Title: Spinner's End, 2/2
He Apparated unsteadily, the tunnel seeming to shrink in and press unduly hard against him, then loosening suddenly as he stumbled into something which turned out to be a sofa. He was sweaty and bleeding from a cut that crossed his scar and was dripping down his forehead. In his current state, the Apparition left him dizzy and slightly nauseous. Harry gripped the sofa to steady himself as Spinner’s End came into focus in the dim light around him. Over his own ragged breathing, he listened and determined that the house was empty.
Upstairs, he ran cold water over the cut and grimaced as he surveyed it in the mirror. It would probably scar over his old scar. Just what he needed. A stinging on his chest made itself known as he bent to get a healing salve from his bag. Frowning, Harry straightened and pulled off his shirt to examine the damage. It appeared to be a stinging hex.
There was a pop in the hallway outside the bathroom. Then a voice said, “You’ll want rose thorn oil for that.”
Not looking, Harry touched it gingerly. It hurt. “And why would I have any of that?” he asked acidly. “It costs way too much to just carry around for no particular reason.”
Malfoy came to stand in the doorway. He was breathing hard, his hair tangled and dirty, and there was a smear of blood on his cheek. “I have some, so stop grousing.” He reached under his cloak to unbuckle a flat pouch strapped to his torso. Reaching into it, he pulled out a tiny vial of clear liquid. “Here. Just a drop or two. It stops the pain now and the itching later, which I consider a bonus, personally.”
Harry took it, not looking him in the eye. “Thanks,” he mumbled. He tapped a large drop of oil onto the tip of his finger and dabbed it onto his skin, aware that Malfoy was watching him. Malfoy, who wasn’t interested in him and never had been and even if he had, wasn’t any more upon his discovery that no sex for months meant sometimes a bloke got off a little too fast. Even if by “sex” he only meant those extremely infrequent fumblings of hand jobs from strangers. Harry glared down at his own skin and wished Malfoy were just about anywhere else. What right did Malfoy have to be watching him if he was so virulently uninterested, anyway? Then Harry got it – Malfoy just wanted to make sure he wasn’t going to use too much of his precious rose thorn oil. He corked it and handed it back, still not looking.
Malfoy took it. “What happened to your forehead?”
Harry glanced at it in the mirror. It wasn’t bleeding any more, thanks to the salve, but the cut was still red and ugly, the skin jagged. The salve would fix that, but not instantly. “Dolohov, I think.”
Malfoy’s expression barely changed out the corner of Harry’s eye. “That bastard knows far too many curses.”
“It was a knife, actually,” Harry said sourly. “I didn’t duck in time. Well, not quite. I guess it could have been worse.”
Malfoy peered at it. “Fuck, Potter. That’s a little too close for comfort.”
“Tell me about it,” Harry growled.
“I meant my comfort,” Malfoy said snidely. “We can’t afford to lose you.”
“Fuck off and die,” Harry said evenly, keeping his eyes on the mirror. “And while you’re at it, stop looking at me.”
Malfoy’s shoulders sagged. He dropped the snide tone. “No one’s looking at anything,” he muttered. “I just want to get some sleep.”
Harry stole a look at him. The blood on Malfoy’s cheek seemed to have increased. “Are you bleeding?”
Malfoy didn’t say anything right away. “Just let me know when you’re done in here,” he said, and went across the hall to the bedroom.
Harry watched him go, then shrugged. He closed the door and took a two minute shower, rinsing off the sweat and grime, wincing as the hot water stung another wound on the back of one leg. He towelled off and, once again wearing the towel as he carried his dirty clothes into the next room. Malfoy was sitting on his bedroll, going through the contents of the pouch.
“I’m done,” Harry said. The cut on Malfoy’s cheek was still bleeding. “Don’t you have anything to put on that?”
“Mind your own business,” Malfoy snarled, glaring at him.
Harry didn’t glare back. “Look, you gave me some of your stuff. Do you want something? I have all the usual stuff. You might as well use it if it’s here.”
Malfoy took his time answering, putting everything back into the pouch except for a small case of some sort. Finally, he said, “Fine, then, give me some of whatever you put on your forehead.”
Harry went back to the bathroom and got it, offering it to Malfoy silently.
Malfoy spelled his face clean and applied the salve, cursing under his breath. “Fucking better not scar.”
“Hey, you could be a freak like me,” Harry said lightly, accepting the jar back.
“Great. Really comforting, Potter.”
For some reason, Malfoy glared all the more fiercely. “Well, fucking stop trying!” he snapped.
Harry blinked, taken aback. “Sorry,” he said. “Didn’t realise it was such a sensitive subject.”
Malfoy refused to answer, turning his back on Harry to undress. In his briefs, he stalked over to the bathroom, but when he reached the bedroom doorway, he suddenly stopped and looked back, catching Harry’s guilty eyes. He went still. “What?” he said, the word laced with something like venom.
“What do you mean, ‘what’?” Harry mumbled, staring at the floor between them.
“Are you looking at my arse?”
“You’re a terrible liar.”
“I’m not going to have sex with you, Potter.”
“What makes you think I want you to?” Harry threw back, trying to recover his dignity. “God, you’re full of yourself!”
“You were staring at my arse,” Malfoy said, eyes boring into Harry’s.
Harry opened his mouth to refute this, then suddenly changed directions. “Look, Malfoy, you have a nice arse. But I wasn’t thinking about that.”
It was a lie, but it seemed to strike a nerve. Malfoy’s face reddened with anger. Without a word, he turned and went into the bathroom, closing the door with a bang.
Harry’s temporary satisfaction with having shut Malfoy up faded. Fatigue swamped him; his muscles were protesting every move and the gash on his forehead was throbbing gently, though the salve had taken the heat away. He moved the bedroll he had slept in the previous time further from Malfoy’s and wondered why no one else had thought of coming to Spinner’s End from the battle. He didn’t have much time to think before sleep swam over his vision, filling his mind with war images that he’d spent over three years trying to block out.
Ron came the next day, along with Neville and Seamus. Harry was sitting in the kitchen when he heard the Apparition. Malfoy was upstairs, and had not spoken a word to Harry since the previous night. Harry got up and went into the other room. Ron was enlarging something he’d been carrying in a pocket somewhere. Neville saw him first. “Harry! When did you get here?”
“Last night,” Harry said. “I was wondering why no one else was here.”
“We were wondering where you’d got to, mate,” Ron said, coming to sling an arm around Harry’s shoulders. “Gave us a right scare.”
“Again,” Seamus added.
“Where’s Dean?” Harry asked.
The three exchanged looks. “Not sure,” Seamus said grimly. “Hoping the infirmary. He’ll need it.”
“What happened?” Harry was holding his breath and knew it. Every time it was something, some person who had come too close to the line – or gone over it –
“Let’s talk about it later,” Neville said, glancing meaningly at Seamus.
Right. Harry nodded. “Sure,” he said, trying to keep his voice light. “Er – just so you know, Malfoy’s here.”
Ron’s head jerked up. “He’s here? Where?”
“Upstairs,” Harry said, meeting his look. “I know. Don’t say it.”
Ron’s expression went a little strange. “I wasn’t going to say anything about him – well – never mind, mate. Did you, uh, come at the same time?”
Harry stared at him. “No! I got here first. I didn’t know he was going to crash here, too.”
“Okay,” Ron said, still sounding uncertain. “Well. I’ve never been here before. Where do we sleep?”
“Upstairs,” Harry said again, relieved to change the subject and irked by the strange look on Ron’s face. “I’ll show you.”
Malfoy was predictably even more withdrawn, his only exchanges with anyone typically contemptuous and brief, with the possible exception of Neville, who was just so harmless and well-intentioned that even Malfoy couldn’t be nasty to him. They all slept in the bedroom upstairs. Three days had passed. They were all waiting for clearance to return to St. Mungo’s, not that Harry particularly wanted to return to the melee there. If Malfoy hadn’t been there, it might have almost been nice. The pantry had quite a bit of food, though nothing fresh. Someone had put some fresh bread in the house since Harry had last been there, but there certainly weren’t any deliveries being made.
Harry went down the stairs one morning to find Seamus arguing amiably with Malfoy over the proper way to boil an egg and wondered when they’d started eating breakfast together. Probably just a coincidence, he told himself, though it didn’t bother him any less that Malfoy was so patently uninterested in him. He’d been berating himself over that one, stupid drunken whatever-it-had-been, and his apparent lack of self-control since it had happened, but doubly – trebly – so since his conversation with Pansy. If only he hadn’t screwed up his one chance with Malfoy.
On the other hand, the war was a rather major distraction at the moment. The battles were getting worse and they were losing ground by the day. Perhaps it was better not to have that sort of emotional attachment, though Harry also thought that was crap. He already had emotional attachments to his friends, and whether or not he wanted it, to Malfoy, too. It was something he didn’t like to look at too closely, examine in too much detail. The entire subject made him uncomfortable.
He looked up to find Malfoy watching him, and realised that he’d missed something. “Sorry?” he said, pushing his glasses up his nose.
Malfoy closed his eyes for a moment as though praying for patience. When he opened them, he said through gritted teeth, “I said, would you like an egg.”
“Oh. Er, sure. Thanks.” Harry glanced at Seamus, who shrugged, and pulled out the chair across from him. Malfoy’s barely-civil attempt at civility didn’t fool him. It was obvious that Malfoy was pissed off about something, though whether it was Harry’s apparently poor performance or the fact that the entire thing had happened in the first place, Harry didn’t know. The dynamics in the kitchen were strained; Malfoy’s silence seemed to fill the room. Seamus let the topic of proper boiling length go and Malfoy stood by the range, glowering at the eggs as they bumped gently against the side of the pot.
There were footsteps on the stairs and then Neville appeared. “Morning,” he said sleepily, dishevelled and half-awake.
They all looked at him. “Hi,” Harry said.
Seamus grunted in a friendly sort of way.
“Morning.” It was grudging and barely audible, but Neville looked at Malfoy with surprise, seeming pleased.
“Ron still sleeping?” Seamus asked.
“Yeah. Still snoring. Like always.”
“Should have smothered that git years ago,” Seamus muttered.
After breakfast, Harry got up to do the dishes. Malfoy had remained steadfastly silent except when spoken to throughout, but had equally silently made toast and put things like jam and butter and milk out on the table for them, so Harry thought he would do the dishes. Malfoy was standing at the sink, already running the water. Neville said something about showering and disappeared upstairs. Seamus took the month-old Prophet to the next room to erase Malfoy’s answers to the crossword.
Harry went to the sink. “Uh, I can do the dishes,” he said, trying to stand an appropriate distance from Malfoy.
Malfoy’s shoulder twitched, possibly in annoyance. “Have it your way,” he said shortly, and hung the cloth over the faucet. He went to the table and began to put things away. The silence was very awkward, though Harry made as much noise as possible, splashing water and clanking the dishes. Malfoy was at the fridge, gazing into its interior and apparently finished cleaning up. Harry wondered what he was doing, but didn’t ask. Malfoy looked back sharply, catching him, as though he’d sensed Harry’s eyes.
The moment lengthened. Harry felt himself flush and broke the eye contact, reaching for a mug to clatter into the sink.
“What, Potter?” Malfoy sounded both cold and irritated. “What do you want?”
“Nothing,” Harry said tightly, pushing the wadded cloth into the bottom of the mug. He closed his mouth firmly and vowed to keep it that way, lest he get himself into further trouble.
For a long minute, Malfoy was silent. Then he closed the fridge and crossed behind Harry to leave. “Then cut the mixed messages,” he said tensely, from the doorway. It was quick and low and full of some sort of anger that Harry didn’t understand at all, and before he could respond or ask what the hell Malfoy meant by that, he was gone.
Harry turned back to the dishes in silent frustration, fuming.
The clearance didn’t come. In fact, nothing came, no word from any of the Order’s higher-ups. Harry was getting increasingly frustrated, stuck where he was at Spinner’s End. There was no news from the war front, no owls to be seen. They had no owl and no way of communicating with anyone outside. The rule during war was that if you scattered to a safehouse following a battle, you were to stay put and wait until official word came before leaving. If no word came, then after two weeks you were allowed to exercise your own judgement. As it was, Harry had no idea if anyone had traced them to Spinner’s End yet. The Order had aura samples from everyone, which made tracing relatively simple – which had proven grimly convenient in the few (but painful) instances of betrayal from within the ranks.
Seamus, Ron, and Neville had settled in easily enough. It had been five days since the other Gryffindors had arrived. Seamus was especially good at thinking of games or conversation topics that kept their minds off things. Malfoy usually chose to be on whichever floor the other three weren’t on, though he sometimes came downstairs (or upstairs) at Neville’s insistence to provide a quiet fourth or fifth for Seamus’ card games. He never spoke to Harry directly, and the few times that Harry attempted conversation with him, he was subtly but definitely rebuffed. This only happened in front of everyone else; Harry was fairly certain that he would have heard blunter wording had they been alone. He saw to it that they were never alone together, though Malfoy had to have been angling at that, too. Harry stuck close to Ron and Malfoy never tried to approach him.
He was both hurt and embarrassed by it, as well as a little angry. What the hell was Malfoy’s problem? Were Harry’s feelings that obvious? They must have been, given what Pansy had said. If Malfoy was trying to make the point that he wasn’t interested and never had been, that their drunken encounter had been a ridiculous mistake – confirmed by Harry’s lousy performance – then he’d made it. Harry saw no need for him to go on making it every time they happened to be in a room together. He also didn’t understand why he would sometimes find Malfoy watching him resentfully, something hateful smouldering in those unfathomable eyes.
Neville came into the main room, a rag swinging from one hand. All five of them were in there, each in their own corners. Seamus was waiting impatiently for Ron to take his turn in whatever card game they were playing; Malfoy was reading an ancient-looking spellbook. Harry was trying to read a novel he’d found upstairs. It was Victorian and abstrusely detailed. It wasn’t particularly interesting thus far, but there was nothing better to do.
“The pantry is pretty disgusting,” Neville said. “I was thinking we should maybe clean it.”
Ron and Seamus exchanged a look. Malfoy didn’t look up. “It’s pretty small,” Ron tried.
“I know,” Neville said. “Maybe just three of us, I was thinking. If we each take a wall, we’ll be done really soon. Harry just did the dishes from breakfast and lunch, and Malfoy made lunch, so maybe you two?” He pushed his glasses up his nose and grinned at Ron, who sighed.
“I guess I’m due for some chores.” He put his cards down. “Finish this later?”
“Wanker,” Seamus grumbled. “You’re just stalling.” He put his cards down and got up. “All right, Longbottom. What do want us to do?”
“Come in here and I’ll show you.”
Ron and Seamus left, leaving Harry and Malfoy alone in the room. If Malfoy had noticed the entire exchange, he gave no sign. Harry noticed that they were sitting as far apart as possible, though it was a small enough room. Harry was near the fireplace; Malfoy was in the corner of the sofa where he’d been watching the Death Eaters the night Harry had arrived the first time. Ten minutes passed in silence that was rather charged.
Harry stole a look at Malfoy, found that cool look on the other’s face again, and grew annoyed. It was too much. “Damn it, Malfoy, do you really hate me this much?” Harry burst out. “What do you have to give me that look for?”
Malfoy looked surprised for a fleeting second. Then his expression shuttered and he shrugged, aloof. “I thought it was perfectly mutual.”
That didn’t quite correspond with what Harry knew. “What? What makes you think that I hate you?”
Malfoy’s eyes were hard. “Well, if it’s not hate, then I’m not sure what it is, Potter. It doesn’t matter. I’m not in this war to play stupid games with people.”
Harry clenched his teeth together. “Who’s playing games? You’re the one who keeps staring at me like that! How am I supposed to know what you want?”
“You made it perfectly clear what you don’t want,” Malfoy said. “And it’s irrelevant as to what I want, so it doesn’t matter. I’m sorry for looking at you. I’ll try not to ever do it again. In fact, I’ll try not to ever be stuck in a house with you again. It’s not as though I arranged it this way.”
Harry’s mouth fell open. “What? You’re not making any sense to me. I’m not the one who has a problem with being here together, obviously, and I have no idea what you mean by knowing what I don’t want. What? What don’t I want?”
Malfoy’s look was cold. “Do you not have any recollection of your little conversation with Pansy at St. Mungo’s?”
More confusion. And embarrassment. “Yes, of course I remember that,” Harry said. “What are you talking about?”
Malfoy’s words were underscored with venom. “You told Pansy that you weren’t interested and that what happened only happened because we were drunk. I had thought that I wasn’t the only one who wanted it at the time, but apparently I was wrong.”
Harry’s head was reeling. “What?” he said again. “Malfoy, that’s not – that – I didn’t mean it like that! Pansy came and told me not to pursue you because you were definitely not interested and wanted to be left alone! And if you really were interested, how was I supposed to know, from how you’ve been since we got here?”
For a second, Malfoy just stared him. “What?” Before Harry could answer, he changed strides, looking at the entrance to the kitchen. “Look, can we talk about this upstairs?” he asked, lowering his voice. “I don’t want this to be overheard.”
“Oh. Uh, sure,” Harry said. He got up and went upstairs. Malfoy followed at a safe distance, closing the bedroom door behind himself. They faced each other over the rumpled bedrolls strewn over the floor.
Malfoy’s arms were crossed over his chest, his expression both accusatory and annoyed. “Pansy told me that she was going to talk to you to see what you were thinking about what had happened. She told me that you said you weren’t interested and that it was just a one-time thing that happened because we were both drunk and just happened to be there at the same time.”
“That’s not exactly what I said,” Harry said. “And she didn’t exactly phrase it that way, that she just wanted to know what I was thinking.”
“She would never have just phrased it that way,” Malfoy said, rolling his eyes. “She’s a Slytherin, Potter. Give her some credit for subtlety.”
“Well, she wasn’t exactly subtle about some things,” Harry said, his cheeks warming with anger and humiliation all over again. “She was pretty specific about you not being interested because I was too, uh, ‘quick on the draw’, as she put it. What was I supposed to say to you after that? And for the record, that’s never happened like that before. I mean, not that I – ” he stopped, embarrassed, realising that he’d almost admitted a little too much to Malfoy.
Malfoy’s pale face had flushed, too. “I guess I did tell her that,” he said, not quite looking at Harry. “I didn’t mean for her to tell you that I said that. And I never said that I wasn’t interested. I… guess she was trying to… well, I haven’t had the best luck in relationships before and maybe she was just trying to keep me from getting involved with someone.”
Harry tried to make himself absorb this. It was difficult. “Are you trying to tell me that you really were interested all along?”
Malfoy still wouldn’t meet his eyes. “Maybe,” he said, shifty. “Maybe not all along, but once you got here, it was a bit different. Maybe I was interested before that. I don’t know.”
It was probably the best he was going to get, but Harry was still trying to adjust to this. “Is that the best you can do?” he demanded. “Come on, Malfoy. I’ve been dying of humiliation because I thought you thought I was crap at, er, the stuff we did.”
“You’re not crap,” Malfoy said. His face went a little darker. “And actually… I have a confession. You remember what I said about the Weasley twins?”
“About you and them in the safehouse in Norfolk? Yeah,” Harry said. “Pretty hard to forget that.”
Malfoy cleared his throat, still red in the face. “That didn’t really happen,” he said. “I said they were in a compromising position, but nothing happened. We were just all in the same bed at the same time, because there was only one. And it really was cold. But my point is… fuck, Potter.” He looked angry, one hand coming up to his forehead. “This is embarrassing. I’ve only ever had one blow job, and that was from you, and I didn’t think it was crap at all.”
Harry’s face warmed again. “That was your first one?”
Malfoy nodded, looking both miserable and angry.
“That was my first, too,” Harry said, hoping it wasn’t a huge mistake to admit that.
Malfoy exhaled slowly, pushing his fingers into his hair. “I didn’t know that. But look. I don’t know if this – I mean, we’ve never been friends, Potter. I have no idea why that worked the other night, but maybe you were right and it was just something that should be a one-time thing. Besides, there’s a war on, and you’re not exactly – ”
“Wait a second,” Harry said, not caring that he was interrupting. “Did you just say that you wanted that to happen? That you meant for that to happen?”
Malfoy hedged. “Not exactly,” he said.
“What, exactly, did you mean, then?” Harry stared at him, waiting.
Malfoy fidgeted, refusing to look him in the eye. “Potter, you’re… not as big a git as I thought you were, but you still aren’t exactly what I had in mind. I… sorry. I don’t want to talk about this any more. The rest of them will be done with the pantry right away and someone will come up. Let’s just forget about this.”
Harry felt himself go almost numb, not wanting to believe this. “What?”
Malfoy dropped his arms and went to the door. “Let’s just forget it,” he repeated stiffly.
If Harry hadn’t looked at him just then, he probably would have let Malfoy go, and that would have been that. But he did look, and saw an odd expression in Malfoy’s eye for just a split second, and it spurred him to motion. “Wait!” It was urgent, and he was across the room in seconds, yanking Malfoy around by the shoulder to pin him to the doorframe.
Malfoy went rigid, barely breathing. “What?”
Harry stared at him and found he couldn’t put any of the things he wanted to say into words. He seized Malfoy by the back of his neck and kissed him, hard. Malfoy made a small sound of some sort, and then his mouth moved against Harry’s, kissing back furiously. He was tense, his arms were straight at his sides, but he wasn’t objecting to the kiss in the slightest, his mouth opening under the prompting of Harry’s, their tongues mashing wetly together. Harry’s glasses grew steamy with breath condensation, but he didn’t take them off until they began to cut into Malfoy’s cheekbone, at which point Malfoy reached up and clawed them off, not even pausing for breath.
Somehow, Harry’s hands got from Malfoy’s neck to his arse, and that got Malfoy’s arms around him. Harry was alternately rubbing or squeezing; he couldn’t help himself. Malfoy pulled his face away, panting, but gave in and pressed himself against Harry’s body. He was hard. Harry could feel it. He broke away. “So you do want this,” he said, confirming, breathing hard. He knew it, but he wanted to hear Malfoy say it.
Malfoy’s pupils were dilated and very dark. “Brilliant deduction, Potter. Though I still say they could come upstairs any minute now.”
Harry let go of him abruptly and went to the door. He locked it manually to be on the safe side. He went back to Malfoy, facing him, and waited to see if Malfoy would make a move. “That better?”
For a second, Malfoy didn’t move. His expression flickered between uncertainty and what looked like he was about to come out with something cuttingly vicious and undisguised heat. Then he nodded. “Yeah.” It was hoarse. He closed the space between them, getting his hands on Harry’s arse first. Harry put his hands back where they had been and their mouths came together again.
It got rather frantic after that. Malfoy backed him into the wall and they rubbed against each other, kissing and panting into each other’s mouths. Harry wanted to know what had happened in Malfoy’s other relationships and why Pansy was so very protective of him, anyway, but now was not the time. It seemed almost surreal, knowing that Ron, Seamus, and Neville probably thought they were at each other’s throats in the main room downstairs, and while it was possible they were inflicting harm on each other at the moment, it was a very pleasurable sort of harm. Someone could come upstairs at any moment, though; Malfoy was right. Neither of them appeared to be willing to stop now, though. Harry knew that he wasn’t, at least, and the desperate noise Malfoy had just made against his neck seemed to indicate that he wasn’t, either.
Malfoy’s hand was scrabbling at the button of his jeans – his own jeans, Harry realised, the ones Malfoy had lent him. He’d forgot to give them back, and when he’d remembered at St. Mungo’s, he’d been too embarrassed to seek Malfoy out, even just to return his clothes. His fingers were rough and desperate and the touching made Harry harder than ever. Their fingers bumped and tangled as Harry’s got in on the rush to get his cock out. There – Malfoy’s hand was curling around it, his mouth deserting Harry’s as he surveyed it critically. Harry felt his cock pulse under the scrutiny and he reached for the button of Malfoy’s trousers again, wanting to even the tables. Malfoy slapped his hand away and undid the button himself, placing his cock in Harry’s palm. He didn’t say a word, his eyes impossibly intense. Their eyes burned into each other’s as their hands started moving properly now, an addictive rhythm beginning to build between them, and it was rough and there wasn’t much finesse, but it felt so good – all the more so because it might be interrupted any second now and Harry wanted very badly to get there before that happened.
Malfoy moaned softly. “Shh,” Harry warned, his breathing pained. “The rest of them – ”
“Fuck.” Malfoy’s eyes closed, his mouth open, and he rubbed harder, his wrist jerking back and forth with in rhythmic precision.
Harry wanted to kiss him again but he was breathing too hard and if he came, he might have ended up biting through Malfoy’s tongue from the sheer amount of pleasure that was building, speeding through his veins and coiling around his cock like a serpent. Malfoy’s cock felt so good in his hand, like it belonged there, hard and flushed, the head bumping against Harry’s, which made him twitch and need to groan.
“Oh God, Potter – ” Malfoy’s face was twisted in need, which only heightened everything for Harry.
There was a sound outside the room. “Harry?” Ron’s voice called, muffled by the closed door. “You in there? Can I come in?”
Harry’s eyes flew open, his eyes meeting Malfoy’s for a second of silent, shared thought – that neither of them had even heard Ron on the stairs. “Not – not now,” he called back, trying his hardest to sound normal. “I’m just, uh – I’m just – changing. I’ll be out in a sec. Don’t come in!”
Malfoy bent, his teeth closing over a patch of Harry’s clothed shoulder and he bit hard into the material and Harry’s skin. Stifling a cry, he came, his cock shooting hot spatters into Harry’s fist.
“Okay,” Ron said, sounding confused. They had changed in front of each other many times before without issue, not that Harry wanted to think about that right now. “I’ll just, uh, wait, then.”
Harry squeezed his eyes closed and came hard as Malfoy gripped him furiously, both around his cock and his arse, through the jeans. It was wet and made him feel like he was flying apart, and he had to answer Ron, but his vision was swimming, his head light, and it was the best feeling he’d ever had. Malfoy was panting into his shoulder, his back heaving, his hands loosening their respective holds.
Harry opened his eyes and fought to master himself, get his breath back. “Just a second,” he repeated, to Ron.
Malfoy snickered and straightened up. He zipped his trousers and moved away, heading for his bedroll. “I guess I’m having a nap,” he said, sotto voce.
Harry raked his fingers through his sweaty hair and tried to pull himself together. Malfoy crawled into his bedroll and promptly feigned sleep. Harry went to the door, double checking to make sure he’d zipped his jeans. Ron looked as confused as he had sounded when Harry opened the door. Harry thought fast. “Hi,” he said quickly, keeping his voice low. “Uh, sorry about that – I just – uh – Malfoy is having a nap, and I didn’t want to wake him up and, you know, see me changing and stuff. I’m done now.”
Ron was still giving him a weird look. “Are you feeling okay, mate? You’re all red in the face. Feverish, like.”
Harry coughed and put a hand to his hot face. “I’m – I’m feeling all right,” he said. “I’m just going to use the bathroom. Talk to you later!” He pushed past Ron, not waiting for an answer and closeted himself in the bathroom.
The door safely closed behind him, Harry stared at himself in the mirror. His face was decidedly flushed, his cheeks especially. His hair was rumpled and there were bite marks in his shirt at the shoulder, all of which only served to enhance the foolish grin reflected back at himself.
It seemed that Malfoy really did have a nap after that. Harry, not sure what to do with himself and not really wanting to see anyone, went downstairs and into the newly organised and scrubbed pantry to find something to eat, then buried himself in the corner of the sofa with his obscure book to hide from everyone. Malfoy didn’t resurface until Neville went to call him for dinner, though he reported that Malfoy was just reading or maybe writing something. Seamus had cooked dinner.
The four of them were sitting around the wooden table when Malfoy appeared. He didn’t look at Harry, but asked in that same subdued voice he’d been using if he could have the potatoes passed and then busied himself pouring water from the pitcher. Ron shot Harry a look. Harry shrugged and tried not to flush, though he could feel heat creeping up his collar. Seamus came to everyone’s rescue, obliviously pattering on about the meal he’d made, the specific spices, etc. Harry fed it shamelessly, asking questions that led to longer answers. He and Malfoy never made eye contact, though after one particularly stupid question, he caught Malfoy trying not to laugh, his face down as he peppered his casserole. Neville gave Harry a strange look and changed the topic to the possibility of using levitating charms on parchment to get letters to the Order.
After, Ron suggested they play Monopoly, one of the few games that could accommodate five players, and insisted that everyone play. Malfoy was the last to sit, and the only available place left was next to Harry. Harry didn’t mind this at all, but was careful not to look at Ron, whom he suspected was guessing too much. Ron knew of Harry’s orientation; that hadn’t been a secret between them for years already. He had also made comments here and there that hinted darkly at his suspicion as to Harry’s feelings for Malfoy. He couldn’t know it was mutual, though, unless he had guessed the truth about that afternoon. Harry would tell him sooner or later. There just hadn’t been an opportune moment yet. Malfoy sat just close enough to him that their knees touched, and their elbows from time to time, and otherwise ignored Harry. It was just an act now, though, and it was comfortable. Harry played the game and bantered with Seamus and Neville about their hotels and railroad monopolisation with half his mind; the other was focused on nothing but Malfoy’s proximity.
Finally, yawning, Seamus said he was bored of having everyone else’s money and that he was going to bed. Ron said something about giving Neville’s idea a try the next day. Neither Harry nor Malfoy said anything, other than non-committal, monosyllabic agreements and acknowledgements of what everyone else had said. Before they went upstairs, though, Malfoy caught Harry subtly by the elbow. He hung back as Neville went upstairs in front of them and tried not to exhale too loudly as Malfoy got his mouth too close to Harry’s ear for comfort.
“I wasn’t ignoring you. I was sleeping,” he said in a murmur.
Harry nodded. “I know,” he said, though it wasn’t quite the truth. Neville was at the top of the stairs, not looking back. Harry reached back and got his hand on Malfoy’s bits, getting a sharp intake of breath in return. “I want to touch you again,” Harry added, under his breath.
“Not here,” Malfoy breathed. “It’ll have to wait.”
“I know,” Harry said again. “I wish we could, though.” He started up the stairs. Malfoy followed too closely, his hands brushing against Harry’s arse. With difficulty, Harry moved away at the top of the stairs and went to get his things.
They all took their standard turns brushing their teeth, Ron accusing Seamus of trying to spit his toothpaste on Ron’s brush. Neville sat by the window in the bedroom, writing an owl to his gran that he planned to send once they had access to owls again. Harry changed, brushed his teeth and hair and made himself as clean as he knew how and went to bed with his pulse still racing.
The bedrolls weren’t exactly in a row, but scattered randomly across the floor. Neville’s was closest to the window with Malfoy’s the nearest to his. Then it was Harry’s and Ron’s, but at a completely different angle, and Seamus was somewhere near the door. Seamus switched off the light and everyone got quiet.
Harry lay awake, listening to them and wondering if there was any way he could talk to Malfoy without anyone hearing. He didn’t know what he wanted to say. It didn’t matter. The breathing in the room gradually became slower and slower, and listening to everyone else sleep finally began to calm Harry’s mind. He didn’t sleep, though. An hour or so passed.
There was a rustling to Harry’s left. He opened his eyes, which had drifted shut. The rustling was followed by the sound of zipping. Malfoy got up, silhouetted against the window. Stepping carefully across the floor, he made for the doorway. Harry watched his progress, thinking that he was probably going to use the bathroom or something. But Malfoy stopped in the doorway and looked back, directly at him. He probably couldn’t even see Harry in the dark, but then again, maybe he could. Deliberately, he turned and went out, his footsteps sounding softly on the stairs.
Harry’s pulse leapt back to where it had been. He listened hard for any sign of consciousness from the other three. Nothing. Ron muttered something in his sleep. Seamus was snoring; Neville’s breathing was deep and even. Harry, feeling as though he was about to go on his first date, got out of bed and slipped out of the room.
He found Malfoy in the darkened main room, sitting on the sofa. Malfoy heard him on the stairs and his head turned to Harry. For a moment, Harry didn’t move. Then Malfoy said, keeping his voice down, “Just going to stand there, Potter?”
Relief washed over Harry, and he crossed the room to him. Malfoy silently patted the sofa next to him and Harry sat down, almost in the same places they’d been in during the game earlier. “Were you still awake?”
“Yes,” Malfoy said. “I knew you weren’t.” He quit talking and leaned over to put his mouth on Harry’s. Harry kissed back hungrily, his hands landing on Malfoy’s knees. It went on for a longish time and then Malfoy broke off. “Better now than with Weasley poking around,” he said.
Harry grinned in the dark. “That was a bit awkward.”
“Funny as hell, though,” Malfoy said, and Harry glimpsed his white teeth in the dark of the room.
“True, I guess.” The tension dissipated a little. Harry was tempted to confess how long he’d actually wanted this to happen, but knew better. He got his mouth back on Malfoy’s and Malfoy’s hands got under Harry’s shirt, somehow, sliding up and pinching Harry’s nipples. Harry felt his cock stir to life at this and he leaned harder into Malfoy. He rubbed Malfoy’s chest through his shirt, then copied him, reaching up beneath. Malfoy’s tongue was strong against his, never choking him or too soft or too wet like all the others’ had been. Harry let his hand trail down to Malfoy’s crotch, clumsily gripping it through the cotton pyjama pants to coax it to full hardness. Malfoy was already at least halfway there – maybe he’d been thinking about it, up in the bedroom. He moaned and reached for Harry’s cock. “I’ve been thinking about this all afternoon,” Harry said, shifting closer so that he could straddle Malfoy’s lap and rub himself directly against Malfoy’s cock.
“There’s not much that’s better to think about,” Malfoy said, glossing over the admission on his own part.
Harry heard it, but didn’t say anything about it. “We’d better keep it quiet, though,” he said.
“Wouldn’t that be a sight for one of them,” Malfoy said, his expression odd. “You, with your cock buried in me so far they can’t even see it. Would take awhile to wash that one out of the brain.”
It was suddenly hotter in the room. Sweat broke out on Harry’s forehead. “Yeah, I guess it would,” he said, his mouth somehow too full of saliva. He swallowed hard.
Malfoy’s cock throbbed gently against his as they rubbed, his hips pushing against Harry’s in slow, rhythmic circles. A cloud drifted away from the moon, illuminating his face better. “Have you ever fucked anyone?”
The question was out, right there between them. Harry’s face grew hot. “No,” he mumbled. “Have you?”
Malfoy seemed to relax a little. “No,” he said. “I heard you slept with Weasley’s sister. That still counts, you know.”
“I didn’t sleep with her,” Harry said. “Or any of her brothers, so don’t even ask.”
Malfoy’s laughter was wicked. Before he could say anything, though, someone upstairs got up, creaked across the floor and went to the bathroom. They waited, listening. The water ran, first in the pipes, then into the sink. The door opened, and footsteps padded back into the bedroom, leaving the door ajar. “Fuck,” Malfoy said softly. “Well. You’ll just have to try not to scream when you come, Potter.”
Harry’s face burned with the memory of the first time. “It wasn’t too soon this afternoon, was it?” He sounded defensive and he knew it.
“No.” Malfoy moved his hands to Harry’s arse and began to rub their bodies together again. “You could probably still do with practise, though.”
Harry narrowed his eyes. “Pansy told me it takes you awhile to get off.”
Malfoy stiffened. “I guess I just haven’t been with anyone who knew what he was doing,” he said through barely-moving lips.
Harry grinned. “Didn’t seem to take you too long earlier.”
Malfoy said nothing. Harry had obviously touched on a sore point. He retaliated by rocking harder against Harry. It felt so good that Harry knew that he was in danger once again. What the hell? The few times he’d been with other people, this had never happened. He could not let it happen again. That would be disastrous, especially right after he’d managed to sort of fix things with Malfoy. He pulled away a bit. “Let’s get undressed,” he said. Malfoy made a sound of negation and tried to pull Harry back. Harry resisted, insistent. “I want to see you naked,” he said, lowering his voice and raising his eyebrows. It was a good stalling tactic, at least.
That got a different sort of reaction. “Fine,” Malfoy said, a sounding little breathless. He got up and stripped off the pyjama pants. Harry eyed his stiff cock and knew that he had to touch it immediately. Before the thought was finished, his hand had reached for it. Malfoy moved out of range, though. “Your turn,” he said, stubborn.
His turn? Oh, right. Harry got up and was naked within seconds. “There,” he said, and went for Malfoy’s cock again.
Malfoy attacked his mouth, their cocks bumping against each other’s, and Harry was all but scaling Malfoy, he was so turned on. Malfoy was panting. “Do you – ” he was interrupted by Harry’s mouth and gave in for a second, sucking Harry’s lower lip into his mouth, teething grazing it in a way Harry’s body chose to interpret as extremely erotic. “Do you know how to prepare someone?” Malfoy managed to ask, his eyes opening, serious in the dark.
“Uh, I think so,” Harry said, a frisson running through his spine at the implication.
“You think so?” Malfoy repeated. His hair was all over the place, tangled from Harry’s fingers. Malfoy didn’t seem to notice. “If you’re going to fuck me, then you’d better know what you’re doing, Potter!”
He was going to fuck Malfoy. The very words seemed to turn Harry’s brain to mush. “Er – um, yes. Yes, I know how! Do you, uh, do you have – ”
“Yes,” Malfoy interrupted, rolling his eyes. “I brought lube.” He went to the sofa and found it. His hands were eager, though, pushing it into Harry’s.
Harry’s fingers closed around it, but he didn’t do anything with it immediately. It was beginning to hit him, just how strong his feelings for Malfoy actually were. Malfoy had said that he hadn’t had a blow job before Harry’s, which Harry sort of figured meant that Malfoy was a virgin, at least in the technical sense. He was talking about it as carelessly as though it was something he gave out everyday, to anyone, but Harry was beginning to guess the truth behind the carelessness.
“What?” Malfoy asked, sounding defensive. “Why are you looking at me like that?”
Harry blinked. “I…” he began. He didn’t know how to finish. “Nothing.” The lube clenched in his fist, he put his arms around Malfoy’s shoulders and kissed him as deeply as he knew how. In that moment, he felt it, felt the change between them. The emotional side could not be denied now, no matter how casually either of them treated it. Malfoy had to feel the same way. He simply had to. The kiss said it all, and Malfoy was returning it exactly as Harry gave it.
Malfoy reached back and found Harry’s hand, now on his back, and moved it down to his arse. Harry opened his eyes and found Malfoy’s on him, sober. “Do it,” he said, his voice roughened by lust and possibly a touch of emotion.
Harry exhaled shakily and nodded. He got his other arm around Malfoy’s middle to unscrew the little tube behind Malfoy’s back. He squeezed a bit onto his fingers and kissed Malfoy again, once, more for reassurance than anything else. He closed his hand around Malfoy’s cock first, slicking the warm lube over it, and Malfoy moaned softly. He shifted his weight, spreading his legs a little. Harry moved his hand lower, cupping Malfoy’s balls and probing with his longest finger. Finding the hole, he pressed at it in warning, distracting Malfoy by dragging his tongue over a firm nipple. The finger slipped inside easily enough, and Malfoy clutched his hair. “Okay?” Harry detached his mouth from Malfoy’s nipple long enough to ask.
“Yeah,” Malfoy panted. “You can – you can do two, if you want.”
Harry grinned up at him, removing his finger to go back with two. “Bet you finger yourself all the time, you horny bugger.”
Malfoy’s expression didn’t change, aside from the sly smile at the corners of his mouth. “Of course,” he said loftily, his eyes gleaming in the dark. “What proper queer doesn’t?”
Harry imagined Malfoy doing just that, jerking himself off with one hand and pushing a finger into his hole with the other. It was an extremely appealing image. “I do,” he said. “Or I have, now and then.”
Malfoy’s laugh was laced with dark amusement. “I’m sure you do. Keep going, that feels amazing.”
Encouraged, Harry remembered that if Malfoy took longer to get off than he did, then he would have to be sure to prepare him very thoroughly, so that by the time Harry fucked him, he was begging for it. He added a third finger without warning Malfoy and switched to his other nipple, scraping his teeth over it. Malfoy shuddered, his cock knocking into Harry’s belly.
Malfoy’s fingers tightened in his hair. “Okay,” he breathed. “That’s probably – oh God!”
Harry’s hand had returned rather suddenly to his cock, fisting the length of it in a single go, gliding easily with the lube. “You like that?” Harry asked, more aroused than amused.
Malfoy was getting it on both ends and his hips were moving steadily, alternately pushing his cock into Harry’s fist or himself back onto Harry’s fingers. He was breathing even harder. “Yeah.” He was almost hoarse, his voice ragged.
“Just a bit, though,” Harry said, provoking him deliberately.
“No – ” Malfoy was struggling – “I’d say rather a lot, in fact – God, Potter, where did you – I think you should fuck me now.”
“Yeah?” Harry couldn’t keep the eagerness from his voice.
“Right now,” Malfoy reiterated, eyes closing in pain or pleasure or both.
“All right,” Harry said, his cock oozing moisture at this. He removed his fingers and Malfoy turned around, bending over the arm of the sofa. “Like that?”
“Yeah. Do it,” Malfoy ordered.
Harry didn’t wait – couldn’t, not that Malfoy had to know that. He guided himself to Malfoy’s entrance with one hand and pushed the head of his cock into Malfoy’s still-tight hole. “You ready?”
“Are you listening to me?” Malfoy demanded, albeit at half volume. “I’m so ready I could fucking come all over the sofa, Potter – if you still want to fuck me, then I suggest you get a move on!”
Harry’s laugh was pure relief, though it twisted into sharp need by the end. “Now who’s going to jump the gun?”
“Just shut up and do it,” Malfoy groaned. “I’m sorry I said that. Just fuck me, please!”
Satisfied with this, Harry slowly thrust himself all the way inside Malfoy. It was tight and hot, clamping around him like nothing he’d felt before, and it was far better than he’d even imagined in his dirtiest or most wishful dreams. He looked at where his body joined Malfoy’s and bit his lip. No matter what he did, it was going to be a short ride. He began to move slowly, just a little at a time. He reached around and found Malfoy’s hand roughly jerking his cock. Harry put his hand over his, then decided that he wanted to feel him directly, so he moved his hand past Malfoy’s to tug at his balls as he fucked him. He heard himself moan, heard Malfoy echo it. “How – how’s this?”
Malfoy thrust himself wantonly back onto Harry’s cock, writhing. “So good,” he breathed, and it was sheer, raw need now – no disguises, no games. “Ah – you could do anything to me right now, Potter, anything – ”
Harry could not speak; his vision was already going blurry around the edges. His body was making slapping noises against Malfoy’s arse as Harry fucked him without restraint. If anyone came downstairs now, there was no way he could stop. He would just have to go on fucking Malfoy until he came in an explosion of pent-up lust. He could hear himself moaning curses under his breath, his hand tightening on Malfoy’s balls, pulling them downward, and that was it, he was coming and coming and coming, and oh fuck, was that his voice keening like that? It wasn’t as loud as he initially feared it was, but it was a very small house. It didn’t matter. He was still thrusting away, Malfoy panting, his fist a blur on his cock.
“Keep – keep going,” he begged, almost frantic. “Please, Potter, please – oh - God!!!”
His entire body convulsed, his arse clenching around Harry’s cock, which only made it squeeze out even more come, and wet globs hit the fuzzy sofa arm as Malfoy orgasmed all over the place, gasping.
The glow was already setting in, surrounding Harry like a blanket. He collapsed onto the sofa after a hazy minute, pulling Malfoy with him and they landed in a tangle of limbs and heaving chests. Malfoy’s mouth found his first and they kissed for a long time, still moving against each other, slower now.
“That was as good as I thought it would be,” Malfoy said, sounding immensely satisfied and rather drowsy.
He was lying on Harry, his limbs splayed out in every direction. Harry opened his eyes. “You thought about it? Before, I mean?”
“Now and then,” Malfoy said, eyes still closed, a smirk tugging at the corner of his mouth.
“You absolute git,” Harry said, stifling a laugh. “How long have you actually liked me?”
“Way too long. And you’re nosy. And you look way too good in my jeans.”
Harry grinned, knowing Malfoy couldn’t see it. “I had no idea. And it’s my business if it’s about me.”
“I’ll be the judge of that.”
“As long as this is really happening, then fine.” Harry let his eyes drift shut again, a feeling of great content spreading through him.
Malfoy shifted a little. “Pansy thought you would callously break my heart. Or something to that effect.”
“I’m going to have to have a little conversation with her, clearly,” Harry said, more interested at the moment in how soft Malfoy’s hair was under his chin.
“You’d better let me talk to her first. I have a hunch it’ll be ugly.”
“I have a question.”
“Before,” Harry said, “you always ignored me. I always thought you thought I was the biggest idiot around.”
“It’s called a cover, Potter. What did you want me to do, proclaim it to the world?” Malfoy was still calm, his breathing getting slower.
“Proclaim what to the world?” Harry pounced on this.
The breathing changed and Malfoy turned his head to the other side. “This,” he said evasively. “That I wanted this.”
“Did you ever think about just telling me or something?”
“You could have at least hinted.”
“Well, I tried the thing with getting you drunk,” Malfoy said. His shoulders moved as if shrugging.
“Yeah, but you were all stiff and cold in the morning,” Harry said. Unconsciously, he stroked a hand over Malfoy’s hair. “I thought you were pissed off that it had happened, or by, uh, how I was.”
“No,” Malfoy said. “I just wasn’t really sure of what I was doing. I only told Pansy about that to put her off. I didn’t think she would tell you.”
“It’s okay. You already apologised.”
“I know I did.”
Harry yawned. “Well, I’m glad this is happening.”
Malfoy suddenly looked up at him. “Just keep yourself alive, okay? I don’t think I could handle it if you didn’t.”
It was the closest thing Harry had ever heard to a statement of emotional attachment from Malfoy, and it struck him hard in the solar plexus. “I will,” he said, and it sounded like a promise to his own ears. Likely to Malfoy’s, too.
Malfoy pulled himself up a bit and put his mouth on Harry’s, and it was strangely honest – tender and passionate and slow, and if Harry had been standing, it would have made him weak in the knees. As it was, he surrendered himself to it utterly and silently handed Malfoy his heart. He was in it for good now.
Soon, he would have to suggest that they go back upstairs, or Malfoy would, but Harry wasn’t in any particular hurry to get to that part. Of course, they were naked and falling asleep like this would prove a rude eye-opener for everyone involved in a discovery.
Malfoy seemed to be thinking along the same lines. “I guess we need to go back,” he said reluctantly.
“I guess so,” Harry said.
For a moment, neither of them moved. Then Malfoy pulled himself up and picked up his things, stepping back into the pyjama pants. Harry put everything back on and followed Malfoy upstairs. At the bedroom doorway, Malfoy stopped and turned around. He put a hand lightly on Harry’s neck and kissed him. “Good night.”
Harry opened his eyes. “Good night.”
He slept long and soundly, Malfoy’s scent all around him, this strange happiness holding him as he felt his consciousness drifting away, the war notwithstanding.
Everyone else was gone when Harry woke up the next morning. He looked for Malfoy first, then Ron. He could hear them all downstairs, clattering dishes and talking. He got up and decided to shower quickly, his heart already beating faster as he remembered the previous night. The very thought of it had left him with a slight problem, and the shower was the best place to deal with that, anyway.
After, he dressed quickly and went down to the kitchen. Everyone looked at him when he came in – everyone but Malfoy, anyway. Malfoy was studiously stirring sugar into his tea, but even so a slight smile was tightening his mouth. Harry said a general hello and Ron told him that they had put toast in for him. “Thanks,” Harry said, and sat down. They had laid a place for him already, too. He poured himself a cup of tea from the tea pot and asked Malfoy for the sugar. As he did so, Ron caught his eye and gave him a look that clearly said that he knew.
Malfoy turned to him, sugar bowl in hand, and Harry considered his options. He glanced at Ron again and smiled. He could sense Seamus and Neville trading curious looks, but didn’t look at them. He looked at Malfoy instead, and saw that it would be all right. He took the sugar but caught Malfoy’s fingers with it, and, turning his head, kissed Malfoy on the mouth. “Thanks,” he said, grinning, meaning the sugar, and felt inordinately pleased with himself.
“You’re welcome,” Malfoy said coolly, but there was a smile behind it.
Neville coughed. “Uh, we got our clearance, Harry,” he said, into the brief moment of ensuing silence. “We can go back to St. Mungo’s today.”
“Oh, joy,” Harry said. “I love a crowded place to stay.”
Seamus snickered. “Apparently.”
Harry grinned at him and checked in with Ron. Ron was eating his toast with a resigned look on his face. “Thanks, mate,” Ron said, sighing.
“What?” Harry’s grin began to slip.
“I just lost ten Galleons to Seamus.”
“I predicted it would happen before we left here.” Seamus crowed. “Pay up, Weasley!”
Harry looked from one to the other. “What?”
“It’s true,” Neville said. “They did bet on it. I had to sign as witness.”
Harry blinked. Looked at Malfoy, who shrugged as if to say that they were Harry’s friends and not to expect him to know what to make of them. Then he smiled. “Well, good, then. No issues.”
“Well, there is the war,” Seamus said. “I mean, just in case you’d forgotten.”
“No one’s forgotten anything, Finnigan,” Malfoy said, the same cool look on his face. “This has been in the works for years. And you’re ten Galleons richer for it, so I wouldn’t say anything if I were you.”
“I’m not,” Seamus said immediately.
“Good,” Malfoy said. “Anyone else?”
There wasn’t a word. Ron met Harry’s eye, opened his mouth, then shook his head and closed it again. “Nope. No issue. Provided you tell Hermione, not me.”
“Deal,” Harry said. He looked around. “Thanks for being so good about it.”
“It wasn’t exactly a huge surprise,” Neville said dryly. “Pass the sausages, Ron.”
And just like that, it was done. As everyone got up to put everything away and Seamus started running the water to wash the dishes, Malfoy nudged Harry with his shoulder as Harry came out of the pantry where he’d stowed the cereal. “What?”
“Nothing,” Malfoy said, and smiled.
Harry smiled back and looked behind himself. The other three all had their backs turned. He kissed Malfoy quickly, one hand on his hip.
“Not deaf yet,” Ron said loudly.
“I’ll miss it here,” Harry whispered, then turned around to tell Ron where he could stick it. Malfoy laughed along with everyone else.
He carried the sound of their laughter and the feel of Malfoy’s mouth with him into battle the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that, always counting the days until he could return to Spinner’s End and to Malfoy. It might not have sounded like much to anyone else, but for Harry, it was more than enough.