Sources of Light

Author: Debbie
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended
Summary: Draco misses seeing the sun, then remembers he has something much better. Futurefic, outtake from Draco In Darkness. (H/D)
Author's Note: This was initially inspired by the 9/24/03 keyword at 15minuteficlets, but grew to be a regular ficlet in its own right.

"This looks like a good spot," I hear Harry say, just ahead of me.

"The tide's not coming in, is it?" I call, as I take the few extra steps to catch up to his voice. "I'm really not looking to put waterproofing spells on every single thing we've brought."

"The tide's low, and we're pretty far back. But you do recall that people tend to get wet at the beach, don't you?" he replies. I can practically hear him roll his eyes.

"I can get wet - but at a time of my own choosing, thanks." Last time we came, my only warning was an uninformative startled yelp from Harry before I was suddenly sitting in two inches of rushing, salty waves. I'd had to throw out the book I'd been reading; the charms couldn't make out the waterlogged text, and all I got was "Grbgle greexsnik" sorts of babble.

But I can tell this time that Harry has made a better choice; the waves are crashing further away, and we didn't walk quite as far, either. I de-activate the Leader and tuck it into my bag, pull out a towel and my current book, and settle myself on the sand. I hear Harry do the same to my right, but he doesn't sit down.

"Mind if I take a quick dip?" he asks me from overhead.

"As long as you don't end up as shark bait, be my guest."

"Pity. I was so looking forward to swimming with Jaws." His voice fades as he heads off toward the water. "Back in a few minutes."

I could have gone with him, but I never was much of a swimmer, and the ever-changing waves are much harder to deal with than, say, a placid lake. Instead, I lean back on my hands and soak up the sun and sounds. Sunbathing blind is an odd experience; you're feeling the sun's warmth, yet remain in total darkness. Most of the time I'm used to it, but today I'm feeling a little off for some reason. I miss the brightness that normally comes with an excursion like this. When I'm indoors, it's easier to live without light. If I'm doing something outside, I'm using all my extra attention to accomplish that activity, and the weather is not so important. But now I'm just sitting here alone, feeling what would normally be the comforting toast of sun on my bare skin, and all I have is the dark. I try to dispel my mood by making the most of the senses I still have. There's a scent of sausages from a nearby vendor, and there are loads of the usual sea birds, judging by the cries overhead. The sand is a little bit coarser this far back on the beach, since the waves don't reach up here as often to pound them into the finer bits I've felt by the water.

I'm not entirely sure what the place looks like; I never came here as a child, nor has Harry described it beyond what I need to know to get my bearings. This is by choice; I discovered early on that the more someone described a location, the more I missed seeing it with my own eyes. By keeping that information to a minimum, I am more content with what I can 'see' for myself, and drawing my own mental pictures.

But today the darkness is pressing down on those images, and I feel the loss of the bright glory most people experience at the seaside. The book I brought remains untouched by my side; instead, I sit and brood until the sound of Harry's footsteps shushing through the sand bring me back to the present.

"Have fun?" I force a smile; I know how much he enjoys these trips to the sea and we don't come here that often.

Little drops spatter on my leg as he reaches over me, probably for his towel. Damn, the water's cold. "Oh yes, it was wonderful." There's a slight pause, and I hear him rummage around for something in his bag. "Turn around; your back's starting to burn already."

It figures. No matter how much time I spend outside, I never get more than the faintest of tans. I am always at risk for sunburn and, of course, I can no longer tell when it is happening until it's too late. I twist around on my towel so my back is to his voice and feel the towel shift slightly beneath me as he sits down. Then the cool potion is being smoothed onto my ridiculously sensitive skin, and my self-pitying thoughts start to fade.

It never ceases to amaze me how much I feel when Harry touches me. Maybe it's because I don't let many people - or things - get that close; I don't let anyone lead me unless the situation is dire, and I'm not much of a touchy-feely sort in general - except with Harry. My Leader keeps me from banging into things, so most physical contact is active, not passive - made by my own hands. Now, however, Harry's hands are doing the work; they slide over my back, my neck, down my arms. The very first time he touched me, it seemed like he had reached in to touch my soul, and even the most mundane activities - like this - can still bring those feelings back. I find myself leaning into his hands, losing myself in the sensations. Then he shifts around to my front, his movements slowing down as he smoothes the potion over my chest.

As I said, it is my natural preference to initiate contact on those rare instances when I want it, and as much as I love Harry's touch, I enjoy touching him in return even more. Before he has even finished his task, my own hands have reached out to trace over his arms, his collarbones, everywhere. My gloom is lifting rapidly as I 'see' him the way that I have always seen him since we first became friends, and then lovers. The sun is not tangible; Harry is. He is the one thing I still see in my mind, bright as day. It's not just the six years of rivalry leading up to my last actual sight; it's the several years of intimate knowledge of every line, every curve, all traced through my hands. I sometimes wonder if I see him better now than I did at fifteen.

Despite all we've been through already in our relationship, I still occasionally wonder why he would stay with a blind man when he could have someone whole. Today could easily have been one of those days, given my mood. But as I run my hands over his familiar face, I can tell he is honestly content. His mouth is curved into an open, relaxed smile, an expression I have felt during some of our best times together. I am not really a sentimental man, but I have to admit that this reminder of his love - our love - brightens my life more than any sun.


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