Most days, Harry is grateful for the oblivion. He sees in the eyes of his classmates around him that their memories of the last few years are a burden to them. He has learnt some of their tragedy, when he looks hopefully around for a face that he never finds, but on the whole he has accepted this fate as he did every other.

* * *

Draco had known the moment Harry returned that his memories had gone. He knew it when their eyes met, and Harry's showed nothing but a child's steely-eyed disdain. Harry was looking at the boy who had spent every waking moment testing his raucous, childish weaknesses against Harry's quiet strengths. He did not know the boy who had broken down in the futile struggle and ceded enough ground to allow them to hammer out an uneasy existence in those messy days. Draco found that he loved him still, which surprised him; a Malfoy should have no further interest in anything that had lost its charm, and Harry was certainly missing the fiery strength that had made it such a rare pleasure to surrender to him, in bed and out of it. Draco supposed he had become like Harry, or at least like some lesser good, because he still took an interest. Albeit at a distance.

He could help Hermione in her exercise in denial, trying to discover some new technique for obviating Obliviate. He could join in the committee of seventh years who were devising a practicum based on Defense Against the Dark Arts field experience to replace the NEWTs for all those who were imperfectly prepared -- the lot of them, who had missed several months of revision, but especially Harry, who had forgotten most of the Goblin Wars and potions he ever learned. But he could not offer him the solace they had found before, because Harry didn't want it.

Harry wanted to surround himself with the surviving Gryffindors -- Hermione, Seamus, Neville -- and not think about those conspicuous in their absence. He wanted to hate the Slytherins, and so they made a point of grimacing at him when they saw him, although any Slytherins left alive at this point had demonstrated themselves as loyal to the cause of protecting Hogwarts by any means necessary as one could wish. Sometimes he wants to know, and he questions Hermione fiercely, and she tells him what she thinks he can handle; other times, he cannot bear to overhear a single "remember when." He has never once spoken to Draco, regardless; Hermione posits that he is afraid of being tackled with some kind of failing that he does not even remember, confides that he asked twice what happened to Snape, but then was unable to listen to her response.

* * *

Harry can vividly remember how fantastic everything at Hogwarts used to be, and how excited he used to be about every new discovery in the wizarding world. Now everywhere he looks, something has changed, but his curiosity has died. He is sure none of the answers will be any better than the one he got the first time he asked where Ron was.

* * *

Hermione still has hope for Harry and Draco. She keeps it bottled up around Harry but lets it out when she slips away to meet Draco at night.

"Dumbledore would have wanted it," is the argument she returns to most frequently; and, to be sure, seeing Harry and Draco together was one of the few things that brought that smile, that twinkle, that warmth back into Dumbledore's eyes during those last few months, and Draco appreciated that, though he wouldn't have said so.

Draco, naturally, is a stubborn git about the whole thing. He won't do anything that might hurt Harry, inconvenience himself, or demonstrate the slightest spark of optimism. Hermione tackles him with all the energy of a dozen S.P.E.W. campaigns, but she can see that she's pitted herself against Draco's Slytherin strength and she's not quite sure how she can breech it. Mostly she comes back each night to talk with someone who remembers and isn't afraid to talk about it, even though all he does is make sometimes cutting, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes just plain bitter comments in response.

* * *

Some days, though, the need to know overwhelms Harry's complacency, and he breaks down and asks. He knows full well there's something important they're not telling him. He can see it in their eyes, especially Malfoy's, when he skulks by. Odd, how he can't remember a thing that's happened to him since he was fourteen years old, and yet he feels gained so much maturity, perspective. But he's still oblivious.

They talk to him about Voldemort's last-ditch plan, Dumbledore's counterstrategem. They do not talk about what happened to Ron; he suspects it was unpleasant. They do not talk to him about what happened to him; he suspects they do not know. They do not talk to him much about the other houses, and he thinks this is just as well; he suspects his sympathy would be a mockery of the very real pain of a lot of people he does not know very well.

"Oh, but I might have gotten to know them much better quite recently. After all, how would I know?"

If he has something particularly bitter to say, he says it to himself. He hopes they think their encouraging talk is working.

* * *

Everyone rather suspected that Harry would not be satisfied with leaving Hogwarts on the strength of "whatever it was you did to Voldemort, whatever happened when you lost your memories...we're sure it was great." Draco thought of his own fury when Dumbledore heaped house points on Gryffindor first year whilst conjuring up in his mind Harry's selflessness and honor, and he could well see why this recognition was a poor substitute for the real thing. There is nothing to be done for it, however; the Ministry concurred, and vehemently, that the seventh years had more than proven themselves fit to take their part in the wizarding world, probably hoping that that part would be as Aurors.

Draco watches silently, with that inscrutable look, from across the Great Hall as Harry pushes away his third butterbeer and begins looking for the harder spirits that the Leavers are perfectly within their legal rights to drink, although perhaps not so assiduously as Harry is.

"I think now might be a good time to talk to him, as he's getting well and truly smashed," Hermione hisses from behind him.

"No," Draco says mulishly.

"You're going to regret it if you don't! I mean, you're both leaving Hogwarts now to do God-knows-what..."

Draco winces; he doesn't like being reminded that he has God-knows-what to do when he leaves Hogwarts, lacking any Malfoy footsteps to follow in. He doesn't like being bossed around by Hermione any more than Harry and Ron had, either.

Harry tucks an entire bottle of firewhiskey into his robes; Draco supposes he thinks he's being discrete as he stumbles nonchalantly out of the Great Hall.

"Are you really going to leave him like that?" Hermione demands, incredulously. "You're not doing anyone any favors, you know." She narrows her eyes at him. "Go ahead, try him. If you don't succeed...well, he's not going to remember any of this in the morning."

Draco doesn't like to listen to Hermione, but he learned, once, to regret not doing it.

* * *

He's never been this drunk before. That he remembers. He was too young to drink like this the last he remembers.

The fact that he's still aware of this thought process means that he's still on the cusp of the drunkenness that's quickly overtaking him. Or something like that.

* * *

Harry catches sight of Draco as he swigs at the bottle of firewhiskey, recumbent on the neat Hogwarts grounds: his eyes widen, and he chokes and begins to cough. Draco waits until Harry is breathing normally before proceeding.


"Don't wanter talk to you Malfoy, don't care about bloody Slytherins, don't care about anything," Harry slurs, raising his bottle for another slug. He is surprised to find his hand empty. Looking up, bewildered, he catches sight of Draco upending the bottle and discarding it once its contents have been dissipated into the verge. Harry curses, attempting to regain his feet.

"Harry, just listen to me, because you need to hear this. You'll want to hear this." Draco tries to fix Harry with a determined look, but he suspects this would be more effective if Harry's eyes were focusing on him.

"Why, 'm I goin' to hear somethin' to my advantage?" Harry tackles the last three syllables with pronounced irony. "Goin' to tell me what I don' remember? Wouldn' believe you anyway. Say anything. Wouldn' know the difference." He fumbles around him for the firewhiskey bottle.

"All I was going to say," Draco enunciates frostily, "was that you deserve to know that I love you. And that, until you lost your memories, it was mutual. And all I was going to do," -- he is suddenly down in the grass with Harry, trapping his wandering hands, "-- is this."

* * *

Hands are undressing him, hands are stroking him, and--oh, God--that isn't a hand. What was it that had just happened, before this tantalizing warm wetness? Something important. Something he needed to remember.

For a brief moment, a blond head enters his range of vision, and in that moment, his thoughts fall into place.

"Stop," he says, and it takes a great deal of effort to maintain his train of thought, especially with that distracting warm breath against his skin prickling goosebumps in the chill night air. "Sobering charm. Do it to me. I want to remember...."

* * *

Draco laughs and snakes his wand out of his robes. "Siccus!" he whispers, and Harry's green eyes now focus on Draco's face in the streaming moonlight. They've gone a bit round with astonishment, and from the look of it Harry is still tipsy. Draco throws back his head and laughs again, delightedly.

"So now, if you remember nothing else, Harry James Potter, you will remember that I give a most excellent blow job."

* * *

Harry fully intends to ask Draco how this shocking arrangement had come to pass between them. He will have to do this some other time, because the things Draco is doing with his tongue are making him forget everything but the stars before his eyes and the seething waves of pleasure that threaten to engulf him and obliterate this intention along with every other thought. The very idea could have paralyzed him with fear, but instead he is dimly aware of a great satisfaction.

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