Draco stands outside the front door of the dingy Muggle pub, his fingers twitching absently while he works up his courage to go inside.
He hasn't had a real conversation with Potter in weeks, not since they returned from their expedition to the Himalayas with the Scamanders, not since they had made love. His face flushes at the memory. The last time really did feel like more than a farewell fuck. He clenches his fist, trying to stop fidgeting, but the small tube of lube in the back pocket of his trousers rubs against his bum and reminds him of the impossible hope he can't seem to part with.
It's now or never. He opens the door and lets it bang closed behind him. The pub is small and dark, filled with rickety tables and a couple of booths. Blue smoke dances in the air beneath the shaded lamps dangling from the ceiling.
He spots Potter in a booth in the corner. Potter's rumpling his ridiculously messy hair with one hand. He's looking about as nervous as Draco feels, not that Draco's about to admit it. He approaches the booth and slides into it before he loses his nerve.
"This is a right dive."
Potter looks up at him, his mouth stretching into a pleased grin as he passes Draco some Muggle money. "You picked it."
Draco accepts the money and stands back up, spotting the bar. "Yes, because nobody with taste would choose to come here for fun." He walks to the bar, keenly aware of Potter's eyes on his backside, but forces himself to relax. He doesn't want to come across as distant, but he doesn't want Potter to see how desperate he is either. Even if Potter called him for this talk because he wants what Draco wants so much, it's impossible. Draco can't leave his wife, his responsibility, his name.
He orders a bottle of beer at random and carries it back to the table, then sits back down. "I hope whatever you want to talk about is interesting, Potter," he says and takes a sip, frowning despite the fact the beer isn't half bad.
He watches Potter's face, taking note of the flush rising on his cheeks and the way he seems unable to keep his hand out of his hair. It would be amusing if his cock didn't find it so arousing. It's been far too long since his last proper shag.
"Err, this is kind of hard for me to say," Potter mumbles, stops talking. Draco raises an eyebrow as Potter continues. "I really enjoyed myself on the expedition with you, and I know we were meant to call it quits, but I can't stop thinking about you."
A squirming sensation flutters through Draco's stomach, spreading heat through his extremities. He raises his eyebrow further.
"Well, that is interesting." His mind is a whirl of thoughts, memories, the taste of Potter's cock on his tongue, the weight of it. But he can't let his desires rule him right now. He needs to keep a cool head. "What about your wife?"
Potter stares at his bottle of beer, not making eye contact, a crease between his eyes and his lips slightly downturned. Draco waits, trying to keep himself in his seat, not wanting to jump too quickly and make rash decisions, but the tightening of his trousers is making it difficult to not move.
"I love Ginny, I really do," Potter admits quietly. For a moment, he falls silent. Then he adds, "but she isn't you."
"And Astoria isn't you." Draco's words fly out of his mouth before he can stop them. He watches Potter's face snap to attention so fast, he's surprised Potter didn't give himself whiplash. "Astoria and I only married because of our families' expectations." There is bitterness in his voice as all the reasons he's imprisoned in his marriage come flooding forth, and his regret, his envy of Potter's relationship with his wife and the lack of pure-blood dogma holding Potter back are laid bare. "Having sex with you was the only escape I've had, and I'm ashamed to say it was one of the few times in recent years I felt truly happy."
If he's not careful he's going to make an arse out of himself. He stops talking and takes a long drink from his beer, swallowing it as though accepting the lot that is his life.
Potter tries to reason with him that he should be able to strike out on his own, leave his wife, do the things he wants to, that the world is changing and pure-blood traditions are breaking down. But Draco thinks of how far he's come since the war. He's up for promotion as an Undersecretary to the Minister of Magic despite bearing the Dark Mark, and he knows if he were to throw his family aside he'd lose all credibility; all the progress he's made would be flushed down the toilet and it would likely be impossible for him to survive a third comeback, especially without his family's money. He is well and truly stuck.
They've been arguing about it for the last few minutes, until he finally has to call it as it is.
"… I'm not like you; I wouldn't be able to just leave Astoria like you could leave your wife."
The look Potter gives him makes him pause. Has he misunderstood? Merlin! What if Potter isn't trying to pry him away from Astoria for himself at all, but because he is a good and noble person who can't stand to see somebody in pain. He tries to play off his nerves by pulling his hand back off the table, but Potter reaches out and snatches it, holds on looking into Draco's eyes, thumb brushing the back of his hand.
"I don't want to leave Ginny, and I don't want you to leave Astoria. You and Ginny are so different, and I've realised now that I can't have one without the other."
His breath catches in his throat. Can Potter possibly be propositioning the one arrangement that will work for him? His heart stutters in his chest, but he focuses on the slow strokes of Potter's thumb against his hand. "My father says it's acceptable for me to have an affair provided nobody knows; I'm sure you haven't been given that option." His voice is a whisper. "Do you really want to risk continuing, knowing that if it goes wrong for you, I can't be there with you?"
Potter smiles and nods. "Yes. I can't go on without you, but I can't leave Ginny either, which means this is my only choice, and it's a risk I'm prepared to take."
"Good," Draco says, lips drawing into a smirk. He frees his hand from Potter's, reaches across the table and hauls Potter forward by his shirt to meet his lips in a desperate clash.
When Potter breaks to breathe and whispers against Draco's lips, Draco feels like he's flying.
"Do you want to get a hotel room?"
Draco nods, his cock giving a sympathetic twitch. He follows Potter out of the pub. They'll work on logistics after a reacquainting shag.