aoifene: (draco)
[personal profile] aoifene
Looking at all the HBP premier pictures and gearing up for the con reminds me that I need to post my WC fics here. *laughs* So here it is, in case you missed it during the Cup.

Title: Between the Shadow and the Soul
Team: EWE
Author/Artist: [ profile] aoifene
Prompt: Don't count your Mandrakes before they're repotted.
Wordcount: 3,046
Rating: PG-13 for language
Warnings: Established HP/DM, Secondary Character POV, One-sided BZ/DM
Summary: Often it is the most deserving people who cannot help loving those who destroy them. -Hesse
Author's/Artist's Note: Thank you to my beloved beta team: [ profile] jamie2109, [ profile] anthimaeria, [ profile] oldenuf2nb, and [ profile] melusinahp. This was a pinch hit and I chose to interpret this as not counting your chickens before they’re hatched. In other words, there’s no such thing as a sure bet.

“I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.”
Pablo Neruda, Sonnet XVII

You are cordially invited to witness
Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy
exchange their wedding vows
on Friday, the tenth of October
at five o'clock in the evening

The Burrow Ottery St. Catchpole - Devon - England - United Kingdom

It is the perfect wedding.

Set in the beloved hero’s adopted childhood home, surrounded by the people who loved him and stood by him through the toughest of times. Curiously, it is devoid of all manner of pomp and decorum. No reporters asking uncomfortable questions or photographers hiding in Molly Weasley’s rosebushes.

The ceremony is designed to last half an hour and the rest of the night is scheduled for dancing, drinking, and the rambunctious celebration of love. Complete with Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes Fireworks.

Draco should hate it.

And Blaise is certain he would say so himself if only the man wasn’t so enamoured of the scarred idiot by his side,

The one he is marrying in an hour.

Blaise’s eyes narrow as Potter breaks away from his groom, waving flippantly over his shoulder as he listens to Weasley’s prattling. No doubt missing the slight dimming of Draco's expression.

Blaise growls at the back of his throat as he moves to follow him, determined to make him see reason, especially when Draco himself can’t.

Nothing is ever perfect.

Especially not love.


"Wait, don't tell me." Potter laughs uneasily at the sight of him. "You're here to tell me that if I ever break your best friend's heart, you'll break my face?"

Blaise tinges his smile with the steely edge that always makes Potter shift uncomfortably. His grin widens. "I think it's a little bit too late for that, don't you?" He raises a dark eyebrow. "After all, you've already broken a lot more than just his heart."

"What the bloody hell are you on about?" Potter asks indignantly, looking for all the world like a deranged Hippogriff.

"You don't love him," Blaise states plainly. "You never have." He meets Potter’s shocked gaze unwaveringly. "Let him go."

Potter scowls, and he looks like he’s about to defend himself fiercely when realization dawns on his face. Blaise could practically hear those rusty gears turning in that tousled head, and he could virtually see the scenes replaying in Potter’s mind. How Blaise always hung around Draco, always readily available when Potter himself wasn't. In the smiles Blaise had shared with Draco alone and no one else. He could even see the exact moment when Potter recognized the bitter longing that always shadowed his eyes every time they were trained on light grey.

"You're in love with him."

The statement comes out in a hushed shocked tone, but by the end of it there’s a hard edge as well. Potter actually snarls as he takes a step closer.

"Oh, you poor stupid Gryffindor." Blaise laughs in delight. "That little revelation of yours only took- what? Five years to ferment in your tiny imp-like brain?"

"Why, you son of a-"

"Kindly leave my mother out of this, Potter." He sneers, unable to help himself from taunting the man a little bit more. He has waited years for this, after all, his silence a burden on his soul and his love festering in the dark. "It figures you would resort to barbaric insults rather than address the issue at hand."

"Aristocratic insults are no less crude, Zabini."

"Ah, touché, Potter. I would say I'm impressed that you could manage a clever comeback, but I don't want you to strain yourself." He smirks, but before the Gryffindor can explode in fury once again, he holds up a hand.

"Shut it. As much as I would like to spend all bloody day insulting you, I can't, since I actually came here for a reason and quite an important one at that." He pauses as he surveys the enraged man in front of him. It was probably not one of his brightest ideas to insult the man before he could say his piece, but he couldn't help himself. He has held his tongue and kept his distance for years and the hatred he has for this bastard has only grown.

"There is something I have to say before you can go through with this sham of a marriage, and I also need you to actually stop and bloody well listen." Blaise says this through gritted teeth and it's a threat, a promise and a plea all at once. His sharp hazel eyes lock on angered green, refusing to let him look away.

Potter snorts and crosses his arms in front of his chest, one eyebrow raised sceptically. "So far I haven't seen any reason why I should, Zabini. You're spouting nonsense, and I have other things I need to be doing. After all, I am getting married to the man I love."

Blaise merely sneers, undaunted. He flicks his wrist and quickly summons the oblivious idiot's wand, catching it deftly in his left hand. He points his own wand at Potter and casts a Petrificus Totalus on his legs. "That takes care of the first part, and what I'm going to say next will take care of the rest."

Potter snarls, shock and fury lining his face and Blaise is suddenly reminded of just why so many people fear this lumbering lummox. He shakes his head inwardly. It doesn’t matter. Most powerful wizard or not, he would listen to what Blaise had to say.

“You have ten minutes, Zabini. Just ten.” Potter tells him coldly. “That’s how long this stupid spell is going to hold me.”

Blaise glares as he takes a minute to compose himself, letting the furious silence stretch between them. Tension is thick and he knows that he has only one chance, just one tiny sliver of a chance in convincing Potter of the truth.

"Draco Malfoy is wearing a Muggle suit on his wedding day," Blaise says, though he can’t help rolling his eyes.

"So? That's your big objection? That Draco had to wear something Muggle? And it's called a tuxedo by the way. My God, you Purebloods are so bloody weird. As if that has to do with anything." Potter laughs, his face a mixture of disgust and amusement.

"It bloody well has to do with everything!" Blaise roars, infuriated at how the blind bastard would not see. "Draco dislikes Muggles. He has all his life and don't even try to say that it was just Lucius influencing him. It's an honest dislike, proven to be as harmless as your aversion to wearing tasteful clothes. He wouldn't be caught dead wearing anything Muggle, let alone be wearing it on his sodding wedding day!"

"I still don't see your point, Zabini. So he's ignored his irrational dislike of Muggles in order to make me happy, so what? He loves me, Zabini. See, that's what you don't understand, and I really don't expect you to. After all, what would you know of it? You've only broken every single heart that's been given to you."

"That's only because it wasn't their hearts I wanted, and each one of them knew that." Blaise smiles sardonically. "I should have known you would argue with me solely on the basis of your righteous ignorance. How pathetic." He fingers his wand meaningfully, his smile widening at the sight of Potter visibly restraining himself.

"I admit it's not wrong for him to commit this travesty because of his-" he coughs into his hand - "affection for you. Unlike others, I am not a hypocrite. I am more than aware of how love blinds us and changes our ways. But the difference in this is that his change is so drastic, so complete that he's barely even the same person."

"That's not true!" Potter begins to protest. But Blaise, now having reached that crux of the problem, won’t let him.

"I have known Draco since we were three years old, and I have never left his side. I know him better than he knows himself, and every time I've faced him for the past five years, I've seen a stranger."

"Well, it's not as if you've been around much," Potter points out, shrugging his shoulders.

"And whose fault is that?" Blaise growls, remembering all the times Draco had declined his invitations, feigning one excuse after another. "You always look like you have a Niffler up your arse whenever you see me - whenever you see any of us. Why else do you think Draco abandoned all his Slytherin friends and started making nice with your Gryffindors?"

"Oh, I don't know, Zabini.” Potter smirks at Blaise so smugly that he itches to hit him. “I can think of a few reasons why he'd prefer us. Slytherins aren't really known for their friendship now, are they?"

It takes all of Blaise's strength not to curse him on the spot. "Fuck you, Potter! You have no idea what we went through!” he snarls, baring his teeth. “None! It's easy when you grew up on the right side, when the lessons of immorality aren't whispered by a voice you love. When your beliefs weren't a choice between your family and your own survival. You wouldn't have lasted a day in our shoes and the only reason we did was because we had each other, so don't you dare bring up your prejudices here." Blaise glares darkly. "And a good Slytherin always chooses the winning side. Snape is a prime example of that, and so is Draco, even if he was almost a tad too late to be fashionable."

Potter snorts. "I still don't see how that's my fault. I can't force Draco to spend time with you lot if he doesn't want to."

"But you can force him not to. Whenever we all get together, he always has a convenient excuse that has nothing to do with us, and everything to do with you. And that's not the most disturbing thing about this whole makeover." Blaise tugs at his hair in frustration. "His looks have changed,” he adds.

Potter merely laughs. "It's called growing up, Zabini. You should look into it."

"No, you daft bastard!” Blaise shakes his head. “Do you remember what Draco looked like before all this nonsense started? Do the words "pale and pointy faced" mean anything to you? Draco is by no means a blond Adonis nor could he ever be likened to a bloody Veela."

"Draco is fucking gorgeous, you stupid wanker!"

"I'm not saying he isn't fit! His features do paint a striking picture, but half of Draco's beauty is in his unconscious grace, in the sure way he holds himself at all times. It's reflected in the thousand expressions flittering through his eyes, the ones he never allows to show on his face."

"Shite! You really are in love him," Potter repeats it again.

"I am," Blaise admits quietly. He’s never denied it before to anyone who's ever asked. He isn't about to start now. "I always have been. Even now that you've twisted him."

"I would never! How dare you-"

"He uses a Glamour on himself, Potter. It's not puberty or growing up like you want so hard to believe. It's the reason why he's always awake before you are as well. He buys a potion every month to help him sustain it longer and no, it's not a lubricant run like you thought it was." He rolls his eyes. "Honestly, Potter. No one's that randy to run out of lube every bloody month."

Potter gasped, his face a satisfying picture of shock. "You’re lying!"

"I’m not. He told me so himself. Think about all those blondes you’ve dated since you realized you preferred blokes to the Weasley girl. They were all Quidditch players, weren’t they?" He sneers in disgust. "Hard muscles, glowing tan and blue eyes? Not even on his best day could Draco look like that. His skin is too fair to tan, and besides, he burns easily. His body is too lean to form solid muscle and - bloody hell, Potter, you should know this - his eyes are grey!"

“What?” Potter chokes. “No, they’re not! They’re the perfect blue. They’ve always been that way.”

“Look and see for yourself.” Blaise growls, growing weary of Potter’s obtuseness, and he shoves a photograph in the man’s hands.

The picture is worn and old, smudged by fingerprints as if someone pored over it on a regular basis. An eleven-year-old Draco Malfoy is surrounded by his usual minions, Crabbe and Goyle, his arms across his chest. Potter watches as the boy turns his head to the side and smirks at the photographer, mirth dancing in his clear grey eyes.

“It can’t be.” Potter shakes his head wildly, his eyes glued to the photograph in his hand. “You’ve changed this. You want him for yourself and you-”

“Bollocks, Potter!” Blaise snarls. “He blindly agrees with you on everything. He doesn’t even argue with you anymore about spending every weekend at the Weasleys.”

“You don’t know anything. Draco and Ron get on well enough.”

But Blaise just keeps going, unwilling to let him get a word in edgewise. “Hell, Draco also turned himself inside out to become an Auror. Are you hearing me, Potter? An Auror for Morgana’s sake!”

“He’s the best Auror I’ve ever seen, Zabini.” Potter grits his teeth.”Don’t you fucking dare tell me that-“

“He is an heir, Potter. An heir to one of the biggest fortunes in England. Why in the world would he choose to chase after random villains when he can spend his time going after more luxurious pursuits?”

“He said he lost everything,” Potter mumbles distractedly to himself, and Blaise has to tamp down on the excitement he feels at the thought of the git actually seeing sense. “After the war, he came to me for help. To re-establish his family’s name and wealth. I told him he should be an Auror. Like me.” Potter’s shoulders slump down, a shaking hand thrown over his face. “He said he wanted to do it for his mother.”

“That part may be the truth,” Blaise offers, not unkindly. “He does love her dearly but the rest-“ He sighs. “The rest you have to see for what it is.”

“I love him.”

It’s a statement offered in timeless Potter fashion, simple and stark in its directness with enough stubbornness to make a person grit their teeth. And even Blaise can’t deny the heartbreaking honesty in it.

“You don’t know him,” he reminds the man. “He isn’t who you thought he was. How much of that can be true?”

“It’s true enough,” Potter shoots back as he pushes himself off from the wall unsteadily. “I didn’t ask him to change. Those decisions he made about his life are his and his alone. I’ve never demanded anything from him but his love. He’s given me that, and he wants to keep giving it to me for the rest of his life.” He clenches his jaw tightly. “I’d be a fool to throw that kind of love away.”

“You love a puppet, Potter! You only want him because he needs you. You only think you love him because it gives you something to soothe your blasted conscience at night.” Blaise lunges at him but he feels his muscles lock in midair and his eyes widen at the sight of Potter’s wand in front of his face.

“You only had ten, remember?” Potter twirls his wand slowly.

“Now it’s your turn to listen, Zabini.” Potter closes the length between them. “All those things you’ve spent the last fifteen minutes gesturing wildly about? I don’t care.” He smirks at the anger tinting Blaise’s face. “Do you hear me? I don’t care about the why’s and the how’s. I don’t care how he landed in my arms so long as he stays there. I love him. That’s all the truth I need to know.”

Their eyes lock for more than a minute until suddenly Blaise can feel his limbs again. He draws himself up numbly, still unwilling to concede defeat. He owes Draco that much.

“The man you love is someone you don’t know. He doesn’t even exist. He’s just a fantasy you made up. One that Draco’s so desperately trying to live up to.” He clenches his fists. “And he deserves better than that.”

His voice falters at the thought of losing Draco to such a farce. His friend is too good- too amazingly witty and sexy and a hundred thousand other things that made him brilliant. He can't settle for being loved for who he isn’t, while being overlooked for who he is.

It isn’t fair.

He sighs as Potter meets his eyes straight on, unbending, uncompromising, and so goddamn willingly blind to everything else. Blaise knows now that his only hope will lie in the Gryffindor’s sense of justice. It is the only way he might have a shot in ending this.

“You’re lauded for doing the right thing, Potter, in any situation. In fact, you made a career out of it.” Blaise scrunches his nose in distaste as he snatches his wand from the floor. "You should know what to do," he says evenly before he turns away.

“Is he happy?” Potter asks.

Blaise stiffens at the simple question --the only one Potter has deigned to ask in the whole confrontation. True to his word, Potter doesn’t care about the how’s and the why’s. He seems to be interested in only one thing.

Most people will say that this is the only thing that matters.

But Blaise isn’t most people.

“Would you need to ask me that if he was?”


"And whoever has any objections to this union, speak now or forever hold your peace."

Blaise smiles sadly at the two figures in front of the gathering. His heart breaks just that little bit more at that the sight of Draco's beaming face. His grin turns a shade darker, though, as he turns and catches the uncertainty and underlying guilt in Potter's expression. The sound of his departure is swallowed by the joyous celebration echoing across the field.

He shakes his head as he walks faster. Away from the insipid fanfare. Away from the farce. Away from the sickening realization that he has failed. But he has said his peace and he shall hold it. Forever, if need be. He loves Draco but now he’s lost him. Blaise sighs as he feels the first sting of tears at the back of his eyes, but he refuses to let them fall. He’d known the risk and he’d taken it. He has nothing to regret when he’d known it all along.

Love isn’t perfect.

The end.

Date: 2009-07-10 02:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
great fic!!

Date: 2009-07-10 03:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! M delighted you enjoyed it.

Date: 2009-07-10 06:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Interesting turn here. We all see Draco change in fanfiction (and in the books) but you gave it a really interesting turn. Fools for love and peaceful lifes.

Date: 2009-07-14 03:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks! I'm glad you like my interesting take on the ol' Draco plays nice for Harry theme :) Thanks for reading, hon!

Date: 2009-07-10 11:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think that this is possibly one of the most heartbreaking stories I have ever read. Not in a crying sense, but in the sense that it leaves you feeling cold and horrified at the end. I know it's written focusing on Blaise, but the way Harry acted... I was holding out for Harry to confront Draco, or 'set him free'. The fact that he went ahead and married him... I dunno, it makes me so sad. Maybe they'd be happy, I don't know. But Elephants always show up, even in sitting rooms. Brilliant fic, btw.

Date: 2009-07-14 03:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Then my job here is done, really. Sometimes the greatest evil we could do is to do nothing. :) I'm glad you got that. Thank you for reading!

Date: 2009-07-10 11:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That was certainly interesting, and very sad. We always see Draco trying to make peace with the Weasleys' for Harry's sake, and doing everything Harry's way because it is the 'right' way. But you showed that even 'right' has two sides, and frankly, a man who grows up believing some things cannot unbelieve them at the drop of a hat. And it was tragic that Harry didn't even know the colour of Draco's eyes.

Date: 2009-07-11 01:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It is really sad. He loves Draco for loving him, not for being Draco.

Date: 2009-07-14 03:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, its a pretty bittersweet story. Thank you for reading!

Date: 2009-07-14 03:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, it really is. You can't unmake a lifetime of beliefs in a moment- even if that moment is full of love.

Thank you for reading!

Date: 2009-07-12 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This was a really interesting take on their relationship and extreamly well done ♥

Date: 2009-07-14 03:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! I'm delighted you think so!

Date: 2009-07-16 01:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm not sure how I feel about this. It's really well written and a great idea, but I am such a hopeless romantic as far as Harry and Draco are concerned, that I want their love to be perfect. And I feel sad for Draco because he doesn't think he's enough for Harry. Is he?

Date: 2009-07-17 05:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*laughs* Don't get me wrong. I'm hopelessly and firmly in love with my H/D OTP but I did think it was an interesting twist to the whole "Draco is redeemed" theme. It's fascinating to me the lengths people go through for love.

Date: 2009-07-20 05:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
i feel so sorry for draco and blaise... it is so sad that harry loves draco for the image he portraits, not for being DRACO....

Date: 2009-07-23 03:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sometimes love stories are sad. It's just how the world works. Thank you for reading!

Date: 2009-08-14 09:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wow. I have a feeling I'm going to be thinking about this one for a while.

Very well written--I like that both Blaise and Harry are sure that they're right. I also like the little bit of doubt you left in the ending. Very interesting!

Date: 2009-09-02 04:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Glad you enjoyed it. I wanted to write a story that stays with you.

Date: 2011-06-16 06:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Nooooooo! :( This is so sad, why would Draco change himself for someone? If they truly loved him, they would love him for who he really is!
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