Title: Can't Take the Heat - Part 2/2
Malfoy's body was warm next to his own, and he kept moving closer, whether consciously or not Harry didn't know. Harry had a permanent blush, but no one seemed to notice except Hannah, which suited him just fine.
They were crouched in the bushes of Brushlist Enterprise, a large corporate business that really did nothing but buy out other businesses. It was rumoured that they kept records in the basement of the building of each company they owned and were running out of room.
That was why they were keeping an eye on it, actually. Every building that had killings or fires or robberies with magical links that they had in their file was already owned by Brushlist or recently bought. And they were hiding in bushes because no one was allowed on the premises unless an employee, and Malfoy was still protesting against Hannah being with them.
"I'm bored," Hannah whispered.
"Then go back," Malfoy snapped.
Hannah huffed and faced away from him. Harry regretted having not put himself between the two of them, as much as he hated it.
"I'm bored," Malfoy whined not two minutes later, progressing from picking at the leaves to poking Harry's head.
Hannah grumbled, "Told you."
A sharp pain zipped through Harry's head on Malfoy's next poke. Malfoy had managed to get some hair tangled around his finger. "You need a comb," Malfoy decided, shifting so his back was against the wall of leaves and twigs they were looking out and stretching his legs as far as possible in the small area Hannah's hollowing spell had created.
Shoes stopped right beside the bush. Harry was the first to notice it. He jabbed Malfoy in the ribs to keep quiet, but Malfoy only gasped, so Harry clamped a hand over his mouth with a little slap that rang terribly loud.
"You know," an amused voice said, the shoes turning towards them, "if you're going to spy, most bushes don't talk."
Malfoy cursed. "We're caught. Out we go, thank Merlin." And he proceeded to crawl over Harry and out the way they had entered. "You look familiar."
Intrigued, Harry exited after him, waving his hand for Hannah to follow.
"Potter," the person greeted stiffly.
Harry shook the leaves out of his hair and turned to face her, noticing instantly why she had seemed familiar to Malfoy. Standing before them in a Muggle suit was Marietta Edgecombe.
"Edgecombe," Harry said, not extending an arm. He had not forgotten her betrayal back in fifth year. It seemed a rather long time to hold a grudge but it wasn't as much a grudge as being against those who were against him. She may not have turned out to be a Death Eater but Umbridge had been an evil unto herself.
The bush moaned.
"Oh, get out here you wanker." Malfoy tapped his foot, irritated. Slowly Hannah crawled out and stood beside Harry, eyes on the ground.
"Hannah." Marietta nodded at her, a hostile look on her face despite her fond tone. Hannah looked up and met her gaze head-on, quivering slightly. "Well," Marietta said to all of them, eyes never leaving Hannah's face, "I must be off to work." She pointed stiffly to the building behind her. "Nice meeting the lot of you again."
And suddenly she was gone, high heels clicking against the cement and her reddish-blond hair curling on a slight breeze.
Harry glanced at Hannah and then locked eyes with Malfoy, but Malfoy just grinned, and Harry remembered he hadn't an ally.
He was rather concerned about Hannah. She was still quivering, face as pale as chalk, and her breath was coming in short bursts.
In fact, lately he couldn't make his mind up about Hannah. Sure, he was angry at her for knocking the tower of soda cases on Malfoy, but he also felt bad about her having to tag along when she really had no other choice. And apparently she had some really bad history with Marietta, so it must have been the pits to run across her when she was out with two Aurors who suspected her of the crimes.
In actuality though, Harry had began to suspect her less with each day they spent cramped in the hotel room thanks to Malfoy's stubbornness. He didn't dare utter that to Malfoy though, in fear of breaking their shaky truce and thereby rendering his trip even worse. But Hannah just didn't seem to have it in her. The other night she had cried watching Old Yeller on the telly. What kind of person who cried over a dog getting shot would go out and murder loads of people and catch buildings on fire?
Malfoy, of course, had steadfastly refused to budge on his point of view, simply grumbling as she cried at the telly that she was just trying to trick them. Harry had noticed how she cried even harder after that, and his heart had went out to her, though he had stayed perched on the armchair because he wasn't good with crying people. Though her crying had significantly warmed him towards her.
"What was with that, huh?" Malfoy asked, bearing down on Hannah and managing to tower over her even though she was ever so slightly taller than them; she was curled in on herself. "No, don't tell me. I bet she knows you've been doing all this stuff, doesn't she? Huh?"
When no answer fell from her lips -- in fact they wobbled, Malfoy grabbed her shoulder and shook her harshly. "Well? Come on, answer me. What's wrong, huh, Abbott? Kneazle got your tongue? Had --"
"Malfoy," Harry warned, laying a hand on his forearm. Malfoy turned to glare at him, opening his mouth, when suddenly Hannah gathered her strength and wrenched out of his grip.
"I -- I," she started, eyes welling, and then she ran, down the steps and onto the sidewalk, in the opposite direction of the Jurys Inn.
"Look what you did," Harry chastised, wanting to knock Malfoy upside the head, but he refrained for they had collected quite a crowd and any more action would surely convince them to stay instead of migrate towards the door to Brushlist, as they had started to again.
Malfoy grinned, self-satisfied. "It's brilliant, isn't it?"
"No, Potter, you utter idiot. Listen, I'm breaking past her boundaries. Obviously Edgecombe -- or whatever her name is -- has some emotional connection to Abbott and that weakened her. Perhaps if you hadn't have interrupted" -- here he paused to send Harry a death glare -- "she would have confessed, let it slip."
Really angry and just plain sick and tired of it all, Harry confessed, "I don't think she --"
But Malfoy moved closer, his face in Harry's, breath puffing fire over Harry's face, causing Harry's breath to catch in surprise. "That's right, Potter," Malfoy crowed, and Harry really, desperately wanted him to shut his mouth; it was making him think the oddest things. "You don't think, which is why Shacklebolt placed me in charge and not you."
Malfoy smirked, moving even closer. "You do realize that, don't you? Come on, Potter, admit it. They only let you with because you don't do any work in the office and they won't fire you. Would look bad firing the saviour of the wizarding world."
"Shut the bleeding fuck up," Harry growled, shoving him away.
Malfoy grinned, moving back into Harry's face, as if he couldn't insult properly without their eyelashes mingling. That is, if Harry's glasses were off. There would be smudges on his glasses from Malfoy, Harry thought, and he wanted to make smudges on Malfoy's face.
"You're completely useless. A one hit wonder. What will you do when everyone's respect runs out for you? Run to Weasley and Granger, right? Well, they won't like you much after you drain everything they have, because, you -- you can't do a thing. You're driven by revenge. All that saving the world rot -- not everyone bought it. You were only doing it for revenge. You couldn't have given a flying fuck about the world."
Harry snapped, shoving Malfoy back hard so that he stumbled before returning to his spot, shoving Harry in return.
"I wasn't trying to fool anyone," Harry growled, wrapping his fists around Malfoy's shirt collar and shaking him. "You're telling me nothing new, so why don't you just shut your fat mouth."
"Make me," Malfoy spat, nipping at him, but Harry avoided it by kissing Malfoy hard, crushing their lips together and pressing until it hurt.
Malfoy pulled back, mouth working like a fish but no sounds issuing forth, just the way Harry liked it. Feeling reckless, anger forgotten, Harry moved closer and slipped his tongue into Malfoy's slack mouth. He tasted sweet, like candy, and Harry grabbed Malfoy's shoulders so he could push in harder, tasting how the further he went the more bitter Malfoy tasted.
And then Malfoy's lips moved against Harry's and they were kissing. Harry had no idea what he was doing, why he was kissing Malfoy, but he kept doing it, the question fleeing from his mind the moment it entered.
For his part, Malfoy had many more hesitations. "Why are --"
Harry kissed him forcefully, burying his nose beside Malfoy's and inhaling.
"This is wrong," Malfoy panted, no longer hesitating physically and surging forward, backing Harry up until he hit the railing at the steps.
Someone hissed in disgust, and Harry broke away from Malfoy as an old couple walked past, staring openly.
Harry looked back at Malfoy, seeing the same lust reflected back at him. "Want to, erm, go back to the hotel?" he said, though it didn't come out as demanding and sure as he had hoped.
There was a moment when Malfoy shook his head and Harry felt inexplicably nauseous, but then Malfoy tugged him back to the bush and shoved him under.
Harry started to protest that he wasn't about to do anything in a bush when Malfoy awkwardly Apparated them.
Oddly enough, Harry didn't mind the squeezing sensation accompanying the Apparation because it felt remarkably good on his hardening cock.
The moment they landed in the room, Harry's hands flung to Malfoy's trousers, wanting to see his arse again. But Malfoy batted him away, frowning.
"I'm not high," he said, voice monotone as he stared at the wall. He shrugged then kissed Harry again, their mouths moulding together and moving sensually. Slowly they made their way to the bed and fell on top of it, bumping foreheads.
Malfoy rolled off of him, cursing and rubbing his head. "Damn it, Potter!"
But Harry was not deterred. He forcefully pushed Malfoy to his stomach, kissing the nape of his neck and loving the little shiver Malfoy tried to suppress. Harry skimmed over his shirt, licking the smooth skin above his trousers.
Malfoy made a sound of impatience and lifted his hips, hands crawling underneath himself to unbutton his own trousers, and then ease them down to his knees.
Harry watched as if hypnotised as Malfoy's creamy white thumbs brushed against his even paler arse, revealing himself in slow motion. Unable to wait much longer, Harry moved in and nipped his left cheek, making a faint red line as he moved to the underside of his arse, sucking on the skin then placing kisses on Malfoy's balls.
Malfoy moaned, one hand moving to his mouth and the other curling against his chest. And suddenly Harry wanted to hear him talk. Well, not talk per se so much as moan and whimper and gasp.
Malfoy seemed to have other ideas.
The bed shifted as Malfoy moved away and snatched his wand from where it had fallen to the floor. Harry took the time to quickly undress, as did Malfoy, muttering an Imperturbable charm at the door and then a silencing charm on the squeaking bed at the same time. "I'm topping," he said, looking at Harry for his reaction, a smirk on his face.
Harry choked. "Erm," he said to fill in space, doubt finally clouding his mind. Just what was he doing, besides proving Ron right, and losing his mind? Sex with Malfoy.
When that phrase declined to make his stomach protest, Harry tossed his concerns to the wind, deciding to deal with them after -- after a hopefully bloody good shag that he hadn't had in a while.
"Well?" Malfoy said, tapping his wand against his thigh. Harry's eyes followed the movement, taking in the sight of Malfoy's red cock thick between his legs, seeming to point at Harry.
Clearly Malfoy was looking for disagreement, so Harry grinned. "Doesn't seem like you want to. Just going to sit there, huh?"
"This is a mistake," Malfoy muttered. Harry watched as he closed his eyes and leaned forward, pressing their lips together, all warm and wet and with no hesitations. It turned raw and fast, lips sliding against each other and missing and wet, wet, wet. Harry's cock was hardening even more, and then Malfoy's hand landed on it, causing Harry to gasp wantonly, arching against him and feeling for all the world like he was going to burst.
There was a soft pressure at Harry's arse and before he had a chance to really think about it, the slim object was a pinkie's length up. Malfoy muttered a spell against his lips and a cool liquid was cleansing him, disappearing before it managed to touch that perfect spot. Harry whined in disappointment.
"Where'd you pick that up from?" he asked.
Malfoy only grinned in response. Then he stretched over Harry's body, their erect cocks knocking together and causing both their breaths to hitch. Malfoy's arm groped over the edge of the bed until he pulled out a small tube of lubricant.
"Malfoy's pride themselves on being clean," he said, smirking and kissing beneath Harry's ear, taking the earlobe in his mouth and sucking.
Harry was sufficiently distracted, trying not to come from that sensation alone and trying to think coherent thoughts such as 'since when have my ears been so sensitive?' instead of 'oh god, oh Merlin, don't stop, bloody hell!' He didn't notice Malfoy was doing anything else until he was attempting to push into Harry, nice and slow.
Harry's eyes widened and he stopped breathing. "What, no preparation?" he asked, trying to sound callous.
Malfoy stared. "What the bloody fuck did you think the fingers were for?"
Harry blinked. If he thought hard enough he did remember something else happened but he had been too focused on his ear.
Malfoy pushed in a little more. "Just breathe."
"I am," Harry hissed, feeling as if Malfoy was trying to tear him in half. Then again, that shouldn't have surprised him. It was, after all, Malfoy.
"No, you're not."
So Harry breathed, heavy and long, focusing on only that until Malfoy moved past the initial protest of his body and sunk more easily the rest of the way.
Malfoy's sticky forehead landed on Harry's chest, his breath cooling the skin there. "Good?" he asked, fingers tightening on Harry's waist.
"No," Harry said, shifting slightly but still feeling uncomfortable. He reached above his head and grabbed a pillow, canting his hips up slowly.
"Don't do that," Malfoy whimpered, scraping his teeth slightly against Harry's nipple.
Once the pillow was under his arse, Harry shifted again, continuing to do so after he had found a better angle because he wanted to see how long it would take for Malfoy's self control to dissolve.
It didn't take long. Soon he was pulling out, and Harry was digging his nails into Malfoy's back because it hurt going out. But then Malfoy pushed in again, and that felt so good, even though he wasn't hitting that spot.
Eventually Malfoy settled for staying as deep in as possible, giving short jabs, spaced apart and then fast, making Harry's breath quicken, balls tighten. Malfoy's hands landed on his cock, pumping as he pushed in and out a little bit, as fast as ever. Harry turned his head and moaned his orgasm into the stuffy noon air when Malfoy finally hit the spot, sensation coursing up his spine and clouding his vision.
He didn't even realise Malfoy had got off until he noticed Malfoy was just lying on top of him, still in him. Malfoy made to move, positioning both hands on either side of Harry's head to pull out, but Harry dropped his hands on Malfoy's arse, keeping him in. He liked the feeling of being full and had never liked the loose, empty feeling afterwards.
He soon drifted off to sleep, even though Malfoy's hard chin was poking him in the flesh between his chest and arm.
When he woke a few hours later, the sky a mixture of pink and purple and orange, his stomach growling, it was to find the bed devoid of Malfoy. He found Malfoy half an hour later in the dining room.
Harry pulled the seat out in front of him, the dull scraping causing both of them to frown. "'Lo," Harry greeted, waving a waitress over. Once she left, Harry propped his chin on his hands and surveyed Malfoy. He was steadily eating his eggs and bacon, refusing to look up or acknowledge him.
Harry didn't really understand it. Malfoy was gay so he couldn't be going through a sexuality crisis. It couldn't just be because Harry was Harry. Maybe Hannah had returned and something happened.
"Potter," Malfoy said, irritated. "I'm trying to eat." He swirled his fork in the mess of eggs, looked pointedly at Harry, and took a bite.
Harry couldn't help but follow the movement of his lips, pink tongue peaking out to gather the food. He frowned again. He didn't understand why it hurt so much -- why Malfoy's dismissal bothered him this much. So he may cared a bit. So they shagged. So Harry liked it. So Harry had liked seeing a slightly different side of Malfoy during their trip. It didn't -- shouldn't mean a thing.
The fork clinked against the plate loudly. "I said it was a mistake," Malfoy said, voice low, eyes intense but on his plate.
"You didn't seem to care much."
A wry smile spread on Malfoy's face. "That's right. I don't care. Just like the time with Weasley. Only I was high on --" he waved a hand in the air, nearly knocking the tray from the waitress. Once she left, sniffing haughtily, Malfoy finished, "You started it, you got it, now leave me be. I just want to finish this stupid assignment and get back to London. Newcastle is boring me. Do you know if Abbott returned? I bet she left for good. Great. Now we're going to have a harder time finishing this if we have to search after her and procure solid proof."
The rapid change of subject and tone left Harry flustered. He wasn't finished talking about last night. Really, he hadn't even spoken of it. "Well, I think you're being childish."
Malfoy sneered and looked away, jaw set, and suddenly it occurred to Harry, whether true or not, "What are you afraid of?"
"Pfft! It's really all Abbott's fault."
"Hannah? What the fuck, Malfoy? I'm trying to talk about --"
"I know." His grey stare met Harry's green one, piercing him. "But if Abbott hadn't alerted the Ministry at rush month so we were the only ones left, we wouldn't have shagged," -- a few people from the surrounding tables turned to them; Harry flushed -- "and then you wouldn't have turned all Gryffindor on me. Me. Do you even realize who I am, Potter? Do you? Because I don't think you do. What the fuck do you want from me? I don't want to start a relationship or anything -- sex doesn't always mean something. In fact, if I hadn't been all excited about Abbott's near confession, it wouldn't have happened. What's it matter to you anyway?" he added accusatively.
"Hannah has nothing to do with anything!" Harry yelled, standing and tossing their plates across the room -- with magic or hands he wasn't sure. It no longer mattered that people were watching them. He'd had enough of Malfoy and the confusion that seemed to make a home on him and his words.
"You just don't want to face whatever the fuck you're so afraid about. You're just a selfish little rich kid who cries when you can't get your way. And you're not getting your way so you're denying everything. And you don't make a bloody ounce of sense."
With that, he turned and stormed from the room. Glass shattered behind him but he didn't turn to see if he had caused it or someone else. Of course their 'friendship' wouldn't last. He was Harry and Malfoy was Malfoy. Nothing would change that. And at the moment, Harry was content with that. Harry felt like he was back in Hogwarts and Malfoy had curled his thin lips around some pathetic, cutting remark, and Harry wanted to jinx him off a cliff.
And he felt good. He felt normal.
When Hannah had returned she stuck by Harry's side, whispering her apologies until her voice cracked, but Harry wasn't sure if she was even talking to him. As it was, Harry didn't listen to her half the time since his anger had passed and he was hurt and confused and angry at Malfoy, though not as angry as he wished he could be.
"Gave up, I did. Damn you. How stupid are you?" Hannah mumbled, unaware that Harry had tuned back into her. Even though he had no idea what she was grousing about, it hit home. Why was he pouting? Why had he given up? He was Harry bloody Potter, saviour of the wizarding world. He didn't do giving up.
Without a word, as she wouldn't have even noticed he left, Harry left the dining room and entered their room, finding Malfoy curled on their bed, a cup of tea floating beside him, and their file, along with all the information they'd collected, spread out on the bed sheet.
Harry eased onto the bed beside him, feet in the air, head resting in his hands. "Need help?"
"No," Malfoy muttered distractedly, chewing on his bottom lip. Harry watched the movement, licking his own lips and subtly moving closer. "Leave me alone, Potter."
"No," Harry parroted, looking at the papers and trying to ignore how his body wanted to gravitate towards Malfoy's body heat. He hadn't been this close to Malfoy since that night they'd shagged, which had been four days ago. He had even slept on the couch. But no longer would he stand for that.
Feeling daring and irate, Harry shifted closer, closing his hand around Malfoy's wrist, feeling the soft pressure of blood pumping through the veins.
Malfoy looked sharply at him, sneering, but Harry lowered his gaze and focused on the thin, warm skin beneath his fingers rather than the cold eyes glaring at him. To his immense surprise, Malfoy let him turn his hand around and trace the lines of his palm. With a swift motion, he had Malfoy's middle finger in his mouth, and a small moan escaped Malfoy.
Harry grinned around the digit, scanning Malfoy's face. His eyes were closed, mouth open slightly, and lips such a shade of pink that Harry wanted to kiss him, make them turn bruised red. This is why you shouldn't brood for so long, he thought, leaning closer to Malfoy and kissing him around his finger.
"Don't," Malfoy protested, nipping Harry's bottom lip and rolling onto his back, the papers crinkling underneath him. Harry straddled him, pressing their bodies together and moaning with the sensations, the way Malfoy was chewing on his lip, how it felt familiar and not and so much more personal than the first time.
A soft click alerted them to the door being shut. "Oh," Hannah said softly.
The vague, not-there look on her face disappeared with a grin, not unlike the ones she gave before running into Marietta. "So this is why you two have been ignoring each other." She cocked her head. "You look hot together."
Nails dug into Harry's side. Malfoy hissed angrily, "Get off me."
Harry kept rolling until he hit the floor.
"You know," Hannah said, perching on her bed and looking sad again. "You don't need to hide your relationship from me. I'm fine with it. And don't hide it from other people, either. You should be proud to be gay. And if someone scoffs at you, they're not worth your time of day--"
Malfoy stood quickly, waving his wand so all the papers flew into the file. "I don't have to listen to this garbage." He stalked out of the room.
Silence filled the room. Eventually Hannah crossed the carpet and sat on the bed above Harry, looking down at him with a kind face. "He's so rude. No offence, but I don't see what you see in him."
Harry smiled wryly. "We're not dating."
Hannah gave a humourless laugh. "Yeah, well, somehow I don't see Draco Malfoy calling anything dating, and definitely not boyfriends." She leaned in closer and whispered, "He's the one who wants to keep it a secret, huh?"
Harry shook his head, weary and not wanting to talk about it. But it was best to correct her before she mentioned something to Malfoy and he got the wrong notions.
Her hand landed on his shoulder and patted him heavily. She was looking off in the distance, at some faraway spot in her past. "Can I tell you something in confidence?"
Interest instantly aroused, Harry nodded. Maybe this would give him some insight into what she had been beating herself up over.
Hannah stared at him for the longest time, her face turning even pinker, ears following. Then she looked him in the eyes, wetting her lips before beginning. "Back when I went to Uni, I met Marietta Edgecombe there. We became friends pretty fast because we were the only ones from Hogwarts." She laughed.
Harry's eyebrows rose. He was eager to hear the rest, find out just why Marietta had affected her so strongly, but she seemed content to laugh nervously.
"To tell you the truth," she said breathlessly, "at first I didn't like her. She was very bitter, always trying to make people like her, but I needed help in Transfigurations and she overheard and tutored me. She's not that bad. I" -- she blushed heavily -- "fell in love with her and she found out..."
Harry leaned closer, tilting his head back to recapture her eyes above him, but she focused on his shoulder.
"We started dating. But, um, she didn't like the reminder of Dumbledore's Army, so she ended it. And, um, you know." She waved her hand about, trying to capture some elusive sentence and looking hopelessly at Harry, who just stared at her, taking it all in. He felt sorry for her, and this above all else convinced him that she couldn't have done the killings. Perhaps, since she was spilling, Harry could coax her into telling about their assignment.
"You know, I wish it hadn't happened, but I didn't do anything to stop her. Helped her along in a way, actually." Hannah paused, wringing her hands in her lap and squinting at Harry's shoulder. "So you should fight for him if you love him. Then you won't look back and regret it."
Harry frowned. "I'm not in love with Malfoy. I mean, seriously, I hated him before this trip. Still can't stand him half the time. Besides, we've only been on tentative grounds for, what, a week or two?"
Hannah finally met his gaze, a deep look in her eyes. "Then let go before you fall in love and everything turns sour." Her mouth worked for a second, but no sounds fell from it. She didn't need to say it though because Harry heard it loud and clear. It's bound to turn sour for you two. And she was right.
What hit Harry most of all was that he was turning into Ron -- the part of Ron that perturbed him to no end. He was trying to patch things up with Malfoy, who wanted no repeats of that evening -- that mistake.
It hurt more than Harry thought it would.
A hand landed on his shoulder, and he looked up into Hannah's caring face. They needed this case over and done with, quickly. The sooner they were back in London and Harry was being subjected to Ron's passes, and Hermione and Ginny's pestering, he wouldn't feel so connected to Malfoy.
He made to ask her about what she knew of the assignment but a bang ricocheted off the walls and they turned to the door. Malfoy was standing there, a triumphant look on his face.
"I've got it!" he yelled, slamming the door shut and waving the file in the air. "I was too busy focusing on Abbott that I hadn't thought of this. Jack Brushlist, the owner of Brushlist Enterprise! I was asking around about him, and no one knows how he gathers all his stores. They just happen overnight sometimes and half the time the original owners are never heard of again. In fact, one Muggle mentioned that he hadn't even attended a University. Just went to some school she'd never heard of -- that she couldn't find information on because no one had heard of it. I solved it. We can go home!"
He looked at Harry for a moment, all smiles, but Harry just stared blankly back at him. Hannah was right. Harry leaned against the bed, tilting his head back to stare at the ceiling.
"Don't look so excited," Malfoy snapped, taking a few steps closer.
A vague sound of frustration resounded from the bed. Harry strained and looked at her upside-down, watching the confliction battle on her face.
The file slapped the floor at Harry's feet harshly.
"That's it, Abbott," Malfoy sneered, voice low and dangerous. "What is it? I'm wrong, right? You know who the bloody hell it is. Are you having a fun time, watching us mess up? Do you laugh at night?" He adopted a high, shrill voice and laughed bitterly. "Oh, they're so thick! They'll never get it. I mean, it's staring them right in the face! So why don't you just tell us who the fuck it is -- we're not thick -- I know you know. I don't know about you, but I don't fancy staying in bleeding Newcastle for the next month!"
Harry stretched out a foot and kicked him. Malfoy turned on him, grey eyes flashing. "And don't even get me started on you, Potter! God, what sick fuck decided to pair us together? You don't do a thing. Actually, if I didn't know any better, I'd think you already know who it is and are working with Abbott to hide the person, and -- you -- you were trying to distract me!"
"Did it work?" Harry asked bitterly, furious that Malfoy was turning on him now and saying he hadn't helped. Who had cast the detection spells at the Metro? Who had kept Malfoy and Hannah from killing each other?
Malfoy kneeled, positioning a hand on either side of Harry's head. "You don't affect me whatsoever," he hissed.
Harry grinned. "Are you sure?"
"It's Marietta," Hannah interrupted, her voice wavy.
Malfoy raised his head to her and snapped, "Who?"
"Edgecombe." The bed suddenly started shaking. Harry pushed Malfoy away and stood, looking down at the blond girl with her face buried in her arms.
Harry turned on Malfoy, confused and angry, fists clenching at his sides. "Marietta Edgecombe. The lady we ran into outside of Brushlist. Hannah flipped her lid then. Remember?"
Slowly Malfoy nodded, recognition dawning in his eyes.
Harry ignored him and crawled onto the bed, rubbing her back awkwardly and hoping he wasn't doing something wrong. "You did the right thing," Harry reassured.
"Took long enough," Malfoy muttered. He nodded at Hannah. "They friends or something?"
Harry simply glowered at him, disgusted that he had even cared if Malfoy wanted to continue anything with him. Disgusted that he had cared for Malfoy's safety. He turned back to Hannah. "Do you know where we can find her?"
Hannah nodded gravely.
The trip by cab to Durham was strained. Hannah had told them they needed to arrive by non magical means if they wanted to avoid detection, and that was all she had said, besides the name of the place they were going to: Lumley Castle Hotel. Why Marietta was hiding out in a hotel was anybody's guess. Seemed a rather open place to hide.
During the cab ride, Malfoy had cast a spell around the back seat so the driver couldn't eavesdrop and then interrogated Harry, who had fun withholding information from him. But after a bit it got old, and since Hannah wasn't stopping him, he told Malfoy everything he knew. To which Malfoy had promptly cursed Hannah and settled back to think.
"Oy," Malfoy whispered, leaning over so his lips scarcely brushed Harry's ear. Harry shivered. "Does she think she'll get out of it just because she told us about Edgecombe?"
It took a few seconds for the question to register, and when it did Harry still couldn't comprehend it. "What?" he asked, his voice so low he could barely hear it.
Malfoy just leaned in closer, placing a hand high on Harry's thigh. Harry was sufficiently distracted. "She had to have helped Edgecombe. Maybe she didn't do as much as her girlfriend, but she had to have done something. No way Edgecombe could have done all that on her own. I fact, I bet Jack Brushlist helped her."
Harry frowned and shifted, only resulting in Malfoy's fingers brushing against his arousal. "Why would Brushlist burn down his own buildings?"
Malfoy shrugged. His breath was still ghosting over Harry's ear, but now a lone finger decided it would much like to rub gently over the bulge in Harry's trousers. Harry was quite sure he was a puddle; he could do nothing but inhale sharply and focus all his remaining attention on not canting his hips up.
The cab driver cleared his throat uncomfortably. "We've reached the Lumley castle."
Harry blinked and peered at Malfoy, who was staring intently down at his hand, finger still moving and slowly stripping away Harry's restraint. "You're the one who's effected by me," Malfoy said pointedly.
"And you --"
Malfoy's hand snapped away and he grabbed Harry's wrist, cupping his hand over Malfoy's crotch. "I'm not."
Harry cocked his head. "Who are you trying to convince?"
Malfoy narrowed his eyes and opened the door. He slipped out, Harry's hand hovering in the air for a moment before falling. He turned to Hannah, who had her head resting against the grimy window. "You coming?" he asked.
Harry paid the driver and waited a few minutes until Hannah had collected herself. By the time the cab had driven away Malfoy was agitated, sniping at every little thing.
"Doesn't look much like a hotel. Piece of shite."
Harry looked at the castle. It was large, turrets of brown reaching past the trees. The front looked as if no gardener had seen it for nary a year. Climbing vines and moss had rendered it almost from sight, except for the very top and sides. Harry wondered if it was like that the whole way around. The front lawn was long, its grass reaching past Harry's ankles. No lights were on that he could see, and the driveway was empty, not a car in sight. It looked abandoned. Harry wouldn't have been surprised to see wooden planks nailed over the doors and windows.
"It's not a hotel anymore," Hannah informed them in monotone. "Marietta bought it a year ago. It has sixty-two bedrooms, though my favourite room is the Library Bar." She frowned up at the castle, lost in memory. "It was in there that she told me for the first time she loved me. I was perched on the bar and you could see snow falling through the window. There was a fire going and --"
"Enough reminiscing," Malfoy snapped. "I do not want to hear about you two shagging in front of the fire."
Hannah whipped around, glaring at him, that spark back in her eyes. "If you must know, we did it on the bar."
Harry started up the long yard, leaving them behind to bicker. Though he was relieved to see Hannah doing something but sulking. Unlike Malfoy, Harry was still steadfast in the belief that Hannah hadn't helped Marietta. She had kept her from being caught, sure, and not reported her...for a while, but Harry couldn't judge her too harshly on that alone. The more he thought about it, the more he realised that he may not have been able to turn Ron or Hermione over if they turned. He would probably try to settle it himself.
The moment the door shut behind him, encasing him in darkness, Harry hit the floor hard.
He woke up cold, with a splitting headache, and Malfoy and Hannah arguing over whose fault it was.
"Your bloody girlfriend," Malfoy kept saying.
Harry mumbled, "Shuddup."
"You," countered Malfoy.
Hannah tentatively asked if he was okay.
Harry opened his eyes to find they were locked in a cell, assumingly in the dungeons. Malfoy and Hannah were in opposite corners and he was lying in the centre near the bars.
"It's not her fault, you know," Hannah said.
Harry shifted to a seating position, slumping against the bars. He reached for his wand, already knowing it wouldn't be there, but knowing he would feel like an idiot if it was and he didn't check. As he'd thought, it wasn't present. There went Apparating.
"No, of course not," Malfoy sneered sarcastically. "She's a right ray of sunshine, locking us in the dungeons. Why I may just will my estate to her when I die -- by her bloody hands!"
Hannah frowned and looked to Harry, but this time Harry turned away. This was one thing he didn't sympathise with her on.
"She's good!" Hannah insisted desperately. "She can't even remember that incident with the DA. All she knew was that everyone hated her. Her whole life was changed by something that was told to her. She's not very confident. She has a low self-esteem. The shunning didn't help. She's just consumed by her fear, her disappointment. If people would just apologise she wouldn't feel the need to go about killing those who made fun of her.
"And the bit about Brushlist's property being destroyed and such, that's because he's her uncle, who always picked on her. Of course, he doesn't know she's the one doing everything or she wouldn't be working there, that's for sure."
Here she faltered, staring at her audience in alarm.
Malfoy let loose a bark of laughter. "See, Potter. What'd I tell you? She's sticking up for the bitch. She finds it all right."
Hannah shook her head. "No. I -- I know it's wrong. I try to stop her but then she looks at me like I'm a traitor. And I am a traitor. But I went to you Aurors and told you, didn't I? I did the right thing... Don't be too hard on her. Please. She's just confused. She needs someone to talk to her -- to understand her."
"Shouldn't that be your job? The girlfriend and all," Malfoy said, smile crooked and hard.
"Harry," pleaded Hannah, her eyes wide with fear.
Harry was too shocked. He couldn't believe she was still standing up for Marietta when the woman in question had thrown her with no second thought into a cell.
"I love her."
"And you have a splendid way of showing it."
They all turned to find Marietta standing outside the cell, keys in hand.
"I thought I could trust you. I thought you were different." For a moment Marietta's face fell, dragged down by sorrow and betrayal. Harry was shocked and confused. How could someone who killed ruthlessly still contain such soul-consuming emotions?
"You can. I am," Hannah beseeched, rushing over to the bars and reaching her thin arms though the metal. Marietta moved closer so that Hannah's fingers tangled in her red-blond hair. "I love you."
Marietta's voice was hard when she said, "So you say." But she leaned closer so that the two women's foreheads rested together. "You're not who I thought you were."
Hannah whimpered. "I am. I -- I just don't like you hurting others."
Instead of answering, Marietta kissed her softly. It escalated quickly, with Marietta taking Hannah's bottom lip between her tea-stained teeth and yanking it down before thrusting her tongue inside.
Harry cleared his throat uncomfortably. When they didn't react he crawled away from his front row seat and to Malfoy's corner.
Malfoy scoffed at him. "And you thought I was to be blamed for everything."
"That was before."
Malfoy cocked his head, staring intently at him. "Before I spilled my guts to you? Or before you realised you wanted to shag me?"
"If you recall, you were the one doing the shagging."
Malfoy made a noncommittal sound, and then, a few minutes of watching their captors -- for surely Hannah had defected back to Marietta's side by now -- devour each other later, huffed angrily. "I did eat before coming here, and I'd rather like to keep my food down."
Besides the whole awkward factor, it didn't bother Harry much. He and Ron used to watch lesbian porn films back when Ron was still with Hermione. Now Harry was afraid to mention anything sexual around him lest he take it the wrong way.
They seemed to have heard Malfoy though because Marietta slowly drew back. Hannah was rambling, but whatever she was saying Harry's couldn't overhear. It must have been sealing her defection because Marietta drew her keys forward and clinked them into the lock.
Harry and Malfoy stood, exchanged a glance, and moved forward with Marietta's finger-wave. It occurred to Harry that they were once again on the same side, now that everyone else was against them.
"Follow me." Marietta turned abruptly and wrapped an arm around Hannah's waist. Hannah refused to look at them, her head bowed. "And don't even attempt to run off," Marietta warned. "I've guards stationed everywhere."
The moment they ascended the stairs they found themselves in a dark hallway. A window far away had its heavy curtains pulled back, but instead of leading them down the hall, Marietta pulled a portrait out and entered the darkness. It screeched loudly on its hinges behind Harry.
"I've a bad feeling about this," Harry hissed in Malfoy's ear.
"Really? I feel positively giddy."
"Then don't say such stupid stuff."
"Why don't you both shut up?" Marietta said loudly, her voice muffled by distance. "And keep a move on."
They shuffled through the musty passageway for a couple of minutes, unable to see a thing, and the third time Harry bumped into Malfoy an idea came to him. He yelled, "People know we're here! They'll come looking for us soon."
"There's no need to yell in my ear, Potter," Malfoy grumbled.
Marietta's voice came from directly in front of them. "Yes. I can hear fine."
Suddenly, bright light filled the passageway. Harry squeezed his eyes shut, wincing. By the time his eyes had adjusted it was to find himself in a large cream-coloured room, intricate red carpeting underfoot. Marietta was leaning against a fireplace. Harry's wandering gaze was instantly drawn to the portrait above the fireplace. It was of a beautiful brunette women in an old dress, her hair pinned back as Hermione's had been during their fourth year Yule ball. The sudden, consuming desire to have Hermione there filled him. She would have some idea of what to do.
"Where's Abbott?" Malfoy asked from beside Harry. They were at the far wall with a view of the whole room so Harry was startled to find he hadn't noticed Hannah's absence.
"I sent her for drinks back in the passageway." Marietta's grin was pure amused malice.
Harry cursed, and Malfoy crossed his arms.
Marietta honed on Harry. "Is what you said true?"
"Hmm? Oh, yeah. The Ministry. We told Kingsley."
Marietta frowned sceptically. "Then why didn't Hannah tell me?"
"Because," Malfoy said, "unlike Potter, I never trusted your girlfriend. Why the fuck would I tell her more than necessary?"
Marietta pointed her wand at them, face hardened. "What's to stop me from killing you here and now, before they come?" When no answer came, she waved a hand urgently. "Why don't you try distracting me? What kind of Aurors are you?"
Shitty ones, Harry answered silently.
"And how do you propose we distract you? What do you want us to do?" Malfoy asked coolly. Harry marvelled at how calm he was. Harry's own mind was racing, trying to come up with a way out of this.
Her grin was now predatory. "Hannah told me back there" -- she jerked her head at the wall behind them -- "that you two are dating --"
"Are not!" Malfoy yelped, whirling on Harry, who shook his head rapidly.
"Whatever! Anyway, I want to watch you two kiss."
They both stared at her. Malfoy stiffened his crossed arms, pulling them closer against his body.
"And when you bore me, I'll kill you... I'm bored."
Harry launched at Malfoy. Their noses collided. Malfoy pulled back with a hiss, and Harry flushed. But then Malfoy tilted his head slightly and kissed him softly, their lips barely resting against each other. Harry parted his, noting how Malfoy leaned away, and licked Malfoy's lips. Malfoy froze.
"Not effected, huh?" Harry asked cockily, reaching with one hand and grabbing Malfoy's waist, thrusting their hips together. He couldn't suppress a groan against Malfoy's mouth.
"Not as much as you," Malfoy muttered, this time kissing him brutally, their teeth clacking together.
Malfoy's hand strayed lower until it landed on Harry's trousers, grabbing his cock and setting a rhythm. Harry broke their kissing to toss his head back, moaning to the ceiling and thrusting into Malfoy's hand. He was too lost to recuperate and simply held on to Malfoy's belt loops. It felt so bloody good.
And then Malfoy licked his collarbone to his chin, biting down on the rounded point and sucking. Harry lowered his head to connect their lips and caught sight of the door. Hannah was standing there, a bottle of wine and two glasses in her hands. Her face was bright pink, the glasses clinking in her grip.
"Ah, good," Marietta exclaimed, patting a blue-cushioned chair that she summoned.
Harry pushed Malfoy away unwillingly, but Malfoy was more lost than he had been and went for his ears, drawing the lobe into his mouth.
"I've an idea," Harry whispered, glad when Malfoy came crashing back to Earth and released his ear so he could think properly. Well, as properly as a bloke could think with a raging hard on and a hand still grasping it.
"Huh?" Malfoy asked, snatching his hand away and sticking it in his trouser pocket.
Harry watched Hannah walk jerkily past them, the wine bottle threatening to fall from her hands, and muttered out of the corner of his mouth, "You run the hell for the open door and I'll scream like a lunatic -- distract them."
Before Malfoy could complain about how inane his plan was, Harry pushed him in the direction of the door. The moment he opened his mouth, a single syllable spewing forth, Hannah croaked, "Petrificus Totalus!" and Marietta fell rigidly from her chair.
The room was deathly silent. No one moved until the bottle and glasses Hannah was holding crashed to the thin carpet, splinters of glass skidding across the floor. Hannah fell into the mess of it all, crying hysterically into her palms.
Just as fast, the door, which had fallen shut, opened with a bang. In strode Aurors Kingsley, Ron, Trisper, and Zeller. Something about the confusion in Harry and Malfoy's face must have registered because Zeller said, "Hannah Abbott Floo-called us."
"What's wrong with her?" Ron asked, nodding at Hannah.
"Good work, lads," Kingsley said, clasping Harry's hand and then Malfoy's. "You too, Hannah," he added kindly, giving Harry and Malfoy a questioning look.
Leaving Malfoy to explain, Harry caught Ron's eye and walked to Hannah. Ron followed, clearing the area of glass with his wand. They both kneeled down next to her.
"Thanks, I guess," Harry said to her, looking helplessly at Ron. Sighing, Ron wrapped an arm around Hannah's shoulders. She buried her face into his neck instantly.
Harry grinned apologetically at Ron, but he was better at this, having been the one to comfort Hermione and Ginny at the closure of the war. He may be terrible at recognizing emotions but he was better at holding crying ladies than Harry. There was a secret art to it, he decided, and he didn't posses the gene. No wonder his dad had had such a difficult time courting his mum.
With that thought, Harry glanced at Malfoy. His face was flushed slightly with anger and he was gesticulating wildly. It wasn't hard to hear Malfoy's words. He managed to insult Hannah about every other sentence.
Harry found it bad tact. After all, Hannah had pulled through in the end, even though it hurt her. He looked at her bloody hands and said, "I really appreciate it. I'll make sure you don't get into any trouble. I promise."
She lifted her tear-stained face and just stared at him.
Ron laughed. "Yeah. He can use his name, is all."
"Potter!" Malfoy snapped.
"I'll be back," Harry muttered, leaving a distressed Ron.
The rest of the Aurors left Malfoy and headed towards Marietta's stiff body. Hannah's cries escalated.
Malfoy brandished a packet of papers. Harry stared at him, remembering how Malfoy had been so unwilling to stop kissing him. He didn't understand exactly what was Malfoy's dilemma, but he knew he wanted to kiss him again. He had a feeling that once Malfoy gave in they could be pretty good friends.
And then Malfoy had to go and say, "Look, Potter, it was all part of the job."
All his thoughts turned sour. "Odd job we have then."
Peculiarly, Malfoy smiled. "Yes..."
Figuring that was a good sign, Harry said, "Now, I'm new at field work" -- "Obviously," Malfoy cut in -- "but I believe we make a field report now. And tea is the English choice, especially after such a trying day, so let's go to a café to write it up."
Malfoy stared at him for a long time. Behind him, Zeller fished two wands out of Marietta's back pocket, scrutinized them, and then held them up. "These yours?"
Harry nodded and Accio'd them. He felt warmth spread through his fingertips at first contact. He had felt so helpless without it. He handed Malfoy's out.
Carefully, Malfoy grabbed it. "Like a date?" he asked sarcastically. "I'm still mad at you."
"Why?" He was having fun now. He could see the conflict in Malfoy's eyes. "I was right in the end, wasn't I?" He wasn't sure if he was referring to Hannah being on their side or Malfoy being afraid of something, but Malfoy bristled either way and changed the subject.
"Tea with you was not in the job description."
"But shagging was?"
Malfoy sniffed. "Of course."
Irritated, Harry snapped, "Fine. Let's shag as we write it up."
Malfoy looked past Harry, a grin tugging the corners of his wane mouth. "Let's start with the tea and see what happens."
Harry gritted his teeth. "All right," he growled curtly.
Frustratingly enough, Malfoy laughed. "Bloody good start. C'mon."
"Better be bloody good tea," Harry griped, following Malfoy to the door. He heard Ron curse him, whether because he'd overheard their conversation or for leaving him with Hannah, Harry didn't particularly care at the moment.
"You wanted it," Malfoy reminded him, hand on the door handle. He faced Harry, looking unsure and narrowing his eyes in a way that told Harry he was mad at himself. He had seen that face so many times during the war and Auror training.
Harry halted an arm's length away from him, trying to understand him and failing. "So did you."
Malfoy shrugged and opened the door, sauntering down the darkened hallway as if he owned the place when most likely he would get lost trying to find the door and Apparate out. His voice carried back to Harry. "Perhaps."
Harry's mouth thinned but he followed. Hopefully the mystery of Malfoy wouldn't be as difficult as the one they'd just solved.