Title: A Fair Cop
Summary: Harry Potter walks into a cafe for some coffee, and instead gets the surprise of his life. Plus some coffee.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Deathly Hallows compliant? Yes, but EWE.
Word Count: 6,300ish
Author's Notes: I hope this in some way makes you happy, Sugareey. I think the boys are in character, and they're still fairly young... but there's not a whole lot of plot, and sadly less groping than I usually write. If you're not satisfied, I promise to write another one. Also, Draco's comment about evil guys and innocent guys is lifted verbatim from one of my favorite movies, Zero Effect.
This patrol was boring. It was supposed to be; it was a punishment, after all. Harry had mouthed off one too many times and Shacklebolt had finally followed through on his threat. Now he found himself costumed as a bobby, assigned to the area of Muggle London near Diagon Alley, keeping an eye out for fugitive Death Eaters or others evading Wizarding law or threatening Muggles. Except there weren't any. Well, hardly any. Harry was pretty sure that collaring a drunk Dennis Creevey for disorderly behavior didn't count as apprehending an evil-doer.
He'd found Dennis harassing a dosser outside a pub – Creevey's girlfriend had dumped him and he was belligerently demanding an answer from the reeking old coot as to what women wanted, anyway. Harry'd had to take him in, which necessitated a trip in a vehicle disguised as a Muggle police car that could be Apparated back to the Ministry and shrunk for storage. This seemed convenient, but in actual fact it meant that Harry had to Apparate the damned thing into the countryside everyday and drive into London. It also meant he'd had to drive out of London with a sloppily drunk Creevey who insisted on telling Harry the minutest details of his failed love affair.
Harry rested his head on the steering wheel. Yep, he was bored. And sort of tired. Hungover a bit, too. What I need is some coffee. He parked the car illegally (one benefit of having a car disguised as property of the Muggle police) and walked off down the most likely thoroughfare. He didn't want that Starbucks shit – their coffee tasted bitter and burnt; also, Hermione had convinced him that their business model was exploitative. Not that he cared all that much about the welfare of independent Muggle coffeeshops, but still – injustice was injustice, he supposed.
About half a block down from his car was a shop that he'd been meaning to check out. It looked like it had a bit more character than the colorless chains proliferating everywhere - there were plants in the window and large warm globe lamps hanging from what looked like a tin ceiling. He pushed the door open and looked around. Yes, this was a place he could kill some time. He made to approach the counter and stopped short.
Time wasn't the only thing he might be liable to kill in here.
He couldn't believe his eyes - in fact, no. He wouldn't. Other people in this city had platinum hair and the complexion of a ghost. All things considered, and against the testimony of his eyes, it was highly improbable that Malfoy of all people had wound up as a barista in a little hole-in-the-wall café in Muggle London. Once he realized how absurd the idea was, he almost laughed out loud, digging in his pockets for some local money.
The person in front of him ordered a Venti latte and he rolled his eyes. "Starbucks is down the street," he couldn't help but growl under his breath. At the sound of his snide comment, two heads whipped around to stare at him in disbelief, and one of those heads held wide grey eyes framed by pale lashes.
Laws of probability be damned, that was Draco bloody Malfoy staring at him.
Strangely, despite the surprise, Harry wasn't upset. Pushing aside for the moment the mystery of a pureblooded wizard working in a Muggle cafe, Harry instantly warmed to the idea of a Malfoy waiting on him, making his coffee and taking his change, unable to be rude or hateful lest he get sacked. Harry reckoned he ought to keep an eye out, though, just to make sure Malfoy didn't spit in his cup surreptitiously.
Malfoy was still staring at him. Harry mouthed "What?" at him, as though this was a perfectly normal turn of events. Malfoy blinked and turned around to start the process of latte-making.
While his back was turned, Harry indulged in a gleeful smirk. This was shaping up to be the best time he'd had in days. Weeks, his mind corrected, but that observation was easily brushed aside in favor of watching Draco Malfoy operate an espresso machine.
That's right, Harry belatedly remembered. He'd been exiled from the wizarding world after a brief trial that bore all the hallmarks of a set-up. Things had happened so fast, and there had been so much to be outraged about in the aftermath of the final battle, that Harry had nearly forgotten his erstwhile rival's fate. He dimly recalled feeling that Malfoy had gotten the shaft end, but then so many had, on both sides. Or neither side, in Malfoy's case.
With no credentials of any kind in the Muggle world, this must have been the best he could do.
Harry was a bit lost in thought as the customer in front of him received his drink and paid, but as the man roughly brushed past Harry on his way out, he came abruptly back to the present. Gathering himself, he approached the counter, determined to freak Malfoy out one way or the other.
"Is there a problem, officer?" Malfoy asked tightly, barely moving his lips. He must think I'm here to check up on him.
"No, no problem," Harry said brightly. "Just here for some coffee. What do you suggest? What's your specialty?" Anyone would think he was just a chatty policeman making conversation. Harry congratulated himself on his acting skills.
"Um, it's a coffeeshop. You might try coffee." Malfoy, silvery hair sticking to his forehead, seemed wound as tightly as a spring. The observation put Harry even more at his ease. He'd forgotten just how much he liked to wind Malfoy up - and he'd barely even done anything yet.
Harry leaned comfortably against the counter and smiled. "I prefer the really fancy drinks," he drawled. It wasn't true, he liked his coffee plain and black, but he wanted to piss Malfoy off. "You know, like a triple mocha caramel frappe with half-fat milk and whipped cream and sprinkles. Yeah, how about one of those?"
Malfoy wordlessly turned to make this complicated and disgusting-sounding drink. He took half a step towards the machine then turned back and put his hands on the counter, bracing himself. His eyes darted around the shop then he fixed Harry with a narrow gaze and said, "Look, Potter, I know it's you. Stop playing with me."
"I'm not playing with you, Malfoy," Harry grinned. Not yet, anyway. "I was just falling asleep at the wheel and needed a pick-me-up."
"Who told you I work here?" Malfoy hissed.
Oh, that was too rich! Malfoy actually thought Harry had sought him out! He burst out laughing. "You think I would waste time and energy tracking you down? Dream on, Malfoy. It's just a coincidence. I happened by and came in for some coffee. Do you mind making it for me, or do I have to talk to the manager?"
Anger warred with indignation and a certain amount of fear in Malfoy's face. Harry felt a brief twinge of guilt.
"Drake!" boomed a voice from the back. "When you've finished with the copper I need your help back here!"
"Be right there, Mr. Sanders," Malfoy called out, shooting Harry a deadly glare as he set about making the coffee.
Harry watched him and grudgingly admitted that Malfoy looked like he knew what he was doing. If he'd ever imagined finding Draco Malfoy in a café pulling espresso, which he hadn't, it would have been a comedic scenario of incompetence and fumbled drinks, possibly a girlish scream or two when he burned himself on the hot water jet. He had a sudden flashback to Malfoy, skinny arms crushing his ribs and shrieking into his ear. He shook his head to clear it - he tried not to think about that night, if possible.
"Here's your coffee, constable," Malfoy said tightly. "That'll be two pounds."
"Two pounds?" Harry spluttered. "Blimey -"
"Two pounds," Malfoy repeated, smirking slightly. Something in Harry's chest flickered in recognition. This was the first time Malfoy had really looked like Malfoy.
He took a sip of his drink and grimaced, just in time for an older man wearing a frayed jumper to enter from the back and see his contorted expression.
"Has he cocked up your order, sir?" The man asked, and Harry realized that this was the manager, Sanders. Who now thought that Harry didn't like his drink.
"Drake! I've told you time and again-" Malfoy stared at the floor as a clearly familiar tirade began. Harry forestalled the rest of it by waving his hands and saying, "No, no! It's fine! I just had something in my eye. The drink is . . . very . . ." He couldn't bring himself to say good, because it was foul, but that was his fault for ordering something so creamy and sickly sweet. Instead, he took a huge swig of the drink and forced himself to plaster a shit-eating grin on his face. "Mmmm!" He managed.
"Oh! Well, that's . . . that's fine then," said the old man, brightening. "Enjoy the rest of your coffee!" He shot Malfoy a warning look and shuffled toward the back, calling behind him, "Drake, I need your help back here." Draco looked at Harry and shook his head disbelievingly, then followed the man into the rear of the shop.
Harry watched his retreat through the door, then turned to find a seat. He waited a few minutes, but neither Malfoy nor Mr. Sanders reappeared. He wondered how they managed a business with such inconsistent counter help, but then his eye lit on the bell attached to the door. His drink was congealing and getting less appetizing by the second, and it dawned on him that he had no excuse to stay. He surreptitiously poured the rest of it into the potted plant by the window and left.
* * *
The assignment continued, mostly because Shacklebolt was still pissed off at his inability to follow the rules. Harry's feelings about this alternated between guilt and bewilderment that anyone would expect him to be able to follow the rules. He was a rogue warrior, a loose cannon, and a vigilante . . . with nothing to do, no one to fight, nothing to fight for. The battle of Hogwarts had been so long ago, it may as well have happened to someone else.
After another week of nothing happening, Harry found himself nodding off at the wheel again. "Fuck this," he muttered as he parked and got out of the car.
His feet carried him to the shop where Malfoy worked, and a little bubble of excitement formed in his chest, which puzzled him. He surely didn't suspect Draco of still harboring anti-Muggle sentiment? Or in any other way suspect him of illegal activity? Nothing was going to happen in that coffeeshop except he'd get some caffeine in his system, get a change of scenery, and maybe get Malfoy's goat again. He smirked. That had been fun.
He pushed open the door and heard the bells tinkle perkily. Looking around, he could see that no one else was in the shop. After a moment, Draco bustled out of the back, wiping his hands on his apron. "Don't you look domestic?" Harry drawled.
"Just doing my job," Malfoy said with no inflection.
"Well, let's see..." Harry pretended to inspect the chalkboard next to the register listing the day's specials, tapping his fingertips against his lips.
"Hm?" Harry raised his eyebrows impishly.
"What are you doing here?" Draco practically spat.
"What do you think, Malfoy? I need a little afternoon pick me up. How about a double Americano?"
Draco regarded him with slitted eyes, his arms crossed tightly against his chest. "I thought you liked 'fancy drinks'," he drawled suspiciously.
Ah. "Not so much, actually. I was just taking the piss," Harry admitted.
"But you drank almost the whole thing in one gulp," Draco continued, with false innocence. "You looked like you really enjoyed it. In fact, I think I recall you saying something like 'Mmmmmmm . . .'"- Malfoy drew out the sound until it was almost sexual.
For no good reason, Harry felt his face coloring. "Yeah, well... your boss didn't seem so happy when he thought I didn't like it. So I pretended to like it." There was a long pause, during which Malfoy turned his attention to the chrome espresso machine. Harry mentally smacked himself for pointing out that he'd saved Malfoy from getting sacked. That went beyond ribbing and directly into smug self-righteousness.
"Hot day out there," Harry said while Draco made his coffee. You could never go wrong with the weather.
"I wouldn't know," Draco said absently. "It's nice and cool in here," he finished, pointedly, his voice like ice.
Harry cleared his throat. "Doesn't it get hot behind that espresso machine? I imagine you work up quite a sweat."
A beat passed wherein Harry had time to realize that his last comment, intended to make Malfoy feel self-conscious about working for a living, could be mistaken for flirting.
Malfoy gave him a look over the top of the steaming hunk of streamlined metal. "Unlike you, it seems. Being an Auror not all it's cracked up to be? Or is there some other reason you find the need to skive off in my shop?"
That stung. "Got to keep an eye on the undesirable element," he said, feeling mean even as the words left his mouth. Malfoy was no longer under suspicion – never had been, really. His exile had been more for his own protection – the Ministry had determined that he didn't merit the full time Auror escort his survival would otherwise have required.
However, Malfoy didn't seem to take the comment the wrong way. "I've been told I'm quite the opposite of undesirable, Potter. Perhaps you might want to take your eyes elsewhere."
Alright. Either Malfoy was flirting with him, or he was making fun of Harry for his awkward comment. Harry decided that the idea of Malfoy flirting with him was entirely too surreal, so he must be taking the piss.
"Is my coffee ready yet?" Harry asked peevishly, suddenly wanting to get the hell out of there.
Malfoy plunked a paper cup down in front of him. "Two pounds," he said smoothly.
"Two pounds?" Harry asked, outraged. Two pounds for a froofy blended drink with lots of syrups and cream he could sort of understand, but this was just espresso and hot water!
Malfoy merely held his hand out. After glaring at him for a second, Harry rummaged in his pocket and pulled out a fiver.
"I don't remember asking for this to go," he said as Malfoy pushed the change into his hand.
"I don't remember you asking for it for here, either," returned Malfoy glibly. "Don't you want to find some undesirables to keep an eye on?"
In lieu of answering, Harry took a sip of his drink, which was delicious. His eyes widened in spite of himself and he hummed a little bit in appreciation. "This is good, Malfoy," he said. Ironically, the open compliment seemed to take some of the wind out of Malfoy's sails. Harry smiled. "See you soon!" he chirped as he waved and exited. He glanced over his shoulder as the door jingled shut. To his delight, Malfoy looked utterly flummoxed.
* * *
Either Harry was bored out of his mind by his job, or alternately taunting and being taunted by Malfoy was more entertaining that he would have predicted. Possibly it was a touch of both. Whatever the relative weights of the two motivations, Harry once again found himself at the door of the coffeeshop two days later. Teasing Malfoy was more amusing than sitting in a Muggle cop car, that much was certain.
He entered with a cheery "Hello!" to which Draco replied with a scowl. Harry thought he detected a smirk underlying the frown, though, and his smile broadened. Their old rivalry seemed to be settling into something a bit more nuanced and less lethal. It was interesting.
"So," said Draco, leaning against the counter and looking theatrically sullen and bored. "What'll it be today, constable?"
"Hmmm... another Americano, I think. You're very talented at making them," Harry said warmly, hoping that a friendly demeanor would throw Malfoy off balance again.
"Thank you," Malfoy replied mechanically. His sang-froid was back in place after the merest hint of surprise at the compliment.
"So..." Harry started as Malfoy turned to begin making the drink. He suddenly realized he didn't have anything to follow up that opening, so he just said the next thing that came into his head. "How's the Muggle world treating you?"
Eurgh, that hadn't sounded taunting at all. Nor had it been interesting or nuanced. He should have said "How's the exile going?" or "Miss the wizarding world much?" Something with a sting, delivered in a phony voice of concern. Something that would erase that cool air of untouchability that Malfoy exuded, put him in his place, remind him who was the Auror and who was the Undesirable.
Before he could amend his question into something a little more cutting, Malfoy looked over at him with the strangest expression on his face. Then he opened his mouth, and for once his voice didn't sound sneering or cold or flat.
"It's actually okay," he said slowly. "Better than I thought it would be. The first few months were . . . challenging," he said with a bitter smile, "but Granger's Introduction to the Muggle World for Witches and Wizards was quite helpful. And . . . you won't believe I'm saying this but . . . Muggles aren't so bad. They're actually fascinating. Sometimes I wish I could tell them about . . ." Draco trailed off, then shook himself and turned away, wiping up the counters around the espresso machine.
"Do you miss it?" Harry asked without thinking. Draco darted a glance over to him then focused on the counter again.
"Mm." He swallowed, then opened his mouth, but nothing came out for a second. "Yeah, a lot. But I understand how things are. I've become a bit of a realist in the last few years, Potter." He walked over to the sink and washed his hands. "It's weird to see you," Malfoy continued, not looking at Harry. "You're bringing back a lot of memories." His mouth snapped shut on the last word, as though he regretted saying that.
Harry hadn't meant to show genuine interest in Malfoy, though he supposed he was idly curious, but Malfoy had opened up so suddenly and honestly that he couldn't go back to his previous false display of friendliness. Either Malfoy was desperate for someone to show an interest in him, or he was masterfully manipulating Harry's well known kink for saving people - in this case, by making it impossible for him to hurt a lonely, exiled wizard with no one to talk to and no chance of returning home. Whichever it was, Harry knew he was in for it.
"Forget about my drink, Malfoy?" Harry asked, but just as he feared, his voice held absolutely no trace of teasing or taunting. Instead it sounded gentle, wry but compassionate. I Crucio'd someone for being impolite, he firmly reminded himself, but it was no good. Malfoy had somehow won his sympathy with very little apparent effort.
"Yeah, sorry. Just be a minute," Malfoy was covering up his slip (or was it?) with the efficiency of practiced waitstaff.
"No problem. I actually do have all day to wait." Oh Merlin. Now that the floodgates of fellow feeling had opened, they were just going to keep on flowing, weren't they? Malfoy looked over at him and gave him a surprisingly charming half-smile.
"So, being an Auror really is that boring?" Malfoy asked as he poured the shots of espresso into the hot water and set the cup down in front of Harry.
"Yeah, it is." It felt so good to admit that. He hadn't told anyone how he felt about the DMLE, how sick he was of the endless tedium, of pretending that there were still hundreds of Death Eaters on the loose. The public was still antsy, and Shacklebolt had capitulated to their whims by ensuring that the Auror department was overstaffed. But Harry didn't know how much longer he could go along with the charade.
"You just hang out in coffeeshops, then?"
"No, this is the first one." Malfoy quirked an eyebrow. "Well, I was sick of the strip clubs and poker halls. Thought I might need to dry out for awhile."
Harry couldn't believe it- Malfoy actually laughed at that. After a second, he joined in. Their eyes met and the laughter trailed off, but there was a companionable silence for a moment or two while Harry sipped his drink.
"You planning to pay for that?"
"I might ask for another," Harry explained. "Don't want to rush you off your feet, making change twice."
Malfoy leaned on the counter and replied, "It's not like I have all that much to do, here. Most people just get their coffee to go."
"Well, I'd love to leave you in peace, but I've got a crossword to do." Harry smiled, then looked around. "Got a paper?"
Malfoy rummaged around underneath the counter and produced a half-finished crossword from yesterday's paper. "Someone nicked today's, but you can give this a go if you like. Mind you, if I couldn't finish it, I doubt you'll be able to."
"What does that mean?"
"Just that it's mostly Muggle references. I've been immersed in this world more recently than you... I've got the advantage." Malfoy looked haughty and superior, though there was a hint of self-parody in it.
"Don't forget, though- I was raised by Muggles, and I've been on a Muggle beat for several months now. I'd say we're even," Harry said.
Malfoy gave him a skeptical look. "Let's just see if you can finish this, then." He handed over a well-handled piece of newsprint bearing a halfway-completed puzzle.
Harry took it from him and extracted a pen from his pocket with a self-confident flourish. “Let the games begin, Malfoy,” he proclaimed.
Half an hour later, he'd only solved three more clues. “What's a five letter word for 'well dressed and clever?'” Harry asked, but Draco only rolled his eyes and snickered in reply.
* * *
And so Harry started to come in every day, and spent more and more of his day there, heedless of a patrol that had always seemed pointless, anyway. They did the crossword, and Draco played music for him, and Harry talked a bit about their old classmates and the wizarding world. Something about the faces Draco would make, or the impressions he'd do, or the snarky one-liners he was always delivering, made Harry's day worth getting through. He didn't like to think too closely on that subject, though he was fully aware of it.
One sunny day, Harry entered the coffeeshop frantic and panting. "Dra . . . er, Drake?" he called out, looking around and finding no one there. "I... I need a favor," he shouted. Draco ambled in from the back, his expression a moue of annoyance. "Yes, sahib?" he inquired, wiping his hands on his apron.
"It's just... at work. I... they said..." Harry stuttered, looking anywhere but at Draco.
"Take a deep breath, Potter. That's it. Now breathe out."
Harry did as he was told, a blush creeping up the back of his neck.
"Alright. Now. Try to speak in complete sentences," Draco coaxed, as though Harry were a gigantic puppy.
"They want to know what I've been doing. I don't know what to tell them. I think I'm going to be sacked."
"Oh no! What a shame that would be, to lose a job you so obviously enjoy doing!" Draco cried, clapping his hands to his cheeks in mock dismay.
"Ha bloody ha. I refuse to get canned just because they put me on the world's most boring assignment. What am I going to do? I've got to do something to justify the amount of time I've spent here."
"What do you suggest?"
"Well... okay, you're not going to like this, but... I was wondering if I could bring you in."
"Um... pardon?" Draco blinked at him.
"Bring you in. You know, to the Ministry." Harry's face began to flame as he realized what an asinine idea this was. "As a suspect."
To his surprise, Malfoy burst out laughing.
"You have to be kidding me!" he gasped. "They'll never buy it!"
"But you'll do it?" Harry asked, a bit in shock that Draco might consider agreeing to such a request.
"Yeah. Merlin help me, I'll do it. I'll just close up the shop early- Sanders is away for a week, so he'll never know." Draco looked down at his Muggle clothes. "So, what's the story?"
"I'll tell you in the car.”
* * *
“So, you suspect me of dosing unsuspecting Muggles with a potent, addictive substance that makes my coffeeshop suspiciously successful?” Draco asked disbelievingly as he attempted to fasten the complicated buckle on the safety belt. “That's a lot of suspicion for one suspect.”
Harry looked shifty. “I couldn't think of anything else,” he admitted.
Draco laughed. “It's just . . . I do dose Muggles with an addictive substance. It's called 'caffeine.' And you're my number one addict, it would seem.” He gave Harry a playful nudge and returned to his struggle with the buckle.
“Don't tell them that!” Harry snickered. “They'll say I've gotten too close to the case!” There followed an awkward silence, which Harry covered by starting the car and pulling out of the parking space.
After several minutes, Harry asked, "Why did you agree to this, Malfoy?"
"Dunno,” he said, looking out the window at the sun washed streets. “Haven't seen the Wizarding world in a long time. Miss it."
Another few minutes passed in silence, and Harry cast a sidelong glance at the blond man next to him, his head lolling back against the headrest. "Are you falling asleep?" he chuckled.
"Late night. Sunny day. 'M warm," came the mumbled reply.
After several minutes of silence from the usually verbose Malfoy, Harry looked over to see that the poor sod actually had dozed off. He snorted to himself and drove a few more miles, when a soft noise pulled his attention back to the passenger seat.
Malfoy's hand was gently caressing an unmistakable bulge in his jeans. Shocked, Harry couldn't stop himself from blurting out, "Are you touching yourself?"
Malfoy opened his eyes and glanced down unconcernedly. "I guess I am," he murmured as his eyes drifted closed once more, his hand still languidly stroking.
Harry swallowed and looked away, resolutely ignoring the whisper-soft sound of fingers brushing over fabric. After what seemed like an eternity, he saw out of the corner of his eye that Malfoy's hand had dropped away from his crotch.
Thank god, he muttered to himself, the car nearing its destination. Harry hated to contemplate what he would have done had Malfoy brought his activity to its natural conclusion. Of course, the mere thought of such a conclusion had his brain busily constructing a corresponding image - which he forced to the background of his mind as he jerked the vehicle to a halt, waking Malfoy.
"We there?" he said, voice muzzy from sleep.
Harry uttered something incoherent that could have been affirmative, his face burning. Draco flung the door open and unfolded himself gracefully out of the seat, and Harry's eyes followed his movements, noting that at least the evidence of Malfoy's extracurricular activities was gone.
Stop looking at his ...
His inner monologue trailed off, unable to complete the thought.
* * *
While bringing Malfoy in did alleviate concerns that Harry was not attending to his job, it did nothing to assure Shacklebolt that Harry was in possession of all his faculties.
"What on earth would possess you to drag Mr. Malfoy in here, Potter?"
Harry examined the toes of his shoes closely, as though they might offer an excuse for this ridiculous lapse in judgment.
"Well, he was an evil git during school, and we don't really know what he's been up to after the war..."
Shacklebolt cut him off. "Look. I know you two had your issues at Hogwarts. But Mr. Malfoy has made his regular meetings with his E.O., he's performed no magic since his exile, and he seems to be adjusting to his Muggle lifestyle admirably. All of which was information you could have learned from the files." Shacklebolt's eyes narrowed. "Had you consulted them."
"But-" Harry began.
The tall man cut him off. "But nothing. Mr. Malfoy is not worth wasting your time on. Please escort him home, with your sincere apologies. And report back here for your reassignment."
Harry realized he didn't particularly want a reassignment. He had rather enjoyed these last few weeks, being bored in the coffeeshop day after day, drinking too much coffee, failing to solve crossword puzzles, and laughing at Malfoy's jokes. He nodded his acknowledgment, shuffling out the door to collect the subject of the controversy and return him to London in the car.
The image of Malfoy stroking his cock flashed through his brain again, and he told himself the resulting discomfort stemmed only from his extreme heterosexuality.
The trip back was relatively uneventful, except for the creeping hollowness settling over Harry. The looming prospect of reassignment had him feeling unaccountably bereft. But it made no sense- he had plenty of friends, and surely the new assignment would be more eventful than this last, so loneliness and boredom weren't the problem.
"What's eating you?" Malfoy asked, after a half-hour of brooding silence from Harry.
"What?" Harry asked, the words "eating you" calling up a brief and inappropriate association in his wayward brain.
"Why so glum? You didn't get in trouble for hauling in a paragon of law-abiding citizenship, did you?" Malfoy asked with as much concern in his voice as was possible for him.
"Well, yeah, actually, I did," Harry said, and was about to tell Malfoy about the reassignment, but then decided not to. "No big deal, though. I'm not getting the boot or anything."
"Ah," Malfoy said, settling back in the passenger seat, the mellow gold light of sunset playing in his hair. "Well, that's good, then."
"Are you going to fall asleep again?" Harry asked in a panic.
"No, I don't think so. Why?" Malfoy asked.
"Just... wondering. Is all. It's. Never mind," Harry stuttered. There was no way he could bring himself to reference the touching incident.
Malfoy smirked at him, but he couldn't tell if he was just amused by Harry's inarticulateness, or... something else.
* * *
Once home, Harry struggled out of his Muggle police uniform and headed for the bathroom, where he turned on the taps in the shower. He was restless and agitated and hoped that a nice hot shower might calm him down. The phrase 'bewitched, bothered and bewildered' floated up at him from some recess of his memory and echoed in his head as he tested the heat of the water.
Stepping into the streaming warmth, Harry let his hands drift over his body, smoothing down the tense muscles. His cock was half-erect, and without thinking too much about it, he took himself in hand and began pumping his fist up and down his rapidly hardening shaft. The image of Malfoy's hand rubbing against his fabric-clad length popped up again and wouldn't leave.
Harry felt so dirty thinking about it while stroking his engorged prick, but he couldn't help himself. Something about the wantonness with which Malfoy had touched himself in another person's presence, the nonchalance of such public self-pleasuring, had Harry outrageously aroused. He replayed the way Malfoy's long fingers had looked, half-curling around a firm bulge- somehow so much more erotic than a naked cock would have been. And the way Malfoy's breath had sounded, slightly uneven, verging on a soft moan...
It was only after he came that he consciously realized he'd been imagining unbuttoning those jeans, sliding the firm prick out of pants damp with sweat and precome and making Malfoy cry out. He pushed the thought aside as an irrelevant by-product of an unusually satisfying wank.
* * *
Through the glass door, Harry could see Draco's blond head bent over the espresso machine as he polished the metal surface. A pang went through him, which he decided must be hunger. He'd not eaten anything since last night, after all. Squaring his shoulders, he pushed open the door to say his farewell to Malfoy.
"Double Americano?" Draco asked, without looking up.
"I just dropped by to tell you I won't be in here so much any more. Well. Probably not all, actually. I've been reassigned."
To Harry's obscure disappointment, Draco neither gasped in dismay nor made any other overt reaction to this announcement. Instead he asked, "Why do you come in here, Potter?"
"Well, we just went through an elaborate ruse to protect your job because you spend so much time in this shop, and I thought I'd ask... why do you spend so much time in this shop?"
Harry searched himself for an answer. It started out as way to get back at Malfoy, a way to entertain himself. But the reasons for his continuing visits were not so easily explained. The two of them had, after all, been sworn enemies in school, and not exactly fighting for the same goals in the war. But so much had changed over the years, not least of which was Draco Malfoy, with his smile and his jokes and his commanding grasp of an espresso machine...
"I guess I decided I was wrong," he said finally.
"Wrong about what?"
"Well, you, I guess."
"Me?" Malfoy looked torn between being offended and being delighted.
"Well, you're not an evil guy anymore -" Harry broke off at Malfoy's disbelieving gape. He just stood there, clearly trying to formulate a response to what Harry thought was a nice compliment.
Finally, he spluttered, "There are no... evil guys and... and innocent guys. There's just a bunch of... guys." Malfoy looked utterly exasperated.
"Voldemort wasn't evil?" Harry asked, defensively.
"Voldemort wasn't a guy. Voldemort was a nasty twisted snake thing with only one eighth of a human soul. Doesn't count."
"What about Amycus Carrow?"
"Amycus Carrow was abused by his father every day of his life since he was born. And despite that, he was very kind to dogs."
"You expect me to believe that?"
"Not really, no." Draco smirked at him. "So, you've cleverly deduced that I'm not evil. And...?" he drawled sarcastically.
"Look. I just... I like you. Okay?" God, why did Malfoy have to make everything so hard? Harry looked up at him and registered the blinding smile on Draco's face. For reasons only partially clear to Harry, this made him feel lightheaded and somewhat boneless. Except...
A disturbingly innocent expression stole over Malfoy's face. "Going camping, Potter?"
"No, why?" Harry asked distractedly, hoping Malfoy wouldn't direct his attention south of Harry's waistband.
"Well, you've just pitched a tent," replied Malfoy, now barely restraining himself from laughing.
"Oh. I..." Harry cast about for some excuse for his errant dick. "Sometimes arguing makes me..."
Draco made a soft noise of derision as he sauntered around the counter, approaching Harry at an alarming rate. He stood transfixed by a heated grey gaze, holding his breath in anticipation of what Draco might do when he reached him.
"I think I know why you come in here all the time."
Harry gulped. "Why is that?"
"I think you like me more than you realize," Draco continued, stepping right up to Harry so that there was less than a hair's breadth between them. If Harry moved just a fraction of a centimeter, his lips would be...
Draco leaned in and brushed his mouth against Harry's. This light stimulation caused a fuse to blow in Harry's head- he fell into the kiss with a blissful lack of self-consciousness, deepening it and wrapping an arm around the other man for support.
Draco's hands were carding through Harry's hair as his tongue buried itself deeper in Harry's mouth and the world tipped on its axis. This was why he'd been hanging out with Draco every day, imperiling his job without a second thought. Who knew?
"This is kind of amazing," Harry mumbled against Draco's lips as his hands drifted down to grasp firm, well-rounded cheeks.
"What is? My arse?" Draco laughed.
"No, us. How far we've come," he said, pulling on the edge of Draco's T-shirt with one hand and rubbing the front of his jeans with the other. Everything just flowed without effort- he was trying to undress a man in a coffeeshop and he didn't care what that meant or that he'd never done such a thing before. It felt right.
"I haven't come at all yet," Draco breathed against Harry's neck, and Harry nerves buzzed with anticipation. He fumbled for his wand and cast a quick locking charm, and in his excitement, his magic caused the blinds to fall shut, concealing them from the view of passersby. He dropped his wand and let his hands slide up the back of Draco's shirt. Harry was pretty sure his own skin wasn't this soft. It felt almost wrong to sully it with his touch, it was so pristine.
"About time, Potter," Draco growled in response to being groped. "I was beginning to think I was going to have to get you drunk and molest you."
"I just didn't... know... you... this," Harry gave up trying to put his amazement into words and just went back in for another kiss. Draco had mentioned something about coming, and molesting, and Harry decided that words could wait for now. He'd never been much good with them, anyway.