Summary: Sometimes it felt as if all through Hogwarts, Harry had been watched like this.
Word count: 1500
Warnings: unashamed fluff, disability
Author's Notes: A huge thank-you to my wonderful beta. I re-wrote and added parts after the beta. All mistakes you see are mine. ♥
When the artwork I know it's you, I always do dropped into the mods' mailbox, I knew at once that I had to write something for it. This little ficlet is dedicated to the brilliant anon artist and all participants of the dracotops_harry Fest. You sure make my world go round! ♥ ♥ ♥
It was a funny thing how Harry's magic tried to make up for the loss of his eye-sight. He could feel it, like warmth or the wind, curling outward from him, into his room. He was at St Mungo's, fourth floor. He hadn't needed magic to figure that one out.
Hermione had told him he was in a private room on the other end of the corridor that led towards the Janus Thickey Ward. A huge tree stood in front of his window; Harry could feel on his skin the shift of temperature when its shadow moved across the room.
The first time the Aurors had come he had been too weak to sit, with heavy bandages over his eyes. There were no scars, Ron had assured him. And in those early days, Harry had only believed Ron. Everybody else was trying to make him feel better, and Harry knew they would lie to do so. When he touched his eyelids, they still felt hot to him, different than before. But he couldn't really tell anymore. Had there always been that tiny wrinkle in the corner of his eyes? Had it always hurt when he pressed his fingertips against his lids? He didn't remember.
The Aurors asked questions after questions, most of which Harry couldn't answer. He'd been in the Ministry, had just come back from lunch with the Minister. The last thing he remembered seeing was the green whoosh from one of the fireplaces in the Atrium. Then a blast of magic, searing pain, and – darkness. There had been nothing but darkness since.
Harry hadn't seen it coming, not such hatred against him personally, not even after the editorial in the Prophet. Harold Montgomery had run the paper for years. He was a good man who had supported Harry through his disputed campaign for house-elf rights, through his messy divorce, and his even messier coming-out. Wizarding rights for werewolves, though, seemed to be off limits, nothing that the Prophet (or even The Quibbler) would support. Beasts, Montgomery had called them, mongrels, bastards, creatures of the dark, even before Voldemort's ascent, and still now, after Voldemort was gone. Harry had expected Howlers, a smear campaign against Potter & Associates. They had even put up stronger wards in the offices to be prepared. But he had never expected an attack on his life. These days, he had thought, were finally over.
Harry had been lucky. Whoever had cast the unknown spell had meant to kill. Not an Avada Kedavra, not that, but something subtler, more insidious. A Diffindo, the healer had explained, combined with a distorted Apparition spell. Harry had been hit fully in the face, but only his eyes had been permanently affected. All other wounds could be healed with a simple Episkey. But his eye lenses were Splinched, leaving only green, Ron told him, and a dark spot in the middle. It scared Harry to think of it. To think that he would never see what his eyes looked like now.
For the first couple of interviews, Shacklebolt had been present, standing close to the door, or perhaps at the window – back then Harry's senses hadn't yet been as sharp as they were now. The Head Auror had let his men do the questioning, only interrupting when Harry started to feel too tired or dizzy to respond. Later, there had been different people from various Departments of the Ministry, Unspeakables, the Undersecretary of the Minister, and the short-haired witch from Magical Creatures who had been instrumental in getting the paperwork together for pushing for werewolf rights before the Wizengamot.
Hermione had told him to keep answering their questions, even when Harry was sick of it, sick of the sound of his voice, saying the same things over and over again. Hermione thought it would be good for him when the attacker was found. For closure, she said. So that he could go on with his life. With whatever he still had for a life, Harry added silently. Hermione kept suggesting a vacation, quiet times at home, perhaps a teaching position at Hogwarts later. Her reasonableness scared Harry. He couldn't find closure here, in a closed ward at St Mungo's, least of all by having other people bring to justice the one who had done this to him. But he had found something else here – someone, rather.
The Auror always came in first and was the last to leave, never moving far into Harry's room. He would ask a question every once in a while, but never joined in the speculations about motives and names. Not once had he addressed Harry directly.
There had been one interview, with only Unspeakables present and the Auror. He and Harry had sat closer to each other then - out of an odd sense of camaraderie in the face of the stiff rustle of Unspeakable robes. Harry had sensed it then, when the man was only sitting a few yards away, something that Harry's magic brought back to him as it ventured out to collect clues that Harry's eyes could not longer perceive. The man was afraid. Not of Harry, but of what would become of Harry. This Auror wanted ... no, he needed Harry to return to his offices, stand before the Wizengamot and continue to plead his lost causes. It was in the glances he cast at Harry, lingering long and with an intensity that Harry's magic sensed from nobody else. It was not unfamiliar, this undivided scrutiny. Sometimes it felt as if all through Hogwarts, Harry had been watched like this.
Today, the last interview had taken place. The Aurors had narrowed down the circle of suspects; an arrest was imminent. The Unspeakables were satisfied they could identify the unknown spell. Harry was no longer reaching for his glasses first thing in the morning.
Everybody had left the room but the Auror. There was a subtle draught from the door that stood ajar; there was a soft crackle of pressed trousers as the man turned around.
"Potter," he said, his voice darker than Harry remembered but with the same posh precision. He had to use a Glamour to disguise his voice. Who, Harry wondered, did he think he was fooling?
"Yes?" He stood, waiting. His wandering magic brought back an onslaught of emotion – trepidation, pride, something tinged with the shadow of the tree outside reaching into his room.
"This ... this was the last time ..." The Auror didn't finished what he meant to say.
Harry remembered the arrogant shrug of a narrow pair of shoulders. There was a scrunching noise, and a barely perceptible quiver running through the floorboards. But the man was not coming closer. Harry had to go to him, it seemed.
"Yes," he said again. "I'll be discharged from St Mungo's tomorrow. My friends are going to pick me up at noon." He tried to sound cheerful, but something made his heart beat faster.
Harry stepped away from the window and slowly walked towards the man. Someone had left a chair in the middle of the room, and he almost ran into it. His magic saved him, a reflexive tug to the side, but there was no gasp, no word of warning from the Auror.
Then Harry stood before him, closer than they had been in years. There was a clean and comfortable smell around him, lavender perhaps. And the tree outside of Harry's window had to be a sycamore, for along with the lavender, the Auror had brought the sticky sweetness of its winged seeds into Harry's room.
For a moment, they stood with only the sound of their breathing and the creaking of the floorboards underneath their feet. Then Harry put his hands around the Auror's waist; he pressed himself against his chest. Who would have thought he was so warm? Soft, too, with mere traces of the gangly boy Harry remembered, but still slender, thin even underneath the clothes. The man gasped and stiffened, he scrambled to back away from Harry. But Harry did not let him go. He wrapped him in his arms, or perhaps he held on to him for else he'd fall. The man raised his hand when Harry put his head on his shoulder, to touch or to push Harry away.
"You don't understand, Potter," the Auror said, voice trembling and lighter than before. More like the voice Harry remembered.
"I know it's you, Draco." Harry's lips moved against the soft fabric of the shirt. The name fit on his tongue like he'd been saying it for ages. "I can tell from your magic, the way you speak and the scent all around you ... I don't need to see to know who you are."
A hand came to lie on Harry's shoulder, then slid around his back. Draco pulled him close, and Harry slumped against him, finally able to let go.
"Can I come see you sometime?" Draco whispered.
Harry raised his head. He didn't need magic to know grey eyes were watching him.
"Anytime," he said and leaned forward into Draco's kiss.