Pairing(s): Harry/Draco, Ron/Hermione (implied), past Harry/Ginny
Summary: Harry’s hoping all his pieces will finally come together.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning(s): Cross-dressing, character death (not Harry/Draco), Flangst Happy-clappy ending.
Deathly Hallows compliant? EWE
Word Count: 8,960
Author's Notes: With much loves and thanks to the Coffee and the Cigarettes for their never-ending help. M and R and R for the swifty and precise betaing and the Flatmates for their absolutely useless advice. Thanks guys! softly_sweetly, I hope you enjoy. Happy Holidays!
To live is like to love -
all reason is against it,
and all healthy instinct for it
Samuel Butler, Life and love
Harry clumps his way through the heavy, white snowdrifts that glisten on the pavement in front of him. The streets are dim with a misty haze stirring in the gutters. Harry can barely see, and he would push his golden glasses further up the bridge of his nose but his arms filled with a bundle of brightly coloured packages. It’s Christmas and there are presents for everyone: Ron, Hermione, all the Weasleys, even Ginny. Her strained smile and loose tongue haunt him as he stalks the frigid streets of Edinburgh looking for a present that might appease her.
“Excuse me,” he murmurs as he brushes past the people eager to huddle in from the slowly falling snow. Another body bumps into him, and he slips off the curb, stepping into a massive puddle, its freezing water saturating through his shoddy shoes. The packages spill haphazardly onto the icy pavement. “Shit!”
A hand grasps him tightly, keeping him from falling on his face, and when he looks up, the long, pale face he sees surprises him.
“Malfoy?” he says with a curious glance. He forgets to pull his arm away and it stays there, connecting them awkwardly.
“I never pictured you as an Edinburgh man,” Malfoy says quietly. He looks better dressed for the weather than Harry is; he is wearing a long black Mac and is holding a large umbrella; the snow makes little swirling patterns on the shiny black roof.
Harry glances away. “Yeah, well. After Hogwarts, Scotland feels like home. ”
He wonders how he came to be standing here on a busy Edinburgh street making small talk with Draco Malfoy. “What about you? What are you doing here?” Harry doesn’t mean it to sound like an accusation, and luckily, Draco doesn’t take it as one.
“I own a broomstick shop down the road,” he says, gesturing to some place off in the distance.
Harry snorts despite himself. “You must do a roaring trade.”
Draco doesn’t seem to mind the implied insult. “People’s memories are surprisingly short.” He gives Harry a small smile. “That, and the fact that I have a select customer base.” Draco shifts his umbrella to the other arm and Harry’s hand slides off. He didn’t even realise he was still holding it.
“I must be going now,” Draco says, drawing himself up and getting ready to leave. He pulls out a long wand, waves it, and the presents return neatly to Harry’s arms.
“Since we both live round here, I’d really like it if we could be…well, civil.” His face looks flat, wide and open, the grey eyes clear, and for once, Harry can see nothing malicious them. “You should stop by the shop sometime.” Draco gestures to the packages. “They make perfect Christmas presents.” A card with the shop’s address appears from nowhere and finds its way into Harry’s top pocket.
Harry gives him a terse smile; a pleasant Malfoy is new and suspicious. Harry nods. “I’ll think about it,” he says.
Malfoy seems to be satisfied with this because he nods back. “Hope to see you soon,” he says before adding delicately, “Harry.”
Draco nods again and walks past him, leaving Harry standing dumb-struck in the middle of the street. After a moment he collects himself, the thin sheet of paper in his pocket feeling heavier than it should. He ignores the curious feeling in the pit of his stomach as he shuffles home.
Harry is late home, again. He hasn’t been doing anything important: the Edinburgh branch of the Ministry is devoid of Dark Wizards, but unfortunately not paperwork.
“Harry, are you listening to me?” Ginny's voice carries through the living room where Harry has dumped himself on the settee, her tone shrill and angry in Harry’s ear letting him know he’s in for another fight.
“I’m sorry,” He begins, looking at her blankly. “What were you saying?”
He has been twisting the silvery business card over and over in his hands for days. Whichever ways he turns it, it doesn’t seem to make sense. Why would Malfoy give it to him? Was it all just some plot to catch him unawares?
“Harry!” She’s standing right in front of him now, completely unwavering in her ability to annoy him.
“Yes, Ginny. I’m sorry.” He pastes what he hopes is a suitably pious expression on his face.
It doesn’t work; she’s livid, her face is as red as her hair, and her fists are balled tight.
“God damn it, Harry! You’d think I was a bloody ghost, the way you treat me.”
Annoyance flares up inside him. “You’re saying I don’t give you any attention? That’s bloody rich.”
She towers over him as he continues to sit on the couch, refusing to rise to her temper.
“And what’s that supposed mean?” Her tone is laced with spite, but Harry doesn’t care. All of a sudden; he's sick of her, her moods, her long silences.
Harry stands up sharply. “I give you all the attention I can physically can,” he says, “and I know I’m not the only one.”
“What-?” Ginny mouth opens and shuts for a moment and Harry has some fleeting impression of a goldfish looking out at him through a misty glass bowl; untouchable and slippery.
Harry rolls his eyes; he knows he’s clutching at straws, but he'll do anything to get away from her.
“I know. I know about you and Ian from my Accounting department. You really ought to be more careful if you’re going to fuck the people I work with!”
The moment he sees her face, he knows it’s true. But then he has known for a long time, he just didn’t know what to do about it. Now something relaxes in his stomach and he feels like he can think properly, he can go places without her, he can be without her.
He looks blankly into her shocked, freckled face and shakes his head. He doesn’t need this anymore. Her hands reach for him but he brushes past her.
He makes sure to slam the front door behind him; there’s a sharp finality in its heavy thump and he lets out a long relieved sigh. A second later, he realises that Malfoy’s card is crumpled in his fist. He starts walking, and instinctively, he knows where he’s going.
They meet often after that, and a muggle pub is the best choice. There is no one they know, no one to gossip. Listening is not a skill Harry has ever believed Draco could possess; maybe he learned it over the years they’ve been separated. It doesn’t matter to Harry – he appreciates it when Draco leans into his words.
Normally, Harry is very, very careful about his choice of topic. He sticks to the safe ones: Quidditch, Malfoy’s business, what’s in The Prophet. Small talk. But Draco digests it so readily that Harry soon wonders if he really has anyone else to talk to.
Tonight, Harry can’t hold things in. Ginny’s shaken him up again. She’s moved out - it is definitely over. Harry talks and talks, until words come spinning out so fast he can’t control them. Tears prickle at Harry’s eyes and soon he can’t control those either.
He half expects Draco to leave him there, but he doesn’t. He doesn’t tell Harry to grow up and man it out. Instead, tight-lipped, he listens and nods and understands.
“Listen, Harry,” he says slowly, “it was never going to be easy. Relax.” His fingers brush Harry’s now heated face, trailing the marks tears have left on his cheek. This is new, this touching. Draco never touches; his fingers seem to miss Harry entirely, skirting round the periphery of his body but never touching. Harry leans into this warm fingered touch, savouring the feel of skin on skin.
“Harry,” he murmurs softly, as if Harry is some strange species of animal Draco finds most interesting. His grey eyes are huge in the dim pub lights, and their expression is hungry. His fine blond hair frames his face perfectly, and this is when Harry finally realises that Draco Malfoy is bloody gorgeous.
They are interrupted by the introduction of a messy-haired waitress who looks far too interested in them for Harry’s liking. She disappears swiftly when Draco shoots her a quelling look, but the moment has passed. Draco is no longer looking at Harry as if he’d like nothing better than to bend him over the pub table. Instead, he looks away, sheepishly. Harry twists the white napkin in his fingertips and they finish their drinks in silence.
The next time they go out for drinks, the tension hangs between them like a knife on a strand of hair, threatening to cut through all their preamble at the slightest instance. They drink more and talk less. The brown-haired waitress eyes them from the bar knowingly, and Harry feels like she can see right through their artificial scene and knows all about the pulsing in Harry’s trousers when he watches Draco wraps his lips around his wine glass.
Finally, Harry can’t take it anymore. “Do you want to get out of here?” He barely thinks about the suggestiveness of that statement until Draco nods, throws down a tip, and follows Harry out of the pub.
“You weren’t comfortable in there?” Draco asks as the cold air from the street hits them.
Harry shakes his head. He didn’t want to stay, but he doesn’t want to go home either. His new flat feels bare and empty without Ginny flouncing about in it, and his bed feels wide and vast without another body in it. Although, he is starting to think less and less about Ginny’s soft curves in his bed and more about Draco’s sharply angled lines.
“Well then, I guess this where I leave you,” Draco says, to Harry’s disappointment. He feels it would be silly to try and make Draco stay when he is trying to slip away; it would be like trying to scoop up water with his bare hands.
“Okay then.” Draco pauses, like he is waiting for something, when it doesn’t come he continues. “Goodnight, Harry.”
Draco moves away and something inside Harry snaps. He is reckless, impulsive. He is testing their fragile friendship. He drags Draco closer towards him and locks his arms around his shaking shoulders
Draco’s eyes widen to size of dinner plates as Harry pushes him against the alley wall. He guesses that Draco wasn’t expecting this but he is so responsive; the vertebrae in his spine arching seductively when Harry kisses his way up Draco’s pale, exposed neck behind his ear until finally, finally, their mouths connect. Draco tastes strong like the wine they've drunk, but Harry swears he hasn’t tasted anything sweeter in his entire life as Draco’s mouth on his.
It’s not enough. Soon, Harry’s hands roam over Draco’s body, sliding up his shirt to feel the warm skin underneath. Draco breaks away to plant a wet kiss against Harry’s ear, and then Harry is rock hard thinking about what those lips could do against his throbbing cock. He slides a knee between Draco’s shaking legs and is moderately surprised when Draco whispers, “Merlin!” in that snotty little voice of his that Harry thought had long since vanished.
Draco lifts his eyes to meet Harry’s, his long hair is clinging to his flushed cheeks. He looks the picture of debauchery with Harry pressing him insistently against the clammy wall.
Draco’s fingers glance the zipper of Harry’s jeans. “Can I?” The question rattles around Harry’s brain and he nods to shake it out, his head falling on Draco’s shoulder in the process.
The clasp on Harry’s jeans is now undone. Draco is surprisingly skilled at this, but then Harry doesn’t care enough to find out where Draco learnt his tricks because long, pale fingers are now gripping the head of Harry’s cock, and it is impossible for him to think straight. Slowly, each stroke is a separate agony as Draco begins at the base of Harry’s cock and then slides his fingers to Harry’s sensitive head; he is bloody good at this. The pleasure builds and subsides, rolling over in Harry’s stomach until he is ready to explode. He struggles to keep himself in check because this feels so good he doesn't want it to end. He closes his eyes, tumbling into himself; even so, he remembers exactly where he is and whose hands he spurts into.
When it is over, Draco doesn’t wave his wand. Instead, he pulls himself free from Harry’s jeans and slowly licks the spunk from his fingers. He looks like a right slut. Draco really is too fucking feminine for his own good and Harry’s cock gives a little jump at the sight. Harry glances away.
“Well, Potter,” Draco says teasingly, throwing their old salutation around because now it means nothing. “I wonder how far you’ll go on a second date.”
Harry laughs sharply despite his embarrassment. “Do you want to go back to mine? We'll get cleaned up, and you can stay?”
Draco’s face glows with the kind of brightness Harry didn’t think he’d see on the face of a lover again. Draco is overjoyed at the prospect of him; Harry knows this because Draco’s smile is so wide that Harry can see his eyeteeth. His sticky hand clasps Harry’s. “Okay,” he says softly, and Harry’s heart leaps into his throat. He leans into Draco and Apparates them home.
Harry glances at the slow-moving clock on the mantle-piece. Nine o’clock and Draco is late. This isn’t like him. Draco normally strolls into Harry’s flat at eight, precisely, and throws himself bodily on the sofa, not moving until twelve.
Half nine, and still no Draco. It is not like him to miss an appointment. Harry fiddles with the buttons on his brand new shirt for half an hour before deciding to go looking for him. He throws on his coat and heads though the sleet melting in the gutter towards Draco’s shop.
Tonight was supposed to be special. It has been days, weeks, and months since they’ve been blending themselves together in a heady mix of routine and suppressed passion. They still feel brand new and rigid with it. Aside from the grubby groping in the alley all those months ago, they have barely kissed. Draco doesn’t deviate from this, although Harry has caught him staring unguardedly a few times, when he thinks Harry is dozing. It feels as though their relationship is too fragile; anything too fervent would break their façade.
Harry doesn’t care. He is happy to sit every evening with Draco’s feathery hair fanning out on his shoulder. He is happy to let Draco slide through his fingers every night with the briefest brush of the lips and whispered plans of tomorrow.
Today - tonight - was supposed to be different. It went unspoken between them, but they both knew what exactly what supposed to take place tonight – their first time together.
Harry arrives outside of Draco’s shop and instinctively knows that something is wrong. The heavy, wooden door has been left ajar. Slowly, Harry draws out his wand.
“Lumos!” he whispers and the tip of his wand explodes in a shower of light, shedding its glowing hue around the corners of the shop.
“Draco,” he calls out, softly. He takes another step forward and his feet crunch against something that on closer inspection turns out to be broken glass.
“Draco!” Harry’s voice becomes more adamant as the silence deepens around him. He hears a small groan from around the back of the counter, just as he steps in something wet, sticky, and a deep shade of crimson. Harry nearly drops his wand in shock. It’s blood. A puddle of thick, cherry-red blood with Draco lying in the centre of it. His blond hair is saturated with it, staining the tips of his almost-white strands scarlet.
“Oh God!” Harry kneels over him, the blood soaking into the knees of his jeans. “Draco? Can you hear me?”
Draco’s head doesn’t move, and his face is so wan Harry can see the long network of indigo veins running under his skin. He holds his wand up to Draco’ face and then he notices it. Draco’s left cheek is in tatters, shredded tremendously, and there is glass embedded into the wounds.
It takes all Harry’s self-control not to break down.
“Enervate!” Harry shouts, Draco’s face cradled in his lap. “Enervate!”
Suddenly, Draco lifts his head and sputters up crimson spit all over Harry’s brand new shirt. It takes a while, but Harry holds onto him, and eventually Draco starts breathing normally.
“Draco, look at the state of you!” Harry begins when Draco is well enough to sit up against the counter. “What the fuck happened here?”
“Vigilantes,” he says, breathing slowly in and out. Harry has to admire Draco’s abilities to use long, poncy words even in this situation. “They raided the shop. I left my wand in the back room. I wasn’t expecting anyone. They came in.” Draco’s breath hitches on the inhale. Harry isn’t sure if it’s from pain or fear. “They kicked me about a bit and hexed my mouth so I couldn’t scream. As if I would.” He sneers and it doesn’t sit right on Draco’s ragged cheekbone, the skin dangling from the bone. Harry wonders why Draco isn’t incoherent, he so obviously in agony.
“Draco,” Harry begins shakily. He isn’t sure he wants to ask this question. “What happened to your face?”
In answer, Draco points to the broomstick cabinet behind him. The broomsticks are still there but the glass is completely smashed. Blood drips down the side of it, and the shocking reality hits Harry like an overstuffed pillow.
“They put your face through that? Oh my god, Draco, we have to get you to St Mungo’s right now!”
Draco’s eyes finally connect with Harry's, the grey spheres spinning to fix him with a very pointed stare.
“No, Harry. I’m not going to St Mungo’s. I’m not exposing myself to that.”
Harry grows impatient; Draco has lost too much blood to be picky about this. “Draco, you’re bleeding all over the place. Your face…oh god your face. Look I’ll take you there myself, you don’t need to worry. I’ll make sure you get the best care.”
Draco snorts, sending the skin on his face flapping. “Oh yes, and how would that look? The hero of the Wizarding world dragging Draco Malfoy’s carcass into hospital. Harry, everyone thinks I was a Death Eater whether I was pardoned or not. Why do you think I was attacked in the first place? Think about it!”
“No! I have everything you need to heal me here.”
Draco gives Harry a list of potions, blood-replenishing and wound-cleaning, and Harry runs to the bathroom and fumbles in the cabinet to get them. Draco takes one potion after another, sip after sip, until he starts to look like a real person again.
“What am I going to do about my face?” Draco says shakily as he gets to his feet. Harry knows what to do about that.
“Epesky,” Harry whispers. Draco’s skin knits together slowly, the sinews growing together until finally his cheek is whole. The scars are terrible, worse than he expected. Draco’s face looks like a spider web, thin red lines sweep across his cheeks, marring the vast paleness.
“Is it awful?” Draco asks. He looks a mess; his clothes are torn open and splattered with blood. His hair is worse; it is matted to his forehead in red clumps and he looks like he could fall down dead at any minute.
“Yes. Let me take you home.” He takes Draco’s hand gently and leads him out the door. He waves his wand briefly and the shop is spotless again, but it doesn’t feel right when Draco still looks so messed up.
Harry puts Draco in a hot bath as soon as they get home. He waits patiently as Draco takes removes piece after piece of stained cloth until he is naked. His white body gleams in front of Harry, who finds himself unable to look away. Draco is shaking so badly that Harry has to lower him into the steaming water. He clutches at Harry as he struggles to stay upright.
“I’m sorry,” Draco wheezes. He is trembling. “I’m still a bit weak.”
“It doesn’t matter,” Harry whispers into Draco’s ear. He strokes his bare back until Draco stops shaking. “Will you be alright? I’m just going to…sort out these clothes.”
Draco nods, and Harry picks up the dirty clothes off the floor and leaves him alone. Harry doesn’t bother to wash them. He throws them in the fireplace and burns them. He is furious. He hates Death Eaters as much as anyone - more in fact, - but ramming pardoned non-Death Eaters' heads through glass is no better.
He waits a few minutes before returning to the bathroom. Draco has washed his hair, and it has returned to its normal clean, silvery blond, but the water in the bath is tinged red.
Draco makes no move to hide himself when Harry walks in. “Do you have a towel?” he drawls, clearly more comfortable than Harry. Harry nods, Draco stands up, and Harry wraps him. Then Draco is shaking again.
“Are you sure you’re okay?”
Draco blinks slowly in response. “I’m fine,” he says with his eyes closed. “Can you put me to bed?”
Harry nods and steers him through the hallway to the bedroom. He dries Draco off, face flushing, and then gently presses him into the bed.
“I really think you should get some rest,” he says, pulling the covers up to Draco's neck.
“Thank you, Harry.” Draco smiles docilely, eyes half closed already. Harry lies next to him, above the covers, and waits until he drifts off. He spends a long, long time staring at Draco’s still face, memorising the new lines. He doesn’t think about what he would have done if Draco had been killed, what he will do if those people come back, or what he might do if he finds them.
“Hurry up, Draco. The guests will be here soon.” Draco has been in the bathroom for what feels like forever. Harry sighs again; he hopes Draco’s costume is better than his is. Harry is altogether too aware of the irony of dressing like Prince Charming.
He half-thinks this party is a bad idea. All Harry’s best friends and Draco in the same room, drinking. It doesn’t seem like a good idea, but Draco hasn’t been out of the house much since the attack five months ago and he seems so excited about it.
“It’ll be great, Harry,” he said when Harry mentioned it. “Don’t worry, I’ll be good.”
So, a costume birthday party it was, and now here he is standing in some ridiculous purple pantaloons waiting for Draco to get out of the bathroom.
“Happy Birthday, Harry!” Draco steps out of the bathroom and Harry’s tongue falls out his mouth. Draco Malfoy is dressed as Alice from Alice in Wonderland.
His hair is gleaming. The now-shoulder-length strands are caught up in a thick navy ribbon exposing his neck. The dress matches his ribbon and fits to his slender body like a glove. Harry has forgotten how smooth Draco’s skin is, but now he can’t stop looking because the blue skirt he wears is shorter than short and suddenly Draco’s lean, sinewy legs wrapped around him is all Harry can think about.
“I take it you like it then?” Draco laughs, his eyes glinting as Harry realises he’s staring.
“I think you look…amazing,” Harry manages. He reaches up to stroke Draco’s face, his thumb almost grazes the shiny, puckered scar that lies on the pale cheek, but Draco pulls away. His careless demeanour fades for a moment.
“Don’t touch it...” He steps back and noticeably pulls himself together. He gives Harry a smile that doesn’t quite reach his eyes. “Your friends will be here soon.”
“We have a few minutes, don’t we?” Harry says suggestively, reaching out to stroke the white lace on Draco’s skirt. “I want to see what you’ve got under your skirt.”
“Steady on Mr Charming,” Draco retorts, tilting himself suggestively. “I’m a good girl.”
Harry’s hands are just creeping up Draco’s thigh when the door goes, and Draco slides out of his arms and goes to answer it. It’s Hermione; Harry can hear her tinkling voice echoing through the hallway.
“Oh! Hello, Harry. Happy birthday,” she says as Harry appears at his side. Those are very… striking costumes.” Baby Rose is dressed as a flower and is struggling in her arms. Her ginger, bushy hair and general appearance elicits a slight sneer from Draco, and Harry steps in to diffuse things.
“Thanks, Hermione. I like yours too.” He is, of course, telling the truth; there is nothing weird about seeing Hermione in a bumblebee costume or Ron dressed as a pirate.
“You alright mate?” Ron asks cheerfully, clapping him on the shoulder. Harry notices that Draco makes himself scarce. “Nice costume. Prince Charming?”
Harry grins dolefully. “Yea. How do you know?”
“Hermione’s been making me read Muggle fairy tales to Rose. I don’t know what she’s going to think about witches and wizards when she gets older.”
Harry laughs and leads Ron into the living room. Draco has decorated wonderfully, rainbow coloured streamers line the walls, and full balloons float in midair, which Harry has to duck to avoid.
“Do you want some punch?” Harry pours some for Ron but not Hermione, (“No thanks, I’m still breastfeeding.”) and then gulps down his own glass. It is so alcoholic that Harry almost chokes. He glances up at Draco who is sitting on the sofa, stretching his legs so that yards of translucent, creamy skin are uncovered. Draco catches his eyes and winks at him surreptitiously. Harry’s feels his face flare up and his cock harden as usual, and is thankful for the bizarre pants he is wearing.
The guests trickle in, one by one. Neville and Hannah Abbott – no, Longbottom - dressed as a king and queen. Luna, dressed as something she calls “a Blibbering Humdinger, Harry! I knew you’d like it!” A few people from Harry’s Auror department slink in and Harry greets them all benignly, he can’t take his eyes off Draco.
Draco teases Harry all night – when they meet on the stairs Draco brushes past him, making sure to press himself up against Harry more than that is strictly necessary, then he leaves him there, panting, drunk, and hard. When they meet by the punch table and Harry leans into him, Draco laughs and presses a full glass into his hand, then wanders off to talk to Luna about various unusual, and quite probably imaginary, animals.
Harry finally catches him in front of the bathroom. Draco’s eyes widen when he realises that that Harry won’t let him twist away this time.
“You’re such a fucking prick tease,” Harry growls as he shuts the door behind them. Draco leans against the sink, his blue skirt riding up and showing the entirety of his long legs, and Harry can’t wait run his hands up and down those smooth thighs.
“Oh yes?” Draco voice is low and mocking and Harry can tell that he isn’t taking him seriously. “And what are you going about it?”
“I think you know.” He walks over to Draco and presses himself into his leg. “Can you feel how hard I am for you?”
Draco bites his lip and nods slowly. A light flush creeps across his cheekbone and Harry knows that Draco is rock hard under his satin skirt.
“No, Draco.” He tilts Draco’s chin towards him. “I want to hear you say it. Let’s try again; can you feel how hard I am?”
Draco’s voice comes out raggedly as it always does when Harry is rough with him. “Yes.”
“Good.” Harry finally runs his hands up and down Draco’s satiny dress, feeling the sharp contours of his body; he's so excited that he’s worried he might explode in his pants before he gets properly started. He wills himself to calm down; he wants this to last.
“So tell me, pretty boy, what have you got on under that skirt of yours?” Harry doesn’t wait for an answer; he hitches up the front of Draco’s dress instead. “Lacy cotton knickers?” His eyes flicker up to Draco’s pink face. “You’re such a fucking whore.”
Harry rubs Draco's stiff cock through his white knickers, and Draco throws his head back until it hits the mirror. Draco tilts his hips to meet Harry's hands.
“No, Draco.” He forces Draco’s hips back towards the sink. “You have to learn.” He pinches a jutting hip gently. “It’s not nice to tease.”
Harry stops abruptly. “Get on your knees.” Draco doesn’t need telling twice. He gets on his knees on the bathroom floor, yanks down Harry’s trousers, and pulls out Harry’s swollen cock. Seconds later, Draco’s mouth envelops him in a lightning hot heat that makes him thrust hard into Draco's throat.
Draco’s moans appreciatively, sending vibrations through his Harry’s cock. Draco gives the most brilliant blowjobs; his red mouth looks fantastic rolling over Harry’s thick shaft, his eyes screwed up in concentration. “Fucking hell, Draco!” If he doesn’t stop soon, Harry is going to spurt all over his face. “Stop!”
He pulls Draco to his feet roughly. “Bend over the sink.”
Draco pauses briefly. “But everyone’s downstairs…”
Harry pushes Draco up against the sink in answer and flips him over. He runs his hands over Draco’s cotton knickers and slides them down past his thighs, revealing his juicy arse. Harry can feel him shaking underneath him and then he can’t help it. He raises his hand and slaps Draco as hard as he dares.
Draco gasps, and Harry spanks him again and again, harder each time. Draco twists underneath him, shoving his arse into Harry’s waiting hand.
“You’re so bloody gorgeous, Draco. You’re a fucking dirty tease, but you’re bloody worth it.”
Draco shudders against the taps, and Harry stops, twirling his fingers in Draco’s hair that has worked loose from the ribbon. “Draco,” he says tauntingly, “you’re not allowed to come. Do you understand?”
Draco nods shakily, sending blond strands dancing all over the place.
“Open your mouth.” Draco does and Harry slides a digit into his waiting mouth. “Get it wet. You know where it’s going don’t you?”
Draco sucks until Harry’s finger is glistening; he pulls out it and spreads Draco’s red cheeks. He runs his finger over Draco’s arse cheek and pushes it gently against his exposed hole. He can feel Draco pushing against him, desperate to get Harry inside of him.
“Oh, Harry! Oh god, I can’t take it anymore.”
Harry grins; he loves it when Draco gets like this, when he throws his head forward and arches his back. He’s so fucking hard, he needs to feel Draco around him now. He pulls his finger free from Draco, and grasps the body oil from the side of the bath. He spreads the velvety liquid thickly all over his cock and Draco’s arse.
Harry leans over Draco and whispers into his ear. “Draco, I’m going to fuck you so hard, you’re going to feel it for days.”
Harry rubs his cock against Draco; they slide together for a few blissful moments and Harry can’t think about anything but Draco’s soft skin rubbing against him.
“Please, Harry. Please…” Draco exclaims.
“Please what?” Harry hovers over him. “Say it, Draco. Tell me what you want.”
“I want-” he shudders. “I want-”
“Yes?” Harry says, pressing the head of his cock right against Draco’s puckered entrance.
“I want you to fuck me; I want to feel you inside me.”
That’s all Harry needs, he pushes himself inside Draco, inch by inch until at last he is wedged deeply in Draco’s arse. It feels so good, enveloped in Draco's slick, hot heat.
Harry’s fingers dig into Draco’s hips hard enough to turn the flushed skin white as he pulls them up to meet his.
Harry drags his cock ever so slowly out of Draco, and his head spins as he thrusts into Draco with a heady violence that he didn’t think he was capable of. Draco squeaks beneath him; he is thrown against the porcelain, and his fingers struggle to gain purchase on the slippery taps.
“Jesus, Harry!” Draco pants. “You’re going to fucking kill me.”
Harry laughs, mainly to taunt him. He twines his fingers in Draco’s hair, and pulls him up until Harry can see his face in the mirror.
“You look so gorgeous,” Harry whispers. And he does. Draco is, and always will be, fucking gorgeous to Harry. Especially when his face is bright pink, when his mouth makes that perfect little ‘O’ shape and his eyes, oh hell, his huge grey eyes that are boring straight into his. Then he throws his head back and moans, that perfect, loud moan that means very soon Draco will be shooting all over the bathroom floor.
“Christ, Draco!” Harry shoves his cock as far into Draco as physically possible and so hard that Draco slams his head against the mirror. “I love you; I love you so fucking much!” He can’t hold back a second longer, but he doesn’t need to, because Draco is shouting the place down, sobbing his name and bucking into him so hard that Harry can’t keep up. And then he is coming, and it has never felt this good in his entire life. Stars are shooting in front of his eyes, he feels like he is floating out of the universe with only Draco’s shuddering body to anchor him into the real world.
It takes a few moments for Harry’s heart to stop racing. He brushes Draco’s hair out of his eyes and checks to make sure he hasn’t passed out like the last time they tried role-playing.
“Are you okay?” Harry says softly, standing up and pulling Draco close to him. Draco laughs shakily as he slinks into his arms.
“Yea. Do you think anyone heard us?” His lips quirk, and Harry knows that he doesn’t care. His dress is rumpled and covered in come and he still has those cotton knickers round his thighs. He kisses Draco’s forehead, his nose, and finally his mouth. He tastes hot and sweaty and Harry doesn’t care if they heard him in Timbuktu.
“Mine,” he says possessively when they break away.
“Yours?” Draco intones sarcastically as he pulls up his knickers.
“Yes,” Harry says, “I love you.” He moves to stroke his cheek but Draco turns away again.
“Don’t touch it, it’s awful.” He shakes his head. “How can you love me, Harry?”
“ I just do.” He hugs Draco tight and it seems to placate him. “Come on. Let’s go back to the party.”
Draco curls his lip, and Harry hopes it’s affectionate. “Lead the way.”
Harry opens the bathroom and they tumble into the hallway.
“Cheer up; don’t you want to see Ron’s face?” Draco laughs, the sharp, tinny one, which means that he is exceptionally joyful, and suddenly Harry’s world is wonderful. Draco will be alright; with Harry’s hand on his arm he’ll be alright. Harry will make sure of it. He won’t let the past dictate Draco’s life. He has a different life now, here with Harry.
One day, Harry is in the kitchen watching Draco struggle with the kettle, when a huge Eagle owl swoops in through their open window. The owl is a snobbish, capricious creature and won’t let Harry unwrap a small green-edged letter tied to its leg. Instead, it waits patiently for Draco to give up on the kettle and stalk over to it.
Harry mops up the overflowing water before Draco gets electrocuted and watches him read the expensive parchment.
“I don’t believe it.” Draco’s wrists are shaking.
Harry straightens up. “Everything okay?”
Draco waves his wand and the letter ignites. “I’m fine.” He’s lying. When he lies, he folds his upper lip between his front teeth and he’s doing that now.
Harry moves behind him and runs his thumbs over the tip of Draco’s ears. “Don’t lie to me. Was it from an old Slytherin?”
Draco shrugs out of his grip and turns on him. “What the fuck makes you think that?” The change in mood is odd and disjointed and Harry doesn’t know what to make of it.
“The green border. What’s wrong with you?”
Draco strides off to the bedroom. “Nothing, Potter.” Draco spits his names like it burns his mouth. “Just stop reading my post, okay?” He slams the bedroom door and Harry stares, confused and open-mouthed.
That night they argue for the first time. Oh, they have had arguments before, small petty ones about Harry’s taste in cheap wine or the way Draco refuses to let Harry have a scarlet bedspread but this is their first, real deal-breaker. It feels like a chasm has opened up between them, a void that remains cold and unfulfilled like the space between them at night, in bed.
After that, Draco goes out more, alone, without Harry. He comes back drunk and furious. First he argues back desperate to win Draco over, but when he realises this is impossible Harry leaves him to it. He pantomimes sleep until he hears Draco fall in beside him.
Finally, Harry can’t take the crushing silences, and then next time Draco goes out, Harry waits up when he stumbles in. He tells himself this isn’t weakness; it is not weak to worry about where his boyfriend goes off to in the middle of the night.
Harry stares at him, but Draco doesn’t meet his eyes. Instead, he pulls off his jacket and sits heavily on the end of the bed.
“How did you know I was coming back?" Draco says bitterly.
From this angle, Harry can’t see his face, his expression. Harry can’t tell what Draco wants from him now, and he doesn’t know if he’ll put his foot in it again.
Harry waits a full minute before answering. “You left this.” He points to the magical toy dragon he brought for Draco on his birthday, on the pillow next to him, smoke curling out of its nose.
This is different from the emotional declarations Harry normally gives him, and Draco must realise this because he turns to look at him blankly, the ugly, red scar on his cheek twisting gruesomely.
“Yea, well.” he says as he slides under the sheets. He is careful not to touch Harry’s warm body even though it is angled towards him – another gesture of reconciliation that Draco rejects.
They lie together in silence for several heart-racing moments until Draco shifts, and Harry thinks maybe, maybe this will end and they can go back to the way things used to be. Draco doesn’t touch him; instead, he leans over for his wand.
“Maybe next time I won’t come back.” And this is the last thing Draco says before he waves the light out.
The next morning when Draco gets up, Harry is in the kitchen frying bacon. He looks worn and tired, his soft black hair is sticking up at angles and his eyes have more bags than Sainsbury’s.
Draco goes to get some juice out of the fridge and moves past him, brushing Harry’s naked shoulder as he goes past.
“Where were you last night?” The question explodes out of Harry so unexpectedly that Draco is actually shocked. He has forgotten he should be expecting it.
He finishes pouring his drink and ignores Harry as long as he can. He has learnt how to do this, learn how to jumble his motions so Harry can’t read them, how to hide his hands so Harry can’t see them shaking.
“You should know," says Draco so quietly that he isn’t sure if Harry can hear him. He turns his back to Harry, which turns out to be a mistake, because thirty seconds later Harry chucks the frying pan against the wall.
“How?” Harry shouts at his back. “How am I supposed to know, Draco, when you don’t tell me anything?!”
Draco sneers and, for the first time in a long time, feels whole. He turns around to show Harry his disgust, to show him that his little outburst hasn’t shaken him in the slightest, but his expression fades when he actually sees Harry’s face. It is contorted into something Draco didn’t expect – not anger, just pain. Harry’s face is squashed up and red and Draco knows he’s trying hard not to cry. Draco’s bitterness twists in spite of himself and guilt bubbles to the surface. It almost chokes him, squeezing round his lungs. He glances away, walks out, and leaves before Harry squeezes the life out of him.
The next time both Draco and his stuffed dragon don’t return for a week and Harry begins to panic.
“No, he hasn’t taken any of his clothes,” Harry tells Hermione over the breakfast table. “Just his wallet and his wand.”
Hermione looks thoughtful and worried all at the same time. Harry wonders how she manages it. “Hmm, I hate to say this, Harry, but maybe he isn’t coming back.”
Harry clutches his coffee cup a little tighter; this is a possibility he did not want to entertain. He hates the idea that Draco would wander off, leave him, and never come back.
“But, he promised, he said he…” Harry’s voice trails off as he hears it. He sounds so weak, so naïve and pitiful.
Hermione’s look grows soft as she pats his hand delicately, as if he’s going to break if she pushes too hard. “I know we weren’t exactly thrilled when you got together.”
She is talking about the time Ron punched him in the nose for deserting his precious sister, to which Harry spat back that it was his precious sister that deserted him. Only after putting her legs behind her head for half of Edinburgh, first, of course. Harry shifts slightly in his chair; this isn’t a good memory, it isn’t a good version of himself.
“I know how you feel about him, how happy you were.” He voice trails off as Harry buries his head in his arms.
“Are, Hermione. We are happy.” His words are muffled but he’s grateful because he’s not sure, if she’ll believe them, or if he believes them himself.
Ravenclaw was never a choice for Harry; he lacks any sort of intellectual instinct, but now the need to know burns inside.
“Hermione, I called you over because I need to know where he is. I need you to help.”
Her eyes grow wide and she starts shaking her head. “No. You know I can’t do that, I can’t break ministry regulations, I can’t get permission for that sort of stuff, not unless he’s actually done something wrong.”
“Please, try. You know I wouldn’t ask unless I was desperate. I need to know where he’s gone, who he’s with…”
But she refuses, because that’s the real reason. Harry would know if Draco was dead, or injured. Instead, Harry wants to see who he’s fallen into bed with.
When Hermione leaves, Harry wonders what his replacement is like. When Ginny finally settled down, she picked someone completely contrary to Harry’s wry, scruffy frame. Some burly, blond Quidditch star that probably had more muscle than brain. Harry can’t see Draco with another blond. He rubs his watering eyes when he realises he can’t see Draco with anyone else but him.
Their flat is too empty with just one person in it, and Harry wanders from room to room wondering how different it will be when Draco is gone. The bedroom is the last room he enters and it is the one that hurts the most. It’s too personal, different from the ruffled piles of bills left on their coffee table and the heavy books on broomstick making here and there.
Here he finds Draco’s things: aftershave, expensively cut robes. He finds himself crying into one before long. In his defence, it is a particularly nice one – the one Harry bought him to wear to their anniversary dinner. It is the only piece of clothing he ever saw Draco stroking fondly when he thought Harry wasn’t watching. It’s sentimental, Harry tells himself as he takes it to bed with him. Even Harry isn’t wretched enough to cry into something that has no value.
A week later, when Draco hasn’t returned and neither Harry nor the robe have moved from the bed, Hermione concedes.
“I can see you need this, Harry,” she says, waving a neat piece of parchment in front of him from the foot of the bed. “Here take it; it’s the name of the place he’s staying in. It’s Muggle, so be careful with the magic.” She looks at him in a firm appraising way. “Are you sure you’re up to this?”
Harry is showered, dressed and ready all in ten minutes. He is definitely up for this. The address Hermione’s given him says that Draco’s hotel is in Muggle London and Harry’s mouth twists at the irony of this.
Harry takes a Muggle train; it takes five hours and twenty-five minutes precisely, and it’s dreary, but it gives him plenty of time to think. Is he going to be manly and punch Draco’s lover, or will he crumple when he is staring him in the face? Him…it could be a woman. Somehow, Harry hasn’t considered that. It seems ludicrous in the face of everything Harry has considered. But why not? Harry was with Ginny. He thinks about Draco’s slim, delicate fingers sliding down the soft planes of some tart’s tits and feels so sick that he has to clutch himself to stop the rolling feeling in his stomach.
Instead, he thinks about what he’ll say when he sees Draco at last. How could you? That doesn’t feel right – too shrill, too feminine. I always knew you were trouble. That’s a lie; he finally gave up that notion four years ago when Draco first looked at him through lowered eyelids and Harry felt that feeling course through him. I miss you. It’s the truest, most painful thing Harry can think of.
It’s dusk when Harry finally arrives. Dusk; happy memories rise to the surface of Harry’s mind. He remembers Draco’s heavy head on his shoulder as the fading light streamed through their heavy wooden blinds, he remembers dozing lazily as Draco’s soft steady breaths tickled the hairs on his neck. He swallows and soldiers on to Draco’s hotel.
The man at the desk seems to know exactly who Harry is talking about. “Blond haired fella with the scar? Posh? Wears a lot of funny clothes? Oh yea, I’ve seen him.”
“Well? Is he still here?” Harry asks impatiently.
The man shakes his head. “Sorry, mate. He leaves here first thing every day. Right early bird he is.”
Harry says something vague about coming back tomorrow and turns away deflated.
“Do you know him?” The man’s voice echoes through the foyer.
Harry starts. “Excuse me?”
The man looks at Harry animatedly. “The blond man – flamboyant little thing? Do you know him?”
“Yes, He’s my,” Harry pauses; he doesn’t know what Draco is to him. Enemy? Lover? Ex? He shrugs. “I just know him.”
The man chuckles. “Well, you better keep an eye on him. He’s been here for two weeks and he’s growing peakier by the minute.”
Peaky? Is that what people in the middle of a torrid affair look like? Doesn’t seem right to Harry.
He chooses the hotel across from Draco’s, deciding to wait it out until morning, but he doesn’t get any sleep. His dreams are filled with blond haired bodies twisting in his grasp and then dark mist snatching them away.
He is up the next morning, early but not bright. He pads to the dirty bathroom and eyes himself in the mirror. He is a fucking mess and he seriously doubts his dishevelled appearance will convince Draco that he is the better choice.
He disillusions himself and waits for Draco outside the hotel. When Harry does see him, it is like someone has kicked him in the stomach. Draco looks as if he hasn’t slept all night, his clothes are dirtier than usual. Has he been kneeling in alleyways with other men? He looks so unhappy that Harry wonders how he missed it.
Draco moves swiftly as if some higher purpose drives him on, and Harry follows him. He follows him all the way out of London and never once does Draco notice – he is clearly caught up in his own thoughts.
Finally, he stops at a Muggle cemetery, and Harry watches dumbstruck as Draco slowly kneels down by the grave nearest the entrance. It is freshly dug.
Harry stands still for a moment, shock refusing to let his feet move. Draco shoulders are shaking, and Harry is sure he is crying.
“Draco,” he says quietly, taking the charm off himself swiftly. “What on earth are you doing here?”
Draco's back goes stiff as he recognises Harry’s voice, and then he stands up. The air is silent for a moment and then Draco speaks; he sounds like he hasn't spoken in forever, and it feels like that's how long it's been since they last spoke together.
“I knew you’d be here soon. The receptionist said that a guy with a scar was looking for me. ‘Right banged up lot you are. You guys get into a lot of fights when you were younger? Scars everywhere.’ ” Draco mimics the man’s accent perfectly, and suddenly, Harry misses Draco so completely he doesn’t care about anything else.
“Why didn’t you leave a note? Why are you here?” Harry voice trembles despite himself, and Draco shakes his head slowly. In answer, he points to the grave in front of him. It’s unmarked and completely non-descript in any way Harry can see, but Draco is looking at it with a painful reverence.
“This,” he says slowly and with obvious effort, “is my mother’s grave.”
Harry can barely hide his shock. “Your mother?" he blurts out stupidly.” Then he understands – that letter, the slammed doors, all that talk about the past, the mud on Draco’s knees.
“I’ve been coming here for days and days now. I wanted her moved to the Manor, but the Ministry tore the place down. I can’t move her anywhere. I have nothing and nowhere to take her.” Draco’s face is white as he says this, whiter even than when Harry caught him crying in the bathrooms back in Hogwarts.
“Where was she living?” Harry asks, not trusting himself to say anything else.
“Abroad. We had friends over there, willing to take her in after Father…” Draco’s gaze suddenly sharpens. “Anyway, what does it matter to you? You never cared about her.”
Harry thinks about this, he thinks about the frenzied way she asked, “Draco! Is he in the castle?” He thinks about how he cares about Draco too, the muddy man standing in front of him, his face twisting horribly.
“No,” he says slowly, “but I care about you and so did she. Why didn’t you tell me, you bloody idiot? I thought…” He laughs mirthlessly. “I thought you were seeing someone else.”
Draco eyes flash with a mixture of emotions. “Someone else?” he says incredulously. “Who else is there?” ‘But you’ Draco doesn’t say it, but Harry catches it anyway. His throat feels tight at the prospect.
“Then why didn’t you tell me?” he asks, quietly.
“Because what would you have said? That you’re sorry?” Draco runs a dirt-streaked hand through his hair and sighs. “You’re not fucking sorry. I didn’t want to hear you lie to me and tell me it’ll be alright because it won’t, Harry. This is my past, what I used be; it won’t change just because you find it distasteful.”
Harry reaches out for Draco’s dirty fingers; he catches them and doesn’t let go. He doesn’t want Draco to change and he doesn’t find it distasteful. He likes Draco’s blunt sarcasm, his vicious passion, and his zealous love for Harry.
“I don’t want you to.” He releases Draco for a moment and reaches into his coat, the light, black box is still there but it feels lighter than it did before.
He stammers the words out. “I- I had plans, but then, well, I think you can guess.” His fingers are shaking so violently he can barely hold the velvety box still; he prays he doesn’t drop it into the dirt as he holds it out for Draco to open it. Harry closes his eyes as he does. He already knows what’s in the box; it is a small, silver ring, goblin-made, studded with emeralds and garnets.
“Our old house colours,” Draco blurts out. His cheeks tinge pink as he peers into the little box.
Harry nods. “Not that it matters anymore.” He slides the box out of Draco's limp hands and holds the ring out in front of him. “I-I love you, Draco. I thought I’d lost you and it only made me love you more. I can’t be without you.”
Draco looks up at him; his grey eyes are shiny and luminous in his pinched face. He reaches out his dirt-streaked fingers. Pausing, he looks like he’s going to say something and Harry holds his breath.
“Harry, I…” Draco presses his lips together. “This is madness.”
“No,” Harry says firmly, sliding the cold metal over Draco’s second longest finger. “You running away from me, not telling me when you’re hurt, me being without you…” It was a snug, flawless fit. “That’s madness,” he says, touching Draco's chin delicately with his other hand. Their eyes lock and Harry fixes Draco with a determined stare. “This makes perfect sense.”
Harry’s thumb brushes over Draco lips, tracing their outline, tracing this moment. He never wants to forget it; he never wants to forget what it is like to love another person so much that the chapped skin on his lips makes you tear up.
“I love you, Draco.”
“I love you, too,” Draco mouths silently against Harry’s thumb. Then they kiss, and it is perfect and tender and everything Harry didn’t think was possible again.
They part and Harry pulls Draco near, snuggling into the soft body. He feels Draco laugh shakily against him. “I can’t believe you just proposed at my mother’s graveside. This is barely one step up from a barn!”
“Shall I take that as a yes?” he whispers against Draco’s soft hair.
Draco kisses him in answer and then it’s a yes, yes, yes, now and forever and Harry is so happy he thinks his soul might burst out right here and leave his body, here with Draco.
“We’ll come back tomorrow,” he says soberly. “We’ll bring her back. Okay?”
Draco nods. He takes one final glance at the unmarked grave and then takes Harry’s hand. Harry can feel the ring, warm now from Draco’s finger, as they slide their hands around each other. Their hands hold tight; nails, skin, sinew, muscle, blood pounding together, certainly yet inexplicability, and then Harry leads Draco out of the dreary graveyard, down the cobbled street and confidently into their illuminated future.