The sun was hidden behind grey clouds and a few drops of rain already fell on the concrete. Under the glass roof of King’s Cross Station, the shadows grew taller and summer was ending too soon.
Harry was glad to leave.
Of course, there would be scars in Hogwarts but they didn’t scare him and it didn’t matter if Healer Johnson disagreed. During their last session, she had told him that one day, everything he kept inside him would explode. She had said that his grief wasn’t absent, just sleeping like a disease, and that it would wake one day. She had kept staring at him, piercing him with her eyes like the answer was written on Harry’s face.
Bollocks! “Why don’t you cry," she kept asking. Depending on the day, it made him angry or it made him smile. If he had the answer, would he spending so much time in her office every week? Certainly not.
Maybe he didn’t need to cry. Some people didn’t need to.
The platform was overcrowded and reminded him of his holiday, his heavy bag and Draco, waiting for him. But there was no anonymity now. And no Draco. Instead, there were housemates and children pointing their fingers at him.
“Look, Dad, it’s Harry Potter!” a little boy would say.
He didn’t care. He thought about Draco. One month without seeing him. An eternity. Missing him had eaten him up during these four long weeks.
He was now walking in the train with Ron and Hermione who where holding hands.
“Blimey, all the compartments are already full!” his best friend said.
Harry didn’t listen, he was looking for Draco but he couldn’t find him anywhere. He panicked. What if he had stayed in Italy? Did they have a school there, full of hot Italians?
“Are you okay, Harry? You look a little pale,” Ron asked.
Hermione slapped his arm.
“Leave him alone, it’s okay if he feels odd, we’re returning to Hogwarts!”
Ron suddenly groaned. It sounded like a lamentation. He was looking beyond Harry’s shoulder.
“Malfoy!” he said with the enthusiasm of a man sentenced to death. “Couldn’t you have drowned somewhere in the summer, everyone would have been much more happy!”
Harry felt lighter than he had in weeks. Italy hadn’t kept Draco. He could have danced - if he knew how to. Despite spending a month in Italy, Draco wasn’t tanned at all. He was excessively elegant, as always, and his skin was just as pale as usual.
He wasn’t watching Ron, didn’t even seem to care about what he had said. He was watching him, impassive and serene. Harry tried to smile but it was hard to do so when you’re supposed to hate the person in front of you. He wasn’t supposed to smile at Draco Malfoy nor be pleased to see him. Who would understand that? Pansy Parkinson, hooked to Draco’s arm? Blaise Zabini, on his right? Harry’s own friends?
Draco smirked. “What? You didn’t miss me, Weasley?”
“Who would miss you?” Ron joked as he gave a kick to Harry’s side. “Right, Harry, who would miss a git like him?”
I would, Harry thought.
“Are you done?” Hermione asked. “Because I don’t want to spend the entire trip standing in the corridor and seeing how fast the compartments are filling, I think that’s what’s going to happen! One last insult for the road or are we good to go? Something original like Weasley is poor or Malfoy is a devilish ferret?”
Ron’s face was marked by surprise. “But Hermione, he really was a ferret, don’t you remember?”
“Of course, my love, of course.”
Then, she started walking and made Ron, outrageous, follow. Harry just wanted to laugh and then he saw that Draco wanted to as well because he was biting his lips. Harry suddenly remembered that he had kissed that mouth and that it had been so soft it haunted him for four weeks.
Draco brushed against him as he walked; Harry finally smelled his cologne again. It was brief and unexpected but in an instant Harry was back in Guernsey, sleeping next to Draco in the tent and waking up with him in bed. He felt genuine warmth again for the first time in an eternity.
Draco’s hand touched his. He felt a note slip inside his hand. Ron and Hermione were still arguing or flirting ahead of him, probably thinking Harry would follow them. He unfolded the note quickly.
“Luggage wagon in fifteen minutes. Pretend you need the loo or something. D.”
Harry folded the paper and put it in his pocket. Merlin, he mustn’t smile, jump or dance.
Just breathe! he thought. He already knew what he was going to tell Draco. What he wanted to tell Draco. He just needed to find the courage to do so.
Fifteen minutes later, Harry escaped his compartment. It was full of laughter but his mind was somewhere else. Every breath he took was laborious and he had a stomach ache. He had probably eaten too many Chocolate Frogs. Or it was the words on Draco’s paper. He didn’t know.
Harry told everyone he needed the loo. They didn’t even seem to hear him so he walked outside unnoticed. He counted the steps until he arrived at the luggage wagon. It helped him concentrate.
Sixty-five steps. He was in front of the door, finally. He shook his arms and legs and inhaled deeply once, twice, before going in. It was incredibly dark. The wagon smelled like leather, dust and humidity and the noises of the moving train seemed to be louder here. Students’ trunks were piled up and dangling dangerously. Draco was sitting on top of one, already in his school uniform, green tie barely tied.
“So, how was Italy?” Harry asked.
Draco smiled. “Hot.”
Suddenly, the temperature in the wagon also seemed to rise.
“And the Italians?” Harry joked while scratching his nose nervously.
“Sexy, as you can imagine. But loud.”
Harry laughed stupidly. He looked around to stop his heart from exploding in his chest.
“I’ve never been here,” he said.
“Really? Never snogged someone in a dark corner here?”
Harry shook his head.
“Last chance then.”
Harry opened his eyes in shock but Draco rolled his own.
“I was just joking.”
“I knew that,” Harry replied, trying to hide his deception. He sighed before continuing: “You know, there’s something… Something I want to talk to you about.”
Draco crossed his arms and watched him seriously. “I’m listening, Harry.”
His voice was softer than ever. He had said Harry’s name for the first time and he loved it. He wanted to hear it again and again, whispered in his ear.
“I’m not sorry!” Harry dropped without looking at Draco.
“You’re not sorry. That’s cryptic to say the least.”
“Before you left, I told you I was sorry I kissed you but I lied. I’m not sorry.”
Draco wasn’t answering and for once the silence between them wasn’t comfortable at all.
“You’re not sorry,” Draco repeated, rubbing his neck.
Harry knew the words he wanted to say all by heart and he wasn’t going to run away or let Draco escape to Italy this time: “No and I’d do it again if I had to. But you… You didn’t kiss me back.”
“You didn’t exactly give me the time, you ran away before I could do anything.”
“I know. But if I had stayed, would you have kissed me back?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
The small residue of hope Harry had kept during the summer vanished. He felt ashamed and he wanted to go back to his friends’ compartment, full of happiness and laughter.
“Because I’m not your type…”
“That’s not the point Harry, you have a perfectly acceptable appearance.”
Acceptable? Could he hang himself now? Draco, seeing the look on Harry’s face, said right away: “That’s not what I meant. You’re very attractive, Harry. Sincerely. But until further notice, you’re straight…”
“What do you know about that?”
“Didn’t you have a redhead girlfriend a few weeks ago?”
“We broke up as soon as I came back from Guernsey.”
“It doesn’t mean you’re ready. It’s not easy, being gay. You have no idea what you’re exposing yourself to. Lying to everyone, all the time. Being scared of what they’d think. Bloody hell, don’t you think you’ve had enough trouble, why do you want more?”
“What makes you think I have a choice, Draco?”
Draco shook his head. He looked at the door as if he wanted to run away. He might have if Harry wasn’t blocking the way.
“I know we can't choose but you and me… It’d be way too complicated.”
“I think we’ve gotten along really well so far.”
Draco was nervously playing with his tie. “I don’t like people, Harry, I’m a lonely person. I don’t know what having a long term relationship is like, I don’t know how to be in one. Sex, that I know. But I’m sure that’s not what you want, right?”
“No,” Harry confessed. “That’s not what I want. But I’m sure it’s not what you want either. You’re just scared.”
“I’m not scared.”
“Good for you then because I am. I’m scared and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I’m scared of what I feel and I’m scared because it’s you and it’s so unexpected and odd but I’m not scared because you have a… penis!”
Draco burst out laughing. “Harry…”
Harry got closer to Draco who seemed to want to take a step back but he couldn’t because his back was against the wall.
“I’m also scared,” Harry continued, “that you’ll push me away. I’ll lose everything. Our friendship. The rest. Don’t tell me there’s no rest, that I’m imagining it all. I know it’s not true.”
He got even closer, eyes staring at Draco’s lips. “And I’m scared I’ll never kiss you again.” Harry smiled when he noticed Draco’s quick breathing. “But I want to, Draco. And it’s your loss because I want you more than I’m scared. I want to touch you and I want you to kiss me. I want to be with you. So either you want me too or you don’t because these four weeks without you… it’s been hell.”
Draco’s lips were slightly parted now. “I missed you,” Harry whispered.
“You’re completely mad.”
“It’s true. I’m completely nuts. But it’s your fault.”
“Of course it is. You know I’m right.”
Draco’s voice was nothing but a whisper. Harry had trouble hearing him so he kept going, hoping Draco would finally do something.
“I thought about you. All the time…”
“Stop it, Harry.”
“… at night, mostly, because I was alone in my bed and I was cold. I couldn’t hear you breathe next to me.”
“Stop that! Right away!”
“You don’t really want me to stop though.”
“Yes, I do! One more step, one more word and I swear I’ll…”
“And what? What are you going to do?”
Draco caught him by the collar of his shirt and almost lifted him. Harry was sure he was going to hit him. He had been too far. Unless he had lied to himself and imagined everything? Draco’s affection? Maybe there was never anything, maybe he invented it because he wanted it too much. What if it all meant nothing?
Draco’s hold was firm and painful. Under his imperious gaze, Harry capitulated. He gave up everything.
“I told you to stop talking.”
“I will,” Harry promised.
Draco pulled his shirt again but this time, he brought Harry towards him. Next thing he knew, there were lips against his.
And it was a phenomenal kiss. There was no softness about it, no hesitation, no experimental touches. Harry got the whole thing at once. It was perfect.
Draco was still sitting on a trunk so Harry had to stand on tip-toes to reach him. They were stuck to each other, hands everywhere. Harry’s were beneath Draco’s shirt, exploring his firm back. As for Draco, he was pulling Harry’s hair and it hurt sometimes but neither of them cared. Their were too focused on kissing each other. Harry wanted it to last forever.
Too soon, Draco let him go. His mouth was swollen, red and shiny. Harry touched his own as if he wanted to check if it was all a dream.
“So, does that mean… So, we’re…”
“I don’t know Harry, I need time. You need to let me think.”
“Please, Harry, just go.”
For the first time, Harry saw Draco without his mask on. He was lost and scared. He didn’t know what to do. It was almost indecent to see him like that.
Harry stroked Draco’s knee and kissed him softly on the cheek. “All right…”
Then he left the room, feeling like he left a part of him behind.
Draco didn’t look at him. Neither when they got off the train nor when they arrived in the Great Hall. Apparently, he had thought about them.
Harry didn’t listen to the Sorting Ceremony or McGonagall’s speech. He barely touched the food in his plate. And his friends left him alone because they probably thought Harry wasn’t okay with being back in Hogwarts, with the scars of the battle. They were so well hidden Harry didn’t even notice anything in particular.
At the Slytherin table, Malfoy was laughing with his friends. How could he do that so easily?
“I can’t believe it!” Dean said. “What went through McGonagall’s head when she decided to make Malfoy a Head Boy?”
“She probably wanted to congratulate him on his heroical behaviour during the war?” Neville said ironically.
Everyone burst out laughing except Harry and Hermione. “Everyone can’t be brave,” she said.
Ron agreed. “There’s got to be cowards to equilibrate things, right? Harry, do you remember when he shouted “I”m with you, I’m with you!” to the Death Eaters?”
“He just wanted to save himself,” Harry replied dryly, ignoring the laughter Ron had just created. “His mother saved my life and he did too. I’m sure he recognized me, back at the Manor, when we were captured. Things could have turned out terribly if he had sold us out.”
“You can’t be sure mate, your face was all swollen.”
Harry shrugged. He knew the truth, that’s all that mattered to him. Silence fell on the Gryffindor table. Someone cleared their throat.
“So, Harry. Heard you went to Guernsey?”
As he was coming out of the Great Hall, Harry felt a familiar hand slip inside his. He waited to be safe in his dormitory to unfold the new note. “Meet me in an hour in my bedroom. Draco.”
Harry would have gladly gone right away and abandoned his unpacked trunk and loud friends but they had just opened sweets and they were about to start eating them as usual after coming back to Hogwarts for another year. Usually, Harry loved these nights but he was too nervous this time. He knew he would never make it to Draco’s bedroom in an hour.
He was right. It was nearly 2 A.M. when Ron started snoring. Harry took his Invisibility Cloak and ran towards Draco’s room, the Marauder’s Map under his arm. The corridors were cold and deserted but Draco’s door was still open. Harry pushed it, full of apprehension. Maybe he was too late.
The room was dark, the only light was coming from a lamp on the bedside table. Draco was lying in the middle of his bed, shirtless. He had probably stopped waiting.
“Took you a while…” he finally said.
“Sorry. Ron wouldn’t fall asleep.”
Draco sat down and turned his head towards Harry. He couldn’t see his face in the darkness.
“You’re just going to stand there?”
Harry got closer. He was next to the bed, intimated and nervous so Draco raised the sheets. He slipped inside the bed, next to the other boy, barely breathing. Harry felt an odd impression of déjà-vu, except this time there was an ambiguity between them, the ghost of a kiss…
Draco was lying down again, his back to Harry. The sheets let him see too many things: the skin of his back, the muscles… Harry approached his hand and, with his fingertips, mimicked in the air touches he desperately wanted to carry out for real. He had imagined this so many times.
And then Draco turned around. His arms embraced him and Harry put his head on his chest, enclosed his own arms around Draco’s back. Their legs were intertwined.
He was so happy he could cry. He loved the small kisses Draco was leaving on his neck, he loved being so close to him. He relished every moment.
“You’ve thought about us,” Harry whispered.
He felt Draco smile against his skin. “Going to kiss me now?”
Harry drew his face closer. A few millimeters and then there was no space between them. And that kiss was much different than the one on the train. It was slow and soft. Lazy. Draco bit his lower lip, played with him. Harry bit back a moan.
Draco pulled away but kept his hand inside Harry’s and began to play with his fingers.
“You didn’t tell me about your holiday. How was it?”
“There’s not much to say.”
“You went back to Healer Johnson?”
Harry nodded. “Three times. She predicted a great meltdown for me.”
Draco raised his eyebrows.
“Yes. She said I was too introverted and that I kept everything to myself. One day, it’s going to explode and boom! I won’t even be able to get out of bed. Eating will require superhuman effort and walking and talking as well. Except crying, my body won’t be able to do anything… Try not to be around when it happens.”
Draco laughed. “You? Keeping everything? Merlin, she should have seen you today, she would have been proud.”
He nibbled Harry’s ear and mimicked: “I want to touch you… kiss you… I want to feel you.”
Harry pulled away, laughing as well but nervously. “It’s not nice to make fun of me for that.”
“I’m not. It was cute.” His smile became devilish. “Where did you want to touch me?”
“I… I haven’t really thought about it.”
“Liar,” Draco whispered.
They were still holding hands. Harry approached his own and put it on Draco’s face.
“There, for example.”
His fingers, led by Draco’s hand, touched his eyelids, his forehead and his cheeks, his pink mouth, pointy chin…
The unknown was suddenly terrifying, no matter how fervent Harry’s desires were. Touching a body that was just like his own, a body without breasts and curves was exciting, yes, because it was Draco’s, but it was also new and scary. He was scared of being clumsy. Of not knowing what to do.
Draco accompanied his hand lower, down his neck and on his chest.
Harry nodded nervously. The body in front of him was vast and soft. And he found plenty of curves, only they were different and surrounded by muscles. He touched the scar he had made with tenderness, following it from the hip to the clavicle. He was still so ashamed of using the Sectumsempra Curse.
“And now?” Harry asked.
Draco’s eyes were completely dilated. His hold on Harry’s hand became stronger, he didn’t let it wander on its own anymore. It guided him even lower and disappeared behind a pyjama bottom.
“Touch me…” he whispered in his ear.
Harry’s ears were buzzing, he was dizzy with desire. But perhaps he wasn’t ready, perhaps he wasn’t ready at all? He felt a bit scared.
He kissed him with enough strength to give Harry the courage he needed.
Draco’s erection in his hand was enough to make him lose his mind, it was like one of the many fantasies he had dreamt about… but the warm hand on his own and Draco’s soft kisses were very much real.
It was curiously easy because Draco’s body was so much like Harry’s. He knew what he liked so he simply did the same thing. His touches became instinctive, more confident. Encouraged by Draco’s moans, Harry worked his hand faster.
“Merlin, Harry…” he heard.
Suddenly, he pulled away, took off Harry’s t-shirt, pajama and pants. Then he went back against him and kissed him. Bare skin against bare skin. Their lengths touching. Harry had never been more excited.
Well, that is, until Draco rolled on top of him and actually moved. With him, against him. He held Harry’s wrists above his head. And he thought he was going mad. He was finally discovering what his body could make him feel. And it was simply touches and kisses. It had definitely nothing to do with what he had felt with Ginny. With her, it was mechanical, almost discreet and quickly forgotten.
But that… That was completely different. And Harry knew that it was just the beginning, the premises of what they’d be doing soon, if Draco didn’t change his mind. And the simple idea of what it would be like to have Draco inside him made him even crazier. He laced his legs around Draco’s waist while they kept moving together and, too soon, the pleasure growled inside him.
It was just as loud as a whisper but it sounded like a plea. Draco bit his neck. Harry tightened his legs and kissed him as he was shaken by his orgasm. His spasms were uncontrollable and during a second of lucidity, he felt Draco coming in his arms as well.
Suddenly, they weren’t moving anymore. They were sweaty and breathless.
“Merlin…” Draco sighed.
Harry didn’t say anything. He didn’t know how to speak anymore, pleasure was still echoing in every single part of his body.
“Are you still there?” Draco asked after a moment, his hand toying with Harry’s hair.
Draco laughed very softly. He slipped on his side of the bed and got closer until they were both snuggled against each other like little spoons. It made Harry smile. Draco traced small circles on his hip. Their eyes were closing.
“Good night,” Draco whispered. He kissed his cheek just like Harry had done a few hours ago.
They could talk tomorrow. Tonight, the night was too soft.