There had always been a risk of it, he guessed. It was just that the famous, “It won’t happen to me,” always pushed the thought of anything bad happening away.

The first time he’d heard about it was in the Muggle paper when he was eight years old. Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon had left a paper about and Harry had snatched it to read it. In there was an article on the disease.


Three little letters that together spelled ‘death’. Of course, as they had been quite adamant about pointing out in the article, HIV didn’t mean immediate death. No, it meant a slow fading away as your T cells lessened and your immune system failed. You would disappear, little by little, your death drawn out and unpleasant. That wasn’t what the article said, but Harry had always been able to read between the lines.

Back then it had only been an article, though. Something that didn’t hold any meaning at all to the young child reading. An article that Harry would forget for years and years until this day. He stared out the window, watching the sunset beyond the contours of London. The view was breathtaking; the sky coloured in deep reds and oranges, the sun blinding. Harry couldn’t take his eyes off it.

There had been another article in the newspaper today.

‘Malfoy heir dies of Muggle disease’

There was horrid irony in that statement. Just the words, ‘Muggle’ and ‘Malfoy’ – they didn’t work together. There should never have been a sentence combining the two words. There should have been a rule for it, forbidding it to ever happen.

Lucius Malfoy had probably turned over in his grave when the newspaper came out.

Harry felt cold inside. Without Draco Malfoy next to him, he was empty; half of him was… missing. Dead.

They had never been friends, no, never. They could never be anything that platonic. There was a passion in their relationship that he’d never been able to explain. In the beginning, it was a furious hate, a verbal lashing worse than any Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry had ever heard. They had thoroughly despised each other. Not once had they been able to walk away from a fight, especially not Malfoy.

When Malfoy had kissed him the first time, that passion had only turned into something else. Something different, yes, but just as deep, just as furious. There had been problems of course – Voldemort, Lucius, Harry’s friends, the Slytherins, the world, to name a few – but they didn’t give up.

At their marriage ceremony, they had said, “Until death do us part,” but Harry had never understood the meaning of those words until yesterday.

Draco had been diagnosed with HIV five years ago. Harry had filed for divorce when he found out, because it meant that Draco had been unfaithful. Harry had never looked at anyone else – but then again, he had always been the naïve one. Draco was cynical and cunning, a Slytherin to the core, as he’d liked to point out. Still there had been nothing cunning about his ‘misstep’, as he called it. After a fight – they had a lot of those – he had gone out and gotten drunk and fallen into bed with the wrong guy.

The guy happened to be carrying the virus, and he’d infected Harry’s lover.

It was Harry who forced Draco to go see a Muggle doctor five years ago. The blonde had been to several medi-witches and wizards, but none had been able to find anything the matter with him. Harry had been worried; the blonde had been tired and feeling sick for weeks. Draco had made a big scene about having to go to the Muggle doctor. Harry had never been able to cure him of his hatred for ‘Mudbloods’ and Muggles.

The doctor asked if he would like a HIV test as well, and Draco had said yes, not knowing what the doctor meant.

Two weeks later, the results came back.

They were positive.

The world fell apart around them as Harry screamed at Draco, packing his things and leaving the apartment. Harry knew what the three little letters meant. Draco didn’t.

Four months later, Harry had been at home when there was a knock on the door. Outside stood Draco, soaking wet from the rain, his body thin yet strong as it had always been. He had been crying. Harry had never seen Draco cry before.

That night, Draco slept on the couch in Harry’s apartment. The next day they talked and screamed at each other. By nightfall they were both exhausted, emotionally drained. Harry had told Draco to leave.

“Meet me here in a week,” he said to Draco, and handed him a wrinkled note with an address on it.

Harry had sought him out before the week was over and after that moment, they had sworn to stay faithful to each other for the rest of their lives.

They hadn’t realized how short Draco’s would be.

A year ago, Draco had still been well. His downfall hadn’t started until a few months ago, when he suddenly came down with a high fever. It lasted two weeks. At that point, he also started losing weight. The man had been slim to begin with, but he became skin and bones after that.

In the final weeks of his life, Draco had mostly lain on his bed. Harry had been beside him, holding him through the chills that made his body shake and through the nights when he tossed and turned as his body ached.

He had passed away yesterday, quietly.

His last words hadn’t been, “I love you, Harry,” or anything like that. Harry couldn’t remember what his last words had been at all. Perhaps he’d asked for a glass of water. He had often been thirsty and even more often he had demanded that Harry go get things for him.

Harry had been in the living room watching TV. That particular Muggle invention was neat, although the programs were often very stupid.

The urge to go see Draco had come over him suddenly and Harry had followed the intuition without question. When he entered their bedroom, Draco lay there on his back, his eyes closed, just like when Harry had left him half an hour earlier. He’d been about to turn around again, to walk back to the TV and its unnecessary shows, when something told him to stop.

That was when he realized that Draco was no longer breathing.

He looked like an angel, the white linen sheets covering his body and his blonde hair illuminated by the sun through the window. The pale skin looked almost translucent.

It hadn’t rained that day; the skies hadn’t cried over his loss.

HIV had turned into AIDS a few months before, and with it, Draco’s death sentence had been signed. Of course, it had been signed years, when Draco fell into bed with someone he didn’t know.

Harry couldn’t think of such things. He only stood there, by the end of the bed, and watched the small, thin body of his lover. Draco was completely still, but Harry’s brain couldn’t really process the fact that he would never start moving about again.

He would never sneer at him again.

He would never laugh at Harry’s inability to make potions again.

He would never tell Harry he loved him again.

Now he sat by the window and watched the sun sink beyond the horizon. Beside him lay the newspaper, with the headline screaming at him again and again that his lover, his husband, his heart, was dead.

He wondered how long it would take before his own HIV turned into AIDS.

He wondered when he would get to join Draco up there in the blood red sky above. He found himself wishing it could be now.

The end.

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Author’s notes: I’ve been researching HIV/AIDS for another story I’m writing (original) and I realized as I read about it that there are very few stories about HIV in fanfiction, despite the fact that it is a huge problem in the “real world”. Many, many stories feature a Hogwarts and/or world that is absolutely sex-crazed. Many authors like to make Harry and/or Draco sex-addicts. What this story is about is the what-if scenario. What if one of those men they go have sex with had HIV? It’s not supposed to be a moral-thingy; it was just a plotbunny that jumped into my head and needed to be written.

I’ve been reading on the net, and here is a good overview of the topic.

I hope you still enjoyed the story, despite it’s dark theme.

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