every Starbucks should have a polar bear (scoradh) wrote,
every Starbucks should have a polar bear

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It's just funny to see cows in Lycra

Ah, woe is me, for the last in the series of The Panel was shown last night! But to console me in my darkest hour I, ahem, wrote down all the best jokes and put them here! As a beacon of light in the glom of nit!

Ireland's news. Panel-style.

- In Limerick, they are banning hats in shops. This is because there was a noted tendancy among criminals to wear hats...

- Neil then made a funny about doing a gig in Holland, where people are so laid back they're horizontal. He was telling a joke about robbing a bank with a goat and a balaclava - only Holland people speak American English and they didn't know what 'balaclava' meant. They thought he was talking about a small Turkish pastry. Being so relaxed they were like, 'Yah, interesting thought, but surely the goat would eat the pastry?'

- In Belmullet, there has been a ban on egg-throwing at Halloween. Local Gardai have gone into talks with the youth of the town about decommissioning caches of eggs. Only at Easter, they'll be flummuxed...they'll go into Tesco's and say, 'Oy lads, I found a dealer!!'

- The difference between TV3 news and RTE News is that 'its cooler and younger and we spend less money on it'.

- What's the one thing you think when you've got a crocodile in a headlock? TAKE THE PICTURE!

- Leitrim has less people than Swords. They got their first set of traffic lights last year. People are still standing under it going, 'Ooh, it changed again!' They had to close the zoo because the chicken died. The local prostitute's a virgin.

- In Louth a farmer was refused entry to a nightclub...so he came back with his slurry tank and doused the place. Neil: 'If he was a good Irish farmer he'd've got an EU grant for it.'

I may just buy Gift Grub 2004...oh wait, no money.

I hate my portfolio.

For henbock , the last part of Sob Story. Yay! And for coralia13 I'll be posting the next chapter of A City, in bits, over the next few days, because the first chapter should be up on FicAlley by now. (Oh the excitement is felling me.)

After only one night, Harry learned better than to try and encroach upon Draco’s bed space. When conscious, he had a kick like an enraged donkey, and while sleeping had a tendency to thrash out at anything that seemed to be constricting or binding him. After being woken with a belt to the stomach in the wee hours of the morning, Harry made sure to keep near the wall.

As the days passed, Harry became more and more lost. Every day he woke up with Draco’s face pressed into his back, and Draco’s hand clenched around his own. Every night, Draco would insist that Harry tell him a fairy-tale, or regale him with Slytherin ghost stories, which were the most horrifyingly gory accounts that Harry had ever heard. Harry knew Draco was afraid to sleep, afraid of the place where he couldn’t ignore what he wanted so badly to ignore, and what hurt most of all was that there was no way for Harry to fix it.

During the day, they watched television, while Draco made scathing statements about the actors and presenters, or went into the garden, where Harry gardened and Draco made scathing statements about Harry’s technique, or messed about in the kitchen, as Draco made scathing statements about Harry’s skill with an eggbeater.

And in spite of it all, Harry thought he might just be falling in love Draco Malfoy. Mental warts and all.

They were engrossed in a game of wizard’s chess, with MTV buzzing softly in the background, when the doorbell rang. Harry looked up, startled, and in his distraction allowed his knight to move into the path of Draco’s king. With a faint yell, the king pounced, dragging the night to the chessboard. Draco cackled evilly.

‘I’d better get that,’ Harry said distractedly, getting to his feet and hearing his knees crack. He left Draco fingering Harry’s prone knight, staring contemplatively at the chessboard. All magical chessboards were charmed against cheating, but in Draco’s own words, that was ‘only for now’.

Harry opened his door to find Hermione, Ron and Remus standing on his step, wearing identical expressions of grim determination.

‘Well, hello,’ Harry said bemusedly. ‘What are you all doing here?’

‘To check up on you!’ Hermione said in exasperation. ‘You do realise, don’t you, that it’s been nearly two months since we’ve seen you? Weeks since you’ve owled?…you didn’t, did you.’

‘Sorry,’ Harry said, shrugging helplessly. ‘I suppose you’d better come in.’

Ron gave him an odd look at his apparent reluctance. For his part, Harry was pale with fear at the thought of what effect their intrusion - he hardly started when he realised what he’d called their visit - would have on Draco.

He led them into the living room. Draco was still seated cross-legged on the floor and holding the chessboard upside down over his head. The pieces remained magically stuck to the top.

‘Draco,’ Harry said, clearing his throat. He knew he was starting to blush, and the varying degrees of startlement he read on his friends’ faces at the familiar way he said the name wasn’t helping. Draco looked up, and verily seemed to freeze. Harry desperately tried to project thoughts of calm and safety in his direction.

It seemed to work, for Draco relaxed again and lolled backwards bonelessly, discarding the chessboard. Helpless as a deer caught in headlights, Harry could only stare at him, confusedly thinking how much he resembled a louche Grecian god.

‘Hello,’ Draco said. ‘Do sit down. The floor is utmostly comfortable, I assure you. Harry seems to be struck dumb, but I’m sure you know that this is a regular occurrence.’

‘Malfoy,’ Hermione said cautiously, sitting on a sofa and patting the space beside her, while glancing quickly at Ron. Remus had taken a seat in his usual wingback chair, and only Harry was left, feeling awkward and unbalanced.

‘You seem well,’ Hermione added, after a minute pause, during which Ron dropped down beside her.

‘Thank you,’ Draco said, beaming brilliantly. Harry was sure no one else could have spotted the edge of hysteria hiding in the corners of his mouth. ‘Healthy country living would turn even Salazar himself, I imagine. Professor, it is nice to see you. How’s being a werewolf going for you?’

‘Much the same as ever,’ Remus said, sounding faintly amused. The colour in Draco’s cheeks was deepening, and he looked about ready to babble himself into a fistfight. Usually when he got like this, Harry would order him to take a cold bath, or force Draco to run laps around the house with him. It was hardly a feasible solution in the circumstances, however, and he blinked furiously at Draco, trying to telepathically tell him to take a few deep breaths.

‘Harry, mate, have you something in your eye?’ Ron asked in concern. ‘Only, you’re blinking like mad.’

‘No, no, nothing,’ Harry said hastily.

Hermione cleared her throat, and for some reason started to blush. ‘To be honest, Harry, we came here because we have something to tell you.’

Harry narrowed his eyes. Hermione was extremely pink, and Ron’s ears were heating up. They were holding hands. Suspicion began to dawn like a morning hurricane.

‘Ron and I, we’re getting married,’ she said in a rush, smiling.

Harry stared at them, dumbstruck. Hermione’s smile faltered a little, and Ron began to look thunderous.

All of a sudden, Harry burst out laughing. He laughed so much he sat straight down on the floor. Through his crinkled eyes, he saw Ron and Hermione begin to laugh too, probably out of relief.

Remus came over to give him a hand up, and in a moment the four of them were squished together in a tear-smeared, giggling group-hug. After a second, though, Harry started, and raised his head. Draco was at the door. He caught Harry’s eye, smiled briefly, and slipped away. Feeling now was not the time to go running after him, Harry stayed where he was, but his heart was no longer in it.

After what seemed like an eternity, he offered in a jovial voice to go dig out the champagne left over from one of his parties. With much back-slapping and sporadic cheering, Ron and Remus agreed, and Harry gratefully exited.

He retrieved a dusty bottle from the cupboard under the sink, and while doing so reflected that it seemed a very long time since he’d held a party - a long time, in fact, since there was only Harry and Draco and Milly in the entire world.

He didn’t realise that Hermione had followed him until he turned around and nearly died of fright to see her leaning casually against the countertop. She eyed him shrewdly.

‘Just need to find the cork-popper,’ he said, wondering why he felt so nervous. He wished he knew where Draco had wandered off to.

‘Oh Harry, you complete Muggle,’ Hermione said, pointing her wand at the bottle without releasing him from her gimlet gaze. With a fizzing sound the cork shot out, trailing bubbles.

‘Put that down for a second,’ Hermione instructed. ‘I want to talk with you.’

‘What, right now? Don’t you want to celebrate?’ Harry said, smiling uneasily.

‘Soon,’ Hermione said. She bit her lip, then said, quietly, ‘You love him, don’t you?’

‘What?’ Harry yelped, dropping the bottle in surprise. How could she have known? He’d taken pains not to make it obvious - and now -

Snapping out her wand, Hermione caught the bottle with a levitating spell just before it hit the ground, and floated it safely back onto the table. She crossed her arms.

‘I thought so.’ She shook her head, looking worried. ‘Oh, Harry. It’s not wise.’

‘I haven’t done anything yet!’ Harry snapped, feeling inordinately riled.

‘Oh, Merlin. Oh, Harry. I am so sorry.’ Hermione moved forward, catching Harry’s face between her palms. Neatly trapped, Harry frowned at her.

‘What do you mean, sorry?’ he said impatiently.

‘He’s going to hurt you,’ Hermione said softly, her eyes full of pain. ‘He won’t mean to - or rather he will, he’s Malfoy. Hurting people amuses him. But he’ll break your heart, simply because he won’t know what to do with it.’

‘Oh, lay off the American psychobabble, please,’ Harry snapped. ‘For crying out loud! Nothing has happened. Nothing will happen. You’re just borrowing trouble.’

‘Am I, though?’ Hermione released him and stepped back. ‘I am not completely devoid of intuition. I saw the way you looked at him. Like he was the light and you were the moth. I don’t think he realises. He certainly wouldn’t know what to do if he did.’ She took a breath. ‘He hasn’t yet told you what they did to him, has he?’

‘No,’ Harry said, after a time. ‘But I’ve guessed most of it.’

‘Then you see, don’t you, why you can’t do this to him.’ Hermione’s pleading eyes were huge in her face. ‘You’ve managed to heal him beyond what we thought possible. You cannot, Harry, you cannot confuse him by trying to make him your lover as well as your - your patient, I suppose. He badly needed some boundaries, and now you’ve given them to him it would be cruel to take them away!’

‘What do you know about cruel?’ Harry snapped.

‘What I’ve learned second-hand,’ Hermione said solemnly, refusing to rise to the bait. ‘Second-hand through Malfoy and people like him. The Death Eaters…they weren’t kind, Harry. They didn’t care much about how old their victims were, or who they were, or even what they did to them in the end. But the cruellest thing of all would be to try and make Malfoy love you when he cannot.’

‘How do you know he can’t?’ Harry shouted, and realised to his horror that his eyes were wet.

‘You know why, Harry,’ Hermione said, and she looked on the verge of crying herself. ‘I think he would try. And it would kill him. He was a nasty, horrible little kid, but he didn’t deserve what he got. Hell is satisfied now. He needs to leave and become whole on his own. Without you.’

‘But I don’t think I’m whole without him,’ Harry whispered, his fingers over his face.

Hermione engulfed him in a bear hug, muttering, ‘I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.’

‘Hey hey, what’s all this?’ Ron said cheerfully, clattering into the kitchen. ‘Did you go to the vineyard for the plonk or what? And why are you hugging my fiance?’

Hermione whirled around and buried her head in Ron’s shoulder, sniffing. Ron’s arms came up around her. ‘What’s wrong?’ he said gently.

‘I’m just - so - happy!’ she choked out, and Ron laughed. Harry took the opportunity to lean over the sink, scrubbing at his bleary eyes. Through the window, he caught a glimpse of a slight blonde shape in the growing dusk, sitting bolt upright on the garden seat.

Turning away resolutely, he grabbed at the champagne like a lifebelt. ‘C’mon!’ he said, with false heartiness. ‘I’ll get the glasses…’

The small party lasted until full darkness, when Remus regretfully reminded Ron that they both had work in the morning. Ron was far too drunk to Apparate, so Remus brought him outside to sober up and help him find something to use as a Portkey.

On the doorstep, Hermione fumbled in her copious handbag, and finally retrieved a long, slim box, which she presented to Harry with a face like death.

‘What’s this?’ Harry asked, but the sinking feeling in his stomach told him what he didn’t want to know.

‘Malfoy’s wand,’ Hermione confirmed. ‘And also the key to his Gringotts vault.’ She stopped, before half-wailing, ‘I’m so sorry, Harry!’

‘Would you stop saying that, Hermione,’ Harry said, in thinly-veiled irritation. ‘It’s not your fault.’

Hermione gulped. ‘But it is, Harry. It is.’ He stared at her fiercely, and she quailed, but soldiered on. ‘It was my idea for you to help him. I was the one who suggested it to Dumbledore. And for that,’ she shook her head miserably, ‘I am eternally sorry. That, I will always regret.’

She turned hurriedly and disappeared into the mounting darkness, following Ron’s drunken voice, raised in song.

‘…Weasley is our King!’

Harry turned over the box in his hands, listening as Hermione’s footsteps receded into nothing, bringing with it his heart.


The sound of a door opening. The snicking as it was pulled to.

They alerted, warned Harry, and even his instinctual reaction - to turn and see who was there, even though he already knew, would always know - was stilled. He remained motionless, sitting as he had been for hours, the wand and the key - Draco’s freedom, Harry’s freedom, the end of the world as he knew it - upon a low table before him. His gaze was directed away to the side, away from the door. He couldn’t bear to look at them.

‘Harry?’ Draco’s voice was low and controlled, but Harry almost laughed at the realisation - he knew him so well, he could hear the bubbling worry beneath his blasé words.

‘It’s very late. Aren’t you coming to bed?’

Harry shrugged, or at least attempted to. It seemed like far too much of an effort right now. After a desultory movement of one shoulder, he sunk back into pathetic lethargy.

‘You’re drunk, aren’t you.’ Draco sounded relieved now, and almost amused. ‘Do you tend to sleep in odd places when you are? I know I once ended up in Pansy’s wardrobe…’ his voice trailed off as he stepped into the room. Harry knew he had seen the wand. At last, he allowed his gaze to shift.

Draco was standing in the little pool of light cast by the one lighting lamp. It threw up strange shadows beneath his eyes and chin, and made his hair glow like burnished metal. He looked like a demon from one of his own stories - a beautiful, savage demon, remorseless, whose only aim was to destroy whatever they touched. And whose fate was to destroy the one thing they wanted most.

He knew Draco recognised the wand. It was as essential a part of him as his own hand. Harry couldn’t imagine what it felt like to have been separated from it; or he could imagine - an amputation.

Draco made no move to retrieve it, however. He merely stood there, his gaze fixed upon it, eyes eerily lambent in the odd light.

After an eternity had passed, he spoke. He sounded strained, and Harry heard him as if he were shouting from a great distance away.

‘What does this mean?’

‘It’s your wand, Malfoy,’ Harry said, darkly amused. ‘Surely even you could figure that one out?’

Draco sent him a sharp look, but Harry refused to meet his eyes. If he could drive Draco away, so much the better. Harry couldn’t think of any other way to achieve wholeness for Draco except at the expense of his own.

Tearing his eyes away from his wand, Draco strode over and dropped to his knees before Harry. Startled, Harry shied away, but Draco reached out and grabbed Harry’s wrists in a surprisingly strong grip.

‘Why are you doing this?’ he demanded harshly. ‘Why are you sending me away?’

‘I’m not - sending you anywhere,’ Harry said through gritted teeth, trying to loosen Draco’s hold on him without sacrificing his own dignity. It was a Sisyphean task. ‘You need to go. You need to have your own life, not this crutch of an existence.’

Draco sat back on his heels, releasing Harry so suddenly he nearly fell over. ‘I don’t want anything more than this,’ he said flatly.

Harry swallowed. He had never wanted anything so much in his life as to not have to do what he was going to do next. ‘What you need - is not the same as what you want,’ he said, feeling something inside him shatter into tiny little pieces.

‘Is that what it’s about?’ Draco said, quirking his head. His eyes were cold. ‘You want to fuck me but you can’t admit it. For Merlin’s sake, Harry.’ His hands moved to his pyjama buttons, his eyes never moving from Harry’s horrified face. ‘You only had to ask.’

‘No!’ It seemed to take forever for Harry’s mouth to form the word, but when it did it was in the form of a strangled scream. ‘No,’ he repeated, somewhat more calmly, and he put out his own hands, covered Draco’s with them, moved them away from his chest. ‘You’ve got this entirely wrong -’

‘Have I,’ Draco said archly, and Harry quickly snatched his hands away.

‘Yes,’ he said, because in a way it was true. ‘Draco, after all this time, I - you’re very important to me. Your well-being is very important to me,’ he amended. ‘I sincerely think you need to progress to real life now. You have your bank account back, you can go flat-searching, look for a job maybe…you could go overseas…’

Draco’s opaque stare unnerved him, making his thoughts tangle themselves up like so much knitting, forcing his tongue to stumble over the words and finally lie still.

‘I very much doubt anyone is going to employ me,’ Draco said dryly. ‘Do you want rent or something? Is that what you’re saying?’

‘No!’ Harry said, exasperated. ‘You’re not listening. Or you’re refusing to hear, one. You have to leave. If you trust me at all, you’ll leave. Soon. Next week.’

‘If next week, why not tomorrow?’ Draco said, rising smoothly to his feet and towering over the squirming Harry, his face unforgiving as a whirlwind.

‘Draco, I’m not going to chuck you out on your ear,’ he said lamely. ‘I just think you need to start preparing yourself for the off.’

‘Oh, I’m prepared all right,’ Draco said. Harry looked up at him, meeting his eyes willingly for the first time. He felt all the woe and pain of this parting simmer to the surface, and something in Draco’s glacial expression melted slightly.

‘Harry, did I ever tell you that you are the world’s. Biggest. Prat,’ he sighed, crumpling onto the sofa beside him and wriggling his cold toes under Harry’s knees.

‘On a regular basis,’ Harry said, smiling slightly. In his heart of hearts, he didn’t want a hostile farewell from Draco, after everything that had passed.

He did love him, after all.

‘For someone who is, after all, a helplessly heroic and truthful Gryffindor, you have awful trouble in just spitting out the bleeding obvious,’ Draco added, and leaned forward to catch Harry’s mouth with his own.

For one spellbinding, exquisite moment, Harry let himself be kissed. Even afterwards, he could never regret giving into the temptation. Even as his heart broke again for the knowledge that he would never again be able to taste that mouth, feel those rather dry, thin, wonderful lips, he could not bring himself to not want it.

Draco made a humming noise of smug satisfaction, bringing his hands to circle Harry’s back and press him deeper into the kiss, while Harry scrabbled at his shoulders like a drowning man. Which he was. Drowning in the most amazing sensations he had ever experienced, and then Draco’s tongue slipped between his lips and he thought, yes, I am going to die of this

Draco cupped Harry’s jaw as he broke away, panting slightly and grinning like a Cheshire Cat who’d just binged on cream. Harry shut his eyes, willing the rising dampness to fade back to the misbegotten glands from whence it came. Draco drew his forehead towards him and gifted it with a damp kiss.

Slowly, feeling every muscle movement as if it were the tightening of a noose, Harry took Draco’s hand in his own, pressed it to his lips, and returned it to Draco’s lap.

‘Harry…’ Draco said warningly. Harry bit his lips, hard, and nearly cut through them when his eyes met Draco’s accusing ones, the accusation a thin layer over the suffusion of happy lust therein.

‘Harry!’ The sound rose to an almost-wail as Harry, feeling like a murderer of babies, extricated himself from the warm tangle of limbs.

‘Harry.’ A hiccup tailing a breathless sob, as Harry closed the door behind him.



The deep, resonant baritone thrummed through Harry’s ears, and he looked up, blearily. He tried to remember when he’d last moved. His aching, contracted muscles opted for ‘a long time ago’. He pushed his tangled fringe out of his eyes to focus through smeared glasses on the gaily-bedecked, lanky figure of Albus Dumbledore.

‘Professor,’ Harry said, feeling vaguely guilty. Dumbledore’s perpetually cheery persona tended to have that effect on people. ‘How - how are you?’

‘I’m fine, thank you, Harry. However, I am worried that you are not.’ His sparkling blue gaze lit on Harry’s crumpled, dirty clothes, and the state of the room in which he was ensconced and from where Milly was barred.

Harry got to his feet, feeling several joints creaking. He winced.

‘Shall we take a turn in the garden.’ Dumbledore had never got the hang of asking a question convincingly enough so the person thought they might have a choice in the matter. He proffered an arm and Harry took it, trying not to breathe through his nostrils. Bathing hadn’t been high on his list of priorities lately, nor had there been much air movement in his room in recent days.

Harry blinked owlishly in the sunlight, feeling a sudden empathy with the race of vampires. Dumbledore led him a brisk pace and set him down on the garden bench. The sharp sea air held a hint of autumn’s chill, and Harry shivered as his cobwebs were blown most emphatically away.

‘When I, on Miss Granger’s advice, assigned you this task, it was because I believed that Draco was not the only one who was in need of some healing,’ Dumbledore began, in his thrilling voice. Harry stared listlessly out to sea. ‘I am still certain that there was a part of you that has never been whole. So many deaths in your life, a dire prophecy, a requirement for murder - Harry, since you were a boy one crisis after another befell you. It was simplistic of me, but I thought - nay, I hoped - that helping another, someone even worse off than yourself, could perhaps make you appreciate what you have. In a sense, it might even have worked. Of course, I did not forsee it turning out this way. A way that should have been obvious - particularly to me. And for that, you have my sincerest apologies.’

‘You couldn’t have thought it would be like this,’ Harry said bleakly. ‘And it’s nobody’s fault, because….because even if it could have been prevented, I - I don’t think I’d have wanted it to be.’

‘Oh, my dear boy,’ Dumbledore said heavily, laying his hand on Harry’s shoulder and staring out across the horizon. ‘What burdens I have laid upon you, all the while thinking to lighten your load.’

‘Perhaps it was fate, or some karma shit,’ Harry said wryly, quirking his mouth. Dumbledore chuckled.

‘May I tell you something?’ he asked, and Harry nodded, soothed by the endless blue before him.

‘Despite all that has changed with you and Mr Malfoy, despite how much you love him -’ Harry’s shoulder tensed beneath Dumbledore’s hand, and he squeezed it reassuringly ‘- the chances of it hurting you both very badly are still exceptionally high. You are both so young, and youth is not forgiving. Neither of you are docile of personality, and as yet neither has had the chance to mellow. Perhaps in ten, twenty, thirty years, you would reach a point at which you could say, ‘I no longer feel the need to hurt you because of my own pain. I have grown past it, I am free of it, and I can love you as you should be loved’. But I do not think you could have reached that point today.’

‘We could have tried,’ Harry muttered, hunching against the rising wind.

‘Yes,’ Dumbledore said, sounding sad and proud. ‘And damn me but if you would not have killed one another in the attempt. You know, of course, that House divisions are mere sophistry; yet, they can be a good rule of thumb in terms of judging character. By nature, those Sorted into Slytherin and those Sorted into Gryffindor are diametric opposites. In different concentrations, each member is imbued with traits that make them unattractive to members of another House. The rashness of Gryffindor is rarely valued by the cold calculation of Slytherin, and so on and so forth. There are exceptions, but the majority of the time, a mixture of the two ends in tragedy.’ He took a deep, shuddering breath. ‘Wounds decades old, they can still hurt, Harry, my boy. I was once in the position you are in. A beautiful, wild, reckless girl - me - we were in far deeper than you were when we realised how we had deceived ourselves.’ He sighed again, heartfelt. ‘To love a Gryffindor is to walk into a lion’s den. I believe that is a proverb.’

‘What?’ Harry said, startled. ‘You mean to say - you weren’t in Gryffindor?’

‘Why, Harry,’ Dumbledore laughed. ‘Whatever gave you that idea?’


Draco dropped his - Harry’s - rucksack on the sandy sward, discarding the coat Harry had bought for him. He carefully avoided the painful thought that nearly everything he owned really belonged to Harry. Not least his heart.

Harry had been fond of this place, by the cliff, and even Draco had recovered from his vertigo after a while. The first time Harry had jumped, hollering and ya-hooing like a madman, over the side, Draco’s breath had nearly stopped in his chest. Ten minutes he’d spent alternating between fury and gnawing fear, until Harry emerged from the sandy path, clothes soaking, dripping from head to toe and flashing him that - now drenched - crooked smile.

It hadn’t been the last, and Draco had resigned himself to Harry’s thrill-seeking ways. He refused point-blank to indulge in it himself. The idea of free-falling helplessly into nothing went against all his innate love of control and self-command. Harry had given up cajoling, after a while, but every few days he would still drag Draco out and force him to be a spectator to Harry’s dive. Draco could still feel the dread he’d felt every time - that Harry would hit a rock, be pulled under, drown and never come back, leaving Draco alone - with the added sharpness of a real loneliness tugging at him now.

He hesitated for a moment, then his intrinsic common sense forced him to discard his shoes and jumper. He wasn’t a natural swimmer after all, and wasn’t about to risk himself despite Harry’s assurances that the little cove was perfectly safe, and too close to the shore to fear drowning in.

He took a deep breath and walked forward to stand on the edge, toes curling around the spiky marram grass. He gulped in more air, puffing up his lungs in preparation for the Scream. Harry had always described it in capital letters. A mixture of adrenalin, panic and pure, utter exhilaration. He supposed the Scream could be a good description of life with Harry in general. He wondered, yet again, how he was going to live without him.

Banishing these familiar thoughts wearily, reminding himself of the time when he, as a Malfoy, had needed no one, least of all Scarhead Potter - even though the last had never been completely true - he bounced on the balls of his feet, to psyche himself up.

Draco jumped, the Scream tearing out of his sob-torn throat.

He closed his eyes.


You. Did not. See that one. Coming. Yes?

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