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Something I Don't Want to Stop

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That First Night

  

"Well.  Isn't that perfection?" Draco said when Potter walked in and just stood there staring at him from across the dormitory.  Draco, perched on the sill, looked back out the window, tracing one finger slowly along the pane.  He had wondered who McGonagall would throw him in with, and he figured, being that his new room was up in the old Gryffindor tower, that it wouldn't be Flint or Zabini. 

 

Apparently the old domestic short hair was of the same mind as Dumbledore had been -- that the Houses should be, for most intents and purposes, abandoned in favor of unity after the war.  Draco didn't really give a toss.  It did add insult to injury, though, to find out he would be rooming in his old rivals' tower, even if he hadn't known precisely with whom he'd be sharing the two-bed dorm.

 

Now he did.  And it was just too fitting to even get arsed about. 

 

It was gently misting outside, and Draco moved his finger through the fog that had collected on the window, surreptitiously studying Potter's face.

 

"It's you then," Potter finally said.  He sounded different.  His voice was deeper, and there wasn't the thrum of hatred hardening his consonants like Draco was used to.

 

"Suppose so."

 

"What is she on about?"

 

Draco watched Potter's pale reflection run a hand through its hair.  He pushed a finger through the fog on the window, formed a bead of condensation, and then let it trickle down Potter's face.

 

"Dunno.  What are you going to do about it, Potter?"  Because the git hadn't even stepped one foot into the bloody room.

 

"What can we do?"

 

"Put in for a transfer, I expect."  Draco held his breath, waiting for Potter's sigh of relief.

 

"Yeah.  I expect."  No sighing.  He took two steps into the room instead, and Draco immediately turned on him, reaching for a wand that wasn't there.  Harry reached, too, but didn't draw.  Draco saw Potter's gaze drop to where Draco's hand touched the empty air at his hip, and then Potter's frown flicked back up.  Draco threw himself back down into the window sill, propping a booted foot up and leaning his elbow on it.  His heart beat so hard, Draco could feel it moving the thin silk of his shirt.

 

"What are you waiting for then?" Draco spat.

 

Potter firmed his lips and exhaled.  "Nothing," he spat back, and then he turned to go, leaving Draco to obliterate the memory of his reflection with a well-placed swipe of his hand.

 

*

 

In order to process your request for room reassignment, please sign below where indicated:

 

'We, Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter, wish to be reassigned new rooms and/or roommates.  We realize this transaction, as mediated by Professors McGonagall, Sprout, Flitwick, Sinistra, and Binns, will need to be deliberated on after a requisite six week waiting period, and then put to a vote, and that room moves must receive a unanimous vote in order to be processed.'

 

(Processing may take 2 - 3 weeks time).

 

Thank you for your request,

 

Headmistress, Minerva McGonagall

 

"You're joking," Malfoy had declared, and the shocked look on his face was almost, almost, enough to make Harry smile.  He'd had the exact same reaction in the headmistress' office just minutes before, actually.

 

"Are you going to sign or what?" Harry asked.

 

Malfoy snatched away the quill that Harry was holding out, and not for the first time that night, Harry noticed the lack of light to his eyes.  It seemed an odd thing to notice: the way light became absorbed into rather than reflected off of Draco Malfoy's eyes.  It seemed an odd thing to care about, especially when it appeared they'd be roommates for the foreseeable future, and it seemed a subdued Malfoy -- less antagonism from the prat rather than more of the same -- would be a rather good thing.

 

Malfoy signed the form and thrust the parchment back at him.  Then he rolled over in his bed, dragging the covers up to this ears, effectively shunning Harry or any attempts at conversation.

 

Harry stood there and thought about returning the parchment that night.  He sat on his own bed, facing the hunched Malfoy, and exhaled.  It had been a severely long day what with the train from London and all the staring from the younger students, especially the brand new ones who had never seen him at all.  Harry had been ogled all the way from Kings Cross to the top of Gryffindor tower.  In fact, it seemed Malfoy was one of the only people who wasn't a good friend but didn't see fit to gawk at him.

 

What a revelation that rooming with Draco Malfoy might be, in any way, a respite.

 

Harry put the form away in the bedside table drawer, content to turn it in first thing in the morning.  Then he doused the light, got under his covers, and listened to the vast silence of the tower.

 

The only sound was Malfoy's quiet breath and Harry's own beating heart.

 

 

 

Teaching

 

 

 

"Longbottom's taking Herbology, Lovegood is taking Care of Magical Creatures, Ms. Granger is taking Arithmancy, Charms, Transfiguration, and Muggle Studies all on her own.  I don't see why the two of you can't take Defense Against the Dark Arts together."

 

They'd been sitting in McGonagall's office, and Potter was aghast.  He'd held his hands out as though to convince her of his helplessness even as she argued for his competency based on that whole 'Dumbledore's Army' business.  Draco simply sat quietly, frowning down into the hands folded in his lap.  His mother had taught him that.  When that thing inside you, that panic, that utterly degrading fear, fills you...when it rises, fold your hands, contain it between your palms, and like any unwanted emotion, just will it into the unseen depths of yourself.

 

It was, at best, a temporary solution, even if it had saved their familial skins on occasion.

 

Harry continued to argue.  "But the others are assistant teaching.  You're asking me to--  You're saying you don't have a Defense teacher."

 

"That's correct."

 

"Well, I've never actually taught a real class on my own.  I taught a handful of students who volunteered because they were desperate--"

 

"You're not on your own; it will be the two of you," she insisted.

 

Draco closed his fingers tightly together, pinching off the blood flow.  At Potter's scoff, Draco looked up to find Potter looking at him now as though he expected back-up of some kind.  Potter wanted help from him -- help to convince McGonagall that they couldn't possibly work together.  It was really a brilliant moment: band together in mutual discord.

 

Draco was feeling rather apathetic to the whole thing, so he just gave him a don't-look-at-me look and shrugged.

 

"Fine."  Potter threw up his hands and stood.  "Fine, I'll do it."  He looked down at Draco.  "Are you happy now?"  Then he stormed out, leaving Draco with a smiling McGonagall.

 

"I'm glad to have a moment with you, Draco.  I believe you're in need of a wand."

 

*

 

Perhaps their first class teaching together could have gone more smoothly.  And yes, perhaps some of that was Harry's fault, since he had practically refused to formulate a lesson plan with Malfoy ahead of time.  But Malfoy was partly to blame.  Mostly to blame.  It had been Malfoy, hadn't it, who refused to start their first years on Lumos and had instead insisted on Immobulus?

 

Was it Harry's fault that it was such a terrible idea?

 

Was it Harry's fault that they'd begun shouting at each other in front of a very alarmed group of children?

 

Was it Harry's fault that they'd ended the class in a duel, throwing everything from Stupify to Confundus to Locomotor Mortis at each other?  That they'd Reducto'd a desk or two?  That several students left coughing because of the haze of smoke?

 

Well, yes.  Yes, he supposed it was.

 

But that didn't make Harry any less angry.  In fact, it made him more so.  Harry hadn't felt this angry in weeks.  No, months.  And once he'd begun feeling angry, he'd found it nearly impossible to stop.

 

Case in point being that he'd shouted at Malfoy from the classroom all the way up into their dorm and was still shouting at him now.

 

"They're bloody first years!  There's no war on, Malfoy, what do they need to learn Immobulus their first day for?  Lumos was more than enough!  Now they're scared out of their minds and for what?  For what, Malfoy?  They're not us!  They don't need to know what we know!"

 

"They need to know Immobulus, Potter!  What they don't need is to have to dodge flying desk debris their first day, and whose fault was that?"

 

"Yours!" Harry shouted automatically, and to his shock, Malfoy's face transformed with a mad smile.  He ran his hands through his hair, the sleeves of his robes flapping.  He turned away from Harry, turned back, looking trapped and verging on hysteria.  Harry just blinked at him.

 

"Why don't you just Avada Kedavra me and rid the world then?" Malfoy laughed mirthlessly.  "I'm serious, Potter.  I don't know why I'm back at this bloody school anyway."

 

Harry shrugged.  "Masochism?"

 

Malfoy, the incomprehensible git, laughed again.  It was a real laugh, too -- full of secret anguish and heartache.  "Probably, Potter.  Probably."

 

"Well, get over it.  You know, you'd be almost tolerable if you weren't such a prat.  Nobody blames you."  It was out of his mouth before he'd thought.

 

"You just blamed me two minutes ago for traumatizing the first years!"

 

"Well, I was angry, damn it --- you wouldn't fucking listen to me."

 

"So you're pissed I didn't like your Lumos idea, but you have no problem with this?"  He yanked his shirt sleeve up and revealed the Dark Mark, faint now, harmless.

 

Harry looked at it.  He looked back up at Malfoy.  "You didn't have a choice."

 

Malfoy hardened his jaw.  "Yeah, and I'm sure that's everyone else's opinion, too, right?"

 

"Okay, not everyone, but Merlin -- you're teaching a class!  McGonagall trusts you.  So Ron can't stand you, and Hermione'll keep you at a distance for a while, but she's been assigned to room with Bulstrode, so really, it's live with it or quit, isn't it?  What does it bloody matter now that it's all over?  What does any of it matter?"

 

All Harry's energy left him then, and he sat heavily on the floor at the foot of his bed, leaning his weary head back against it and closing his eyes.

 

"Christ, Potter, you should have become Minister, giving such an inspirational speech like that."

 

Harry couldn't suppress a chuckle.  "May have to take the position they offered me back in the summer.  Seeing as how I'm about to get sacked as a Hogwarts interim professor and possibly expelled."

 

"I was only joking," Malfoy said.  "They really offered you a job?"

 

Harry just shrugged.  The owl had come on one of those days when there was finally nothing to do.  No post-war parties to attend, no press conferences.  Harry had broken up with Ginny three days prior (at his own birthday party at the Burrow no less).  He wasn't in the mood to see anyone, and he was just hanging out in Sirius' old bedroom, listening to his Muggle records, doing lazy magic over his head as he lay back against the musty pillows.  Kreacher had been trying to lure him out with treacle tart (and the elf had become quite the proficient cook), but Harry hadn't wanted to leave the room.  And he certainly didn't want to make any trips to the Ministry.

 

He was sick of the flashbulbs and fanfare.  He was tired of being The Boy Who Lived -- Twice!  He didn't know what he wanted.  He just didn't think he could stand any more sycophantic groveling.  And he knew he didn't want some pre-Auror, parchment-pushing desk job, if that was what they wanted to offer him.

 

And here he was now, supposed to be figuring out what he wanted to do with his life, and all he could do was hex Draco Malfoy and shout at him for something he didn't even do wrong.  Some Minister he'd make.

 

His musings were interrupted by a knock at the door.

 

"Who is it?" he called.

 

Malfoy had started stripping out of his robes, and Harry watched while he waited for a response.

 

"I said, who is it?"

 

"S-Seth Ridgemore, sir."

 

Malfoy threw his robes in the direction of his trunk and started unbuttoning his shirt.  From the voice on the other side of the door, not yet changed and deeply fearful, Harry pegged Seth as a first year.  He spared one last annoyed glance at Malfoy and then opened the door.  "Yes?"

 

Seth Ridgemore flinched, eyes wide.  "I've been s-sent to g-give you this, Harry Potter sir.  You and Mr. Malfoy."  He held out a parchment.

 

"My name's just Harry."  He took the message.

 

"Yes, sir," said Seth, turning and running away.

 

Harry shut the door and unfolded the parchment as Malfoy, shirtless, scrubbed his hands over his face. 

 

"What the bloody hell does it say, then?"

 

Harry dropped his eyes to it and read.  "You won't believe it."

 

"What?"

 

"No, really.  You won't believe it."  He'd begun to smile.

 

Malfoy reached out and snatched it from his hands.  "'Misters Malfoy and Potter,'" he began, frowning.  "'Congratulations on a smashing first class!'"  His eyes shot up to Harry's.

 

"No, keep going," Harry urged.  He had to bite his lip.

 

Malfoy cleared his throat.  "'I don't believe any of your students will soon forget the lesson you taught their first exciting day: that magic can be scary business indeed.  It may have been a bit overdone, so I think it would be best to scale back a tad tomorrow -- perhaps introduce them to Lumos, or even Immobulus?  That said, excellent start!  Sincerely, Minerva McGonagall.'"  He looked up at Harry.  "What the fuck?"

 

"I guess I'm not sacked.  And neither are you."  He raised his eyebrows once, and then, before Malfoy could take any more clothes off, picked up his Potions textbook and left.

  

Quidditch Practice

   

It was...frustrating.  Potter.  Sitting there in the stands just feet away.  Critiquing Draco's team.

 

"If Nott...that's Jared Nott, right?"

 

"Yes."

 

"Well, if he'd give it two more seconds before he lifted the nose of his broom, he could out-maneuver Padma."

 

"I thought you liked Padma," Draco said, squinting to watch the scrimmage more closely.

 

"I do.  I'm just pointing something out."

 

Potter was leaned back on his elbows in the bleachers, one foot propped on the rail, bouncing his heel.

 

"I don't give your team pointers, Potter."

 

"Yes, but that's because you don't want us to beat you, not because you're being polite."

 

Draco rolled his eyes and leaned forward, trying not to see Potter there.  He didn't even have practice for another hour, yet there he was -- watching the Slytherins and making his pithy comments.

 

It was bloody frustrating.  Draco was starting to believe he'd never be rid of Potter.  Not ever.  Not when they roomed together, taught together, had three classes together, and then Quidditch practice back to back.  The only times Draco seemed to have to himself were when Potter wandered off with his little friends to the library or Hogsmeade or meals or whatever.  Then Draco was left alone in peace.

 

Then the silence ate at him in ways he hadn't thought possible outside the Manor.

 

But it was better than this!  Better than being nonchalantly harassed about his Keeper's blocking skill, his Chasers' speed, and worst, his Seeker's moves.  How the git could rationalize it, knowing that Draco bloody well knew how to play Seeker as good as he did...  Well.  It was frustrating.

 

Draco had suffered three months of the obnoxious arse, and there simply didn't seem to be an end to it in sight.

 

And the Quidditch advice wasn't the only thing.  Potter, himself, was frustrating, sitting there in a tight t-shirt and denims.  The worst was when he'd clean his damned glasses, using his shirt to rub the lenses, revealing that little bit of pale skin, the dark trail of hair, the denims barely covering his hipbones.  Like he was doing now.

 

"Watch the game," Potter warned.  "Higgs just missed the Bludger by a mile."

 

Draco swung around.  "Hey!" he yelled.  "Watch your aim, Charles!"

 

"You're welcome," Potter said, smirking.

 

"Sod off.  Don't you need to get your team together?"

 

"You trying to get rid of me?"

 

"Always."

 

The bastard smiled then.  He smiled.  With all his damned teeth.  The git looked so bloody pleased.   "No, you're not, Malfoy.  You adore me."  Then he threw a crumpled up parchment at Draco's head and stood to leave.

 

Draco tried not to watch him walk away.  He tried.  But it was so bloody lovely watching Potter walk away.

 

For so many reasons.

 

*

 

Since eighth years weren't allowed to play, only coach, being on the pitch was bittersweet for Harry.  The smell of the damp sand, the whistle of air in his ears, the shouted commands and encouragement...it all brought back some of his best memories of school.  But knowing he'd never catch the Snitch and win the game for Gryffindor again... 

 

He really shouldn't care.  He'd defeated Voldemort.  He'd died.  He had no business missing Quidditch.  Yet here he was, standing in the middle of the stadium, about to give his players a pep talk before practice, and the sensations swept over him like music, stealing his speech and forming a hard knot in his throat.

 

There had been so much he'd been prepared to let go of in his life.  And now, when he least expected it, so much had come rushing back in.  Harry looked up into the stands to see Malfoy still sitting there, intent on him.  Harry ducked his head and then addressed his team, "Look, as long as you have fun and kill Slytherin a week from Saturday, I'm happy."

 

Everyone laughed.  Well, Ginny didn't exactly laugh.  She was still sore at him for making her Chaser rather than Seeker, even if she had admitted herself that Angelina Johnson's little sister, Erica, was practically a prodigy.  Maybe it had more to do with how ineptly he'd broken it off with her.  Maybe he was just a foul git in her eyes.

 

"Okay, don't kill them exactly," he amended.  He looked back up into the stands, but Malfoy had gone.  Harry sighed.

 

"Are we allowed to maim?" Reginald Vane asked.

 

"No, not that either."  Harry tried to smile at him, but now that Malfoy wasn't there watching his every move, it felt...off.  "Just make it a good match.  Use the techniques we've been going over.  Just have fun, okay?"  He clapped his hands.  "Let's start with some Keeper drills, all right?"

 

Harry made his way back to the stands.  He had meant to hop a broom and do some real hands-on training, but now he didn't feel as much like it.

 

When he got back to the bleachers, it was to find Ron had arrived.

 

"Hey!  I thought you had Transfiguration now," Harry said, plopping down next to him and watching his players kick off.

 

"Not for another twenty minutes."

 

"Well, good.  You can help me with my Keeper.  She's a bit timid."

 

"Sure.  Happy to.  Oi, guess who I ran into on the way here."  He nudged Harry hard in the side.  "Your roommate."

 

"Oh yeah?"  Harry adjusted his glasses.

 

"Bloody plonker ran right into me."

 

"So maybe he just wasn't paying attention."

 

"Yeah, right.  He earned the shove he got."

 

Harry realized he was grinding his teeth and stopped with a concerted effort.  He pasted on a relaxed smile.  "Maybe you could try giving him just a small break, Ron."

 

Ron frowned, affronted.  "This is Malfoy we're talking about," he said.  "This is the git you've had to share a room with.  The one you keep complaining about?  The Death Eater?"

 

"He's not anymore," Harry said.  He took a deep breath.  "Look, Ron, I just think...  Well, look at Hermione and Bulstrode.  They're getting along okay now, right?  Hermione's even said the dungeon rooms aren't too bad if you can get used to being green every time you look in the mirror."

 

"What does that have to do with Malfoy?"  Ron appeared genuinely flummoxed. 

 

Harry sighed.  He supposed things were different for Ron.  He'd been assigned a room with Seamus and Anthony Goldstein, a Ravenclaw.  He wasn't being asked to transcend old hatreds on such a daily basis, in such an intimate way.  Maybe it was Harry who should be giving Ron the break.  "It's nothing," he said, clapping Ron on the back.  "Say, there's another Hogsmeade trip coming up in three weeks.  What say you, me, Hermione, Seamus, Dean, Luna, Neville...the whole lot...go to The Three Broomsticks?"

 

"Brilliant," Ron agreed.  "Effin' brilliant.  Seriously, after you avoided us all summer--"

 

"I didn't avoid you.  I came to the Burrow once or twice."

 

"For your own birthday party, you ponce."  Ron's smile took the sting out of his words.

 

"Sorry.  I just..."

 

"Yeah, I know.  Ginny.  It was weird, yeah?"

 

"Yeah.  Weird."

 

"I'd begun to think we'd never have fun together again after you two broke it off.  I missed you, mate."

 

"I've missed you, too."

 

"But oi!  Jordan Junior's dropped the Quaffle."  He clapped Harry on the back and stood.  "Better see to that.  I'll catch you at dinner."

 

"Right."

 

"Right."

 

Harry listened to his footsteps as he clomped away and tried to concentrate on his team's Quaffle-handling.  But the conversation kept replaying in his head, not leaving him alone. 

 

Ron shoving Malfoy kept playing in his head. 

 

So maybe that was why he didn't immediately see Erica's nose-dive toward the pitch.  When she hit, Harry rose, though, grabbed his broom, and flew straight down to her unmoving side.

 

"Get Madam Pomfrey!" he yelled.  "She should just be--"

 

"I'm right here, lad.  Oh, let's see, let's see."  She knelt by Erica's side as she began to come around.  "Looks like a broken ankle, I think.  Okay."  She levitated the girl off the ground.  "Mr. Vane, can you accompany us to the infirmary, please?"

 

Vane stepped up for the job, and Harry watched them take her away.  He scrubbed at his hair.  "Well.  Let's, uh, postpone practice until she's healed up, shall we?  I'll see you all tomorrow evening hopefully."

 

There was some grumbling and murmuring, but all Harry could think was that he needed to warn Malfoy of that nose-dive move after all.  He spelled his broom back to the locker room and took off toward the castle.  Malfoy had a free period now before they had Potions together.  He could catch him in the room, tell him what happened to Erica.  Harry was already thinking up ways to make the dive safer, even more efficient.  They could add a roll.  Yeah, a roll near the bottom would protect the Seeker's legs and give more velocity on the up-turn...

 

He strategized all the way to the dorm, and he was already talking when he burst into the room, "Malfoy, don't listen to what I said earlier about the--  Oh."

 

Malfoy sat bolt upright in his bed, fumbling hurriedly with either the sheets or his trousers or both, Harry couldn't tell.  All he saw was Malfoy's bare blushing torso, his mussed hair, and his stricken expression. 

 

"Oh.  Bugger.  I mean, fuck."  Harry tried to look anywhere else.  But then the previous moment, before he'd realized what was going on, bloomed fully formed in his mind, every detail mapped for his perusal:  Malfoy's hand moving under the covers, his eyes shut, his lips parted, his neck arched...  Merlin's beard.  "I'll, uh...  I'll leave you to it--I mean alone." 

 

Harry turned on his heel and left a gasping, half-naked (maybe more) Malfoy in the room, in bed.  Harry wasn't sure where he was going when he left.  He just started walking.  And the vision Malfoy had made followed him, plagued him, made him breathless as he walked.

 

He just needed to splash some water on his face probably.  He'd almost sprinted from the Quidditch pitch up to the room, after all, hadn't he?  Harry shoved into the first bathroom he found and locked the door behind him with a charm.  He bypassed the sinks.  He stripped off all his clothes and stepped into one of the showers. 

 

Harry turned the water on, hot.  He groaned as it struck his body.

 

Malfoy's neck arched...  Malfoy's hand down under the covers...  What would it look like?  What would he sound like...when he came?

 

Harry wrapped his hand around his hard cock and started to pull.

 

 

 

More Than Fine

 

 

Everything was all right.  Everything was really fine.  His classes were fine.  Teaching was fine.  He and Potter were, one might almost say, getting along.  Their first and second years had learned ten times more spells than they had at their age, and that was likely due to his and Potter's new ability to stand one another.

 

They'd had the match -- Gryffindor versus Slytherin -- a month ago already, and Harry hadn't even seemed to mind losing to Draco's team.  He'd thrown his hands up in the air when Nott caught the Snitch, but he'd been laughing and groaning at the same time.  It was difficult to be smug when Potter lost so gracefully that he actually shook Draco's hand and told him it was a really good game.

 

Draco had merely blinked at him.  Then Potter, still holding his hand, had grabbed his shoulder, squeezed it affectionately, and leaned in to whisper in his ear, "Cheer up, Malfoy.  You won," before he walked off to join his friends, leaving Draco speechless and staring after him.

 

And that was the problem: it was all a little too fine.

 

It was so fine that Draco had found himself staring at Potter during meals.

 

"You really have to work on your death glare, Draco," Pansy had told him. 

 

"What?"

 

She'd just jerked her head in Potter's direction and kept eating.

 

"I was just thinking about..."  He'd said the first thing that came to mind.  "...bezoars."

 

"Whatever," Millicent joined in.  "Granger says he talks about you night and day, and it's not even all about wanting to kill you or wishing you'd get expelled anymore."

 

"He does?"  Draco had looked over at Potter again, smiling and laughing with his friends.  Draco swallowed.

 

"She says he thinks you're a good teacher."

 

"Really?"

 

Pansy perked back up again and threw a roll at his face.  He frowned at her.  "I say you've gone soft," she announced, standing to leave.  "Better watch yourself, Draco."

 

Draco started avoiding Potter after that conversation.  Well, as much as he could.  The bloody transfer still hadn't gone through, and it wasn't as though they could ever pretend the other one didn't exist, even if they wanted to anymore.  And only part of Draco wanted to.  The other part...  Well, the other part had been caught in the act.

 

He preferred not to think of that if at all possible. 

 

He preferred not to think of how many times he'd caught Potter staring at him during Potions that day, of how Potter's potion had started billowing black smoke and how his own had turned the consistency of cement.

 

Draco, in lieu of thinking about Harry Potter, had ceased to think at all.

 

It was Thursday evening when it started to rain so hard it hurt.  Draco's team was on the pitch practicing and, as usual, Potter was sitting with him in the stands, giving unwanted advice.  (Except that Draco had already used some of it, but that was beside the point.)  It had been dark and dreary all day, but now the skies opened up and threw icy daggers at them.

 

"Bloody hell," Potter swore.

 

Draco called his team to ground and then dismissed the practice. 

 

"You're not staying out in this, are you?" he asked Potter.

 

"No way," was the answer, and then they both ran for the castle.

 

They were soaked and Draco was shivering by the time they slid in the entry door. 

 

"It's two hours to dinner," Potter commented.

 

"Yeah."  Draco frowned at him, trying not to feel like he looked like a half-drowned kitten.

 

"Yeah, well I'm starving.  How about you?  Oh for Merlin's sake, Malfoy."  And then Potter pulled his wand and dried them both.  Draco shivered as the magic worked him over, leaving him warm and toasty.  It felt like an assumption on Potter's part, an intimacy -- but one Draco decided he didn't want to object to.

 

"I could eat," he said.

 

They headed up to the dorms, and it was strange.  It was beyond strange that it was so on purpose: hanging out with Potter.  Draco told himself that it was just because they were both hungry and Potter had pinched some food at some point apparently.  Hunger and availability of food were perfectly legitimate reasons to spend time with a person.

 

But when they got to the room and entered and Draco shut the door behind them, a fantastic thrill shot through his blood.  This could not be an ordinary occurrence.  Because he and Harry were not ordinary.  Not separately and certainly not together.

 

Harry...  Merlin's bollocks.

 

Potter rummaged around in his trunk.

 

"I don't fancy eating anything that could come out of there, Potter," Draco said, his nose wrinkling almost involuntarily.

 

But Potter looked over his shoulder at him with a blinding and rather mischievous smile and simply said, "Oh, I think you'll be changing your mind about that," and then kept rummaging.  "Take off your coat, Malfoy.  Stay a while."

 

"I'm not wearing a coat."

 

"It's an expression."  Then he muttered, "Merlin..."

 

Draco decided it didn't have to be a terrible idea just because it was Potter's and so kicked off his shoes and stripped off his socks and his jumper.  He felt ridiculous not knowing where to sit in his own bloody room but settled on the floor, leaned back against his own bed, facing Potter's.

 

"Here we are," Potter said, levitating the food over to the floor before the place where Draco sat.  "We've got sandwiches, cheese, crackers, fruit, cake--"

 

"Is that all?" Draco smirked.  Truth was his mouth watered at the sight of it.  Apparently, Potter'd put a pretty decent stasis charm on all of it.

 

"Nope," Harry replied.  He produced a pitcher of water, glasses, and...  "The piece de la resistance, as they say at Beauxbatons..."  He brought a fifth of firewhiskey from behind his back, waggling his eyebrows.

 

"How did you--?"

 

"Brought it back from Hogsmeade last trip," he explained, thunking down on the floor and leaning back against his own bed across from Draco.  Potter set the bottle down between them and then ditched his own shoes and jumper.  Once he'd pulled it over his head, it left his hair rumpled and wild.  He unbuttoned the top two buttons on his shirt.  Draco felt warm all over.

 

"There might be some Slytherin in you yet," he allowed.

 

"Christ, Malfoy.  Way to make me weak in the knees," Potter smiled.

 

Draco had to drop his gaze and busy himself putting together a plate while Potter poured the firewhiskey.

 

"Probably shouldn't drink this before we eat, huh?" Potter said, swirling his glass.

 

Draco knew a challenge when he heard one.  He picked up his own glass and threw the stuff back, licking his lips.

 

Potter slanted a smile at him and then tossed his drink back, too.  He licked his own lips.  Draco's were tingling.  "There might be some Gryffindor in you yet," Potter parroted.

 

"Christ, Potter.  Way to...give me hives," Draco answered.

 

Potter laughed and threw a cracker at him.  Draco caught it and ate it.

 

And then they both ate -- ravenously -- until most of the gigantic mound of food was gone.

 

"So, tell me," Potter began after he finished off his water and poured himself another firewhiskey.

 

"No," Draco said.

 

"Oh, come on.  You don't even know what I was going to ask you."  Then he refilled Draco's glass.  Liberally.

 

"You were going to ask how I was managing without my parents.  Or where they were.  Or how do I live with the shame or something else rude like that."  Draco sipped, staring at the floor.

 

"No, I wasn't." 

 

"Potter."

 

"Malfoy, I wasn't.  I wanted to ask if you miss playing Quidditch."

 

Draco blinked his gaze back up to Potter's earnest face.  "Well, then you're a fool.  You should be asking me those questions.  You should be interrogating me on--"

 

"But I don't want to," Potter insisted.

 

"Why not?"

 

Potter took a long drink and then sighed.  "I don't need to."  Draco sipped again and let the alcohol go to his head.  It seemed to wick away the sour feelings and replace them effortlessly with nicer ones.  Or maybe that was the soft timber of Potter's voice.  And Potter kept going.  "But do you miss them?"

 

Draco sipped.  He nodded.

 

"When can you see them again?"

 

"I suppose I could go see them on holiday."

 

"They won't come back here?"

 

"No."

 

Potter nodded.  "I expect they miss you, too."

 

Draco just blinked.

 

"Want another?" Potter asked.

 

"It's almost time for dinner."

 

Potter grinned at him lopsidedly.  "Bugger 'em."

 

Draco smiled.  "Yeah, I'll have another."  Then, abruptly, before he could change his mind, "Thanks."

 

Potter shrugged.  He filled his own glass, and they both drank deeply.  Some dribbled down Draco's chin, and Potter nearly spit his out laughing.  "Merlin, I can't take you anywhere," he said, leaning forward and swiping a thumb along Draco's jaw.

 

Draco gasped.  Harry's thumb was rough and square, his touch tender.  He wasn't smiling so brightly anymore.  It was subdued, wondering.  And he wasn't moving away.  He cupped Draco's jaw, and he moved in slowly, tilting his head.  Draco's gaze dropped to his lips in time to see Potter lick them.  And then Potter pressed his lips to Draco's, and Draco's eyes fluttered closed.

 

He felt Potter's breath, tasted bite of whiskey on his lips, and then Potter pulled back -- just an inch -- and waited.  Draco took a breath, and then he surged forward and swiped his tongue into Potter's mouth, curling his hand around the back of Potter's neck, into his hair.

 

They knocked over the empty pitcher as they each shifted to get closer, to change the angle, as Potter's tongue delved into his mouth and Draco slid his over top as heat shot through his body like ink through water.   Potter grabbed him by the shirt front and grunted softly, and the sound ached in him, squeezing him simultaneously in the chest and the groin.

 

And he was hard.  Draco was so bloody hard.  He retilted his head and made a fist in Potter's hair.  Potter's hands started working on Draco's buttons, and Draco pulled his mouth free, but only to take one look into Potter's eyes, to try to see if there was anything of cruelty there, some massive, horrible practical joke.  But there were only dilated pupils and the burning question: Can I?  And so Draco attacked his mouth again and let Potter strip him out of his shirt, his hands no longer so gentle now that he'd been given permission to be urgent.

 

Draco undid Potter's buttons, too, and as every one came free it was like something -- some vile thing that had been weighing on him -- dropped away, too. 

 

And then there was Potter's skin.  Draco shoved the shirt away to hang on Potter's arms, and he slid his hands down Potter's chest, over the rise of his nipples as Potter gasped into his mouth, down the stomach and that trail of hair, back up, over his strong shoulders, the back of his neck, up into his hair...

 

Still kissing, and kissing, and kissing.

 

Draco had never kissed like this.  Not like this.  If this was how Gryffindors kissed...

 

Potter reached for Draco's trousers.  His fingers brushed along Draco's stomach, and Draco sipped in his breath, their mouths separating minutely.

 

"Jesus, that was hot," Potter whispered.  Then he gently bit Draco's bottom lip and unzipped him and reached in and...

 

"Oh fuck," Draco breathed, squirming on the floor, Potter kneeling before him and pulling his cock out.

 

Draco kept his eyes shut as Potter's hand slowly stroked, almost weighing him in his palm, thumbing around the head, over the slit.  And then he felt Potter shifting, so he opened his drugged eyes to watch him open his own trousers and, not nearly so gently but with arousing familiarity, handle his own cock.

 

It was dark and thick, blushing hard at the head, and Draco never wanted something in his mouth so badly in his life.  But Potter moved back in, positioning them, straddling Draco's hips, aligning them.  He took Draco's cock in his hand, and he took Draco's hand and wrapped it around himself, inhaling sharply and squeezing his eyes shut as Draco instinctively squeezed.

 

When Potter opened his eyes, though, and he looked at Draco, he smiled.

 

He bloody smiled.

 

They started to stroke each other.

 

Potter seemed to prefer short, sharp tugs, if his nodding was any indication.  But Potter's hand was almost teasing.  He fondled and played and deviated his strokes.  He was driving Draco completely mad.

 

They just sort of fell to kissing again.  Draco couldn't complain.  Having Potter's hand on his cock, his own wrapped securely around Potter's, and then Potter's tongue in his mouth, was about the best combination of new and interesting events he could think of.  Potter's hand felt like an impossible thing come true.  Potter's soft-skinned stiff cock, just as much so.  But his mouth.  Potter's mouth was like diving into warm magic.  It stirred something in Draco's chest, something that yearned to be touched.

 

They only broke apart again because it was time.  Draco wasn't sure when it had started happening, but he was pulsing his hips up in time with Potter's now-rhythmic and determined strokes.  Potter was panting against his cheek, his ear, sending shivers over his skin, and then he came.  He came in Draco's hand and over his cock and on Draco's stomach a little bit, and all the while, he whispered, "Malfoy...  God, Malfoy..."  Like his name was suddenly beautiful.  Like it had transformed from the spark of firewhiskey and the heat between their bodies.

 

Draco surged forward again and attached his mouth to the side of Potter's neck, kissing and sucking as he bucked his hips, more than ready.  Potter sped his hand  up, urging him on, and it was maybe the fact that Potter actually wanted him to come that made him do it.

 

Draco moaned and shot in Potter's fast fist, and nothing -- nothing -- had ever felt better. 

 

For the first time in a long time, Draco laughed.

 

*

 

The timber of his voice still skated along Harry's skin, along his neck.  Malfoy...Christ, Draco...was laughing.  And Harry had his warm, sticky cock in his hand still. 

 

He and Malfoy had just done it.   Hadn't they?  Harry would have chalked it up to firewhiskey and horniness except that...

 

Draco had laughed.  Not derisively or cruelly but real and out of control.  It had sounded like Harry felt.  How he still felt, even as the high of the orgasm faded.

 

He released Draco's cock and pulled back a little to peer into his eyes -- sobering with the dawning light of what they'd just done.  Harry didn't want that fear to take over.  He could feel it under his own skin -- the desire to pull away.  So he quit thinking and leaned in and kissed Draco hard.  He kissed him hard until it turned soft and lingering, the delicate sound of their lips coming together, separating, and then coming together again making it feel closer and more dangerous and more exciting than even coming in his hand had.

 

Harry felt like flying again.

 

When he finally let Draco's swollen lips go, he stroked his thumb along Draco's jaw and said the first thing that came to mind.  "Want to do it again?"

 

Before Draco could answer, and the reply certainly seemed like it would be in the affirmative the way his eyes lit up, there was a scratching at the door.

 

Harry groaned loudly and lay back on the floor to tuck his prick back into his denims.  "Who is it?"

 

Meow.

 

"It's a cat," Draco said redundantly, putting his own bits away.

 

"Probably Crookshanks.  Fuck!"  Harry ran his hands through his hair.  "I was supposed to study with Hermione tonight after dinner."  He strode to the door and opened it to find the cat and a note in front of its perfectly placed paws.  "Thanks, Crookshanks.  Can you wait a moment?"

 

The cat blinked.

 

Harry turned into the room and opened the note.  In it, Hermione was either lecturing him or worried, one or the other.  They sounded a lot alike. 

 

"I, uh, I'm supposed to meet her in the library," he explained, now unable to look at Malfoy, who he heard standing and brushing off his trousers.  "Do you want to come with?" Harry found himself asking.  His heart had jumped into his throat.

 

"What, study with you and Granger?"  Malfoy seemed to think Harry'd gone mad.  Harry thought he could be right.

 

"Well, I realize you're not taking Astronomy -- frankly, I don't know why I am -- but...  Slughorn said there's to be that quiz on Friday.  You--  We could--"

 

"Potter..."

 

Harry finally found the bollocks to look at him.  Draco was frowning and buttoning up his shirt.

 

"I don't think it'd be a good idea."

 

"Right," Harry said swallowing down his heartbeat with effort.  "What are you going to do?"

 

"I don't know," he answered.  Then he added, "Wank off?"

 

Harry smiled, a small laugh wanting to erupt out of him.  But he still could hardly look Draco in the eye.  He grabbed a jumper from his trunk and pulled it on, found his shoes and shoved his feet into them. "I'll be back in a couple hours," he said.

 

Draco said nothing, so Harry looked up at him again.  Draco nodded.

 

"So...you'll be here?"

 

Draco blushed.  "Yeah.  Sure."  Then more defiantly, "Probably."

 

Harry couldn't help but smile as the blush seemed to outweigh his words.  "I'll see you later, then."

 

"Later then."

 

Harry wanted to kiss him so badly it ached.  So he turned off his mind, strode up to Malfoy, grabbed him around the back of the neck before he could bolt, and kissed him hard and quick.  He left Malfoy unsteady on his feet and walked away without looking at him, Crookshanks at his heels and his heart back to beating in his chest.

 

 

 

"What's gotten into you?" Hermione asked for the third time.

 

"It's nothing.  Are we going to study or what?"

 

Hermione sighed and went back to her book, but Harry caught her taking surreptitious glances at him as they worked.

 

It didn't help that his every other thought centered on Draco Malfoy.  Jupiter's moons, Draco Malfoy.  Saturn's rings, Draco Malfoy.  Venus' atmosphere, Draco Bloody Malfoy.

 

"Have you and Ron done it yet?"  Harry blurted an hour and forty-five minutes into their study session.  He kept his eyes down as though to minimize his rudeness.  He'd simply been staring at an asteroid belt for five minutes solid unable to think about anything but Draco's hand around his cock.  About what it might be like to slide his cock up Draco's arse -- if Draco might conceivably let him do that.

 

"Done what?" she asked.

 

"Seriously?"

 

She just blinked at him.  Clearly, her mind wasn't quite where his was.

 

"It.  Have you done it.  Sex, Hermione, Merlin!"

 

"Oh my God, Harry!"  She promptly hid behind her book, but he could still hear her scandalized breathing.

 

"Come on, Hermione.  I'm not asking for details."  He harrumphed.  "Who else are you going to talk about it with?  Bulstrode?"

 

She lowered her book, but her jaw was hard and she was blushing and still couldn't meet his eyes.

 

"You are talking about Ron to Bulstrode!"

 

"Her name is Millicent, Harry, and she's actually a nice person now that she's not trying to kill me."

 

"Well, that's great, but...  Have you?"

 

"Harry!"

 

"Shhh!" came Pince's admonishment.

 

Harry dropped his voice further and leaned over his book.  "I think you guys are brilliant either way, you know."

 

"Me and Millie?"

 

"You and Ron."

 

"Oh.  Well, yes.  We're fine."  She looked around the room and then stared bravely down at her text before admitting.  "Third base if you must know."

 

Harry smiled.

 

"God, I should NOT have told you that!  Oh my God."

 

"Hermione, it's all right.  I'm not going to go around clapping Ron on the back and making cat calls at you like some construction worker."

 

She had to laugh at that. "Thank goodness, or I would have had to hex your lips permanently shut."

 

Harry couldn't help but think about what a crimp that would put in kissing Malfoy.  And other things he'd started imagining doing.

 

"Harry, do you want to come down to the old Slytherin common room after we're done here?  Ron's coming, and probably Seamus and Neville.  Maybe Luna if she can leave off her baby unicorns long enough."

 

"I, uh, I can't tonight."

 

"Why not?  Do you have a hot date with Malfoy or something?"  She obviously thought that was quite funny.

 

Harry looked down and started gathering his things.  He cleared his throat.  "I just have...stuff."

 

"Stuff?"

 

"Well, I'm tired."

 

"It's nine o'clock."

 

"We'll all get together in Hogsmeade."

 

"All right."

 

Harry stood to go, his heart hammering.  "Tell everyone I said hello."

 

She nodded.

 

"Night, Hermione."

 

"Good-night, Harry."

 

Harry almost ran back up to the top of Gryffindor tower.

 

 

 

When he entered the room again, Draco was on his bed reading, but he had that look about him -- as though he'd only just lit there.  He had the book open in one hand, his ankles crossed and brow furrowed, but his eyes weren't moving.  He didn't look up, just kept frowning at his book, almost determinedly.  He was wearing pajama bottoms and nothing else.  Harry let his eyes rove, all the way down to the long, bony, bare feet.

 

"How'd it go?" Draco asked, still staring hard at the page.

 

Harry digested the inertia of the moment -- that Draco was not going to give him an inch -- that, like Harry, he was scared, but unlike Harry, he wasn't going to make the first move.

 

Harry took a long, fortifying breath.

 

He walked over before he could reason his way out of it, pulled the book straight out of Draco's hands, and then pressed him back into the bed, opening Draco's mouth under his own, slowly, wetly, slipping his tongue into Draco's mouth.

 

Draco stiffened for just that moment -- maybe he resented losing his place in his book -- but then Harry felt him give.  And it was worth all the fear he'd felt, still felt.  Draco's tongue moved against his own, his hands finding the bottom of Harry's jumper and tugging on it, sliding up Harry's back.

 

Harry stood and undressed faster than he ever had in his life while Draco ditched his own pajama bottoms, lifting his slender hips and shimmying them down, kicking them off his feet.  The sound of their breathing filled the room.

 

Draco Accioed his wand and worked some charms -- Silencing and Locking -- on the door.  It became suddenly real in that moment -- they were locking the door.  Harry quirked a smile at him, and Draco swallowed, getting under the covers.  When Harry was naked, too, he crawled in against him. 

 

"It's tight in here," he said.

 

Draco, wand still in hand, expanded the bed.

 

"Thanks," Harry murmured.

 

"Yeah."

 

They stared at each other, the places where their skin touched practically burning.  Harry laid his palm on Draco's stomach, and he did that little aroused inhale again.  Harry's cock pulled up hard, kissing Draco's hip.

 

"Have you ever done this before?" Harry asked him.

 

"No."  Draco was breathless lying there.  "Have you?"

 

"No." 

 

Draco licked his lips.  He looked somewhere in the vicinity of the hollow of Harry's throat.  "Go slow," he said.  And it turned Harry on so much it hurt. 

 

Draco was going to let him do it.

 

Harry shifted, getting between Draco's legs, which -- it seemed like a miracle -- opened for him.  He knelt there, looking down at Draco.  He touched his legs, his thighs.  They were so strong-feeling, the hair almost invisible and springy under Harry's hands.

 

"Do you know any lubricating charms?"  He couldn't believe he'd just asked that.  He suddenly felt what Hermione must have in the library -- a soaring sense of irreversible intimacy.

 

"Yeah," Draco said.  "Hold out your hand?"

 

Harry did as asked, and Draco whispered the spell Harry had learned when he'd first started wanking.  Slick covered his fingers.  Draco set his wand aside and stared at his throat some more.  He looked even more afraid than Harry felt.  Of course he did.  Harry leaned down and kissed him again.  He kissed him long and deep -- until Draco drew his knees up and apart a little, and then Harry reached between them to find the downy hole, to push just the tip of his finger inside.

 

Draco's mouth gasped away from his.

 

"Yeah?" Harry asked.

 

"Yeah."

 

Harry kept pushing, and it was so tight -- Christ, it was tight -- but it went all the way in, and Draco moaned, gripping his pillow hard.  Harry slowly began to move his finger in and out.

 

Draco groaned.

 

"Is that good or bad?"

 

"Good," Draco replied.  "It's good."  He started to move against Harry's hand, matching his rhythm.

 

Harry couldn't quite believe he was doing it right, and yet he must have been.  Draco arched into it and gripped and regripped the pillow, and he whined a little in his throat when Harry made to almost pull it out.

 

"Another?" Harry whispered to him.

 

Now Draco just nodded fiercely, so Harry added a second finger and pushed as slowly in this time as he had the first.  Draco bit his lip and sipped in his breath.

 

"Hurt?"

 

"A little.  Go slow."

 

"Okay."  Harry took so much time with it, he felt like he might pass out from the exertion of holding back.  Draco's arse...it was lovely.  It was so soft and hot inside.  It was just his two fingers rather than his cock, but Harry still had the fervent desire to push them in as far as they'd go -- to feel what it was like in the warm, deep pulse of Draco's body.

 

He didn't have to wait too long to do it, either.  Sooner than Harry expected, Draco was pliant again.  He arched and moved with it, his arse pressing into Harry's hand.  Draco's feet had come off the bed, his knees bending in more, instinctively searching for the best fit.

 

"Christ..." Harry breathed.  He started fucking his two fingers in a little faster.  Draco met him, moaning almost continually.  Harry couldn't help but smile a little in amazed delight.  It was brilliant really.  If he wasn't so bloody hard himself, he thought he could just do this to Draco all night and see how long he could keep him as desperate for it as he apparently was.  It was heady.

 

But Harry was hard.  Glass-cutting hard, or at least it seemed that way.  He slowed his fingers, his cock twitching at the way Draco's body seemed to want to cling to them, at the sound he made, like it hurt to ease off the quickened pace.

 

Harry pulled his fingers free, and Draco gasped.  Harry asked, "Are you ready?" Please.  Please dear God be ready.

 

"I think so." 

 

"Yeah?"

 

Draco nodded.

 

Harry smiled.  He slicked up his cock, the touch barely tolerable and yet hardly sufficient.  He scooted in closer, bracing himself over Draco, and Draco opened himself up below him.  Harry was trembling so hard, it took him several tries to even find the hole down there.

 

"Sorry," he murmured.

 

Draco just bit his lip and nodded.

 

Harry finally found the right angle and began to nudge.  He frowned in concentration, holding himself to try to guide it in, his other arm shaking. It happened suddenly, the head popping past the ring of taut muscle, and they both gasped.  Harry took a moment to breathe -- Draco was so unbelievably tight -- then he pushed forward, sinking deeper and deeper, and Draco reached up, grabbed his shoulder hard, and simply stopped breathing.

 

Harry wasn't sure what he should say -- 'Are you all right?  Do you need me to stop?'  To him, it almost felt too good for words.  But Draco was tense as hell.  "Hurt?" Harry asked again.

 

"Yeah." 

 

Harry stopped halfway in.  God, he could feel Draco's pulse firing in the clutch of his body, the heartbeat steady and strong around his cock.  It was incredible.

 

Draco let out his breath and then sipped it back in.  With effort, he let go of Harry's shoulder and instead grabbed the pillow again.  Harry missed that touch instantly.

 

Harry stayed still until Draco let out his breath in a rush, and Harry felt the way give just a little and his cock slipped half an inch deeper.  He couldn't help it; he groaned.  Loudly.

 

"I want to move.  Can I move, Draco?"

 

Draco nodded furiously, so Harry inched his hips back and then pressed forward.  Harry understood the metaphors now.  Electricity, fireworks, moonbeams and whatnot.  "Jesus," he breathed.  He braced on both hands now and looked down into Draco's face.  "That okay?"

 

"Fuck..."

 

"Yes?"

 

Draco pulled his legs up higher and his lashes fluttered closed.  "God, yes."

 

Harry pulled back -- and then fucked back inside.  He did it again.  He did it again and again and again, each time taking longer strokes, until Draco was again moaning almost continually, the pain seeming to slip away from him.  It was beautiful, and it felt spectacular.  So Harry reared back and started to rut in him, faster and faster.  The build of heat was incredible -- the way Draco's body took him.

 

"Can you...reach your cock...to touch yourself?" Harry gasped out.  He was so damned close already.

 

Draco, before so reluctant to look at him, now gazed into his eyes.  He didn't say anything -- just wormed a hand down his own body between them, and then he bit his lip.  Harry felt the movement, Draco's knuckles grazing his stomach.

 

"I can't," Harry told him.  "Oh God, I can't--"

 

But Draco beat him to it, coming hard.  "Oh, Potter, fuck, Harry, fuck..."

 

His arse got so tight it was hard to keep moving, but Harry didn't need to.  His bollocks drew up, and before he could even think about what it all meant, he was coming inside Draco's arse, deep inside, eyes falling closed on the impossible heaven underneath him.

 

Hogsmeade

  

It had been precisely forty-eight hours since they first did it. 

 

Forty-six hours since the second time (which was, in itself, a first).

 

Forty hours since the third.

 

Twenty-seven since the fourth.

 

And eleven hours since the last one.

 

Draco was down to counting the minutes.  Almost.  He'd still managed to keep his head about him enough to teach, to attend his own classes (if not pay attention the entire time), remember to eat, bathe, etc.  Although, the bathing had also included Harry that once.

 

He was pretty much holding it together properly.  Except for laughing at a joke Harry made in their seventh and eighth year workshop -- and then calling him 'Harry.'  Pansy had stared at him for a full minute, until he'd thrown a hex at her to get her to stop.  And then Millicent had practically fallen over laughing, which at least put the attention on someone else besides him. 

 

Besides him and Harry.

 

Not that everything had been song birds and chocolate hearts.  They still fought, of course.  It was just sex -- not a personality potion. 

 

Draco still couldn't believe Harry had booked the Quidditch pitch for his hour on the basis that they needed extra time due to Erica's convalescence (again). 

 

So Draco had shouted at him about that.  Harry had shouted back.  And then they'd done some ridiculously frantic frotting in the showers after. 

 

And snogging.

 

Harry had disagreed with Draco on how to handle some bad behavior from one of their third years, and so there'd been that confrontation as well.  There'd been a lot of growling and hands through hair and walking away only to stalk back in again.  And they hadn't solved that one with sex. 

 

Just the snogging in a hallway alcove after.

 

But they hadn't had a row over anything big.  Not big like Death Eaters and Boys Who Lived -- like forehead scars and Dark Marks.  And that had been quite something.

 

Then this thing happened.  They were coming out of Potions, and Harry had been giving Draco the eye over his cauldron almost the entire class.  Draco had kept frowning at him, but that had only seemed to fuel things.  Harry kept smiling, the ponce.  It was enough to keep Draco half-hard for an hour.  He was lucky to come away with an Acceptable with the state of his Fatiguing Infusion.

 

"For fuck's sake, Potter, what?" Draco hissed once Harry caught up with him out in the hall. 

 

"Nothing."

 

"Nothing, my arse.  Are you so randy you can't make it up to the room anymore?"  Draco conveniently forgot about the fact that it was he who had pulled Harry into the alcove for the post-argument snogging.  Plus, he could only realistically complain for so long here.

 

"Actually, I promised Ron a game of one-on-one since the pitch is free for the hour."

 

"Oh."

 

Harry took him by the elbow, though, and led him down a dark corridor and into a deserted classroom.  "But I wanted to ask you something."

 

"Oh?"  Draco wanted to ask why they weren't pulling their trousers down yet.

 

"Yeah."  Harry took a breath.  "Well, a few of us had plans to go to Hogsmeade together.  You know, hang out at the Three Broomsticks.  Imbibe."

 

"Yeah?"  Draco frowned.  He couldn't really see a point to this -- unless it was purely to physically frustrate them both.  "So?"

 

"So."  Harry grabbed him by the waist and pressed him against the wall.  (That was more like it.)  "I was hoping you'd agree to come."

 

"With you and your friends?"

 

Harry slipped his hands around and cupped Draco's arse, squeezing appreciatively.  "Yeah."

 

"But...  How?"

 

"Oh, well, you wouldn't have to worry about getting outted or anything.  I can be discreet."  He waggled his eyebrows and buried his face in Draco's neck.  Then he murmured against his skin, "We could go as friends."

 

He'd said it nonchalantly enough, but Draco felt him holding his breath now.

 

"You've told them I'm your friend?"  Harry's lips, light on his skin, made him shiver.

 

Harry pulled back to look at him.  "Well, not exactly.  That'd sort of be the point, Draco."

 

"They'll freak out if you call me that, won't they?  I mean, you can't call me that out in the open.  Can you?"  Now it was Draco who held his breath.

 

"We're not out in the open."  And as if to prove his point, Harry brought one hand back around and cupped Draco's cock and bollocks, giving them a little massage.

 

Draco tried to suppress the whimper and couldn't.  "You know what I mean," he said, thinking he really ought to bat Harry's hand away.

 

"Yeah, okay, I know what you mean."  Harry stepped back altogether and ran a hand through his hair.  "So, I guess that's a no, then."

 

"No!" Draco amended quickly. 

 

"It's not a no?"

 

Draco sighed.  "It's not a no, all right?"

 

"Really?  You'll come?"  He was almost beaming.  Draco had not known Harry to beam.

 

"Yeah, I'll come with you, you centaur's arse."

 

"Brilliant," Harry breathed.  And then he stepped back in, unzipped Draco's trousers, and slipped his hand inside.

 

The back of Draco's head hit the wall with a loud thunk.  Harry chuckled softly, and the sound made Draco's cock jump in his hand.  Harry pulled it out, fumbled with his own trousers, and got his own cock out, too.  Then they were madly kissing and fighting for whose hand would go where, until Draco gave it up, grasped Harry by the hair and thrust into his pumping hand, against Harry's thick cock. 

 

They came against one another, breathing hot against one another's lips, the eye contact so painful Draco felt tears gather.  Then they kissed again, still moving and moving and moving, Draco's hand wrapping gently around Harry's, neither willing to be the one to break away.

 

*

 

Harry was just trying to tame his hair a bit when Draco's voice came from behind him.

 

"Do I...look all right?" 

 

Harry turned to find him frowning deeply.  He was in black trousers and a white shirt, his hair loose and floppy.  Harry decided to go with the truth.  "It makes me hard to look at you."

 

"Well, that's no good," Draco replied.  He blushed.  God, it was really something to be able to make Draco Malfoy blush.

 

"It's fine," Harry told him.  "It'll be fine."  Then he cleared his throat.  "You look really good, Draco."  Harry turned back to the mirror on the wall, gave his hair one last look, and then gave up.  "You ready?"

 

But Draco was just standing there, watching him.  Again he wore the frown, and his lips were parted as though he'd very much like to say something but couldn't.

 

"What is it?"  Harry looked down at his jumper and denims, inspecting himself, then back up at Draco.  It was true that Draco was more dressed up than he was.  He considered changing into a dress shirt or something.  Or perhaps trying to get Draco into a pair of his denims.  Now that idea had merit.  That long cock tucked into the worn place in the crotch of a pair of Harry's trousers...  That delicious bubble of an arse...  It was actually a right terrible idea; Harry wouldn't be able to keep his bloody hands off the prat.

 

But Draco was standing there blinking at him, still saying nothing.

 

"Do I really look that bad?  My hair won't lie down, you know.  I've tried--"

 

"It's not your hair."

 

"Well, then what?"

 

Draco frowned at the floor.  "What is this?"

 

"Hogsmeade.  Drinks.  Friends."  Harry shrugged.

 

Draco just frowned further.  "No," he said.  "This."  He looked back up at Harry from under his lashes, but it wasn't coy.  It was so serious it made Harry gulp.  He felt rooted to the spot where he stood. 

 

"I guess I don't know."  Harry took a measured inhale.  "Do you?"

 

Draco shook his head, a lock of hair falling into one stormy grey eye.

 

"Well," Harry began anew.  His heart was thudding hard and fast now.  His voice came out almost a whisper.  "It's something I don't want to stop.  Do you?"

 

Draco shook his head again, slowly this time, and Harry felt safe enough to take a step toward him.  One measly little step.

 

It dawned on Harry that perhaps Draco was nervous about being around his friends now that they were doing what they were doing.  "They don't need to know," he assured him.  He was close enough to reach out and take Draco's hand.  Harry wanted to.  But he didn't.  "Unless you want them to."  The last felt like it cost him several years off his life.  Harry's pulse was beating so swiftly in the hollow of his throat, he felt sure Draco could see it.

 

Harry waited for the answer and suddenly realized which one he wanted to hear.

 

Draco shrugged.  But then he shoved his hands into his pockets and firmed his jaw.  "I don't see any reason to tell them," he said.

 

Harry swallowed.  "Yeah.  Okay."  He took one more step in.  "But you're still coming, right?  I mean--"   One more step.  He could hear Draco's shuddering breaths.  It gave him the courage to reach out, pull one of Draco's hands free of his pockets, and hold it finally.  "Please come." 

 

Draco's hand was soft and warm, his fingers grasping Harry's back.  "Can't do this in front of them, you know," Draco informed him.

 

"Or this," Harry added, threading his other hand into Draco's hair. 

 

"No," Draco agreed, his breath short.

 

"And none of this," Harry said, dipping his head in and kissing Draco hard and slow.

 

They snogged for entirely too long.  Harry thought he could come in his pants quite soon from it, especially with Draco's body pressed to his, the scent of the cologne Draco had touched to his neck making Harry delirious with want.  It made him want to be very, very late.

 

Draco gasped away from the kiss finally to unfasten Harry's denims and then go to his knees.  "This?" he asked.  Then his eyes fluttered closed and he mouthed at Harry's hardening cock through the cotton of his underwear.

 

Harry reached up and grabbed the bedpost behind his head to steady himself.  He groaned.

 

"Maybe under the table," Harry allowed.

 

Draco laughed against Harry's cock, deep and aroused and hot.

 

Harry closed his eyes and forgot everything else.

 

They were quite late heading downstairs.

  

 

They were sated and sort of giddy when they arrived in the entry hall, shoving one another (they'd agreed ahead of time that shoving would be an acceptable form of touching that they could easily get away with in mixed company).  Draco had given Harry a particularly robust push, sending him almost off his feet right into Millicent, who was looking rather dour next to Hermione.

 

"Sorry," Harry told her, suppressing a snicker.  At her bland face, he sobered. "Sorry.  Hi."

 

"Hello," Millicent replied and then gave Draco a look.

 

"Um, hi," Hermione said, putting on a quick smile.

 

"Hey," Harry answered.

 

"Hey, Harry," Ron frowned.

 

"Hey, Ron.  Say, Malfoy's coming.  I invited him.  All right?"

 

Draco gave him a look.  Clearly, he was less than impressed that Harry had not yet told his friends that he was tagging along.  Harry felt something like guilt rise up in his throat.

 

"Yeah, uh, whatever," Ron allowed.

 

"Sure!" Hermione added, perhaps a touch too cheerfully, but Harry was grateful for her impeccable manners nonetheless.  "Millicent decided to come as well.  The more the merrier!"

 

Draco exchanged a curt nod with Bulstrode, who smiled in a tremulous way that made her look like she might get sick at any moment.

 

"Excellent.  Well, shall we get going?"  Harry clapped his hands together.

 

The walk there was decent enough.  Ron was obligated to walk with Hermione, and Millicent shuffled along a couple of paces behind even though Hermione kept nagging her to come alongside her.  But it freed Harry up to walk in Draco's vicinity even though they didn't talk much.  Harry tried very hard to keep the grinning under control.  It wasn't easy being that most of his thoughts revolved around Draco's spit-slick mouth sliding up and down his cock. 

 

Or the way he sometimes bit his nails when he was deep into reading something...

 

They arrived at the Three Broomsticks without major incident and found Neville, Dean, and Luna holding a large table near the back.  Harry waved at them, and Draco...well, he was obviously making a strong effort not to scowl. 

 

It would have been safer to take a seat far away from Draco, but Harry just couldn't bring himself to do it.  Not because he couldn't bear to be away from Draco's side, but because he would have felt like he was abandoning him to what amounted, despite Luna's presence and Millicent's buffering, to a vast Gryffindor enveloping mass.  And whereas Harry realized he, too, was a Gryffindor, he felt he no longer counted as such in Draco's eyes.

 

So he sat next to Draco and watched his friends assimilate his presence as quickly and politely as they could. 

 

Dean nodded perfunctorily.

 

"Hello, Draco," Luna said to him, and it really didn't sound any different than her greetings to anybody else.

 

"Malfoy," Neville acknowledged.

 

"Hi," Draco himself managed.  It was one syllable in the name of peace as far as Harry was concerned, and he couldn't help but be touched by it.

 

In fact, he was so inspired he offered to buy the first round.

 

"Why didn't Ginny come with you?" Ron asked Dean only to receive a sharp elbowing from Hermione.

 

"Had to study.  I blame Longbottom."

 

"Me?"

 

"She's afraid she's going to get a Dreadful on your Herbology exam, mate," Dean told him.  "Says you're a task master."

 

The conversation went on between them, and Ron shot an apologetic look to Harry.  Harry shrugged at him, and then slanted a look at Draco, who seemed to be intent on a water mark on the table. 

 

They'd never really talked about Harry's relationship with Ginny.  Harry had figured it didn't really matter.  He and Ginny were absolutely over.  She was with Dean now, and Harry had no problems with that.  Still, Malfoy frowned at the table, and a fog of tension seemed to creep up between everyone except Dean and Neville who were still arguing good-naturedly.  Harry had the strong desire to touch Draco.  Not sexually.  Just his leg or something. 

 

Something possessive. 

 

His palm practically itched.  It was absurd, and he settled for changing the subject.

 

"So, where's Seamus?" he asked once the first round was delivered.

 

"You didn't hear?  Dragon Pox, mate," Ron grimaced.  "Bad case.  He's up in the hospital wing."

 

"That's awful," Harry answered.  He raised his glass.  "To Seamus then."

 

"To Seamus," everyone replied and then drank.

 

To Harry's shock, Draco was the next to speak.  "I know a potion that can reduce the pain almost to nothing."

 

"You do?" Hermione asked, and Harry liked to think there wasn't disbelief in her tone.

 

Draco nodded and moved the tip of his finger around his whiskey glass, not looking at anyone.  "Yeah.  He'll still be down a while, but..."  He shrugged.  "Got a quill?"

 

"Always," Hermione said.  She gave Harry a surprised smile.

 

Draco wrote down the name of the potion and handed it over.

 

"I'll make sure Madam Pomfrey gets this right away."

 

"Do you really think she wouldn't know about it?" Ron said.

 

"Ron..."

 

"No, seriously.  She's the nurse, isn't she?  Why would Malfoy know about a potion she wouldn't?"

 

"What if she does and what if she doesn't, Ron?" Harry said, feeling a muscle jump in his jaw.

 

There was the sound of an impact under the table, probably Hermione's foot into Ron's shin, and then Ron pasted on a smile and said, "Right then.  Good point, Harry."  He drained his glass.

 

Harry looked at Draco.  They picked up their glasses and each did the same.

 

"I've got the next round," Draco said.

 

"Thanks," Ron said tightly.

 

"Thank you," Hermione added.

 

"Right then."  Dean lifted his glass in Draco's direction.  (And Harry practically wanted to kiss him for that.)

 

There was utter silence until the next round showed up.  Everybody sipped.  It felt a bit like a wake.

 

"My unicorns have hit puberty," Luna said suddenly.

 

"Oh yes?" Hermione leaned forward eagerly.  "How can you tell?"

 

"Well, they're all trying to lick one another's nether regions," Luna answered.

 

Draco spit his drink out, and Harry doubled over laughing.  Hermione offered Draco her napkin, and apparently that was all Ron needed for an ice breaker, because he started laughing, too. 

 

"That's quite the mental image," Neville said seriously, peering down the table at Luna, and then Hermione lost it as well, laughing quite as hard as Harry had ever heard her laugh.  Millicent snickered quietly beside her.

 

Luna, bless her, got the next round and Ron bought them all a couple of orders of chips, and things after that felt remarkably better.  Maybe it was the firewhiskey, but Harry felt so good he couldn't help giving Draco a little hidden wink when the others weren't looking.

 

Draco didn't return it, but he blushed and finished his drink in two healthy swallows. 

 

"Malfoy's empty," Neville called, more than a little tipsy now and happy to point out such a tragic fact.  "I'm buying next!"

 

"Oh, you mean his boyfriend's not buying all his drinks now?" came Blaise Zabini's deep voice.  "You mean Potter's not going to duel you, Longbottom, for the right to keep Malfoy drunk enough to fuck?"

 

Harry looked at Draco, but Draco shook his head at him covertly, as if to indicate that he hadn't told.  Not that Harry had thought that for even a moment.  Everything inside Harry felt tight and wrong suddenly.  Draco, too, looked positively sick. 

 

"Get your foul mouth out of here, Zabini," Ron shouted, trying to stand and drunkenly failing.  That or he couldn't because Hermione had his arm.

 

"It's only so foul as it's untrue," Blaise rejoined. 

 

Pansy came up from behind him then and took his arm, rather like Hermione had Ron's.  "Blaise," she hissed.  "You're being a drunken arse."

 

Blaise shook her off, and Harry saw Millicent's hand go to her wand hip.

 

"Isn't that right, Draco?" Blaise wheedled.  "Talk about a blood-traitor.  Come-traitor is more like."

 

Harry felt that tight thing inside him blaze to vigorous life.  He wanted to rip Zabini's bloody throat out.  But when he tried to get out of the chair, Draco's hand came down hard on his forearm.  Harry shot him a look, but it was Hermione who stood and shouted, "How dare you, you...you...snake!"

 

"Yeah, Harry wouldn't touch Malfoy like that with a ten foot wand," Ron added.  "Now fuck off!"

 

"Ron!" Harry said sharply.  He knew that's not how Ron meant it -- he was half-drunk -- but it still stung.  And if it stung Harry...

 

Sure enough, Draco stood.

 

Harry stood with him and grabbed his arm as he passed.  "Wait.  Let me--"

 

But before he could finish, Blaise had shoved Harry into the table and was going for his wand.

 

"Stupify!" 

 

Zabini went flying back into a neighboring table.  Draco had drawn on him first.

 

Harry blinked and righted himself.  He hadn't even seen Draco's arm move.  He was just suddenly holding his wand, and Blaise was gone.

 

 "Draco," he said softly, completely forgetting in that moment that he wasn't supposed to.

 

"I'm just going to go back," Draco told him, not quite meeting Harry's eyes.

 

"I'll go back with you.  Just--"

 

"No.  I need some air."  Draco looked up at him then, and what Harry saw was...fear.

 

Harry nodded, though.  He let go of Draco's arm and watched him walk out past all the onlookers and the overturned table that Zabini was now moaning incoherently next to.  Pansy took off toward the door after Draco, and Harry turned back to his friends.

 

"That was a really good Stupify," Ron granted.

 

Harry ground his teeth together and looked around at the others.  Luna had engaged Millicent in conversation as though nothing had happened.  Dean was already waving over the waiter for more drinks.

 

"I need some air, too," Harry told whoever was listening, which appeared to be Hermione at that moment.  He turned on his heel and pushed through the crowds of people, some staring at him, others staring at or attempting to help Zabini upright.

 

Harry shoved through the door and into the cool night.

 

Hermione caught up with him before he got three steps down the lane. 

 

"He didn't mean it," she said.

 

"Didn't mean what, Hermione?"  Harry couldn't help sounding cross, even though it wasn't with her.  She hadn't done anything wrong.  It had been Ron, even more than Zabini from whom it was expected.  It was Ron that had Harry wishing he'd never convinced Draco to come out.

 

"Harry, the only thing Ron has against Malfoy is that it's Malfoy and it's hard to let go of things.  He's not a homophobe."

 

"Oh, so, he's perfectly fine if I'm shagging Malfoy."

 

"What do you mean 'if,'" Hermione replied, shutting him up.  Harry blinked at her, and she went on.  "He's drunk, all right?  He's drunk, and Zabini got him all up in arms, and he said the wrong thing.  He doesn't know.  I haven't told him, but..."

 

"You know?"

 

"God, Harry, are you serious?  You're only all over him."

 

"I am?"

 

"Yes."

 

He blinked.  "But Ron doesn't know?"

 

"I don't know what?"

 

Harry turned and saw Ron looking between the two of them.

 

"Don't know what?" he repeated.

 

Harry took a deep breath.  Part of him wanted to say it so bad he could burst.  The other part still felt sick.  He let it out on his exhale.  "I'm shagging Malfoy."

 

Ron broke into a goofy smile.  "Bollocks."

 

Harry swallowed and simply stared him down.

 

"You're serious?  You actually are touching him with something besides a ten foot wand?"

 

Harry nodded, his jaw still tight.

 

Ron just gaped at him as though he'd been hexed.

 

"Ron, for Merlin's sake, tell him about Charlie," Hermione hissed.

 

"Why?"

 

"Are you daft?  Harry thinks you're homophobic after what you said in there."

 

"What'd I say?"

 

"See?" Hermione said to Harry, holding her arm out as though Ron were exhibit A for the evidence against drinking more than two firewhiskeys in half an hour.  "Charlie's gay, Harry.  He's been with this bloke, Andrew, since just after the war.  It's serious.  Isn't it, Ron?"

 

"Bloody hell.  With Malfoy??"

 

Hermione looked like she was ready to pull her hair out.  It was enough to almost make Harry smile.

 

"Look, we're fine with it, so just go find him and tell him you love him, and we'll try this again another time, all right?"

 

Harry felt his cheeks flaming pink under the lamp light.  He looked at the ground.  "It's just a bit of shagging, Hermione."

 

There was a sound from the alley, and they all jumped.  A cat yowled and ran out, and then Hermione sighed.  She walked up to him and took his hand in her own.  "Tell yourself what you like."  Then she spared a glance for Ron, who still seemed to be reeling from it all.  "You'll have to face the truth sooner or later, Harry."  Then she kissed him on the cheek.

 

"Oi!" Ron complained.

 

"Oh, shut it," Hermione said, but she was smiling, already leaving Harry's side, already reaching out and taking Ron's hand.  "Buy you a tea, Ronald?"

 

"With you?  Anything," Ron answered.

 

"That's repulsive," Harry told them.  But the word was already rolling around in his chest.  Not shagging.  The other one.  The one she'd said so easily.

 

Hermione shot a smile at him over her shoulder.  "Will you be all right, Harry?  You can join us if you like."

 

"No, I think I need to..."  He shrugged.

 

Hermione nodded.  "Please tell him he's welcome back out with us any time.  Tell him Ron's sorry."

 

Ron belched.

 

"Thanks, Hermione," Harry told her.  He watched them stumble back inside, watched the way Ron's lips found Hermione's temple and how she giggled and shoved him away -- only to pull him back close again.

 

Harry took a deep breath.  And then he started making his way back to the castle.

  

The Request Form

  

"Draco!  Wait!" 

 

Draco whirled to see Pansy bearing down on him.

 

"What do you want?"  Despite her admonishment to Blaise, he was half sure she'd come out to pester him for sordid details.

 

"Are you all right?  Blaise was beyond out of line."

 

"Was he?" Draco said through clenched teeth.  "At least he's not going soft, right?"

 

He turned and started to walk swiftly back toward the school.  But her hand came down on his arm.

 

"He was a bastard," she said in a hard voice.  "I don't care about anything with Potter, okay?  Draco, we used to be friends."

 

The door to the Three Broomsticks opened behind them, and Harry strode out.  Draco grabbed Pansy by both arms and hauled her into the alley with him.  He gestured for her to be quiet.

 

Harry was just about to walk right past them when Granger's voice turned him around.

 

"He didn't mean it."

 

"Didn't mean what, Hermione?"

 

Harry sounded angry, and Draco held his breath to hear past the hammering of his own heart. 

 

"Harry, the only thing Ron has against Malfoy is that it's Malfoy and it's hard to let go of things.  He's not a homophobe," Granger said.

 

They were standing just feet away.  Ten feet maybe.  Close enough that Draco could see Harry's hand balling into a fist and then loosening at his side.  Not close enough to make out his expression.

 

"Oh, so, he's perfectly fine if I'm shagging Malfoy."

 

Draco stood as still as possible.

 

"What do you mean 'if.'"

 

Draco gasped.  It was Pansy who now gripped his arm tighter in warning.

 

Granger kept talking, but Draco hardly heard what she said.  Harry had told her -- and she knew.  And now Pansy, clutching his arm and desperately eavesdropping, knew too.

 

"You know?" Harry sounded as incredulous as Draco felt.

 

"God, Harry, are you serious?  You're only all over him."

 

"I am?"

 

"Yes."

 

Draco looked at Pansy.  She shrugged.  He felt like pinching her but didn't dare.

 

"But Ron doesn't know?"

 

"I don't know what?"

 

There was a silence in which Draco felt sure his ragged breathing would give them away.

 

"Don't know what?"

 

Then he heard Harry say it -- just like that.  "I'm shagging Malfoy."

 

Ron might have said, "Bollocks," but Draco didn't quite hear.  Because Harry was out there telling the world about them.  Harry was saying it like it wasn't anything to be ashamed of.  He was telling his friends.  Draco glanced at Pansy to see her smiling at him almost reassuringly.  He frowned at her.

 

"Charlie's gay, Harry," Granger was saying now.  "He's been with this bloke, Andrew, since just after the war.  It's serious.  Isn't it, Ron?"

 

"Bloody hell.  With Malfoy??"

 

Draco studied Harry's profile.  He looked more relaxed now.  He looked positively relieved.  If he wouldn't have felt like a bloody coward, Draco might have stepped out of the shadows then.

 

"Look, we're fine with it, so just go find him and tell him you love him, and we'll try this again another time, all right?"

 

Draco quit breathing altogether.  He realized he was squeezing Pansy's hand too hard and she was trying to pull it away.  He let her.

 

...tell him you love him...

 

Draco watched Harry drop his gaze to the ground.  "It's just a bit of shagging, Hermione."

 

Draco blinked a few times.  His throat constricted.  It wasn't anything they hadn't talked about. 

 

What is this?

 

It's something I don't want to stop.

 

Just a bit of shagging.

 

Unconsciously, Draco took a step back.   He hit the wall behind him, and Pansy's hand shot out to take his arm.  He flung her off, and she stumbled.  A cat ran out of the shadows, and Pansy pressed herself back to the wall opposite Draco as Harry and the others looked their way. 

 

Draco could still see Pansy's eyes glowing in the dark, pleading with him, but about what, he didn't know.

 

He dropped his gaze to the dirt.  He blinked again.  Then Draco touched his wand and swallowed against the echoing silence.

 

He Disapparated back to the school gates.

 

  

Draco stormed into the room and didn't know where to begin. 

 

Packing.  He should pack.  That'd be a good start.

 

He opened his trunk and then stared down into it.  

 

Somewhere between that alley and this room, their room, the pain in his body had turned to anger.  He'd strode through the castle with no hesitation, no thought, just intention.  But now that he was here...

 

He'd known all along that getting involved with Potter was a bad idea.  He'd known it wouldn't last.  Would not rooming with Potter solve really any of his problems?  What, precisely, were his problems?

 

It's just a bit of shagging, Hermione.

 

No.  That wasn't the problem.  Of course it was shagging.  What else would you call it -- their mutual inability to keep their hands off one another?  Draco wasn't stupid enough to think that all the snogging -- the fact that Potter had passed out in his bed after he'd buggered Draco -- was any indication of anything other than an oral fixation and exhaustion respectively.

 

It certainly wasn't that he just couldn't bear to lose whatever this fucked up thing with Potter was.  Hell, it was almost nothing.  It was that he'd just as soon spare himself the humiliation of being left by a Gryffindor of all people, by the Wonder Boy Who Lived, and just go ahead and save them both the trouble and annoyance and leave already before that had a chance to happen -- before they both came to their senses after a couple of sex-crazed months.

 

So if McGonagall wasn't going to grant their request -- and it had been three-quarters of the bloody year already, so it certainly didn't look like she or her committee were going to move on it -- then he'd just have to force the issue, now wouldn't he?  He'd just have to demand it.  She'd see reason.  She'd see that it wasn't working.  Because it absolutely wasn't working anymore. 

 

Draco wiped hard at his eyes and threw his Potions book into his trunk overhand. 

 

God, what a blind, horny, deluded, bollocksless little poof he'd been.

 

Harry Potter.  What a joke

 

"Fuck," he hissed when he'd gone through his nightstand drawer and still couldn't find his favorite quill.  "Bloody fuck!" he shouted.  Then his eyes lit on Potter's nightstand.  He huffed and yanked the drawer open.  There were just three socks, some wand cleaner, and...

 

Draco pulled the parchment out of the drawer and stared at it.

 

In order to process your request for room reassignment, please signed below where indicated:

 

Draco blinked. 

 

Potter hadn't even ever signed it, much less turned it in.

 

Draco was still staring at the form in his hands when the door burst open, and he turned with a gasp to see Potter practically fly through it.

 

Then he stopped abruptly, seeing Draco there.  They stared at each other for seconds that seemed like eons.  Potter's hair was horrible.  Really horrible.  Standing straight up in the back and out behind his right ear.  It hurt to look at him.  Draco dropped his eyes.

 

"You're here," Potter said.

 

"Yeah.  Where else would I be?"

 

Potter looked around the room.  "You've been packing."

 

Draco peered up at him then and saw some trace of pain cross Potter's face, darkening his eyes.  He looked at Draco.  "What's that?"

 

"You know what it is," Draco told him.  "I'm going to turn it in right now."

 

"Without my signature then?"

 

Draco took a deep breath.  Potter came toward him, and he took a step back.  Potter stopped.

 

"Ron's sorry," Potter said.

 

"What for?"

 

Potter firmed his lips.  "You know what for, Draco."

 

"I don't care what he thinks."  Draco fought the urge to push past him -- to simply make a run for it.

 

"You sure seemed to."

 

"Well, so did you!" Draco suddenly found himself shouting.  He looked Potter square in the eye now, the boiling anger back.  "How can you not care what he thinks?  He's your best mate.  I don't have any of those, Potter.  Why don't you throw me off before you lose yours, too, all right?"

 

"What the hell are you talking about?  What is this?"  He gestured between them.

 

Draco surged toward him then.  "It's just a bit of shagging!" he shouted past the tears clogging his throat.  "Isn't that right, Potter?  That's all it is!  That's all it's ever going to be, so let's just call it what it is and be done with it!"

 

He watched  Potter's eyes glittering, his mouth a firm line.  Then Potter grabbed the parchment out of his hands and started ripping it to shreds.  Draco watched him, eyes widening, as Potter let the little bits of paper flutter to the floor at their feet.

 

They blinked at one another.  And then Draco, deflated, asked, "What did you do that for?"

 

Potter didn't answer.  He just reached out, grabbed Draco by the back of the neck, and pulled him into a rough kiss.  Potter's mouth opened his own, and his tongue was hard and forceful.  His body against Draco's was immovable.  Everything about him was immovable.

 

All of Draco's breath left his body, and the tears he'd fought slipped down his cheeks.

 

Harry's his hands cupped Draco's face then.  And the touch was so gentle it hurt.  Harry's thumbs swept away the tears.  It was then that Draco felt Harry himself trembling.  How something so strong and so stubborn could also feel so deeply was beyond--

 

Draco pulled back, breaking the kiss.  He looked into Harry's sad eyes.  Harry was sad.  He'd made Harry sad.

 

Harry took a long breath.  Then he said, "It's not just shagging."

 

Draco swallowed.  The wand calluses on the pads of Harry's fingers lightly scratched his jaw.  "But your friends--"

 

"Hermione Granger can tell in the dark with her hair blowing in her face, Draco."

 

"Can tell what?"  Draco couldn't meet Harry's eyes.

 

The plonker laughed, then, his wry smile crooked.  "Oh sod off," he breathed.  Then he kissed Draco again.  He kissed him so bloody slow.  Harry, using no magic, made time slow and the air in the room stand perfectly still.  He pulled Draco in close, his arms wrapping around him, and he slipped his tongue into Draco's mouth almost carefully.

 

Even as often as they'd been snogging, Harry had never quite done it like this.  Draco felt faint.  He felt ridiculous.

 

And he believed him.

  

Epilogue

   

"This is really good!" Ron yelled over the music.  "I had no idea Dripping Hex had been around since the nineties.  I thought they were a new band."

 

Hermione gave him an amused look.  "Ronald, what are you talking about?"

 

"Well, the song's about partying like it's 1999 now innit?"

 

Harry smirked and took a sip of his butterbeer.  He let his eyes scan the crowd as his friends yell-talked at each other.

 

"This song was written in the 80s," Hermione told him, "by a Muggle called Prince.  Although, frankly, I have my doubts about that."

 

"You don't think he was a prince?  Or you don't think he wrote it in the 80s?"

 

"Merlin, Ron!  Just dance with me, will you?"

 

Harry looked at her, and she smiled at him, shaking her head.  "Pure-bloods."

 

"What are you going to do with them?" he replied, and though she was trying to get him to come with them, Harry stayed leaned back in his chair and shook his head.  "I want to watch," he said.

 

"Kinky," Ron yelled before Hermione dragged him onto the dance floor.

 

Harry watched them for a while.  Then he began searching the room. 

 

McGonagall had really outdone herself.  It was a ball to rival the one Dumbledore put on for the Triwizard Tournament.  She'd put up all the different House banners everywhere, and there were intermittent fireworks (supplied by George Weasley).  No surface had been left untouched by magic. Not to mention she'd secured Dripping Hex for the job.

 

She'd said this year needed to be special, but that there would be end of term festivities from now on at Hogwarts.

 

Harry felt a lump grow in his throat.  This would be his last night here.  After this, he had to move on.  No more exams or books or meeting Hermione in the library, catching a game of one-on-one with Ron in the huge pitch.  No more grand feasts or terrified first years.  All of it was being relegated to the past.

 

Harry's gaze lit on the one thing he'd been searching for.  Draco Malfoy was across the room, leaned against a wall, smiling and talking to Pansy Parkinson.  He licked his lips and then laughed, and Harry took a long sip of his drink, just watching him there for a bit longer.  His hair was all slicked back, except for this one lock that kept coming loose and tumbling into his face.  Draco would shake it off every so often or sometimes move to tuck it behind his ear.  But it always came loose again.

 

Harry smiled and set his bottle down.  The song changed.  He stood and straightened his dress robes.  Then he started making his way across the room, his eyes never leaving Draco as he and Pansy continued to talk and laugh, oblivious to him.

 

Until they weren't.  When Harry was halfway across the room, Draco seemed to sense him and looked up.  Their gazes met, and Harry watched Draco's cheeks warm with a blush.  His lips curved up at one corner just slightly, and he crossed his arms over his chest, now just waiting for Harry's arrival.

 

Pansy looked over her shoulder to see what had drawn his attention.  She rolled her eyes and then shoved Draco in the shoulder.  "I was in the middle of a bloody sentence," she complained.  But Draco never took his eyes off Harry.

 

"Sorry, Pansy," Harry said to her once he'd stepped into their little corner.  "May I borrow him?"

 

"Oh, as if he's not going to go with you."

 

"I've been letting you verbally abuse me all night," Draco told her, but he was still smiling.  Harry itched to take his hand.

 

"Go on then.  I suppose I'll just go find Millicent and verbally abuse her instead."

 

"I think she's out there," Harry told her, nodding toward the dance floor where Millicent, Hermione, and Luna all had their arms around each other and were swaying to the slow song.  Ron had apparently escaped to get drinks with Dean and Ginny.

 

"Oh for Merlin's sake," Pansy huffed.  But she strode off to join them anyway.

 

Harry turned back to Draco and held out his hand.  "Dance with me?"

 

"Are you mad, Potter?"  Draco's arms remained crossed.

 

"Yes, but you knew that already."

 

Draco's arms loosened, and Harry's lips twitched.  He was onto Draco; he knew his game. 

 

"I don't want to dance to some song about the bloody weather."

 

Harry took his arm and tugged.  "It's only one of the most beautiful Muggle songs ever written."

 

"Says you."  But Draco was already letting himself be dragged away from his dark little corner where he'd been ensconced for the evening with his friends.

 

"And I'm always right," Harry reminded him. 

 

Draco scoffed loudly behind him, but his hand slipped down into Harry's, their fingers entwining.

 

The ceiling overhead glowed purple now, and a warm magical rain fell all around them, though they stayed dry.  Harry turned to his boyfriend and pulled him close.  He watched Draco look around them quickly to see who might be watching, but when Harry took Draco's arms and lifted them, Draco wrapped them around Harry's neck without protest.  Harry pressed his hands to Draco's lower back, and they started to move.

 

"Where've you been all night?" Draco asked.

 

"Here and there.  Giving you your space.  Was I supposed to hunt you down sooner?"

 

"No, you were right on time.  Saved me from hearing about her summer plans to boff all of France.  Again."

 

"From hearing it again or her doing it again?" Harry laughed.

 

"Both."  Draco's face split into a beautiful smile.

 

Harry tightened his arms around him, and Draco settled into his embrace, his body both electric and quiescent to Harry's touch. 

 

They were, indeed, being watched, Harry noticed -- and some people seemed wary or uncomfortable, whispering and such.  But then again, Harry had been subjected to whispering and staring for various reasons, and so had Draco.  Harry decided this was the best reason so far.

 

They swayed as it thundered over their heads.  Draco's stray lock of hair fell into his eye, and Harry brought his hand up and tucked it back behind his ear.  Draco blushed hard.

 

"Do I look all right?" he asked.

 

Harry happened to love when that pouty, demure side came out.  It was half genuine sweetness and half falsely modest bollocks.  He moved Draco in a slow circle.  "You're beautiful," he said.

 

Draco rolled his eyes and chuckled, but he averted his gaze, and the smile that lit his face was genuine.  "You're a sop, Potter."

 

Harry pressed his hands to Draco's back until they were entirely too close.  Harry didn't care.  He leaned in, mouth touching skin, and whispered in Draco's ear, "You look so good I want to fuck you right here."

 

Draco shivered and shifted against him slightly, and Harry felt Draco's stiff cock slide against his hip.

 

"Want to get out of here?" Draco murmured into Harry's neck.

 

"Hell yes," Harry answered.  He promptly stopped dancing and strode, Draco's hand in his, off the dance floor, through the crowds of their peers, and out of the Great Hall altogether, Draco's deep laughter following him with every step.

  

END

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