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Sincere Gratitude from the Heart

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The sky is grey and a soft glow rises in the horizon as the early winter morning breaks over the Hogwarts grounds. Harry’s breath mists in the air and he suppresses a shiver as he slowly walks alongside the Great Lake. Most students are still in their beds, warm and content, sleeping peacefully in the early hours of morning, but Harry finds no solace in sleep.

The dark dreams of fear, death and war have faded over the last several months and been replaced with vivid visions of pale, smooth skin, eager hands and a snarky blond. Try as he might, Harry has been unable to get Malfoy out of his head.

Images of their last encounter flood Harry’s mind, longing coursing through his veins at the memories. Did he take it too far? How much further can they really go now that they’ve had sex? Harry can admit he’s far from experienced—and Seamus was only too eager to explain just how much more there is to sex than simple intercourse—but, with this odd game Malfoy and him are playing, it seems they have reached their conclusion.

Harry should feel relief, really. An end to this back and forth can only mean an end to the conflicted feelings he’s been subject to ever since that train ride back to Hogwarts. It means no more second guessing, or gut-turning anticipation, or waking up with sticky sheets and Malfoy’s name on his lips. It also means no more mind-blowing orgasms, exciting secret meetings, nor the pure pleasure of feeling Malfoy’s warm, inviting flesh beneath his hands.

Harry can’t help but feel bereft at the loss. He hasn’t heard a word from Malfoy in weeks; no carefully passed notes, no hushed invitations, not even a taunt or acknowledgement in their shared classes. Occasionally their eyes will meet in passing, full of heat and some unspoken emotion, but nothing ever comes of it. There are times in the Great Hall Harry is certain he can feel Malfoy’s gaze upon him, but when he looks up, Malfoy’s attention is always focused elsewhere.

Harry can hardly spend another night tossing and turning fitfully as he contemplates what it all means. Though sleep eludes him, Harry finds comfort in his morning walks by the lake. There is something so serene in watching rays of the morning sun reflect off the icy surface of the water, the only sound the gentle crunching of frozen earth beneath his feet. This morning, the air is wet and cool, a promise of snow so certain, Harry can almost taste it. He stares dreamily at the lake when he’s startled by the sound of a twig snapping. Harry spins around, wand in hand, to find Malfoy standing a few feet away.

“Malfoy?” Harry quickly pockets his wand, his heart pounding in his chest.

Malfoy smiles softly in response, his cheeks flushed pink in the chilly morning air.

“What are you doing here?” Harry shifts nervously.

“Looking for you.” Malfoy takes a step closer. “You didn’t think I’d forgotten to repay you, did you?”

“I—I thought we were done with all that.” Harry swallows roughly as Malfoy takes another step towards him.

“Not just yet.” Malfoy’s eyes are soft, even as they gleam with mischief. “There’s still something I haven’t done. Close your eyes, and keep your hands to your side.”

Harry chews his lip anxiously but follows Malfoy’s orders, eyes fluttering shut and hands clenched tightly by his sides. He’s suddenly ambushed with images of blindfolds, ropes, and whips from the magazine Seamus excitedly showed him during their last conversation. Harry admits he felt a small spark of interest in some of the items, but he’s not so sure he’s ready for anything like that just yet.

“Don’t be frightened.” Malfoy’s breath is warm against his face. “You can trust me.”

The air leaves Harry’s lungs in a surprised gasp as he feels soft lips press against his own. Malfoy’s lips, his brain foggily supplies before he returns the gentle pressure. He can feel Malfoy smile against his mouth before a tongue darts out and traces his lips, the wet tip prying them open. Harry’s mouth opens with a sigh and allows Malfoy in, their tongues sliding against each other. The sensation is electrifying and it takes all of Harry’s strength to keep his arms to his sides like Malfoy asked when all he wants is to slide them into his hair and pull him closer.

Malfoy must understand his struggle because he deepens the kiss, tongue searching further into his mouth, licking at his teeth as his lips surround Harry’s. Malfoy’s mouth is wet, hot and delicious. He tastes like bitter tea and tart lemon, traces of sugary sweetness clinging to the edges and Harry is certain he’s never felt anything as wonderful as this. Malfoy pulls back slightly, teeth nipping at Harry’s lip before soothing the bites with his tongue. Harry is utterly aroused, his cock throbbing in his trousers at the sensual kiss, so fully loaded with undeniable passion.

Harry feels a cool wetness against his neck, the icy touch melting instantly with the heat of his skin and sliding down his collar. It’s snowing, Harry belatedly pieces together, the excitement of fresh snow a far cry from the divine kiss he’s currently experiencing.

Malfoy’s hands reach to cup Harry’s face, his thumbs tracing Harry’s cheekbones while he continues to softly suck on his lower lip. The gentle gesture is overwhelming and Harry feels ready to burst, though whether it’s his heart or cock that might combust first, he couldn’t say. Malfoy presses one last lingering kiss to Harry’s lips before moving his mouth away, forehead still resting against Harry’s.

“That was—”

“Incredible,” Harry cuts him off, eyes fluttering open.

“I can tell.” Malfoy’s soft smile morphs into a mischievous smirk before he cups the straining erection in Harry’s trousers.

Harry moans in pleasure, before gasping in disbelief as the light pressure of Malfoy’s hand sends him spiraling. His body shudders and he flushes in humiliation as his cock pulses, coming instantly in his pants.

Harry rides the last shocks of his orgasm, hands finally leaving his sides and clinging to Malfoy’s arms for support. Harry winces as he awaits for Malfoy’s taunts but none come. Malfoy’s mouth brushes against the shell of his ear instead, his breath warm and steady.

“That was hot,” Malfoy whispers in his ear.

Harry captures Malfoy’s lips in a fierce kiss, ignoring the wetness spreading in his pants and giving his full attention to devouring Malfoy’s mouth. Malfoy groans against Harry, returning the fervent onslaught. Harry’s hands slide into Malfoy’s hair, gripping tightly and deepening the kiss before Malfoy breaks away, breathing heavily as he catches his breath.

“Malfoy…”

“Hm?” Malfoy smiles dreamily at Harry, fat snowflakes clinging to his long lashes.

“I don’t want to do this anymore.”

“Oh.” Malfoy releases his hold on Harry and steps away.

“That’s not what I meant,” Harry quickly clarifies, hand reaching out to Malfoy.

“It doesn’t matter,” Malfoy moves away from Harry’s grasp, his expression closing off.

“Wait, Malfoy!” Harry calls out to Malfoy’s retreating form. “Draco!”

Malfoy stops at his given name, turning around to face Harry. Snowflakes whirl around him as the wind picks up, their surroundings glowing white as the cloud-covered sky brightens to mid-morning.

“You don’t owe me anymore, you never did. Not that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed the creative ways we’ve paid each other back.” Harry watches Malfoy’s blank face carefully before continuing. “The thing is, I don’t want you to feel obligated to me anymore. If you want to continue this—whatever this is—I want you to do so because you want to.”

Harry hears the bustle of students exiting the castle before he catches sight of them, the time clearly having passed quicker than Harry thought. Malfoy stands very still when Neville approaches through the trees, a wide grin across his face.

“Harry! There you are.” He strides past Malfoy, giving him a thoughtful frown, before returning his attention to Harry. “We’re supposed to be hit with a pretty big snowstorm today. Dean’s organizing a snowball fight after breakfast, you should join us.”

“Um, sure,” Harry distractedly agrees, eyes returning to Malfoy but finding the spot empty, only a flash of blond disappearing into the snowy distance.

Neville follows Harry’s gaze, concern written across his face. “Everything alright, Harry?”

“Of course.” Harry ignores the pain gripping at his heart. “Everything’s fine.”

~*~

Epilogue coming 4th September 2016