one to dance to the rhythm of rain (willfully) wrote in boughten_bliss,
one to dance to the rhythm of rain
willfully
boughten_bliss

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Small Steps, 4/?



There was utter chaos downstairs when Harry finally forced himself to leave the Pensieve. It appeared that Luna had arrived, if the random flashes of blonde hair and phantom tinkles of laughter around every other corner were any indication. Neville's voice seemed to follow her everywhere, but the noise the two of them were making-- though considerable-- was next to nothing compared to the shouting coming from the kitchen.

"And why the fuck shouldn't I go?" Draco was screaming in Remus' face, his face contorted with anger. The older man was trying patiently to calm him down, but in the face of the blond's fury he hadn't yet been able to get a single word in edgewise. "You give me one good reason!"

Barely stopping for breath, Draco held up a hand and began counting on it as he continued. "I finished what I came here to do. Longbottom's got his girlfriend, and Potter is being a fucking arse, just like always. You don't even like me, why the hell would I stay for you?"

He stopped, breathing hard, when Remus' eyes flicked to Harry standing in the doorway. "Oh, it's you," he snarled, waving a hand dismissively. "Come to tell me how evil I am, have you? It's getting old, Potter."

"Actually, I..." Harry began, but he wasn't entirely sure how to finish the sentence. What had he come down here for, anyway? What had he expected, a teary reconciliation? He must have gone temporarily mad.

Remus' quiet voice interrupted his thoughts. "I was trying to tell you, Draco," he said patiently, watching Harry. "I showed him the Pensieve."

That stopped Draco in his tracks. "You...the Pensieve?" he repeated, his voice breathless with surprise. "I...shit."

Harry had to admit, if only to himself, that shit was not quite the reaction he had been expecting.

"Didn't you want me to see it?" he asked carefully, wary of the angry expression that had not quite left Draco's face. Silver eyes met his, confused and stormy, and the second half of his argument-- after all, it was you that gave it to Remus to give to me-- died in his throat. Holy hell, but Draco's eyes were expressive. His expression had turned stony, but Harry caught a glimpse of something softer, almost vulnerable, before Draco swallowed and looked away.

"It doesn't matter anyway," Draco declared, but Harry noticed that he was refusing to look at him directly. "He's still an arse. That's why he made the fucking thing in the first place."

"I am not," Harry said defensively, which probably wasn't the most intelligent thing to say in the situation, but the insult combined with the comment about why he had making the Pensieve had left him utterly off balance. "And even if I was, that isn't why I made the Pensieve. I...I don't think."

Draco finally broke his rule about not looking at Harry to stare at him in disbelief. "You don't even know why you made it," he said accusingly, and some of his fury was returning to his gaze. "Trust the werewolf not to even explain it correctly."

He didn't give Remus a moment to object to that before he advanced on Harry, who took a step back and found himself suddenly in the hallway, the safety of Remus' presence gone. The predatory gleam in Draco's eyes made him wonder if he hadn't done that on purpose, isolating them so that he could take his anger out on Harry without any interference, but he wasn't given much time to think about it before there was an accusing finger poking him in the chest and he was backed up against the wall.

"You made that Pensieve, you sadistic bastard," Draco hissed, his breath hot against Harry's chin, "Because you 'couldn't let Him use you against me'. That's a direct quote, Potter, and you made me Obliviate you so that you wouldn't remember doing it before you went off on your goddamn heroic quest. Sure, you killed the Dark Lord, but it was a damn selfish way to do it."

"I..." Harry began, trying not to notice how close Draco was, so close he could smell him. His body was reacting to it, just as it had to memory Draco's moans, and he bit his lip, trying to keep himself under control. "But I must have had a good reason..."

"Oh, of course you did," Draco drawled, and Harry must have been imagining the slightly gentler tone of his voice because his eyes were still as cold as steel and his fingernail was beginning to dig into Harry's sternum. "Because the Dark Lord was 'a powerful Legilimens', you said, and 'he'd find out', and having those memories would only have 'made you weak'. Well, fuck you, Potter, you were lucky to have me, and I don't appreciate being dropped at your slightest whim."

Harry shook his head, beginning to grow frustrated as his own logical arguments were used against him. It made sense, now, that he would have wanted those memories gone, and he could almost remember himself saying it. "I was just trying to protect you, I'm sure," he said hesitantly, but this only seemed to make Draco angrier.

"Yes, you said that too," Draco snarled, taking a step back. "Thank you for reminding me. Forget the fact that I had to stay here under the Order's watchful eye, protected by your precious godfather's wards, no. That wasn't enough to protect poor, weak, helpless Draco from his evil family and their friends. Why the fuck wasn't that good enough?"

The last question was filled with genuine anguish, and that hurt Harry far more than the accusations. "I don't know," he said helplessly, wishing that this part of their story had been in the Pensieve too, instead of erased from his mind entirely. "You must have been...very important to me."

Draco's eyes flared at the use of the past tense, and Harry saw a muscle twitch in his jaw as he turned away. "Must have been," he said sarcastically, and stalked away before Harry could answer.

The conversation, Harry decided, had not gone at all the way he had hoped. Perhaps shit was a rather accurate way of describing it, after all.




Remus had disappeared during the course of their argument, for which Harry was a little bit grateful-- he didn't particularly like the idea of any of that being overheard, innocent as it was-- but he was a little bit annoyed, too. He needed someone impartial to tell him what else he didn't remember, because how in the hell was he supposed to make up for his actions when he didn't even know what he had done?

He was just about to give up and head back to his room when he heard Luna's laughter again, this time coming from the parlour.

"It's not funny!" Neville's voice protested, and Luna's laughter rose in a crescendo of amusement. Harry poked his head through the half-open door, grateful when he saw that they were fully dressed, even if they were sitting rather close together.

Luna took a deep breath and quieted, opening her mouth to speak, but Harry coughed awkwardly, interrupting the moment.

"Harry!" Luna exclaimed, unfolding from the couch and leaping over the back of it. She landed gracefully on the floor and threw herself into his arms, making a soft noise of happiness against his ear as he patted her back awkwardly and smiled apologetically at Neville, who smiled shyly back at him and waved one hand dismissively. It took him a moment to realise that Luna was talking to him, and he blinked at her in confusion as she pulled away.

"...in New Zealand," she was saying, "And the sky was so blue, Harry, you should have seen it."

"I'm sure it was very pretty," Harry replied tentatively, and he must have understood at least most of what Luna had been saying, because her teeth flashed white in a brilliant smile as she nodded.

"I was just telling Neville," she added, gesturing at him where he still sat on the couch, watching them. "He was upset that I hadn't come sooner, but I just couldn't leave the Blibbering Humdingers while they were hatching! And it had been so long since I had been able to just sit and watch life happen, I just wish he'd come with me."

"Dr-- I was needed here," Neville said, patting the couch beside him in invitation. "I told you that."

Harry wondered what he had been about to say. Draco had asked him to stay? Draco needed him? But he didn't have much time to think about it, because Luna had taken her seat on the couch and they were both looking at him expectantly.

"Come on, Harry," Luna said gently, leaning against Neville's side and tucking her feet under her thighs to make room for him. "Come and talk to us. You look like you've got a lot on your mind."

Understatement of the century, Harry thought wryly, but he moved closer and sat down on the couch, careful to keep a respectful distance from the couple.

"Now," Luna said kindly, ignoring his polite separation and leaning forward to take both of his hands in hers. "Tell me all about it."

Harry looked up at her eager face, and then at Neville's contented smile. "Well," he began, looking back down at his hands, "I would, but I'm not entirely sure where to begin."

"At the beginning," was the soft reply, and Harry was surprised to see that it had come from Neville instead of Luna. "Start at the beginning."

Chapter 5
Tags: small steps
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