He can almost feel the books rolling their papery eyes at him, and he resists the urge to repeat himself, before he remembers that these are books and it only feels like they’re judging him. Which is possibly their right, considering it’s early evening on a Wednesday and he’s definitely not here to study. He flushes a little at the thought of what he is here to do, shuffling awkwardly on the spot as he rearranges the Invisibility Cloak to make sure it’s covering him entirely. He flicks a corner over the toe of his trainer, watches it vanish from sight and he exhales. He’s a little nervous for some reason he can’t quite put his finger on, but he pushes it aside and extends two fingers, pulling a thick tome halfway out from the rest of the tightly packed books. He rests his fingers against the edge of the spine, pressing them down just hard enough to hurt before he removes them, leaving the book sticking out at an angle. That way, Draco can find him.
And then, Harry waits.
It isn’t an arrangement, though. It’s just this thing they do, sometimes, and not even that often. Well, a few times a week maybe, but that still isn’t that often, not when Parvati and Selma see each other almost every day and Neville and Hannah are practically joined at the hip, sneaking away to steam up the windows of the greenhouses whenever they can. Everyone seems to be pairing off, couples springing up left, right and centre like spring flowers, and Harry supposes maybe that’s an offshoot of the weather. All around the school he sees overgrown hedges, daisies defying stone and pushing up between the pavers lining the courtyard in order to bask in the gentle spring rain, and amorous students kissing around every corner. He often finds himself enjoying the rain too, turning his face up and letting the misty droplets settle on his eyelids and lips, filming over the tangles of his hair. He probably looks mad, grinning in the rain and carefully stepping around the weeds in the stones, but Harry doesn’t mind when people stare. He’s been through worse, and it’s all water off his back now, mingling with the rain and slipping down his robes onto the ground.
He can’t quite explain it, but he likes the oddest things since coming back here. Running his hands through the dried seeds in the greenhouses, feeding the Thestrals with Luna and feeling the bumps of their bones under their glossy black coats as he strokes them, smelling the less noxious of the ingredients in the Potions’ storeroom and wondering if the labels were all handwritten by Snape himself.
Kissing Draco Malfoy in corridors.
It’s not the same as those other couples, though. Draco and Harry aren’t like that ― they’re not even friends, and Harry is pretty sure that’s a requisite element to being, y’know, together. Sure, Draco makes him laugh sometimes, and Harry can’t say he hates him anymore, not by a long shot, but they’re not friends. The two of them can never be that, can they? Let alone anything more. They’re...They’re whatever they are. Harry prefers not to think about it too hard. He likes what it is they do.
If Ron and Hermione or Neville or Hannah, or the Giant Squid for that matter, need to see it as some kind of relationship, then that’s their business. Their weird, coupley business. Harry doesn't quite know what this is, but he does know it’s not about sitting around in common rooms snogging and running their hands through each others’ hair. It is irrelevant that Harry does, in fact, really like touching Draco’s hair, and has spent more time than he’d care to admit snogging him over the past few months.
That still doesn’t mean they have to skip down the hallway holding hands, and it doesn’t give Ron an excuse to go around looking all smug and knowing like he did earlier when Harry said he was going out. So what if he was going out to meet Draco for the third time that week, and it was only Wednesday. Harry’s only human and Draco is ― whether Harry likes to say it out loud or not ― something akin to the hottest person he’s ever seen. He’d always been tall, slim and wiry, and Harry’d always noticed him, but it had still taken him by surprise when he realised he was looking at Malfoy with attraction. It hadn’t stopped him from looking though, and there weren’t really words for the excitement that built in the pit of Harry’s stomach when he registered that Draco was looking back. It had all seemed inevitable from there, that something would happen. Harry hadn’t even tried to stop it.
And what was Harry supposed to do, ignore Draco’s message today and spend the night pretending to study instead? Not bloody likely.
So far, Harry’d had trouble turning down a single one of Draco’s invitations since that first fight-turned-tentative kiss and the ensuing fumble in the Room of Requirement at the beginning of the year. The owls and the passed notes, suggesting times, places and even activities, have certainly given him something to look forward to in this otherwise harrowing and bleak return to the beloved place he once called home ― even despite everyone's efforts to get back to normal.
Harry stills loves it here, loves the castle walls and the people inside them, but he can’t deny the strange and lost feeling he brought with him this year. It’s not bad, far from it even, but he often feels out of place and disconnected, like his mind’s still trying to process the events of the past eighteen months. He doesn’t mind, really; he’s not going to rush it. There’s no weight on him these days, not like there was before. While he often wakes up in the middle of the night, cheeks wet after memories of Tonks’s hair lying lying flat and dull brown against the pillowed silk of her coffin, of Dobby’s blank eyes and the sandy grit that sat on his cheeks and covered his face, he knows it passes. It feels good to remember them, and these dreams aren’t like the ones he used to have. They don’t haunt him, but rather rest on him in the night, soft as moth’s wings. Sometimes he aches, but it’s the ache of having survived, of walking out of forests full of madmen and back into the world of the living.
He figures it’s okay if it maybe takes him a little while to walk with a spring in his step again, and while getting off with Draco Malfoy in various secluded parts of the castle is probably not something he’d ever equate with making him feel like he’s on stable and familiar ground, it works somehow. Malfoy, for his part, seems to just get it. If sticking his hand down the pants of someone he used to actively loathe while standing in the metaphorical rubble of the place he loved is what Harry needs to feel okay this year, then he’s not going to overthink it.
Draco certainly doesn’t seem to mind ― after all, he’s the one who started it.
Harry looks up when he hears footsteps, the soft click of shoes on the stone library floor as Draco rounds the corner and begins to walk up the aisle Harry is standing in. He looks casual, nonchalant, as he strolls towards the spot Harry is invisibly occupying. He’s wearing a white shirt, the top few buttons undone and revealing the dip of his throat, and his dark school robes over the top. The light catches the silver buckle of his belt, glints off it as Draco runs his finger along the spines of the books he walks past. He stops when his hand hits the book Harry has pulled out, and Harry holds his breath as Draco turns to face the shelf.
Draco pulls the tome out with a soft snick of cover on cover.
Harry clears his throat, feeling silly even though he knows if anyone saw them right now the scene would barely even merit a second glance. After all, it’s only Draco Malfoy standing alone at the end of a library row. Still though, Harry can’t stop the feeling of exhilaration, of excitement, that builds within him now that Draco is here. It’s been thrumming under his skin ever since Draco slipped a note in his bag earlier that day, the elegant script familiar as Harry’d unfolded the parchment.
‘Did you know there are thirty five cracks in the ceiling of this classroom, three of them under ten inches in length, and that if you squint they look like a map of Wales? That, Potter, is how bored I am right now. Meet me in the library later and entertain me?’
Harry’d been unable to contain a faint smile as he read it. He’d felt his cheeks colouring, before quickly pocketing the note when he caught Ron watching him. He’d still managed to scribble his own reply without Professor Whelk noticing, which was truly a testament to how dull her lessons were; not even she was paying attention to them. Harry was glad of the fact that the entire class looked to be asleep with their eyes open, considering it allowed him to send a reply fluttering quietly onto the side of Draco’s seat.
‘Wales? Looks more like the Isle of Man to me. See you at nine. You won’t see me, if you follow. Keep an eye out for anything out of place, and you’ll find me.’
Harry could only see Draco’s profile, but he’d seen him smile at that, shaking his head faintly before scrawling his response.
‘’You won’t see me’ ― honestly, Potter, you cryptic show off. In spite of your heavy handed hinting, I look forward to not seeing you later.’
Harry’s been looking forward to it since, too.
He shifts his weight from one foot to the other as Malfoy looks over his shoulder, making sure they’re alone, before he turns back to the book in his hands.
“Today is my birthday,” Draco says quietly, opening the heavy tome at random. He smooths his left hand down a page, long fingers trailing over the calligraphed letters, as he pretends to read.
“Oh? Oh.” Harry swallows. “I didn’t get...I didn’t get you anything,” he says, stupidly. Should he have? He didn’t know it was Draco’s birthday. Well, he did actually, but he wasn’t sure if he was meant to know it was his birthday. He’d found that information out some time in third year, but he really wasn't sure if that meant he should have done something for Draco today.
Draco snaps the book shut with a heavy thud and a small cloud of dust. He grins at the shelf.
“Oh, you did.” His smile widens as he replaces the book back where he found it, taking care to leave it evenly aligned with the other occupants of the shelf. He turns, and even though he can’t see Harry it feels like he’s looking right through him. Harry swallows again, feeling hot under the thin material of the Cloak, and under his clothes. He’d dressed carefully earlier, chosen a decent t-shirt and jeans, and showered before he came here. He even wrestled a brush through his hair. It’s still slightly damp now, curling around his neck, and he clenches his hands into fists, resisting the temptation to fidget as he waits to see what Draco will do next.
“I did?” Harry asks.
“Yeah,” Draco smiles lopsidedly. “I mean, you’re here, aren’t you?”
Harry doesn't know what else to say to that, so he presses his lips shut, lest anything embarrassing fall out of them. Draco’s smile only widens, something genuine in his eyes as he steps closer again. He licks his lips, eyes running over the seemingly empty air in front of him, and Harry belatedly realises he’s holding his breath. He lets it out shakily, feeling the warmth of it curling back towards him as it meets the Cloak. He’s sure his face is flushed. He certainly feels it.
Draco moves one hand, fingers extended as he brings it closer to Harry’s face and Harry sees Draco’s lips curve into a small smile at the same moment as his fingers touch Harry’s cheek.
“Found you,” Draco mumbles, and Harry smiles back too, even though he knows Draco can’t see it. It’s probably for the best; Harry suspects it looks a little dopey, and probably too eager. Draco would probably tease him about it. Harry would probably enjoy it. He’s still not sure how to feel when those sort of things happen. They make him feel alarmingly good.
“I’m not hard to miss,” Harry mutters, distracted by the feeling of Draco's fingers as they trail down his cheekbone, over the frames of his glasses and down the bridge of his nose, until they reach his mouth. The material of the Cloak feels both soft and cool against his lips and he swallows heavily as Draco steps closer again, their chests touching. Harry feels Draco’s boots toe to toe against his own trainers, and his heartbeat sounds loud in his ears as Draco sweeps his fingers back and forth over Harry’s lips.
“Yeah,” Draco whispers. “Even when you’re invisible you stick out,” he finishes, sliding his hand around to Harry’s jaw and pressing his lips against Harry’s.
Draco’s lips are gentle as he runs them over Harry’s, pulling the material of the Cloak taut between them. Harry sighs. He can feel the warmth of Draco’s mouth even through the Cloak and he lifts his hands, lets his knuckles brush over Draco’s hips. Harry can feel the faint jut of his hip bones, feels Draco exhale on a hum and press closer still. It’s maddening, being this close but not quite kissing properly, and Harry loves it, loves the thrill of being caught any moment, the tactile presence of the Cloak between their mouths. He feels his cock begin to thicken in his jeans, pressing tight against the seam and Harry moves his hands, up and over to the dip of Draco’s belly. Draco opens his lips wider, tongue pressing against Harry’s and dampening the material of the Cloak, and Harry stifles a moan too late. His fingers curl around Draco’s hips, and he fights the urge to roll his own, to grind himself against Draco’s thigh. He wants to feel Draco, feel him properly, to get his hands on skin and under clothes.
Draco pulls back as they hear the scrape of a chair against the floor, followed by the echo of footsteps through the quiet library.
Draco huffs a laugh, pulling the Cloak up as Harry does the same, their hands tangling as they both work to lift it. Harry finally finds the edge, swinging the shimmery material over them both and pulling Draco up against his chest.
“We should be qui ― mmph!”
Harry cuts off as Draco kisses him again, his lips insistent as he parts them against Harry’s. He runs his hands over Harry's neck, into his hair and Harry feels goosebumps prickling down his spine, over his sides. He made a soft sound, deepening the kiss and smoothing his palms over Draco’s arms, over his elbows up to where Draco’s hands are wound into his hair. He grips them lightly in his hands, thumb and middle finger forming a perfect ring around the bony jut of Draco’s wrists. He pulls one of Draco’s lips between his own, sucks on it gently and feels Draco’s intake of breath, his soft gasp and sigh. They’re standing so close that Harry can feel the rise and fall of Draco’s chest as he breathes, and Harry moans again, biting at Draco’s lips. He pulls back when he hears Draco huff a soft laugh.
“Potter,” Draco rumbles against his lips, “we’re invisible, not inaudible.”
Harry relaxes, relieved suddenly that Draco wasn’t laughing at the way Harry is holding his wrists. He doesn't know why he likes doing that, but he does. He likes to get his hands around Draco and grip. He’s never thought of himself as that touch-y a person, but Draco brings something out in him; Harry can rarely keep his hands to himself, and when he can touch, he wants to touch Draco everywhere. He suspects Draco might be the same, that he has his own strange tendencies too, if the way he bites and sucks at the skin of Harry’s throat and chest, leaving as many marks as he can, is anything to go by. Harry always hides the worst of these, but he can never bring himself to spell them away completely. He likes the sight of them when he gets out of the shower, wiping a hand over the mirror and clearing the steam away so he can watch while he presses a thumb against the bruises, slips his other hand under his towel. He often comes to the memory of Draco’s mouth on him.
“I can be quiet.” Harry tightens his fingers around Draco’s wrists, his brows creasing as Draco runs his lips over Harry’s, then swipes his tongue against them too.
“Good.” Draco rolls his hips, pressing his own hard cock against Harry’s. “We don’t want to startle Pince,” he says, and there’s a hitch in his voice that Harry knows, that he’s familiar with now. He loves that he’s the reason it’s there, that it’s him that’s made Draco’s cheeks flush that faint pink. He rocks forward, pressing himself against Draco’s thigh and watches Draco bite his lip, teeth sinking into the plump flesh. Harry rolls his hips again, harder.
“Fuck,” Draco gasps.
“Shh.” Harry tries to sound as stern as he can, considering how hard he’s breathing. “We’re invisible, Malfoy, not inaudible,” he chides, and Draco smiles quickly, sucking on his lower lips and pulling his hands away from Harry’s hair. His eyes are a little unfocussed, glassy, as he begins to pull at Harry’s belt, his deft fingers unbuckling it quickly. Harry’s own fingers are still wrapped around Draco’s bony wrists, and he chokes off a gasp when Draco slips his hand into Harry's pants, pulls his cock free. Draco runs his fingers up and down the length of it, and Harry rolls his hips, feels himself becoming fully hard in Draco’s palm. It feels so good, even more so after having waited all day for this touch, and Harry blinks in surprise when all too soon Draco’s hand is gone again.
“Here.” Draco pulls Harry’s fingers away from one wrist, wraps them around Harry’s cock. Harry blinks again, still confused, but he sighs in understanding when Draco begins to undo his own belt. He slides his hand up his own cock, feels the weight of it in his hand and he presses his tongue into his cheek when he realises Draco is watching him do it. Draco finishes with his own belt, the buckle jangling as it falls open and Harry wanks himself slowly, pushing his own jeans and pants down past his arse and hips until they sit at the tops of his thighs. The hem of his t-shirt brushes his hip bones, and he keeps moving his hand, watches Draco flick his tongue out to wet his lips as he pulls his own shirt free, pushes it aside and rips his zip down.
“Merlin.” Draco swallows, audibly. “You look so good,” he says, eyes still glued to Harry’s hand as it moves over his own dick, and Harry feels it jump in his palm. There’s precome leaking from the tip when Harry runs his thumb over it, and Draco moans quietly, his own cock springing free as he pushes his trousers down. They both groan as Draco presses his cock against Harry.
“Fuck,” Harry mutters.
“Mmm. Here, give me ―”
Draco takes Harry’s free hand, pulls it up to his mouth and licks over the palm. He runs his lips over it, and Harry’s breath leaves him in shaky pants as Draco laves wet stripes over the center of his hand. He looks up at Harry through his fringe as he brings Harry’s hand down to his cock. They’re pressed together so closely that Harry can barely wiggle a hand between them, and he slides one palm around to the smooth skin of Draco’s hip, wraps the other around both of their cocks. It feels so good, the slide of Draco’s hot skin against his own, that Harry shuts his eyes. He moves his hand slowly at first, feeling the puff of Draco’s breath against his cheek as Draco mouths over it. He’s making little sounds, little bursts of noise he can’t quite contain and Harry gasps himself when Draco winds his hands back into Harry’s hair and kisses him.
He begins to wank them both in earnest.
Harry bends his knees, breathing hard into Draco’s mouth and trying to muster enough coordination to kiss him properly, but it feels so good he can’t focus. His hand is moving fast between them, the sound of his belt clinking gently as he moves and Draco kisses him hard, teeth on Harry’s lips and over his jaw.
“Fuck, Potter. Harry. Fuck.”
“Shh.” Harry licks his lips. “God, ah, need to ― ahh ― be quiet.”
Draco tightens his hands in Harry’s hair and suddenly it’s too much, and perfect all at once. Harry’s mouth falls open, his eyes slamming shut as he chokes out a strangled groan, then bites his lip to cut the sound off. Quiet, he reminds himself, he needs to be quiet, but he can hear the hitch of Draco’s breath as they gasp down the same air, and before he can even grunt out a warning, Harry’s coming. He struggles to keep his hand moving as his hips jerk and his knees almost buckle, the sudden pleasure and jolt of orgasm making him clench his arse cheeks and gasp as he kisses Draco, hard presses of wet lips and brushes of teeth.
“Are you, did you ―” Draco stammers, his voice high and reedy, and Harry nods.
“Fuck,” Draco keens as Harry grips him, moving his hand up and down Draco’s leaking cock. Harry’s fingers are wet with his own come, and he smears it over the head of Draco’s cock, back down the shaft of it and Draco jerks, hips pushing forwards against Harry’s hand. Harry’s own cock is softening between his legs, his jeans awkwardly down around his thighs, and he wants to make Draco come, wants to watch his eyelids flutter and his throat flush as he spurts over Harry’s hand. Harry wants that as badly as he wanted to come himself.
He grips Draco’s arse cheek, fingers digging into the firm, round globe of it, and Draco tilts his head back, throat bared as he gasps breathlessly, again and again. He’s close, so close, Harry thinks, grabbing Draco’s arse cheek hard in his free hand then impulsively slipping his fingers forwards, brushing them against Draco’s hole.
“Ah, fu ―”
Draco buries his face in Harry’s neck, mouthing over the skin there as Harry presses his fingers forwards again. He’s never done this before, never touched Draco like this, and he rubs his finger back and forth over the furled flesh. He feels Draco keen into his neck, thrusting his cock into the loose fist of Harry's fingers, and moving his arse back against the fingers between his arse cheeks. He feels hot, his breath warm on Harry’s neck, and Harry presses the pads of his fingers harder against Draco’s hole. He thinks about what it would be like to push them inside, and he blinks the hair out of his eyes, his glasses sliding down his nose as Draco stiffens. He groans, low and guttural, as he comes, again and again over Harry’s fist and the hem of his shirt. Harry feels warmth across the base of his belly, onto his own soft cock and he exhales unevenly, liking the feeling of Draco’s come on him more than he can understand. It feels dirty, the smell of sex thick under the weight of the Cloak as Draco pants and rides the tail of his orgasm out, and Harry already can’t wait to do it again.
They stand still, chests heaving as Harry supports Draco’s weight. It’s a long moment before Draco lifts his head, his face flushed and a dazed smile ghosting across his lips. Harry smiles faintly back.
“That.” Harry swallows, shutting his eyes and letting out a shaky laugh before opening them again. “That was good,” he says softly, and Draco hums, watching Harry from under his slightly damp fringe.
“Mmm,” he agrees. “I want you to fuck me.”
Harry starts, blinking and tightening the fingers on Draco’s hip as a flush of heat runs through him at that. He tenses, aware of where his other hand is resting, where his fingers were previously. He swallows hard again, his cock twitching despite the fact that he's just come.
“N ― now?” he stammers, and Draco laughs once, a soft and amused sound.
“Next time,” he clarifies. His Adam’s apple bobs as he swallows, still breathing heavily as he pulls his wand out and casts a quiet Cleaning Charm over them both. He fastens his fly, and the sound of the metal teeth zipping together is loud in the stillness of the library. Draco buckles his belt up once more, and then seeing Harry hasn’t moved, he pulls Harry’s jeans up too.
“Next time,” he repeats, lips brushing the shell of Harry’s ear. Harry nods.
He’s never done that before, nothing even close with anyone other than Draco, but he wants to. He wants to find out what Draco sounds like when Harry is inside him, how it would feel to have Draco’s legs around his waist, to feel his his naked skin against Harry’s own. They could find a room, maybe take their time ― Harry thinks he would like that. They’ve never done anything in a bed before, and the thought of it makes Harry’s stomach flip slightly. He thinks he would definitely like to do that.
“Next time,” he repeats, and it sounds like a promise, like a date. Harry feels the internal click of something slotting into place in his mind, and he wonders if what they do is really so different to Hermione and Ron in the Common room, or Parvati and Selma sitting in the Great Hall. Perhaps he’ll ask Draco one day, he thinks, but not right now.
Draco nods, a gentle tilt of his head as he looks over his shoulder. He smooths his hands down his shirt, tucking it in, before he slips the Cloak up and over his head. He smooths it back down over Harry’s shoulders, lingering on his arms. He smiles, about to leave, when Harry clears his throat.
“Hey, um. Happy birthday, Draco,” Harry mumbles and Draco stops. Harry watches as the corners of his eyes crease, his lips twisting into a smile Harry recognises now. He’d never seen it before this year, before he got Draco alone. Harry’s seen a lot of things since then that he’d never have expected to see in Draco.
“Thanks,” Draco replies, looking back over one shoulder and then the other before he leans forwards, lips close to the material of the Cloak.
“Think of what you want to do for yours next month,” he whispers, eyes glinting with something like fondness and something even warmer, and Harry can’t reply, momentarily rendered mute by the feeling unfurling in his chest. That happens sometimes, when they meet up. Harry can’t quite explain it, but it makes him feel nice, and something he’d like to call 'alive' if that didn’t make him feel stupid. Instead, he doesn't put words to it, afraid that trying to understand why or how Draco makes him feel this way, and why Harry likes it so much, will ruin it somehow ― like the way holding a Snitch too tightly will crush its wings. These days, Harry prefers to feel the flutter against his fingers, the excitement of knowing it could leave any minute now ― or it might not.
Draco licks his lips, straightening before he turns and begins to walk away, and Harry sighs, fighting the giddy smile that wants to spread over his lips. What does it matter, he thinks; no one can see him anyway. He lets himself grin. His shoulders sag slightly as he rests them against the shelf, the press of the books comforting even as they dig into his back and shoulder blades. He stares at the towering column of books in front of him, reading the titles and not reading them at all at the same time, before he finally pushes himself upright and follows Draco’s path out of the library.
It’s not an arrangement, but Harry thinks he might know what it is now, and either way it’s theirs. He smiles, the dusty gaze of the books caressing him as he pulls the Cloak away, stuffs it into his pocket. He stuffs his hands into them too, trainers scuffing against the stone and his footsteps a little lighter somehow than they were when he walked in.