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Happy H/D Holidays the_viper_room!! | A Man In Need Deserves Peace, Indeed - NC17

Title: A Man In Need Deserves Peace, Indeed 1/2
Author: dragonfly_lily

Summary: Draco Malfoy has learned many things since the war. The most important being that his reactions towards Harry Potter have not changed and that his lust for the man does not seem to be lessening. His unrequited love causes feelings of jealousy and an immense amount of sexual tension, leaving him to feel tremendously frustrated.

Rating: NC-17
Warnings: UST, jealousy, plot, rimming, post-war settings, and a happy ending—I think I got all the requests covered!
Disclaimer: This story contains characters created and owned by J.K. Rowling, Bloomsbury Publishing, Scholastic, Inc. and AOL/Time Warner, Inc. No permission has been given and since no money is being made here, no infringement is intended.
AN: For the HD Holiday’s Exchange. This story is for the_viper_room. Hope it’s all you wanted! Many thanks to HP Lexicons for names, dates and lots of helpful information! I had the world’s best beta, nqdonne. She was invaluable to the writing of this piece and I treasure her as a new friend.

The Daily Prophet, Lifestyle Section, Sunday Edition

Sunday November 25, 2007

Harry Potter Shot Through the Heart with Cupid’s Black Arrow of Un-love!

By Lavender Brown, Special Correspondent

Gentlemen, start your engines! Harry Potter is single once again! Last night at Seamus Finnigan’s trendy nightclub Meow, Harry’s heart was once again broken. This time it is by none other than world-renowned playboy Oliver Wood. The infamous couple were seen canoodling in a booth for two at the back of the club surrounded by an entourage last night. The scandalous Mr. Wood headed to a back room. Not thirty minutes later, Magical Law Enforcement arrived after our dear Harry went looking for his long-term lover only to discover him in a very compromising position with another man!

Witnesses on the scene said the mysterious individual attempted to hold up a token-like charm that was hanging from a chain around his neck. According to Ronald Weasley, Head of the Office for the Detection and Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects, the charm was supposed to give the wearer protection from raw magic.

One has to question why the wizard thought he would need protection from raw magic. Just how far in advance was this little love affair planned?

Regardless of its intention, the protective charm was obviously a counterfeit. The unknown person had to be attended to by Mediwizards after said charm burned into his hand. It is not clear how the charm burned him, but those in the know say it was a spectacular show of raw power from our Chosen One.

According to one source, Harry hadn’t lost control of his magic in such a manner since just before the final battle when he discovered the Order of the Phoenix had been hiding the fact that Draco Malfoy and (the late) Severus Snape had been spies for the Side of the Light since July 1997 (see page 19 for details on Snape’s role in Albus Dumbledore’s death, his work as a spy and his death at the hands of Lucius Malfoy).

Could it be that Harry has been cheated on once again? Why can’t the darling of all of our hearts find love? Where is his Prince Charming hiding and how many frogs does he have to kiss to make him appear?

Stay tuned, dear readers, as we help Harry search for his happiness.

“Pansy, darling, why do you read me such drivel?” Draco Malfoy said as he added the final touches to his egg and bacon already sitting atop the perfectly round and fluffy bap. Draco fully enjoyed his weekly breakfast with Pansy, but only when she made the house-elves make Black Pudding and baps.

Pansy, who was spreading strawberry jam on her scone, glanced up from the paper and smiled. “Draco, don’t play coy with me. I know you’re interested in the goings-on of Potter. If I don’t read it to you now, you’ll only pick it up later. Then you’ll try and find a way to casually add it to one of our conversations, failing of course, and I’ll be forced to deal with you pretending to be scandalized. Besides, you’re mentioned!”

Draco’s eyes narrowed and a light-hearted smile barely played on his lips. “Speaking of scandalized, have you heard the latest about Greg and Millicent Goyle? Apparently their newest child has suspiciously red hair. And this just months after Millie finished her work with the Goblins where the eldest Weasley works.”

Both Draco and Pansy shuddered at the thought.

“Stop trying to change the subject, Draco. Don’t you want to hear more about Potter? I have some new juicy gossip from a reputable source.”

Draco rolled his eyes and took a bite of his egg. “Look, just because he and I did some work together in the war…”

“Some work?” Pansy questioned sarcastically. “Some work would have been a project or two. No, Draco, you and Potter were together every day for nearly a year before the war ended.”

“Stop exaggerating, Pansy. It wasn’t every day, and I was working with his team. I got closer to Charlie Weasley than I did Harry.”

Pansy gave him a withering glare. “Fine, every other day then. Draco, you were the one responsible for finding the potion that helped harness Potter’s power and boost his shielding ability.”

“Well,” he said smirking, “I did do that.”

Pansy smiled a bit. “You and Professor Snape saved him.”

Draco still felt guilty about Professor Snape’s death. They had needed an ingredient for one of the Shielding Potions and the only place he or Snape knew to get it, outside of Knockturn Alley, was from a store outside of Dublin, Ireland called ‘Travers Treasures’. Neither knew that Travers, was the Travers, who had been a suspected Death Eater in the first war. His loyalty was not in question the second time around and he contacted Lucius as soon as Snape entered the store and handed him over to be tortured. When Draco learned of his capture, he and Harry had organized a rescue mission, but Snape’s body was found the morning before they were supposed to leave for Malfoy Mansion.

“We were one of many people, Pansy. Harry…well, he seemed to be the only one who understood the loss. Some of those bloody people still held him responsible for Dumble…” his voice trailed off at the Headmaster’s name, and his eyes lost focus as he fell into thought. Draco still couldn’t speak freely about him, and although the entire world now knew the truth of Snape’s allegiance and the Unbreakable Vow with both Narcissa Malfoy and Dumbledore, Pansy wasn’t sure if he ever would.

Knowing the subject was rough for Draco and being ever the good hostess, Pansy changed the subject.

“Well, what about you, Draco?”

“What about me?”

Pansy held her cup of tea close to her mouth almost as if hiding the words she was about to say behind it. “What’s going on with you and Adrian?”

“Adrian Pucey’s name is not to be mentioned in my presence again,” Draco said, instantly bristling.

“Well that answers that question. I wondered if you were going to bring him as your date to my holiday party next month.”

He glared at his friend. “We are no longer together.”

“Do you want to tell me what happened?”

“No,” Draco said as he stood up and threw down his napkin. “No, I do not.”

“But, all of your relationships end this way. I know you’ve never really gotten over…”

Draco’s face tightened and he interrupted her. “Leave it, Pansy.”

“Why won’t you talk about him, Draco? I’m supposed to be your best friend, and yet you never speak of your feelings for him! Even at school you denied feeling affection for him when it was obvious to the most casual observer that you didn’t hate him. It must be really dreadful for you to have those feelings and, yet, not even tell me,” Pansy said with a pout as she waived at a house elf to take away the food and cutlery.

With a glare that clearly stated his refusal to speak on the matter, Draco left the room. As he strode down the hallway of Parkinson Manor, the anger fell off of him like water. The Manor had become Pansy’s property when Voldemort killed her parents eight years ago, just days before they would have graduated. While it was not as large as the Malfoy Manson, it remained standing, unlike Draco’s childhood home which had fallen like his father’s name during the final battle. Draco had chosen to rebuild a smaller, and in his opinion more tasteful, Malfoy Manor closer to the front of the family property.

His robes were flowing black silk, and Draco knew he looked devastatingly handsome. He thought of this as he walked, and he smiled at his own good fortune. Just as quickly he frowned at the image of Gilderoy Lockhart that popped into his head whenever he thought of his luck at being attractive and vowed, once again, that he would be less narcissistic.

Pansy followed him minutes later into the front parlour and had to stifle a giggle. The man who had just stormed out of her dining room was reclined on the settee and looking like the canary that got the cream.

“What?” Pansy asked, hiding her smile by tucking her chin as she sat in the chair closest to the fire. She knew, even though he stormed away from her, his moods changed faster than the wind.

Draco held up a piece of parchment. “What’s this, my dear Pansy? An unsigned love letter with the author declaring his feelings for you?”

Pansy’s blush made Draco feel warm inside.

“It is a ‘he’ isn’t it?” he couldn’t help but taunt.

Pansy launched off her chair, grabbing the letter and huffed as she said, “Of course it is, Draco. Not all of us have your…what did your father call it? Oh, yes, perversion in sexual partners.”

Draco winced even though he knew Pansy was only teasing.

“It’s none of your concern anyway, Draco.”

“Says the woman who claims to be my best friend and wants to know the details of the intimate relationships in my life. Now, who is he?”

Pansy’s face flared, but she held her ground. “Stay out of this.”

“Who is he, Pansy?” Draco asked, his voice very calm and quiet. “You’re very virtue may be at stake here. Are you afraid I won’t be approving of the young man?”

Rolling her eyes, Pansy exclaimed, “Draco, your opinion on which wizard I choose to fuck has never been a concern of mine. And you say ‘young man’ as if you were 90.”

“I take it the declaration of love is not reciprocated?”

“Who said love? It doesn’t say love?” Pansy scanned the parchment looking for the word she was almost certain wasn’t there. “It doesn’t say love. He only expresses his feelings for me are stronger and have changed since our school days.”

“OUR school days?” Draco said, pouncing like a cat on that tiny bit of information. “So he’s one of our own?”

Under her breath, Pansy mumbled, “Well, not exactly one of ours.”

“Hmm,” Draco continued, obviously not hearing Pansy’s confession, “there were very few Slytherin men on our side during the war. So he must be from another house.”

As Pansy’s eyes grew wide at the thought that Draco may guess her letter-writer’s house, the fire turned green and Blaise Zabini rushed out of the hearth.

“Draco! Thank the Gods I found you! You must go to St. Mungos immediately. Something dreadful has happened to Millicent and Greg’s baby.”

As Draco and Pansy stood, he jumped back into the hearth and called out the Floo address for his own home, rushing to get his own wife.


“Harry James Potter, what in the world were you thinking last night when you chose not to harness your magic?” Charlie Weasley exclaimed as he walked into Harry’s suite at St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. Harry had donated much of his reward money for defeating Voldemort to Ward 49, in the Longbottom name. It was the least he could do for Neville, who died during the war trying to protect him. In all actuality, Harry had donated quite a sizable fortune to the entire fourth floor, as Hermione was now a permanent resident due to her prolonged exposure to the Cruciatus curse. His generosity had earned him a suite on the floor, which provided excellent security and privacy from the press whenever Harry had to stay the night, which was often.

“Oh, that was a right bit scary, Charlie,” Ron said as he stood to hug his brother, folding The Sunday Prophet under his arm. “What are you doing, channelling Mum in your spare time?”

“No, I think her soul deserves a rest after all she did for us. Can’t imagine George and Fred are letting her have any peace up there,” Charlie joked.

“Yeah, well, we’ve still got Percy down here,” Ron muttered darkly, “so I don’t feel too sorry for her.”

Opening the door and coming into the room for the first time that day, Ginny chimed in, “And Bill, Charlie and you. If anyone deserves a break, it’s me! Honestly, cleaning up after you lot takes it all out of me!" Ron threw her a pointed look. "I’m not channelling Mum, either, you know." She glared back at Ron. "I can’t be held responsible for all of you.” She finally paused and smiled as she said, “Hello, Harry. Find that frog you’re supposed to kiss yet?”

Harry blushed as he replied, “I don’t understand why Lavender uses all those fairy-tale metaphors! I hate that damn rag they call a paper. Ron, you used to date her…what’s she thinking?”

“Yeah,” Charlie snickered, “what does she think, all us men will line up outside Harry’s door for a peck?”

“Hell if I know, mates. I’ve never understood women,” Ron responded.

“Geez, you lot are thick!” Ginny said, but she was smiling. “I doubt all of Gay Wizarding Britain is reading her article. That bit was for the girls who still swoon for you.”

The four of them were still laughing when Nurse June Juniper entered the room and informed them that they were being too loud. As they all sobered, she told Harry he could leave.

While Harry got his items together, the Weasley siblings stopped to visit with Hermione, although she was never quite aware that they were there. All three were quite blue as they left with Harry.

In the lobby, Ginny was bowled over by a man in black robes…and startling blonde hair. He didn’t even seem to take notice.

“Malfoy,” Charlie exclaimed, although with no malice, “you knocked over Ginny!”

Draco stopped, turned around and stooped to help Ginny up, all in one fluid motion. “Sorry, Ginny.” He took in the crowd of Weasley’s with a nod, then turned and almost smacked into Harry.

“Potter…I mean, Harry, excuse me if you will,” Draco said, his heart suddenly pounding. His entire being seemed to freeze as he took in the tousled hair, the sparkle in the green eyes and the shy smile that played on the beautiful pink lips. It was then Draco remembered two things. One, he had not seen Harry in nearly five years, even though he worked with Ginny and Charlie at the Rubeus Hagrid Magical Menagerie every day. And two, he had never really gotten over his enormous crush on him.

Pansy stood watching, a sudden twinkle in her eye, as Draco fumbled around Harry.

“Where are you going in such a hurry, Draco?” Charlie asked, and then noticing Pansy he added, “Hello Pansy, nice to see you again.”

“A Weasley with manners, will wonders never cease,” Draco said before he could catch himself. While he had actually become friends with the remaining members of the family, he still could not stand Ron. Draco knew there was no love lost between them and he could never seem to stop the insulting words from tumbling out whenever Ron was around. He did notice Ron turning red at the obvious slur, but for once the buffoon didn’t have a retort.

Harry stood uncomfortably, digesting Draco’s words, unsure of how to take them.

Ginny and Charlie, knowing there was no heat behind his words, laughed.

“You’ll have to excuse my dear friend,” Pansy said, smiling at all of the Weasleys. “We’re in a bit of a hurry. Something has happened to Millicent’s daughter Rose.”

Harry immediately perked up, “What happened?”

“We don’t know,” Draco responded, but was looking at Ginny and Charlie. “We had just finished breakfast when Blaise Flooed in, told us to come here, and then Flooed out.”

“Blaise is meeting us here, we assume. But we must go…” Pansy started but was interrupted by Millicent, Greg and Rose coming down the staircase on their left.

Greg saw the unusual crowd and without greeting turned to Draco and said, “False alarm. She’s fine. Just a bit of a rash that we thought might be something else.”

Draco could tell by the Weasley’s expressions that they had not seen, or maybe even heard of, Rose before this moment. He was amazed and quite impressed with the swiftness of their response. Their shock at her red hair was evident. However, as usual, it was Ron who spoke out.

“She has ginger hair. Her hair is ginger!”

Draco rolled his eyes and said, “Well spotted, Weasley! Ever the sleuth, that one.”

“Stop that,” Ginny giggled, recovering nicely from the shock and smacking Draco’s arm in an effort to make the uncomfortable feelings disappear. “What an adorable baby, Millicent. Her name is Rose?”

“After my grandmother,” Millicent sputtered, “She had red hair. That’s where Rose gets it…from my grandmother…with red hair.”

Sighing and knowing that this could go nowhere good, Draco was quite pleased to see Pansy take control. “Okay, crisis averted then? Millicent, you take Greg and Rose home. They both look like they could use a nap. Draco, it was nice seeing you today, but I am off to shop. Weasleys and Potter, it was a pleasure.”

With that, she spun on her heal and walked out. The Goyles followed her while they mumbled to each other about the baby.

This left Ron, Charlie, Ginny, and Harry in front of Draco, thankfully talking to each other. He knew he should leave, but he was hesitant to do so. If I go, he thought, I may not see Harry again. Why am I doing this to myself? I should not feel this happy just because I am standing near him again! I’ve got to get out of here.

“…okay, Mal…Draco?” Harry asked.

Draco’s annoyance at himself was simmering just under his skin when Harry’s voice interrupted him. Of course, the aggravation he had been feeling could have been stemming from standing this close to Ron. That could turn anyone’s stomach.

Seeing the panicked look on Draco’s face and knowing he hadn’t been listening to anything they had just said, Ginny helped him out, “I think Draco’s up for a cuppa, aren’t you? How about we go to that teashop on Downing?”

“Let’s do that!” Charlie agreed. “I could use a break, and I’m sure Harry could use a sobering…”

Harry shoved him toward the door, and laughed as he flipped off Charlie.

“…What? Can’t you?”


“You must be kidding, Charlie!”

Charlie’s smile widened from across the rectangular table. “I never tease about sick Boarhounds, do I Harry?”

“You leave Fang out of this,” Harry replied. His blushed deepened, though, as he looked around the mostly empty restaurant. It wasn’t quite mid-morning and the ‘cottage-charm’ theme in the teashop hadn’t seemed to lure in many guests. “What is this, ‘Pick-on-Harry’ day?”

Ginny laughed as she commented, “Oh, come on Harry. We all know of your escapades in the forest with Michael Corner. Oh how Lavender teased me about turning men gay after he came out of the closet!”

The people at the table were filled with laugher, all except Draco who had no idea what the joke was, really. He had never heard the story they were referring to and was suddenly too shy to ask for details. His position at the table, across from Ginny and Charlie, next to Harry with Ron at the opposite head, made him feel warm and sick at the same time. He got to sit next to Harry, but Ron’s guffaws and rude commentary of the details of the table’s participants bothered Draco. He really did not like him. He just smiled politely as the group continued to torment Harry.

“Remember the incident in the Owlery with all the droppings and you slipping in the…” Ron started to say. He stopped once he saw his friend’s eyes widen in panic.

Draco was actually impressed that Ron could read a person’s emotions on their face and wasn’t acting as clueless as usual. That made twice that the Weasel was able to pick up on context clues without a map.

“Well, regardless of any of Harry’s escapades, sexual or otherwise, we’re all going to need to work on getting ready for the annual auction at work,” Charlie said, quelling all their laughter with his tone. “We really need some funds to rebuild the emporium that used to house the Runespoors. That River Troll really did some damage.”

Draco perked up at that, as he was the Director of Snake Relations at the Menagerie, a position he had held since it had opened in 1999. The Rubeus Hagrid Magical Menagerie had actually begun as a place to put all of the animals that had been injured or displaced during the war. It had been Hagrid’s idea and he had laid all the groundwork for it, even finding designers to construct dwellings to be as close to the animal’s natural habitat as possible. He applied for all the permits from the Department and Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures and became the centre's first director. Charlie's appointment as co-director had been expected but many were surprised when he hired Draco Malfoy to take charge of the snakes. Although Draco had been less than fond of Hagrid’s classes at school, he had grown close to the man when they worked on Potter’s team during the war. The animals were a calming source in all the chaos and Draco had spent hours working with the snakes and their handlers.

Two months before it opened its doors, Hagrid was killed trying to break up a fight among the Heliopaths, as they burned down their temporary habitat. It had actually been Draco’s suggestion to name the Menagerie after Hagrid, a plan everyone could easily agree to. Since then, it had become home to over 1000 different species of magical creatures.

After a beat Charlie added, “One would think that a snake charmer like you Draco would have been able to catch the escapees!”

Acting offended at Charlie’s teasing, Draco responded, “Don’t paint me with that common brush, Weasley. Not all of us live in hovels and act as street performers! Snake Charmer’s are like circus entertainers! Honestly, a Malfoy Snake Charmer!”

An indignant grumble at the other end of the table allowed Draco only a moment to think of how predictable Ron could be, before the redhead sprung up out of his seat.

“Now you listen here, Malfoy,” Ron spat.

Draco sighed, tuning the ranting out. And just when I gave him credit for swift thinking in reading emotions!

Ginny stood up and grabbed her brother’s arm as he began his tirade and said, “Leave it, Ron. It’s just a joke among us.” Draco noticed he tried to throw off her hand, but quieted as she pulled him away from the table and started whispering something to him.

Charlie also stood up, but seeing that Ginny had it covered, excused himself to find the loo leaving Harry and Draco to sip their tea in silence.

The tension was becoming quite unbearable, and Draco was having difficulty finding anything in the store to focus on but the very well put-together man next to him. He could feel Harry’s body, hard and toned, right next to his. Harry’s right leg was actually leaning on his left and Draco wished, thoroughly, that he could think of a way to brush up against Harry a bit more.

Earlier, Harry had had a bit of jam in the corner of his lip and it had nearly killed Draco when he had used the tip of his tongue to get at it, before sliding the tasty treat back into his mouth. He had no trouble imagining Harry’s tongue stabbing into other parts of his body. The visual image of him lying over a table top, legs spread wide and Harry’s tongue stabling into his backside actually made him whimper.

Draco was just re-imagining the fantasy when Harry suddenly turned to him and asked, “So, um, Draco. I know you work at the Menagerie with Ginny and Charlie. What else have you been up to? It feels like I haven’t seen you in…”

“Five years, Potter,” Draco finished for him, feeling unexpectedly surly at the abrupt ending of his daydream. The fact that Harry was trying to make small talk, when his tongue could have been being put to better use, really irritated him.

By the look on Harry’s face, Draco could tell that Potter hadn’t expected the antagonism. Sighing he added, “Not much. I spend my days at work with the animals and my nights…well…with a different type of animal.” He couldn’t help but smirk at his own words, shifting to move his growing arousal.

“I…um…well…I…you’re with Pansy, right? You said earlier that you two had just finished breakfast when Blaise flooed in.”

“You really are thick, aren’t you, Harry.”

Draco and Harry both turned to see Ginny smiling at them after her comment. Ron had wandered in the direction of his brother and Ginny returned to sitting across from Harry at the table.

“Pardon?” Harry asked. “What am I thick about?”

Ginny stifled a laugh and said, “You do read the papers, right?”

“Well, not really. You and Ron do a great job getting me caught up on what I need to know and with my job at the bank…what?”

By this point even Draco was laughing. “I haven’t dated Pansy since fourth year. My social life hasn’t been as well documented as yours, but I still do make the society pages for whom I bring to the various social gatherings.”

“Oh…I…” Harry stammered.

Ginny was holding out her hand for Harry to take, which he did. “Harry, honestly, don’t you get a feeling about him?”

Misunderstanding her meaning, Harry squeezed her hand unconsciously as he spluttered, “Feelings? I don’t have any feelings…Ginny, please…I…”

“She means that I'm gay, Potter. And for your information, Ginerva, we can’t all tell just by being around each other. How gauche that you’d even think that!”

Harry’s eyes widened at not only the news, but also the casualness in Malfoy’s voice. “You’re GAY?”

Draco winced at the shouted words. “Yes, Potter, and I’d thank you not to announce it to the entire shop.”

Harry’s face flamed red and Draco hoped it was because he was excited at the news, and not embarrassed by the attention now being given to them by the few other patrons.

“I didn’t…I didn’t know,” Harry said, blinking rapidly.

Draco’s nervousness eased a bit now that he had the upper hand. “Well, Potter, we don’t all go out exposing ourselves in front of a crowd at a club.”

Harry’s face darkened in anger, and Draco’s nervousness rebounded.

“What I mean, Harry,” Draco said, purposely using his first name, “is that while my preference is public knowledge, I don’t choose to flaunt it. I wouldn’t even have been sharing it with you now if it wasn’t for Ginny’s fabulous timing.”

Ginny giggled as she stood up to make her escape. “Don’t blame me! Tea anyone? No? Well, I need more.”

“I’m sorry, Draco. I honestly didn’t know and didn’t mean to shout it out,” Harry mumbled.

“No matter, Potter,” Draco said.

Feeling ill at ease, Harry tried to start the conversation again. “So, Charlie said things are going well at the Menagerie. But I would think as a Slytherin you’d be a natural at charming snakes.”

“Didn’t help me much with charming you,” Draco mumbled under his breath.

“Huh?” Harry asked, not hearing Draco’s comment.

Bristling at the thought that he could have been heard, Draco did what came naturally; he insulted. “And what about you? Kind of funny for the Boy-Who-Couldn’t-Count to get a job at Gringotts.”

“Who said I couldn’t count?” Harry looked confused, obviously missing the barb. “I’ve been working with Bill, um…Weasley that is… you know him, right…and with the Curse-breakers for the last two years. I didn’t really like working at the Ministry with Ron. Had enough of dealing with Defensive Spells and all that with the war.”

Pausing, he looked at Draco for a reaction. Not getting one, he continued, “And then this thing with the bank came up. I hadn’t planned on working there. Bill’s been on desk duty a long time, but his assistant quit. Well the department went wonky after he left when everyone had to talk to Bill. With his condition from the war…they were going to fire him, you know…because of everyone’s fear of werewolves…they put him in charge but he needed an assistant, sort of a ‘front man’, who could deal with the people and stuff.” Harry knew he was babbling, but he couldn’t stop himself. “Millicent Bull…um…Goyle…was just working with us! But you probably know that already.”

“You didn’t take Arithmancy in school. I thought you needed that for any job as a curse-breaker,” Draco argued.

Harry was obviously uncomfortable with that fact. “I know I didn’t take Arithmancy in school. Bill kind of pulled some strings for me, and I’ve been reading loads of books trying to learn everything I missed.”

“And it doesn’t hurt that you’re the famous Harry Potter,” Draco grumbled.

Harry’s face flashed with irritation at that. “They needed someone and I could do the job, Malfoy.”

“Sure you could,” Draco argued. “And your name being associated with the bank in a public position has nothing to do with it.” He wasn’t sure why he was picking on him. He knew Harry was doing a good job, he had heard it from enough people, but it still aggravated him that the rules were always bent for him.

His frustration was mounting and he decided he’d better go before instigating a riot, with Weasley or Potter. He gathered his cloak and stood, “Look, it’s time for me to go.”

Had he not looked up at Harry at that moment he might have missed the emotion that crossed Potter’s face. Was it sadness? Was it longing? Was Draco just that desperate that he imagined the look? The emotion almost changed Draco’s mood. Almost.

“Wait,” Harry interrupted by grabbing his arm, “don’t go. I’m sorry I’m rambling on and telling people at the top of my voice about, well, that." He blushed. "Let me make it up to you. Sit and have another cup of tea.”

Draco hesitated for only a second before wishing he hadn’t.

“Leaving so soon, Malfoy?” Ron said as he came back to the table with Charlie. “You haven’t had the chance to ruin anyone else’s day yet.”

Charlie shoved his brother toward the counter where Ginny was standing. “We’ll see you at work tomorrow, then.”

As Draco walked out, he turned and looked into the shop, catching Potter’s eye one last time.

Tags: [fic], [long/chaptered fic], rated: nc-17, round: winter 2006

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