It was Draco’s first Valentine’s day.
Or at least, that's what it felt like. After all, he finally had a Valentine to share it with.
He and Harry had drifted closer together after the war, closer than he'd ever dared to hope before. They had nearly all of their classes together, and they'd found a way to piece together their different strengths into something harmonious. Something magical.
That's how it had started.
It began with long looks and scattered dreams, then blossomed into something more powerful than either of them cared to admit. They were both happy for the first time in their lives. They spent almost all of their time together now, talking, snogging, doing homework, and snogging some more. Hogwarts had never felt more welcoming to either of them.
The castle was truly something special during Valentine’s day. Draco loved the warm hues and sweet aroma of the castle during this time of year. He loved the hearts and the happiness. He loved Harry.
Everything was going his way.
He drummed his quill impatiently on the desk as he half-listened to the days lesson in potions. He glanced over to see Harry practically asleep. He smirked as he doodled a quick drawing and folded it into a heart with angel wings.
He clapped his hand to his mouth to suppress his laughter as it flew over and bumped into Harry's nose, causing him to jerk clumsily out of his almost-slumber.
Harry gave him a glare, but his smirk gave his true feelings away. He unfolded the small gift and winked at Draco in assent. Draco returned the look with a coy smile and glanced at the clock. Twenty minutes, and he'd be snogging Harry against a wall.
He was glad he was sitting down, because the very thought made him weak in the knees.
Together they ran, laughing breathlessly, to the room of requirement. Draco let Harry pace three times before the wall and watched as the room revealed itself to them. Harry took Draco by the hand and led him in.
The room was special to Draco. It was a place he was very familiar with; a place he'd suffered in, a place he'd lost his friend, and a place Harry had saved his life. It was both his greatest fear, and his refuge. It haunted his nightmares, but he'd also made his peace with it, in a way. For instance, it was always there when he and Harry wanted it, although they never knew what they were going to get when they stepped inside.
Wasting no time, he pushed Harry against one of the tables and kissed him slow and deep, running his fingers through the dark hair. Harry knew better than to try the same, so he settled on playing with Draco’s collar, something he went balmy for.
Draco moaned into Harry's lips as they switched positions, letting the shorter boy take control. They were so caught up in each other that they didn't notice that they were slowly drifting toward the back of the room.
Draco opened his eyes briefly and stepped back, puzzled. The object they were snogging against hadn't been there yesterday, or any day before that as far as he could recall. It was a sort of photo booth, magnificent as it was strange. It appeared to be made of stone, intricately patterned and rough.
He tried to open the door but it wouldn't budge. Harry, bloody minded as he was, tried it as well but it didn't magically open for him either. They both stared at it, puzzled.
“I wonder if it even works.” Harry mused, running his hands across the door. He bent down to examine the handle, and drew back with a sharp inhalation.
“What is it, Harry?”
“There's a snake on the handle.”
Harry smirked at him before studying the handle with his lazer green eyes. He began to speak parseltongue, every syllable making Draco shiver with admiration. There was certainly something sexy about it.
There was a clicking noise, and when Draco tried the handle once more, it gave way. The machine roared to life with apparent difficulty, but it was working, just for them. He hopped inside and gestured with one finger for Harry to do the same.
“This is cozy.” Draco observed, unable to move with Harry squished in beside him.
“It's perfect.” Harry breathed, and kissed him as he pressed the green GO button.
Draco shoved Harry away playfully as the countdown started.
“I want to look good for this.”
“You've been making out with ME. Do you really expect to look put together?”
Draco didn't reply, as the countdown was reaching an end. He flashed a brilliant smile and a few smoldering looks at the camera during the first few, but that wasn't quite good enough. At the very last second he grabbed Harry by the tie and pulled him into a melting kiss, just as the shutter snapped one last time.
Harry pulled back, looking uncharacteristically shy.
“Cute? Adorable? Come on Harry, I know you wanted to. It's Valentine's day. We needed to kiss on camera, at least once.”
“Always the exhibitionist, Draco.”
Draco grinned wickedly after him as he clambered out, following suit.
Together they waited for the photos to come out, but they never did. Harry even tried speaking parseltongue again, but it was no good. Draco couldn't help feeling disappointed. He'd wanted to have a keepsake from the day.
They glanced at each other and shrugged. There was no point in letting a few wasted pictures ruin their day together.
“Hogsmeade?” Harry suggested.
“That's your idea of asking me out on a date, Harry?”
Harry eyed him dubiously.
“Draco. We planned this three weeks ago.”
Draco rolled his eyes.
“Yes, but you could make more of a show of it, you know.”
Harry mockingly got down on one knee and solemnly said,
“Draco Lucius Malfoy. Will you do me the honour of accompanying me to Hogsmeade on this fine afternoon?”
Draco batted his eyelashes affectionately and announced.
“I'd love to.”
Hogsmeade was every bit as beautiful as the castle. Every shop was lined with romantic and luxurious decorations, and even the snow itself seemed to have a pink-ish tinge to it. It was getting dark, and the lights shone with the promise of love for years to come.
Draco strode through the little town with Harry, arm in arm. Even after dating for almost five months, they still attracted plenty of curious stares. Draco couldn't decide if it was because they of all people were together, or if it was because they were both happy, truly and utterly happy,and it seemed unnatural to others. Either way, he enjoyed the attention.
Let them look, he thought. It didn't bother him in the slightest. Harry, on the other hand, seemed uncomfortable. His eyes darted back and forth, and his entire body was tense.
“Harry? What is it?”
“People are staring. I don't like it.”
“Oh, come on.” Draco scoffed. “They can't get enough of us. No wonder… look at how adorable we are! Don't let them ruin this for you. Just focus on me.”
Harry smiled at him.
“That sounds easy enough. Just… don't let go of me.”
They stopped in the core of the town. They were right in the action, where peddlers were sitting in front of each store selling little bits and bobs of love. Candy grams, cards, chocolates. Draco suddenly got an idea.
“Hey. Why don't we buy something for each other and then go sit in the Three Broomsticks? Just something little. No more than ten Galleons. We'll meet back here in ten minutes. You in?”
“Yeah! Wait, meet here or in the Three Broomsticks?”
Draco thought for a moment.
“Might as well just go inside. It's cold as a witch's tit out here.”
Harry snorted and shut Draco’s eyelids, pecking him on the cheek.
“Count to twenty. I don't want you to see which store I'm going in.”
Draco obliged, opening his eyes only when he was sure Harry was gone.
A door swung open, and a plethora of mouth-watering scents washed over him. He turned towards Honeydukes. Of course.
He entered slowly, thinking of Harry and what he might want. He loved chocolate, Draco knew that much. But what to get him?
He prowled around the store until he found the chocolate section. It was flooded with chocolates of every size, shape, and flavour. He browsed carefully, hoping Harry's perfect present would jump out at him when he saw it.
That's when he spotted a chocolate Quidditch set, complete with a mini truffle for the snitch. It was perfect.
It came to a whopping seven Galleons, but it was worth it. The cashier had to use the biggest bag possible for it.
Back outside, Draco made his way into the Three Broomsticks, groaning as he realized there were no seats.
He waited awkwardly until Harry walked in, carrying a parcel under his arm. Draco itched with the desire to know what it was.
“Harry!” That was Granger. She was sitting with Weasley in the back corner. She waved them over, and they found extra chairs to join in. Draco had to hold back a sigh of annoyance. This was not how he'd wanted his Valentine’s dinner to go.
“What's with the gifts? Didn't get your best mate anything? How disappointing.” Weasley joked, and Harry laughed.
“Yeah, sorry Ron. It's back at the store. Oh, and you'll have to buy it. But it's there!” He shot back. Draco shifted uncomfortably. He just wanted to see Harry open his present.
That's when Granger saved him.
“So go on, open your presents guys. Ron didn't get me anything. I intend to live vicariously through you two.”
Draco couldn't hold back a small yip of laughter, and promptly handed the bag to Harry.
He placed the parcel on the table and Draco eyed it hungrily as Harry lifted, with some difficulty, the box. Upon seeing what it was he gasped and shot Draco one of his winning smiles, one that made his eyes shine. Draco mirrored his expression. He loved making Harry smile like that.
“Well done, Malfoy. It's bloody perfect.” Weasley grudgingly conceded, and Draco gave him a nod in return. Harry still hadn't spoken, and was looking as though he might cry. Without warning, he pulled Draco into a passionate kiss that warmed his heart.
“Go on.” He whispered softly. “Open yours.”
Draco wasted no time. He tore through the paper and lifted out a gold and green photo album, which he promptly whacked Harry’s arm with.
“You… you!” He sputtered, a smile playing around his lips. Harry snickered.
“I figured since our attempted photoshoot today was no good, we could start over. We can fill it with memories of us. It'll last forever.” He said, his eyes searching for some joy in Draco. He hugged it close.
“I love it, Harry. It's just corny, that's all.” He couldn't help adding.
“When you say ‘attempted photoshoot’...” Granger began pulling something out of her pocket. “Do you mean this?”
At that she wiggled her fingers slightly and pulled out… the lost strip of photos!
Harry let out a whoop of delight and snatched it from her hand.
“It's been found! Looks like all that trouble was worth it after all!” He showed it to Draco, who couldn't help smiling. They looked so utterly happy. His favourite, of course, was that last one of them snogging.
With a flourish, he opened the album and slid the strip into the first pocket.
“There. Our first recorded memory.” He closed the book shut and looked up to find Harry’s eyes misting slightly. He pulled Harry close into an embrace that lasted several beats before Weasley cleared his throat.
“So… the strip was just sitting there in the machine?” Draco asked, still baffled.
“Yep. I see you two had fun in there.” Granger observed gleefully.
Harry suddenly raised his eyebrow.
“Hang on. Hermione, what were YOU doing in the room, then?”
Both Granger and Weasley’s cheeks went bright red.
“Well… I was just… studying.”
“Yeah. Studying Weasley’s short and curlys.” Draco muttered to Harry, who choked on his butterbeer.
They celebrated the night away, chatting and laughing, enjoying the sights, sounds, and most of all, each other’s company. Outside, the snow ceased, but the music continued. Inside the castle, the magical photobooth buzzed and whirred, ready for when two boys would, eventually, return. For now though, they focused on memories, both good and bad. Mostly, on preserving the good.
By the end of the school year, the book would be filled to the brim. It would be the first of many, but it had a place of honour in both hearts.