Gift for: florahart
Disclaimer: JKR owns all.
Author's Notes: Many thanks to You Know Who for the speedy beta. florahart, I hope this suits!
Draco Malfoy had never planned on letting Harry Potter save his life. It just sort of happened. But there were a lot of things he hadn’t planned on either. Like getting caught.
“It would have to be you wouldn’t it?” he says scathingly as Potter steps over the prone bodies of his captors and offers a hand to help him up.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Potter snaps, withdrawing his hand at once so that Draco has to scramble out of the mud by himself. All around them the battle continues to rage. It has been going on for days now, so long that sometimes Draco can even tune it out for a moment or two at a time. Like right now, when all he's aware of is his annoyance that it's Potter who's saved him; Potter who he owes his life to.
“It means that now I owe you a life debt, you wanker.”
Potter took off his glasses to wipe off a smear of mud with his sleeve. “Believe me, Malfoy; I wouldn’t expect anything from you but a knife between my shoulder blades.”
Bloody typical, that the saviour of the wizarding world hasn’t got a fucking clue about wizarding customs and traditions. A life debt isn’t just some stupid Gryffindor matter of honour. It’s a compulsion. A necessity. Whether it takes one year, ten or a hundred, a life debt must always be repaid.
“Nice to hear you think so highly of me,” Draco snarls, resisting the temptation to push Potter into that large, muddy puddle nearby. He has to remind himself frequently that they aren’t children anymore, that they’re on the same side, that Potter isn’t the enemy.
“Don’t worry, Malfoy. I’ll always tell you exactly what I think of you,” Potter says, but he’s distracted again, by the noises of hexes and explosions sounding louder and therefore closer. “I should go. For god’s sake, watch yourself. There might not be someone around to save your arse next time.”
“Fuck you,” Draco says to Potter’s back, but he’s not sure if he heard him. Later, he’ll think that if Potter had died, his last words to him would have been completely stupid and childish.
But Potter doesn’t die. He’s good at that.
The last thing Draco’s in the mood for when the war ends is a party, but he seems to be the only one. The Great Hall at Hogwarts is stuffed to the gills with revellers laughing and drinking and dancing, celebrating the death of the Dark Lord by getting thoroughly pissed.
There are very few people left that Draco would care to associate with – most are in Azkaban, or dead. He wants to go somewhere, anywhere but here, but there’s nowhere for him to go now Malfoy Manor is just a pile of rubble. He stands in a dark corner with his back to the wall and watches people he violently dislikes being very happy indeed.
When he can't bear it any longer, he goes outside, hoping to find a quiet corner where he can sit and be less on edge without an audience. Instead, he finds Potter sprawled on the steps outside the main door, completely alone.
“What’s the matter, Potter? The war’s over. You’ve won.”
It’s only when Potter glances up at him, his eyes no longer in shadow, that Draco can see how drunk he is. Then he notices the firewhisky bottle on the step beside him, barely a third gone. Either Potter’s a lightweight, or he’s downed it fast. “Have I? Doesn’t much feel like it.”
“Christ. You’re alive. Your friends are alive, and that little ginger girlfriend of yours. Cheer the fuck up.”
“Where do you get off thinking you can tell me what to do? At least I have friends,” Potter snaps.
Draco’s never been much good at concealing his feelings, especially where Potter is concerned. The harsh words sting like a slap to the face, and he knows that Potter notices the shocked look on his face because he’s looking right at him.
“Have some firewhisky,” Potter says, in what might be considered a conciliatory tone, if it wasn’t so slurred.
“Okay,” Draco says, and sits down on the step next to Potter, the firewhisky between them. He unscrews the cap and lifts the bottle to his mouth, even the smell of the stuff making his eyes water. It tastes vile, making him grimace as he drinks, but he doesn’t stop. He can feel it inside his throat, trickling down his gullet, pleasantly burning.
“What am I going to do now?” Potter asks, taking the bottle when it’s offered and drinking deeply.
“Probably throw up, the rate you’re going at,” Draco says wryly, though in truth he can already feel a pleasant buzz in his own head. He quickly re-evaluates his judgement of Potter as a lightweight.
“No,” Potter says, obviously intending to shake his head, but ending up moving his entire body so that he nearly drops the bottle. “I mean … hell, I don’t know. I thought I was going to die.”
Figures that Potter should be a maudlin drunk. “Maybe I should get Granger. Or Weasley. They should be with you.”
“Don’t want Hermione and Ron,” Potter says. “I want to be alone.”
“Fine, then I’ll leave.”
Potter looks up again, holds out the bottle to him. “I can be alone with you.”
He shouldn’t care, but for some reason it still kind of hurts.
Life goes on, eventually. Draco gets a job at the Ministry, just junior office stuff, but the pay’s good enough for him to be able to afford a flat. Even if it is on Knockturn Alley and the stairwell smells of cat piss, it’s his, and that means a lot when he’s grown so accustomed to having nothing and nobody these past few years. He’s twenty-one now. What would his eleven year-old self have thought of him, he sometimes wonders. He’d have sneered, probably. Called him common. But eleven year-old Draco Malfoy didn’t have a fucking clue.
He hasn’t seen Potter in person since that night, but he’s in the Prophet enough that hardly a day goes by without some photo of him falling drunk out of a Muggle nightclub, usually accompanied by a Weasley or some of his Gryffindor entourage. Not that Draco ever pays much attention. It’s been three months since the war ended and things are a lot quieter now, but surely there’s more going on in the wizarding world than that.
Draco picks up a paper on his way home from work and shoves it into his bag to read later. The kneazle is scratching at the door as he unlocks it, winding her way around his ankles when the door opens, mewing for tuna. “You’ve got dry food,” Draco says, scratching behind her ears, but she continues to protest.
There hasn't been any post while he’s been at work. No surprise there, because who is there to write to him now that practically everyone is gone? He tosses some pasta in a saucepan and sets it on the cooker to boil, then sits down at the table and takes out the paper. He hardly knows why he keeps up with the news nowadays because he barely cares.
The Prophet photographer has outdone himself today. There Potter is on page seven, falling headfirst into a taxi. Pathetic, Draco thinks, his face twisting into its default expression of a sneer. Look at the state you’re in, Potter.
It is pathetic, but he can’t help but stare as, over and over again, Potter stumbles and falls, probably all too aware that he’s being photographed.
That night, he dreams of green eyes and scarred foreheads, and wakes so violently that the kneazle hisses and jumps off the bed. Panting and clinging on to his sheets, he stares up at the ceiling, his heart still thumping in his ribcage.
He instantly knows what’s wrong, even though he’s never felt this before.
The life debt. It’s calling to him.
“Malfoy, it’s nine in the fucking morning.”
Five to, actually, but Draco’s been awake all night, pacing up and down in his living room, wondering what he should do. The answer is, of course, obvious. He has to repay the debt somehow. And now he's here, outside Potter's flat.
“I’m quite aware of that,” he says.
Potter winces, his hand permanently shielding his eyes from the light even though it’s an overcast day and not too bright at all. “What are you doing here? How do you even know where I live?”
“I work for the Ministry,” Draco says, somewhat smugly. “I can find out anything I want.”
“Oh,” says Potter. “Well, I suppose you’d better come in then.” He holds the door open so Draco can pass him. Draco wrinkles his nose a little at the slightly musky, sweaty smell coming off him, and a distinct aroma of leftover pizza that’s definitely been around too long. “Living room’s on the left.”
Living room is quite an accurate description, as it seems like everything Potter owns is in there. A duvet and pillows are crumpled on the sofa, while every inch of the floor is covered with clothes, DVDs and dirty plates. The television is on silently in the corner, a music channel playing a Muggle band Draco doesn’t recognise.
He picks his way across the floor, shoves a pile of clothes off a chair and perches on the very edge of it. Groaning slightly, Potter curls up on the sofa and pulls his duvet back over himself so all that is exposed is his face. He’s shaking a little, Draco notices, even though the heat is turned up almost uncomfortably high.
“So,” says Draco, looking around. “Nice place you’ve got here.”
Potter snorts, but doesn’t say anything, just closes his eyes and rests his head down against the pillow.
Draco tries again, this time with less sarcasm. “What you been up to? Found a job yet?”
This time, Potter actually laughs. “A job?” he repeats incredulously. “Why would I need a job? I’m rich. I can do whatever I want.” It’s hard to tell whether he’s taking the piss or not, because although there’s an ironic tone to his voice, his expression is deadly serious. Maybe that’s just an effect of the hangover he so obviously has.
“You’re a shit host,” Draco says. “Not going to offer me a coffee or something?”
Potter opens one eye. “You’re a shit visitor,” he says. “You should’ve called first.”
“So you could’ve made sure you were out?”
Potter makes a face, pulls himself into a sitting position, clutching at his head like it’s about to fall off. “Fuck,” he says, grimacing. He stands up somewhat unsteadily and wanders off out of the room. After a moment or two, Draco hears him clattering around in what is undoubtedly the kitchen.
“Afraid I’m out of coffee,” he says when he returns to the room. He’s carrying a bottle of firewhisky and two relatively clean looking glasses.
“Potter, it’s nine in the morning,” Draco says, as Potter puts the glasses on the floor and fills them to the brim.
“I’m quite aware of that,” Potter says, echoing Draco's words as he lifts the glass to his lips. “Cheers,” he says, and drinks deeply.
A month passes, and Draco sticks to Potter like a second shadow. After the first week, he stops counting the number of evenings he’s sat across from Potter at sticky tables in random clubs and bars, watching him drink. He tries keeping pace with him occasionally, but it never ends well. There’s no point trying to talk about anything vaguely serious with Potter because he’ll only close up sharper and faster than a clam,. Asking questions usually just makes him drink faster, so Draco does what he can just by being there.
At first the occasional Weasley hangs around, casting curious, hostile glances at Draco, but eventually even Ron stops joining in, so it's just the two of them, unlikely companions at best. Draco can’t help but wonder if they’ve had a falling out, Potter and his friends, but the one time he tries to ask about it, Potter's face goes oddly blank and then he changes the subject. Which presumably means that they have fallen out, and badly. Goddamn Gryffindors.
“I wanted to be an Auror, you know,” Potter says one evening, staring in the direction of two scantily dressed women at the bar.
“They’re still recruiting,” Draco says, thinking of the various ‘The DMLE needs YOU!’ posters plastering shop windows in Diagon Alley. “Maybe you should. Be good for you.”
“As if they’d take me,” Potter mutters. “Look at me. I’m a fucking mess. And I hang around with ex-cons like you. What a shining example for society I am.”
“I’m going to the toilet,” Draco says, his voice shaking, but Potter barely notices. He doesn’t actually need to piss, but he doesn't want to listen to Potter continue down that line of thinking either. He stares in the mirror for ages, at the dark circles under his eyes, the permanent worry lines that are developing on his forehead. Potter is prematurely aging him and doesn’t seem to give a damn about it.
“Stupid life debt,” Draco snarls, jabbing his finger at the mirror and leaving a smudge. “I ought to just …”
Ought to just what? Leave him to his own devices? Leave him to choke on his own sick, or wander out in front of a bus, or carry on drinking when he’s already had more than enough?
Whatever you do, you're fucked, his reflection seems to say to him.
When he leaves the toilet, he spots Potter leaning at the bar, attempting to chat up the two girls. He is apparently oblivious to the fact that one of them has a boyfriend who is playing pool nearby and glowering in Potter's general direction..
“At least let me buy you a drink, darling,” Potter says, as sleazy as can be.
“No thanks,” one of the girls says, giggling. “I’m a feminist. I buy my own drinks.”
“And I’m teetotal,” says the other. “My boyfriend doesn’t like it when I get pissed. Says it’s not ladylike. You know that stuff’s going to kill you, don’t you?” She points at the amber liquid in Potter’s glass.
“Well,” Potter drawls, in a passable impression of Draco. “Everyone dies eventually, don’t they?”
At closing time, Potter pulls the single one, and asks her to come home with him. Draco trails along miserably behind them feeling like some kind of voyeuristic pervert as they stop every few steps to get off with each other.
“I’ll see you later,” he says when they eventually reach Potter’s door, planning to Apparate home from the alleyway next door. Let the girl have the responsibility of stopping Potter from collapsing for one bloody night.
“No, don’t,” says the girl. “He’s cute, your friend,” she says to Potter. “Can’t he join us?”
“He’s not my friend,” Potter says, looking Draco up and down as though he’s never seen him before. “But yeah, I guess you’re right. Why not?”
“A threesome, Potter?” Draco says, taking the keys from his fumbling hands and opening the door or they’ll be out there on the step all night. “How tacky can you get?”
He has a sick sort of feeling in his stomach at the thought of it. But he doesn’t say no.
To his very great surprise, Potter actually owns a bed. The bedroom is perfectly neat, decorated in greens and blues so that it gives off the impression of being rather chilly. The furniture is all from Ikea.
“Anyone want anything to drink?” Potter asks, heading off to the kitchen.
The girl tumbles onto the bed, stretching out and giving Draco a view up her skirt. Not that he’s deliberately looking, but she doesn’t appear to be wearing any knickers. It occurs to him that there must be a terrible draught up there. Then it occurs to him that he really shouldn’t be thinking about draughts when a pretty girl has her legs spread in front of him. Maybe he’s drunker than he thought. Maybe he’s broken. “You’re very quiet,” she says, giggling. “Pretty but quiet.”
“’M not pretty,” Draco mumbles, but sometimes he sees the way some of his co-workers look at him and can’t help but wonder. Maybe he’s not still the ugly, pointy-faced kid he thinks he sees in the mirror every day.
“Found some red wine,” Potter says, holding a rather dusty looking bottle up. “No idea who this belongs to. Tastes all right though.” He offers it to the girl.
“No,” she says. “I think shy boy here needs it more than me.”
Potter hands him the bottle. “Why are you still dressed?” he asks the girl, and she laughs in that flirty, fake way that Pansy used to when she wanted something.
Pansy. He’s not thought about her in months. And he doesn’t want to now.
Draco closes his eyes, tips the bottle back and drinks, gulping the red wine as if it’s water. He feels a little bit of it trickle down his chin, but doesn’t stop until he needs to breathe.
“Fucking hell,” says Potter, who’s evidently been watching him. “Since when have you been able to chug red wine like that?” His shirt and jeans have come off at some point – when exactly did that happen?
The girl wipes the drip away from Draco’s chin with a finger, and then licks the moisture off slowly and seductively. “You’d better not get too pissed to perform,” she says, her finger still at the corner of her mouth. “I want to see what you’ve got.”
One moment he feels more or less normal, and quite literally the next it’s like he’s been thumped over the head with a tree trunk. Belatedly, Draco realises that it must not have been normal wine in that bottle. Probably giant wine, which means he’s going to wake up dead tomorrow morning. On the other hand, it’s still tonight, or at the very least early in the morning, and it doesn’t seem so strange now that the girl is trying to take off his shirt.
“Look at that body,” the girl says when it comes off. “All fit and toned.” She’s eyeing Potter, too. He’s not fat by any means, but he’s carrying a little more weight than he needs to.
“Perfect Malfoy,” says Potter, his face twisted in an expression Draco can’t quite identify. Potter leans forward to kiss the girl, but his eyes are wide open the entire time, not once breaking eye contact with Draco. When his hand reaches out and begins to unzip Draco’s jeans, Draco isn’t surprised or put off by this at all. It seems perfectly normal. More than normal, in fact: it feels good, and he feels the first stirrings of his body responding to the contact.
“Not too much of a feminist to give me a blowjob, are you?” Potter enquires lazily, pushing the girl’s head down towards his lap. She laughs, and then Draco hears his zip coming down, and catches sight of Potter’s half-erect cock for a moment before she sucks it into her mouth with a foul, wet sound.
All this time, Potter’s hand is still in Draco’s jeans, cupping him, thumb rubbing over the growing wet patch. “Move closer,” Potter says, and he takes his hand away so that Draco can shift.
Draco shuffles nearer, his head spinning; his cock feels like it’s going to explode if Potter doesn’t put his hand back on it right now. He settles near the top of the bed next to Potter, and almost instantly the hand returns, sliding beneath the waistband of his boxers to grip him, hard. He can’t help but let out a gasp as Potter begins to work his hand up and down with effortless ease. Potter’s face is slightly flushed but there’s no other indication that he’s being sucked off than a slight glaze to his eyes. This whole time, he hasn’t stopped looking at Draco even once.
It’s been so long since he’s done anything like this that Draco was bound to come quickly, but something about the weird intensity of Potter’s staring is what really brings him so close so fast. “Fuck,” Draco whispers. “Fuck.” His hips are jerking, he’s thrusting into Potter’s hand, face tilted upwards, and it’s amazing. God, he should feel worse about this – it’s Potter who’s wanking him off, another man who’s touching him there; but it feels so damn good that he can’t help the moans escaping from between his lips, hasn’t got room left in his head for things like guilt or shame or regret.
Potter’s barely breaking a sweat, and from what Draco can tell from the movement of her head, the girl is doing a reasonable job. It’s like this is some kind of competition – see who can last the longest – but this is one contest that Draco thinks he’d be happy to let Potter win if it means that he could come, but Potter is teasing him, bringing him to the edge and then slowing the pace again. Potter’s eyes bore into his, and it’s weird and slightly creepy but kind of a turn-on too, though Draco has no idea why. I’m drunk, Draco reminds himself, beginning to feel slightly sick. That’s all. Drunk.
It’s the quirk of Potter’s lips that finally makes him come. Potter grins almost viciously and twists his wrist, changing his grip as he does this. It’s all too much for Draco’s overloaded senses. With a yelp and a violent shudder, he comes over Potter’s hand, and the nice clean duvet. Gasping, he leans back against the wall, pushing sweaty hair out of his eyes as Potter shoots his load into the girl’s mouth, Draco’s come still coating his fingers.
Without thinking what he’s doing, Draco reaches across Potter to the bedside table to grab the wine, and finishes it off.
It's going to be a long night, and he's not sure if he wants to remember any of it.
Draco wakes wrapped up in stiff sheets that smell of sweat and come and cheap perfume. He rolls over and opens his eyes, stretching a little, surprised that he feels almost human. Unlike the last time he got this drunk, he’s managed to not throw up all over the sheets, which is good as they aren’t his. He’s alone in the wreckage of the bed, the sheets slightly torn and stained with … well, that definitely looks a bit like blood.
When he tries to sit up, his hangover makes itself apparent. Some random entrepreneur has set up a blacksmith shop in his head, clanging and banging around with an anvil and various sharp tools inside his skull. He’s overcome by the urgent need to be sick, and barely makes it to the toilet before he vomits everywhere, through the fingers he crammed over his mouth to stop the flow. He heaves until there’s nothing left to come out but green bile, and his stomach aches with it.
Damn. If there’s one thing the wizarding world has yet to do, it’s create the perfect hangover cure. What he wouldn’t give for one of those right now. This is probably one of those ones that’ll last all weekend. He’ll Apparate home later, when he feels up to doing it without splinching himself and leaving his innards behind.
The television is babbling softly from the living room. He pokes his head through the half-opened door to see Potter asleep on the sofa, wrapped in that manky old duvet of his, the same music channel as always playing. He looks warm and comfortable and definitely deserves to be awake and suffering too since this is all his fault, but Draco doesn’t think he has the ability to make a loud noise without shattering his own brain too.
He staggers back to bed, hunches into a miserable, nauseous ball and eventually goes back to sleep. When he wakes the second time, he’s sure it’s to the smell of … is that bacon?
The door to the bedroom opens and Potter comes in, bearing a plate and a mug. “Thought you could use some food,” he says, putting the mug on the bedside cabinet and the plate on the duvet beside Draco.
“Not sure if I can eat,” Draco mumbles, though the bacon smells like the best thing in the universe.
Potter shambles off, returning a moment or two later with his own food. He sits down on the far side of the bed, his back against the headboard, and begins to eat.
Draco picks up his roll and examines it closely. The hygiene levels in Potter’s kitchen are extremely dubious, but on the other hand, bacon. “Potter?” he says a moment later, through a mouthful of food.
“About last night …”
Potter holds out his hand to stop him. “You don’t have to say anything, Malfoy. We were drunk. People do stupid things when they’re drunk. It doesn’t matter.”
That’s not what he was going to say. He’s not sure what he was going to say, but that’s not it.
“Oh,” he says quietly. “Okay.”
They finish their food in silence.
Draco dreams of green eyes and scarred foreheads, and when he wakes he sits up so quickly that he hits his head on the shelf above his bed. He always knew he put it too low.
The life debt is still calling to him, aching inside like a broken heart.
“What the fuck do you want me to do?” he says into the silence of his empty room.
The life debt is calling to him. But worse than that, he’s woken up hard, panic and something else freezing his guts like ice.
He doesn’t wrap his hand around himself and wank himself off, all the while thinking of someone else. Just like he doesn’t remember what happened that night; doesn’t remember liking it.
“What the fuck do you want me to do?” he whispers as he tilts his face against his pillow and comes, hard.
“You ever feel like life is sort of passing you by?” Potter asks, as they sit on a wall at the end of his road and wolf down hot, vinegary chips.
“Frequently,” Draco says. “But then I’m a sad bastard. I know this. What’s your excuse?”
“I dunno. ‘S just easier this way, you know?”
Draco doesn’t know, but he nods anyway, and reaches for the biggest chip.
“Damn it. I wanted that one!” Potter pouts, but he doesn’t seem too bothered.
“Have it back then,” Draco says, sticking out his tongue which is covered in smooshed up chip.
Potter laughs. “Where did you learn those kinds of table manners? Crabbe and Goyle?”
It still hurts to think about them, but not as much as it used to. Goyle died during Voldemort’s first attempt to take Hogwarts. Crabbe is in Azkaban. Draco visited him once, and now he tries never to think about that. He smiles a little, but doesn’t say anything, and Potter doesn’t pursue the subject any further.
They sit in companionable silence for a moment, eating, their greasy fingers occasionally brushing if they reach for the same chip.
“Want to go get a drink after this?” Potter asks.
“Do we have to?”
Potter ponders the question for several moments. “You don’t want to?”
“It’s just … it seems like it’s all we ever do. All you ever do.” It’s the first time he’s ever come this close to being uncomfortably truthful. He waits for Potter’s reaction nervously.
“Yeah, but it’s just fun, isn’t it? It’s a laugh. I can do what I want, right?”
“As long as it’s what you want to do and not what you have to do,” Draco says, raising an eyebrow.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Don’t you think that maybe you drink a bit too much, Potter? It can’t be good for you. Your poor liver must be crying out for a holiday.”
“Fuck you,” says Potter, sounding half annoyed and half-defeated.
Alcoholic. The word hangs in the air between them, unspoken but clearly thought by both.
Potter jumps off the wall, balls up the greasy paper the chips were wrapped in and tosses towards an already overflowing bin. “My head hasn’t been this clear for months,” he says quietly. “I can’t think for all the noise going on in there.”
Draco slides off the wall, stands near him. “What kind of noise?”
“Voices. Telling me I should just give up. I’m not mental or anything,” he adds defensively in response to the look on Draco’s face.
“Shit, that sounds heavy.”
“Yeah,” says Potter. “And now I’m going to the pub. Want to come?”
He goes, and Draco follows.
The best days, better than the ones when he's drunk, are the days when Potter has managed to get his hands on some weed, usually from his student neighbours. He’s almost happy when stoned, and rarely begins to drink until long after he’s started to come down.
“Heard from Weasley and Granger lately?” Draco enquires. This is the best time of any to ask questions like this, because Potter’s less likely to get offended and secretive.
“Nah,” says Potter, attempting to blow a smoke-ring and failing miserably. “Fuck ‘em. Fuck all of them. That’s what I say.”
“What about your Auror application? Thought any more about that?”
“Too out of shape,” Potter says, pinching a section of flab around his middle with a rueful look. “I’d never pass the fitness test.”
“Bet it wouldn’t take you long to get back into shape though, would it?”
Potter narrows his eyes and looks at Draco sharply through a cloud of acrid smoke. Apparently he's pushed his luck too far. “What’s with all the questions? Why does it matter to you anyway?”
Oh, what he wouldn’t give to have an answer to that question. Stupid fucking life debt. He’s even tried to speak about it a few times, to throw it back in Potter’s face when he’s being even more of a twat than usual, but somehow the words never seem to come out.
“Doesn’t matter to me,” Draco says. “I was just making conversation.”
“Looks a lot like being nosy to me,” Potter observes. He offers the joint to Draco, who shakes his head. “You know what your problem is, Malfoy? You’re obsessed with staying in control. You won’t get stoned, you hardly ever let yourself get drunk … what are you hiding?”
Draco splutters. “Hiding? I have nothing to hide! Here, give me that bloody cigarette then.” He’s no smoker, but he’s watched Potter do it often enough to gain an approximation of how this works. The paper is a litle wet where it’s been in Potter’s mouth, and the smoke makes him cough a little and his eyes water. “I don’t feel anything,” he croaks sceptically.
Potter motions for him to try again, so he does. Eventually, after a fair amount of spluttering, he begins to feel a tiny bit lightheaded. “Don’t know why you bother with this,” he says. “It’s crap.”
“You’re not inhaling properly,” Potter says, leaning across to take the joint back from him. “You need to keep the smoke in your lungs for a while. Watch me do it, ok? Watch my mouth.”
Draco shifts a little closer, conscious that the tingling in his head has not yet dissipated, and stares at Potter’s mouth, at the cigarette perched between his lips. His upper lip is thin, Draco notices, but the lower one is … full, and a little swollen where he’s been chewing on it, which is a habit of his, especially when he’s thinking. Potter lights the joint and inhales deeply, keeping his eyes on Draco. After what seems like a long while, he exhales right in Draco’s face.
“You foul git,” Draco splutters, and Potter laughs, a real, genuine sort of laugh, which is such a rare sound that it seems to surprise even him.
“Why don’t you try again?” Potter suggests. Draco takes the joint off him – his fingers are a little sweaty, he notices – and puts it between his lips. Potter leans in to observe, so close that Draco can make out his reflection in his glasses quite clearly among all the scratches and smears. Potter is chewing on his lip again, and his cheeks are a little flushed.
“That’s it,” Potter says. “Now, inhale, and keep it in until I tell you.”
Draco nods, and draws on the joint. The smoke feels hot, too hot for his lungs, and he feels his eyes begin to stream, but Potter hasn’t told him he can exhale yet.
Potter leans closer still, pulls the joint from between Draco’s lips and pinches out the smouldering tip with finger and thumb. “Now,” he whispers, so close that Draco can feel his breath against his own lips.
And then, as Draco breathes out, the tiny space between them is gone, and Potter’s mouth is on his. Oh! Draco thinks, before all coherent thought is pushed out of him like the air from his lungs. He remains completely still for a moment, savouring the feel of Potter’s lips on his own, before he begins to respond. Potter’s lower lip is as soft as it looked and Draco sucks it a little way into his mouth, running his tongue across it as he tastes tobacco and hash and toothpaste on Potter’s breath.
The kiss deepens as Potter opens his mouth a little way to let out a tiny moan, Draco sliding his tongue in and through his teeth until it brushes against Potter’s tongue. Their teeth clash as Potter leans in a little too hard to push his tongue back against Draco’s, but it’s a minor irrelevance in the face of the dizzying feeling of tongue stroking against tongue.
Potter is the first to pull away, slowly, nipping at Draco’s lower lip, then replacing his teeth with his finger over the grazed spot. “So,” he says softly, and Draco’s sure that Potter’s glazed eyes must be a mirror of his own, “are you high yet?”
Draco wishes fervently that he had some kind of witty, cool response up his sleeve. Unfortunately it seems like his brain has been scrambled and all that’s in there is white noise. He blinks.
“Hmm,” says Potter, leaning back to lounge slouchily on the couch. He has a maddeningly smug, superior look on his face. “You can’t hide from me anymore, Malfoy. I know what you're thinking.”
Draco’s heart is pounding. He feels terrifyingly, obnoxiously high.
It’s official. He’s in trouble.
* CONTINUED IN PART TWO *