The great thing about people is that they can create good relationships in any situation. [Post-Hogwarts, pre-H/D.]
There's something wrong with the fridge. It was warm the other night, and freezing the day before.
Someone's at the door, which locks from outside in.
Draco tries not to think of the state of Harry's sinks and faucets. Hermione gently reminds Harry that instant food is not healthy. Harry doesn't mind. He's content, but wonders if there's a spell for changing the weather as it's raining again and he'd much rather watch cardboard clouds become bloated than smell the musty stench of everything. Hermione asks him to clean the kitchen once more before she leaves. The groceries are on the counter in their brown paper bags.
Draco's still here. He's awfully relaxed on the couch and Harry wonders if there's something wrong with him.
He refuses Harry's offer of cooking something; he should be going anyways, so how is he today? Harry days he's fine, but his kitchen's not, with a nervous smile. Draco returns it and says he should really be off now, and donning a coat, he leaves.
Sitting there with his stomach ache and the stale taste of this morning's cereal in his mouth, Harry picks up a newspaper. They are all dated to about two years before, but he doesn't know. Newspapers are dangerous, are they? Who cares? Anyways, he's reading an article on the new Prime Minister of English-some duke or whatnot-and there's a small filler piece about owls which reminds him of Hedwig. She's probably hungry now, so he gets up and feeds her.
Hermione always brings fresh seeds over once a week and Draco's visits are always strange; he brings Harry carefully neutral gifts once a year.
Ron's dead, died years ago. Harry's over it. Over it like how he's over everyone else. It's for survival's sake, really. He saw Tonks go down right after Ron. Remembering he supposes-this isn't a recent development-that the photo album Hagrid gave him long ago is probably burnt or in some stranger's possession. Draco's, most likely, but he would have told Harry by now in person or in his whiskery, brisk pen strokes.
Nothing's about love anymore. He feels a bit worried, hungry, recently, when Hermione asks how he feels. Last week, he had asked her what happened to Colin. Colin Creevy promised to teach him how to make the photo-people move and Harry had felt up to it then. It was a shame everyone was breaking their promises.
Being a ferret isn't a promise per se, but isn't Draco supposed to be one? Bah, he doesn't look the part. You can't ever see the colour of their skin, for god's sake, but Harry assumes that it's pink, the colour Draco turns when Harry's making him laugh. He's a nice guy, really, which should make Harry wonder why they all treated him like a bastard all the time. Hermione's got more sense than that, even is she's more book than smart.
Harry has a lot of time to think, but he spends about half of it sleeping.
Hermione and Draco always arrive together; them being a couple doesn't cross his mind. He doesn't know Draco makes her bring him, and that he keeps up pretenses to be able to stay for that extra while. Draco looks forward to Harry's moldy old apartment and Hedwig's petulant hoots. For obvious reasons, they can't let her, or Harry for that matter, out.
The crackling of paper startles him, but Harry continues to write on his knee. Draco blandly remarks that the letter will get crinkled. He gets a grunt in response. Harry's writing to Professor Lupin (professor is what he thinks of Remus) about an article he read in the newspaper. Harry doesn't know it's two years old, nor does he care. While sealing the letter carefully, Hermione asks if he'd like them to deliver it, seeing as it'd be strange for Hedwig to be seen. This is the same excuse every week. It's a wonder Harry never disagrees, Draco comments, Hermione shushes. After all, the letters never get anywhere and neither do replies.
Harry wonders if they got together sometime this week, and says it aloud. Hermione looks horrified, as if it's a secret and Draco's a little angry, eyebrows knotted. Harry shrugs and hands the carefully sealed envelope to Hermione's frozen hands.
"The only flaw in this plan is how people change all the time. He will be able to tell because of certain personality traits that are familiar to him," the Board says. Draco stands up and they quiet.
"You've got one month to close this operation down." Hermione agrees stoutly.
He's happy, being as well fed as he would like to be, having all the little comforts of broken-in house objects, and good company on a regular basis to hold him through the weeks, so he is magnificently surprised when Draco announces, a month later, that he will be moving in next week. (He agrees straight away, of course.) Hermione is baffled, but she concedes.
Harry spends the next week tidying up the place as much as he can.
Draco arrives with two bags and Harry is relieved; he will get to keep his things his.
They soon descend into a ritual of monotony, with Hermione's weekly visits as periods of interest.
She observes, to the Board a few moths later, that Mr. Malfoy has adapted unexpectedly well, and that they may soon be able to release new information to the couple. Perhaps they may be prepared for reintegration within the next year or so.
Harry and Draco scorn the arrival of not-as-yellow-as-theirs newspaper. The place doesn't get much dirtier or cleaner for that matter, but there are more things lying around.
In Harry's next letter to Remus, he states that it is obvious there are two people living 'here', and that he is still content. The only remorse is why it always comes down to how much he can fit onto one sheet of paper.