aoifene: (draco)
[personal profile] aoifene
I feel like this post should come with an introduction since I've been virtually nonexistent in LJ/Fandom for a long time now. *laughs* I feel so disconnected from it all which is a good thing and a bad thing. For one I've re-discovered what it feels like to be writing for me again. I think I've lost that along the way. It's nice to just write. No expectations. No fanfare. No giving a niffler's arse about comment count. Just a blank screen, an idea, and the voices in my head. *laughs*

It's good to be back. I've missed you all.

Title: D E S I R E D
Author: Aoife Malfoy [livejournal.com profile] aoifene
Pairing(s): Established Harry/Draco
Rating: NC-17 for dark themes (*smirks*)
Beta: My lovely [livejournal.com profile] jamie2109
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning(s): This is the third and final installment in this universe and Harry’s POV on the matter.
Please read E R I S E D and D E S I R E first. It won’t make much sense if you don’t read them beforehand. Also this is set in the same time frame as D E S I R E.
Dedication: This was written for [livejournal.com profile] melusinahp with my sincerest apologies. I promised her when I met her at Azkatraz last year that I’d participate in her [livejournal.com profile] hp_darkfest but life waylaid me and I was never able to make good on my promise. This is an attempt to make it better. Hope you like it, luv!
Summary: What hurts more? Being the one who leaves or the one who is left behind?

“Often it is the most deserving people who cannot help loving those who destroy them.”
- Hermann Hesse



It should’ve been easy, so easy that there shouldn't be any cause for a question in the first place. Faced with the choice of saving the world -something Harry’d been born to do, chosen even- and staying, there is no contest. At least, that is what he tells himself.

Hermione’s shadowed eyes should’ve been enough reason. Knowledge as useless as dried ink on parchment has driven her to spend endless nights reading the same arcane texts over and over again. Ron’s accusing eyes would’ve goaded him into action long before. A challenge almost as much as it is a plea. To fix this. To fight this.

To end this.

And Ginny? Her absence from his side could once upon a time have sent him into the night, barely dressed and with only his wand as a weapon chasing after monsters.

Should have. Would have. Could have.

Perhaps before, in that space of his life that didn’t have Malfoy in it. Maybe then walking out that door and stepping into the crumbling world he’s been failing to save since he was one is something Harry would’ve been able to do.

However, he is no longer that man, just like Malfoy is no longer that boy whose cruel taunts marred his days. Here in the safety of these four walls and between the easy slide of their bodies, Harry realises that there really is no contest.

Want combined with need rolled in with lust wins every time.

See, that’s the problem with desire.

It’s contagious.

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

The stalemate can’t last forever, of course. The world always hangs on a precarious balance with one side forever trying to gain over the other. Soon Voldemort makes his final move- something he knows will drive Harry out.

They say that the screams of little children can be heard clear across Scotland. Even Muggles are horrified by the haunting sound.

“If we’re to make a stand, we must do it now,” Moody growls over the frenzied din of the assembled Order and even as he is saying this- his demand adding more chaos into the already rambunctious affair- he is looking at Harry.

It’s only then that Harry notices that everyone is looking at him.

“Then we make a stand,” Harry agrees, trying to inject a fervour he doesn’t feel. His voice rising as he struggles to make himself heard. He tries to sit still long enough to disguise his apprehension but he can feel the rolling ball of nerves at the pit of his stomach. He doesn’t want to be here, of course. In front of dozens of expectant eyes trained upon him like he’s supposed to perform some kind of miracle. Like he’s supposed to singlehandedly save them all from the wrath of a madman.

Like he is supposed to be Dumbledore.

Hermione seems to notice and he receives a quirk of her eyebrows but Harry plunges on. “He’ll come for the Ministry now that he’s broken Hogwarts. It’s only a matter of time.”

“So we guard the Ministry and then what?” A voice at the back of the room breaks the charged air Harry’s declaration had roused. “Do you really think we have a shot in hell when he’s all but won the world?” Percy Weasley points out, disbelief and fear written all over his face. “Are you really that naive?”

“Better to fall fighting than to wait here to die,” Harry tells him easily, dismissing his concerns with a causal wave of his hand. “You can stay, of course. Anyone can but sooner or later, he will come. At least this way it happens on our terms.”

“But, Harry, Percy might be right. What do we do when we face him? Can he even be killed?” Hermione speaks up, voicing the fear reflected in all their minds.

“He’s not the bogeyman, Hermione. He’s alive, isn’t he? Logic alone should tell you that anything living can die.” Harry smiles and it does nothing to reassure her. “It’s just a matter of finding out how.”

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

Seven days has never felt so fleeting and agonising all at once. Harry is in Malfoy’s room more often than not, wrapped around that pale lithe form, his hands committing every inch to memory and his eyes drinking in every moment the grey eyes are clear.

It strengthens him and kills him slowly each day.

---------------
The war comes to a head on a Saturday.

Harry almost misses it, so busy was he with trying to make himself walk out that door. But on the twenty-second try, he manages to grasp the handle and turn it, the rusted knob creaking as it moves. He tries to force his lips to work and form that one word he needs Malfoy to hear. The one he needs to say.

“I’m sorry.”

He doesn’t say it.

How can he? Not when there isn’t a single part of him that doesn’t want to be in that room. Not when he’s already steeling himself to put one foot in front of another. Not when he can no longer lie to himself about where his true desires lie.

It’s right there next to Malfoy, along with his stupid reckless heart.

And so when Harry steps out of that room, he does so with more determination and energy than he’s ever had in years. If only to make the moment he’d be stepping back into it all the more quicker.

He finally remembers what he is fighting for.

Voldemort never stood a chance.

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

Before he leaves, however, he makes sure to give Malfoy something to remember him by.

Something so he’d never forget. Because the one thing Harry fears more than he’s ever feared anything is the thought of grey eyes narrowing once more in hate at the sight of his face.

He never knew a gift could be so cruel.

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

The war ends shortly after.

Harry closes his eyes against the irony.

The war is won but the world still ends.

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

"I should leave him there!" he snarls on bad days- those times where there is no reaching Malfoy, his dry lips muttering Harry's name brokenly but his grey eyes, blank and wet, always focused on the mirror's surface instead of Harry’s face.

"And what would that accomplish?" Hermione asks tiredly, the question well worn on her lips.

Harry merely turns away, refusing to let his frustration be eased by her brand of comfort. "At least I won't be plagued by his pathetic pining over the bloody mirror!"

"You do know that he's really pining over you and not the mirror, right?" Hermione points out, not for the first time.

Harry shakes his head stubbornly. "It might be my name he's calling but it's not what he wants." He sighs explosively. "The Harry he wants is in that mirror. The nonexistent perfect version of me. He'll never leave that."

"Are you frustrated because he won't leave the mirror or are you just guilty because you put it there?” she says bluntly, remaining unmoved by the glare he sends her way.

“What are you getting at, Hermione?”

“Did you want him as he was? Before all this started? Before the war, his imprisonment, which by the way I am still completely furious at you for hiding, and that twice cursed mirror? You didn't, did you? You only want him now. Broken and forever wanting, with eyes only for you and your name on his lips. Where his love for you overrides his desire for anything else. You want to be loved that badly, you don't care how you get it. And in a way, you're not better off than he is. You're just better at hiding it.”

Harry blinks, looking as if he’s been slapped but Hermione isn’t done.

“If you really wanted him, Harry. If I’m wrong and you really do care about him regardless of this whole fiasco with the mirror, you have to let him come to you. You know better than anyone that the trick to breaking the mirror’s hold has to come from within. You may have been the one to make this mess but you have to let him save himself. Otherwise you’re going to break him completely.”

She leaves, the accusation in her words mixing with the air of sharp disappointment that always seems to fill the space between them whenever they’re in the same room these days. Doubly so when they’re in the same one as Malfoy.

And it all becomes a little bit too much.

But as much as Harry wants to be angry or cruel, it dissipates when he turns and sees Malfoy once again broken like this. He finds he can't manage to hold a single negative emotion after that.

Hermione is right.

He can no longer fault Malfoy for preferring the perfect reflection of him that's bound in the mirror. Nor can he blame him for his own desires. After all, wasn’t he the same? He had never been drawn to the Malfoy of old, the one that taunted him with cruelty and dangled his insecurities in front of his eyes. The one whose tongue was dipped in acidic words and his actions were even more malicious.

He hadn’t wanted him then.

He does now.

Wasn’t he the same?

If Malfoy is broken for wanting the vision of Harry in the mirror, then Harry is just as much for wanting this desperate version of Malfoy.

They are just broken in different places.

---------------------------
He still can’t let him go, though.

Because even knowing all this, there is still a piece of him that believes that maybe, just maybe, they are broken so that in the end, they’ll fit together in a way they never could have if the world was still sane.

Two broken halves after all make a whole.

So he returns every day with the hope that everything will be alright. That one day he’ll find Malfoy insulting him and berating him for keeping him waiting. And on mornings like this when the sun is bright and brimming with the promise of hope, he almost manages to believe it.

His heart flutters like a frightened bird in its cage as he hears footsteps fall closer once more. Hope rises wildly within him in a dizzying rush so fast it makes him light headed and faint. Today will be the day he is sure of it. The weather outside is gorgeous and the celebrations are still underway. The packed lunch he’d brought is filled with Malfoy’s favourite things. Who could resist a wonderful day just like this? Surely even Malfoy can’t resist? How can he? Harry swallows thickly.

His heart drops to the bottom of his shoes when the only sound he hears is that of fading footsteps and even though he knows he shouldn’t follow- shouldn’t open the door to verify something already known, he still can’t stop himself from turning the doorknob.

The sight of Malfoy smiling in front of the Mirror, his frail hand pressed reverently against the surface - happy, innocent, and pure- in a way he had never let himself look in front of Harry, breaks his heart each and every time.

It also makes anger rush hotly in his veins and, like always when rage blinds him, he is only seconds away from reaching out and doing something endlessly stupid, like breaking the thrice cursed artefact and making off with Malfoy, everything else be damned.

But then he’ll catch a glimpse of the past -an old ratty sweater peeking out from the corner of the unused bed, the fabric frayed beyond repair and the crooked H that had once emblazoned the front, long worn. Or a dusty hairbrush, its broken bristles still tangled up in white blonde strands, and then like a sucker punch to the gut, he’ll remember. That once, long ago, these four walls were just a room, not a prison, not a trap, or a tomb. That once it was a home to two lost boys who found sanctuary in each other’s arms.

That there was once a time when the most powerful mirror in the world was just a mirror.

It stays his hand each and every time.

He wants that back so badly he shakes with it, and he knows that Hermione’s words although bitter and cold, are also true. If he wants the past to happen again, it must be under Malfoy’s own terms. Malfoy must leave on his own- must seek out the unbarred way for it to be real.

Anything else would just be like the image the Mirror holds- a lie.

And there are plenty of things he’d do but he refuses to turn them into that.

So he retraces his steps, his footfalls silent on dusty wood. There’s always tomorrow. It’s supposed to be quite lovely tomorrow. A perfect afternoon for a picnic and if not, there’s always the day after that.

He can wait.


Finite.


AN: It's been awhile since I've written anything of consequence. Feedback is appreciated immensely. ♥
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