Rating: NC-17 for language and sex.
Word Count: 11,364
Summary: This is what happens when you spend all of your time trying to save the world and never bother to see what you're saving. Inspired by vegans, philosophy, mothers, docks, and hopes and dreams.
Author's Notes: Prompt: cross-dressing, UST, exhibitionism, voyeurism, wall-sex, control issues, jealousy, ties. I think got the others, but I couldn't figure out how to get the control issues in. Sorry. :( Much love and ♥ to my beta, V, and much other love and ♥ to legomymalfoy for being understanding.
(With inspiration from DH Lawrence's Sons and Lovers)
Draco wore his mother's wedding dress underneath his robes on Sundays because it was beautiful, and if he didn't wear it, no one else ever would. It was too lovely to be stored at the bottom of a cedar chest forever, he thought, and even if no one ever saw him in it, it was still being worn.
His mother would've liked that.
"This is the one," Harry said that afternoon. He and Draco were sitting at their usual table in a shady little café called the Tea Leaf that had been built several years ago using the tax money that the Ministry had saved not fighting the war. Every Sunday, they were there.
Draco looked up when the silence, which had been longer than usual, was broken. "The one what?" he asked.
In response, Harry passed over a magazine and tapped his finger pointedly at the picture on the page. The tie that he always wore—usually over a t-shirt—hung down over the pages until he batted it away. Draco watched fondly, thinking that Harry might not ever have much fashion sense, but he always looked adorable anyway. "This is the car I want."
Draco reached across the table to grab the magazine, eyeing the picture with distaste. "I don't like it," he said, once he'd skimmed the article. It was a muggle-wizard hybrid automobile that ran on wishes and dreams, or, more to the point, on useless memories.
The problem was that the advert agency's definition of useless memories was immeasurably different from Draco's. The fuel tank was a pensieve; add a memory of your mother lecturing you or a particularly painful first date and it would run for six months. Energy conservation—Harry was big on that because you can only save the world once, apparently, but you can keep trying to save the planet forever.
Draco just wasn't keen on giving up any of the memories of his mother—even if they had been of her lecturing him.
Harry frowned, fumbling with his tie again. "You never like anything."
"I like this asparagus salad," Draco pointed out. He took a bite to prove his point and Harry looked down at his own aubergine medley: he had never liked it, but he ordered it every time anyway. Draco would have thought that was ridiculous if he weren't so fucked up himself.
"It's energy efficient," Harry added coaxingly.
Draco pointed his fork at Harry, his sleeve sliding up as he did so, and added, helpfully, "So is Apparating," which was true. Apparating was much more energy efficient than any automobile—hybrid or not.
Harry eyed the bracelet on Draco's arm momentarily before flicking his eyes back up to his friend's face. And though Draco didn't think he was supposed to notice the gesture—quick as it was—he did: Harry had never been very subtle.
The first time Harry found Draco in Narcissa's clothing, Draco had been getting ready for a Ministry gala that neither of them wanted to attend. He was sliding his mother's posh frock over his thighs just as Harry stormed into the flat, the bedroom, unannounced, and ready to fret and whine, but said only, 'Won't your bollocks show in that?'. Draco had given him a flat look and slipped his robes over the dress.
Harry had shrugged and said nothing else until the evening was almost over and Draco was ready to leave. He'd slid drunkenly over to Draco, pressed his mouth next to Draco's ear, and said, 'I'll have to take a rain check on the curry.' And then he'd nodded smarmily at a grinning, sun-bleached Charlie Weasley, and slipped out of sight.
Draco remembered that night as a turning point in the relationship of two people who couldn't go a day without a turning point—because Harry could never sit still very long, at all. He was always bored and coming up with new ways to shake up the monotony.
But Draco reckoned that that turning point was fairly significant because even though he'd always suspected it, Harry had never before admitted to Draco that he had a preference for men.
Quid pro quo. A secret for a secret. Harry didn't like to talk about things. He liked to acknowledge them and move on. That was good enough for Draco who had few friends and even fewer he could tolerate constantly like Harry.
And, Draco admitted to himself, that had been the day that he realised how fucking beautiful Harry was, and how much he wanted him.
"Do you have to always wear that?" Harry was now asking, bringing Draco back to himself.
Draco lowered his fork and frowned. He didn't think Harry particularly cared what he wore under his robes. He hoped not, anyway. After all, Harry knew what it was like to miss your mother; he knew what it was like to love your mother, only to have her gone when you woke up one day.
Or maybe he didn't, Draco thought. Maybe no one understood.
He stared at the Egyptian ruby bracelet hanging from his wrist, remembering how Narcissa Malfoy had worn it when she was happy, and pursed his lips. "This?"
"That," Harry said, nodding.
"It was my mother's," Draco reminded him caustically.
After she was murdered, Draco had slept in her room at the manor for a month, singing himself to sleep in off-key renditions of an old Greek song about Narcissus that his mother used to hum to herself, and wishing that he hadn't politely told her 'no' when she asked whether or not he would fancy having voice lessons.
"Yeah," Harry said, rolling his eyes. "All the jewellery you wear is your mother's."
"Was my mother's," Draco corrected snidely. "She's dead, if you've forgotten. Charlie Weasley accidentally killed her, if I remember correctly."
Harry opened his mouth, but Draco cut him off, waving his hand and turning his head away. "No—don't. I don't want to get into that."
And he didn't. He didn't want to think about his mother—about how he would never be able to love another woman as much as he loved her, about how he had seen her fingers sliced clean from her body and her hair disintegrating in the heat, about how the only person who ever talked to him these days might know that he still slept with Narcissa Malfoy's nightdress under his pillow.
Harry shrugged, unconcerned, and held his arm out across the table for Draco. "I got a bracelet, too," he said, and even though this wasn't a total change of subject, Harry had always been strange with segues of any kind. As such, Draco took it for what it was: the most probable reason Harry brought up the bracelet in the first place.
"So we could match," Harry added.
And he was beaming proudly as he said this—sounding so goddamned pleased with himself that Draco didn't immediately know how to react.
But the bracelets most certainly did not match. For one thing, Draco's belonged to his mother. For another, Harry's was woven and said, in bright red thread against a black background, 'Alackaday, and fuck my luck'.
"Terrible novel," Draco sniffed.
Harry sneered. "That line was good."
"One sentence of thousands does not a good book make."
"It was about war," Harry said. And, eventually, everything came down to war with Harry because he loved the world and everyone in it—even Draco in some strange way—but he knew nothing at all about the world except how to fight for it and how to save it. Sometimes, Draco thought that this was a little bit sad.
"It was," Harry insisted. "War was in the background. It was in a metaphorical way." He twirled his hand over his head in a vague gesture of 'metaphorical'.
Draco paused. "Have you even read the book?"
"The English version?" Draco clarified. "Not the version written in Klingon."
He just wanted to make sure. Sometimes, Harry went off on these strange quests for enlightenment and whatnot and Draco wouldn't see him for days. Then, when he did see him again, the bastard would be fluent in another language, or have figured out a way for muggles to travel at the speed of light. Often, Draco attempted to get him to sell the ideas to the muggles, but Harry had always been a Communist at heart and refused every time.
"You're mocking me," Harry said. A universal truth, they both knew. There was a pause.
Draco went back to his food, but couldn't help noticing that Harry was staring at him. His hand was still up in the air, elbows propped tastelessly on the table, and that stupid bracelet was right in Draco's face.
"What?" Draco asked irritably.
Harry looked away. "Nothing."
"I've been thinking; we should go to the coast," Draco said several seconds later.
"The coast?" Harry asked, confused. His hand dropped back down to the table, both tie and bracelet forgotten, and Draco sighed in relief. "What's at the coast?"
Harry turned back to his Technimagic magazine, half-heartedly picking at the aubergine medley and worrying the thread of the bracelet. Occasionally, when Draco was alternately picking at his salad and watching the people bustling by the window, he caught Harry watching him surreptitiously, but he made no mention of it.
Harry flipped a page, head propped on his palm, and fingered his bracelet.
"Hermione flooed yesterday," he unexpectedly said, adding slyly, "while you were picking out which ribbon would look best in your pretty hair." Draco scowled and kicked him under the table again. It was so easy to desire Harry, even when he was teasing him like that. Maybe especially then.
"What did she have to say, then?"
Harry shrugged, twirling his finger in his tea—black, without, because he didn't drink milk and the sugar was processed. "Said there was a unicorn foaled last week. The mother died."
Draco's eyebrows shot up to his hair line. "Indeed?"
Harry rolled his eyes. "Do you have to talk like such a toff, still?"
"I'm a Malfo—"
"A strapped Malfoy," Harry interrupted pointedly, "who lives in a one-bedroom flat with a window that looks out on the flats across the way." He shrugged again. "No reason to talk like a posh git when you can't afford to be one anymore, is there?"
Draco scowled. "Fine. What I meant to say was, 'Yeah? Swot found a bleedin' baby horny horse, did she?'"
"Sub par, Draco."
"It's the lighting; it's throwing me off my game. Why do we keep coming here?"
Harry shrugged. "Don't know."
Draco stirred his tea. "So, I suppose you're all packed to go rescue the little lad then, aren't you? Where is he? The unicorn, I mean."
"Sussex," Harry hedged. Draco's eyebrows went up in amusement and Harry grudgingly admitted, "Brighton."
"Ah, Brighton," Draco said, exaggeratedly cheerful. "Lovely place, I hear. Full of fairies and pretty boys and poufs. We'll fit right in, won't we?"
Harry smirked, lips looking deliciously full. "You will."
"I shall," Draco said, with what he hoped was a straight face. "I'll just have a go at my ribbon collection, put on my posh frock and cling on your arm like a simpering sycophantic tart."
Harry laughed softly, probably remembering the posh frock in question. "Lovely."
They stared at each other for several seconds. "Fine," Draco said with an exaggerated sigh. "When do we leave?"
"Tomorrow morning," Harry answered, as if he'd had all this planned, which—surprising as that would have once been—he probably did. "You can stay at mine tonight and we'll go first thing. I want to test drive one of these new Magicabrios," by which he was referring to that infernal car.
"Certainly not," Draco stated immediately. "I'll have no part in your ridiculous muggle-merging."
Harry only gave him a look, and Draco was forced to acquiesce with, "You know, Brighton's on the coast." Even as he said it, Draco knew he should've kept his mouth shut. It might've been a little bit sad that Harry knew so little of the world, but Harry didn't know that he didn't know, and as soon as he did, he would be disappointed in what he learned.
Harry's eyebrows rose. "What's with you and the coast today, Malfoy?"
"I don't know," Draco said, but his eyes flickered to the side as he said it, and Harry knew he was lying.
Regretfully, Draco opened his mouth and said, as if it were some sort of terrible dream he once had, "You spend all this time trying to save the world, but you never bother to see what you're saving."
Harry looked at him thoughtfully, and swirled his fork around in his aubergine medley.
On a good day, Harry woke up on Draco's Chesterfield—which wasn't very comfortable—with one hand in his pants and the other thrown over his head.
On a bad day, Draco woke up on Harry's dodgy brown couch with the telly blaring the Vegan Food Network's seven a.m. infomercials, the sound of Harry's bare feet padding drunkenly into the kitchen, swearing, and the coffee maker crashing to the floor.
"Christ Al-bleeding-mighty's mother-fucking hell!"
It was a bad day.
Draco groaned, scratched his chest and tucked his head between the half-destroyed couch cushions.
"Fuck!" Draco half-heartedly tossed a pillow in the direction of the kitchen. The coffee maker crashed to the floor and Harry said, wearily, "…Goddamnit, Draco."
Draco lifted his head grumpily. "What?" he rasped. Harry's fingers started tapping against the wall and Draco sleepily opened his eyes. Harry was leaning against the doorway with his palm pressed to the wall, fingers still drumming, and a resigned look on his face.
"What?" he asked again.
Wordlessly, Harry held up the couch cushion—dripping wet with coffee—and his own coffee mug—suspiciously empty.
"Apologies," Draco mumbled, and attempted to bury his head back into the couch. He was so tired—maybe a bit hung-over—and he wanted to go back to sleep. He rolled over to get more comfortable, but ended up, agonizingly, on the floor on top of last night's mushy take-away containers. "Aw, hell."
"Get up you lazy sod," Harry said quietly. Then unexpectedly, there was a soggy, coffee-saturated pillow on Draco's face.
"How nauseating." Draco peeled the filthy thing off his face and promised himself that from now on, they would be eating the take-away at his flat. He was so goddamned tired
of getting leftover vegan gyros in his hair every other morning.
"Get up," Harry said again, and as Draco cracked open one eye through the haze of last night's alcohol, he saw Harry standing above him now, looking quite unrepentant and even a bit amused.
"I'll want a shower now, thanks to you—" Draco started.
"No time," Harry said, even as he was waving his wand over Draco's clothes to dry them.
"No!" Draco protested. He wrapped his arms around his chest and elaborated, "It'll make them stiff. These are not any of your tacky, cheap blends. This fabric requires a cert—"
Harry tossed his wand at Draco's head, where it bounced, and strode back into the kitchen, calling over his shoulder, "Then you do it, you ponce."
If anyone were the ponce in this flat, Draco thought sourly, it was Harry. The galling thing of it, though, was that Harry might be gay—that much was certain and that much Draco relied on—but he inherited none of the good traits associated with homosexuality. His flat was always cluttered, his clothes were always wrinkled, and his hair defied description.
Sneering, Draco picked up the wand—wondering absently if his own was somewhere amongst the couch cushions—and charmed his clothes lean. Then, his hair dripped manky coffee on his collar and he had to charm them clean again—after, this time—first doing himself.
They apparated to the Magicabrio dealership in wizarding Essex ("Energy conservation, Harry. Better yet, why don't we walk there to save magical energy?") where Harry went slack-jawed over the various colours and upgrade packages, and Draco sniped about everything before he eventually found something to keep his interest.
The thing of the matter was that, no matter how prettily he begged the words to be, at the end of the day, Draco made his living with thievery. And he was about to again.
There was a business of sorts dedicated to the maintenance of the world—righteous business it was, having the sheer neck to allocate departments for people such as Draco, whose tasks and job descriptions included stealing—though it was never worded so crudely—things that spoiled the ozone or post owls or rubbish bins, et cetera, and, sometimes, replacing those things with something more…symbiotic.
To be honest, Draco didn't know exactly what Harry did for work, per se, but somewhere at the top of all of this brazen righteousness, he reverently suspected, was Harry Potter, though he could never get it out of him one way or another.
What he knew was that Harry had his fingers in just about every environmental advocate and save-the-animals group around—both muggle and wizard. He knew that sometimes Harry would be gone for days at a time de-trapping a trapped Nundo or bandaging a Fellingo—which was kind of like a muggle flamingo, only it always fell when it went to sleep on one leg—or raining cash down on the arseholes from PETA.
And Harry had so much dosh—much more so than Draco nowadays, anyway, and he never spent a Knut of it, save for afternoons at the Tea Leaf and take-away at night. Draco suspected that this was because he was funding this so-called business that Draco stumbled upon several years back when he was dourly in need of work and maybe, if he could've afforded it, a flat.
Then, to have Potter show up one day while Draco was ganking a posh old muggle woman's aerosol spray tins and replacing them with something more environmentally friendly, only to nod his head, give him a round 'Carry on, then, Malfoy', and walk off as if they hadn't just run across each other in some random muggle's bedroom…
Draco knew Harry was part of all this shameful, shifty business, but he suspected that Harry was a much bigger part than himself.
And he knew that even more times than not, Harry would trick or otherwise convince Draco to come along on these excursions—these things where Fellingos were patched up, and automobiles were rigged with magical exhaust-eliminating components—never mind that Draco actually had a paying job.
The thing was Draco knew that he wouldn't have a paying job if it wasn't for Harry. He suspected that in a roundabout sort of way, that Harry paid his cheque to begin with, so he never turned down the offers of a bevvy at the local or grouched much when Harry fell asleep on his couch sometimes.
But all of that was completely different from his falling asleep—again—on Harry's couch, which was lumpy and altogether uncomfortable even when Potter didn't have the cooling charms set to seven degrees.
Draco was rather perturbed this morning, and the Magicabrio wasn't really all that energy efficient, after all, because even if it emitted no exhaust and required no tangible fuel, the in-dash clock was Magical-LED and created noise pollution, of all things, by chirp and chirruping whenever one's family members changed tasks.
Currently, it was set to Default, wherein a sample of "Mummy: (chirp) Cooking!" flashed before moving onwards to "Sally: (chirrup) On a date!" and finally settling on "Dad: (chirp) Working!"
Draco spat in disgust, even as he was trying to think of who he would have on his own clock, should he be so common as to have one ("Mummy: (chirrup) Dead!"), but the ghastly taste remained in his mouth.
Sneering, he pulled his wand and removed—which was a bit like stealing, where his pay packet was concerned—the chirping charm, wondering absently what, in all seven hells, Harry could be doing that was taking him so long.
It was impossible that he actually found these damned things intriguing enough to engage himself in them for more than a round ten minutes. Harry never found anything engaging. He was always bored, and he was always moving.
It turned out that Harry actually did find them engaging, of a sort, because thirty minutes later, Draco, ambling tetchily through the dealership, found him with a sales assistant and slavering over a Gryffindor Red Magicabrio.
He suddenly felt a lot better about all of the rationalizing he'd had to do to excuse removing the chirruping charm.
"We're taking this one for the test-drive," Harry pronounced as Draco walked up. Draco, for himself, remained stoically silent, though it was merely because he was finding it difficult to think of a properly debasing reply. It was hard to do when Harry was looking so excited and pleased with himself.
"A fantastic model," the salesman was saying. "Really, truly top of the line. And a steal, really."
Draco snorted, having altogether too much experience with steals and stealing himself to believe the man, and altogether too much common sense to believe that the man actually believed himself.
Harry, unfortunately, was naïve and uncomprehending of the world, and he believed him, which was decidedly endearing and saddening at once. He looked longingly at the garish gold interior, turned back to the salesman, and said, "I'll have it back in the morning."
And they certainly would if Draco had anything to do with it all. Which, he realised suddenly, he did.
There had been a time when Draco was contemplating suicide—not for any particularly tragic reason, only that he was a bit bored. That, upon reflection, might have been tragic enough, but he brought the idea up to Harry one evening nonetheless. They were watching Channel Two, and chuckling perfunctorily at the gag-lines.
"What do you suppose it's like to die?" Draco had asked.
Harry shrugged—which was pretty much how he always answered philosophical questions like that. He was a dreamer, but he kept all his dreams to himself, mostly, hoarding them and wandering off into thought for hours at a time. "Don't know."
And that hadn't really given Draco much to go on, as might've been imagined, so he pushed it a bit farther, saying, "I want to know what it's like to die—as opposed to living," because that wasn't an indirect question and Harry couldn't really shrug that sort of comment off.
"I reckon we all do," Harry said, "but I'm not about to slit my wrists just to get a different perspective on life."
And that might have been the end of it—because it was certainly a good way to end the conversation—but it had, Draco realised later on that night, given him a different perspective on life.
And as far as perspectives went, Draco had several.
Of the most prominent was that muggle contraptions—wizardly hybrid or not—were frightening, dangerous things. This was seconded only by the fact that Harry was raised muggle, knew muggle, and wanted—at the end of the day—to be muggle, only with magic.
Currently, Harry was proving that Draco had the correct perspective on things by careening round England's old roads heading south, but making Draco feel as if they might, in fact, be heading towards Hell itself.
He was frightened and he was angry and he was holding on for life—maybe not dear life, but life, just the same.
Harry was grinning. Beaming, really, which was a disgusting habit and something he partook of far too often, even if Draco did love to see it, and even if it sent shivers and trembles down his spine every time he did. "Isn't this great?"
"No!" Draco snarled.
The top was down, the wind was in Harry's face, and he was less one memory of Occlumency lessons with Snape. He looked delighted. Draco wished, just for a second, that he'd had the nerve to follow through with that suicide idea; at least then he wouldn't be scared shitless and trusting his life to Harry Potter.
Ahead of them, Brighton appeared, and Draco thanked God for small mercies. Miniscule, really.
It turned out that a squib couple was supposed to be watching over the unicorn foal until someone from the magical animal protection agency came to pick it up, but they hadn't gotten very far, they said.
"Unfortunately," Mrs Webber, the squib woman, said dryly, "the unicorn had no such troubles. I'm afraid he's gotten much farther than we have."
"You mean to say that the unicorn has done a runner?" Draco asked slowly.
Mrs Webber glanced at her husband and winced. "I'm afraid so. Without magic, we just had no way to really keep it here, other than the fence, of course, and when we went out this morning to feed the lad, it was gone."
Draco looked at Harry, whose facial expression was hard to place, and sighed. "Well, it couldn't have gotten far—still being very young, and, of course, having left within the past twenty-four hours."
"Right," Harry agreed, sighing deeply. He was, always, a man of few words. "So, we'll start looking then."
Mr Webber glanced out of his kitchen window where a cavalcade of tourists and residents alike were trooping past, pointing out good views and enjoying the day. "Good luck."
Harry and Draco followed his gaze and winced simultaneously, very thankful, at that moment, that muggles could not see magical creatures. It was still going to be a long day, though.
"Grocer's first?" Draco asked.
Harry nodded and sighed. "I reckon that's the best place to start."
"Why would you look for a unicorn at the grocer's?" Mr Webber asked.
"We're not looking for the unicorn there; we've just got to get supplies," Harry explained. "Treacle."
"Why treacle?" Mrs Webber asked.
Draco rolled his eyes. "Because horses like sugar."
"That doesn't explain anything, really," Mrs Webber said with a self-deprecating smile and an apologetic laugh.
"Well, the unicorn is a member of the horse family, and it's magical and it's British. It likes treacle. If it was Turkish, it would probably like baklava."
Draco nodded in agreement to Harry's explanation. Really, everyone knew that. Especially Harry who spent so much of his time learning how to save everything. Draco looked at him fondly, pleased with how intelligent Harry was, even if he was wasting all of his knowledge on a hopeless cause.
Later that evening, after they had spent a full eleven hours searching for the unicorn foal to no avail, Harry confessed that he was, in fact, hungry, so they sat on the shore and poured treacle into their mouths while they watched the waves crash against the shore.
"What if it really was a Turkish unicorn?" Harry asked suddenly. "What if the mother was Turkish and that's why we haven't been able to attract it with the treacle?"
Draco pulled his mother's shawl from his robes and wrapped it around the both of them, as it was beginning to get cold. Harry's silly tie was swishing about in the wind and he was fiddling with his bracelet again. It was such a strange contrast—Harry looking so sad while his stupid tie looked so silly. Draco's heart clenched and he was suddenly overcome with the desire to kiss Harry—push him down on the sand and tangle his hands in his ridiculous hair. "It's probably just scared," he said.
"I would be," Harry admitted quietly. "Without my mother for the first time." Draco nodded. He was still scared sometimes.
"We should come back in a few days and try again."
Harry was quiet for a long time. "Do you think we'll find him?" he asked.
"Or he'll find us," Draco said. "All of us men who had mothers once, we all turn out the same, and we all end up in the same places."
Harry nodded, believing him wholly, because he was like that.
The drive back to Essex was strangely calming. Harry let the top down, turned off the radio, and just drove. Draco thought that if he weren't in the car with him, that Harry might go so far as to close his eyes. It didn't scare him.
When Granger rang Harry on his magical mobile (a device that used controlled splinching to apparate your voice to the person you were calling) and asked if he would like to have dinner with her and Ron, he declined in favour of a night on Draco's couch.
Draco couldn't explain why that pleased him as much as it did.
Harry stopped eating meat after the last battle in the war. There had only been three battles all in all, but the last was by far the worst.
Sometime after their sixth year, before Snape had encouraged Draco and his mother to get as far away from Lucius Malfoy as possible, the light side had found it fitting to all go to battle in white robes. According to Dumbledore, this was instituted not only for identification purposes, but also to show the Death Eaters that they were not afraid—no, intimidated, because surely only a complete div would not have been afraid.
But all that was before his mother saw Potter—he was still Potter all the time then, even though they were friends—come limping in the front door with blood seeping from his mouth, and decided that no half-blood would make her look like a useless toff. She was trained to fight a war just like the rest of them, she told Draco sternly.
Just with different tactics, and the white washed her out, but she would deal with that because no one would be snapping photos during the battle, after all, right Draco?
He remembered how lovely Narcissa looked in all white—ethereal and translucent, and, yes, a bit washed out—and that he'd loved her more that day than any other day of his life.
"I promise," Draco said to his mother, "after this, we'll move to Greece and live in a white bungalow with white sand in our garden."
His mother laughed, petted his hair and kissed him before throwing the white hood over her head. "And be washed out together?" she said from underneath.
That was the day when the Death Eaters, becoming desperate, finally introduced the photo-negativity spell. Death Eaters were really very clever when they tried. Draco knew because he had helped to develop the spell himself.
When Voldemort cast the spell, everyone in the vicinity went temporarily colour-blind and a photo-negative effect commenced. White robes became black robes, black robes became white robes, and the light side, having not expected it, ended up picking off their own.
"I'm not eating tofu," Harry said at lunch the next afternoon. "It feels like flesh." He was staring out the window at the Magicabrio as he said this, a look of longing on his face.
Having woken up with a stiff neck from a night on Draco's couch, Harry was already in a dodgy mood. He'd owled the dealership and told them he was keeping the car for the weekend just because he didn't feel like taking it back. Or so he told Draco.
"Then don't touch it," Draco advised sourly. In truth, if his mother hadn't raised him vegetarian, Draco would have given meat up too after seeing her ripped in half and cauterized by Charlie Weasley's dragon spell.
At the pubs, Harry drank wheat beer and refused the nuts because they had preservative spells on them, but that was for an entirely different reason altogether, and if Harry sometimes was overcome with fits of righteous indignation and virtuous smugness, Draco never said a thing. He wore women's clothing underneath his robes, after all, and even sometimes, on the weekends, without the robes.
"I don't want to go to the effing Ministry gala," Harry continued, stressing the last word poshly. He chose a vegetable soup instead of his usual and passed the menu back to the waiter.
Draco might have asked why he didn't choose the aubergine medley this time, but it was moot, as he knew what the answer would be in any case: 'They added chicken stock to the recipe.'
And that might or might not have been true, but Harry was firm in his convictions, and it was possible that they might add chicken stock to the recipe at some later date, so he might as well wean himself off it at any rate.
"Don't have much say in it, really," Draco responded. "Got to give them a speech, haven’t you?"
The owl had come only that morning, addressed: 'Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy's couch, 404 White Owl St., Essex' and Harry had thrown such a fit that Draco had felt obligated to hex him. He had, and that had settled Harry for a few minutes at least.
Harry Potter (and guest) were cordially invited to the something-annual 'Defeat of the Dark' party, hosted by the Ministry. That Harry was requested to give a speech was only mentioned in passing, but it was enough to put him off his food for the rest of the day. Truth be told, it was enough to put Draco off his food, too.
Harry groaned and put his head down on the table. "Stop that," Draco hissed, kicking his shin sharply under the table. Harry lifted his head and gave Draco a distracted sneer. "You're embarrassing me. At least act like you weren't raised by Yanks."
Harry snorted and sat up. "Let's go out tonight."
His non-sequitur was means for Draco to roll his eyes. "No."
"Why not? We'll have fun. We always do."
"No gay bars," Draco said.
"No gay bars," Harry affirmed. "Why no gay bars?"
"When we go out to gay bars, you come out to gay patrons."
"Makes enough sense, I reckon," Harry admitted. "Wear something pretty. I'll pick you up at eight."
"So long as you don't pick me up at eight," Draco said pointedly.
Harry scoffed and said, "I'd never do that, Malfoy." And then he was gone, and Draco was left staring at his food, wondering how wankers like Harry could go from depressed to excited within the span of several minutes. And why he was so upset that Harry wouldn't ever try to pick him up.
* CONTINUED IN PART 2 *