For: nmalfoy, with a ton of affection and admiration. Happy Holidays, babe.
The tavern was dimly lit and noisy; the spirited play of a professional Quidditch match blared on a charmed Muggle television set that hung above the bar, and several raucous card games were being played at various tables around the room. Over all that noise, a small magical jukebox sort of contraption spewed out a bizarre mix of wizarding rock and Christmas carols. Couples moved as best they could around the tiny crowded dance floor, oblivious to the beat or style of music and definitely more interested in groping each other than in actually dancing. Tacky red and gold decorations were scattered haphazardly around the room, clearly an afterthought by the management. No one seemed to mind; the general atmosphere was that of congenial merriment, and Harry watched it all with a feeling of affectionate amusement.
He'd expected to feel left out, or depressed, like he usually did at gatherings like this. It was even worse around Christmas time. What always seemed to happen was that everyone made a huge fuss over him when they saw him, but then they never really knew what else to say or do, and so they patted him on the shoulder and bellowed out loud and overly-bright wishes for good cheer and then drifted awkwardly away, and he ended up spending most of these sorts of 'social' evenings alone. That hadn't happened yet, because despite the fact that he probably knew at least half the people present in the tavern, he'd slid in quietly, all by himself, and no one had realized that he'd arrived yet. The room was crowded and dark enough for him to make his way over to the bar unnoticed; he ordered a Firewhisky and enjoyed the rare and delicious feeling of total anonymity.
Heaving a sigh of relief, he loosened his tie, unbuttoned the top button of his shirt, and surveyed the room.
He could see Ron flirting outrageously with Susan Bones, who was clearly not interested. He grinned to himself and turned away so that if Ron looked up, he wouldn't see Harry. Ron would, he knew, bellow out his name and draw everyone's attention to the fact that Harry was there. He wasn't ready to give up the easy peace of enjoying the crowd without having to play to it.
He glanced over and saw a Muggle dartboard on the wall tucked away in a quiet corner, and he picked up his drink and went over to it. Perfect. It would pass the time and give him a valid excuse to keep his back to the room. He took one more swig of the Firewhisky and set it on a nearby table and then pulled the darts out of the dartboard and moved to stand behind the line chalked on the dirty floor.
He threw the darts, trying idly for the small red circle at the center of the target and rolled his eyes mentally when he went significantly wide of the bulls-eye with each attempt. Telling himself that he could do better, he plucked the darts from the board and tried again, concentrating carefully this time, and he was annoyed and mildly embarrassed when his second round of throws was just as bad as the first. Determined now, he retrieved the darts again, and was just poised to throw the first one when a voice sounded directly behind him.
"You're not very good at that, are you? If you want, I could give you a few pointers, Potter. You know, help you improve your technique." The voice dropped on the last sentence, coming out smooth and rich and laden with sexual innuendo.
Without even bothering to turn, Harry knew who'd made the comment and his gut fired with the now familiar combination of combativeness and arousal. The fact that Malfoy had ended up refusing the Dark Mark and fighting on the same side as Harry in the war against Voldemort didn't mean that they no longer had their own personal agendas, but eventually Harry had realized that it was an entirely different agenda than the one they'd been following back at Hogwarts. At least, as far as Malfoy seemed to be concerned.
Malfoy's particular agenda had come to include a near-constant and outrageous flirtation, an almost "I-double-dare-you" flaunting of a sexually predatory nature. At first, Harry had refused to admit that Malfoy might be serious. He just chalked it up to some twisted need of Malfoy's to get back at Harry in any way he could, to beat him on some level. He'd told himself that all Malfoy wanted was take a tumble or two just to say he'd done it, to be able to lord it over Harry that he'd made Harry beg and want while all the time it had meant nothing in particular to Malfoy. He told himself that Malfoy would probably sleep with anyone, and that Harry couldn't possibly be the only one he was after. So despite his increasing attraction to Malfoy, and the mounting evidence that in spite of numerous very obvious invitations Malfoy didn't give the time of day to anyone else, Harry brushed off the come-ons and studiously ignored the flirtatious innuendo.
As time had gone by, however, it became apparent that Malfoy was serious, at least as far as wanting sex was concerned, and that Harry was the only one he seemed to be pursuing. He still didn't know whether or not having Harry as just a one-off was part of Malfoy's agenda, but it was getting harder not to care. It was also getting harder and harder to remain unaffected by it, because Malfoy was very persistent.
And he was damned attractive.
"I'm fine, Malfoy. I certainly don't need your help." He tried for a tone that reflected the same amusement and calm competence as Malfoy's but somehow fell well short.
"Well, you seem to need somebody's." Malfoy moved to lounge casually against the wall not far from the dartboard. Harry fired off the darts again, focusing hard on the target and trying to block Malfoy out of his peripheral vision. All of the darts again missed the center, each successive throw further and further from it. The last one missed the dartboard entirely, shuddering into the wall a mere foot away from Malfoy's smirking face. "On top of completely embarrassing yourself, you'll have to pay the tavern owner a fortune in damage repair at this rate."
On the defensive now, Harry snorted in disgust. "I suppose you think you could do better."
"I don't think so; I know so." The cool confidence was supremely irritating and Harry turned, torn between disbelief and mild outrage at the smug reply.
"Oh, really? I'll bet you ten Galleons you can't hit the bulls-eye."
"A bet? The Great and Wonderful Potter, he of the Careful and Cautious Nature, is actually willing to make a wager on something?" Malfoy's countenance brightened and he pushed away from the wall to stand next to Harry, staring at him the way he might look at a particularly delectable morsel of food. "Well, well, well ... I didn't know you had it in you to actually gamble, Potter. How very daring. Even so, you do a poor job of it. Money's so ... pedestrian."
Harry sputtered. "Ten Galleons isn't exactly nothing."
Malfoy shrugged. "True. But it's not as though losing it would matter to you very much; for all that you're being un-Potter-like and actually doing something that involves personal risk like gambling," and his voice was richly amused, now, mockingly so, "you're being very Potter-like, which is to say not very brave, about it."
Harry was indignant. "Not brave? What do you call chasing down Dark Wizards practically every day?"
Malfoy lifted one hand and waved it airily, brushing aside Harry's protest easily. "Risking your life isn't necessarily brave, and it's hardly personal, Potter. In fact, it's one of the least personal risks going. And it's not even remotely brave when you don't have fuck-all to say about whether or not you take the risk to begin with. After all, if you lose, all you lose is your life. Where's the worry over that? If you die, it's not as though you'll be around to mind it much." He ignored Harry's outraged sputter and plucked the remaining darts out of the board. "Real risk taking involves sticking around for the consequences. If you're going to make a bet, you might as well make it interesting." The reply was lightly taunting, yet another 'I-dare-you', and in spite of all the warning signals tingling up the back of his neck, Harry felt his competitive spirit rise and he let the energy of it carry his response.
"Well, risking my life isn't what we're talking about right now, it's hitting that bulls-eye with a dart. I'll bet you anything you like, Malfoy; there's no fucking way you can hit something that small from this distance."
"What, just because you can't? And you think I'm arrogant. What makes you so sure I'm not just plain better than you are?"
"Because ..." Words failed and the familiar frustration rose, mixed, as it nearly always was these days, with a strong and almost uncontrollable dose of wanting to fuck the other man senseless. He wondered whether he was more frustrated with Malfoy for goading him or with himself for being drawn in; he decided it was the latter and glared, even more frustrated. "Because!"
Malfoy rolled his eyes. "Well, that's certainly a compelling defense." He pulled back a bit, as though to get a better view of Harry, and then smirked. "Anything I like, you say? Okay, Potter, you're on. I'll bet you I can hit the center of that target from right where you've been standing. Three darts, three tries. We'll bet a blow job on it." The words were casual, almost tossed over the blond's shoulder as he walked back and turned to face the target.
It was only then that the words registered and Harry felt his stomach flip. "What?" The word exploded out of Harry, his surprised voice squeaking in disbelief, but even as he forced his tone to be outraged, warmth of a very sensual nature flooded him and pooled in his groin. "No way! You can't be serious!"
"Oh, I'm very serious. You said anything I liked, and that's what I like." He leered suggestively at Harry, who clenched his teeth and tried unsuccessfully to stop the erection that was readily forming. "What's the matter, Potter? Afraid to put your mouth where your mouth is?"
A dull flush spread over Harry's face at the irony of the words: far from being afraid, there were few things he could think of that he'd enjoy more, but letting Malfoy know that would likely make his life in the weeks and months to come unbearable. If Malfoy knew that Harry practically ached to sleep with him, he'd have Harry at his mercy in ways Harry wasn't sure he could live with. He stuck his chin out defiantly. "I'm not afraid of anything concerning you, Malfoy."
"You seem to go out of your way to insist on that point on a regular basis, Potter. But," he bowed mockingly, "to be fair, I'll give you a chance to back out. Since, despite most emphatically not being afraid, you seem to be more than a bit uncomfortable with the terms I've suggested." He tilted his head to one side, considering Harry with amusement. "We can always just make a gentlemanly sort of bet, where I promise to give you tips on how to throw a dart as part of the deal."
"I'm not uncomfortable, Malfoy. I can handle any stakes you care to set." Oh, God … Draco's cock, hard and hot and waiting for my mouth ... his voice, saying my name when he comes … Harry's own cock was rock hard now and he shifted his feet in an effort to make the bulge in his trousers less obvious but Malfoy's eyes trailed slowly, knowingly, down to linger there. He lifted his gaze to meet Harry's again, one brow lifted and a small smile playing at the corner of his mouth.
"Oh, excellent. Then it's a bet." Turning away, he lifted his hand, holding the dart loosely, easily, and flung it almost carelessly at the dartboard. It struck the bulls-eye, just barely inside the small green ring that wrapped around the red heart of the target, but center nonetheless, and Harry's jaw dropped. Malfoy turned briefly to flash a feral grin at him and, without speaking, faced the target and threw again, and again, the movements fluid and graceful and all too easy, and Harry watched in awe as the other two missiles sailed clean and true to land next to their mate in the red core of the bulls-eye.
Speechless, achingly aroused, and feeling almost panicked by the rapidity and unpredictability of how the situation had come about, Harry turned to see Malfoy tucking his hands into the back pockets of his trousers, his posture relaxed. "Seems as though I've won, Potter."
The slow smile spread across his face again, and as he strolled up to stand close to Harry. Before he could move, Malfoy reached out and brushed his thumb across Harry's bottom lip and grinned; the gentle sensuality of the touch was at distinct odds with the predatory victory of his smile. "And you have no idea how delighted I am by that fact." His eyes traveled down the length of Harry's body and he didn't bother trying to hide the triumph in his voice. "Looks like you're not particularly upset about it, yourself."
They crashed through the open door, mouths fused together, stumbling and catching at each other; Harry realized that things had escalated very quickly, but he wasn't complaining. Pretty much the only thing he cared about was that he was hot and hard and pressed against the impatient and demanding length of Draco Malfoy, and what had started as an impetuous, defiant bet had turned into some serious sex. Or at least, it was about to.
And to think he'd almost not bothered meeting up with everyone else after work that day.
How they'd ended up at Malfoy's flat, he couldn't quite remember. He did remember Malfoy saying something about leaving by the rear entrance if Harry didn't want to explain to anyone, but he'd just shrugged and made for the front door, waving dismissively at a bewildered Ron and forestalling Hermione's inevitable and no doubt endless questions by hastily agreeing to lunch the following day.
And now he was pinned against the door, willingly giving up a need for air in order to explore Malfoy's mouth, and his hands were finding their way to the fastenings of the other man's trousers.
They were shuddering against each other and Harry was thinking that he was going to come before he was even undressed when Malfoy suddenly broke the embrace and dragged in a deep breath.
"Wait." He closed his eyes, drawing in and releasing several more deep breaths and then, without looking at Harry, turned and headed through the flat, pulling Harry along behind him.
They entered the bedroom and Draco moved to the bed, pulling back the pale grey duvet to reveal crisp white sheets. "Here." He spoke without looking at Harry, and his voice sounded husky and uneven to Harry's ears. "I want it to be in here." He sat on the edge of the bed, the sharp grey eyes finally meeting Harry's.
The few moments it had taken to get to the bedroom had changed atmosphere between them; the unchecked desire of before was replaced by a deliberate slowness that Harry hadn't expected and wasn't prepared for. The sardonic humor that Draco had displayed back at the tavern was completely gone now; instead, there was a quiet guardedness that felt almost like a challenge.
When Draco remained silent, waiting, Harry moved forward, placing his hands once again at the fastenings of the other man's trousers, waiting while Draco lifted his hips so that Harry could ease them and the boxers beneath them off. Slowly, carefully, he worked the fabric down the lightly muscled legs, his sudden nervousness abating as he realized that Draco was trembling.
Kneeling, Harry ran his palms reverently up Draco's legs, pressing lightly to open his thighs and watching with visceral satisfaction as the other man's hips tilted up in a wordless plea, his erect cock thrusting closer to Harry with the movement. Harry drew in a long breath. God. Yes. Oh, fuck, yes… He leaned closer and ran the tip of his tongue along the full length of Draco's erection but before he could take it into his mouth, Draco threaded his fingers through Harry's hair and tugged gently. Harry paused and looked questioningly up into inscrutable grey eyes.
"Change places with me."
"What?" The unexpectedness of the request startled Harry.
Draco motioned for him to stand. "I want to change places." He reached to open Harry's trousers and push them to the floor and then stood, turning them so that the back of Harry's legs pressed against the bed. "Open your shirt … yes, like that; no, don't take it off, just open it, and leave the tie there, around your neck … now sit here." He pushed Harry onto the bed, propping up the pillows for Harry to lean against and took a single step back. He stared at Harry, his eyes dark and glittering, taking in every detail, and then said huskily, "Spread your legs." A rush of heat flooded his already hard cock at the words, and he parted his legs, knowing he was exposed in the most intimate way possible.
"And…" Draco stopped to clear his throat, "And now…reach up and grab the headboard of the bed."
Still confused about the sudden change, Harry complied, feeling himself flush deeply at the blatantly sexual pose he was in: he was sprawled on the bed, hard and wanting, naked but for the white shirt and silk tie he'd worn to work, his arms raised over his head and his hands gripping the wooden headboard, rendering himself willingly helpless. It was disconcertingly erotic, and when Draco stared at him for long minutes, as though committing the sight to memory, it registered on some level that maybe Draco wanted to see him in just exactly this position, that maybe Draco had even fantasized about this very thing, but then Draco was crawling up onto the bed, his mouth open and obviously headed for Harry's aching erection, and suddenly Harry didn't care about anything but the fact that Draco seemed to want everything Harry did.
At the first touch of wet heat, pleasure blistered through him and he let out a long, low groan of pure appreciation. Of their own volition, his hands released their hold on the headboard and reached to tangle in the blond hair and his hips bucked lightly, tension shuddering through him. His legs opened even wider as he was subjected to the glorious torture of light licks and gentle sucking and when Draco closed one hand around the base of his cock and pumped it in time to the sudden, strong suction of his mouth, he nearly levitated off the bed. He wanted it to go on forever, but he was so close to the edge; when Draco's mouth continued working him in earnest, he exploded into sweet oblivion.
A thousand thoughts chased through Harry's head as he came slowly down from the high of pleasure, and he finally managed to speak. "Why did you do that?"
Draco lay between Harry's legs, studiously tracing a pattern high on the inside of Harry's thigh; when he didn't answer, Harry thought he hadn't heard. He was just on the point of repeating the question when the reply came. "Do what?" The words were clearly a prevarication.
"Why did you change the terms of the bet like that?"
The pause was even longer this time. "The bet was just for a blow job. We never specified whether the winner would give or receive, if I recall correctly."
"Then why'd you let me think you wanted me to give?" Harry levered himself up on one elbow so he could see Draco, who shot him a lascivious grin.
"What makes you think I don't? I've had some pretty fabulous fantasies about you giving me head, Harry."
Flushing slightly but sticking determinedly to his point, Harry persisted. "Well, if that's true, why not get it? Winning the bet gave you the perfect opportunity."
Draco shrugged. "Maybe I only want my fantasy to come true if I can have it on my own terms." He met Harry's gaze evenly. "It's never involved me winning sexual favors from you in a bet."
Comprehension flared, and Harry reached out, catching Draco's shoulder and pulling him back down onto the bed. "Draco, believe me, bet or no bet, if I didn't want you, I wouldn't be here."
Draco's eyes snapped up to meet Harry's; the gaze locked and held, and then Draco flashed the wicked grin again. "Is that so? Well, that's handy. Because if memory serves on another point, I did hit the target all three times." He reached up and slid his hand around the back of Harry's neck and shifted to press a very willing Harry back against the pillows. "Do you have any interest in making good on the other two?"
The blood was already thrumming through Harry's system and he reached up to meet Draco's open mouth briefly with his own. "Definitely." He let his hands make their way to Draco's arse, one finger sliding down the cleft to tease at the opening. Draco gave an anticipatory groan and opened his legs wider, granting easier access, and Harry grinned. "And after that, I want a rematch."
Special thanks to my betas: alissomora, kupukello, quiet_lucidity, snottygrrl, and taradiane.