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Exposure

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It's the weekend before the Christmas holidays and it's snowing in Hogsmeade.

Draco gets cold and shivery once he and Harry are outside, exposed to the elements in the middle of the street. His teeth are chattering but he refuses to admit defeat. He chafes at his arms, encased in his overpriced robes, just as he chafes at the implication that he might not be as good at something as Harry is. Even if that something is as tiny and insignificant as a slightly better ability to naturally regulate body temperature. Little shimmering flecks fall softly on his sleek hair, turning it golden in contrast. A snowflake catches on his lashes. He blinks it away with an exaggerated shudder.

"Did you forget you're a wizard, Malfoy?" Harry whispers the words over the back of Draco's neck just so he can watch the pink flush which follows them. It’s a line that Draco loves to use on him; it's nice to turn it back on the git for once.

"No," says Draco, through teeth which only stop chattering because they're gritted hard together. His eyes meet Harry's and they're the same steel grey as the sky. "I don't want to risk it backfiring where people can see. My position, and my safety, are tenuous enough while I'm stuck at Hogwarts on probation. The last thing I need is people knowing my magic's gone wonky. It’s bad enough that you know."

There's that spark, the old familiar animosity, even in painful honesty. Draco's practically snarling at him and Harry doesn't want him to stop. He loves watching Draco heat up like this. His cheeks flush even more, and his lips are cherry-red from the chill and from being bitten by Draco's too-white teeth. It makes Harry want to hold on and never let go. Like a runaway broom, or a dragon ride.

Harry's normally the live wire, the one with unpredictable flames of magic inside him, but in that moment he can feel Draco's magic rise around them. It’s nothing like Harry's own. Draco's magic coils like a snake, full of hidden power and precision, ready to strike or flee in a sinuous rush at a moment's notice. It makes Harry want to push just a little further and see what happens. See if Draco’s magic will burn him, drown him, freeze him, or all three.

He should probably feel guilty for reminding Draco why they're even out here together; reminding him that in his family's defeat, he’s had to accept the aid and protection of someone he's always worked so hard to hate. Then again, maybe that's why Draco said it. He's still a manipulative twat. Especially if he thinks it'll get him laid.

"Maybe we should give them something else to talk about then?" Harry murmurs and steps in even closer. Close enough that he can feel what little heat Malfoy gives off. Close enough that their magic sparks between them like static.

"Potter?" says Draco, eyes narrowing. It's one word, but from him it can be an entire soliloquy. In this case, though, it just means 'What are you planning now, Potter? How much am I going to hate and/or enjoy it? And how dearly am I going to have to make you pay for it?'.

Harry shuts him up by kissing him. He casts a warming charm, wordless and wandless, over both of them; uses the heat of the kiss to take away the cold.

The snow starts to fall more heavily but Harry doesn't want to stop. Not when Draco presses into him like that. Not when Draco moans into the kiss like that. If he didn't need to breathe then he might never stop. It feels like a crash, it feels like flight and freedom too, like victory and surrender. It's bloody perfect. All he can feel is Draco's body pressed against him; all he can taste is Draco's skin and a faint trace of Butterbeer; all he can smell is fresh snow and crushed grass beneath it, and the lemon and cedar scent of Draco’s soap.

He’s so lost in the kiss that he almost misses Pansy Parkinson’s wolf-whistle. It makes Draco shiver a laugh against Harry's chest.

Then there's a sudden click of a camera and the puff of a magical flash going off across the street. The sound is followed quickly by Parkinson's voice throwing a cruel hex, and then the sound of two sets of running feet. Parkinson may feel entitled to torment them, but she's apparently decided that no one else is.

Harry pulls back, as startled at himself for initiating the kiss as he is at Draco for going along with it. Here. Outside. In public. He's exposed them both in ways that only Parkinson and Hermione knowing hadn't risked. For a moment he thinks Draco will freeze him out as soon as he realises the mystery photographer has escaped away with the picture of a lifetime. He’s sure Draco's going to shove him away and deny him. Leave him alone in the snow.

All Draco does is smile at him: that horrible, warm, genuine smile that turns Harry into some kind of pliant mush for Draco Malfoy to bend and blend at will. The one that makes him think,'Sod it’, and kiss Draco again.

They've already exposed themselves. Why not enjoy kissing his not-so-secret boyfriend in the snow? Thankfully, Draco seems to agree.