Draco is elbows-deep in paperwork when the scent of fresh coffee assaults him. None of that shit from the canteen; real, spiced coffee, the steam of which makes his muscles tense with longing. He looks up to see Pansy standing there, her slickly red-polished nails a bright splash against the paper cup she’s holding out like an offering.
He doesn’t take it, even though the world is a cold, cruel place and some expensive caffeine might help him cling to it a little longer.
“What,” he demands flatly, instead, “Do you want.”
She puts on a wounded expression. Her lower lip pouts out attractively, painted the same colour as her nails, but her eyes are glinting at him in a way he knows all too well.
“Really, darling, don’t friends simply bring each other coffees on occasion?”
Draco snorts. “I’ve heard those rumours, yes,” he acknowledges. “I think it’s reasonable to assume that they weren’t started about Slytherins.”
Pansy huffs a bit; her sleek black fringe flies up and away from her eyes with the gust of air. “Must we always be defined by our Houses?”
“Perhaps not everyone,” Draco says, leaning back in his chair. “But us? Yes.”
She grimaces before remembering to modulate her expression into something pleasant, then walks around his desk to perch on the edge of it, stretching her long legs in front of her. Draco’s eyes flick to them, and his mouth twitches.
“You do realise I’m not your target audience for that ploy, right?” he asks, and a little grin finally breaks free on her face.
“You can still admire them, love,” she says airily, and holds out the coffee. Draco finally takes it because, well—it’s coffee, not a binding contract.
“Oh, I do,” he assures her, then takes a moment to slide his gaze over her legs, pale and supple and beautifully curved in the expanse between her short black skirt and four-inch heels.
She preens a bit. “Thank you, that felt nice. And if you weren’t perhaps the gayest man I know, I might not even need to ask you this favour.”
Ah. They’re back to it now. “What do you need, Pans?”
Pansy examines her nails for a moment. “I thought you might like to go out for drinks at The Leaky again tonight.”
He looks at her suspiciously. He’d been planning on it, anyway, but now that she wants to, he wants to know why. “It’s a Friday. I’m tired of being forced to share a table with Potter and the Weasel.”
This is at once true and not; the first time it happened, it had been awkward as hell, particularly given that Potter and Weasley had offered to share the table space as they’d waited together in the crush of people. But Pansy had just had the most appalling breakup with Nott—for the second time—and had needed to get sloshed. She’d turned those stupid, pleading green eyes on him. Draco’s always been a sucker for green eyes, and had accepted their offer with a sigh and stiff thank you. And in the month since, it’s at least been more… interesting, than not.
She gives him a thoughtful look. “It’s not that awful.”
“Just because you ended up bonding with Weasley,” he says, sneering the name, “over a Muggle crossword puzzle—which doesn’t even change its answers to make it more challenging, mind you—doesn’t mean I enjoyed hearing Potter yammer on about how the Aurors do a perfectly fine job logging evidence and transcripts, as if I don’t have to organise that mess every damned day.”
“It wasn’t a crossword,” Pansy murmurs. “And it seems as though you hold your own through every one of those ridiculous arguments.”
“They’re not ridiculous. He’s ridiculous,” Draco sulks, knowing he’s being childish. So what if he likes fighting with Potter? It’s what they’re good at, after all. Pansy just laughs, which only serves to irritate him further. “What do you want, really?”
She gives him a hard, assessing look for a moment. Draco takes a deliberate sip of his coffee as he waits her out.
“I want you to ask Potter if he and Weasley will join us,” she finally says on one long breath.
This. This is what those years with the Dark Lord living under his roof have trained him for. This very moment, and Draco finds himself grateful for it, as he manages—by a very small margin—not to spit out his mouthful of coffee all over his paperwork.
“Why in the name of Merlin’s saggy tits would I do that?” he demands in an undignified yelp after swallowing.
She rolls her eyes. “Come on, Draco,” she says plaintively, dropping all pretence. “You have fun—I know you do. Fighting with Potter is practically foreplay for you.”
Draco flushes. “That’s not—it’s not like that for—I hate you so—Why not just see if we see them there again? It’s not as if they ever seem to go anywhere else.”
“Because I don’t want to leave it up to chance that they’ll keep sharing their table,” she snips, eyes gone cagey.
He scowls at her. “I’m not so stupid as you seem to think me, love,” he says silkily. “You’re not that interested in my wanking fantasies. What’s in it for you?”
Her eyes light up triumphantly. “So you admit to wanking over him! Merlin, Blaise owes me from a bet made ten bloody years ago. I wonder if I can collect interest.”
Draco stares at her impatiently, then repeats, “What’s in it for you?”
The tips of her ears slowly turn pink, and she suddenly seems to find herself fascinated with the hem of her skirt. Her nails pluck at it for a few moments, then trace the pattern of its stitches. When she finally looks up and catches Draco’s level gaze, she sighs.
“He’s not horrible, all right?” she bursts out, looking mortified. She bites her lip.
Bewildered, Draco leans forward. “Potter?”
Pansy glares at him. “Ron.”
It’s like his birthday and Christmas and watching the Dark Lord fall to his death, all wrapped up in one shiny, gleeful present that Draco gets to open. “You want Weasley.”
“Shut up,” she mutters.
“No. I won’t,” Draco tells her, not bothering to hide his grin. His cheeks hurt from it. “You want Weasley.”
Pansy’s lips tighten until the edges go white. “I might think he’s—not unattractive,” she finally allows.
Draco leans back again, folding his arms over his chest. “Why don’t you just ask him?”
“Draco,” she says witheringly. Draco shrugs, conceding her point. Slytherins don’t ask; they manipulate the circumstances until they get what they want.
“What do I get out of it?”
“Another rousing fight with Potter?” she suggests, raising one perfectly sculpted brow. “The chance to get him drunk and have your wicked way with him?”
He considers it for a moment with a rush of something like longing. When Potter came out as gay a couple of years prior, Draco had thought maybe— But they had never been able to settle into anything other than a slightly-friendlier antagonism than before, despite crossing paths daily at the Ministry. The chances of the Golden Boy actually wanting to date someone with a Dark Mark on his arm were preposterous, and Draco has had enough humiliation in his lifetime, thankyouverymuch.
“I want to hear you say it,” he decides.
“What?” Pansy looks at him blankly.
“I want to hear you say that you want Weasley,” he says firmly.
“I’m not—I don’t—really, Draco, how uncouth of you!” she stutters, thrown.
Draco shrugs again. Uncouth or not, if she does it, it’s a memory he’ll save in his Pensieve for the rest of his life. At the very least, it’s great blackmail material.
“Fine!” she bursts out. “Iwahrnwslee.”
“Excuse me?” Draco tilts his head expectantly.
Her eyes glare daggers at him. “Iwantronweasley,” she growls.
He gives her a sweet smile, and practically sees smoke come out of her ears. “A bit louder?”
“I. Want. Ron. Weasley,” Pansy enunciates, and if Draco wasn’t secure in the wards on his flat, he might fear for his life right now. As it is, though, he’s incredibly pleased with himself. Pansy’s face is bright red. “Is that good enough?”
“Just,” he says smugly. “Remember that the next time you take the piss over the Potter thing.”
“Then you’ll do it?”
Draco pushes back his chair and stands fluidly, taking another sip of the coffee as he does so—it really is quite good. He brushes a kiss over the air above her temple and walks past her, rolls down his sleeves, and grabs his cloak from the hook near his door.
Because he’s feeling kind, he ignores the stinging hex on his backside as he walks out.
Potter’s not hard to find, and he must be used to people dropping by, but he startles so hard when Draco appears at his door that it makes him hesitate at the threshold of the office before striding in. He’s wearing his scarlet Auror robes, open at the front, and Draco will never admit to admiring the look of it—the way the robes cling to his shoulders and set off the paleness of his complexion and colour of his eyes—but admire it he does, for a moment, before dropping into a chair across from Potter’s desk without invitation.
“Please, have a seat,” Potter says wryly. “What do you want, Malfoy?”
“What are you doing tonight?” Draco clips out, because he might as well get this over with.
A ruddy pink stain appears over Potter’s cheekbones, and he blinks owlishly at Draco for a moment. “I—uh—why?”
“Are you going out?” Draco asks. At Potter’s continued gawping, Draco sighs and clarifies, “For drinks?”
“…You want me to go for drinks with you?” Potter repeats slowly after a moment.
“At the Leaky,” Draco confirms with a nod.
“For Merlin’s sake, Potter,” Draco snaps. “Yes, or no?”
Potter blinks again, eyes huge behind the lenses of his spectacles. “You don’t have a lot of experience asking people out, do you?”
Draco freezes as he runs his words over in his mind again. Potter is giving him an even look, considering, his head tilted just a fraction, and eventually Draco manages, “That’s not what I… I’m very good at asking—I meant both you and Weasley.”
Potter huffs a laugh. “I’m fairly certain you’re not Ron’s type, even if he were into threesomes,” he says, and it sounds almost—playful. Flirtatious. Draco’s heart thuds heavily, picking up speed. Does that mean he’s Potter’s type?
“But you are?” he counters quietly, barely able to believe his own nerve.
“Merlin, no,” Potter says with the kind of grin Draco’s never seen directed at him before. “But if I were, I definitely wouldn’t do it with Ron.”
“Looks like we agree on something, finally,” Draco says, meeting his eyes. Potter’s smile grows into something curious, interested.
“The Ron part or the other thing?”
“Both, actually,” Draco tells him lightly. He shifts in his chair to mask his body’s growing awareness of this inexplicable conversation. “I much prefer one-on-one interactions.”
Potter’s lashes lower, and he looks down at his desk for a second. He clears his throat, almost apologetically, and Draco’s muscles tense as it occurs to him that he’d been reading the situation all wrong.
“The thing is,” Potter starts tentatively, and Draco can’t bear it for another minute.
“And anyway,” Draco interrupts, “It’s Weasley I really need to be there.”
Potter’s mouth opens, then closes with a click. He reaches up to tug on his earlobe for a minute, then fidgets with a quill on his desk. “And why’s that? We’ve been seeing you there for weeks; why do you need to make sure he’d be there tonight?”
“My friend wants to shag your friend,” Draco blurts, then closes his eyes in horror at having revealed something like that with no forethought other than switching focus. Usually, he’s much more careful.
Potter’s dark brows shoot up, obscured by the wild growth of black hair flopping over his forehead. His scar disappears. “Pansy?”
He nods to himself, lips lifting to one side. “Pansy. Ron’s been—not lonely, since Hermione, they’re still friends, of course, but… He hasn’t really put himself out there in the last, well, I’m not sure how long. Now that I think about it, Ron might like her a bit, too.”
Draco can barely contain his relief that Potter isn’t going to lord this over him. Sometimes Gryffindor honour can be a valuable trait, he supposes. “Right. Well, good. So you’ll be there.”
“Ron will probably drag me there, anyway. He’s been sort of insistent about it. Maybe Pansy’s why,” Potter says easily, flashing him a crooked smile. “Around seven, all right?”
“It’s a date,” Draco returns, standing, then catches himself. “I mean, you know, scheduled. Rather than bumping in to each other again.”
“Of course,” Potter says softly, and something in his voice makes Draco look at him. If he didn’t know better, he’d think Potter seemed disappointed—except that can’t be right. “Anyway, I’m already—but I guess it doesn’t matter, does it? It’s fine,” he murmurs, giving a humourless laugh.
Draco wants to ask—wants to know what Potter is already and what doesn’t matter to him, wants to know what’s fine when it’s so clearly not. But Potter’s face has closed up again, become neutral, and Draco doesn’t know what to say, so he does the only thing he can—and escapes.
“Ron brought a freaking chess set,” Potter whispers to him as they wait at the bar. Draco darts a look behind him and, sure enough, Weasley is pulling out an ancient board. Pansy looks equally appalled and interested.
“And he thought that would be a good seduction tactic why?” Draco asks.
Potter shrugs, and they wait in silence for a minute as the bartender nods at them in acknowledgement and then goes back to mixing a drink for another patron.
All in all, the night has gone rather splendidly so far, at least in Draco’s estimation. They’ve barely argued, and when they have it’s been lighter—over Quidditch and broom models and something Muggle called the cinema that Potter keeps insisting he’d like if he gave it a chance. He also keeps casting uncertain, heated glances at Draco whenever he thinks Draco isn’t looking, as though he wouldn’t be able to feel those eyes on him from a mile away.
It’s enough that Draco’s started to wonder if he was wrong about being wrong, this morning in Potter’s office. There’s this strange tension between them, so different than the usual sort, and Draco knows it’s daft, but he can’t help but feeling like the ease that has sprung up between them out of nowhere is Potter giving him leave to, perhaps—well.
Testing the theory, Draco nudges Potter’s wide shoulder with one of his own. Potter slants him an amused, sideways glance, leaning into him a bit. Interesting. “Tell me—that’s not how you would go about seducing someone, is it?” he asks. “I know you’re oblivious but, one would hope, not Weasley-levels of oblivious.”
Potter smiles. “No one is Ron-levels of oblivious,” he stresses. “And I’d like to think I’m better than I used to be, anyway.”
“How then?” Draco persists. “How would you seduce someone?”
“Well,” Potter says hesitantly, licking his lips, “I’d probably, um, laugh at the things he said.” He’s laughed at least ten times at Draco’s comments tonight. “And maybe invite him out to do something sometime,” Potter continues, and Draco knits his brows before remembering the absurd Muggle cinema invitation. “And I’d maybe—tease them a bit, too. Argue with them, because I like people who see things differently than I do, and arguing can be fun, sometimes, right?” The Quidditch thing. Potter calling him a pureblooded snob for rooting for Puddlemere United instead of the Canons, but saying it almost—affectionately. A swipe, not a slice.
Draco allows his smile to grow. He’s drunk just enough that he barely feels awkward when he sidles closer to Potter, who has looked away from him as though embarrassed. “All good ways to seduce someone,” Draco tells him approvingly, voice gone low.
Potter darts him another look and then his eyes slip down to Draco’s mouth for just a moment. Draco feels it like a bolt of sensation straight to his groin. “If he’s seducible,” he murmurs.
“And then what would you do?” Draco prods. He leans in a bit more, and Potter’s breath catches as their arms brush. “If he let you know, somehow, that he was?”
“I’d—I’d maybe tell him how much I liked him. How gorgeous I thought he was,” Potter says roughly. He turns to face Draco, eyes dark and intent and scorching. “How I’d always thought so, even when—I’d let myself slide my hands through his hair, because I’ve always wondered if it was as soft as it looked. I’d kiss him. Here,” Potter says, bringing a thumb up drag across Draco’s mouth. Draco sucks in a sharp breath, and Potter’s thumb breaches his lips for just a moment, dipping to stroke the inside of his bottom lip before moving away. “And here,” Potter says, letting his moistened digit travel over his jaw, before trailing down the side of his neck.
Draco sways with the shock of his arousal, no longer curious or playful or uncertain as Potter leans in, so close he can feel warm breath against his mouth. Draco’s cock goes hard and his body tightens with anticipation. Potter smells of beer and, faintly, mint. His hand cups the back of Draco’s neck and Draco tilts his head sideways obligingly, meeting Potter’s determined gaze.
The bartender thunks their drinks down in front of them, and they yank out of their posture. Draco’s face burns as he realises just how close he and Potter were—in full view of the bar, too. He lets himself exhale and only understands then, as the air leaves him in a dizzy rush, that he’d been holding his breath.
“Sorry,” Potter mutters after a moment. He gives an uncomfortable laugh, then removes his glasses and scrubs at his face for a minute. “I’m a bit—drunk.”
“Of course,” Draco says faintly. “Not a problem.”
“No?” Potter asks, eyes searching.
Draco’s lungs feel too tight for his body; as tight as the crotch of his trousers at this point. Still, though it’s a useless venture, he inhales long, fortifying breath before favouring Potter with the dirty little smile he’s only ever used on men spread out in his bed, waiting to be debauched. It seems to work, though, because Potter shifts closer again, as if hypnotised, before shaking himself and looking away. “No,” he tells him firmly. “Not a problem at all.”
Potter’s smile is no less promising, but somehow still shy, and he gives a little laugh. “Good. That’s good. But I wanted to tell you—”
“Oi!” Weasley calls above the din. “Harry! Drinks?”
With another lopsided smile, Potter grabs two of them off the bar. Draco waits for a moment for some of the blood to flow back to his brain before picking up the remaining two and following.
They sit across from each other in the booth as Weasley and Pansy basically ignore both of them after taking their promised drinks, and turn back to their game of chess. Perhaps Weasley’s not so bad at the seduction thing, after all, Draco thinks, observing Pansy’s delighted giggle as she whispers something to her queen. The chess piece glares across the board, squaring her shoulders for battle, and Weasley groans and mutters, “Stop doing that!” but seems pleased.
Unwillingly, Draco lets his gaze wander back over to Potter. He starts a little when he sees that Potter is staring at him over the rim of his glass as he takes a long draw from his beer. Draco feels something pressing against the side of his foot. Potter’s trainer. Potter’s mouth curls up tentatively, and Draco presses his shoe back.
He knocks back the rest of his drink in three swallows and stands back up. “Right then. I need to go. Potter, a word outside?”
Pansy and Weasley barely look up as they say their goodbyes, and Potter unfolds himself from the booth again, mumbling something to Weasley before trailing after him.
It’s dark outside, and the cold air hits Draco’s face like a sobering charm, clearing out his shaky insides and muddled brain. He hears the pad of Potter’s footsteps approach, and swirls on the ball of his foot, catching Potter’s wrist in the circle of his fingers and thumb and leading him into the alley next to the pub.
“Malfoy,” Potter whispers. “I need to—”
But Draco—sober, drunk; he’s not sure anymore, and it doesn’t matter anyway—doesn’t let him get any further, because Potter can’t just tease him that way out of nowhere, talking about seduction and touching his mouth and staring at him with those warm green eyes. Can’t just touch Draco’s foot with his shoe and not expect Draco to—to—
His chest is heaving with the knowledge of it as he pushes Potter gently into the bricks of the building, because Potter can do all of those things, and Draco wants him to; has wanted it for longer than he can remember. Drunk, sober, mad, sane, lust, hate—it’s always the same. He presses into the other man and Potter’s hands come up, almost automatically, blunt fingers sliding through Draco’s hair the way he’d whispered he’d wanted to as he pulls Draco in closer and slants his mouth over his. Draco ducks his chin for better reach and Potter’s head comes up, mouth opening wide to the sweep of Draco’s tongue, and he’s never tasted anything as good as Potter, nothing as sweet or addictive. He licks into Potter’s mouth because—because he can now, because he’s allowed to, and Potter gives a low, shaky groan and drops one arm to slide down and palm Draco’s arse.
Draco feels it then, pressed tight against him—Potter is as hard as he is. The knowledge winds through his brain, delicious and tempting, and he rolls his hips slowly, smiling against Potter’s kiss.
Then Potter’s hands are on his shoulders; he nudges Draco away, soft at first but then with more force when Draco continues to kiss him, again and again. Their bodies are still flush, but Draco inches his head back to examine the other man. His mouth is slick and swollen and gorgeous; his hair more of a mess than usual. He looks strangely guilty.
“Malfoy—Draco.” Potter sighs unevenly, even as he cants his hips forward a bit. “I needed to tell you—look. I’m—I’m seeing someone. Oliver Wood.”
And if Draco had thought the cold night air was sobering, he’d been bloody stupid, hadn’t he? Potter’s words splash over him like icy water, and steps back, scrambles really, to get some space between them. Potter lifts a hand as though to catch him, then lets it fall to his side.
“You’re seeing Oliver Wood,” Draco echoes emptily, and Merlin he ought to have known.
“For—for a couple of months, now,” Potter admits.
Draco takes a deep breath, allowing the frigid air to seep comfortingly into his veins. “And you thought it’d be safe to have a one-off with me because I’m nothing but an ex-Death Eater,” he concludes flatly.
“What?” Potter stares at him uncomprehendingly. “Listen, no. I never said that.”
“I see,” Draco spits. “I’m the sort who’d be fine with something longer, right. Don’t have those pesky morals holding me back from things like infidelity.”
Potter’s jaw clenches. A muscle near his eye jumps, and his expression goes from confused to livid. “And that’s what you think of me,” he says, voice dangerously low.
“I believe what I see. Or are you going to come up with some self-righteous reason why this,” Draco says with a sneer, pointing at the two of them, “is acceptable?”
“No,” Potter bites out, glaring at him. “I suppose it’s not acceptable at all. My mistake,” he adds, and then Apparates away.
Draco stares at the space Potter occupied for long minutes before turning. The cold doesn’t seem fresh anymore, but rather like an omen.
Those are something he should learn to pay attention to.
“You’re coming with me, darling,” Pansy tells him flatly.
“Potter will be there,” she tries, failing to keep the exasperation out of her tone.
“Exactly,” Draco sniffs, then looks back down at his work.
In the week since he kissed Potter outside the Leaky, he’s done everything he can to not have to interact with him, up to and including shoving his chore of interviewing the Aurors on their witness statements and evidence-gathering protocols onto the interns in his office.
Not that it matters, he thinks resentfully. Potter is obviously doing just as much to avoid him. After seeing Draco on the way to the loo the other day, he’d turned on his heel and rushed away. Upon running into him in the breakroom, Potter had stared down into his tea in sullen silence; the whole situation had been made worse by Weasley looking at him sympathetically until Draco’s cheeks had flamed and he’d walked out with his shoulders tight and his dignity in tatters.
It must be really bad if even Weasley felt sorry for him.
“Draco,” Pansy clips out, irritation plain, “You’re coming with me tonight.”
“No,” Draco says again, adding a glower for effect. Unfortunately, his glowers don’t work nearly as well on Pansy as they do on the interns, or the people who still feel the need to stop him in the street to yell at him.
She taps her foot, a quick click, click, click of impatience, but her face softens fractionally. “There’s more to it, Draco. Ron said—”
He barks out a wild laugh. “Oh, well if Ron said something, I’ll of course listen immediately. Really, what do you take me for, Pansy?” At the look on her face and the furious fisting of her small hands, he sighs. “I’m sorry. I’m glad things are going well for you. I wish you much joy and a dozen only slightly-weasel-y children. But I’m not going back there.”
“Yes, you are,” she says in a hard voice. Draco’s brows furrow in surprise. Even when she’s angry, she wheedles, or manipulates, or whines. Sometimes she simply flounces off, which is what he would much prefer at the moment. But she’s holding her ground, an implacable glint in her eye. “You’re coming with me because I went with you for all of those weeks just so you could gawk at Potter, and yell at him, and moon over him like not everyone could see what you were doing—”
“I was helping you get over Nott,” he interjects faintly, and she flaps at hand at him as if to say irrelevant.
“The first night. After that, darling,” she drawls spitefully, “It was all you. And now you’ve made these assumptions and won’t listen to reason, and that’s fine if you want to be that way, but Draco—I want Ron. And he doesn’t know he wants me yet, so I have to be there to show him until he does. And I have always been there for you.”
Draco flinches at the implication. They don’t talk about it with each other, what it was like right after the war when they’d both been so ostracized by society.
After Blaise had moved to France, they’d only had each other to lean on, and had never gone into public without the one another. Pansy had dropped whatever she’d been doing if Draco had needed to go into Diagon Alley for some reason, or visit his probation officer at the Ministry; she’d stayed awake long nights, stroking his hair so he could get a few hours of rest before the nightmares inevitably woke him. She’d spent her days sprawled out next to him on his bed when he was feeling too anxious to leave his room, brought him the latest issues of Witch Weekly and read to him, and had held him when he cried.
And it wasn’t one-sided; Draco had done all of it for her, as well. But if she was reminding him of it like this—well, it must be even more important to her than she was willing to admit.
“Fine,” he says, giving in wearily. “I’ll meet you there. But I’m not talking to him.”
“Thank you,” she says, and if she feels smug, she at least hides it well. “Sit in silence for five hours if you need to; just stay by my side.”
“You’re bloody lucky to have me,” he grumbles.
“I know,” she murmurs fondly, then swoops down to where he’s sitting at his desk and presses an affectionate kiss to his mouth. Her hand tightens on his shoulder for a moment, and she pulls away with a little hum, her eyes sparkling. She swipes her fingers over his lips to wipe off the smudge of lipstick that must be staining them. “It’s a shame you’re gay, really, or I’d never stop doing that.”
Draco closes his eyes, not wanting her to see the amusement in them, but feels his mouth pull up at the corners anyway. “Go away, you insufferable cow. I’m busy.”
“I’ll see you tonight?” she checks.
“I’ll be there with bells on,” he promises dryly. “I’ll leave it to you to imagine where they are.” Her peel of laughter follows her out of the office.
Once she’s gone, Draco’s forehead hits the wood of his desk with a hard thunk, and he groans, fairly certain that life would be a lot easier if you didn’t bother loving anyone at all.
They do, in fact, sit in silence for a few hours.
Apparently, his glower doesn’t work on Potter, either, and Draco wonders in a desultory fashion if it’s losing its effect because he uses it too often, or if it’s just Potter’s inherent stubbornness that makes him immune. Either way, Potter simply glowers back when he and Pansy arrive, not bothering to do much more than take another sip of his beer. It leaves him with a foam moustache, which makes him look ridiculous until he licks it off, slowly, meeting Draco’s eyes in angry challenge.
Pansy has brought, of all things, backgammon to play with Weas—Ron. Draco winces as he corrects himself silently, but if he’s that important to Pansy, he’ll do what he can to support it, no matter how stupid she’s being. And at least he’ll get to harass her later about how she’s trying to seduce the ginger git via board games. Which, sadly, seems to be working if judging by Ron’s wide smile and constant, furtive glances at her.
The quiet between Draco and Potter lengthens while those two have their fun, though, and begins to feel like a gauntlet being thrown.
Potter crosses one leg over his bent knee, and Draco retaliates by smirking at an attractive bloke behind him. Potter takes another drink of his beer and Draco leans over to whisper something in Pansy’s ear, who obliges him with a ripple of laughter and a little swat to his shoulder. Potter stares at him and Draco pulls out a quill to scratch a bored doodle on a napkin. Potter opens his mouth to talk and Draco turns away to signal the server for more drinks. Potter folds his arms across his stupidly lean chest and Draco deliberately examines his fingernails; he buffs them gently against his cloak.
It’s all going quite well when Ron suddenly blurts out of nowhere, “So. Let’s talk about sex.”
Draco whips his gaze over to stare at him and feels Pansy and Potter do the same. Ron’s face is slightly pink, but he looks determined.
“What about it?” Draco asks when he’s sure his voice won’t crack.
“Dunno,” Ron says. He’s trying to pull off an innocent face, but he mainly manages to look embarrassed and slightly constipated, and he keeps moving the muscles in his forehead; it takes Draco a moment, but he realises that Ron’s trying to wiggle his eyebrows. “What about you, Harry? Still shagging Oliver Wood?”
Draco tenses, and he takes a second to glare a promise of Pansy’s murder in the near-future at her. She grimaces, but stays quiet, and Potter raises his hand to his forehead, rubbing it a bit.
“Not so much,” he says, so softly that Draco can barely hear him. He doesn’t look up.
“Really?” Pansy puts in, leaning forward. Draco’s about thisclose to leaving, sod every single one of them, but her hand lands on his thigh and she gives it a warning squeeze. “So you’re free, single, and ready to mingle?”
Potter mutters to himself under his breath, then finally gets out, “I suppose, but—not so much. I mean, yes, I am. Technically, now. Even though there’s one, um, particular person I’d like to—er, mingle with,” he says significantly, glancing up at Draco. Then he ruins whatever kind of declaration he was going for by adding, “Sort of.”
His gaze drops again and Draco stares at him, livid and humiliated. Had he been lying last week when he’d said he was dating Wood, just to get out of going home with Draco? Why the hell would he have changed his mind? And what the fuck gave him the right to say it so publicly?
“Wanker,” Draco mutters, and he can feel Pansy’s disapproving eyes on him, so he stands and gives a jerky nod. “I need to go. Ron, Pansy, lovely to see you both, as always,” he says stiffly, and heads over to the Floo, which has a young couple snogging in front of it.
“Excuse me,” Draco says loudly, probably with more force than the situation dictates, but if he doesn’t get out of here right bloody now, he’s going to—going to—
For the oddest reason he can’t discern, his eyes feel suspiciously swollen and his throat has gone tight. The couple breaks apart, and he grabs a pinch of Floo powder from the complimentary bowl, but a bracelet of fingers on his wrist halts him.
Draco’s eyes flash up to Potter; his lips are tight and his jaw is set, and his eyes glitter fiercely in a way that makes Draco’s knees feel like shaking. Potter drags him away from the Floo and hustles him into a small alcove off the hallway that leads to the toilets.
“What are you doing?” Draco demands breathlessly. Potter leans close to him; resting his forehead against Draco’s own.
“I’ve been dating Oliver for a couple of months,” he says in a rush, as though afraid he’ll be unable to get it out before Draco runs. “I’d already decided to break up with him—weeks and weeks ago. But he was on tour in Australia, and I didn’t think it would be—right, to Firecall him for something like that.”
“When—what—” Draco’s heart is beating too fast, and he has too many questions, so he plucks one at random. “Why were you going to break up with him?”
“I—we shared our table with you. I—I liked you. I thought, maybe—I’d ask you out when I could.”
“You liked me?” Draco asks and oh no, it did not come out as a high-pitched squeak. Absolutely not.
Potter gives a faint smile. He smells like smoke and spice. “I liked you,” he confirms quietly. “I like arguing with you. Now, I mean. You’re—” He stops to search for a word, and Draco braces himself. “Beautiful when you think you’re right,” he says. Draco’s muscles go lax and embarassingly melty, and then Potter adds, “Even though you hardly ever are.”
“Why you—!” Draco starts with an outraged scowl, but then Potter is kissing him. Kissing him and kissing him, like there’s nothing else for him but Draco, and it does seem like the world falls away as Draco kisses him back and winds his arms around Potter’s shoulders, licking into his mouth and feeling the thump of Potter’s heart against his own chest.
Potter pulls out of the kiss but keeps Draco’s body close to his own, nuzzling his temple and flicking his tongue out over the shell of his ear; Draco goes dizzy from desire, little shocks of want buzzing through his whole body as Potter murmurs, “I’ve been dragging Ron back here for weeks, hoping you’d keep coming back. When you came into my office last Friday, I thought—I thought to hell with it, Oliver’s a big boy, he won’t mind a Firecall. But you didn’t ask me out, and I thought I’d gotten it wrong.”
“No,” Draco says. His voice sounds odd to his own ears, thick and slurred with lust as his tilts his head further to the side and Potter begins stringing sucking little kisses down the cords of his throat, and back up. “No, you hadn’t.”
“And then you were so hot,” Potter says on a growl. “Looking at me, like that—god, do you know how many times I’ve woken up hard as a rock after dreaming of seeing your grey eyes look up at me from my lap?” he asks, and Draco’s cock twitches, hard, in his trousers. He slides a hand through Potter’s tangle of hair, which is silkier than it looks; all of those wild curls.
“How many?” Draco whispers.
“Not as often as I’ve woken up from a dream of bending you over my office desk. Or bending myself over it for you,” Potter says, slipping his hands lower to cup Draco’s arse and tug him even closer still, and their erections press together through the fabric of their clothing, wrenching a groan from Draco’s throat. “Not as often as I’ve thought about tying you up and torturing you with my mouth until you come. Do you know what it’s like to wank three times a day when you’re not sixteen anymore, just because you see an infuriating blond glare at you from across the hall?”
“Yes,” Draco admits huskily. He’s dizzy from the sensations streaking through him, from the want like he’s never felt, as Potter rocks his hips subtly. His hand sneaks into the back of Potter’s jeans, and his fingertips brush against skin, warm and alive. “Not blond.”
Potter chokes out what Draco thinks might be a laugh, then kisses him again, slow and dirty. “Did you ever think about—”
“Yes,” Draco says, clenching his arse to frot into Potter harder. Potter sucks in a breath, and his eyes flutter shut.
“Yes, what? Yes you thought—”
“Yes to all of it, Potter,” Draco hisses through his teeth as Potter bites down on the skin under his jaw and gives a long suck. Merlin, he hasn’t come in his trousers since he was thirteen, yet he genuinely fears his twelve-year streak is about to end any minute. “Yes. Let’s do all of it. As long as we start right now.”
“God, you’re bossy,” Potter mutters, but Draco can feel his smile against his neck.
“Get used to it,” Draco tells him. “If I wasn’t, I probably couldn’t have convinced Pansy to keep coming here those first few weeks when I wanted to see you. Now take me home and fuck me.”
“I’m already used to it,” Potter says, his laughter muffled against Draco’s mouth when Draco pulls him into another kiss. “Hang on,” he warns.
Draco hangs on.
And Apparition has never squeezed him so tight as Potter’s body does, not thirty minutes later.
Draco lounges on Harry’s surprisingly comfortable leather sofa in the morning, his body thrumming with the aftershocks of his (sixth? seventh?) orgasm, even minutes later. His bones feel like melted wax. Harry rests against him, as lazy and unwilling to move as he is, but finally looks up and crooks him a devastating smile that manages to—even after all they’ve done in the last several hours—take Draco’s breath away.
“Are you hungry?”
Draco thinks for a moment; he is, but there’s a deeper hunger there, too, to never let Harry off the couch. Unfortunately, as though it’s heard Harry’s question, Draco’s stomach takes the opportunity to rumble appallingly.
Harry laughs. “I’ll take that as a yes.” He leans forward and kisses Draco’s nose; Draco blinks, then smiles. “I can make breakfast?”
It’ll at least give them more energy for later, Draco decides, and nods. “Coffee?”
“I have coffee,” Harry confirms, closing his eyes and letting out a shuddering breath when Draco parts his thighs and pulls Harry to slot between them again so he can kiss him. Harry allows it for a minute before wrenching his mouth away as if it’s painful to do so. “Merlin, you should be illegal,” he breathes, shaking his head at Draco’s unrepentant grin.
He levers himself up, and Draco misses his heat, but at least he gets to watch as Harry searches, naked, for his clothing. He finally finds his pants stuffed into the cushions of his side chair and is slipping them up over his hips when Pansy’s voice cheerfully rings out, “I get it, darling. I really get it, now.”
Harry squawks, spinning, and Draco dissolves into laughter as Pansy’s face smirks out from the Floo.
“Perfect arse, isn’t it?” Draco says smugly. “I always suspected.”
“I’ll never doubt you again,” Pansy chuckles. Harry snorts, but there’s a delightful flush spreading over his chest and up his throat, and Draco wants to lick it off of him.
“How’d you get my Floo address?” Harry asks.
“Ron,” she says mildly, and Harry rolls his eyes.
“I’ll just get some coffee,” he says, giving Draco a pointed look. Draco twitches a chenille blanket over his nudity, and Pansy laughs again as Harry walks out to the kitchen.
“So it went well?” Pansy prompts slyly.
“Of course not,” Draco says with a sniff. “I’ve murdered him and Polyjuiced and Imperiused a stranger to fulfil all of my fantasies.”
“Sounds like you,” she agrees.
Draco slants her a smile. “And with you? If Ron is giving out his friends’ addresses?”
She sighs, looking put-out. “Not yet. Although he did want to make sure we’d be back next week.”
Grimacing, Draco gives her an apologetic look—although he doesn’t feel sorry at all. “I don’t think we’ll be able to make it.”
Pansy huffs, exasperated. “You won’t be shagging every minute of every day!”
“We will if I have anything to say about it,” Draco mutters.
“I heard that.”
“I meant for you to.”
“Just—come on. You two can sit in the corner and snog all evening,” she says, sounding far too practical for the way Draco’s body responds to the suggestion. “But I don’t want to miss another week. He’s close, I can tell.”
Draco sighs. “Harry!”
After a moment, Harry ambles in, two mugs of steaming coffee in his hands. He hands one over to Draco. “Yeah?”
“Does Ron like Pansy?” he asks, ignoring Pansy’s screech.
“He’s a bit mad about her, yes,” Harry tells them both without batting an eyelash. “Doesn’t stop talking about how wickedly funny she is, and how smart. Also seems a bit obsessed with the way she wiggles her eyebrows? I don’t think he’s plucked up the nerve to do anything about it yet, though. We should probably give him another week or so.”
Draco turns to Pansy, who’s gaping at the both of them. “Fine. One more week, then you’re on your own.”
“I—ah—Potter!—um—” It’s as speechless as Draco has ever seen her, and he feels a surge of pride for the man standing next to him. Pansy blinks a few times. “Yes. Thank you. I’ll—I’ll go now. Have fun.”
“Oh, we will,” Harry assures her in a low voice. Her stunned blinking goes into stunned overdrive, and her face disappears from the Floo. Harry turns to him again. “That was fun. I like her. She helped us.”
Draco snickers. “Don’t tell her that or she’ll never respect you.”
“What do you feel like?” Harry suggests, switching topics. “I could do a full fry-up—” he starts, open and eager and too gorgeous for words.
“Later,” Draco murmurs. He carefully sets down his mug, and takes Harry’s from him, putting it down as well. Harry’s eyes grow dark with understanding.
“You’re hungry,” Harry objects weakly, but shuffles closer to stand in front of Draco anyway. The growing bulge in his pants makes Draco’s mouth water.
“I certainly am,” he agrees, voice rough, and licks his lips.
Harry’s pupils dilate, leaving just a narrow ring of dark green around the black. He pinches Draco’s chin with his thumb and forefinger and tilts his head back to meet his gaze. “I like you so damned much,” he says.
Draco stares at him, and wonders madly for a moment if it’s possible to die from lust—or maybe happiness.
Or maybe both. Not that he minds at all, if death comes as a direct result of Harry kissing him--which he does now, bending his sleekly muscled form to catch Draco’s mouth with his own. It’s the exact right way to go.
Goodbye, cruel world, Draco thinks in satisfaction as Harry tangles around him, and then—for quite a while—thinks nothing at all.