Word Count: ~580
Rating: PG (this part)
Challenge: hp_may_madness 2016 Day #7: orange, stitches, cat
Author's Notes: Unbeta'd.
Charlie paused mid-sentence, his gaze caught by a red-orange blur outside his window over the Quidditch pitch. He grinned, realising the blur must be Ron during one of the weekend pickup games the older students liked to play.
Draco turned to see what had caught Charlie's eye, and Charlie saw a flicker of something sad and longing cross his face.
"I heard you used to play Seeker," Charlie said, suddenly realising that in all of their conversations, they'd never discussed Quidditch.
"Yes, I did," Draco replied. "I've always loved flying."
"So, why aren't you out there playing with the other returning students."
"I hardly think I'm welcome."
"Have you asked?"
Draco gave him an incredulous look. "You do know what happened these past two years, don't you? I may not have a Dark Mark, but I'm far from innocent. Most people aren't so quick to forgive. Frankly, I'm not sure why you've been so decent."
Charlie stilled, surprised by Draco's outburst and honesty. He'd be lying if he'd said that Draco's past involvement in the war hadn't given him pause at first. But Draco had been a child, and Charlie had never been quick to judgement. Ever since he'd seen the hot blond from the club in his class and realised it was Draco, he'd seen nothing of the sneering, superior boy his siblings had told him all about. No, the man in front of him was quiet and interesting and surprisingly passionate. He made Charlie's blood boil.
"You're not the same boy you were. We wouldn't be here if you hadn't changed. I believe in second chances."
Draco was silent, fingering the stitches on one of the throw pillows Molly had made for Charlie years ago. Charlie could tell that Draco was feeling uncomfortable and self-conscious, so Charlie deftly changed the subject.
"You know, I was quite the Seeker in my day. Could have gone pro."
Draco's expression lightened before sliding into amusement. "Really, now?"
"That's what I've been told," Charlie teased, liking the way Draco's face seemed to glow when he smiled. "You know, if you miss flying, maybe we could play a Seeker's game sometime? "
Draco's fledgling smile turned into a full out grin. Charlie's breath whooshed out of him all at once, his heart kicking into overdrive.
"I'd like that very much," Draco said, before his tone turned teasing. "As long as you're not a sore loser."
Charlie laughed. "I wouldn't be overconfident if I were you. I've got the reflexes of a cat."
"Oh, are cats good at Quidditch?" Draco smirked.
"Why you cheeky little—"
"I guess we'll see, won't we? Next weekend?"
"That sounds perfect." Draco stood to leave, and Charlie fought the desire to come up with a ridiculous excuse to get him to stay a little longer. He'd already blurted one poorly thought-out excuse to spend more time together that day, no need to dig himself deeper.
At the door, Draco paused and turned to look at Charlie with a soft, fond expression that Charlie had never seen before. "Thank you, Charlie."
Draco hurried out of the room without a backward glance. Something uncomfortably warm took root in Charlie's chest as he stared helplessly after him. Something that made Charlie want to know what Draco looked like in the morning, all sleep-rumpled and drowsy, made him want to find out what Draco saw himself doing in five years, and if he pictured Charlie in his life at all.
He was so fucked.