aoifene: (draco)
[personal profile] aoifene
Title: Tell me
Collaborators: Aoife [ profile] aoifene (author) and Reira [ profile] reira_21 (artist)
Pairing(s): Harry/Draco
Rating: PG
Word Count:1,623
Art Panels: 2
Fic Beta: My lovely [ profile] jamie2109
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning: Second POV. Present tense.
AN: I have always greatly admired my dear friend, [ profile] reira_21’s art and we decided that it would be fun to do a collaboration. This little vignette is the result of that. We actually worked on this a year ago and it is only now that we’ve remembered to post it. *is sheepish* I do hope you enjoy!
Summary: The truth is a terrible and beautiful thing.

The door crashes behind you and the rambunctious noise of the bar cuts through the night air, disturbing the steady sound of pouring rain. Mercifully, the door slams again – shut this time – and silence settles once more. The soft hiss of raindrops hitting glass panes is the only thing that’s audible.

However, tension now fills the space where peace had been before.

You don’t turn. You already know the sight that will meet your eyes. Can already see the tint of angry red dusting those tan cheeks and the emerald fire alight in those eyes.

An ordinary man would tremble at the thought of being the cause of the Boy Who Lived’s ire. But you’ve been doing it since you were eleven so you aren’t particularly bothered. However, there is now the matter of your friendship with him to think about and even the idle thought of losing it causes your chest to tighten in a way you can’t explain.

It gives you pause from lifting the lit cigarette to your lips.

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

You stiffen a little at that. After all, you guard many secrets but none that could cause the misery and anger colouring his voice, at least not anymore. Except maybe…but no, how could he? You haven’t even told Pansy and you tell her everything. You’ve barely managed to acknowledge it to yourself.

“Tell you what, Harry?” You turn ever so slightly, your head cocked curiously to the side. Your eyes meet green and your lips twitch when you see that you are correct. Right down to the spot of red blooming on his flushed cheeks. Really, your knowledge of him is sometimes scary. Obsessive even but that’s not something you like to think about. You take another drag of the cigarette, letting the sharp tang of nicotine and smoke chase away that errant thought.

“You knew she wasn’t the right one for me. In fact, Ron just told me how loudly and adamantly you listed all of the reasons why Ginny and I wouldn’t work out to everyone who could hear you during our wedding reception. He actually told me that you’d be the first one to say ‘I told you so’. Except you haven’t.”

He steps forward, his fists clenching even as his eyes dim with sadness. “Why? You were never shy of telling me your opinions before. In fact, I remember you liked yelling it in my face.”

The swiftness of incredulity rushes through you and it almost makes you gape. Almost. You settle for a snort instead, flicking away the remnants of your cigarette. You have no use for it now that bitterness is filling your mouth and coating your tongue, making it the only flavour you can taste. “And I must’ve forgotten how much you liked that. Have you missed my boyhood rants about Mudbloods? Perhaps the times where I encapsulated how very right my father was to follow the Dark Lord? Or better yet–“

“That’s not what I meant and you know it.” He growls as he catches your wrist tightly.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” A streak of lightning steals through the sky, catching his stricken expression and his hurt is so palpable, you feel a twinge in your heart at the sight of it.

“Potter–“ You sneer, the proximity of his warmth has you scrambling for more familiar ground, even if it stopped being familiar years ago. “This is the question that has you barrelling through bars at two in the morning? Shouldn’t you be in there getting pissed on Ogden’s and asking the one about your marriage ending instead?”

He isn’t thrown by either tactic and you feel his grip tighten on your wrist a little more. “That question has already been answered, mine has not.” His gaze bears down on yours.

You turn your head, breaking the eye contact. “There is nothing to tell. You married your girlfriend, broke thousands of hearts and at the same time fulfilled the public’s expectations. How could anything I said about it have made any difference? It wasn’t anything you hadn’t heard before, especially since you decided to wed her less than a year after defeating the Dark Lord and within mere days of reuniting with her.”

“It would have been different and you knew it.” He grits his teeth.

“No, Potter. I didn’t.” You tug at your wrist, testing his grip and cursing him when it holds. “And I honestly don’t see how. We were barely even friends then and I was fresh off parole. Besides, as I’ve said, it wouldn’t have been any different from what had already been said.” You shrug. “Or maybe whispered would be the better term.” You arch an eyebrow. “You deserved better than what you settled for.”

“I didn’t know I was settling,” He says softly, his eyes downcast. “I thought I loved her.” He shakes his head, resentment resonating in his words. “You should have told me. Maybe then I wouldn’t be going through this! What happened, Draco? You were always the one who told me the plain truth, even when we hated each other, and the second I actually needed it, you withheld it from me.”

Indignation fills you before he even finishes the accusation and you just barely manage to refrain from doing something as undignified as spluttering. He’s holding you responsible for this fiasco? For the broken hearted look on his face? You use his own hold against him to bring him forward, crushing his chest to yours. “Your marriage ended and you’re blaming me?” Your body is trembling from anger and it’s all you can do not to hit him. His idiocy apparently knows no bounds. “Is that what I am to you? An outlet for your frustration? Some poor sod to blame when you make your own mistakes?” You don’t raise your voice. Not when you’re this angry. It all comes out in a whisper. A soft exhalation of sound, coolly tempered as though hardened steel.

“No! That isn’t what I meant and you know it. You’re changing the bloody subject. That isn’t–“

“Then what is it? What has you coming here in the middle of the night throwing questions like accusations?” You shake him in frustration. “I’ll always be a bastard to you, won’t I? Nothing I do will ever erase that.”

“Now you’re just hacking me off by putting words in my mouth,” He snaps, his ire returning. “I just want to know why the fuck you held your tongue on this when nothing else ever shut you up. Didn’t you– I don’t know…” He lets out an explosive sigh as he turns away, his arms wrap around his middle protectively, “…care?”

The sheer ridiculousness of his question throws you off. So much so that you’re looking at him with wide eyes for the better part of a minute, and that’s when the resentment you’ve always fought off finds its hold. “You were in love with her.” You tilt your head up to the dark sky so you won't have to see his face, knowing he heard the helpless jealously in your words. “Is it really so hard to believe that I would want that to work out for you?”

“S-so you did care.” The words are tinged with a sort of tentative triumph that has your shoulders slumping in exasperation. The man really has a one-track mind.

“I do,” you admit quietly and then before you think better of it the words are out before you can stop them. “I tried hard not to.” You drop your eyes, feeling the vulnerability already creeping in from that little confession. Your mind frantically tries to come up with plausible ways to escape the situation but a gentle nudge of your shoulder derails all thought.

“Me too.” He looks away, leaving you to stare after him in suspicion but when he turns back his eyes are filled with something fierce, sharp like anger and strong like fear. You’ve never seen such an expression on his face before and you’re pretty sure you’ve been able to evoke every emotion in the spectrum. Both of you may be a lot of things to each other but apathetic has never been one of them.

You feel yourself weaken under such intensity.

Could it be? But no– it couldn’t. He is more oblivious than you are, and there just isn’t any possible way that he could be thinking of–

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

The way he asks it now is different, devoid of indignant anger. His voice is but a whisper, a gentle prompting, as though you are a skittish horse he doesn't want to frighten. And you try not to think of how very fitting that imagery is.

Your attempt at nonchalance dies on your lips at the weight of his stare. Your mouth dries as your mind reels at the possibility of what he’s asking and your heart beats faster with the thought of the only answer you want to give.

But can you?

You’ve done this before, offered him something he didn’t want. It could happen again. What if you’ve misinterpreted his words? Misunderstood his meaning? What if you did this once more, this time laying something infinitely more precious at his feet, only to have it end the same way?

The rain has come to a stop, just like time has and you are caught again in a defining moment. It is only when the clock restarts and keeps on ticking and he is still silent that it hits you.

You’re not the only one holding your breath.

You exhale deeply. Eyes finally falling open…and clear.

“Harry, there’s something I need to tell you.”


We hope you enjoyed it. Comments and feedback are as always ♥ and greatly appreciated.
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