Title: How it Ends
Fandom/Pairing: HP, H/D
Summary: Harry comes home late one night and finds that his life has changed. Angsty
Harry gets home late that night because of work. He has done the unthinkable; defied Dumbledore and everyone else in the wizarding world by passing up a career as an Auror and choosing instead to live as a muggle. He works at a muggle newspaper and rents a flat in muggle London…a flat to which he invites no one, much to his friends’ annoyance. His life away from the world of magic is quiet, secluded from all but one.
It is as he enters the flat that he notes the first difference. Any other time that Harry has been late he has opened the door to find Draco standing right behind it, glaring. Glaring because he missed Harry when he didn’t come home right when he was supposed to, and he was always so scared that he would have to leave before Harry returned. Scared that if there was no Harry to talk him out of going, he would, forced to depart by a mislaid sense of duty to family values and traditions.
Harry knows this, and makes the extra effort not to get caught up at work because of it. Unfortunately, a deadline is a deadline, and it looks like this particular deadline just cost him the very person that he’d taken the job for.
Hoping that he is wrong, Harry moves from room to room, searching for Draco but not wanting to call his name…knowing that if he does there will be no reply. It is easy to pretend that Draco is just in the bedroom or bathroom, and that he will give Harry the same scolding he always does when Harry isn’t home at precisely four o’clock, followed by Harry’s smiling apology…and then, a spot of dinner before heading to bed, where Draco will show him that he truly is forgiven.
But there is no one in the little flat save for himself, and Harry finally admits what he has known since he walked through the door: Draco is gone. He has left for good, and will not be coming back. Harry also knows that if he were to read the Daily Prophet tomorrow over his usual glass of juice the headline will confirm what his heart is already sure of: Lucius Malfoy has escaped Azkaban.
Draco would be shocked to learn that Harry has been dreading this day since they first moved in. The former Slytherin always thought that he was so good at subterfuge, at hiding his fears from Harry, but Harry always knew. It was in the way that Draco never wanted Harry gone for too long; in the panic that was always present in slate gray eyes when Harry would come home later than intended. Harry had always known that he could not keep Draco forever, and yet he’d never stopped hoping to be proved wrong.
Harry looks around the small bedroom with tears blurring his vision, remembering all the good times that he and Draco had in this place with its too small kitchen and tiny rooms. He thinks of all the times that he’s touched Draco here; all the times he’s told him just how much he loves him…and how much the other claimed to love him in return. He will have to leave this place soon; leave and go back to the wizarding world to fulfill his destiny, his role in the war that he wants no part of. There is no real sense of loss with this thought; soon the rooms would become hateful to him anyway, their echoes of better times filled with laughter and love filling his ears and driving him mad. Better to just get his things now and Apparate to Ron’s place, or Hermione’s. Better to get the leaving over with before the grief sets in.
So Harry gathers his possessions. He packs them into his trunk, the same one that he used to pile all of his Hogwarts things into, and Apparates away. He has decided to go to Hermione’s place, and as she makes up the sofa bed for him without question, he knows he has made the right decision. There will be time for questions and explanations later. First Harry has to deal with the pain.
By the next morning, Harry has gotten himself under control, and when Hermione tells him that Lucius Malfoy escaped Azkaban sometime the evening before, his expression doesn’t change, but he thinks how he really should have known better than to believe he and Draco could really be happy forever.
All good things must come to an end sometime.