alisanne: (HD kiss)
[personal profile] alisanne
Title: Taking Chances
Author: [personal profile] alisanne
Pairing/Characters: Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter.
Word Count: 100 x 11
Rating: PG
Challenge: Written for [livejournal.com profile] draco100/[community profile] draco100's prompt 21: Hesitation.
Warning(s)/Genre: Mild angst, pre-slash.
Beta(s): [personal profile] sevfan and [personal profile] emynn.
Disclaimer: The characters contained herein are not mine. No money is being made from this fiction, which is presented for entertainment purposes only.


~

Taking Chances

~

When the verdict came down, Draco bowed his head and closed his eyes. The idea of going to Azkaban had been giving him nightmares, and the knowledge he was safe, free, was heady.

As the members of the Wizengamot exited the room, Draco looked around. His mother, allowed to attend his trial, was being led out by Aurors. She smiled at him, relief clear in her eyes, and then was gone.

Draco’s eyes were caught and held by Potter’s, and he hesitated.

Potter nodded, turning away, and the connection was lost.

Draco exhaled. Time to get on with his life.

~

“Not guilty.”

As the Aurors removed their magical constraints on Narcissa and returned her wand, Draco pushed through the crowd, smiling when he got to her. “Mother,” he whispered.

“Draco.” She teared up. “Please don’t make me cry in front of all these people,” she said.

“Of course not.” Linking their arms and head held high, Draco led her from the room.

As they walked, he spotted Potter watching from the corner. Draco’s steps faltered and he hesitated.

Potter smiled, then turned away.

“What’s wrong?” asked Narcissa.

Draco shook his head. “Nothing important, Mother. Come, let’s get you home.”

~

Draco tried to put Potter from his mind. The war was over, he and Narcissa were free, that’s what mattered.

He owed Potter gratitude, however. After all, had he not spoken for them, they’d probably still be languishing in Azkaban. But Draco was hesitant to approach Potter directly.

In the end, Draco wrote a thank-you note, which he owled to Potter after several days of revisions.

He received no reply, not that he expected one, and as the weeks passed and he imagined ways to rehabilitate the Malfoy name, he had no time to ponder Potter.

Until the invitation arrived.

~

“You received a letter,” Narcissa said over breakfast.

Draco, sipping tea, paused. “Oh?”

Narcissa extended her hand, and an envelope floated into it. “I’ve no idea who it’s from.”

“Were the privacy charms too strong for you to read it?” Draco murmured.

Narcissa coughed. “We rarely get mail. I was simply…curious.”

Shaking his head, Draco opened it and began to read.

Not even hiding her curiosity, Narcissa leaned forward. “Well?”

Draco blinked. “It’s an invitation.”

“To?”

Draco hesitated before handing it to her. Huffing, Narcissa read it, looking up when she’d finished. “You must go.”

Draco nodded. “I know.”

~

Draco hesitated for several moments. He could hear the sounds of merriment going on inside the house, but knew everyone would stop to stare at him when he arrived. The idea wasn’t appealing.

He squared his shoulders. He’d accepted the invitation. So unless he wanted to look like he was scared, he had to go through with it.

Hands shaking, Draco knocked.

When the door opened, it was Lovegood. She inclined her head. “You came. Look, everyone, it’s Draco!”

Draco almost bolted in that moment, but before he could, a hand grabbed his, tugging him inside. Potter smiled. “Hello, Draco.”

~

“Potter.” Draco hovered by the door hesitantly. “Thanks for the invitation.”

Potter, retaining Draco’s hand, smiled. “Thanks for coming.”

Draco nodded. “I’ve a gift,” he said, once conversations resumed. He raised an eyebrow. “I’ll need my hand back, however.”

“Right.” Potter released Draco’s hand immediately. “Sorry.” He laughed softly. “It looked like you were going to bolt, so—”

Draco cleared his throat. “I…no, that would be rude.” Reaching into his robes, he produced a bottle of wine.

“Thanks,” murmured Potter. “I’ll save it for a special occasion.”

Draco shivered. Was it wrong to wish that occasion would include him?

~

Potter’d invited everyone, even Slytherins. Spotting Pansy and Blaise, Draco made straight for them. “Friendly faces! Thank Salazar you’re here.”

Pansy smirked. “Of course we’re here. We’re dating Gryffindors. They’re fun.”

Draco blinked. “Both of you?”

Blaise chuckled. “Why the surprise? I’ve never hesitated to date non-Slytherins.”

Pansy snorted. “Not everyone’s slutty like you, darling.”

Blaise’s smile faded. “Takes one to know one.”

“Right,” said Draco before things deteriorated, “who’s dating whom?”

“I’m with Ron, he’s with Ginny,” Pansy said, glaring daggers at Blaise.

“Potter’s not dating Ginny?” Draco frowned.

“No.” Pansy grinned. “It’s your lucky day, darling. He’s gay.”

~

Draco couldn’t seem to concentrate on conversation after that. Instead, he watched Potter to see if he was paying particular attention to anyone.

It was clear Lovegood and Longbottom were an item, as were Granger and another Weasley named Charlie, but Potter just chatted with people indiscriminately.

By the end of the evening, Draco was hesitant about what to do. Should he act interested? Pretend aloofness? Was Potter gay? Pansy was known to play cruel jokes…

“You’re deep in thought.”

Wincing, Draco looked into Potter’s eyes. “Sorry. Just…contemplating something.”

“Something good I hope.”

Draco smiled. “I hope so, too.”

~

As people left, Draco hesitated. Pansy, arm linked with Weasley, winked as she walked past him. “Good luck,” she whispered.

Blaise also gave him a discreet thumbs up before being dragged off by the Weaselette.

Once he and Potter were alone, Draco felt exposed. He smiled hesitantly. “Thanks again for the invitation, Potter.”

Potter coughed. “Are you in a hurry to get home?”

Draco shook his head. “No. Why?”

“We didn’t get a chance to talk.” Potter smiled. “We could drink that wine you brought.”

“I thought you were saving it for a special occasion.”

“No time like the present.”

~

They sat across from each other in Potter’s kitchen, drinking Draco’s wine, and Draco couldn’t think of anything to say.

‘I hear you’re single and gay,’ seemed too forward, and pointing out he was gay wouldn’t do.

Finally, Potter laughed softly. “I dunno why I’m so hesitant. I saw you watching me after the trials, and I figured—”

Draco raised an eyebrow. “What?”

“That you wanted to put the past behind us, become friends.”

“Friends.” Draco looked down. “I suppose.”

Potter clasped his hand, and awareness shot through Draco. “Friends…or more?”

Draco exhaled. “More…could work.”

Potter smiled. “Brilliant.”

~

“Things with Potter seem good.”

Draco smirked. “Just following your example. Turns out, Gryffindors are fun.”

“Aren’t they?” Pansy’s smile was wicked. “Now aren’t you glad you got over your hesitation and went for it?”

Thinking back over the past month, Draco hummed. ‘Potter’ had swiftly become ‘Harry’, and now he couldn’t imagine life without him. It was rather frightening, truth be told, but Draco was through hesitating. He was young, free, happy. He’d enjoy it as long as possible. “Yes,” he said. “I am.”

“Hey.” Harry’s arms encircled Draco. “Ready to go home?”

Draco leaned back against him. “Absolutely.”

~
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