afterending 发表于 2020-6-6 11:04:12

Sensitive Touch [end] by Raserwolf

本帖最后由 afterending 于 2020-6-7 08:22 编辑

Originally posted on Archive of Our Own from 2018-10-05 to 2019-05-19

原文地址: Sensitive Touch by Raserwolf
Rating: Explicit
Archive Warning: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Categories: F/F | F/M | M/M
Relationships: Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter, Hermione Granger/Ron Weasley, Luna Lovegood/Ginny Weasley, Hermione Granger & Harry Potter & Ron Weasley
Characters: Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Ginny Weasley, Luna Lovegood, Dean Thomas, Seamus Finnigan, Horace Slughorn, Minerva McGonagall, Filius Flitwick, Pomona Sprout, Molly Weasley, George Weasley, Fred Weasley, Poppy Pomfrey, Bill Weasley, Fleur Delacour, Rubeus Hagrid
Additional Tags: Emotional Hurt/Comfort, Sexuality Crisis, Self-Acceptance, Hogwarts Eighth Year, Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD, Dyspraxia, Autistic Harry Potter, Top Draco Malfoy, Bottom Harry Potter, POC Harry Potter, POC Hermione Granger, Desi Harry Potter, Pining Draco Malfoy, Mutual Pining, Implied/Referenced Child Abuse, Past Child Abuse, Powerful Harry, Magically Powerful Harry Potter, Wandless Magic, Healing, Dyspraxic Harry Potter, Enemies to Friends to Lovers, meltdowns, POV Draco Malfoy, POV Alternating, Ingrained behavior, Harry Potter Epilogue What Epilogue | EWE, Healing Sex, Height Differences, Harry is short, Ron Weasley is a Good Friend, Emotional Sex, Sensory Overload, Autistic burn out, Fred Weasley Lives, Falling In Love.
Progress: 45/45 Chapters

When Draco Malfoy encounters a struggling and frustrated Harry desperately trying to tie his shoes after a meltdown in the Great Hall, his curiosity regarding the incident leads him to seek the help of the two people closest to Harry: Ron and Hermione.

After even they are shocked to hear the extent of Harry's issues, though Hermione had her suspicions, he discovers more about the man than he ever thought he knew before.

Chapter 1: The Incident
Notes: Harry is trying his best.
Draco Malfoy had his gaze fixated on the spot Harry Potter had just furiously vacated. The man was storming out of the hall from beside the Weasel and across from Granger, both of which looked incredibly guilty.

Potter had been on edge ever since the war had ended. He had returned to the castle to make up for his time away saving the entirety of the wizarding world or some shit, Draco had thought pointedly when he saw those familiar raven curls weaving between the masses on the first night back. It was only the second week and the bloody Gryffindor had already managed to break up with the Weaslette, freak out at her when she got too close within the proximity that he deemed fit, and now he just had to throw a hissy in the middle of the Great Hall.

He clearly was upset about something, and Draco wasn't even sure Granger and Weasley knew.

So it came only as a partial shock when Potter screamed at Weasley like a distressed child when he attempted to snatch food off his plate.

"Ron!" He yelled in frustration, standing abruptly from the bench.

Weasley withdrew his hand at lightning speed and glanced sheepishly at the fleeing Potter.

"It was just a chip..." Weasley murmured solemnly in response, watching Harry's robes flurry into the corridor.

"It's never just the chip Ron." Granger hissed lowly, "You know he has a... thing about food..."

"I thought he'd be over it by now! I thought it was just a first year issue!" he mumbled back with a disgruntled demeanor.

"I'm pretty sure it's an symptom Ron... of everything his relatives did to him.... You of all people know full well he is always scarfing down his food as fast as possible..." she whispered.

Draco's mind drew blank. Harry Potter, the savior and Golden boy, abused by his relatives? Surely if the Weasel and Granger were talking about it, it must be true right?

He stood calmly, deliberately drawing no attention to himself from the pack of bloody Gryffindor's. Briskly walking from the hall, he heard angry click clacks of shoes on the marble staircase. They were a bit faltered, he noted pauses that sounded stressed. Thump thump thump, "Shit!" and the sound of a body hitting the marble.

Draco hurried up at a mad pace until he saw raven curls on a short, lean figure, sitting on the top steps with his legs outstretched in shock.

Harry was sat there, angrily glaring at his feet while he attempted to regulate his breathing. Draco noted that his shoelaces were untied, and that he was curling the fingers of his left hand against the marble. He slowly drew his leg up so he could reach his shoe, looking extremely frustrated? Draco raised his brows when Harry pulled out his wand and pointed it at the laces, muttering an incantation. They twirled a bit, but didn't do much else. Could he not tie his shoes? Draco thought, watching Harry struggle to hold his wand in uncooperative stiff fingers.

Harry set his wand down and reached over to twirl the laces in his fingers. His expression grew more and more agitated as his callused hands fumbled with the laces, his pointer fingers would stay rigid for long pauses as he looped the flat side around them, making him bite his lip and glare at the offending digit. Harry groaned, straightening his leg back out aggressively, and scrubbed his palms against the denim on his thighs in perfect repetition.

The loosely tied laces were sitting neatly on top of his battered old trainers. Harry barely got the other one tied in a somewhat reasonable amount of time, and Draco could tell that by that point he was beyond frustrated.

He jumped when Harry shoved his wand in his pocket and scrubbed his fingers over his eyes just like he did on his legs. His heart sank when he heard Harry start whispering a mantra of, "I'm not retarded I'm not retarded..."

Draco took a few steps up the staircase, "Potter?" he tried cautiously.

Harry's head snapped up so fast that his fingers caught on the lenses and dragged his glasses all the way to the tip of his nose. The pallor of pure fear that overtook his cocoa skin was startling.

"How long have you been there?" he asked in a barely audible whisper.

"A few minutes..." Draco admitted.

"Just get away from me!" Harry snapped defensively, his cheeks coloring under his pigment.

"I- I'm not going to make fun of you Potter," he huffed, ascending a few more stairs, "I was going to ask if you wanted help."

Harry stared at him with those wide emeralds, "Er- I can do it - I can do it on my own." he replied, looking down self consciously at his angular hands.

Draco noticed that when he talked he had a perfectly repetitive bounce to his left foot. Harry scrambled to his feet, using the railing to shove himself up. Draco's brow furrowed in question when Harry flexed his hands in agitation as he rebalanced himself.

"Thanks for the offer though." he said impishly, clearly trying to steel himself.

Draco stepped up the last few stairs to level with the shorter man, "Are you alright?" he asked simply.

"Yeah I'm fine I'm fine." Harry assured half heartedly, "Uh... Thanks." he murmured again. And just like that he was turning to walk briskly off in the direction of the eighth year common room, his fingers still curling strangely around the strap of his satchel.

Draco stood, utterly gobsmacked at Harry's odd, but not foreign behavior. Now that he thought about it, Harry had always held a quill funny and his shoes were always messily tied, not to mention his atrocious penmanship. It was concerning, considering he has liked the git since fourth year after the first task.

Remembering for a moment, the swooping sensation in his stomach when Harry faced the vicious Horntail, realizing with a jolt he didn't want the desi boy to be harmed in any way. The death treble that panged through his heart when he thought Harry had been killed not three months ago. The powerful warm urge to snatch Harry up and kiss him when he reigned victorious in the very hall he had stormed out of.

Slinking back to his dorm, he resigned himself to ask the other two thirds of the golden trio.

afterending 发表于 2020-6-6 11:21:45

本帖最后由 afterending 于 2020-6-6 11:23 编辑

Chapter 2: The First Piece of the Puzzle

TW- brief mention of implied child abuse
Draco decides to ask the other two thirds of the Golden trio about Harry.

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)


Draco had come down from the dorm to sit by the fire and read. In the common room about an hour after Draco came down, Harry had offed himself to bed rather early, looking thoroughly exhausted. Draco noticed Granger and Weasley watching Harry until he disappeared up the stairs. Granger suddenly pulled out an enormous, very worn book out of her bag, huddling over it with Weasley.

Draco got up from his spot in the high backed chair by the crackling fire, and paced over to the two suspicious Gryffindor's.

"What do you want Malfoy?" Weasley spat before Draco could even open his mouth.

"Ron! Let him at least speak before you go accusing." Granger hissed, looking up at Draco warily but expectantly.

"Right-" he wasn't certain how to broach the topic, "Is Harry okay?"

Granger slid her hand to cover a portion of the page she had open, "What makes you ask that?" she inquired with a high, suspicious voice.

His eyes flicked down to the page in interest as Granger tried to splay her fingers as wide as she possibly could with her rather small hands. He could see a capital AS, but the other letters were elusive beneath Granger's coffee colored hands.

"Well he exploded at dinner, I was curious so I followed him up the stairs- yes Weasley I followed him- and he appeared to be having difficulties after falling on the topmost step." Draco explained eloquently.

"What sort of difficulties?" Granger asked, looking genuinely invested in what he had to say now.

"For one, did you know he has trouble tying his shoes? And he was incredulously repetitive in body language."

Both Weasley and Granger were looking at eachother with wide eyes. "Did you know Ron? That he has difficulties tying his shoes?" Granger barked.

"No! I always assumed he just tied them loose, I've seen him do it before though! It just seemed very- I don't know- like Harry to leave his laces loose." Weasley spluttered

"Hmm... What else is strange..." Granger murmured.

"Well! His handwriting is worse than mine for one thing-" Weasley started, a bit too loudly.

Dean Thomas and Seamus Finnigan perked in interest. "Are you guys talkin' about Harry?" Seamus asked in his thick Irish accent.

"Yes..." Granger confirmed skeptically.

Dean and Seamus took a seat beside Ron, Draco lowered himself into the chair beside Hermione cautiously.

"Think about it Granger, they have shared a dorm with Potter for about seven years, they could be useful if even you don't know what's wrong with him." Draco drawled.

She looked slightly affronted, "Well! I don't think there's anything necessarily wrong with him! I think he has something that he was born with!"

Draco held his hands up in surrender, "You have to admit that he has a lot of weird ingrained habits. He doesn't like being touched, he definitely has PTSD on top of whatever else he has, he barely recognizes social cues, and he eats like the food is going to be taken from right under his nose." he pointedly shot a glare at Weasley for that last observation.

"Ron and I do know he was starved for the first 10 years of his life, and every summer in between Hogwarts, so he's generally malnourished yes." Granger whispered discreetly, flicking through pages languidly, she was clearly lost in thought.

Draco's heart sunk once more for the man. "Starved- what do you mean? Explain?!" he demanded in a haughty aristocratic tone. His behavior garnered an almost knowing snicker from Dean and Seamus.

"Well..." Weasley reminisced, "Fred, George, and I went to go get him from those awful muggles right before second year, there were bars on his window! And he couldn't weigh more than 60 pounds! My god he was small... He still is the shortest out of us three."

Draco was staring at Weasley in complete shock, he was about to snarl a retort about the lack of concern for Harry's well being, when Hermione was obviously struck by an epiphany. She flipped through the pages so fast that the words Draco had meant to snap at Weasley died on his tongue.

"Ron! Harry trips over his feet all the time does he not?" she asked, almost breathlessly.

"Well yeah but wh-"

"He also has trouble with a quill? Or holding something that requires fine motor skills?" She wasn't really asking, more like restating a known fact to establish it in her memory.

"How could I be so stupid!" all four boys glanced at eachother in wide eyed inquiry, "Fine motor skills! That's what it is! He's great with gross motor skills- I think that's why he likes practical defense so much-"

"Gross motor skills?" Ron asked under his breath, glancing at the other three in question.

They all shook their heads.

"- he has a hard time with things like writing or tying shoelaces, both of which are fine motor skills, and yes!" she exclaimed, concluding her jabbering with a crack of both book covers against the wooden table, and pointing at the title of the page.

"Granger you are way too excited about this." Draco sighed.

She ignored him and kept rambling, a triumphant smile pulling at her lips, "Dyspraxia : an apraxic-like disorder that is rooted in the neurological system, causing difficulty with fine motor skills such as hand eye coordination, and speech. One of the most common symptoms in kids and adults with this disorder-" Granger drew a breath as her eyes snapped to a particular portion of the sentence, "Is difficulty tying shoelaces!"

They all gawked at her as she grinned at them, clearly proud of herself. She glanced back down at the page where her pointer finger was and continued.

"We obviously can't just diagnose him ourselves, we'd have to ask Madame Pomfrey to confirm it, lets see what else it says-" she mused, dragging her fingertip down the yellowing parchment.

Ron bent over the page to scan it upside down, clearly as puzzled as the rest of them. Draco leaned on the heel of his hand and skimmed the pages, but halfway through his gloss over of the second page he caught those letters again.

"Hey Granger? You had a page open with this sequence of letters right?" Draco asked, stabbing at the capital AS- now with the third letter of D- with his pinky.

She glanced over with raised brows and began to read aloud. "Dyspraxia can occur in an individual as a stand alone condition, however more often than not, it is paired with one of the following: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); more than 50% of dyspraxics have ADHD-" she paused flipping to the A section of the book and speedily reading the first page on it, "No... He doesn't have this. Nor does he have dyscalcula or hyptonia..."

Ron held up a hand. Hermione glanced up at them. "Hermione, English please." Ron tried, "We have no idea what you're saying." Seamus agreed.

"Oh! Right sorry- it's basically he doesn't have a terribly hard time with numbers, and he definitely isn't low on muscle mass," Draco's brows perked infinitesimally into a pleased expression. He swore he saw Granger notice out of the corner of her eye, because her smile broadened, but it fell in a matter of moments once her eyes fell back on the page.

She sat back and looked at Ron with a glazed expression, then she snapped the book shut, suddenly looking very determined.

"I'm going to bed, I suggest you do too..." she said simply, collecting her things in her bursting book bag, and heading to her dorm without another word.

The boys all goggled in utter bemusement as the last lick of her robes vanished up the staircase.

"What was that about?!" Draco hissed at Weasley.

"I've no clue sometimes with her, right now it's unfortunately one of those times." he responded, getting up from his chair to stretch.

Draco grimaced. Both at the loud crack that Weasley's shoulder just made, and the complete lack of information they had to go off of besides a name of a possible disorder. The mere thought of what Harry must be going through in order for Hermione, who tended to be the fixer of the trio, walk out so suddenly, made his gut twist unpleasantly. The image of his angry burning emerald glare that was ever so slightly watery flashed through Draco's mind.

He cursed himself mentally when his heart gave a tiny leap at the memory of Harry's uncertain thanks. Getting up, he trudged along the corridor after ascending the stairs, Weasley shuffling somewhere in tow. He guessed their shared concern for Harry had garnered himself a sort of acquaintanceship with Weasley. He vaguely heard Dean and Seamus enter their own dorm that they shared with Longbottom. Opening the door to the dorm he shared with Weasley and Harry, seeing the raven haired boy in question beneath two huge duvets.

He was cocooned in a rather cute way, Draco thought, his stomach doing a somersault even at the very thought. Harry was completely buried, the edges of the puffy blanket curling around his bare chocolate shoulders, and his mocha lips parted barely, exposing the inner pink gradient detail on his plump lower one. His masculine face looking softer, lashes thicker upon his admittedly blue under eye. He looked as peaceful as a mentality distressed war hero who literally died could.

Draco smiled minutely, traipsing over to his bed and changing into his signature silk pajamas while Weasley was stripping like a drunk orangutan. He hated the fact that within the month of him occupying this room, he already was too aware that Weasley's freckles extended to his arse and bits. Weasley's stupid freckled arse, Draco thought, half stupefied by the exhaustion that all this new information about his crush was causing him.

He fell asleep watching Harry's slow breathing, emphasized by the double duvet, through half lidded eyes.

Hermione has a hunch, and she doesn't like it or what it might mean for Harry if words gets out.

afterending 发表于 2020-6-6 11:26:07

Chapter 3: Hermione's Hypothesis

Restless, Hermione really delves into the depths of what she's almost positive is Harry's condition, striking epiphanies along the way.

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text
Hermione didn't sleep at all that night. As soon as she laid eyes on those three letters that Draco had pointed out, she just knew. She'd been reading up on it for a while in her free time after, out of all people, Molly Weasley gifted the book to her during the summer.

After expressing her interest in mental health after the war, when the boys started showing signs of PTSD, Molly had taken her out to Diagon alley to get to know her a little better after she announced that she was dating Ron.

There, they went into a newly refurbished Flourish and Blots, while Hermione rambled on about her concern for keeping the boys, mainly Harry, stable. Molly bought her the book, huge, worn, and emblazoned with curly midnight blue letters entitled The Wizard's Guide to Mental Health, as a sort of 'welcome to the family' gift.

She had read it through once and was nearly halfway into it again, when the pages about Autism caught her attention as she rifled them with her thumb.

Reading through the symptoms, she noticed that there were an innumerable amount that screamed Harry. If she was right, he had to have have less noticeable symptoms, as some of the more extreme habits didn't fit him completely, but manifested themselves differently.

Harry had fine speech skills, he was witty and sarcastic, making her believe he had a pretty good sense of literal and figurative. Although her mind went to how seriously he took the clue in the black lake when everybody else knew that Dumbledore wouldn't allow a student to be harmed while he was headmaster.

Then she thought back to the entirety of fifth year. Harry was a completely new breed of mess that year. He obviously already had developed PTSD from the graveyard, showing itself in nearly everything he did regarding anything to do with Voldemort.

What intrigued Hermione the most however, was how much Harry could absolutely not handle Umbridge.

Originally she persisted to herself that he injustice would have bothered anybody, but the more she thought about it the more she realized that Harry was especially furious and irritated when she lied about Voldemort's return. That woman did not mesh at all with Harry's moral compass, and it bothered him throughout the entirety of the year. He kept yelling at Umbridge even after he'd experienced the consequences of her detentions, and he would flex his trembling hands, straining from how taught he pulled his tendons, in the corridor while walking to their next class.

She was the only one to notice this recurring habit and his inability or refusal to explain why he kept going after Umbridge every time she directed a comment at him.

Then at the end of the year after Sirius died, although she'd only heard tell of it from Harry himself, when Harry destroyed Dumbledore's office in what he had dismissively called a fit of rage. Hermione realized while reminiscing as she read, even with such minimal description of the event from Harry, that he had experienced a meltdown.

Everything building up within that last month before the Ministry incident had exploded out of him when he couldn't handle it anymore. Immediately after they were returned to Hogwarts, Harry wouldn't respond, he was blank and it looked like he was not taking in a word anybody was saying to him or anything around him. She didn't understand at the time, but now recognised it as an overload, making Harry mentally unable to take in anymore information.

She recalled that when she questioned him about it immediately afterwards, he described it simply as "Too much" with much difficulty and repetitive scrubbing of his hands on his worn jeans.

His obsessive investigative habit of following Draco during sixth year was strange, but he had always been a very all or nothing kind of guy, so that one was up to debate as Harry just being intuitive where others were not. When Cho kissed him in the room of requirement, his first description of it was an honest "wet." Not any other adjective was given until Ron asked him to elaborate, and Hermione caught that he looked a bit startled by his question before he answered it.

The real kicker for Hermione though was this: Harry, in all her years of knowing him, never explained how he was feeling at any given time. Whenever it was brought up he would answer with something completely unrelated to direct the conversation elsewhere. If she ever managed to get anything out of him it was because she had asked him a yes or no question, which seemed much easier for him to respond to.

Every time this happened she watched as he rocked minutely on his toes and aggressively stretched his fingers. When she would rephrase it into a closed question, his whole body would relax except for one of his hands, and that only fell limp when she dropped the subject entirely.

Hermione still couldn't pinpoint if this was because of the abuse he'd suffered, or because he just couldn't unless directly badgered about it. Harry hated showing weakness, she'd never once in her life seen that man cry. Sure he'd gotten close, but if he ever did, he never let anybody see.

There were so many things about Harry that she'd come to associate with Harry just being himself. But now that she was looking at the bigger picture from an outside perspective, Harry had unusual behavior and habits that were inexplicable until you threw in the messy wrench of the possibility that he might have a mental disorder. Of course this was a difficult conclusion for Hermione to come to because, to put it simply, Harry was quite brilliant.

She'd always associated mental disorders with lack of intellectual capacity. She hated to admit the guilty truth, but her initial reaction to Harry's habitual connections to the list written down on the autistic page was "Harry couldn't possibly be! He's smart!" and it made her feel icky and guilty for even assuming he had to be intellectually insufficient to be autistic.

The more and more she read, realizations and epiphanies hit her left and right. Harry was smart and, yes, admittedly a bit slow on the uptake when it came to certain things, but just because he was perfectly intellectually capable did not mean that he wasn't affected. It took days for Hermione to admit it to herself, and when she did she felt awful that she'd contributed to reinforcing the stereotype, even if it was completely indirect.

So now she sat, reading through the dyspraxic and autistic sections of her book with a strange sensation in her lungs. She wanted to help Harry. She knew that the things he struggled with made him angry and upset even if he didn't show it. So right then and there, she vowed to not treat Harry any different if her hypothesis was correct.

She had highlighted the bullet points that matched Harry with a color changing spell, deciding she would bring it to McGonagall's attention after classes the next day.

The sun was peaking over the Scottish Highlands now. The mountains were impossibly green in its orange glow, rays escaping through the valleys reflecting off the shiny midnight surface of the lake.

She gently closed her book, set it on her beside table, and slumped back on her pillows.

Deciding she was most definitely not going to get any sleep, she slipped on her socks and made her way down to the common room to sit by the hearth. But there was already somebody sitting cross legged in one of the high backed chairs. A raven curled, bespectacled someone clad in his Weasley sweater, green with a golden snitch. He had a baby blue mug in his cocoa hands and was staring into the warm flames, the reflection flickering in his glasses.

"Harry?" she asked softly.

He jumped slightly, his head whipping around to fix her with his blazing green gaze. "Oh- it's you 'Mione." he breathed, slightly exasperated.

Harry turned back to face the fire when she started drawing nearer, plopping herself down in the opposing chair.

"What are you doing out here so early?" she inquired, her voice thick with disuse.

"Nightmare." he replied, taking a sip from what Hermione assumed was hot chocolate, seeing how Harry loved the sweet and bitter combination.

"Hmm. About what? If you don't mind." she asked after clearing her throat.

His pointer finger, resting atop the handle that his other digits were threaded through, rubbed the pad back and forth along the ceramic. He opened his mouth and his foot started bouncing. His throat gave a small crack of voice before he spoke.

"The war. The way everybody looked at me in second year when they all thought I was the heir of Slytherin. Just stuff like that." he said in a subdued tone.

Hermione's heart clenched, "Well we haven't exactly had the traditional Hogwarts experience have we?"

Harry smiled gently. "Not even in first year." his fingers straightened out as his gaze directed to them.

"Are you alright?" she pressed as calmly as possible.

"What- oh er- yeah I'm fine."

"Harry?" she tried, bracing herself for what she was going to attempt.


"Is it hard for you to control your hands?" she asked meekly.

His eyes flicked up to her, then settled back on his hot chocolate, which he knocked back quickly. He swallowed thickly, Hermione could hear all his muscles working in his throat as he did, and licked his lips.

He inhaled and barely nodded.

Hermione clasped her hands together and kept her gaze steady on his bobbing socked foot, which she just noticed was turned inside out. "How so?" she tried.

His fingers flexed again, tight and stressed like his breathing. Harry spent a minute just breathing, his eyes becoming progressively wetter.

"I-" his voice broke strenuously, "It's like-" he was blinking rapidly now while his face contorted, "They don't listen-" tiny whimpers were catching in his throat, "Can't-" was the last thing he could utter, as he angrily flapped his hand not holding the mug.

And for the first time in all of her near eight years of knowing him, Harry cried.

He was rubbing his hand and the underside of his wrist clutching the mug on his pajama pants, tears leaking down his face, trying laboriously to breathe.

Hermione got up slowly and made sure that Harry could see her through his spattered lenses, and sat on the arm of the chair right beside him. She got behind him and wrapped her arms around his heaving chest. He flinched and fought her at first, good Lord he was strong, but eventually collapsed into her embrace and let silent sobs rip through him. Thankfully, he had finished his drink before attempting to throw her off in pure built up emotion, only speckling her nose with the few drops left at the bottom.

Panting, she simply held the shorter man against her chest, knowing all too well just how excruciatingly difficult those six words were for him to force out.

So she cradled him like the mother taken too soon from him, just like she had when they visited his parents graves in Godric's Hollow. She let him cry until he had no more tears left, sitting in calm silence, staring into the licking flames as they grazed the brick hearth.

Harry is starting to crack, what will happen when Draco is thrown into the picture?

afterending 发表于 2020-6-6 11:27:09

Chapter 4: Overloaded Discovery

Harry grows more and more agitated as the day goes on. What thoughts will run through his head in his search for comfort?

Chapter Text
Harry's diaphragm ached duly as he sat in charms dejectedly. A light soreness was creeping under his ribs, a result of how hard he had been heaving with suppressed emotion earlier that morning. It was ridiculous how difficult it was for him to say how he felt out loud, he thought, staring into the piled up books in the corner of the room.

He could elaborate everything so perfectly in his head. He could describe the angry pressure in his tendons when his hands seized up, but he could never quite explain it with his words. He had the perfect sentence in his brain every time and it made him immensely frustrated when he couldn't seem to find the words that were right there mere moments before.

But he supposed it had always been like that. Building up until he needed to physically express it all in some way, when he could no longer seem to make himself retain anything and all his senses became jittery and tight.

He had his socks turned inside out today because the seems we're especially bothering him. Making all the nerves in his feet and calves tingle and itch until a weighty sensation began to pool in his stomach. His Weasley sweater from sixth year was extremely well worn, specifically chosen today so the wool didn't bother his skin as much.

Harry's breath felt tight. He needed to do something or he was going to explode, and he really didn't want to do anything stupid in front of the whole class and be completely unable to explain why he did it. So he flipped over the parchment he was supposed to be taking notes on, wove his fingers into his hair to gently stroke the tighter curls at the nape of his neck, and started drawing little snitches all over with his quill.

Soon the scratching of his quill was amplified tenfold in his ears and he needed to set it down. He closed his eyes and discreetly pressed his hands over his ears, drawing in slow breaths.

Suddenly all the noise bombarding Harry's ears through his fingers died down. Cracking open an eye he felt a jolt spasm within his stomach.

Everybody was looking at him. Professor Flitwick was in front of his desk at his eye level and he could distantly hear him saying "Mr. Potter? Mr. Potter? Could you answer my question?"

Harry sat bolt upright, making his hand nearest his quill flex. "Oh! Uh- could you repeat the question please?" he stammered, trying to keep his shaky voice as level as possible.

"Which charm would be best to use in the situation written on the board?" Professor Flitwick asked.

Harry scanned the chalk writing, trying to keep his attention on reading and not the tapping of Ron's quill echoing in his head. "The dissolutionment charm." he replied, readjusting his glasses on his nose.

"Very good!" Flitwick chirupped in his squeaky little voice.

Harry curled his toes in his shoes and breathed deeply, "Ron could you stop tapping your quill I can't focus." he murmured to a completely absent Ron who was gazing at the blots he was forming on his parchment.

Hermione grabbed Ron's wrist and gave him a look when he jumped with a snort. Despite being on the opposite side of the table Harry could feel every reverberation that traveled across the desk.

He didn't know why or how and was pretty sure Ron and Hermione didn't experience the same thing he did. Hermione never had to turn her socks inside out, and Ron never had the urge to strip off his clothes because he could feel every fiber against his body hair. Although he was vaguely certain Ron occasionally slept in the nude just for the hell of it.

Harry didn't know why he had to draw all the snitches exactly the same size, or why he insisted on having his ties folded very specifically in his drawer. He just did.

Flipping his parchment back over, he took the last bit of notes with his left hand over his ringing ear.

When class was over, Harry went to the library, leaving a bickering Ron and Hermione behind.

When he entered the quiet tickled his temples. He took a seat in the very back and settled into the environment. He itched his leg with the toe of his trainer, pulled out his essay for Slughorn, and set to work. The scratching of his quill was much more pleasant without all the background auditory information.

Now that he was alone and in a quiet area, the memory of his encounter with Malfoy came into mind. He was honestly shocked when he didn't see Malfoy's lips curled back in a mocking sneer, rather a relaxed expression of concern.

Malfoy had very nice lips when he wasn't sneering, he thought, they were very full and shaped like a heart. Harry registered his thoughts and mentally kicked himself. He wasn't supposed to think Malfoy had pretty lips!

He stopped writing his conclusion sentence. One thing at a time.

Sure, Harry always had the lingering thought in the very back of his mind that Malfoy was fairly attractive. But his mind snapped back to uncle Vernon right in the middle of his revalations. He remembered the nasty, foul things he and Petunia had yelled about same sex couples, and felt unexplainably guilty.

The process of readjusting to not returning to the Dursleys during the summer, no matter how pleasant, was difficult. He always had a perfect recollection of Vernon's fat warbling voice screaming at him when he even attempted to delve into some topic that Vernon despised for whatever reason. The inkling of his mental admittance that he found Malfoy attractive scared him. Fear was solidified by traumatic memories.

Harry didn't realize how many things were ingrained into his mental fibre until he reflected on how the Weasley's treated their children over the years. Hermione's kindness, Ron's loyalty, and the fact that the whole of the Weasley family still liked him after he'd broken up with Ginny. It made him overwhelmed with emotion, and he recalled running out into the fields at The Burrow to calm down.

He didn't like to cry in front of people because the last time he did before that morning, he got hit with a hot pan by his aunt while Vernon bellowed "Boys don't cry!" at him. Hermione hadn't hit him or yelled at him, she'd simply held him and let him tremble with welled up feelings.

It quite literally felt like his world was crumbling around him. Everything he learned from the Dursley's treatment was wrong. Now that he was a hero, very few people were out to harm the savior of the wizarding world, even if he didn't realize it himself.

He watched his hands and set down his quill, trying to get his fingers to bend and straighten with the precision he wanted. He didn't understand why it was so difficult! His hands began to tremble with agitation.

Stuffing his essay aggressively back into his satchel, Harry left the library and headed up to the seventh floor corridor.

Maybe the Room of Requirement would know what he needed to reset and calm down. He dragged his finger pads along the rough stone walls, closing his eyes intermittently when he traipsed along a lengthy corridor, focusing on how the course texture shot spirals of sensation up his hand and forearm.

He reached the empty corridor and paced along the it three times thinking "I need a place to feel safe, I need a place to feel safe..." making the large ornate door appear.

Pushing it open, he was met with the most relieving shade of pale cerulean blue and a large four poster bed draped in baby blue hangings and covered in enormous lavender duvets. There was a high backed chair with soft mahogany colored cushions that looked as if it could gently rock.

It was perfect. Harry set his satchel on the chair and stripped off his robes.

He couldn't really figure out why he was taking off his clothes at first, but then he registered that all he wanted in that moment was to feel the cool fabric of the duvets against his skin. He shucked off his sweater, shimmied out of his jeans, and sat on the bed.

Feeling the gentle chill of the soft duvets gave him confidence to wrap one of them around his shoulders like a cloak.

The sensation was everything Harry needed. Calm, quiet, and nothing but softness enveloping his overdriven senses. It was like his brain was slowly restarting, like he was one with himself again, like nothing else mattered except the here and now. No war. No survivors guilt. No Voldemort. No scratchy quills.

He knew that it was childish to take your clothes off and wrap yourself up in a blanket at 3:00 in the evening, but he also knew that it made him feel immensely better than he had in weeks.

Harry stayed just like that for an hour, eyes closed, and breathing even.

After that, he redressed, slung his bag back over his shoulder, and committed the room to memory. He walked back to the common room, where he thought it would be the most likely place to find Ron and Hermione. His senses no longer pulsing and tingling horribly, his chest light and clear.

He felt okay, almost good, for the first time in months.

With that good experience fresh in his eased mind, he decided to share his newfound discovery with Ron and Hermione, thinking that they might like it too.

afterending 发表于 2020-6-6 11:28:44

Chapter 5: Ron's Mistake

Still unbeknownst to Harry's condition, Ron cracks a joke that doesn't sit well with Hermione.

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text
Ron was slumped next to Hermione at one of the desks in the common room absently stroking Crookshanks on his huge furry rump. Hermione was pouring over the same book from yesterday like her life depended on it. Her nose was only an inch or two away from the page headed in blocky serif letters that read Autism.

Ron had heard of it, but barely, coming from a wizarding family where mental health and condition was rarely, if ever, spoken about and all. He didn't really know why Hermione was obsessively interested in the condition, but going off of her sporadic questions about Harry yesterday night, he assumed it had something to do with him.

Speak of the devil, Ron thought as Harry climbed in through the portrait hole, looking more relaxed than he'd ever seen him in the past year. Hermione closed the book, back facing up, and patted Crookshanks' squashy head. Harry sat down across from them, "Hey." he hummed, reaching up to twirl a wild curl on his left sideburn.

"Where did you go after class mate? We couldn't find you anywhere." Ron inquired, squishing Crookshanks' meaty thigh and earning a glare from the flat faced cat.

Harry's eyes lit up, "Well I went to the Room of Requirement, cause I was- er- tired after charms." he started, casting a wary glance at Hermione. Ron didn't miss the understanding in Hermione's eyes as she gave Harry a curt nod. Strange.

"It still works then does it?" Ron asked, leaning forward to rest his chin on the heel of his hand.

"Yeah, I suspect the Room of Hidden Things is burnt to a crisp, although I didn't check- I wonder if it will appear-" Harry rambled.

"What did the room become for you Harry?" Hermione murmured, her voice a bit gravely from disuse.

"This little room with a plush rocking chair, a great big bed and my- my- erm- favorite lavender duvets..." Harry trailed off, looking thoroughly embarrassed.

Ron couldn't help it, he snorted.

Harry's big green eyes flicked over to him, thick brows scrunched up in concern. Hermione shot him the most poisonous glare, clutched his knee in a clawed hand, and squeezed hard. He yelped as a surge of discomfort shot through his leg, making him writhe.

"I'm sorry! Ouch! It's just lavender- 'Mione! is very Lockhart, don't you think? Agh!" Ron spluttered, grinding his teeth every time Hermione jabbed her blunt nails into his thigh.

His eyes snapped back to Harry, and his stomach clenched. Harry looked so ashamed, wringing the sleeve of his worn jumper, "I-I just like how the color..." he shifted in his seat, "makes me feel- I guess- I-" Harry stammered, but he was cut off by Hermione.

"Harry don't listen to Ron-" she took her book and smacked it into Ron's chest, knocking the wind out of him, "If the color makes you feel nice there is nothing wrong or pompous about that!" she panted apologetically.

Crookshanks hissed and flounced off Hermione's lap at the disturbance, landing on the floor with a dull thump.

Hermione snagged Ron by his very pink ear and dragged him up the stairs. Stumbling backward on his gangly legs, he was tugged toward his own dormitory.

"Agh! 'Mione?! Wha-"

Harry looked a little bit reassured, and Ron even caught his lips twitch as he struggled to keep up with a very furious, forward facing, Hermione. Harry was left in the company of the only other person in the common room. Draco Malfoy. Ron caught Malfoy's blonde head plop down opposite Harry just as he was wrenched around the bend and down the corridor.

"Ow! What's going on? Hermione?!"

Hermione threw Ron into his room, where he fell haphazardly on his arse, the breath escaping him in a harsh wheeze.

"Ron!" she snarled, drawing out an angry R sound that trilled menacingly in the empty space.

"What-" he panted, but was quickly intervened.

"Have you not read any decent portion of the pages I've had open for weeks! Especially with you looming over my shoulder you think you might have picked something up!?" she snapped, throwing the book at him.

Ron spluttered guiltily.

"Did you even read anything last night? I literally had it open before Malfoy came over!"

"I-I read about the dys- what's it called-"

"Dyspraxia!" she barked.

"Yeah that- and well you sorta- stormed off 'Mione! Before you told any of us anything about whatever it was you read that was so bloody troubling!" he quickly explained.

The firey expression fell from her face.

"It's not really my fault I don't understand what's going on- cause you never told me!" Ron panted, rubbing his angrily pulsing ear.

She nodded and took a breath, "Right- right... I'm sorry Ron."

Hermione took a seat on the floor beside him, adjusting so she was neatly cross legged.

"Okay..." she exhaled loudly, pulling the book into her lap from where it had laid splayed in the crook of Ron's knee, and cracked it open. "So this-" she flipped to the pages "this is what's called Autistic Spectrum Disorder..."

Ron sat up straighter and situated his long legs into a more comfortable position.

"I doubt you've ever heard of it before today- barely any of the wizarding world focuses on this stuff, I mean this was written by a muggle born- but I'm pretty sure Harry has this." she pointed to the chunk of neat text titled The Asperger's Spectrum.

"Wait I kind of know what that is- what- how long has he had this?" Ron asked, waving his large hands about in exasperation.

"His whole life. We've just never noticed it as something other than Harry being Harry." she replied with a nod.

"So Harry's...?" Ron trailed off.

"I'm fairly certain that Harry's autistic Ron... That's why the Room turned into what it did for him, calm colors that he likes and feels safe in. That's why he could hear and feel your quill on the desk in charms. I think that's why he was seeking the room in the first place, from his sensory overload."

Ron felt guilty now. He'd never meant to make fun of Harry's safe place, or the colors that put him at ease. He'd only meant to crack a joke about the idiot professor Lockhart.

He wanted to apologize to Harry right then and there.

"This morning..." Hermione started, "I went down into the common room because I'd been up all night reading about this, and he was there, just sitting by the fire."

"Yeah I saw him leave... His nightmares are usually pretty loud, woke me up, did you know he slept with absolutely nothing on?" Ron hummed.

"It would make sense... If his senses have been aggrivated lately, then he wouldn't like the feeling of the fabric fibers on his skin- another reason for him to seek the room after charms." she replied, with a passive aggressive look at Ron.

He swallowed, feeling more and more like the biggest dick on the planet with each explanation.

"Anyway... He- he cried when I asked him about his hands, you know how he has always had trouble for as long as we've known him." she trailed away, glancing at Ron's stunned expression.

"Wait- Harry cried? Bloody hell 'Mione..." he breathed.

"Well it wasn't a full meltdown, but yes... he cried... And it was honestly heartbreaking watching him struggle to express how he felt." she murmured.

"How could we never tell... that Harry's autistic." Ron whispered rhetorically, burying his face in his hands.

"I want to help him... I really do... He's clearly having such a hard time with his dyspraxia, and I think his sensory overloads scare him." she sighed, "Another reason why he was so pleased by the room..."

"Should we say something to McGonagall?" Ron inquired.

"I was thinking the same thing actually... Yes I think it would be best to tell her so we can do something to at least help him." she hummed.

"I need to apologize to Harry." Ron mumbled as he staggered up onto his long legs like a newborn giraffe.

They left the dorm and descended the staircase in tandem. When they reached the common room, however, both Draco and Harry had gone.

Sinking onto the couch, Hermione split the book open and thrust it into Ron's lap saying "Well best to understand everything there is to know before you apologize!"

So they sat, discussing how the points related to Harry, listening to each other's recollections and devising a way to talk to McGonagall.

The overwhelming response to this fic is incredible! Thank you all so much for the lovely comments!

afterending 发表于 2020-6-6 11:29:53

Chapter 6: New Beginnings

Harry and Draco call a truce, learning about the good qualities of eachother with a little bonding time.

Chapter Text
Draco was sitting in his favorite high backed malachite green chair finishing up his arithmancy essay when he heard Weasley snicker about something Harry had said. He turned to see Granger basically puncturing Weasley's thigh with the help of that enormous bandy legged ginger cat as he spluttered out the rest of the jab.

Draco had actually gone to the library after charms and asked for the book that Granger had, as he'd glimpsed the cover when she'd slammed it shut the previous night. He had to request for Madame Pince to levitate it down from one of the highest shelves, stating shrilly that he'd better keep it in good condition as it was her only copy. But he'd gotten it, The Wizard's Guide to Mental Health.

Flipping through the index he searched for that three letter combination of ASD. When he spotted it he slipped his finger between the pages as he closed the tome, sauntering to find a desk in the back. His stomach gave a little lurch when he saw familiar raven curls bent low over a scroll of parchment.

Sitting down at the desk three rows down from Harry's, clearly completely unbeknownst to the man pouring over his essay, he parted the book back open. As far as he could tell, all the other lower years were mingling in the opposite side of the library, making it nice and quiet save for the scratching of Harry's quill.

His attention was only pulled back from the book when Harry abruptly stopped writing and stared at his parchment vacantly. He was fidgety and eventually set his quill down to look at his hands. Draco flinched when Harry suddenly shoved everything into his satchel and fled the library quickly, his hands flexed at his sides.

Draco went back to reading about Autistic Spectrum Disorder and it's levels of severity with symptoms for each level. He eventually concluded what Hermione had in her free time, though he was obviously unaware of it. He didn't know Harry nearly as well as the constantly waffling couple, but he saw the repetitive habits and social interaction issues.

Now he sat and watched as Granger furiously grappled Weasley up the stairs while apologizing profusely to Harry.

He got up, things tucked under his arm, sauntered over to him and asked "Can I sit here?"

Harry nodded, his eyes fixed on the perfect collar of Draco's white button up. Draco took the seat across from Harry just as the Weasel was dragged into the corridor.

Draco had never really appreciated how uniquely beautiful Harry was. He was short, all hard lines and edges, and very angular. But his eyes. His eyes were rounded and soft around the outer edges with perfectly jewel bright emeralds for irises, not a fleck of any other color that wasn't a shade of green within them. They were very slightly far apart and shaped like sugared almonds, shrouded in thick black lashes that arced in a little crescent shape.

The main branch of his scar carved through his eyebrow, broke into bolts right below his right eye, and continued to the bottom of his cheek. A stroke of lightning zigzagged over the bridge of his nose and bloomed out onto the opposite cheek. Stray bolts stuck out from the thicker lines, making it complex and vivid against his cocoa skin, not diluting his features despite the fact it went over and through almost all of them.

Harry had a very square, angular chin and jaw, bringing an attractive masculine edge to his boyish face. His nose was a tad bit wide, smoothing down in a slope that bumped out a bit where the junction of his nasal bones sat. He had thick rectangular eyebrows that were a little bristly and broken up on the outer edges and full mocha colored lips with a dark pink inner detail on his bottom lip. His perfectly circular glasses accented the brightness of his eyes and the chiseled edges of his cheekbones and jaw.

The cords of musculature in Harry's neck made his Adams apple stand out. His small but blocky hands were callused and rough, adding to his masculine beauty. His gorgeously muscled thighs always strained attractively against the denim of his jeans. And when he rolled up his sleeves in potions, Draco felt a funny tightness in his stomach at the sight of his well toned forearms.

He was short standing at 5'5", he was sturdily built save for his knobbly knees and pointed elbows, and he had very voluptuous yet muscled legs to go with his tight arse.

He had it so bad for the man sitting across from him. Harry was by no means the ideal type of man, but that's why Draco was drawn to him.

Harry was headstrong, stubborn, unequivocally brave, loyal, and yet he was modest, and kind, with a beautiful heart. Draco didn't care if Harry had issues, everybody involved in the war did. He was still Harry, just as he always had been.

Harry felt unattainable, hell, Draco didn't even know if he was gay. It saddened him immensely, but there was a lingering flicker of hope deep deep down. He kept uselessly telling himself that Harry wouldn't want him if he even was gay, he was too involved in everything Harry fought against during the war to even be considered a possibility.

Harry cleared his throat awkwardly, staring at his hands, "Can we talk about yesterday?" he mumbled.

"I suppose." Draco drawled.

"You didn't- you didn't tell anybody did you?" Harry asked hesitantly.

"Why would I do that? It's not like I have anybody to tell." Draco replied, placing his unrolled essay in his arithmancy book so that it's recoil curled around the cover.

Harry's eyes were on the gently swaying parchment as it attempted to retract further into its original shape.

"Thank you."

Draco glanced up from the book to find Harry's gorgeous green eyes on his for the first time since he stared with pure fear at him on the marble staircase.

"What are you thanking me for?"

Harry's eyes flicked down to Draco's pale hand and precariously drew back up, "For not using it to humiliate me in front of everybody." Harry murmured bluntly.

Draco fell momentarily silent at the sentiment.

"I think this year we should leave all that animosity in the past..." Draco suggested, clearing his throat awkwardly.

"Are you implying we call a truce?" Harry coaxed.

Draco threaded his fingers together in mock formality. "Do you not think our playground schoolboy rivalry was petty and unnecessary?" he clarified.

Harry's lips twitched as his eyes drew down to his clasped hands beneath the table. "I do..." he confirmed.

"Truce?" Draco inquired, unfolding and reaching his hand across the table in offering.

A funny sensation bubbled in his gut when he saw Harry's eyes on his outstretched hand. It was like first year all over, except Draco was a bit less cockish and actually of his own opinion, but his brain wasn't considering that fact right now.

Harry's small angular hand slid across to meet Draco's, their fingers wrapping around the sides of eachothers palms.

"Yeah... I'd like that." Harry mused.

Draco smiled. The callused palm flush with his own was embarrassingly invigorating.

"Your skin is soft." Harry observed as they released eachothers grip.

Draco snapped up in blatant curiosity, finding Harry's slightly widely spaced, bespectacled eyes already on him once again.

"Sorry- I didn't mean- I just-" Harry insisted quickly.

"No, it's- it's alright... Thank you..." Draco breathed, feeling his face flushing.

"And here I was thinking you'd take back everything we just agreed to..." Harry chuckled low and husky, still flustered.

Draco gave a small grin, "I wouldn't do anything that fast, I'd get whiplash." he joked, watching Harry's brows scrunch infinitesimally as he worked out the figurative side of the joke.

Harry smiled and met his gaze once more. "I wouldn't want your oversized head to fall off your shoulders now would I?" he cheekily cracked back.

"I beg to differ." Draco snorted.

They shot a few more playful jabs at each other, a new delicate fondness blooming in both of their hearts.

Draco leaned back in his chair, casting a tempus charm, "We missed dinner." Draco stated morosely.

"We could just go down to the kitchens." Harry hummed.

"You know where they are?" Draco inquired, flabbergasted.

Harry nodded, "I've got my invisibility cloak- we can sneak down there." he affirmed.

"I knew it! I suspected you had something like that!" Draco boasted proudly.

Harry laughed softly. Getting up, he beckoned him over while slipping a neatly folded square off shimmery fabric from his robe pocket. Draco watched in astonishment as Harry slung the silvery cloak over their shoulders. The feeling was like water on his skin, cool and slippery.

Draco followed through the portrait hole. They snuck down multiple flights of stairs and passed packs of underclassmen heading back to their common rooms. He was pleased to see robe collars of every house color intermingled. Harry was smiling brightly with his pearly teeth. Draco noticed that Harry's left canine tilted towards his midline a bit in an endearingly imperfect way.

They reached a large portrait of a bowl of fruit, Harry stroked his fingers against the pear in a fluttery fashion, making it swing open. They pulled the cloak off and were immediately swarmed by house elves ready to do their bidding.

Draco saw Harry's thumb rubbing against his tense forefinger at the sudden noise, and quickly dismissed the elves to fetch them a bit of everything at dinner.

They pulled out two wooden three legged stools from beneath the marble counter, Draco assuming an aristocratic, dignified posture, while Harry nearly toppled off with how aggressively he collapsed down. He scrambled to grip the edge of the counter, breathily chuckling as he settled. The stool rocked precariously, one of its legs too short, but Harry seemed to enjoy the oddity, rocking gently back and forth with his heels firmly planted on the tile.

Draco drew in a breath to speak, but Harry got there before him, oblivious to Draco's attempt, his eyes focused on the ratty toes of his trainers.

"How are you're parents doing?" asked Harry.

Draco was a bit startled by the question, tilting his head as the house elves carried plates over to them. Harry thanked them, smiling softly and grabbed a shallow bowl filled neatly with steaming mutton curry.

"Well, considering you testified for my mother, she's a bit better. Father is in Azkaban which I think, though I hate to admit, he deserves." Draco sighed, pulling a roast rosemary chicken breast onto his plate with a bit of mashed potato.

Harry nodded, "I couldn't do much for a guilty man..." he admitted, ladling mouthfuls of warm curry down his throat.

Draco hummed in somber acknowledgment, "Do you want a cuppa?" he offered with a gesture of the kettle in his hand.

Harry nodded vigorously, "Please." he pushed his mug toward Draco.

They sat chatting about Quidditch while they ate, laughing and guffawing all the while. Draco couldn't wipe the smile off his face as they snuck back up to their dorm snickering drunkenly about Weasley's freckled arse.

When they tiptoed through the deserted common room and clambered back into their dorm, Ron already dead asleep, Harry was grinning.

Draco caught a peek of Harry's broad honey cocoa back as he pulled his silk pajamas over his long alabaster legs. There were lines criss crossing nearly every patch of skin. Harry turned quickly before he could decide whether it was a trick of the light or not. He dismissed it to the back of his mind.

Harry shimmied anxiously out of his jeans, leaving him in his green boxers. Before Draco could register that he was staring at the way the fabric wrapped perfectly around Harry's thighs, they were disappearing beneath his duvets.

Harry flexed his hands, setting his glasses on the bedside table. Draco saw relieved goose flesh rise on Harry's skin as his hands closed around the duvets, his on end hairs illuminating a white halo around his body. Draco pulled his own covers up over himself, waiting for Harry to bundle himself up like a burrito.

"Goodnight Draco." he murmured, his eyelids fluttering closed.

"Goodnight Potter."

"We're friends, call me 'arry." Harry mumbled groggily.

Draco's heart skipped.

"Well then- goodnight Harry."

He didn't miss the sleepy half smile that spread across Harry's mocha lips.

afterending 发表于 2020-6-6 11:33:39

Chapter 7: Meltdown

Harry is having difficulty taking in all this new information.

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text
To say Harry was irritated would be an understatement. He was anxious and he didn't even want to wear clothes today because his nerves were so extremely sensitive. All this sudden change with Draco and the fact that Harry knew in the back of his mind that he found the man attractive was scary and new.

Ron and Hermione were being distant and suspicious, which irked Harry even more. He stumbled to the bathroom just as the sun was coming up, crashing through the door with a loud bang. Harry yanked off his boxers, and started running the water while he stood on his toes.

His hands were tense and especially uncooperative as he stepped under the stream, rocking on the balls of his feet in an unconcious attempt to calm down. Fingers locked when he tried to scrub them through his hair, his achilles tendons were tight, and his responses to his arms were delayed.

By the time he had finished clumsily brushing his teeth he was about ready to throw his toothbrush in frustration. He turned off the water with a shaky hand. Grabbing his fluffy white towel, Harry wrapped it around himself and sunk down against the slippery tile until his bare arse touched the lukewarm tub bottom.

He already knew that today was going to be difficult. Everything was making him want to pull his hair out and he hadn't even been awake for more than an hour.

Harry sat with his eyes closed until the chill seeped back into the air.

Trembling, he paced out of the bathroom on his toes and collapsed face first into his bed, his towel only wrapped around his shoulders. He wandlessly yanked his duvets back up over himself and his hair whipped dry in pure agitation. He turned his head to lay sideways, staring out the window as colors seeped into the sky.

Ron snorted himself awake right around when the glow of the light started to come in through the open curtains. Harry turned his head toward Ron minutely. He was rubbing his eyes and yawning with a scrunched up nose, his long limbs contorting as he stretched and sat up, clucking his tongue against the roof of his mouth.

He caught Harry's gaze and rubbed his ear, "Morning Harry." he mumbled, getting out of bed to rifle through his trunk.

Ron had gotten better about waking up in a timely manner after he returned to the forest with Harry and Hermione during their Horcrux hunt.

Harry gave a grunt as Ron pulled out his robes and trundled to the bathroom. He sighed, he really just wanted to sleep everything off, but he knew Hermione would be pounding on the door if he didn't come to breakfast.

Reluctantly, Harry pushed himself up on his elbows, his towel draped loosely over his shoulders, and shuddered at the combination of textures against his bare skin. He saw Draco grab his things after Ron came out looking freshly groomed.

The morning was a blur. He got dressed in an uncomfortable haze, went down to breakfast where his fork nearly slipped from his strained grasp multiple times, and sat through Slughorn's lecturing that he barely paid attention to because his shirt collar was making him fidgety.

Everything was too loud, too bright, or too scratchy.

By the time they were in transfiguration with McGonagall, who had maintained her position as transfiguration professor as the castle was repaired over the summer, when she simply had no time to interview possible competent successors, Harry was practically seething.

They were practicing some simple beginning of the first term review, giving a tea set some legs. Harry was shaking, he couldn't hold his wand correctly in his stiff barely responsive hand. His chest felt tight and all the muscles on the fronts of his thighs were tense. The ringing of the china legs tapping against the wood was driving him up the wall.

McGonagall swept by him. "Potter you're incorrectly holding your wand." she critiqued in her thick Scottish accent.

That was the breaking point.

He slammed his wand hand down on the table, the crack of wood against wood sent chills down from the crown of his head. His breathing was heavy and labored, his teeth clenched angrily, making his jaw muscles roll over the pointed bone.

Before he could register what he was doing, his hand jerked violently across the length of the table, sending all of the china to the floor. He didn't even hear it crash.

"I KNOW!" he screeched, digging his nails into the desk.

His ears ringing, lips numb, eyes rapidly welling with tears, fingers tingling, legs shaking from how hard his achilles had pulled taught, ankles shivering as he balanced on his curling toes.

His head fell onto the wood with a thump, his shoulders shaking from how hard he was sobbing. He felt two pairs of arms wrap comfortingly around his jarring body, and distantly heard McGonagall dismiss the class. He felt a hand touch his hair.

Once his breathing evened out, he felt himself being propped up to look McGonagall straight in her stern eyes.

"What in the devil was that Potter?" she snapped, though her eyes showed deep concern.

Harry's numb lips were tingling back to life, "I don't- I don't know- I don't know..." he stammered out.

Hermione, still rubbing Harry's back affectionately, perked up.

"Actually professor, I've been meaning to talk to you about this very situation." she stated.

Harry whipped around to look at her, "What?! Wha-" he breathed, his hands angrily flexed.

"Well let us continue up in my office." McGonagall replied, flicking her wand to repair the damaged tea sets.

"I'm sorry..." Harry murmured, watching the ceramic seal itself back together.

"It's quite alright Mr Potter..." she said tersely.

McGonagall turned and lead them to her office, glancing back at Harry every few moments as he was shepherded along on tiptoe. She pushed open the door and transfigured three chairs for them, making sure that Harry was placed in the center.
He sat, looking exhausted and cramped.

"So Miss Granger, there was something you wanted to tell me about?"

Ahh cliffhanger! Bit of a shorter chapter today to prepare for the big events of the next!

afterending 发表于 2020-6-6 11:35:00

Chapter 8: Give It a Name

Harry's abusive childhood is partially revealed through McGonagall's interrogation.

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text
Hermione watched Harry's anxious feet pointed against the floor and his winding fingers tugging on his jumper sleeves. His big green eyes were wide and fearful, shame visibly peering through his stoic expression.

McGonagall was eyeing Harry in question as well, her thin mouth slightly parted in confusion.

"Care to explain? Any of you three?" McGonagall reiterated calmly.

Hermione nodded, exhaling as she reached into her bag that she'd set beside her chair. Pulling out the battered leather bound book and setting it heavily before the headmistress, she opened her mouth to speak.

She explained in brief how she came to acquire the book and her concerns for the boys and herself.

"Well Harry has always had odd habits," she began, watching Harry sink into himself, "Ron and I just came to assume that it was just Harry being himself. I think after third year we just stopped asking ourselves why little things bothered Harry, why he covered his ears in classes sometimes, why he wears his socks inside out more often than not, or why he rocked on his feet when he was uncomfortable. Harry's always had these things that he's done and we just learned to disregard them as habits of his, nobody ever considered that he might have an ulterior condition."

Harry whipped to face her, his brows scrunched up in a mixture of anger and confusion.

"Miss Granger that is quite a bold claim." McGonagall interjected fearfully.

"As much as I am aware, just hear me out." she cracked open the book at the place she had dog-eared the page, "Harry, though he is very good at hiding it, has trouble controlling his hands and body in fine motor functions like writing and tying his shoes. Based on the symptoms I've seen, I believe he has dyspraxia."

Hermione rotated the book to face McGonagall. She watched attentively as the headmistress's eyes roved over the pages. McGonagall looked back up at Hermione with visible dread in her eyes.

"But dyspraxia, more often than not, is co-morbid..." she took a breath, "It is my belief after nearly eight years of knowing this man... That he is autistic..."

She pushed the book back toward McGonagall where it was open on the pages about autism. Harry looked completely lost and bewildered, his thigh spasmed against the arm of the chair while he twisted madly at his robe sleeve.

McGonagall pinched the bridge of her nose, "This may be the only time, Miss Granger, when I am saddened by the fact that you are very likely correct..." she sighed.

"Mr Weasley, go get Madame Pomfrey..."

Ron nodded and left.

"What's- what does that mean? Autistic?" Harry stammered. "A-and how did you know about my shoes?"

"I saw." she half lied smoothly, "It's all those little things that bother you or make it hard for you, the socks, the sensory overload, and the repetitive habits like the rocking or the hand flexing."

Harry looked utterly crestfallen.

"Is it bad? A bad thing?" he asked, biting his lip.

Hermione shook her head frantically, "Oh! I'm sorry Harry! No, no, no, it's not bad, it doesn't affect your lifespan or anything, it won't kill you! It just means your brain works differently! That's all!" she breathed frantically.

Harry looked slightly relieved and slightly disdainful. "I hate that everything about me is 'special' or 'different'! Why can't I just be normal for once in my life..." he huffed shakily, sounding on the verge of tears.

"Well Potter," McGonagall sighed softly, "You're not normal. You three have been the most reckless and exciting students since the marauders, for heavens sake, and it's not necessarily a bad thing!"

"The marauders- my dad... Sirius and-and Remus... even Pettigrew..." Harry murmured thickly.

"It's hard to fathom that I've outlived them all... But they all fought to protect you Harry... You're mother and father, Sirius, Remus, and died to protect you... their beautiful baby boy, their best friend's son who grew into a humble and brave man." McGonagall dabbed at her eyes with a handkerchief she pulled from her robe pocket, "Despite all the odds against you every year, you're here and alive. I truly know that they are proud of you, regardless."

Harry was crying now, silent tears running down his face. "Thank you..." he whispered.

McGonagall got up, came around the desk, and embraced the trembling young man. Harry wiped his eyes frantically on his jumper sleeve.

Madame Pomfrey came bustling in with Ron striding behind in her wake. McGonagall patted Harry's shoulder as she released him. "Poppy, could we have a full health record done on Harry here?" she inquired.

Madame Pomfrey nodded, summoning a scroll of parchment and quill from the little bag she had slung over her shoulder, and sitting in the chair beside Harry. She placed the quill on top of the parchment.

"Now dear this may feel a little funny but it should be over quickly enough." she hummed while she felt Harry's forehead.

Madame Pomfrey murmured "Salutem historia." causing the quill to begin scribbling madly while Harry felt like he was going to sneeze but it wouldn't come out.

The quill scribbled on and on for several minutes, the parchment charmed to lengthen with the quill. They all waited with baited breath until the quill finished with a flourish, Harry looking incredibly nervous.

Madame Pomfrey snatched up the immensely long roll of parchment that went to the floor and beyond in her grasp. "Oh my..." she commented as she surveyed the length, "Now what am I supposed to be looking for?"

Hermione pulled the book to the edge of the table, "Late developmental milestones."

Ron came around to sit in the newly conjured chair across from the three, thanking McGonagall as he sank down. They all bent over the parchment while Harry scanned it ruefully.

. . .

Health and injury records of:

Harry James Potter

Age: 1

Bruised wrist; hit on side of crib

Parents killed (Tom Riddle)

Avada Kedavra curse to face; resulting curse scar and Horcrux creation

Sudden change of environment: left with Petunia Dursley, Vernon Dursley, and Dudley Dursley

Vision quality deterioration; sleeps in cupboard under stairs

- Age: 17 months- Refusal to speak/ smile


Absence of speech / babbling

Vision quality deterioration; sleeps in cupboard under stairs

Touch starved

Beginnings of neglect

Beginnings of speech

Regression of speech - 2 months


Poor diet; growth stunted

Vision quality deterioration; sleeps in cupboard under stairs

Strained hand movement: abnormally functioning neurological system

Walks on tiptoe

Slapped on right cheek(Petunia Dursley)

Regression of speech


Neglect/ touch starved

Magical stabilization of regression

Vision quality deterioration; sleeps in cupboard under stairs

Kicked (Dudley Dursley; Harry hunting)

Poor, repetitive speech skills


Neglect/ touch starved

Vision quality deterioration; sleeps in cupboard under stairs

Beginnings of stimming; hand flapping, rocking on feet, finger flexing

Beginnings of starvation

Hit - 25 times (Vernon Dursley)

Burned, right forearm (Frying pan)

1 untreated case of pneumonia


Neglect/ touch starved

Vision quality deterioration; sleeps in cupboard under stairs

Burned fingers, both hands, (Frying pan, pot, metal spatula, etc.)

Slapped for stimming (Petunia Dursley)

Hit - 63 times (Vernon Dursley)

Lashed with belt - 74 times (Vernon Dursley)

Stunted growth - starvation

Given glasses; required by teacher

Difficulty holding a pencil

3 untreated cases of pneumonia


Vision quality deterioration; sleeps in cupboard under stairs

Stunted growth - starvation

Neglect/ touch starved

Lashed with belt - 165 times ( Vernon Dursley)

Hit - 72 times (Vernon Dursley)

Scolded/slapped for stimming- 29 times (Petunia Dursley)

Cut finger (Steak knife)

Scraped knees (Dudley Dursley; Harry hunting)


Vision quality deterioration; sleeps in cupboard under stairs

Stunted growth - starvation

Neglect/ touch starved

Lashed with belt - 205 times ( Vernon Dursley)

Hit - 87 times (Vernon Dursley)


Vision quality deterioration; sleeps in cupboard under stairs

Stunted growth - starvation

Neglect/ touch starved

Lashed with belt - 100 times ( Vernon Dursley)

Hit - 69 times (Vernon Dursley)

Hit with hot pan (Petunia Dursley)


Vision quality deterioration; sleeps in cupboard under stairs

Stunted growth - starvation

Lashed with belt - 64 times ( Vernon Dursley)

Hit - 45 times (Vernon Dursley)

Burnt by firewood poker (Vernon Dursley)

Scolded/ hit for stimming (Petunia Dursley)


Vision quality deterioration; sleeps in cupboard under stairs

Moved to second bedroom

Stunted growth - starvation

Sudden knowledge of wizarding heritage (Psychological overload)

Major sensory overload; Great Hall - Hogwarts

. . .

And it went on and on listing the injuries Harry had acquired over the years at Hogwarts.

They were all staring at him in disbelief by the time they'd gotten to the end.

"Mr Potter," Madame Pomfrey coughed, her voice wavering with tears, "May I see your back?"

Harry shook his head vigorously, his hands flexed, unable to find words for how he felt.

She nodded. "Very well..."

Hermione had tears falling down her face and Ron was white as a sheet.

"W-well there's our proof... You're autistic Harry..." Hermione sobbed feebly.

Harry needed to get out, he wanted to leave, he couldn't stand their looks of pity.

He got up and stormed out of the office, nearly tripping down the spiral staircase. He ran to the Room of Requirement, he needed to get away. He flung his invisibility cloak over himself. This all was too much. It didn't matter to him that he had a name for it now, all he wanted in that moment was those enormous lavender duvets.

Meanwhile, Hermione and Ron were chasing after him, trying to locate where he'd escaped to. The bell chimed through the halls, flooding them with students of every year. The sea of recently released students made it impossible to find him.

In their haste, nobody noticed the ugly green beetle sitting in the crack of the open window.

Sorry this one took a while! I hope you're all enjoying it so far!

afterending 发表于 2020-6-6 11:36:31

Chapter 9: Heart to Heart

Harry is startled to find the room already occupied by one Draco Malfoy.

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text
Harry had slowed to a walk, mulling things over as he headed to the Room of Requirement.

He supposed he shouldn't have run out, but he couldn't stand the tension in the room. He'd kept the severity of his childhood so well hidden, to have it all just written out on parchment in a few minutes felt like an insult to his effort.

He had a sense of peace of mind now that he had a reason for his symptoms. It was strangely calming to put a name to his struggles, although he probably should've asked for advice on how to deal with them now that he was thinking about it. It felt like the missing link to most everything he's ever known about himself. He'd ask Hermione, when she was preferably alone, later, he decided vaguely as he turned the corner into the seventh floor corridor.

He reached the middle of the hall, paced three times requesting his safe space like a mantra in his head. He simply wanted to be alone for a bit. The great door appeared, large and gothic.

He pushed it open and was met with the sight of a cozy common room with a large desk and bookshelves. This definitely wasn't his room, but it wasn't necessarily bad. It hit him suddenly that there had to be somebody else in there if it wasn't responding to him. He stepped further beyond the threshold, looking around cautiously.

There was a click of dress shoes from behind the bookshelves, making Harry freeze were he stood. Draco Malfoy's pointed face peered around the edge curiously, his brows raised.

"Oh it's you." Draco breathed, brushing his loose sweeping bangs away from his eyes.

Harry cocked his head, admiring the way the silver in Draco's eyes glinted in the low light of the room.

"You look ruffled Potter, are you alright?" Draco pointed out before Harry could even attempt to offer to leave, stepping out from behind the bookshelf and toward Harry. His stomach clenched at the sight of the taller man.

Harry refocused his eyes onto the book in Draco's hand. "Er- yeah..."

Draco pulled out a chair at the large desk and sat down lackadaisically, "That's a lie, you destroyed half McGonagall's tea sets." he gestured to the seat across from him with a nod of his head, "Care to talk about it?"

Harry set his satchel on the table and sunk down into the aforementioned chair.

"I keep forgetting we're friends now." Harry chuckled awkwardly.

"That's understandable, considering everything..." Draco hummed.

"I'm glad though."


"That we're friends."


Harry scratched his jaw, watching Draco skim through his book. His large pale hands and long elegant fingers gracefully parting the pages. He mentally cursed himself again, he kept noticing more and more things that he thought attractive about Draco and it scared him.

"Is there something on my face Potter?" Draco drawled sarcastically, slate grey eyes flicking up to meet avid green ones.

"Aren't you going to ask me to talk about what happened?" he inquired on a whim, trying not to stare at the blushy pink of Draco's knuckles against his alabaster skin.

Draco's brow cocked attractively, his tongue darted out to wet his full lips before he spoke. "Well you avoided the question the first time I asked so I figured you didn't want to talk about it."

Harry appreciated that very much, but he now had the sudden urge to talk to Draco and get a second opinion on the situation. "Well I'm going to tell you anyway because I need to process it."

"Fair enough." Draco replied, shutting his book and pushing it aside slightly to show his attention.

"First things first, Hermione has been researching things concerning me behind my back apparently." Harry spat with some venom.

Draco rested his chin on the heel of his hand. "You're not going to like that I already knew that." he sighed.

"You knew? Why didn't you say anything?" Harry puffed, slightly exasperated.

"I haven't had much opportunity to talk to you since yesterday, and it slipped my mind last night." he replied simply.

Harry's trembling brow released itself, "Oh, that makes sense actually." he murmured more to himself than Draco.

"Anyway, after the whole thing in McGonagall's class, I got taken up to her office and basically grilled about it, and Hermione decides that it was just the time to pull this enormous book out of her arse, the same one I've been seeing around since fucking summer, and tells me I'm autistic and dyspraxic!" he exclaimed throwing his hands up in frustration.

He scrubbed his hands over his eyes, pushing his glasses into his hair, "I mean it makes sense, but fucking hell Hermione! I don't understand why she had to be so secretive if it concerned me personally! God the prophet would have a field day if they got their hands on that information. They'd probably find a way to make me sound insane and invade every aspect of my privacy along the way. I really, really don't need people to treat me like I'm completely incapable, which I know for a fact they would if the Prophet writes a column, just because I'm autistic..." he groaned, emphasizing his syllables angrily.

He felt a bit better now that he'd expressed his frustration.

"Well I think you're the same obnoxious prat you've always been." Draco drawled, smirking slightly.

Harry parted his fingers to look at Draco. Draco and his attractive smirk, Harry thought with a lurch in his chest.

He smiled, sliding his palms down his face and leaning back, "Of course..." he chuckled, "I've always liked that about you. You've always seen me as just Harry, not the Chosen One or The Savior, or The Boy-Who-Lived." he sighed, closing his eyes to appreciate the low hum of Draco's voice.

"I was jealous..." Draco mumbled, turning his chin in his hand to face the large bookshelves.

Harry cracked an eye open to look down at Draco, "Jealous? Of me? I hardly think nearly dying every year is something to envy Draco." Harry half joked.

"You were famous and popular and on the right side of the war from the very beginning..." Draco murmured into his fingers.

Harry took a sharp breath in, shifting to sit up all the way, "Could we move to the couch, this- this chair is a bit uncomfortable to sit in for long periods of time..." he suggested.

They slumped down on the couch, shoulder to shoulder, Draco looking very solemn.

"I-I think it would be good to talk about the war..." Harry started, "And I think you should know that I don't blame you..."

Draco turned to look at Harry's big earnest eyes in question, "You don't?"

"Even I could see that you didn't want to do what you did... I know that - that your parents were at risk and all... You didn't turn me in at the manor when we got caught..." Harry explained, searching Draco's eyes, occasionally flicking them to his pointed nose or prominent cheekbones.

Draco turned to the fireplace.

"My family... they're all I have... I'd do anything for them, even when I think I knew full well they were in the wrong. I wanted to make my father proud, I admired him so much..." he began, swallowing thickly, "I spouted all that blood purity nonsense to make them proud, I'm not excusing it but it was all I'd been taught... I do think, looking back, that my father really believed in... Him... and everything he was saying."

Draco fidgeted slightly, "I wanted to be friends with you on that first day... And I guess when you rejected that, it have me a reason that I thought valid to hate you... Seeing you do all these- these great heroic things with your friends and just belonging with all those Gryffindor's for no other reason than because you liked them... Not because you were told to be acquainted with people and ideals your parents told you to."

Harry nodded, nuzzling into Draco's broad shoulder.

"I know I kind of said this already, but I hated you blindly for so long. It was such a pointless rivalry of our adolescence, and now... I think we were both immature and angsty, just hating eachother because we mildly bothered and insulted eachother throughout the years." Draco sighed, feeling Harry's curls brush against his neck as the smaller man's head leaned on his shoulder.

Draco's heart swelled in his chest at the gentle gesture. Merlin he had it bad for Harry.

"I think we should leave all that behind and y'know... start over. The war has passed, and we won- yes we- and I want to get to know you as a person." Harry hummed, blushing from the last sentiment.

Draco felt a spasm in his gut. "You mean that? Just wipe the slate clean and start over?" he breathed.

"I mean, we're always going to have history, but yeah... Just like you said yesterday... Leave it all in the past, and start over as Harry and Draco, not Malfoy and Potter." Harry murmured, mentally exhausted from discussion of the war and events of the day.

Harry craved the simple, easy, domestic conversation after that emotional load off. His heart was beating a strange mix between heavy and anticipatory that made him anxious.

"I'd like that." he mused as Harry had.

Harry laughed low in his chest, the reverberation rumbling through Draco's shoulder. Draco leaned sideways into the corner of the couch, Harry's body falling with him. He adjusted so Harry's head rested against the plane of his slender stomach, Harry's arms on either side of Draco's thighs.

The close contact might've seemed strange, even shocking to an outsider, but to them, it felt warm and right.

"So Mr Draco Malfoy, tell me about yourself." Harry mocked, beaming up at the taller man who was gazing tenderly back down, small smiles curling both of their lips.

Relationship development aka the calm before the storm. Thank you guys for all the feedback in the comments!

afterending 发表于 2020-6-6 11:37:51

Chapter 10: Articles and Affection

The article has finally been released, but will Harry react the way everybody expects?

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text
Saturday's breakfast was violently interrupted by a swell of at least 200 owls a week after the incident in McGonagall's office. Even those who weren't subscribed to the Daily Prophet were having the papers dropped into their eggs and jugs of orange juice without pay.

An instant uproar filled the hall. Draco thanked his lucky stars that Harry had opted to sleep in that Saturday morning when his eyes met the giant emboldened heading on the front page.

Harry Potter: Autistic and Abused?

Draco, who was sitting a few seats down from Granger and Weasley, jumped when a slam rattled the entirety of the table. He whipped his head around to see Granger standing up and fuming.

"That vile, horrible woman!" she hissed, grabbing Weasley, bacon hanging from his too full mouth, by his shirt collar and storming out of the hall.

Draco set his utensils down, grabbed one of the haphazardly fallen editions that hadn't been snatched, and hurried after them. They were standing just outside the hall in the corridor frantically whispering.

"What do you want Malfoy?" They spat on unison, adopting a sudden hostility toward him, "Gone to laugh at Harry?!" Weasley snarled, a bit of bacon still stuck to his lip.

Draco held his hands up in placation, "For your information, I am fully aware that Harry is autistic, we talked nearly all day after classes all week. Secondly, you need to stop protecting him like he's some insolent child who can't fend for himself just because of his condition, which mind you he's had his entire life and hasn't been bothered about it until now. That man is an adult, he's perfectly capable of handling himself and others, and frankly the fact that you're talking about him like this pisses him off. He's the same person he's always been. Why don't you wrap your heads around that before you go off to guard him like he's suddenly a fragile piece of glass." Draco growled.

He ascended the stairs, leaving Weasley and Granger, gobsmacked and fuming, in his wake. Smiling to himself, he reached the portrait and entered, gracefully climbing the final set of stairs into their dorm. Opening the door and stepping in before closing it gently behind him, he spotted Harry's ridiculously wild curls sticking out from beneath his now deep burgundy duvets.

The sight of the man made his heart swell. He rapped on the bedpost nearest Harry's head, watching his thick eyelashes flutter open. Six hours of on and off conversation each night for a week, both deep conversation and pointless banter, really did something to a person he supposed.

They'd mostly talked about the war and how it affected them, Harry told his wild story of the Horcrux hunt he went on with Weasley and Granger, which took about two days for him finish telling. Draco had watched in amusement as Harry gesticulated animatedly when he described flying the dragon out of Gringotts. Harry had a surprising amount of knowledge on dragons, he went on and on describing the Norwegian Ridgeback Hagrid kept in their first year and the blind Swedish Shortsnout from their aforementioned break into Gringotts. Draco admired the energy Harry had adopted when talking about all the dragons he'd encountered over the years.

They talked about quidditch and their games against eachother, and Harry kept laughing when he remembered that he wouldn't have been seeker without Draco. Harry told him the whole story behind Sirius, getting a bit choked up toward the end. They occasionally sat and simply read, enjoying the others unobtrusive presence. The only subject not breached further than Harry's brief explanation of what happened in McGonagall's office, was his childhood. Draco respected that. He wanted to gain Harry's trust.

Draco took care not to touch Harry without the man allowing and acknowledging him first, after Harry violently flinched when Draco's fingers brushed his shoulder when he couldn't see them. He let Harry initiate their simple comfortable contact, letting him trace his knuckles lazily or twist the hem of his white button up discreetly between his angular fingers when he spoke.

Harry's eyelashes batted once, twice, thrice before settling on Draco, his pupils contracting and expanding as they adjusted to the sunlight.

"Breakfast already over?" Harry grumbled groggily, rolling onto his back to blink drowsily up at his red hangings.

Draco's eyes flicked to the patch of well muscled chest and collar bone exposed by Harry's movement. Harry rubbed the sleep out of his eyes, one of them watering slightly from how deep he'd sunk into his immensely fluffy pillow that he had no doubt charmed.

"Well I hate to be the bearer of bad news... But Skeeter has written an article about you." He pulled the Prophet he'd snatched up off the table from his bag and beat it against the air with a flourish to stabilize it.

Harry sat bolt upright, the handsome vee of his body exposed, duvets barely covering his modesty. Draco's eyes were currently glued on the raven snail trail traveling up Harry's stomach from his pubic area ending just below his navel. He had a sparse smattering of curls on his chest in a vaguely diamond shape around the center of his breastbone but it was marred by a large angled ovular scar, like he'd been burned.

There was a collection of small circular burn scars curling around the side of his figure, odd and unlike any others Draco had seen before. A long messy gash in the crook of his elbow that went down to the middle of his forearm, in the exact same place where Draco's own faded black scar was.

Harry's fingers clattering in search against the wire of his frames brought him back to reality, tearing his eyes away from Harry's complexly beautiful body as the man slid his owlish glasses onto his nose.

His eyes wandered tiredly to the headline, where his expression fell.

"How- How did she? What?!" he panicked, grabbing the paper from Draco and reading attentively.

Draco sat on the edge of Harry's bed beside his knees, his weight pulling the duvet down far enough to see the upper outline of the base of Harry's penis surrounded by wild coarse hair. Draco's mouth went dry as his own prick twitched excitedly in his jeans. Harry noticed and shimmied the duvets back over himself blushing furiously beneath his pigment, his eyes attempting to look fixed on the paper, much to Draco's disappointment. Draco noticed offhandedly that color of the topmost duvet brought out the richness of Harry's brown skin, making him appear to be glowing against his surroundings.

He heard a hollow thumping, and glanced up to see Harry tapping his collar bones rapidly. Stimming, he recognised. Harry incinerated the paper in his clawed grip and cleared his throat. Moving his hand down to rest over his sternum, thrumming his fingers against his chest with every exhale, his eyes closed.

"How bad is it?" Draco inquired in a low voice, not wanting to overwhelm Harry's senses by being loud when he was clearly trying to calm down.

Harry opened a blazing emerald eye, "I am pissed and insulted." he replied bluntly.

"How much did she get on you?" He asked with raised brows.

"She got everything that was written down on that stupid fucking parchment scroll from McGonagall's office and then some." Harry spat angrily.

"Disclosing things that are my own business to the entire wizarding world." he murmered, flicking his wrist to summon a baggy black tee shirt from his wardrobe in an attempt to hide his own building arousal at Draco's eyes roving avidly over his body.

Pulling it over his head he snarled, "Trying to make it seem like I want to be cured or something like that, like I'm a poor victim of a terrible disease."

Harry leaned back against the headboard, caressing the smooth fabric of his duvets and flexing his hands. "You figure I've had this my entire life and I haven't ever changed that about myself, so why the hell should I suddenly want to? Sure I've got issues from the war, I'm more than a bit depressed-" he cut off to tap his collar bones again, his words completely failing him.

"Like I've said, you should just go and show them that you're still the same arse you've always been and that you're not going to let them treat you like a child." Draco shrugged.

"I think we both need to talk to Granger and Weasley, you've got to give them a piece of your mind for one thing."

Harry smiled and nodded, "That sounds reasonable... Well, I'm gonna go take a shower." he hummed.

Harry had turned and slipped his leg out from beneath his duvets in preparation to stand, revealing wirey black hairs decorating the appendage in an attractive masculine way that intrigued Draco. Harry noticed Draco's line of sight on him, and found himself unconsciously admiring the way Draco's half lidded eyes were tracing up and down his leg. Draco's sharp jaw and strong neck with two little moles on the right cord of muscle above his perfectly pressed shirt collar was making Harry terribly interested. He licked his lips and-


There was a loud crash and the tumbling of four forms through the threshold. Two red heads, a blonde mess, and Hermione's unmistakable bushy brown hair. Ron and Ginny tumbled over their significant others, Luna gazing at Ginny with her large whimsical eyes, while Ron groaned from somewhere near Hermione.

They both snapped up to look at the door.

Hermione was heavily breathing, looking crazed and wild, her hand tightly clasped around something.

"Just - thought you ought - to know-" she panted, "that Skeeter is- finally gonna get- what's coming to her!"

Harry cocked his head slightly, a habit of nonverbal inquiry Draco had noticed. Draco turned to face the others and was quizzically watching the scene unfold, completely missing that Harry was surreptitiously readjusting the sheets around his crotch.

Hermione opened her hand to dangle the ugly green beetle, writhing and scuttling frantically, by its long antennae.

"I'm going to bring her to professor McGonagall," Hermione breathed maniacally, "And report her as an unregistered animagus!"

The beetle squirmed before Hermione tossed her into an empty candy jar she pulled from Ron's bedside drawer. She quickly cast the necessary charms to keep Rita from transforming to break out of the jar, just as she had done at the end of fourth year. Beckoning the others, she flew out of the room carrying Rita.

"Sorry mate..." Ron grunted, "'Mione took what Malfoy said to heart, and is now out on a vengeance streak against Skeeter." he explained, smiling faintly.

Luna and Ginny hummed in unison, "We just wanted to make sure you were alright Harry, but you seem more than." Ginny smirked, waggling her ginger brows at the sight of his naked leg.

The door closed with a distant proud, "That's my girlfriend!" from Ron.

They all left about as soon as they came. Draco was flushed to his ears, and Harry was squeezing his hard-on beneath the sheets in an attempt to relieve some tension. He had barely listened to a word Hermione had said, too preoccupied with his quick breathing and thoughts of touching the man sat beside him, but he knew that Skeeter was in her vices at the moment.

"Yes I'll tell you what I said to them, but go take a shower you look thoroughly shagged." Draco replied to Harry's curious look.

Harry gave Draco a little awkward laugh, summoned his clothes, and hurried into the washroom covering himself with his pile of clothes, running the water and staring at how large his pupils were dilated within his irises. His body was hot from the inside out, skin gathering perspiration quickly, and his legs were beginning to tremble. He'd always had a much more intense reaction to being aroused than the other boys, but he guessed it was his autistic sensory processing.

One end of Harry's brain was screaming about getting painfully aroused by a boy he had hated for the majority of the time he knew him, and the other was singing at the images of Draco's gorgeous face he had burned into his memory. He was conflicted and confused, but he needed to get off, and fast.

Harry stepped into the water after tearing off his tee, his heart thrumming against his ribs, making the muscles in his pecs tense and pulse with its beat. He was breathing hard, his head tilted up to open his airway further, and his hands brushing languidly over his body.

He wrapped his fingers around his base, shivering when his rough palm made contact with the engorged flesh. Bracing his palm against the tiles, knees trembling, he gave a slow stroke. His feet curved inward and flexed, dragging his teeth over his lower lip to suppress a loud groan. He gradually increased his pace, occasionally thumbing the slit dripping clear precum, making him whine and shudder. His body wracking with intense convulsions with each stroke of his hand until he was spilling explosively over his fingers with a low groan, trying desperately to hold himself up. Pressing his hot forehead against the cool tile, his body shook with the waves of aftershock from his orgasm.

Panting shakily, Harry rinsed his sticky fingers off in the stream of water, suddenly bombarded with the fact that he just had the best wank of his life over another man. The full lips and steel grey eyes of Draco Malfoy was all he could think about. It felt confusing and guilty. He never had that intense of a reaction in his life, not when he was with Ginny or interested in Cho, and now the beautiful blonde man who was once his enemy, was his focus of attraction.

He supposed Ginny had left him for Luna, and she seemed very pleased with her on the brief moment that they'd crashed into the room. He supposed Molly knew of Ginny's same sex relationship, so maybe liking a boy was not as bad as the Dursley's made it out to be. He decided he'd ask Ron, as Hermione was a bit untrustworthy at the moment.

He washed his hair as quickly as he could, and brushed his teeth while his weak knees resolved their strength. Turning off the water and patting himself dry with his fluffy towel, he dressed in a well worn green hoodie with a loose shirt underneath that was equally softened by time, and a simple pair of jeans with rips on the thighs that he enjoyed playing with.

Harry traipsed over to his bed and noticed the room lacking the man who had occupied his fantasies not ten minutes ago. He spotted a small origami parchment crane perched delicately on his desk, fluttering gently. It hopped into his hand when he held it out, and flapped evenly just above his palm. He opened it to find a neat loopy cursive in a familiar hand.

Meet me on the Quidditch pitch and bring your broom.

I've smuggled some breakfast for you, so don't bother going to the Great Hall.


Harry smiled to himself, tucking the neat parchment square in his pocket, his heart growing ever warmer for the blonde.

I'm really hoping you guys are liking where this is going!
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查看完整版本: Sensitive Touch [end] by Raserwolf