoy."
Draco smirked, "I'll go get him shall I?"
Ron glared at the Slytherin as he walked past. "What an evil git 'Mione. I don't trust him."
"Neither do I Ronald, but he wouldn't do anything to hurt Harry now so lets just wait until he comes back," said Hermione.

Up in the room Draco roughly shook Harry awake, "Harry get up you prat. You're friends are bickering about you being asleep all day. It's giving me a headache."
"Tell them to leave me alone." Harry said.
"Is that all? They'll just come storming in here if you don't give them a reason why."
"Tell them I'm tired and I want to sleep today."
"Fine." Draco stood and walked back out of the room to go tell the Gryffindors what Harry had said.

After Draco had told them, Ron and Hermione looked at each other with worry in their eyes.
"Is that all he said Malfoy?" asked Hermione.
"Yes." Draco said.
"Are you sure?" asked Ron.
"Yes," snapped Draco. "I told you, he wants to be left alone. So leave him. Go bother him tomorrow."
"Maybe I should go check on him myself," Hermione suggested.
"Didn't you hear anything I just said?" Draco said sharply. "I never thought I would live to see the day where I was actually having this conversation! He wants to sleep so let him sleep. He'll be angry at you if you go storming in there and force him to do something he doesn't want to do! Which currently is being awake. For Salazar's sake he defeated Voldemort, let him relax!" By the end of his rant, Draco's cheeks were flushed and the other eighth years were staring at him.
Ron and Hermione looked at each other, "Fine, we'll let him sleep. But if he's not up tomorrow I'm going in there," Ron said.
"Whatever," Draco said. With the final word on the matter, he stood up and walked back out if the common room closely followed by Blaise and Pansy.

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Sitting in the empty common room, Pansy sat by the dying fire staring into the red embers.
Everybody else had gone to bed hours ago but Pansy knew that if she tried to fall asleep she wouldn't be able to.
All afternoon she had listened to Draco rant about how stupid Potter was being and his stupid Gryffindor friends.
Granger wasn't stupid she thought, she's just concerned for her friend.
Toying with her wand she cast a simple nonverbal spell, to levitate couch cushions into small piles.
When she ran out of objects to move, Pansy sighed deeply and started making her to bed.
Upon entering she saw Hermione reading yet another large book that she would have borrowed from the library. "What's that book about?" she asked.
Hermione looked up and smiled, "It's advanced Arithmancy. Professor Vector saw me in the library today looking for a book and recommend it to me. It's very interesting."
Pansy sat on the edge of her bed, "I never understood the appeal of knowing the future. It changes all the time so why try and work it out," she shrugged.
Nodding along Hermione said, "I understand what you mean but it's fascinating none the less. Do you remember how in third year we took Divination with Trelawney? That class was such a waste if time. This is more logical, you can never waste your time with numbers."
Pansy laughed, "I wish I stormed out with you to be completely honest."
Hermione blushed slightly, "Seriously?"
"Yeah! You should have seen the look on her face, Trelawney was so confused. It was great. You'd think if she was an actual Seer, she would have seen you leave!" Pansy laughed louder.
Hermione smiled, "You have a point. But I happen to know that she has made at least two real prophecies before."
Pansy stopped laughing and gaped, "Are you serious?"
Hermione nodded.
Pansy raised her hands in the air and flopped them around, "Don't leave me hanging! You've got to tell me now!"
Hermione laughed, "I'm not sure if I can tell you all the details, but she made one about a baby being born at the end of June 18 years ago, who would grow up and defeat Voldemort."
Pansy's eyes went as wide as quaffles, "You're joking right? She made one about Potter?"
Hermione shook her head, "Technically yes but there was another baby who the prophecy could have referred too."
"Oh Merlin. Do you know who it was? You must tell me!"
"Neville."
Pansy's mouth dropped open, "Are you saying, that Longbottom could have been the one to defeat you-know-who?"
Hermione nodded, "I can't go into more detail than that but yes."
"Holy fuck."
Hermione laughed, "That was my first thought too when I heard."
Pansy scooted closer to the Gryffindor, "What was the second one?"
"It's hard to explain so bare with me," Hermione then went on to telling Pansy about how Harry heard the prophecy from Trelawny on the day she stormed out if class, Peter Pettigrew and what happened in the shrieking shack.
At the end of the story Pansy's mouth was hanging open again and she was frozen in shock.
After a minute of processing what Hermione had just told her she said, "Let me get this straight, first Weasley's rat was a man?"
"Yes."
"Gross," Pansy shuddered. "Second, Professor Lupin was a werewolf?"
"Yes he was."
"Wow. Thirdly Sirius Black is Potter's Godfather?"
"Yes he was. He was killed during our fifth year by Malfoy's aunt Bellatrix Lestrange."
"No wonder why Potter was so upset."
Hermione raised an eyebrow at Pansy, "You noticed?"
Pansy laughed, "Merlin no. No offence to him or anything but I didn't care. Draco on the other hand. All he talked about was Potter. Potter this, Potter that." Pansy rolled her eyes. "So pathetic."
Hermione smiled, interesting. "All Harry would do during our 6th year was talk about Malfoy. He became obsessed. Following him around and stalking him on his map," Hermione sighed. "Harry always said that Malfoy was up to something. Ron and I never believed him because he was being paranoid. But then Dumbledore.." she trailed off.
"Yeah," Pansy sighed. "Draco never wanted to kill him you know."
"Oh yes I know, Harry was there in those final moments, Draco was lowering his wand."
Pansy hummed in agreement.
Silence fell over the girls as they both got wrapped up in their thoughts.
Eventually Hermione spoke, "So Pansy could you possibly not tell anyone about Neville and the prophecy? He doesn't know and I don't want him to find out. It'll do him no good now since the war is over and Voldemort's dead. Please."
Pansy smiled, "Of course I won't tell. It can be between us. Thank you for telling me. Very fascinating stuff, yet it does nothing to change my opinion on Trelawney."
Hermione laughed, "Thanks Pansy."
"No problem."

Chapter Text

After the first full day of Harry being in bed, Draco thought that the Golden Boy was lazy.
Yesterday he had told Granger and Weasley to leave him alone and he had walked off and gone to lunch where he and Pansy to talked to Blaise about how he was going with talking to Longbottom and rant about how stupid Gryffindors were.
But today he had allowed Ron to go marching into the boys room and get Harry. "Oi mate wake up. You've been asleep for two days and you need to come down and have something to eat." Ron kept shaking him and Harry eventually sighed and told Ron to please go away and he wasn't hungry so go eat without him. Ron huffed and left the room, heading straight for Hermione who was sitting on a couch next to Draco.
Ron sat on the coffee table that was in front of her and replayed the conversation he just had with his best friend.
Hermione took Ron's hands with her own and said, "I'll go and tell him to come eat something shall I?" She then turned to Draco who had also listened to Ron's story and asked, "Do you mind if I go in there?"
Draco shrugged, "No, go ahead."
She smiled, "Thanks. Okay be right back."
Hermione pushed herself off the couch and pecked a small kiss on Ron's cheek. Straightening up and moving past Draco's stretched out legs, she walked upto the boys room and knocked softly on the door. "Harry," she called. "I'm coming in."
When Harry didn't reply, she pushed open the door and walked in. Making her way over so she was now by Harry's head, she crouched and sighed.
"Oh Harry why wont you come out and join us for a bit of breakfast? We have our own table in the great hall and today is such a nice day so we can take a walk later hmm."
"No Hermione. I don't want to. All I feel like doing at the moment is sleep, please I'm so tired," Harry had turned to face his friend.
Hermione sighed again and moved so her hand was now resting on top of Harry's, ignoring the way he flinched when their skin made contact.
"Fine, if you're so content in staying here, let me at least bring you up a few sandwiches. You need to eat, you're too thin."
Harry lowered his blurred gaze to their hands, "You sound like Mrs Weasley 'Mione."
Hermione smiled and said, "That's not a bad thing."
Harry looked back up to her brown eyes, "I know."
"Okay then," said Hermione. "I'm going to go get you those sandwiches now."

When Hermione returned with the promised food, she found that Harry had fallen back to sleep. With a sigh she covered him back up with his blanket and left the plate resting by his glasses.
Back in the common room she told Ron that Harry had gone back to sleep and that they should just let him. Grumbling Ron grabbed Hermione's hand and dragged her out of the common room to go get their own lunch.

Sitting at the eighth year table in silence, Hermione filled their own plates with sandwiches and fruit. Watching her boyfriend pick at his food instead of wolfing it down she pushed her now empty plate away and reached for his hands to hold. "What's wrong Ron?"
He sighed and considered saying that he was fine but after all that they had been through together, he knew that Hermione could read him like one of her books.
"It's Harry, Hermione. I don't know what has gotten into him. I know that Harry hasn't been the same since killing Voldemort and attending the endless funerals. But we attended them too and I think he has forgotten that he in not the only one that lost something during the war. I still can't believe that Fred is dead Mione. I didn't even want to get out of bed but Harry told me that it was going to be okay and that I should come live because Fred wouldn't want me to waste any opportunities for a laugh," Ron's eyes filled with tears when he talked about Fred. They always did, but he held them back, he had done enough crying. Clearing his throat he continued, "He's pushing us away again Hermione and I don't know how to help him this time."
Hermione sat as listened to Ron speak. He and Harry always had trouble talking about their feelings and she had learnt to stay silent until they had finished. "Ronald, you of all people know how Harry must be feeling then. You need to give him a reason to come outside. Ask him to come flying or play chess."
Ron nodded, "But what if he doesn't want to? Or what if Malfoy put a curse on him so he can't get out of bed?"
Hermione sighed softly, "Then we'll need to give him some space like Malfoy rudely said yesterday. Ronald I doubt that Malfoy put a curse on him, if he did Harry wouldn't of told you to leave him alone."
"I suppose so. Hey, maybe I can persuade Harry to slip some of George's hair colour changer into the ferrets shampoo. That'll perk him up, seeing Malfoy cry over bright pink hair."
Hermione laughed and pulled her hands out of Ron's, "Maybe. Do you want to go for a walk around the lake? It's a lovely day."
"Sure," Ron said smiling. "Let me just finish eating this first," and he stuffed an apple slice into his mouth.

Later that night when Draco made his way to bed, he noticed that Harry wasn't in his. Also that the plate of food Granger had brought up was no where to be seen.
With a shrug of his shoulders, he pulled off his shirt and pants so he could change into his pajamas.
Hearing the bathroom door open, Draco turned to see Harry walk out.
"So the Golden Boy has woken," joked the blond as he pulled on a fresh pair of pajamas.
"Mhm," said Harry.
Draco rubbed his hand over his face at the meager response. "Is that all you're going to say? You've been asleep for two days Potter. Your Gryffindors keep bothering me about it because I happen to be your roommate. Weasel thinks I've put some curse on you."
"Don't call him that," snapped Harry.
"Merlin relax," Draco responded.
Moving past the Slytherin, Harry got back under his covers and turned so his back was facing Draco.
"Are you serious? What is with you Potter?" Draco huffed.
"Nothing," Harry's voice was a whisper.
Draco walked over to the other boys bed and pulled the blankets off him.
Harry let out a loud sigh and struggled to pull them back on himself.
"No you don't Potter," Draco said as he grabbed Harry's out stretched arm.
Harry hissed in pain as Draco's hand clamped over his fresh cuts. Pulling his arm out of Draco's grip, Harry glared at him.
Draco rolled his eyes at him, "What's wrong with you?"
"Nothing I'm fine," Harry said as he folded his arms, being careful not to irritate his sore wrist further.
"Yeah right. I'm not stupid Potter."
"I never said you were. And I told you to call me Harry, we're not a couple of first years."
It Draco's turn to snap, "You're acting like one."
Harry sniffed and resumed his glaring, "What ever. Give me my blankets back Draco, I want to go to sleep."
"You've been sleeping for two days. How can you still be tired?" Draco asked.
Harry sighed heavily.
"Well?" Draco said after Harry didn't answer his question.
Harry hesitated. He didn't want to tell anybody why he spent the past two days in bed. He hated himself so much that he turned to self-harm. How he blamed himself for the death of so many people. He was the reason that they died. How he wished he could trade places with them.
His self hatred was exhausting.
Draco sighed, "Forget it then. You obviously don't want to tell me." Draco let go of the blankets and stormed over to the bathroom to brush his teeth. Before he shut the door he swore he heard a quiet sob from Harry as pulled his blankets over him once more.

Next door Blaise was sitting on his bed reading while Neville was showering. When the Slytherin heard the Gryffindor come out of the bathroom he shut his book and looked up.
After having another conversation with Draco and Pansy earlier in the day about how he should man up already and talk to him, he cleared his throat and said, "So Longbottom...."
Neville turned and look at Blaise. "Yeah?"
Shit Blaise thought, what the hell am I supposed to say? "Uhh do you play any sports?"
"Is that a rhetorical question?" Neville scrunched his eyebrows in confusion.
"What? No, shit. I meant, crap, I was trying to make conversation but I couldn't think of anything to say and that was the first thing that popped into my head," Blaise stammered and blushed. Shit this was not how I wanted this to go Blaise thought.
Neville's eyebrows were now up in his hairline, "Seriously?" he asked the embarrassed Slytherin. "You wanted to start a conversation and that's what you thought of? I can't put one foot in front of the other without tripping flat on my face most days and you ask if I play sports?"
Blaises face continued to reddend, "Well you're fit so I thought maybe, um yeah?"
Neville burst out laughing, "Wow, no."
With an uneasy chuckle Blaise laughed along with him.
Shaking his head the Gryffindor went and sat on his bed, back against the wall. "So, what made you suddenly want to talk to me? I thought we were going to spend the entire year in uncomfortable silence."
Blaise blushed again, "Oh, well I was talking to Pansy and Draco about how they also have to share a room with Gryffindors. Because it's awkward and different because of the fact that we're evil and Death Eaters and you Gryffindors are the heroes of the war."
"You're not all evil and not all of you were Death Eaters," said Neville.
"Yeah, anyway, they asked me how we were getting along and I happened to mention that we hadn't really spoken-"
"That's because we've never had to interact with each other before," Neville interrupted.
Blaise nodded in agreement, "Anyway as I was saying."
"Sorry," mumbled Neville.
Blaise smiled, "Anyway, I mentioned that we hadn't really spoken before and I didn't know where to even start and Pansy and Draco told me that Hermione and Harry had told them to call each other by their first names now, so I was wondering if we could possibly do the same."
Neville's eyebrows were back at his hairline, "Really?"
"Yeah. We're going to have to get use to being around each other. It might make things easier. We don't have to be friends or anything but-" Blaise sighed as Neville interrupted him again.
"Sorry, but that is a good idea."
Blaise smiled , "Good okay. So Neville, do you play any sports?"
Laughter filled the room. Soon the boys got into bed and turned out the light.
"I don't mind if we attempt to become friends," said Neville after a moment of silence.
"Really?" Blaise questioned. "How come?"
"The wars over and I don't want to fight anymore. House unity wouldn't hurt and if the younger years saw us getting along then they would follow suit," Neville answered.
Blaise rolled his eyes.
"I heard that Blaise," said Neville.
Blaise laughed, "Is that the only reason?"
"Nah. It could be nice."
"Yeah," said Blaise.
"We'll see," said Neville.
The boys paused and then burst into another round of laughter.
"Night Blaise"
"Night Neville"

Chapter Text

The next morning, Draco woke up before Harry yet again. "Typical," he said to himself as he got out of bed. Mumbling while he showered and dressed, Draco left the room. Before he reached the common room, Ron stopped in front of him.
"Yes Weasley?" Draco asked.
"Where's Harry?" Ron demanded.
Draco rolled his eyes, "Calm down weasel. Harry is still sleeping."
"Are you serious?" Ron glared at the blond. "If I find out that you put some sort of dark curse on him, I'll hex your balls off."
"I haven't done anything to your precious saviour," Draco matched the red heads glare with his own.
"You better not have ferret."
"Go check on him yourself if you're so worried, don't go jumping to conclusions," Draco said.
Ron huffed in rage, "I'll jump where ever I want thank you very much. I don't trust you alone with Harry. You're a death eater after all."
"Shut up ferret, if you don't remember correctly I was cleared of all charges. How else do you think I could be here having this ridiculous conversation with you?" snapped Draco.
"Just because you were cleared doesn't mean you're still not a Death Eater," Ron said.
Draco made a noise of frustration, "Wow you caught me," sarcasm dripping off his voice.
"Shut up ferret, I don't trust you."
"I don't trust you either. Now move before I hex you, you're giving me another headache and it's not even 9am," Draco pushed past Ron as he stepped aside.
If looks could kill Ron thought to himself as Draco turned out of site, I would have killed him countless times.

Ron shook Harry awake, "Mate," he said, "This is the third day. You need to stop laying around and do something. Come outside and fly with me? We could probably go find Professor McGonagall and ask her to give us a snitch or quaffle to throw around."
"No thank you," Harry said.
Ron hesitated, "How about a game of chess then?"
Harry sighed tiredly, "No mate, I don't feel like it."
Ron sighed, "Harry you have to get up and join the living. This isn't like you. We have a week before the train arrives with the rest of the students, one whole week with the castle to ourselves! Mate we can go fly outside of the Quidditch pitch, visit Hagrid, maybe we could even go down to Hogsmeade and get a fire whiskey since we're of age! Come on this is the perfect time to have fun and make opportunities to laugh. Lets not waste this."
"That sounds nice Ron, go ask Hermione to do it with you. Or Dean. I just don't feel like it."
"What has gotten into you Harry?" Ron asked angrily.
"Nothing," Harry whispered.
Ron huffed, "Fine, stay in bed then, I'll come back and ask you again tomorrow," Ron turned away from Harry.
"Don't bother, I wont feel like it tomorrow either. Please just leave me alone."
Ron clenched his teeth together, "Okay Harry." He left the room slamming the door behind him.

Harry flinched as the door slammed. He felt guilty that Ron had brought what he had said about Fred. Don't bother, please leave me alone, what a stupid thing to say. Ron must hate me now.
Sighing as he got out of bed, he put on his glasses and make his way to the bathroom, Harry accioed his blade. Shutting the door and sitting in the toilet, he took off the pyjama top and looked at his wrists. The old cuts that he had made on his left wrist were healing slowly, some had scabbed over while the newest ones that were made last night, were still puffy around the edges. Casting another cleaning charm at the cuts and then on the blade, Harry pressed the tip of the silver metal to his right wrist. Not use to doing things left handed, Harry's fingers slipped a couple of times and made the cuts mess. Cut after cut Harry thought of how much of a failure he was. Couldn't save Fred. Couldn't save Tonks or Remus. I'm the reason why Sirius is dead. I couldn't even die properly. Pressing deeper with each new cut, Harry ended up crossing over the other cuts he had just made. Soon the tiles under his wrist where the blood was dripping were covered in red. A constant stream of blood was flowing as Harry, half crazed in his frenzy, continued to slice up his arm.
Feeling himself get dizzy and his body sag, Harry slowly snapped out of what he was doing. His wrist was a mess, multiple zigzagged cuts were bleeding freely and his left hand and the blade were also covered in blood where his hand had swiped his wrist in attempt to get to more clear skin.
Staring at the blood on the floor Harry let out a huge sob that wracked his whole body. Pulling his legs up under him, Harry hugged his knees as he cried. Huge sobs made his body convulse and tears streamed down his face. After about five minutes of crying, which to Harry felt like an hour, he felt the now sticky blood on his bare skin and on his legs where it had dripped down.
Drawing in big breaths to steady himself, Harry wiped his eyes with the back of his hands and unfolded himself off the toilet seat. Careful not to stand in the blood puddle, Harry stumbled to the sink where he had placed his wand. Catching himself on the basin, Harry took another couple of breaths. Woozy and tired, Harry cleaned up the blood and vanished his pants with an evenesco charm (no point in trying to save something ruined), took off his glasses and got into the shower. Wincing at the sting as the hot water hit his cuts. Resting his back against the shower wall, Harry shut his eyes and let the water run over him. When he was ready to get out, Harry cursed himself because he had forgotten to take a new set of pyjamas with him. Wrapping a towel around his waist, Harry grabbed his wand and and stepped out of the bathroom. Sighing contently to himself when he saw that Draco wasn't in the room, Harry walked over to his set of draws without having to hide his sore arm.

Making his way back to his room after breakfast to grab a book, Draco chatted happily with Blaise about his progress with Longbottom. Throwing his head back in a laugh as Blaise got to the part when he called Neville fit, Draco said the password to their portrait and stumbled forward as Blaise shoved him and told him not to laugh.
Smirking at his Slytherin friend, he shoved him back and wiggled his eyebrows. Laughing again at his blush, Draco told him that he'd be right back.
Shaking his head as he opened the door to the room he shared with Harry, he saw that he was standing in nothing but a towel around his waist searching through his draws.
Draco's eyes widened as he looked at the Gryffindors body. Wet messy hair, broad shoulders, toned tanned body, slim waist. Shit he's attractive Draco thought as he shut the door behind him. Noticing Harry's jump and frantic pace to grab an item of clothing to cover himself, Draco also noticed that he had an ugly looking scar on his chest from where a necklace would sit and that Harry was particularly concerned in covering his arms.
Draco stepped closer to the Gryffindor and gasped. Angry cuts ran up and down the savours arms. Fresh looking ones still open on the right.
Draco gasped again when Harry moved to push past him and run back into the safety of the bathroom.
"Harry what did you do?" Draco asked as he reached out to stop the boy from getting past him.
"I-..." Harry hesitated.
Draco moved so that his hands were now resting on top of Harry's shoulders. "Harry," he said softly. "What did you do?"
Harry's face crumpled as he started to cry again. Leaning into the Slytherins touch, he hung his head as tears streamed down his face.
Unsure of what to do, Draco pulled Harry with him so that they were sitting on his bed. When they were seated, Harry wrapped his arms around his knees once more and pressed his face against them.
Awkwardly Draco rubbed him on the back, in what he hoped was soothing circles.
Once Harry had calmed down enough, he raised his head to look at Draco. "Sorry," he croaked, voice thick from crying.
"It's okay," Draco said.
"It's not okay," Harry whispered. His eyes were red and his face was stained with tears.
Not knowing what to do or say, Draco stood and pulled out his wand. "Here," he said. "Let me heal you atleast. They look sore."
Harry shook his head, "No I deserve this pain."
Draco hesitated, what the hell am I supposed to say to that?
Silence fell over the two boys. Well this is awkward thought Draco putting away his wand.
Both boys jumped when their was a knock on their door. Blaise was yelling at Draco, "How long does it take to grab a bloody book Malfoy? Hurry the fuck up."
"Shit," he said to himself. "One more minute Zabini," he yelled back. "I, uh have to go Harry."
Harry sniffed and wiped his face, "Sure go ahead."
Draco shuffled his feet awkwardly, "I don't want to leave you alone in this state."
"Like you actually care," Harry mumbled, pushing himself off Draco's bed. He shivered as he realised that he still didn't have clothes on.
Draco looked at Harrys bare skin again, hoping that he was being discreet.
Blush spread on his pale cheeks when Harry coughed.
"Are you going to go join Zabini?" he asked quietly.
"Oh, yes, right," stammered Draco. The blond boy went to his pile of school books that were sitting on their desk and picked up his herbology book and then over to Harry's abandoned draws and chucked him a random long sleeved t shirt.
Harry pulled the shirt over his head and arched an eyebrow at his book of plants. "Thanks, want to beat Neville this year do you?"
"What? Oh, no actually Blaise does," Draco said.
"Seriously?" Harry asked.
Draco shrugged, "Well I wouldn't have said 'beat him' but he does want to have something to talk to Longbottom about and he wants it to be about plants," he scoffed and shook his head. "Now he's dragged me into it."
"Neville does like plants," Harry gave Draco a small smile.
"So I've heard," Draco ran a hand through his hair. "So I've got to go before Blaise hexes me for wasting his precious 'study' time."
Harry nodded and looked away.
"Harry," Draco said. After a pause of silence Draco repeated, "Harry."
The Gryffindor looked back at the Slytherin. "Yeah?" he croaked, voice thick.
"Don't do anything stupid while I'm gone," Draco fidgeted with his text book.
Harry nodded again, not trusting his voice a second time.
"Promise me you won't hurt yourself while I'm gone," Draco took a step forward and put his free hand hesitantly on Harry's chin, holding it firm when he tried to move away. "Promise."
A tear rolled down Harry's cheek, "Okay Draco."
Draco released Harry's chin and wiped the stray tear away with his thumb. They both took shaky breaths. "I'll be back in a few hours. I'll bring back something for you to eat," Draco's hand dropped from Harry's face and then he walked out the door, looking over his shoulder to throw Harry one last smile.

When the door closed once more, Harry brought his own hand up to his face where Draco had touched. Pressing his own fingertips to his chin then his cheek, goose bumps spread over his skin.
Harry's mind was racing, Draco Malfoy cares about me? Why? He must think I'm a freak. He'll probably tell Hermione and Ron. Oh no. They'll send me to Saint Mungo's. Why did he make me promise? What does he want from me? Why is he being so nice?
Harry shivered again, remembering that he was still in a towel, he pulled on some pants and got back into bed.
He said he was going to bring food, why does he care?
Closing his eyes Harry fell into an uneasy sleep.

When Draco met up with Blaise, he apologised and gave him some lame excuse about not being able to find his book.
They ended up sitting outside in the sun, under the same tree from the other day.
Cracking open their new text books, they read the introductory chapter to themselves.
Being a faster reader than Blaise, Draco let his mind wonder to what he had just seen. Harry Potter, golden boy and saviour of the Wizarding world, cutting himself? Draco had thought of hurting himself once after the war. It was after the trials and his father was in Azkaban again. His mother was packing her stuff so she could go to France and she was planning to leave Draco here by himself to look after the estate.
"Draco darling I love you but I can't stay here." That's what she had said when he asked her to stay. The next day she was gone. Being alone in the manor never use to bother Draco, but after all the awful things that had happened there, he found himself jumping at his own shadow and sink into a depression.
A week later and Draco was desperate, no matter how many owls his mother sent him, he couldn't shake off his funk. So he decided to kill himself. Finding some poison left over in his father's office, Draco poured himself a glass of fire whiskey and emptied the vial of poison into it.
Sitting in his over sized bed, glass in hand, he stared at the drink. All he had to do was swallow it and all his problems would be solved.
But as he raised the glass to his lips, an owl tapped on the window. Discovering it was from McGonagall asking him to come back to Hogwarts, Draco threw the glass out the window and listened to it smash on the ground. From that day forth he decided to hold his head high and make something for himself.

Yet he couldn't wrap his head around why Potter would want to mutilate himself. He had survived being killed twice. Had eternal glory. Defeated Voldemort.
Draco didn't understand.

Snapping out of his thoughts when Blaise slapped him. "Ouch you asshole what the fuck was that for?" he said rubbing his red cheek.
"I've been trying to get your attention for the past five minutes. What the fuck were you thinking about?"
Draco mumbled, "I was thinking about Harry."
Blaise rolled his eyes. Of course he was thinking about Potter. "Right," he said. "Anything in particular?"
"Uh, no. Just the triwizard tournament," Draco lied.
Blaise smirked, "What was it this time? Was it how he's such a show off flying his fire bolt in the first task. Or how he was such an idiot saving the Beauxbatons girl as well as Weasley? Or how he was such a drama queen after the third task?"
Draco blushed, "Shut up Zabini."
Blaise laughed.
"Actually I was thinking about what Potter put in his mouth before the second task that made him be able to breathe underwater," Draco snapped.
"We've discussed this remember? Pansy heard it from some loud mouth Gryffindors that it was Gillyweed. I have no idea where we would have gotten it from. Snape definitely didn't give it to him."
"I know," glared Draco. "Where is Pansy anyway?"
Blaise sighed, "I asked her when you were 'finding your book' and she laughed at me and said "Blaise hun, I'm not even taking Herbology this year remember" and went to her room."
Draco laughed at Blaise's poor imitation of Pansy. "Right, okay well there is a chapter in this book about underwater plants and I was think we could start there if you want to impress Longbottom because he must know what Gillyweed is."
Blaise grinned at Draco, "Good idea."

As they studied, Draco's thoughts kept slipping back to Harry. Multiple times Blaise had had to snap him back to herbology but after doing it 3 times in 10 minutes he had had enough. "DRACO!!" Blaise yelled. "Fuck sakes pay attention or piss off. I'm sick of you zoning out. You were fine before you went into your room. Potter was awake wasn't he? What did he say to you? Do I need to go hex him?"
"No Blaise you don't need to do anything. You're right though, he was awake and he did say something but it's not what you think."
"Are you going to tell me what it was? How do I know it's not what I think it is?"
Draco hesitated, "You're going to have to trust me okay? It's nothing to worry about. Harry told me in confidence and I don't know what to say to him about it."
Blaise frowned at his friend, then he smirked.
"What are you smirking at?"
"Did Potter finally confess his love to you?"
Draco spluttered, "What the fuck Zabini."
Blaise chuckled, "Oh come on Draco, he must feel the same, I saw the way he was looking at you during sixth year when you were, uh, too busy to notice." Talking about Draco's "mission" was always a sensitive topic but Draco brushed it off this time to ask Blaise, "What the fuck are you going on about? I don't love Potter and he certainly doesn't love me."
Blaise rolled his eyes, "Keep telling yourself that mate."
Draco blushed and almost fell on his face when he stood up, "I'm leaving because you are being ridiculous."
Blaise laughed as Draco walked away. Poor Draco he thought, you've been in love with him since we were 11.

Stupid Zabini, he doesn't know anything. Me loving Harry freaking Potter? Shit, Draco was half way back to the common room, he remembered that he was said he was going to bring Harry something to eat. Doubling back to the Great Hall, he filled two plates with bacon, sandwiches, sausages, french fries and mash potato. He also squirted some sauce onto one of the plates as well.
Shrinking his book to fit in his pocket, he carried the two plates through the castle and argued a bit with the portrait before it let him into the common room. Then he held his head high as he crossed the room full of students and struggled to open the door to his room with full hands. When he finally managed to get in, he huffed and blew his fringe out of his face. Noisily putting the plates down on the desk and unshrinking his book, Draco woke up Harry.
"Do you have to be so loud?" Harry asked when he sat up fumbling around for his glasses. When he didn't succeeded finding them he grabbed his wand, "Accio glasses," Harry picked them off his bed when they came flying out of the bathroom and smacked into his wand and put them on.
"Yes I have to be loud, how else would I get up? You're probably sick of being shaken awake by weasel."
Harry sighed, "Do you have to call him that?"
"That's what he is so, yes I do Harry," Draco sat down on the chair next to the desk. "I bought us lunch. I was thinking we could eat in here and then you could tell me why you hurt yourself."
"What if I don't to tell you?" Harry said getting into the other chair and grabbing some fries.
Draco watched as Harry put a fry into his mouth and chewed. Holding back a groan as Harry swallowed and repeated the process.
Shaking his head to clear his mind of those particular thoughts, "What?"
Harry rolled his eyes and repeated, "What if I don't want to tell you why I, uh, cut myself..." he looked away as he spoke.
Draco smiled sadly, "Oh, well to be completely honest, I am giving you no choice."
Harrys eyes flickered back to Dracos, "What do you mean?"
Draco chuckled at Harrys confused tone, "Well," he said. "I'm going to sit here until you tell me, or I can go tell your Gryffindors what you did to yourself."
Harry blanched, "Please don't go tell them. They'll never understand. They'll send me to Saint Mangos. Please don't tell," Harry begged.
"I will if you give me no choice, now eat up so you can get on with the story."
Harry opened his mouth to argue but quickly snapped it shut when he saw the look on Draco's face, "Fine."
Draco smiled, "Good, pass us the chips before you hog them all."

While they were eating, Draco had talked about how pathetic Blaise was. "Honestly, I don't see why he wants to be Longbottoms friend so bad. Did you know he called him fit?" Draco laughed, "Where did you get the Gilly Weed from anyway?" he asked.
Harry cocked an eyebrow, "How do you know about that?"
"Pansy over heard some Gryffindors talking about it. She was such a gossip."
"Oh, Neville actually told me about it. I assume he got it from Professor Sprout but I never thought to ask."
"I can't wait to tell Blaise," Draco smiled.

Once they had finished, Harry moved back to his bed and sat up against the wall. Draco did the same on his.
"Ready to tell me Harry?" he asked.
Harry hesitated, "Why do you care Draco? I thought you hated me."
"I never hated you Harry. Sure I didn't like you but that was because you rejected my offer at friendship back in first year. That was so humiliating."
"You were such an arse about it! Oh look at me I'm Malfoy, Draco Malfoy. Then you insulted Ron, you were such a little shit."
Draco laughed, "Oh Merlin that's right. I had forgotten the details. Anyway, I never hated you."
Harry gave the Slytherin a small smile, "I never hated you either."
Draco returned the smile, "I care Harry because after all the shit you have been through, you deserve to be happy. Plus I know how you feel."
Harry shook his head, "You don't know how I feel Draco."
"Yes I do actually. Over the summer I was alone. My father is in Azkaban and my mother moved to France and left me behind. I would have killed myself if McGonagall didn't send me a Hogwarts letter when she did. Trust me Harry, I know."
Holy shit, Harry thought. "I don't know what to say."
"You don't have to say anything," Draco said. "I got over it, I'm a Malfoy after all."
Harry started fidgeting with a loose string on his pants, not knowing what to say next.
Draco sighed, "Harry, why did you hurt yourself?"
"I-I don't know how to explain," Harry said.
"Try," Draco suggested.
Harry took deep breath and told him. He told him about his abusive upbringing, how Voldemort tried to kill him every year since he was 11, how he found out that Sirius Black was his Godfather and they were going to live together but then that got taken away from him, and then Sirius got killed in the ministry by Bellatrix. He told Draco about the triwizard tournament and how he didn't want eternal glory and then he watched Cedric Diggory get murdered. Then nobody believed him during sixth year and that sadistic bitch Umbridge told him not to tell lies.
He told him about Dumbledore and how he had left Harry a job to do. Finding the Horcruxes, Ron leaving and coming back and then going to Hogwarts and fighting, watching all those people die for him and how the Weasleys lost Fred. He told him about how he was the Horcrux Voldemort never meant to make in Snape's memories and how he went to die but then he got to come back and killed Voldemort.
"I went to so many funerals. I went to Fred's, Lupins and Tonks, Lavender Brown's, Colin Creevey's and like 100 other people. Everybody wanted the Saviour to attend and say something about how brave they deceased was for fighting. It was exhausting. Then I spoke at the trials, got a Merlin Order First of Class and went back to Hogwarts for the restoration. The restoration was a distraction from everything. I was suffocating. I needed to feel something else so once the restoration was finished and we had all this free time I cut myself. It felt good Draco. I felt like I could breathe. But that feeling didn't last so I did it again.
They are all dead because of me. It's all my fault. Sometimes I wish I had never been born at all."
While he was talking, which seemed like hours, Harry hadn't allowed him self to cry but he couldn't hold it on anymore. Sobs took over his body and he was gasping for air.
Draco quickly stood up and went to go sit next to Harry, wrapping his arms around the Gryffindor, he let the boy cling to him as he broke down. "Oh Harry, you'll be okay."
"No I wont," Harry said through his tears.
"Yes you will. I'm going to help you," Draco said, determination in his voice.
Harry sniffed, "Why would you do that? I don't deserve it."
"Yes you do Harry. Everybody deserves a chance at happiness,"
Draco squeezed Harry's shoulders. He pulled his wand out of his pocket and cast a tempus charm, "It's almost dinner time. Do you want to have a shower and go down to the Great Hall?"
Harry shook his head, "I don't want to go down there. Please don't make me. Ron's mad at me and Hermione will fuss, I can't deal with that right now."
Draco hummed in agreement, "Granger is definitely your mother hen. Why is Weasley mad at you?"
Harry sighed, "Because I told him to go away and not come back."
Draco snorted and Harry pulled out of his one-armed hug and glared at him.
"Don't look at me like that Potter. Weasley's an idiot, he'll get over it."
"But I-"
Draco clamped his hand over Harry's mouth, "Don't. He will forgive you."
Harry nodded and blushed under Draco's hand.

Draco blushed and pulled his hand away from Harry's mouth, "Well I'm starved so I'm going to go wash up and then go grab us dinner. While I'm gone, go splash some water on your face, you'll feel better. Oh and do something about that Godric awful hair of yours will you?"
Harry went to hit Draco on the arm but missed when the Slytherin jumped up and walked towards the bathroom. Draco laughed.

"Hey Draco?" Harry called out to the blond after a few minutes.
"Yeah?" He called back.
"How do I know you're not going to go straight to your friends and tell them what I just told you?"
Draco opened the bathroom door and gave Harry the stink eye, "Seriously? Why would I do that?"
Harry looked down at his hands and traced his I must not tell lies scar, "I don't know? Cause you're Draco Malfoy? And if this was 4th year you would have gone straight to them and the daily prophet."
Draco rolled his eyes, "Lucky for you then it's not 4th year. We've grown up Harry, I've grown up. Don't you trust me?"
Harry looked back up at Draco, "Not yet."
Draco smiled, "This can be the first step then to prove to you I can be trusted. Now go clean up, I'll be back soon."
Harry sighed, "Fine. Don't forget a drink this time."
Draco laughed out the door.

Chapter Text

Ron was fuming when he left Harry. What the fuck was that all about? I wont feel like it tomorrow either. Something is wrong with Harry. Instead of going down to breakfast, Ron went back to his room to stew in private.

Hermione sighed, Harry was obviously going to stay up in his room again but that didn't explain where Ron was. Putting some toast and bacon on an empty plate, Hermione went in searching of Ron. Bumping into Dean and Seamus on her way she asked them if they had seen him.
"Nah sorry Hermione," Seamus said in his Irish accent.
Dean shrugged his shoulders, not knowing where he was either.
Hermione sighed again and then smiled, "Thanks guys." She moved past them to continue her search.
He definitely won't be in the library, probably back in his room, she thought.

Hermione pushed open his door and saw Ron lying face down on his bed. She coughed to announce her presence and walked over to him so that she could sit next to him, "Ronald get up and move over, I brought you toast and bacon."
Ron did as he was told and gladly accepted the plate of food.
They sat in silence as he ate and she nibbled on a slice of toast.
Once they had finished, they leaved back against the headboard and laced their hands together.
"How did it go with Harry?" she asked after a while.
Ron sighed heavily and rubbed his free hand over his face. "Not so good," he said and told her what had happened.
She was frowning when he finished. "You just left him?"
Ron pinked, "Uh, yeah?"
Hermione shook her head, boys. "Ronald you should have sat with him and asked him what was wrong, like really wrong."
"You know I'm bad at this sort of thing 'Mione."
"That's no excuse, I should make you go back in there and apologies for being stupid but I think you both need to cool off. Even though he told you not to come back tomorrow, you will." Hermione said sternly.
Ron squeezed her hand, "Of course I will, he's my best mate."
"Good," Hermione said fondly.

They sat their for a while longer in comfortably silence. Hermione moved so she was lying in Ron's lap and he played with her hair softly.
"When do you think Dean will be back?" She asked.
"Dunno, he said something about going to Hogsmead. Since he and Seamus aren't here now, I guess they're there."
"Good," she said again and pulled Ron down for a kiss
---------------------------------------

When Draco was out of sight, Blaise sighed. No point in trying to study now he thought, I wonder what Potter said. Probably something stupid, he sighed again.
Blaise marked his page with a leaf and lay back on the grass. He loved the way the sun felt on his skin.
After a while when the sun lowered and a couple if clouds rolled in, Blaise sat up and stared across the lake.
He watched the giant squid stick his tentacles in the air a couple of times before he decided to get up and go find something to eat.
Making his way back inside the castle, he took his time to observe his surroundings.
Ghosts flew past, a breeze swirled around him, his classmates chattering happily about Quidditch and new teachers.
Reaching the Great Hall he saw that dinner had been put out and that Neville and Pansy were sitting together.
When he got closer he heard Pansy say, "No way you have a Mimbulus Mimbletonia! Where did you get one? I thought they were super rare."
"I do," Neville smiled. "I got it from my Gran durning the summer before 5th year."
Pansy grinned, "That is so cool."
They both looked up when Blaise sat down at the table opposite them and dropped his book on it. "I thought you weren't taking Herbology this year Pansy," he said.
"I'm not, but that doesn't mean I don't remember some of what Professor Sprout talked about," she huffed.
Blaise held his hands up in surrender, not wanting to start an argument and then helped himself to some potatoes and Shepard pie.
"I see you're taking Herbology this year then," Neville said to Blaise gesturing to his text book.
"Yeah, I spent a few hours this morning studying with Draco before he went to go chat to Potter about something. Before you ask Pansy," seeing her open her mouth, "I don't know what it was."
Neville chuckled as she closed her mouth and gave Blaise a glare. "Were you studying anything in particular?" he asked.
Blaise shook his head, mouth full of potato. Once he swallowed he said, "Nah, I just wanted to get a bit of study in before classes start and Herbology has always been my weakest subject. We started with water plants though."
Neville smiled, "I know all about those."
For the next half hour the three of them talked about Herbology. Neville explained to the Slytherins how this year that they will probably be sharing the class with the seventh years in greenhouse 3 or 5 and that they will be focusing on more dangerous plant like the Venomous Tentacula.
"I actually want to teach Herbology here at Hogwarts after Professor Sprout retires. I'm hoping that she will allow me to become her apprentice after we graduate," Neville confessed.
Blaise was flipping through the pages in his book as they were talking so he could read about some of the plants that Neville had talked about, he was currently reading the chapter about the Venomous Tentacula but stopped and looked up when Neville said he wanted to teach, "Seriously? That's so cool."
"Yeah," Pansy agreed.
Neville's cheeks pinked slightly, "Thanks. But what if she doesn't want me as her apprentice?"
Blaise and Pansy shared a glance and then gave Neville a are you kidding me look.
The Gryffindor laughed at their expressions and reached for more pumpkin juice.

Their conversation flowed into talking about their classmates.
"How long have Weasley and Granger been together?" Pansy asked.
Blaise rolled his eyes at her, "Once a gossip, always a gossip."
Pansy glared at him as Neville laughed, "They got together in May during the battle, so almost 4 months. They both have had feelings for each other for so long though. It was painful watching them dance around each other."
"Yeah Draco-" Pansy started to say but was cut off by Blaise waving his hands to stop her.
Neville arched an eyebrow at him, "What?" He asked.
Blaise sighed, "Go ahead and tell him Pansy but it's your funeral."
Pansy grinned, "Okay. As I was saying, Draco's the same when it comes to Potter."
Neville stared at her openly confused, "What do you mean?" He watched as Blaise put his head in his hands and then turned his attention back to Pansy.
The girls grin widened, "Haven't you noticed? Merlin it's so pathetic honestly. Draco is always talking about Potter. Every year on the train it's, "Crabbe what's the time? I want to go to find Potter on the train before we get to Hogwarts, ugh look at Potter's hair, Potter looks sad today I wonder what's wrong, OI Potter look you're in the paper again, lets walk this way to dinner so we can bump into Potter." Ever since first year Draco's been obsessed. Draco will swear to you that it's nothing but hatred, but we know. His eyes light up when he talks about him, he's so oblivious." Pansy sighed.
"Holy shit," Neville said.
Blaise lifted his head off his hands, "I think that's the first time I've heard you curse."
"Yes well, Harry's the same."
"Holy shit, are you serious?" Pansy asked eagerly.
Neville nodded, "It was bad during 6th year. He use to follow Malfoy around and stare at him during meals and through class. Malfoy looks ill, do you think he's okay? Where is Malfoy disappearing off too? Why isn't Malfoy playing Quidditch today?"
"Wow," Pansy said.
"Yeah, they're both pathetic" Blaise agreed.
They all stared at each other for a minute and then burst out laughing.

Ron and Hermione entered the Great Hall hand in hand and were met by a loud wave of laughter coming from an unlikely group.
When Ron and Hermione reached the table they sat next to Blaise who was wiping tears of laughter off his face.
"What did we miss?" Ron asked as he pulled a bowl of Shepard's pie towards him.
"Potter... Malfoy.." Pansy managed to gasp out as she laughed.
Hermione scrunched her brows in confusion, "What?"
Pansy took several deep breaths to calm herself and she explained.
Ron tilted his head in confusion as Hermione's face lit up. "This is great news," she said to Pansy.
Pansy grinned again and clasped her hands together, "I know right."
"How is this great news?" Ron groaned at his girlfriend.
"How can you not see it?" She said.
"See what?" Ron and Neville said together.
Pansy and Hermione shook their heads, boys.
"Do you want to tell them?" Pansy asked her roommate.
"Nah, go ahead."
"They like each other."
Ron blanched and Neville oohed in realisation.
"Harry's not gay," Ron said. "Don't you remember Cho? My sister???"
Blaise sighed, "Harry might not realise what his feelings mean yet. Gay, straight, bi. But I know for a fact that Draco is gay as they come."
Ron spluttered, "How the hell do you know that?"
Blaise smiled at the red faced red head, "Because we use to have a thing."
Neville blushed as bright as Ron when Blaise winked at him while Pansy and Hermione laughed.
"But that's insane, Harry can't have a crush on Malfoy! It's Malfoy! They hate each other," Ron exclaimed.
"There is a thin line between love and hate Weasley," Pansy said.
Ron pushed his half empty bowl away from him and rested his head on the table. "Godric," he mumbled.
Hermione rubbed her boyfriends back for comfort.

"When do you think Malfoy's going to come down for dinner?" Neville asked the Slytherins.
Pansy shrugged her shoulders, "I haven't seen him all day."
Blaise said, "I haven't seen him since before lunch."
"Why?" Hermione asked.
"Well," Neville smirked. "I was thinking that we could ask him if he likes Harry. You know to see how he reacts."
Ron lifted his head off the table and looked around at the other 3 people who he was sitting with, they were all staring at Neville so he did the same.
Pansy and Hermione started talking together after a beat of shocked silence.
"Oh Merlin-"
"That's brilliant-"
"Holy shit-"
Blaise was still staring at Neville and a small smile was playing on his lips, but he turned towards the door when he saw a flash of blond out if the corner of his eye. "Girls shut up, here he comes."
They both squeaked in excitement and Ron put his head back in the table.

Draco entered the Great Hall and cocked an eyebrow when he saw 4 sets of eyes staring at him and Weasley's head on the table. He breezed up to the table and pulled two plates, a jug of water and two goblets towards him.
"What?" He asked his friends and the Gryffindors when they continued to stare at him.
Pansy and Hermione shot a look at each other but before they could speak Ron said, "Do you like Harry?"
Draco almost dropped the spoon full of peas he was transferring to a plate, "Excuse me?"
"Do. You. Like. Harry."
Blush started to spread from his neck to his cheeks, "Uh, yeah, Harry's great."
Blaise snorted and the girls giggled. "I meant do you like Harry," Ron said grimacing.
Draco felt like his face was on fire, "No," he said too quickly and pulled his collar away from his hot neck. "Wha- What the hell? As if. He has stupid messy hair and ugly glasses," he scoffed. "Uh, what made you think that?"
"Nothing," the five students said together.
Draco glared at each of them, lingering on the Slytherins. "Right, okay sure. I'm going to go now." He got out his wand and levitated the jug and plates, grabbing the goblets he turned to walk swiftly down the hall.

The 5 sat and watched Draco half run and then roared with laughter as Pansy said, "Aw a dinner date, how cute."
--------------------------------------

Draco turned the corner and paused to adjust what was in his hands. What the fuck was that about? Do I like Harry. Of course I like Harry, who doesn't? Draco froze when he heard howling laughter coming from back inside the hall. He popped his head back around the corner to see Neville leaning on Pansy, Blaise with his head tipped back, Ron was shaking his head and Hermione was reaching across the table to give Pansy a high-five. What the actual fuck is going on? Are they all laughing at me? Draco pulled his head back to the safety of not being seen and fumed. Those bitches. He started walking again, almost tripping on a step because he wasn't paying attention. I've got to tell Potter. Shit I can't tell Potter that they're asking me if I like him. What if he figures out that I have a pathetic crush on him. He can never find that out.

Draco said the password to the portrait and then pushed open his door a minute later calling out "Honey, I'm home," which he hoped was in an amused tone, and carefully levitated the food and jug onto the now-clear desk. He looked at Harry who laughed and was now smiling at him and reaching for his goblet in Draco's hand and poured himself a drink.
"Finally, what took you so long?" Harry asked sipping his drink.
Draco shrugged, "Our friends were having their own nice little dinner party."
Harry frowned, "Oh?"
"They were chatting and laughing like good friends do."
Harry hummed and after a minute of eating he asked, "What were they talking about?"
Draco inhaled a pea down the wrong hole and started coughing frantically. Harry silently handed him his own goblet of water and waited until the Slytherin had calmed down. "Thanks Harry."
"No problem. So what were they talking about? Must of been something juicy if it made you half choke to death," Harry joked.
Draco raised his fork and stabbed it in Harry's direction, "That never happened."
Harry laughed, "If you say so."
"Good. Well our so called friends were actually talking about us from what I gathered."
Cocking an eyebrow Harry said, "Really? Do you know what about?"
Draco shook his head, "No. When I reached the table, they were all staring at me like a spooked deer and Weasley had his head on the table for some unknown reason."
"Did you ask them what they were doing?"
"Yes I did."
Harry blinked at the blond expectantly, "And?"
Draco sighed and pushed his plate away from him, "They wanted to see if we were getting along." That's not exactly a lie thought Draco.
"What did you say?"
"I said yes, that we were getting along just fine. They're idiots honesty. If we weren't, why would I be bringing dinner up to you?"
Harry nodded in agreement, "That is true."
"What that they're idiots?"
They stared at each other and started to laugh.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When they boys had finished dinner, Harry called for Kreacher.
The house-elf appeared with a loud crack, startling Draco.
"Master Harry," the elf croaked. "What does master want with Kreacher so soon?"
"Hi Kreacher, could you please take the empty plates away again?"
"As my master wishes," Kreacher grabbed the dishes and gave Harry a small bow.
"Thanks Kreacher," Harry said and then the elf disappeared with another loud crack.
"How do you know a house-elf that works here at Hogwarts?" Draco asked highly confused.
"He was my Godfather's family's. So when he died, I got his house and Kreacher. But I sent him to come work at Hogwarts."
Draco nodded, "Oh. You got a house?"
"Yeah. I haven't been back there since Ron, Hermione and I broke into the Ministry to get a Horcrux off Umbridge."
"You did what?" Draco blanched.
"I told you were hunting Horcruxes?"
"Yeah but you never told me that that bitch had one! Did she have it during 5th year? Is that why she was so horrible?"
Harry shook his head, "No, she acquired it after a bloke named Mundungus Fletcher stole all of Sirius' stuff and she gave it to her."
"I've heard of him, what a scum bag."
Harry nodded, "Yeah. Hey, I thought you were pro-Umbridge. You were the leader of the High Inquisitorial squad. "
"Salazar no. I hated her. Everybody did. When my father found out that she was teaching Defence and was the High Inquisitor, he told me to get into her good books. The other Slytherins followed me after that. She just gave me the leader position because I'm a Malfoy."
"Oh."
"I was very intrigued to find out what you were up to though. You and your friends would disappear and Filch turned up with disgusting boils on his face," Draco shuddered.
Harry laughed, "Fred and George left him some tainted chocolate for him."
"That sounds like something they would do."
"Yeah," Harry sighed. "How is your father anyway?"
Draco shrugged, "I've only written to him a twice. The first was after the trial, telling him that mother and I wont be joining him in Azkaban. The second was informing him that I was able to come back to Hogwarts and finish my education. He didn't reply so I haven't attempted to contact him again."
"Oh, I thought he would be happy that you have this second chance."
The blond shrugged again, "So did I but obviously not. I know he's my father and all that shit but he was never very good at being a parent. From the time I could understand, he taught me that pureblood was the best and anyone under us were not worthy. When I realised how wrong he was, it was already too late." Draco rubbed his hand over his face. "Lets not talk about this okay? I made a mistake, I regret it, it won't do any good to dwell on the past."
"Okay sure," Harry said then yawned and lifted his arms over his head for a stretch.
Draco watched the Gryffindor and bit his lip, his eyes lingered on a bit of exposed flesh where Harry's shirt rode up. He darted his eyes away when Harry's arms started to come back down and he cleared his throat. "I was going to do some reading before bed but I don't feel like it anymore. Do you want to play a game of chess instead?" Draco asked.
Harry gave him a small smile, "I don't really feel like it."
"What? Are you scared that I'm going to beat you Potter?"
Harry narrowed his eyes, "You wish Malfoy."
Draco grinned, grabbed his chess set and sat on Harrys bed with his legs crossed. "Bring it on."

Chapter Text

"Harry... Fuck sake Potter wake up."
"unnghf"
Draco clicked his tongue impatiently, "For the love of Magic Potter, wake up."
Harry groaned, "No go away."
"Don't test me Harry, I'm not in the mood. Get up and take a shower. When I come back in 20 minutes with some toast, you better be clean and dressed."
"You're just mad because I bet you in chess last night."
Draco sniffed angrily, "Shut up Potter, I was having an off-day obviously. I demand a rematch at a later date. Right now I'm leaving so you have 20 minutes." With that said, Draco walked out of their room and shut the door.
Harry grumbled as he sat up and put on his glasses. Just because I won, what a sore loser. He's such a baby.
The Gryffindor showered and flinched as he scrubbed his arms a little to hard. He cleaned the cuts and dressed to cover them back up.
Harry was dying his hair and attempting to flatten it when Draco came back in. "Good you listened to me. I was prepared to dump an arugmantai on you if you decided to fall back asleep."
Harry glared at him and snagged a slice of toast, he had given up on his hair.
Draco rolled his eyes, "Put some shoes on. We are going to go for a walk."
Harry hesitated, "I don't want to go for a walk."
"You've been in here for 3 days. You need to get some fresh air."
"Can't we just open the window?" Harry suggested hopefully.
Draco jerked his head, "No we cannot just open the window!"
Harry sagged, "But-"
"No buts! I'll levitate you out of here if I have too."

Harry grumbled as he put on his socks and shoes.
Draco just stood there with a hand on his hip and the stack of toast in the other.
When they were ready to leave, Harry back tracked to his trunk and pulled out his invisibility cloak. "Could I wear this?" He asked Draco. "Just until we are clear of the people?"
The Slytherin sighed, "Are you serious?"
Harry nodded.
"Fine! Fine, hurry up and put it on."
Harry smiled and threw the cloak over himself. "Hold the door open for me and then the portrait, and then I'll follow you in what ever direction you go until we are clear okay?"
Draco stared at the air where he knew Harry was standing. "Fine," he said and proceed to open the door.

Once past the common room, Draco walked the corridors so that they passed the Great Hall and exited the Castle.
Harry almost bumped into him because he had been distracted by the way Draco's legs and ass looked in his jeans.
"Harry, are we clear yet? Merlin this is disorienting, where are you?"
Harry threw of his cloak and appeared next to Draco, "Here."
Draco jumped a little bit and went to hand Harry the toast, "You can carry this now."
"Why you were doing such a good job of it yourself?"
Draco rolled his eyes, "Take the toast Harry and start walking. We can go around the lake."
Harry took the plate and Draco smiled at him.

Half way around the lake Harry asked, "Are you really mad at me for winning at chess?"
Draco shook his head and threw his crust into the water, "Nope."
"Then why were you so-"
"Harsh?"
"I was going to say bossy but that works as well." Harry laughed as Draco jabbed him in the side.
"I was bossy because I wanted to get you out side and I didn't think asking you nicely would have worked."
"You're probably right."
Draco smirked, "I'm always right." Harry gave him a pointed look. "Fine, I'm almost always right."
They laughed together and Harry flicked the crumbs off the plate. "Can we go get a drink? You never seem to remember that we require liquid in our diets as well."
"There is no pleasing you is their Harry?"
"Nope," Harry said an danced out of the way as Draco went in for another jab.
"Bloody Gryffindor."
---------------------------------------

"It's not like we were blind," Pansy said. Both girls had hunkered down in bed after the small group had gone back to the common room after dinner. They spent hours talking about Harry's and Draco's obsession with each other. "I saw the way Draco would look at Potter when he thought that we weren't paying attention. I always thought that he might have turned around and get with me ya'know? That sounds crude but when he asked me to the Yule Ball I thought that we would finally have the chance that I wanted but he stared at Potter all night. Then when he and Blaise had their thing, I understood and accepted it."
"That was the same with Harry. There was always something about Malfoy that ignited this spark in him. When he started to crush on Cho and then Ginny, I thought that it was wonderful, that he would move on from his fixation. But during sixth year he latched back on and broke up with Ginny when we left to go kill Voldemort. I know he loved her, he probably still does but I don't think he'll go back to her like she's hoping. Too much has happened."
Pansy sighed, "Yeah it has."
"They have always been obsessed with each other though," Hermione said.
"What do you mean?"
"Well in first year they tried to get each other in trouble as much as possible."
Pansy laughed, "It was pathetic. You all got detention in the forest."
"Don't laugh, it was scary. But it was brilliant seeing Malfoy shaking like a little girl," Hermione giggled.
Pansy snorted, "I bet it was."
"Yeah. Second year was the whole Chamber of Secrets fiasco. Snape was asking for a fight when he partnered Malfoy up with Harry."
"I know right. It was so ridiculous. Draco was insufferable because all he would talk about was how Potter had to the the next heir of Slytherin because he was a Parselmouth and was caught at the scene of the crime."
It was Hermiones turn to laugh, "Wow. We thought it was Malfoy at first but after Harry and Ron turned into Crabbe and Goyle and-"
Pansy shot up into a sitting position, "They did what?!"
Hermione laughed again and told Pansy the story of the Poly juice Potion.
"You were 12 when this happened? Are you sure you're not secretly 50 and hiding in a child's body?"
Hermione giggled, "I'm just clever."
Pansy lay back down on her bed, "12."
"Anyway. In third year, one time in Hogsmead, Harry threw a snowball in Malfoys face. You should've seen him! I haven't laughed so hard in my life. Ron and I were by the Shrieking Shack and Malfoy honestly thought that it was the ghost that was rumored to live in it. He ran away leaving behind the other two Slytherins that were with him behind."
Pansy cracked up, "I remember Goyle telling me about that when Draco wasn't around. He was so scared."
The two girls laughed for a few minutes and then Pansy said, "Do you remember during one of the qudditch games, Draco dressed up as a Dementor and tried to scare Potter?"
Hermione grinned, "Yes! and Harry shot him with his Patronus charm and knocked him over."
The two girls set off into another round of laughter.
"Though when Potter's name got pulled out of the Goblet of Fire in forth year, Draco was speechless. He couldn't believe it. He was so jealous of him. Potter always has to be in the spot light blah blah blah. By that point the rest of the Slytherins had stopped paying attention when Draco went off one one of his rants about Potter. We would be sitting down in the dungeons and Draco would say something about him and there would be an audible sigh throughout the room. I don't think Draco ever noticed, but Blaise and I did and we would laugh about it when he wasn't paying attention."
"Wow," Hermione chuckled.
"Right! Draco was so worried for him though. He could hardly watch as Potter faced the dragon. When the first task was over, he didn't even have anything insulting to say about him. Then the Yule Ball," Pansy sighed.
"Yeah."
"Oh and Mad-Eye turning Draco into a ferret. He was so embarrassed that Potter saw him like that. He couldn't show his face in the Great Hall for weeks. Then during the second task, I thought he was going to faint when Potter didn't come up with Weasley and that little French girl."
"Malfoy turning into a ferret was the best part of Ron's life at that point," Hermione laughed.
"I wish I was there to see it," Pansy pouted. "He came storming into the dungeons and ranted and raved about how Moody was a physco and that he could never face Potter again."
"Boys," Hermione giggled.
Pansy snorted, "Tell me about it." Then she sighed, "When Potter went into the maze and it shut behind him, Draco sat there the whole time staring at where he disappeared. He barely said a word until Potter came back. I swear he was cheering the loudest. But then there was screaming and it was so awful."
Hermione sniffed, "Yeah it was. Harry was traumatized. Poor Cedric."
The girls lay in silence for a moment.
"When we came back to school after the summer, nobody believed Harry about Voldemort's return. All they wanted to do was talk about Cedric," Hermione shook her head. "He was so angry."
"Draco believed him. Draco's father..." Pansy trailed off.
"Was in Voldemort's inner circle."
"Mmhm. But he couldn't say anything. Especially not to Potter. Then Umbridge gave him the leader position for the Squad and Draco poured all his energy into catching Potter and the rest of you."
"And he did catch us."
Pansy smirked, "Yeah we did."
"How were those sweets by the way?"
Pansy flushed a brilliant shade of pink, "Oh yeah they were great."
Hermione laughed, "Oh man, I wish that I saw it."
"No you don't, it wasn't pretty."
The Gryffindor laughed harder.
"Okay okay it's not that funny."
Hermione's laughter died down, "It is."
"Maybe in 100 years."
It was Hermione's turn to snort, "For you."
"Yes well lets just continue talking about our hopeless best friends shall we?"
"Sure," Hermione smiled. "Sixth year was the stalking."
"Mm, it started on the train on the way to Hogwarts. Draco stayed behind at the station and then Potter comes in late with a blood nose? Draco didn't say it was him but we all knew."
"Yeah. After that Harry wouldn't leave him alone. Following him around on his map and then when he figured out where Malfoy was going, he would spend hours trying to get into the room of requirement."
"That is so creepy."
"I know right," Hermione chuckled. "He was like a lost puppy. Malfoy wasn't paying attention to him anymore until what happened in the bathroom."
Pansy shuddered, "I understand that Potter was defending himself but how awful! Who would throw a curse like that at anybody? Even if they were enemies?"
"Harry didn't know what it was. He read it in his potions book. The book use to be Snapes."
Pansy gasped, "What the fuck?!"
"Harry got the book from the store cupboard on the first day on potions? Do you remember? Slughorn was talking about Amortentia?"
"I was too distracted by the potion to worry about those idiots."
Hermione laughed, "That's why Harry was so good at potions that year. Because he had Snapes old book."
"What a cheat," Pansy huffed.
"Tell me about it."
"Wait, does that mean the Snape had written the spell in the book?"
"Yes, because he was the one who invented it."
Pansy gasped again, "What an evil git."
"You got that right."
Pansy sighed deeply, "Now we are back at school and our boys are sharing a room. We need to do something."
"You got that right. But you're missing something."
Pansy sat up to look at Hermione, "What? Neither of them came back for seventh year."
"No they didn't but when we got snatched and taken to Malfoy Manor, Malfoy had the perfect opportunity to turn us all over to Voldemort, but he didn't. I had thrown a stingy hex at Harry's face before-"
"Ouch."
"We were snatched, but it was still obvious to anyone who had had contact with Harry to know who it was. Malfoy knew," Hermione sighed. "I bet he would have come with us when we escaped if he didn't care for his mother and father so much."
"You-know-who would have killed his entire family."
"Which is why I don't blame him for walking over to the "dark side" when his mother called for him. Voldemort would have turned around killed his mother and father in front of everyone if he hadn't."
"Poor Draco, he didn't want to have anything to do with any of that. Draco wants me to go apologize to Potter, for telling everyone to grab him and turn him over. I was scared. I didn't want to die."
Hermione sat up and looked the Slytherin in the eye, "Harry knows that. We all know that. You don't have to explain yourself Pansy," she smiled softly. "But Harry would probably appreciate it. Draco would too."
Pansy let out a breath she wasn't aware she was holding, "Thanks Hermione." Pansy lay back in her bed and turned on her side to face her roommate, bringing up the blankets and snuggling down in a ball. Hermione did that same. They looked at each other and giggled.
"We have to do something," Pansy said.
"About Harry and Malfoy?"
"Yes!"
"Like what?" Asked Hermione.
"Hmm," Pansy thought for a moment. "Well, we should probably start off small. Since they are both oblivious."
"How small?"
"We could point out they way that each boys butt looks in their pants?"
Hermione burst out laughing, "Oh Merlin. You cannot be serious?"
"No I am. Just listen. If we say it in passing like, "Hey Draco, Potters pants look good on him today don't you think?" and then he'll automatically look! It's a fantastic plan."
"What if they are both sitting?"
"Erm... Oh! We could say the same about their eyes? Or hair?"
"Wont it be weird though?"
"What do you mean?"
"Because I'm in a relationship with Ron and they are our friends," Hermione said.
"Just because you are in a relationship, that doesn't mean you don't notice other peoples bodies. Besides, we could probably get the rest of our friends in on it."
"I don't know how well Ron will take it."
"That we are trying to get our best friends together?"
"Yeah. The Weasleys and Malfoys have never gotten along."
Pansy scoffed, "So? He wants his friend to be happy doesn't he?"
Hermione exhaled, "He does."
Pansy grinned, "Then we start this plan tomorrow."
-----------------
The next morning, the girls were rudely awaken by Hermiones boyfriend, who came running in yelling, "Hermione! Mione! Harry isn't in his room! Do you think something bad has happened to him?!"
Hermione groaned and Pansy threw a pillow at Ron, "If you don't shut up right now Weasley, I'll feed you to the giant squid."
Hermione laughed and Ron whispered his apologies.
Pansy rolled over so her face was against the wall and pulled a second pillow over her eyes. "Go away," She said in a muffled voice.
Hermione put a finger up to her lips and and then pointed to Ron and then the door. She held up 5 fingers indicating that she'll be 5 minutes and then join him outside. Ron got the message and Hermione went to the bathroom to brush her teeth and change.
When she was done she left the room and found Ron pacing up and down the hallway.
He spotted her and rushed to grip her shoulders with his hands immediately, "Harry's gone!"
"What do you mean by gone?"
"He's not in his room! His glasses and wand are gone as well! So are his shoes!"
Hermione rolled her eyes, "He probably went for a walk Ronald."
"Harry didn't even want to get out of bed yesterday."
Hermione pushed Ron's hands off her and started walking towards the portrait, "He could have changed his mind overnight?"
"You didn't see him yesterday Mione. He was so..." Ron struggled for the right words. "Low-spirited."
Hermione tilted her head and raised an eyebrow, "Low-spirited?"
"Yeah! I told you what happened."
"Ronald I'm sure he's fine. Lets go check the Great Hall and if he's not there, we'll check outside okay? Did you ask Malfoy where Harry went?"
"He wasn't in their room either."
Hermione rolled her eyes at him and made a "tutting" sound.
"What?!" Ron exclaimed.
"Don't you think that they could have gone done to breakfast together? Or for a walk? They're roommates and most likely becoming friends."
Ron cringed, "You think Harry and Malfoy are hanging out?"
"Pansy and I are becoming friends. It's not the most shocking thing that's ever happened."
"Yeah-but-Malfoy," Ron spluttered.
Hermione sighed and rounded the corner to look in the Great Hall. She stopped at the entrance and turned to face Ron, "Well they're not in here. Lets go look outside."
After they had been walking for a minute Hermione asked, "Ron is it really the end of the world if Harry and Malfoy become friends?"
Ron grabbed her hand and squeezed it, "Maybe? I don't know."
She squeezed his hand in return, "Don't you want Harry to be happy?"
Ron blanched, "Of course I do Mione!"
"Then what's the issue?"
Ron sighed heavily but before he could answer Harry and Draco rounded the corner laughing and shoving each other. "Harry!" Ron called out.
The two boys froze mid-shove and looked at the source of the yell.
Harry blushed and Draco pushed him forwards to his friends.
"Weasley, Granger," Draco greeted the two Gryffindors.
"Malfoy," they said together.
Ron then turned his attention on the his best friend, "Harry mate, I went into your room this morning and you weren't there! I thought something terrible had happened to you," Ron shot a glare at Draco.
Draco glared back at him, "Seriously? You're accusing me?"
"Yeah because you're the one who is with him!"
Before Draco could retaliate, Harry stepped in. "Ron I'm fine. Look at me," he gestured to himself.
Ron huffed, "Mate you were gone and he's a Death-"
"Ron," Harry said sternly. "I appreciate your concern but I'm fine."
The four of them stood there awkwardly. Hermione nudged Ron and gave him a look.
"Oh-right," he stuttered. "Look I'm sorry okay?"
Harry sniffed, "For what?"
"For yesterday. I left when you needed me, I'm sorry mate."
"Oh," Harry said softly.
"I was there for him weasel," Draco shot in.
"Nobody was talking to you ferret," Ron snapped.
Hermione and Harry sighed at the same time.
The awkwardness returned. Harry coughed, "So uh. Draco and I were going to the Great Hall to get a drink... Do you want to join us?"
Hermione smiled, "Sure." Then she proceeded to smack Ron when he said nothing.
"Ouch what-oh," he cleared his throat. "Sure. Lead the way."
Draco and Harry shuffled around the couple and stalked off back towards the Hall. Harry had hunched his shoulders and was dragging his feet, Draco noticed the change and highly doubted that Ron and Hermione did because they were having a whispered argument presumably about them and sighed. Stupid weasel he thought angrily. Why did he have to come and ruin Harry's good mood?

The small group sat at their table in silence. Draco poured him and Harry a drink, which Harry only sipped and then kept his eyes focused on the table. Great.
The other two Gryffinfors were helping themselves to their own breakfast when Neville and Blaise stumbled into the Hall together. The 4 turned to investigate the crashing noise which came from Neville, who had tripped over one of the seats and the roaring laughter from Blaise.
Neville had flushed scarlet red and plonked himself next to Ron and Blaise sat opposite him next to Harry still gasping for air as he laughed. "Oh man, you weren't joking when you said that you can't put one foot in front of the other."
Neville continued to flush, "Shut up Zabini. It's not that funny. Plus you pushed me!"
Blaise wiped tears out if his eyes and took a deep breath to steady himself, "I didn't push you mate."
"Did too. You shoved me."
The Slytherin snorted, "I barely nudged you. It's not my fault you're so uncoordinated."
Neville threw a piece of toast at him and Blaise caught it and stuffed it in his mouth.
"I see you two are getting along well then," Draco said to the two of them. Since Neville and Blaise had come into the Hall, the four who were already seated had been staring wide eyed at the pair.
"Oh yeah!" Blaise grinned through his full mouth. "Nev's the best."
Ron hid a laugh behind his hand, Hermione looked at Harry and mouthed "Nev" at him with amusement and Draco snorted.
Neville smiled fondly at Blaise.
"What about you lot then?" Blaise asked when he had swallowed. "How are you getting along?"
They all looked at each other and then the boys glanced Hermione, who just sighed and answered. "Fine actually. Malfoy and Harry seem to be getting along wonderfully but Ronald here has a problem with them being friends."
"I do not," Ron interjected.
Hermione gave him the stink eye and Draco scoffed. "Are you sure about that?" She asked him.
"Yes, it's just going to take some time getting use to it," Ron's cheeks pinked as he spoke.
Draco and Harry glanced at each other and rolled their eyes, Blaise grinned along with Neville and Hermione kissed Ron on the cheek, which made him blush harder.

After that the group argued about the best spread to have on their toast. Ron and Blaise insisted it was marmalade, while Neville and Hermione said that toast needs nothing else but a bit of butter. Draco just shrugged and said it depends on his mood. Harry gave a non-coherent jerk of his shoulders and agreed with Draco.
They continued to talk toast until Pansy came in and almost sat on Neville in her tired daze.
"You okay Pans?" Blaise asked her.
"Mmm sure, I just need lots and lots of coffee."
"Late night?" Neville asked as he poured her a cup which she accepted with a smile and sipped.
"Yeah sort of. Hermione and I were chatting about stuff until the early hours of the morning. Then someone burst in and woke us up," she glared at Ron.
"I said sorry!"
"Uh-huh," she mumbled and went back to sipping her coffee.
"What were you chatting about?" Draco asked Hermione.
"Girl stuff." She glanced at Pansy who just shrugged her shoulders.
Draco narrowed his eyes, "Right, girl stuff."
"Idiot boys," she said with a flick of her wrist.
"Hey!" Ron said.
Pansy muffled a giggle with her cup and Hermione patted him on the back.
Draco still don't look convinced.
"It's none of your business anyway Dray," Pansy stated.
Harry snorted, "Dray?"
Draco pinked, "I told you not to call me that."
"Aw poor baby," she teased.
The group laughed and Draco groaned.
"Dray," Harry said again. The blond half-heartily glared at him. When Harry says it, it's not so bad. "Do you want to go have that rematch now?"
Draco smiled at him, "Sure. I'll beat you this time Potter."
"You wish Malfoy."
The boys grinned at each other, said good bye to their friends and left the Hall.

"Did you see the way that they smiled at each other?" Pansy beamed at the rest of the group.
"Yes!" Hermione beamed back.
"What are we missing here?" Blaise asked after the three boys shared a confused look.
The girls rolled their eyes. "Honestly, don't you three pay attention?"
They shook their heads.
"They look at each other like they are seeing for the first time," Pansy said.
"Harry's staring into the sun and Draco looks like he has found what has been missing all his life," Hermione sighed.
Blaise, Neville and Ron all creased their brows. "What?"
"Boys," said Hermione.
"Can I tell them the plan?" Pansy asked her.
"Oh yes! I forgot. Go ahead."
Pansy grinned and told them. When she was finished, she was met with one enthusiastic stare from Hermione and three blank ones. "What?"
"Uh-" Neville mumbled
"Interesting but-" Blaise uttered mostly to himself.
Ron groaned and put his head in his hands.
"What's so wrong with our plan?" Hermione frowned.
"Why can't you just leave them alone? I'm okay with them being friends. I can accept that. Look already accepted, see? But please don't try getting them into a relationship! Harry isn't even gay!" Ron told her.
"Ronald. We have discussed this. Plus it's obvious that he likes Draco. Remember what Mad-Eye said?"
"No?"
"Constant vigilance! Open your eyes Ronald!"
Ron groaned again.
"This is why we are doing the plan. You'll see."

"So why weren't you paying attention?" Pansy asked the boys.
"I was watching Dean and Seamus pour their third cup off coffee. Each," Blaise stated.
The group looked over at the two Gryffindors. Ron winced, "Yeah. They were up late drinking the fire whiskey they got from Hogsmeade."
"McGonagall actually let them bring some back with them?" Neville asked.
"Dean told me that they were only allowed to have it because school hasn't started yet. And if she catches one whiff of it when school is in session, she will give them detentions until they are old and grey."
"Far enough," Neville said.
"We'll have to go into Hogsmeade sometime," Blaise suggested.
"Yes! I need some new quills," Pansy voiced.
"Didn't you just get new ones in Diagon alley?"
Pansy turned crimson, "I left them at home."
Blaise laughed, "How did you manage that?"
"I was distracted because we only had a limited time to buy our things and pack and then get in the train to come back for the restoration! Duh. Like you haven't forgotten something?"
Blaise rubbed the back of his neck, "Well yeah but not my quills."
"Then shut up!"
Hermione started laughing which set Pansy off, then Ron and Neville. Soon Blaise was laughing along with them.
"Shall we go and join our hopeless friends in a game of chess?" Blaise asked them.
Ron smiled, "I bet I could bet you Zabini."
"You are so on Weasley."
Neville smiled when the group left the Hall and Blaise came to his side and swung an arm around his shoulder.

Chapter Text

I'm suffocating and I have to find another way to breathe. Since Draco found out yesterday, I'll never be able to hide it from him. I'm so stupid, I never should have walked out of the bathroom with being covered. All I want to do is to be able to breathe! How am I suppose to do that with out hurting myself? Oh god nothing makes sense anymore. I should have died. Everything is so pointless. Harry's mind was a mess, ever since Ron had accused Draco of hurting him, he had felt even more guilty. Draco isn't going to hurt me. He never wanted to hurt anyone. This is bullshit. I should just leave and everything will go back to normal. Maybe I should throw myself off the astronomy tower. That's a good idea, I could leave a note and then they'll understand how everything was my fault and that I deserve to be punished. I-
"Harry," Draco said softly.
Harry was startled, "Yes?" He squeaked.
"It wasn't your fault."
Oh shit. "What are you talking about?" Harry asked which he hoped was in a casual manner.
"The war. People dying. It wasn't your fault." Draco and Harry had been sitting in the common room playing chess, but Harry had lost focus and drifted off into his own world early in the game. Draco had just sat there watching him think, until Harry had started to speak out loud. "Please don't throw yourself of the astronomy tower."
"How- What- I wasn't-" Harry stammered.
"You were speaking out loud Harry," Draco told the other boy.
Harry blushed all the way up to the tip of his ears and buried his face in his hands.
Draco reached over and put his pale hand on Harry's leg, "Harry Potter. You are the bravest man I have ever known. You are the boy who lived twice and the savoir of the Wizarding World-"
"I never wanted any of that," Harry removed his hands from his face and briefly hesitated before he rested one of them on top of the one that was on his knee.
"I know you didn't," he gave the Gryffindor a small smile. "You saved my life even when you didn't have too. You could have left me to- to burn," it was Draco's turn to hesitate as he spoke. Thinking or taking about Goyle was still painful. Harry gave his hand a squeeze. "I was a Death Eater, I didn't deserve to be saved by you. But you chose too and now it's my turn to save you." Draco shifted so he was now sitting closer to Harry and entwined their fingers together. Harry blushed again.
"But you did save me. You didn't turn me over to Voldemort. You could've fixed everything for you and your family if you did, so why didn't you?
"Because," Draco hesitated again. "Because Harry, this is going to sound really creepy okay? but when they were forcing me to look at you, I saw something in your eyes. It's like you were begging me not to tell. Every fiber in your body was telling me to do the right thing. I- I wanted to help you. That's why I barely struggled when you were taking my wand. I almost asked you to take me with you. Can you believe it?" Both boys shook their heads. Harry's was a stiffer shake, he was shocked by what he was hearing. "But if I asked you to take me with you, your friends probably would have killed me. Then V-Voldemort would have shown up and killed my parents, instead of just Crucioing us all."
"Oh Draco," Harry breathed.
Draco shook his head again, this time it was more forceful, like he was trying to shake away all of the bad memories. "There was nothing you could have done about it Harry."
"If you asked, I would have taken you with me."
Draco smiled softly, "Yeah, you're too noble for your own good."
Harry nudged his shoulder, "Sorry. I can't help it."
Draco ran his thumb over Harry's, "It's not a bad thing. The bad thing is that you are feeling so horrible. Tell how I can help you."
Harry sighed heavily, "I don't know. I c-cut myself because it made me feel better, I was able to release what was inside me. Now that you know I can't because you'll be disappointed in me," Harry wiped a tear from his face. "Now I don't know what to do."
"We'll find a way to make you better Harry."
"It's useless. You're wasting your time."
Draco jerked his hand out of Harry's and brought them up to Harry's cheeks. He held Harry's head in place and smushed his face, "Harry Potter. I am not wasting my time. You deserve to be happy. It is time for you to be able to let go and move on with your life." He wiped another stray tear off Harry's cheek and pretended he couldn't feel the heat radiating off his face.
"I don't deserve anything," Harry said in a small voice.
Draco sighed and patted his cheeks, "I'll show you that you do." He was staring into the green eyes and the green eyes were staring back. A chill ran down his spine and he shivered, it felt like Harry was staring into his soul. Draco dropped his hands from his face and rubbed his palms on his own jean cover thighs. "I think we should go sit back outside," he suggested.
Harry scuffed his feet on the carpet, "Do we have to?"
Draco huffed a laugh, "Yes. It's a nice day, and I'm not wasting it in here with you. Come on, bring the chess."
Harry sighed and decided not to argue.

He packed up the chess set and the two boys made there way outside. They rounded the corner and smacked into something solid. "Oi watch it," Draco growled.
"Hey watch were you're going," came a female voice.
Draco and Harry shook off the confusion of hitting someone and focused on who it was. Laughter erupted from the source as they realized it was their friends.
"Oh sorry," he said and raised an eyebrow at Blaise but said nothing when the Slytherin winked at him.
Pansy snorted and punched Draco on the arm. "Where are you two going?"
"We were on our way outside to have our rematch."
"Oooh can we come?" She grinned and gestured to the 5 of them.
Draco grinned back, "Sure. More the merrier. Right Harry?"
Harry shrugged and made his way past Neville and Pansy so he was standing next to his two best friends.
"I'm going to go grab a book real quick," Hermione told them and raced up to her room.
"So am I," Neville announced and followed her.
The remaining 5 watched them race off and waited for their return in silence.
When the two came back, they were both carrying thick tombs and they all continued walking so that they were outside.

They found a reasonably flat piece of ground by a tree and Harry set up the chess.
Him and Draco played under the watchful eye of Ron, while Pansy charmed the blades of grass different colors. Hermione sat with her back against the tree with her nose in her book, which she told them was about Ancient Runes, which disinterested everyone but Draco and Blaise, who were also taking that subject again this year. Neville sat on the other side of the trunk next to Blaise, who was leaning against him and reading Magical Water Plants of the Mediterranean over his shoulder.

Once Draco had bet Harry at two games Wizard chess, much to Harry's dismay, it was Ron's turn to try and defeat him. "Just so you know ferret, I bet McGonagalls giant chess set when I was 11," Ron boasted.
Draco rolled his eyes, "Whatever weasel. Just play."
They were so focused on the game, that they didn't notice Pansy charm part of Draco's hair bright pink. Harry and Pansy roared with laughter and he high-fived her.
After that Pansy spent the remainder of Draco and Ron's game, charming Harry's curls. By the time Ron cheered with victory, Harry had multicolored locks.
"Nice hair Potter," Draco smiled.
"Thanks," he smiled back.
Pansy giggled and Ron rolled his eyes. "Do you want to play again?" Ron asked Draco, who was closely examining Harry's hair.
"Hmm what? Oh no that's okay. You should verse Blaise, he is quite the player."
Ron smiled, "Hey Zabini!"
"What?" He yelled back.
"Verse me!"
Blaise ginned, "Prepare to get you ass whooped Weasley."
"Bring it on," Ron grinned back.

Once Draco noticed that Pansy had charmed his hair pink, he let out a yell and proceeded to chase her around the chess game. "Come here Parkinson!"
"No!" She shrieked and jumped out of his reach. Harry was rolling around on the grass laughing and the readers and chess players had stopped what they were doing to watch the chase.

Up by the castle, Dean and Seamus were walking past when they stopped to locate the source of the shriek. They both looked at each other with high brows at the sight of Slytherins and Gryffindors getting along so well.
"That's interesting," Dean said.
Seamus agreed. They laughed as they watched Draco grab Pansy by the waist and swing her round. "Look at Harry," he said. Harry looked positively jealous.
Dean laughed again, "Mate he so wants to be Pansy right now."
Seamus grinned, "Yeah he does." He wiggled his eyebrows at his best friend.
They laughed and continued on their own way.

"Let go of me Draco!" Pansy howled.
"Never!" He tackled her to the ground.
The on lookers laughed at the two Slyhterins.
"Dr-Draco ple-please," Pansy gasped.
The pink haired boy smirked and sat up on his knees, releasing his friend.
Pansy sighed gratefully, "Dray looks hot with pink hair doesn't he Harry?"
Harry blushed, "Oh-What-Yes-What-"
Pansy giggled at Harry's stammering.
Draco grinned and winked at the blushing boy, "Thanks Harry. Actually, I think I might keep it until the charm wears off."
"Or until McGonagall gives you a detention," Blaise snorted.
"She wont give us detentions now will she? I mean school hasn't started and there's only what like, 30 of us here?" Neville asked.
"Nah mate," Ron said. "She let Dean and Seamus bring back alcohol from Hogsmeade. Hair color shouldn't be an issue."
"Speaking of Hogsmeade!" Pansy yelled. "We need to go!"
"You'll have to ask McGonagall," Ron stated.
"Why do we have to ask?" Blaise scoffed.
"Just because we are of age, that doesn't mean that McGonagall isn't still responsible for us if something happens," Hermione snapped.
"Sorry mom." They all laughed.
"So who's going to go ask McGonagall?" Pansy asked.
"Harry and I will go," Draco volunteered with a smile.
"Yay!" Pansy grinned. She shared a glance with Hermione who grinned back.
"Shall we ask for permission to go tomorrow?"
The group looked around at each other. "Yeah!" They said.
Harry and Draco smiled, "Okay. We'll be back soon."
------------------------

Locating the Head Mistress was harder than it seemed. Even though the boys knew where the entrance to her office was, they had no clue what the password was.
"Bugger," Draco sighed.
"This is frustrating. We should just go find another teacher and ask them."
Draco snorted, "Yeah right, like they would give us the password."
"Shut up unless you have any better ideas," Harry glared.
"Oh don't look at me like that Potter," Draco rolled his eyes.
"I wouldn't have too if you weren't such a prat."
Draco pushed Harry and Harry shoved back.
"BOYS!" Came a booming voice. "What do you think you're doing?"
"Nothing," the boys said, pulling their hands back to themselves.
McGonagall narrowed her eyes at the pair. "Uh-huh. Do tell me why Mr Malfoy has pink hair? And you too Potter? Why does it look like a rainbow has thrown up in yours?"
The boys stifled laughs behind their hands. "Pansy charmed our hair earlier today," Draco told her.
"I see. Is that why you have come to see me?"
"No Professor. We were wondering if we could have permission to go into Hogsmeade tomorrow?" Harry answered.
"Just the two of you?"
"No, it would be ourselves, Hermione, Ron, Neville, Parkinson and Zabini," Harry said.
McGonagall nodded, "I think you can call them by their first names now don't you think Mr Potter?"
"Yes Professor."
"Good. I'm going to allow the 7 of you to go into the village tomorrow. Please use your manners and be back an hour before dinner. If you want to bring back a bottle of something, I warn you I will not hesitate to give you detentions until you die if I catch one whiff of it after school starts. Understood?"
The boys nodded furiously, "Yes Professor."
"Also please have your hair back to normal before the other students arrive. I don't mind the color, but if the students see, we will have a storm of rainbows and I can't have that distraction so early in the year. Understood?"
"Yes Professor," the boys said again.
"Excellent. Now, how are you liking your sleeping arrangements? Are you getting along?" McGonagall asked them.
Harry rubbed his arm subconsciously. "I like to think that Draco is my friend now," he smiled at the Head Mistress.
She beamed and looked at Draco for confirmation. He was staring at Harry with admiration. "Yeah," he said after a moment. "Harry's my friend."
McGonagall beamed again, "Lovely, how about your other classmates?"
"We're all getting along just fine. Just before we came to find you Professor, we were all sitting out by the lake playing chess. Well Gran- Hermione," he corrected when he caught McGonagalls gaze. "And Neville were reading but still."
"Excellent. Just what I was hoping. House unity after the war is what we need."
The boys nodded in agreement.
"Well we better go tell Pansy that we can go to the village tomorrow before she comes looking for us," Draco said.
"Right. Good day Mr Malfoy, Mr Potter."
The boys bid her farewell and turned to go back to their friends.

"Sweet!" Draco cheered once they were out of earshot.
Harry chuckled, "Are you happy about going into Hogsmeade or the permission to bring back a bottle of whatever?"
"I'm happy about my hair Harry!" He grinned. "Do you think you could put some blue on there as well? Maybe green?"
Harry laughed, "Sure. Hold still or I'll hit your eyebrows."
Charming Draco's hair different colors was an experience. Pansy made it look so easy, but then again he was sitting still unaware of his surroundings. Now he was fidgety and eager to see the finished product. "Hold still- Shit- I can't if you keep moving!"
"Sorry," Draco muttered.
Finishing off a streak of green (which happened to be the same as Harry's eyes), Draco conjured up a small mirror and checked himself out. "Good job Harry! I love the green."
Harry blushed at his praise, "Thanks."
"You know what we should do?"
"Uh no?"
Draco swatted him on the arm, "We should get someone to take our picture! These charms will wear off in a few days and I want to remember this."
Harry smiled, "Sure. Hermione will know someone with a camera."
Draco whooped and slung his arm around Harry's waist, "Yes! Lets go tell our friends the great news!"
Harry blushed at the contact but laughed at Draco's enthusiasm.
--------------------------------------

The two boys arrived at the right moment, Neville was in the process of check-mating Blaise.
"How?" Blaise spluttered.
Neville grinned, "It's the one thing that I'm actually decent at."
"I'm in shock," Blaise said as he dramatically clutched at his heart.
Ron burst out laughing at the display and the others joined in.
"So did you bring good news?" Pansy asked.
"Yes!" Draco beamed. "We get to keep our hair like this! Hermione do you know someone who has a camera?"
Astonished by him using her first name, Hermione took a second to reply. "Oh yes I do. Why?"
"Harry and I would like a picture of our hair together."
"It was Draco's idea," Harry stated.
"Yes because it's brilliant. Who's got the camera?"
"Justin Finch-Flentchly, Hufflepuff. I can go ask him if I can borrow it later."
"Yes! Thanks Hermione," Draco beamed.
"Since when do you call her by her first name ferret?"
"Since Mcgonagall told us too Ron," Harry said before Draco could snap back.
"Oh, alright."
"Ugh, is that all the good news?" Pansy sighed.
"Nope, McGonagall also said that we could go into Hogsmeade tomorrow!"
Pansy threw her hands in the air, "Yay!"
The group laughed, "We just have to be well behaved and be back before dinner."
"When are we not well behaved?" Blaise asked.
6 pairs of eyes met his and they dissolved into another fit of laughter.
"What time should we go?" Neville asked them.
"Hmm after breakfast? So about 10 in the morning. That'll give us a good 5 to 6 hours in the village. We can all have lunch in The Three Broomsticks together," Pansy smiled.
"Sounds good-"
"Yeah brilliant-"
"5 to 6 hours choosing the right quills aye Pans-"

Chapter Text

The odd group had spent the rest of the day together, laughing and sitting out in the sun. Only to move inside to get snacks and then dinner, which they spent chatting about what they were going to do in the village tomorrow. After they had eaten their full, they had moved to the common room and Neville brought out exploding snap, which they spent playing until Pansy told them to go to bed since they were getting up early.

The next morning they were all up before 9 am and met in the Great Hall for breakfast.
"I'm so excited!" Pansy told them. Ever since Draco and Harry had come back for McGonagall and told them that they had permission to go, she had had a smile on her face.
"Relax Pans, it's not like you haven't been into Hogsmeade before," Blaise rolled his eyes.
"Shut up Zabini, you're not going to take this away from me."
Neville lay a hand on Blaises arm and shook his head, "Don't" he mouthed.
Blaise sighed, "Sorry Pans, yes going to Hogsmeade today is very exciting."
She grinned at him. "Ron could you please pass the marmalade?"
"Is it your favorite spread?" He asked her as he handed it over.
"Duh."
"See it is the best," he said directly to Hermione and Neville, who just rolled their eyes at him.

"Okay so here is the plan," Hermione announced as they were standing in the court yard. "We go, we split up if we want to, we behave," her gazer lingered on Blaise and Ron. "We met each other at about, what? 1 o'clock? at the Three Broom Sticks to have lunch, and then we make out way back here before dinner. Sound good?"
A chorus of "Yes'" rung out and they set off.
Each of them were armed with their bags and pockets of galleons.
Since the weather was still warm, they strolled the path with leisure. While the two girls gossiped quietly about the plan, the boys talked Qudditch.
"I hope the Chudley Cannons win this year," Ron sighed.
Blaise and Draco cracked up like it was the funniest thing that they had ever heard and the group stopped walking.
Once their laughter had subsided at bit Draco said, "You cannot be serious!"
Ron frowned, "I know they're not the best-"
"Not the best," Blaise snorted. "Mate they haven't won anything since the 1800's"
"Yeah yeah I'll have you know it was 1892," Ron flushed.
Draco let out another heartily laugh and tipped his head back. His laugh rung out in the open air.
Harry stared at him with yearning. He is so beautiful, Harry thought. Holy shit his laugh is the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. Expecto patronum. Harry licked his lips and bit back a whimper.
Draco dropped his head and wiped his eyes, "Good one Weasley. I didn't know you could be funny." He made eye contact with Harry and his eyes twinkled with the after glow of a good laugh.
"Shut up ferret, I'm funny," Ron muttered. "I'm funny aren't I Hermione?"
"Yes dear," she smiled at him.
"Told you Malfoy."
Draco snorted but didn't look away from Harry's gaze.
"Doesn't Draco have a pretty laugh?" Pansy asked Harry.
"Yes he does," Harry answered. The two boys continued to stare at each other while Pansy and Hermione giggled. Ron made a retching noise and walked a head of the group.
Neville thumped Harry on the back, breaking him out of his trance. "Come on mate, we're burning day light."
Harry blushed, "Erm yes we are. You go. I'll catch up."
Neville shrugged and went to go catch up with the others.
"Think my laugh is pretty do you Potter?" Draco teased.
Harry sniffed, "Maybe."
"You're making me swoon."
Harry narrowed his eyes at him.
"Lighten up Harry," he smiled. "I happen to think you have a pretty laugh too. Even if sometimes it does sound like a troll."
Harry smacked him on the arm, "Hey! It does not."
Draco threw this arm around his shoulder and dragged him forwards so that they were now walking towards Hogsmeade again, "Does too."
"What ever," Harry scoffed.
---------------------------------------
When they reached the out skirts of the village they all stopped and stood in a circle. "Okay so I assume we are going to split off?" Hermione asked.
The group nodded collectively, "Neville, Blaise and I are going to Scrivenshaft's Quill Shop first," Pansy said.
"Why do we have to go with you?" Blaise whined.
"Because I need your expertise," she glared at him.
"I actually wouldn't mind taking a look around," Neville said shyly.
"Fine, we are going to Tomes and Scrolls at some point because I need a new book," Blaise caved.
Pansy grinned, "Sounds good to me."
"Harry and I are going to Spintwitches first," Draco announced.
"We are?"
"Yes we are. I need some broom stick polish."
"Oh yeah same actually."
"Okay good. Ron and I will go to Tomes and Scrolls first," Hermione said.
"But I wanted to go to Zonko's Mione," Ron muttered.
"We can go afterwards Ronald. The shop will still be there once I finish."
Ron sighed but didn't say anything.
"Don't forget we are meeting at 1 o'clock."
"Yes Hermione we know," Pansy told her.
"See you later then," Hermione grabbed Ron's hand and pulled him towards the shops.
"Yeah later losers," Pansy said to Draco and Harry and then her, Blaise and Neville made their own way into the village.
"Well," Harry huffed.
"There is nothing wrong with being a loser."
"I know that Draco, I just can't believe that I'm going to be walking around with one. Think of the headlines, 'Harry Potter, seen with loser Draco Malfoy.' The shame," Harry laughed at Draco's scandalized expression and backed away from him in a slight jog.
"Why you little shit... Come back here Potter!"
It didn't take much for Draco to catch up to him, but when he did, he stuck his foot out which Harry not so gracefully tripped over.
Stumbling and catching himself on his hands, Harry shot up and glared at Draco who was doubled over with laughter. "What the fuck was that?" He demanded.
Gasping for breath Draco said, "Your-" gasp, "Face."
Harry crossed his arms and huffed angrily.
"Stop-" gasp, "It's too much."
"Pull yourself together, it's not funny."
Taking a steady breath and rooting himself up right Draco said, "Yeah only because it happened to you."
Harry huffed again and resumed his glaring.
"Aw come on Harry, you have to admit it was a little funny."
"The only thing funny about that was that you sounded like Darth Vader gasping for air."
Draco gave him a puzzled look, "What the fuck is a Darth Vader?"
Harry rolled his eyes, "Pure-bloods."
------------------------------------------------
Over in Scrivenshaft's Quill Shop, Blaise was openly complaining. "Pansy please just pick at least 5 basic quills and lets get out of here. Honestly this could have all been avoided. No don't look at the peacock feathered one. Pansy they all do the same thing. Who cares if they are pretty?! Who even notices how extravagant quills are. Who cares? No please don't even consider looking at the gold ones. What possible use could you have for a gold quill?"
"Zabini shut up," Pansy sighed. "I care! I like to have something pretty to write with."
Neville patted Blaise on the back, "I gave to agree with her. Sorry."
Blaise frowned, "Nev please don't say that too loud- Oh bugger."
"HA!" Pansy exclaimed. She shot Neville her biggest grin, "Thank you love. See Blaise this isn't a waste of time like you're thinking."
Grumbling, Blaise went and looked at the new collection of colored inks for something to do. He almost dropped the bottle of purple when a hand ghosted over his arm.
"Sorry didn't mean to startle you," Neville smiled at him.
Blaise visibly relaxed, "Oh it's okay." He smiled back.
"Looking at quills isn't really that bad is it?"
"Yes. I like being here with you though, makes this much more bearable."
Neville flushed Gryffindor red from the tips of his toes to the tips of his ears. He opened his mouth to say something back but no noise came out. Blaise pinked slightly too, "Oh shit my bad. I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable."
Neville rested his hand back on Blaise's arm, "I like being here with you too."
The Slytherin latched his eyes onto the Gryffindors and they grinned at each other sheepishly, only to be interrupted by Pansy moments later. "Okay I'm- What just happened?"
"Nothing," the boys replied in sync.
"Riiiight," Pansy said and rocked on her heels. "I don't believe you. But it's your lucky day Zabini because I'm done. Now we can go to your boring book store."
"Books aren't boring Parkinson."
She scoffed, "What ever."
They made their way to the counter, Pansy paid and they left the shop.
"Freedom!" Blaise cried, earning some glares from some other shoppers passing by.
Pansy slapped him on the arm, "Stop being so dramatic."
Blaise clutched his chest, "You wound me."
Neville chuckled and Pansy rolled her eyes. "Are we going to the book store or not? Because I'm happy to not."
Blaise pushed her forwards with one hand and he grabbed Neville around the wrist with the other. "Nope we are still going Pans."
Neville let himself be dragged along only to run into Blaise's back when he stopped suddenly. "Whoops sorry."
"No worries. Pansy! Why the fuck did you stop?"
"It's Hermione! And Ron!"
"Oh wow, you saw them half an hour ago, what's the big deal?"
Pansy sighed, "Hermione where are you off to now?"
"Zonko's joke shop."
"Can I join you?" Pansy asked hopefully.
"Nope!" Blaise cut in. "You promised that if I looked at quills with you, you'd come to Tomes and Scrolls with me."
Hermione laughed at Blaise's huffy expression, "Sorry Pansy, but you'd better go with him before he decides to hex you."
"Half an hour in the book store and then we can go to Zonko's or what ever," Blaise said.
Pansy crossed her arms, "Fine."
"Nev grab her before she runs and lets go!"
-------------
Ron and Hermione stood and watched as Neville grabbed their new friend Pansy around the waist and dragged her in the direction of the book store, closely following their other unlikely friend Blaise.
"Did you ever think we would get along with them?" Hermione asked her boyfriend.
"Not in a million years," he replied.
She laughed and squeezed his hand.
"Do you..." Ron trailed off.
"Do I what Ronald?"
"Do you think that Neville will get with Park-Pansy?"
Hermione laughed again and shook her head, "No Ron I don't think that he will."
Ron blew out a breath, "He seems to like her."
"You don't use your eyes do you?"
Ron sniffed, "No. What?"
"Neville and Blaise."
"What about them?"
Hermione sighed and kissed Ron on the cheek, "It's nothing to worry about love."
He gave her a puzzled look but decided to shake it off. He stuck his free hand out and pointed in the direction of the joke shop, "On wards." He loved the way Hermione giggled.

Once inside the shop, Ron let go of Hermione's hand and raced off to look at the items for sale. She sighed and watched him ogle at the new range of dung bombs they had on offer.
Hermione trailed after him and idly examined different products along the way. She settled on a sugar quill but changed her mind because Honey Dukes has a better selection of flavors.
"Mione!" Ron called out to her.
She went over to him and he swung her around do that she was looking out the window. "What am I suppose to be looking at?"
"Look at Harry and Malfoy!"
Out side the joke shop, Harry and Draco were leaving Spintwitches. They were laughing and Harry bent over to pick a flower from the ground which he put in Draco's hair.
"That's sweet," Hermione commented.
"Sweet?" Ron made a face.
She rolled her eyes and turned back to face him, "Yes. It's sweet. Now stop ogling them like you did at the dung bombs. Are you finished here? It's almost 12:30, we have about half an hour left before we met the others."
Ron sighed, "Yes I'm finished."
"Good, go purchase your collection and lets get out of here."
"Sure, but where do you want to go next? We could go to Honey Dukes. I wouldn't mind some chocolate frogs."
"We can go after lunch. I was thinking we could take a walk up to the Shrieking Shack?"
Ron made the face again, "Why?"
"I want to see how they fixed it up after what happened there."
"Oh. Right. Okay lets go."
Ron brought his bag fill of jokes and they set off, passing Draco and Harry on the way with a wave and a smile.
"I wish Fred and George did end up buying Zonko's," Ron said. "Don't get me wrong, it is nice that Zonko was able to reopen. But to be honest Fred and George do have a better supply."
"Maybe George will buy it one day? Weasley's Wizard Wheezes is still getting very good
"That's true. It's so weird."
"Whats weird?"
"Going into the shop and it's only George showing you around. He doesn't have the enthusiasm anymore."
"He'll get in back Ron," she said and gave his hand a squeeze.
Ron hesitated, "How would you feel if after we graduated I went to help him in the shop instead of becoming an Auror?"
Hermione was taken a back, "I thought you wanted to become an Auror? You're taking all the required classes this year. Kingsley practically offered us all positions on the force straight away and you and Harry jumped at the chance."
Ron looked slightly abashed, "Yeah well I mean it would be cool to bean Auror and catch the bad guys but I feel like my place is beside my brother. He needs me Mione and I, uh need him too."
"Oh Ron," Hermione's eyes filled with tears. "I support you 100% and I always will."
"I love you Hermione."
"I love you too Ron," she smiled.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Back over in Zonko's, Draco was still talking about the new Firebolt Supreme. "Harry did you see the way she shined?"
"Yes Draco."
"I bet she's way faster than your old Firebolt."
"Hey!"
"I'd love to try it out. Too bad we weren't allowed," Draco pouted.
"You can buy one, one day can't you?"
"Of course I can Harry. I'm a Malfoy." Harry rolled his eyes. "But even if I ordered it as soon as we got back to Hogwarts, a new and improved model will be out by the time the Firebolt Supreme arrives in the mail."
"But aren't you sick of your old and slow Nimbus 2001?"
"I can still out fly you Potter."
Harry scoffed, "Yeah right."
Draco put down his own set of dung bombs and swiveled to face Harry, "Fine. I dare you to try and out fly me."
"Are you serious?"
"Yes!"
"You already know that I am better flyer than you. You were there during the Gryffindor vs Slytherin games."
"We are having a fly off."
"A fly off-"
"Yes! Don't argue with me."
"But-"
Draco clamped his hand over Harry's mouth, "It's happening. Tomorrow or the next day. Okay?"
Harry just nodded.
Draco grinned and removed his hand, "Good. Now do you think I should get the small pack of dung bombs or the large?"

10 minutes later they were met by Pansy who had run ahead of Neville and Blaise. "That was so boring!" She told the two.
"What was boring?" Harry asked her.
"Looking at dusty old books."
"Books aren't boring," the boys said together.
"Merlin you sound like Zabini. Great here he comes. Bet he'll tell you all about his new copy of Advanced Rune Translation."
"Hey guys," Blaise smiled.
"Hey."
"Guess what I found? Advanced Rune Translation! So cool."
Harry and Draco turned their laughs into coughs. "That's great, but we don't take ancient runes so..."
"Oh right sorry. Nev my man! Show them what you got."
Neville blushed at his new nickname, "Erm it's about Herbology so they won't care."
Blaise frowned, "But you were so excited."
"I am, it's just not a big deal anymore."
"Wow okay not sorry to break up the theatrics but the shop is calling my name," Pansy said. "We have about 20 minutes before we have to get over to the Three Broomsticks before Hermione comes and finds us."

The 5 dispersed in the shop and collected the jokes that they wanted to buy. Once they had finished they half ran out of the store because they were late to lunch. "Oh man oh man Hermione's going to be mad," Pansy fretted.
"She's not going to yell at us," Harry reassured her.
"Yeah Pans we're only 2 minutes late," Blaise sniggered.
"Ugh boys," she said and picked up her pace so that she was detached from them.
"I don't understand why she's making a big deal out if this," Neville said to Blaise.
"She just doesn't like to be late," Draco answered for him.

When they reached the Three Broomsticks, they quickly found where Hermione, Ron and Pansy were sitting and made their apologies as they were taking their own seats.
"It's fine," Hermione said. "I've already taken the liberty to order us all a butterbeer but if you don't want the I've also got us a jug of water."
"Thanks Hermione," they all called out.
"So what took you so long?" Ron asked as he studied the menu.
"Well we were in Zonko's and Neville bumped into a display of biting teacups."
"Oh dear," Hermione gasped. "Are you okay?"
Neville flushed, "Yeah. Draco and Harry managed to freeze them all before any did any damage."
"That's good then."
Draco and Harry smiled.
"I like your flower Draco," Pansy mentioned. "It matches your hair."
"Cool huh? Harry picked it for me."
It was Harry's turn to flush as Pansy and Hermione made 'Awing' noises.
Before anyone could say anything else about the flower, Madame Rosmerta gave them their drinks and asked them what they wanted to eat. Their order consisted of 2 Shepard's pies for Draco and Harry, 4 lots of fish and chips for Ron, Neville, Pansy and Blaise and 1 garden salad with a side of fries for Hermione.
After Madame Rosmerta left, Blaise passed around the 7 butterbeers and put the water in the middle of their table.
They all took a drink except Harry. "Don't you want yours mate? Ron asked him.
"Not really. I'm not in the mood for it."
"Suit yourself," Ron said as he grabbed Harry's cup and pulled it towards him.
Harry got himself a new empty glass and poured himself some water to drink instead.
"You okay Harry?" Draco asked him quietly as the others launched into a conversation about going to the Hogshead.
"Sort of," he smiled softly. "I'll tell you later alright?"
Draco smiled back at him, "Deal."
After that they both joined the conversation.
"If we all pitch in a few sickles each we can get a bottle or two of fire whiskey."
"Yeah but who's going to go buy it?"
"I can go," Neville said shyly.
"I'll go with you," Blaise volunteered with a grin. "It's settled then, cough up you lot."
There was a lot of shuffling as the group reached for their money and handed some over to the Slytherin. "Excellent. We will go after lunch."
Once it arrived, conversation stopped for a few minutes as they ate. Afterwards Blaise and Neville went off, leaving the rest of the group sitting, chatting about Honey Dukes and playing Qudditch.
------------------
"Do you mind if we stop in here for a minute?" Neville asked as they passed Dogweed and Deathcap.
"Sure why not," shrugged Blaise.
The store was full of magical plants and fungi.
"I'm looking for something to keep my Mimbulus Mimbletonia company. Gran says he's getting lonely," he told Blaise.
After 15 minutes of searching and a quick chat with the woman behind the counter, the two boys left empty handed. "Oh well," Neville sighed. "I can always just ask Professor Sprout what to do."
"Yes you can but for now I know what will cheer you up!"
Neville raised his eye brows in confusion, "What?"
Blaise jingled the bag of money, "Alcohol!"
Neville laughed and they walked off the beaten track to the Hogshead.
Another 10 minutes later they were back in the Three Broomsticks with 4 bottles of fire whiskey.
"What took you so long?" Draco asked.
"Plants," Neville confessed.
Their was a collective groan around the table.
"We were waiting forever," Pansy complained.
"So? We got the goods didn't we?"
Pansy held up her hands in surrender, "Sorry."
"Okay enough chitchat, can we please go to Honey Dukes now?" Ron insisted.
"Yes!" Blaise said enthusiastically. "I'd really like some chocolate frogs."
They all laughed at Ron's equally enthusiastic "Same!"

Honeydukes, as always, was a gift from the great Merlin himself. Candy lined every wall and big cauldrons were full of it throughout the store. The 7 picked and purchased what they wanted.
For Ron and Blaise it was a big box of chocolate frogs each.
For Hermione she brought her favorite flavor of sugar quills; strawberry.
Pansy and Draco brought a few blocks of their best chocolate each.
Harry got treacle fudge and Neville brought himself some acid pops and drooble's best blowing gum.

They chatted happily on their way back to Hogwarts, eating some of their candy and making plans for when they were going to drink the fire whiskey.
When the castle was in sight, Pansy pulled Harry back a bit and apologized for trying to turn him over to Voldemort. He forgave her straight away and told her that he never held anything against her ever. She pulled him in for a hug and only let go when Draco turned around to see where Harry got off to, yelled "Harry! Hermione's gone ahead to get the camera!"
"Who's she borrowing it from?"
"Some Hufflepuff."

Back inside the castle, they passed Head Mistress McGonagall who gave them all friendly nods and went up to their common room. They were greeted by Hermione and Justin who instantly grabbed Harry and Draco and lined them up against the wall for their photo.
They ditched their bags and Draco put his arm around Harry's waist.
"Smile you two," Hermione said.
Both boys smiled and the flash went off. Harry glanced up at Draco and meet his eyes, they both grinned.
"I'll come find you when the photos ready okay?" Justin said to Harry.
"Sounds good thanks mate."
"No worries."

"We have some time before we go down to dinner," Neville announced to the group. "Can we just put away our stuff and chill before we go down?"
There was a collective "Yes" and they all took their bags into their separate rooms.

Once inside theirs, Draco asked Harry if he was okay again.
"Oh yeah, just before back in the Three Broomsticks I just," Harry ran his hand over his face and sighed. "Argh it's hard to explain. Why do I feel so fucking guilty all the time? I feel guilty when I laugh, I feel guilty when I'm having something to eat, I even feel guilty when I take a breath. And when I am breathing it feels like I'm suffocating because the weight of this fucking guilt!" Harry threw up his hands in frustration and flopped down on his bed. He took a deep breath and then slowly exhaled, forcing all the air he had in his lungs, out.
Draco went and sat next to him, "Harry there is nothing wrong with surviving. Going out and laughing with your friends, it's nothing to be ashamed of. Do you think that out of those who died, that any of them wouldn't want you to ever laugh again? No, because they'd want you to live our life. Living your life will get easier when we have the routine of going to classes back. You will find a purpose again Harry. You can also talk to me. We are friends now. This is what friends are for."
Harry sniffed, "I don't know how to respond to that."
"You don't have too."
Harry sat up and pressed his face against Draco's shoulder. "Sorry for being such a downer," he mumbled.
"You don't have to apologize Harry."
Harry just sighed.
"How do you think the photo turned out? Do you think the Hufflepuff-"
"Justin."
"Do you think Justin captured our hair right?"
Harry chocked on a laugh and removed his face from the shoulder, "We will just have to wait and see."
Draco sighed impatiently, "Waiting. Boring."
"You'll find something to do."
Draco's expression brightened, "Like beating you at Qudditch."
"You wish."

Chapter Text

Almost all the eighth years were hanging out in the common room. The ones who were, were currently staring at two boys arguing. They had gotten over the initial shock of Harry actually wanting to hangout with Draco outside of their room assignments pretty quick. They had all seen the famous Golden Trio+Neville hangout with the only three returned Slytherins during the past few days. It was nice to see them all getting along and actually making an effort to put all the bad blood between them, behind them. Now though, they were all sharing glances with each other and watching Draco and Harry's argument about who should go ask McGonagall for a practice snitch and quaffle.

"Harry just go by yourself."
"But it was your idea!"
"So? I'm comfortable." Draco was lounging out on a sofa right in front of the fire in the common room. Late last night the sky had opened and rain poured heavily until an hour or two after breakfast. Now that it was clearing, Draco had suggested that they go outside and play Qudditch but he refused to get up off the couch.
"Why are you being so frustrating?" Harry huffed.
"I just don't see why you wont go by yourself, it's no big deal."
"If it's no big deal then why wont you come with me?"
"Because I'm happy sitting here," Draco glanced around the room and the other occupants quickly looked away. He lowered his voice and said to Harry, "It'll be good for you to go by yourself. You know to do something on your own. It'll be good for you to do something for yourself without me having to keep checking that you're okay-"
Harry recoiled, "That's rude."
"No Harry I didn't mean it like that. Wait! Come back," Draco yelled out. "Fuck."

Harry stormed out of the common room and didn't look back when he heard Draco calling for him. What the fuck was that. Angry tears burned in his eyes but he forced them back. He's probably just sick of you already, a small voice said in his head. Having to babysit you and make sure that you're not going to hurt yourself again.
Harry rounded a corner and almost bumped into someone, "Shit sorry." Oh shit. "I mean, I'm sorry Head Mistress. I wasn't watching where I was going."
McGonagall pursed her lips, "It's alright Potter. Where were you going in such a huff?"
Harry scuffed his feet on the ground, "I was actually coming to find you."
"Me? What for?"
"To ask you if we could have a practice snitch and a quaffle to play with."
"We?"
"Draco and myself."
"Where is Mr Malfoy?"
"Being an arse. Er, I mean he is in the common room."
McGonagall quirked an eyebrow, "Did you two have a fight?"
"No. It was more of an argument."
"Is that why you seem upset?"
Harry hesitated, "Uh. Yeah."
"Is he the reason why you weren't seen for three days?"
Harry blanched, "What? No! I just wasn't feeling very well."
"You don't have to lie to me Harry," she said softly.
"It had nothing to do with him I swear."
McGonagall narrowed her eyes at him but seemed to believe him, "Alright. So is it just going to be you and Mr Malfoy playing Quidditch? Or are others joining you?"
Harry relaxed at the change of subject, "So far it's Draco, Ron, Blaise and Pansy who are going to be playing. Neville and Hermione don't care much for flying but they'll be down on the pitch with us. I wouldn't be surprised if Dean and Seamus came to play as well."
"Okay then, I'll have a house elf pop down with the snitch and quaffle when I see that you're on the pitch. Please don't break anything."
"Thank you," Harry smiled at her. "We'll try not to."
They both turned away from each other and Harry went back to the common room. Ignoring Draco's "Harry!" He went straight to Ron's room to tell him to grab his broom and met at the pitch in 10. He did the same to Neville and Blaise, then Pansy and Hermione. Then he grabbed his own broom and one of his thicker jumpers -it gets cold zooming around in the air.
Draco was standing in the door way blocking Harry's exit and he sighed heavily, "Could you please get out of the way? I want to get down to the pitch."
"I actually wanted to talk to you first," Draco said nervously.
"About what?" Harry snapped.
"About me utterly rude- like you said I was. I was just being lazy. Don't look at me like that Harry! I admit it okay?! I should have come with you because it was my idea! I just didn't want to get off the couch because I was comfortable. I would have gotten up eventually." Draco babbled on and Harry slowly lay his best bitch face to rest.
"I didn't mean what I said. I just thought it would be good for you? You know? You woke up this morning and got out of bed with a smile on your face even though it was raining and your- Er, your cuts seem to be healing nicely from what I saw. Even though I don't completely understand why you don't let me heal them for you! I can make them look like my chest.. I mean- shit. What I'm trying to say is that eventually they're going to scab and then that's going to go away and you'll be left with scars- obvious scars. Everyone saw you over the summer without sleeves. So they know that you didn't get them during the war and they'll ask questions. And I'm only trying to look out for you because I care okay? I care about you Harry and I don't want you to have the scars weighing you down when they heal because it'll get hot soon and you can't hide them forever. You wanted to be an auror right? From what I've heard and you can't hide it from them. Fuck I'm babbling! I'm sorry, shit.
What I'm trying to say is that I'm sorry I didn't go with you. I wanted to stay seated and let you go off and do something for yourself, by yourself- SHIT!" Draco ran his pale fingers through his hair and bore his eyes into Harry's, "Please tell me you understand what I'm trying to say?"
"Not really."
Draco sighed in frustration, "I'm sorry that I was rude to you and made you angry. I like seeing you wake up with a smile on your face and I want you to be happy. I wanted you to go get the Quidditch gear by yourself because I wanted you to feel like you could accomplish something on your own. So you could see that you can bring people happiness. It's so stupid."
"By getting a snitch and a quaffle?"
Draco flushed, "I told you it was stupid."
"Yeah but I think I understand now. That's still no excuse for being rude though."
"I know I'm so sorry!" Draco exlamied.
Harry narrowed his eyes into little slits again, "Do you really mean it?"
"Yes!"
"Hmm alright then. Godric you really have changed if you actually mean an apology. Are you sure you're still Draco Malfoy?"
Draco scoffed, "Of course I am Potter. Don't be daft."
Harry chuckled and Draco breathed a sigh of relief, "Merlin I've never been one to babble but you seem to have to effect on me." Both boys pinked.
"Right," Harry said. "Erm, so are you going to get out of my way so I can go to the pitch and bring happiness to our friends?"
Draco laughed and shuffled out of the way to grab his own broom.

On the pitch a few minutes later, Harry, Ron, Draco, Blaise and Pansy were discussing teams.
"I think it should be Gryffindor vs Slytherin," Blaise said.
"Why should you have three players and we only get two?" Ron huffed.
"Because Weasley, you and Harry actually played Qudditich for your house team. Draco is the only one out of us three who played for our house. Plus Pansy is pretty useless at Q- Ouch!" Pansy had whacked him on the back of the head.
"I'm not that useless."
"Can we just play already?" Draco grumbled.
"Yeah I don't care if they have one more person Ron. We'll still beat them," Harry smirked.
"Just play already!" Neville yelled from the stands.
"So we are in agreement then? G vs S?" Blaise grinned.
"Ew don't abbreviate Blaise," Pansy shuddered. "But yes lets play. I'll release the balls- Fuck off Zabini it's not funny."
Laughing, he shot off into the air. He was followed moments later by the others and Pansy tossed up the Quaffle and watched Ron and Blaise race to it. She let go of the snitch and mounted her own broom.

The game was choppy and goals were scored quite frequently than in an actual game because no one was defending the hoops constantly.
Harry had to help Ron score goals and defend while looking for the snitch as well. Usually he could afford to let the snitch wonder around for a while before he went to catch it but once he saw it this time, he zoomed off as fast as he could and left Ron to manage Blaise and Pansy by himself.
He raced towards the ground and pulled up when the snitch changed course. Draco slammed into his side and he swore loudly. In the distance Hermione and Neville were cheering loudly.
The boys knocked shoulders and beat each others arms out of the way. They were fighting dirty and when the quaffle fell in their path and the snitch got away, they boys were panting and wind whipped.
"Hey!" Draco yelled out to the three floating in the air. "Who dropped that?"
Pansy raised on hand off the broomstick, "Erm. I did. Sorry!" She flew down to the ground and picked the quaffle up. Once she was back in the air, the group had flown over to their two friends in the stands.
"I would have caught it if Draco didn't keep pushing me out of the way," Harry told Hermione and Neville
Draco rolled his eyes, "Yeah because you kept getting in my way when I almost had it."
"What ever Malfoy."
"Pansy darling, next time drop the ball on Harry's head," Draco smirked.
"Don't you dear ," Ron growled.
"Chill out. I wont drop it again. Have either of you been keeping score?" She asked Hermione and Neville.
"I have been," said Neville. "Slytherin have 60 points-" he pause while Blaise cheered. "Gryffindor have 50 points." Ron groaned and the Slytherin cheered some more.
"Yeah that's because Harry went to go catch the snitch," Ron grumbled. "We need more people to play. I asked Dean if he and Seamus wanted to come and they said they would- Yes! There they are." He pointed to the entrance of the pitch and they all looked around to see three more people with brooms.
"Hey guys!" Seamus grinned at them when he flew up.
"We brought along Zacharias Smith too. He said that he wanted to talk to Harry and Draco anyway," Dean said.
"He's probably developed our picture," Harry told him.
Dean and Seamus glanced at each other and then said in incision, "What picture?"
"I'll show it to you when it's done. Zacharias, nice of you to join us," Harry said when he reached the hovering group.
"Hiya Harry, I've got your photo for you."
"That was quick," Draco commented.
"Yeah well there was nothing else to do, apart from sitting around watching the grass grow back. Then Dean and Seamus told me you guys were playing Qudditich today and they asked me to come along."
"Good thing you did come because we had uneven teams," Ron said. "So it'll be me, Harry, Zacharias and Seamus on one team. And Draco, Blaise, Pansy and Dean on the other. Got that? Okay lets play."
"Wait!" Pansy yelled. "Are we starting over from 0 points?"
They all looked at each other and nodded. "Yeah lets start over."

Now that the teams were even, things got more heated than before. Since they didn't have a referee, no fouls were given penalties. The number 1 foul that took place was Blatching; Flying with intent to collide. Number 2 was Cobbing; Excessive use of elbows towards opponents. All eight players would wake up with a number of bruises in the morning caused by too many jabs. Draco and Harry would wake up with the most.
They flew around the pitch in lazy circles watching their team mates score and block goals. They both roared with laughter while to they watched Ron perform a Starfish and Stick(Keeper defense: the Keeper holds the broom horizontally with one hand and one foot curled around the handle, while keeping all the limbs outstretched). Harry cheered when it worked.
Once the snitch was spotted again, the boys shot off and darted between their team mates and goal posts. The snitch changed course and both boys shot towards the ground. The other six players and the two observing all gasped when the seekers performed admirable Wronski Feints.
The snitch bolted to the other side of the pitch and Draco and Harry caught up with ease. They stretched out their arms and they batted at each others hands to try and grab the snitch first. Everyone else in the pitch was screaming at the two boys.
"GET THE SNITCH!"
"GRAB IT HARRY!!"
"YOU BETTER CAPTURE THE SNITCH DRACO OR I'LL HEX YOU!!!"
Their fingers brushed the snitches wings and their fingers grasped at it at the same time. Then they exploded, "Let go of it Potter!"
"You let go Malfoy!"
"I had it first."
"No you didn't, I had it first!"
"WHO HAS THE FUCKING SNITCH??" Ron yelled above them.
"I DO" they both yelled back in incision.
"Hey!" Harry snapped and he glared at Draco. "It's mine."
"No it's not Potter," Draco gave the snitch a tug but Harry didn't let go. "Let go Harry."
"Shove off Malfoy, it's mine."
"Hey hey hey what's going on here?" Blaise asked them. The others had floated down to the ground where Harry and Draco were hovering, "Why don't you put your feet on the ground and we can work this out." They both glared at each other but they followed Blaises' advice.
"This is so stupid," Ron groaned. "Why are you both holding it? Who got it first?"
"I did," they both snapped.
"Ugh this is hopeless. Dray will never let go of it," Pansy sighed heavily. Dean and Seamus snorted, "Dray."
"Shut up. I'm not going to let go because I caught it first."
"Whats going on here?" Neville gasped. He and Hermione had run down from the stands as soon as they heard the yelling.
"They caught it at the same time and now they're being stupid and wont let go," Pansy explained.
"What's the score?" Ron asked.
"Gryffindor has 110 while Slytherin has 70."
"We did not score only 7 goals!" Blaise complained.
Ron, Seamus and Zacharias laughed. "Shut up. We can still win," Blaise snapped at them.
"This is ridiculous," Hermione sighed. "One of you had to have caught it first."
"They probably caught it at the same time," Pansy grumbled.
"No we didn't. Potter just doesn't want to admit he lost," Draco said.
"I can admit defeat Malfoy," Harry snapped at him. "It's you who can't because I'm the one who caught it." Draco scoffed and the other 8 collectively sighed.
"Can one of you please let go? Who cares who won. This was suppose to be a fun game not a competition," Neville sighed again.
"Are you kidding? It's always a competition between those two," Blaise chuckled.
"You're not helping," Pansy shoved Blaise and he stumbled towards the two still possessively holding the snitch.
"Watch it," he said. "I don't want to bump into the spatting love couple."
Draco and Harry whipped their heads towards Blaise. "Excuse me?" Draco spluttered.
"Just saying man. You two are looking at each other like you want to tackle each other to the ground and rip the others clothes off."
Both boys flushed and awkwardly smiled at one an other while the group chuckled.
Harry gave a little tug of the snitch. Draco tugged back. "Let go Harry."
"You let go Draco."
"You."
"Make me," Harry challenged.
Draco quirked his eyebrow and took a step closer to Harry.
"What are you doing?"
"Making you," Draco winked and ran his free hand over Harry's free arm.
Harry gulped and took a step backwards but Draco just took another step forward and closed the distance between them.
"Uh guys-"
"SSSSSH."
Draco continued to run his hand up Harry's arm, inching his way closer towards Harry's chest. He pressed his palm against it and took another step forwards so that their bodies were almost pressed up against each other. Draco clenched his hand on Harry's chest and grabbed his shirt and pulling Harry closer. He tilted his head down and he inched his face towards Harry's. "Let go of the snitch Potter," he murmured.
Harry gulped again and whispered, "No."
Draco licked his lips then he pressed them against Harry's neck and started to kiss along it softly. Harry groaned and let go of the snitch to run his hand through Draco's hair. Seconds later, Draco gave his neck one last hard kiss and removed his lips from Harry's neck and grinned. "It's mine," he whispered in his ear and then he threw both his hands up in triumph. Harry let go of Draco and watched him celebrated.
No one else cheered with him because they were all staring dumbly at the two boys.
"Did that just happen?" Pansy croaked out, hitting Hermione on the arm.
"I think so," she croaked back. The two girls looked at each other and broke out their own grins.
"We win Potter," Draco laughed. His other teammates snapped out of there haze and joined in with Draco's enthusiastic cheers.
"We won! We won!"
"Shut up," Ron sighed. "It was just a game."
"Yeah because you lost!" Dean laughed.
"We won! We won!"
"Oh for the love of- Shut up!"
"We won! We won!"
"You're being insufferable," Ron sighed.
Harry pressed his fingers tips to the place where Draco had kissed. "Uh I think i'm going to go back to the castle," he announced.
"Aw Harry, defeat got you down mate?" Blaise teased.
Harry pinked, "Er... Yeah."
"Don't be down mate! It was just a game-"
"Even though we whopped your butts!"
"Shut up Dean," Seamus said rolling his eyes. "We scored more goals than you."
"That doesn't mean a thing if Draco caught the snitch."
Seamus rolled his eyes at his best mate again. "Shut up Dean," he repeated. "Lets go back to the castle. I'll whoop your butt in a game of exploding snap shall I?"
"You're on mate," Dean laughed. The boys picked up their broomsticks and started their trek back towards the castle.
"Yeah I'm going to go to. Come find me later Harry and I'll give you the photo," Zacharias said and then made his trek back by himself.
"Come on Harry," Draco said. "Let's go get the quaffle and take the gear back to McGonagall."
"You want to actually go with me now?"
"Uhhhhh duh."
Harry chuckled, "Fine lets go. But you're carrying your own broomstick and the balls- Blaise please it's not funny."
"Broomstick- Balls!" Blaise doubled over in his laughter. "How isn't that funny."
"Because we don't have the minds of 5 year olds," Pansy smirked.
Blaise laughed a bit more then sobered up, "Whatever fun Auror. Are we all going back now?"
The group nodded and said their "Byes" and "See you soon's," to Draco and Harry.
Once they were out of hearing distance, Draco turned to Harry. "I didn't make you uncomfortable did I? I mean uh kissing you like that?"
"Oh no. It was great. Uh, I mean it was good. Fine. It was good," Harry flushed.
"Good okay," Draco smiled. "Because I totally won and there's nothing you can do about it because I know your weakness."
"And what the hell is that?"
Draco winked, "Kissing your neck. Those groans don't lie Potter."
Harry's flush burned deeper, "Oh."
"Don't worry about it, I won't tell."
"I'm not worried. But you should be because you know I'll get you back one day."
Draco raised his eyebrows, "Is that a threat?"
Harry shrugged and picked up his broom from where he dropped it, "More of a promise."
"Riiight okay. Lets hurry back because I'm cold and you need a shower because you stink."

Chapter Text

Back in the castle, everyone was hanging out in the common room. After they had cleaned up after their game of Quidditch, the sky had reopened and the rain was lashing against the windows. Thunder cracked and most of the occupants flinched. Ron and Neville were sitting in front of the fire having a chess rematch while Draco, Harry and Pansy were playing exploding snap. Hermione and Blaise were sitting on the sofa, flipping through the Ancient Runes book Blaise brought in Hogsmeade.
"I've always hated thunder," Blaise told Hermione.
"Really?"
"Yeah. The big booms have always made me feel uneasy," Blaise confessed.
"You know it can't hurt you right?"
Blaise looked at her with an 'are you serious' face. "Yes I know it can't hurt me," he said rolling his eyes. "Doesn't make the big ominous cracks in the sky any less frightening."
Hermione snorted, "I thought Slytherins weren't afraid of anything."
Blaise rolled his eyes at her again. "You now I use to be a child right?"
It was Hermiones turn to roll her eyes. "Of course I know that."
"Yeah so little me was afraid of thunder and I haven't gotten over it."
"Fair enough."
The thunder cracked again and Blasie flinched.
"It's okay," Hermione said reassuringly. "I'll protect you from the thunder."
Blaise chuckled, "Thanks Granger. Hey, what are you and Pansy always whispering about?"
"We've told you the plan."
"The plan."
"Yes."
"I thought you were joking."
"Merlin. No. Haven't you noticed the way Draco and Harry are around each other? Take earlier today as an example!"
Blaise looked at Hermione with a confused expression. She made a 'Tsking' noise. "Draco snogging Harry!"
"It was his neck."
"Sill snogging!"
"Yeah okay. What about the snogging?"
"They were both so into it. You could tell neither of them wanted it to stop."
Blaise closed his book and put it aside. He thought for a moment and he his expression blighted slightly, "You're right!"
"I'm always right."
"Draco never kissed me like that," he pouted. Blaise then glanced at Neville and sighed.
"What was that sigh for?" Hermione asked him.
"Nothing. Just- Never mind."
"You can tell me, if you want to. I wont tell anyone."
"Maybe later okay?"
Hermione smiled softly and him, "Sure okay."
He smiled back, "Tell me more about Draco and Harry today. No! Better yet, tell me why you want Harry to be in a relationship with Draco."
Hermione glanced around the room to make sure no one else was listening. "It's not so much Harry and Draco. It's more just him being with someone. Harry hasn't had an easy life, you know Voldemort looming over his head. But he was content when he had someone. Even with Cho-" Blaise snorted. "And Ginny. He was happy and I want him to be happy again. Draco is making him happy." They both looked over at the two boys laughing with each other over a tower of cards. "When Harry told Ron and I that he and Ginny had broken up, we were confused because they really seemed to like each other. But it turned out that they liked each other more as brother and sister than boyfriend and girlfriend. Which is completely understandable."
Blaise nodded along.
"I just want Harry to be happy."
"I want the same for Draco."
"Why aren't you and him still together?"
"Oh.. Well we were better off friends. It was awkward for a while after we broke it off. But we got over it because of the war.."
Hermione hummed in agreement and the reached over Blasie and grabbed his book and reopened it tho the page that they were on before. "Do you think we should get Pansy to read this aw well? Since she's taking the NEWT with us? she asked him.
"Nah," Blaise said and shook his head. "She's actually really good at the subject, even though she pretends like she's not interested."
"More for me then," Hermione grinned and dove back into reading. Blaise chuckled and followed her lead.

Over at the game of exploding snap. Harry, Draco and Pansy were building a card tower.
"Careful- Are you even listening to me? Oh Merlin it's going to explode. CAREFUL!"
"Draco, shut the fuck up!" Pansy huffed. She was placing two of her cards on top of the two levels they had already created.
"Pans don't let it explode!"
She huffed again, "I swear to Merlin Draco that if you don't shut up right now I'll-" BOOM. The small tower exploded. "This is your fault," Pansy glared at him.
Harry was laughing but Draco was complaining. "Aw Pans! I put effort into this tower!"
"Then rebuild it with your boyfriend," she snapped and walked away. She sat down next to Neville and sighed.
"What's up Parkinson?" Ron asked her. He moved his last remaining knight to F4 in hopes that his next move will put his opponent in check.
"Check mate," Neville grinned.
Ron blanched, "What???"
"You left your king open mate."
"But- But-"
"But Nothing."
Ron groaned, "One more game! I must beat you."
"Nah maybe later. Here Pansy play with Ron. I'm going to go get a book," Neville said and jumped up. He smiled at Blaise who had looked up.
"How about it Pans? Play a game before dinner?" Ron asked Pansy.
"Sure," she smiled.

They set up the board and Ron made his first move. When Neville came back and lent back on Blaise's legs that were dangling off the couch, Ron asked Pansy if she was okay. "Cause you seemed peeved off when you came over. Harry beat you at snap?" Ron joked.
"No," she snapped. "Ugh sorry. Malfoy was being a prat."
Ron laughed and took her first pawn.
"Damn," she cursed.
"How's he being a prat? No wait. Don't answer that- He's always a prat."
Pansy rolled her eyes, "True. But more so than usual."
Ron laughed again, then fell silent. They only spoke when it was their turn.
"So your favorite team is the Chudley Cannons?" Pansy asked him after she took one of his rooks.
"Yup!" Ron said.
"I like their motto."
Ron beamed at her. "'Let's all just keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.' Who's your favorite team?"
Pansy thought for a second, "Well I like the Holyhead Harpies. But the Tutshill Tornado's are my favorite."
"Seriously? You're a Tornado's fan. Uuuuughhh."
"There's nothing wrong with the Tornado's."
Ron shook his head in dismay. "Godric help me. You only support them because they won the league a few years ago."
"Bullshit! I've supported them since I was little."
Ron snorted and Pansy glared at him. She took his last bishop in revenge.
"Shit."
Pansy smiled at him smugly. "The Tornado's are a great team."
"Yeah sure," Ron said distractedly. He had refocused on the game.

Draco placed his last two cards on top of his and Harry's remade tower. "Holy shit. I can't believe that didn't explode."
Harry grinned at him through the tower of cards. "Yeah! Now what do we do?"
"Go down to dinner? I'm starved."
"Good idea. Me too."
Draco nudged the top card and grinned when the whole thing toppled over in an explosion. "Nice."
He stood up and offered Harry his hand. Harry took it and Draco hurled him to his feet. "Hey guys, Harry and I are going down to dinner. Want to join us?" He asked his friends.
Ron was about to say he'll come but pansy kicked him under the table. "Ye- oh uh maybe later. After this game."
Harry gave him a strange look but Ron just shrugged and turned back to his game. The others shook their heads.
"Alright then. See you down there," Draco said and pulled Harry out the portrait.
"Wait!"
Harry and Draco stopped and spun around to find the source of the yell.
"I've- got- your- photo," Zacharias panted and held it out.
Draco and Harry beamed and reached for it. They both grabbed a side each and had a good look.

"It's brilliant," Harry grinned. "Thanks Zach."
"No worries," he replied and turned back towards the portrait.
"Gemino," Draco said. Casting a duplicating spell on the photograph. "Do you happen to have a quill on you?"
"No sorry."
"Remind me when we get back to our room to sign and date these okay?"
Harry smiled, "If you wanted my autograph, you could've just asked."
Draco shot him a 'bitch are you serious' look, which made harry laugh.
"Please. If I wanted your autograph, I could've gotten it back in second year."
Harry gave him a puzzled look, "What are you on about?"
"You and Professor Lockhart were practically giving them out."
"Oh Merlin. Are you joking? Please be joking?"
Draco sniffed, "No."
Harry laughed and thumped his hand on Draco's back. "Wow. No. Lockhart just took things way to far. I hate the spotlight."
"Yet you always seem to be o the front page."
Harry sighed, "They always take such bad pictures of me."
Draco laughed, "Maybe I'll send this photo in. The start of a new era. Hey! Maybe my father will see it in Azkaban and have a heart attack."
Harry chuckled, "Remind me why you're my friend again?"
"Because I'm so irresistible," Draco suggested.
The Gryffindor snorted, "More like annoying." He jumped to he side to avoid Draco's attempt to hit him. "Can we go down to dinner yet? I'm starved."
"Race you!" Draco said and ran ahead.
"Hey! That's cheating," Harry yelled after him and ran to catch up.
-----------
"Why'd you kick me?" Ron asked Pansy once the two boys had left the room.
"Because I wanted them to go down to dinner together and i wanted to finish this game," Pansy explained.
"But I'm hungry," he grumbled.
"A few more minutes wont kill you Ronald."
He sighed, "Fine. Knight to D5."

When Zacharais ran out of the portrait and then walked back in a minute later, Hermione got off the couch and announced that she was going to wash up before they headed down to dinner themselves.
Her place on the couch was taken by Neville. "Hey."
"Hey."
"Have a good day today?" He asked Blaise.
"It was alright. It was nice hearing you cheering for me from the stands."
Neville blushed, "Yes. Well."
"We'll have to go flying sometime."
"I'm not much of a flier."
"It's okay," Blaise smiled at him. "We don't have to go very high."
Neville smiled back at him. "Come with me back to our room so I can put my book away?"
"Sure."

Once in their room Neville put his book carefully back on his pile and Blaise threw his on his bed.
"Have you always been so tidy?
"Have you always been so untidy?"
"Touché Longbottom. Touché."
"Well the answer to your question is yes. Yes I've always been tidy. Gran always made me clean up after myself and scolded me when I left a mess."
Blaise frowned, "You should be able to make some sort of mess."
"Only if it involves me doing something heroic."
"At least that's something I guess."
Neville hummed and crossed the room, entering their bathroom.
"So when are we going to have our party?" Blaise called out to him.
"What?" Neville called back.
Blaise walked into the bathroom and repeated himself.
"What party?" Neville asked him combing his hair.
"You look good Nev, leave your hair alone." Neville blushed and put the comb down. "The party with all of the fire whiskey we brought yesterday."
"Oh right. We should ask the others at dinner."
Blaise nodded in agreement. "Lets go then."

They went back to the common room the chess players were packing up.
"Who won?" Neville asked them.
"I did," Ron grinned in triumph.
"Only because I let you."
"What ever. Mione there you are. You look lovely."
Hermione pinked slightly, "Thanks Ronald." She reached out her hand and Ron grasped it. "Lets go shall we?"
He smiled at her, "I could eat a hippogriff."

They walked into the Great Hall and quickly found where Harry and Draco were sitting. Draco was reaching across the table and snagged a roast potato from Harry's plate.
"Hey you little shit! I was saving that one! Oh hey guys, took you long enough." They had seated them selves around the two and piled up their own plates. ''Look at this," Harry held up his copy of the photograph.
"Oh dude that's so wicked."
"Look at those curls Harry! I did such a good job."
"What about my hair?" Draco pouted.
"I could've done better," Pansy shrugged. "Still awesome though. Especially the colors Harry added."
Harry beamed at her.
"Good thing the photo was taken when it was," Hermione said.
"It's only been two days Mione."
"I'm aware of that Ronald, but the charms have already started to wear off. The green is starting to look a little funky guys," the Gryffindor giggled.
All eyes whipped up to the boys hair.
"Oh no," Draco groaned. "Please get it out."
Blaise laughed at them, "Oh man! It looks like baby vomit!"
"Pansy get the green out!" Draco wailed.
She was too busy laughing to take any notice of him.
"Here," Hermione pulled out her wand. "Hold still and I'll do it."
"Just the green please Hermione."
"Got it. Finite Incantatem."
"Thanks Granger. Harry let her do yours next, it looks atrocious."
"Gee thanks Dray."
Draco blushed slightly at his nickname but didn't say anything. He just watched as Hermione fixed his friends hair.
"There," Hermione smiled. "You both look much better."
"Vomit free," Blasie wheezed.
The others all chuckled along with him.
In the moment of distraction, Harry reached over to Draco's plate and took back his potato. He grinned when Draco just blinked at him. "You snooze you loose."
Everyone at the table apart from Hermione looked at him with confusion. "It's a muggle saying- just never mind," he gave up trying to explain and just shoved the potato in his mouth.
Draco's own mouth dried up a little bit when he watched Harry lick the salt off his lips and took a big swing of water.

"So Nev and I were thinking, when are we going to drink our fire whiskey?" Blaise asked them after they had tucked back into their meals.
"I forgot about the alcohol," Harry admitted.
"So did I," Draco said.
"We still have four days until the term starts," Pansy informed them.
"I don't fancy spending my last days of freedom with a headache," Ron told them all.
"You can take a potion mate," Harry said.
"I doubt Slughorn or Madame Pomfrey will give us one. McGonagall doesn't want one whiff of it remember."
"Oh right."
"So when are we going to drink it then?" Pansy piped up.
"Perhaps over Christmas break?" Neville suggested shyly.
"That's so far away," Blaise grumbled.
"We can all get wasted in front of the fire," Draco joked.
"But what if we're going home for Christmas?" Ron asked.
"We can do it before the train leaves?" Pansy suggested.
"That's no fun. I'd rather not puke on the train. Besides if I don't end up going home, we can have the common room mostly to our selves. It'll be better because McGonagall had less of a chance of finding out."
The group hummed in agreement. "So Christmas?" Pansy asked.
"Christmas."
---------------------
Over the next four days the eighth years made most of their free time. More games of Qudditch were played, they took walks around the lake, hung out in the common room and even some studying occurred- the majority of it was by Hermione. Draco and Harry signed the back of their photographs and Draco's copy was temporarily stuck on the wall between their two beds.

On the morning of September first, Harry and Draco walked into the Great Hall late. Their group usually ate breakfast before 9am so they could squeeze every minute of freedom out of their day before school started.
"Oh Harry you look awful," Hermione gasped as he and Draco sat down.
"Thanks Mione."
"Are you sick? You should go see Madame Pomfrey."
Harry shook his head. "No I'm alright. Just tired."
Hermione tuned to Draco, "Is he sick?"
"No he's not. Don't worry your bushy head Hermione. We just didn't get much sleep last night that's all."
Pansy smirked at him, "Why's that?"
"Nightmare," Harry mumbled.
Pansy's smirk turned into a frown. "Oh. That sucks."
"It's nothing to worry about. Could you pass the coffee please Neville?"
"Yeah sure mate."
"Thanks." Harry poured him and Draco a hot cup each and they both savored their first sips.

When the last of the eighth years had stumbled into the Hall, McGonagall stood up from her place at the head table. "Now that you're all here, I have an announcement to make."
"I wonder what it is," Pansy whispered.
"Shut up and you'll find out," Draco whispered back.
"I'll be giving you all your timetables today so there's less bustling around tomorrow," McGongall continued. "So if you could all please wait around here until I give them to you, that would be appreciated. Also the other students will be arriving at approximately 5pm this evening so I would like you all to be in full uniform and seated before they enter the grounds. Is that clear?"
They all nodded. "Good. I want you all to set a good example for the students this year please. Especially the first years. It'll be good for them to see you all united like this." She smiled warmly at them all. "I'm going to come give you timetables now. Then you can go make the most of your last day of 'freedom' as you all are calling it."
Chatter broke out again as McGonagall strode down to the first lot of eighth years.
"What are we going to do today?" Blaise asked his friends.
"We could go flying?" Neville suggested.
Blaise grinned at him. "Yeah? You want to go flying with me?"
"It could be fun..." Neville said hesitantly.
"Hell yes! Lets go right after this!"
"I don't have a broom though."
"That's okay," Blaise grinned at him. "We can ask to borrow one from the shed."
"You can take my broom Neville," Pansy said. "I don't feel like flying. I was just going to lay in the sun all day. It's probably going to be the last truly warm day we're going to have for a while so I wanted to soak it up."
"Are you sure? I don't want to break it."
"Do what ever you want with it," she smiled at the visibly nervous boy. "Honestly just take it. I trust you."
Neville smiled at her, "Thanks Pans."
"No worries," she smiled back.
"Are you going to come Weasley?" Blaise asked.
"Er, no. I was going to hang out with Hermione today."
"Just me and you then Nev," Blaise beamed.
"Hey! Hello? Aren't you going to ask Harry and I if we wanted to come along?" Draco exclaimed.
"Mate. You both look like you're going to fall asleep any minute. You're in no condition to fly. I'm not going to be the one to kart you off to the hospital wing when you fall off and break your neck."
Draco pouted, "Fine. Have fun on your date then."
Blaise winked at him, "Don't worry. We will."
Before anyone else could say anything, McGonagall handed them their time tables. They studied them for a moment. "Everything should be in order," she told them. "Miss Parkinson, are you positive you don't want to take Herbology? Professor Sprout said she is happy to have you back."
"No thank you Professor. I don't have much of a green thumb."
McGonagall nodded curtly, "That's fine then. Mr Weasley, Mr Potter, are you sure you still want to continue with Divination? No one will blame you of you want to drop the class."
Harry glanced at Ron who was nodding like mad. "I would like to drop the class please Professor."
"Me too!"
"Give me back your timetables please and I'll make the change for you." She tapped her wand on both pieces of parchment and handed them back to the boys.
"Thank you," they said.
"No problem at all. I think that's all I have to inquire about. Anybody have any questions for me?" They shook their heads. "Good okay. Potter, Malfoy, don't forget to cancel the remaining charms. Good day to you all." McGonagall continued down to more students.

Draco sighed heavily, "I forgot about the charms. I thought they were all faded by now."
"No there's still some pink in both of your hair," Pansy told him.
"Could you cancel them now then please?" Harry asked her. "Better to do it now before we forget again."
"Sure. Hold still-"
"Thanks."
"No sweat. Blaise you look like you're going to jump out of your skin."
"Yeah! I want to go flying! Can we go now?"
"Okay. Go get my broom from my room- touch anything else and I'll hex you!"
"Yes mum. Come on Nev! Lets go flying," Blaise grinned.
"Okay. See you guys at the feast."
The remaining five watched Blaise race out if the Hall, only to turn around and tap his foot impatiently when Neville followed slowly.
Pansy stood up and said goodbye to them as well.
"I'm going to take Harry up for a nap," Draco told Ron and Hermione. "See you later?"
"Yeah see you later."
Draco hauled Harry to his feet and pushed him towards the exit.
"I'm not that tired you know," Harry said.
"So you don't want to have a nap?"
"No, it'll mess up my sleeping pattern."
Draco stopped walking and hummed. "So what do you want to do then?"
"We could just go for a walk. I wouldn't mind making a loop of the lake."
"That sounds good."
They turned back around and headed towards the lake. "So are you excited for school to start back up again?"
"Honestly Potter, you could have picked any topic to talk about and you pick school? How boring."
"What do want to talk about then Malfoy?"
"You could tell me about your dream? If you wanted to."
"You don't want to hear about that," Harry said shaking his head.
"What if I do?"
Harry scoffed. "Piss off. Besides, it was just a dream. I've had many in my life time so I'm use to them."
"Fine, but I'm here if you want to talk about it."
Harry smiled at his friend, "Thanks Draco."

Chapter Text

School flew by in a blur. The new group of friends had the majority of their classes together. Slughorn thought he was being clever when he partnered the arch enemies together one the first day back but he got a big surprise when they grinned at each other and worked together without the hitch that they use to have.
At the start-of-term feast, the eighth years set an example for the younger years and the Slyhterin house wasn't shunned like McGonagall feared. The school was skeptical of the new found friendship between the Golden Trio and the Slytherins but most of them got over it when they realized that they were actually friends and enjoyed each others company. Those few who didn't accept it and decided to retaliate were soon met with strong words and a large group that supported the new friendship.

Occasionally Draco or Harry would have a nightmare and the other would wake them up and calm the other down. On those nights they would stay awake and chat about odd things or if they had a test coming up they would study, but they usually ended up playing chess. Nobody would say anything the next morning when they had an extra cup of coffee and walked slower than normal.
Harry's wrists itched and his cuts healed so that they were now pink jaggeder lines in his skin. When the weather got particularity cold, they would go a shade of purple. Harry thought about cutting himself again regularly, but when the urges got strong, Draco would some how always know and distract him. He was grateful that Draco was around and he would give him warm smiles that Draco would return and Harry would find himself flustered because hot damn.
----------------
Soon enough, the Christmas break was upon them. Christmas was 2 days away and much to the dismay of the student body holiday assignments were given out. The list of who was staying had made its rounds. When it came to the eighth year common room, only the group put their names down. They questioned Ron who had previously told them that he would most likely be going home for Christmas because Christmas was a time for family. But he just shrugged his shoulders when he wrote his name down and informed them that his mother had written him a letter saying that he could stay if he wanted too because it was his last year at Hogwarts and he had made new friends(even if she was still doubtful of them), so she thought he'd want to stay and spend Christmas with them. Which he did.

In the court yard of the castle, Blaise was waving to the leavers. "Yes goodbye. Oh no you have to hug her one more time. Please leave. Ta ta. Another hug. By-bye."
"Blaise, stop muttering," Neville told him.
"Nev," Blaise said giving him a look. "You don't have to hug someone that many times! It's only two weeks."
"They're going to miss each other."
"So? If either of us were going home, I'd miss you. But I wouldn't hug you that many times."
Neville smirked, "Yeah. You'd hug me more."
Blaise gave Neville a shove, "Whatever."
"Look they're gone now."
"Woohoo! Lets go tell the others. These two weeks are going to be so nice. We get to sleep in and not go to class."
"We still have to do our assignments though. Don't forget."
"Yes mum," Blaise said sarcastically. He walked ahead of Neville and Neville took the opportunity to bend down and scoop up some snow.
"Hey Zabini!" He called out. Blaise turned around and was meet with a face full of snow.
Neville roared with laughter as Blaise spluttered.
"What the fuck was that for?"
"Cause I can," Neville smirked.
"You're a little shit you know that right?" Blaise narrowed his eyes at the Gryffindor.
"Yup!" Neville said, popping the 'P'.
Blaise reached down and grabbed his own handful of snow and chuckled when Neville yelled out his protests and started to back away.

"You know, you didn't have to shove it down my jumper."
"I said I was sorry," Blaise grumbled.
"Right. Er, we should probably walk faster before Filch catches us and makes us clean up the water we're trudging in."
Blaise looked around, "You're right. Go go go."
Neville chuckled and they picked up the pace.
"I like how quite the halls are when there's no one here," Blaise said.
"Same. But it's spooky when you hear foot steps."
"Could be the ghosts?"
"Ghosts don't make footsteps."
"Oh right... I can hear foot steps now."
"It's ours Blaise."
"No it's not. Shh." They stopped walking and listened.
"Who's there? Better not be you Peeves!"
Their eyes widen in fear and they both took off running.
"What are the odds that Filch is in this specific corridor?" Blaise panted.
"I don't know! Just keep running!"
They skidded around the corner and raced to their portrait. They breathed out the password and stumbled inside. With their backs against the wall they looked at each other and burst out laughing.
"That was ridiculous!" Neville gasped.
"Better than getting detention."
"Uh hi guys," Pansy said. Her and Hermione were sitting on the couch doing some of their home work and Ron was polishing his broom on the sofa near by. They were all currently staring at the two laughing boys. "What are you up to?"
"Hiding from Filch," they stated.
"Right. Why are you all wet?"
"We had a snow ball fight."
"Go get changed before you catch a cold," Hermione said.
"Yes mam." The boys walked up to their room and Neville told Blaise that he can use the bathroom first. Blaise smiled and said, "I'll be quick." True to his word he was out in a record 5 minutes, flushed from the hot water. "Your turn."
"Thanks. Hey go tell the others to get ready. We'll go have dinner and then come back and drink."
"Sure thing."
"Oh and you should also get Harry and Draco to go to the kitchen and get some snacks."
"Nev, we have brought stuff from Hogsmeade specifically for this."
"Proper snacks. No candy isn't a proper snack Blaise. I'm not the only one who would appreciate something other than chocolate."
Blaise sighed, "You're right. Okay hurry and get warm, you're visibly shaking. I don't want you to get sick and cough all night. I'll meet you in the common room."
Neville smiled and went and had his own shower.

Blaise knocked on Draco and Harry's door, he entered when he heard Draco yell "Come in."
"Hey, so we're about to go down to dinner before we start this little party and Neville wants you to go get snacks from the kitchen."
"But we brought stuff specifically from Hogsmeade?" Harry questioned.
"That's what I said! But Neville was right and he said that we should have some proper snacks."
"Yeah I could go for some crisps and stuff," Draco said.
"Well we're going to have dinner first so there's no rush."
"Sweet, are we going down now?" Harry asked him.
"Nah, in about 20 minutes. Well you can go now if you want but I'm going to wait for Neville to get out of the shower."
"Right okay. Meet you down there then."
"Yup, bye." Blasie closed the door and went to wait in the common room.

Harry and Draco packed up the homework that they were slowly making their way through and went out into the common room. They said their "Hellos" and "See you soons" to their friends and went down the the Great Hall.
"We've been waiting 4 months for this night, did you realize?"
Harry chuckled, "Yes I can count."
"Shut up Potter. I dare you to say that the next time I have to rescue our potion from exploding because you put 8 drops of Dragon blood in the cauldron instead of the specific 7 it said in the instructions."
"I said I was sorry for that! You distracted me."
"Distracted by my good looks?"
Yes. "No don't be daft."
"Daft," Draco snorted. "Nobody says daft anymore."
"Shut up Malfoy. So do you think that Blaise is finally going to kiss Neville tonight?"
"Probably not. He doesn't have any of your Gryffindor courage remember."
"You don't have to be a Gryffindor to have courage. Besides he'll be drinking. Quite heavily I assume. Plus he's been pining after Neville for months."
"Yes but I know Blaise better than you. Don't roll your eyes at me Harry, it's true. Blaise is a little girl when it comes to things like this."
"I bet you 5 galleons that he will."
"I don't need those galleons but I'm always happy to take your money."
--------------------
"I've always loved how Hogwarts decks its self out for the holidays," Pansy stated over her second helping of apple pie.
"It is pretty," Hermione agreed.
"You know what else is pretty? Me drunk!" Blaise said.
Pansy and Draco snorted. "Yeah right," Draco said.
"You're absolutely terrible when you're drunk."
"Oooh Pans remember the time he kissed you."
"Yes," Pansy shuddered. "It was disgusting."
"Hey! I'm an excellent kisser thank you very much."
"Not when you're slopping all over me."
Ron burst out laughing, "I'd love to see you do that tonight."
"No you would not."
"She would hex me into oblivion," Blaise grumbled.
"It's true I would," Pansy pushed away her plate. "I'm stuffed, lets go shall we?"
"Finally!" Blaise exclaimed and jumped up out of his seat. Neville followed his lead but ended up tripping and he stumbled into Blaise, who caught him.
"Whoops sorry!" Neville blushed.
"That's the third time you've done that this week," Blaise told him. "You've got to be more careful, cause I'm not going to be here to catch you every time."
"You two are practically joined at the hip," Pansy stated. "You'd never let him fall." Both boys flushed at her words.
"Are we going or not?" Ron asked them. He was still sitting in his seat, along with Hermione, Harry and Draco.
"Yeah of course mate," Blaise said. He put his hand on the small of Neville's back and lead him out of the Hall. Everyone else followed suit.
"He is so kissing him tonight," Harry whispered to Draco.
"We'll see Harry," Draco whispered back.

An hour later, their small party was in full swing. Harry and Draco had swerved off during the walk back and had gotten a generous basket full of sandwiches and left over dessert from the nights meals. The house elves had also thrown in some bottles of pumpkin juice and some water. It was now set up on one if the tables in the common room. Music was also playing from a radio in the corner of the room.
The eighth years had moved the sofas into a circle by the fire and the second bottle of fire whiskey was on the table in the middle of the circle. The Slytherins threw back a few shots like pros, while the Gryffindors winced their way through them.
"Blegh, I can't handle another shot," Neville shuddered.
"Neither can I," Hermione said cringing as Blaise poured another round.
"Aw come on guys!" Blaise pouted. He pointed to Ron with the bottle, "You're not going to wuss out on us are you?"
"No way."
"What about you Potter?"
"Keep them coming Zabini."
"That's what I like to hear!" He took Neville's and Hermione's transfigured shot glasses and poured their whiskey into two cups of pumpkin juice. "Here, this'll be easier."
"I actually want to have a cup of water before I drink anymore," Neville said.
"Do you want me to get it for you?" Blaise asked him.
"No it's okay. I'd like to have a stretch anyway."
"Okay sure," Blaise sat back down and picked up his shot. "Drink up losers."
"I'll pour the next one?" Pansy said after she threw back her drink.
"Yup!" Blaise grinned.

Another bottle down and everyone was pleasantly drunk. Neville had stopped drinking a while ago but he was still buzzed. When he got up to grab himself another cup of water and pick at the selection of food, Blaise followed him.
"Having fun Nev?"
"Yeah," Neville smiled.
"Good. Hey look," Blaise pointed up and Neville tilted his head back so he could see what was there.
"Is that... Mistletoe?"
"It sure is!"
Neville blushed, "Oh. Er, how did it get there?"
"It might've been the house elves. Or it could've been the castle. It's always doing funny things like this."
"Oh, yeah, I guess. Um, it's not going away," Neville squeaked.
Blaise laughed, "Of course not! We have to kiss."
"K-kiss?"
"It'll be great, just roll with it." Blaise grabbed Neville by his jumper and pulled him closer. He titled his head down and pressed his lips against Neville's.
Neville stood their startled but when Blaise hummed with pleasure, he moaned and wrapped his arms around Blaise's waist, pulling the boy closer to him.
Cheering erupted from in front of the fire when Harry noticed that they were finally kissing. Draco grumbled and searched his pockets for 5 galleons.
Neville pulled away from the kiss and looked into Blaise's twinkling eyes. He blushed again and smiled shyly. "Wow," his voice was horse.
"Yeah," Blaise smiled back. "Wow."
"Fuck you Zabini! I just lost 5 galleons!" Draco yelled out at him.
The two boys snapped out of their haze and turned towards their grinning friends.
"I'm not sorry mate."
"Awww," Hermione and Pansy said together.
Neville turned back towards Blaise and stood on his tiptoes so he could whisper in his ear. Blaise laughed and yelled out "Harry, Draco? Could you come over here?"
"Why?" Harry asked him.
Blaise glared, "Just do it Potter."
The two boys glanced at each other and grumbled as they got up off the sofa.
Blaise gave Neville another small peck on the lips and shot him a wink. He moved out of his roommates embrace and Neville went back to his seat.
"What do you want Zabini?" Draco asked.
"Oh nothing... JUST FOR YOU TWO TO KISS HA!" Blaise roared and pushed them under the mistletoe.
Neville barked out a loud laugh and Hermione and Pansy swiveled around on their chairs so that their full attention was on the two flustered boys.
"What the fuck Blaise?" Draco demanded.
"Oh man we got you so good!" Blaise grinned and skipped over to Neville and gave him a high five.
"This was your idea Neville?" Ron laughed.
"It sure was," Blaise answered for him. "He's wonderful he is." Neville blushed and pointed towards Harry and Draco who were standing as far apart as the mistletoe was allowing them too.
"It's enchanted?" He asked.
"Of course it is."
"But how did-"
"It doesn't matter, what matters is that Draco and Harry have to kiss," Blaise said.
"Kiss!" Pansy yelled. Her yells were joined with everyone else s.
Draco cleared his throat, "How about it Potter?"
"Er," heat was creeping up Harry's face. "Are we really going to do this?"
"There's no other way to get out of an enchanted mistletoe."
"Oh. Come here then."
Draco blushed and took a step forwards. He glanced up at Harry and met his gaze, he darted his eyes away and kept them focused on the ground.
"Draco," Harry whispered. "Look at me." The Slytherin looked up and stared into Harry's green eyes. "I'm going to kiss you now."
"Okay," Draco whispered back.
Harry ran his thumb over Draco's pink lips and then leaned down to kiss them. It was soft at first, lips barely touching. Harry went to back away but Draco wrapped his hands in Harry's hair and dragged him back down making their kiss more forceful. They didn't seem to be aware of the cheers that were going on behind them, they were too focused on the the feel of each others lips on their own.
"Holy shit," Pansy croaked.
Both boys moaned and the cheers stopped. "Erm Harry," Ron called out. "Harry... Harry... Harry... POTTER!"
Harry pulled away from Draco with a gasp and turned towards Ron. His cheeks were painted red with his lust for the other boy and embarrassment when he saw that his friends were staring at them with wide eyes.
"Mate it's great that you and Draco finally got rid of some of that sexual tension that's been there for the last 4 months, but that's enough for now okay?"
"Oh. Right. Uh I'm just going to go sit back down," Harry said to Draco. He noticed that Draco's lips were swollen from his kisses and he touched his own lips with his fingers on his dazed walk back to his seat.
"I need another drink," Draco stated and walked over to pour one for himself and Harry. He handed a full glass to his room mate and plonked himself down next to him. "You can all stop gawking at us now," he snapped at his friends.
They jerked out of their staring and busied them selves with getting another drink.

Harry and Draco had been glancing sideways at each other and blushing before they looked away again for the past half hour. They both wanted to say something to each other, to make it known that they enjoyed the kiss and it was okay, but they didn't know how to voice their feelings. Ron and Hermione had gone off to bed a few minutes ago and Pansy was throwing their left over food and candy rubbish into the bin.
"I think we should go bed Harry," Draco said. Blaise wolf whistled at them which made both boys blush yet again.
"Yes lets go," Harry jumped up off the sofa and offered his hand to Draco, which he took and Harry pulled him off the couch. "Right okay, see you in the morning."
"Night Harry, Draco," Neville yawned.
"I guess this is our cue to go to be isn't it," Blaise sighed.
"Yes, I'm worn out."
"Okay then. Night Pansy," Blasie called out to the Slyhterin girl who dragged her self in the direction of her room with a grunt.
"Lets just sit here for a bit," Neville suggested. Blasie relaxed back the sofa and Neville put his head on his shoulder.
After a couple of minutes, Neville asked Blasie how he knew the mistletoe was enchanted.
"Oh because i conjured it."
Neville took his head off Blasie's shoulder and stared at him with confusion, "You what?"
"I conjured it. I read how to in your book that you left open on your bed the other day."
"But that means..."
"Yeah I know. I conjured it because I've wanted to kiss you since you first said I was your friend. I think I may love you actually."
Neville's eyes widened as he stared into Blaise's eyes, searching. "You what?"
"Love you. Because you help me in Herbology and you're so passionate. You bite your lip when you're concentrating and you went flying with me even though you're afraid of having your feet off the ground. You tidy up my books and you make sure I have my homework in my bag before we go down to breakfast. You trip over your own feet and let me shower first. I need you in my life Nev. Kissing you.. I don't have any words to explain how happy that made me. I'm sorry if I made you uncomfort- mmf!" Blasie was cut off by Neville closing the small distance between them and kissing him. He pulled back and whispered, "Are you sure?" Which Neville just answered by kissing him again.

Chapter Text

After cleaning up for bed and saying a stiff goodnight to Draco, Harry fell asleep with a racing mind. If he didn't have alcohol running through his blood stream, he would have spent the whole night staring at the ceiling pondering over the kiss- the most wonderful thing to happen in his life(so far).
The next morning, Harry woke up with a headache and a deep pit in his stomach made up of nerves. He put on his glasses and glanced over to where Draco was changing. "Mornng," Harry cringed, cleared his throat and tried again. "Morning."
Draco didn't look up from putting on his socks but he bid Harry a good morning.
"What's on the agenda today?" Harry asked him.
"First, you're going to have a shower. Second coffee. Lots and lots of coffee."
Harry flushed slightly and got up to have the shower. He shivered when the cold air hit his bare flesh and gladly hopped into the warm water. While he was washing his hair he sighed and thought about what he was going to say to Draco, Hey so I really enjoyed last night, want to do it again? No that was too bold, even for a Gryffindor. My kissing is a little rusty, keen to practice with me? Harry groaned in frustration and washed the suds out of his hair. By the time he got out of the shower, he made up his mind to ask Hermione and Ron if it was okay to have a slight-big, crush on Draco, and ask what he should do about it. When he entered his and Draco's room again, Draco wasn't there. Which usually wouldn't be so worrying, but Harry felt his body fill with anxiety because Draco usually waits for me before we go down to breakfast or at least tells me that he's heading down early to squeeze in extra study with Hermione. Willing himself to calm down, Harry got dressed in a hurry and raced out the door, only to skid to a halt in the hallway and back track to grab his wand. Shaking his head because he was being stupid, Harry strolled back towards the common room again and almost smacked into Hermione who had her hand out and was holding a vial of hangover cure potion. Before he could ask, Hermione said, "I took the liberality to brew some before the holidays because I knew we would need it."
Harry took it gratefully and swallowed the contents with in one gulp. "Thanks Hermione."
"No problem. You look much better than Blaise did when he came stumbling out of his room being dragged by Neville." Harry suppressed a laugh behind his hand. "I'm surprised you didn't hear him. But Nev," Hermione whined in a decent imitation of Blaise. "It's only 1pm Nev. Pleeeeease lets go back to bed. The sun hurts my eyes. It was pretty pathetic."
Harry laughed openly this time and glanced out towards where everyone was chatting. His laughter quickly turned into a frown, "Where's Draco?"
"He came down 15 minutes before you, took his potion and then left saying he was going for a walk."
"Oh," Harry's frown deepened.
Hermiones eyes filled with concern, "Why what's wrong? Is he okay? Are you okay?"
"Yeah we're okay. It's just he usually tells me.. when.. he goes.. out," Harry drifted off at the end.
"Oh Harry," Hermione sighed. "Is this about last night?"
"What? No?"
"You've never been a good liar Harry. I can see right through you," she snatched back the vial from his hand and crossed her arms.
Harry shuffled his feet backwards and forth in hesitation, but he knew that if he attempted to avoid the truth, she'd give him the Molly Weasley look and he inwardly cringed because he did not want to see that life threatening look today. "Fine! I'll tell you, but later," Harry lowered his voice so that he was sure only she could hear him. "I don't want them to over hear." Hermione raised her eyebrows at him but didn't say anything. Harry took that as a good sign and went to sit down next to Ron.
"Don't sit down mate," Ron told him. "We're about to go down lunch."
"Finally, I'm so hungry," Pansy said.
"Actually me and you are going to go find Draco," Blaise piped up.
Pansy frowned at him, "We are?"
"Yes we are! I've got to tell you both something," he shot Neville a wink and then proceeded to drag Pansy off the couch they were sitting on.
She sighed heavily, "Can we stop by the Great Hall and grab something to eat at least?"
"Only if you hurry."
She sighed again and beckoned for everyone to follow them towards the hall.

Neville lingered in the entrance way with Blaise while Pansy grabbed herself a plate of food. They were both reluctant to part ways with each other but once Pansy came back with her plate, they parted ways and only looked over their shoulders once or twice, maybe three times.
Neville sat down with a sigh and he received questioning looks from his Gryffindor friends. "What?" He asked them. Harry and Ron shrugged their shoulders and started to eat but Hermione flicked her eyes around Neville's face before she started to eat as well. "What?" He asked her again.
"Nothing. It's just there's something different about you."
Neville chocked on his bread roll. "Different?"
"Yeah and I can't figure it out."
By this point, Ron and Harry had stopped eating again and looked back up at Neville. Ron gasped, "Is that a hickey?!"
"What? No!" Neville's face turned bright red. He dropped his knife and fork with a clatter and wrapped his hands around his hot neck.
"Oh Merlin! It is a hickey!" Hermione wheezed.
Ron wolf whistled, which caused students from other houses and a few teachers to look in their direction.
If it was even possible, Neville's face got redder. "Could you please not draw attention to me? This is super embarrassing."
"Sorry mate, but this is brilliant. Harry, I think Malfoy should give you another 5 galleons when he finds out."
Harry chuckled, "I'll be sure to tell him that."
"You bet on me?" Neville asked, stunned.
"Technically it was Blaise but yeah," Harry said.
"Oh. What was the bet?"
"If Blaise would kiss you last night or not."
"Oh," Neville said again.
"Looks like you did more than kiss," Ron said bouncing his eyebrows.
Neville put his head in his hands while his friends had a small laugh. Hermione coughed pointedly and they stopped. "It's about time you two got together. I mean, you are together aren't you?" She asked.
"Yes," Neville smiled at her.
She beamed back, "That's wonderful!"
The Gryffindor blushed again while Ron and Harry also said their congratulations. "He said he was in love with me," Neville said quietly.
Hermione chocked on the sip of water she just took, Ron patted her on the back. "He what?"
"Last night after you all went to bed. It was unexpected but really sweet," Neville sighed dreamily.
Ron snorted, "Blaise? Sweet?"
"Shut up Ronald," Hermione scolded.
"Sorry," Ron mumbled.
"It's okay. No honestly Hermione, I understand where Ron is coming from. It was a shock for me too. Then I kind of jumped his bones."
Hermione's mouth dropped open as Ron and Harry erupted with laughter. While tears of mirth were running down their faces, Neville smirked and continued to eat. By the time they had stopped laughing, he had finished his meal and he told them that he was going to go to the green houses to check on the plants with Professor Sprout. Neville said goodbye and the Trio were left sitting at their places in the Great Hall.
"Can you believe that our timid Neville Longbottom, jumped a Slytherin?" Ron laughed again.
"He isn't that shy anymore Ronald," Hermione pointed out.
"That's true. But a Slytherin."
"Talking about Slytherins, Harry can you tell me now?" Hermione asked him.
"Tell you what?" Ron questioned through a mouth full of pie.
"Don't be gross Ronald. Something about last night, right?"
"Er, yeah. I uh, actually wanted to talk to you both about..." Ron and Hermione nodded encouragingly. "Draco."
"Did he eat the last of your chocolate again mate?"
Harry shook his head no, "Last night while we were kissing." Harry's face started to heat up due to his best friends stares. "IthinkImightlikeDraco," he said in a rush.
Ron blinked at him, "Can you say that a bit slower?"
"I think I might like Draco."
"Oh," Ron said non-phased. "We know."
Harry gaped, "You know???"
"It's a bit obvious mate."
If Harry was a fainter, he would have by now. He looked at Hermione, who was nodding along with a small smile on her lips.
"Oh Harry," she sighed. "We've been waiting for you to come to us. See we've known how you might feel for a while and we wanted you to figure it out yourself. If I had known all it would take is was a kiss, Pansy and I would have got you two to kiss months ago." Harry just stared at her.
"Mate, there's nothing wrong with liking Malfoy. He's not such of a git now to be completely honest."
"You're okay with this Ron? Hermione?" Harry asked in disbelief. They grinned at him, nodding their heads. Harry felt a weight lift off his shoulders and he found himself grinning back at them.
"So when are you going to make a move?" Hermione asked.
Harry's face heated up again, "A move?"
"Yeah! Take after Neville and jump his bones," Ron laughed. "I bet my last chocolate frog that Draco feels exactly the same way."
"How do you know that for sure though?"
"Trust us Harry," Hermione said.
"You know I trust you but-"
"No buts! We're going to have another little party on New Years so you can do it then okay?" Harry opened his mouth to argue but the look Hermione sent him, shut him up quick. "Good. It's settled then."
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Blaise looked over his shoulder at Neville for the third time before he sighed and trudged out of view. Pansy was happily munching on a bread roll so they made their way out to the lake in silence. A few students were also outside throwing snowballs around and he had to dodge out of the way before one hit him. Spotting Draco wasn't as easy as they thought and they both trudged through the thick snow until they came across single tracks leading towards the path that lead around the lake. Pansy grumbled about her socks getting wet but Blasie told her to suck it up and keep moving. They found Draco sitting on a rock, staring out at the frozen lake, deep in thought.

Draco jumped when a hand landed on his shoulder, startling him out of his thoughts. He was thinking about last night and how Harry would be upset this morning that he left without telling him where he was going. "Oh, it's just you two," he said to Blaise and Pansy who were chuckling slightly at Draco's jump.
"Yes it's just us," Pansy huffed. "I brought you a bread roll," she grabbed it off the plate and then passed it to him, which he gladly accepted.
"Thanks Pans," Draco said through his first bite.
Blaise cleared his throat gaining their attention, "So I have something to tell you both." Draco and Pansy glanced at each other. "I have a boyfriend," he beamed at them.
Draco hastily swallowed his bread to voice his congratulations but Pansy bet him to it and flung herself at Blaise to pull him into a hug. "I'm so happy for you!" Pansy squealed.
"Can't....breathe," he gasped.
"Shit sorry." Pansy let go of Blasie and patted him on the back as he filled his lungs back up with air. "It's just you and Neville are so cute toget-"
"Did I say it was Neville?"
Pansy snorted, "Please don't play dumb. Who else would it be? Filch? I don't think so! It's so obvious, the way you tricked him into kissing you last night with that mistletoe. No don't try and defend yourself, I saw you cast the spell to make it appear. Besides, you've been pining after him for months, It was only a matter of time." Draco nodded rapidly in agreement.
"Oh," Blaise blushed. He kicked his feet through some snow. "Thanks for being so supportive I guess," he mumbled.
Pansy drew him in for another hug, "This is brilliant. Now all we need is for Draco to hurry up and confess his feelings for Harry and everything will be perfect."
"I beg your pardon?" Draco spluttered. "Confess my feelings? I'm not 12."
Blaise pulled out of Pansy's embrace to roll his eyes at his best friend. "Admit it already Dray, you're in love with Harry Potter."
"I-" Draco stopped. He couldn't say he wasn't in love with Harry because that simply was not true.
Pansy and Blaise smirked at him. "See? You can't even say you're not. So, when are you going to tell him."
Draco sighed heavily and put his head in his hands. "I don't know," he groaned in frustration. "Is Harry even attracted to boys? If he is, does he even like me in this way? Last night was so incredible and I would jump in a heart beat to do it again but did I make him uncomfortable kissing him the way I did?" He looked up at his friends with desperation.
Pansy came and sat next to him on the rock. She took one of his hands and rubbed her thumb on his for comfort. "Last night," she spoke softly. "From my line of view, Harry enjoyed it just as much as you. He's probably having this exact conversation with Hermione and Ron right now."
Blaise supported Pansy's statement with saying, "That's the truth."
Draco sighed again but gave his friends a reassuring smile, "You're probably right. I mean I am a good kisser, who wouldn't want to have me?" Blaise coughed which suspiciously sounded like "Me."
---------------------------------------------

Christmas was over and the new year was rolling in. On Christmas day, the group sat in front of their cozy fire and exchanged gifts with one another. The Slytherins and Neville looked at Ron in awe as he handed them their very own Weasley jumper. "Surprise," he grinned at them and he gestured for them to put them on. Harry teared up when he realized that this was his family. This is worth living for.

They spent new years eve up in the astronomy tower. Pansy left an hour before midnight to go down in the dungeons and party with the other students that stayed at the school. "You know she's going to stumble back into your room at 3 am right?" Blaise informed Hermione.
"I'll probably be spending the night with Ron tonight anyway so it doesn't really matter," she said. Blaise hummed and took another swing from the last bottle of fire whiskey that they saved.
Harry and Draco were sitting with their thighs touching and their legs dangling off the edge of the tower. In the court yard below, students were setting up some of The Weasleys' fire works. "So I was thinking," Harry started to say. Draco turned his head slightly so he was now making eye contact with the Gryffindor. "We should kiss again."
Draco's eyes widen in shock, "Pardon?"
"At midnight. We should kiss. I mean we don't have to if you don't want to but since Blaise and Neville are together and so are Ron and Hermione, they would kiss each other and we'd be sitting here awkwardly. So I thought that we could kiss so we wouldn't be left out and I really enjoyed kissing you under that mistletoe and I want to kiss you again so maybe we could... possibly, just for New Years?" Harry babbled on, heat rushing to his cheeks until Draco told him to stop talking.
"You enjoyed kissing me?"
"Yeah."
"I enjoyed kissing you too," Draco admitted.
"You did?"
"Yeah." Both boys stared at each other for a heart beat and then broke out into identical grins.
Harry took one of Draco's hands in his own, "I've been waiting for the right moment to kiss you again during this past week."
"You only have to wait a few more minutes."
"I don't think I can wait that long," Harry whispered. "Please kiss me Draco."
Draco smiled leaned in and pressed his lips against Harry's.
Their friends started cheering in the background and Blaise yelled out, "Finally!" The boys smiled against each others lips. They broke apart when Hermione announced that their was only a minute until midnight and they sat in silence until the 10 second count down started.
10...
9...
8...
7...
6...
5...
4...
3...
2...
1... The fire works burst into the sky and Harry and Draco kissed into the New Year, marking the beginning of the rest of their lives together.