Hey guys. So, I've been gone for a minute but that's only because I'm trying to complete this story. I'm also trying to complete Green-Eyed Monster. But boyyyy has it been a challenge. I'm getting there though.

Thank you to everyone who has followed, favorited, and left a review. I really appreciate yall. I really hope you enjoy this chapter. Also, happy new year!

All mistakes are my own.

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or Twilight.

"Come on? Anyone?" Mrs. Hall looked around eagerly. Jasper raised his hand just like he did for the last six questions, and she shook her head, getting frustrated. "Anyone besides Jasper."

He retracted his hand slowly.

"Someone at least give it a try." Mrs. Hall paused, looking around at her students. Again, she was met with confused stares.

Jasper could take this upcoming exam with his eyes closed. He had the advantage of several degrees under his belt, but history wasn't really that hard, to be fair. It was just a lot of memorization. The fact that no one even wanted to attempt this question was troubling. This was advanced placement U.S history, and this was only their first exam thus far.

"I know everyone's super excited for that Halloween party next Friday. The ghouls, the ghosts, and the games. It's all very riveting and sounds like a good time. I know. I was a teenager once upon a time."

The class fell into a hush since many were surprised she even knew about it. The students thought they were strategic with hiding it, but Jasper could say with the utmost honesty that they were not as bright as they thought they were.

More than half of the high school junior and senior population, his family and himself excluded—was predicted to attend, and they hid their anticipation of the event very poorly.

"But your exam is next Thursday, and it covers a lot of material." Ms. Hall said warningly. "So please study."

"Can't you just move the exam?" A girl in the front called out after a beat, bravely so. A couple of other students voiced their agreement causing nearly the entire class to mutter.

Mrs. Hall shook her head very slowly, keeping a very tight grip on her sanity as she said, "No."

The class fell quiet again, and she pointed at the board with a bit of force, her frustration seeping into her movements. "Now, question seven. If you can remember last week when we talked about President Truman ..."

Jasper tuned her out after that and focused on more pressing matters.

The matter of the empty seat next to him.

Harrison had still not returned, and Jasper was beginning to think that he just might never come back.

So to put it lightly, Edward ruined everything.

Jasper knew for sure that there was room for a potential friendship with Harrison. Although he was insistent, they kept it cordial; however, there were 184 days in a school term. That's plenty of time to wear a person down. Plenty of time to get inside someone's head. Plenty of time to become friendly with someone. And that was his goal.

Jasper knew far too much about emotions to mess this up. He knew that slow and steady would win this dangerous race, especially for the sake of his curiosity. So, it was better to take it slow. But how can things progress if Harrison fell off the face of the earth?

Jasper had a strange feeling about this. Like an itch, he couldn't scratch.

Harrison wasn't just any ordinary human.

He was immune to everyone's powers.

He got Edward half obsessed and lying to him and everyone about just how deep that obsession went.

Then he got Jasper addicted to the most remarkable creation in the world; blood pops—though he's a little biased—in only a week.

In only a day, really.

Hell, he even had Billy Black's werewolf son all looped up into this as well. Only in Forks for thirty-three days so far and already causing such a stir. And even Jasper had to admit, that took talent. Not just any ordinary person could do that, and he and Edward both established that Harrison was anything but ordinary.

Wanting to associate himself with Harrison was foolish and selfish. He could very well be putting his family in danger. But if he had to trust his gut, he wouldn't lead himself astray. His gut was solid with this one, and if— and that was a very big if—anything was to happen, he'd make sure Alice was safe.

It also spoke volumes that Jasper was willing to take this risk. He didn't take chances when it came to his family's safety. And the fact that he was willing to do this for a stranger.

A complete stranger at that, which meant that Jasper understood the risks and just chose to ignore them.

And on another note. Jasper's been tallying things up. Discreetly keeping track of what's been going on in Forks so far and Harrison had to be some sort of anomaly. No one saw him coming, and as far as what the future holds, that was unknown too.

Things were spiraling in Forks, and old habits die hard when it came to Jasper believing superstitions. He always has since he was a little boy.

So, it got him thinking even more. Alice was walking proof that there were beings out there that could see and tell the future. Because of her, that's been known to him for many, many years.

So, the absence of her visions had to mean something. Right?

The war had him always alert, never taking a day for granted. Never knowing what day would be his last. After the war, after Maria, after he went nomad. It led to hoping his days wouldn't last, eternal damnation, and nothingness.

Fast forward a bit.

To Alice. To Hope. To Love. He had access to glimpses of the future and never feared the unknown or what was next ever again to a certain degree.

Now here he was with a sorry plan of action and absolutely no knowledge of the battlefield that is Harrison Peverell. Just haunted green eyes and near painful dejection. Not a lot to work with in retrospect, but it was somehow more than enough.

Though he had to approach this in a particular way. With confidence, of course, and his best foot forward, with wariness and caution because he was riding on a chance.

The chance that this doesn't blow up in his face and the chance that Harrison eventually returns to school and doesn't become a temporary hiccup in everyone's world.

So as more days passed with Harrison absent, the more Jasper resented his brother.

If Edward would've just left Harrison alone, this wouldn't be happening. Jasper would've made progress with him by now. He'd also get a refill on those heavenly blood pops.

He needed a refill.

Or he wanted one.

The verbs Jasper used were no different to him at this point. He didn't ration the three blood pops he received earlier this week.

How foolish of him. He knows.

So now he only had one remaining. It's been four full days with that one blood pop just taunting him. Just practically screaming, "eat me, eat me."

And he was!

Jasper was just waiting for tonight when he got some privacy. He'd spend time with Alice, read a book or three and then go for a run just as his routine calls. Then he'd try and fail to savor it. He'll try his best since he doesn't know when his supply will be replenished. His mouth was already watering, just thinking about it.

Jasper could hardly wait because today was shaping up to be one of his bad days. He should be ashamed of himself, but he wasn't.

His siblings really didn't understand. There were nights where he craved human blood so viciously; the only things that would calm him were Alice's words of reassurance and a fresh hunt.

Sometimes he found himself thinking about the life he previously lived before Alice.

He never would've thought he would be in this situation. Given the countless humans he slaughtered like cattle. All colors, all creeds.

So, to quit cold turkey so abruptly, so suddenly, Jasper thought he'd never get used to a permanent diet change. But it's been years, far more than he thought he'd make.

Jasper didn't care for humans back then since he hardly cared for his own kind. The number of newborns he killed, the ones that were considered his enemies, the ones who trusted him, the ones who looked up to him for guidance, those who were unwillingly thrusted into this eternal hell he called a second life.

Nevertheless, it was war then, and he was a mere puppet. He was created for nothing but death and destruction. And for a while, that's all he thought he was. Until he met Alice. She told him that he was more than that, more than what Maria made him. Better yet, she saw that he could be more than what she made him into.

And that was his driving force, every day when he came to school and sat down in class with these humans that really were just sacks of warm blood. Every day, every month, and every year.

Sure, he had self-control, and it certainly has strengthened over time. But sometimes, his intrusive thoughts got the best of him, and he thought of just how easy it would be to kill them all. And don't misunderstand him. He didn't take pride in that. He knew his struggle with control made him the weakest.

Jasper checked the clock and cleared his burning throat lightly.

It was only half-past the hour.

It was going to be a long day.

The students in the hallway were giving Jasper a wide berth while he was on his way to his next class. However, he was grateful for the space since the further away they were, the better.

He caught his reflection in one of the award cases in the hallway as he passed by, and he understood why. Face pinched, Back, ramrod straight. Eyes wide. He understood why many people thought he was in pain.

Then suddenly, a smile overtook his grimaced face and to most who attended this school long enough, knew it was because Alice was skipping towards him, and he just couldn't help but smile.

Jasper caught her hand, twirled her around, and she spun with all the elegance and grace of a ballet dancer. The passing students paid them no mind. To them, it was just Alice and Jasper being weird again. He pulled her in for a quick but tender kiss. "Hey, darling."

"Hey there, cowboy," Alice greeted him, fixing the placement of his scarf when she noticed more than a few scars were peeking through. She stood on her tippy toes for a few more kisses that he so happily contributed.

"Shall we," Jasper asked as he graciously extended his arm.

"We shall." Alice looped her arm with his, and together they continued. The walk was silent other than Alice's melodic humming. Jasper realized it was that new song Edward composed.

"Is it stuck in your head?"

"Oh no," said Alice. "I just think it's really nice. I mean, the lullaby Edward made for Bella is beautiful, but this piece has more layers. It's got so much more depth."

Yes, it was nice and all, but it set his teeth on edge. Though he'd take it over the lullaby any day. Usually, he didn't mind Edward when he played, but anything Edward did irritated him since this rift between him and his brother started.

Jasper kept his face a mask of stoic blank, and Alice, of course, saw right through it. "You don't like it?"

"Oh, it's not that," Jasper reassured her. "It's just been slightly distracting as of late."

"Hm," She hummed, unconvinced. "Are you going to tell me why you're mad at Edward then?"

"I'm not—," Jasper went to say, but he stopped at the look his wife was giving him.

"You two haven't been seen in the same room together for a week now. Something is wrong. Everyone has noticed."

Jasper hasn't been subtle either, so he couldn't blame anyone but himself.

He wanted to tell her the truth. He wanted to tell her so badly. But he decided to throw Edward under the bus instead, and it's not like he didn't deserve it. "It's just one thing after the next with him. We risked so much for the sake of Bella, and look how he's been treating her."

"Yeah, that wasn't very nice of him," Alice remarked, blinking owlishly. "But that's in the past now. You can't dwell on the past. Everything is fine between them now. Bella can't stay mad at him for long. He's got her wrapped around his finger. And she's got him wrapped around hers." She hummed, a small laugh escaping her lips. "Their dynamic is a little strange."

"A little, yeah, I bet." Jasper huffed as they ducked into class and took their seats in the back.

"Since when do you care so much about their relationship? You aren't Bella's biggest fan."

He isn't. He really isn't.

"Well, you are, and I support you," Jasper said pointedly.

"You do." Alice nodded with a quirk of her lips and said, "You didn't want me going to Italy, though."

At the mention of Italy, Jasper frowned and suppressed a shudder. He didn't like to think about that time. The Volturi and their guard were so close to Alice, and he was nowhere near to protect her. That would never happen again. He'd make sure of it.

"Not for Edward and Bella's sake but yours. The Volturi have set their sights on you because of your gift. So they'll always want you."

"And they'll never have me because I'm yours," Alice responded simply, and he locked eyes with her and gave her one of his private smiles.

"And I'm yours," Jasper vowed, and their conversation fizzled out, thankfully. They sat quietly as their class ticked on by. Alice scribbled down notes aimlessly, periodically knocking knees with him. Jasper did the same, feigning the work ethic of a diligent student. Having attended high school for so many years, he knew how to pretend. He knew how to make it look authentic.

"We should go somewhere this weekend." Jasper proposed suddenly, and Alice looked over at him smiling wide. She liked that idea; she liked it very much.

"It'd be nice to get away, just the two of us. Where'd you have in mind?" Alice's hand found his from under the desk, and he repeatedly traced his thumb over where her pulse point would be and imagined it thumping with life.

"We haven't been skiing in a while."

"Oooh," Her eyes did that twinkling thing that he loved. "Aspen," she suggested, lips twisting in thought. "Maybe Park City?"

"Wherever you'd like."

"Hmm," She tapped her chin in thought. It was risky to tell her that since she had no problem catching a few hour-long flights to reach her destination. On the other hand, Jasper preferred the states, but only for convenience. Alice's smile and mood brightened even more when the perfect place came to her. "Zermatt."

Ah. Matterhorn mountain. Breathtaking scenery. They haven't been to Switzerland in some time now.

"You're the boss, darling." Jasper gave her a brisk nod. "I'll make the arrangements tonight." They owned quite a few properties worldwide, so arranging that would take no time.

"Yay," Alice whispered in delight, and as if she couldn't help herself, she gifted him with a handful of sweet kisses, and he returned them enthusiastically. Her joy was downright intoxicating, and he'd be lying if he said he hadn't noticed her bubbly mood being less bubbly.

Then again, she still can't see his future, and after all, it was her gift of seeing the future, his future specifically, that brought them together in the first place. Jasper knew what she was feeling and could only empathize.

Even as Alice smiled with content throughout the remainder of the class period, Jasper shamefully so couldn't help but hope that this weekend getaway would take his mind off Harrison and those wretched blood pops he craved so desperately.

Lunchtime rolled around, and it was almost like things were back to normal. Well normal for them, at least. Before Harrison Peverell graced Forks High with his presence.

Bella was at her place by Edward's side, looking much better now. The bags under her eyes were less prominent, and her cheeks were rosy, full of life. Not to mention she was feeling quite happy too.

"Babe, just one game."

Rose raised one of her perfectly arched eyebrows, not swayed by Emmett's comical pouting. "No."

Emmett groaned, looking around for a lifeline. "Come on, Jazz," he said, picking him out for said support. "Back me up."

"I agree with Rose on this one, Em."

"Aw, come on!" Emmett groaned.

"Mud wrestling just doesn't sound very appealing," Jasper told him honestly.

"It sounds fun."

"It sounds messy," countered Rosalie.

Emmett had an explanation for that, of course. "That's why it's played in your underwear. So, the only thing we have to clean is our bodies."



Rose's beautiful face was marred with a frown. "I don't even like regular wrestling. So why would I want to do it half-naked in mud?"

Puppy eyes on full force, Emmett gave as best as he could. "Because you love me."

"Not that much."

Bella winced at the seemingly harsh words, but everyone else remained unphased, and they shared a silent laugh. You see, although the words sounded harsh and the delivery of said words was not particularly sweet either, they knew Rose, and Emmett knew his wife.

Emmett only pulled her even closer and if it were anyone and Jasper meant anyone else, she wouldn't allow it. Rosalie relished in that type of attention.

"I'll think about it," Rosalie said eventually, and Emmett was happy with just that. He brought her even closer, grinning with all his teeth.

Emmett was just an easy person to please.

"Jasper," Edward called out quietly, making the table fall silent. This was the first time Edward had addressed him this past week, and Jasper couldn't ignore it even if he tried. He raised his eyes to his brother in question.

"You might want to step outside," Edward advised.

Jasper remained unmoving. "Why?"

"They're about to play the knife game." Edward jerked his head toward the table full of rambunctious sophomores. "And there might be some blood."

"Oh man, I love that game," Emmett chimed in, grinning.

Bella looked around the table, confused. "What's the knife game?"

"It's a game where the risk for injury is very high, and a knife is typically used." Edward picked up one of the plastic forks on the uneaten lunch tray he had brought over, giving her a quick demonstration.

"So, what's the point of it?" she asked with a tilt of her head.

Edward placed the fork down. "You can prove you have high motor coordination and dexterity by not injuring yourself."

"And prove that you've got the balls even to play," Emmett said, grinning as Bella wrinkled her nose.

"There will be some blood," Alice confirmed, and she patted his thigh, which was pressed up against hers. She sighed, frowning severely. "And I can't see how you'll react."

"I'll be OK," Jasper murmured and patted her thigh right back, hoping the action was just as comforting to her as it was to him.

Jasper zoned in on the table and instantly felt a headache coming on. The entire table was thrumming with chaotic energy: anger, arousal, happiness, sadness. Teenage boys just had so many emotions running through them, and it was almost nauseating.

The Cullen table was sectioned off more to the side than any other table in the cafeteria, and the table the sophomores were sitting at was nearly ten feet away. So, Jasper had two options here. He could calm them down, or he could step outside. He should probably—-

"If you wish for the second option, you must do it quickly." Edward said, rudely interrupting his thought process, "They're about to start soon."

Jasper glanced back at the table full of sophomores again, seeing that one of them had actually brought a knife to school. Nothing big, just a blade about 3 to 4 inches in length. Small but definitely capable of causing blood and injury. Also, very worthy of a school suspension or expulsion.

Considering how lousy today was for him, he decided it was best to step outside until the lunch period was over. There were only about twenty minutes left anyway. He could do with some fresh air.

Jasper stood to take his leave, and Alice rose to join him when Edward's hand shot out to rest gently on his wife's shoulder. "Alice, I'd like to have a word with Jasper alone, please."

Alice looked between them wide-eyed and Emmett, ever the instigator, whispered, "Oh shit."

Jasper didn't say anything; he just started making his way to the cafeteria double doors. Edward followed closely behind him, and together they welcomed the crisp foggy air of autumn.

Edward looked at him expectedly once they rounded the corner. As if Jasper should be the one to start this conversation. He wasn't going to. He took a seat at one of the benches instead.

"I'm sensing some hostility between us," Edward uttered almost cautiously. "I'd like to address that."

"No, thank you," Jasper replied politely, staring blankly at the cloud-filled sky. "I'm quite alright."

"You can't even look at me."

"Why do I have to?" Jasper countered placidly. "I'm fine, and I can hear you just fine."

Edward took a seat beside him. "The others have noticed your change in attitude towards me."

"So, I've been told."

"Esme is starting to worry. You know she doesn't like when there's conflict within the family."

"Hm, that's just a damn shame. Ain't it?" Jasper replied, very bored with this conversation already.

Edward exhaled sharply, irritation flaring. "Jasper, you're being childish."

Oh. If he wanted Jasper talking, that was the right thing to say.

"No," Jasper denied almost serenely, giving his brother his full attention. "Childish is not leaving someone alone when they tell you to leave them alone. Childish is ditching your girlfriend for a week to wallow about lord knows what. I'm not childish. You already know why I'm upset, so stop pretending like you don't."

"So, you're not perfectly fine," Edward noted, ignoring everything else Jasper just said.

Typical. Just typical.

"Stop playing dumb, Edward," Jasper warned. "It doesn't suit you."

"I'm not." His brother insisted. "I just don't know what you want from me."

"You haven't fixed the situation yet."

"Jasper, believe me when I say that I've done—," he paused, and for a split second, he looked a little hopeless. "I've done all that I can."

"Harrison still isn't back yet," Jasper spoke slowly, unable to keep the anger out of his tone. However, he was proud of himself when he reeled it back in and took a deep unnecessary but calming breath.

"I've done all that I can," Edward repeated, schooling his face into something unreadable, probably wishing he could do the same with his emotions. But he couldn't. Jasper read them loud and clear.

"And what exactly have you done?" Inquired Jasper, curious to what his brother had planned and even more curious to how he executed it.

"All that I can," Edward answered once again, being purposely vague, and it was getting increasingly difficult for Jasper to not let his annoyance get the best of him. So, he decided to be the bigger person and just walk away to avoid getting slightly hostile.

"C'mon Jasper, wait!"

Jasper stopped, turning back toward his brother, and looking down at him, lip curling in distaste. "Is there something you wanted to say to me?"

Edward got to his feet, so they were eye level and just stared.

So, Jasper stared back.

There was nothing, not a word, and Jasper was convinced that Edward just wanted to waste his time. Until—he burst out inelegantly. "What was in the envelope you received on Monday?"

Jasper stayed calm and collected because he prepared for this. He was ready for the slim possibility of someone finding out. But just how in the hell did Edward find out so quickly?



And just like that, his brother revealed a vital part of his plan, making it very easy to draw conclusions.

Okay, Edward knew about the envelope but didn't know what was inside of it, so Jasper still had the upper hand on that. However, if he didn't find out from him and Harrison was nowhere to be found, the only option left was Harrison's friend, Andrew.

So that's what Edward meant when he said he did all he could, even with finding out that little piece of information from Andrew's mind, he could've just let it go. But Jasper knew his brother was incapable of doing such a thing.

Edward was nosey; he always has been, especially since for over a century he's gotten to fish around in people's minds free of consequence.

"There was nothing in it for you," Jasper replied calmly, cherry-picking his thoughts very carefully, and a wave of jealousy hit Jasper like a sucker punch. It made him smile.

Edward didn't find this amusing and said, "So you're keeping more secrets?"

"I'm only going to tell you this once, Edward. Stay out of this."

"What exactly should I stay out of?"

"My business."

"Your business," Edward repeated with scorn, and he sneered. "That's funny; I wonder what Alice would think about this."

The energy between them shifted instantly.

Jasper leaned forward, anger creeping right back, and he leveled his brother with an intense look, face void of any emotion. "Is that a threat?"

Edward only smiled sweetly, leaning toward him. "Does it need to be?"

They watched each other for a full minute or two.

No one said a word. Again.

Until the hilarity of the conversation finally dawned on Jasper, and he couldn't help himself; he started to laugh.

It was laughable that Edward thought something insignificant like this would cause a problem between him and his wife. Him and his soulmate. It was hilarious that Edward had resorted to threats.

This must be a joke.

Edward watched him as he cackled madly, offended that Jasper wasn't taking him seriously.

"I'm not offended!"

Jasper's laugh came to an abrupt stop, and only a smug smirk on his lips remained as he said innocently, "I never said you were."

Edward has clearly lost his mind again, and Jasper only thinks again because Edward lost it the first time he stalked, pursued, and fell in love with a human, all within like two months. But that was another situation entirely.

Jasper never thought it would come to this in all of his days. All this tension between them, all because of one human.

"If he even is human," Edward interjected, quite headstrong too. Like he was certain Harrison could be otherworldly. Jasper doubted that.

"Oh, he's human," Jasper said slowly but surely. "He's just misunderstood."

"And you want to understand him?"

Jasper didn't like repeating himself, and Edward knew that. "We've been through this already."

"I'm just trying to make sense of it all."

"Maybe you don't need to make sense of anything. Maybe you need to mind your business for once."

"I'm nosey." Edward shrugged, determined and satisfied to throw Jasper's thoughts back at him. "It's just in my nature."

"So, I think I might finally go home soon."

Harry couldn't keep a frown off his face. "Why? I thought—I thought you liked it here."

It was nice having company, and it was nice not being alone all the time; it made the nights easier—Fed the void inside of him.

"I do!" Andrew consoled him a bit too loudly. "It's just— Harrison—-I can't."

"Harry," Harry interjected in a rush of breath. "You can call me Harry."

His name was Harry, and getting called Harrison all day long was finally starting to get to him a little. So, he's glad he went with a more extended version of his original name with this new muggle identity. It made the transition easier. And being addressed as anything other than Harry or Harrison physically made his skin crawl.

"Okay. Harry." Andrew tested out the shortened version of his name with a smile. But unfortunately, the smile was quick and fleeting, following his next statement. "I can't stay here."

"Why not?"

"You've done so much for me." Andrew ran a hand through his wispy brown bangs, flustered. "I feel like I'm just unloading all of my problems on you, and it—it's not fair to you. I've been here five days already, and I don't want to be a burden. I know I've overstayed my welcome."

Has it really been five days already? Harry hadn't noticed. "You haven't overstayed anything."

"Yes, I have!"

"Andrew, I know what it's like to feel unwanted. Do you feel unwanted here?"

His friend's eyes went wide, and he shook his head, taken back, and what Harry just said finally caught up to his brain. Damn him and his projections. Harry figured that he should elaborate a little, though he really didn't have a choice now that he just said all that.

Deep down, he knew why Andrew wanted to leave. He probably couldn't stand practically living with a stranger. Andrew didn't know anything about him other than that he was a depressed, chain-smoking alcoholic with issues.

"My aunt and uncle, they um," Harry swallowed the lump in his throat, trying to find the right words. "They thought I was a waste of space. That's who I lived with for a long time until I was on my own."

Andrew's eyes felt like daggers, and Harry looked away, not wanting to look at his pity-filled eyes. So, he fiddled with his bedsheets to avoid looking and continued. "You're not a burden. You haven't overstayed. You can stay here as long as you like; I've got the space. I—I don't mind the company."

Andrew was silent, and Harry kept the words coming to fill that silence. "Your father is an arsehole, a homophobic twat, and if you don't feel safe there and feel safe here, I'd rather you be here."

Andrew's hand came to rest upon his own, and Harry looked up and over at his companion, alarmed by the soft touch. "I know you haven't been in Forks all that long, and I don't know much about you, but I'm happy you're my friend. And I appreciate you and all that you've done for me."

"I—," An influx of emotion choked him up a bit. "I appreciate you too."

And to think that Harry didn't want any friends when he first came to this town. Seeing Andrew smile made him feel not as terrible. Reminding him that it was okay to be vulnerable occasionally, but just to the right people.

"I would love to stay. I really would, but I really have to go home." Andrew pinched his fingers close but didn't have them touching. "My mom's this close to putting my name on a milk carton."

Ah. Suzanne. Worrywart Suzanne.

"So, you've spoken to her then?"

"Yeah, on Wednesday. Just to tell her not to worry, which was a lost cause. She bombarded me with questions and tried to guilt-trip me into coming home."

"You told her that you're staying with me?"

"Oh no!" Andrew seemed thrown by that, and Harry pressed him as to why. "My dad would probably kick down your door or something. The less they both know, the better. I mean—they probably put two and two together but––whatever."

There was just one thing that Harry didn't understand. If Andrew didn't want to be there, why'd he have to go back?

"I still don't get why you have to leave."

"I don't want to!" Andrew practically shouted before physically gathering himself. "Yeah, my dad's homophobic, and he's said things like that to me before. I just —never had a place to run away to." Andrew shrugged helplessly. "I—I can't stay away from them forever. I depend on them for so many things."

Harry didn't have an answer for that since he didn't understand what Andrew was going through. He never had parents to stay away from. He never had parents to depend on.

Harry was only responsible for himself since the Dursleys didn't give two shits about him. He had to return to Privet Drive every year even though he didn't want to. If it were up to him, he would've been gone and stayed gone when he turned thirteen.

All in all, Harry related slightly. So, he nodded, a little forlornly but coming to terms with the fact that Andrew had to go, and that was okay.

Perhaps this was a good thing since he was getting quite attached, which was never good.

"So, you're gonna start paying rent?"

"My mom said I don't have to pay rent and that my dad just said that since he was upset. She just wants me home."

"If I were eighteen, I'd stay. But under the eyes of the law, I'm still a kid. Their kid specifically. I'm still legally tied to them in every way. But I'm really thankful for you letting me stay. It's been awesome. And now I think things might just get better since they know I won't just sit there and take everything they dish out. Now I've got a place to run away to."

Andrew seemed optimistic, and well, he did know his parents better than anyone else. But there was a huge gaping hole in Andrew's upbeat outlook. He shouldn't have to run away at all. Though Harry wasn't going to try and dictate anything and only replied with, "As long as you know, you can always come here."

"Yeah. I know."

"Alright then, good," Harry said, reaching for the pack of cigarettes he kept under his pillow. He liked to keep them in easy to reach places.

Andrew looked like he wanted to comment on that, but he didn't and looked around at the mess in Harry's room instead. The stacked boxes in the corner he still had to unpack.

Andrew's wandering eyes settled on the pile of notes Harry had gotten over the week, resting on his desk. On the top was the CD he received from Edward. The CD he has yet to even touch. "So, have you listened to the CD yet?"

"Which one?"

"The one Edward made me give you, duh."

Harry turned his head to the side to let out a bellow of smoke. "No."

"But he seemed really sorry."

"I bet he is sorry, but he should've just left me alone."

Andrew couldn't argue with that, but he would say something. "Harry, aren't you curious?"


"Not even a little?"

"Curiosity killed the cat, did it not?"

"But satisfaction brought it back." Andrew shot back, looking far too proud of himself for completing the idiom.

Harry doubted that whatever was on that CD would make him satisfied. But he might as well get this over with now because Andrew wasn't going to let it go. "Alright, I'll listen to it."

His friend perked right up. "Really?"

"Yeah, sure. Hand it over."

Andrew popped up from his place on Harry's bed, too happy to oblige and Harry gestured with his free hand while he ashed his cigarette with the other. "There should be a CD player in the box closest to my desk; grab it too, will you?"

Andrew retrieved everything and belly-flopped back on Harry's bed with an excited smile. Harry scooted down closer to the edge of his bed so that they could share a pair of earbuds. "Don't know what you're expecting, but I'm not expecting much."

"There could be anything on this thing." Andrew enthused. "Don't you love a good mystery?"

Considering all that he's been through. Absolutely not.

"No," said Harry, and Andrew rolled his eyes, looking fonder than anything else.

"You're a grouchy old man, do you know that?"

"Yes," Harry said, offering him an earbud while popping in the other.

With everything geared up, Harry pressed play. And nothing, nothing prepared him for what was next.

Sad, but angelic melodies flooded his right ear, and it wasn't anything Harry recognized, and trust him, he's listened to many. Could this be homemade?

This had to be homemade. It wouldn't be surprising if it was.

Harry couldn't really explain what he was hearing, and the notes washed over him like a wave. Ready to sweep him away into the waiting ocean. It didn't stay melancholy; it was a rollercoaster of sounds and emotions that almost brought tears to his eyes. Almost.

Somehow, Edward captured Harry's essence completely and composed it into one song. Stripped him down to mere notes, which struck him to the core. Harry had no words.

Edward was talented. Harry had to admit it. Playing like this and creating something like this took practice, and Harry didn't know how old Edward really was, but he was guessing fairly old.

A whole nine minutes later, the final note played, and Andrew was silent just as he was. Whether it be shock or awe, they sat in quietness, just taking it all in. Until Harry felt his friend shift beside him. "So, Edward Cullen is in love with you."

Harry's eyes flew open, and he didn't realize he had closed them. "Andrew! No, he's not."

Andrew shook his head vehemently, pointing at the CD player. "He made you this song. He's obviously madly in love with you."

"No, he's not. He just knows I like classical music." Harry did mention it when Edward was in his car that awful day. He still had to fix his window. He'd get around to that eventually.

"So, he just wrote you an entire song?!"

"It seems so."

"I thought this was gonna be an apology mixtape. Not a nine-minute classical masterpiece."

Harry snorted, rolling away to retrieve another cigarette. "Masterpiece, you say?"

"Hey, you're the expert!" Andrew said, poking him in the side. "I'm just saying. Doesn't that sound like it should be in a movie, and doesn't that just scream love to you?"


Cigarette trapped between his lips, he looked around frantically for his lighter, which apparently grew legs, and walked away. It's annoying for two reasons. Reason one is that he couldn't just light it using wandless magic, which he usually did when he was home alone and couldn't accio it either since Andrew was sitting right there, plus his wand was missing in action at the moment.

"Where the bloody hell did, I put my—,"

Andrew held the blasted thing in front of his face with a sheepish smile. "Sorry, I was sitting on it."

Or he was plotting on him to reduce his nicotine intake. Oh yeah, Andrew must've thought he was clever. But let it be known to many that if anyone valued their life, they should not and will not get in the way of Harry and his cigarettes.

That aside. Harry didn't know what the song screamed, though it wasn't love. It was something else entirely.

It was him.

"You know. I think this is a little weird." Andrew announced to the room, and a little awkwardly too like he was afraid of voicing his opinion on this matter. "The situation, I mean."

Harry let out a bark of laughter, focusing his flame. "You and me both."

Andrew smiled at him, happy that they were on the same page. "I mean with everything that's been happening lately. With both Jasper and Edward coming to me when they couldn't get to you just rubs me the wrong way. I just think that—"

Andrew trailed off, shaking his head.

Harry encouraged him to continue. "Go on."

"They just seem a little obsessed with you, to be honest."

'Tell me about it!' Harry thought bitterly, blowing o's with the deadly smoke exhaled from his lungs. Harry hasn't told Andrew what went down that afternoon on Monday and wasn't planning to. If he didn't think about Jacob, everything on Monday just didn't happen. Simple.

"Trust me; I've told them to fuck off plenty of times." Harry shrugged. "No one seems to listen."

"Why was Edward so compelled to write you an entire song as an apology?"

"Why don't you ask him?"

"Um—I'm gonna pass on that." Andrew insisted cautiously. "He kind of scares me."

"Elaborate on that," Harry demanded, intrigued.

"Well," Andrew twisted his fingers together, eyebrows pinched in thought. "He looks unreal—like too perfect. Up close. And he talks really strangely like he's from a different time."

Andrew was hitting the nail right on the head. Honestly, Harry wouldn't be surprised if Andrew put two and two together and figured out their secret one day. After all, Andrew is the one who made a joke about them being vampires on his first day. And that joke led Harry to discover the truth, he probably would've found out eventually, but the comment set the fire.

Nodding, Harry retrieved his ashtray to shake off the excess ash. "Well, he is a strange bloke."

"So," Andrew prompted eagerly. "Do you accept his apology?"

Harry blinked, feigning confusion. "Whose?"

"Edward's!" Andrew yowled, shoving playfully at his shoulder.

Dramatic as ever, he let the force of the light push propel him backward, limbs sprawling. "I don't know yet. I guess. It wasn't really his fault. Maybe he'll leave me alone now."

But that was very doubtful.

"Well, if I wrote you a song, I wouldn't leave you alone." Andrew chirped far too happily for Harry's liking, and he scowled.

"Not even if it was an apology song?"

"If I wrote anyone any type of song, it would mean that I was madly in love with that person."

Andrew wasn't laying that idea to rest, and he really should. It was so far-fetched and, oh, absolutely bonkers!

"Andrew. He's not in love with me."

"So, you say, but do you know?"

"Yeah. I reckon I know that little tidbit of information."

"I'm just saying—," Andrew mumbled as he shrugged. "The probability seems high."

"When's the second date with your loverboy again? "Harry asked, not so subtly changing the topic of conversation.

Andrew smiled, dopey, and the topic of Edward Cullen was laid to rest, pun intended. "Oh, it's on Saturday."

After his date on Tuesday, Andrew returned to Harry's home on cloud nine. Apparently, Embry was the perfect gentleman. He asked to hold his hand and kiss him goodnight, and when Andrew said yes, he planted one on his cheek. Harry liked to hear it. Embry seemed like he had a good head on his shoulders.

Unfortunately, the topic change didn't last long, and maybe Andrew knew what he was trying to do. "Are you ever going to come back to school? It's already been like two weeks."

Andrew was a persistent little bugger. Every day he's asked about school and whether he'd be in attendance. The more Andrew asked the more Harry didn't want to go. Andrew, of course, didn't know this, but Harry has given some thought to withdrawing permanently. Harry knew it would break his heart.

"I'm not sure yet," Harry grumbled truthfully.

He just didn't have the motivation anymore. He didn't have the drive. He honestly should have never enrolled himself in high school. It was a terrible idea. Nice in retrospect but terrible while being executed. He could always just falsify a high school diploma, but that just felt like cheating since he had all the time in the world. He could rack up hundreds of high school diplomas, maybe even thousands in his lifetime. And all he needed was one.

"Please come back."

Harry snapped out of his head, unprepared for Andrew's sorrowful gaze. "When you're gone, I'm just a loser again who sits alone at lunch. I mean, I sit in my car now because I don't wanna be alone in the cafeteria. "

"Andrew, you aren't a loser."

"I am, and I always have been." Andrew insisted, with a wild shake of his head. The motion caused his glasses to go all awry, and he adjusted them quickly. "I've never had any friends besides you. It's nice having a friend."

You see, hearing that made Harry want to try. Stepping outside has been a challenge, especially with everything that happened over the past couple of days.

Harry didn't want to chance it.

He wonders when he became such a coward. But not stepping outside was not cowardice; sometimes, he just couldn't get out of bed. Sometimes the world was just too much for him to handle.

Maybe he needed help. Like professional help, again.

"I'm sorry for asking about it again," Andrew mumbled quietly. "But to be fair, you're missing some pretty exciting stuff."

"Uh—like what?"

"Like today at lunch, I heard that some sophomore brought a knife to school and stabbed himself."

"On purpose?"

"Nope. He was playing some stupid game."

"Oh." It came out flat, tone dreary, and it's not by mistake. Hearing that didn't make Harry want to go back even more. Perhaps he overthought the whole high school idea. Maybe he just didn't have the mental capacity to deal with high school.

"So, what shall I make for dinner tonight?" Harry asked, quickly changing the topic of conversation yet again. And Andrew definitely noticed this time, but he allowed it.

Andrew being here has forced Harry to start cooking again. He usually didn't really eat that much when he was like this, and if Harry did eat food, it just tasted like ash in his mouth, and if he wanted ash, he could just smoke some more.

"I dunno, how about some tacos?"

"That sounds pretty good."

Andrew beamed at him, getting up and off Harry's luxurious bed. Next, he came over to Harry's side, holding out his hand. "Shall we, old man?"

Harry snorted, grasping the offered hand and stubbing out his cigarette. "We shall."

Saturday rolled around, and Harry saw Andrew off at around one for his date. So, what did Harry do to pass the time? He had himself a drink, of course. He was on his fourth finger of whiskey and relatively deep in the halls of his library when he got a call from Jacob. He didn't answer, cause why the hell would he—-and just let it ring out.

Harry was half expecting Jacob to try again, and he was surprised by the voicemail he received mere seconds later after the first and only call.

Riding on the highs of Voltaire and Jamesson's Black Barrel Whiskey, he decided to listen to it. He listened to Edward's entire song yesterday, so he might as well give this minute-long voicemail a listen, right?

Jake opened with, "Hey Harrison. I—uh—I'm not gonna take up much of your time, and I know I'm probably the last person you wanna hear from. But I just wanted to apologize for the other day. I shouldn't have kissed you, and I know how stupid that was of me. But Embry reminded me about a few things regarding consent that I–I um- seemed to forget."

Maybe it was because Harry was drunk, but the raw emotion in Jacob's voice struck a chord inside him, the very same chord that's already been struck by Edward's song.

He didn't like this feeling. It felt like indigestion.

Hm, or maybe even heartburn. Nothing pleasant, that's for sure.

"Kissing you was really insensitive and —um—," there was a whoosh of static and another heavy pause. "I'm sorry if I made you uncomfortable. I'm really sorry I threw myself at you. I —uh—I just really really like you, and I know that's not an excuse. But—,"

Jacob went quiet for many moments until he started again. "If you never want to talk to me again, I'd respect that. I overstepped some boundaries that I really shouldn't have. And I'm—I'm so sorry."

The sudden beep of the message ending caught Harry off guard; he thought Jacob would have had more to say, but ultimately what was said was enough. "To replay this message, press one. To delete, press 7. To return the sender's call, press 8."

Well, listening to that voicemail turned out to be a horrible idea because usually, getting drunk made Harry forget. It was purifying to him and just another way for him to get away from his feelings. Whereas now he was just sad.

Harry was just a sad drunk man, a sad drunk man who liked to run away from all his problems. A man who let the words of a stranger affect him because he wasn't strong enough to compartmentalize.

Harry rubbed at his stinging eyes and put his glass down, opting to drink right from the source instead.


A voice called out in the distance. It sounded close but not too close.

"Harry, where are you?!"

Harry startled awake, realizing that he dozed off for a moment in front of his classics section. He shook his head in an attempt to revive himself though he only made himself dizzy.

Harry stumbled over to the entrance of his library trunk with zero grace, using maximum effort to heave his body up the stairs and through the trunk entrance as quickly as possible. But, of course, it was easier said than done. He struggled heavily, his limbs unusually uncoordinated due to his intoxication.

With his body out and the trunk closed, he sat on the floor, winded, panting after all that overexertion. Then, finally, Andrew popped his head inside of his closet, where he kept his two trunks a few moments later, unaware that Harry was just elsewhere for the past three hours.

"Hi!" Andrew chirped, smiling wide with rosy cheeks.

It looked like someone had a good time on their date.

Harry blinked up at Andrew, wide-eyed. "Hullo."

Andrew looked down at him, curious. "Why are you on the floor?"

"I—er—I wanted to sit on the floor." It's a miracle that his words weren't slurring, but he's not too confident with standing up. That was going to be a challenge, especially after the physical labor of getting himself out of his library trunk in under two minutes.

"So, you wanted to sit on the floor in your closet?"


"Are you gonna get up?"

"Um—gimme like a minute, yeah."

Then suddenly, Andrew crouched down in front of him, waving a hand in front of his face. Harry reacted but just not as quickly. "Harry, are you drunk?"

"Er—just at-teeny tiny bit," Harry admitted, smiling goofily.

Andrew smiled back, giggling at his antics while holding out both hands. "You know, it's four in the afternoon."

Harry let himself get pulled up and swayed uneasily in his friend's arms and mumbled, "Oh."

Well, there wasn't a clock in his library, but there was a stash of whiskey: priorities, man.

They exited the closet, and Andrew guided him to the edge of his bed. "I'm gonna get you some water, okay? Sit tight."

So, Harry did as he was told. He sat tight and waited for Andrew to return.

But then:

Five minutes passed.

Then ten and then fifteen.

Harry slowly but surely realized that Andrew wasn't returning. He thought that maybe this was just a game of hide and seek. Confused by the sudden change of plans, Harry set off to find his friend. He gripped the railing of the daunting stairs and slowly made his way down. "Andy?"

His friend wasn't in the living room, so he went over to the kitchen and didn't see anyone there either until a pair of socked feet peeking out by the island caught his eye.

Harry approached them, slowly revealing Andrew's prone form. He didn't understand. The kitchen was not the place for a nap, and he thought Andrew was going to get him a glass of water. But instead, his young friend was out, cold. Harry bent down, hand outstretched, attempting to wake his friend. "Andrew?"

Harry never got that far, though. All he saw was a flash of blonde hair and heard someone whisper "Stupefy" before the world went black.

Consciousness came gradually and painfully. The throbbing in Harry's head only increased the more he tried to fight, and that's when Harry realized he couldn't move, and his hands and legs were bound. This was just about the right time for any normal and sane person where the panic would sit in, but Harry wasn't exactly sane or normal. He wasn't panicking, but he was just so perplexed.

Harry looked down at his bound hands and legs, groaning out. "Wh—what the hell?" His mouth tasted horrid, and his tongue felt thick.

"Well, well, well, the prodigal son arises at last." A voice drawled over from his left, and Harry recognized it instantly, and like a switch was flipped, the confusion turned into fury.

"Malfoy? —what the actual fuck!" With his eyes no longer bleary, Harry gazed upon his ex-partner very clearly as he leaned casually up against his kitchen island. Blonde hair, slicked. Shirt and slacks pressed—wand at the ready and happily nursing a glass of amber liquid.

Malfoy gazed over at him almost uninterestedly, swirling his glass. It was evident in which who was in control at the moment. It wasn't going to stop Harry from being Harry, though. "Why the hell am I tied up!?"

"Because I thought you'd put up more of a fight than that," Draco answered in that slimy tone of his, and it made Harry wanna wring his pale neck. Then, briefly, through the haze of his anger, Harry thought of Andrew.

Harry thrashed against his bindings. "Malfoy, I swear on everything if you hurt my friend—I'll,"

"The muggle is fine," Malfoy interjected, cutting off Harry's spiel. "He's just taking a little nap. No need to get your knickers in a twist now."

Harry went still, satisfied with that answer. But not any other response since he has yet to receive them. "What the hell are you doing in my house?"

"You've really let yourself go," Malfoy said instead of answering his question. He took a sip of his glass, lips pulling back to replicate the sneer Harry was oh so familiar with.

"Malfoy, answer the question!"

"No." His ex-partner replied almost serenely. "I'm not answering any of your questions."

Taken back, Harry sputtered out. "Excuse me?"

"You heard me. I'm not answering any of your questions, but you'll be answering some of mine." Draco stalked towards him; his wand pointed at Harry steadily. "You're the one tied to the chair. You are at my mercy. Get that through your head now, and this might just go smoothly."

Malfoy had officially lost it, and Harry was not amused at all. "Malfoy, this isn't funny. Just untie me and—"

The pain of a stinging hex caught Harry off guard, and he didn't have time to choke down his grunts of pain. "What the fuck—Malfoy! What are you doing?!"

"I'm getting answers." He raised his wand to Harry's face threateningly. "And we could do this the easy way or the hard way. Your choice."

Harry was shocked into silence. He knew something or someone from his past would come back to bite him in the arse, and it was only a matter of time.

"The easy way. Good choice." Malfoy swallowed the remaining liquid in his glass and slammed the glass down, kick-starting the next bit of their conversation.

How the fuck did Malfoy find me?

"I bet you're wondering how I found you. " His ex-partner prompted, immediately after Harry just had the thought. "Oh, it wasn't easy. You covered your tracks well. It was smart using muggle realtors. It took me a while to finally find you. Do you know how many realtors there are in New York State?"

Harry shook his head.

"A disgustingly large amount."

Malfoy gnashed his teeth with a shake of the head as if recalling what he went through set fire to his veins. "I was almost ready to pursue another lead until I came across a name—Harrison Peverell, how curious. I just knew it had to be you. I don't understand why you erased yourself from their minds but not their records. You left a breadcrumb. Whether that be on accident or on purpose doesn't matter."

"None of that matters now." Malfoy smiled with too many teeth. "All that matters is that I found you. It's been over two years since anyone has heard a word from you, but I found you."

"Two years," he repeated for dramatic effect. "You should be lucky that this is all I'm doing."

"Did you come here to lecture me? Is that it?" Harry broke out, feeling like he could burst at any moment.

"Interrupt me again, and I'll hex you," Malfoy warned calmly. A little too calmly.

"Malfoy! This is actual torture! You can't do this to me—OW! What the bloody—"

"I told you what would happen."

"You're insane!"

Another hex was sent, and Harry fell mute, not wanting another one.

"As I was saying." Malfoy continued. "You've got Andromeda's owl flying in circles and Teddy wondering if he's ever going to see you again."

"Stop," Harry demanded, selective mutism short-lived. Besides, he was never one for rules anyway. Malfoy's eye twitched in annoyance, but Harry had that effect on people.

"How do you think Teddy feels?" Malfoy asked, not bothering to hide the disappointment on his face. Hell, he was probably tempted to hex Harry again, but he was thankful he didn't. The words he was saying were painful enough.

Harry instantly thought of Teddy's face, his smile, and the last birthday card he sent to him. Regular post. That was over a year ago, and it hurt. Draco wasn't pulling any punches.

"And I can imagine what your friends would be thinking right now."

"Malfoy, I'm warning you." Malfoy knew damn well that Harry didn't need a wand to do some damage. He had no right to talk about his friends. Storming over here, tying him up like some hostage and telling him things that he already knew. Things he didn't want to reflect on. Ugly truths.

Malfoy didn't heed his warnings; he used it as ammo alternatively and said, "Granger and Weasley would probably be sad that their best—"

The reformed death eater couldn't even finish his sentence; before, he went flying back, hitting the stainless-steel fridge with a comical thud. It made Harry's lips twitch into something of a smile. He probably would have laughed if it weren't for the severity of this situation.

Malfoy bounced back quickly, young, spry, and full of grace. Harry expected a few hexes to come flying his way, but all he did was push back a few strands of hair that sprung loose from their gelled prison and wiped the invisible lint off his blazer.

He stood tall, cracked his neck, and rolled his shoulders back. "Granger and Weasley are still a tough subject. Noted."

"I have no right to speak on your friends' behalf. " Malfoy holstered his wand with a disgruntled sigh. "But I know for a fact that they'd want you to be happy."

Happiness seemed eons away. Unattainable.

Harry scowled, and Malfoy addressed it, much to his dismay. Although, before doing so, he pulled a chair from the kitchen island and sat down across one leg over the other as if this was a therapy session. And it almost would be like one if Harry wasn't bound to a damn chair, against his will.

Malfoy didn't speak for a while; he just studied every ounce of Harry's being, much to his dismay. Harry couldn't hide; he couldn't shield himself away from his ex-partner's prying gaze. Draco finally spoke many moments later, asking Harry a question he expected. "Why did you leave so suddenly?"

Malfoy wanted answers and wouldn't go away if Harry didn't give him any. "You knew I couldn't pretend anymore." When they were partners, Malfoy was the first to see that he was just pretending. Just putting on a mask to get through the days. "So, I–– I just left."

"I thought you left to go on one of those self-help journeys."

"No," Harry deadpanned. "I left to be alone."

"I know that now. But why didn't you come back after the two years in New York?"

"I didn't want to."

"Not even for Teddy?"

'He's better off without me.'

"It's a pity you think that."

Harry shrugged. "You asked. I answered."

"What about Ginny? What about her?"

Harry physically recoiled at the mention of her name. She would've stayed with him, but Harry knew eventually that she wanted kids and a family, but Harry couldn't fathom bringing kids into this world and watching them die. "We wanted different things."

"So, what do you want now?"

"What do you mean?"

"What do you want?" Malfoy repeated but did not clarify.

Harry shrugged as hard as he could. "I don't know."

"Okay." Said Malfoy ever so patiently. "New question. What is this all for?"

"I don't —I don't understand."

Malfoy took a deep, cleansing sigh. "I want to know what it was all for. The brief stint in New York. Your current stint in Washington."

Harry didn't really have valid reasoning behind any of this. "I don't know."

"Hm, okay. You know, if you would've stayed, you'd probably be Head Auror by now."

"I don't give a flying fuck about becoming head Auror."

"Yeah, you don't care about the wizarding world at all anymore."

"I care!"

"So, where is your wand?" Malfoy demanded.

Harry's brain was having a hard time keeping up with the topic changes. Maybe he still was a tad bit too drunk for this. "What?"

"Your wand."

"In my trunk, I think."

"You think?" Nodding sagely, Malfoy cocked his head to the side. "When's the last time you used it?"

Malfoy even gave Harry a couple of seconds to think, but when he failed to conjure up anything, he shook his head, disappointed. "Exactly what I suspected."

"That's not a big deal. So, what if I haven't used my wand in a while?"

"What kind of wizard doesn't use his wand? Why are you punishing yourself?"

Harry didn't know what Draco was doing. But he was most definitely still too drunk for this. "I'm not punishing myself. Wh—what—are you talking about?"

"You ran away to immerse yourself in the muggle world. For what? You aren't a muggle. Is that what you're trying to be?"

"No! I just—"

"You're just trying to stop being who you are and cutting all ties with the wizarding world for maximum isolation. Is it because you don't think you're worthy? Do you think this is what you deserve now?"

"What—I deserve? This isn't about my self-worth!"

But it was. It was entirely that. And Malfoy, that sneaky, conniving twat, just let Harry walk right into that one because that was all part of his plan, wasn't it? Harry shook his head furiously, denying everything entirely with all his chest. "I just wanted a normal life!"

"Normal." Malfoy spat the word out as if it was poison. "You've never been normal a day in your life! Normal isn't you, and it never will be! Running away doesn't just solve all your problems!"

"I know that!"

"Good, so then you also know that not using your magic isn't going to solve any problems either!" Malfoy lowered his tone. "It's a part of you. It lives within you. Thrumming like a beating heart. It's just begging to be let loose, and you aren't because you want to punish yourself."

"I just want some normalcy." Harry insisted firmly, like a man thoroughly trying to convince himself.

"Oh, please." Malfoy snarled. "Just a few years ago, hunting down dark wizards was our normal. Flushing ourselves down a toilet to get to the Ministry was our everyday routine, and there's nothing normal about that. The greatest thing about us is the fact that we will never be ordinary! Were wizards! Normal is not meant for men like us!"

"I'm not saying it is, but it's what I want."

"Oh, please." Malfoy dismissed him with a wave of manicured nails before sitting back in his chair and giving Harry an all-knowing smile. "I bet this normal life has been going so well for you." He raised a hand to him in mockery. "Cheers! Not a bump or crack on the road to normalcy. You just can't get enough of it, can you?"

It was as if Malfoy knew Harry was just having a terrible time in this town. But it wouldn't be hard to guess. Ever since Harry was little, trouble had its way of finding him. However, this time trouble came in the form of two meddling vampires and one over-enthusiastic werewolf shapeshifter.

Harry didn't answer. Out of spite, okay. Not embarrassment.

Malfoy nodded at his silence, getting the answer all the same. "What's the goal here? Why are you here in this town?"

There was a pretty straight answer to that. "I'm here to get my high school diploma. "

Malfoy stared blankly, thoroughly judging him, no doubt. Finally, after several agonizing moments, he asked, "So you ran halfway across the world to attend American muggle school?"

When Malfoy put it like that, it sounded utterly idiotic. "Yeah."

"Hm." Malfoy nodded. "And how's that going for you so far?"

"Um—okay. I guess."

Not okay. Terrible. Ten out of ten would not recommend it.

Malfoy straight up laughed in his face, seeing through his bullshit. "You look like shit, and you probably haven't left your house in days. It's clear you aren't happy here."

"Look, I'm just going through a rough patch—."

"That's bullshit. You weren't happy in England, and you aren't happy here either. So really, what's the point? I don't get your endgame if you're just going to repeat your cycle over and over again. Are you going to spend two years year here and then go somewhere else and do the same thing?"

"I don't know," Harry admitted honestly.

"Are you planning on wallowing for all eternity because you know that's how long you're going to be on this earth? All eternity. "

"I don't need you to remind me." Harry snapped.

"Yes, you do!" Malfoy rolled his eyes. "Look, Potter, I don't know what you're going through and—"

"There's something we can agree on."

"Look." Malfoy sighed, starting over. "I don't particularly like you, and I don't think I ever will."

"Well, fuck––if you don't like me, then wh––! "

"But I respect you," Malfoy said quickly, cutting off Harry's angry rant before it grew traction. Harry fell quiet, feeling scolded like a child. "And you were my partner. You looked out for me and I trusted you to do so. And I can't say that about a lot of people. So that's why I'm here. I don't know why you decided to move to this shitty little town and enroll yourself in muggle school. And I have no idea why you decided to leave the wizarding world when there are people who care about you still there."

"However, people deal with trauma differently, and I know that. Your whole life has been traumatic, really. But you have to help yourself because no one else is going to."

"Yeah. I'll get right on that." Harry snarked unhappily. He heard what Draco had to say and wasn't liking it one bit.

"For the past couple of years, I've been actively trying to make myself less of a terrible person for myself and my son." Draco looked vulnerable like he let just one or two walls down so Harry could see how serious he was. "Healing is not an easy process, and it's not supposed to be. I'm not here to put a time stamp on your grieving process. I'm not here to tell you to get over anything. I'm here to tell you that you need to talk to someone because it doesn't get any better if you don't. I promise you that. At this rate, you'll be spending another seven years hurt and dwelling on things that cannot change. Do you understand that?"

When the hell did Draco become so wise? A lot has changed in those two years, that's for sure. Unable to say or do anything else, Harry nodded.

Draco stood from his chair and walked over to him, looking down at him with an expression Harry couldn't quite place. A strong hand clasped his shoulder in a gentle but firm grip. "Harry," he said, addressing him by his first name for the first time this entire intervention. "If anyone deserves a happy ending, it's you."

Harry couldn't respond to that; he was shocked, speechless. Hating that, tears prickled in his eyes. He wondered where the hell Draco found the audacity to do all of this.

A groan cut through their intense silence, reminding them that they weren't alone in this house, reminding Harry that he had a guest.

Draco released his shoulder, took out his wand, and the bindings fell away with a quick flick. The gentle expression Harry didn't know Draco was capable of was gone and replaced with a no-nonsense pierce of lips. "We have much more to discuss, but I suppose that's enough for today. I'll be returning tomorrow."

Then Draco was gone, leaving Harry alone in his kitchen. He looked down at his hands, at the faint lines the bindings had given him. Then up at the glass on the kitchen counter, Draco was using. All indicators letting him know that what just happened did happen.

Cool. So Harry wasn't going crazy.

Another groan sounded from the living room, and Harry rose from his chair on shaky legs to investigate. It was Andrew, finally waking from his forced nap. He was sitting up on the floor, glasses crooked and hair going every which direction. When Andrew saw Harry in the archway to the kitchen, he groaned again, blinking over at Harry unfocused. "I feel like shit."

At that statement, Harry chuckled, though it didn't sound right. More like something stuck in his throat. He approached his friend, slowly sitting down on the floor beside him. "Yeah, me too."

Andrew swiped off his glasses and ran his hand over his face with another aborted groan. "What happened?"

Harry reached into the couch folds for the pack of cigarettes he kept there. "An intervention."

I really hope you guys enjoyed this chapter. The following few chapters have been so fun to write because I know it's what everyone has been patiently waiting for. Our boys are finally back and better than ever in the next full chapter. I'm super excited to get stuff out there. Also, thank you to those who understand that I can't just whore my boy out in a terrible headspace. It must make sense. As much sense as a Harry Potter/ Twilight crossover fanfic can make, lol. So again, I appreciate you all, and I shall see you in the next one.

Sideeee note. I mentioned the knife game in this chapter because a parody of the original scene from Aliens was uploaded to YouTube in 2006 so it seemed like a thing that teens would want to imitate.