All the wrong choices. (Ch1 – Hogwarts school reunion)

((I decided to have a break from the big WIP for a short time while I work on a Harry Potter fanfiction that I’ve been thinking about writing. It’s a bit different from the stuff I usually write about, and it is my first attempt. It’s also a Drarry story (Draco and Harry love etc) so if gay romance isn’t your thing, I wouldn’t read this series.))

Pictures credits –

Drarry Fanfiction. Harry Potter universe. (C) J.K Rowling.

Maybe it was his age talking or maybe it was the foul mood he was in. He was sure that the last time he had heard the Weird Sisters play, they had sounded better. Maybe it was the memories that the music dredged up in his mind. He shook his head as he sat at one of the large round tables in the new and ‘improved’ great hall at Hogwarts. He hadn’t seen it since it had been rebuilt after the battle, but he didn’t like the changes. Some up-and-coming magical architect had come in with their new-fangled ideas of what would make a statement. He scrunched his nose up in disgust. The high ceiling was no long bewitched to reflect the weather outside, apparently, that enchantment had been lost to the ages. The new ceiling now depicted scenes from the battle of Hogwarts. The centrepiece “the downfall of Voldemort” could rival the Sistine Chapel in Rome. Each Horcrux had its own tableau of equally beautiful and awful imagery surrounding them as the images danced like a kaleidoscope. It was dizzying to watch as the subjects were as enchanted to enact and re-enact their parts for all eternity. He looked away before his eyes could settle on the raven-haired figure in the centre, the lightning bolt clear for all to see. He knew that if Professor McGonagall were still headmistress, the new art installation would have been something much less gaudy.

He was most definitely getting old he thought, as he sipped his almost forgotten drink. Running the cold glass around in his hands as he rested his elbows on the table. He scanned the faces around him as if looking for someone specific. Some of the faces were familiar to him but some had changed so much he wasn’t sure whether he would recognise them from their school days. Every face was 15 years older, however, some people had aged more gracefully than others. Even his own hair was beginning to become salt and pepper, something which he actually liked. Some of the women at the office had told him he’d be a silver fox by the time he was forty. He laughed it off hoping to avoid any advances on him when the time came. He ran a hand through his hair as he scanned the crowd for Ron or Hermione. They were dancing over by the stage, clearly enjoying the music. Harry sighed again.

He knew he shouldn’t have come. He was in no mood for partying or socialising, Unbeknown to Ron or Hermione, He and Ginny had just signed the divorce papers. His heart hung heavy at the prospect of having to go through over a decade of accumulated and shared belongings. He knew that right this second Ginny would be in the arms of her ‘Seeker weekly’ journalist lover whom she had been having an affair with for at least the past year. Harry looked down at his drink, He wished he could be angry with her but he just couldn’t find it in him. Maybe it was his own fault that she had looked elsewhere. Since leaving the school he had lost all his ambition and drive, he had tried joining the Auror training academy only to drop out a few months later; Ginny, on the other hand, had become even more vivacious and adventurous after making the Holyhead Harpies, the main squad.

He knocked the rest of the fire whiskey back hoping it would either numb the guilt or awaken the pain which he was waiting to feel. He had expected to be more broken up about it all, fifteen years was a long time to be with anyone, but he found that he was happy for her finding attention from someone else, someone that wasn’t him. The passions in their bedroom had been mediocre at best and he wasn’t sure whose fault it was. He knew that he no longer loved her, not in a romantic way. Whenever he did start to get hot under the collar, it was never her he thought about to quench his appetites. He blushed at this admission to himself as though the whole room could hear him.

The loud throbbing music came to a stop for the moment when someone announced a short interval. The sudden change in noise level jarred the senses as everyone began talking and laughing among themselves as the mingled and moved away from the stage. The recently transfigured food tables and bar were now swarming with people, removing them from view completely. He saw Hermione’s purple dress first, followed closely by Ron’s sweaty red hair.

“You alright mate?” His voice came over the din. Harry smiled a small smile and nodded. “Great band, you should get Ginny tickets and go and see them, I hear they’re touring at the moment.” Ron smiled widely as he sat and downed his drink. Harry didn’t reply. “You sure you’re alright?”

“Got a headache” Harry replied, not ready to have that particular talk with his soon to be ex-brother-in-law.

“Gosh, It’s hot, isn’t it? I don’t suppose you could get me a drink?” Hermione asked Ron. He rolled his eyes with a smile but stood up anyway.
“You want another?” He asked Harry, and Harry nodded. He felt like getting absolutely wrecked. Ron disappeared back through the crowd again.

“So? Do you want to tell me what’s going on?” Hermione asked as she checked her face in a small mirror she’d revealed from her purse.

“I don’t know wha-”

“Harry James Potter! We have been friends since we were ten, don’t even try to lie to me” She looked disapprovingly at him. “And anyway, Ginny and I have already talked.” She smiled sympathetically.

“What did she say?” He asked glumly, not sure he was ready for the gossip.

“That you were finalising the divorce,” She said carefully. “Is there nothing left worth saving?” She asked.

“I don’t believe there is, If Ron had been cheating on you with someone for the past year, could you forgive and forget?” Hermione didn’t even need to think about it before she shook her head.

“He’d be running back to Molly quicker than you could say Woollongong Shimmy” She smiled. Harry snorted almost causing fire whiskey to come out of his nose. He spluttered.

“Nice to know you’re picking up the Quidditch lingo from Ron” Hermione rolled her eyes.

“It’s all he ever talks about, I swear” She smiled kindly. Harry knew that as much as she complained, she wouldn’t have her life any different. Silence fell between them for a moment as Harry pondered whether to let slip about his feelings or apparent ‘lack of’ on the matter.

“I wish I was angry, ‘Mione but I’m not. She’s not willing to give him up and I’m not sure I want her to.” Said Harry thoughtfully “now that she’s made the main squad we barely see each other and when we are together…” He ran his fingers through his hair again as he sighed “things just aren’t the same as they were in school” He shook his head sending his unruly, salt and pepper hair even more askew. He glanced around the room, looking for Ron as he twirled the tumbler in his hand, listening to the ice clink against the glass.

As his eyes skimmed the heads again as if searching for someone. His breath stopped in mid-breath as he spotted the unmistakable white blond glint and felt his heart stutter.

“What’s the matter?” Asked Hermione as she tried to follow his gaze.

“Nothing,” Harry said quickly as his eyes followed the blond hair through the cloud. Draco Malfoy. The boy who had made all the wrong choices was now standing leaning against one of the pillars. Harry stood to attention as he took in the man’s features. He was also not the same as they were in school.

His mouth was dry as he put the glass to his lips, realising too late, that the remains were mostly ice water. Draco stood there, watching the crowd alone. He should have looked lonely, but he didn’t, in fact, he looked the opposite. His trademark gelled hair and slimline suits seemed to be a thing of the past. His hair was still pushed back but was gel free, giving a slightly unkempt look to him. His skin looked darker too against the whiteness of the shirt and waistcoat. Harry could see the jacket hooked around his left forearm, no doubt hiding his mark. His shirt sleeves were rolled up to his elbows and Harry could see that he wasn’t as lean and skinny as he had been. Harry grabbed a chair as he realised Hermione was watching him carefully.

“What is it, Harry?” His face was flushed, his heart was thudding in his chest. He shook his head silently. He looked at her, willing his face to behave and lied. She couldn’t find out.

“Nothing, I think the whiskey has gone to my head, I’m going to go and get some air” He stood up suddenly and scrambled for the door, trying not to draw attention to himself.

The cold air hit him, and he realised he’d left his coat inside. He cursed silently as he stepped further into the January air. He shook his head hoping for his bearings to realign. He wasn’t sure what had happened there, maybe the whiskey had gone to his head. He sat down, immediately shivering as the cold washed through his trousers. Images of Malfoy flashed through his head, strong tanned forearms and dishevelled hair and liquid silver eyes. He shook his head again hoping to shake the images free. What was happening to him? He’d never had a reaction like this before, not even to Ginny. The thought made his cheeks burn. He closed his eyes a took a deep steadying breath, shivering again. He rubbed his arms with his hands hoping to stave off the cold.

Something was draped over his shoulders, something warm. He jumped with a started and looked around. He hadn’t heard the door behind him. Malfoy stood over him, hands still open above him where he’d draped his jacket over Harry’s shoulders. Harry stood up, feeling the heat rushing to his cheeks again.

“What-?” He started, squeezing the words around the heart in his throat.

“Truce?” Malfoy said first.

“Huh?” Harry replied, his mind racing.

“Can we call a truce? Just for tonight?” Malfoy replied, a small smile playing on his lips.

“What are you up to Malfoy?”

“Nothing, just getting some fresh air, just like you” Harry narrowed his eyes suspiciously but sat back down.

“Why give me your jacket?” He asked as he started to pull it off, before deciding to keep it, the lining was very cosy, he got a whiff of Malfoys cologne and felt his heart stop for a moment. He took a deep breath before he knew what he was doing. His eyes darted up to Malfoy who was watching him intently.

“You looked cold” He replied with a shrug. Harry waited for him to go on, but the silence stretched on.

“Thanks,” Harry said faintly. His voice sounded steady and he was thankful for that.

“So, enjoying the party?” Malfoy asked eventually.

“You said truce, not conversation.” Harry pointed out.

“Come on Potter, its New Year’s Eve and we have not seen each other in fifteen years” Malfoy rolled his eyes as he crossed his bare tanned arms over his chest. Harry darted his eyes away. Silence returned between them for a few awkward seconds. “Well?”

“Well, what?”

“Are you enjoying the party?”

“It’s alright” Harry replied cautiously “You?”

“Never thought I’d say it to be honest, but yeah. I have actually missed the place why I’ve been away” He smiled as he looked back at the large front door fondly. Harry watched his face, realising he had never seen that smile before.

“What have you been up to?”

“A bit of this, a bit of that, travelling mostly.” He looked back down at Harry.

“Must be nice to have the freedom” Harry replied bitterly.

Malfoy looked at him steadily, his face sober and serious.

“It is,” he said softly. He seemed to ponder something for a moment before opening his mouth again. “Thank you, Harry”

Harry jumped at the use of his first name.

“For what?” he fired back defensively. His eyes narrowed in confusion as his heart pounded in his chest. He was surprised that Malfoy couldn’t hear it. Malfoy laughed as he turned away shaking his head.

“You really don’t remember, do you? I guess you must be so busy saving everyone that they all blur together”

“What are you talking about?” Harry felt thoroughly confused at this turn of events.

“The reason I have the freedom to travel, in fact, the freedom to do anything at all is because of you,” He said pointing at the faded mark on his arm. “You defended me and mother at the trials. Do you really not remember? Without your testimony, the Wizengamot would have sentenced us for sure”

“Oh, that?” Harry dismissed, as he waved his hand. Malfoy surely couldn’t be thanking him for something that happened so long ago.

“You make it sound so trivial”

“I just told the truth, I didn’t do anything special, and it was so long ago” Harry felt sick with nerves as Malfoy laughed and pinched the bridge of his nose. He shivered at the sound.

“All in a day’s work eh Potter? Do laundry, get milk, save the enemy from Azkaban and make dinner” He listed. “You don’t get it, no one else came forward to defend us! You saved us from Azkaban” He was shouting in exasperation now. Harry’s brain whirred slowly as he tried to understand what was happening. Malfoy slowly gained his composure as he ran his fingers through his hair, sending gel free strands tumbling around his face, arms bulging against the material. Harry swallowed, suddenly feeling very hot.

“Sorry, you drive me crazy, you are just so oblivious!” He shook his head again and laughed “Thank you though, thank you for what you did. It’s not been easy for me to say this. Half of me hoped you would be here tonight to give me this opportunity, half of me hoped you wouldn’t be.” His eyes glistened in the darkness, snow had started to fall steadily around them in big fluffy flakes. “You were the first person to do something nice for me without ever wanting anything in return. It took me a long time to realise it, I never understood that people were capable of such compassion. I don’t think you realise how rare that sort of kindness has been in my life” Malfoy looked at him again, there was something in his eyes that Harry couldn’t quite put into words, a vulnerable but determined look. It was a look he didn’t think he had ever imagined seeing on his face. Malfoy opened his mouth to say more but after a second thought, he closed it again. He turned to leave when Harry said nothing. He walked across the snow-covered courtyard, snow sticking to his ruffled hair. Harry felt a rising desperation to call him back.

“Malfoy, wait”

Malfoy stopped, his toned figure almost indistinguishable from the thickening snow. Harry was on his feet without remembering how he got there. Their eyes met across space and Harry was lost for words. After a moment Malfoy smiled and nodded,

“Good night Harry” Malfoy pushed his hands into his pockets and silently walked into the night.

Accio Next Chapter

5 thoughts on “All the wrong choices. (Ch1 – Hogwarts school reunion)

Add yours

  1. Hmm you have such a deep understanding of the HP world that it brings credibility to this story. Oftentimes the problem I have with fan fiction is that writers don’t truly seem to grasp how the world they are portraying operates. Great start ! Gosh, It’s hot, isn’t it? I don’t suppose you could get me a drink?” She asked Ron
    Just something I noticed in this part that may help you: I couldn’t tell who ‘she’ was since it you were talking about harry and Ron earlier. Maybe put Hermione instead of she. It’s the only fault I found but I’m just being picky to try and help a fellow writer. Great job otherwise I am deeply impressed! Keep it up! I will read through more of them if I have the time but they are quite lengthy I noticed so it may take a while. You are working hard at this! Much respect to you for your work! 🙂 very enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it. It’s always nice to get anything back from people just to know that what you are writing people enjoy. I hope you enjoy the rest whenever you get round to it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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