Title: A Bit of Love/Hate
Pairing(s): Harry/Draco, background Ron/Hermione
Summary: Harry’s always had a bit of a staring-at-Malfoy problem. Today it actually pays off.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning(s): Obtuse!boys, flangst, WWW pranks resulting in a wet Draco
Epilogue compliant? As far as Harry and Draco are concerned, not even a little bit.
Word Count: 2,804
Author's Notes: Dear phoenix_writing, I really hope you enjoy this story! I managed to get a good amount (I think, anyway) of your requests in, so hopefully you will. The title comes from Na Na Na by One Direction.
Harry was staring. He knew that he was staring, and yet he could not seem to tear his eyes away from the scene unfolding before him. It was like his brain was off somewhere taking a break and here he was, stuck in a bizarre trance he couldn’t snap himself out of. His mind was definitely not under his control, because the only thought running through it at the moment was Malfoy. Malfoy, wet and unquestionably livid.
Malfoy was sitting at his desk, drenched from head to toe by the looks of him and clutching something small and red in a tight fist. Ah, that would be one of George’s new Hummingbombs. Simply say the name of your unknowing victim and watch as the Hummingbomb flies over to soak them from above. The bird is supposed to then fly away unseen, but Harry suspected that Malfoy’s seeker reflexes allowed him to catch it before it could escape. Harry could see Malfoy’s eyes flash and his nostrils flare menacingly even from his spot across the room. He of course knew firsthand how dangerous Malfoy was when angry, and for a moment he felt sorry for the idiot who had dared prank him.
There was some muttering around the room from their fellow Aurors, and even a few snickers, but those were cut off quickly by Malfoy’s patented death-glares. A very small part in the back of Harry’s mind suddenly worried that Malfoy would accuse Harry of setting the bird on him, but mostly he was concentrating on how bloody gorgeous Malfoy looked when angry and dripping wet.
Someone out there in the universe clearly enjoyed seeing Harry in pain. There was no other explanation that Harry could come up with as to why, on top of everything else he had gone through in his life, he had to have a sodding crush on Draco Malfoy of all people. It was just his luck that he’d want the one person who would never have him.
It had all started at the leaving feast after their “eighth” year…
Harry looked around the Great Hall, smiling at all of the happy faces around him. He was so glad that Hermione had talked him into coming back for one last year, although he still hadn’t told her as much, and nor would he anytime in the near future. He didn’t think it was healthy for her to go around thinking she was right all of the time, even though she mostly was.
The castle had been rebuilt beautifully during the summer, and though it would never be exactly the same as it was before the war, it was still a magnificent and powerful thing. It was still home.
Tonight Harry was celebrating not only the end of his final school year, but once again the fact that he was alive and happy and free. The past year had been bitter sweet. On the one hand, Voldemort was dead and gone. Harry was finally free, and he had never felt so relieved, or so alive. On the other hand, there was still a lot of work to be done, so much loss, pain and destruction that still needed to be dealt with. It hadn’t been easy, but the Wizarding World was slowing picking itself up, and so was Harry.
“We did it, mate! We’re done! No more studying, no more bloody essays, no more batty professors droning on and on…” Ron sighed, a dreamy expression on his face. “I tell you, if I never pick up another quill again, it’ll be too soon.”
Hermione scowled at him from across the table. “And what exactly do you imagine you’ll be doing in Auror training, Ron? It’s not all casting spells and chasing criminals, you know. You’ll need to study hard if you want--”
“Oh, don’t ruin my night! I’m not going to think about that until training starts up in the spring, ‘Mione. As far as I’m concerned right now, I’ll never have to open another book again!”
Laughing at Hermione’s scandalized expression; Harry turned his attention away from his friends. His eyes fell, as they so often did, on the Slytherin table. Harry no longer hated the Slytherins; he found it hard to hate many people these days, and was quite frankly tired of petty house rivalries. Besides, none of the returning Slytherins had done anything to cause trouble all year, including Malfoy.
Harry really hadn’t been sure what to expect from Malfoy at the start of the year, and he honestly hadn’t known he was even capable of being so…not nice per say, but civil. As far as Harry had seen, (and he watched Malfoy a lot, so he ought to know) Malfoy kept mostly to himself, focused on course work and did not bother anyone, all year. At first Harry had watched Malfoy because he was sure that he’d be the one to try and disrupt the fragile peace. As the year went on and it became clear that that wasn’t going to happen however, Harry watched him simply because he wanted to.
There was something fascinating about Malfoy that Harry couldn’t explain, even to himself. Hermione and Ron had long since given up on questioning Harry’s Malfoy obsession, for which he was very grateful. For whatever reason, he found it peaceful to watch Malfoy study, his hair falling in his face as he concentrated on the book before him and his bottom lip caught between his teeth. Harry didn’t analyze the reasons behind it; he just liked watching Malfoy.
Speak of the devil. Harry saw Malfoy sitting at the end of the Slytherin table, slightly away from the other students, reading a book and idly picking at his food. As Harry watched, he blindly reached for his goblet and knocked it over, spilling what looked like pumpkin juice all over his book. Malfoy jumped, clearly upset, and grabbed his wand off the table. Harry could see a flush creeping onto Malfoy’s face as he syphoned off the liquid, and it made something stir inside of his chest.
Once Malfoy was finished cleaning up the mess he closed his book and pushed his plate away. He stood to leave and all of a sudden, Harry realized that this might be the last time he saw Malfoy for who knew how long. He hadn’t heard anything about what Malfoy was planning on doing after school. For all he knew, Malfoy could be leaving the country tomorrow, and then Harry might never see him ever again. Oddly enough, Harry didn’t really like that thought.
Forgetting all about his own food, Harry glanced back at Ron and Hermione, who were now holding hands over the table and gazing into each other’s eyes. Somehow, he didn’t think he’d be missed just now.
He made his way as nonchalantly as possible to the doors to the Entrance Hall, smiling vaguely at a few people who caught his eye. Once out of the hall, he pulled out his map, hoping Malfoy hadn’t already made it to the Slytherin dorms.
Scanning the map quickly, he was surprised to find that Malfoy wasn’t headed towards Slytherin at all. He took a deep breath when he realized where Malfoy must be going, and then started up the staircase.
The Astronomy Tower was just as Harry remembered it. He hadn’t been up here in two years, not since the night Dumbledore fell. He folded the map and shoved it back in his pocket, looking around for Malfoy. He found him leaning against the battlements, his back to Harry. Not wanting to startle him, Harry walked nearer slowly until they were side by side.
Malfoy sighed as he turned to face Harry, his expression unreadable. “Potter,” he said softly, sounding like he’d known this was coming sooner or later and just wanted to get it over with. Harry didn’t even know what this was. He had no idea what he wanted to say to Malfoy, just that he wanted to say something.
“What are you doing?” he blurted out, and then kicked himself when Malfoy raised an eyebrow at him. “I mean, after tonight. What are you going to do after school?”
Now Malfoy raised both eyebrows, seemingly surprised at Harry’s question. Harry was a bit surprised himself. “Why do you want to know? Want to know where to avoid, do you?”
It was Harry’s turn to sigh. “No, Malfoy. I have no reason to avoid you. I…” he paused, half wondering why he was saying any of this. “You’ve changed this year. I’ve seen you. I don’t think there’s any reason we can’t continue to be civil to each other, do you?”
It took a few moments for Malfoy to answer, and when he did, all he said was, “What makes you so sure I’ve really changed?”
Harry blinked and answered without thinking. “I’ve watched you. You don’t bully anyone anymore, you don’t act like everyone else is beneath you, and you don’t try to get out of class work. You haven’t even done or said anything to me all year. That’s definitely a change.”
He wasn’t sure what had made him say it, but the look on Malfoy’s face was worth it. His eyes were wide, his lips slightly parted, and a slight flush had returned to his cheeks. He swallowed, and Harry watched his Adam’s apple bob. When he looked back up Malfoy’s eyes had grown darker. They stood there just staring at each other for long moments, and then suddenly Malfoy was much closer.
Before Harry could move or ask what he was doing, his lips were being crushed under Malfoy’s. The shock made him step back, his shoulders hitting the stone behind him, but Malfoy moved with him, not letting up on their kiss for even a second. His lips were soft and smooth but demanding, moving against Harry’s and forcing a response.
Harry tentatively began to move his lips just as he felt Malfoy’s tongue sweep across the bottom one. He gasped and Malfoy took the opportunity to slip his tongue into Harry’s mouth. Harry had no idea how long they stood there snogging, but he was feeling a bit lightheaded when he felt something hot brush against his hip. He pushed into it instinctually only to have Malfoy pull back from him with a sharp intake of breath. The sudden gush of air was cold on Harry’s heated skin.
He hadn’t realized his hands were in Malfoy’s hair until they slipped out as he moved farther away. Harry took deep breaths as he tried to make sense of what had just happened, and why it had stopped. Malfoy looked like a deer in the headlights, and he was even paler than normal. He continued to move away from Harry.
“Wha…what are you--” Malfoy stopped moving, and shook his head slightly. Harry didn’t really know where he was going with that sentence anyway.
“That,” Malfoy paused to clear his throat, “should not have happened. I don’t know what…I’m sorry.”
Harry watched, dumbfounded, as Malfoy turned and left the tower. He had never heard Malfoy struggle so much for words, and he had certainly never heard an apology from him before. Then the reason for the apology registered and Harry sank down to the floor. Malfoy had kissed him. Kissed. Him. And Harry had liked it. But then Malfoy said it was a mistake and left just as things were getting interesting. Harry touched his fingers to his lips and sighed.
Harry was pretty sure he now knew the reason he liked watching Malfoy so much. Well, fuck.
Ever since that night Harry had been trying to forget about his feelings for Malfoy, but it was easier said than done. He had been absolutely shocked when Malfoy had turned up for Auror training, but quickly saw that Malfoy was well suited for the job. He was smart and fit and wicked with a wand.
Ron had ultimately decided to join George at Wheezes, but Harry and Malfoy both sailed through training and were now working together quite often on cases. It wasn’t awkward, as Harry had feared it would be, but Harry was finding it increasingly difficult to not jump Malfoy as the days went on. Clearly Malfoy wanted to pretend nothing had happened, and as much as that hurt, Harry was doing his best to respect it.
Seeing Malfoy soaking wet, his clothes plastered to him like a second skin, was not making it very easy.
He swallowed and blinked a few times, trying to think of something to take his mind off Malfoy in all his glory. Then he noticed that Malfoy was no longer at his desk. He looked around frantically for a moment before spotting him going into the loo. Without pausing to think things through, Harry got up and hurried to follow Malfoy.
Malfoy looked up as soon as Harry stepped inside, and it was a tense moment. Harry slowly raised his hands with his palms towards Malfoy, not wanting to anger him further. “I just wanted to see if I could help. I’m not the one who did this to you.”
Malfoy glared at him for another moment before deflating, leaning against the sink as he pulled out his wand. “I know that, Potter. We may be past our pranking days, but obviously some people are not.” With a flick of his wrist, his clothes were drying themselves. He turned to the mirror and began fixing his hair.
“I’m…I’m sorry this happened, Draco. I guess not everyone sees how much you’ve changed since we were in school. You’re really a brilliant Auror. I’m glad I get to work with you.”
Malfoy turned to face him slowly, his eyes wide with shock. His hair was half done, sticking up on one side. Harry very much wanted to run his hands through it.
“You mean that, don’t you?” Draco didn’t give him a chance to respond. “Of course you do; you’re a Gryffindor. How can you think so highly of me after what I did that night?”
Harry had no idea what Draco might be talking about. “Which night? Draco, I’ve forgiven you for everything that happened during the war. We were both just kids, and you’ve proven that you’re an excellent partner. I trust…” He trailed off at the look on Malfoy’s face. “What?”
“I’m not talking about any of that,” Malfoy said quickly, then paused. “Although I do thank you for your forgiveness. I meant the night of the feast. Up on the tower.” Malfoy’s face was that lovely shade of pink Harry couldn’t get enough of. It almost distracted him from what Malfoy was saying.
“Potter, do stop being so thick! I’m talking about the night that I kissed you. I’m simply surprised that you do not hold that against me.”
Harry’s mouth fell open and he stood there gaping for a moment. He felt like he had just slipped and fallen down the stairs. His voice was even a bit breathless when he found it. “What? Why would I ever hold that kiss against you? Fuck! It was amazing! The only thing I hold against you is the way you ran out afterwards.”
“In fact,” Harry continued, taking a step closer to Malfoy, “I’ve wanted to know why you did that ever since it happened. I figured you regretted it. That’s why you left and why you never brought it up. I was following your lead.”
Malfoy groaned and covered his face with his hands. “No, I didn’t regret it. I’d wanted to kiss you all bloody year! I thought you would regret it so I was trying to do the right thing and leave you be. Are you telling me that we’ve both wanted this this whole time?” He sounded slightly hysterical, and as much as Harry understood his frustration, he was more focused on the both want this part of things right now.
He reached up to pull Draco’s hands away from his face. “Draco, I want you.”
With another groan and a murmured, “oh thank Merlin,” Draco backed Harry up against the wall and fucking finally picked up right where they had left off.