Notes: A birthday drabble for myself. I thought, hey, why not start your year with a wee bang? So in the vicinity of midnight this morning I wrote my first drabble in a very long time. 30 minutes. Late entry For the contrelamontre "Air Challenge".
"It sort of floats around his head, have you noticed? Like a swarm of white butterflies that cannot stand to be parted from him. When he turns the butterflies follow, in hues of yellow and shades of cream, though truly it is only his hair and he would be appalled if he knew I were comparing it to bugs. But I've never much cared what he thinks. It's probably very soft to touch. I sometimes wonder what it would be like, what rage would come about on his face if I were to set my fingers into those tidy strands. Would he cower, would he gasp, would he cease to breathe? I don't think I want any of that, especially the latter—not any more.
"I've been thinking, you know. Hermione, don't say anything. I'm aware you don't associate me with such an action. It's just, the more I watch him, really watch him with my eyes and not my habitual hatred, the more I admire subtle things about him: his pointed chin—really it's elegant if you stare long enough. His mouth—it's got such character, the way it twists in anger or humor or embarrassment! I could just reach out and...
"And there's that hair. That weightless, feathery halo on his head; that crown of aureole; sunlight glowing on his temples, with his arrogant stride and his careless hips, and when he looks over his shoulder at me—as though he's noticing a face he's never seen before—I want to be part of him. Come into contact with his life in a way I never have. It's an odd feeling, which I cannot explain. I want to touch his clean cheek and say, 'I've done it. I have proved that you're human and your skin feels the same as anyone else's and I can touch it and not disintegrate or catch fire. I can overpower your nastiness, because really—you're not all that nasty.' Please don't look at me that way. It sounds silly, I know. Too romantic for someone like me; I don't even wash my hands after Herbology—I've still got brown under my nails and, yes, I know there's a smudge on my face, Ron. So why would he want to touch me in return?
"He probably wouldn't.
"But I think.
"No, I know.
"I know that it's time. I don't want to be petty anymore. I don't care whether Malfoy wants to be petty or not because I'm going to put a stop to all this, and—and—if it's his stupid lips or his stupid white eyelashes or his stupid light, light, light hair that makes me notice him for being something other than a git—then so be it! Yeah, I think he's beautiful. Handsome, even, if you squint.
"Well, I'm going now."
Like polite friends, Ron and Hermione had not interrupted, though Harry seemed nervous that they might. He had shuffled up, hands inserted into his hair to hold it down on the windy day, and said, "I don't think Malfoy's all that bad." They didn't know what had brought this about, or how Harry came to the conclusion. Something about beauty and nastiness. They hadn't understood much of it; they were taken aback and he had spoken in stutters.
But when Harry was determined and had that sharp, whimsical tone in his throat and that skip in his legs they were not inclined to impede whatever gallant or foolhardy deed he was planning. They watched him shuffle away again, and he hovered around the Slytherin side of the Care of Magical Creatures class, looking dim-witted, indeed. Ron snorted and Hermione observed.
He took Malfoy aside. Apparently the same phenomenon that had compelled Harry to make his speech had led Malfoy to agree to a private conversation with Harry, who was currently flushing—flushing quite a bit since they could see it from way over here. Malfoy's hair flapped in the wind, which distracted Harry from the flapping of his lips and then—it was not worth notice if you were one of the students watching this curious scene—the air picked up a leaf from the ground and sent it streaming around Malfoy's head, and it latched into his fine hair; however, the leaf was so miniscule that Ron and Hermione did not see it at all, and they turned back to their puffskeins and did not see Harry gently remove the leaf from its perch.
They did not see Malfoy flush, too, in response.