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We Hurt Together, We Hurt Alone

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It was Sunday morning, and Harry was reminded of a simple, irrevocable fact that he’d somehow come to forget. Draco Malfoy was a true genius when it came to potions. Whilst he’d seen the blonde brew things often enough in their Hogwarts days, he’d never had the chance to truly appreciate his talents.

He’d awoken slowly, comfortably wrapped in his duvet, face buried in his pillows, bedroom blanketed in the perpetual darkness he preferred to sleep in. A few hours later, he was still there, sitting propped up in bed, having only just finished a simple, if late, breakfast of toast slathered in butter and marmite with a large mug of strong tea.

The night had been peaceful, one of the most peaceful and truly refreshing nights he’d had in years. The Dreamless Sleep provided by the blonde wizard had worked wonders, putting him out within a matter of minutes and keeping any nightmares away. Harry was also shocked to notice that the potion did not taste like some unholy mix of dog shit and toilet water, as practically every other potion he’d taken seemed to taste of. The potion he’d been forced to drink in his second year at Hogwarts to re-grow the bones in his arm ranked as, perhaps, one of the worst, those Polyjuice was a very close second. Since it was Draco’s own recipe, he’d assumed the blonde may have added something to improve the taste, in fact making it taste vaguely like camomile tea. A distinctly vast improvement.

Smiling softly to himself, feeling light and happy, he shifted his charmed breakfast tray to the side, slipping out of the luxurious confines of his bed and making his way into the lounge, clad in nothing but a pair of boxershorts. Particularly tight ones, that clung to his body, leaving very little to the imagination; but, there was no one there to appreciate the sight.

Settling himself onto the sofa, warming charms adjusting to his bodies needs, he again focused on the two items he’d received the night before that were still sitting on the table top. The chest of Dreamless Sleep potions and Draco’s letter.

A small smile flitted across his handsome features as he picked the small piece of parchment up and reread it, the words still making his stomach flutter, making the small smile stretch into an ecstatic grin. Biting his bottom lip slightly, he summoned his writing supplies to the coffee table and set about writing a response.

xxx

Close to an hour later, Harry had finished writing his letter, having screwed it up and hurled it against the far wall on more than one occasion, never feeling entirely satisfied with what he’d written.

Green eyes skimming across his living space, he noticed five pieces of crumpled up parchment, little balls lying strewn across the carpet. His earlier failed attempts. He couldn’t explain it, even in his own mind, but he felt the need to write something as close to perfect as he could. Now, content and more than a little embarrassed with the effort he’d gone to, especially since it was just a letter, he gently folded the note and slipped it into a small envelope, then scrawled ‘Draco’ across the front.

“Missy, could you come here please?” Harry called uncertainly, wondering why he’d been granted the use of the elf, even if just as a messenger.

A moment later his mouth fell open in shock when the elf he assumed was Missy appeared on his coffee table with a small popping sound, large amber eyes blinking at him, accompanied by a cacophony of hissing and snapping.

“Mister Harry Potter sir! It is Missy’s pleasure to be meeting you” she bowed low, ears flapping, then straightened and looked at him again “How can Missy be helping you?”

“Umm.....You’re....Missy? Draco’s house elf?”  He stuttered, shocked and somewhat confused with the sight before him. He’d encountered many house elves since he was first thrust into the magic community, though Missy seemed to be in a class of her own.

He let out a shaky breath, eyes skimming over the floral hand towel she’d wrapped around herself, then immediately being drawn to the source of the snapping and hissing.....the elves head. Or, to be accurate, the mass of brightly coloured snakes that sat there, writhing and biting the air. Pink, green, yellow, and a vibrant shade of blue; it was perhaps the strangest thing he’d seen recently.

“Indeed! I am being Missy, house elf of the honourable Master Draco” She bowed again, eyes twinkling brightly, noting what Harry was staring at. She grinned and patted the snakes “Are you liking Missy’s wig?”

“Ah...yeah, it’s lovely. Really” Harry stuttered, unsure what to say since it was a truly awful wig, but, he couldn’t bring himself to hurt the little creature’s feelings.

She smiled brightly and curtsied, long ears fluttering slightly; the move looking quite odd on a house elf, especially one with her dress sense.

“Thank you Mister Harry Potter, you are being too kind to Missy”

“So...Missy” Harry smiled at her, trying to gently move the exchange back on topic, and away from the mass of multicoloured wig snakes. Ever since his encounter with the Basilisk, he’d developed a dislike for them “Could you give this to Draco please?”

He held out the envelope, wincing slightly when one of the wig snakes drifted close to his arm, seeming as if it were about to coil around the limb. Oblivious to his nerves, Missy accepted the envelope in one small hand, holding it against her chest with reverence. She bowed again, the snakes momentarily coming even closer to Harry. He had the strange sense a pink one was looking at his nose too intently, as if it wanted to bite the appendage.

“Missy will do as Mister Harry Potter asks” She spoke solemnly, as it was the most important thing anyone had ever asked her to do.

“Thanks.....Please though” He blushed; vaguely embarrassed and uncomfortable with the respect and deference he was being shown. He’d never liked it when Dobby had spoken to him that way “Just call me Harry. Not Sir or Mister Harry Potter. Just Harry”

“Harry”

She smiled one final time, large amber eyes fixed on his green ones and large head cocked to one side before vanishing, leaving him alone in his apartment.

Smiling to himself, he relaxed back in the armchair, hoping to hear back from Draco soon, and hoping to figure out exactly what to do with the rest of his Sunday.

xxx

“Missy...please tell me you didn’t answer Harry wearing that?” Draco asked, voice sounding strained, quivering slightly from embarrassment.

He’d only just sat down in the Manor’s large and well equipped kitchen when Missy had appeared before him; clad in her standard floral hand towel and one of her somewhat stranger wigs, though it was a stretch to call it a wig. In Draco’s opinion, it was closer to an atrocity than a reasonable fashion statement. Not that Missy had ever shown a single sign of regard for what most humans would call ‘stylish’.

“Wearing what Master Draco?” Missy cocked her head to the side, the move reminiscent of a dog; high-pitched voice confused.

“That monstrosity sitting on your head” He ground out, now feeling vaguely worried about the impression the eccentric elf may have given.

“But Mister Harry Potter was liking Missy’s wig! He said so!” Missy squeaked in response, large amber eyes blinking up at Draco through the fringe of multicoloured snakes.

“Of course he did...”The blonde rolled his silver eyes, a faint sigh of exasperation passing from his thin lips. Leave it to Harry blood Potter to tell an eccentric house elf that she looked good in a costume wig modelled after Medusa “You have his response to my letter then?”

“Yes Master Draco” Missy bowed low, her ears and wig brushing the light grey stone floor she stood on, thin arm stretching forward, envelope held in her hand “Mister Harry Potter was giving this to Missy”

Leaning forward, Draco took the envelope from the small creature, grinning slightly when he recognised the scrawl Harry was known for. On many occasions during their time at Hogwarts, the blonde had wondered how someone as famous as Harry Potter had ended up with handwriting worse than a two year old under the effects of the Cruciatus Curse.

. Silver eyes skimming over the looping scrawl that read ‘Draco’ on the envelopes front, he couldn’t help but feel a small flutter in his heart and stomach, something strangely akin to being nerves, with a hint of dread.....what if Harry had changed his mind, and was no longer interesting in pursuing the friendship?

“Thank you Missy, that will be all” He maintained the cool Malfoy mask, dismissing the small elf for the time being, leaving him seated alone in the kitchen, letter lightly gripped in his hand, mind abuzz with expectations and memories of the past.

When he’d found himself living here alone, and with little to no prospects in terms of a possible career, finding things to occupy his time with had become paramount. Whilst his constant study of potions, and later the discovered passion for alchemy, abated the boredom somewhat, he’d still been left craving more. It was then that the study and care of the Manors Dark Artefacts had begun to interest him.....but again, it wasn’t fulfilling; and so, rather suddenly and for no reason other than lack of anything else to do, he found himself standing at the back of the kitchen, watching the house elves preparing his dinner one day.

Watching them at work, the blonde found himself interested by the process, intrigued by the care and attention given to each ingredient. So very much like potions. The next day Draco had taken a trip to muggle London, buying a large supply of cookery books covering cuisines spanning the globe, only to begin experimenting with them the moment he’d returned home. What he’d quickly come to realise was that he had a love for the act of cooking, much as he did with potions work; the simple process of preparing the ingredients, and then cooking them, gave him a sense of calm and could keep him occupied for hours. And, if his mother was to be believed, then he was exceptionally good at it, though he’d not had the opportunity to test his new found interest on anyone else, aside from himself. Lucius never visited, and he had no friends to speak of, which left Harry.

Mind refocusing on the small piece of paper in his hands, he slid the neatly folded note out of the envelope, unfurling it with a reverent touch, eyes eagerly raking over the untidy writing within.

 

Hey Draco!

Thanks for the Dreamless Sleep, that was so sweet of you! You didn’t have to go too all that effort on my account though. Took some last night, and it was the best I’ve slept in years; no nightmares, no weird dreams....just peace.

I’m glad you liked spending time with me; I loved spending time with you too! And I want to spend more time with you. Work is always so hectic, but I’d love to have dinner with you on Friday. If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to get away for about 6pm, and floo directly to the Manor. Is that okay with you?

That evening with you.....it was the happiest I’ve felt in a long time. Thank you for that Draco. Already missing your company, and I’m really looking forward to dinner!

See you soon.

Harry :)

 

Draco set the note carefully to the side, just on the table top; he could feel himself smiling, perhaps one of the biggest and most genuine smiles he’d ever had. He could also feel himself blushing, cheeks aflame and heart pounding with the force of beating wings.....all because of a simple letter. He was somewhat taken aback at his own reaction to it, having never found himself so eager to spend time with someone before. Yet, it made him happy. Knowing that his one time rival enjoyed his company so much, not to mention wanted to continue the association seemed to brighten his day and his life.

Whilst the blonde would admit it to no one, he’d become dreadfully lonely, caught in a dark post-war fog of solitude and repetitive loneliness. He hoped this new found friendship would be the cure for it, a way of ushering in a new era of existence for him, one where he could be happy, and enjoy life for once. And, on an entirely lewd reasoning, spending more time with Harry might lead to more long nights spent fucking each other’s brains out. It was a thought that made Draco grin devilishly.....and may have caused his already tight trousers to become tighter.

Doing his best to shift his mind away from certain dark haired wizards and the deliciously toned and tanned body hidden beneath said wizard’s clothes, Draco made his way out of the Manor’s kitchen, towards his bedroom to retrieve one of his many travelling cloaks, this one black with an emerald green trim. Very Slytherin in nature. When paired with his tight black trousers and silver shirt, it made for a dashing and sophisticated look.

He paused long enough to write out a quick response, stating that 6pm was a perfect time and depositing the hasty note with Missy and the instruction to deliver it to Harry. Now, money and wand secreted away on his person, he stood before the Manor floo point, mind awash with possibilities for Friday’s dinner. It may have only been Sunday, but the blonde was a fan of preplanning. Breathing deeply, he stepped into the fireplace and vanished, reappearing a moment later in The Leaky Cauldron, and from there, onto Diagon Alley, perhaps the best place in Wizard England to do your shopping, even if it happened to be grocery shopping. Whilst he had more than enough food in the Manor, Draco loved buying fresh produce too much to let this opportunity pass him by.

xxx

The days passed slowly for Harry; work proving to hold no enjoyment or excitement, whilst his mind could do nothing but look to Friday. He lived in a constant state of anticipation and excitement, counting down the days till the week came to an end. And so, on Wednesday afternoon, Harry found himself seated in his office at the Ministry, feet propped on his desk shooting small balls of light out of his wand at the ceiling, watching them vanish in a small, essentially harmless explosion on impact; with nothing more meaningful to do with his time. No urgent cases, no more dream visitations, just what had become an endless correspondence with Draco; Harry couldn’t remember having ever written or sent so many letters before. Not that he actually objected in the slightest, receiving a message from Draco had become a highlight of the day for him. He’d quickly come to realise that talking with Draco was perhaps one of the easiest and enjoyable things in the world.

What this did, however, was keep his mind away from his experience with the painting. A part of him longed to question the mysterious ‘Al’ about what had happened, about the duel and the callous execution of the wizard called Enos. Yet, at the same time, he found himself wishing never to set eyes on the man or spectral apparition again, longing for the semi peace he’d had for a number of years. He’d gone so far as to have avoided going near the picture for the last few days, and had avoiding speaking with Monroe on the off chance the elderly Wizard brought the topic up.

However, his mind was soon distracted from such idle worries when a loud redhead burst through his door, grinning madly, startling him and causing him to drop his wand, bringing an end to the exploding balls of light.

“Harry! Have you seen what’s in those muggle food machines my Dad brought in? They’ve got these muggle chocolate bars...they’re like a coconut mush covered in chocolate!” Ron gushed before stuffing one of the mentioned bars into his mouth, still talking “They’re so good Harry. Have you had one?”

“Uh...yeah, I’ve had one” Harry grinned over at the redhead, feeling elated at the sight of him. They hadn’t crossed paths since Ron and Hermione had turned up in his flat that Saturday morning, and he was relieved to see nothing had changed between them “They’re called Bounty Bars. Loved them growing up”

“Bounty? Huh, okay” The redhead mumbled, mouth still full. He flopped down into the chair across from Harry, pushing his feet off the desk and swallowed audibly “Almost as good as a Chocolate Frog. Almost”

“Didn’t get to eat them much. Dudley used to take mine. And everyone else’s” Harry’s voice was soft, no trace of anger present. Whilst he may not speak with any of the Durseleys, he didn’t hold any anger towards them, not any longer at least.

“Fat git” Muttered Ron, wiping his fingers on his uniform robes, looking momentarily unhappy about not having any more chocolate to eat “Mione wants you to come over for dinner this Friday. You free mate?”

“Uh...” Harry stuttered, blinked a few times. He HAD promised to come over for dinner.

“Not a problem mate” Ron smiled across the table, no hint of disappointment “You know I don’t want to push you into things”

“No no, it’s not that Ron...” Harry could feel himself turning slightly pink “It’s just...I’ve kind of already got plans that day...”

“Plans? Really? What plans?” Ron leant forward, eyes twinkling suddenly, ginger eyebrows lost in the fringe of his equally ginger hair. He grinned suddenly, making Harry squirm in his seat “Is it a guy?”

“It’s a guy...sort of....” Now the dark haired wizard was most certainly blushing, and stumbling over his words almost constantly “And it’s not like that Ron”

“So what is it like Harry, my old mate?” He leant forward further, eyes still twinkling brightly with curiosity and humour.

“Well.....Draco invited me to have dinner with him at Malfoy Manor” Harry smiled as brightly as he good, endeavouring to ignore the heat in his cheeks and the look of incredulity he suddenly found himself receiving.

“Draco Malfoy? The bloody ferret?” If it were possible for Ron’s eyebrows to move any further into his hairline they would have, though his bright blue eyes had clouded with something akin to curiosity “I don’t want to push mate, but is there something going on between you two? First he shows up at your flat and Mione blushes every time I ask....”

“It’s not like that Ron, honestly” Harry cut him off as quickly as possible. Whilst he didn’t enjoy his friends questioning his actions, Ron wasn’t as pushy when it came to answers “We’re just friends. He’s actually a really nice guy, nothing like the pompous bastard we met at Hogwarts....he even sent me a box of Dreamless Sleep potion...for my nightmares”

“For your nightmares eh?” Ron grinned again, this time wider, his meaning clear “And how exactly does Draco know you have nightmares? I mean, you’d have to see someone sleep for that, or sleep with them....”

“Um...oh” Harry’s blush seemed to deepen as he squirmed in his seat under Ron’s intense gaze; he wouldn’t have found it so embarrassing if Ron wasn’t right.

The dark haired wizard began squirming even more when Ron laughed triumphantly, clapping his hands together a few times. The redhead shook his head slightly, smiling ruefully.

“I knew it. I knew something happened between you two!”

“It was just the once!” Harry all but whined, wishing they could discuss anything else, so long as it wasn’t his sex life “We drank too much, that’s all!”

“You don’t have to explain it to me mate” Ron raised his hands in a soothing gesture, trying to settle his obviously embarrassed friend, though still grinning with glee “Honestly, I’m glad you’ve got some action, might cheer you up a bit”

“I don’t need cheering up” Harry glared at the redhead slightly in mock annoyance. He was having trouble resisting the wide grin threatening to erupt across his face.

“Whatever you say Harry” Ron grinned at the dark haired wizard again, before taking a breath and fixing him with a serious look “Can I say something?”

Harry gave a quick, tight nod. He had a sudden feeling he wasn’t going to like what his best friend was about to say, and had a suspicion Hermione may have said it already. He knew they were just looking out for him, but he didn’t like the memories that they stirred.

“I get the feeling you know what I’m about to say, but be careful” Ron smiled sadly, blue eyes no longer as bright as they once were “I don’t want to lecture you, Mione does that enough.....

“Just don’t to attached. Like I did....” He took a breath, finding it hard to continue “Like I did with Michael, right?”

“Exactly. Look, I won’t say any more on it mate” Ron smiled again, trying to lighten the mood, now it had been said, briefly resting a comforting hand on Harry’s arm “You and Malfoy being friends, or whatever, it’s fucking weird man, he was an arse growing up....but if he cheers you up, then I’m all for that”

“Thanks Ron. Really though, it’s not...”

“Not like that. I know. You already said mate” Ron chuckled slightly, then stood up and stretched his arms above his head, letting out a long, loud yawn “I should head off. Paper work, and so on. Fancy popping into the Leaky Cauldron for a bit after work?”

“Yeah, I would actually” Harry smiled at the suggestion, finding himself missing the quite drinks he used to share with Ron.

“Brilliant!” Ron beamed at Harry, clapping his hands together in a show of pleasure “See you later then”

With that, the redhead departed, closing Harry’s door behind him, leaving the dark haired male with a cacophony of emotions. The brief exchange had been awkward at times, though Ron’s support and acceptance of his new friendship gave him an odd sense of comfort. However, being yet again reminded of a certain individual from his past left his mind in turmoil, racked with the old longing and resentment that had festered, and for very good reason. It was hardly a relationship, just an arrangement of sex and mutual support between two people. Of course, as time had gone on, Harry had found himself getting closer and closer to the Ravenclaw student until, one day, he realised he was entirely in love with him. It was such a heady, overwhelming feeling, that soon turned to misery and despair, when he came to realise the object of his affection did not feel the same.

Still, years later, Michael Corner had a place in Harry’s heart and mind, and the unassailable position as his first, failed love.

xxx

Some hours later, Harry was again greeted by the sight of Ron bursting through his door for the second time that day in his usual flurry of disgruntled, chaotic energy. He, yet again, had a wide grin on his freckled face.

“Finished early. Fancy heading out now?” Ron’s stomach rumbled loudly, causing him to grin sheepishly at Harry “Guess I’m hungry too. So, uh, dinner as well?”

Glancing down at the pile of paperwork on his desk, Harry reached a decision within a matter of seconds. Pushing his chair back and springing to his feet, Harry found himself out of the office door with Ron at his side, quickly apparating to the Leaky Cauldron.

What had originally meant to be a meal out and a few drinks quickly became a night long drinking session, culminating in both wizards stumbling out of the pub at closing time, both making their way to their respective homes, only to collapse into bed almost immediately, each falling into an alcohol induced sleep with hangovers on the horizon, though Harry was the only one who’d wake peacefully, as Ron had a lecture from one Hermione Granger to look forward to; a lecture full of disapproving scowls, finger wagging, and an almost excessive use of the name ‘Ronald’.

xxx

Soon enough, Friday night had come around, and Harry Potter found himself standing in his bedroom, having come home earlier in the day to make what was, surprisingly, a very difficult and very important decision. That being, what should he wear. He’d never been one to put much attention into what he wore on a daily basis, something that came from growing up using the hand-me-downs from Dudley, all of which were far too big for him, and hung off his thin frame like a tent. Now though, whilst he’d bulked out to a degree and owned clothes that fit properly, Harry had never found himself worrying about the way he dressed. That was, until the prospect of dinner with Draco Malfoy had come up.

It was a strange feeling for him, to worry so much over something so small. Yet the blonde seemed to evoke that feeling in him, the constant desire to please and impress, and set his heart fluttering. Whatever the reason for it, it now caused him to discard shirt after shirt, hurling numerous sets of trousers and jeans into the corner of him room.....all because they just weren’t quite right!

With a mere half an hour left before he had to be at the Manor for dinner, he found himself in a situation where quick decisions were necessary, especially with the daunting task of tackling the wild mess that was his hair. He’d resolved that morning to make some effort in taming it, though it had never succeeded in the past. He was briefly reminded of a time when his Aunt had shaved his head bald as a way of combating the unruly locks....only to find that it had grown back just as long, and just as messily, the next day.

Entirely unsure as to what was suitable attire for the evening; the concept of formal or informal meal never having arisen in his correspondence with Draco, he found himself settling on a dark green dress shirt, and a pair of black jeans, each tight enough to hug his frame comfortably. He’d picked the shirt up in a muggle shop some months ago; an impulse buy that was meant to improve his mood. It had done no such thing, so Harry had thrown it into the back of his wardrobe, until now.

He held the shirt in front of himself, looking it up and down quizzically. The shop assistant had been certain it brought out his eyes, not that he was convinced. It had cost a little more than he was generally comfortable paying for clothes. Humming lightly to himself in an attempt to calm his nerves, pulled his clothes on quickly and efficiently, tucking the shirt in and securing the jeans with a black belt, before making his way to the bathroom to attempt the somewhat daunting task of taming his hair.

Sometime later, after trying gel, then washing it, then a brief attempt with a pair of summoned hair tongs, the dark haired wizard found himself giving up. Regardless of what he did, his hair remained at angles, jutting up as if he’d just been struck by lightning.

“Bloody hell.....” he muttered, sounding vaguely strained, running his hands through his hair, messing it up even more, now at least not resembling a hedgehog “May as well keep it this way then”

He stepped away from the mirror, letting out a shaking breath and regarding his appearance. Internally, Harry thought he looked a little ridiculous, but he felt an effort had to be made for the evening. He’d even gone so far as to cast a small charm on himself, something that acted as a magical version of contact lenses, meaning he could leave his glasses at home.

 Gently running his hands down the front of his shirt, smoothing out imaginary wrinkles, he made his way to the fireplace that served as the apartment’s floo point, picking up a travelling cloak at the same time. The floo flames had a habit of leaving soot on anything and everything in the immediate vicinity of its entryway. The fireplace itself had always looked exceptionally out of place in his otherwise modern apartment, but he felt it added a ‘homely’ feeling to the place, perhaps because he’d only ever felt at home with the Weasley’s or at Hogwarts; neither location was exactly a shining beacon of the modern world.

Swirling the simple cloak, black with a subtle red and gold trim, around his body, Harry took a small handful of floo powder, hurling it into the fireplace; involuntarily stepping back as the green flames flared outwards, lapping gently and unthreateningly at his carpet, before retreating into the stone alcove.

“Here we go” Feeling the excitement welling below his skin, feeling his heart pounding in expectation, Harry stepped into the emerald green flames, calling out his destination as he went.

The moment the words left his lips, he felt himself falling, tumbling, air rushing past him with such speed and force, reminding him of being on a broom, flying high above a Quidditch pitch. Different scenes flashed before his eyes, small homes filled by families drinking tea, offices filled with wizards and witches in colourful robes surrounded by floating objects and jars filled with strange liquids, what looked like the Ministry of Magic filled to the brim as always, dim shops, restaurants bathed in gentle candlelight, and finally......

Harry stumbled out of the floo network, blinking slightly, feeling vaguely disorientated. Even after so many years of using the floo system, he’d never grown accustomed to it, or found a way to disembark without nearly falling flat on his face, much like his first somewhat failed attempt which had ended with him in Borgin and Burkes with a pair of broken glasses, and narrowly avoiding the very person he was now going to meet.

Straightening himself and dusting his cloak off, Harry looked around the large room he stood in, a wide grin forming on his handsome features, eyes raking over the ornately carved columns, the plush rug stretching across the floor, the high ceiling, before finally settling on the figure standing a few paces on front of him, the only other in the room; standing rigidly, yet gracefully, hands clasped tightly behind his back, head tilted up proudly.

Slightly taller, clad in black trousers and a spotless white dress shirt, the top few buttons left undone. Dazzlingly bright blonde hair tied back into a ponytail, silver eyes flashing with joy and a wide smile that made Harry’s heart flutter strangely in his chest.

The Slytherin Prince, former seeker for the Slytherin House Quidditch team, school rival of the Boy Who Lived.

Draco Lucius Malfoy.

The pair stood still, smiling at each other, neither moving, neither speaking, just staring. Releasing a shaky breath, Harry broke the silence.

“Hey Draco” spoken softly, yet carrying across the space with ease.

“Harry” The blonde inclined his head, still smiling, words just as soft.

Harry stepped forward slowly, eyes leaving Draco momentarily to glance around the room. He’d been to the Manor before, but only to small sections, primarily the dungeons. This was the first time he’d been able to see the building in the light of day, and when it wasn’t under the influence of the recently deceased Dark Lord.  He couldn’t help but allow his mouth to fall open in awe, unable to deny the beauty of a simple entry point.

He was about to ask Draco a question when he felt himself being pulled into a tight embrace, pressed flush against the slim though muscles frame of the blonde. Unable to deny the chuckle welling forth, Harry grinned and wrapped his arms around the blonde, relaxing into the embrace and allowing himself to get lost in the scent of Draco’s cologne. It really was a lovely scent, masculine and refined, yet subtle at the same time.

“It’s good to see you Harry.....” Draco whispered against his ear “I missed you”

Harry felt himself redden at the words, though he couldn’t deny how happy it made him feel. Almost involuntarily, he tightened his grip on the blonde, drawing him closer.

“Missed you too”