hd_hols (hd_hols) wrote in hd_holidays,


Author: marguerite_26
Recipient: scarletscarlet
Title: Packing the Flat
Pairing(s): Harry/Draco , past Draco/Blaise, past Harry/Ginny
Summary: Months after their explosive break-up, Draco insists Harry return to their flat to remove his belongings.
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning(s): none
Epilogue compliant? EWE
Word Count: ~6.5k
Author's Notes: Thank you to my betas F and L, and to my writing group for their amazing advice.

Packing the Flat

I’m selling the flat.
Clear your shit out by Sunday morning
or I’ll cast an Incendio on the lot of it.

The owl arrived Saturday morning at daybreak. Harry struggled out of bed to let the bird in and it nipped his finger as he reached for the parchment tied to its leg. "Bloody Malfoy," he grumbled, grabbing the post and waving the bird out the window without a treat.

He reread the note, letting it sink in. A moment later the parchment fell to the floor as he trudged to the shower. He might have once laughed at Draco’s melodramatics, smiled at the curl of the P or the lack of signature; instead, the words twisted the knife he’d felt slicing his gut for months.

Harry arrived at the door to the flat an hour later. With a fortifying breath, he knocked. There was no answer. On instinct, he pulled out his keychain but stopped, his fingers tightening around it. He didn’t have a key. Not anymore.

He sank to the floor and let his head bang back against the wood.

He closed his eyes and remembered the last time he’d been on the other side of that door, how he’d shouted, "You fucker," his voice cracking with lack of sleep and emotional exhaustion, how his hand had reached into his pocket and how he’d glared at Draco’s drunken face. "Guess I won't need this anymore," he’d spat. Fingers trembling, he had fumbled with the keychain until the bronze coloured key slid off. The clink of the key dropping into the small clay dish by the door had echoed in the silent room, the sound followed only by Draco’s loud swallow.

Harry had snuck one final look at Draco. His hair was dishevelled, his pupils blown from alcohol or maybe something stronger. His open shirt was still showing off the massive love bite below his Adam’s Apple. The one Harry hadn’t given him. Draco had stared at the key as if he'd expected this all along and couldn’t summon the energy to act surprised. And maybe that had been the point, a great spectacle to make Harry walk out because Draco didn’t have the balls to tell him it was over.

Harry’s chest had tightened until he thought he could no longer breathe. He’d rushed for the door, afraid he might beg for lies or anything else his pride would not allow. If Draco had finally given up on them, then Harry wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of another word. He’d made it onto the street and down a block before he’d even allowed himself to think of what he’d just done. What he’d left behind.

Harry’s eyes snapped open at the click of boots on hardwood floor, the ache of memories itchy and raw beneath his skin.

"Oh, yes. You don’t have a key." Draco’s smile was ugly and cruel as he walked up to Harry, stopping only when his polished boots bumped Harry’s battered trainers. "How could I have forgotten?"

Harry’s jaw clenched, but he didn’t take the bait. He stood and moved aside while Draco jangled his keys far more than necessary.

"I hope I didn’t wake you this morning. I know how much you love a lie-in on a Saturday."

Draco’s tone was light, formal – meaningless pleasantries to anyone else. Harry wasn’t fooled. Draco knew how to hurt, and knew best how to hurt Harry. They’d spent too many blissful Saturday mornings forgetting the world, enjoying the simple act of worshipping each other’s bodies. There had been a time when a Saturday morning in bed with Draco was enough to get him through the entire week.

"We were up, actually," Harry parried back.

Draco paled and guilt soured in Harry’s belly at the petty lie. Draco always brought out the worst in Harry when they fought, made him carelessly brandish words as he had once wielded unknown spells. Draco's face hardened. Harry knew it was on the tip of his tongue to say something horrid like does he fuck you into the headboard like I used to?, do you make him scream with just your tongue?, does he tie you up good and tight until you feel safe?

Harry couldn't let him go there, wouldn't make it through the day if he did. "I’m just here to get my stuff, Draco. Not for trips down memory lane."

Draco’s eyes flashed and he looked away quickly. "Wouldn’t dream of it, Potter." He swung the door wide and walked in, leaving it open behind him and disappearing down the narrow hallway with a determined stride.

Harry stepped through the threshold and stopped, emotions flooding back to him as he looked around. He’d expected ... he didn’t honestly know. A redecorated flat? A place he barely recognised? Everything he held dear stripped from the walls and boxes piled at the door ready for him to pick up? But it looked exactly how he’d left it that morning, months ago. Exactly, except for the layer of dust that covered everything.

His eyes fell to the small clay dish on the table by the door and the key still inside as though it were waiting for him to come back. His fingers itched to return it to its proper place. He picked up the key, tracing the engraved HD on the handle. It had been a gift. A grand gesture of Draco’s on their one week anniversary – a fucking flat. Or as Draco had quickly coined it: a flat for fucking. Harry blushed at the memories of those first fevered days of their relationship. Those moments were a blur of sweat and hungry kisses, whispered curses and the slap of naked flesh. That week they had barely left each other’s sight, each other's bedrooms. Then Draco suddenly appeared at Harry’s doorstep with a small box and an engraved key. "I bought a flat," he’d said, his cheeks a blotchy pink and his eyes bright, nervous.

They’d moved in the next day, Harry packing boxes through the ache of too many hours of sex and not enough sleep. He hadn’t ached like that in months. The bruises on his hips, the rawness of his throat after rough blowjobs had long since faded into memories. He sometimes woke in the mornings with his mind still so full of his dreams that he sat gingerly at the kitchen table before he remembered.

"Daydreaming, Potter?" Draco whispered, leaning in close, his words sharp, dragging across Harry’s cheek.

Harry jumped, not having heard Draco’s return, and stepped back to put some distance between them. He rubbed the spot Draco’s breath had hit before he could stop himself. He looked up to see Draco watching him. The hair at Draco’s temple was wet as if he’d just splashed water on his face. It was a comforting thought.

He dropped the key into the dish. "So where are they?" Harry looked around, anxious to get out, get away.

"Where are what?"

"The boxes of my stuff?"

"You must be joking." Draco walked into the kitchen and Harry heard the whoosh of flame and the metallic click of the kettle being put on. Harry’s kettle.

Harry followed Draco into the kitchen and noticed his favourite cup on the counter where he’d always left it to dry. He ran a finger through the dust gathered on the base. "I thought you still lived here?"

Draco didn’t meet his eyes, fiddling with the loose handle on the utensil drawer. Harry had always planned on fixing that. "With all your shit cluttering up this place? It feels like a pigsty."

The kettle whistled, filling the silence. Draco killed the flame beneath it with a flick of his wand. He grabbed it too quickly and the boiling water sloshed. It caught his wrist.

Harry had his wand out, healing the burn before Draco could even curse. "I would have..." Harry closed his eyes, hating every raw emotion tightening his throat. He wasn’t past this. He hadn’t moved on, but he’d thought Draco had. He’d been sure Draco had. Questioning that now was throwing him off balance. "Draco, it’s been three months."

Draco’s face turned cold. He rinsed the dust off his own favourite cup and turning his back to Harry, began to prepare his tea. "High time to sell, then," he said after too long a pause to make the casual tone believable.

"Right, then." Harry had a feeling he was missing something in all this. He almost wanted to ask why Blaise wasn’t here helping. But he was too afraid the answer would be harder to hear than the mystery. Maybe Draco had grown bored with Blaise too, and someone new warmed his bed. "I’ll just get started."

He summoned his old trunk from their storage cupboard and left the kitchen and Draco, who was still staring at his tea, back rigid. Two steps into the dining room, Harry tripped and had to grab the table to keep himself from tumbling to the ground. At his feet were piles of rolled Prophets. Harry looked up to see the small owl window open. Draco must have forgotten to cancel delivery to the flat. Harry frowned at the mess of strewn papers, bird droppings and a toppled treat-dish. It was so unlike Draco – all of this – it was unsettling.

Harry’s trunk nudged him in the shoulder and opened itself. He sighed and grabbed a few Prophets to help pack the breakables. Doing it the Muggle way would annoy Draco should he walk in.

The first thing he picked up was the cuckoo clock. It had been a Christmas present from Ron and Hermione, so he classified it as ‘his’. Ron had only agreed on the present because of the satisfaction that Harry and Draco would be reminded they were cuckoo on hourly basis – or so the card had said. Harry had missed the tiny bird these last few months while he’d hopped from hotel to hotel before finally settling into a sparsely furnished bachelor flat. He carefully wrapped the cuckoo and placed it in the trunk then moved to the mantel over the hearth.

The mantel held a jumble of frames of various sizes and shapes, some filled with family and friends, but mostly the photos showed Harry and Draco -- laughing and kissing, sharing secret smiles, heads bent together as they waved at the camera. There seemed to be a ridiculous number of them. He’d leave them all to Draco to destroy in the dramatic fashion of his choice. He was so good at destroying things after all.

Then his eyes caught one at the back. Harry couldn’t help but pick up the thin oak frame and watch the happy couple with a pang of envy. It had been taken during their New Year’s party, the first time their friends had visited the flat. They’d been together for half a year by that point, hiding but not hiding, using their fucking flat for its intended purpose while still living separate lives. Until one day Harry had realised he hadn’t been back to his own place in a month, and Draco had only ever stopped by the Manor to have tea with his mother on Sunday afternoons (or grab yet another something to move into their flat). That Christmas they’d officially moved in together and by New Year’s they were ready to kill each other.

Draco had insisted Harry’s tie choice was ugly and his hair was ridiculous, and his friends would be there any minute and could Harry possibly not embarrass him any more than necessary? Harry had slammed the bedroom door, ripped off his suit and grabbed his old Chudley Cannons jersey and torn denims from a pile of laundry. When he’d walked into the kitchen with a shit-eating grin, Draco threw his drink in Harry’s face. Then the doorbell rang.

They’d glared at each other for hours in between fake laughter and painted on smiles for their friends. Until Ginny walked in. Harry had taken two steps towards the door to greet her when he’d been caught by the elbow and dragged into the storage cupboard.

Draco’s mouth had been everywhere, a fevered blur of hands and tongue and teeth, claiming him. "You’re mine, Harry," Draco had whispered, his voice cracking over the words. "You’re mine. With your stupid shirt and your stupid tie." Draco had kissed the words down Harry’s neck, down his chest. "Your stupid, stupid hair and your gorgeous cock." Draco had knelt in the dusty, spider infested closet and unzipped Harry’s denims. "Don’t forget it." He’d wrapped his lips around Harry’s cock until Harry had screamed his name, knowing damn well the bastard hadn’t put up a Muffliato and not caring one bit.

The picture Harry held now was taken by Pansy as they stumbled out of the closet, their cheeks flushed and hair damp. Draco’s swollen lips were pulled in a broad grin as he winked at the camera before Harry pinned him to the wall and snogged him silly to the applause and wolf-whistles of everyone they held dear. Even the taunt Blaise had whispered in Harry’s ear ("Did he do that thing where he tongues your slit? I used to love that.") hadn’t ruined the night.

Harry felt the burn of longing in his chest. He placed the photo on the table and wrapped it in several layers of newspaper. He didn’t know where he’d keep it. Maybe at the bottom of his sock drawer to take out and look at when he’d drunk enough to forget he wasn’t supposed to remember those times because it hurt too much. Even if he never dared pull it out again, he couldn’t leave it to Draco’s bonfire.

He turned to grab the few photos on the mantel that were less painful. The one of his parents and of Remus and Tonks that Andromeda had given him, the one from Teddy’s first birthday and Ron and Hermione’s wedding. They would maybe add a bit of life to his new living room. Maybe stop Hermione’s eyes from filling with pity when she came by.

Harry unrolled another few Prophets and his breath caught in his throat. The front cover was Draco’s announcement to the world that he and Harry Potter were over. Has Harry Come to his Senses? the headline read, with the photo below speaking for itself: Blaise Zabini shoving his tongue down Draco’s throat in the middle of Diagon Alley. The date of the paper read exactly a week after Harry had walked out.

Harry and the rest of the wizarding world had read the message loud and clear.

Harry sat down heavily on the dining room chair. He could hear Draco somewhere in the flat banging things about. Outside a dog barked and a man shouted at it to shut up. Harry tried to calm his breathing. It wasn't like he didn’t know that one day he’d have to come back and pick up the pieces of his shattered life. It had been three months of burying himself in work and trying to get by and not think.

Now it seemed the world was crashing down on him all over again.

He’d sat in this very seat at the dining room table the last time he was in the flat. There was still candle wax melted on the mahogany table top. Harry had stared at the candle for hours that night, watching the wax build up and overflow until it dripped along the candle holder and eventually to the table. He’d burned his retinas watching the flame flicker and dance to the shifts of air in the room. The plates of food in front of and across from him sat untouched. The meal he’d slaved over for their anniversary dinner congealed as the heating charm wore off sometime around three in the morning.

He’d still been at the table when Draco had stumbled in at dawn.

Harry pressed the heel of his hand into his eyes, bitterness quickly replacing regret. He shot up from his chair and started shoving everything he vaguely recognised as his own in the trunk. He needed to finish packing and get out of here. Move on. Forget.

The dining room was cleared in short order and Harry moved to the living room. He entered to find Draco standing in the middle of the room, a small pewter dragon in hand and a faraway look on his face.

Harry frowned at the dragon. Narcissa had given it to him. An odd sort of gift that he’d never understood and Draco hadn’t bothered to explain at the time. Harry had put it off and ... time ran out on them. Harry was not going to ask now. He cleared his throat.

Draco looked up at him.

Harry shrugged, and keeping his voice flat, said, "You can keep it, if you want it."

Harry had to take a step back at the unexpected fury that flashed in Draco’s eyes. "Fuck you, Potter. Like you deserve such a gift." He cast a Cushioning Charm on it and levitated it gingerly into his own trunk.

Anger flared in Harry’s chest, squeezing at his lungs at the intensity of Draco’s retort, the hate in his eyes. If he didn’t leave he’d say something cruel and unforgivable. And futile – words only seemed to rip them further apart. "I’ll just pack the kitchen," Harry snapped, wanting to be anywhere but with Draco. He turned to leave.

"Harry Potter walking away. Now there’s a sight I’m used to."

Harry spun around. Across the room, the windows rattled. He didn’t bother trying to rein in his magic. "No. You don’t get to be like that, Malfoy. You’re the one–"

Draco stepped up to him, eyes blazing. Harry thought he was about to be slapped. "I’m the one what, Harry? I’m the one that didn’t hide what I’d done and didn’t lead you on for Merlin knows how long."

Harry blinked. The words were shouted, shot at his face with enough vitriol to make him want to take a step back, yet he couldn’t make sense of them. "What? Draco, that doesn’t even... what?"

Draco ignored him and stalked off to their bedroom. Harry jogged after him. He could see the scarlet red of Draco’s neck as he dug through Harry’s sock drawer.

"You wouldn’t want to forget this, Potter." Draco held out a small box to Harry.

Speechless, Harry looked from the box back to Draco. Draco’s eyes were cold, furious.

Harry gaped and, in a daze, took the box from Draco’s trembling hand. He opened it, biting his lip to counter the pain in his chest. He had bought it the day after the NEWT results had come, so full of hope and dreams of the future – a wife and kids, a small house and dog. He’d been so desperate that summer to be normal, to be loved. But Charlie – Charlie of all people – saw through him. He’d walked in on Harry with the box one afternoon and he’d taken Harry aside. He’d told Harry to wait, told him that everyone needed time to find themselves after the war.

Harry lifted the ring out of the box. The delicate band and single diamond were so familiar, like their image had been etched into Harry’s heart. He turned the ring in his hand and the light caught the engraving: HPGW. It tugged at his chest, the emotions of the day wearing him raw. "How did you find it?"

"It wasn’t exactly like breaking into Gringotts."

"And you make a habit out of going through my sock drawer? Lifting the false bottom and what? And what - dusting?"

He’d kept it well hidden, never intending for it to see the light of day. But he’d kept it anyway. He liked knowing it was there, a reminder of the best decision he’d ever made in not giving it to Ginny. They’d grown together that summer, become fantastic friends as they ‘found themselves’ as Charlie had said. But the more they’d talked of the future, the further apart their ideals seemed to be. Ginny talked of professional Quidditch or maybe travelling the world. Harry wanted a little flat in London and to focus on Auror training. He had wanted someone to come home to every night. She hadn’t wanted to be tied down just yet. The more Harry understood that, the more he’d realised how much it wasn’t in him to live the way Ginny wanted to live. The day she received the offer from the Marseille Alouettes, Harry had known it was over. "You could go with her, you know. If she’s the one." Charlie had patted him on the back and given him a small smile. "She loves you." But Harry had shaken his head, decision made. He let her walk away, and kept the ring without regret.

Across from Harry, Draco stared, eyes comically wide in a mixture of outrage and incredulity. "Blaise Summoned it," he spat.

"Oh. Well, that’s better. You get Blaise to Summon items to see what I might be hiding. I’m so glad our relationship was based on trust and honesty."

Draco’s mouth opened and closed once, then again. "He was taking the piss, trying to prove that I'd gone domestic. That I'd bought you a ring for our anniversary." Draco bowed his head, softening his voice to barely above a whisper. "Imagine my surprise when this ring came flying out of your drawer."

The words hung in the air as Harry tried to process them. He could see it all: he’d worked late the night before, wanting to leave work early the next day so he could be home to make Draco’s favourite dinner for their anniversary. Draco had been odd, feigning sleep when Harry had arrived home. The next morning he hadn't met Harry's eyes when Harry had pecked his cheek and told him he’d see him tonight, and not to be late. But Harry hadn’t questioned it. He didn’t like to question things like that.

He could just picture Blaise’s face, too, as he held up the ring like he’d been right about Harry all along. How tightly he would have grasped onto his proof, his smooth words pouring comfort into Draco’s ear and planning, Christ, planning payback.

"Fuck." Harry stared at the ring and suddenly hated it. For all that it once stood for the best decision he’d ever made, keeping it had been the worst. He dropped it on the carpet, an ache in his throat and a sting behind his eyes at what it had cost him. He pointed his wand at the box. "Evanesco."

Draco watched him, silent for a second, and then he barked out a laugh, hard and cruel. "Don’t tell me she’s not taking you back! Have you been too sullied with my cock up your arse?"

Something snapped in Harry. He snarled and pinned Draco against the wall, his hands pressing hard on Draco’s collarbones. "You are so stupid, Malfoy. So fucking stupid if you think I’m interested in marrying Ginny Weasley after all these years. I bought that ring when I was nineteen, all right? I kept it around just to remind me how stupid I was back then. How desperate I was to --" Harry’s voice caught on the confession. It was too much, all just too much and way too late. He took a step back, letting Draco go.

Draco closed the distance Harry had just put between them. "Desperate to be a part of that family? Nothing’s changed. Just marry her. Take her from behind with the lights out. You’re good at pretending, aren’t you, Harry?"

"Fuck you, Malfoy." A dark excitement coiled in his belly, his breath growing ragged as it always did when they fought. "I’m already part of that family. I don’t need Ginny for that. I wanted – God, I just wanted to have her not go away."

"Says the man who walked away from the best thing that ever happened to him."

"You did that." Harry pointed his finger at Draco’s face. "You fucked around."

"I didn’t fuck around! Merlin! I was bloody furious. I got drunk. And Blaise was there. We danced, okay? He sucked on my neck and I let him. Fuck you, I let him just to see your face when I walked in the door. But it was never anything more than that. "

Harry paused, letting the words sink in, trying to make sense of them, decipher the truth. "You never said."

"You left. You weren’t supposed to leave." Draco’s nostrils flared and Harry understood for the first time. "You left and you didn’t come back."

"I’m not the one who cheated!"

"I was angry!" Draco paced the room, arms in the air. "Merlin, Harry. I was so damn angry. You had a fucking ring just waiting for me to mess up."

"That’s not what it was!"

"You loved her. Everyone knows it. God, everyone always thought that I was a mistake. A phase. And they were so right, weren’t they? The bloody Prophet! Couldn’t wait to declare you finally free."

"The Prophet," Harry snapped. Draco was lucky he was across the room or Harry would have hit him. "Fuck you, Malfoy. You mean the paper with you and Blaise snogging on the cover? It had barely been a week. I hadn’t even told anyone yet."

"You didn’t come back!" Draco’s voice turned shrill. "I waited. I fucking waited here... then Blaise saw you with Ginny at the Leaky."

"She was in town for a stupid game. We’ve been friends for years. Only friends. As opposed to you and Blaise, who flaunt how much you sucked each other’s cocks in your dorms."

Draco’s face paled. "That was years ago."

"It was three months ago and we were still dating."

"Nothing happened that night. We were never anything. It was all just to make you jealous."

"Could have fooled me. Actually, you did fool me. I’d been up all night waiting for you, worried sick – I almost called Shacklebolt to get a search party together. Because what would make you miss our anniversary?"

Draco sat heavily on the bed, his elbows on his knees and his face in his hands, and Harry knew that the fight was all out of him. Circular arguments had always exhausted him. Blaise and Ginny and Lucius and Ministry policy... they were all rows that ended like this, Draco spent and falling silent, the echoes of their shouts still bouncing in each other’s heads.

"It’s over, Draco." Harry whispered, the words cutting at his tongue. No matter that Draco had thought Harry had cheated, that it was all just a mess of misunderstandings and poorly timed silences, insecurity and pride, the fact remained that they should have talked it through. They hadn’t trusted each other enough to find out the truth. "Let’s just leave it alone. It doesn’t matter anymore."

Draco didn’t look up, didn’t move and Harry couldn’t make himself walk out. So he began to pack up the room, ignoring the crumpled form of Draco on the bed they had once shared.

He started with the dresser, sighing at all the clothes he’d left. He’d had to buy everything in those first few weeks, too stubborn to come back to the flat even to fetch his toothbrush and favourite trainers. Not coming back had been the only revenge he’d had and he’d played it well. His eyes flickered to the bed. All too well.

Harry moved to empty the third drawer when a soft thud made him look up.

Draco stood next to him, his hand still on the grey leather box he’d just placed on the dresser.

Harry straightened, looking between the box and Draco, his heart in his throat.

Draco opened the box. "Have it." The words came out all broken and he cleared his throat and tried again. "Have it. I don’t want it."

Inside was a heavy platinum ring, a quarter of an inch thick with a row of intricate braiding in the centre. His instinct was to shove it back in Draco’s face. Draco fucked up everything, made him hurt and throw away the best thing that had ever happened to either of them.

But Draco was looking at him with red-rimmed eyes and an open face and with a look so needy, desperate, that Harry’s heart broke all over again for what they’d lost. A sliver of hope bloomed, wondering if two fools deserved a second chance.

"It’s lovely," Harry managed, though the words barely made it out. He picked up the ring. It was heavier than it looked, thick and strong like it would withstand life on the finger of an Auror. Without thinking, he slipped it on.

Draco’s breath hitched. He gave Harry a broken smile and bowed his head to hide his blush. "I thought I’d never see it on you."

Something in Draco’s voice cut straight through Harry’s defences, shattering his fragile resolve. Comforting Draco had been as natural as breathing once upon a time. Before he could stop himself, Harry wrapped his arms around Draco’s shoulders, pulling him in and holding him close. Draco smelled of French cologne and that imported shampoo that Harry had always denied having used when Draco’s bottle went empty. "We’re idiots," he said into Draco’s hair and kissed his temple.

Draco huffed and nuzzled his nose into the crook of Harry’s neck. "You didn’t come back. You were supposed to come back."

Harry pulled back enough to capture Draco’s lips in a slow, chaste kiss. "Are we too late?" he whispered, letting the words tickle over Draco’s mouth before kissing him again. "Am I too late?"

"I don't know." Draco shook his head. "You're with someone... ?"

Harry stared at him until his earlier lie about not being alone registered. "No," he said, leaning in again. "I'm not. Tell me I'm not too late."

Draco whimpered, his mouth opening enough to deepen the kiss. "You’re here."

A tiny noise escaped Harry and he clung a little tighter. "I’m here." It was on the tip of his tongue to lay blame, hand Draco his share. It wasn’t what Draco needed to hear, not what Harry wanted to say.

"Next time," Harry promised, "I’ll come back." His lips grazed Draco’s mouth, cheeks, nose and the softening furrow of his brow.

When he pulled back, Draco kept his eyes closed. Harry waited, drawing out the moment, until Draco was ready.

Draco blinked a couple of times, then his eyes traced Harry’s face, searching. "Next time, I won’t let you leave." He wound his fingers in Harry’s hair and kissed him, gloriously gentle, open-mouthed and needy without the mindless desperation that had defined them previously. Harry had no desire for that at the moment. He needed to think in order to remember this, to remember everything, not claw at each other like animals after the heat of an argument. Could they could do this and make it work? Learn and move past it and come out stronger in the end? Harry shivered as a frisson of optimism ran through him.

Draco seemed to understand. Beneath Harry’s shirt, his hand moved gingerly across Harry’s back, trailing a finger over each bump of his spine and then lazily back down again as they kissed. His tongue explored Harry’s mouth, hesitant and curious, as if it were the first time.

Heat pooled low in Harry’s groin as the kiss went on. By the time Draco released him he was dizzy, panting. And achingly hard.

"May I?" Harry raised an eyebrow, holding the top button of Draco’s shirt.

Draco nodded, his face lighting up in a way that made Harry’s resolution to take it slow very hard to live up to.

He slid one button through the hole and leaned in to kiss the patch of skin below Draco’s Adam’s Apple. "Only you, Draco. There's only ever been you." He whispered the words with each button, grazing Draco’s neck with his teeth as he worked. "You’re not a phase."

They stripped each other with a strange mixture of reverence and humility, yet with the familiarity of lovers who knew every button, every zipper of the other’s clothing. They breathed into each other’s mouths their fears, their hopes, their reassurances.

"You need to trust me."

"Same here." Draco panted hot puffs of air on Harry’s shoulder as Harry slowly worked off his belt, opened his trousers and slid a hand inside. Draco’s cock was already thick and hardening as Harry held it in his palm, whispering nothings into Draco’s ear. Draco pressed a finger to Harry’s lips. "What if –"

Harry kissed Draco’s finger and whispered, "We’ll work it out."


They finished undressing in silence, stopping to touch each newly revealed stretch of skin. Harry laid himself back on the bed, their bed, and spilled oil into Draco’s palm. He spread his legs wide in invitation, wordlessly begging for what they were both aching for.

Draco’s breath hitched and he needed a moment to collect himself before settling between Harry’s knees. He took his time, bringing Harry to the brink time and again, working him open, unhurried, with one finger and eventually two, until every inch of Harry’s skin prickled, over-stimulated. It felt like one of their sleepy Saturday morning love-makings that left them open and vulnerable.

"Now, please," Harry said finally, unable to take another moment. "God, Draco. Please."

With a sharp exhale Draco eased his fingers free.

Before Harry could regret their loss, he felt a nudge at his entrance, hot and thick. His eyes stung as Draco filled him, after so long, so much hurt, never believing he would have this again. Too stubborn to even hope. He clung to Draco, needing him close, as much skin on skin as they could manage and still breathe.

"Never stopped loving you." Draco choked the words, holding steady, waiting for Harry’s body to adjust. Harry’s reply was a gnarled whimper at all the time they’d lost.

Draco found a steady rhythm. Both were too close, too emotionally charged to be able to keep the unhurried pace of moments before. It didn’t take long. A dozen or so deep thrusts and Draco’s hand flew to Harry’s cock in a familiar move that said he couldn’t last much longer. Harry arched, a strangled cry tearing from his throat as he came, the weight of the day, the relief of it all, flooding him until his very fingertips sang with pleasure.

Draco slammed into him one final time, burying himself deep, shouting, "Mine," as he trembled through his release.

Harry held him through it, clenching tight around the pulsing cock, and whispering, "God, Draco," into the sweat-damp hair at Draco’s temple.

They collapsed together on their bed, giddy and high from the afterglow and the post-fight adrenaline still pumping through their veins. In another instant, the laughter bubbling up in Harry’s chest died as reality came crashing back to him. Across the room, various drawers were open and empty. Clothes spilled out of the dresser Harry had been last packing, waiting for him to return and finish what he'd begun. He was sure the rest of the flat looked much the same with bits and pieces strewn about, needing to be stuffed in their trunks, and items like the pewter dragon ready to be taken away. Their relationship had been full of pewter dragons, Harry realised, things that should’ve been important, should’ve been shared but hadn't been. Insecurities and unspoken conversation hung heavy between them. If they had a second chance, Harry was going to seize it and have no regrets this time.

"That dragon," he said tentatively. "The one from your mother. I should have asked…"

Draco turned to him as if surprised by the question, but then his face relaxed. "Hmm." He regarded Harry for a moment. "You should have. My mother assumed you'd already known about it, I suppose. Or that I'd tell you after."

"You didn't."

"You didn't ask." Draco watched the midmorning sunlight shine through the window as it caught the dust motes floating in the air. "It was a gift I gave to her when I was seven," he murmured at last, his fingers tracing lazily over Harry's skin. "Imagine my surprise when she deemed you worthy of it." Harry cuffed him on the arm, and Draco laughed. "I'll tell you all about it after you make me lunch."

They lay back in bed, their hands drifting over their naked chests, memorising every inch all over again. It felt so familiar and far easier than it had any right to be. He wanted to believe they could fix this, get back what they'd lost. "Are you still selling this place?" Harry asked, his eyes on the ring as he spun it about his finger.

Draco raised himself on one elbow to look down at Harry. "I was never going to sell this place, Harry."

"Oh." Harry frowned, trying to understand. After a minute he added, "You could have just said you wanted to talk."

Draco kissed him in reply, not needing to say the truth – that Harry would have said no, that it wasn’t worth the risk of being turned down, that Draco always took the safest option available (or created a safe option as needed).

Draco leaned over the side of the bed and pulled his wand out of the pile of his clothes. He pointed to the door. "Accio key." An instant later Harry's key whizzed into the room and landed on the bed between them. "I believe this belongs to you."

Harry grinned. The laughter that had caught in his throat bubbled up again and he pounced on Draco, pinning him to the bed and kissing him soundly. "Let’s go unpack."

Tags: [fic], ewe, rated: nc-17, round: winter 2010

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