Title: Things You See From the Corner of Your Eye
Summary: Draco Malfoy works at a Muggle bookstore where there is a book of unthinkable power that Auror Harry Potter is investigating.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Epilogue compliant? DH Compliant, but EWE.
Author's Notes: Happy Hols, bemygoodday! Hope you enjoy you present! Beta’d by E & S.
Harry was sleeping on his desk, drooling all over his open file on a Death Eater still at large. His desk looked as though an epic battle had taken place. Papers were strewn about and files were stacked haphazardly on top of each other. There was no visible organisation whatsoever.
An enchanted paper airplane zoomed into the room, circling about Harry’s head, before crash-landing into his forehead. Harry was startled awake, knocking over his coffee and spilling it all over the files he’d been looking at before he had fallen asleep. Harry grunted discontentedly and mopped up the spill with some used napkins that had been sticking out from under a stack of papers.
He opened the crushed airplane that had woken him; it said that he was summoned to the Head Auror’s office. Harry scowled and left his office. When he reached Kingsley’s office, the first words out of his mouth were, “Assignment for you, Harry.”
Harry sat in one of the chairs in front of Kingsley’s desk, and picked up one of the knickknacks on the desk to play with. He should have accepted the offer from the Cannons to play Seeker for them. Kingsley summoned the knickknack from Harry and got to business.
“There’s a Muggle bookstore just off of Piccadilly Square. We believe that there’s a book in it that is rather suspicious,” Kingsley said.
“What kind of book is it?” Harry asked.
“It has the power to conjure an ancient evil, one far worse than Voldemort,” Kingsley said gravely.
“And this has what do to with the cases I’m already working on? There are still Death Eaters at large. I want to put them away and finish this once and for all,” Harry said heatedly. “I’m not the Chosen One anymore.”
“No, but you are an Auror that works for me. And if you enjoy that shiny badge you’ve got there, then you’ll take the cases I give you and you’ll like it, or else you’ll be sacked,” Kingsley said with finality. Harry heaved a sigh, challenging Kingsley with a look, before deciding he was too tired to get sacked today. He mock saluted Kingsley and left the office, heading downstairs for more coffee.
Draco Malfoy sat at a cashier counter in a bookstore. He would pick up a book from a large pile in front of him, check the spine and mark down the title and price on a ledger, and then stack it neatly on a book cart next to him. His hair was unkempt, and there were bags under his eyes. He certainly wasn’t dressed as finely as he accustomed to dressing. Pinned to his shirt was a nametag that simply read ‘Drake’.
A customer entered and Draco looked up.
“Anything I can help you with today, sir?” he asked. The customer seemed slightly shocked to see him and there was a vague sense of familiarity to the man that Draco couldn’t exactly pinpoint. He shrugged it off.
“Where might I find the classics and older books?” the customer asked. Draco pointed to the back of the store, where a large sign that reads ‘Classics’ hung above the dusty shelves. The customer nodded his thanks and gave Draco a quirky sort of half-smile that almost made Draco believe that the man was…. – but no, that wasn’t possible. Draco turned back to his books and his ledger.
The next day, Draco went about his monotonous work, checking spines, marking titles and prices on the ledger, and re-stocking books. The bell on the door clanged and the same customer from the previous day walked in.
“Anything I can help you with, sir?” Draco asked mechanically. The man shook his head and headed back to the Classics section, as he had the day before. Draco returned to the book he was examining. It was a second edition Shakespeare. Draco smiled to himself and put the book down with care, smoothing his hand over the slightly worn cover.
A muffled crash from the back of the store caught his attention. He went over to see what the fuss was, only to find that the customer had knocked over a cart of his neatly stacked books by trying to walk through them.
“I tripped, sorry,” the man apologised, bending to help pick up the books he knocked down. The both worked together quietly, righting the cart and stacking the books on the shelves. The customer stopped Draco when he picked up a book that looked as though it was bound in dragon scales. It had golden Greek letters carved into it. The customer grabbed the book away from Draco, but then dropped it just as quickly – as if he’d been burned. But Draco had caught it, the slight flash of changing features; this man was wearing a glamour. This man was Harry Potter.
“I want to know what an Auror is doing snooping around in the bookshop I work at,” Draco demanded, snatching the book back. Potter dropped his glamour, gesturing about.
“Well, I’m here on assignment to find that book you’re holding there. It’s supposed to have some ambiguous power, one that the Auror department can’t disclose to the public at this time. Just know that it could bring about some pretty horrible things if it ever sees the light of day,” Potter said. Draco’s eyebrows shot up, and he eyed Potter sceptically.
“I want to see your warrant for confiscating the book,” Draco said. Potter looked up sharply. He made more vague gestures, which was really starting to annoy Draco. “Well, if you don’t have one, then you can leave. Don’t come back here until you have a warrant.”
Harry returned to his office in a bad mood. He’d let Draco Malfoy tell him what to do, and he’d let his glamour slip when his fingers had brushed against Malfoy’s. He needed to get that warrant fast, before Malfoy got any ideas for that book. He couldn’t believe he’d told Malfoy of all people what the book was capable of. He was a little more than irritated that he let Malfoy dismiss him so easily, especially since he was an Auror now.
As Harry made his way up to Hermione’s office, he wondered how different life would be if he hadn’t saved Malfoy’s life in the war.
Harry closed his eyes for a moment, remembering the heat and the arms wrapped too tightly around him.
He couldn’t breathe, and Malfoy kept shouting in his ear. The fire was too hot to handle, and his eyes burned from the smoke. He could see Ron and Hermione gesturing wildly. All he could hear was Malfoy shouting to go back, go back, go back.
Harry shook his head to clear his thoughts. He knocked on the door to Hermione’s office before entering. She was at her desk, signing off on papers. He sat down in front of her and sighed.
“Something on your mind, Harry,” she asked. Malfoy, Harry didn’t answer.
“I need a warrant for a case I’m working on. I need to take a book into possession, ambiguous power and all that,” Harry said. She glanced up at him. Damn, Harry thought. She could always hear something more was wrong.
“Nope, just the warrant, thanks,” Harry said, glad she wasn’t pushing the matter.
“You’ll have your warrant by this afternoon. Come back with coffee,” she said as he left. Harry decided to get some work done in his office to take his mind off of Malfoy.
Fingers were brushing against his fingertips, and there was someone kissing his neck. Draco moaned and reached out, running his hands through thick, unruly hair. They weren’t wearing any clothes. The kissing lips travelled lower, lower, there was a tongue dipping into his navel. Draco’s breath caught and his grip on the unruly black hair tightened for a moment. Fingers danced lightly against his sides. Draco moaned again. The lips closed tightly around his cock as fingers teased him from behind. Draco arched his back and he was coming, coming, coming.
Draco sat up stiffly; he looked around and realised he’d fallen asleep at work. He was sitting in the Classics section, back against the bookshelf. The front of his pants had a small wet spot. He scrubbed his hands against his face and groaned. He hadn’t dreamed about Potter since the war. Draco looked around, before pulling out his wand and spelling away the wet stain. He got up and returned to work.
Two hours later, the bell on the door clanged and Draco knew who it was. He walked to the front of the store and held out a hand expectantly. Potter handed over the warrant and turned to the back of the store.
“It’s not back there anymore,” Draco said, gesturing towards the cashier counter. He lifted the heavy book from a shelf and placed it on the counter. Potter came over and traced the Greek letters.
“Do you know what that means?”
Draco shook his head, and turned to his computer. “I’ll look it up on the internet,” he said. He turned back when he heard Potter snort.
He raised an eyebrow in question. “Sorry, it’s just… amusing to think of you using the internet,” Potter said. Draco turned back to his computer screen and typed in ‘θάνατος’ into the search engine. Several results came up.
“It means Death. Typical, at least they made it straightforward for you,” Draco said. Potter sighed and traced the Greek letters again. “Well, I suppose you should get going, your people should have a field day trying to decode that thing.”
“Do you want to have coffee? With me?” Potter asked. He had that adventurous look in his eye, the one that made the green really glint. Draco eyed his hair and a flutter started in his stomach. Harry held out his hand before Draco, to shake. Draco was taken back, all those years ago to when he was a stubborn eleven-year-old, and all he wanted was to be friends with Harry Potter. He slowly reached out and shook Potter’s hand. Their fingers brushed against each other, and they both shivered.
It was the beginning of a tentative friendship, and maybe so much more.