Title: Something to keep it interesting.
Summary: He would have preferred to remain exactly where he was; their positions allowing him a closeness that otherwise would have been construed as…something else. But, he was positive that if he had to keep on inhaling Draco’s wonderfully erotic scent for too much longer at close quarters, he would have surely given in to temptation and done something completely idiotic. Like lean in to see if Draco tasted as good as he smelled.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Word Count: 8900
Author's Notes: I have included at least some of your preferences. I have Auror!Harry and Draco, as well as lots of UST, Draco being snarky but not horrible, and an urgent first time sexual encounter. Draco is probably the pursuer but Harry makes the first move. Plus as an added bonus there is plot! I hope you enjoy it. Happy H/D Holidays pixystick!!
“It was a dark and stormy night…it’s always a dark and stormy night, isn’t it? Why can’t it be a clear balmy night, like a tropical evening in paradise?”
“Malfoy, what the fuck are you on about?” Harry said, frowning.
“Well, I was just thinking about how to start my report to Kingsley,” Draco replied.
“You always begin your reports with a commentary on the weather?” Harry gave him a look that clearly said he couldn’t quite believe what he was hearing.
“Of course. He will insist on giving me the cruddiest cases; the most boring things to ever grace the hallowed halls of the Auror division. I have to do something to keep it interesting.”
“Well, do it on your own time,” Harry replied, pulling open another drawer. “We have the rest of this house to search and if we don’t get it done before Shunpike returns, no amount of colourful phrasing in your report will be able to cover such a monumental fuck up.”
“He’s not due back for hours yet,” Draco protested. “His shift on the Knight Bus doesn’t even finish for another two and then, because it’s Friday, he always has a drink with a few mates before stumbling home and passing out. We’ve been through this already.”
“Yes and your information has been very useful, Malfoy, but can we get on with the search? You have proof of embezzlement to find and I have my own evidence to look for.”
Reluctantly, Draco began to assist by lifting up the grubby cushions on the couch with two fingers, delicately, as if they might contaminate him. Who knew what disgusting things had made them grubby? He set his jaw, refraining from making some acerbic comment, and searched under them, long slim fingers digging down the back and into the crevices. “It’s strange how our two cases have overlapped, isn’t it?” Draco said, to take his mind off what could be down the back of the couch. But he was not at all displeased that he’d almost literally run into Harry when he’d arrived here and he was inordinately happy Harry had graciously agreed to work together on this surveillance. His career could really use the kick working with Harry on this case would give him. If they were successful.
“Not so strange,” Harry replied, rummaging through the top drawer of a scarred and battered dresser. It looked to be full of travel brochures. He pulled them out one by one and tossed them onto the coffee table close to where Draco was searching. “Here,” he said. “Something that might indicate he really was embezzling that money. I doubt that he could afford those places on the wages of a bus conductor.”
Draco turned and gave the brochures a look over. “’Sunny Spain. Seven nights at the Casa Del Mar where our dedicated staff will be pleased to cater to your every need. No expense spared at this luxurious resort.’” Draco read. “Sounds like just the sort of place I’d like. I’ve not been to Spain. I might keep this one.”
“Typical,” Harry snorted. “No wonder you get assigned the most boring cases, Malfoy. Your priorities are all wrong.”
“No,” Draco disagreed with a frown. “I get all the shit cases because of who my father was. No matter how well I did in training and no matter how much information I sent to you lot during the war, they still don’t trust me to solve more than petty crimes.”
There was quite a bitter tone to Draco’s words but Harry knew that he was right. The Ministry had spent a lot of time and money uncovering all the people Draco’s father had once had on his payroll. They had been quite ashamed at the number of corrupt wizards exposed and, as Malfoy senior was no longer available to vent their spleens upon, they took it out on Draco, who, if Harry was honest with himself, probably deserved a medal for the work he’d done during the war.
Draco didn’t help himself, either, by pushing the boundaries as much as he could get away with and treating his job as if it were beneath him. Rumour had it that the Ministry kept Malfoy around to watch him closely but, in the five years since the war had ended, Harry had never known him to mess up a case and so, because he was efficient and got the job done, albeit more colourfully than the norm, they left him pretty much alone. Although he really did get the crappiest cases.
Harry had actually built a decent amount of respect for Malfoy. Not that he’d tell him that, of course.
Draco looked at Harry, daring him to disagree. “So, why did you agree to let me work with you on this? You could have just told me to hand over all my information and take the whole case yourself.”
“If I’d known you were working on anything to do with Stan before I ran into you here, I would have,” he said truthfully, pulling out another drawer. “I couldn’t afford to have your investigation tip him off that the Ministry was somehow interested in him again but, if he really is stealing from the Transport Division, that gives him a motive for the murders I’m investigating him for. So, I figured you deserved to be in on his arrest.”
This second drawer was full of old bus ticket stubs and Harry pulled it out entirely and emptied it onto the top of the dresser.
“That was the old couple – Merriweather, right? The ones found brutally stabbed?” Draco said, thinking hard. “You think maybe they caught him taking money and confronted him about it, so he killed them?”
Harry nodded. “I didn’t know them but all their friends said they were a lovely old couple, been through both Voldemort wars and lost a son in the first one. There didn’t seem to be any reason for their deaths, no enemies or disagreements with anyone. The neighbour mentioned that they took the Knight Bus to Diagon Alley twice a week - once for shopping and once for Mr. Merriweather to visit the Apothecary for potions to soothe his arthritis. The day before they were killed, she said that they’d come home angry about something to do with the Knight Bus, vowing to use the Floo instead. It’s the only lead we have.”
Draco raised an eyebrow. “They must have been over a hundred and yet they were still using the Knight Bus? Can’t have been good for his arthritis.”
Laughing, Harry agreed. “They must have tied themselves down. Maybe they had a bit of a kink?”
“Oh, Potter, do not put images like that in my head,” Draco grimaced, raising his fingers to his temple and rubbing as if to expunge the horrid vision.
“Grow up, you wanker,” Harry laughed and tossed all the useless ticket stubs back in the drawer. “I’m going to check out the bedroom closet.”
“Now that’s a much better vision, Potter. You in the closet.” Draco smirked at him.
“Not so far in, Malfoy,” Harry quipped back over his shoulder as he walked through to the rather drab bedroom. If Stan was stealing money, he certainly wasn’t spending it on his living quarters, Harry mused. Malfoy walked in behind him and made an impatient noise.
“What sort of thief is he if he lives in squalor like this?”
“I was just thinking that myself,” Harry replied, amused. “Saving it all up for that holiday in Spain, most likely.”
“Yes, and living in a hovel like this, then having an ostentatious holiday in Spain is such a good way to hide unaccounted for money,” Draco said, shaking his head. “Criminals these days, no class, no finesse.”
Harry couldn’t remember ever having been quite so amused at Malfoy. When the sarcasm wasn’t being directed at him, Harry could see how he might actually be interesting company. He smiled.
“What are you smiling at?” Draco asked as he moved to the bedside table and opened the drawer.
“You,” Harry grinned, the amusement still obvious in his voice and plain to see on his face.
Draco gave him a look and rolled his eyes. “They make it so easy for me and it’s bloody boring, Potter. The Minister for Transport noticed that over the last year the amount of money collected by the Knight Bus was steadily decreasing. The income had been reduced to a trickle and the Minister was concerned that someone was stealing. I checked it out and the Bus is always crowded these days and yet there was little money coming in. Who else could it be, but the conductors? Shunpike’s shifts cover most of the peak travel times and therefore he is the most obvious suspect.”
“How would you do it then?” Harry asked. “Hide the money you stole, I mean.”
Draco tipped the contents of the drawer out onto the bed and began to search desultorily through it, not expecting to find anything incriminating in a drawer full of old quills, empty ink bottles and Muggle porn magazines with their pages stuck together. “Gross,” he said, screwing up his nose. “I’d spend it on things that weren’t so obvious, of course. Buy the softest, most expensive underwear, buy unobtrusive but extremely expensive jewellery, eat at restaurants that don’t have ‘fast food’ as the main fare and then buy decent but not overtly luxurious furniture. Things that people tend to accumulate over a long period of time.”
Harry was checking the drawers in the dresser on the far wall and pulled out an oblong box, which he opened and found a collection of what looked like gold chains and watches inside. “Like this you mean?” he asked, walking over to Draco and showing him.
“Exactly like that,” Draco exclaimed, taking the box and sitting on the bed. He lifted the items out one at a time, examining them closely. “Shunpike could hardly afford items like these on his wages and they don’t look like family heirlooms at all.”
“Well, I’m glad we’re finding evidence for your case, but that does nothing to help mine,” Harry said and headed toward the closet which was why he’d come in here in the first place.
“Wait,” Draco called out. “This might help.”
Draco was holding out an opened locket on a long gold chain.
“Why?” Harry asked taking it from him. But he only had to take one look inside to see why. The locket held two pictures. One was a miniature of a young man in his early 20’s. It was spotty with age and the figure inside the picture barely moved, anymore. The other was a recent picture of Mr. and Mrs. Merriweather.
“This is pretty incriminating, I’ll agree,” Harry said, relieved and saddened at the same time. He was relieved that his hunch had paid off and he’d been able to find some connection between Stan and the Merriweathers, but he was extremely disappointed that, of all people, Stan had probably become a murderer. He remembered back a number of years when Stan had been incarcerated in Azkaban unjustly on suspicion of being a Death Eater. Harry had fought to have him released back then; how ironic that it should be Harry bringing him to justice now all these years later.
Draco bought him abruptly out of his reverie.
“Harry, I think he’s done this before.” Draco’s voice was low and he was holding out another locket to Harry.
The pictures in this locket were different, but no less poignant than the Merriweathers. This couple were a lot younger in the pictures and their three children looked to be under ten years old.
“I don’t recognise them; they could be Stan’s family…” Harry began.
“I do,” Draco interrupted brusquely. “The oldest child in that picture is Malcolm Baddock. He was in Slytherin, a couple of years below us. His mother was killed about six months ago and they - we – never found the culprit.” Draco sighed. Not that he’d known Malcolm well at school, but the investigation had been perfunctory and hopelessly short. When no suspects immediately emerged, the investigation was called off and labelled as ‘Perpetrator unknown. Case closed.’ The reason, Draco felt, knew, was that the Baddock family had been associated with known Death Eaters during the war. Nobody particularly cared about the truth of the matter; the stigma was enough.
“I don’t remember him,” Harry said, studying the picture. He shook his head and placed both lockets back in the oblong box. “We’ll take the whole thing back to the office and have them checked out there.”
Draco nodded and stood, taking the box and securing it in the bag he was carrying. “You said something about a closet?” he said to Harry, giving him a flirtatious lift of the eyebrow.
“I did,” Harry nodded, deliberately ignoring the look. Draco’s ‘looks’ could get him into deep trouble if he let them. He certainly wasn’t oblivious to the fact that Malfoy was bloody gorgeous and that the flirting got to him on occasion, but that’s all it was to Malfoy – flirting. Harry was fairly sure that if he tried to take Malfoy up on any of his thinly veiled suggestions, he’d back down quick smart. As far as Harry knew, Malfoy was straight and Harry wasn’t prepared to suffer through the sort of rejection that would transpire if he were to ask out a straight Malfoy.
Shunpike’s closet turned out to be a large walk-in one, which seemed incongruous with the rest of the flat. It was huge, the far recesses shrouded in shadows where the light from the bedroom couldn’t reach. Draco stepped up beside Harry who flicked on the light switch.
They gasped simultaneously. Hanging right at the back of the closet - one of the lights setting it off like a spotlight - was a full set of Death Eater robes. Harry hadn’t seen a set of those for about four years, now. He was under the impression that all the Death Eaters had been rounded up. Stan wasn’t even on a suspects list.
For Draco, the sight of those robes bought back unpleasant memories. It had been so long ago that he’d changed allegiances but, before then, he’d seen too many atrocities committed by the nameless faceless followers. He felt a light sweat break out on the back of his neck and it annoyed him. It had been years ago, he told himself; they had no place having this effect on him any longer. Averting his eyes to remove the robes and the ghostly mask from his focus, Draco took in the rest of the contents of the closet. Hanging alongside each other in an oddly neat procession were threadbare robes with frayed cuffs and numerous uniforms for his job as conductor on the Knight Bus. Scuffed and beaten up shoes sat alongside neat and polished work boots on the floor under the clothes.
Next to the shoes on the floor, half shadowed by the dim light, was a bundle of cloth. Draco moved closer to see what it was, using the end of his wand to poke at it. When there was no reaction or ward surrounding it, he bent down to pick it up, only to find that it was robes covered in blood.
“Ah shit!” he exclaimed. As he dropped the cloth he fell back, crashing into the wall and setting the sliding action of the closet door in motion. That wasn’t what worried him, though; it was the slight vibrations of the wall and the subsequent grinding of something sliding across the doorway on the outside that had him scrambling around attempting to stop the door from closing entirely.
“Harry…the door…” Draco started but everything happened way too fast and it closed before either of them could stop it or get a hand in the gap.
“Fuck!” Harry yelled as he tried to slide the door open without success. “What fell across the doorway?”
“No idea,” Draco replied, still trying to open the door. All it was doing was jiggling around in its runner. Something had fallen across the doorway and jammed the door shut. “There was a standard lamp out there, I noticed. Perhaps that fell. Or it’s a trap.” He gave Harry a worried look.
“Of all the…Fucking hell, Malfoy,” Harry yelled, exasperated, before taking a few deep breaths to calm down, the yelling seeming to drain his anger. “We’re stuck here now until Shunpike gets home.”
Draco frowned at him and whipped out his wand. “Come on Harry are you a wizard or a mouse?” He made to wave it at the door, but Harry placed a hand on his arm; he could feel the heat from it warming him through his robes.
“Did you forget about the wards, Malfoy?”
Draco sighed and put his wand away. They’d added a magic dampener to the normal wards to stop Shunpike Apparating or attacking when confronted. But it also meant that he and Harry couldn’t do any magic, either. He had forgotten that; he wasn’t used to working with wards. They weren’t really necessary with the types of cases he’d been given.
“Sorry,” Draco replied, sighing again. “I was willing to try anything to get out of spending anymore time closer to you than I need to be,” he drawled, knowing that Harry would take it at face value. It was going to be torture spending a lot of time this close to Harry. Especially when he showed no inclination to remove his hand.
Harry hadn’t moved his hand from where it lay on Draco’s arm. He could feel the minute movement of muscle under his fingertips and it was thrilling. It set his imagination off as to what other part of Draco’s body might feel like under his hands. When another muscle twitched, Harry forced himself to stop daydreaming; he had better things to think about now. Namely how to get out of this closet before their quarry arrived home and virtually took away their advantage.
“Well you’re not my first choice of someone to be stuck inside a closet with, either,” Harry retaliated, put out. Malfoy always had to open his big mouth and say something obnoxious enough that he wondered why he’d ever become attracted to someone like him in the first place.
“You sure about that?” Draco asked, his eyebrow quirked and his attention directed at the hand still on his arm. Harry withdrew it hurriedly, blushing.
“Yes, you insufferable prat,” he said, aware that it was a pretty useless comeback, but not caring. He turned to check out every inch of the closet, hating that Draco always seemed to know exactly when he was lying. And always called him on it. He didn’t see the swift flash of disappointment in Draco’s eyes.
“Come on, Malfoy, let’s see if there’s another way out of this closet,” Harry huffed.
“Potter, it’s a closet. It has one entrance only. No windows, no secret passages, nothing. Unless we can figure out a way to get the door open, we are stuck here until Shunpike deigns to return home.” Draco rattled the door again; trying to open it, as if one more yank would make the difference. “And I really would prefer not to have to fight a drunken suspect from this disadvantage.”
“Alright, alright, you figure out the door and I’ll check the closet,” Harry replied. “What was it that scared you, anyway?” he asked, moving to where Draco had been when he jumped and got them locked in here.
“Oh, nothing, just a pile of bloodied robes on the floor,” Draco said, now using his fingers to feel underneath the small gap at the bottom of the door to see if he could touch whatever the obstruction was and perhaps move it out of the path of the door.
Harry screwed up his nose but was interested all the same as he bent down to the bundle of cloth and examined it. They appeared to be an old set of robes, perhaps ones Shunpike didn’t care about ruining, though why he’d kept them instead of burning them, Harry had no idea. It was his good fortune that Shunpike had been too lazy or too busy. If they could match the blood to the Merriweather’s then his case was proven as far as he was concerned.
“Hand me the evidence bag and I’ll – what?” Harry asked seeing Draco’s look. “Don’t tell me the bag is still on the bed?”
Draco nodded. “Well, I didn’t expect to get stuck in a closet,” he said, knowing it was no excuse. He should have had that bag with him at all times. ‘Constant vigilance’ as damned Moody endlessly reminded them in their weekly training briefs.
“Bloody hell,” Harry barked, ready to rant at Draco for getting them into this situation in the first place but, seeing the stricken look on his face, he took a deep breath instead and realised that despite it all, it really wasn’t Draco’s fault that they were stuck in here; they should have blocked the door to keep it open. They had both been slack on the safety issues. “Sorry, it’s not your fault,” he said. “We should be used to working without magic, or I should be anyway, this isn’t the first time I’ve done a search like this. I should have remembered to make sure the door couldn’t shut.” His hand reached up in an automatic gesture and ran through his hair.
“Right,” Draco nodded, relieved that Harry didn’t blame him but still feeling responsible, not that he’d admit he might have been partially at fault. And certain parts of his anatomy felt decidedly warmer when Harry ran his hands through that mop of thick hair. He looked away, giving a short cough and desperately trying not to blush because Malfoys blushed really obviously, having such pale skin, and letting Potter see him blush was just not acceptable. In doing this, his attention was drawn back to the Death Eater robes hanging on the back wall. “Can we get those down at least?” he asked, distaste evident in the tone of his voice.
Harry nodded. “I want to preserve the evidence, but I think that if we set them in the corner, we should be alright,” he affirmed.
“Can you do them? I can’t bring myself to touch those…rags.” There was such a look of revulsion on Draco’s face that Harry didn’t have the heart to tell him to stop being such a prissy git and do it himself.
After removing the robes from the wall and dropping them in a corner, Harry looked around the rest of the closet. There was really nothing else to be seen. The shelving above the hanging racks was empty; the floor held only the shoes and the racks only the clothes. Nothing else personal or interesting there at all.
Draco noticed Harry begin to run his hands palm flat over the walls. “What are you doing?” He definitely did not think he’d prefer Harry’s hands to be running over his body like that. And even if he did, he didn’t.
“Checking for any hidden panels. I was thinking…” Draco scoffed and earned himself a glare from Harry. “I was thinking about your case, actually. If he’s not spending the money on expensive furniture or jewellery, and I assume you would have checked his accounts at Gringotts,” he said looking to Draco for confirmation, “then he must have the money stashed somewhere. And it’s a well known fact that people hide things in their closet before anywhere else, so I thought…”
Draco finished his sentence for him. “That seeing as we are stuck in here, we may as well look because finding something would add a lot of credence to my case.” Maybe Potter was a decent sort after all. “About time you came up with a clever idea, Potter,” he said, a curl to his lips that wasn’t often there when he spoke with Harry.
Harry nodded and then tilted his head over to the other side of the closet. “You start over there and we’ll meet in the middle,” he said with a grin on his face. Attempting to be civil, even friendly with Draco was easier than he’d thought. All one had to do was to treat anything derogatory coming out of his mouth about oneself, as a compliment.
“Fine,” Draco broke into a dazzling fake smile. “Meet you there in five minutes. It’s a date then is it? Be still my beating heart.”
Harry turned and rolled his eyes at Draco and shook his head. “If that’s your idea of a date, Malfoy, you really need to get out more.” The addition of ‘with me’ was left unsaid; it was better that way. As Draco began to feel around the walls, along the edges, he made himself concentrate on his own search.
“And what’s the Chosen One’s idea of a date, then, pray tell?” Draco asked, now down on his hands and knees, feeling along the line where the carpet met the bottom of the wall.
“Oh, I don’t know,” Harry said, a grin curling the corners of his mouth, thinking to himself that as long as it ended up with his date in just about the same position as Draco was now, he’d be happy. He turned his gaze back to the wall. “This is a very good wall. Seems like a lovely date to me.” He was, of course, teasing and from the corner of his eye, he saw the look on Draco’s face, part amusement and part disbelief.
“Very funny, Potter,” Draco drawled. “Though just about what I’d expect from someone who still wears those revolting glasses when I know damned well that Granger has shown you that eye correcting spell at least a dozen times. Every time you come back from a case all banged up, your glasses are always the first thing to be broken and she always asks you about your eyes. They’re a weakness you know,” he finished. Potter really was being an idiot if he couldn’t see that.
“I know,” Harry smirked as his hands ran up the wall right in the corner where the walls met. “I’ll let you in on a secret. I did fix my eyes. Years ago. The glass in these is just that, glass. I have perfect vision. It gives me an advantage because they always go for the eyes first. The smart ones do, anyway.”
“That’s…that’s very sneaky of you, Potter. I am officially impressed.” And he was; it was a decidedly Slytherin thing to do. Perhaps the boy wonder had learnt a few things after all. Well, Draco supposed he couldn’t stay alive through dumb luck forever. He didn’t stop to wonder why he and Potter were not fighting with each other. The fierce hatred that was the passion behind their fights through school, seemed to have evaporated after the war, and whilst they would never be best mates, or even close friends, they could be in the same room now and not hex each other.
But today, Draco was seeing another side of Potter than he normally did. This was a friendly Potter and, truth be told, this Potter was so much more attractive than the one that screwed up his red angry face into a mask of rage and hatred every time he saw Draco; or the Potter that ignored him.
“Thanks,” Harry grinned. “I didn’t even tell Hermione. Everyone is so used to seeing her try to fix my glasses that to break the routine would cause…talk. Much as I hate to say it, there aren’t a lot of Aurors I’d trust with information like that. Too many of them like a drink and Rita Skeeter loves to hang around the bars they frequent and try and get some juicy gossip on me.”
“Still? Potter, you are about the most boring person I know,” Draco scoffed. “I bet when you finish work you head home to your little flat, cook yourself a dinner for one and sit and watch that god-awful Muggle contraption called television, before you feed your cat and owl and then go to bed nice and early in order to be well rested for work the next day.”
Harry laughed. “You’re half right,” he admitted. “I don’t have a cat and sometimes I eat with Ron and Hermione but, other than that, you read me like a book.”
“Boring,” Draco asserted.
“Give me something better to do, then,” Harry challenged.
“Or someone,” Draco muttered under his breath, just as his finger ran over a rough surface. When he looked closer, it wasn’t a crack in the plaster; it was too straight for that. Sure enough when he followed the line, it became a regular shape about six inches square. The lines were almost invisible to see but could be felt under the balls of his fingertips. “Potter,” he called, fingers prodding at different places on the square in case all it needed was a push in the right spot to open. Harry moved behind him, looking over his shoulder, his closeness and body heat tangible to Draco, even though he was concentrating on the square.
“This might be what we’re looking for. Can you see it?”
“I can. Perfect eyesight, remember?” Harry said, a note of excitement in his voice. “Can you open it?”
“I’m trying, but there doesn’t seem to be…” Just then the little door popped open on minute hinges. Draco jumped a little, causing him to lean back into Harry’s warmth for a moment before he collected himself and peered inside, Potter’s body heat suddenly too close for comfort. Entirely.
The contents surprised both of them. There was the expected pile of galleons in a box, which they removed and set aside. But there was also another box that was full of the oddest things. Vials of potion, a green felt hat with orange netting over it, peacock feathers, a marble quill grip ornately decorated with gold filigree, what looked like a signed copy of Celestine Warbeck’s last concert program, an old teapot, Muggle money which Harry recognised, a whalebone frame with a picture of two children playing a game which they occasionally stopped in order to frown at Harry and Draco, pearl hair slides that must have belonged to a woman, a box of cigars, an extremely rare chocolate frog card of Merlin, and a set of gold earrings.
“That’s quite a haul,” Harry said, close to Draco’s ear. “I wonder if he stole these things or they were left behind on the Bus.”
“I’d say they were probably left behind. Look,” Draco said as he lifted the quill grip. “It’s engraved with the owner’s name. Unless Stan Shunpike has a secret life as Millie Featherstone, then it’s safe to say this is not his, and something this identifiable would be impossible to sell.” He wished Potter would move; it really was too distracting having him this close; he might do something stupid shortly if Potter continued to be so…warm next to him.
“You’re probably right. These don’t seem to be the things that people would go out of their way to steal unless they wanted to sell them.” Harry agreed. “What makes a person do these sorts of things,” he wondered aloud as he moved back and sat, leaning against the wall. He would have preferred to remain exactly where he was; their positions allowing him a closeness that otherwise would have been construed as…something else. But he was positive that if he had to keep on inhaling Draco’s wonderfully erotic scent for too much longer at close quarters, he would have surely given in to temptation and done something completely idiotic. Like lean in to see if Draco tasted as good as he smelled.
“Who knows? And I don’t particularly care much,” Draco replied, relaxing. He turned and sat against the wall beside Harry, setting the box down beside him. “That’s a job for the healers at St. Mungos.”
“Hmm,” Harry agreed. “What I want to know is why no one ever found out about him being a Death Eater.”
“I didn’t even know, so perhaps he joined right near the end. Perhaps he had no choice. Voldemort was pretty ruthless with his recruitment, especially near the end there.”
Harry had a sudden thought and grinned. “Or… that set of robes was left behind on the bus…”
Draco looked at Harry and laughed. “You could be right, there.” Harry thought it was really nice seeing Draco laugh. He didn’t do it often enough. At least not around him, he didn’t.
“Poor Stan,” Harry grinned, not serious. “Starts off with petty crimes, progresses to murder and then gets done for being a Death Eater.”
“And that’s the thing that will convict him and see him in Azkaban for the rest of his life, more than anything else,” Draco agreed. He shifted and bent his knees, resting his arms over them. “However, we have managed to find enough evidence for both our cases,” Draco said, keeping his expression impassive, though he was actually grateful to Harry for allowing him to stay on this case. He looked at Harry. “We don’t make a bad team,” he ventured.
“Well Stan made it easy for us,” Harry said dropping his head back against the wall, looking up at the ceiling. He knew Draco was right; if they could stop sniping at each other long enough to put the job first, they’d be a formidable team, able to accomplish a great deal. Draco’s acute perception of people’s motives and his attention to detail would complement his own abilities. “All we really managed to do was to get ourselves locked in a closet,” Harry said blandly, but he tempered that by tilting his head towards Draco, quirking his mouth into a lopsided smile.
“But we did it in such great style,” Draco smirked. “Never let it be said that a Malfoy was a clumsy oaf. Besides, being stuck in a closet with me must be the highlight of your day.”
Harry laughed at that. Draco was closer to the truth than he knew. “Yes, Malfoy, truth be told, I planned this. Sprung a little trap on you just to get you all to myself in the closet.”
Their eyes met across the confines of the closet, and held for a moment. Harry would have been quite happy to just sit there and stare at the enigmatic look that held just a hint of a great depth of feeling, but after a long moment he looked away, afraid of saying too much with his own face. He thought he heard a sigh, but wasn’t sure. Damn, he wished Stan was already home so that they could get out of this closet. He was already on edge, and there were only two things he knew of that relieved this sort of tension. A decent physical fight or a good wank - neither of which he thought Malfoy would appreciate.
“Why have you never worked with a partner?” Draco asked.
Glad of the distraction, but surprised by the change in the subject, Harry turned back and answered. “I’ve never found anyone that can take it when I act on a gut feeling or who knows when to disregard the rules.” Harry smirked a little at this. “You?”
“Do you even need to ask? Who’d want to work with me?” Draco responded, and the bitter words cut Harry. He was about to refute what Draco was saying; but that would be dishonest. What Draco said was true; there were still too many Aurors who had a problem working with Draco.
“I don’t mind so much,” Draco continued. “I don’t have to put up with puerile gay jokes and snide remarks about my family for one thing. For another, I don’t have to work with someone I don’t trust and who doesn’t trust me. It’s a win – win situation.” Draco had composed his face into the veneer he wore at the office every day. He would never admit it but it deeply affected him that he was so badly thought of still after five years. It was one of the reasons he stayed on as an Auror. To prove a point. To prove to everyone and, perhaps a little to himself, that he was capable of more; capable of committing to something. And he was proud of his track record.
Harry was still leaning against the wall but he was regarding Draco thoughtfully. He saw the change of expression, the dropping into place of the carefully schooled mask. Rather than push the topic and perhaps provoke an outburst, Harry decided to change the subject again. After a few moments thinking, he realised something. “Are those gay jokes directed at you, then? I mean, you’re gay?”
“Potter, you must be the most oblivious man on the planet,” Draco rolled his eyes in exasperation but the smile was back.
“No I’m not,” Harry protested. “It’s not as if we talk about personal stuff or anything. I had no reason to know and I don’t listen to office gossip.”
“Alright, I get your point but you really should listen to the office gossip. It’s how you find things out about people that you can later use to get what you want.”
Harry looked at him aghast, and then laughed. “Obviously you don’t hear anything of interest in our office. You still get all the shit cases.”
Draco had the grace to duck his head in acknowledgment. “Well I never said it was foolproof,” he said. “My point was that you are oblivious to most people around you,” Draco finished quietly, the phrase ‘especially me’ hung heavily between them but their eyes met again and held until Draco dragged himself away this time, standing up and running his hands over his clothes to smooth them down; a nervous gesture.
Harry couldn’t help but watch the path of Draco’s hands as they smoothed over his clothes, revealing the outline of his lean body. Stifling a sigh, he knew he should stop staring; getting caught would only add to the odd awkwardness that had sprung up between them; but he couldn’t help himself. Draco Malfoy was definitely worth more than a second look.
Just as Harry let slip, “Not everyone” in such a low voice as to be barely audible, Draco cleared his throat to speak and the words were lost. Which was just as well, Harry thought; things were uncomfortable enough in here as it was. If Malfoy knew, he’d never let Harry forget it. He’d tease Harry mercilessly, and flirt with him shamelessly knowing that Harry wouldn’t do a thing about it, because Harry had never done a thing about Draco flirting with him before. Of course, Harry had previously assumed it was just Malfoy being an arse - the straight boy flirting with the gay guy.
“So, Potter, what’s the plan when Shunpike arrives home?” Draco asked, moving onto more practical matters. Whatever this strange atmosphere was, it was distracting them both from the purpose of this case and their current predicament – being stuck in a closet – had changed the scene completely. They needed to get back to thinking about this case and how they were going to catch Shunpike. Besides, Draco had noticed Harry watching him and it made him feel good. Too good. Each time these little connections hit him he was closer to behaving inappropriately, and there was too much history behind them for Harry to ever think it was a good thing if Draco came on to him seriously. He’d think it was because Draco was after something – recognition at work or favours regarding cases. Still, he couldn’t deny this tension between them was…interesting. Stimulating, even.
“Jump him as soon as he opens the closet, I expect,” Harry said, shrugging. “I tend to play these things by ear and hope for the best.” He gave Draco a small grin.
Draco shook his head. “No wonder you don’t have a partner if that’s your modus operandi,” he said. “You’d be enough to give anyone grey hair before their time.”
“What else can we do? We don’t have magic. All we can do is make some noise to draw him here and then jump him when he opens the door.”
Draco regarded Harry silently for a moment and then nodded. “I suppose in this instance, you’re right. Although, if we could find a weapon of some sort it would help.”
“Shoes?” Harry laughed as he picked one up and made vague threatening movements with it towards Draco.
“Haha, Potter. Everyone knows the best shoes for a weapon are six inch stilettos but, unfortunately, mine are home in my closet,” Draco deadpanned.
“You…?” Harry spluttered, unsure if he were telling the truth.
“Of course not,” Draco rolled his eyes, and then grinned. “I had you going there, didn’t I? I have to admit, they would look good on me, though.”
Whatever Harry was about to say in response was interrupted by the noise of a door closing from somewhere in the house and he felt the wards shimmer.
“He’s here,” Harry whispered, pushing himself to his feet and joining Draco near the door. They stood close together, pressing their ears to the wooden door in order to hear Shunpike moving around the house. What they didn’t expect was to hear voices. Their eyes met in surprise.
“He’s not bought people home before,” Draco said, frowning. “And he’s early.”
“Shh. Let’s see if we can figure out how many of them there are,” Harry whispered.
As they listened, the steady murmur of voices could be heard, gradually drawing nearer. Only snatches of conversation, odd words here and there were clearly heard, the rest was a low rumbling hum, until finally the words became discernible as they had obviously approached the rooms near the bedroom.
“Oi, Stan, wot ya doing wiv an Auror’s bag?” one said.
“I don’t ‘ave nuffink like tha’,” came Stan’s reply, indignant.
“There’s one on ya bed.” A third voice added.
“Shit. Them fuckin’ Aurors. Bin in my ‘ouse? I’ll…”
“An’ your light ‘as fallen over, Stan. The ‘ousemaid too busy on ‘er knees sucking your cock to clean properly?” Two loud guffaws laughed at that. But Stan’s voice chopped them off, just as Harry and Draco looked at each other, eyes lit with a burgeoning enthusiasm and said, ‘Three’ at the same time.
“Don’ ‘ave no cleaner, don’cha know?” Footsteps could be heard coming closer, and Harry and Draco both moved away from the door, grinning. Shunpike was here finally and they were going get out and catch him and his mates. Three against two. Not bad odds.
“You still up for this?” Harry whispered, his eyes shining with anticipation. He loved a good fight.
“Of course. A good stoush makes me hard. Why do you think we fought so much in school?”
“Ah, now it all makes sense. You didn’t hate me, you wanted to fuck me.”
“Lord no, I hated you but you were the only one that could get me riled enough and hard enough that by the time I’d made it to the nearest boys room I’d virtually come in my pants. It was so fucking hot.”
“Fuck, why did you never say any of this before?” Harry whispered back, harshly.
Draco didn’t have the chance to reply, as they could hear the lamp being moved out of the way, leaving it clear for Shunpike to open the closet. Harry growled softly and pulled Draco in for a hard, fast kiss. “For luck, then.”
If Draco was surprised, he didn’t show it, just kissed Harry back and nodded, excitement flashing in his eyes.
Harry’s arm dropped from around Draco’s waist just as the door began to slide back. He jumped forward and wrenched it fully open, seeing an extremely surprised Stan Shunpike with his mouth dropped open in shock.
“Hello, Stan,” he grinned and kicked him in the groin. Stan hadn’t even had time to go for his wand.
With a howl of pain, Stan doubled over clutching his groin which allowed Harry to calmly step forward, grab his ears, then lift his knee forcefully into Stan’s face, breaking his nose and knocking him out entirely. Harry let Stan’s body drop to the floor and he turned and grinned at an impressed Draco. “One each?” he asked. At Draco’s nod he waved his hand to allow Draco to precede him. “After you.”
“Hot, Potter, very hot,” Draco quipped as he trod on Stan’s prone body exiting the closet.
There were two thugs in the room, both quickly overcoming their initial shock at seeing two people in the closet. They had their wands out and had obviously been trying to cast spells and were now looking at their wands, then at Harry and Draco and then back to their wands again. Imbeciles, Draco thought. He had no idea who they were, nor if they knew the extent of Shunpike’s transgressions but neither of them were giving the impression that they were prepared to surrender. In fact, both of them had decided that their wands weren’t working and were barrelling towards him, so he sidestepped to allow Harry room to exit the closet as well.
“Bring it on, boys,” Harry snarled from beside him and the vibration in his tone set Draco’s pulse racing faster.
By silent agreement, Harry took on the thug to his left and Draco to his right. Harry allowed himself a momentary cringe at the size of the big burly bloke on his left. The man gave him a crooked snarl, revealing blackened and chipped teeth. His nose had obviously been broken in more than one fight, as it was crooked and flattened, squashed onto his face. He’d picked up the tossed aside standard lamp and was swinging it around his head like a bat, aiming for Harry’s head. Harry ducked and while the arc of the swipe was in a backswing, he punched the man in the gut.
Meanwhile, Draco had a little more trouble. He’d leapt at the other bloke, a smaller man, wiry but with more muscle than he looked. The man defended himself and tossed Draco off, virtually throwing him into the wall where he slid down to sit on the floor, winded but not really hurt. When the man lunged at him, Draco raised his foot and planted it hard in the man’s chest, pushing him away with such force that he landed on his back. Draco jumped up quickly and landed a few hard kicks to the man’s ribcage as he was trying to get up, which knocked him sideways. A good swift kick to the main’s groin and a heavy stamping on his nose, reminiscent of the time he’d done that to Harry, and Draco was fairly sure that he would be down for the count, so he allowed himself a second to see how Harry was going.
Harry was grappling with the thick set man for the standard lamp now and Draco called out, cheekily, “Need any help there, Potter?”
“Funny, Malfoy,” Harry replied, grunting with the exertion and sending Malfoy a quick glare. Harry’s eyes widened and he yelled, “Watch out behind you!”
Too late, Draco felt the vice like grip of arms around his chest, trapping his arms. He struggled but the strong hold meant he couldn’t free himself. He felt a laboured wheezing across his neck and something wet on his shoulder. When he looked, he was horrified to see blood had soaked into his shirt and must have come from the broken nose Draco had given the thug.
“Oh, now you’ve done it,” Draco yelled, incensed. “How dare you ruin my best shirt? Potter, how am I expected to work with people bleeding all over me?” he called out to Harry, before slamming his head back to head butt the thug hard enough to break the man’s grip around him. He turned in a flash; ignoring the thudding headache he now had and aimed a punch directly into the man’s eye. It sent him flying back onto the bed, which he promptly bounced off, hitting his head on the side table and knocking himself out.
Draco moved to stand over him, looking down at the immobile man. He aimed a final kick at him, satisfied at the dull thud it made. “There, that will teach you to bleed all over me. It’s disgusting!” Draco was breathing heavily, a little flushed in the face, but exhilarated and not a little aroused at the fight. He turned to see Harry finally gain control of the lamp, swing it and clout the ugly thug, dropping him to the floor.
The adrenaline was rushing through Harry’s body; it had been too long since he’d had a good barney like that, and he felt the thrill of it through his entire body. Seeing how Draco handled himself had also made him hard. God, but that man was gorgeous. He turned to look at Draco now and noticed with a visceral growl that he was as flushed and turned on as he was himself.
“We should tie them up,” Draco said breathlessly, an intense look in his eyes as he stared hard at Harry.
“I don’t think they’re going anywhere any time soon,” Harry replied, eyes holding Draco’s. Draco could see the heated flash of desire deep in them and his body reacted by growling and reaching out to pull Harry to him.
“You’re right, we make a pretty good team,” Harry rasped as their bodies met; hard, wanting and perfectly aligned.
“Partners then, Potter - Harry?”
The use of his name in that tone made Harry shiver.
“Partners,” he finally managed to respond.
“What will they say? You working with an ex Death Eater?” Draco rolled his hips into Harry’s crushing their erections together, making him bite his lip to stifle a yelp.
“Who the fuck cares? As far as I’m concerned you’ve earned your place many times over. I want you. I’ll have you,” Harry growled in response and grabbed Draco’s arse with both hands pulling him as close as he could, grinding himself into Draco.
“Arrogance turns me on too, Harry,” Draco purred, body straining to have more of Harry, but not being able to get quite close enough. One of his legs slipped between Harry’s and he felt the tension change as the added friction of Harry’s thigh rubbing against his cock set his whole body trembling.
Harry gave a deep rumbling growl and clamped his lips over Draco’s, kissing him hard, brutally and messily but Draco didn’t care. It was what he needed, desperately. His hand slipped down inside Harry’s trousers and grasped the hard length; stroking it quickly, harshly, wanting to once more hear that deep growl that sent shivers up and down his spine.
Harry moaned and ground himself into Draco’s hand, kneading his arse and copying Draco’s action, finding his heated cock and pulling at it roughly, smug when it jerked and twitched in his hand.
There were too many clothes - too much in the way - but Harry was too strung out and aroused over the fight and his already acknowledged attraction to Draco and all he could feel was the heat of the cock in his hand and the one on his own. Eventually they timed their stroking and both rocked hard into each other’s hands. Their lips were still joined but it wasn’t an ordinary kiss, teeth and lips and tongue were used to bite and suck and lick, devouring, plundering, fighting until with cries of release they both came very messily one after the other.
It was the best Harry had felt for as long as he could remember.
It was the best that Draco had felt in years.
“Do you always get like this after a fight?” Harry asked, still breathless.
“Is that why you want me for your partner?” Draco smirked.
“I could get used to it.” Harry virtually growled.
“I think I like the sound of that.” There was a satisfied smile on Draco’s face. God, but Harry was hot when he was all riled up like that. And Draco wanted him. To keep.
“You’d better.” Harry said as he stepped back, extracting his hand from Draco’s trousers regretfully. He’d liked having his hand on that silken flesh and was going to do it again, and as often as he could. “You really going to go to Spain?”
“Why not? I can lie on the beach, suitably covered of course as I burn to a crisp, and ogle all the pretty boys.” Draco raised an eyebrow as if daring Harry to challenge him. Harry didn’t let him down.
“I have some time off owing. I think I’ll join you.”
“As long as you let me ogle you, Harry.”
“Wouldn’t have it any other way, Draco.”