In A Flash by WindingArrow, BlackPixie
FeatureSummary:

Five months after the death of his love, Draco Malfoy spends Valentine's day with an old muggle camera and reliving his lost relationship.

 

Banner by WindingArrow

 

For the Throw Down the Gauntlet challenge.


Categories: Harry Potter Universe, Harry Potter Universe > Rebuilding (1998-2009) Characters: Draco Malfoy, Harry Potter
Advisories: None
HPFT Forum House: Ravenclaw, Slytherin
Genre: Angst, AU, Hurt/Comfort, Romance
Inclusivity: Gay, LGBTQA
Pairings: Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter (HP)
Story Type: Challenge Entry (any length), Short Story (under 10,000 words)
Themes: Dying/Grieving, Love/Hate Relationships
Challenges:
Series: Throw Down the Gauntlet
Chapters: 2 Completed: No Word count: 3342 Read: 94 Published: 11 Feb 2017 Updated: 09 Jul 2017

1. Chapter 1 by WindingArrow

2. Chapter 2 by BlackPixie

Chapter 1 by WindingArrow
Author's Notes:

For Round 1 of the Throw Down the Gaunlet challenge using Prompt 1 and a camera.

"Draco, come out with us tonight," Pansy pleaded, looking up at him from her seat on the worn in sofa.


He paused to have a good look at the piece of furniture and around the flat in general. It was all old, most of it second hand. Sure, they could have afforded better, but... Draco swallowed. It was just him, now. Still, he could see now why his father's nose wrinkled with disdain when he visited. Draco couldn’t bear to change a thing.

 

His eyes focused on Pansy, Blaise and Theodore, all scattered about his living room and looking up at him expectantly. Despite their own lucrative upbringings, they weren't bothered in the least by the decor. At least not outwardly.

 

"You shouldn't be alone on Valentine's Day,” Blaise put in after a moment of silence, reaching for Pansy's hand as if he had just realized how lucky he was that she was there.

 

"And it's not like you'll be a fifth wheel," Theo added, leaning forward. "It'll be like the good old days, you and me, bachelors on the prowl- Ow!" He was silenced by a swift kick to the shin from Blaise.

 

Bachelor. Draco couldn't remember the last time he had been a bachelor. He didn't want to think of himself like that. What did it make him, then? A widower? They had never actually gotten around to talking about…

 

He shut his eyes to the thought and to his friends. "Guys, I just can't," he said finally. "I really... It's the first one... I need to be alone."

 

He felt arms wrap him in a hug and he recognized Pansy's shampoo. He hugged her tightly back, appreciating the pats on the shoulder from the boys. As they broke apart, Pansy pinned him with sympathetic eyes. Pity eyes. He was so tired of pity. "You're coming over for Easter. No getting out of it."

 

"Alright, then," he replied, smiling as much as he dared to assuage her. A few moments later, he was alone, his three friends off to the Apparition point and him still here in his flat. Their flat.

 

It was time to clean out the closet. He had been putting it off for months. Five months, to be more exact. He didn't want to throw anything out, but the counselors at work kept telling him that it would help him let go and move on. It all sounded like bullocks to him, but it was one of the reasons he had insisted on staying home tonight, nevermind trying to act like a twenty-something actually thirty-something happy single on Valentine's Day.

 

When the door opened, the scent hit him, almost sending him straight into an emotional fit. He kept his clothes in the dresser to avoid opening the door because inside, all he could smell was him. He loved it as much as it ripped at his heart.

 

The first thing he saw was the big, bulky magic camera the Ministry had issued him when he had first been promoted to Field Evidence Liaison to the Wizengamot. He remembered laughing at Colin Creevey lugging around a similar one when he started Hogwarts years and years ago.

 

"Mulgroe and Potter!" barked the gnarled looking old wizard sitting behind the raised desk. Draco couldn't help but smirk as his messy-haired rival jumped up from his chair with his new partner, a more seasoned Auror. Liaisons were being paired with law enforcement wizards. It was the job of the liaison to work with their assigned witches and wizards to gather evidence and build cases to present to the Wizengamot during trials. The old man squinted through his dusty spectacles at the parchment in front of him. "You're with Malfoy. Sunder and Weasley!"

 

Harry's gaze fell on the smirking blonde man as he sauntered over, a large camera clutched in his hands. "You've got to be kidding me," he said, disgusted. Mulgroe cast the young man a curious look, extending his hand to their new liaison.

 

Draco could only continue to grin as he shook the older man's hand, eyes never leaving his former school mate. "Come on, Potter. The war is over. I've turned over a new leaf. I promise, you're going to love me." The cold glare only fueled him. "Happy Valentine's Day."

 

Draco smiled at the memory as he held the camera which hadn't been used in years. At the time, the comment had been made just to make his rival uncomfortable by showing off his own ease at the situation. He had wanted to get under Harry Potter's skin. The last thing he had expected was for it to turn into a prediction of the future.

 

No, no, this wasn't the camera he wanted! He tossed it carelessly onto the bed, not caring if it broke. Magic could fix broken things, but not everything that broke could be fixed with magic. He dove into the closet, no longer afraid because he was on a mission. Where was that tiny thing?

 

A tiny green box landed on Draco's desk as he sat back with his feet up. The impact of the landing made it flash brightly. Draco peered at it with a frown.

 

"I want you to start using this when you're in the field," Harry told him as he slung his cloak over the back of his chair at the desk across from Draco's.

 

Draco poked at it with his wand. "What is it?" he asked.

 

"It's a camera- stop that!" he scolded, swatting Draco's wand away. "It's a muggle camera. Don't poke it with your wand, you might break it."

 

"What do I need with a muggle camera?" he demanded, going to poke it again, but quickly pocketing his wand after a scathing glare.

 

"It's smaller, easier to carry, and it doesn't produce moving pictures." Harry moved to Draco's side of the desks, picking up the camera and crouching next to Draco's chair as if showing a child a new toy. "See, here, there's a little screen you can look at to take the shots rather than looking through the viewer. No winding. No waiting, really. And it all saves to a chip that can hold thousands and thousands of pictures rather than a short roll that has to be changed. Look, right here-"

 

Harry shifted closer and Draco caught the musky scent of his shampoo mixing with a light cologne. He pressed a few buttons on the camera, pulling up an image that was not of the desks before them. Harry's breath tickled Draco's ear.

 

"You can separate the photos into different folders and title them. It's going to completely revolutionize this aspect of your evidence collecting."

 

Draco frowned and reached for the camera, his fingers brushing against Harry's. "But... I don't understand... How does it work?"

 

Harry showed him how to turn it on and off, where the batteries went, explained what batteries were and showed him which button to push to take a picture and which one made it flash and which one zoomed in automatically. He showed him how to create and label folders and how to save a picture inside a specific folder.

 

"And with pictures that don't move," Harry was saying, "we can get a better look at the scene without people or animals in the way." He stood up, moving to head back to his desk. "Think you can handle it?"

 

"Who do you think I am?" Draco sneered, already prepping the camera. "Hey, Potter!" Harry turned to look at him and Draco snapped a picture. Momentarily blinded, Harry, put his hand up, blinking. "Here we go... Label folder... 'Potter's Picture Parade.'"

 

"What are you doing?" the Auror demanded.

 

"Practicing," he replied.

 

"That's for work. I'll take it away if you're misusing it!" Harry warned.

 

"I'm not misusing it! You showed me what to do. Point and click!" Draco snapped another picture, the frame freezing on an irate looking man. "What a beaut! You know, I could probably sell these to the Prophet."

 

"Draco..."

 

"Potter at work. Potter at the bar." He smirked. "Potter on the potty?"

 

Harry lunged. "Give it here!"

 

Draco pushed off from his desk, wheeling his chair out of the other man's reach. "It was a gift! No backsies!"

 

"How old are you?!"

 

"Happy Valentine's Day, Potter!"

 

At the back of the closet, surrounded by the cloaks and robes and muggle attire that he used to wear, Draco sat next to a box filled with different colored cameras. They had gotten so many over the years- newer models, more storage, more features. Harry used to go out and get them, but after a few cameras, Draco had become an expert on them, knowing what he wanted and going to get them himself even if it meant being among muggles.

 

There was only one green one, though. Green with the silver buttons. By the light of his wand, he carefully sorted through the cameras until he uncovered it. He held the power button down until the screen glowed to life, the initial start up warning him that there was only a third of the battery life left. They had since graduated to rechargeable cameras.

 

His wand went out as he rested against the wall, scrolling through the various files stored in the small device. One was labelled 'Rookwood.' Augustus Rookwood, the man who had murdered Fred Weasley. Despite being stunned during the battle of Hogwarts, he managed to recover and escape before anyone could properly restrain him. It had haunted both Harry and Ron for years and Harry had worked tirelessly on the case when it had come upon their desks. He hadn't even told Ron.

 

"Filthy blood traitor," Rookwood growled, making Draco's blood run cold. "Wait 'til your father hears about this."

 

With a flick of his wand, Harry silenced the death eater, glaring at him. "The only thing his father is going to hear about is how well he does his job," he said firmly.

 

Draco felt a flush to his face as his grey eyes met Harry's green ones. For a moment, he felt a wave of affection for the man he grew up despising. "Compliments, Potter?" he said, trying to deflect and nearly faltering.

 

Harry shrugged. "Happy Valentine's Day."

 

If Draco had to pinpoint the moment in time where he knew that he didn't hate Harry Potter anymore, that would be it. After that, they felt more like equals. Like friends. He opened the Potter's Picture Parade folder. He had taken pictures of everything back then. Their first case with the new camera, their first press conference, the first time Harry invited him out for a pint with himself and Weasley. It was that same evening, actually.

 

As he scrolled through the frozen images, he could see the change in Harry. At first he was cold and angry, annoyed in the pictures. After a while, he was indifferent and then bashful. Soon after, he was laughing and smiling. He paused on their first picture together.

 

"No plans with Ginny tonight?" Draco asked. "It's Valentine's Day. You usually go all out, or at least, for the last five years I've been working with you, you have."

 

Harry didn't respond at first, taking a long drink from his beer. "Well, you should ask Jason Kowalski what they're doing tonight."

 

Draco swallowed. "I'm sorry. I didn't know."

 

"I try to keep work and home separate," the auror replied shortly.

 

A few shots later and Draco was practically sharing Harry's stool, arm around his shoulders. "You. Are Harry Freaking Potter," he said slowly.

 

Harry frowned. "My... Middle name is- is James. I think."

 

"Harry Freaking James Potter," Draco amended. "And you can get anyone in here in your bed. You don't need Ginny. You don't need anybody. You can have everybody!" Something clattered to the floor and Draco leaned down to pick up his camera. "Oh! Picture! Come on, let's have a picture! I've never taken one with you- all the kids are doing it! it's call a selfer!"

 

"Draco, you're drunk," Harry slurred.

 

"And you're adorable." He leaned back against the auror, his chest firm and solid, and held the camera up before them. "Say..."

 

The camera flashed, but Draco wasn't ready with a smile. Instead, the camera captured a look of shock and reddened cheeks as Harry's lips pressed against the side of his face.

 

He licked his lips, turning slightly to see Harry better. "What...?"

 

"You said I could get anyone in here," Harry replied, unabashed. He leaned forward, this time softly kissing Draco's lips. "Happy Valentine's Day."

 

Somewhere in this flat, this picture was printed and framed to commemorate the beginning of a long and loving relationship. Draco ran a fingertip along the side of Harry's face in the picture.

 

"Happy anniversary," he said quietly. "Can you believe it's been ten years? We were going to buy a house this year... We were going... To look into... Adoption..." He was suddenly so overcome with grief, he could hardly speak to his own ghosts. Tears quickly spilled down his cheeks. "I told you not to go! I begged you! I had a bad feeling, I told you I did! Your stupid pride, your sense of duty, and what did it get you! When we were in school, I wished all the pain and suffering I could on you! There were times I wished you were dead, and now what? Now you're dead! But I'm the one suffering!"

 

Suddenly, a battery symbol appeared over the picture, warning that the device was about to power down.

 

"No!" he cried, scrambling to his feet. He pushed aside the cloaks and robes, fighting his way out of the closet and into the open air. He ran to the kitchen, opening drawers frantically, looking for batteries, but there were none to be found. They only needed them for the cameras and they had rechargeable cameras now. Draco growled in angry frustration, picking up the camera again. The screen flashed several times before going dark. He pulled out his wand.

 

"Reparo!"

 

Nothing happened.

 

"Reparo! Reparo, reparo, reparo!"

 

The camera remained dark.

 

Draco sank to the floor, cradling the camera in his hands, staring at the blackened screen.

 

"What am I supposed to do now, Harry?" he asked. "Where's my happy valentine?"

 

 

 

 

Chapter 2 by BlackPixie
Author's Notes:

Was originally begun as an entry for Round 2 of the Throw Down the Gaunlet challenge using Prompt 1 and keys, however circumstances meant it has taken time to get this written. Nevertheless it is here!

A/N: It’s taken me forever and an age but here we are, the second chapter of In A Flash brought to you by yours truly, Hayden. (this is unbeta'ed as of July 8)


 

I hope you don’t hate me.


I’m so sorry.


I had no choice.


I was forced.


It was either do it, or be terminated.


I had no other option.


I had to.


I never wanted to cause you so much pain.


I saw you a couple times around town, and my heart broke.


The papers accurately - for once - depicted our shared grief.


I grieved for the comfort of waking up next to you.


For the evenings of just lounging around naked, talking of our dreams and hopes for the future.


I just wished it all hadn’t happened.


I’ve quit the Aurors now that the job is over.


I’m not going back.


I’m not spending another Christmas in blasted Wales scared for my life.


You’re not spending another Christmas without me.


I thought the true fear for my life had been over.


The war ended, we should have been able to been happy.


I’m the blasted Chosen One, can’t I be happy too?


You’re the only one who really makes me happy.


I’m coming home now.


What a day to return, though.


Valentine’s Day.


I hope you don’t hate me.


I’m close to our old apartment now.


The worn key is shaking in my hand.


I don’t know what I’m going to find when I walk in the door.


Have you moved out?


Have you fallen into the pits of despair?


Have you found another to share your life with?


Have you made a shrine to me?


Scratch that thought, that’s disturbing.


I dearly hope you haven’t. That would be going too far.


I slowly turn my long unused key in the lock.


I hope to god that you are behind the door, somewhere in the place we used to call home together.


As I slowly push the door open, my heart leaps and I want to stop, go back, but it’s too late.


It’s too late to run away and reinvent myself, never return to Britain again.


Too late.


I keep going.


I must now.


I see the view I was greeted with everyday when I returned.


A spotless living room.


But it is not silent.


I walk further in.


Put down my bags.


Though the physical weight of my baggage is gone, my emotions are far from calm.


It’s good to be home.


But what I see when I turn towards the kitchen is far from my dream homecoming


You. You’re there.


You’re crumpled there.


Cradling, cradling something.


Is that our old green camera?


From all those years ago?


Moly.


I freeze as you slowly stand, yet to notice me.


You turn, and your eyes widen.


Shit.


I’ve been seen.


A body suddenly comes flying towards me, leaping at me and dragging me to the ground.


My arms are finally full of my blonde lover who I had missed for so, so long.


Blood pumping, rushing, adrenaline at the feel of him.


That feeling of being incomplete, lost has been replaced with desire and emotion.


When you finally untangle yourself from me, I can see the fiery, passionate anger I came to love.


You are so so mad with me and I know that all I can do is stand there and take it.


Just waiting until you have let it all out and I can tell you everything is torture.


All I want to do is scoop you up in my arms again and whisper sweet, sweet nothings.


But I can’t.


You go on and on, often repeating how you thought I was dead, gone, forever.


Your rage is visible, and all I can do is sit on the kitchen bench as you berate me.


My head in my hands, I know I have failed you.


Failed you as a friend, a work partner, a lover.


Failed you worse than I could ever make up for.


Not even being here, returning, could begin my atonement with you.


You forgave readily after the war.


You were forgiven easily too.


But I know that that could never happen now.


My sins are far worse than anything I could ever imagine.


My leaving was hard enough on me.


I cannot imagine the pain.


The mental anguish.


The heart, broken and fractured into millions of tiny pieces.


Now I’m here I want to help you glue those pieces back together.


If only I knew how.


If only.


I am broken from my spell as I feel your hands cupping my face.


I stare into your silvery eyes for the first time since my return.


Oh jeez.


I.


I.


I love you more than words could ever say.


Though it has been five months, my love for you never wavered.


There were times where I nearly truly left this earth for good.


Those were the times where I knew that, though we were miles apart and had been for so long, the distance of space and time made my love for you stronger.


The only thing I can manage to utter before taking your mouth with mine is

 

“I told you to wait for me to come home and you did. Thank you.”

This story archived at http://archive.hpfanfictalk.com/viewstory.php?sid=620