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The Man In The Scarlet Cloak

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“It’s just…” Draco sighed, looking down at his rucksack gloomily. “I’m trying. I don’t know why he hates me so much. It’s not as if I’m not trying.”

In the pale glow of the morning sun, the ancient Tree rustled comfortingly, and Draco placed the flat of his palm against her rough bark. One of her branches dipped, heavy and bright with spring leaves, and stroked the top of his head, their tips turning violet with pleasure. Though it ruffled his hair, Draco permitted it for a moment. There weren’t many trees up for listening to someone whine about his job.

Then again, there probably weren’t many wizards so hard up as to complain about their jobs to enchanted Trees.

“Unicorn hair,” he mumbled to her. “I don’t suppose you happen to know where the unicorns have been recently? I need to find at least an ounce of shed unicorn hairs.”

She rustled again, her leaves light and tickling against his cheek before the branch moved away and her gnarled trunk straightened. Draco felt the warm pulse of Nature magic slide down her trunk and waited as she took a few minutes to interact with her root system.

He leaned against her and allowed himself another sigh.

It wasn’t the pride aspect of it that bothered him so much; Merlin knew he had little enough left after the War. He’d made his apologies, given his reparations, performed his community services. None of those things had been easy, but he’d done them willingly if not happily.

It wasn’t even the grunt work of gathering rare Potions ingredients from the floor of the Forbidden Forest that was so irritating. He’d be fine doing it if he meant that he’d actually also be able to help make the potions or, perhaps, maybe interact with the students a bit. But he’d been a Potions fellow at Hogwarts for several months now, and had yet to thaw the newest professor, who felt it necessary to sideline Draco at every possible opportunity by sending him out on fruitless wanderings through the Forest.

Probably hoping he’d get attacked by an Acromantula or something, Draco suspected. Professor Weatherby didn’t even know they’d gone into their ten-year hibernation after the War, the complete moron, but he seemed determined to undermine Draco at every opportunity. Draco was used to people looking at his forearm with a sneer, but seeing the person who could sign off on his credentials do it was… unsettling.

It was enough to get on the nerves of people who hadn’t been a Death Eater as a teenager. Really, all in all, Draco was quite proud of himself for not having snapped yet. Which was probably due, in large part, with knowing that McGonagall had her eye on the situation; she’d assured him that he was her chosen candidate for a full-time position once his fellowship was finished. Draco held on to that, every time he’d been sent out to gather baskets of knotgrass or fill phials of morning dew. In the meantime, it helped having someone—thing?—to talk to.

The Tree twitched behind his back, her trunk growing responsive again. Draco pushed off and looked at her expectantly. Tree language wasn’t an exact art, but he’d brushed up on it after arriving back at Hogwarts and though there was the occasional miscommunication, he tended to understand them fairly well at this point.

She lowered three of her branches with a gentle swishing sound.

“Three? Three unicorns have been spotted?” It may not be enough for a full ounce of hair, but Weatherby would be impressed enough for him to come back with anything from this fool’s errand.

Slowly, the twigs of her branches began to separate wide, and her leaves rippled with the motion. Far away, she told him, shrubbery darkening in apology. At the other end of Forest. They are Breeding and following Scents. It is Mating Season everywhere.

Draco felt his mouth draw down in a disappointed grimace, but he gave her another pat. “Thank you for looking,” he said quietly, and her trunk warmed in pleasure.

The crunch of footsteps sounded behind him, and Draco drew his wand, whirling protectively even as the Tree grew still and watchful; most living things in Forest feared the risk of being used for nefarious means. Sentient Trees didn’t have any Potions properties, but there were plenty of ways to drain their magic.

The bright red cloak caught Draco’s eye first, followed quickly by a curly disaster of tangled black hair and, lastly, eyes the colour of the Tree’s leaves at her happiest. Draco relaxed slightly and lowered his wand as Potter stepped into full view and stopped, looking surprised.

“Malfoy?” Potter had pulled his wand, too, and his hand fell to his side when he saw Draco. “What are you doing here?”

“I work here, Potter. As you very well know. What are you doing here?” Draco returned, trying not to sound defensive.

Things had become decidedly less strained between them in the last few years; a by-product of running in to each other and being forced to behave as adults whenever Potter came to give a guest lecture to the Advanced Defence class, or was visiting McGonagall or Hagrid. It was made all the more strange by the way Potter had begun chatting him up whenever they crossed paths. It had taken Draco a while to understand that Potter was flirting with him; even longer to adjust to the realisation that Potter was gay—an angry dream he’d put out of his head in sixth year when he’d started dating the girl Weasley. Still, despite Draco’s gratitude and attraction toward him, Potter had a way of making him feel inferior—something he had not been raised to do—and his defences automatically went up in the other man’s presence.

It may have had a little to do with how Potter had filled out in the last few years.

It probably had more to do with what happened on Christmas Eve.

Potter reached up and tugged his ear, looking delectably sheepish, then held out a small basket. “Hagrid’s asked me to watch Fang. Charlie—Ron’s brother—asked for his advice on a nest of dragon’s eggs that are about to hatch, so he’s in Romania for the weekend. But I meant, er, what are you doing in the Forest?” He paused, giving the Tree behind Draco an uncertain look. “Were you talking to that tree?”

Draco sniffed. “Who talks to trees?”

Potter shrugged. “Not much surprises me anymore.”

Clearing his throat, Draco searched for something to say that wouldn’t reveal the Tree’s sentience, but also wouldn’t drive Potter away. Finally, he settled on, “Just out for a stroll, then?” Innocuous enough.

“No. Oh.” Potter gave a soft laugh and displayed his basket again. “I’m here to scavenge for something for Fang. They’re little white flowers. Also, supposed to look for the red ones, too; they help his joints. Do you know where they are, by any chance?”

Draco felt his brow furrow and he smoothed it quickly. “Red and white flowers that have—medicinal properties for hounds?”

“Well, the red ones, I guess. The other is for eating. They’re called Avia Domus? There’s a couple of fields around here somewhere, I came once with him, and Hagrid gave me directions but I can’t seem to find them,” he explained.

Heart thundering, Draco swallowed until his throat no longer felt like sandpaper, because it couldn’t be. Couldn’t possibly be. “Avia Domus, you say? Red and white?”

“Yeah.” Potter moved closer, eyebrows drawing down as he studied Draco. “You know them?”

Of them,” Draco said, trying not to sound faint. “They’re incredibly rare, you know, and grow much further North than Scotland. Are you sure you got the name right?”

“Yeah. But they’re definitely here. I came with Hagrid a couple of years ago. There are patches growing here and there, and a whole field of them in different colours,” Potter said, sounding so sure that Draco’s already-pounding heart went into overdrive.

“What colours?”

“Pink. Blue. Red and white, of course. I think there were little silvery ones, too.” Potter frowned, looking at him carefully. “Are you all right?”

“Am I—yes!” Draco snapped, sucking in a deep breath and letting it out through his nose. “I’m just—I’m supposed to be working, not standing around talking.”

“To me, or trees?” Potter asked, looking annoyingly amused.

“To anyone!” Taking a moment to clear his head, Draco shot an accusatory glance at the Tree. Her branches drooped a bit at his silent censure.

He’d been looking for months for something that would impress Weatherby enough to allow him to take up more responsibilities, and apparently there had been a whole field of some of the rarest and most useful flowers in the world under his nose the whole time?

Draco wracked his brain, trying to remember the potions different colours were used for; red was used primarily for animals, it was true, but could also be used in Healing potions for Wizards; white had euphoric properties and gave energy; blue was a mood stabiliser; pink was used for sleeping and dreams… He’d never even heard of the existence of a silver flower. The research could keep him busy for the rest of the year, if Weatherby continued to be a tosser even after Draco brought him such a find.

“Malfoy?” Potter stepped closer still, and Draco’s eyes dragged up to meet his; he looked not a little concerned. “Are you sure you’re okay? You seem—funny.”

Swallowing hard, Draco forced a pleasant smile. “I’m fine. Thank you. I just—I do have a lot of work to do.”

“Oh. So I guess you don’t want to come with me to look?” Potter asked, mouth curling into a tentative smile.

“No. Thank you. Must be getting back to—” He waved a distracted hand to the Forest around them.

“Right, yeah. Sorry.” Potter ran his fingers through his hair as if to smooth it; it sprang back out in unruly curls immediately. “I guess I’ll get on, too. Unless, maybe, if later—”

“Goodbye, Potter.”

Distantly, Draco heard Potter sigh. “Bye, Malfoy.” He stomped off past Draco in the direction he’d been heading.

Draco waited until the sound of his footsteps had faded—until he could no longer see the Phoenix-brightness of his cloak—before turning to the Tree. “You couldn’t have told me about them?”

Did not know.

“You didn’t know they grow here?” Draco asked.

Did not know Important. Must be gentle if you take. They sneeze.

Draco exhaled. “I apologize. I’ll be careful, but I’m not allergic to plants. And I could use them. If it’s okay that I collect them?”

You may Take.

Thank you,” Draco breathed out, relieved. “Where are they?”

Which field?

“Which—” Draco sputtered for a moment. “How many are there?”

Small growths. One meadow where many Grow. Are nearly ready to return to Earth for the Season, perhaps before Morning. Snow has already melted.

“The, um, nearest, I suppose,” Draco muttered, thinking. He looked up at the Tree again. “And can you assist in making sure Potter doesn’t get there first?”

He searches for Fang. We like Fang. He doesn’t Water us inappropriately.

A surprised snort got caught in Draco’s throat. “I’ll leave some for Fang, you have my word. The medicinal ones. But if Potter goes stumbling in…”

We understand. He would hurt Earth when he Harvested Flowers. He is cruel now?

“Potter? No!” Draco looked around, feeling paranoid. “No, he’s… Bloody noble, if you need to know. But he’s also—boorish, and doesn’t listen, and probably would find some problem with me harvesting so many, especially since I don’t intend to let him harvest the white Flowers for a dog treat. Besides, he’s an Auror, and I’m not sure of the legality of one of the Flowers, if it actually exists. So if you could keep him away—”

He enjoys You.

Draco’s racing brain came slamming to a halt. “What?”

He released colours of Attraction.

“Not possible,” Draco huffed, face growing suddenly hot. “If you knew what had happened… Look—I—could you please just point me in the direction of the flowers and keep Potter away from them?”

Very well. Even though he would Mate with you if you desired.

“Highly un-bloody-likely,” Draco growled, resolutely ignoring the images that tried to flit through his brain. The Tree drooped a bit again, branches sagging, and Draco gave her a reassuring stroke, softening his tone. “It’s fine. Believe me.”

With a heave that felt like a sigh, the Tree lifted a branch and pointed West, slightly off from Potter’s direction. Draco smiled at her in thanks, and set off.

***

Harry tried not to be creeped out by the Forbidden Forest, but he supposed people never really got thrilled over returning to the site of their deaths, even six years later.

It didn’t seem so bad in the daylight, though, and it occurred to Harry how rarely he’d been in it during the day, as well as how lucky he’d been to escape so many of its horrors as a teenager who’d frequently found himself roaming it at night. But now, there was light filtering in dimly through the branches overhead, and even the crunch of leaves under his feet sounded friendly rather than ominous.

His mind wandered back to Malfoy as he walked the packed-earth path. He still seemed sort of—tetchy, since that near-kiss under the enchanted mistletoe on Christmas Eve. Frankly, it hadn’t been Harry’s finest moment, hesitating like that, but they’d had an audience of every member of the staff, and so he’d cast his wand at the mistletoe itself until the bubble holding him and Malfoy in place popped.

It just hadn’t seemed, well, romantic to take the first kiss when being stared at by a cast strangers and people who had known you since you were a child. Not that he hadn’t wanted to, Merlin no. Malfoy could still be an utter prat at times, but he generally kept it to socially-acceptable levels—not to mention how he’d developed, physically, after the war was over.

He was never going to be a man with broad shoulders and a barrel chest, but he’d somehow managed to gain another inch or two in recent years, his narrow, lanky figure seemed sturdy under his school robes, like it was covered in fine layers of muscle. He’d also lost that yellowish-grey pallor he’d been sporting for a good long time after the trials and had trimmed his silken hair shorter. Whenever they were together, Harry had a hard time not staring at the back of his neck.

Not like that was anything new.

Unfortunately, he’d obviously gotten the wrong impression about Harry’s hesitation, and his avoidance was getting pretty awkward. Harry knew he should do something about it, but couldn’t seem to find the opportunity.

A shadow passed overhead, darkening the Forest for a moment, and Harry stopped in mid-step. He looked around. Ahead were trees with a dark green-black cast to them, vaguely forbidding in the way their branches curled out toward him like beckoning hands. He’d also, somehow, managed to wander off the path.

Cursing himself internally, he took a few steps away from the eerie tree and turned around, searching the floor of the Forest for anything that looked like it had been walked on recently, but found nothing.

Harry pulled his wand to cast a quick Four-Point Spell for guidance, but it simply shuddered in place, twitched a couple of times, and then the thing fucking jumped out of his hand to the ground and rolled to a few feet away. He stared at it in astonishment before cautiously lifting it up and examining it. It felt warm against his fingers, like always, and when he swished and flicked it a small shower of gold sparks flew out the end, like they should. Still, he gently tucked it back into his sleeve holster until he could get someone to examine it properly.

He began trudging back in the rough direction he’d come, refusing to think about the steady tightening in his chest as he wandered through the thick foliage which was—was he imagining it?—getting more dense around him, bushes puffing out and leaves skittering on the ground to obscure the dirt. He heard the breaking of a twig, and glanced up sharply.

Malfoy stood there, looking elegantly calm, perched against the thick trunk of a tree. His arms were folded over his narrow chest, and he observed Harry with an amused smile.

“Got lost, Potter?”

More relieved than he could allow himself to admit, Harry rubbed the back of his neck and let loose a soft laugh. “A bit, I guess. Thanks. You never did say what kind of work you’re doing in the Forest.”

Malfoy’s face twisted into a strangely regretful scowl. “Collecting potions ingredients for Weatherby. You never said what you were doing wearing your Auror cloak when you’re not on duty.”

“Weatherby? That arsehole? Merlin, I don’t know how you can stand it,” Harry muttered, surprised when Malfoy looked pleased. He glanced down at himself. “It’s out of commission after it was singed with a stray curse; they couldn’t repair it, but I liked it, so—”

“Classic Potter, I suppose. I thought your fashion sense was supposed to have improved years ago from wearing damaged clothing,” Malfoy smirked. Harry felt his jaw tense and Malfoy’s smirk slid away, mouth turning tentative. “I didn’t mean that the way it—”

Harry blinked rapidly as it occurred to him that Malfoy had been trying to tease him. It was almost… complimentary, in the patented-Malfoy, downright insulting sort of way. “No, it’s okay.” He glanced at Malfoy, standing uncertain in the shadow of his tree. “Thanks?”

Malfoy’s face relaxed and he chuckled. “It certainly makes you visible, though. It was easy to see you thumping through the Forest as if you had no idea where you were going.”

“Were you looking for me?” Harry raised his eyebrows and moved closer to the other man, who stilled as he began to near.

“I, well, I found some of the flowers you were looking for,” Malfoy said, darting a glance around them as if to ensure they were alone. Harry walked closer still, his smile growing as Malfoy’s eyes widened. They weren’t the flat grey that he used to think when they were kids, but something warmer, filled with tones of silver, the colour always shifting, like campfire smoke.

“You know, Malfoy, about Christmas,” Harry said. “I’ve been wanting to talk to you about it, but you always seem to skitter away when I’m around.”

“Why on earth would you assume I was still thinking about Christmas?” Malfoy asked flatly, eyebrows raised. And if Harry hadn’t gotten to know him, just a bit, he might have bought the act. As it was, though, Malfoy had a hint of vulnerability to his expression, a flicker to his gaze that alluded to a deeper worry. “It was just enchanted mistletoe. Frankly, I’m relieved you had the presence of mind to—”

“It was enchanted mistletoe that only traps people who are attracted to each other,” Harry corrected quietly. Malfoy’s face became still as he processed this, so he continued, “And I wanted to kiss you. You must have known that. I just didn’t want an audience the first time.”

“I-I thought that—” Malfoy broke off, throat working silently.

“I thought you might have,” Harry said with a frown, and edged nearer. “You’ve been avoiding me since.”

Malfoy inhaled sharply through his nose. He shuffled backwards until his back butted up against the tree again. Harry closed the gap between them, getting close enough that their chests brushed. Malfoy’s face was open and stricken, and for a beat Harry felt the flush of embarrassment that he’d perhaps come on too strong. But then Malfoy’s hand wedged between then, his palm a gentle press in the middle of Harry’s chest, long fingers splayed and digging slightly into Harry’s shirt, even as he pushed.

“That’s good to know. We can talk about it later, yes?” he asked. His voice cracked in the middle of the question, and Harry felt his mouth curl up.

“Not now?” Harry took an exaggerated look around, pleased when Malfoy’s breath stuttered. “It’s pretty private here.”

Malfoy exhaled, a touch shakily. “I really do have a lot of work to do today.”

“I’ll come with. Just show me where the flowers are, and I’ll tag along after,” Harry offered. His hand snaked out to skid against the back of Malfoy’s, which promptly tightened into a fist.

“Merlin,” he muttered. “Come on. I’ll show you where the flowers are. After that you’re on your own. You’re too distracting for what I need to do.”

He quickly slid out from between Harry’s body and the tree behind him, sharp cheekbones flushed and eyes bright, and shook his head to himself. He reached out and tugged on the red sleeve of Harry’s cloak before letting his hand fall to his side, and began to walk away.

Harry took a deep breath and followed.

***

Draco walked at a fast clip, eyes sliding sideways to Potter’s easy gait as he managed to keep up.

He’d been happily crouched, finishing collecting the tiny white blossoms in the small patch of flowers and taking care with his wand to make sure that the root hairs were intact when the motion of the Tree off to his left had drawn his eyes up.

He is Afraid.

“Potter?” Draco blurted incredulously. “Potter doesn’t do afraid.”

He fears Forest.

“Why in the name of—fuck.” Draco closed his even as he saw the quick motions that spelled out He died here, as a child.

Biting his lip for a moment, Draco had debated his course of action. Obviously, there was more to collect, but he couldn’t just leave Potter alone after having realised his predicament. There were still a few white buds mixed in with the reds, but he sighed and regretfully turned back to the Tree. “All right. I’ll get him. Let him Harvest what he needs and get him out of here. But—maybe you could make it a little—brighter for him?”

He is not far, but there is Dark Nature around him.

“Shit.” Draco set off in the direction the branches indicated, a quick-step to (unbelievable though it seemed) rescue Potter from his own ghosts. His cloak flashed like a beacon before long and, stranger still, Draco wound up enduring a surprisingly smooth segue from Gryffindor directness to flirtation as Potter informed him that he’d misunderstood the context of the awkward non-kiss. He was so stunned, he’d gaped inappropriately and almost let Potter distract him from his task.

Which he was doing, even now, just by glancing at Draco as often as Draco was glancing at him, as though he couldn’t help where his eyes went but was happy with their decision-making skills.

“Stop it,” Draco snapped finally.

“Stop what?” Potter said innocently. The corner of his mouth twitched.

“You know what.”

“I might know better if you explain it,” Potter returned, and damn him if he didn’t sound on the edge of a laugh.

Draco rolled his eyes. He stopped walking, and scowled. Did Potter think only Gryffindors could be blunt? “Stop looking at me as though you’re imagining bending me over in the Forest. It’s ruining my focus. Besides which, I’m not that easy.”

Potter’s cheeks bloomed a rosy pink, and he gave a sudden, awkward chuckle. “I never expected you were,” he mumbled, then hesitated. “About—about that other thing. There’s probably something you should know about me, first.”

“Are you a virgin?”

“N-no,” Potter said, colour in his face growing deeper. “Not as such.”

“Do you like cock?” Draco demanded on a growl.

“I’ll like yours,” Potter said, meeting his eyes evenly before dropping them. Draco’s prick gave a hard twitch. “I’m gay, if that’s what you’re actually asking. In case I wasn’t clear enough.”

“Then I don’t see we have anything else we need to discuss at the moment,” Draco said dryly, disregarding the way his cock had half-swollen under his robes. He resumed walking. “Let’s just get you your flowers and get you back to Fang so we can address the issue on Saturday.”

“Saturday?” Potter echoed weakly.

“Saturday,” Draco repeated. “At seven. The Three Broomsticks. Or pick a place and owl me, I don’t care. Here we are.”

Blinking his ridiculously sooty lashes for a moment, Potter finally took his gaze off Draco’s face and looked down. The tension in his expression eased off and twisted into something else. “Oh. This isn’t enough.”

“What do you mean?” Draco asked, following his eyes. The small patch of Avia Domus had at least a dozen red flowers, and a few white as well. “Each of them should be good for several hours.”

“Yeah.” Potter’s brows drew down in consternation. “But Fang is sort of… Well, he’s getting older. He basically can’t walk without them, so Hagrid’s been giving him them every twelve hours when they wear off. We have an appointment for him to see an animal Healer to alleviate his symptoms better, but this probably won’t last a week.”

Fuck.

Draco frowned, thinking for a moment. He remembered being so blasted frightened of that stupidly sweet hound, and felt not a little bad that he hadn’t realised how deep his plight had gotten; he spoke to Hagrid at least a few times a week. He thought a moment.

“Didn’t you say that there was a field?” he finally offered reluctantly.

“Yeah. But my wand did something funny, wouldn’t even let me use the Four-Point Spell, so there’s no way I can find it.”

“Let me.” Draco tried not to smirk; using a wand surrounded by trees who identified with the wood it was made from would be a tricky venture if you didn’t know of Nature magic. He paused, considering. “Why don’t you wait here? I have a couple of gatherings that need to be done delicately, but I’ll come back and get you when I find the field.”

Wavering, Potter cast a look around.

“It’s safe here,” Draco said, softening his voice. Potter glanced back, surprised. The tightness of his mouth relaxed a bit, and he nodded.

“All right. If you’re sure.”

“Just send me your Patronus if you get into any trouble,” Draco told him.

Potter nodded again, then stepped forward and pressed a swift, light kiss to the corner of Draco’s mouth. He pulled back before Draco could respond and tipped him an almost shy smile. “That was better than it would have been with McGonagall watching,” he murmured.

Heart thundering, Draco started to move toward him, then stopped and backed away, returning the smile uncomfortably.

Feeling strangely guilty, he walked into the Trees.

***

After Malfoy left his sight, his voice drifted back in a low tone of instruction. Confused, Harry stared into the dense foliage where Malfoy had disappeared, and called out, “Are you talking to me?”

There was a heavy pause. “I was just telling you I won’t be long,” Malfoy finally returned, and Harry heard his footfalls begin again, then fade away.

Harry looked around the thicket of trees a bit warily, but the sun must have passed overhead again because everything seemed—brighter. More inviting. The grasses beneath him seemed thicker and more colourful, and the tree branches swayed as though they were waving, despite the lack of wind. Even the air was warmer.

Feeling oddly comforted, he bent to begin collecting the small buds from the ground. His hands seemed overly large and clumsy holding them, their delicate petals fluttering like butterfly wings, but he didn’t want to risk pulling his wand and accidentally destroying any of them; they were too precious for Fang and this point, and until he found the larger meadow, he couldn’t risk losing any that they had.

He pulled them gently from the earth, loosening the roots carefully before placing them, one by one, inside his basket until they were all plucked. Harry rose, and began walking in concentric circles from the outer edge of the small clearing, looking for any he might have missed, but by the time he’d reached the centre, had to admit it’d been a wasted effort.

He sat down to wait for Malfoy, spreading his cloak out around him as he dragged his fingers through the shoots of grasses on the Forest floor. Anticipation spread through him; that light kiss on the edge of Malfoy’s mouth had startled him as much as it had Malfoy. Even the jolt of electricity that had speared through him hadn’t been entirely expected.

He’d been attracted to the other man for years, though in a random, peripheral way that had little to do with actual intention. But when Malfoy had joined the teaching staff the previous fall, and Hagrid and McGonagall had started to mention him with more frequency—in tones of great surprise, and even admiration—Harry had let himself really look at him for the first time in years.

He seemed… Settled, for the most part. Still prone to biting comments, but he’d de-venomed himself. Malfoy had even somehow realised that he was uncomfortable being alone in the Forest, and was compensating accordingly. It was a ridiculous, uncessessary gesture, Harry thought, but appreciated nonetheless. The Malfoy of old would never have bothered trying to temper his behaviour or statements to comfort someone else; no longer the sneaky, untrustworthy Slytherin he’d been back in school, but a man now.

A man Harry wanted.

Harry scowled, annoyed with himself. He was grown, too; an Auror now, who fought dark wizards on a daily basis—when he wasn’t filling out paperwork. All right, there was a lot of paperwork and far fewer dark wizards now, but his defensive and offensive skills were as solid as they’d ever been. There was no reason he shouldn’t feel perfectly comfortable in the Forest just because he’d, well, died there.

He gathered his basket and got up, sucking in a fortifying breath before coming forward. The dripping leaves of the branches and bushes seemed to clamp themselves closed, somehow puffing out to create a wall that obscured his way as he moved in the direction Malfoy had gone.

He tried prying it apart, but his fingers couldn’t slip into any of the seams where it was connected, so he attempted a wandless Alohomora, which did sod all. He gave a bit of a running start toward it, but the wall—curtain, whatever—grew thicker; his shoulder bounced off of it, and Harry realised that the plants had somehow magicked an invisible barrier in front of him. Frustrated, he snapped, “Stop it!”

Surprisingly, the leaves fidgeted, rustled, and parted again, revealing the pathways of the forest beyond. Looking at them curiously, he gave an uncertain, “Thank you.” One of them appeared to dip, and made a complicated, graceful swirling motion with her branch.

Talking trees. Merlin, he should have known.

Malfoy was no longer sneaky, his arse.

“Uh, do you know where Malfoy is?”

The branch give a lazy movement, a swish and dip of greenish-gold leaves.

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand, er, tree language,” Harry told it tentatively. Its leaves quivered a little. “Could you maybe point?”

Two of the branches lowered, and twisted from side to side.

“Are you telling me ‘no’?” Harry asked incredulously.

The branches bobbed a bit.

“Why—” Harry narrowed his eyes as the sound of swiftly moving feet came toward him, then halted. “Nevermind. Thanks.”

Walking slowly, Harry tried to control his noise level as the leaves crackled beneath his shoes. Another pointless venture because Malfoy was, clearly, waiting for him.

He was leaning against the thick trunk of another one of those old trees with the heavy waterfall of leaves. His chest rose and fell in a quick pattern, but when he saw Harry it steadied and he grinned, flashing white teeth.

“Miss me already, Potter?”

It was a little more charm than he was used to receiving, and Malfoy couldn’t hide his breathlessness. Harry stared at him for a second, then smiled. “Thought I might look for the flowers on my own while you did your work. I got bored.”

Malfoy ‘tsk’ed. “Gryffindors. So impatient.”

“Not when it counts,” Harry told him, letting his smile grow when Malfoy’s cheeks pinked up and he looked away. “Done already?”

Malfoy waved a hand. “I have a bit left. I found the other field of flowers for you. I was just coming to find you and let you know.”

Harry snorted, quickly turning the sound into a cough. “Really? Then why were you just leaning against that tree?”

***

Draco froze. Somehow, he didn’t think to look casual and not at all as if I’ve been stealing rare potions ingredients from you or the Trees told me you were trying to leave and I ran back as fast as I could would garner him the right reaction, and Potter had the oddest expression on his face, as though he were deciding whether to be angry or amused.

“I heard you coming,” he improvised. “I suppose as a Gryffindor, you’ve no need to learn how to enter a room—or a Forest, for that matter.”

Something flickered in Potter’s eyes, and one dark brow arched. “The House thing again, Malfoy? How would you like it if I continued treating you like a Slytherin?” He walked closer, until Draco could smell the sharp spice of his aftershave, though from the darkening at his jaw one would assume he never bothered shaving at all.

A beat passed. “I wouldn’t be bothered. There’s a reason we get Sorted.”

“Cunning, ambition…” Potter drawled. His eyes sparkled with something Draco couldn’t identify. “What else?”

“Cleverness,” Draco informed him, as primly as he could when his prick was swelling again in his trousers. “Resourcefulness. Determination.”

“Good qualities in and of themselves,” Potter said easily, surprising him. He leaned in, his mouth grazing the shell of Draco’s ear, and Draco shivered. “Tell me, what do you need those characteristics for now? What do you want, Malfoy?”

“I want—” He broke off as Potter’s hand slipped up to cup the back of his neck, palm warm and calloused against his skin. “I want—”

“Tell me,” Potter insisted. His teeth nipped gently at Draco’s earlobe, and Draco sagged, knees going watery as desire flooded him. He felt the brush of something rigid and thick against his hip, and groaned; the sound echoed softly.

“I want to snog the shit out of you,” Draco said roughly, using the last of his control to push Potter away. His whole body objected to it; he put no strength behind the shove, but Potter pulled back anyway. “Are you happy? But I can’t right now.”

Potter’s eyes were huge behind his spectacles, and he blinked a couple of times, then gave a rueful laugh. “Right, of course. No more pushing you against trees. Sorry. I seem to be apologising a lot today.”

“Well, it’s your turn I suppose,” Draco said irritably, irrationally angry at Weatherby for being so difficult to impress, at himself for the need to impress him, and at Potter for learning how to utilise his natural sex appeal. “I’ve done enough for a lifetime.”

His mouth quirked. “I guess you have,” Potter agreed in a level tone. He took another step back. “So where are the flowers?”

Draco looked at Potter suspiciously. There was something in his face that he couldn’t quite decipher. Potter waited expectantly, his smile growing bland. Draco shrugged. “Not far.”

They began walking together. The sounds of the Forest came alive around them, twitters of birds and the sway of leaves in the breeze; the scuffling noises of their shoes against the dirt and pine needles and leaves on the ground. It was soothing and unsettling, all at once, throwing into sharp relief the glaring silence between them as they walked, and Draco felt the stirrings of unease.

“You can still,” he blurted when Potter still didn’t say anything, and the hushing noises of the Forest began to feel like a roar.

Potter’s mouth pursed. “Can what?”

“Push me against trees,” Draco said, feeling the blood rush back to his face. But now that he had a clear opportunity, he’d be damned if he let it go to waste. “That’s not the part I minded.”

Brows shooting up, Potter cast him a delighted smile. “Yeah? I was wondering if you were telling me that you were only a pretentious satin-sheets sort of bloke. What with the whole ‘not being easy’ bit.”

Draco snickered. “Don’t disparage satin sheets until you’ve tried them.”

“I wasn’t. I can quite easily picture…” Potter trailed off, expression growing slightly glazed. Gave his head a minute shake as if to clear it. “What was the part you minded?”

“None of it, really,” Draco said, after thinking a moment. “Just that some of the things I’m collecting aren’t going to be around much longer; they prefer the colder weather. And I’m not pretentious.”

Potter barked a laugh. “Malfoy, you could be homeless and in rags, working as a rentboy, and you’d be charging men fifty galleons to let them hold your hand. I shudder to think what anything more would cost.”

“Don’t be ridiculous; I’d charge a hundred for that,” Draco told him, and Potter laughed again. The sound caused his heart flutter; a funny vibration of feeling that made him nervous, that made him feel light as air. He let his smile turn wicked, and watched with satisfaction as Potter’s eyes zeroed in on it. “Besides,” he added, “it’s not as if you’re not swimming in gold, right?”

“Merlin,” Potter groaned, carding a hand through his hair. “Malfoy, if I had known what a fucking tease you were, I’d—”

“Have begun flirting with me years ago?” Draco suggested.

“Probably, yeah,” Potter admitted blithely as they reached the small clearing and stopped. They looked at each other, the air growing charged and thick between them, like the delicious pulse of a spell gathering to be released. Potter’s voice was husky when he spoke again. “Why are we stopped? Because I’m really considering the tree thing again. Third time’s a charm.”

Temptation washed over Draco as he met Potter’s challenging stare. The lines around his mouth were tense; his easy smile lingered, but there was something burning behind it, a blatant desire to catch Draco up, to be touched by him. And Draco wanted to; wanted to run his hands all over Potter’s wiry muscle, all over that sun-burnished skin. Wanted to simply grab what was being offered, hidden under the flaming red of his cloak. He imagined he could still feel the kiss Potter had dropped on the corner of his mouth; his nerves tingled there as a reminder, and his cock throbbed achingly as the debate raged inside of him.

Potter’s eyes dropped away, making the decision for him, and Draco went dizzy as he haltingly released his breath. He wondered how long he’d been holding it.

“The— The flowers,” Draco got out. He stretched his wand to point, as if they weren’t obvious. “Here.”

“Mmm.” Potter studied them carefully, then looked up. “There aren’t very many here, either.”

Draco’s laugh sounded a bit wild and strained to his ears. “Anything is better than nothing, right?”

“I suppose.”

Draco knelt and began pulling them from the earth with his wand, levitating them into Potter’s proffered basket, where a small pile of flowers lay. His Shrunken rucksack, filled with the missing white blooms, felt like a heavy weight in the deep pockets of his robes, and he worked efficiently to get it over with quicker.

When they were all plucked and in Potter’s basket, Draco looked up again. Potter was staring down at him intently, jaw tight, and with a start Draco realised that he’d lowered his basket to his side, leaving Draco kneeling in front of him, with nothing between them.

He pulled his gaze away from Potter’s, sucking in a sharp breath when he caught a glimpse of what was at eye-level. Through the open front of Potter’s cloak, under his denims, there was the unmistakable line, growing plumper every moment, of Potter’s erection. It lengthened and thickened against his thigh almost obscenely and Draco watched in disbelieving astonishment as it just… kept growing. Every time he thought that’s got to be it there was another twitch, another inch of pressing line beneath Potter’s jeans and Draco’s mouth flooded with saliva at the realisation that Potter had not been posturing all those years ago, that perhaps his natural, infuriating arrogance actually had biological roots.

And speaking of biological roots…

Draco wetted his lips, coming up higher on his knees. “Potter,” he breathed.

“Draco,” Potter countered, voice raw. More startled by the use of his given name than the miraculous event happening in Potter’s jeans, Draco drew his eyes back up. Potter leaned down and caught his bicep, dragging him to a standing position with bruising fingers, yanking him until their bodies were pressed flush. Potter’s cock felt just as impossibly large and lovely as the outline had promised, pressing into Draco’s; his arm went around Draco’s waist like a clamp.

“If you kiss me, it won’t end there,” Draco told him, quite honestly past the point of caring. But Potter seemed to take it as a warning, and gave a jerky nod.

“I— Just.” His nostrils flared like a Thestral scenting its mate. “Just let me. I’ll stop,” he promised, voice so grating it wouldn’t have been attractive to the ears for anyone but Draco, in this moment, in his arms. His face hovered close and Draco could feel Potter’s breath, minty and warm, on his face. “Let me.

“Yes,” Draco said recklessly, heart rattling painfully in his chest, and the word was barely out of his mouth when Potter had covered it with his own.

Languidly at first and then with more urgency, Potter’s lips pressed against his, slanting his head sideways, tongue coaxing Draco’s mouth open. Draco gave himself over to it, unable not to, trembling as Potter’s tongue slipped inside and stroked his own. Draco clutched at his shoulders with desperate fingers and heard a distant whimpering sound break free from his throat as their cocks pressed together through the fabric of their clothing.

Potter gave a tiny, rolling thrust of his hips and Draco moaned into his mouth which caused Potter to shudder and dig his fingers painfully into Draco’s hips, locking their lower bodies together. He pressed a muscular thigh between Draco’s legs, and slid his hand around to cup both arse cheeks, guiding Draco against him in a filthy approximation of a dance. Draco’s cock pulsed with warning, his balls heavy and tight as they rocked together in the kiss, and the world shrank around him into the pinpricks of light behind his closed eyelids and the clasp of Potter’s body against his own as his orgasm drew near.

He rutted harder against Potter, seeking an end to the knot of tension than had constricted all of his muscles. Potter’s mouth became savage, teeth catching Draco’s lip, tongue licking hotly into him, and Draco didn’t care that he was going to finish in his trousers like a teenager, didn’t care that they were in the middle of the wood, because Potter’s mouth was hungry, and he tasted like sugar quills and salt, and his fingers were tangled in Draco’s hair and he was getting close— he was going to—

With a rough, animalistic noise, Potter tore his mouth away. Confused and aroused beyond cognition, Draco sought it, hands coming up to frame Potter’s gritted jaw and pull it close again, but Potter refused to yield, and Draco finally opened his eyes to find Potter glaring at him, face blasted with lust.

“I’m stopping,” Potter choked out, hips still moving, quick and jerky. “I promised. I’m stopped. But fuck, Draco, if you say I can, I’ll take you back to hut or-or I’ll Apparate us anywhere,” he said roughly. “My flat. I can Transfigure my sheets, I won’t let you up until you’ve forgotten what it’s like to not be coming from my hand and my mouth and my fucking arse if you want, however you want it—”

Draco closed his eyes for a moment, images of tangled, sweaty limbs on cool, slippery sheets dancing in his mind like a carrot in front of a starving horse. He nodded wordlessly.

Potter’s eyes flared with heat and he looked strangely relieved. “Christ, once I get you out of those clothes, I’m not going to let you out of my bed for twenty-four hours,” he said, grabbing Draco’s wrist. “I’m not even sure I can Apparate us properly without Splinching us, give me a second.”

Twenty-four hours. The promise streaked a thrill through his body, a lance of sensation straight to his aching cock, and Draco sagged a bit against Potter, bracing himself for the twist of Apparition when the Tree ahead of him caught his line of sight and gave a small, graceful wave of her branches.

Twenty-four hours.

In twenty-four hours, the flowers might be gone.

Draco yanked from Potter’s grasp, taking two stumbling steps away from him. Potter’s hand followed him, then fell to his side, something in his expression darkening. He looked off into the distance and took a deep breath.

“I’m sorry,” Draco blurted. “I want to. I want you,,” he said clearly, because it was only fair to admit as much after what Potter had said, after he’d—he’d been so honest with his desire, as though Draco’s might not possibly match it.

Potter exhaled, slow and steady. When he glanced back, his face was careful, watchful. “But you have work.”

“Yes.”

Potter nodded to himself slowly. There was something horrifyingly—disappointed about his expression that Draco felt like had nothing to do with the missed opportunity for immediate gratification. Potter forced a smile.

“Are you sure? Whatever it is, I can help,” he said quietly. “We could—we’d get it done faster.”

Draco chewed on his lower lip, still tasting Potter there. It was possible, even probable, that Potter wouldn’t mind that he was taking rare ingredients from the Forest after having lied about it, if he explained the situation. But he’d probably be less accepting of the removal of the white flowers; Draco knew as much as anyone how deep the bond between Potter and Hagrid ran, and he’d almost definitely feel too betrayed to take Draco home and finished what they’d started. He might even start looking at Draco like he’d done all those years ago, when they hated each other.

“N-no,” Draco said, low and unsure. “I need to gather them by myself. I’ll collect any red flowers I see for you, though. I give you my word.”

Potter eyed him thoughtfully, kiss-bitten mouth drawing down into a little frown. “I’ll just—wait at Hagrid’s, then. For you to be finished.”

Draco sighed, nodding in relief. “I’ll meet you there. I’ll come as soon as I’m done.”

“Yes, you will,” Potter murmured, eyes locking with his for a moment, and Draco’s knees threatened to collapse from under him.

He laughed weakly. “Are you all right getting out of here?”

“I’m fine. Go on,” Potter said, making a waving motion with his hands.

“Potter,” Draco said hesitantly.

Potter gusted an unfunny laugh. He looked up at the sky, then brought his eyes, green as the spring trees around them, back to Draco’s. “Are you ever going to call me by my first name?”

Draco smirked. “Very probably.”

Potter shook his head, but some of the unsettling tension had eased from his face, and his smile relaxed into something more genuine. “Seriously you need to go or I’m not going to let you leave.”

Draco grinned at him sharply, soothed by Potter’s warmth. “I’ll meet you,” he said again. Potter lifted a hand in farewell before turning and beginning to walk out of the clearing.

Draco turned his back as well, sure in the knowledge that if he didn’t get out of Potter’s presence soon, he never would.

***

Harry waited on the edge of the tiny field, hidden by a large tree, for several minutes after Draco had faded from sight. He swore furiously under his breath, angry at himself for having hoped that Draco would be honest about whatever he was up to, and angrier for being worried that Draco was doing something stupid or, worse, illegal.

It was obvious at this point that he was hiding something important, and Harry wondered what the hell he could be thinking because yeah, maybe he filled out a hell of a lot of paperwork every day but that didn’t mean he wasn’t trained in noticing body language and tone. It was his job to recognise a fabrication when he heard one, but despite that, he had thirteen years of learning Draco’s expressions, and the tones with which he tempered his untruths. Over a decade of watching someone made you a bit sensitive to their expressions and habits and Harry was irritated as hell that Draco still thought Harry stupid enough not to glean onto the fact that something else was going on here.

He’d hoped, rather desperately by the end of it, that Draco would give up doing whatever it was he was being so goddamned secretive about—in Harry’s opinion, Draco plus secrets amounted to bad things—after their kiss. That Draco might have felt just as swept away by it, just as aching and anxious and dizzy with delight as Harry had, and would be come home with him.

He’d suspected, from the way his cock stirred whenever he was around the other man, that their chemistry might be well matched. There were years of attraction, after all, buried under the years of insults and antagonism, at least on Harry’s side of things.

What he hadn’t accounted for was how wildly responsive Draco would be, the way his mouth opened immediately under Harry’s. Hadn’t expected that Draco’s voice, cracking on an aroused groan, would be a sound capable of making Harry’s insides shake with lust and longing. Hadn’t thought, for a single moment, that Draco would cling to him as if he couldn’t bear to let go.

Swearing again, more quietly, Harry reached down and fumbled his flies open, shoving down his jeans just far enough that he could pull his cock out. He had to deal with Draco, but he was in no shape for it until he took care of this problem first; there’d be no way he could focus on it if he was still about ready to come in his pants.

He stroked the length of his cock quickly, fist stretched tight over it as he smoothed the foreskin up and down, nimbly swiping his thumb over the leaking slit. He worked his hand faster, images of Draco kneeling in front of him catching up with the sensations of his palm; his eyes had dilated when he’d noticed Harry’s erection; he’d licked his lips with that perfect, sharp pink tongue…

Harry cried out, muffled, gripping himself hard as the climax took him. He shot sticky streaks of semen, which dripped over his fingers and onto the forest floor as he bucked into it, hand pumping to wring out the last of the sensation.

Leaning against the tree, Harry pulled out his wand and paused, then returned it to his sleeve and sought a tissue from his pocket. He cleaned his hand and cock off as efficiently as he could and was about to straighten when the rough bark behind his back seemed to heat up and shift against him.

He sprang away, stuffing himself back into his jeans and zipping up as he stared at the tree; it was similar to the one he’d spoken with before—long, loose, hanging branches filled with amber-tinted leaves, the tips of which were slowly turning bright purple. It seemed happy to have his attention, and he felt his face flush as it occurred to him that the tree must’ve gotten an—well, whatever an eyeful would be for a tree.

“Uh, hi.”

The branches moved pleasantly.

“Sorry about that. I just—” He waved his hand, unable to come up with a real excuse, shoving his shoe against the dirt to cover up the remains of his orgasm. “Anyway.”

The leaves made a fluttering, rustling sound that sounded almost… pleased? Harry tried to give it a smile. How many people wanked in front of it, that it could be so blasé? He cleared his throat.

“Listen. I’m going to go after Draco now,” he informed it. The leaves shook a little, as if in reprimand, and he pinned it with the most serious, authoritative look he could manage under the circumstances. “I know he’s told you to keep me away from him or something. But I need to see what’s going on. He’s not much good at— Protecting himself. So please don’t let him know I’m on my way.”

The tree seemed to hesitate, its sweeping branches drawing up for a moment.

“I’m not going to hurt him,” Harry told it gently. The branches slackened, and it grew cheerful-looking again. “Can you point me in his direction now, please?”

Another minute pause, and then the trunk was twisting slightly, one of its longer branches lifting up and twirling to point behind it. Harry patted it with his palm.

“Thank you.”

The branches dipped into some version of a tree-bow, then reached out and tousled Harry’s hair as if he were a puppy. Harry laughed and walked off into the direction the tree had pointed.

Taking a shortcut through the clearing he and Draco had picked the flowers from, Harry slipped into the denser part of the forest again. The trees were mostly snarled above him, their leaves obscuring the bright spring sunlight, but there was enough light that he could easily follow the rough path Draco had set; footprints from his Italian loafers were easily noticeable in the soft, still-damp earth. Harry walked for several minutes, nodding at the enchanted trees that shared characteristics with the other’s he’d spoken to, and that returned the gesture in that way they had, shivering friendly and happy at him, as if pleased to be acknowledged at all.

Draco’s footprints finally began disappearing a bit under the thick new grass growing on the path he’d been walking, and Harry slowed down, peering ahead. There was light filtering in from beyond the next row of foliage, which seemed to arc out in a circle. As he drew closer, he was able to detect movement, and Draco’s reedy figure came into view, bent at the waist, his wand moving in slow circles.

Harry stepped into the clearing quietly and looked around. It wasn’t just a clearing at all, actually, so much as a meadow, wide and open and surrounded by the forest, a deep bowl filled with flowers of every colour—oh.

He cleared his throat.

Draco shot upright, spinning, and blinked rapidly at him with wide, horrified eyes.

Harry scowled and folded his arms across his chest. “You stupid fucking wanker.”

***

Once Potter was no longer in sight, Draco paused to ask the Trees to give him an inviting, calming environment, and ensure he stayed on the most direct path out of the Forest. They acquiesced merrily, after giving their opinion on what Mating Season in the Forest means, and how they disapproved of Draco turning down—if he got it right—“immediate mounting.” Basically, they thought he was being a bit of a fool.

Draco couldn’t really disagree.

He couldn’t stop thinking about that kiss as he stumbled on, a bit blindly, in search of the field. Potter’s hands roaming over him, gripping him; the impressive proportions of Potter’s cock rutting against his own. Potter’s tongue, slippery smooth, moving with languorous intention in Draco’s mouth. His legs still felt shaky and weak, and when he reached the meadow, he stared at what was probably the most massive collection of rare potions ingredients in one spot with unseeing eyes because his mind was occupied with thoughts of a hazy green gaze, and lips plump from getting kissed. Distracted with memories of the sounds Potter made, and his scent, and his fingers.

A Tree on the opposite end of the meadow gestured to him. Intense Mating connections are rare. You may still Catch him. His Lust for you is Potent, she offered.

Draco inhaled deeply, her encouragement almost too much to overlook when it so clearly fit with his own current needs, but finally shook his head. “A few hours more,” he told her. “I’ll do this, and then… Just a few hours.”

She drooped again, her leaves like wet feathers in her disappointment, the soft lilac tones disappearing as she made a desultory gesture to the flowers.

Draco nodded, then headed to centre of the meadow and began harvesting by colour, starting with the poppy-reds to preserve in one of the extra small pouches he carried on him; he’d give them to Potter when they met up later, he thought, heart thudding in anticipation. He cleared them from the field fairly quickly, then began on the silver blossoms that dappled the thickly covered floor. They twinkled up at him like fallen stars, and let off the sharp, crystalline scent of them, too, like cut glass and rainwater.

There were far less of them than any other colour, but they were easy to find in between the lush blues and pinks and whites spreading out so thickly it was difficult not to trample them. Draco took carefully measured steps in between the heavy clusters of them, plucking and levitating the silvers with his wand, and had managed to collect several when he heard a cough behind him.

He jumped, barely noticing that he was stepping on several blue flowers when faced with Potter’s glare. “You stupid fucking wanker,” he growled.

Draco’s wand stilled; the silver flower he’d been levitating hovered in the air beside his hand, and he glanced at it, then back to Potter, whose face was drawn tight with accusation. It was far too reminiscent of how it had looked in years past; filled with disgust and anger, and none of the lingering softness of flirtation or want. Draco’s guilt melted away and boiled into indignation in its stead.

“Were you following me?”

Potter narrowed his eyes. “You’re goddamned right I was. You’d do better not to underestimate me now, but it sure is nice to know how much you still respect me.”

“Was that sarcasm, Potter?” Draco asked coolly, hackles raised. “It must have been, for surely you must know I never have.”

“Yeah, I’m getting that,” Potter said through gritted teeth. Then he smiled through them, too, which was frightening and fascinating all at once. “I guess you don’t need to respect someone to want to fuck them, right?”

Draco looked away; he stared at the silver flower dangling in front of him. “And you’re sure that wasn’t an act?”

“You’ve never been a very good liar, no matter what you tell yourself,” Potter replied dryly. “I’ve always been able to spot you a mile away, Malfoy.”

“Only because you’ve always been looking for me,” Draco sneered, flicking his gaze back to the other man. Potter’s mouth softened, and twitched at the side. He inclined his head as if to say, Point. Then his face grew serious; the anger bled from it, and Draco was shocked to see something that looked like worry.

“What are you doing, Draco? Why don’t you want to have Fang to have his flowers?”

Appalled, Draco nearly dropped his wand. The flower shimmered in the air next to him as it wavered, then steadied again. “I was gathering his flowers for him, you moron! I have a whole bag of reds I was going to bring to you!”

“And the whites?” Potter asked, raising an eyebrow.

“They’re too valuable, Potter,” Draco snapped. “To be used as a dog treat.”

“I never said dog treat.” Potter shook his head, looking at Draco like he was daft. “I said for eating. They help him eat. His appetite is pretty bad.”

“I-oh.” Draco felt his breath leave him heavily, and his shoulders dropped. “I thought—I didn’t know. I like Fang.”

Potter tilted his head curiously, eyes steady on Draco’s face. He started forward.

“Wait,” Draco told him, strained. “You’ll step on the flowers.”

Potter looked down. “Right. Why are these so important to you? I’d like to be for some reason that doesn’t make me want to throttle you a bit.”

“That wouldn’t be much of a problem,” Draco muttered, then bit his lip.

Cheeks growing pink, Potter’s mouth quirked up in a genuine smile. “So that’s still on the table.”

“On any surface you can think of,” Draco admitted, slanting him a significant look before letting his eyes fall. He sighed. “Weatherby doesn’t allow me to work with the students. He sends me out on these ridiculous little gathering tasks, as if I’m one of his Newts students in need of extra credit, or an intern with no Potions experience. I thought, if I brought him back something like this—”

Potter frowned. “That’s… stupid of him. Especially since none of his students like him. Maybe it’s because he knows that McGonagall is planning to—”

Draco’s head came up. “Planning to what?”

“Nothing.”

Potter.” Draco rolled his eyes. Of course Potter would have all sorts of inside information.

“Fine. But things could change, and I guess a lot is dependent on you finishing your fellowship or something,” Potter told him. He blinked up at the sky for a moment, as if debating with himself. “She plans on replacing him with you. The year after next, I think. She’s been impressed with you, the students hate him and she’s noticed you helping them with their homework in the library and things like that, and they trust you. I’m not sure of the specifics. Weatherby is a sanctimonious old man who doesn’t like to be shown up, and fawns all over anyone with more power than he has. I think he’s even tried to hit on McGonagall.”

Draco snorted. “I wish I could have seen that.”

“No, you don’t. Her face after I saw them speak was scary enough,” Potter told him, chuckling. “But anyway, he’s, well, a prick. She just needed someone in the interim since Slughorn retired last year.”

“It seems Hogwarts maintains its fame for hiring the most incompetent teachers imaginable,” Draco mused.

Potter grinned. “At least this one isn’t deadly. Probably.”

They looked at each other and shared a smile, and the air grew warm around them, a hushing breeze filled with encouragement. After a second, Potter coughed. “So, can I help you? We could get it done faster… I mean, my wand isn’t working, but I can help pick them.”

Draco faltered a bit. “Your wand is probably fine,” he admitted with a small grimace. “Tree magic is very specific; in certain areas where it’s strongest, it can reach out to natural materials and communicate with them.”

Shutting his eyes for a moment, Potter gave a loud exhale. “You told the trees to fuck with my wand?” he clarified in a low voice.

“No!” Draco edged closer to him, watching his feet as he walked. “I just asked them to, well, keep you away. I didn’t specify how I wanted them to do it.”

“I might kill you later,” Potter informed him calmly.

“I might be okay with that, depending on how you choose to do it.” Draco smiled at him wolfishly, relaxing when Potter’s face took on the expression of someone trying to hold back a laugh. “But yes, if we could get this done together, we’d have more time to figure out your methods of murder together,” he offered.

Potter licked his lips, then pulled his wand and stepped lightly into the field of flowers, moderating his walk into something approximating Draco’s gentle tread until he was standing before him. “Where do I start?”

Draco indicated the flower floating at his side. He twitched his wand and it came closer. “I’ve never heard of the silver ones until you mentioned them.” He paused, wrinkling his nose. “To be fair, they might have restricted components once they’re researched, I really don’t know. It could be illegal taking them. But—”

“Sod it,” Potter rumbled. He reached out and plucked the flower out of the air, twirling its stem for a moment in his fingers as he studied it, and then held it out to Draco. “I’m not on duty this weekend, anyway.”

Draco smiled, a rush of something warm and undefinable building in his chest. He took the flower and dipped his nose to it.

It sneezed at him.

The tiny, delicate thing actually fucking sneezed at him, spewing fragrant pollen up his nostrils, and Draco stared at in in consternation as his head began to swim.

Potter laughed. “Did that sneeze? It actually made a noise,” he said, reaching for it again. Draco batted his hand away, concerned, then looked up and stopped, because Potter was—well, glowing.

His skin looked lit from the inside out, a lovely reddish gold, and Draco stared at him, hypnotised as the Forest came alive around them, swirling together in a riot of colours and movements. “You lust after me,” he said, thrilled.

Potter blinked several times. “Er, yeah. I thought we established that.”

“I want to suck you,” Draco announced, and indeed it was the best idea he’d ever had. Potter—Harry—was gorgeous, the best thing he’d ever seen, the light of his aura matching the brilliance of his eyes. His body moved like—well, Draco couldn’t think of anything. Something beautiful. A unicorn. Except unicorns were horse-like, and Potter was simply a man. He moved like a man. His body was graceful like a horse or a unicorn but he was a man, and he had a long thick cock that Draco had seen in his jeans and felt against his hip, and he wanted to taste it and—

“Um.” Harry waved a hand in front of his face. “Draco? I think that flower might have—”

“I want to suck your cock,” Draco told him dreamily. He’d wanted to for years. It probably tasted so good. “It felt really large. Is it really large?”

Harry made a noise that sounded like bells in Draco’s ears, tinkling and harmonious. His eyes were huge, and he took Draco’s hand. Draco trembled at the contact; it felt divine, so warm, so connected, pulsing with life and magic and Draco needed that hand, needed those fingers in him.

“Let’s get you away from the flowers, now, okay?” Harry said, and his voice was call of the merpeople underwater.

Draco nodded dumbly, willing to go anywhere Harry led him, because he had saved him, and was really rather wonderful, and Draco would definitely feel more ashamed of treating him badly in school if it wasn’t obvious that Potter was going to fuck him soon, so it really didn’t matter at all, did it?

They reached the edge of the meadow and Harry stopped at the treeline. He sounded… Confused. “Draco.”

“Yes?” he asked eagerly. He would to do anything.

“The trees won’t let us out. They did this to me before,” Harry said slowly. Or maybe slowly. His words sounded like treacle, sweet and unhurried, and Draco swayed closer to him. Harry sighed—gold sparked on his skin as Draco nestled close to him—and wrapped an arm loosely around his shoulders. Draco moaned, his cock already leaking in his trousers.

“They want us to mate,” he breathed into Harry’s ear. “They won’t let us leave, we’ll have to do it here. No satin sheets this time.”

Harry’s body twitched against his, and it felt so bloody fantastic that Draco moaned again. “I can’t—we can’t—you’re—”

So ready, yes,” Draco told him. He dropped to his knees and Harry stared down at him with huge eyes. He accidentally began to move away, but it was okay because Draco caught him around the legs with loose arms and brought him closer, nuzzling his groin. “I want to suck you,” he said again, and even those words were the best he’d ever uttered; everything was, he wanted this so much.

Harry squeaked—Draco hadn’t known he could do that, or that it would be so adorable. “You’re not in your right mind, Draco,” he said in a hard voice, and Draco shivered with how much he liked Harry when he got authoritative. Harry’s hands were clutching at his hair, trying to pull him upward so they could kiss, but Draco was perfectly satisfied where he was and refused to stand; they could kiss while Harry was fucking him. “Draco, please.”

“I like that,” Draco told him happily. “I like hearing you say please.” He ran his hands up and down the length of Harry’s cock; it was so hard and responsive for him already. Gigantic, really, much bigger than he’d initially thought. It moved under his palms, jerking a bit, then pushing out, and he palmed it with both hands. “Harry—Merlin. Yes. This is good. I’m going to suck you now, and then you can put it in me, all right?”

Harry’s glow brightened to a shine as they locked eyes, blurring their surroundings with its light. Draco leaned forward and mouthed at Harry’s hard, thick cock through his jeans, humming to himself because the world was such a wonderful place.

How had he never known that?

***

Harry tried to think as Draco continued to press wet, open-mouthed kisses against his denim-covered thigh. The whole thing would be laughable if not for how fucking tempted he was to just say fuck it, and let Draco do what he was so clearly determined to.

But that malicious little flower had clearly expelled some kind of lust properties, or hallucinogenic properties, or—something, Harry really had no idea. Draco’s eyes were glazed, irises nothing but a slender grey circle around his pupils, and his face with a mix of giddiness and ecstasy as he groped Harry’s thigh and tried to suck on it.

Harry had attempted to step away, but Draco had glommed onto him with surprising strength, holding him in such a tight grip with both arms that Harry would have fallen over if he’d moved; then he’d tried to pull Malfoy up by his hair, but it only seemed to spur the other man on, and all of his talk about Harry’s dick size had floated tantalisingly into his mind, making it all the more difficult to pull away.

But it wasn’t right.

He muttered, “Fuck!” to himself, then muttered it again when Draco answered “Yes” on a long groan, and Harry felt a bit like weeping, really, because there was a beautiful, responsive, blond man kneeling in front of him, feeling up his thigh and he couldn’t do a goddamn thing about it. The trees, so helpful before, were apparently trying their branches at matchmaking, so all he could do was wait this disaster out.

Harry forced himself to think of Hermione’s face if she ever found out that he’d slept with someone under the influence of some kind of a lust potion, and that was enough to make his raging hard-on die down a little. He didn’t want to think what it would have been like if he hadn’t taken himself in hand before following Draco. He took a deep breath. “Draco,” he said gently.

“Mmm,” Draco murmured, peppering little kisses over his thigh. “It’s so thick.”

“Draco, I want to try something with you,” Harry said, strained as Draco’s fingers brushed over his actual cock for a moment before moving back to his leg. Draco peered up at him, messy and flushed and willing.

“What? Anything, Harry,” he swore, raspy and devoted. “I’ve wanted to feel you in me for years.”

“Fuck,” Harry said again, under his breath. Draco heard it and nodded quickly, hands circling Harry’s thigh. His fingers were unable to meet in the middle, but he stroked up and down it anyway, wanking his leg very deliberately. Harry huffed a sigh. “I do. Yes. I will. Go over and sit against that tree,” he said, pointing. “I’m going to make you—I’m going to do things to you that you won’t believe.”

Immediately Draco released him, levering himself up and heading over to where Harry had pointed. He kicked off his shoes and removed his robes.

“Uh, Draco—” Harry started.

Draco stripped off his shirt and trousers with quick efficiency.

“You really shouldn’t—” Harry called, panic rising in him.

And then Draco’s socks and pants followed, baring his body to the sunshine and the trees and Harry’s horrified gaze. He looked exactly like Harry had imagined in the best worst of his fantasies. His skin was so pale it was just this side of translucent, but warm in tone for all of that; his legs were long and elegant, and his back was leanly muscled, defining the perfect dip in his spine and the deep twin dimples at the base of it. And his arse…

“You’ll be cold,” Harry finished lamely.

Draco faced the tree and hugged it with both arms. He wiggled his hips a bit and let go of a breathy. “Merlin, Harry, don’t wait.”

“Oh my fucking god.”

The urge to weep was getting pretty overwhelming, and Harry fought it off again, as hard as he battled the urge to go over there and spread the pale globes of Malfoy’s arse so he could bury his face between them. “Erm, Draco—I, uh, want you sitting. Back against the tree, arse on the ground, all right?”

“Mmm, yes,” Draco said, turning around, and Harry took a step backwards to refrain from jumping on him as he caught his first glimpse of Draco’s cock. It was thick and stiff, flushed a deep red, bobbing up from a nest of golden curls, and was dribbling precome in a long string that hadn’t fallen yet. The head peaked out from the foreskin, and Draco gave it a distracted stroke, smearing the moisture over the crown as he pulled his foreskin back, staring at Harry with an infuriating little smile.

Harry whimpered.

Draco’s smile sharpened. He sat down, stretching out his legs before him, back pressed against the tree, and continued the slow up-and-down drag of his fist over the shaft of his prick. “Come on.”

Painfully, Harry removed his wand and forced the words out. “Incarcerous.”

Thick, blue-silver ropes shot around Draco’s shoulders and waist, tying him in place against the base of the tree trunk. He looked down at himself, then back up, eyes gleaming. “This is perfect,” he announced with satisfaction. “You can fuck my face this way.”

“Goddamn it!” Harry roared, goaded beyond belief. He turned and stalked away to gather his senses, ignoring Draco’s little grunts as he continued tugging on his cock and his calls of “Harry, it’ll be so good. I’m sure I can fit it in my mouth.”

For lack of anything else to do besides watch Draco wank—which, frankly, was all he wanted to do if he couldn’t touch him, Harry Accioed his robes and pulled the different pouches from the deep pockets. He checked them out—Draco had collected a whole pouch of red flowers for Fang—then began harvesting the flowers himself, keeping a significant distance between the silver ones as his wand pulled them from the earth.

Draco continued to call to him, panting hard, and Harry resolutely ignored everything he said, letting it filter through his brain like white noise, twitching when anything specific caught his ear like:

“Oh, I like this. This was a good idea. I get to watch your arse as I wank. Do you know how long I’ve thought about your arse when I wank, Harry? Since I was—ah!—fifteen years old…”

And:

“Don’t you want to watch me stretch myself out for you, Harry? I can fit four fingers in and—ohh, yes, that’s good—”

And finally:

“Oh, sweet Merlin, I’m going to come soon. I want to come all over your stomach as you fuck me, are you going to fuck me yet, Harry? I’m so ready, I slicked myself up too, I know that one wandlessly, it’s even flavoured, and yes it’s going to be perfect, isn’t it, the way you’re going to take me, I’ve always wanted it.”

Harry continued harvesting flowers for long minutes, clearing most of the silvers. He Shrunk them down and separated them into their little pouches as Draco’s cries grew louder, his moans of pleasure swamping Harry’s ears until he could ignore them no more.

He turned, just in time to see Draco coming, spunk shooting out in long ropes over his stretched legs as his fist flew, tight over his cock. Harry pressed a sympathetic palm against his own aching cock; adjusted it—that was all, really, so what if it felt good and he took a bit longer than he needed to—in his jeans, and watched as Draco continued to come; seriously the length of his orgasm was a bit unbelievable in Harry’s overstimulated opinion.

Finally, Draco was finished, and he leaned back against the tree, face blissful and covered in a fine sheen of sweat. He closed his eyes, and a moment later, was asleep, hand and cock and thighs still covered in come, jaw sagging open a bit as he let go of a soft snuffling sound.

Harry ripped off his glasses and pressed the heels of his palms to his eyes for a moment, trying to burn away the image that was now tattooed on his brain for all eternity while simultaneously hoping that this was all just the weirdest erotic dream he’d ever had. Unsurprisingly, when he opened his eyes, Draco was still resting there, face relaxed, his long, pale, nude form open for Harry’s inspection.

Harry cast a cleaning charm at him and turned away again. A tree gestured to him, its graceful branches sweeping up to point at Draco, and he scowled at it.

“No,” he told it shortly, and then got back to work.

***

Draco yawned, feeling the cool breeze against his skin, and stretched lazily—or tried to. He struggled a bit, exhaustion fleeing his mind as he realised he was… Tied up?

He opened his eyes, straightening in disbelief as he noted several key things. The first of which was that he was naked; the second that he was showing off a rather impressive erection, which he was fondling automatically. He yanked his hand off it and gripped his thigh as he looked around.

They were still in the meadow, he realised with a sinking pit in his stomach. And Potter was sitting across from him, against another tree, knees drawn up to his chest and cloak fanned out around him like a flame, mumbling to himself and rocking slightly.

Draco cleared his throat politely, and Potter’s face jerked up. “Where,” Draco enquired, “did all of the flowers go?”

Potter’s shoulders, tense and up around his ears, came down a bit. “I got them. Are you fine now?”

Draco thought about it. “Apparently.” He waved his hand at his groin, where his cock was standing at attention. “Except for this. And my arse feels a bit swollen. Did we—?”

“The flower hit you with some sort of lust components,” Potter muttered, latching his eyes onto Draco’s body in a greedy fashion that made Draco’s erection jerk. “That is a side effect. Your arse is a product of your fingers, I swear. You were incredibly clear about having mastered a particular wandless spell.”

Hazy memories began to return of begging to suck Potter off and licking at his denim-covered cock, which Draco thought might be even more massive than he’d originally thought. Frighteningly so. They sharpened in his mind as he thought of the lubrication spell—the only thing he knew how to do wandlessly, really; he’d learned it fifth year—and slowly working himself open while telling Potter in great detail about it.

“It’s the fourth one you’ve had,” Potter continued in a low voice.

Startled, Draco sat up—as much as he could, considering he was still tied to a tree. “The fourth?”

“You fell asleep after the first one. But kept—in your sleep, you kept—” he broke off and began rocking a little again, face tight and eyes a bit wild.

Ah.

Draco considered some more; he probably should be more embarrassed, except—well, it wasn’t his fault, really, and he rather liked the idea of Potter being driven a bit mad by having to watch him wank over and over. It might slowly approach the level of frustration he’d felt over Potter for years. And Potter hadn’t taken advantage of the situation, which was obviously costing him. Noble bloody hero. Meanwhile, Draco felt pleasantly at ease with the whole thing; probably relaxed from three different climaxes.

“I don’t think it was lust,” he said at length.

Potter groaned to himself. “Draco. Trust me.”

“No, I mean, it was lust,” Draco explained slowly. “But it wasn’t fabricated. I think the flower has properties that lower inhibitions and erase doubts. Perhaps a hallucinogen, too. I remember you glowing.”

Potter swallowed; his Adam’s apple bobbed hard and he pinned Draco with a look. “I remember you offering to—”

“Yes, well. I’ve already said you can push me up against trees, and you’ve obviously taken me up on that suggestion.” Draco glared at him. “And now that I’m awake, I don’t see why you can’t take me up on the other.”

“Draco…” Potter hedged, sinking his teeth into his lower lip.

“What?” Vaguely offended, Draco narrowed his eyes. “I’m of sound mind, you’ve done all the work we needed to do, and satin sheets will wait.” He arched an eyebrow, letting his hand fall to his cock again, and lowered his voice. “Harry…”

He Apparated. He fucking Apparated, not twelve meters, to land in front of Draco with a crack. He pointed his wand at Draco and released his bonds, then set to work on his jeans with shaking hands, breath coming out of him sharply. Draco reached up to help, tugging Harry’s jeans and pants down over his hips and clearing his cock. He faltered.

Draco had definitely hallucinated his size at some point. He had the distinct memory of not being able to fit both hands around it, but that was neither here nor there. What did matter at the moment was that his previous suspicions were correct; Harry’s cock was…

“I know,” he said raggedly. “I know. You don’t have to—we don’t have to fuck. Or you could— I don’t care.”

Draco snorted, scrambling up onto his knees in the soft grass and reaching out. Harry’s cock was fiercely hard, thick enough that Draco wondered if he could get his fist around it. It angled down with the weight, the tip of it bouncing below Harry’s bollocks, which hung heavy between his thighs. The slit was leaking.

“Please, Draco,” Harry said tensely as Draco’s hands wandered lightly over his shaft. He wrapped his hand around it and found he could fit it in his fist, just, which was wonderful because he didn’t know how he could live with himself otherwise.

Draco circled his fingers at the base of it, holding it steady, and leaned forward, tonguing the slick moisture that had gathered there. Harry gasped, one hand falling to Draco’s head and the other bracing himself on the tree behind Draco, his hips jerking forward in entreaty. Draco obliged him, opening his mouth wide and letting the thick blunt head slip inside. Harry hissed, holding himself still as Draco slowly slid his mouth further, taking Harry’s cock as deep as he possibly could, then drawing off and slanting a look upwards, licking the salt-tang of Potter’s precome off his lips.

“You should have learned better than to underestimate me, too, Harry,” Draco said wryly up at Harry’s starkly needy face, then turned back to task and swallowed him down. His lips stretched over Harry’s shaft and his jaw was going to feel it for days, but set himself to work, humming with pleasure at the feel of the weight of Harry’s prick inside his mouth, shoving with short, fast pumps against the back of his throat. Draco couldn’t fit all of it, but kept a few fingers around the base of Harry’s erection, fingers pulling in time with his mouth while Harry shuddered and gasped and threaded through Draco’s hair with delightfully painful fingers and then came, not minutes later, with a cry that sounded like an animal dying.

Draco continued suckling him as his mouth was flooded with Harry’s release, pulling back to lick around the crown, tonguing against the glans with a soft touch and swallowing, swallowing as Harry groaned and shook and sobbed, both hands in Draco’s hair now, stroking it gently as the force of his orgasm eased and Draco licked him clean.

Harry sagged, falling to his knees when Draco released him, then flopping down onto his side and covering his face with his forearm; his cloak draped over his nudity with the movement and Draco reached out and twitched it away to admire his cock even as it softened. It was… Well. His own jerked in remembered arousal from the sight.

“I haven’t come so fast since I was a virgin,” Harry muttered, then peeked over at Draco with a grimace. “You’d better really be you or Hermione’s going to kill me.”

Draco snickered. “I’d like to be a fly on the wall during that conversation. ‘I’ve just face-fucked Malfoy, Hermione,’” he mimicked, pitching his voice a bit higher than necessary. Harry smirked. “‘Yes, he asked me to. But he was a bit high at the time.’ Merlin, Potter, is there nothing you don’t tell your friends?”

Harry chuckled, then raised up on his elbow. His eyes coasted over Draco, and Draco sat up a little straighter, preening as Harry’s face warmed with renewed interest now that he was able to relax a little. Draco stroked his cock for a moment, and Harry’s eyes followed the gesture, watching intently as he slid a hand lower to fondle his balls, rolling them gently and giving them a tug.

“Roll over,” Harry ordered softly, face growing heated.

“Tired of watching me touch myself?” Draco challenged breathlessly.

“Not remotely,” he growled, then reached out to enfold his fingers around Draco’s cock. Draco bucked forward in surprise, and Harry gave him a sharp smile, squeezing his fist almost brutally as he leaned in to devour Draco’s mouth. The kiss was urgent but still somehow unhurried, Harry’s tongue licking against his own, lips sucking and teeth nipping. He pulled back but kept his hand where it was. “But it’s my turn.”

Draco grunted as Harry ruthlessly worked his foreskin back and forth for a moment, baring and covering the shiny head, before his hand faltered. “Don’t worry,” he murmured, misinterpreting whatever he saw on Draco’s face as fear. “I’m not going to—”

Blinking, Draco shoved Harry’s hand away. “If you think I’m going to let you get away with not fucking me with that thing, you’re madder than I initially thought.” He rolled over, facing, cock sliding against the soft grass.

“But…” Harry’s voice was astonished, helpless, but he couldn’t disguise the way it thickened with desire, and Draco looked at him. “I’ll hurt you.”

Casting a feral smile at him, Draco pushed up onto his knees, spreading them outward. Harry made a pained noise, reaching out to grasp one cheek and open him, tracing his thumb around Draco’s loosened rim. The nerve-endings flared with white-hot sensation, and Draco let his head fall forward as Harry touched him, slipping two fingers inside smoothly, all the way, then dragging them back with excruciating slowness and removing them.

“God, Draco,” he said raggedly. Draco heard a shift; the rustle of clothing being removed, and he tilted his head again to see Harry shedding his bright cloak and shirt, shoving down his jeans and pants the rest of the way. His cock was already halfway to hard again, and Draco’s insides trembled, just seeing it rise and lengthen.

And then Harry was getting on his knees, too, and pulling Draco’s arsecheeks apart with both hands, and then, “Oh f-f-fuck” Draco ground out as Harry dipped his head and began lapping at his hole, which contracted almost painfully against his flattened tongue.

“It was flavoured,” he murmured, sounding surprised, and Draco tried to decipher what that meant except his brain was no longer functioning at higher levels because Harry slipped his tongue inside, its tip a firm point, and was stabbing into him mercilessly. Draco bucked his hips back and Harry reached between his legs to scrape his fingertips against his balls before cupping them, rolling them, and pleasure like tiny explosions of light began radiating through him, spreading out in waves that started where Harry was tasting him. The earth warmed beneath his arms and knees, like Harry’s hot breath against his cleft. Draco moaned weakly, and Harry chuckled, his tongue moving with devastating skill in and out of his arse, one hand coming up to slip a finger inside, moving in circles to stretch him further as Draco whined and rode his face and forgot his fucking name.

Harry pulled his hands away and held Draco open as he latched his lips around Draco’s rim and gave a steady suck, the pressure increasing incrementally until Draco was writhing against the grass, babbling hoarse cries of encouragement. Harry’s tongue was slick and sweet as honey, pushing into him, licking around him, again and again, as his lips continued their sucking kiss. Draco’s hands scrabbled at the grass, pulling away clumps of the stuff as his balls tightened and tension built at the base of his spine. He reached down toward his cock, and Harry pulled his mouth away.

“Potter, you fucking tosser,” Draco yelped, but Harry just chuckled and drew up higher. Draco stilled as he felt the thick round head of Harry’s cock rub over his rim.

“Are you sure?” Harry asked tightly. Draco arched his hips back, trying to take him in, but Harry moved away slightly changed the angle of his rubbing, coasting his prick against the crease of his arse instead. “We can do this.”

“Harry,” Draco breathed savagely, whipping a glare over his shoulder to see the other man, staring down, obviously transfixed by watching his cock stroke between Draco’s cheeks, “If you do not put that in me right this bloody second, we will never make it to satin sheets, I swear to fucking Merlin.”

Harry’s eyes fluttered shut for a moment, then opened. He nodded wordlessly, his mouth gone into a flat line of tension, whispered another lubricating charm, and grasped one of Draco’s hips with bruising fingers as he positioned himself and began pushing forward.

Draco held his breath as the crown of Harry’s cock popped past his loosened ring of muscles. Harry froze, and Draco thought blankly that he should be grateful for it, but all of his focus was on the searing give of just that one bit; the fevered, stinging pleasure-pain of accommodation. When Draco didn’t voice anything beyond a deep, shaky exhale—truthfully, he couldn’t—Harry rocked again, adding another inch, then another, and it burned so deliciously, the way Draco’s arse stretched around him, the way Harry’s cock went deeper and deeper in slow, careful strokes. He halted, settling one hand on the small of Draco’s back, palm hot and moist with sweat.

“Do you need me to stop?” he panted out.

“Oh, fuck, there’s more,” Draco whispered, and he didn’t know whether to be afraid or delighted.

Harry gave an uneven laugh. “I could just—” He pulled back a bit, then snapped his hips forward; the slick slide of his prick felt massive and aching and perfect. Precome began to dribble from Draco’s cock again.

“Yes,” Draco groaned out. Then, “Yes, more.”

He heard Harry’s swift inhale, and then his intrusion began again, steadily; he buried himself inside Draco with slow, inexorable movements and Draco heard his own breath, unsteady and wheezing until he felt the brush of Harry’s pubic hair against his arse.

“Okay?”

Fuck,” Draco moaned, which was the only word he could think of, but he managed to cant his hips back further, impaling himself a bit more, and he felt the thick, long length of Harry’s cock settle fully, deeply, perfectly inside his channel. Harry made a broken sound, and rocked his hips away, then thrust them forward, tiny little rolling movements that shifted and pressed his cock against Draco’s prostate on every minute drag.

Harry draped himself over Draco, planting a hand between his shoulder blades while the other held tight to his hip as he started fucking him in earnest. Draco’s cock bounced, slapping against his stomach on each of Harry’s in-thrusts, smearing it with fluid as he groaned and swallowed convulsively, and heard himself beg more and harder and please, Harry, do it, and Harry began grunting, plowing into him forcefully.

“I. Can’t. Believe. You. Can. Take. It. All,” Harry panted, punctuating each word with a rough snap of his hips, and Draco’s vision blurred with water, sweat matting the hair at his temples as he rocked in time with Harry, chasing down the pleasure that was rising up in him, so close but just out of reach.

Then Harry slipped his hand around Draco’s hip to find his cock; he fisted it in a frenzied stroke timed with his frantically plunging cock, and Draco shivered and shook as the tightness in his body suddenly gave way. He came in great pulses, shooting thick streams of come all over Harry’s hand and the ground beneath him as his arse tightened, making the fullness of Harry’s cock in him almost unbearable. Harry cried out, hips stuttering, and then he was coming too, cock pulsing so hard Draco could feel it, spurting wetly into him as Harry’s body went rigid and his forehead fell onto Draco’s shoulder blade.

His hips twitched weakly after a moment, as if still cresting on the wave of his climax, then he slowly dragged himself up just as Draco sagged forward, boneless, wincing a little as Harry’s cock slipped out of him. Harry fell to the side, and they laid in the grass for long minutes, the silence only broken by the sounds of their heavy breathing, and the rustling of the Trees around them.

Draco rolled to his side and eyed Harry; he looked completely wrecked, as devastated and torn apart as Draco felt, but his disbelieving smile was as wide and open as the sky above them.

“No one’s ever—” he started, still breathless.

“You haven’t been with me before,” Draco pointed out with an expression that was supposed to be a sneer—he was almost sure—but somehow came out as a grin.

“The trees have stopped blocking us,” Harry said. Draco looked up. It was true; rather than the tangled barrier of leaves and branches, they had opened like curtains, and there was the path beneath them was lit up with the blinding colours spring, as if to congratulate them on a successful mating.

Draco snorted, but appreciated their approval all the same.

“In a hurry to get back, are you?” he asked lazily, letting his eyes slide over Harry’s body hungrily. He was sore and hot everywhere, but the sight of Harry’s lean muscles, his darkly-furred chest and small brown nipples, so much exposed skin made him seriously question how much more he could do with his body in one day. Or hour. Or maybe if he just gave himself fifteen minutes?

“Not hardly,” Harry told him, “But you need to get the flowers in to McGonagall and Weatherby, right? And I’d like to try the satin sheets thing.”

Draco nodded and painfully levered himself up. Harry got up too, groaning loudly in complaint, and grabbed his cloak from where he’d discarded it as Draco went in search of his clothing. By the time he’d gathered it and dressed, Harry was covered too, looking rumpled and annoyingly gorgeous on the edge of the meadow.

They stared at each other for a few moments in silence, and then he smiled and caught Draco’s arm, drawing him close. “So we’re seeing each other?” he checked softly, in that earnest way that Draco had so long assumed wasn’t real. “This isn’t just a one-off, right?”

Draco rolled his eyes, but felt his mouth draw up at the corners as he searched for the right scathing retort because obviously.

He didn’t get a chance though, because Harry leaned in and nipped his ear, then licked it. “Watch your mouth, Malfoy,” he warned huskily.

“You watch it,” Draco said, trembling as Harry moved lower and skimmed his teeth down the side of his throat. He smelled like sweat and sunshine and sex, and Draco had the sneaking suspicion it was going to be quite a while before they actually left.

“Oh, I do,” Harry assured him in a silken voice. “You’ve got the sharpest, most beautifully nasty mouth I’ve ever seen.”

Harry slid his fingers into his hair, tight and uncompromising, then pulled back enough to look at him. His eyes burned with challenge, with warmth.

“The better to kiss you with,” Draco growled.

And so he did.