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Broken Dreams

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Roger Davies, the Healer in charge of Accidents and Catastrophes, stands in the doorway of Draco's office, a rubber bulb clasped in his hand. "Healer Malfoy. We have a man down in Devon. Auror Robards just activated the emergency portkey. It leaves in two minutes."

 

Draco swallows the bite of dry coffee cake he has just put in his mouth, and stands up, grabbing his travel bag. He crosses the room and retrieves the bulb. "You've copied the coordinates?" he asks. Davies nods. "All right. Send me some backup and transport as soon as possible. I'll do what I can in the meantime."

 

Scarcely is the last word rolling off his tongue before he feels the portkey activate, hooking its magic behind his navel and sending him spinning to the scene of the emergency.

 

When his eyes catch up with his body, Draco takes a few moments to assess the scene. He's in some sort of Muggle warehouse. It's dark and dank; the smell of petrol infuses the air. He lights his wand tip and aims the beam of blue light along the concrete walls, looking for the source of the gasping he hears. It falls on a body propped up in the corner of the room. The absence of other sounds seems to loom over the place, like a bad omen.

 

He approaches the man, pace quickening when the blood-spattered face and smudged glasses of Harry Potter are revealed.

 

"Potter!" Draco says, dropping to his knees beside Potter's body. He shines his wand lower and sees that Potter's Auror robes have been slashed open and the maroon fabric is darker with pools of blood.

 

Draco wastes no time. He grabs the front of Potter's robes, holding his wand in his teeth, and rips the fabric to expose Potter's chest.

 

The sight is grisly. It looks like Potter has been hit with the Sectumsempra Curse and, by the gurgling sounds rising in his throat, Draco doesn't have long to act.

 

"Nox." He extinguishes his wand light and begins to trace, by feeling with one hand, the jagged edges of Potter's wound, chanting the counter-curse in a low song-like murmur. His heart is racing as he hopes his backup from St Mungo's will arrive soon, before he's done all he can and ends up being blamed for not properly healing the hero of the wizarding world.

 

Light floods the room as a door is thrown open. "Harry, I got him!" Weasley's voice echoes off the cold walls, but Draco doesn't halt his spell. He keeps going, tracing over the scars again and again, watching the skin knit back together.

 

"Malfoy!" Weasley cries, landing on his knees beside Harry. "Is he going to make it? Please, tell me he's going to pull through this."

 

Draco pauses, where he would normally take a breath and continue, but instead he whispers, "I'll do my best, Weasley. Keep an eye open for —"

 

Pain shoots through every inch of his body, worse than the Cruciatus Curse, and he stares forwards, horrified as Potter's wounds open again and his blood leaks out in streams.

 

Draco falls forwards too, pitched ahead by pain; the scars on his own chest have ripped open, and he lands on Potter's limp body, their blood mixing.

 

Everything goes black.

 

~***~

 

 

The room is cramped and dark. He hears the house settling; dust falls onto his face from the footfalls of his uncle somewhere above him, but he blocks that out. He's touching himself. It's his quiet time: the only chance he has to feel good about anything, when nobody will barge in to yell at him or force him to clean.

 

His cock feels different tonight. It slips in his hand, sliding easier as his pleasure mounts. The wonderful feeling is close, so close. He bites his lower lip to keep from making noise and it hits him.

 

But … he must have done something wrong. His hand is covered in slime, and he knows he must have called out because the walls shake as agitated feet thunder down the stairs.

 

He has no time to hide what he's done; instead, the small door is flung open and screams fill his ears. He stumbles forwards as she pulls him out of the cupboard by the front of his pyjamas.

 

"You disgusting boy!" Her shrill voice is in his spine, running down the course of his entire body, filling him with dread. "Put yourself to rights at once, and if I ever discover you doing that again, you'll wish you had died with your parents in the car crash!"

 

He falls back against the wall, his knees trembling, but he knows better than to argue. "Yes, Aunt Petunia," he says, and scurries to the bathroom before she can say anything else, his face burning with shame.

 

When he opens the bathroom door, tears are streaming down his face. His body has betrayed him. He vows, looking into the mirror above the sink, that he will never let this happen to him ever again.

 

Reflected back at him in the mirror … he's not Draco Malfoy, he's Harry Potter.

 

 

~***~

 

 

Draco's eyes shoot open and slam shut again immediately. The light is blinding. He sits up and looks around, squinting, trying to make out where he is and why he was dreaming about being Potter.

 

"What the fuck happened?"

 

An answering groan rises from somewhere on his left. He turns and makes out the blurred outline of Potter, slowly coming into focus. Potter is not wearing his Auror robes, but is dressed in a simple set of Muggle jeans and T-shirt. He blinks at Draco, obviously just as confused.

 

"Malfoy? Where are we?"

 

Draco climbs to his feet. The last thing he remembers is the weird dream he had, but before that … he racks his brain. Potter was injured and then his own scars had reopened.

 

"I think they've put us in a Time-Sphere," he says, hoping that that is the case and that he isn't actually at death's door with Potter for company.

 

Potter shakes his head, his messy black hair bouncing with the movement. Potter climbs to his feet too. He looks around, eyes finding Draco's. "What is a Time-Sphere?"

 

Draco's mind is back in Healer-mode. "Let me take a look at your chest, Potter."

 

Potter shrinks back, crossing his chest with his arms protectively. "Why?" he asks. He's screwing up his eyes, his forehead creased. "I feel fine."

 

Draco has a niggling sense in the back of his mind that Potter is hiding something from him, that he's nervous about being alone with Draco. Draco tries his hardest to relax his face into an expression that is calm and professional.

 

"You were hit with a curse, Potter," he explains, his voice soft. "A Time-Sphere is a bubble that Healers use to halt the progression of a curse, to buy them time to find a counter-curse. I think I'm in one too. My wounds reopened when I tried to heal you."

 

Potter's face changes from sceptical to bewildered. "What wounds? What are you talking about?"

 

Draco takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. "What is the last thing you remember?"

 

To his astonishment, Potter's face flushes with colour and his eyes dart to the side, not meeting Draco's. He seems to realise that he's acting bizarrely and frowns, as if thinking back. "I was on assignment. I'd cornered the perpetrator and grabbed his arm, and then he Disapparated with me in tow. I don't recall what happened after that."

 

"He must have cursed you as soon as you arrived. He hit you with Sectumsempra. Your partner called St Mungo's after he followed your trace, and I was sent to the scene for emergency intervention. But something went wrong and my scars reopened and then we were here."

 

Draco deliberately doesn't mention the dream he'd had about being in Potter's body, perhaps even revisiting something that had actually happened. It would only embarrass them both.

 

Potter takes a minute as the news sinks in.

 

"So, we're like where? Apart from our bodies? In our heads? I don't understand how this works. How am I talking to you now? How can I see you?"

 

Draco shrugs. "I think the best way to describe it is like what happens when you dream. You're in your head, but your mind is active in another plane. Let me see if I can show you what I mean. You see how nothing around us looks like anything?"

 

Potter looks around, as if finally aware that the place they are in is surprisingly blank. They are able to stand because the surface they are on exists so they can stand, but it doesn't have the appearance of anything; it's like a blank canvas. He nods, meeting Draco's eyes again, looking suspicious.

 

Draco racks his mind for a moment, then recalls the beach off the coast of Italy where his mother liked to take her holidays. A moment later, they are standing on the sand, and the ocean is lapping at the shore. Behind them is a tangle of rocky fields, tall grass swaying in the salty breeze.

 

Potter's eyes are enormous as he takes in the change around them. "Whoa!" he says, his mouth stretching into a smile. "That's wicked. How did you do it?"

 

Draco looks out over the horizon, the sun is low in the sky and bright orange against the backdrop. "Like you would in a dream," he says. "Try it. Think of a place that you want to be. Picture it in your mind and it will change."

 

Potter hums a moment, and then Draco is standing in what has to be the Gryffindor common room. It's definitely Hogwarts. The round tower room is stuffed full of ratty armchairs, mismatched tables and stools for study or games. The walls are covered in ancient tapestries, all depicting heroic scenes in red and gold.

 

Draco swallows his distaste, and turns to Potter. "How about a place where we will both be comfortable? I'm getting tired and would like to relax."

 

Potter grins. "All right."

 

And then they are standing in the Slytherin common room. The dying sun shines in from the windows, covering the room in a faint green glow from the lake water outside. Draco turns to Potter, an eyebrow raised. "How do you know what the Slytherin common room looks like, and why would you feel comfortable being in here?"

 

Potter shrugs. He yawns, stretching his arms over his head.

 

Draco makes his way to his favourite chair. It's large and boxy, covered in black leather, and has a wide seat and sturdy rectangular armrests.

 

Potter's eyes widen as Draco puts his feet up on the coffee table.

 

"What?" Draco asks. He's getting annoyed by the looks Potter keeps giving him.

 

Potter clears his throat. "Er — Is there a place to sleep around here? I'm tired."

 

Draco rests his head against the familiar back of the chair. "The dormitories are through the door behind you. Kip anywhere you like; it's not like there's anybody who will mind."

 

Potter shifts his weight from one foot to the other, drawing Draco's attention again.

 

"What is it, Potter?" Draco asks, trying not let his irritation show. He's supposed to have grown up, after all. They haven't been in school for years.

 

"What happens when we sleep in this Time-Sphere?" Potter asks. "Do the dreams we have have anything to do with … anything?"

 

Draco frowns, remembering the dream he'd had about being Potter, and the horrible humiliation he'd had to endure during it. He wonders if it was an actual memory, which means that it's possible Potter has had something similar happen, but is just as embarrassed as Draco to talk about it.

 

"I don't think they mean anything. It's just like a dream within a dream. Just ignore them."

 

Potter retreats to the dormitories, leaving Draco thinking. He hopes the Healers will figure out the counter-curse and lift the Time-Sphere before long. The last thing he wants is to have Harry Potter rifling through his memories and passing judgement over him any more than he already has.

 

Draco looks at the cold empty grate in the hearth. A cosy fire fills it a moment later, and Draco smiles, content at the warmth. It feels good to be back at Hogwarts without the pressure of the war weighing him down or the fear of death looming over the edge of every waking thought.

 

He closes his eyes and rests.

 

~***~

 

 

He's lying in an unfamiliar bed. The room is lit by a low gas lamp and his vision is blurred. His heart aches and he feels like crying, but he has no tears left to shed. All the faces of the dead are in his mind, shimmering before his eyes, even when he has them open. It's too tiring to try to fight them, much easier to just let them be there.

 

A knock sounds on the door, and Draco realises he's witnessing another one of Potter's memories as if he was Potter.

 

"Come in," he says, screaming inside his own mind to wake up and not have to do this, but the memory continues to unfold.

 

The Weasley girl comes in, and closes the door behind her. She's dressed in an old flannel nightgown with an orange floral print on it, and Draco can't help but notice it doesn't suit her. She's much prettier than he cares to admit; even Blaise had thought so, though he'd denied it when asked. The thought of Blaise makes Draco's stomach squirm uncomfortably.

 

Potter allows the girl to join him in the twin bed, and Draco wants nothing more than to be able to shut his eyes and not participate in this private moment, but he apparently has no choice.

 

"I can't …" Ginny's voice is low and breaking. "It hurts so much, Harry."

 

Potter pulls her close to him in an embrace, and Draco is forced to endure their fumbling kisses.

 

Potter doesn't seem to be very eager to continue as far as Draco can tell, and Draco senses Potter's reluctance has to do with a personal feeling of ... loathing? Draco is in Potter's body, he's experiencing the memory as Potter, but why on Earth does Potter feel like he's not good enough for the Weasley girl?

 

"Gin, stop," Potter says, as Ginny lifts her nightgown and wraps her naked thighs around Potter's pyjama-clad legs.

 

She looks at Potter, her large brown eyes brimming with sadness. "Harry, I need this tonight. I just need to forget about it all. Please. Please help me."

 

Draco thinks it's the stupidest, most obvious attempt at coercion he's ever heard, but Potter seems to buy it. Draco can almost hear Potter's war with his own mind being pushed aside as he gives in to whatever Ginny wants.

 

"I don't know what to do," Potter says, after she releases his mouth so she can finish peeling off her horrible nightgown.

 

She lies back down beside him, taking his hand, guiding him. "Just touch me."

 

And Potter does. He rubs her gently, feeling the small nub beneath the pad of his thumb grow hard and slick. He kisses her when she pulls his face down to meet her lips, and Draco senses the panic rising inside Potter. What if she wants more? What if she asks what I can't give?

 

Draco rolls his mind's eye. Of all people to have a complex about sex, the wonder boy of the Ministry of Magic would be the first one Draco would love to see it happen to, but being forced to witness the fact is not at all as enjoyable as he thought it would be. He's always wanted to see Potter taken down a peg, but this ... this is just humiliating.

 

He retreats as far as his mind will allow, praying for the whole thing to be over until he's made aware that Ginny has her hand on his crotch and is looking into his shame-filled face, disappointment reflecting back at him.

 

"You're not hard."

 

Screaming to wake up, Draco finally finds himself back in the Slytherin common room, his eyes wide and longing for a wand he can use to Obliviate himself.

 

He tries to calm himself, thinking of happier things, but the only things coming to mind are the memories of what he and Blaise have done together in the very chair he's sitting in, and it makes his heart ache to dwell on the thought.

 

He runs his hand absently through his hair and decides to find Potter. Perhaps Potter will fancy a Seeker's game. Draco could certainly use some fresh air to take his mind off Potter's memories.

 

He stands and shakes himself awake, wondering for the umpteenth time how long the Healers will have the Time-Sphere in place.

 

He opens the door to the boys' dormitory looking for Potter, and spots him. Of course, he's sleeping in what was once Draco's bed but, as he draws closer, Draco realises Potter is not as passive as he had been in his memory. He's definitely asleep and practically humping the mattress.

 

He watches Potter's sleeping face, turned towards him on the pillow, his mouth open and gasping while his hips rise and fall beneath the duvet. It's strangely erotic to see Potter so vulnerable. Draco is tempted to sit on Blaise's bed and watch him until he comes, but then Potter opens his fat mouth and ruins everything.

 

"Draco," Potter groans, his hips moving faster.

 

And that is just not on. Draco realises that what they need is a change of scenery.

 

A moment later Draco is standing in the middle of the Quidditch pitch, clutching a Snitch in one hand and his broom in the other. Potter is a few feet away, blinking rapidly and turning in circles, trying to figure out how he got there.

 

"Right there, Potter?" Draco calls out, holding the Snitch up for Potter to see.

 

"What the hell, Malfoy?" Potter calls back, when he realises where he is. "You could have woke me up first."

 

Draco simply shrugs. "I didn't mean to interrupt what appeared to be a rather enjoyable dream," he says, watching Potter's face redden. "I didn't know that my coming out here for a fly would wake you up and bring you along."

 

It's a blatant lie, and Draco can tell that Potter knows it too, but the mention of his dream is enough to keep his mouth shut.

 

Draco releases the Snitch and watches Potter's eyes follow its path until it is out of sight. He mounts his broom. "Come on."

 

Potter's forehead creases. He stoops and picks up his Firebolt, hands caressing the handle fondly.

 

"It's been ages since I've seen this broom, and even longer since I've played Quidditch." He sounds melancholic. He looks back up at Draco. "I don't think these dreams are just dreams."

 

Draco's palms itch. He doesn't like the way Potter is looking at him. He grips the handle of his broom, bracing his legs against the ground. "They're only dreams, Potter. Come on! Last one to the Snitch has to be the other's slave for a day!" He kicks off.

 

Draco tears through the air, the wind whipping his fringe, and he feels like singing. He does a few loop-the-loops to test the capabilities of his broom and pulls up to an upright position afterwards, a wide grin on his face. He turns to see where Potter has got off to, only to find Potter is still on the ground, his eyes fixed on Draco.

 

"Come on, Potter! You're not going to beat me if you don't get your feet off the ground!"

 

Potter nods; his face is hard to read. He mounts his broom at last, and kicks off from the ground, soaring into the air like a rocket. Draco smirks as Potter falls to the same sensation he had, of being back in the air after a long break from it, testing his wings and finding his way again.

 

Draco begins to search for the Snitch. He loops around the Quidditch field, his eyes on high alert, feeling the blood surging through his system, warming him from the inside; then he spots something, a glint of gold reflecting off one of the goal hoops on the other side.

 

He goes into a dive, waiting for Potter to follow him, which he does rather more quickly than Draco expects. Potter must have had his eyes trained on Draco to react so fast. Draco feints to the left and rockets back the opposite direction, soaring towards the gleam of the Snitch. Potter is too fast for him though. He passes Draco a second later and is closing in on the Snitch, his legs gripping his broom tightly and his body wound upon the broom's shaft as if it were an extension of his body. Draco flings the first words he can think at Potter as he puts on a burst of speed, hand outstretched, determined to win this time.

 

"Oi, Potter! I like your arse in those trousers!"

 

It works! Potter slows momentarily, and Draco wills himself to one more burst of speed. His hand closes over the small body of the Snitch half a second before Potter. Potter's hand closes on top of his.

 

Draco crows loudly. He slips his hand out from beneath Potter's and he tears off, flying a victory spin around the field, finally landing, laughing and smiling despite himself. He doesn't even care that Potter is witnessing him in his joy. He has wanted this for so long, to beat Potter to the Snitch at least once in his life.

 

And then he's knocked backwards, and finds himself blinking up in surprise as Potter slams him to the ground and holds him down, a grim expression on his face.

 

"That was a very dirty trick, Malfoy," Potter says, gritting his teeth.

 

Draco smirks up at Potter. "Come on, now," he drawls. "What are you planning to do, Potter? Going to beat the shit out of me for winning a stupid game?"

 

Potter doesn't answer with words; the way his eyes are fixed on Draco's in a sort of furious passion has set Draco's heart to racing. And then Potter does the last thing that Draco expects, though far from the last thing he wants. Potter leans in close and closes his lips on top of Draco's, pushing his chest against Draco's, still restraining his arms with his hands, and Draco's breath leaves him.

 

Slowly, breathing in through his nose, the smell of Potter thick on his clothes, Draco's eyes fall shut and he gives in to insistent pressure of Harry Potter's mouth. He opens his mouth when Potter's tongue swipes his lower lip and then Potter plunges on inside, kissing Draco to within an inch of his life. It's all Draco can do to lie back and meet him with equal measure. Potter never does anything halfway, and snogging is no different.

 

Draco's heart is in his ears, and he feels like he's turning into a pile of melting butter under Potter's manhandling, moulding into whatever shapes Potter chooses to twist him in, and it's brilliant. His cock is hard and he arches his hips upwards to meet Potter's hips, making Potter still his snog when he feels how Draco is responding to him.

 

Potter draws back a moment, and releases Draco's arms, sitting up, still straddling Draco's hips.

 

"Shirts off," Potter says briskly, tearing his own shirt off his head in a second, and then his glasses when they are upset by the shirt knocking them askew.

 

Draco smirks a moment, eyes lingering on the hard lines of Potter's chest, mouth going dry at the sight of the zigzagging scar there. It matches the one Potter marked Draco with so many years ago, and Draco hasn't checked to see if his own scars look any different since reopening, unsure of how real their bodies are in the Time-Sphere.

 

Potter doesn't wait for Draco to finish his recollections; he lifts Draco's shirt, and Draco finds himself allowing Harry Potter to undress him. It doesn't even matter, though, because Potter's lips are back on him a moment later, this time travelling down the side of his face, his neck, and onto his chest and then back up. Potter shifts his weight and Draco can feel the bulge in Potter's trousers bump against his own. Then Potter's chest is on his chest and the heat between them sears like fire, working straight up into Draco's brain, making his eyes close on their own as he gives himself over to the burn, kissing Potter back wetly, perfectly. Potter's mouth fits his mouth as if they were made for each other.

 

Potter begins to buck his hips. Draco finds himself rising up to answer Potter's rutting, his arms circling Potter's waist, travelling up his back and then down his spine, smiling against his will against Potter's lips as Potter shivers at the sensation of Draco's fingers.

 

Draco doesn't care. He runs his hands back down the planes of Potter's back, finding the edge of his trousers, sneaking his fingertips past the waistband of Potter's underpants.

 

Potter thrusts back against Draco, pushing a groan out of his throat, and Draco's hands slip further down the back of Potter's pants. He grips the heated arse cheeks with his palms, squeezing them as Potter devours his mouth in another plundering snog.

 

Draco is so far from thinking, he's nearly convinced he's still flying. How is it that sex can feel this good? It isn't even sex at this point, just frotting and kissing with Potter, and Draco finds himself entirely undone, more than he has ever been by Blaise.

 

He opens his eyes to chase the memory of Blaise away by overwriting it with the image of Potter's closed eyes, and the look of pure animalistic need in his expression. Draco bucks his hips up against Potter's, pulling Potter's arse down with each desperate grind. Potter's eyes fly open.

 

Draco sees a flicker of hesitation pass over Potter's face as he begins to pull away, but Draco is having none of that. As Potter begins to protest, he shoves his hand down the front of Potter's trousers and Potter's eyes close again, his mouth dropping open in a gasp, and Draco has him back where he wants him.

 

Potter's lips descend upon Draco's, crashing their mouths together without finesse, but it's good. Draco's cock is hard and throbbing, and the taste of Potter's tongue on his has got to be the sweetest thing in the entire world.

 

He has Potter's cock in a loose fist, pulling against the waistband of Potter's trousers with his wrist to make more room, and Potter is fucking his hand with abandon, breathing heavily through his nose as his kisses begin to change, becoming slower, more tender. It's all Draco can do to not come in his pants.

 

A moment later, Potter has their trousers open and is holding their cocks in a loose grip.

 

Potter leans his head back, exposing his throat to Draco while he fucks their cocks together through the hole he's made with his fist. Draco's mouth fills with saliva, just thinking of how it would be to suck that neck, and bite it, mark it until it's undeniably clear that Potter belongs to him.

 

But before he can trip over that thought — like where the hell it had come from — Potter is on top of him again, pressing their chests together, sticky-sliding with perspiration and need. Draco doesn't even give a fuck where his mind has gone, as long as it stays gone until he's got off.

 

Potter kisses him, and he meets the needy lips again and again, just lost in the perfect way their mouths seal together and then drift and come together again. It's as if Potter's mouth is the match Draco's mouth has been looking for all its life and, now that they have found each other, there's no fucking way they'll be torn apart.

 

Potter's breathing is hoarse and ragged, and Draco can feel the slide of their cocks in Potter's fist ease as dribbles of pre-come leak from their slits. The idea of Potter coming does it. It drives Draco into a frenzy of fuckyesrightnowthere and Draco latches onto Potter's mouth, taking control of their snog while he drives his hips into a faster pace, groaning his release as his orgasm crashes over him and spills out between their stomachs.

 

Potter's hand stills. He breaks the kiss, and stares down into Draco's eyes as if he's afraid.

 

Draco doesn't have time or energy for Potter's sexual dysfunction right now. He takes control of the situation, pulling Potter's face back down to kiss him again with one hand behind his neck, and wraps his other hand around Potter's, holding their come-soaked cocks. Draco continues to thrust, forcing Potter back into rutting, speeding his hand and alternating the tightness of his fist until Potter's hips snap forwards of their own volition and Potter pours all of his need back into Draco's mouth through his kisses.

 

Potter comes at last, his mouth stilling, eyes shut tight, and then he tucks his face into the side of Draco's neck, groaning almost as if in pain as his teeth sink into the top of Draco's shoulder.

 

Draco hisses, but the pain is nothing more than an added bonus to to the sweet slickness in his hand. His hand is covered in Potter's come and the thought excites him. He pulls his hand free, bringing it up to his mouth. He licks a stripe clean, tasting it, savouring it. The smell and the taste is bitter and raw and sweet at the same time. It's heavenly, and the weight of Potter's body pressing him into the ground is nothing short of a miracle.

 

Potter lifts his head at the sight, his eyes falling into focus.

 

He pushes himself off the ground and fastens his trousers, face flushed and hair standing on end. Draco likes the way he looks post-shag.

 

But Potter is quiet. He bends to retrieve his shirt and glasses, and Draco watches. The Snitch he had caught is hovering crookedly in the grass by Potter's shoe, one wing bent.

 

"I'm sorry," Potter stammers, clearing his throat. Draco can see there is a war going on inside his head. "I need to … I need a moment."

 

Potter turns and walks away, leaving Draco watching him. Draco turns onto his side, resting up on his elbow. Potter is all sorts of fucked up. Draco knows this. He's seen it in Potter's memories.

 

He rolls onto his back, staring up into the Time-Sphere's mimicry of sky: so realistic, and yet so false. If it were real there would be more sounds, animals, birds chirping, the sound of wind in the stands, the risk of students coming out onto the pitch and catching him with his cock hanging out of of his trousers. But there is none of that here.

 

He wonders what he was thinking letting himself go like he did with Potter. Especially without talking it out first, and smoothing over the feelings of a Gryffindor's ruffled morals. He wonders if he should go after Potter, confront him and make him talk, but that seems like it would be counterproductive.

 

Draco closes his eyes. He's just going to rest a moment.

 

~***~

 

 

His head is fuzzy and his eyelids are stiff when he tries to lift them. The sound of his name is slowly coming through to his ears; at first sounding as if he's hearing it from underwater, but growing clearer and easier to understand as his mind returns to wakefulness.

 

"Healer Malfoy. Can you hear me?"

 

Draco frowns, the mass of blurry colour looming over him coming into focus.

 

"What?" Draco says, but his throat is dry and raspy. It feels like he has a chunk of sandpaper lodged in it.

 

He closes his mouth and swallows. "What's going on?"

 

Terry Boot is looking down at him, a thick crease across his forehead. "Oh, thank goodness you're awake. I was beginning to worry."

 

When Draco simply stares at him, not quite focussing yet, he continues. "We cancelled the Time-Sphere about three hours ago. I had expected you to come round after a few minutes, but it's taken this long."

 

Right. The Time-Sphere. Draco blinks a few times more, still trying to get his eyes to adjust to the light and to moisten them.

 

"Where's Potter?" Draco asks, voice still croaking.

 

Boot raises his eyebrows. "Potter came out of the Sphere the moment we lifted it. He's been discharged into the custody of the Aurors after he cleared the health examination. You did well in treating him in the field."

 

Draco slumps back against his pillows. Of course Potter would bounce right back after the spell lifted while Draco was flat on his arse, feeling as limp as a cooked noodle. He wonders how much of the time they spent together under the spell Potter remembers. Draco thinks back to all that's happened, and doesn't think he's missing any time. Other than the three hours Boot says he took to wake up. He sighs. Well at least he won't have to deal with Potter's memories any longer. They'll probably just go back to how things were and not see each other again for another five years, when Potter needs Draco to tend to him as a Healer.

 

Draco wonders why he feels so empty at the thought. It was all nonsense anyway. What happens in a Time-Sphere counts as little as a dream in the long run.

 

"Healer Malfoy?" Boot asks, clearing his throat and Draco turns to look at him again. He's tired and cranky and just wants to go home.

 

"What?" Draco asks.

 

"I said your mother is here. She's ready to take you home. You've passed the physical examination and I don't think there's any more you need other than rest for a few days."

 

"Oh, yes, thank you."

 

~***~

 

 

Back at the Manor, Narcissa calls the house-elves to tend to Draco as soon as they step through the front doors. Draco feels as if he's been transported back in time to the days when he would pretend to be ill to get all of his mother's attention and extra sweets and privileges. He smirks wryly at the thought.

 

Once he's been tucked into his bed, after a shower and shave, and a bowl of chicken soup for dinner, his mother sits beside him on the edge of his bed, running her hand over his hair in the way he liked to be soothed as a child.

 

"The Aurors sent an owl over earlier, Draco," she says, her voice soft. "They want to ask you about the spell you used to save Mr Potter."

 

Draco frowns. "All right. When are they coming?"

 

"Some time tomorrow afternoon. I told them you needed to rest and that they weren't to disturb you until tea time."

 

"Thanks, Mum," Draco mumbles, feeling his cheeks grow pink. She still manages to baby him and he's reluctant to admit how much he appreciates it.

 

She gives him a quick kiss and stands up, her dressing gown shifting gracefully around her slender body. "Have a phial of Dreamless Sleep, darling," she says, and hands him the small glass tube. "I want you to feel fully refreshed when you wake."

 

Draco finds himself drifting on air as the potion floods his system and pulls him into the blackness of sleep, his pillows comforting his head, and the familiar smells of home enveloping him like a hug.

 

~***~

 

 

He's sitting in a low armchair. It feels as if the springs sprung their last several years previously, and he shifts himself uncomfortably, joining in the laughter of a room full of ginger-haired people.

 

Fuck!

 

Draco's mind turns in circles as he's once again trapped inside one of Potter's memories. This should have ended when the Time-Sphere was lifted, or actually, it shouldn't have even started in the first place. Draco can't remember ever reading about a situation where two people under a Time-Sphere Charm were sharing the space. It figures that he'd be lucky enough to wind up being part of the first pair it happened to, along with Potter.

 

He shakes himself, trying to wake up, but eventually settles in to allow the memory to run its course. There doesn't seem to be any way out of it.

 

Potter is laughing at something Weasley has said, and Granger is there too, sitting beside Weasley. Their faces are tinged pink with what appears to be enough alcohol to fuel a common-room party. The one remaining twin stands up then, putting his bottle of whatever plebeians like the Weasleys drink in their spare time on the short squat coffee table.

 

"I've got to sleep," he tells them. "Have to open the shop early tomorrow. Congrats again on passing the Auror exam, Harry."

 

"Thanks, George," Draco feels himself say through Harry's voice. It's beyond bizarre to be inside somebody else's body as a voyeur, unable to make your presence known.

 

"What about me?" Weasley demands, pulling himself stupidly off Granger's lips where he had been sucking her mouth like a feasting Dementor.

 

Another Weasley throws a pillow at him. "Shut it, you. This is Harry's birthday too. You've had enough praise from Mum earlier today."

 

Weasly scowls at his brother, but Granger shushes him by whispering something in his ear that turns his face red as a beetroot.

 

Potter relaxes back in the low sagging armchair, humming contentedly in a state of drunken bliss.

 

"What's that, little brother?" the other Weasley asks, stretching his arms over his head so his ratty white T-shirt pulls up, revealing several inches of tattooed skin. Draco has to admit the view isn't bad, for a ginger.

 

"Charlie, is that a new tattoo?" Potter asks, and the Weasley, Charlie, Draco supposes his name is, turns to Potter and gives him a crooked grin. He has a burn mark down the side of his neck and his hair is cut quite short, and teased in spikes. He's not half bad, actually.

 

"Well spotted, Harry," Charlie says with a grin. He lifts his shirt up the rest of the way, exposing his pert pink nipples. "It wraps all the way around, see."

 

Potter's mate lets out a hiss. "Has Mum seen that?" he asks. "She'll kill you."

 

Charlie smiles wider, and Potter's eyes are transfixed on the tattoo. It's a dragon wrapped all the way around Charlie's torso, its head resting in the centre of his chest and its long body extending round his back and down his trousers.

 

"Does it go all the way down?" Potter asks, his eyes checking out the direction of the Dragon's body where it disappears down Charlie's front.

 

"It does," Charlie says, and drops his shirt again. He turns back to where his brother and Granger are eye-fucking side-by-side. "You know, I think you two ought to take it upstairs. I don't need to see you losing control and fucking on the table in front of me."

 

Weasley scowls again at his brother. "We're not. Harry, you don't mind, do you? Not all of us can live the life of celibacy you've sworn to take."

 

Charlie just about spits his drink out at these words. "What's that?" he demands, turning to Potter. "You becoming a monk or something?"

 

Potter's face flushes, and he glares at Weasley. "Thanks Ron," he says sarcastically. "I really wanted to share that tidbit about myself with your whole family."

 

At least Weasley has the sense to appear cowed by the dressing-down.

 

Granger stands up and takes his hand. "I think Charlie is right, Ron. Let's head upstairs. I'm getting sleepy."

 

"Right," Weasley says, and stands to follow her. He turns back to Potter. "Night, Harry. Sorry. I'm an idiot when I drink."

 

Potter waves him away like the idiot he is. He really ought to be better about standing up to his mates.

 

Soon Potter and Charlie are alone in the sitting room and Potter is shifting in the uncomfortable chair, though Draco can't tell if it's the chair or the atmosphere that is causing the discomfort.

 

"So what gives, Harry?" Charlie asks, his voice low. "Feel like talking about it?"

 

"Not especially," Potter says, and knocks back the last of the drink in his bottle, then puts the empty bottle on the table.

 

"Right," Charlie says, and stands up. He Vanishes the array of empties on the table and leaves the room. Potter stares into the empty hearth.

 

When Charlie comes back into the room, he has taken off his shirt and hands Potter another bottle.

 

"Come on. Let's take a turn about the garden. It's still light out and I could use some fresh air."

 

Potter follows him, his eyes focussed on the tattoo on Charlie's back.

 

Draco wants to scream at Potter. It's so obvious you fancy his arse. He's practically throwing himself at you. Go and get him, but of course Potter can't hear him.

 

Through Potter's eyes, Draco watches the dragon tattoo on Charlie's back appear to come to life as his muscles ripple just walking. Draco wonders if perhaps he needs to go and find a Dragon-Tamer boyfriend of his own. Damn ... with a body like that, Draco thinks he can even accept the red hair and freckles.

 

Potter on the other hand, seems to be stuck in a sort of mindfuck. It's so obvious to Draco that Potter is bent, and that he bloody well wants to bend over and give Charlie whatever he wants, but it's like he can't. Not that there's anything wrong with his prick, judging by the rock-hard cock Draco can feel pressing against his hip, but because he's labouring under the thoughts that sex, cocks, come, and everything pleasurable, hell — everything that makes life worth living — in Draco's mind, is wrong, dirty, unacceptable... freakish.

 

Draco wants to find Potter's Muggle relatives and give them a dose of their own poison. How dare they so thoroughly fuck up a young child, so that even a decade later he is still held under the sway of their ludicrous brainwashing?

 

Potter is sweating. He drinks half the bottle of beer as they move out past a set of hedgerows. The garden is untidy and overgrown, but Draco can tell that it is a source of comfort to the people living in the ramshackle house. Potter seems to relax once they've moved into the open air. A soft cooling breeze rushes through the bushes, lifting Potter's sweaty fringe from his forehead, offering a balm of cooling relief.

 

They stop beside a shed, and look out over a small pond in the distance. The sun is low in the sky. It hangs heavily and shoots the darkening indigo sky with tendrils of yellow and orange, pink and red, just visible from the edge of the horizon.

 

Charlie takes a drink from his bottle and holds its cool surface to his chest, turning to quirk an eyebrow at Potter.

 

"It's brilliant at this time of day, don't you think?"

 

Potter seems to have fallen back into the role of awkward-as-fuck teenager, with no words coming to his rescue. Draco feels the humiliation too through the memory, and wants to curl up and not have to witness it any longer.

 

"Yeah," Potter says at last, and clears his throat. His cock is so hard against his hipbone, it's wetting his pants with sticky pre-come.

 

Charlie and Potter stand in amicable silence, watching the sun set. Draco starts to wonder if they're just going to stand there until they fall asleep or something. It's boring, but he does admit that the sunset is beautiful.

 

Potter finally seems unable to keep quiet any more, or perhaps it's just his inhibitions slipping away along with the sun, Draco isn't sure.

 

"I'm not celibate on purpose, or because I want to be," he tells Charlie.

 

Charlie sets his empty bottle down an an old stump beside the shed, and turns to look at Potter. His face is open and honest and so freaking gorgeous, Draco wants Potter to say the right thing, anything, to get to see the rest of the tattoo decorating Charlie's body.

 

The darkness is falling fast. Potter's eyes flicker to the pools of light from the lit windows of the house, shining yellow squares through the stretching shadows on the grass and bushes.

 

"Tell me," Charlie says, his voice quiet but encouraging. Draco thinks he must be a very good listener.

 

Potter shifts his weight from one leg to the other and leans back against the wall of the shed, letting his eyes flit to the sky above where a couple of stars are just now making their presence known.

 

"I have trouble …" Potter pauses, stumbling over his own thoughts, "…finishing."

 

Charlie has taken a step closer. Draco can feel Potter's breathing speed up along with his pulse. He wonders how much longer Potter will be able to ignore the rather painful erection he's been sporting without doing something about it.

 

"You mean, you come too soon?" Charlie asks, and Draco swears he can hear the lust in his voice, coming as if from a wild animal that has been trained to perform, just barely restrained.

 

Potter shakes his head and starts when he realises how close Charlie is standing. "I can't come." Potter's voice sounds broken. "I've spoken to a Healer about it only once. They told me it's a mental block."

 

Draco wants to smack Potter on the head for saying something so ludicrous in front of a willing piece of meat. That isn't how you get shagged, but judging by the gleam in Charlie's eyes, Draco almost wonders if Charlie hasn't just taken what Potter said as a challenge.

 

"Is that why things didn't work out with Gin?" Charlie asks, and Draco can sense a fine line being tread. Bringing up a sexual dysfunction is already one way to shoot down one's chances at getting off, but adding questions about one's failed past relationships, especially with members of the same family, has got to be the sword that severs it.

 

"Yeah," Potter breathes shakily. "Well, partly." His breath stutters as Charlie steps even closer.

 

Charlie has just stepped right into Potter's space. They are standing an inch apart; Charlie is a couple of inches taller than Potter, but of a much bulkier build, and Draco can feel the fire spreading through Potter's nerves at the attraction between them. It seems that Charlie has had enough with talking. He grips Potter by the biceps and leans in, closing his lips on top of Potter's, pushing Potter against the shed and holding him in place, while pressing his body against Potter's front. Potter's bottle falls from his hand with a clunk.

 

Draco shivers as he feels Charlie's and Potter's bulges bump against each other. Potter's cock is so hard it hurts. Draco wants to tell Potter to knock off the chastity act and adjust himself so it has room to breathe.

 

Charlie's lips still, barely brushing Potter's now. Their breath is mingling, and Potter is frozen. He hasn't responded to the kiss at all, though their lips are still touching by the barest brush. "Tell me to stop, Harry," Charlie says raggedly, and moves his lips to kiss the line of Potter's jaw. Potter's head responds automatically, baring his throat for Charlie without hesitation. "Tell me to stop and I will," Charlie says again, though Draco has to wonder where Charlie would have learned such a level of self control. He knows he wouldn't be able to stop if he were in Charlie's place.

 

But it doesn't seem to matter. Potter doesn't tell him to stop. Potter's hips actually buck up against Charlie's and Charlie take that as permission to keep going. His mouth is back on Potter's a moment later, tongue demanding and lips claiming.

 

Potter responds at last, his breath ragged as he succumbs to the demands of Charlie's mouth, finally losing himself in the kiss.

 

And Draco is so relieved too, to get to kiss the man, the dragon-taming hunk of a man that Draco has no qualms about denying the hotness of, even if he is a Weasley. Every family is bound to get lucky if they try hard enough to produce a good egg. But all these ridiculous thoughts are pushed aside when Charlie's hands find their way down, undoing Potter's fly and pulling out his cock.

 

The relief from being suffocated, bent awkwardly and stuffed in hot trousers is brilliant in the cool of the summer night air.

 

And then Charlie's cock is hot against Potter's and Draco would give anything to get Potter to look the fuck down so he can watch, but Potter's eyes are shut tight and he's gasping into Charlie's mouth.

 

Charlie's hand has become a fist around their pricks and he's slowly thrusting his cock up into the ring he's made, the leaking of Potter's cock lubricating the glide quite well.

 

"So good," Charlie groans, pushing his tongue into Potter's mouth, probably to keep him from answering or freaking out and saying something stupid like stop.

 

Potter's body seems to know what to do when he finally stops trying to control it, and allows somebody else to take the lead. Charlie, it seems, is a natural-born leader and more than happy to take charge and show Potter how these things are done.

 

Draco is beyond aroused. He's torn between wanting the memory to end so he can have one off thinking about it in his own body, and staying present in the memory and experiencing Charlie's skills first-hand; well, second, so to speak. He hates that he has to do it with Potter's weirdness getting in the way.

 

Potter is close; hell, Draco swears that Potter has been close to the edge since Charlie took off his shirt. He would be impressed by Potter's stamina if he didn't know that it wasn't stamina at all, but fear. But the aching in Potter's balls is so good, he doesn't have time to dwell on those thoughts. He's chanting in Potter's head. Close... close... close... come on, damn it, but of course Potter doesn't realise he's there.

 

Potter's mouth breaks from Charlie's, tearing away like it's painful. He bucks his hips, thrusting his cock into Charlie's fist, unable to stop, even as he's saying, "I can't, I need…"

 

Charlie, sensing the words aren't what he wants to hear, moves his free hand to Potter's face, forcing him still and clutching his jaw, so when Charlie claims his mouth again, Potter can't speak anymore, can't do anything but answer the kiss.

 

And then at long last, Draco feels the winding up, the pressure, the agonising torture in Potter's cock and balls crash through the barrier keeping them from working, unable to resist the stimulation.

 

Potter comes with a cry, though it's muffled by Charlie's mouth. Draco feels it too, a mixture of intense pain and ultimate relief and pleasure, blending so thoroughly, that Draco is amazed Potter hasn't passed out.

 

Charlie follows him over the edge and Draco feels the burst of fresh come joining the enormous amounts that Potter has produced. Their cocks are still hard, but less rigid, coated in slippery come, and Draco feels Charlie's lips turning up in Potter's mouth, until he becomes aware that tears are spilling down the sides of Potter's face, and Potter has his eyes shut tight.

 

Charlie pulls back, still not quite as aware as Draco that Potter is not fine.

 

Potter's eyes open. They find Charlie's dazzling face, beaming with happiness; the just-shagged expression looks quite good on him.

 

Draco wants to groan and have Potter reach for Charlie's cock again as Charlie brings his come-soaked hand to his mouth and licks a long stripe clean, still smiling.

 

"You taste brilliant," Charlie says.

 

Potter's stomach quivers; he's shoving his cock back into his trousers and doing the fly, eyes averted, deliberately not making eye contact.

 

"I have to go," Potter says, and pushes Charlie back from him, enough to give him room to slip away.

 

Draco can see the understanding that he's made a tactical error fall over Charlie's expression, but Potter moves away so quickly, Charlie doesn't have the chance to explain or to do damage control.

 

~***~

 

 

Draco groans in relief when he opens his eyes and is in his own room, in his own bed, in his own mind and body again.

 

He is rock-hard and his hand is halfway to his erection when his mother's voice calls from the doorway.

 

Draco quickly shifts the blankets on his bed, so they cover all clues as to his arousal.

 

"What was that?" he asks.

 

"I was telling you you need to shower quickly and dress. You have a guest for tea, and the Aurors will be over later today as well."

 

She sweeps through the room and stands over his bed, a small frown creasing her forehead.

 

"You look flushed, my darling."

 

"I'm fine," Draco answers, unable to keep the heat from spreading up his chest to his face, covering his cheeks. "Give me twenty minutes, and I'll be down."

 

Narcissa hums, and runs her slender fingers through Draco's hair affectionately. "All right."

 

She leaves the room, a very pretty smile on her face.

 

~***~

 

 

When he steps into the drawing room, tying his dressing gown around his waist over his lounge pants and T-shirt, he meets the almond-shaped eyes of Blaise Zabini. Blaise holds him with his eyes from the table; the same face Draco has so often seen in the throes of passion, now collected and smooth in a state of perfect aristocratic poise. Blaise's hair is shorter than it the last time Draco had seen him. His tight black curls hug his scalp, displaying the perfectly-shaped head that Draco will never admit he covets.

 

Draco is assaulted by the memory of Blaise shampooing Draco's hair one night in the Prefect's tub. Draco recalls the arousal of Blaise's fingertips against his scalp, how Draco had been brought to his knees by the touch, and then Blaise had ruined the moment by informing Draco his head was lumpy.

 

Draco takes his seat at the head of the table, his mother to his right and Blaise to hers. He fights the urge to tell Blaise to take his pefect arse and sully somebody else's dining room chair with it, as seeing Blaise with Narcissa wrapped around his finger makes Draco scowl.

 

"Darling," Narcissa says gracefully as ever. "Blaise came over to give you his regards during your convalescence. Isn't that thoughtful?"

 

Draco takes note of the sharply-angled eyebrow his mother throws at him. The way her eyes widen ever so slightly at the corners reminds him to perform his duties as head of the Malfoy house in an acceptable manner.

 

Draco shakes out his napkin and drapes it over his lap, meeting Blaise's eyes with only the barest hint of defiance.

 

"Yes, thank you, Blaise. It has been a while since we've had the pleasure of your company."

 

Blaise smiles, his white teeth a sharp contrast to the darkness of his skin, and, despite Draco's insistence he is over Blaise and no longer susceptible to his charms, Draco finds it hard to suppress the tingle of arousal that runs up his spine at the sight.

 

"I heard you were in a Time-Sphere for three days, Draco," Blaise says, the vibrations of his baritone voice sending floods of memories of what else that voice has said through Draco's very toes, making them curl.

 

Draco pours himself a cup of tea, and doctors it with milk and sugar. "I wasn't aware the details of my hospitalisation had been made public. Please tell me you didn't run the story in the Prophet."

 

Narcissa coughs gently into her napkin and gets to her feet. "Draco. I will give you and Blaise a chance to catch up properly. Remember the Aurors will be here in an hour. Send Blinky to fetch me if you need me in any way." She stretches out her hand to Blaise, who takes it and kisses it briefly. "Thank you for visiting, Blaise. I do hope to see you more often in the future."

 

Blaise answers with another one of his charming smiles, leaving Draco hiding behind his teacup to cover the face he can't help but pull. He wishes things hadn't ended with Blaise as they had, but he concedes that it is better he discovered his lover's taste for multiple partners before they had moved into a more permanent arrangement.

 

Blaise turns back to Draco as the door clicks closed. "I heard about you from Amanda," he says, taking a dainty sip from his teacup. "I wouldn't dream of publishing details of an ongoing Auror investigation without permission."

 

Draco furrows his eyebrows, trying to recall who Amanda is. He doubts very much Blaise would think twice about publishing whatever would sell. It was more likely he'd been silenced by the Aurors.

 

"Davies," Blaise says, enlightening him. "She's the sister of Roger Davies."

 

Oh right. Dear Roger, the bugger who handed Draco the portkey to this lovely curse of being shackled to Potter's mind.

 

"Have you proposed to her yet?" Draco asks, careful to keep his voice neutral, and to pass the illusion that he really doesn't care one way or the other.

 

When Blaise doesn't answer, but takes another sip from his teacup, Draco is unable to keep the charade of master of his house up any longer. "Why are you here, Blaise?" He puts his napkin on the table and pushes his chair back, standing up.

 

Blaise continues to look at him, his expression carefully bored, but showing signs of true worry, to those who know how to read him right, and Draco does, sort of.

 

"Three days," Blaise says again. "Do you realise how close you were to dying? And then when I heard what the curse was that put you there, and Potter was involved."

 

Blaise stands up as well. His shoulders are stiff. He glares at Draco as if it is Draco's fault for making him concerned.

 

"Potter was the one that put that scar on your chest the first time, Draco. When I heard … I needed to come over to see for myself that you are well. Happy?"

 

Draco frowns. It isn't like Blaise to get worked up over anything, let alone Draco, but here he is. Draco gestures to the conservatory door and walks towards it, keenly aware of Blaise's eyes on his back, but at least he is following.

 

They enter the room and a burst of warmth hits them from the atmospheric charms his mother has in place for the plants. Draco closes the door behind him after Blaise steps through.

 

"Happy?" he repeats. "Not especially." He wonders what Blaise has to gain from this show of sympathy. "You never answered my question earlier."

 

Blaise steps forward. Draco finds himself backed up against the door while Blaise pins him in place wedging his thigh between Draco's legs and holding Draco's shoulders in place with his hands. "I don't want to answer that question," Blaise says huskily. "I'm still holding out hope that you'll stay single until we're thirty."

 

Draco's eyes fall shut when Blaise's mouth covers his, the tingles running through his nerves worse than ever, making him shiver beneath Blaise's talented tongue. But Draco reminds himself that Blaise is probably newly engaged to Amanda, and Draco will never be more than a passing fancy to Blaise. The thought of the promise they made before his heart was stamped on reminds Draco exactly why he doesn't want to do this right now. He breaks the kiss, glaring up into the dark pools of black that are Blaise's eyes.

 

"I've told you before, Blaise. I am worth more than a piece on the side. You can't have me, so remove your hands at once."

 

Blaise refuses to move. He holds Draco's shoulders in place with his hands even tighter, sending a thrill of fear and desire flooding through Draco's body. It isn't his fault he was subjected to the hotness of Charlie Weasley through Potter's memory and then was unable to take care of his erection before being forced to interact with Blaise. He stares back at Blaise, his eyes flashing with hurt, but, too, the way Blaise is looking at him, as if he's not going to allow Draco to refuse him, makes Draco's heart stutter.

 

"I'm not marrying her, Draco," Blaise says, his voice low and breath hot on Draco's cheek. "When she told me about the Time-Sphere, how long you'd been in it … all I could think about was what if you had died and I'd never get to touch you again."

 

He presses his hips forwards, pinning Draco to the door even more than before, sending the blood in Draco's body to flush his face. His cock throbs harder against his hip bone. Blaise's hand finds his cock, his lips trailing along Draco's jaw. "Fuck, look how hard you are for me already. It's been five years. I long to taste you again." Draco feels himself giving in, submitting to Blaise's tantalising words. It is so easy to be with Blaise, to just follow his lead, but the memory of their last time together makes Draco draw a shaky breath.

 

Blaise doesn't allow Draco time to object. He dives forwards, latching onto Draco's lips, pushing his tongue inside and stealing Draco's breath right out of his lungs. One hand falls to pull Draco's hips closer to Blaise's and the other moves up to muss Draco's hair, combing fingertips over his scalp.

 

Draco has always had a very sensitive scalp. Blaise joked once that he thought he could make Draco come by running his fingers through Draco's hair, and wouldn't that be a different way of looking at 'giving head'.

 

Draco stops kissing Blaise back. Walking into their dormitory room to find Blaise pinning Daphne Greengrass into Draco's mattress is burned into his retinas. That was the same day they had sworn to each other that if they were both still single by the age of thirty, they'd chuck the expectations that came with their family names and marry each other. And Draco had been so stupid as to fall for him. He was about ready to confess to Blaise that he was in love with him and would rather not wait until they were thirty, but how did the creep meet him? Balls deep in a tart, smiling up as Draco pulled the curtains aside and inviting him to join them.

 

Draco closes his lips, refusing to allow Blaise's tongue any more exploration of his mouth. He stiffens beneath Blaise, breathing angrily through his nose.

 

And Blaise finally takes the hint and pulls back, tossing his hands up in frustration.

 

"Ahem." A voice breaks the tension and Draco's eyes fly to the door on the opposite side of the room, meeting Potter's cool expression as he pokes his head inside. "Malfoy, your elf said I could find you in here. My team would like a word with you shortly." He disappears as quickly as he appeared, and Draco's stomach fills with a sick feeling. Dread pools in his gut. How much of the exchange with Blaise did Potter witness? Why does it even matter?

 

"Blaise, I trust you can find your way out," Draco says coldly.

 

"I can, Draco." Blaise pauses for a moment, staring at the place Potter just was, as if he's about to say something else, but thinks better of it. Draco moves aside and watches him leave.

 

~***~

 

 

Draco gathers what he can of his dignity and attempts to smooth down his hair, though he knows that, after Blaise has messed it up, it will take an hour of Styling Charms to make it presentable again.

 

He enters the lounge where the Aurors are waiting. There are only three of them, and Draco knows them all well. Potter is sitting on the sofa beside his partner, Weasley, and their boss Gawain Robards is seated in one of the two wingback chairs which stand at either end of a large rectangular coffee table before the sofa.

 

Draco takes the other chair, and tries to look casual and unconcerned, draping one leg over the other, his hands in his lap.

 

"Mr Malfoy," Robards begins, clearing his throat. He has a file of papers spread out on the opposite end of the table and is marking them with notes with his quill. "We will be brief, as I'm sure you need time to relax after this ordeal."

 

"What exactly am I being interviewed for?" Draco asks. He's not charming, nor smug, but curious. He has no idea how an Auror debriefing session works.

 

Robards looks up, his bushy grey eyebrows crooked in his forehead. "Well, you were the Healer who was tending to Auror Potter's wounds when whatever curse it was spread to you. I need to find out what curse you were treating him for and ask you what you know of it."

 

Draco frowns. Surely Potter would have told his superior by now all that he knows of the curse, but when Draco tries to meet Potter's eyes, Potter is reading one of the sheets of parchment and apparently not paying the slightest bit of attention to Draco.

 

"The curse Auror Potter was hit with and that I was treating him for is known as Sectumpsempra. I'm surprised Potter didn't mention that to you already, as he has experience using this curse himself."

 

Draco smirks when Potter finally reacts, his face blanching as his boss turns on him.

 

"What's this?" Robards demands.

 

Potter clears his throat. "Sir, well… I… er… that is to say,"

 

"Would you like me to tell him the story, Potter?" Draco asks, a small thrill of excitement rising up inside him at the flash of anger Potter shoots at him with his eyes.

 

"No, Malfoy," Potter says. "The spell is a dark curse, it was created by Severus Snape. I don't believe many people outside of the Death Eaters knew how to cast it." Potter seems to think this last statement will hurt Draco, but Draco is ready with his response.

 

Draco clears his throat. "Except, of course, you," he adds and turns to Robards. "Potter hit me with the curse in our sixth year. If Severus hadn't been nearby at the time to perform the counter-curse, I would have died."

 

"I didn't know what the spell did," Potter said hoarsely. "We were kids. We were stupid."

 

"Be that as it may, Potter," Draco says fixing Potter with a fierce stare, not at all getting off on the flush rising in Potter's face. "The curse is very dark magic and you need to mean it when you cast it, so despite the fact you claim you didn't know what the spell did, your intentions to hurt me were definitely there."

 

"All right, enough," Weasley says interrupting. "Sir," he says, addressing Robards. "This is all related to a past incident. Perhaps we can put it aside for now to discuss what we came to discuss."

 

Robards' eyebrows are all the way up his forehead as he watches Potter and Draco's hissing fit unfold. "Er… yes. I agree, Weasley. Mr Malfoy. As far as you know as a Healer, as a former Death Eater, and in any other experience you may have to call upon, how many people do you believe know of this curse and have the ability to cast it?"

 

Draco pauses a moment, frowning, feeling Potter's anger shooting out at him from the sofa. "I would say, other than myself, and Potter, the members of Slytherin from my year, and whatever Death Eaters are still around that were members of the the Dark Lord's inner circle. It isn't a curse they advertised much."

 

The room falls silent.

 

Draco is distinctly uncomfortable with the look being exchanged amongst the Aurors.

 

"Is there anything else you needed from me?" Draco asks. He's watching Potter pick at the seam on his robe. Potter doesn't appear to want to stick around much longer either. "I'm not under suspicion, am I?" Draco asks suddenly. "You do need to inform me if that is the case."

 

Potter looks up immediately, his eyes wide as if he can't imagine Draco would even have cause to wonder. Then he turns to Robards and Weasley, who have furrowed their brows.

 

"No," Weasley says flatly. "I really don't think Malfoy played any part in the crime before he was called in for emergency duty."

 

Robards' forehead smooths out at this. "I think we are finished, Mr Malfoy."

 

"Potter," Draco says, seemingly unable to stop himself from blurting out before thinking things through.

 

Potter throws him a withering look.

 

"May I speak to you in private? It will only take a moment."

 

"Anything you have to say to me, Malfoy, can be said in front of my team," Potter says automatically, making Draco smirk.

 

"Oh really?" Draco can't help but dig. "Well, in that case…"

 

"No, it's fine," Potter says standing up quickly. "I'll be right back," he says to his partners.

 

Draco gets to his feet as well, all too aware of his heart hammering against his breastbone. He leads Potter into the next room over. It is his father's old study, furnished richly with inherited pieces from countless generations of Malfoy ancestors.

 

Draco closes the door after Potter steps into the room and stops Potter from getting too far by standing a couple of feet away from him, using the two inches of extra height he has to his advantage.

 

"I am not seeing Blaise," Draco says at once, aware that he's probably sounding a bit desperate and needy, but it doesn't matter. He can't let Potter go before he clarifies things.

 

Potter's face remains expressionless; it doesn't suit him. "Why would you think I would want to know that?"

 

Draco exhales sharply through his nose. "You know, perhaps it may have something to do with the small exchange we had on the Quidditch pitch." He can't keep his mouth from curling upwards at the corners when Potter's face does seem to lose a bit of colour at his words.

 

"That… that wasn't real," Potter stammers, now flushing and backing up against the door.

 

Draco takes another step forward, keeping the same distance apart as they had been at the start. "No?" Draco asks, masking his nervousness with a forced calm. His cock has reawakened and is pushing up against the waistband of his lounge pants, though its hidden by his dressing gown. "It wasn't false to me," Draco says simply.

 

Potter swallows hurriedly. Draco can see he is growing uncomfortable, and he pushes the concern growing in his own stomach down. He doesn't have time for sympathies to get in the way of getting Potter to talk, to admit that it meant something to him too.

 

"We were in separate rooms at St Mungo's," Potter says. "I asked the Healers. They say that lingering memories and dreams are a side-effect of being in the Time-Sphere for as long as we were, and that they will pass in time."

 

"They lied," Draco says flatly. "But you are still having them too, aren't you? The dreams, I mean. Or rather, I should call them memories."

 

Potter's eyes widen a fraction. "It doesn't matter," he says defiantly. "I'm finished talking now. Stand aside, I need to get back to work."

 

Draco wonders how far he can get away with pushing Potter, but realises that the best way to continue getting Potter to talk is to make him think he's doing it on his own terms.

 

Draco steps back a couple of feet. "Of course, Potter. I would like to continue this chat soon, however. I have a few questions to ask you of my own."

 

"Um… I don't know if that's a good…"

 

"I'll send you an owl later tonight," Draco interjects. "Unless you'd rather talk somewhere else?"

 

Potter latches onto to the line Draco has thrown him. "Yes, somewhere else," he says, and Draco can see the relief in his expression. "I'll owl you tonight, after they let me go."

 

Draco nods and allows Potter to leave the room, suddenly filled with giddiness as the prospect of seeing Potter privately again.

 

Examining his reasons for wanting to be close to Potter is too dangerous, so Draco contents himself with the thoughts that if Potter were to try to be difficult, at least Draco has some good material on Potter to hold as blackmail, even if he wouldn't likely ever use it. Potter doesn't know that.

 

~***~

 

 

Draco is all nerves.

 

He doesn't know quite how Potter manages to get under his skin after all these years, but seeing Potter again, outside of the Time-Sphere, and after witnessing Potter's memories for the past few days, Draco is starting to come to really want to get to know him, and perhaps to see his face during an orgasm again. That had been nice. He needs to convince Potter that the events in the Time-Sphere weren't nothing.

 

He looks at his reflection in his wardrobe mirror, hoping that the Muggle jeans he's chosen to wear are to Potter's liking. He likes how they make his arse look. He turns his hips to the side and looks at his backside over his shoulder, admiring the view.

 

He glances at the note Potter has sent over. Draco feels a twinge of hope shoot through him, as Potter hadn't wasted time sending it.

 

He picks it up to read it again, though he has the bloody thing memorised.

 

 

 

Malfoy,

 

Let's meet in Muggle London, so we don't create a scene in wizarding public by being seen together. Meet me in Grimmauld Circle. It's a park not far from where I live. We can decide where to go from there. Please wear Muggle clothes.

 

Harry

 

 

 

Draco isn't sure if it's just Potter's cluelessness that makes his words sound so suggestive to Draco, or if Draco is really just a pervert with his head in the gutter. Whatever the case is, Draco has chosen to take the note as an invitation. He even signed the note with his first name. Sure, he hadn't used Draco's first name, but that was probably due to force of habit. Potter's mentions of being seen together and to decide where to go from a park near where Potter's living, that was practically screaming I'll take you back to my place for a shag if you want.

 

Though these thoughts spin through Draco's mind, he is aware of how ridiculous he's being. Better to turn his mind to that line of thinking so Potter won't be able to take advantage of Draco in this preoccupied state of mind.

 

He Apparates to the park in Grimmauld Circle at ten minutes to eight. He's standing beside a large fountain. The sun has just gone down and there is still a faint tinge of pink to the sky. He turns around when he hears the scuffling sound of shoes scraping pavement.

 

Potter is walking towards him. "Oh good, you found it all right. I realised about ten minutes ago I hadn't specified a time."

 

Draco feels slightly dazed and a wee bit confused by the pink flush on Potter's cheeks, and the way he seems to be genuinely glad to see Draco.

 

"Where did you want to go?" Draco asks. "To talk, I mean," he adds, unable to stop the faintest bit of flush from spreading over his cheeks, but if Potter notices it, it's not deterring him.

 

Potter shrugs, his hands in his pockets. "We could go back to mine, but it's gloomy. Why don't we walk for a bit, and talk as we go."

 

Draco puzzles over the suggestion, wondering where the trap is, if there is one; finding no reason not to go along with Potter, agrees. After all, Potter is being amicable so far. Draco needs him to feel comfortable if he's ever going to get Potter to say what Draco wants to hear.

 

"After you," Draco says, allowing a small smile." Potter's eyes flash up then, as he's just been caught checking out Draco's jeans.

 

Draco falls into step beside Potter as Potter leads them down the street. It's a Muggle neighbourhood. Not particularly well maintained, but not a decrepit ruin like the one where Snape used to hole up, and Draco is thankful for that.

 

The sky grows darker. The lights from the street lamps fill the pavement as they walk from one glowing yellow circle to the next. Potter doesn't say anything. He appears to be thinking deeply about something and just walking.

 

Draco isn't sure whether he should be offended or not. He decides to break the quiet, longing to get a bit of conversation started, or this whole experiment will fail miserably.

 

"So, Potter… The person you were chasing down when you got cursed, what was he doing? Why were Aurors after him?"

 

Potter's eyes look up, still pointed forwards. "Let's stop up here and have a drink, and I'll tell you about it," Potter says, pointing at a small pub up ahead.

 

Draco agrees, following Potter's lead.

 

They order a bottle of wine and some bread and take a seat at a table by the window in the small dingy room. The pub is not busy. There are a few Muggle men in work-shirts and dusty trousers sitting at the bar, engaged in talk with each other or staring hopelessly at their drinks, but other than that, they have the place to themselves.

 

"So, the person we were chasing had stolen a dark artefact from a private collector," Potter says as Draco pours them each a glass of wine. Draco hands Potter his glass, nodding for him to continue.

 

"The robbery set off an alarm spell the collector has set up between his possessions and the Auror department. I can't tell you what it was, or who the collector is, as that is confidential, but we were on the tail of the thief moments after he set off the alarm. It was just me and Ron. I chased him, while Ron sent a Patronus to Robards." Potter takes a drink from his wine, his eyes trained on Draco's.

 

"I caught hold of the man's arm, and he Disapparated with me hanging on. We wound up in that building in Devon, but I don't remember what happened after that, only that he cursed me and bolted. Ron knew where to find me, through our tracking spell, and he sent for help and went after the bloke."

 

Potter stops, and butters a piece of bread, looking back up at Draco. "I suppose you remember more than I do what happened after that. You came just in time. I want to thank you for saving my life, even if this…" he gestures vaguely, "…side-effect had to happen."

 

"You're welcome." Draco feels slightly off-kilter now. It's been years since he and Potter exchanged words, since the war ended and Potter spoke for him during the post-war trials, until, of course, the recent fiasco.

 

"Well, what happened after you came out of the Time-Sphere?" Draco asks, wanting to keep the conversation going, but also curious as to why Potter, and he in turn, had been cursed. He wondered if the person who cast the spell on Potter had modified it, which is why it caused Draco's old wound to reopen or if it had all been a strange coincidence. "Did Weasley catch the thief? I thought he'd said the bloke was taken care of when he interrupted me during the counter-curse."

 

Harry chewed his mouthful of bread, swallowing before answering. "Well, I'm not supposed to discuss it with people not directly related to the investigation, but I suppose you count. I mean, you were involved. Um... Ron said he caught the guy, some bloke in a cloak, he couldn't make out much about what he looked like because it was dark, but he disarmed him and put him in a magical binding, sent another Patronus to Robards and then went back to check on me." Potter pauses, and drinks from his wine glass, finishing it off.

 

Draco wants Potter to keep going, but Potter is frowning at the empty bottle of wine. "I'll be back in a minute," Draco says, getting to his feet.

 

He fetches a bottle of whiskey from the barman and pays him, thanking heavens he'd remembered to bring some Muggle notes along with him, and returns to the table with the bottle and two fresh glasses. "Thought we might as well step it up a bit," Draco says to answer the questioning look on Potter's face. "I don't have to return to work for a couple of days and it's been ages since I've had a night out."

 

Potter's lips curl upwards in a smile. "That sounds brilliant. This whole thing has been hell. You'd think that having your body split open and spending three days in a Time-Sphere would earn a bloke a day off." He shakes his head, laughing to himself as Draco pours him a glass of the amber-coloured whiskey.

 

"So," Draco says, holding his own glass to his chest, looking at Potter expectantly. "What happened when Weasley went back to get the thief?"

 

Potter takes a drink from his glass and winces as it goes down. "Well, that's the rub. The thief was gone. He must have had a spare wand on him, or was capable of performing wandless magic or something to be able to break the Auror Incarcerous."

 

"Or he could have had an accomplice," Draco suggests, frowning.

 

"Yes, that's possible too. But the funny thing is that he left the artefact there. I mean, why go to all the trouble of breaking in and stealing the thing if he was going to leave it behind?"

 

"It could be that he was so busy getting away he forgot it, or …" Draco stops, his fingers tapping absently against his glass.

 

Potter looks at him expectantly... "Or what?"

 

He puts his glass on the table. "Or the purpose of the thievery wasn't to get the item, but to get you. I don't know, though. If he was after the famous Harry Potter, how would he have known you were on duty to answer the alarm for the break-in? It seems far-fetched. He probably just dropped the thing and didn't realise."

 

Potter goes quiet. He's staring at the abused table's surface, lost in his thoughts.

 

Draco is tired of talking about the case. He pours another shot in his and Potter's glasses. "Enough about all that. I think you've probably told me all you should about it anyway. I don't want your superiors accusing me of getting you pissed so I could get you to spill all your secrets to me."

 

He pauses. He really wants to get back to the subject that most intrigues him: getting into Potter's pants. Well, perhaps not quite so blatant as that, but Draco is definitely not denying that he's curious about how they would be together in bed. All the dreams, the memories ... they've given Draco an insight to Potter that he hadn't expected to have such an effect on him.

 

"Have you been dreaming about me, Potter?" he blurts out, shocking himself a bit at how brazen it sounds, but unwilling to let Potter see that. He's not taking it back. He does want to know.

 

Potter closes his eyes and sighs. He looks tired. He opens them again and looks at Draco. "You know I have, Malfoy." He turns his attention to his whiskey and drinks more. "They're really memories then, and not just dreams?"

 

Draco swallows, a lump forming in his throat. "I think so. I'm not sure though, because this hasn't ever happened before, that I know of. I was wondering if you would be wanting to talk to the Healers at St Mungo's about it if it doesn't stop soon."

 

Potter scoffs. "I hate hospitals," he says flatly. "More than that, I hate when this sort of thing happens to me. Why can't I be afflicted with the same sort of curses as everybody else, the kinds that come with a tried and true counter-curse?" He looks at Draco again. "I don't like being studied like a freak of nature."

 

"Can't say I blame you for that."

 

Potter taps his fingers restlessly on the tabletop. He looks like he's having trouble getting his words out. "Um… which memories of mine did you see? Er… I mean, don't tell me in detail, but like were they bad? Like the war? or," he gestures helplessly. "…were they bad like my childhood?"

 

Draco can sense the fear in Potter's eyes, as if he's afraid Draco will be repulsed. "I …" Draco stammers. "They weren't bad, Potter. They weren't happy memories though."

 

Potter shrugs and pours another glass of whiskey. Half the bottle is gone already. "I expected as much. I don't have a lot of happy memories." His eyes flash to Draco's, suddenly defiant. "I do have some," he says, as if clarifying, "…just not a lot."

 

Draco finishes his drink and puts it back on the table. "Well, I can't say that I entirely know what you mean. I have quite a few not-fond memories of my own, and now that I've grown up, a lot of the memories I had considered happy really weren't."

 

Potter pours the rest of his shot into his mouth and swallows. He slams his glass on the table harder than he'd intended, and he smiles sheepishly at the stares he's getting from the other patrons of the bar.

 

"Let's walk back to my place," Potter says. He stands up, and sways. "Bugger. I didn't realise how much that was going to pack a punch."

 

Draco isn't sure what Potter means until he gets to his feet and is hit with a wave of dizziness. He chuckles. "Lead the way. I have no clue where we are."

 

Potter grabs the half-empty bottle and slips it into his coat pocket. Draco follows him out into the night.

 

~***~

 

 

They arrive at the steps of Potter's house after goodness knows how long. Draco is drunk and can't be bothered to keep up with something so mundane as the passage of time.

 

Draco stumbles up the narrow front steps, behind Potter, bumping his face into Potter's arse when Potter stops to put the key in the lock.

 

They dissolve into fits of drunken giggles, and Draco knows he's being entirely undignified, but it hardly matters, because Potter is acting just as stupid.

 

"Welcome," Potter says as they cross the threshold into a dreary hallway. The wallpaper is new, but entirely clashes with the style of the house, and the low light from the oil lamps on the wall leaves most of the hall in shadow, making it feel smaller than it actually is. "Um, I'm still working on making it suitable to live in, but it works for me, I guess."

 

Draco looks back as Potter swims into focus. Potter is blushing, and it's adorable. No. Draco tries to stamp the thought of adorable out of his mind, until another wave of warmth from the alcohol fuelling his blood tells him that it doesn't fucking matter if Potter is adorable. Potter's eyes are on Draco, though not meeting his, and Draco takes the opportunity to look at Potter's features closer up.

 

His eyelashes are long; so long, in fact, they've left greasy streaks on the inside of his eyeglass lenses. His lips aren't full exactly, but they aren't thin like Draco's either. They look kissable, especially when Potter wets them with his tongue, like he's doing right now.

 

"What—" Potter stammers, and Draco realises just how close he's standing. Barely an inch separates them.

 

The next thing to do would be to kiss the lips that tantalise him, Draco's mind supplies, and so he does.

 

He leans in to press his lips to Potter's, feeling the soft give of flesh open up to his, and the startled huff of air that he steals from Potter's mouth. The kiss starts slow and cautious, as if Potter isn't sure of what he's doing or why, but Draco's feeling his entire body heating up, and he darts his tongue into Potter's mouth, tasting of whiskey and a hint of mint. Potter's toothpaste, he supposes.

 

Draco closes the distance between their bodies, backing Potter against the wall, and pushing a leg between Potter's thighs. His hands explore Potter's body through his clothes, up into Potter's hair, softer than Draco had expected it to feel, and then Potter's lips close and tighten. He turns his head to the side.

 

"Wait, Malfoy."

 

Draco groans his frustration at hearing those words, and buries his face into the crook between Potter's neck and shoulders. "No…" Draco murmurs. "Don't… Please, don't tell me to stop."

 

"I'm not," Potter says, and Draco looks up, encouraged by the hungry keen in Potter's throat. "It's just that something is poking me in the back and it hurts."

 

"Oh!" Draco says, stepping back, or rather stumbling. Potter follows him all the way to the floor where they land in a graceless pile.

 

Potter laughs, pushing himself up and shrugging out of his coat. The whiskey bottle thuds against the floorboards, still in his pocket.

 

Draco scrambles to his feet after Potter, and before he realises it, Potter's kissing him again. They're kissing and walking, mouths moving and meeting, bodies bumping and grinding, and somehow Potter manages to guide them into the front room where they land gracelessly again, on the sofa.

 

Potter's hands are warm against Draco's bare skin as Potter slips them under Draco's shirt, feeling the contours of Draco's chest, and it's a brilliant feeling. Draco doesn't have room in his brain for thoughts of not pushing Potter to go too far, not at this point. They've consumed so much alcohol, Draco is surprised their cocks are functioning properly.

 

Speaking of cocks, Draco moans loudly as Potter shifts under his hips, bumping their groins together. Draco's cock is about to break free from his trousers of its own volition, it's so hard and ready. But Potter's hands are there a moment later, unfastening Draco's trousers and pulling Draco's erection free from his underwear.

 

"Gods, I love your hands on my cock!" Draco says, rather loudly if he stops to think about it, but Potter isn't giving him any time to think. Potter's hands have moved to his own trousers and are opening them too.

 

Realising where they are headed, Draco makes short work of pulling his shirt off and shimmying out of his trousers. He stands in only his socks, hand running up and down his cock in teasing strokes watching Potter take off his clothes, still seated on the sofa.

 

And then they are both naked, and hard, and staring.

 

Potter's eyes are wide, pupils blown as he rakes Draco's body with his gaze, as if memorising every hill and valley of muscle definition because he fears he'll never have another chance.

 

Draco drops to his knees before Potter, grimacing at the pain blossoming in his kneecaps from hitting the hardwood floors with bare legs and no balance. He pushes his way between Potter's thighs, running his hands up and down Potter's legs and hips, loving the softness of his body hair against his arms. He ducks his head forwards, eyes still fixed on Potter's face, while he licks a stripe up Potter's cock from its base to the tip. He flicks the small jewel of precome from the slit and closes his eyes, inhaling the ruddy scent of Potter through his nose, wrapping his lips around the head of Potter's cock, moving a hand to steady it. He tongues the foreskin lightly, wetting it, pulling it up and and back over the glistening head with his suction, revelling in the sounds of pure need Potter can't help but make.

 

Ah yes. This is where Draco wants Potter: under his power, willing to do anything to get Draco to keep doing that, but Potter, being who he is, doesn't let Draco enjoy his power trip very long.

 

Draco has barely moved his lips from Potter's cock when Potter's voice growls at him from above. "I want to see your arse."

 

The alcohol is still flowing freely through Draco's veins. He's hot and horny, and the demand makes it all ten times hotter. Potter twists out from under Draco and pushes him onto the sofa, on his knees. Draco balances on his knees, holding the back of the sofa to support himself, keenly aware that his arse is entirely displayed for Potter. His face burns.

 

Potter doesn't say anything for a few moments, and Draco feels his heartbeat speeding up. He's wondering what Potter is thinking. A trickle of sweat slips down from his temple into his ear and he wills Potter to say something. He's not used to this feeling of unease and nerves.

 

And then, bliss! Potter's hands caress his arse cheeks, tentatively at first, but progressing quickly into more kneading touches, and Draco feels his hole open up as Potter spreads them, taking in the sight with a long hard stare.

 

"Like what you see, Potter?" Draco asks. He is trying to hold onto his snark as much as possible, but for some reason his question comes out less than snarky. It sounds more worried than he'd intended. Does he really care what Potter thinks of his arsehole? His mind reels under the spinning of the alcohol pumping in his bloodstream, but the answer comes to him in a resounding yes.

 

"How could I find this anything other than beautiful?" Potter's voice is quivering and full of emotion. Draco cocks his head to chance a look behind him. Potter's not going to start crying, is he?

 

Draco isn't sure how he's supposed to respond, so he says nothing, but relaxes, allowing his arse to relax too, feeling the insides, not often exposed to the air, meet Potter's breath, hot and cool at the same time. Fuck... Potter's face is right there!

 

Draco is about ready to speak, but finds his words stolen from him as he lets his breath out in a long hiss. Potter's tongue is running up from the tight base of his balls, flat over his hole and up to the bump of his tailbone.

 

"Fuck!" Draco can't help exclaim, though it sort of comes out sounding more like 'uck', as he's breathing so hard.

 

"Is this okay?" Potter asks.

 

It's all Draco can do to murmur his assent that yes, Potter worshipping his arse with his tongue of his own volition is more than okay with Draco. He nods his head and buries his face, growing hotter by the second, into the cushioned back of the sofa as Potter's tongue moves in for a fresh assault.

 

And bloody hell, Draco's cock is leaking all over the sofa as Potter, never one for doing anything halfway, has curled his tongue into a point and shoved the whole thing inside Draco's body as far as it will reach.

 

"Oh!" Draco can't help but call out. "Oh — fuck, yes! That!"

 

Potter is a pro at eating arse, and Draco would be put out at that, as he hates it when Potter bests him at anything, but as it's his arse Potter's talents are stimulating, Draco has nothing but praise on his lips.

 

Potter's tongue fucks his hole harder, unfolding within him, poking at the sides of his channel with sharp jabs and following with long caresses, just loosening the whole thing up and coaxing it wide open. Draco feels like he has left his body, or rather, not. It feels like his body has become reduced to his arsehole and the glide of Potter's tongue inside it, and that's where Draco exists too. Nothing, the fact he has arms and legs, a head, a body, even matters right now. The only thing in the world that Draco wants is to open up as wide as he can, to show Potter exactly how hot he is and how much his arse is begging to be filled.

 

"Oh, Gods, fuck me, Potter," Draco chants. He's having trouble holding onto the sofa's back, as his hands feel like they've stopped working. "Fill me up with your fat cock," he breathes lowly, unable to say anything other than the first thing that comes into his head. "Fuck me so hard and fast I can taste your come in my mouth."

 

Potter's tongue presses in as deep as it will go once more and then he pulls it out, smacking his lips in an entirely unsexy way that makes Draco's cock leak even more.

 

Potter's hands are on his hips and then his cock head is at Draco's entrance, and he's teasing. It's sliding up and down the crevice, but not going where it needs to go.

 

"Fuck tease!" Draco gasps, his palms slipping on the back of the sofa. "Please." It comes out as as a whine, a groan, a pleading.

 

Potter's lips are on Draco's back, and Draco can feel Potter's warm body spooning up over his spine, his cock firmly trapped between Draco's cheeks.

 

"I've never done this before," Potter says quietly. "I'm not sure how to do it without hurting you."

 

Draco's eyes fly open and he turns his head, his whole upper torso, contorting himself to try to see Potter's face. And finally Potter lifts up from Draco's spine and Draco meets his sparkling green eyes, their pupils blown and full of longing.

 

"You won't. I'm good. You're good. Stick it in, and thrust." Draco knows he probably sounds a bit condescending, or at the very least impatient, but fuck's sake, he needs this. They can deal with the feelings and crap later.

 

Potter nods, his glasses fogging and slipping down his nose. He tears them off and tosses them on the pile of clothes on the floor.

 

Draco stops thinking or caring or breathing even as Potter's cock finally penetrates him. Potter does it as he was instructed. Sticks it in and thrusts ahead all the way, and Draco is left breathless, wordless, eyes shut tight as his struggles to relax around Potter's surprisingly enormous girth.

 

Potter isn't much better off, based on the sounds he's making. He's grunting, moaning, gasping and fucking Draco within an inch of his life, and Draco takes it, warming to the burn deep inside his core; his face has to be as red as a beetroot. He's so turned on, he thinks his cock is going to explode without a hand touching it. It's certainly doing a fantastic job at soaking the cushion with trickles of pre-come.

 

"I — I'm getting weak," Potter grunts. "Can't keep going."

 

Draco's knees quiver too, he hasn't had enough protein. "Come here, sit down. I'll ride you," he says. It doesn't matter. Nothing matters now, not even lack of strength. He needs Potter's cock in his arse, needs to be the one to bring Potter to orgasm, to show him how wonderful sex feels and how not bad it is.

 

Surprisingly, Potter obeys. He pulls out and flings himself on the sofa beside Draco, looking up into Draco's face with a mixed expression. Lust battles fear. Draco doesn't want to let fear win out. He leans sideways, and kisses Potter, tasting the sharpness of his backside on Potter's tongue, but it's not bad. No, even that is good. It's tart and musky, but clean. He could thrive off Potter's tongue if Potter would allow it, and he pours all his longing, trying to show how much he wantsneedsbreathes Potter for his own survival.

 

Potter breaks the kiss as Draco straddles him. Their foreheads press together, their lips half an inch apart. "My mouth, it's dirty."

 

"No, it's perfect," Draco says, plunging his tongue into the hot wet mouth again, to prove it.

 

His cock rubs against Potter's and Draco loves it. He keeps Potter's mind off what's happening by moaning into his mouth and upping the ante on their kiss. He's never kissed anybody like this before. This is the kiss he's been saving for 'the one' and fuck it all that 'the one' has to be Harry-fucking-dysfunctional-hot as hell-Potter!

 

Draco raises his hips upwards, balancing again on his knees, feeling his legs burn with the effort, but it's worth it. He uses one hand to guide Potter's cock into himself, breath hitching as he lowers himself on top of Potter, impaling himself on the not-at-all-small cock Potter was born to wield.

 

He rides Potter's cock for all it's worth, loving the feeling of Potter's hands settling on his hips as Potter kisses him back, giving as much to it as Draco.

 

Draco feels like he could cry if he lets himself go much further. It's too perfect. Potter fills him just right. The kisses they're sharing are fuelled by passion. Draco remembers kissing Blaise and feeling overwhelmed, trying to keep up and match him, but with Potter, neither of them are leading, nor are they following, they are just kissing and it's so perfect, Draco's eyes prickle and he shuts them tight, letting his thighs do the work of lifting himself up and down Potter's length.

 

Then Potter's hands grow more firm on his hips — just in time too, Draco is buggering tired and his muscles are screaming — but the pleasure building between them is so right there there is nothing Draco will do to interrupt it before they reach their climax.

 

Draco allows Potter's hands to hold him in place, stilling himself, still raised on his haunches, but now Potter pumps up into him and OH... it's so much better this way. Potter's has angled his hips and his cock batters Draco's prostate spot on, over and over again.

 

Draco pulls off Potter's mouth, chancing a look down at his own neglected erection that appears to be doing just fine on its own. Potter looks too, still pumping, slower, but steadily, with long thrusts that take Draco's breath away. Pre-come seeps from the slit of Draco's cock. It's pearly-white mixed with iridescent fluid, or maybe it's the alcohol that makes him see it that way, but it's feeding a growing pool of slick gathering in Potter's navel.

 

"So hot," Potter gasps, "I want to make you come. I want to watch you come."

 

"Let me turn around," Draco says, his fringe dripping with perspiration. He's more than ready to do this the easy way, and facing out riding a cock is the fastest way he knows to bring himself over the edge.

 

It only takes a moment before Draco is sliding back into place on Potter's cock, holding himself up with one arm around Potter's shoulders and the other on the arm rest. Potter pulls him down, so they are mostly chest to back and Draco lets his head fall back, baring his throat, while Potter holds him in a full body hug.

 

They find an easy rhythm, their hearts pumping hard but slowing as the frenzy from earlier slows down. Draco fucks himself on Potter's cock by rolling his hips, meeting Potter's shallow upward thrusts in a perfect balance. Potter's cock presses Draco's prostate with every roll of his hips and Draco feels his orgasm upon him. He really wants Potter to be the one to come first, fearing that Potter will freak out at the sight of Draco's come and shrivel up back into his ball of fear and loathing. The continuing assault drives him ever closer and his cock is so hard and flushed red, straining up towards his navel. Draco can see the slit spasm as it leaks, squeezing out pearly droplets and his breathing quickens.

 

"Are you close?" Potter asks, his voice high-pitched and breathless. It sounds like Potter is really close too.

 

"Yes," Draco gasps, feeling Potter speed his thrusts just enough. He's gone. His cock twitches and come shoots out in long thick ropes of white, painting his chest. Potter's breath hitches behind him at the sight, but Draco's not finished. He pushes back on Potter's cock again and another jet of come spurts out, dribbling over his cock head, the slit opening and closing like it's blowing bubbles.

 

"Fuck!" Potter cries; his hands and arms tighten around Draco's torso and he digs his chin into Draco's shoulder, trembling.

 

"Yes! Merlin, oh fucking yes!" Draco cries out. Waves of bliss roll over him, throughout him, inside him, just under his skin, making him tingle from top to toe. Potter came. Potter came inside him. It leaves Draco feeling lightheaded with the idea and he relaxes back on Potter's shoulder, contorting himself so he can kiss Potter's lips, but something's off.

 

Potter is cold and his skin has gone clammy. Draco can see sweat pouring off Potter's face as if all his pores have opened up and are just expelling all the moisture in him. Potter's lips tremble, he's trying to speak, but no words come out.

 

Draco rolls off and sits beside Potter on the sofa, not caring that he's covered in come and leaking from his backside. He pulls Potter into an embrace while Potter's teeth chatter.

 

"We need to get you to bed," Draco says. "Where is it?"

 

Potter holds on, shuddering against Draco's hot chest, looking up into Draco's eyes, as if he's just flown to the moon and back.

 

It takes some work, but Draco leads Potter up the stairs of the gloomy house and finds his bedroom. He gets Potter into bed and under the blankets and curls around his back, spooning him and holding onto his chest, willing his warmth to reach through Potter's chill.

 

Potter shudders in Draco's arms, but presses his back into Draco's chest and Draco can hear his breathing even out.

 

"I'm sorry," Potter mumbles. "I d…don't kn…know what's wr…wrong."

 

Draco shushes him, pressing his lips against the soft trail of hair on the back of Potter's neck. "It's all right. It was intense for me too. I've got you. You're not alone."

 

Potter seems to melt under Draco's reassurance. He closes his eyes and grips Draco's hands with his own, as if to tell Draco not to let go.

 

~***~

 

 

He's hard again, his cock fitted into a snug and warm hole. He thrusts his hips forward, relishing the warmth and the safety he feels. He feels so perfectly at peace and comfortable that when he opens his eyes, Draco nearly starts.

 

He's thrusting his cock between Potter's thighs and Potter is waking as well, his body going rigid.

 

"Shit," Draco says, starting to pull back, but Potter's hand stills him, resting on his hip and holding him where he is. Draco looks up to Potter's face, which is turned towards him, his lips look swollen and flushed, but he's wearing a small smile. "Is this all right?" Draco asks, giving his hips a tentative roll, pushing his cock between Potter's legs again, feeling his soft balls grow tight as Draco's cock grazes them.

 

Potter nods. "Yeah. I like it," Potter says. He's staring at Draco, as if he can't quite believe what he's seeing.

 

Draco gets him to stop by kissing him. It's awkward, the way their bodies are contorted, but Potter's morning breath, laced with the remnants of whiskey huffs against his lips, and Draco's cock throbs even more.

 

"What do you want, Potter?" Draco asks, pressing kisses along the base of Potter's hairline following the line of his jaw. Potter's unshaven chin is prickly, but the stubble burns Draco is likely to suffer are totally worth it to see Potter fall apart so thoroughly.

 

"I want you," Potter gasps, his neck arching back. He pulls Draco's hand over his front and puts it on his cock. It's hot and straining and Draco whimpers against his will. He's still dragging his cock in and out between Potter's thighs, Potter's hair making him chafe slightly, but when Potter tightens his muscles, the squeeze is so good, the discomfort is inconsequential.

 

"I need lube," Draco says, his voice low and deeper than he's used to. He kisses the place behind Potter's ear.

 

Potter pulls a wand out from beneath his pillow and hands it to Draco. It isn't Potter's usual wand; this one is different, feels different, yet not unfamiliar in Draco's hand, like a long lost-friend. It's not his hawthorn wand; that was confiscated after the war by the Ministry to be studied by Unspeakables and placed in some sort of museum they are erecting as a war memorial, but it doesn't really matter.

 

He whispers the spell and his hand fills with the slippery lube that he needs to put his cock at ease. He slicks himself with it, loving the smooth new glide as he thrusts.

 

"Put some in me too," Potter says, his voice little more than a whisper.

 

Draco swallows hard. He casts the wand aside, and moves his lube-slicked hand down Potter's cleft, finding his pucker. He taps at it with the pad of a finger and Potter relaxes his backside. Draco slips out from between Potter's legs, entirely entranced with Potter's arsehole. He spreads the lube all over the perimeter of the rim, finally dipping his middle finger in the centre. Hearing the hiss come from above. Only the hiss doesn't stop there. Draco's finger slips in and out and in deeper all the while Potter hisses and spits and Draco's cock grows harder and heavier between his legs.

 

Potter is charming his cock with Parseltongue! Draco pushes his finger in as far as it will go, crooking it up and to the side, seeking Potter's prostate, finding it, pressing that hidden button inside him which makes Potter cry out loud.

 

"Fuck! Fuck, yes!" followed by a stream of hissing and spitting. Draco is certain Potter is cursing and loving every second. Draco remembers how intense the sensations had been when Blaise had first introduced him to his prostate.

 

Potter pushes the thoughts of Blaise right out of Draco's mind however, bucking his hips back on Draco's hand. "I want more."

 

Draco is gone. He adds a second finger and plunges them inside Potter, looking up at Potter's face, turned towards the ceiling. His eyes are closed and his mouth open. He's breathing in blissed-out huffs and Draco is certain he's never seen a sexier sight in his life.

 

"Fuck. Do you even know how sexy you look, Potter?" he says, not able to keep the words in any longer.

 

Potter's eyes open, and his mouth twitches in a small smile. He looks down at Draco, not moving his head. "Add another one. Feels so good."

 

Draco's breath hitches and he rushes to comply, now fucking Potter with his middle three fingers, speared together. And Potter's arse feels brilliant, especially as Potter turns his body onto his front, pulling Draco's hand along with it and forcing Draco to scramble into a new position, straddling the backs of Potter's thighs.

 

Draco likes this position. He can angle his cock between Potter's thighs, and fuck his legs even as he's filling Potter's arse with his fingers.

 

"More!" Potter grunts, demanding little shit that he is, but Draco thinks he can forgive him this time. He pulls back and works in his little finger along with the others, cramping his hand a bit, but impressed by how well Potter takes to the additional digit. Potter is made for sex. It's about time he got some and, luckily for him, Draco is more than willing to oblige in that department.

 

Potter's back arches as Potter pushes back on Draco's fingers. It's like he's trying to take the whole of Draco's hand, but there's no way Draco is going that far. At least not today. Not until they've worked up to that point of trust. And fuck it! Draco's mind has spun out of control again. He's already planning a future with Potter. A future involving working up to fisting. This is not what Draco had planned at all, but when Potter pushes back hard again and groans "More!" Draco knows he's fucked.

 

"I can't do more than that, Potter. I don't have any fingers left."

 

"Use your fucking cock, Malfoy!" Potter says, moaning again. "Fill me up and fuck me good."

 

Draco's mouth goes dry. He's never topped before, not that he hasn't wanted to. It's just that he's only ever been with Blaise in the past, and Blaise had made it clear that his arsehole was an exit-only zone.

 

He pulls his hand free and nearly comes when Potter reaches his hands behind himself, and spreads his own cheeks, rising up on his knees, chest and face still pressed flat against the mattress.

 

The room is dark, but the early morning light filters through the unshaded window, making everything glow in shades of blue, and Potter's arse spread open and begging is a sight to behold. He rises up on his own knees, dragging his cock up and down the cleft of Potter's arse, feeling the rim flutter as his head passes it; Draco is certain he could come just doing this.

 

"Put it in me," Potter murmurs from above, his voice muffled by the mattress.

 

Draco pushes in, just the head at first, and the pressure squeezing him is so intense, he's afraid Potter's arse is going to pop his head right off. He steadies himself, guiding his way with his hand and presses forwards another inch. "Fuck … Potter! You're so damn tight!"

 

Potter's voice whines a response. He's begging. It sends a thrill of power through Draco, and then Potter takes control again, pressing his hips back and impaling himself all the way on Draco's cock. He's walking up on his hands, pushing himself upright, knees sinking into the mattress, until he's pressed his back up to Draco's chest and Draco can barely think to breathe, the intensity of the grip around his cock is so strong. But Potter isn't keen to wait. He begins lifting himself with his thighs, Draco's hands holding onto the powerful muscles, lifting and sinking, fucking himself. He exposes his throat, head falling back on Draco's shoulder, and his mouth is wide open, huffing breaths of pure pleasure.

 

Draco's mouth finds Potter's jaw before he realises what he's doing and he's pressing kisses there, finally getting his bearings and meeting Potter's rocking with thrusts of his own. He slides his hands up Potter's sides, wrapping his chest in a loose bear hug, not constricting Potter's movements, but giving him stability. "So good … beautiful … fucking perfect…" he murmurs nonsensically between kisses, not able to not love what's growing between them.

 

Potter too, seems to relax into his embrace, accepting Draco's increase in speed, meeting his pace readily and eagerly. The scent of sex is thick in Draco's nose. Potter's musk has got to be the fucking sexiest scent in the world. If he could bottle it, he'd make a fortune, but he wouldn't want to. He wants to keep this all to himself. The idea of Potter being with another person makes his blood pound furiously through his veins, and he feels the burn beneath his skin spreading outwards, to touch even his finger tips.

 

"I want … kiss you," Potter gasps, "face-to-face."

 

Draco stills his hips, panting, trying hard to hold his orgasm at bay, even as Potter's tight-as-fuck hole tries to milk it out of him.

 

Relaxing his hold, he releases Potter, falling back on his knees, his cock standing straight and hard as a rock, red from the increased blood flow and the overstimulation of being squeezed into a too-tight channel.

 

Potter rolls onto his back, spreading his legs, knees bent and everything exposed.

 

Draco squeezes the base of his own erection at the sight of Potter's purpling cock. It's huge; the veins in the underside bulge and Draco swears that even in the low light of the morning he can see the blood pumping in them.

 

He positions himself, watching Potter's face. Potter's nodding, encouraging, spreading his legs wider. "Fuck me, Draco."

 

Draco has to close his eyes a moment, to just savour hearing those words, his name on Potter's lips. He opens them again, fixing Potter with a hunger he's never known.

 

Potter lifts his legs as Draco presses inside, gasping again at the tightness and accepting the added weight of Potter's calves on his arms. He thrusts forwards, unable to do anything else. He's so close already, but Potter reaches up, legs moving again, pulling Draco's arms down, lifting his head, his stomach muscles contracting. "Kiss me."

 

Draco closes the distance, meeting Potter's mouth, and he finds bliss there. They sink into an easy rhythm, fucking as if they'd choreographed it, lips touching, tongues teasing and then sucking and latching on, not willing to let go. Draco's thrusts are erratic and slow, but they're definitely hitting the right spot as Potter gasps with each forward thrust. Draco realises, when Potter's hands are in his hair, massaging his scalp, that what they are doing goes far beyond a casual fuck. They are making love. It's absolutely the most brilliant feeling Draco has ever experienced, and upon realising it, his heart gives a happy jump inside his chest, flooding his entire nervous system with giddiness.

 

He smiles into Potter's kisses and he can feel Potter smiling too. He rocks into Potter, switching his angle to match the sounds Potter makes, trying to get him to make more of them, and then his orgasm spills over him. It catches him by surprise, making him feel as if he's had the breath knocked out of him to the point that there are actual stars flashing silver before his eyes.

 

Potter's body stills beneath him, accepting his orgasm, craving it, welcoming it and in doing so, accepting and welcoming Draco himself. Draco crashes down afterwards, reeling from the tide that's pulled him under. His cock slips out and he can feel his own hot come dribbling out of Potter's hole and onto his thighs. Potter's still kissing him, however, and Draco returns the kiss once his head has cleared enough to understand where he is. Potter's arms hold his back, stroking his spine, and Potter seems entirely unaffected by Draco's dead weight on his body.

 

Draco feels Potter's heart pounding beneath his own, slowing and matching Draco's heartbeat. He feels perfectly content and even cherished. It's an odd feeling, but not one he would trade for anything in the world.

 

Potter shifts beneath him and Draco feels Potter's still-hard cock poke him in the stomach. He lifts his head. "Oh, you haven't come yet. Want me to suck you off?"

 

Potter makes a face that suggests the very idea of cocksucking is not appealing, but he doesn't allow much time for Draco to dwell on his strange aversions. "Budge up. I want to do it this way."

 

Draco moves his hips up Potter's stomach, allowing Potter room to breathe by holding himself up on trembling arms. "Oh!" he gasps as Potter's fingers are forcing their way into his body. He wonders briefly where Potter got the lube, and then his face flushes red when he realises Potter is using Draco's own come from his arse to loosen Draco up. "That's good," Draco says, hardly able to hold his head up from the stimulation of Potter deliberately pressing his prostate.

 

He's still a bit loose from the fucking they'd done a few hours previously. Potter guides his cock upwards with one hand, his fingers slipping out and gripping Draco's hip, slapping it to get Draco's attention.

 

Draco takes the hint and moves back, allowing Potter to breach him. He sinks back on Potter's cock, amazed once more at the stretch he feels. Potter is thick, and then Potter has moved his hands to Draco's shoulders and pulls him down into another heated kiss. Draco kisses back, losing himself in the sweet velvet heat of tongue-on-tongue, and then Potter begins to fuck him in earnest, and it's all Draco can do to stay present.

 

"Oh fuck! Fucking fuck me, Harry!" Draco chants, unable to keep his thoughts from coming out of his mouth. "Fuck me hard and fill me full of your come. I want your come inside me so deep it will stay there for days."

 

Potter's hips stutter and speed up.

 

"Christ, Draco your mouth," Potter says, but Draco shuts him up by sticking his tongue down Potter's throat.

 

Draco's cresting again; how, he's not sure, but the angle is just right, and the way Potter's breathing hitches and his jaw slackens as his hips fuck Draco's arse in a frenzy means that Draco is coming again. He feels his cock spurt half-heartedly, trapped between their sweat-slicked bodies. He pulls his face back to watch Potter come. Potter's eyes are vibrant green and open wide, a look of pure amazement filling them as they focus on Draco's face, until he squeezes them shut tight, arching his neck and crying out. Draco swears he can feel Potter's come fill him from the inside. It takes Potter ages to finish, and Draco is spent.

 

Hours later, or perhaps it's only moments, Draco rolls off Potter's body and drapes himself along Potter's side, using his shoulder as a pillow.

 

"So good," Draco whispers, feeling Potter groping the blankets around Draco. Potter cleans them with a spell after locating his wand, and then slips it back under his pillow.

 

The sun shines through the window now, filling the room with the brightness of early morning, but Draco is too exhausted to let it keep him from succumbing to the pull of sleep. As he drifts off, he thinks he may have said something stupid.

 

~***~

 

 

He's standing in an unused classroom. It's the middle of the night, but the temptation to see his parents again is too strong to resist. A large ornate and gilded mirror stands in the corner of the room, beckoning him with a draw like a magnet, and his heart skips a beat as the thrill of anticipation rushes under his skin.

 

He stands before the mirror, his eyes closed, praying that they will still be there when he opens them again. And then he does, at first just a crack, but at the slight glimpse of the smiling woman with long red hair, he opens them the rest of the way and grins broadly.

 

Draco stares forwards through Potter's eyes. The scene in the mirror before him is eleven-year-old Potter surrounded by family, staring back at him from the reflection, a look of total contentment on his face.

 

The real Potter reaches out and traces his reflection's smile, his other hand tracing his own lips in wonderment. He's not smiling. He's never smiled like that before.

 

The woman, his mother, puts her hand on his reflection's shoulder and gazes into the real Potter's eyes, her eyes are a perfect match. Potter swallows, and Draco can feel Potter's longing for what he's seeing.

 

"Mum," Potter murmurs, moving his hand to touch the cool glass surface reflecting her face. "I came back like I promised."

 

She nods, looking at him as if she's waiting for him to continue a conversation they'd been having.

 

"So, um… Christmas is almost over. Everybody will be coming back to school again." Potter pauses. "And he'll be back too," he swallows. "The one I told you about before, remember?"

 

She nods again.

 

"I'm just wondering. I mean, ever since I found you, I realise that I don't blame you for dying. I know you didn't do it on purpose, that if you had been able to keep all the bad stuff from happening to me at the Dursleys', you would have."

 

Her eyes narrow slightly, forehead creasing in concern, but she waits for him to go on.

 

"I mean. It's the same with him, isn't it? Shouldn't I try to make things right and start over, like I'm doing with you? Maybe he won't act like such a pillock if I make an effort to understand why he does the things he does. Do you … do you think that's a good idea?"

 

Her face smoothes out again, her smile bringing life and joy to her expression. She smiles in agreement, giving Potter's reflection's shoulder an encouraging squeeze.

 

"And you know what I said before, about the way I've been thinking? How I want to just be able to be who I am deep down and not worry about people like the Dursleys or anybody else blaming me anymore? Do you think that's what I should do? Do you accept me as I am?"

 

Draco feels Potter's heart soar with relief when she smiles widely. Potter's father steps in behind her and ruffles the hair on the top of Potter's reflection's head. He gives Potter a wink and a smile, letting him know that he too, supports Potter.

 

A tear slips down Potter's cheek, though Draco knows it's anything but sad. Potter can't help but cry from the pure lifting of a huge burden.

 

"Back again, Harry?" the aged voice of Albus Dumbledore says from behind, making Potter, and Draco by proxy, whip around in shock.

 

Draco is flooded with intense remorse at the sight of Dumbledore alive. He wants Potter to look away, not to talk to him, not to earn his sympathies. Draco doesn't deserve them, he shouldn't be able to experience them through Potter's memories either. He curls his mind around himself, drawing inward and trying to force himself awake, becoming aware again as Potter is heading back to his common room under his cloak, muttering to himself. "It's all a lie. It shows neither truth nor knowledge, people have wasted away before it. Pull it together, Harry. You almost fell for it too."

 

Draco has no idea what Potter is talking about.

 

~***~

 

 

When Draco next becomes aware, he is warm and comfortable, resting in Potter's bed while his stomach growls. All that sex has left him starving. He throws an arm to his side, searching the bed for Potter, coming up empty. He pulls himself up on his elbows, blinking blearily. The sheets have been changed; the scent of sex is absent from the room, from Draco's body even.

 

He wrinkles his forehead, turning to find his clothes have been cleaned and folded, and are waiting for him on Potter's bedside table.

 

He finds Potter in the basement kitchen of the old townhouse. He's leaning back against the counter, his legs crossed, a cup of coffee sitting on the counter beside his hand, and he's reading the Daily Prophet, apparently engrossed in the morning news.

 

"Morning," Draco says, pushing down the shyness he feels trying to overtake him. Honestly, the previous night he and Potter had become well acquainted with each other's arseholes; it doesn't make sense to get shy now. He crosses the room and settles beside Potter, leaning beside him against the counter. "What's new with the world this morning?"

 

Potter grunts. It figures he's not a morning person, but Draco supposes he can work with that. He turns to the table where a pile of letters lie open as though they'd been hastily read. A plate of breakfast rests on the table down a little way from them.

 

"There was another theft last night," Potter tells him. "Same thief, most likely, broke into the collector's museum and stole the same artefact."

 

Draco watches Potter's face, still focussed on the paper. "All right," Draco says after a moment's pause. "Did the Aurors catch him this time?"

 

Potter frowns, folds the paper in two, and tosses it on top of the pile of letters. "No." He takes a drink from his mug of coffee and holds it in front of his chest, staring still at the paper, not looking at Draco. "That's the thing. The Aurors chased him, like before, but he waited to see who was tailing him. Apparently when he saw it was Ron and Proudfoot, he dropped the artefact and Disapparated."

 

Draco doesn't like how Potter is refusing to look at him. He knows they moved pretty far, pretty fast the previous night, but there isn't any going back when the chemistry is so perfect, for him at least. He clears his throat, ignoring the niggling doubt sitting in his gut that there's something Potter is not saying. "What do you make of that?"

 

Potter takes another drink from his mug, draining it. "Well, it looks like it's what you suggested last night in the pub. The thief is doing this, not for the artefact, but to get to me. I should have been on-call last night, would have been had I not been on leave for an extra day."

 

Draco blows out a breath, lifting his fringe with it. "You'll have your work cut out for you when you return," he says, hoping he can get Potter to talk about where they stand soon. He's feeling needy and uncertain, and it's not like him to get riled up. He's the sort of person that needs to know where he stands at all times; well, recently anyway. It's the only way he's found to be able to cope with the stress of life in the post-war world.

 

Potter is still staring at the table. "I have breakfast for you there," he says, pointing at the plate. "It's under a warming charm."

 

Draco reaches out a tentative hand, chastising himself for his nerves, and forces himself to be more actively assertive. He touches Potter's shoulder, an arm wrapped around his back. It makes Potter start, but at least he's looking Draco in the face finally.

 

He turns, and presses closer to Potter, staring intently into his eyes. "I can think of something else I'd rather have for breakfast," he says, leaning in and pressing their mouths together. Potter is slow to respond to the kiss, but eventually his lips begin to move against Draco's, tongue tentatively darting out to lick Draco's teeth, and then he stops, shrinking back, not fully pulling away, but not encouraging Draco to continue.

 

"I think we should talk about what happened last night…" Draco says, relief spreading through him at Potter's maintained eye contact, "… and again this morning." Bugger it, why is he flushing? They are grown men. They ought to be able to have a conversation about sex without falling apart.

 

Potter's eyes seem to drift out of focus, as if he's looking through Draco instead of at him. Draco recognises the defence mechanism, it's how he learned to use Occlumency. Potter's definitely hiding something. "I can't do it," Potter says, and pulls himself away from Draco, standing now a few feet away. "I've thought about it for a long time. I have enough trouble as it is, getting by in the wizarding world with everybody's hero worship and trying to meet all their expectations. I can't be gay, and have them use it against me. I just … I've chosen not to live the lifestyle."

 

Potter speaks with a determined, forceful inflection. As if he's trying to convince himself as well as Draco that what he's saying isn't utter bollocks.

 

"Harry," Draco says, still not rising to Potter's baiting. He can tell Potter wants him to lash out and storm off, that it will be easier for Potter to resist if Draco is the one to leave. He can read Potter like a book. He's not sure if it's because of their history and all the time he spent studying Potter's every move while they were in school, or if it's because of their recent shared memories; perhaps it's a bit of both. "You realise that you can't decide to not be gay. You are born the way you are. It's not a question of choice of lifestyle."

 

Potter's jaw squares as he clenches his teeth. He turns away, looking out the kitchen window. "What would you know about it?" he tosses out, not sounding at all like the Potter Draco witnessed the night before.

 

Annoyed, Draco puts his hands on his hips, unable to keep the snark out of his voice any longer. "Well, considering the hot gay sex we were having last night, I'd say I have a pretty good grasp of what it means to be gay, and I know it isn't a choice. I didn't wake up one day and decide that I was going to like sucking and fucking cocks. You know this too. I saw it last night in a memory. You knew it at eleven."

 

Potter turns to Draco again, his expression dark. "What do you know of my memories, Malfoy?" he says, practically hissing. "You're one to talk anyway. Do you think I don't see your duplicity?"

 

Draco stares. What is Potter even talking about? He takes a deep breath, trying to regain his calm and to talk rationally, though it's obvious that the way Potter is acting, entirely deluded, that this may not be the best time for a conversation. "Would you care to share?" he asks. "What about my memories do you think have enlightened you? What duplicity are you speaking of?"

 

Potter's eyes flash angrily, though Draco catches a glimpse of hurt in them too. "You fuck me as if you care, and all the while you're in love with somebody else." His voice is angry, accusatory, but there is real pain present. Draco still doesn't know how Potter has come to this conclusion. He's already told Potter that there is nothing between himself and Blaise any longer, and he's not ever taken another lover.

 

"What are you even talking about?" Draco demands, snapping a bit more than he intended. "I'm not in love with Blaise, if that's what you are suggesting. I thought I was when I was a kid, but that was years ago and he's shown me he's not worth my affection."

 

Potter's eyebrows shoot up to his hairline, hidden under his fringe. "No? Well the memory I witnessed this morning sure looked like a bonding spell to me. How can you stand there and deny that you've promised yourself to somebody else? You're a liar and a cheat!"

 

"What?" Draco's anger flares inside him now. "The promise bond was made before I discovered what an arsehole Blaise really is. It was years ago, as I've said, and it breaks if we marry before we're thirty. He's already engaged to Amanda Davies. It's as good as broken."

 

"I don't care," Potter says. "I saw he was all over you at your house the other day, and stupidly I believed you when you said you were asking him to leave. If he's all over you, he's obviously not that serious about his fiancée. You should have told me about the promise before you got me drunk and seduced me."

 

Draco's hackles are up now. "I seduced you? Potter, we were both shitfaced pissed last night. I don't even recall which of us made the first move, but had you pushed me off and told me to stop, I would have stopped."

 

Potter's lips are tight. Draco realises he's not making any progress in talking things out when Potter's already made his ill-informed and irrational decision.

 

"I can't talk to you about this right now," Draco says, stalking past Potter, bumping shoulders accidentally on his way. He takes a pinch of Floo powder from a dish on the fireplace mantle and tosses it in the hearth, green flames erupting. "Owl me when you've got your head out of your arse. Malfoy Manor," he calls to the flames, and disappears in a flash of green.

 

~***~

 

 

The following day, Draco arrives at work, still out of sorts, and not happy that Potter has still not contacted him. He doesn't fuck around, after all, even when drinking. Surely Potter will have realised that by now. How many memories have they witnessed of each other? But it's also true that Draco can't control which memories of Potter's he sees; he figures the same must be true for Potter.

 

He shrugs off his travelling cloak and hangs it on the hook on his office door, fetching the pale-green Healer robes that differentiate him from the floor staff. He slips them on and finds a pile of paperwork has formed on his desk, all the backlogs from the past week of Auror and Hit-Wizard injuries that will need to be sorted and filed.

 

He sits and massages his temple absently, setting to work. The sooner he gets his focus on work, the easier it will be to put Potter out of his mind for a while.

 

The Charm on his door announces a visitor. Draco looks up to find Terry Boot entering, looking harassed.

 

"Can I help you?" Draco asks, wondering what Boot is doing in his department when he is assigned to the recovery ward.

 

"Yes," Boot exclaims, taking a seat in the empty chair in front of Draco's desk. "Will you please tell me the security incantation to open the filing cabinet in the outer office? I'm covering for Davies, and nobody around here seems to know how's he's organised the bloody place."

 

Draco nods, and locates the security Charm from his desk drawer. He keeps track of all the Charms for the department on easy-to-find-and-read cards. He passes it to Boot.

 

"What's ailing Davies?" Draco asks, accepting Boot's thanks and taking the card back after he's copied the Charm.

 

Boot looks up at Draco, his eyes wide. "You haven't heard?" he says. "Oh, goodness. Davies' sister died the night before last in an accident. It was in the Evening Prophet yesterday and this morning's as well."

 

Draco stops dead, staring aghast at Boot's face. "What … what happened?" he chokes out. If Blaise is involved … Draco pushes his gut instinct down, doesn't dare think about it until he's heard everything.

 

Boot looks at Draco, his expression concerned, but he shifts in his chair and tells Draco what he knows. "It was the night before last, really late. As I understand it, Davies and her fiancé were celebrating setting the date for their wedding. She'd had a lot to drink so Zabini, you knew him in school, he was going to side-along Apparate her home. She misunderstood what he said, and thought he meant she was going to Apparate and take him side-along … ended up Splinching herself clean in two. There was no putting her back together; she died in his arms."

 

Draco feels the colour drain from his face. He's got to be white as a sheet at this point. Blaise had made a promise bond with her, he was certain of it, but that meant that if she were to die, according to the magic of the bond, he would inherit her wealth. Draco isn't sure how much Amanda Davies was worth, but he does know how much he is worth, and if there is any chance Blaise had a hand in Amanda's death, that means the possibility is present that he will try the same thing with Draco. In fact, it is wholly possible he already has tried. Draco still doesn't know why the Sectumsempra Curse hit him again while he was tending to Potter.

 

"Malfoy?" Boot says. He's waving his hand before Draco's face, trying to get his attention. "Are you sure you're well enough to be back at work?"

 

Draco's vision blurs a moment, while a trickle of cold sweat slips down the side of his face from his temple, and then he's focussed again. He should notify the Aurors, just in case, but then, with Potter being weird about him, he thinks he'll check in at the Manor first. He'll need to secure his wards and make sure his mother is safe, and then he'll send Auror Robards an owl.

 

"No…" he says, hearing his voice as if through a long tunnel. He stands up and strips his Healer robes, leaving them piled in a heap on his desk. "I'm not well. Boot, would you notify Healer Smethwyk? I'll send an owl to let him know how I'm faring later tonight."

 

"Sure, of course," Boot pauses. "You seemed all right until I mentioned Davies and Zabini. Does the state you're in have anything to do with the accident at all?"

 

Draco turns, fastening his travelling cloak about his neck, hardly hearing Boot.

 

"No, no. Why?"

 

Boot shrugs. "Well, Zabini was my patient after it happened. We admitted him to treat him for shock. It only took a Cheering Charm and a Soothing Draught to put him to rights. I would have kept him longer, but the Aurors sent a message to him that his artefact museum had been robbed for the second time."

 

Draco pauses, one foot out the door. He pulls back and steadies his breath. His teeth are clenched; it's making his jaw ache and his left eye won't stop twitching. "His artefact museum?" he asks. "The night before last?"

 

"Yeah," Boot says, his forehead still creased with a frown. "I just thought it seemed odd that he recovered so quickly. Normally trauma like he experienced, you know, takes a bit longer to recover from."

 

Draco sees the hint in Boot's eyes, that he too senses there is more to the story, the suspicion.

 

"Do me a favour," Draco says finally, blowing out his breath, finding his centre. "Send an owl to Robards, letting him know what you just mentioned to me. I'm going to be at the manor, if the Aurors need me. Let them know that?"

 

Boot stands up. "Take care of yourself," he says, and Draco leaves the room.

 

~***~

 

 

Draco doesn't sense any change in the wards when he steps through the front doors after Apparating to the manor gates. He's still feeling out of sorts and concerned, but less so when his mother greets him in the foyer.

 

"Draco, love, why are you home so early?"

 

He shrugs off his travelling cloak and drapes it over the credenza for the house-elves to put away at a later time.

 

"Has anybody called since I left?"

 

She approaches him and holds her hand up to feel his forehead. "Of course not. You've only been out for an hour. Are you poorly? You look pale."

 

He closes his eyes, allowing relief to settle over his nerves, smiling at the caring touch of his mother. He opens them again. "I have to talk to you about something important, mum. I'm afraid I may have made a huge mistake and we could be in danger."

 

Her eyes widen slightly as her lips tighten at the corners, but she nods and beckons him to follow her to her parlour.

 

She sits at the dressing-table and takes out the pin holding her hair away from her face, shaking her long blonde hair so it settles down her back, and hands Draco her brush.

 

It's an old routine they've had since Draco was a small boy. Whenever he needed to confess something to his mother that he was afraid of his father finding out about, she would distract him from the fear of judgement by having him brush her hair. For some reason, it calms him and gives him the courage he needs to tell her anything. Things haven't changed. He begins at the tips of her hair, brushing out the ends and moving upwards, an inch at a time, lengthening the strokes as he rises higher.

 

"I'm sure you have noticed that I don't have any prospects for marriage, mother," he says quietly. He's almost certain his mother knows he's gay, but it's never been something they've discussed openly. But now he has to explain the promise bond he'd foolishly made while young, stupid and scared.

 

She hums her acknowledgement, but doesn't interrupt.

 

He continues brushing, loving the way the boar-bristles make her hair shine. "I've been stupid," Draco says again. "I need to warn you not to let Blaise Zabini back into the house for a while. Actually…" He stops brushing and holds the brush up, looking her in the eye in the mirror. "I should fortify the wards right now."

 

She catches his wrist with her hand, looking back at him. "No, it can wait. Tell me the rest, Draco. I won't have you going off to talk yourself out of telling me what is happening."

 

He hesitates, but agrees with her. He resumes brushing. "Blaise's fiancée died the night before last… I think he may have been responsible for killing her… to inherit from her based on the promise bond."

 

Narcissa's eyebrows arch high up on her forehead. "Have you reported your suspicions to the Aurors?" she asks softly.

 

His lips are trembling and his hands shake. He sees her notice in the mirror's reflection.

 

"No," he says. "But I will. That's not all."

 

She breathes deeply, in and out through her nose, composing herself before the mirror. She waits for him to continue.

 

"When we were sixteen, I made a promise bond with him too."

 

Narcissa's nostrils flare, and her eyes flash up at Draco disapprovingly, her lips growing tighter as she frowns.

 

Draco continues. He figures it's best to get it all out at once. "It was stupid. We swore that if we were both unmarried by the age of thirty that we'd strike out against tradition and marry each other. I was ready to commit to him fully then, but later that same night, I discovered he wasn't as serious about me as I needed him to be. I stopped seeing him romantically, but the promise bond still stands."

 

Narcissa waits a few moments, while Draco finishes his brushing. He hands her the hair brush and she turns to face him, looking up from her stool. "You realise that you need to marry, Draco. It's the only way to break the bond. Do you really have no prospects?"

 

Draco shakes his head, the memory of Potter's face when he'd stormed off the day before sharp in his mind. She stands and takes his hand, pulling him out into the hall.

 

"Where are we going?"

 

"Your father's study. Don't ask questions. Follow me."

 

He follows her lead, still held by her hand around his wrist.

 

"Hello, Draco," Blaise's voice says as he steps over the threshold. He freezes, the door slamming closed behind him.

 

He can't move. He's been hit with a non-verbal Full Body-Bind. The only thing keeping him from toppling over is his mother's hands holding onto his hips from where she's standing behind him.

 

His eyes are the only parts of his body he can move, and they flash from Blaise, resting against his father's desk, legs crossed at the ankles. He looks as impeccable as ever in his finely-pressed grey suit and polished black shoes. He's drinking Lucius's whiskey from a tumbler, a self-satisfied smirk pasted on his lips.

 

Draco's mind is spinning. How did Blaise get in? Why isn't his mother protesting? How could he have been so stupid as to not have sent a message to the Aurors right away instead of checking back home first?

 

Blaise sets his empty glass on Lucius's desk and approaches Draco with long strides, looking him up and down as if undressing him with his eyes. It makes Draco's skin crawl and he longs to be able to move, to shudder even, anything but being in this helpless state.

 

"Your mother is under my control," Blaise says, looking directly into Draco's eyes. He steps closer, until only a couple of inches separate them. Blaise is taller than Draco by about half a head, so Blaise has to bend his neck to put them face-to-face. "You should have died in the warehouse along with your precious hero, Draco. It would have made everything so much easier. But no, not you. You needed to get in the way of my business again and again."

 

Draco doesn't know what Blaise is referring to, but more than that, he doesn't like the gleam of madness he sees in Blaise's dark eyes.

 

"I wasn't going to go after Amanda until you were taken care of, but you forced my hand. I had hoped to draw out our engagement for a while longer, but it's finished now. After I've settled things with you and your precious Potter, your mother and I will retire to Italy. Nobody will give a damn if the widow Malfoy dies while visiting a foreign land, but they will welcome a rechristening of this house under the new name of Zabini."

 

Draco wants to close his eyes. They burn from being frozen open. Zabini's face contorts from its normally smooth calm of sophistication to a sneer of pure malice.

 

"Narcissa," he says, taking over the task of holding Draco upright. "Prepare the tie for your son."

 

Draco isn't sure what Blaise is referring to, but he feels a cold seeping into his bones as his mother leaves the room.

 

"You're wondering how you're going to die," Blaise says flatly. "I thought that death by accidental strangulation related to autoerotic asphyxiation would provide the most scandalous headline for the Daily Prophet. It should net a tidy sum for me and keep readership up."

 

Blaise turns to Draco, his wand pointed between Draco's eyes, and a flash of red light as the Stunner hits him is the last thing Draco sees for he doesn't know how long.

 

~***~

 

 

When he comes around, Draco's head is throbbing. He's lying naked on his bed with Blaise standing over him at his bedside. His limbs are heavy and he struggles to move them, but they are weighed down by a spell; he can't escape or fight back.

 

"Where is my mother?" Draco manages to ask. Even his tongue is thick and heavy in his mouth.

 

"Don't worry your pretty little head over trivialities, Draco. She's no longer your concern. Now I think it's time for you to prepare yourself for an excellent send-off. Apparently coming while you choke multiplies the pleasure a great deal. Unfortunately for you, it will be the last thing you will ever feel."

 

Draco's eyes roll up slowly to Blaise. "What happened to you?" he asks. "Where did the Blaise Zabini that I knew go?"

 

Blaise climbs onto the bed, crawling over to straddle Draco's thighs. His hands rest on Draco's chest. They are warm and dry and, try as he might, Draco's arms are too heavy to move to push him off.

 

Blaise's eyes bore into Draco's, now dark pools of black, cold like empty tunnels; there is no glimmer of warmth left in them.

 

"You never really knew me, lover," Blaise says; his voice purrs, though the shiver it sends through Draco's spine is no longer pleasure-inducing. It makes Draco's skin break out in goosebumps, his hairs standing on end. "You were the first I made the promise bond with, but you weren't the only one, and neither was Amanda. I studied abroad. My mother has houses in several countries. I have always had a taste for foreign delights."

 

Draco's stomach clenches as Blaise moves his hands down his chest, finding his flaccid cock and fondling it and his balls. "If I could move, you wouldn't have hands to touch me with, Blaise," Draco says through gritted teeth.

 

"I know," Blaise answers, sounding bored. He backs down Draco's legs, slipping his fingers under Draco's balls and teasing his hole. "I will miss this. You always had such a tight little hole. But now that I know Potter's cock has sullied it …" He pulls his hands free and climbs backwards off the bed. "… such a waste."

 

Draco watches Blaise retrieve his wand from his bedside table. He feels his heart jump into his throat, desperate to draw this out just a bit. He holds on to the hope that Boot sent a message to the Aurors and that they may be on their way. He knows it's a long shot, but he needs to cling to something.

 

"What is it about Potter that offends you so much, Blaise? I always thought you couldn't give two shits about him one way or another."

 

Blaise smacks his palm with his wand, frowning at Draco, his eyebrows furrowing. "I don't give two shits about Potter, but unfortunately for him, he needs to learn to listen to his superiors when they tell him to back off." He moves his gaze to meet Draco's eyes, his lips curling into a malignant smirk. "You needn't worry about that now, Draco. I'll take care of your precious Auror soon enough. But now. It's time." He points his wand at Draco's chest. "Imperio."

 

A wave of calm floods Draco's nervous system, and Blaise's voice, not the cold heartless one he's been using, but the voice Draco loved, trusted, fills his head. It's in his head, rather than his ears. Everything will be all right. Touch yourself.

 

It's natural to follow such a gentle suggestion. Draco does, slipping his hand down his own chest to find his cock. It stirs to the sound of the voice in his head.

 

It feels good to let go of your control, doesn't it? Stroke yourself into hardness. That's right. You're doing so well.

 

Encouraged by the praise, Draco loses himself in sensation. His cock is hard in his hand, his limbs no longer heavy. He feels as if he's being supported by a cloud, floating, perfectly cradled in a warm embrace that supports every inch of his body. The light feeling it gives his body runs deeper still. It embraces his very soul. Giving himself over to the weightlessness of not having to worry any longer, of not having to meet demands or rise up to expectations is the best he's felt in the whole of his existence. And the fact that the voice is spurring him on to sexual release is divine. There is absolutely no reason to resist anything the voice asks of him.

 

He strokes himself, growing harder, cock leaking, mouth panting, allowing slight moans of pleasure to come as they will.

 

Stop now, pet. There, there. You will get to come very soon and it will blow your mind and make your world. That's what you want, isn't it?

 

He nods helplessly, wanting to continue to chase his orgasm to its finish, but wanting more, the praise from the voice. That is everything. The voice: it is his world now.

 

There is a tie fastened to the headboard, Draco. Slip it over your head, just over your jugular.

 

It's an odd command, but Draco follows, eager to be allowed to touch himself again. He is so close to coming, he's surprised it hasn't happened on its own, to the caress of the voice. The tie is tight on his throat; it makes it difficult to breathe.

 

That's a good boy. Now stroke yourself again. Bring that fat cock of yours over to the ultimate release. I love seeing you like this: laid bare and wanton, ready to come at my command.

 

Draco pulls on his cock, his heart hammering against his breastbone, lips tingling with numbness. The air he can pass is so shallow, his lungs scream inside his chest, but the orgasm, it's right there, just out of reach. Close, closer, he's so near now. His vision goes dark, but it doesn't matter, he's probably just closed his eyes, sparks explode in his sight and when he comes, it explodes out of him with a force that sounds like a shout. Like an Expelliarmus! and Draco knows no more.

 

~***~

 

 

Voices. There are voices. Draco can hear them, just beyond his reach, though once he's recognised them for what they are, it's as if somebody has tuned the station on the wireless and they sharpen, allowing him to understand them. He's so heavy. He's got to be dead, or in another Body-Bind. He wiggles his toe. It does move, though it's slow. Not a Body-Bind then.

 

The toe wiggle took a lot of energy. He rests a moment. He'll try to move again in a little while, but for now… now he'll listen to the voices.

 

"I've told you already, I will not leave his side. We can have the debriefing in here. If you take issue with that, I'll hand in my resignation and you can take up my grievance with the Minister for Magic!"

 

That voice is loud. It's shouting. He knows it, though. The person it belongs to, his name is just out of Draco's reach. It's on the tip of his tongue.

 

"Potter, honestly. There is no need for dramatics."

 

Oh yeah. That's who it is. Potter. Harry Potter. Draco wants to smile, but it's too hard. Potter is at his bedside, though, and refuses to leave. The fact makes Draco feel giddy.

 

The second voice grows fainter. The man must have stepped away a moment.

 

There's a hand touching his face. The caress is soft, but the fingers are rough and calloused. Those must be Potter's fingers. They move off his face as quickly as they had began touching.

 

Another voice joins the conversation. Draco is waking up more; he focusses his ears on catching what the new voice is saying.

 

"The evidence is enough to convict, Auror Robards. I have the thief in custody."

 

That voice, it brings to mind red hair and freckles. It belongs to Potter's partner, Weasley. Of course it does. The thief. Draco wants to know who this thief is.

 

"Who is it?" Robards asks, his voice is gruff, but he sounds impressed. Draco can hear the sounds of papers shuffling. Weasley must have passed his boss evidence of some sort.

 

"Zacharias Smith." That was Potter again. "The slimy git went to school with us. He was in Hufflepuff."

 

"Always was a turncoat," Weasley puts in. "We cornered him a couple of hours ago. He'd cut his hand on the artefact and I used his blood to track him down. Didn't put up a fight at all. Told me everything I asked. Seemed more afraid of Zabini than of me ..."

 

"What did he say regarding Zabini?" Robards asks.

 

"Zabini hired him to rob the museum after he checked the Auror schedule to make sure Harry was on duty. He was to trigger the alarm, wait for Harry to chase him, and Disapparate, bringing Harry to Zabini's secure location. That warehouse in Devon was his base, the Muggle one." Weasley takes a deep breath. Draco can hear it from where he lies. His ears are on high alert. He's desperate to know what had happened after that. He'd been there; he'd been cursed, but how?

 

"Zabini was there under a Disillusionment Charm. He hit Harry with the curse and Smith took off when I showed up. I sent for a Healer and followed him. Then, when Malfoy arrived, Zabini cursed him too."

 

Weasley stops talking again and Draco stretches his hearing as far as he can. He needs to know what's happening. How did he get to be lying here? Where is here? St Mungo's? He wishes Potter would speak, or touch him again.

 

As if Potter can hear his thoughts, Draco feels him place a warm and strong hand on top of Draco's hand. His hand is resting on top of his stomach. The touch grounds him, helps orientate him to his body, and differentiate between what he feels in this head-space and what his body feels like interacting with the real world.

 

"The thing that doesn't make sense to me, though," Weasley says thoughtfully, "is why Zabini was targeting Harry and Malfoy in the first place. I mean, I thought he and Malfoy were mates, and I've never heard of anything to suggest he'd have a grudge against Harry. He's not on our list of former Death Eaters."

 

Potter squeezes Draco's hand and holds tight. His thumb brushes Draco's thumb in a soothing gesture.

 

Draco longs to return it, to move his hand, to let Potter know he's thankful for the kindness, but the weight that's settled in his chest at the mention of Blaise's intentions makes trying to move even harder to fathom. His Healer training tells him his lack of physical response, his inability to fully wake is related to shock.

 

He can feel the emotion in Potter's voice as he speaks wash over him like a kiss. He almost misses what Potter is saying.

 

"…formed a promise bond with Draco. He did the same with Amanda Davies and while her death was reported as an accidental Splinching, the fact is that Zabini is the only person to corroborate the story isn't a good sign. He's had promise bonds that have ended in his partner's deaths in other countries as well, and he knows I'm aware of them."

 

"What?" Robards booms, making Draco's heart skip a beat. "Potter, if you had information related to this case and did not disclose it…"

 

"Hold it," Potter snaps. "I didn't know that Zabini related to this case at all until a few hours ago, when I learned of Amanda Davies's death." Draco catches a hint of danger in the undertones of Potter's voice. "I showed you the evidence, didn't I? Brought forward by the father of one of the women who died? And what did you tell me? That it was out of our jurisdiction. And that the man needed to get his own country's Aurors to deal with it."

 

The accusation that it is Robards' responsibility hangs, unspoken, in the air. Draco feels the hairs on the backs of his arms stand on end. Could this be true? The boy he'd so foolishly fallen in love with had grown to become a serial murderer? Did Potter actually have evidence that proved it before the recent attacks happened? Surely murder would have been enough of a reason for Aurors from different countries to collaborate their resources.

 

Draco can hear Robards clear his throat gruffly.

 

"I will revisit the report at the office. With the new evidence, it will reflect poorly on our department if we don't open the case up to the other involved parties."

 

Potter's grip on his hand is making his fingers numb. Draco focusses on moving them a bit, to signal to Potter to lighten up.

 

"He's moving!" Potter exclaims. "Ron, get the Healer in here."

 

Draco hears Robards excuse himself, and then Draco opens his eyes. It's only a crack at first, as the glare from the lights is bright. Potter's worried face swims into focus in front of him. He's still holding Draco's hand.

 

Draco swallows, wincing at the pain in his throat. He struggles to speak, to tell Potter he's being overly dramatic again, but all that comes out is a rasping croak.

 

"Don't try to speak." It's a new voice. Draco blinks a few times, while Potter's hand pulls away, and a Healer shines her wand in Draco's eyes.

 

He tries to relax and allow her to do her examination, but his heart races. He can't talk. His throat hurts like hell, and if his voice box was damaged, it's possible he'll never be able to speak again.

 

His whole body feels rigid now, petrified. How badly off is he? His eyes find Potter's. They hold. Potter isn't going to let anything more happen to him. He can see it there, and while his first instinct is to want to roll his eyes and shrug off the gesture, he holds onto the promise in those eyes, and forces himself to relax while the Healer finishes her scan.

 

"Healer Malfoy," she says at last, and Draco moves his eyes to meet hers. "I'm Healer McIntyre. You're in the recovery ward at St Mungo's."

 

Draco inclines his head slightly, to show his acknowledgement. He isn't stupid. He'd figured out where he was ages ago. He lifts his hand slowly to touch his throat. His fingers find a magical barrier there.

 

"You were strangled, Healer," she says. Her expression is sympathetic, but not off-putting. Draco is relieved he's not being treated by somebody he knows from school. He remembers what Blaise did. What he was made to do. His face burns. "My scans show no permanent damage. There's still a lot of swelling, which is why you can't speak."

 

The relief that washes over him is immense. He feels his eyes grow wet and closes them, before anybody else notices.

 

"Can you give us a minute?" Potter asks, though Draco isn't sure if he's speaking to the Healer or his partner. He hears the sounds of feet shuffling and the door closing and opens his eyes again.

 

Potter looks troubled. Draco raises his eyebrows and cocks his head, wondering what Potter has to say for himself.

 

"I'm … um. I've been an idiot."

 

Draco can't keep the smirk from playing on his lips. It's about time Potter admitted his idiocy aloud. He blinks, waiting for Potter to elaborate.

 

Potter tugs on his hair, making the already hopeless mess even messier, but Draco can't help but find the gesture endearing.

 

"The bond between you and Zabini was dissolved a long time ago. I checked. It broke when he bonded with somebody else, and he did that in at least two other countries before Amanda Davies." He stops talking, and shifts his weight from one foot to the other. He looks nervous.

 

Draco reaches a hand out to him, and Potter takes it, squeezing tight. His eyes meet Draco's again.

 

"I felt it too… the other night. Fuck, How could I not? I'd like to … um, that is …" He takes a deep breath and lets it out through his mouth. "Can we start over? I mean, not from the beginning, obviously, but you know, like pretend I didn't freak out and act like a complete berk?"

 

Draco can't stop the smile from coming, though he does attempt it, resulting, he's sure, in making him look constipated, but Potter seems to understand that he's being forgiven. Draco's impulse to make Potter work a bit harder to earn his forgiveness wars with his ultimate relief that Potter does want him. He pushes it away. Now isn't the time for taking chances; it's time for honesty.

 

He smiles as Potter smashes his lips against Draco's, before pulling away suddenly.

 

"Shit! I didn't hurt you, did I?"

 

Draco rolls his eyes, hand moving to hold Potter's head in place. He pulls Potter back down and sweeps his tongue across Potter's mouth, relishing the wet heat as Potter responds.

 

Their mouths move in tandem, joined again in sweetness, and Draco has never been more thankful in his life to be alive. His body thrums with life, waking up to respond to Potter's touch, no longer stiff and heavy, but smooth and pliant.

 

Potter breaks the kiss a moment, still close enough that Draco can feel his breath. "Is there anything I can do? To make you more comfortable?"

 

Draco catches Potter's hand which lingers on his shoulder and shoves it under his blanket so it's touching his cock: his now hard, fully alert and responsive cock.

 

Draco stops Potter's chuckle by swallowing it, taking his lips again in another desperate kiss.

 

"Bugger fuck!" Weasley's exclamation sounds from across the room, making Potter stiffen and Draco croak at being interrupted.

 

They look towards the door where Weasley stands, his face splotchy and confused.

 

"I'll just … Uh. Robards wants to finish the debrief back at the office," Weasley says, his words tumbling over each other. "Meet you back there soon, Harry, yeah?"

 

Potter nods at his partner and Weasley closes the door again.

 

"May I have my hand back?" Potter asks teasingly.

 

Draco sighs and releases his grip around Potter's wrist, but Potter doesn't immediately move his hand. He pushes up against the calloused palm, shuddering as Potter's fingers stroke his balls.

 

"I really hate to leave you like this," Potter says, pouting at the glare Draco sends his way. "But your mother has been waiting to see you."

 

Draco stops pressing into Potter's hand at these words and Potter withdraws it. "She's all right. A bit shaken up. They gave her a Calming Draught and a Cheering Charm, and she's resting in the next room over, but I told her I'd fetch her as soon as you woke up."

 

He mouths the words thank you.

 

"I'll get her for you, and then I really do need to finish up with Robards. You'll be all right?"

 

Draco rolls his eyes again and blows his fringe out of his face in mock-annoyance, pleased to see that Potter has to readjust his trousers when he stands up.

 

"I'll be back to see you soon, I promise."

 

~***~

 

 

He's in Potter's memory again. Potter and Weasley stand before the doors of Malfoy Manor, dressed in Auror robes with their wands at the ready.

 

"Ready?" Weasley murmurs lowly.

 

Potter releases a nervous breath. Draco can feel his limbs shake, the cold sweat pouring down his back, and the strength he draws on to override his fear from within. It's a feeling of intense guilt and outright terror. Potter points his wand at the front door, and levels it with a nonverbal Reductor Curse. Weasley covers the sound of the blast with a Silencing Charm, and they sprint forwards into the foyer, the dust settling around them like ashes from an eruption.

 

Narcissa stands in front of the credenza, looking at her reflection in the wall mirror. Draco cringes inwardly as Potter spots her. It's as if she doesn't notice the door has just been blasted open or even that there are Aurors in her house.

 

"Mrs Malfoy," Potter says, reaching out to touch her shoulder.

 

She turns to look at him, her blue eyes glassed over.

 

"Imperiused," Weasley says, and points his wand at her. "Finite."

 

"Where's Draco?" Potter says, as Narcissa comes back to herself. Her forehead creases and her eyes widen and clear, as if a film has been lifted off them. Draco's mind reels with a sick feeling, as if he'd been knocked in the chest with a bludger. He knows what this is. He doesn't want to see what happened from Potter's perspective.

 

"Draco?" She asks, then her face fills with fear, the realisation of what's happened crashing over her. She clutches Potter's arm. "Up the stairs to the left. Third door on the right. Hurry."

 

Against his will, Draco watches as Potter and Weasley rush up the long flight of stairs to the first landing and down the carpeted hallway of his house. The looks the paintings of Malfoy ancestors throw at Potter and Weasley as they pass fill Draco with even more dread. He knows his family has never been one that is particularly kind to outsiders, but he's never experienced being on the receiving end of their disdain before, and he doesn't like it.

 

Too soon, Potter is at his bedroom door. Draco is forced to pay attention to what is happening, no matter how much he longs to retreat into his own mind and just let the memory come to an end.

 

Potter sends Weasley some sort of hand signal that Draco doesn't understand, and then kicks the door in.

 

The sight that meets him makes Draco want to vomit. He's looking at himself, bound to his bed with a Gryffindor school tie wrapped around his neck and fastened to the headboard, his face is purple and his eyes bulging. He's about ready to come.

 

"Expelliarmus! Potter cries, pointing his wand at Blaise, who hasn't even had time to turn from where he's looming over Draco. Draco sees his wand fly from Blaise's hand and Potter catches it, sending a Body-Bind at Blaise and then a Severing Charm at the tie around Draco's neck.

 

Draco hears Weasley enter the room and send a Patronus to the Auror department while Potter rushes to Draco's bedside, tearing the remnants of the tie off his ruined neck and smearing his hand in the come cooling on Draco's chest as he searches for a heartbeat.

 

"Don't you even fuck of think of dying, Draco," Potter says, and Draco realises Potter is crying.

 

He's not sure what happens next, only that Potter has found his pulse and chokes back a sob in relief. Potter wraps his body in a blanket and picks him up as if he weighs nothing.

 

"I'm Apparating him to St Mungo's," Potter tells Weasley.

 

"Isn't that Malfoy's old wand?" Weasley asks, pointing at the wand Potter has dropped on the bed, the one he disarmed from Blaise.

 

Potter spots it, and Draco feels the chill seeping through Potter's spine, the pure white anger. Draco knows that if Potter wasn't cradling his body, he'd be killing Blaise barehanded. But Potter just swallows hard. "Yes. Take it into evidence."

 

He Disapparates without sparing a glance at Blaise.

 

~***~

 

 

When Draco wakes up again, it's with a jolt.

 

Potter is there at his side, asleep in a chair.

 

Draco sits up in bed and lifts his hands to feel his throat. The magical binding has been lifted and he clears his throat, testing the pain. There is none.

 

"Hey," Potter says.

 

Draco looks at him where's he's blinking blearily.

 

"How are you feeling?"

 

"Um," Draco says, relieved to hear the sound come from his mouth as he hoped it would. "I've been better."

 

Potter stands up and moves to sit beside Draco on the edge of the bed. He's still in St Mungo's.

 

"Zabini is in Azkaban. He'll be tried before the Wizengamot."

 

Draco meets Potter's eyes, so relieved that Potter is still here. That he wasn't entirely put off by what Zabini did. But then, he is Harry Potter. He's lived through worse and come out ahead.

 

"He had my wand," Draco says. "I don't understand. How'd he get it?"

 

Potter runs a hand through his hair, tugging at the ends the way he tends to do when he's frustrated or nervous. "He was the top investor for the building of the war museum. He was the collector that we were protecting. Turns out he thought your wand was the Elder Wand." Potter shakes his head, frowning. "I had hoped that the news of the Elder Wand's role in Voldemort's downfall would have not been published. But rumours spread, you know? Very few people know what really happened."

 

Draco waits to make sure Potter is finished speaking. "So, the real Elder Wand," Draco says at last. "It's protected?"

 

Potter smirks, or tries to anyway. "It's hidden where nobody will find it. Don't worry about that." He reaches out and touches Draco's cheek with his hand. The touch is familiar and good. Draco longs to close his eyes and pull Potter on top of him, but the memory of being intimate with Potter the last time resurfaces, and Draco narrows his eyes.

 

"If you think that under your pillow is a safe hiding place, Potter, you're more daft than Dumbledore was being buried with it."

 

Potter's face flushes, but he doesn't stop looking into Draco's eyes. "Right. So, uh …"

 

Potter sounds like an idiot again. It's a far cry from the hero taking control that Draco had witnessed him being in his last memory.

 

"These memories," Draco says, watching Potter breathe easier now that he wasn't expected to be the one directing the conversation. "I saw what you did, when you saved me. I just woke up from it."

 

"Yeah," Potter says, his hand grips Draco's on the bed. "I saw it too … from your viewpoint." Potter's mouth turns down in a frown, and Draco sees the spark of fire in Potter's eyes. "He's going to pay for what he did. I promise you that."

 

"You're hurting my hand," Draco says, and Potter releases him, as if he's been burned.

 

"Sorry." Potter worries his lower lip with his teeth. "Um, I talked to an Unspeakable a bit ago. You know, about the incident." He doesn't elaborate, but breathes sharply out from his nose. "The bloke suggested that the reason we're seeing each other's memories is because Zabini cursed us with a wand that recognises both of us as its master. Well, he said that the blood and magic that mixed when we were sliced open probably had something to do with it too, but… I don't know. He said that it might be that it will take performing the counter-curse with the same wand will reverse it, or we may just be stuck this way."

 

Draco leans back on his pillow. It's adorable how flustered Potter is acting, but too, he's not sure how much Potter wants as far as pursuing a relationship, or really anything. He clears his throat.

 

"I'm wondering what you want to do now, Potter," Draco says. "I mean, as far as you and me are concerned."

 

Potter's forehead furrows, as if he can't understand why Draco would wonder such a thing.

 

"Call me Harry," he says.

 

"Harry," Draco repeats. It feels strange on his tongue, but he supposes it is time to start thinking of him that way, if Potter, or Harry rather, wants to move forwards.

 

"I want to get to know you more. I'd like to, um…" Harry's face flushes.

 

"What?" Draco asks, teasing. "You want to bend me over and fuck me senseless again?"

 

Harry's face burns redder, but he's smiling. "Yeah, or something like that. I wouldn't be opposed to you doing it to me again either."

 

Now Draco feels his own face growing hot. "When will they let me out of here?" he asks, surprised at the huskiness in his voice.

 

"I'll go and ask, shall I?" Harry stands up.

 

Draco smirks at the tent in Harry's trousers.

 

~***~

 

 

Draco's body is on fire. Harry has him right where he wants to be, flat on his back in Harry's bed with his legs in the air and Harry on top of him, in between them, their hard cocks slipping together in their joined hands slicked with lube.

 

"Fuck, I'm close," Harry pants as a droplet of sweat falls from his temple and splashes on Draco's stomach.

 

Draco tenses, then moves his hand to grip Harry's erection hard at the base, preventing him from moving.

 

"Not yet, you bastard. I want this inside me right now."

 

Harry groans, and pulls back, sitting on his knees. Draco's feet find the mattress, and Harry spreads his legs, holding onto his knees. He's not looking at Draco's hole, however, and Draco's cock leaks even more pre-come from his slit onto his hand. "Well?" Draco demands.

 

"I want this, you, forever," Harry says, his eyes fixed on Draco's.

 

Draco huffs, trying not to let the flush that rising inside him colour his face. He strokes his cock with a few slow pulls, but Harry's not looking. He's waiting.

 

"I'm not interested in a promise bond, if that's what you're asking."

 

"I'm not," Harry says, too quickly.

 

Draco furrows his brows, wondering what the fuck Harry is doing dicking around with him when they could be fucking. Does Harry not want him enough to want to bond with him?

 

"I mean. I want to make you a not-promise."

 

There he goes, being an idiot again. "What, Potter?" Draco says, his erection waning. "What do you promise not to do?"

 

Harry raises an eyebrow at the quick return to his last name, but doesn't let it stop him from answering. He puts his hand back on Draco's cock, and nudges at Draco's hole with the tip of his cock, still locked at the eyes.

 

"I promise not to marry anybody, except you, if you agree."

 

And that sounds too good to be true but, knowing Harry is practically incapable of being anything other than true, Draco goes for it. "I agree, if you show me you mean it, right now."

 

Harry does just that.

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