A/N: This was written for Round 8 of Season 5 of the Quidditch League Fanfiction Competition. We were each given a "headcanon" from someone else in the competition. (TO BE CLEAR, MY PROMPT IS NOT A HEADCANON. IT GOES DIRECTLY AGAINST THE CANON, BUT HEY, WHAT CAN YOU DO, I GUESS…) I got "Ron Weasley did not get jealous or call Harry a liar when his name came out of the Goblet of Fire. Instead he believed him and stuck true to his side as his friend." (Like I said, not a headcanon.) HOW DOES ONE WRITE A FIC ABOUT THIS? I don't know, but I'm gonna try. Fair warning, I'm digging deep.
My optional prompts were (image) "Running Away from Blue" by Hellobaby on Deviantart, (restriction) no Hogwarts staff is to be mentioned, and (quote) "This is not a normal day." – Raymond Gaines, San Andreas.
"We're gonna figure this out, mate," Ron said comfortingly as he and Harry settled down in their dormitory to go to sleep. Everyone was stunned that Harry's name had come out of the Goblet of Fire that evening. Harry was just grateful that both his best friends believed him when he said he hadn't done it.
His boyfriend, however, was another question entirely. Harry hadn't been able to find Draco after the announcement, and he couldn't help fearing the worst. He had the feeling tomorrow would not be a normal day.
"POTTER!" The shout echoed across the Great Hall. Harry winced. Draco hadn't called him that since third year, since before they started seeing each other.
As though he were unable to move, Harry waited for Draco to cross the Great Hall, looking furious.
"The portrait," he hissed, "after Potions." He turned on his heel and walked back across the Great Hall before Harry could muster up anything to say.
The portrait had been their meeting place, under a set of stairs on the ground floor of Hogwarts, since they started seeing each other. It was where they'd shared their first kiss, and it was where they often went to snog between classes, on normal days. Harry now entirely certain that today was not a normal day.
"Hey," said Ron, as they sat down to breakfast, "D'you want me to go with you? You know, in case he's…angry."
Hermione looked up from her Daily Prophet to share a look with Harry. It was no secret that Ron had no friendly feelings towards Draco. He tolerated the Slytherin boy for Harry's sake, but Ron usually actively avoided being around Draco.
"Um," said Harry, "No thanks, Ron."
Ron nodded and went back to his breakfast. Harry and Hermione shared another look.
As Harry suspected, Draco had not asked him to come to the portrait to snog. Even the lady in the painting looked nervous. Usually, she was looking whimsically out of her portrait, wearing all grey like the ghost which haunted Ravenclaw house. Behind her, there was a patch of the portrait that was blue. There were swirls, and flowers, and butterflies, all blue. This part was the most variable. Sometimes it was only a corner, and the lady didn't look concerned. But sometimes, the otherwise white canvas was covered in blue, and the lady looked distressed, though never as bad as today. When she saw Harry coming, she ran right out of her portrait, and Harry heard several annoyed voices from paintings nearby as the lady fled through them. A single blue butterfly, accompanied by several floating blue blobs, was following her.
He turned back to Draco. The blond was leaning against the wall, arms crossed, wearing the scowl that was so often on his face before he and Harry had discovered they had feelings for each other.
"It wasn't me, Draco. I swear!"
"Do you actually expect me to believe you?" Draco snapped back, "I thought you didn't care about being The Boy Who Lived! I thought you cared about me—about us!"
Harry opened his mouth, not quite sure how to respond to that. "I do care about—" he started, but Draco interrupted him.
"No. If you actually cared, you wouldn't have put your name in the Goblet of Fire."
"I didn't put my name—"
"Yes, you did! You did it to get glory and fame, as if you don't have enough of those already. I suppose this means that all those times you told me you didn't want to be singled out, about how much you wanted to be normal, were lies, then?"
Harry opened his mouth to answer, again, but Draco beat him to the punch.
"Don't even bother trying to deny it! I know who you are. You're just a prodigy who thinks that fame provides immunity for everything, even death. You're thinking, 'Well, I beat Voldemort when I was only a year old. How hard can three tasks be?' Well, if that's what you're thinking, you're a git and an idiot and I don't want to see you ever again. There's no reason you would know this, because you never asked, but the last time the Triwizard Tournament was held, one of my ancestors died in the third challenge. I didn't know him, but I know you, Harry. Still, I'm not going to waste any tears on either of you."
For the second time that day, Draco swept past him, signaling the self-imposed end of the conversation.
Harry was left looking at the empty portrait, wondering how this conversation could have gone so wrong. He wasn't like that at all. He was terrified of competing in the Tournament. He had had so much to say to Draco, to tell him how wrong he was, and in the end, he'd said nothing, or almost nothing. In the end that might be worse. Should he have argued with Draco? Should he have gotten mad that Draco could have possibly thought he put his own name into the Goblet of Fire? Should he have turned Draco's arguments back on him? He thought bitterly that Draco could be jealous of him. As though he wanted to compete in the Tournament. Harry hadn't known about Draco's ancestor, but he had been assured many times in the last 24 hours that contestants had died trying to prove themselves. And they were of age, thought Harry. What was he going to do? He was fourteen.
Harry turned at the familiar voice, just in time to see Ron punch Draco in the nose.
Draco squealed in pain.
"Oh yeah?" said Ron, "It's just what you deserve. How could you betray Harry like that? You're jealous of him, aren't you? You wish it was you in the Triwizard Tournament, don't you, Malfoy?"
Draco sulked away, holding his nose. Presumably he was headed for the hospital wing to have it fixed. Ron was going to get in trouble. But Harry couldn't have been more proud of having a friend like Ron. Whatever had happened with Draco, Harry could tell it was over, but he also knew that he had two of the best friends in the world waiting to fight for him, and help him through the tasks ahead. And that might be enough.