Title: To Ignite
Pairing(s): Harry/Draco, Harry/Ginny, Draco/Astoria, mentions of Ron/Hermione, Lily/random Hufflepuff, and very small bit of AS/S.
Summary: When Harry Potter's marriage reached the breaking point, he no longer cared about what was right, or even what was easy. Draco Malfoy was neither right nor easy - conventionally speaking, at least.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning(s): Infidelity, epilogue-compliant, pining!Harry. There’s angst, but the ending isn't explicitly angsty. There’s desperate sex, with a dash of rimming and a spot of dirty talk.
Epilogue compliant? It’s epilogue-compliant to the extent that Harry and Ginny have three kids and are married, and that Draco and Astoria are married and have Scorpius. I’m not sure all is well, however. ;-)
Word Count: ~8,000K
Author's Notes: Thank you so, so, so much to NQ and Tara for their endless patience. Thanks to L for her never-ending support. Thanks so much to R and S for the beta. okydoky, I really - desperately, and quite nervously - hope you enjoy this. ♥
The silver tinsel sparkled next to the fairy lights, and Ginny’s face shone as brightly as the star she levitated atop the tree. Harry closed his eyes against it all.
His neck fell back against the top of the armchair, and even before she moved, he predicted the pitter-patter of Ginny’s bunny slippers across the hardwood floor. Like clockwork, she placed a hand on his shoulder. “Is everything okay, Harry?”
He breathed in deeply and fought the reflex to jerk away. “I’m all right,” Harry answered in a measured tone. “Just knackered.”
Ginny probably nodded. “I know. They work you like a dog. You should tell them to kiss your arse. Or, you should take some time off for the hols! For the kids.”
Harry nodded in return, a weak thing, and didn’t tell her that for the last ten months he’d done next to no work and was close to being sacked. “I’ll do the best I can, but the Bobbins case is taking up all our time.”
“I know,” she said, and she squeezed his shoulder before pulling away. She cleared her throat. “The cookies are done by now. I’ll just go check on them.”
Harry nodded—again. These days, he could stumble through life with a few words and expressions. When he was assured Ginny’s scuffling footfalls had reached the vicinity of the kitchen, he opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling. He passed a shaky hand through his fringe and hoisted his head up, wincing at the creak that emanated from his neck.
“Oh, and Harry!” Ginny pushed her way back through the kitchen door with a tray of steaming cookies in hand. Rivulets of red hair cascaded from her bun, framing her face. She should have been pretty. “Al and Lily will be here tomorrow afternoon.”
Harry did not inquire after James. James was just one subject he and Ginny did not touch anymore.
She bustled on at a fast speed, tongue nearly tripping over her words. “I know you like to take your walks on Saturdays, but –”
Heat was rising in Harry’s cheeks, up his spine, anger threatening to undo his careful composure. “I’ll go today,” he said, and allowed himself the salvation he’d avoided for what felt like an eternity. Harry glanced toward the clock resting on the mantelpiece: he only had fifteen minutes. He catapulted from his seat and rushed to the coat closet without assessing Ginny’s expression.
"But it's a Friday," Ginny said. "You don't go walking on Fridays."
“Yeah, well.” Harry pulled on his coat.
Ginny turned her back to him, and leant against the kitchen doorway, clutching the door frame like a lifeline with one florid pink oven mitt. “Mind you take your gloves,” Ginny reminded him, as she always did.
“I’m fine.” He shoved his bare hands into his coat pockets.
“Have a nice time,” Ginny said in a clipped tone and wandered back into the kitchen without a backwards glance.
Harry reached for the door.
They both knew it was only a matter of time.
Even years into his adulthood, Harry had maintained some childish glee at the first sight of snow.
This evening in particular was quiet, and the park was devoid of people and life, like a well-kept secret. The thinnest of the naked trees swayed in the gusty breeze as new torrents of snow littered the ground, painting Harry’s boots white. Ice cracked underneath them, and Harry surveyed the park, knowing instinctively he was alone.
His stomach sank.
Harry flopped onto a decrepit bench, its wood aged and one of the planks loose. He slumped back against it, unsurprised and uncaring when wet snow seeped through his coat and trousers. Strange how even wet, cold and alone, he was more comfortable here than in his own home. And wasn't that how it all began?
It’d been in this park. Harry’s gaze, as if compelled, rose to the dead rose bushes, whose brambles now glittered with ice, thorns still in place.
Harry felt a fleeting and all too rare smile curving his lips at the metaphor.
“Potter, what in the hell are you doing?”
Skin already tingling and adrenaline coursing, Harry jumped up from the bench and whirled around. He stared.
“Potter, are you all right?” Malfoy winced, but didn’t take back the question. He stepped closer as Harry silently looked his fill, memorising the pointy chin, the questioning grey eyes, the slight frown - every line and feature - like a lost man studying a map when only offered a singular opportunity.
Hair bright in the moonlight and his eyes glowing in the reflection of the ice, Malfoy was wearing black from head-to-toe, including black gloves. Harry’s breath caught at a peek of Malfoy’s throat beneath the scarf.
Malfoy stepped forward and his fingers curled around Harry’s elbow. The past and the present blended seamlessly, and Harry couldn’t remember when he and Malfoy had not been touching.
“Potter,” Malfoy said, once more, and it was the urgency in his voice that anchored Harry enough in the present to look up into Malfoy’s eyes. Harry knew he was blushing – for what, staring and staring for minutes on end like some kind of fucking idiot? – and tried to pull away, but Malfoy held on.
Malfoy squeezed Harry’s arm, and he fought the reflex to bury himself against Malfoy’s warmth.
“You’re soaking,” Malfoy observed, and his fingers drifted from Harry’s elbow, feeling along the back of his coat. Harry barely refrained from whimpering at the presence of Malfoy’s fingers along his shoulder blades. “What were you doing, you idiot? Making snow angels? Trying to drown yourself in the snow?”
Harry couldn’t help it. He laughed. And he laughed some more, until he had to pull away from Malfoy and wrap his arms around his torso. His abdomen ached, and when he peered up to see Malfoy staring at him like he was a psycho let loose from Azkaban, Harry downright cackled, until tears streamed down his face and he fell to his knees in the snow.
Malfoy stepped forward slowly, his own dragonhide boots slipping a bit on the ice, but he caught himself. Malfoy’s eyes were wide as he looked down at Harry, and Harry was unsure what was reflected in his own eyes. This was really dangerous, Harry thought, when all he wanted was to crawl forward, envelope Malfoy’s legs in his arms and bury his cheek against him.
“Get up, Potter,” Malfoy said hoarsely, and Harry did. He rose on frozen feet and shaky knees.
Once Harry was standing again, Malfoy retrieved his wand from an inner pocket of his robes. “Turn around,” he whispered, and Harry did that too.
Everything was silent – except for the wind and the sound of Malfoy breathing and the slight whipping of his wand as it moved through the air. Next Harry knew, his coat was warm, and so was he.
Harry turned around and reached out to touch Malfoy’s shoulder in gratitude – but Malfoy dodged the effort with ease, rotating his body to begin the walk along their usual path.
They fell into step.
“So, Potter,” Malfoy began, angling his head in Harry’s direction, “ready to see your brats tomorrow?”
Harry bit his lip to keep from smiling. “I suppose.”
He was expecting the question from Malfoy ("Potter, they’re your kids, shouldn’t you be more excited?"), but Malfoy was silent. Harry imagined that Malfoy knew Harry loved his kids more than anything or anyone – or just as much.
“It will be weird without James,” Harry said, and that was all he said, because they discussed James even less than Harry and Ginny did.
“I know,” Malfoy said, and Harry held his breath for a moment when, from his peripheral vision, he saw Malfoy’s hand ghost dangerously close to his own. When Malfoy dropped it, Harry’s breathing returned to normal – well, as close to normal as it ever was around Malfoy.
“I know you’re eager to see Scorpius,” Harry said, and looked over at Malfoy.
Malfoy’s gaze shifted to him, and he smirked. Harry’s stomach tightened all that much more. “I suppose," Malfoy said, echoing Harry's earlier reaction. Harry's lips quirked.
They averted their eyes and continued on in silence. Harry concentrated on walking as close to Malfoy as he could without drawing attention to himself.
When Malfoy said, “Potter, you’re pathetic,” Harry supposed he wasn’t as adept at subterfuge as a Head Auror should be. Or maybe Malfoy knew him too well.
“Sorry,” Harry mumbled. “I haven’t seen you in almost two months." When he had to bite his tongue to ward off saying two months and two days, he knew he was certifiably pathetic.
“I might forgive you this once,” Malfoy said, with a smile full of teeth, like a shark instead of a snake.
“However would I go on?” he asked, and they both laughed, but really, at the heart of things, it was the fundamental question.
As they did laps around the park, travelling the same circuitous route as always – never veering, never testing – they discussed the Auror Office and Malfoy’s broomstick manufacturing company. They discussed Scorpius’ marks and Lily’s first boyfriend (“A Hufflepuff?”) and the Cannons’ surprising victory.
The conversation might have been mundane, but it never felt mundane to Harry. Each moment was a slice of heaven, and it was simultaneously hell, because he knew at the end of the hour – or sometimes two hours – Malfoy would go home to Astoria, and Harry to Ginny. But the fact of that matter was this: Harry never went home. In many ways, he never left this park.
“You’re staring again,” Malfoy said quietly, and Harry ducked his head away, throat tight.
“Sorry,” he mumbled for about the twentieth time that evening.
Malfoy said nothing, but when he stopped walking, so did Harry.
“Potter, look at me.”
“Is this –” and Malfoy flailed his arms about as if encompassing the whole world, “making things worse?”
“No!” Harry said, immediately, desperately. “No, we tried that before. I couldn’t – I can’t.” Those six months had been miserable and he would not do it again. He had vowed to control himself around Malfoy - for Ginny and for his children - but to voluntarily forego seeing him? No.
“All right, all right,” Malfoy said, as if reining in a wild animal. His fingers brushed a bit of snow from Harry’s shoulder, and Harry drank in the touch like a starving man.
“What about after the hols?” Malfoy asked.
Harry was shaking his head before he had intended to answer. “No. Christmas,” he said.
Malfoy’s frown was immediate. “Harry,” Malfoy said, and Harry’s heart thundered, “Astoria already suspects I’m meeting you. If I leave on Christmas, she’ll be sure to send someone after me. Hell, she might come herself.”
“I know,” Harry said. Ginny wasn’t entirely oblivious either. Harry pulled himself together, hardening his façade around the edges. “After the hols, then. I’ll owl you.” And if his eyes lingered a bit on Malfoy’s mouth as he left, it was only out of habit.
“Harry,” Draco said after him.
Harry didn’t listen. He walked away while he still could and once in a borough of trees, Apparated to Diagon Alley, to the bar where he always went after these walks. He’d been a regular patron for four years. Four years this Christmas since –
But he didn’t think about that.
The slam of the empty Firewhisky bottle pierced the silence of the room, and Harry sprang from his uncomfortable seat in the hardback chair to resume his earlier pacing.
Once upon a time, he would have been embarrassed to be drunk by noon. Now, it was necessary to endure the hols.
Harry had intended to venture with Ginny to King’s Cross to meet the kids, really, he had. But when that morning had dawned, he couldn’t force himself to go and risk seeing Malfoy or her.
When Ginny had made her way into the kitchen that morning with the first genuine smile Harry had seen on her face in ages, he had already been absolutely pissed. Her smile had vanished upon seeing him knocking back a shot, but she’d nodded her understanding and went on about her day.
He halted his fractured movements and buried his face in his hands. He was so dizzy that standing was a liability.
His kids were going to walk through the door at any moment, and Ginny would know immediately why he was staggeringly drunk. He couldn’t afford to be this transparent if he was going to continue seeing Malfoy.
Harry harnessed his control and stumbled to the bathroom in search of a sobriety potion, and recovered some in the bathroom cabinet. The potion was putrid in the back of his throat.
Simultaneously battling the urge to gag, and feeling merciless sobriety returning, Harry exchanged one long look with himself in the mirror. His glasses slid down his nose to reveal dark smudges, standard fare these days, and his hair was a riotous mess. The stubble on his chin was a few days’ old and he’d slipped on the same pair of trousers he wore every day when not at the Ministry. He couldn’t remember how long it’d been since he’d washed them. Harry hung his head, gripping the sink with both hands, and reminded himself, for what seemed like the millionth time: this wasn’t normal.
Even as the sound of the front door opened and laughter bellowed in, Harry vowed to himself that he would find a way to fix this, once and for all. Casting one last lingering look at his reflection and surrendering himself to bearing an uncanny resemblance to a war torn man, Harry stepped out to greet his kids –
And stopped in his tracks.
There was his son, whom he hadn’t seen for nearly four years. Harry resisted the urge to run and throw his arms around him. Indeed, Ginny was glaring in a way that Harry understood to mean give him time.
So Harry did.
But that didn’t stop him from looking. His son had his same messy hair, but with hazel eyes and a littering of Weasley freckles dusting his nose. Even through the layers of winter clothes, Harry recognised that James had grown an impossible amount. His shoulders were broad, and he was easily as tall as Harry.
Harry Potter didn’t know his son and had no one but himself to blame.
Before Harry had time to react, Lily bounded in behind her mother, lugging a suitcase in her wake as if it were weightless. Her red hair whipped behind her and her skirt was so short it might’ve been nonexistent. “Daddy!” she called and threw herself at him. He forgot to scold her and caught her in his arms, swinging her around as she laughed.
When he put her back down, her hazel eyes were shining and she was grinning unrepentantly. Harry found himself smiling back
The door slammed, and Harry raised his head. A very pink-cheeked Al was standing with his back flat to the door and breathing as if he’d passed the finish line of a marathon run. Harry rushed forward. “What’s wrong?”
Al smiled up at Harry, thin face the perfect mask of innocence. “Hi, Dad.”
Harry took the chance to steal a look at James, who was pointedly ignoring him. He was standing far closer to Ginny than required. Was James that uncomfortable around him? Anger churned in Harry’s stomach.
“Al, would you care to explain to your father and me why we were bombarded with three violent owls?”
Lily smiled mischievously, but mock-zipped her lips when Al cleared his throat.
“If you tell, Lily, I must just let slip what you and Matthew - ”
“Oh, fine,” she spat, and just as eagerly as she'd greeted Harry, she forgot all about him. She ran towards her bedroom, abandoning her suitcase in the middle of the hallway.
Ginny made a hem sound that set Harry’s teeth on edge.
Al cringed. “I really can’t say anything, Mum. Sorry, but it’s really none of your business.”
In order to circumvent a tirade from Ginny, Harry walked forward and put his arm around Al’s shoulder in a half-hug. “Don’t tell us then,” Harry said. “But if it’s something we should know and I find out later, you’ll regret it.”
Al smiled – until there was a loud screeching from the kitchen window. Al ran at breakneck speed for the kitchen, cheeks pink. Ginny shot Harry an apologetic look, and followed Al out of the room.
James looked as bewildered as Harry felt, and they locked eyes for the first time. Embarrassment held Harry still. He might’ve blushed at the onslaught of the one particular memory that replayed itself over and over in his mind (especially now with James in front of him). But he was too cut to the bone, too tired, too ashamed.
Remembering his vow to put things back together, Harry decided to stick to the main form of communication in the Potter household: he nodded.
There was a moment of silence in which Harry was appraised by James.
Amazingly, James nodded slightly before following the others to the kitchen.
The days preceding Christmas were stifling. Harry found himself sincerely regretting his decision to take two weeks off work.
Harry had dedicated every spare second to catering to Lily and Al's every whim. He took her to see the Holyhead Harpies trounce the Cannons. Al had developed a fascination with Muggle London, so many of the days were spent with Harry and Al squinting at maps and rushing into pubs to escape the cold. More than once, Harry thought of Dumbledore’s tattoo of the Underground.
James spent all of his time either shut up in his room or out with Ginny.
As much as Harry occupied his time by spending it with the kids and with Ginny, and replicating what he felt a normal family life to be, Harry knew he was failing dismally. Meals were an exercise in awkwardness that not even Lily’s infectious enthusiasm could overcome. As much as he loved seeing his kids, Ginny's near constant presence was driving him mad. When he found himself thinking of work fondly, he knew he had to get out.
Ron and Hermione were with Rose and Hugo in Australia, at the suggestion of Hermione’s parents, and Harry didn’t feel like having a pint with one of the Aurors. They all thought that Harry had the perfect life. No one understood why he had been so moody for so long.
Truthfully, Harry had managed to push everyone away. Even Ron would shake his head sadly and say, “Mate, old age has made you a blighter.”
Harry was alone with his thoughts, staring into the fireplace, when someone coughed.
When he jumped in his seat and looked around, he was surprised to see James standing slightly to the right of the tree.
“Sorry,” Harry said. “Did you need something?” He was aware these were the first real words he’d exchanged with James outside of the realm of “please pass the salt.”
“You look miserable,” James said.
Harry sat up in the armchair, running a hand through his hair. “I’m tired from work, that’s all.”
“Bullshit,” James said. He stepped closer, until he was standing in front of Harry. His face was earnest, and Harry was very afraid of where this conversation was going—or where it might go. Harry was very happy that Ginny, Lily and Al had all gone to see Molly.
“I can’t believe it. After all these years.”
Harry closed his eyes. It seemed more like an eternity than four years.
“I didn’t understand how you could cheat on Mum. I still don’t. I think you’re an arsehole.”
Harry's ever-present suspicion that something had died inside of him and was subsequently rotting increased ten-fold. He couldn’t muster the strength to open his mouth, or to defend himself to his own son.
“But it’s obvious you’re downright pathetic.”
Harry’s throat caught on a laugh.
“But you need to get this sorted out. Now. Write him, go to him, whatever.”
Harry’s mouth dropped open of its own accord. “Are you saying—”
“I don’t know what I’m saying.” James brushed his fringe out of his eyes. “As much as I hate what you’ve done, I can’t stand this anymore.”
Harry, not trusting himself to speak, nodded.
James shrugged and stormed from the room.
Harry stopped struggling for an excuse to meet someone. There was only one person he wanted to see. He found himself on his feet and rummaging for a parchment and quill before the idea had solidified in his mind.
It had only been a week.
The response arrived in less than an hour. A handsome eagle owl, very similar to the one Malfoy had used back at Hogwarts, scratched at the window. Harry opened the window, and on a gust of frigid wind, the owl flew in and dropped the missive, before flying out with a ruffle of tail feather.
You are an idiot for writing me.
I’ll meet you at 9 o’clock at the Swinging Skeleton. Yes, it actually is called that.
Harry was still clutching the parchment in his hand when James walked in, stared at him, and then walked out while shaking his head.
Harry was already sitting in the back corner of the pub, his trembling hands folded together on the table, when Malfoy walked in.
“You owe me one,” was the first thing Malfoy said. He slid into the seat across from Harry and caught the barman’s eye. The barman came over and Malfoy ordered himself a butterbeer—Harry snorted—and, after one look at Harry, Malfoy asked for three shots of Firewhisky.
Under Malfoy’s eyes, Harry no longer felt dead or stifled – just tightly wound.
“You look bad, Potter.”
Harry smiled. “Thanks, Malfoy. Not everyone can afford fancy robes.”
“You can afford it. You just have horrible taste.”
Harry’s mouth quirked and he opened his mouth to jest about the robes he’d worn that night to the Ministry ball. The night Harry had ended up fucking Malfoy in a public park. But Malfoy waved his hand, stopping Harry.
“Much as I enjoy taunting you, I mean it, Potter. You look bad.”
Malfoy rolled his eyes. “Is that all you can do?”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake!” Malfoy reached across the table and seized one of Harry’s bare hands with his black-gloved one. Harry made a small sound, and Malfoy’s gaze flew to his face. Malfoy dropped his hand as if burned.
The barman slammed two drinks down on their table, and Harry downed a shot of Firewhisky, managing to dribble some down his chin.
Wordlessly, Malfoy handed him a napkin.
“Thanks," Harry muttered.
Malfoy crossed his arms over his chest and looked down his nose at Harry, even though his chair was much lower than Harry's. “Now, tell me what’s going on. Has that bint done something to you?”
“Ginny. Her name is Ginny.”
“I know that, Potter," Draco snapped.
“I couldn’t handle it,” Harry said, and studied the filthy tabletop.
Harry looked up in time to see Malfoy’s lips wrapped around the pink straw, slurping butterbeer. “I. Um. Everything.” Harry looked away. “I keep trying to live normally. To go back to the way things used to be.”
“Ah.” Malfoy was uncharacteristically quiet. “And...you can’t?”
Harry met Malfoy's eyes. “No.”
“It’s not easy,” Malfoy said, and Harry’s mouth went dry.
“I. Do you have, uh, a hard time?”
Malfoy opened his mouth, then closed it, and Harry couldn’t help thinking how much he wanted to kiss him. That was, at least, until Malfoy said, “Sometimes I wish you had never consulted me about my broomsticks.”
Broomsticks? The alcohol must have impacted Harry rather quickly. He took another sip. “I don’t understand.”
Malfoy leant across the table on his elbows. “This all began when we started meeting about the broomsticks. For that Meyer case.”
“Ah, yes, that one,” Harry said, looking down. He could have asked half a dozen broomstick manufacturers for their help, but he never had. He'd passed along the case to Ron.
Malfoy spoke slowly and clearly as if he was trying to get across a message and Harry was being a particularly dense idiot. “But sometimes I wish you hadn’t asked for my expertise.”
Harry had no illusions that Malfoy felt the same way he did, but he knew – subconsciously – that Malfoy was a bit pathetic about him, too. But Malfoy was saying...he was saying -
“You don’t think it was worth it,” Harry said, not understanding why he felt dizzy.
Malfoy’s face was crestfallen and he was reaching a hand across the table, but Harry pulled away. “Don’t touch me,” he hissed and pushed away from the table. He stormed from the pub, but Malfoy was hot on his heels.
“Harry,” he called, “that’s not what I meant. I hate. I hate seeing you this way.”
Harry whirled around, wondering when it had started snowing. “Yeah, ‘cause you’re just fine, aren’t you? You and your precious Astoria and your precious Scorpius.”
“Don’t bring Scorpius into this,” Malfoy said through his teeth.
“Well, why the bloody hell not?” Harry said, shaking. “James already hates me.”
Malfoy stilled and looked at the ground. “He’s there?”
“Yes. And he won’t talk to me.”
“I’m sorry, Potter. I really am. I regret he ever saw us.”
“Yeah,” Harry said, feeling more and more stupid with every snowflake that glistened in Malfoy’s hair. “I’m sure you’re sorry about it all. Well, fuck you.”
Harry started to walk down Knockturn, towards Diagon Alley.
“Fuck off,” Harry said, shooting a V-sign over his shoulder to seal the deal.
“Stop acting like a fifteen-year-old!”
“I said fuck off!”
Malfoy felt sorry for him. Malfoy pitied him. Malfoy was able to go on with his own life, and it was time Harry did, too.
He Disapparated back to his house and back to Ginny. Malfoy was still yelling as the world narrowed around him.
When Harry arrived home to find James in the living room, huddled over a piece of parchment, James looked up and his eyes widened. “Fuck, you look worse than when you left.”
“Brilliant observation,” Harry spat, and ignored his son in favour of the liquor cabinet.
After Christmas dinner at the Weasleys’ and a delicious treacle tart that was pleasantly heavy in Harry’s stomach, Ginny had suggested a visit to Andromeda’s. Given that Teddy was away on the Continent, Andromeda would probably be spending Christmas alone.
Harry felt himself seized by guilt when Ginny had reminded him of this. He’d been so busy thinking of how Malfoy might be celebrating Christmas – and remembering the Christmas of four years ago – that he wasn’t able to concentrate on anything, let alone the welfare of other people.
“Yeah. Yeah, we should go,” Harry had said in response to Ginny’s raised eyebrows. Lily, James and Al had been too wrapped up in George’s latest antics, and had whinged pitifully when beckoned to leave.
Ginny had rolled her eyes, smiling all along, and had shoved Harry’s gloves into his hand. Harry had taken them, and the two of them had left the hustle and bustle of the Weasleys', and Apparated to Andromeda’s.
As soon as Andromeda’s door swung open, Harry realised he’d made a huge mistake. His racing heartbeat, however, indicated otherwise.
“Potter,” Malfoy snarled. “Weasley.”
Ginny’s face was white, but she seemed determined to hold herself together. She squeezed Harry’s hand harder. He’d forgotten they’d been holding hands.
Malfoy was framed by the light of the foyer, golden light shining in his flaxen hair.
“What are you doing here?” Harry asked at the same time that Andromeda appeared behind Malfoy saying, “Who the devil is bothering us at this late hour?”
“It’s us,” Harry said, shoving past Malfoy, and willing himself, for once in his life, not to act like an adolescent boy around Malfoy. He was a married adult. He could handle this.
“Harry!” Andromeda launched herself at Harry and hugged him close. When Harry had pulled away, he traded glares with Malfoy. Malfoy was white-faced and shaking, and Harry's anger lessened.
Maybe they should leave.
“Ginny, Ginny, come in, love!” Andromeda grabbed Ginny’s elbow and observed her with a craned neck, before declaring her approval. “You haven’t aged a day!”
“She must’ve aged young,” Malfoy muttered under his breath, and Ginny shot him a filthy look.
“Draco,” Andromeda said.
Malfoy walked away from them, and Harry could tell he was still trembling as he led the way into the living room.
“Draco was visiting me tonight. He knew I was alone.”
“You don’t have to lie for me, Andromeda,” Malfoy said.
Harry turned to him, confusion creasing his brow. He heard Ginny’s footfalls stop behind him.
“Well, in that case.” Andromeda shot a look at Malfoy and he gestured toward her. Andromeda clapped her hands together, looking – for all Harry knew – diabolically pleased. “Draco, here, finally left his cow of a wife a few nights ago, and is staying here in the interim.”
Harry wasn’t quite sure what he’d just heard. “Wha—What?”
“Can’t you hear, Potter? Andromeda said I left Astoria.”
“You did?” Surely this must be a joke.
“I did,” Draco said.
Harry felt the need for a chair. He took a few steps and sank onto the couch. Ginny did not follow.
“You left your wife on Christmas?” Ginny asked. Her voice was shrill.
Oh, no. This was the last thing he needed. The last thing they all needed.
“Well, Weasley, not on Christmas.”
“You know what I meant,” Ginny seethed.
“I did,” Malfoy said, the smirk in his voice evident.
There was a long moment of silence, in which Ginny’s breaths were so harsh, they were audible from the couch. From his peripheral vision, Harry could see that Malfoy was all practiced aloofness. He was leaning against the wall like he didn't have a care in the world.
“Okay, look,” Andromeda said, and Harry turned to her, “there’s obviously something more going on here. I’m going to drop in on Molly for a bit.”
“You don’t have to do that,” Harry said, jumping to his feet. Andromeda shouldn’t have to leave her own house because of him and his dysfunctional marriage.
Andromeda stopped before Harry, giving him a sharp look that left him with the unequivocal realisation that she knew.
She Accioed her jacket and the front door closed behind her soon thereafter, and still no words had been spoken.
He’d had enough. Harry fisted his hands and stood.
Ginny stared at him, took one look at his face and burst into tears.
“I knew it,” she said. “I knew it all along.”
“Well, that’s descriptive,” Malfoy said.
“Stop,” Harry said and, amazingly, Malfoy obliged.
“You knew what?” Harry asked Ginny, resisting the urge to go to her. He might not love her like he once did, but seeing her cry wasn’t exactly an enjoyable activity.
“That you loved him. That you still love him.”
Harry stared at her. Malfoy sucked in a breath.
“Harry, we can’t go on the same way.”
“No,” Harry admitted, “we can’t.”
“Then figure it out. And come back to me,” she said, and after one last tearful look, she left. Harry watched his wife walk out the door, and part of him wanted to go after her and assure her everything was okay. But most of him was sick of going through the motions. The door slammed, and Harry was startled to realise he and Malfoy were alone – completely alone – in a house. Not in a park, or in the cold. But in the warmth, and the tension was suffocating.
Malfoy wasted no time in grabbing Harry by the collar and shoving him up against the wall. Harry’s skull thudded against it painfully and he saw stars.
“She was touching you,” Malfoy said. He shoved his body against Harry’s. He was so warm, Harry thought he might’ve caught fire.
“I thought I could handle it,” Malfoy said, and he was trembling against Harry. Harry wanted to pull him closer, but Malfoy was holding his wrists to the wall. “I thought I could bear to see you together. I hadn’t for years…”
Harry hadn’t seen Astoria since that night at the Ministry ball.
“She was holding your hand,” Malfoy said.
“I was wearing gloves,” Harry said stupidly.
“Oh, brilliant, Potter,” Malfoy breathed into his face. “Fucking brilliant. Gloves.”
“No, I mean—I always wear them. When I go with her.”
Suddenly, Malfoy stilled. “But you never wear them when we go on walks.”
Of all the things Harry had expected Malfoy to do – laugh, scream, walk away – Malfoy moaned, and began to rip at Harry’s gloves. He pulled them off and held both his hands in Harry’s, shoving Harry’s arms so they were stretched out along the wall on either side. Like Harry was about to be crucified.
“I-I was wrong the other day. I’m glad you came to me for help. I’m glad that we—”
“I know,” Harry said as he closed his eyes and basked in the feeling of Malfoy’s body against his. He could die now, he thought. I could die now and be happy.
“Potter, you’re shaking,” Malfoy said, with a voice just as shaky.
“I know,” Harry said, and leant his aching forehead into the curve of Malfoy’s shoulder, breathing in deeply, nosing against his skin, and Malfoy groaned.
“If you keep doing things like – oh –” Harry bit down on Malfoy’s throat. “Oh, God. I don’t have that kind of control.”
“Me neither,” Harry whispered against Malfoy’s neck. He remembered the early meetings with Malfoy – talking about broomsticks and all sorts of horrible innuendo – and watching Malfoy’s white throat, wanting desperately to suck it, bite it, lick it – fuck it.
Fuck it, Harry thought, and kissed Malfoy’s neck. He pulled away when Malfoy spoke.
“I tried not to need you,” Malfoy said.
For some reason, this angered Harry beyond belief. “I’ve tried surviving while needing you for years,” Harry said. He pushed Malfoy away so hard that he fell to the ground, and he stayed there, staring up at Harry with wide eyes. He looked so innocent, so young, like he was nearly eighteen years old and Harry had just saved his life. Although, even then, neither of them had been innocent.
“If you’d stopped fighting it for so long, we might be together now,” Harry said, throat tight, fists clenched, arms shaking.
“Potter, I – ”
Harry stepped away from the wall. He didn’t know when he’d grown so achingly hard, but Malfoy was finally at Harry's mercy. Draco Malfoy had made Harry insane for years.
Despite his age, Harry dove to the floor like he was no older than a randy teenager. “Going – to – show – you,” he said through pants. He needed to be near Malfoy, needed to consume him, needed to be consumed by him.
Malfoy and Harry went down in a tangle of flying limbs, except Malfoy wasn’t fighting him. Malfoy was bringing him closer, winding his legs around Harry. Every ounce of self-control to which Harry had clung these last years vanished – vanished like it’d never been there at all.
His fingers grabbed for Malfoy’s face. His questing hands found Malfoy’s hair first and he clutched it in his hands, pulled and brought Malfoy's face closer. Harry sucked Malfoy’s lower lip into his mouth and bit down.
“Harry,” Malfoy groaned into his mouth.
“Yes,” Harry said, and he pushed his tongue into Malfoy’s mouth, running it over teeth and the roof of his mouth. Malfoy’s mouth was so open, so responsive, his own slender tongue winding around Harry’s, and Harry could feel the small noises fluttering in Malfoy’s throat.
Harry wound his legs around Malfoy’s and ground their hips together.
Malfoy. God, it was Malfoy. He was warm, and here - here - but it was still not enough.
“Turn around,” Harry whispered. Malfoy moaned and obeyed. Malfoy’s fingers were already scrambling to remove his trousers and once they were loose, Harry yanked them down his legs, moaning at the sight of bare skin, no underwear to impede his way. Malfoy was kicking off his socks even as Harry straddled Malfoy’s legs from behind and pushed Malfoy’s shirt up over the small of his back, so Harry could see his crack. Malfoy’s arse was still firm and perfect, and Harry needed to see more.
Not sure why he was announcing what he was about to do, he did anyway. “Going to fuck your arse,” Harry said, and Malfoy ground his hips, rubbing his cock against the carpet.
Harry had never done this to Malfoy.
Gripping Malfoy’s cheeks, each in one hand, he spread them to reveal the tight ring of Malfoy’s arsehole.
He’d never fucked Malfoy’s arse with his tongue. Not that one night Malfoy and he had shared together in the park before James interrupted them, no time before then and no time after. Never. Not until now. He’d always thought it too dirty.
“Oh, God. Harry, what are you doing?”
Harry answered Malfoy by licking one stripe from the small of his back, delving into the triangular indention, and continued down to his arsehole. His tongue flickered around it and then he edged down, mouthing at Malfoy’s balls, hanging full and taut. Harry thrust against Malfoy’s leg, already fit to burst, and he shoved his tongue into Malfoy’s arsehole.
Malfoy’s hips left the carpet and he groaned deep in his throat. Little ohs escaped his mouth, and Harry gripped Malfoy's hips, guiding his motions, so that Malfoy's cock was sliding against the carpet. Harry’s cock was riding Malfoy’s naked leg. The sensation of rubbing against Malfoy's skin, after so many years of nothing but stolen touches, was too much.
Harry thrust his tongue in and out of Malfoy’s pucker, burying his nose in the cleft of Malfoy’s arse. He inhaled; Malfoy smelled of sweat and musk and arousal, and Harry slid in a finger alongside his tongue. Malfoy’s groan was loud and long, and he was sobbing Harry’s name, murmuring, “C-coming.”
That didn’t stop Harry. Even while Malfoy was trembling with aftershocks, Harry nibbled along his arsehole. Malfoy was clenching and tight, and Harry desperately wanted to bury himself inside.
Harry rolled off of Malfoy’s spit-slick arse and began to pull at his clothes. His trousers caught on his cock and he hissed. Malfoy’s limp fingers soon joined his. His eyes were fever bright.
“Fuck me,” Malfoy said.
When naked, Harry fell back to the floor, bringing Malfoy with him, and Malfoy caught Harry’s lips. Their tongues slid along each other's, and Harry closed his eyes, riding the bliss of finally being where he belonged – nearly floating – but when he heard the sound of squelching he looked down, and couldn’t restrain his whimper when he caught sight of Malfoy’s hips moving up and down, and Malfoy’s fingers working between his legs. He'd never seen anything so sexy.
“Oh, God. You’re fucking yourself, aren’t you?”
Malfoy’s sweaty hair clung to his face, white-blond strands in such disarray that Harry couldn’t resist pushing them back off his forehead. He couldn’t resist, and so he didn’t. Once his fingers found Malfoy’s skin once more, he couldn’t stop tracing the features he’d memorised on each and every walk – the cheekbones and the eyelashes and the pointy, self-righteous chin.
“Are you - oh - worshipping me, Potter?” Malfoy smirked, but then his lips parted, and he hummed his pleasure. “Uh. Oh, God. I’d forgotten what a-a prostate feels like.”
“Are you getting yourself ready for me?” Harry asked, leaning his forehead against Malfoy’s, his breath on Malfoy’s lips.
“Yeah, no one’s been inside me since,” Malfoy said, eyes closed, leaning into Harry.
Malfoy’s eyelashes fluttered. “Jealous, Potter?”
“You’re one to talk.” Harry frowned. “And yes, maybe.”
“I know,” Malfoy said, and he grabbed at Harry’s hand and pushed it between his legs, allowing Harry to feel how slick his arsehole still was. Malfoy’s thighs were so wet from his come and from Harry’s saliva, maybe. Harry could bury his cock between Malfoy’s thighs, push them tight like a vise, and then thrust and thrust and thrust until he was coming. God.
“How--? You couldn’t have come that much,” Harry asked, and immediately flushed at his own stupidity.
Malfoy smirked. “Even in all my brilliance, I have not yet mastered the art of self-lubrication. I summoned the lube while you were busy worshipping my face.”
Harry laughed, but then groaned when one of his fingers easily slipped alongside two of Malfoy’s. His cock pulsed, and he was reminded of how much he wanted Malfoy. On many levels, being with Malfoy was good enough, but Harry needed to come.
“Need to fuck you,” he said.
“Okay.” And then Malfoy smiled devilishly. “You want to fuck me with your cock this time?”
“Yeah,” Harry said, voice rough. He climbed halfway on top of Malfoy and rubbed the sensitive head of his cock against Malfoy’s thigh, leaving a trail of pre-come behing. Malfoy looked down at it, smeared it with two fingers, and sucked his own fingers into his mouth.
“Oh, God,” Harry said, and thrust down on Malfoy’s thigh.
“Mhmm,” Malfoy said. “Worship me more.” And then he pulled Harry on top of him, even while he was chuckling.
Harry wasted no time in placing himself between Malfoy’s legs and guiding his cock in with a hand on the base. The head of Harry’s cock sank in and the tightness was so wet, so excruciatingly pleasurable, he stopped and rested his forehead on Malfoy’s collarbone.
“Draco,” Malfoy said.
“Yes, that is my name,” Malfoy said, and then he smiled, and clenched down around Harry’s cock.
“Oh—fuck. I’m not going to last lo—oh,” Harry said, as Malfoy's—Draco’s hands found his arse.
“More,” Draco said between flicks of tongue behind Harry’s ear, “more, you idiot.”
Harry’s hips jerked, pushing more of his cock into Draco’s arsehole. It was so slick, and so unlike – Harry wasn’t going to think of that anymore.
Draco seemed to recognise where Harry’s thoughts were.
“No, you don’t,” Draco said, and he somehow managed to roll them over, so that he was on top of Harry. Harry was left flat on his back, panting, with part of his cock inside Draco, part of it still visible and red. With a careful hand to Harry’s chest, Draco sank all the way down on Harry’s cock and Harry was overcome with so much pleasure, he was robbed of his ability to speak. All he could do was gasp as he watching Draco’s hair sway in his face, watch his arrogant smirk as he looked down at what Harry knew to be sheer ecstasy on his face.
“What do you want me to do, Harry?” Draco asked, and his expression could only be described as devious.
“I—ngghhhh,” Harry said.
“Do you want me to, for example,” Draco said innocently, “play with my nipples?” Draco’s fingers found his pink nipples and began to rub them, twist them till they were red. Harry could only watch as Draco rocked back and forth on his cock. Harry was fully engulfed now, his balls snug against Draco’s arse. Harry’s glasses were almost falling off his nose as he leant forward to watch Draco’s every move. Draco’s mouth had fallen open again as he kept pinching, and Harry had the wild thought that Draco would enjoy it if Harry sucked on his nipples.
“Would you rather I fuck you properly?” Draco raised his eyebrows as though asking a legitimate question, before rising all the way off Harry’s cock – Oh, God, the room was so cold, he was so hard – and then Draco guided Harry all the way back in, and he was buried to the hilt in that tightness once more.
Draco’s hand went to his own cock, and he began to pull. He was hard again, given so much time had elapsed during his little exercise in torture. And Harry had had enough.
Harry found the wherewithal to reach up and he grabbed Draco’s cock, stopping his nearly vicious strokes.
“Do you want me?” Harry asked.
“I-. Harry,” Draco whined. “You’re not supposed to ask men things like this in the midst of sex.”
Draco looked at Harry, and Draco smiled, slow and lazy and genuine. “Of course I want you.”
“Will you be with me?”
Draco’s mouth fell open and his hips twitched. “Harry.”
“I’ll leave my wife for you. I just—I need to know if you’ll—I can’t do it anymore,” Harry said, and then he squeezed Draco’s hand – the hand over his cock - and the pressure must’ve done Draco in because he was coming, saying Harry, Harry, Harry over and over, and the sight of his name on Draco’s lips did Harry in. Harry thrust up once, twice, thrice and spilled deep into Draco, finding his mouth and biting at his lips.
Harry collapsed against him, and they ended up on their sides, their sweaty bodies wrapped around each other. Draco’s fingers were in Harry’s hair, and then pushing Harry’s glasses back up his nose.
Harry smiled. “Worshipping me?”
“Mmm, you wait,” Draco said.
Every limb of Harry’s body felt like soup, and he was so euphoric he could sing (and Harry Potter did not sing.) But realism returned all too soon. “Draco, I –”
“Shhh,” Draco said, his finger settling on Harry’s lips.
When he caught sight of the distraught expression on Draco’s face, Harry pushed the finger away.
“I’m not going back tonight,” Harry said.
“What?” Draco asked, but his expression immediately calmed. “You’ve got to go back. Weasley and you need to talk, and you need to explain to James, and my son is bombarding your son with owls--”
“No," Harry said fiercely. "I will go back tomorrow and settle things." At Draco's disbelieving look, Harry said, "Everything. I will sit down and talk to Ginny, and the kids, and see what can be done."
Draco studied Harry's face, but finally nodded. They were silent for a long while before something Malfoy had said clicked in Harry's brain.
“Owls?” Harry said.
Draco turned his head a bit and smirked, albeit weakly. “Ah, the son I believe you refer to as Albus Severus is being wooed by my son.”
“Mm, yes, wooed,” Draco said, his fingers plucking Harry’s nipple, and Harry suddenly wondered if Draco had an unforeseen nipple fascination. “Scorpius has a mad crush on him.”
“Oh, God,” Harry said.
More time passed before Draco asked, “So, you’re not going back, then?”
“No, not tonight. I need to think how to handle this. About what will be best for Ginny and the kids." Harry's lungs felt constricted. "I-I wasn't expecting this."
Draco pulled Harry closer. “I know," he said into Harry's hair.
At long last, Draco sighed. "We need to go upstairs. I don’t fancy Andromeda stumbling across our post-coital nakedness, no matter how splendidly sexy a portrait we’d make.”
Harry opened his eyes and blinked. “Oh, right.”
“Yes. You see, Andromeda might not want to be a voyeur quite yet.”
“Right," Harry said.
Draco rose to his feet and helped to pull Harry up. Draco said, “Accio clothes,” and they headed for the stairs, hand-in-hand.
Even though Harry felt guilt churning in his stomach, he knew this was the only way, the only person. After all, it had only been a matter of time.