Pairing(s): Harry/Draco, Percy/Oliver, former Harry/Percy
Summary: Harry keeps coming by junior minister Weasley's office... but is it really just to have lunch with his ex?
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning(s): Explicit sex, but nothing that requires a special warning.
Word Count: ~10,200
Author's Notes: I couldn't manage to work anything like all the possible elements suggested here, but a fair few are present for this last hurrah at Harry/Draco before the boys are doomed!
"Would you mind removing your... your pet? This is an office, not a zoo." Percy could discern the note of outrage in his assistant's voice even through the closed door.
"Magnus is not a pet, as you ought to know. Besides, I'm here to see the junior minister."
"He's eating his lunch, Potter. You and your whatever-it-is will have to wait."
"I don't think so," said Harry confidently. "I'm sure he'll see me now."
There was a tense pause, and then a tap on the door. "Mr. Weasley?"
"Yes, send him in," Percy replied, and looked up as the door opened and Harry entered. His Kneazle, on an almost invisibly thin lead, preceded him into the room, looking about as if it owned the place, and moved towards the chair that Percy kept for visitors. Percy came around the desk to embrace Harry before he could sit down.
"It's good to see you," he said, kissing Harry's cheek. "I'd heard of Hermione's little experiment; they sent a memo 'round the whole building. How is it working out?"
Harry returned the hug, then sat down, and Percy went back to his own chair.
"Quite well, so far." Harry's voice was enthusiastic, his face still turned towards Percy. "It's based on a Muggle idea. They use fairly large dogs, but Kneazles are so much brighter that even though they're relatively small, Magnus does a fantastic job. It's much," he paused, evidently searching for the right word, "friendlier than having a spell to lead me around. And I don't feel as if I'm imposing on someone all the time. You know how I hate that."
"You do seem rather more relaxed," agreed Percy, picking up his interrupted sandwich and taking a bite. He chewed quickly, swallowed, then asked, "I suppose Hermione is delighted?"
"Oh yes," Harry agreed. He sniffed the air. "So Malfoy wasn't lying and I really did interrupt your lunch. Prawn, I take it?"
"Prawn and avocado." Percy smiled. He should have known that Harry wouldn't miss picking up on that. It had always been a favorite sandwich for both of them. "Would you like a bite?"
Harry leaned forward, holding out his hand. The Kneazle, Magnus, leaped up onto Percy's desk and used its nose to nudge at Harry's wrist, pushing it in the proper direction to take the quarter sandwich from Percy. Harry leaned back and took a bite, a blissful expression settling across his features. "Delicious, thanks. I hadn't actually eaten lunch yet myself."
"No? I'll get Draco to go fetch in another." He ignored Harry's protests, pressing the buzzer on his desk. When Draco put his head in, Percy said, "Would you please go to the canteen for another prawn and avocado sandwich for Mr. Potter?" He remembered what Harry liked to drink, and added, "And some fizzy lemonade as well. Thank you."
Draco frowned very slightly, his body stiff, but he nodded and disappeared. He had proven to be a more than competent assistant on the whole, but had never quite reconciled himself to some of the more menial aspects of the job. Most of the time Percy didn't ask him to do such things, but he was curious what Harry had really come to see him about, and didn't fancy going down to the crowded canteen, where it would be impossible to talk.
"He should be back in a few minutes." Percy leaned back in his chair. "So, to what do I owe this honor? I'm sure you're not here to talk up the merits of Guide Kneazles. That's not within my purview."
Harry had finished his fragment of sandwich and was licking a stray blob of mayonnaise from one finger. Percy was sure that Harry didn't realize how sexy he looked doing that. That artlessness was one of his more endearing characteristics. Percy was still a little regretful that things hadn't worked out between them, though they had given it a good try for more than two years before realizing that their feelings for one another were really closer to friends than to lovers.
"I was talking to Kingsley yesterday," said Harry, "and he was wanting to know some information about operations during the war."
"Something he couldn't just send me a memo about?" Percy raised his eyebrows, though he knew that would be lost on Harry.
"Oh, I suppose he could have done but I offered to come talk to you myself." Harry grinned. "It was a good excuse; I hardly ever seem to see you these days," his expression flickered, "and the times I tried to Floo your house in the past fortnight you weren't home. New boyfriend keeping you busy?"
Percy blushed. He hadn't thought that anyone knew about that; perhaps Harry had just made a lucky guess. He did know Percy fairly well, after all. "Sometimes," he muttered.
"Anyone I know?" Harry probed gently. "I'm happy for you, Perce, I really am. Just curious, that's all."
They hadn't really talked about making it public yet, but Percy trusted Harry, with all his experience of the gossip columns, to be able to be discreet if Percy asked.
"You know him. Oliver Wood. But it's all quite private still." Not that it could remain so indefinitely. For reasons Percy had never understood, the public had an insatiable wish to know every detail of the life and relationships of even the less-successful Quidditch players, and Oliver was a rising star. At least Percy was used to that sort of thing after having been with Harry.
Harry's face lit up. "That's great!" he said enthusiastically. "I hope it works out for you two."
Just then Draco returned with the sandwich and drink, and as they ate Percy and Harry talked over what Kingsley wanted to know. Since Percy had been a spy for the Order of the Phoenix during the war, so secretly that his own family had thought he was working against them, he was aware of quite a lot that had either never made it into any official documents, or that had been among the information destroyed over the course of the last few months before Voldemort's defeat.
It really hadn't been anything of great importance, as Harry had said; just a question of how certain activities had been delegated in the wartime Ministry. When Harry was drinking the last of his lemonade, Percy said, "Is this really why you're here?"
"More or less." Harry coughed. "I wanted to see you, too."
Percy doubted that even that was all, but there was no point in asking further just now. He did need to get back to work. He had a meeting that afternoon with his counterpart from Belgium and hadn't quite finished preparing the reports he needed to give the other man; Oliver had rather distracted him over the past week. "We'll get together for drinks sometime soon, how about that?" he said.
"That would be great. I'll stop by here later this week and we can set a time, would that suit?"
"Or you could just owl or send a memo," Percy pointed out.
"Yeah. I'll be in touch one way or another." Harry stood up, Magnus on his lead guiding him toward the door.
Percy rose and followed.
"Finished with your little meeting?" Draco's voice held a hint of a sneer as Harry passed through the outer office.
"Obviously." In turn, Harry was just as cool. "Thank you for fetching our lunch."
"Mr. Weasley asked me to." Percy saw Draco's knuckles whiten as he gripped a quill tightly. "It wasn't for your sake, Potter."
"No, I suppose not, but thank you anyway." Magnus had led Harry to the outer door, and he fumbled for a second before finding the doorknob. "Later, Percy," he tossed over his shoulder as he left.
Draco shook his head, but his eyes followed Harry until the door closed, Percy saw.
"He might drop by again later this week," Percy told Draco. "Unless I'm in an important meeting, go ahead and let him in."
Draco inhaled sharply, as if to protest, but he nodded acquiescence.
"And I expect you to be polite. The two of you were getting along fine at the end of the war, or so Ron said; what happened?" Percy had always wondered about that, but had never had a good opportunity to ask Draco. Harry had seemed genuinely confused when Percy had asked him once, early in their relationship, just shrugging and saying that he didn't know either.
It couldn't be because Harry was queer. Draco had never treated him, Percy, in a way that suggested he thought the less of Percy for his sexual preferences. In fact he had a strong suspicion that Draco might lean that way himself; Draco didn't seem to have any romantic relationships with either sex. Such discretion hinted at feelings Draco might prefer to hide. No, it had to be something else that had come between Harry and Draco, something more personal. He waited to hear Draco's reply.
"Nothing," Draco muttered at last, picking up a pile of parchment and tapping it into a neat stack. His eyes were lowered, and although Percy watched him for a moment more, he would not look up.
It wasn't really any of his business, Percy supposed, though he was vaguely disappointed. "In any case, I want you to treat Mr. Potter as you would any other visitor," he repeated. "I'll be working on that report for the next hour; please warn me when it's time for the meeting with the Belgian Minister."
"Is Percy in?"
Draco looked up. He hadn't even heard the door open, but there was Harry Potter, leaning against the door frame with his Kneazle on its lead in front of him, grinning casually at a point just over Draco's shoulder.
"Mr. Weasley," he laid stress on the formal address, "has stepped out for a moment." The smile began to fade from Harry's face, and Draco added grudgingly, "But he left instructions that you were to be admitted at any time. He ought to be back shortly."
"Thanks. Should I wait out here, or in there?"
Thinking quickly, Draco said, "You may wait in his office, if you like." It didn't really matter where Harry waited, but it would be less distracting if Draco didn't have to see him every time he glanced up.
He watched as Harry took a few steps into the room. The Kneazle seemed to know where it was to lead him, for with only a brief uncertain pause, Harry walked steadily over to the other door. He turned the handle and disappeared inside.
Biting his lip, Draco returned to his work. Several minutes later his boss reappeared.
"Mr. Potter is here to see you, Mr. Weasley. He's in your office."
Percy Weasley looked pleased. "Thank you." He glanced at the clock. "It's nearly lunchtime. What's my schedule this afternoon?"
"I believe you have a meeting with the Romanian delegation at one o'clock, sir."
"Not much time, then. Would you mind popping down and bringing back some sandwiches?" With that, Percy went into his office, closing the door behind him.
He should have expected it, but Draco still felt a niggling resentment as he took the lift down to the canteen. He knew quite well what both of the other two men liked, and chose two prawn and avocado, one cheese and pickle, and an egg salad with cress, adding a couple of packets of salt and vinegar crisps and a bottle of fizzy lemonade for Harry. There was a kettle in the office with which he would make Percy's tea. He told the witch at the till to put the charge on Minister Weasley's account, and carried everything upstairs.
Voices and laughter from behind the door were clearly audible, although too indistinct for Draco to make out any words. He schooled his features to indifference before knocking.
That he heard distinctly, so he opened the door. Harry was in the visitor's chair, as Draco had expected, but most unusually Percy was standing behind him, one hand casually on Harry's shoulder. Draco's stomach tightened.
"Your lunch, sir," he said, then mentally cursed himself for appending the "sir" in front of Harry. "Mr. Weasley" was one thing, but "sir" sounded far too subservient for a Malfoy. Somehow that mattered more in front of Harry than in front of anyone else, even visitors who had known the Malfoy family in better days.
"Just put it on the desk, please," said Percy.
When he had done so, Draco asked, "Would you like me to make tea?" This time he carefully refrained from adding the honorific.
"Yes, that would be lovely. Harry, there's lemonade for you."
"Great, thank you, Draco." Harry didn't turn his head. Draco noticed, and wondered if Harry realized that it felt awkward to others, not having him face them when he spoke.
"No trouble," he muttered, and escaped to the outer office to make the tea.
At one o'clock he tapped on the door again. "Mr. Weasley? Your meeting?"
As he entered, Harry straightened up from where he had been leaning over Percy's chair. Had they been kissing? Percy's lips looked redder than usual, and his face was definitely flushed.
"Yes, thank you," said Percy coolly.
Draco inclined his head and withdrew, leading the door ajar. He heard Harry say, "I appreciate the advice, Perce. I'll think about it."
When Harry reappeared, Draco gave him a grudging, "Good day, Mr. Potter," and Harry smiled at him.
"Yes, I think it will be." He whistled as he went out the door, and Draco shook his head.
After Percy had left for his meeting, Draco paused in adding up columns of figures, made himself a cup of tea, and leaned back in his chair, remembering. Towards the end of the war, the Order had had a desperate shortage of safe houses, and everyone had had to double up, or even triple in some cases.
The only person who had been willing to share a room with Draco had been Harry, much to Draco's annoyance. It had been less bad than he had feared, however. After an initial couple of weeks of prickly silence, they had started to talk. Over time Draco had come to consider Harry a friend, and even to think him quite appealing, though he didn't dare to risk saying so.
One night, out of nowhere, Harry -- his face bright red -- had asked if Draco was gay. The denial was on Draco's lips immediately. It was a lie. Draco regretted it almost at once, because Harry's face fell, and he said, "Oh. I rather thought... that is, I hoped... well, I think I am."
Had Draco known or even suspected that Harry might be a shirt-lifter like himself, he would not have made his denial so quick and loud, but he saw no way to take it back. What, tell Harry that he'd lied, that he had been afraid that Harry would make fun of him? It would be far too embarrassing. So he kept his mouth shut for the time being, resolving to find a way later to tell Harry the truth, something that would save his face.
The chance never came. Before Draco had thought of a workable approach, suddenly Harry was appearing in their room at night later and later, turning up with his lips kiss-swollen and his hair even more mussed than usual. Draco didn't know who it was that Harry was snogging clandestinely, but it didn't matter. It wasn't the unknown boy he resented; it was Harry. Obscurely he felt that Harry ought to have seen through his lie, ought to have realized how Draco had begun to feel about him. But Harry never did.
As soon as he could manage it, Draco began volunteering for every mission that he could that would take him away at night, prevent him from having to share the room with Harry. He let himself grow cooler and cooler toward the other boy, and as soon as the war was over, rebuffed Harry's every attempt to resume their friendship.
When he had been transferred within the Ministry to work for Percy Weasley, who at that time had been seeing Harry for several months, Draco found that his feelings were still the same. He had no particular anger towards Percy; Draco always presumed that Harry could probably get anyone he wanted. No, it was still Harry that Draco was angry with. He was able to treat Percy with all the appropriate courtesy and respect required of someone in his position, and was only thankful that Harry's own job at the time meant that Draco very rarely saw him. It was ironic that now that Percy and Harry had split up, Harry was around the Minister's office far more than he had been when they were together.
Draco sighed, picked up his quill, and began jotting down figures on the thickness of cauldron bottoms imported from Bulgaria for Percy to look at when he returned.
Over the next several weeks, Harry became a more and more frequent visitor, invariably over the lunch hour, and Draco became quite accustomed to having to go and bring in lunch not only for his boss, but for his boss's unwelcome-to-Draco guest as well.
He couldn't fathom what Harry was there for. After that second lunch, he had never again seen either of the two look as if they had been doing any clandestine snogging, and he was quite sure that Percy's affections now lay with the Puddlemere Keeper, Oliver Wood. Oh, Percy was discreet about it, and indeed Draco had not yet seen anything about that little romance in the Daily Prophet, but it was hard to miss that Percy now altered his schedule occasionally in order to attend the Puddlemere matches, something he had never previously done. So why on earth were he and Harry having lunch together three or four days a week?
Draco was baffled.
Harry paced the floor of Percy's office in frustration. Magnus waited for him on the top of Percy's desk. He didn't need the Kneazle for this: six steps, turn, and six back.
"I can't stand it, Perce," he burst out. "Maybe it's hopeless."
Even without being able to see, he was sure that Percy's eyes were on him.
"Have you tried simply asking him out?" Percy's voice was calm. "You won't know until you've tried."
"I haven't, no," Harry admitted. He reached out, touching the back of the chair, and moved around it to sit down. "I don't really see the point of it when he doesn't seem able to even speak to me without being snide or sarcastic."
"You might be surprised." Percy paused; after a moment Harry heard the clink of a teacup being set down in a saucer. "I've seen him looking at you, and his expression doesn't match what he's saying. I'm not sure what he thinks of you but it doesn't look like hatred."
Harry sighed. He stretched out his hand towards the top of Percy's desk, and felt Magnus' nose nudge his wrist so that his fingers closed upon his half-eaten sandwich. He took a bite, chewing slowly. Percy was the one who had introduced him to avocados; they were certainly not a food that the Dursleys would have wasted on an unwanted nephew. He loved the buttery sweetness of it in his mouth; it would always remind him of the good times with Percy. Not that they had had any bad times, really. They just weren't quite right for each other.
"Harry." Percy's voice penetrated his defeated thoughts.
"What?" said Harry, knowing his tone was sullen but unable to help it.
"Look, maybe I can help you out. How about if I ask Oliver to get me tickets to the match next Saturday? Puddlemere will be playing the Cannons, and you know that Cannons games are always poorly attended, whomever they're playing. It wouldn't be any trouble. I'll invite Draco to go with me; I know he has hardly any social life, he just might accept. You can be sitting there already when we arrive, so he wouldn't be able to back out. It would give you a chance to perhaps talk to him a bit outside your usual environment, and maybe you'd be able to get past whatever it is that bothers him about you."
"Quidditch?" said Harry doubtfully. He hadn't been to a match since he had lost his sight. While he had been able to take up most of his life again, thanks to a lot of very stubborn people, including Percy himself, he had never wanted to remind himself of some of the things he had lost. Maybe it was time to reconsider that.
"The commentators are quite good. I think you'd be able to follow the match fairly well. And you wouldn't really be there for the Quidditch, anyhow," Percy pointed out.
Harry thought it over. It wasn't a bad idea, he decided. Certainly his own scheme of simply being around Draco regularly and hoping to break the ice that way hadn't been working. "All right, let's try it. I'm really grateful to you, Perce."
"No trouble," said Percy. "You have been distracting him a little bit, I think. I don't know that anyone else would notice, but he's been less efficient ever since you started showing up here."
A spark of hope lighted in Harry's chest at that. He hadn't thought he had been making any impression on Draco at all.
After some consideration, Harry decided that for the week before going to the Quidditch match, he would not stop by Percy's office for lunch any more. Perhaps Draco might realize that he missed seeing Harry around that way. And if not, well, Harry might miss hearing Draco's voice, but he wouldn't particularly regret the cutting content of Draco's remarks.
As promised, Percy had Oliver send Harry a ticket to the match, and Harry made certain he arrived well in advance of the scheduled time. He had to ask the ticket taker to have someone show him to his seat; Magnus was excellent at guiding, but even a trained Kneazle couldn't read the seat number from Harry's ticket and figure out where to take him. That was one of the reasons that Harry did not attend public events very often; he disliked having to ask for help, despite knowing that few people would begrudge it to him. It seemed somehow wrong, as if he were not living up to what was expected of him -- by himself as much as by anyone else.
Harry supposed, too, that never knowing when someone might take a photograph of him made it worse. When he was with someone, that helped; the other person could run interference for him if necessary. Hermione and Ron were very good about that, and Percy always had been too, although Harry had dated one or two men who had rather seemed to thrive on the attention instead.
He settled down in his seat and waited. He had about twenty minutes before the match would begin, and presumed that Percy and Draco would turn up shortly. At least, so he hoped. Percy had sent no message that Draco had declined the invitation. Harry concentrated on listening, trying to catch the sound of either of their voices, so that he would know when they had arrived. Magnus was settled by his foot, and Harry rubbed the soft fur around his ears.
A high-pitched voice interrupted him. "Yes?" he asked.
"May I have your autograph, sir?" It was clearly a child speaking, and Harry suppressed a sigh. Predictable, even expected, but still always something that left him feeling imposed upon, these requests for autographs. But it was a child, after all. There was no way to refuse gracefully.
Harry drew his wand. "Of course," he said as heartily as he could manage. "Where would you like it?"
He was handed what seemed to be an autograph book, and held it open with his left hand while touching the tip of his wand to it with his right. "Consigno!"
He had worked out the autograph spell ages before, for exactly this reason. Hermione had helped him to adjust it so that it produced what she said was a very close facsimile of what his signature had looked like back in Hogwarts, before the war, long before he had lost his sight. She had persuaded him that he couldn't always refuse, but he had not wanted to sign anything if all he could do was leave a wobbling mess. This had been a good compromise.
"Thank you, Mr. Potter, thank you."
Harry nodded, hearing the child's mother say, "Come on, now, I'm sure Mr. Potter's friends want to sit down." Percy had arrived, then, and presumably Draco with him.
An instant later, Percy said, "Go ahead, Draco. I'm just going to go fetch us all a Butterbeer."
"Hello," Harry said when he felt Draco's robes brush against his leg. The row of seats shifted a fraction as the other man sat down.
"Hello," said Draco. There was an awkward pause, and then Draco added, "I was surprised to see you here. Somehow I thought that you no longer attended Quidditch matches."
Shrugging, Harry said, "Percy suggested I might enjoy it for a change. Didn't he tell you I would be here?" He knew Percy hadn't, but he wanted to hear what Draco would answer.
"No." Draco laughed softly. "Probably thought that I would turn him down if I knew you were coming, too."
"Would you have?" Harry held his breath. His fingers stroked Magnus's fur absentmindedly as he waited for Draco's reply.
"Maybe. I don't know."
Well, that was something; at least Draco was being honest about it. Harry would have liked to ask why it was that Draco avoided Harry so assiduously, but Percy would be back at any moment. Perhaps this hadn't been such a splendid idea after all; how was Harry going to get a chance to talk with Draco without being overheard? Percy would certainly be distracted by watching Oliver during the game itself, but Draco would doubtless be watching too, rather than having any interest in conversation.
"Does your Kneazle go with you everywhere?" Draco asked unexpectedly.
"Magnus? Yes, generally," replied Harry. "He's an excellent companion, and very well-trained. I'm afraid I can't let you pet him, however; even when not actively guiding me, he is supposed to stay focused on that, and having other people touch him would be distracting."
There was another awkward silence, which only ended a few moments later when Percy returned with the Butterbeers.
"Draco, pass this down, if you would please," said Percy cheerfully. "It's already opened, Harry, so be careful."
When he took the bottle from Draco, Harry heard him inhale sharply. He wondered if perhaps Draco had felt the same thrill that had gone through Harry's own body. "Thank you," he said.
The commentator began to announce the names of the two teams, and the three of them cheered loudly when Oliver Wood was announced as the Puddlemere Keeper. The match began.
Percy had been right; it was in fact fairly easy to follow what was going on in the game. While Harry had heard from Ron, when his friend had tried to persuade him to try listening to Quidditch even if he couldn't watch or play the sport any longer, that the announcers for the Wizarding Wireless Network were careful to describe the moves, knowing that the audience couldn't see them, the announcer here today was quite thorough as well. Harry found he could quite easily visualize what was going on.
The Chudley Cannons were doing better than expected. Although Puddlemere had drawn ahead quickly, the Cannons were putting up rather a good fight, their Chasers scoring enough goals to ensure that if their Seeker were to catch the Snitch, they would squeak into victory. A part of Harry hoped that the Cannons would win, for Ron's sake, but a larger part was rooting for Puddlemere and Oliver, so that Percy would have something to celebrate with his new boyfriend that night.
The hard-fought game continued. After another couple of rounds of Butterbeers, Harry realized that he was going to have to go to the loo before the match was over. He had forgotten to have the attendant show him where it was on the way in; he would need to ask Percy to lead him there. Magnus could guide him back to his seat afterward. He nudged Draco. "Can you get Percy for me?"
Just then Oliver made a spectacular save, and Draco shouted in Harry's ear, "He's out in the aisle, yelling. What do you need?"
It was embarrassing to say, but Harry really couldn't wait. "I need him to show me where the lavatory is," he muttered, not sure if Draco would even hear him over the still-echoing cheers.
"I'll take you," Draco said, much to Harry's surprise.
He rose when Draco tugged at his sleeve; Magnus immediately took his usual position at the end of the lead. Harry concentrated. It took him a good deal of effort to be sure he remembered routes correctly. Magnus could keep him from bumping into anything, and make sure he found doorways and so forth, but Harry still needed to know where he was going.
"This way," said Draco, and Harry allowed himself to be led down the steps and around until the pressure of Draco's hand on his elbow signaled him to stop. "Here you are." Draco didn't relinquish his hold. "Shall I wait?"
"You don't need to. Magnus will get me back all right," said Harry. He assumed that Draco had left when he heard no reply, and waited patiently in the chattering crowd until Magnus led him to one of the stalls. When he emerged, however, he felt a touch on his shoulder.
"It's me," said Draco. "I had to go, too, so I thought I would wait and go back with you."
"Thanks," said Harry. "You didn't have to -- I appreciate that."
In their absence, Puddlemere had scored again, putting them 150 points ahead of the Cannons. The next time Oliver missed blocking the Quaffle, allowing the Cannons to score and put themselves back in possible contention. Harry heard Percy groan, but he himself didn't mind too much; it certainly made for more interesting game. Plus, he understood that the Puddlemere Seeker was quite good, so it was scarcely a catastrophe. Every Keeper missed sometimes.
The Snitch continued to elude both Seekers, however. Another hour of play ensued, the Chasers hotly contesting for the Quaffle on both sides. A Bludger knocked one of the Puddlemere Chasers on the head, putting him out of the game, but he was replaced by a young witch and play resumed.
The end, when it came, was quick. The announcer scarcely had time to say, "And it looks as if Puddlemere's Seeker has spotted the Snitch," before Puddlemere's Seeker had caught the Snitch, and the game was over, 520 to 230. Harry could hear Draco cheering politely, but Percy nearly drowned him out. Harry grinned to himself, happy for Percy. Oh, Oliver was going to have a fine time tonight.
As the cheers died away and the audience began shuffling towards the exits, Harry gathered up his courage. If Percy could look forward to a celebratory evening, maybe Harry could at least have one that wouldn't be as solitary as usual.
"Would you like to go to dinner or something?" he asked Draco.
Draco didn't answer right away. Harry had nearly decided that he was thinking up a reasonable excuse when Draco said, "Well, I haven't anything else to do tonight, so yes."
"Great. Um, I don't know, is there anywhere in particular you would like to go?" Harry had several possibilities in mind, but he didn't know what sort of restaurant Draco preferred, these days.
"There's a place that just opened up off Diagon Alley," Draco said. "The calamari are excellent there."
"That sounds fine to me," said Harry. They were nearly out of the stadium by now. "Percy."
"Yes? I'm going to go congratulate Oliver. Do you want to come along?"
"Give him my congratulations, too, and thank him again for the ticket," said Harry. "We're going to go get a bite to eat."
"Oh, good. Draco, I'll see you on Monday in the office." Percy's arm wrapped around Harry's shoulders for an instant, and he whispered in Harry's ear, "Good luck." Then he was gone.
"Shall we?" said Harry.
"Yes. The Floo line is over here." Harry felt Draco's hand under his elbow, guiding him.
"Floo, Magnus," he told his Kneazle, and Magnus veered in the proper direction. Hermione had trained him well: Magnus could recognize Floo fireplaces and associated them with the command.
Harry had grown more comfortable with Floos over the past couple of years; he couldn't Apparate well any more, although he would do it in an emergency. Something about the lack of sight made Splinching more likely. Harry didn't quite understand the theory behind it. He had at least become fairly adept in getting through the Floo network, with some help from Magnus. Usually he went the same routes and could time the trip to make sure he got out at the proper grate. In traveling to a new place he did need to have another wizard or witch go along, as Draco was this time.
It seemed that Draco ate at the restaurant often, for they were seated immediately, even though Harry could hear the conversation of other customers waiting to get a table.
"You said the calamari was good?" he asked. At his request the waiter had put a third chair next to him so Magnus could sit on it. The Kneazle was too large to fit under the table without risking an accidental kick.
"Yes, all their seafood really." Draco hesitated. "Would you like me to read you the menu?"
"Actually, if they have something that's fairly simple, why don't you just order that for me. I'm not really that fussy about what I eat." Harry smiled. "You've done rather well at bringing up lunches for Percy and me that I've liked, so I trust you."
"If you want." Draco sounded surprised.
After Draco had ordered, and the waiter had brought their drinks, Harry leaned forward and asked, "So if you were hesitant about going to the Quidditch match, or rather, you would have hesitated if you had known I was going to be there, why did you agree to come to dinner?"
"Well, as I said, I had nothing better to do, Potter." There was a smirk clearly audible in Draco's voice.
Harry sighed. "That's not much of an answer. You've made it pretty clear that you wanted to avoid me up until today, so why the change?"
"Don't you think that I might occasionally like to have someone to talk to over dinner?"
Harry petted Magnus's fur absently as he considered the answer. "Yes, but there wouldn't be much point in having dinner with someone that you couldn't stand."
"That's true." There was a faint clink of cutlery, and Harry felt the tablecloth move fractionally under his other hand. Draco must be fidgeting with his place setting.
"What happened, anyway?" Harry was genuinely curious to know. "During the war, when we were sharing a room, for a while I thought we were becoming friends, and then you just cut me off. You never gave any explanation."
"I don't really want to talk about that." Draco's voice was cool and controlled now, but no longer with that superior tone.
He could pursue the matter, or he could let it lie. The latter course might allow for a more pleasant dinner conversation, but he would have to ask sometime, if he ever wanted anything serious with Draco... and Harry had never been very good about being patient.
"It can't have been because I told you that I was gay, because you were too," he plunged on. "Unless... you weren't out then, were you." He didn't ask it as a question. "You couldn't have thought that being friends with me would make anyone think that you were queer too? I mean, Ron was friends with me, for goodness' sake, and there was never any question about him. He and Hermione were a known item."
"I said I don't want to talk about it, Potter, but if you insist." Draco was practically biting off each word. "Maybe you've forgotten. You asked me if I was gay before you told me that you were. What was I supposed to do? I didn't really know you well enough to trust you then. For all I knew, if I'd admitted it, you would have spread it around that Draco Malfoy was a pouf."
There was such bitterness in the words that Harry's fingers tightened on Magnus's fur in sympathy, causing the Kneazle to yowl softly in protest. Harry stroked him in apology. He found Draco's statement bewildering.
"I don't remember asking you first. I thought I told you that I might be gay, that's all."
Draco gave a grim little chuckle. "Believe me, if you'd said that about yourself first, things would have been rather different."
"But surely once I told you that I was, you could have admitted you were, too?" Harry still couldn't understand why Draco had had such a problem with this.
"I meant to. I really did, but then you were off seeing... I never even knew who it was," said Draco.
"Dean Thomas, actually," Harry mumbled. "It was just experimental, for him."
"Whoever. It didn't really matter, because it wasn't me."
"You were jealous? I can't fucking believe this," said Harry. "It's like some bad Muggle romance novel, the sort that Hermione used to read occasionally when she thought no one was watching."
"Yeah, I guess it is, isn't it?" This time Draco's laugh sounded more of amused resignation than bitterness. "Anyhow, I didn't really know how to handle what I was feeling. It was a lot simpler just to avoid you. And then I guess that became a habit. We'd spent years at each other's throats so it was easy to slide back into that pattern."
"I suppose." Harry stopped speaking as their starter of calamari was served. "This was a good idea. It's delicious," he told Draco through a crispy mouthful.
"I'm glad you think so," Draco said.
They ate without speaking for several moments, then Harry ventured, "Um, does the fact that you're here tonight mean that you're okay with the idea of being friends again? Or maybe..." he hesitated, "maybe something more?"
He hated to have to ask, but he really had no choice. Picking up on verbal cues just wasn't always enough. He might imagine the expression that Draco might have, but he could be utterly wrong.
"You don't still have a thing for my boss, do you?" Draco's tone was a little wary.
"Certainly not." Harry chuckled. "No, it was a very amicable split; we're still good friends, obviously, but it was definitely a mutual thing, to end it. He and I are both happier just as friends."
"I had to wonder, what with you dropping by his office so often lately."
Now Harry laughed outright. "You didn't guess that I was dropping 'round so often because you were there?"
"You're having me on."
"No. That's exactly what I was doing. Kind of working my way up to asking you out. Percy said I was arsing around about it for far too long; going to the Quidditch match was his idea, to get me to actually do something rather than just whinging to him." Harry admitted that with a bit of a pang, but Draco had confessed something he was clearly shy about, so Harry could no less than the same.
He reached to pluck another piece of calamari from the plate in the center of the table, but Draco's hand caught his, entwining their fingers.
"I just ate the last of it," said Draco. "Can you forgive me?" His finger brushed over the skin on the inside of Harry's wrist.
With a shiver, Harry said, "I think perhaps I might be able to. Depending on how good the main course is. Ask me again after that."
He heard Draco laugh. "Fair enough." His fingertips again pressed gently against Harry's pulse point. "It should be here any minute."
When the food arrived, Harry had to ask Draco just what it all was and how it was arranged. One never knew, at restaurants, just what extra vegetables and so forth might turn up on the plate, and Harry didn't much fancy dropping something down the front of his robes just because he had been too embarrassed to ask for a little help. Especially when Draco seemed positively eager to give it.
It was almost as if the years of coolness between them had never happened, so easily did they slip back into the kind of camaraderie they had possessed for just a couple of months towards the end of the war. When they had finished the first bottle of wine -- a crisp white that went beautifully with Harry's cod and lentils -- Draco ordered a second bottle, this time a red that tasted to Harry like cherries and smoke and caramel. He thought that he would associate the taste with Draco for the rest of his life. By the fourth glass, he knew that he was getting drunk, but he didn't care. He heard Draco's chuckle from across the table.
Draco touched his hand again. "What did you have in mind, stopping by the office all these weeks, and asking me to dinner tonight?"
Harry shook his head slightly, his thoughts muzzy. "In mind? Wanted to spend time with you, that's what. Missed you." He was drunkenly insistent on that point. "Missed having you around."
"But it had been years, Harry. And you said your break up was amicable. So why now? Why me? There are plenty of other wizards out there."
Shaking his head again, then stopping when a wave of dizziness rose up, Harry said, "I didn't want to go out with someone else, you see." He felt obliged to explain further. "You were the first bloke I ever wanted, and I never had the chance."
"Oh." Draco's hand gripped Harry's. "So now we've had dinner, do you want anything else?"
Harry could feel his face heat up. Surely Draco didn't want him to spell things out right there in the restaurant? He mumbled, "Would you come home with me tonight?"
"I think I had better go home with you in any case, after plying you with liquor this way." Draco's voice was warm. "And if you want me to stay, I will."
A grin tugged at Harry's mouth."I'm not so drunk as not to know that I'm drunk," he said, "although I could probably do with a dose of Sobriety Potion if that offer means what I hope it means."
They Flooed to Harry's flat as soon as Harry -- at his insistence -- had paid for their meals. Harry was still brushing himself off when Draco spoke.
"Look, Harry, do you have any Sobriety Potion around?"
Harry turned his head towards Draco. "Yes."
He felt Draco's hand on his arm.
"Before we do anything, I want to know where we stand," Draco firmly. "And I'm half-drunk, and I know you are too. I don't need to be totally sober, but I want to make sure that we both remember this conversation. So where do you keep it?"
"It's in the bathroom, in the cupboard there. Down the hallway, second door to your left. Glasses are in the kitchen, over the sink. Actually, I need to give Magnus his dinner, so I'll get those."
Several minutes later, as Harry was putting out the bowl for Magnus and rubbing the Kneazle behind his ears, Draco pressed a glass into Harry's other hand. "Here. It's only a half-dose; as I said, I don't feel the need to be completely sober for this. There's something to be said for taking the edge off."
Harry drank it quickly; no one had ever managed to make this potion taste very good. "All right," he said as he felt the tingle of the potion start to work its way through him, diminishing the pleasant lassitude caused by the alcohol. He walked back to the living room and sat down. "What's so important that you have to talk about it in detail now?"
Draco settled onto the sofa beside him, his right thigh pressed against Harry's left. Warm slender fingers entwined with Harry's. "If all you're after is a one-off, that's okay. Just let me know."
"It's not. That is, I hope it could be more." Harry squeezed Draco's hand. "But what I most want is us to be friends, and I'm certainly not proposing that we have to immediately start picking out china patterns or anything like that."
A snort. "I should hope not."
Laughing, Harry said, "No, but really. I thought you were attractive back then, and I still think you are. Goodness knows why, given that I can't actually see what you look like now and been doing your best to make sure that I would be turned off by your personality. It didn't work, however."
"Apparently not," agreed Draco, sounding not at all regretful about this.
"So if you'd be more comfortable starting out by trying just to be friends again first, that's okay," Harry said.
"I don't particularly feel the need to wait." Draco's voice was soft. He touched Harry's face, tracing his jaw line. "You're even better-looking now than you were during the war, you know that? Grey hair rather suits you, although you really should get that mop trimmed a little more often."
"Grey hair?" Harry hadn't known he had any. Why hadn't anyone told him that? He was going to yell at Ron and Hermione the next time he saw each of them. Fancy leaving him in the dark about such a thing.
"Just a few." Draco laughed. "Here," he touched above Harry's left temple. "And here." His fingers, resting on Harry's chin, turned Harry's head so that he could brush the right temple as well.
With Draco's hands holding his head on either side, Harry was unsurprised when warm lips pressed against his own. Draco's mouth was spicy from the Sobriety Potion -- Harry had never understood why it always tasted better on someone else than on oneself -- and his agile tongue darted against Harry's, awakening an eagerness to feel that mouth all over his body.
Draco made a little noise in his throat as they kissed, not quite a whine. When they broke off for a moment, he said shakily, "Fuck, Harry, if I'd known you kissed like that..."
"What would you have done?" Harry teased.
"Well, I wouldn't have let this much time pass, that's for certain," said Draco. "Move this way a bit." Harry slid over a few inches, and then Draco was on his lap, a knee to either side of Harry's hips, and Draco's fingers were busy unbuttoning Harry's robes as they kissed again.
Harry ran his hands up Draco's back, noticing that he must have recently had his hair cut, for it was trimmed close on the sides, though longer on top. He had wondered whether Draco wore it short, rather hoping that was the case; he didn't want to imagine Draco looking at all like Lucius Malfoy.
Draco's hands were moving, quick and knowing, over Harry's chest. "No grey hairs here," he murmured, his breath warm against Harry's ear.
"Good," said Harry a little more sharply than he had intended, and he felt Draco stiffen just slightly. "I mean, I'm glad to know that," he added letting his own hands slide back down the length of Draco's back to cup his arse appreciatively. "It's not as if Magnus could tell me."
"Hm. No." Draco's lips traveled along Harry's cheekbone from his ear to his eyes. He pressed a kiss to each of them. "I know this is a stupid question, but wasn't there anything that the Healers at St. Mungo's could do for you?"
Harry shrugged. "They could never even figure out for certain what curse did it. It was probably a combination of several. I'm lucky to still be alive, really; and out here rather than on the ward for patients with irreversible spell damage."
"I suppose that's true." Draco kissed each eyelid again. "It's still odd for me, though, seeing you without your specs. They were always so much a part of your face"
"Sometimes I forget and try to push them up," Harry confessed. "Look, um, this conversation is putting me off a bit."
"I'm sorry," said Draco. He wriggled a bit and settled himself more firmly on Harry's lap. Harry could feel the bulge of Draco's cock against his stomach, through the fabric of Draco's trousers, and he took one hand off of Draco's arse to touch it. Draco hummed contentedly at that, pushing against Harry's hand.
"That's nice. Shall I take off my robes?"
"No, I'll do it," said Harry, but he continued to touch Draco through the fabric for a little while longer, enjoying the feel of it and the sounds that Draco made as he did so. Then, carefully, he reached up to Draco's chest, searching out each button and slipping it out of its buttonhole, letting his fingers brush over the skin underneath as he exposed it bit by bit. Draco had very little hair on his chest, not much more than he had had when Harry had seen it years before, stealing glimpses as Draco undressed. It was surprisingly easy to bring back the image as his thumbs searched out the hollows of Draco's collarbones and he pushed the shirt off of Draco's shoulders.
Harry leaned forward, nuzzling at the warm skin, inhaling the scent, a whiff of what Harry recognized as a very expensive cologne, but mostly just the smell of Draco himself. Harry nosed his way over to Draco's armpit, where the smell was strongest. Once he would have been embarrassed about that, but now he wanted to enjoy to the fullest all of the senses that remained to him.
Draco gasped and tensed when Harry opened his lips against the soft skin at the juncture of arm and shoulder, saying, "Careful, it tickles."
"Oh, does it?" Harry licked again.
"Harry." Draco's voice held a half-laughing warning. His hands came to Harry's shoulders as if to push him away, but Harry relented first, moving a little and finding Draco's nipple to suck instead.
With his tongue, he traced the circle of softer flesh, flicking over the nub, then followed the ridge of a scar across and down at a sharp diagonal over Draco's ribs. He knew where this scar had come from; he was the one who had put it there. The apologies had all been made years ago, yet somehow Harry needed to make them once more, in this more tangible fashion. Draco seemed to understand that, for he fell quiet as Harry kissed along the length of twisted flesh.
Turning his head, he pressed his cheek against Draco's chest and wrapped his arms around him. "I can't believe you're really here."
"I can't, either." Draco's hands stroked Harry's back, held him close.
"Maybe we should move this to the bedroom?" Harry tilted his head.
"Probably a good idea," agreed Draco. He scooted back, off Harry's knees, and tugged at Harry's hand, pulling him up.
The bed was made; a useful housekeeping spell that Harry had learned from Mrs. Weasley. "I'll just undress," he told Draco.
"No, let me." Draco spoke the words firmly. "I know you're perfectly capable of doing it, but I want to."
Harry nodded acquiescence and stood as Draco continued the undressing process he had begun out in the living room. He didn't quite kiss every inch of skin on Harry's body as he exposed it, but he came close. Harry felt almost as if he were being worshiped. The thought would have made him uncomfortable except that he was quite sure that Draco Malfoy had never worshiped anyone in his life. Respected, yes; admired, certainly; but never worshiped.
When Harry was completely naked, Draco said, "Merlin, you're gorgeous."
Harry could feel his face getting hot. "Hardly." He was even less comfortable with compliments to his appearance than he had once been, since he couldn't tell if the other person was telling the truth or not.
"Yes, you are," Draco insisted. He stepped close to Harry again, wrapping his arms around Harry's waist. "Shall I take off my own clothes, too, or did you want to do it?"
"I'll do it," said Harry. He liked the idea of exploring Draco's body.
As Harry removed the rest of Draco's clothing, bit by bit, he discovered that Draco's arse was just as delightfully rounded as he remembered it; that there was a scar on his left hip; and that he was quite astonishingly ticklish behind his knees. When at last they were both fully naked, Harry stood, putting his arms on Draco's shoulders and pulling them together so that their cocks nudged against each other. Draco's was as hard and hot and eager as his own.
He tilted his head slightly, brushing his lips over Draco's cheek, then moving as Draco turned his head so that their mouths joined. It was a kiss that was both urgent, because it had been quite a long time since Harry had been to bed with anyone -- he suspected the same was true for Draco as well -- and also languorous, because he didn't ever want to stop. Draco's mouth seemed to fit perfectly against his own, the movements of his tongue and lips wringing sensations from Harry that he didn't think he had ever felt before. One of Draco's hands wrapped around Harry's waist, pulling them closer; the other stroked Harry's eyebrows, his cheek, his neck.
Together they moved the few feet to Harry's bed and stretched out on it, still kissing, their hips rocking together. Harry moved one hand down to wrap it around both of their cocks and heard Draco's throaty groan. He made himself stop kissing Draco for long enough to ask, "What do you want?"
"I'll do whatever you want, Harry."
"No, I want you to be honest, because I don't know what you like in bed, and I want this to be good for you. If you dislike bottoming, for instance, I wouldn't ask you to do that; I don't care all that much." Harry shifted awkwardly and used his free hand to touch Draco's face. "So tell me."
Draco's lips closed around the tip of Harry's finger, sucking on it.
"Should I take that to mean that you prefer oral sex?" said Harry.
Draco chuckled and let go of Harry's finger. "I enjoy it very much, as a matter of fact; both ways. But if you like to top, I'm quite happy with that." His laugh became a little self-conscious. "That's actually what I used to fantasize about, when we were sharing that room."
"You did?" Harry felt his face heat up. "That was what I imagined, too."
That made Draco laugh louder. "Merlin, I really mucked things up back then, didn't I? Oh, well." He kissed Harry again. "I suppose there's still time to make up for it. Do you keep lube somewhere, or do you prefer charms instead?"
"There's some in the drawer of the night table here." Harry pointed.
"I'll get it," said Draco, and the bed shifted as he rolled away for a moment. "I like this better than charms myself," he said conversationally. "Here, hold out your hand." Harry did so, and Draco squeezed a sizable blob of the cool gel into Harry's hand, then guided it so that Harry felt the pucker of Draco's arsehole under his fingers.
Draco was tight, and as Harry worked first one finger in, then a second, he asked, "How long has it been, for you? I've only had a couple of very brief flings since Percy and I split up nearly two years ago."
Draco hissed in a breath as Harry moved his fingers, stretching him.
"Oh my fuck," gasped Draco. "Fuck. Just there. I... maybe three years."
"Three years?" Harry found it hard to believe that someone like Draco had been celibate for that long. Yes, he had worked briefly on Voldemort's side at the very beginning, but it hadn't been long before he had switched allegiances, and certainly his looks ought to have procured him all the partners he could want.
"Since I bottomed, yes." Draco's hand grasped Harry's shoulder. "Fuck, there!"
Harry could feel the nub of Draco's prostate under his finger and stroked over it again, eliciting a hissing moan. He twisted, sliding a third finger in. "Are you ready?"
Draco's response was to pull himself off Harry's fingers and turn around, pressing his arse against Harry's cock.
"Here, let me just..." Harry shoved pillows against the headboard and moved until he was lying half-propped against them. "So you can control it," he whispered his hands seeking Draco, guiding him to a position straddling Harry's hips. He felt Draco's hand on his cock, and then a sure slick slide as Draco lowered himself, taking Harry in inch by inch.
Draco grunted a little as he settled, his bollocks brushing Harry's stomach. Harry touched them, fondling the soft loose skin before his hands moved higher, stroking along Draco's cock.
"A little more lube?" he requested.
Draco obliged, and Harry stroked the cool gel over the heat of Draco's prick. Then Draco began to move, his arse flexing around Harry's cock as his prick thrust through Harry's hand.
"Fuck, that's good." Harry's groan was matched by similar noise from Draco as he shifted angles slightly. Harry tightened his grip a fraction, twisting as he moved his hand up and down Draco's shaft. He groaned again when Draco clenched his arse in return, sending hot ripples all along Harry's nerves.
Then Draco's weight shifted, and his wrists brushed Harry's shoulders as he bent, supporting his weight so that he could claim Harry's lips once more.
The nip that Harry gave him was reciprocated with interest when Draco sucked at his tongue, doing so in the same rhythm as the flexing of his thighs that made Harry's prick slide in and out of that glorious tight heat. Harry's right hand was trapped between them, still fisting Draco's cock, but with his left he grabbed the back of Draco's head, pulling him closer, wanting all of him at once.
His orgasm seemed to come out of nowhere, leaving him gasping and trembling as he clutched at Draco, still rocking against him. Then Draco's hand closed over his own, urging him to stroke faster, harder, until Harry felt the wet spurts of Draco's semen through his fingers.
Draco relaxed forward onto Harry's chest, rolling them over, Harry's softening prick slipping out as they moved. He let out a long satisfied sigh and nuzzled against Harry's neck.
"I definitely shouldn't have been so thickheaded years back," he murmured. "Just look what I've been missing all these years."
"And just what have you been missing?" Harry kissed the short hair at Draco's temple.
"Why, brilliant shagging, of course." There was a pause, and then he said, "Er... just one thing, though. Did you know that your Kneazle is apparently a voyeur?"
Harry chuckled. "Where is he?"
"He's not on the bed or anything, thank Merlin. I think that would have put me off entirely, which would have been a dreadful shame. He's in his basket there by the door, but he seemed to be watching."
"He's trained to keep an eye on me, in case I should need assistance." Harry stroked Draco's back. "It's not as if he understands what's going on, you know." Although he wasn't entirely sure of that, it seemed to reassure Draco, so he let it stand. "Do you need to go home, or would you like to stay the night here? I think I have a spare toothbrush."
"Who cares about that as long as you have something around to eat in the morning. You do, right?" Draco yawned loudly.
"Of course. How do you fancy an avocado omelette?"
Draco didn't answer. Soft regular breathing told Harry that he fallen asleep. He smiled, cast a couple of quick cleaning charms so that they wouldn't stick to the sheets in the morning, and dozed off with his arms around the man he'd been half in love with since he could remember.