What makes life dreary is want of motive. - George Eliot
Late August, 1999
The ongoing rehabilitation of Draco’s character was tedious in the extreme, but it had at least progressed far enough to allow him to stroll down Diagon Alley without drawing too many suspicious glares. He passed storefront after storefront, most of them completely recovered since the events of the war less than a year and a half ago. Some still looked spell-damaged and abandoned, but for the most part the street was getting back to its old self.
It was a muggy day and Draco could feel the sweat slipping down his spine. It reminded him of the last time he’d hooked up with Blaise; how worked up they’d been, how many times they’d forced each other to come. He smiled to himself—good times. The smile was followed by a grimace; that particular good time had been quite a while ago and Draco was starting to feel pent-up and cranky. He needed to find another “friend” of his own persuasion. Blaise had buggered off to the continent, pun intended, and left him with no outlet. He briefly considered slumming in the Muggle world but discarded the thought. His T in Muggle Studies put paid to that idea.
As he approached Knockturn Alley, he glanced surreptitiously around to make sure there weren’t any eyes on him. There was no one around, so he didn’t bother with casting the usual mild Notice-Me-Not spell and kept his brisk pace towards Borgin and Burkes. The shop hove into view and he opened the ancient, creaking door to a dimly lit, ephemera-laden room, ominous shadows lurking in the corners. Draco approached the counter to be greeted by Borgin himself, Burke having been a late casualty of the war. He wondered why they didn’t change their name.
Draco reached into his pocket to produce a small book of spells, Norwegian in origin and very dark in nature. It had an oily, grisly aura that made one’s hands feel filthy after handling it for only a moment. He approached the counter where Borgin was waiting. The hunched old wizard greeted him obsequiously. His eyes lit up when he caught sight of the book, but he slid on a kid glove to handle it. Draco kicked himself for not thinking of that—he would have to drink a purity philtre when he got back to his flat and he was running out of those. It was time to brew some more.
“This is very interesting, Young Master Malfoy. I’m certain I can find a buyer for something of this nature,” Borgin wheedled at him, pince-nez slipping down his long nose. “What did you have in mind? Galleons? Trade?”
“Trade, if you have the item I’m looking for.” Draco glanced around and saw the display case for mind-control and mind magic items. He peered in but didn’t see anything of the description he was looking for.
“And what would that be?” Borgin inquired, fingers steepled under his chin. Draco had forgotten how simpering and cloying the man was.
“I’m not sure what it’s called. My father told me about it years ago. It alerts the bearer to the hidden motivations of those with whom one is dealing.” He didn’t usually refer to his father in public any more, for obvious reasons, but within these walls his father retained some status.
“Ah, yes. The Motive Monitor. We do indeed have one, it’s in the back. I’ll fetch it out and you can have a look. This book of spells should suffice for such an item,” Borgin said with false casualness.
“I should think it would more than suffice; I was expecting a sum of Galleons back as well.” He narrowed his eyes at Borgin. “I have in my possession a number of items the Ministry didn’t unearth, it would be a shame if you never witnessed their like again.”
“Indeed, Master Malfoy. I shall return with the item in question.” Borgin looked pissed off but Draco didn’t care. He needed this Motive Monitor and he needed money and he knew perfectly well what that book was worth.
As he looked around the shop while waiting for Borgin to bring the Motive Monitor out, unwanted memories came surging to the surface of his mind. How many times had he accompanied his father to this place? More than he could count or remember. He frowned as he recalled how much he’d idolized the man then. Ignorance was bliss.
Borgin entered holding a wrapped object the size of a large pocket watch in his hand. He laid it on the counter and Draco watched as he carefully unwrapped it. It looked like a glorified compass, with three tiers of dials and thirty or more compass points.
“How does it work?”
“It’s based on a peril-clock but with a watch crystal made of modified foe-glass. It names three motivations: the person’s overarching motivation in life, his motivation in the present moment, and his motivation regarding the bearer of the Monitor.” Draco peered at the Monitor but tactfully Borgin was not holding it in his hand, so the dials rested at neutral position. Instead of picking it up where Borgin could see it, he pulled the cloth on which it rested towards him, then scooped it up and turned away. Borgin inhaled sharply but made no protest.
“I hope you understand, Mr. Borgin, that I need to verify that this works before I trade that priceless book in exchange for it.”
The three dials swung to “Avarice,” "Maximize Profit," and “Maximize Profit.” Not a complicated man, Mr. Borgin.
“Seems about right. I think it’ll do.” Borgin’s expression slid from irritation to satisfaction to calculation. Draco continued. “I estimate that spell book’s value to be at least three hundred Galleons and I’m willing to bet that this, which is not technically a dark artifact and could be replicated by a sufficiently talented witch or wizard given enough time, might sell for as much at one hundred. So if you’d fetch that two hundred Galleons, I’ll be happy to relieve you of this device.”
Borgin gaped. Draco sighed and picked up the book, resenting the fact that he had to engage in this pantomime without the prophylactic gloves but if it worked, he’d have rent sorted for the next few months and could think about buying some furniture. He looked it over, humming approvingly at a particularly vile spell, and as he was flipping the page he heard Borgin release a held breath and say, “Would one hundred seventy five be acceptable, Master Malfoy?” Draco frowned and kept leafing through the book, skin crawling.
“Two hundred is firm, Mr. Borgin. Even so I feel you’re getting the better deal. I noticed a ding on the casing that could easily have been buffed out.”
Borgin visibly smothered his anger as he nodded. “Fine. Allow me to package the Monitor for you and I will write you a cheque for the balance.”
“Gold, if you please.” Draco wasn’t fucking around with cheques. Borgin surely knew that his accounts at Gringotts were frozen.
“That will be difficult. It’s only me here, I would need to close the shop to make a trip to Gringotts.”
“Very well.” He pocketed the book and made to walk out.
“Actually, I believe my part-time assistant did just make a sizable sale. I will check the till.” He cast a cursory glance inside the register and said, “Your Galleons, Master Malfoy,” as he delivered them over the counter in a velvet bag.
“Thank you, Mr. Borgin. I shall be sure to bring you any items of interest I find as I peruse the family caches.”
This was a bald-faced lie—any such items were far likelier to fetch a better price on the open market, not passed through a middleman, particularly one as voracious as Borgin. The only reason he was here was because of the Monitor. As much as he loathed it, he had to trade, at least this once, with Borgin so he could get the Monitor. With the help of this device, he could now see the motives of his potential clients. It was critical that he knew to whom he was selling off the secret stash of Malfoy dark artifacts, and to what purpose they were likely to be put.
Pride forbade him from handing them over to the Ministry that imprisoned his father in spite of his obvious mental and physical infirmities, causing his death not two months after being shut away in Azkaban for life. Not to mention the seizure of his inheritance despite the fact that he had been cleared of all charges. Greg suggested just selling them off right away, but Draco had convinced him to wait until he had gotten the Monitor. If the war had done anything, it had forced Draco to watch himself carefully. He was as desperate for funds as Greg was, or nearly so, but he didn’t want to risk arming another would-be Dark Lord. Some of the things in their vault were insidious enough to be able to do just that.
Discovering the caches of artifacts had been both a blessing and a curse—he could now supplement the tiny annuity the Ministry had left him but it would require him to deal with the damned things, wretched reminders of a culture and obsession he was glad to be rid of. And of course, the constant worry over what hands they might end up in. Draco was none too happy to have let that book into the hands of as unscrupulous a dealer as Borgin but he felt he had no choice. He tried to take comfort in the not-well-known-fact that Norwegian spells were spectacularly difficult to master. It wasn’t much of a hedge.
With the Monitor in his pocket, though, he felt much better about this enterprise. He and Greg planned to sell only to serious collectors or researchers, not people who wanted to actively use the artifacts and books. With the Monitor, it would be a simple matter to determine safe marks for their items. For the first time in weeks, Draco felt his heart lighten. The heft of the Galleons nestled next to the Monitor didn’t hurt his mood, either. He had a grin on his face as he stepped out the door into the sunshine and directly into someone blocking his path.
“Potter,” he said without rancor, his brain in shock. As his eyes adjusted to the light, he took in Potter’s trainee uniform—that’s right, they hadn’t let Saint Potter assume the Head Auror role right out of the gate as he’d imagined they might, the fools. Potter looked pretty good in the uniform, though his expression wasn’t giving Draco any clues as to how best to handle the situation.
“Malfoy. What are you up to?” Harry said, voice bland.
“Just out and about on a lovely day. What brings you to this fine establishment?” Glib politeness would do in the absence of anything to go on.
“Just keeping an eye on things, Malfoy. You look pleased with yourself, did you find what you were looking for?” Potter’s voice held just the slightest tone of implied suspicion. Of course, they were back to this then; Draco innocently up to no good and Potter on his tail.
Draco made a noncommittal noise as the Monitor warmed in his pocket. He fished out the device, which to anyone else looked like an ordinary pocket watch, and pretended to check the time. He and glanced at it long enough to register where two of the dials were pointed— overarching motivation at “Saving People” and motivation relative to bearer at “Sexual Attraction.” What on earth. He stuffed it back in his pocket hastily then returned his gaze to Potter, trying like hell to keep a sly smile off his face.
“I was just browsing,” he said, eyes sliding up and down Potter’s body, the lines of it visible under the formfitting trainee robes. He saw a minute shift in Potter’s body, an uncertain flicker in his eye. Interesting.
“I hope you’re behaving yourself, Malfoy. Not slipping into old patterns,” Potter said with artificial roughness in his voice. Playing the tough guy, how cute.
“We can’t all be good boys like you, Auror Potter,” Draco said lightly.
“I’m not that good, Malfoy,” Potter said, pinning him with his gaze and turning it into the hint of a threat. Draco’s heart turned over. He definitely didn’t want to taunt Potter into real suspicion.
Potter couldn’t possibly know what he was up to yet; the Ministry had seized such a quantity of property from the Malfoys they couldn’t have sorted through it all even now, or possibly suspect that there might be more. But he would have to watch himself more carefully. Although...there might be a way to use this newfound knowledge to confuse and distract Potter. That could be entertaining. Was it worth the risk?
“How is it, Potter, being on the beat? Enjoying yourself?” Draco put the merest hint of flirting lilt in his voice.
“It’s fine, Malfoy.” Potter sounded like he was unsure whether Draco was taking the piss.
“I’m just curious—You ever take someone in? Or do they not let you do that kind of thing yet?”
Harry looked askance at him. “I’m only a few months into it, Malfoy. You really want to know about being an Auror Trainee?”
“I’ve always been curious about you, Potter. Seems like you’re curious about me—or am I just part of your territory?”
A rush of blood darkened Potter’s cheeks and Draco felt a rush of something else flow through him.
“I’m not following you specifically, Malfoy—I was just on my beat for today and saw you going in this shop,” he gestured to the door they’re still blocking. “Just wanted to make sure you’re...okay.”
Draco smiled an open, honest smile—one that he’d practiced to catch people off guard. It worked. Potter squinted at him, as if he had grown a second head.
“You are okay, right?” Potter said, and now he actually sounded solicitous.
It took Draco a moment to process that in spite of appearances, it seemed that Potter might actually be looking out for him. The realization made Draco uncomfortable so he turned away.
“Thanks, I’m fine. So I’m not being detained, Auror Potter?” he said in the direction of Diagon Alley, peering into the distance. He could tell by the way the late afternoon sunlight was hitting his face that he probably looked angelic. He smirked at the thought and turned back to Potter.
“You don’t need me for anything?” He looked Potter up and down again, not hiding his appreciation of the way the uniform fit.
“Er, no. I don’t...have anything on you. Not that I...No.” Potter seemed flustered. His handsome face couldn’t decide on an expression; it was excruciatingly awkward and it sent sparks flying along Draco’s nerve endings.
“You’re, uh, free to go, Malfoy. I wasn’t...Have a nice day,” Potter trailed off, looking mortified.
“Thanks ever so, Trainee Potter, it was a pleasure to reply to your… inquiries,” Draco said as he sauntered with deliberate sensuality down the sidewalk to Diagon Alley.
He never dreamed it would be this easy to put Potter off balance like this—easy and highly entertaining. Despite everything he had to lose, he couldn’t help but hope he might run into Potter again.
As it happened, he nearly ran into Potter not even a week later at a pub. He was obviously off duty and with his friends: Granger, Weasley and his sister. Draco had a fleeting urge to go over there and make Potter squirm until he caught sight of a familiar head of blonde hair. He blanched as he remembered that Luna was part of their social circle; he wondered if Luna had told any of them about their conversations in the Manor's dungeons. Not that the content of the conversations was anything to be embarrassed about—to the contrary, he’d put his neck on the line to make Luna’s situation more bearable. But he could have tried harder—or at all—to get her free.
Draco wished that he’d made more of an effort to keep up their tentative connection after the war, but his priorities had been elsewhere—his version of “living” included getting his cock sucked as often as possible. And Luna, while she might have given excellent head (Draco was willing to bet she did) lacked the proper equipment for a fair trade in return.
Given his shamefaced thoughts at how little he’d done to help Luna during her incarceration, Draco’s desire to investigate Potter’s surprising “motivation” fell by the wayside. He now planned on finishing his pint and getting the hell out, but as he pushed his empty glass over to the barkeep, he felt a pressure along his side. It was Luna, pressing close to the bar to order a Flibbering Gillywig. While the bartender was laboriously making it, she turned to him and smiled her dreamy smile that took no account of the passage of time and the distance between them.
“Hello Draco, what brings you to the Golden Erumpent? Are you here to see Harry?”
“Erm, no,” he said, shaking his head. Why would she have thought that?
“Oh, I just thought—he was talking about having run into you. Well, would you like to join us anyway? You look like you could use some company.”
Draco felt uneasy at the idea of Potter talking to his friends about him. What had he said? Had he mentioned that he had been following Draco to make sure he stayed out of trouble? How humiliating. However, the prospect of interacting again was compelling. But around his friends —no, it was a bad idea.
“Tell Potter I said hello.” He hesitated, then continued. “And hello to you too, Luna. We don’t see enough of each other.” An idea occurred to him and he was tipsy enough not to second-guess himself. “I wonder if you’d like to come to mine for dinner sometime soon. Are you free Thursday night?”
Luna nodded, beaming at him. “That sounds lovely! I very much look forward to it,” she said as she started moving towards the table where Potter and his cohort sat. “I’ll convey your regrets to Harry. That is, if you’re sorry you can’t stay?”
Draco shrugged half-heartedly.
“Shall I come by around seven?”
“Certainly, I’ll have some elf-made wine. We can catch up.”
“I’d like that, Draco. Cheers,” she said, tilting her drink in Draco’s direction. “See you on Thursday!” Luna wandered in her unsteady but unerring way towards the group of Gryffindors in the back. A welter of emotions brewed inside Draco—warmth at reconnecting with Luna, trepidation at getting involved even on the periphery of Potter’s coterie, intrigue at the fact that Potter evidently had told his friends about running into him the other day… and a deep desire to go over to Potter’s table, damn the consequences, just to push his buttons a bit more.
After a moment, he realized that he had watched Luna walk all the way back to the table and was now staring absently at Potter’s animated face as he exchanged a laugh with the girl Weasley—the one he was dating? Well, he had his arm slung around her shoulders, anyway. It looked a bit matey to Draco, but girl-Weasley’s face told the whole story. Huh.
His eyes met Potter’s for a lightning-quick moment, then he blinked and turned to walk out.
Fuck. That had been a close call. He needed to do more research on his potential clients. Draco had thought he knew most of the people in the Wizarding world who might be interested in the kinds of artifacts he had on hand, by reputation if not by acquaintance. But in fact the Wizarding world was larger than his father’s circle of contacts, bribees and lickspittles.
Draco hated to feel unprepared—it reflected badly on his survival instincts, a trait upon which the Malfoys prided themselves. He had fucked up, and it galled him. Montefiore had turned out to have very dark plans, if the Motive Monitor was to be believed—and he had no reason to doubt it. After seeing the reading on Potter, he’d tested it on all his friends.
Greg’s reading showed ‘Avoiding censure,’ ‘Gustatory gratification,’ and ‘Retribution,’ (for being interrupted in his food consumption, presumably).
Pansy’s reading showed ‘Self-promotion,’ ‘Sartorial acquisition,’ and ‘Sexual attraction.’ The last was a fact about her which had always made Draco mildly uncomfortable and sad in equal measure. But he was used to it by this point in time.
Nott’s reading showed ‘Academic achievement,’ ‘Making connections,’ and ‘Friendship.’ It was too bad he’d only been in town for a conference; Draco would have liked to have seen him for more than an afternoon.
They had all been about as accurate as Draco could have wished. So when the Monitor told him, upon greeting Montescue Montefiore, that the man’s overarching ambition was to ‘Total Dominion,’ Draco hadn’t even had to check the second two dials. When he tried to leave, he faced two difficulties—his own inability to come up with a good excuse for refusing to sell the artifact, and Montefiore’s extreme and frightening persistence.
He was still feeling rattled two days later when he ran into Potter, who was once again on the beat, wearing his slim-fitting Auror uniform and looking unfairly attractive for a man with prior claims on his attentions. Draco had just left the Ministry, having met with the official in charge of authorizing and dispensing his monthly stipend. He’d had been wrestling with the wisdom of persuading the witch to increase his stipend based on good behavior, a duplicitous argument given his current activities. He’d decided to hold off for the time being.
Potter lounged against the wall of the Leaky, evidently sent there to apprehend disorderly drunks, of whom the population was scarce at four in the afternoon. Draco had wanted to soothe his irritation with a whiskey, but now he thought he might have a better means to unload some stress.
He sidled up to Potter, pretending to look at the glass case where they posted the daily specials. Potter, predictably, cleared his throat. Draco acted like he hadn't heard, but ran his hand through his hair, flicking it over his shoulder. He had turned to walk away, as though displeased by the offerings, when Potter said, “Hey, Malfoy.”
Draco smirked and then wiped it off his face, turning back to see that Potter had lifted himself out of his slouch. He was poised as if to follow Draco.
“What’s up, Potter?” He let his eyes wander down Potter’s torso to linger fractionally at his groin. If Potter was truly inclined that way, he’d catch it just enough to wonder if he’d really seen it. If he wasn’t, it would likely go over his head. His gaze drifted back up, caressing the slight definition of Potter’s chest under the robes then meeting his eyes.
Potter looked like he could use a drink. He swallowed and said, “Nothing much. Keeping out of trouble?”
Draco’s mood darkened for a moment. Seriously, was Potter implying that he was up to nefarious schemes? He had testified at Draco’s trial, for fuck’s sake, surely he could give Draco the benefit of the—he cut off his internal tirade. It was somewhat hypocritical in any case, and wasn’t useful at the moment.
He moved closer to Potter and reached out to brush an imaginary bit of fluff off his shoulder, his hand lingering a bit too long. Draco could hardly believe he had the gall to flirt with the Savior of the Wizarding World like this. He was getting the beginnings of an erection just thinking about the effect he might be having—and to judge by the color working its way up Potter’s skin, he was having some kind of effect. “What kind of trouble are we talking about?”
“I, uh, you’d know better than me, Malfoy,” Potter gulped, stepping back and looking aside, then immediately back to Draco with a question on his face. His mouth opened as if to ask it, but nothing came out.
“Well, rest assured I’m keeping myself on the straight and narrow. Although, come to think of it, maybe just the narrow.” Was that too complicated? Had Potter followed the implication? Draco held his gaze, watching as Potter’s lids lowered bashfully.
“Huh, yeah—well, what are you up to? Today, I mean. I’m not—you’re not under suspicion, I’m just—”
“Curious?” Draco smiled and did not bother to keep the satisfaction out of it. “I’m just out and about, thinking about having a drink.” He paused to consider Potter. “You off duty soon?”
Potter looked honestly torn, but then shook himself and said, “Uh, no. No. I’m here until—well, until later. And then I have a meeting at—so, no. Thanks, though.” He cut his eyes over to Draco as though contrary to what he’d said, Draco was definitely under some kind of suspicion. Draco decided to ease off.
“It’s for the best. Wouldn’t want people speculating. See you around, Potter,” he said with a casual backwards wave as he strolled off. He was grinning like an idiot but thankfully Potter couldn’t see it.
It was just too fun to get under Potter’s skin like this! Though it did put problematic ideas in Draco’s brain, ideas best left unexamined. Potter was a little too much to Draco’s tastes these days; with his new bulk, presumably from training, and his messy hair cut short around the sides, tousled on top. Who knew that joining the Aurors would be as good as a fucking makeover for the git?
That evening, he and Greg were in the living room of Draco’s small pied a terre, the last standing Malfoy property. Greg was slumped on the divan, a can of lager in one hand and the other hand buried in a crystal bowl full of crisps. Draco couldn’t believe the house-elves had come up with crisps out of nowhere—it’s not like he ate them, for Merlin’s sake.
“So, you’re going to find all the buyers, right?” Greg asked, looking worried.
“Well, no, that won’t work, Greg,” Draco gently scolded. “I’m going to make first contact but I can’t make the running on all of them. I’ll help you go through your father’s contacts. We’ll use a Pensieve if necessary. But there’s only so many hours in the day. You have a lot of artifacts to move, and I’m already swamped.”
Greg looked unhappy but resigned. “Okay, but, Draco, you know I’m no good at this. I’m just going to fuck it up. Like I fuck up everything.”
Draco privately agreed that Greg had fucked a lot of things up, but he felt responsible for his friend. Nevertheless, Greg was an adult now. His self-esteem would only suffer further if Draco did all the heavy lifting.
“Let’s make a list of all the people your father used to have over, and any other names you can remember him mentioning.” Greg held his hands to his temples, looking completely overwhelmed. “Okay, alright, let’s just start with the visitors. Maybe later we’ll get the Pensieve out, it might help. Good?”
Greg nodded and began to haltingly recite the names of guests to the Goyle residence. It was slow going, but they got some new leads. Draco felt it was promising. He made mental plans to do some reconnaissance of his own tomorrow, to identify more potential clients.
He would need to make sure he didn’t end up on Potter’s beat while engaging in it, though—his recent attempts to draw Potter’s attention would lead to bad places if he wasn’t extremely careful. Not for the first time, he regretted his impish impulse to needle Potter about his Monitor reading. But seriously, who could have resisted that temptation? Certainly not Draco.
Harry wrestled himself out of his absurdly tight-fitting Auror uniform and dumped it on a chair as he made his way to the kitchen. Grabbing a cold beer, he wandlessly popped the top and sat himself in the middle of his enormous, ancient leather sofa. He’d gotten rid of most of the furniture that had been here when the Order occupied it and replaced it with a mix of modern and used Muggle furniture. It softened the lines of the architecture, made it more approachable. It also erased some of the bad memories and he thought Sirius would probably like it better like this. Unpretentious. Comfortable.
He fished his wand out of his pocket and uncovered the Portrait Player with a flick. The woman, painted in greyscale in a minimalist style, began reciting the day’s news in a pleasant, low monotone.
Glancing over at his robes tossed carelessly over the chair, he had a moment’s unease. Malfoy had been so familiar with him outside the Leaky today; it was unsettling. Since when had their dynamic been anything like what had happened between them this afternoon? Malfoy—slinky, shiny Malfoy with the pureblood pretensions and the perfectly fitted robes— had all but asked him out for a drink!
Harry felt further unease when he recalled the fleeting desire to say yes and his body’s response to Malfoy’s presence.
He took a swig of his beer and hopped up to make a Floo call. He hadn’t seen Ginny in a few days—maybe she’d like to get some dinner? He cast Tempus and realized it was ten o’clock. Too late for that, then.
The sound of the Portrait Player reached his ears. There was breaking news about a ring of Dark Wizards that had caused mayhem in the wizarding district of Holyhead, Wales. An explosion connected to a dark magic spell, or possible artifact, had killed three witches and a wizard.
Harry put down his beer. He needed to be sober; he would potentially get called in for this—to relieve senior Aurors from desk duty if nothing else. His ears pricked up when he heard the Malfoy name. He motioned with his wand to turn up the volume.
Draco Malfoy has been taken in for questioning in connection with the events of this evening. He cooperated with the arresting Aurors and is currently in custody, where he will be interviewed and held until further notice, as the explosion seems to have been caused by an artifact known to have been most recently in the possession of Lucius Malfoy.
Harry tuned out further comments made by members of the public on the likely guilt of Draco Malfoy. His whole focus was on the fact that Malfoy had gotten hauled in and someone would have to interrogate him. Somewhere in the bowels of the Ministry, there was a senior Auror picking out names and assigning that duty to some unlucky soul. Harry prayed, with an inward wince, that it wouldn’t be him.
Then he relaxed, because of course it wouldn’t be him. He was just a trainee and this was an incident with four wizarding fatalities. This was a very big deal. Suddenly it struck him just how much trouble Malfoy might be in, and he realized he had another reason to be grateful it wouldn’t be him in the interrogation room. Harry didn’t want Malfoy to be guilty, or involved in this in any way.
It had nothing to do with the strange thoughts he’d been having about him lately, he told himself firmly. Those meant nothing, no matter what Malfoy’s insinuating smile seemed to infer. This was just concern for someone he’d known for so many years, someone who had made some bad choices but wasn’t necessarily a bad person. Was kind of… nice, really. Well, ‘nice’ wasn’t the right word, obviously. But whatever the word was for Malfoy, Harry shouldn’t get involved if he was inclined to exonerate him without knowing the facts. It reeked of a conflict of interest.
Although- it did seem suspicious that out of the blue, Malfoy was cozying up to him, trying to befriend him (his mind stopped short at ‘flirting’) when hardly a civil word had ever passed between them, and not a few hours later he was in Auror custody under investigation for a very serious crime.
Harry shook his head and drew the curtain over the portrait. His bed awaited him and he was abruptly exhausted. If the DMLE needed him, they’d owl. He still woke easily; habits gained in wartime were hard to break.
As he lay in bed, he tried not to think about the dream he’d had the previous night, that’d had him waking up to a wet spot in his bed and images of pale skin and long limbs in his head. He reminded himself that Ginny had pale skin (there had been no freckles, though) and long limbs (but not so muscular). It would be fine. Surely his brain was just overworked. It was just a one-off, crazy dream. No point getting worked up over it.
The next morning came all too soon for Harry’s unrested body and mind. His fears of unsettling dreams had proved accurate; he had slept, woken and wanked—and slept and woken again, hand drifting over his cock and letting his mind’s eye slide over the images, choosing not to recognize the object of the fantasies. He rose from his bed, erection bobbing in front of him, but he had no time or urge to sate it right then.
An owl pecked at the window. He let it in and fed it a treat, then unrolled the brief scroll. Robards wanted him in post haste. He threw on some underclothes then headed downstairs to don the uniform and gulp down some instant coffee. With a handful of glittering powder thrown in the grate and a few muttered syllables, he was off to the DMLE headquarters deep in the lower halls of the Ministry, trying not to think about who had spent the previous night locked up there.
Harry got to his cubicle and looked around for Corner, his trainee partner, but he wasn’t in yet. He didn’t see any memos on his desk so he headed over to Robards' office, curious to see if any tidbits about Malfoy’s detention might be on offer. Robards was deep in discussion with Hestia Jones, and Harry heard the words “started at four this morning, but he’s holding fast. Those Malfoys are bred for this.”
Shit. It sounded like they were really working him over. Harry made a wry face at the uneasy feeling in his stomach—his “saving people” thing was going to need to take a backseat to solving crimes if he was going to be a decent Auror. Nevertheless, when he passed by the interrogation room on the way to get coffee while waiting for Robards’ meeting to finish, he didn’t try too hard to stop himself looking in through the small one-way window.
Harry couldn’t hear anything happening in the room and he didn’t have clearance to cast the spell that would allow him to, but he could see Draco sitting in a chair opposite Anderson and Prasad, the large battered table in between them covered with photos and documents.
Draco was sitting on the edge of his seat, hands cuffed behind him, slumped against the edge of the table. He looked mulish, like he was just barely containing his outrage. One of the senior Aurors stepped forward and got in his face. He flinched slightly but came right back at him, spitting what was clearly a long string of defiant profanity.
Then he seemed to collapse in on himself, muttering something that got Prasad’s attention. Prasad walked around Malfoy, appearing to taunt him with something, and Malfoy shivered and tried to compose himself. Prasad caught Anderson’s eye and they nodded curtly to each other. Then, as one, they turned for the door and were striding into the hallway before Harry could think to retreat. It wasn’t necessarily the done thing to peep in on an interrogation unless you had a very good reason.
Prasad, however, looked pleased as punch to see him. “Potter, my man! Just the fellow! Come with us, we’ve got a job for you,” she said, taking him by the arm to the coffee room and shutting the door. Harry was bewildered at the sudden turn of events—why had they left Malfoy? What did this have to do with him?
Anderson held out a chair for Harry and Prasad pushed him into it.
“We’ve got an interesting development in the Holyhead explosion case, Potter. You know we’ve got Malfoy in the interrogation room.”
Harry nodded mutely.
“Well, it turns out that he was especially keen not to face you under Veritaserum. We’ve got evidence that he’s been trained to resist the effects of the potion and we haven’t been able to get anything good out of him so far. You must know that with a case like this, the faster it’s resolved, the better for everyone—the public, the Ministry, the Auror Department. Surely you’d like to do your part?”
“Yeah, I mean...yes, of course, but what’s...my part?” Harry asked haltingly, trepidation rising within him.
“Well, we’ve got Malfoy on the ropes. He’s sweating and he’s let a few things slip. One of those things was that he was glad it wasn’t you in the interrogation room with him.” Prasad smirked at Anderson, who gave her a high five. “So, we know you’re still a trainee—”
“Hold up,” said Anderson. “I’m going to run up to Robards' office, make sure this is okay.”
“Brilliant, I’ll just give Harry the lowdown on the case.” Prasad closed the door after Anderson. Harry couldn’t stop feeling tremors in his stomach. The older woman started giving him some details on yesterday’s events and Harry tried to follow, but most of him was occupied in giving himself a stern pep talk.
If Robards agreed, he would be doing his first interrogation. With Draco Malfoy. Their chequered history aside, this was exactly what he’d feared last night. Never mind—Harry was determined to put aside his feelings and focus on the job at hand. He couldn’t let a suspect get into his head the way Malfoy had, intentionally or not. He would do a good job. He would get some information out of Malfoy. Hopefully it would show that—no. He couldn’t afford any hopes about Malfoy’s innocence. He just needed to get the truth, and how he felt about that did not matter.
Anderson returned, clapped him on the back and said, “Looks like you’re good to go, Potter! Robards signed off on the protocol breach, said it was worth the risk.”
Prasad gave him an approving smile. “You’ll do great, Potter. You know him better than practically anyone. I’m sure you’ll get the goods.”
They escorted Harry back to the interrogation cell and opened the door for him. He adjusted his robes, ran his hand through his hair, took a deep breath and marched in.
The sight of Malfoy’s head bowed in defeat affected him in unpleasant ways. Harry heard the door shut behind him and steeled himself. He would not fuck this up. He cleared his throat, immediately kicking himself for the sign of weakness.
Malfoy’s head slowly lifted up, and the look on his face took Harry’s breath away. It was a feral, satisfied look—the look of a hunter sighting its prey. It flickered and disappeared, so quickly Harry was suddenly sure he’d imagined it.
Malfoy straightened in his chair, shifting his arms against the restraints and grimacing. Harry didn’t like seeing him chained up; it was too disconcerting. He waved his wand and the handcuffs fell away. Malfoy looked at Harry in surprise, then a fleeting smile formed on his thin lips. He rubbed his wrists and murmured “thank you” so softly Harry almost missed it.
“Malfoy. Seems like you weren’t staying as far out of trouble as you said,” Harry said, stalking around him while he tried to work himself up into some kind of tough demeanor. Malfoy probably wouldn’t buy that, though—not with Harry going soft immediately by uncuffing him.
He took the seat opposite Malfoy and stared into his eyes, trying to buy some time to think of a good tack to take. Malfoy stared right back, an unreadable expression on his face. He looked rough, circles under his eyes and his normally sleek hair disordered. He was wearing a green shirt that appeared to have been not so much donned as poured over his body like paint. Silk, with small shiny buttons. As Harry watched, his hand drifted up to the button near his clavicle and began to play with it. Malfoy was seemingly unaware of what he was doing as he recaptured Harry’s gaze.
“So, now’s your chance to ask me all the questions you’ve ever wanted to ask, Potter,” Malfoy drawled. He leaned back in his chair, the silk garment tracing every line of his torso. The top few buttons were undone and Harry had a clear view of his collarbone, a graceful bowed arc.
Harry frowned. He wasn’t going to take the bait this time. Malfoy was crazy if he thought he was going to distract Harry with his insinuations and his … flirting. It hit Harry like a bucket of cold water—Malfoy was flirting with him! Openly, and with no apparent fear of rejection. And he was still at it.
He unbuttoned the tiny button and his hand moved to the next one. Harry stared, transfixed by his sudden revelation and by the hypnotic motions of Malfoy’s hand—buttoning and unbuttoning, over and over. He caught just the barest peek of pale skin each time the button slid through the hole.
“Where did the artifact come from, Malfoy?” Harry barked with no preamble.
“It belonged to my father, Potter,” Malfoy said through clenched teeth, as though it was being dragged from him. Harry wasn’t buying the act. Everyone knew it had come from Malfoy Manor—there were several Pensieve memories placing it there. Malfoy was only playacting that he didn’t want to let that information slip.
“How did it get into the hands of the terrorists?”
“I can’t tell you that, Potter.”
“Can’t tell me because you don’t want to or because you don’t know?”
“Some kind of curse?”
“Something like that.” Malfoy’s mouth strained to get the words out and Harry knew he wasn’t faking the resistance now.
“Did you have anything to do with the artifact leaving Malfoy Manor?” Harry asked, wondering if the question was too vague. Damn it, he hadn’t been trained in this! Malfoy was going to run rings around him.
“No, I didn’t.” Malfoy appeared more composed now, his hands returning to their former occupation. He regarded Harry through lowered lids, adjusting himself into a sultry slouch in the rigid chair. His hand drifted towards his waist and thumbed one of the lower buttons on the shirt, as if shining it.
“Did you have anything to do with the incident? The explosion?” Harry wished he knew how to phrase these things more precisely. He was starting to sweat and Malfoy’s fidgeting hands weren’t helping him focus.
“No, I didn’t.”
“Then where were you? I know you were near the Leaky at around four,” Harry said, feeling his cheeks heat. “Where did you go after that?”
“Home? In London? Your flat?”
“Yes,” Malfoy said, making an attempt to seem calm. But Harry could see that there was something he wasn’t saying.
“Was anyone with you?”
Malfoy grimaced. “What does that matter?” He was clearly stalling, and resisting the serum was painful.
“Dammit, Malfoy, I’m trying to help you! You’d better take this seriously—you’re under suspicion for a very serious crime. If you don’t want to take the fall, you’d better give me some information or provide an alibi. If there was someone with you, that gives you an alibi!”
“I’m aware of that, Potter,” Malfoy said, fingers playing with another damn button. The way he was tugging on the button caused the silk of the shirt to tighten against his shoulders, throwing into sharp relief the shape of his muscles underneath. Suddenly the button gave way and the shirt parted, showing smooth pale skin and the upper curve of a pectoral. Harry lost it. He stood up and leaned over the table, grabbing Malfoy’s wrists and forcing them away from the fucking shirt, pinning them to the scarred wood of the table.
“Would you just stop that!” Harry yelled.
Their eyes met for a long, electric moment. Harry’s glare turned into a searching look as he scanned Draco’s eyes for a sign of what he might be thinking. He could see faint beads of sweat forming at his hairline, darkening the hair there. At this distance, he could smell Draco’s particular scent, musky and potent.
Draco licked his lips and smiled a slow, secret smile that got right inside Harry’s head. He shuddered and pulled away from Draco, thrusting his hands into his hair so that he didn’t throttle the smirking man opposite him. Or do something even worse, something that flickered in his mind like fire, hot and dangerous.
“I’m done with this shit. You want to tease and … and flirt and ...play with your fucking buttons, fine! That’s on you! Good fucking luck, Malfoy!” he shouted, then turned tail and ran.
Harry fumed in the hallway. He stalked back to his desk and waited to be summoned to a debrief of the so-called interrogation. Chances were that he wouldn’t be in actual trouble for failing to pin down Malfoy. He was just a trainee and his cohort hadn’t gotten any training in interrogation techniques. It was humiliating nevertheless. It felt like a very personal failure—he’d always bested Malfoy in everything. This should have been no problem.
Which made him think. Huh. Why had it been such a problem? He hadn’t given all that much thought to Malfoy since the war ended until he’d seen him going into Borgin and Burkes’ and flashed on to sixth year. And then Malfoy had come out of the shop and looked so different— taller, more poised, sleek and confident. His demeanor had changed, too. He was friendly, and Harry now realized, flirty. Which was just bizarre.
It all clicked into place. Malfoy had cast a spell on him, some sort of enchantment that made him attractive to Harry. It was obvious in retrospect and explained everything—why he seemed so different, why Harry’s suspicions had been so easily allayed. All the strange thoughts and dreams he’d been having, like someone had put their fingerprints all over his subconscious. Harry’s face blazed just thinking about it.
It all made so much sense—even though Harry hadn’t acted on his weird urges, Malfoy had known. He had known and he had deliberately exploited it.
Harry peered over the top of his cubicle to see whether Robards or Jones were coming for him. Their office doors were shut and it seemed like his debriefing wouldn’t happen for some time. He headed down to the infirmary to get checked for spells. It had to be a spell.
It wasn’t a spell.
Harry had had the nurse check him three times, had hauled down the arcane books that sat dusty on the cramped office shelves and gone through them himself to make sure that the nurse hadn’t missed anything. While he pored over the tomes, the nurse shook his head and went back to charting. Predictably, research not being his forte, Harry didn’t find anything.
So he went to St. Mungo’s. Where he was told that he was perfectly healthy, quite a fit young specimen really, it would be no surprise if someone were to cast some kind of attraction enchantment on him but actually he was all clear and needn’t worry himself, now get back out there and keep us safe, lad!
Back in his cubicle, Harry brooded. Without the explanation of a spell, this was just bewildering. Upsetting. He squirmed internally and externally, shifting in his chair and unable to get comfortable. He wondered what had happened to Draco—Malfoy—since he left him. Were Anderson and Prasad back at it? Or had they brought other Aurors on? Maybe, without any substantial information having been extracted, they’d had to release him. Harry forced himself to stop thinking about it.
If it wasn’t a spell, it had to be something else. He combed through his memories of Malfoy in the last few weeks. The first time he’d seen him, hadn’t he had something in his pocket? Something he glanced at and hid away. Like a pocket watch. What if it wasn’t a watch? What if it were some kind of nefarious lust-creation device? If such a thing existed, he’d be willing to bet Malfoy knew about it.
Suddenly the interrogation debrief didn’t seem important in the least. He had to track Malfoy down and get that thing away from him. A sense of relief washed over him.
The debrief had been humiliating, but not excessively so. Harry could tell the senior Aurors were disappointed, but it didn’t seem to be directed at him, just general disappointment that Malfoy had been able to hold out against questioning so well. Nevertheless, he assumed that he was back on the trainee beat and didn’t expect to get called into Robards’ office to discuss the case.
“The Malfoy interrogation was a bust—not your fault, Potter, don’t get that hangdog look—but all is not lost. We have other leads in the Holyhead case. Nothing you need to concern yourself with. However, I’d like to ask if you’d be comfortable doing a bit of sleuthing.” Robards regarded Harry with a baleful eye and a twist to his grizzled mouth.
Harry unconsciously straightened in his chair. “Of course, I—I’m actually quite good at that.”
“I want you to tail Malfoy a bit.” He stopped and misread Harry’s expression. “Now, this isn’t a stake-out, mind. We don’t need you to stay on top of him—” Robards paused to tidy a pile of memos on his desk, and Harry couldn’t stop the blush that followed this unfortunate choice of words.
“Just make sure you keep tabs on him. Note his whereabouts, his companions. He’s not a suspect per se, but we do want to know what he’s up to.”
“Is that...legal, sir? If he’s not a suspect?” Harry swallowed as he saw Robards’ face darken.
“Trainee Potter, leave the niceties of legality to your superiors. This is an important case. Wizards and witches died. And there is nothing illegal about keeping tabs on people who might have information about the case, even if they are not technically suspects.”
Harry nodded. It made sense. And he truly did want to follow Malfoy. He needed to get that device from him as soon as possible. It was a bit convenient, really.
The first step in trailing Malfoy was getting his address. Simple enough, he just went and retrieved the file from Prasad’s desk. Malfoy lived in a small flat in Knightsbridge, near a club that Harry had been to before. It was close to dinnertime; he wondered if Malfoy ate in or preferred to go out. Harry made his way to the Auror HQ Apparition spot and with a crack, Apparated to an alley just behind the club. Taking a look for any Muggles who might have seen, he made his way to Malfoy’s street.
Once he was in front of the building, Harry realized he hadn’t been trained in Auror techniques for surveillance either. He wanted to kick himself for representing to Robards that he was good at it—he had instincts, sure, but he had no way to know whether following his instincts would violate Auror protocol. Fuck it, he thought. They put him in this situation, unprepared again. He was going to do it the way he saw fit. Backtracking to the alleyway, he Apparated to his house, Accio’d his Invisibility Cloak and Disapparated back, barely missing a rat as it hid itself between the brick wall and a bin.
He put the Cloak on and walked back to Malfoy’s building. Looking up at the second floor windows to see which ones were lit, he decided it was more likely that number 203 was the lit set of windows on the right side of the building. Since he was invisible, a simple self-directed Wingardium Leviosa was all that was required to check whether his hunch was right. He Levitated himself to the corner window where a curtain was only partially pulled across the opening and peered in.
The glimpse of pale blond hair and the lithe frame of a well-dressed man confirmed his suspicion. Malfoy was setting a table for two and from the looks of it, it was going to be a very intimate dinner with whoever the guest turned out to be. There were long tapers lit in elegant silver holders, the light of the chandelier dimmed to a golden glow, and a bottle of sparkling wine chilling on ice. Harry swallowed. He wasn’t completely sure he wanted to surveil this moment, but he’d been assigned a task and he would do it.
Malfoy moved away from the table, having set out some intricately folded cloth napkins, and made his way to what appeared to be the kitchen, though Harry’s line of sight didn’t extend that far. He tried not to notice the slim line of Malfoy’s close-cut trousers. The memory of his reaction to that green shirt was still burning holes in his mind, he didn’t need to add another item to the mental inventory of clothing he wanted to peel off Malfoy’s body. Harry clamped down on that train of thought. He was thrilled to have a nefarious dark artifact to blame it on—he might be a little bisexual but it was nothing he had to act on, or that anyone had to know about. Least of all Ginny. Or Ron.
From Harry’s vantage point, he could just barely hear a doorbell ring. He almost fell out of the air when he saw Malfoy open the door to Luna, dressed in a lovely if slightly lopsided dress, covered in violets and … was that rutabagas? Hard to tell at this distance.
Harry’s mind buzzed with confusion. He really needed to know more about what Luna was doing at Malfoy’s house. Were they dating? The notion turned Harry’s stomach and he told himself it was because he’d always thought Luna was very nice and quite fit, and he was probably just feeling protective of her because Merlin, she could do better than Draco Malfoy of all people. He had to get closer, had to find a way to get inside.
Malfoy led Luna into another room of the apartment, and Harry took the opportunity to do a quick sweep for wards. He found that the place was warded only with the Ministry-approved wards that ex-convicts were limited to, the ones that Aurors knew how to breach easily. Righteous indignation rose in him. Malfoy had never been convicted of a crime; there was no cause for him to have to allow the Ministry into his home whenever they chose.
At the moment, though, Harry didn’t have time to spare for righteous indignation. He dropped the wards, silenced the area around the window, then jiggled the window frame. It was stuck, but Alohomora solved that. He raised it and was inside with the window shut again before Luna and Malfoy had returned. He stationed himself near the other window, which allowed him to stand about three feet away from the table, in between the two place settings. He would be able to see both faces while they conversed. Over their romantic dinner. Harry wordlessly cast a Muffliato as his stomach gave a slight churn.
Malfoy preceded Luna back into the room, and now that Harry was inside, he could smell everything: the food, the scent of warm human bodies in the room, and the distinct aroma of someone’s living space. Malfoy’s place smelled good.
Luna was continuing their conversation from the kitchen about one of the dishes, and Malfoy smiled and nodded, then held her chair out for her as she sat down.
“It’s almost ready, I just wanted to pour out some wine and toast your presence here,” Malfoy said in a soft voice as he poured the gently fizzing wine into Luna’s glass. He was stretched across the table, the lines of his body strong underneath his formal clothes. Harry felt too warm under the cloak and wished he could wipe the sweat forming along his hairline but he didn’t trust the Muffliato to completely cover all sound. Malfoy poured his own wine and sat, raising his glass.
“To us,” Malfoy said. Luna’s eyes sparkled at him and they both took sips of their wine, gazes meeting over their glasses. Harry was mortified—he couldn’t believe that he had intruded on this moment that had turned out to be exactly what he’d feared.
“Draco, I think I smell something burning…. Unless that’s a Firecrab?”
“Oh, damn! It’s the flambé—I put it under a stasis spell but it must have worn off. I’ll be right back.”
Luna sat and sipped her wine, cradling the glass in both hands, large eyes roving over the whole room. They seemed to catch on the space of wall that Harry occupied and he had to forcibly remind himself that she couldn’t possibly see him.
Malfoy returned with a large tray of dishes that he set on the table and then began serving to Luna. Harry had to admit that he was grudgingly impressed—not only with the fact that Malfoy had apparently produced an array of homemade food of very high quality, when he would have bet anything Malfoy would have relied exclusively on house-elf labor. But to see him acting as a host, serving food to a girl that many people- many of his friends, in fact- refused to take seriously or treat kindly; it clashed with Harry’s mental image of him.
“Thank you, Draco,” Luna said with a gentle smile. “It all looks delightful. I’m so glad you’ve served a course of cheeses, may I take some of the elf-made pixie cheese with me to feed to my Snufflar? She’s been so down in the mouth lately and rooting through pixie cheese really brings her spirits up.”
Malfoy grimaced slightly, then smiled and said, “Of course, it wouldn’t do to have a depressed Snufflar moping around your cottage. How have you been, Luna?”
“I’ve been very well, Draco, but you must know I am a bit worried about you.”
“Oh?” Malfoy looked discomfited.
“I only mean to say that I thought we had become friends during my time at the Manor. But after the war you seemed to retreat. We haven’t spoken in quite a while. I was just wondering why.”
Malfoy nodded, looking solemn. “Luna, there’s something I need to say to you,” he said, and something released in Harry. This wasn’t a romantic tête-à-tête, this was an apology.
“I was very bitter after my father was sentenced, Luna. I wasn’t fit company for… for anyone, really. But that’s no excuse. I haven’t been a very good friend to you, for not explaining why I wasn’t seeking your company. You must know—” he broke off, looking surprisingly emotional. “You must know how much our talks meant to me, back then. I do consider you my friend. I’m sorry to have treated you with such—” he broke off and Luna reached across the table to cover his hand, radiating kindness and compassion.
Harry was aghast, he couldn’t believe that Malfoy could be so vulnerable. Scratch that, he wouldn’t believe it. Something was up, Malfoy had to have some kind of plot or angle here. He only hoped that Malfoy wasn’t planning on manipulating his way into a pity fuck. His blood pressure rose at the thought. Meanwhile, Luna had started murmuring soothing words.
“—you don’t have to worry, Draco. Trauma affects people differently. For instance, after the war I started imagining that I could see all kinds of creatures that don’t exist, can you believe that?”
Malfoy laughed softly and shook his head.
“I’m usually quite perceptive but I was actually hallucinating things that have never been recorded by Wizarding naturalists. It was so unlike me! So I understand that that time must have been very hard for you. I’m happy that we ran into each other the other night. By the way, Harry says hello.”
Harry started under the cloak. He said hello, did he? Oh yes, he remembered now. Luna had told him at the bar that Malfoy said hello, but he had looked around and hadn’t seen Malfoy anywhere. He’d been so busy scanning the bar for him that he hadn’t really thought about replying, “Yeah, tell him I said hello too.” It was just kind of automatic.
Malfoy smirked down at his plate. The arrogant git. Harry would wipe that smirk right off his face. The two of them ate for a while, trading opinions and observations about the flavors of the dishes. Nothing about their words or demeanor suggested any kind of looming erotic encounter, but Harry felt a vague unease ramp up. He couldn’t stop noticing things about Malfoy—the smooth column of his neck, the way his shirt collar was open to the collarbone, the way the muscles of his forearms worked as he cut into his meat, the way his eyes shone when he said something that made Luna laugh.
Harry forced himself to look at Luna and notice things about her, too. She was so blonde. Her neck was nice, too. Her lips were pinker than Malfoy’s, plumper as well. Her eyes were bluer, but not so glittering. Her forearms just looked like arms, they didn’t have the same definition—Damn it, he was supposed to be appreciating the differences, not lamenting them! That tore it. Harry had to get that damn device off of Malfoy post haste. This was torture, plain and simple.
“I’m sorry I wasn’t able to make good on my offer of a meal last Thursday,” Malfoy said. “But I assume you heard why.”
Luna looked indignant on his behalf,or as indignant as someone as ethereal as Luna could look. “I think it’s terrible that they are treating you that way based on your family name. You couldn’t have had anything to do with that awful attack.”
Harry tried not think that Malfoy looked shifty at that comment but he couldn’t help it. “It was—it was fine. Potter did some of the questioning and he went easy on me. You know how he is.”
“Yes, of course. He must know you weren’t involved. Once he’s been made Head Auror, you won’t have to worry about that kind of treatment anymore.”
Harry deeply wished on a number of levels that he didn’t have to be overhearing any of this.
“So, I heard that you ran into Greg the other day,” Malfoy said with a knowing look.
“Oh! Yes, we did see each other at Eeylops, I was thinking about getting an owl of my own.” Luna was blushing! Harry couldn’t believe his eyes. Greg Goyle had Luna blushing? He guessed opposites really did attract.
“He told you how he’s been making amends to the people that he’d...” Malfoy broke off awkwardly.
“Well, no, he’s not one to toot his own horn but I’d heard that from Hannah and Susan. His aura is much calmer now, and it seems like he’s found his calling, working with the owls.” Luna looked even dreamier than normal, it was just strange.
Harry was getting very tired of standing so still and being so quiet, even though in all probability he could have sat down and made muttering comments and no one would have been the wiser. What Auror training he’d had had given him an abundance of caution. Soon enough, though, Luna was making her farewells, thanking Malfoy for his hospitality and inviting him to come out for drinks on Saturday night. “Harry will be there,” she said with a peculiar inflection.
Surely it was Harry’s imagination that Malfoy colored when she said that. Although, given that Harry had just interrogated him, perhaps that made a certain amount of sense. He wouldn’t want to be anywhere near him now. Harry smirked to himself. Just try and get away from me, Malfoy. I’m onto you.
After Luna left, Malfoy waved his wand at the table and all the dishes rose into the air and began a floating parade into the kitchen. Malfoy followed them in and Harry let out a long breath. He opened the window and crawled outside, then shut it carefully behind himself and Disapparated from the windowsill.
Selling the artifacts was challenging, and the Monitor only made it more so. It turned out that collectors with intentions that didn’t lean towards world domination were rarer than Draco had naively assumed. He had just left another mansion, having had to cast a very delicately-balanced Obliviate on an elderly witch whose Overarching Motivation had pointed to Malicious Revenge. He himself could sympathize with a desire for revenge, but since he didn’t know if it was a personal vendetta or more widely-aimed, he couldn’t take the chance.
Back at his flat, Draco made himself some tea and pushed the thought of his faltering business venture away. He thought instead of his dinner with Luna. It had gone much better than he’d anticipated and he felt a warm glow of satisfaction. Luna didn’t expect him to entirely recant his entire upbringing in order to make amends; she had the kind of outlook on life that allowed for a little complexity.
Unlike a certain nosy Auror-in-training he could think of. His attraction to Potter was a nuisance that he needed to rid himself of. Even if Potter ever gave in to his “motive relative to bearer,” he would never actually like Draco or want anything more than a furtive shag. He tossed his head in annoyance with himself. These thoughts were exactly the problem. Draco knew he had always carried a small torch—a match, really—for Potter. The man was fit as hell, and Draco was neither blind nor a saint. It was manageable—enjoyable, even. Good for an occasional wank, nothing more.
But the interrogation of the previous week had done a number on Draco’s imagination. He groaned as he realized his cock had gotten hard again, just with the most casual mental reference to the scene at the Ministry. Briefly he considered drowning his libido with alcohol, but no. No, he would just have to work this out of his system. He would give in to it. That’s how he’d dealt with his unfortunate obsession with Professor Snape in seventh year and that’s how he would handle this.
He stretched himself out on the long sofa in his sitting room and let his hands drift up and down his torso, sensitizing his nipples and groin. With a huff, he reached for his wand and banished his clothes to a crumpled pile in the corner, too eager to bother with precision. Eyes closed, he mentally cast himself back in the hard chair of the interrogation room, let himself see Potter walk in, all righteous determination.
Everything played out as it had before. Draco had been so proud of his performance, first in soliciting Potter’s presence by feigning fear of him, and then in getting Potter so thoroughly distracted and upset. He smiled to himself, finally taking his cock in hand at the memory of Potter’s stunned face at the moment he’d pinned Draco’s wrists to the table.
Draco had felt, physically felt, Potter’s urge to drag him over the table. In his mind, he made Potter do it.
Potter yanks hard on his wrists, pulling him up out of the chair and bending him across the table. “I’m going to teach you a lesson, Malfoy. You’re going to take this seriously.”
Draco looks at him from under his lashes, probing the corner of his mouth with his tongue. “I’m taking this very seriously, Potter,” he says, raking Potter with an insolent gaze.
“If you can’t leave those buttons alone, I’m going to take that shirt off of you,” Potter snarls, his eyes dark with threat.
“By all means. I’ll do it myself if you release my hands,” Draco says in a low, taunting voice.
“Fuck you. I’ll do it.” Harry lets go of Draco’s hands and prowls around the table, coming right up behind him and reaching around to undo the buttons. Draco straightens up and leans back against him, giving his hands more access, pressing his arse to Potter’s groin. Potter inhales sharply but keeps unbuttoning the shirt, hands shaking.
Draco watches his hands as they reach the point where the shirt is tucked into the tight trousers he’s wearing. Potter is hesitating, wrestling with the need to pull the shirt out so he can unbutton it the rest of the way. Draco grabs his hands and puts them on his waist, saying, “Go ahead and pull it out, Potter. I know you want to.” Potter growls and pushes his fingers into the top of the trousers and then completely loses the plot.
Instead of unbuttoning any more buttons and removing the shirt, one of Potter’s hands slides further down into Draco’s trousers, urged by Draco’s fingers and undulating motion against him. His other hand reverses course to slide roughly over Draco’s now mostly-bare chest, stroking urgently. Potter’s face is buried in his neck, hot breath on his ear; Draco can hear how lost he is to the world and it makes his cock twitch hard in his pants.
By this point, Potter’s fingers have squirmed all the way into his trousers and found the tip of Draco’s cock. They press against the head, starting to push and squeeze, finding the size and shape of him. Draco undoes the fastenings on his trousers and suddenly Potter’s hand has a lot more room to maneuver, which he takes advantage of. His hand grasps the full length of Draco’s cock through his pants and his hips buck against Draco’s arse, hard and involuntary.
Draco groans, in the fantasy and in reality, and reaches up behind him to slide one hand around the back of Harry’s neck, playing with his hair and holding him in place. The other hand pushes his pants down around his thighs and he leans across the table, inviting Harry to follow him.
Something breaks in Potter then—he grunts as he pulls his hands back to deal with his own trousers and pants in a split second, then pulls the shirt off Draco with one swift motion, the remaining buttons pinging onto the floor and rolling away. His hands return to Draco’s body, roaming over his back and shoulders, grabbing at his waist, his hips. He’s practically panting, he sounds like an angry animal. Draco has never been harder in his life.
He leans further over until his chest is flush with the hard surface of the table, arms stretched out in front of him and arse thrust out in an unmistakable posture - not of submission, but of demand. He looks over his shoulder to see Harry staring fixedly at his arse, putting his hands on it and squeezing, pushing, pulling it apart. He looks like he’s about to eat Draco alive.
“You going to do something or you just going to stare?” he says with a challenging smirk.
“Fuck, I’m going to-” Potter waves his hand and Draco’s arse tingles from a cleaning spell. He himself murmurs Lubricus and watches Potter’s eyes widen as a trickle of wetness slides out of his hole. He licks his lips and strokes his cock up and down, then meets Draco’s eyes as he lines up. “I’m not just going to stare, Malfoy,” he growls.
Imagining the press and slide of Potter’s cock into his arse was enough to bring Draco to completion, two fingers up his hole and his cock jetting come all over the silk upholstry. Draco thunked his head back on the cushion and groaned. He was still hard, even after all that-- fuck, he was going to have to wank twice in a row. Working Potter out of his system was not going to be a quick thing, evidently.
This time he would fantasize about taking Potter over the table.
“Draco?” Greg’s voice boomed from the Floo. “You there?”
Draco knelt down by the grate and said “Come on in, Greg. You know you don’t have to ask.” He stood and stepped back to allow Greg ample room to enter. He always stumbled in and nearly knocked over the furniture; Draco didn’t want to get in his way.
Greg came through in the usual fashion, lumbering and coughing in a cloud of ash and soot. “I should charge money for cleaning people’s Floos,” he muttered, and Draco chuckled.
“It’d be a good side gig. What’s going on?”
Greg sat heavily on the sofa and sighed. “I have this thing I think I could get good money for but I can’t find the right buyer. I’m afraid—I think it’s powerful and I don’t want—you think I could borrow the Monitor? Or maybe you could sell it for me? I’d go halves with you.”
Draco covered his face with his hand. “Look, I can’t let the Monitor out of my sight. We talked about this. We agreed that my father had far more dangerous items and Greg, you know I— you’re my friend but you lose things. We can’t lose this.”
Greg looked at him with the puppy dog eyes of a very large and dangerous puppy. Draco was unmoved. “Look, I’ll help you find a buyer. We’ll go down the list and make some calls.”
“Okay. I was thinking...there’s this one guy Montefiore, he’s loaded and my list says he was invited to my dad’s place a couple of times.”
“Shit. I didn’t tell you. We can’t go to Montefiore. I went to him with an enchanted quill that makes the bearer write pornography instead of whatever they planned to write, it’s really ingenious. But the Monitor told me his motivation was Total Domination. The enchantment wasn’t even particularly dark magic, but I didn’t trust what he might do with it. And then, when I changed my mind about selling it, he got scary. I mean, that man has some real problems, Greg. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it out alive. He made me do an Incorruptible Vow not to tell the Ministry that he tried to buy something from me. Montefiore’s out.”
“I wish we didn’t have to do this,” Greg muttered. “I don’t like handling that stuff. Makes me feel… bad.” Greg looked off in the corner. He was really struggling with his role in the war, trying to make amends, trying to do better. It would never be enough for the Wizarding world; they would never fully accept him no matter how sincere his apologies were. Draco admired him for trying even as he thought Greg was merely too dumb to realize the futility of it.
“Hey. None of that. We didn’t make these artifacts. For that matter, we didn’t sign on for the Dark Lord’s service; we had no choice. Greg, you have got to stop taking on the world’s opinion of you. It’s shite.”
“I know it’s shite!” Greg bellowed. “I’m shite! I can’t do anything right!”
“That’s not what I meant, settle down. I meant, their opinion is just shite. They don’t know you. They don’t know what you went through. I’m not even talking about the war. They just don’t know, okay? You have things to be ashamed of, so what. We all do. You’re doing your best.”
He looked over to see a betraying wetness about Greg’s eyes, so he averted his gaze and tried to take a lighter tone.
“Look, I’ve got some ideas. I think we should look outside of Britain for buyers. The community is too small here, and everyone is either tainted by the Dark Lord or too pure to consider our goods.”
Greg nodded. “That’s a good idea, Draco. You got connections in France, right?”
“Yes, in France and in Switzerland. We’ll be okay.” Draco got up and poured Greg a drink; whiskey with ginger syrup and soda. Greg took it gratefully and downed it in one gulp.
“So, tell me more about seeing Luna at Eeylops?”
“Yeah, uh, she came in. To look for a, you know,” Greg trailed off, blushing all down his neck.
“An owl?” Draco prompted, enjoying the innocence of this reaction and how it completely changed his friend’s demeanor. “You feel like coming out for drinks on Saturday?”
Greg shook his head.
Draco said, “Luna might be there.”
“Yeah, but she’ll be with all her friends. I don’t belong there.” Greg’s face fell again.
Draco decided to drop it. There had to be a way to arrange for the two of them to run into each other again, he just needed to be patient.
Harry sat next to Ron at the Golden Erumpent, wondering where Luna was and whether Malfoy would show his face if she didn’t come. He tried to sip his beer slowly; it was his third one and he was already more drunk than he’d planned on getting. A clear head was paramount when dealing with Malfoy, especially given the sinister effects of that device, whatever it was. He was starting to get restless, drinking faster in spite of himself, hoping the alcohol would soothe his nerves.
“What’s eating you, mate?” Ron said, elbowing him. “You look like you’re about to take an exam.”
“Just waiting for—” Harry broke off, faking a cough. He’d actually been about to tell Ron that he was waiting for Malfoy, but that would go over like a ton of bricks. “Luna,” he finished, looking around animatedly in an effort to avoid Ron’s eyes.
“Oh yeah?” Shit, he could hear the avid interest in Ron’s voice. Ron was keen to get Harry away from Ginny, for some reason. Now he would never hear the end of this. And he couldn’t just say, ‘hey man, don’t get any ideas- turns out she likes them tall, hulking and evil.’
“She is fit, even though she’s a little, you know,” Ron said with a laugh. Harry didn’t even have to look to know that Ron was making little “woo woo” circles with his finger.
In walked Luna at that moment, naturally. Harry’s face colored fiercely and Ron took it exactly the wrong way, to judge by the resurgence in elbowing. In an effort to get away from any further “good-natured” ribbing, he got up to go greet Luna, realizing belatedly that this was the worst thing he could do if he wanted to avoid confirming the misunderstanding. Oh well, in for a penny out for a pound. It wasn’t like it would go anywhere, anyway—not given her apparent interest in Goyle.
He met up with her before she got to their customary table in the back. “Hey Luna, how’s it going?”
Luna looked quite surprised to be approached like this by Harry. “Hello, Harry! I’m so happy to see you! What are you talking to me for, though? You never come up to say hi!” It was so like Luna to state things baldly, but her voice and manner made it clear she wasn’t upset about it.
“Well, I—I wanted to—” Harry stumbled over his words as he tried to make up a good excuse for running up to her. Nothing came to mind. Some Auror he was going to make.
“You don’t have to explain, Harry. Don’t worry, I’ve already told Draco you would be here!” she said sunnily, then wandered over to the bar to put in her order. Harry stared after her, wondering just why she kept mentioning the two of them to each other.
He went and sat back down by Ron, pushing his drink across the table. He was far too tipsy. Even if Malfoy showed up, he definitely shouldn’t attempt to get him alone or anything. At this point, it was likely to result in a giant cock-up.
As Luna came to their table, Ron was shoving his foot against Harry’s and waggling his eyebrows. Harry rolled his eyes and made room for her. Her drink was a smoking concoction the shade of bile and smelled of roasted melon.
Harry sat back and let Luna’s brand of meandering conversation take over. Hermione and Ginny joined them after a while, then Seamus and Dean. It would have been a lovely night out at the pub if Harry hadn’t had something pressing on his mind. Eventually, Luna turned to him and said in meaningful tones, “I had dinner with Draco the other night.”
Harry donned his best poker face, not needing Luna to know exactly how much he knew about that dinner. She searched his face for a second and continued. “He’s really changed since school, Harry. I don’t think you know how much. Or maybe you do?”
Harry nodded, not trusting his voice or his brain to come up with anything convincing. This only encouraged her, however.
“He was very kind to me at the Manor, you know. His visits… Without him and Dean, I’m not sure how I would have made it through.”
Harry felt a brief surge of shame that he’d never really checked in with Luna about her time in the Manor dungeons. “Was it ...really hard?” he asked softly, hating how obvious the question was.
“Nothing like what happened to you, Harry,” Luna said kindly. “We all have our wounds to heal.” She patted his arm, then looked up at the door and waved. Malfoy was standing by the door of the pub, his hair and Muggle suit immaculate, his expression arrogant. Typical. All of Luna’s words went out the window as Harry felt his whole body respond to the git’s presence.
Malfoy lingered at the bar even after he’d received his whiskey neat from the bartender. Harry snorted; he was surprised this pub even had a brand of booze that Malfoy would deign to drink. After a moment, Luna bestirred herself to go say hello—it was beneath Malfoy, apparently, to approach a group of non-Slytherins. What a prat.
He watched as Luna approached him and they embraced, Luna’s head only coming up to his armpit. With their blond heads close together, they looked more like siblings than lovers. The word “lovers” echoed in his mind. Harry shifted uncomfortably in his seat and grabbed his drink back from the periphery of the table, swallowing it in one long gulp. He would bide his time until Luna finished conversing with Malfoy, then he’d get his chance somehow.
Thirty minutes and another pint later, Harry was simultaneously loose with drink and stiff from keeping himself from repeatedly glancing around at the bar to see if Luna was done with Draco yet. He reminded himself that Luna would undoubtedly return to her seat, which would be sufficient sign their conversation was over, but something kept drawing his eye to Draco’s face. It was beyond irritating.
Finally Luna reclaimed her seat beside Harry and he was instantly up on his feet, muttering something about needing the loo. His head whipped around as he quickly scanned the room. Over at the bar, Draco was chatting with a Ravenclaw bloke from a few years ahead of them.
Then, as if he could feel Harry’s gaze on him, he looked up and their eyes met. Although there were about a hundred feet between where Harry stood and the bar that Malfoy leaned against, it felt like the space between them contracted to nothing, as if Harry were standing right in front of Malfoy. He could feel the heat from his body, the prickles on his skin from the proximity of another person.
Malfoy’s eyes were hooded, his head tilted in a mocking come-hither posture. Harry was horrified to feel his cock twitch. This was fucking ridiculous, he thought furiously, and it was going to end. Right now.
Draco abruptly broke his gaze and turned to go - it looked like he was headed towards the loo as well. Excellent. Harry crossed the room, gaining on him, his heart racing. Malfoy’s hair glinted golden in the dim light, always the brightest thing in the room.
The loos were in a little hallway off the back of the pub, ladies opposite gents, and the emergency exit between them. Just as Malfoy reached the door to the loo, Harry caught up to him and stopped him with just a hand on the shoulder.
“Malfoy,” he said roughly, leaning in to speak into his ear. “Come into my office.” The hand on Malfoy’s shoulder clamped down as he propelled him out the back door, into the alleyway. He was surprised that Malfoy wasn’t fighting him, but he was too amped to ease up on the pushing.
Malfoy stumbled as he went through the door and caught himself against the brick wall of the building opposite the door. Harry crowded against him, pinning him there.
“What are you doing, Potter?” Malfoy asked, breathlessly, like he didn’t know the answer.
“This ends now. Give it to me,” Harry growled. He pawed at the pockets of the suit jacket but didn’t feel anything in them.
“Potter, I’d love to play along but first you have to tell me what game you’re thinking of,” Malfoy said, trying to push back and turn around. Harry shoved at him harder and got his hands around Malfoy’s wrists, pushing them against the wall.
“I know you’ve got something on you, Malfoy. I know what it’s doing and I don’t like it. You’d better give it to me.” Malfoy writhed underneath him, so Harry pressed harder against his back. His head spun—now that he had Malfoy in this position he realized it was a huge mistake. His cock was responding to the feel of a firm arse against it, thickening and lengthening in his pants, but it was too late to turn back.
“You have my hands pinned, Potter,” Malfoy said breathlessly. “I can’t give you anything, not that I know what you’re on about.”
“That’s fine, Malfoy,” Harry grunted. “I don’t trust you anyway.” He whispered a spell to bind Malfoy’s hands in place and then slid his own hands down the man’s sides, feeling for any telltale lumps. All he felt, however, was slim strength and taut muscles beneath crisp linen and wool. The waistcoat had some pockets which he thrust his fingers into, but he came up with only a packet of matches, a key and a business card. He threw them to the ground in exasperation.
Malfoy adjusted his posture, creating further friction against Harry’s groin. A soft groan escaped him—the fucking device was wreaking havoc on his ability to maintain his composure and keep his mind clear. Of course, the drink didn’t help, nor the humiliation of rubbing a magically induced boner against a suspect’s arse. Harry swallowed and grit his teeth, resuming his search doggedly. He reached into Malfoy’s trouser pockets and felt inside them, heat surging in his blood.
“I don’t know what you’re looking for but I can tell you what you’re likely to find, Potter,” Malfoy said, voice tight. Sure enough, Harry’s questing fingers grazed a hard length and he gasped involuntarily. All trace of rational thought fled as Harry found his hand continuing to trace the rigid column of Malfoy’s dick. What was he doing? He tried to shake his head to clear it, but ended up with a face full of Malfoy’s soft hair and a noseful of his musky scent which did nothing but ratchet his arousal higher.
Malfoy’s hips swiveled and bucked towards Harry’s hand, seeking friction against his cock. Harry’s erection nestled tight between his firm arsecheeks and the sensation had his eyes rolling back in his head. Now he was just rutting against Malfoy helplessly. Harry felt his resolve crumble to dust—the device would have its way with him and then he’d be able to find it and seize it. Clearly Malfoy was enjoying this, he was into it - this might even be why he'd been carrying the device in the first place, the perv.
Relief surged through him as he gave into the sensations flooding his body; groping Malfoy all over, letting the soft sounds of Malfoy’s answering arousal bring him closer to the edge. He’d never felt like this—he felt a flicker of absurd gratitude to the magic that forced him to feel this, this incredible pulsing lust he’d never known before.
Malfoy muttered something and then one of his hands was freed, but instead of pushing Harry away, he brought it down to cover Harry’s hand, pulling it to cover his sizable hard-on, pushing frantically into it. A fog of lust descended on Harry as he felt the full girth of Malfoy’s cock, felt the rolling of Malfoy’s hips as they rhythmically thrust against Harry’s palm.
Harry’s vision swam; he closed his eyes and sank into the hypnotic motion of Malfoy’s hips, grinding his arse back on Harry’s cock. Heat burst up through his spine; he was close, he was so close, he was coming in his pants against Malfoy; shame and bliss roiled through him in equal measure. His hips stuttered against Malfoy’s body as the come erupted from his prick, soaking his pants.
His orgasm took him so hard, he came to to find himself resting his head against Malfoy’s back, Malfoy breathing hard but otherwise frozen. Harry straightened and stepped back in shock, then immediately stepped forward again—he still hadn’t found it. The device.
“If you tell a fucking soul what just happened, Malfoy,” Harry started, his voice sounding mortified more than threatening.
“Did you get what you came for, Potter?” Malfoy asked breathlessly. “Am I free to leave?”
“Not yet, you—” Harry had been about to say ‘fucker’ but in light of what had just transpired, chose another word. “Arsehole.” Ah. That wasn’t much better. He put his arms around Malfoy’s chest again, roughly feeling around for anything suspicious. It definitely wasn’t in his trouser pockets, so he focused on the jacket and waistcoat.
He reached inside the jacket, feeling the lining for a internal pocket. There it was—but it was empty. Exasperated, Harry pulled out his wand and cast a Generalis Revelio, ashamed of himself that it hadn’t occurred to him to do that prior to his body search that had ended with him rutting against Malfoy. He shook his head against the shame that rose up within him. That hadn’t been him, it was the fucking device.
The Revelio showed two things—a magical object in the upper left quadrant of Malfoy’s body, and a tracing spell with a unique magical signature. He took a good look at the tracing spell then waved his wand to dissipate the residue. He came up to Malfoy again, taking care to angle his crotch away from the man’s arse, and palpated the waistcoat at chest level. Finding a round lump, he quickly plucked it from the pocket he’d found there. “Got it,” Harry said with grim satisfaction. He looked at the object in bewilderment.
“What the hell is this, Malfoy? I don’t know what you’re up to, using this on me, making me want you.”
Malfoy laughed, a wild sound, loud in the alleyway. “Using it on you? Making you want—You don’t even know what it does!”
“You’re a pervert, Malfoy. I don’t know if you’re just obsessed with me or if you think you can manipulate me, but this ends now. You’re lucky I’m not taking you in.”
Malfoy just snorted. “I was released fair and square, Potter. You have no probable cause to take me in. That artifact isn’t even dark. Take it to Granger, she’ll set you,” he paused fractionally, “straight.” There was a horrible insinuation in that voice, but Harry forced himself to ignore it.
“Shut up, Malfoy. Like I’d take your word for it. And I don’t know what you’re doing with Luna, but I’m going to find out. You’d better not hurt her or you’ll regret it to your dying day.”
“Big words, Potter,” Malfoy said bitterly. “I’m a better friend to her than you are.”
Harry stood there, stung by that remark for absolutely no good reason that he could see. The nerve of him. He was suddenly moved by an urge to completely humiliate Malfoy, to get back at him for what he’d put Harry through. But that way lay dragons. He couldn’t go down that path, not without risking becoming the very thing he hated.
“I’m going to put a timed curse on the entrance to the alleyway. Count to one hundred slowly before you try to leave. Don’t bother following me. You’ll regret it if you do.”
“Til my dying day?” Malfoy said with cutting sarcasm. “You can’t take that from me, Potter. I need that back!”
“Don’t fucking follow me.” Harry turned and stalked to where the alleyway met the street, then cast the hex that would prevent Malfoy from leaving until Harry was long gone. He couldn’t risk Malfoy getting close to him and casting a trace to see where he took the device. As soon as he set the hex, he rounded the corner and Apparated on the spot, back to his flat.
Harry appeared in his entryway with a loud crack, breathing hard. He tried desperately not to think about what had just happened in the alleyway. It didn’t matter. It was over, and he had the device. It was a dull weight in his hand, feeling heavier than it looked.
He tore off his robes and went to the fridge, tossing the device on the counter and gulping down a whole bottle of ice-cold water. Wiping his mouth on the back of his hand, Harry took a few deep breaths then went over to the device. It looked like a compass, or like a compass crossed with a peril-clock like the Weasleys’ had. There were three dials and a bunch of tiny writing. He peered close and saw Total Domination, Self Advancement, Saving People, Avarice, Fear of Failure, and a slew of other words swirling around.
Harry puzzled over it for a minute. His head hurt. This didn’t really look like something that would induce unwanted lust. The realization was so unwelcome that he opened up the drawer under the counter and shoved the device into it. He didn’t need to know how it worked. All he needed to know was that Malfoy didn’t have it anymore and couldn’t use it against him. He was safe.
It was as he was falling asleep that he remembered the trace he’d found on Malfoy. He wondered what it was, who it was linked to. Did Malfoy know it was there? Was it a trap? He’d better find out.
Harry snuck up to the archives, hoping the antechamber preceding the Pensieve room was deserted. It was—everyone was probably at the tea cart getting their afternoon pick-me-up. He let out the breath he’d been holding and eased the door open. As a mere trainee, he didn’t technically have clearance to be in there. But he figured that, unlike most trainees, he had prior experience with a Pensieve. He knew what to do and what not to do.
Putting his wand to his temple, he extracted the memory, a spidery, attenuated thread, and lowered it gently into the stone basin to join with the swirling fluid. Dipping his head, he was sucked down into the wrong part of the memory—he hadn’t been precise enough.
Harry found himself forced to watch while he humped into Draco Malfoy’s arse, to listen to the grunts he made, the soft answering groans from the other man. Humiliation welled up in him, hot and nauseating. It subsided slightly as he noticed just how much Malfoy appeared to enjoy what was happening. Harry had been too caught up in the moment to take notice of anything but Malfoy's arse grinding against him, but Malfoy’s head was thrown back, his face a picture of tortured bliss. He couldn’t help the twitch his cock made at the sight. He wrote it off to the fact that the experience, for all that it was magically forced, had at least been pleasurable on a physical level.
Soon memory-Harry was searching for and finding the device, then pulling away from Malfoy and yelling at him. He cast the Revelio and the tracing spell appeared. Harry scrambled to perform a Transcriptio spell, copying the image in front of him as a picture on some hastily conjured parchment.
He pulled his head out of the Pensieve, shivering at the sensation of coming back into the natural world. It was still only half past three, still plenty of time to get the parchment down to the ancient witch in Magical Signature Identification. He siphoned the memory out of the Pensieve and put it back in his mind. Easing the door open to make sure the coast was clear, Harry slipped out and took the elevator down.
The witch peered at Harry as if she couldn’t remember who he was, which was an oddly irritating experience given how sick Harry was of being recognized and fawned over. Insultingly, she called up to the Auror division to make sure he was really in the employ of the Department. He swallowed as he quickly formulated a cover story for why he needed this signature identified, but then relaxed when he remembered that Robards has assigned him to tail Malfoy. Something he had done a pisspoor job of, focused only on getting rid of his imposed sexual obsession with him.
After an incredible amount of dithering, the witch handed over the results of the identification spell on a piece of parchment that looked like it had been used before. Hermione’s efforts at getting the Ministry to recycle must be paying off. Harry thanked the witch profusely and walked back to his cubicle.
He waited to open the scroll until he couldn’t see or hear anyone else about. The results stated that Montescue Montefiore had set the magical trace on Malfoy. But that didn’t make any sense at all—why would someone of Montefiore’s stature be meeting with Malfoy, whose status had sunk so low after the war? Was Malfoy trying to climb his way back up out of the pit? It sounded possible, if doomed to failure. But then what could be the reason for the trace? It seemed sinister to Harry.
Normal people simply didn’t put traces on others without a good reason, and it usually required a warrant. Montefiore couldn’t have had clearance to put this trace on Malfoy, not unless there was something about him Harry didn’t know. He needed to bring this to Robards' attention. He didn’t have to mention the device, or how or why he’d taken it from Malfoy. His stomach shifted queasily at the thought of trying to explain that.
Harry looked more closely at the report. There was a section at the bottom he hadn’t seen at first, recounting previous run-ins with the Aurors. It looked like Montefiore, current pillar of the Wizarding community, had been pulled in for interrogation eight years prior, on suspicion of conspiracy to interfere with the Wizengamot elections. Harry’s eyebrows raised into his hairline. The report said that the charges had been dropped, but didn’t say why. Montefiore was rich, one of the richest Wizards in Britain at the moment.
Harry definitely had to bring this to Robards and hope that Robards would assume he’d been doing his duty in tailing Malfoy and not question Harry’s need to cast the Revelio on him. He clutched the parchment in his hand and strode to Robards' office.
Draco stared at the parchment in his hand and let out a long sigh of relief. Cleared of suspicion. It was welcome news, but odd. Very odd. Disconcerting, really. He thought back to the interrogation, remembering how frustrated the Aurors had been that they’d had to release him. He hadn’t been so naive as to think that was the end of it; he had assumed that there would be more fallout coming. That’s why he had been sweating the scene with Potter in the alleyway.
Well, not the only reason he’d been sweating that scene. He grimaced as his cock reacted to the memory. What the fuck had that been, anyway? On the one hand: yes, he’d known that Potter had the horn for him. On that same hand, he was glad about that. Elated even. It not only gave him power over the Chosen One but it was flattering and—alright, it was arousing. Extremely so. He couldn’t possibly deny that, not with his physical reaction at the time, not after all the fantasies he’d been indulging in.
On the other hand—fuck, he did not need to have these kind of feelings about Potter, and he did not need Potter having any reason to be suspicious of him, even if he was completely off track. He thought Draco had a device that—what? Made Potter lust after him? Draco laughed aloud even as he felt mildly pissed off.
Strike that, a lot pissed off. Potter thought… Potter was so delusional that he thought that Draco needed to use a device to make himself attractive to someone? Even worse, Potter evidently thought that he wanted... that he wanted to make Potter feel that way, specifically. As if. What the fuck. This was Potter’s problem, not his. He wasn’t the one whose motivation pointed to “sexual attraction.”
He squirmed internally, given that he’d just admitted to himself that he found Potter attractive, and his interest arousing. Nevertheless. It was definitely not the case that Draco had set out to make Potter do anything. He hadn’t had to; he’d just used Potter’s attraction against him.
Except that it had ended up being used against Draco instead. Or at least, it hadn’t deterred Potter from following him around and frisking him. If anything, it had spurred that behavior on. Draco shook his head—how was he supposed to have predicted how freakish Potter’s response would be to a bit of simple flirting? None of it was his fault, none of it was his doing, he didn’t fucking care enough about Potter to—ugh, this line of thought was circular and pointless. What really mattered was that he needed that Monitor, more than ever.
Time to turn the tables on Potter.
Potter was not an easy man to find these days. Draco had thought a few days of hanging around the intersection of Diagon Alley and Knockturn would have resulted in a run-in of some kind but evidently Potter’s beat had changed. Maybe he’d gotten a promotion. Maybe he was running the department now, he thought bitterly. It would fucking figure.
At loose ends, Draco’s mind focused instead on helping Greg make a move on Luna. Which is why he was now standing outside Windelore’s Cafe, waiting with Greg so he didn’t flee from nerves. Luna was approaching from down the street, large flowers decorating nearly every inch of her body. Somehow, despite the garish color, the effect was charming rather than clownish. Greg’s eyes were bugging out of his head, so Draco elbowed him and said, “Relax, mate.” Greg blinked and managed to look less gobsmacked, straightening his clothes and muttering nervously. Draco rolled his eyes and was thankful to be so much more suave and worldly than his poor friend.
“Hi, Greg!” Luna said, putting her hand on his arm and leaning in a bit. “Oh, hello Draco! I didn’t know you’d be joining us!” Luna smiled at him but sounded ever-so-slightly put out. Apparently she didn’t want a third wheel. Draco felt mildly indignant; after all, he had been the one to maneuver these two together. Moreover, no matter how awkward it might feel now, he had to stick around and see if he could casually get any information from Luna about where he might find Harry.
They all went into the cafe, Luna giving Draco a speaking look—a look that said “I like you, but bugger off now.” He gave her his most innocent expression and went up to the counter, saying over his shoulder, “What can I get you both?” He immediately kicked himself, as he’d deprived Greg the chance to be a gentleman and pay for Luna’s beverage.
Greg stammered something about a triple mocha and Luna requested a chamo-mate latte with a twist of pumpkin. Draco ordered their drinks plus an americano to go for himself, and went back to sit with his friends.
“I can only stay for a moment,” he said, glancing over to Luna, who brightened immediately. “But I wanted to say hello since it’s been a little while since our dinner.”
“Of course!” Luna chirped. “What have you been up to?”
Rutting my arse against Potter’s cock in an alleyway, floated through his head, but he cleared his throat and said, “Nothing much. Keeping my head down. Have you, erm,” he slowed to a stop, not knowing how to casually mention Potter without giving Luna the wrong idea.
“Oh, I forgot to mention,” Luna started, glancing over at Greg. “Harry’s having a get together at his house on Saturday night.”
Draco started. That had been too easy. Suspiciously easy. Was Luna—had she somehow performed Legilimens on him? He wouldn’t put it past her to have the skill, but deep down he knew she would never presume on their friendship like that. Which just meant that she was scarily insightful. Or possibly had a knack for Divination.
“And I’m invited, am I?” he said, his voice heavy with sarcasm. He highly doubted Potter had asked Luna to extend an invitation to him, not after that scene behind the pub.
“Well, it’s not invite-only, Draco. I think you should expand your social circle. And Greg,” she said, putting her hand on his arm again, “you could come too. I’ll be there.” She smiled brightly at him. He smiled back tentatively, but shook his head.
“I don’t know, Luna.”
“What if Draco was there?” she said, turning her intense gaze on Draco, who chafed under it.
“I...look, I just. Maybe. Perhaps.” He picked up his coffee cup and lifted himself out of the cane chair, patting Greg on the shoulder as he made to leave. He had no intention of going to that party, he couldn’t even imagine it. However, if Harry was having people over, he would likely be in his apartment before the party, getting it ready. “What’s the address?”
Luna beamed and fished around in her bag for a moment, then pulled out an enormous ostrich quill and scribbled the address on the back of a candy wrapper. Draco took it and thanked her, then bowed and took his leave of the two of them. They were already gazing into each other’s eyes in the sappiest way possible. Draco rolled his eyes as a smile spread across his face.
As Saturday loomed nearer, Draco was having second thoughts about approaching Harry to demand his Monitor be returned to him. With reluctance, he realized he was far too interested in Potter’s attraction to him. The fact that Potter obviously didn’t want to be attracted to him, was in heavy denial over it, should have repulsed Draco. Somehow, though, it just made the whole thing… hotter. His dick throbbed just thinking about their encounter in the alleyway, how humiliated Potter had been, how angry. The stupid, desperate things he’d said, trying to distance himself from his desires. It angered him and turned him on, a heady mix.
Which was why it was probably a bad idea to track Harry down. He could feel himself anticipating it too much. He was likely to go overboard, do something rash. He had vivid memories of the many times he’d made a fool of himself in front of Potter over the years, all self-inflicted wounds. Did he really need to force a confrontation to get his Monitor back? Unfortunately, though, he couldn’t see any way around it. He couldn’t resume his enterprise without the Monitor, it was far too risky.
Draco put on some light wool trousers and a thin cashmere jumper, both in black. He tried not be aware that he’d chosen these items because of the way the fabric clung to the lines of his body, the way the color highlighted his complexion and hair.
The Floo took him to the Three Broomsticks, from where he made his way to the address scrawled in almost illegible loops on the candy wrapper. It was six o’clock, too early for a party to begin but just the right time for Potter to be making last minute preparations. He was certain to be home. Heart racing, Draco checked the addresses to see how far he was from the house. About a block away. He looked up the street to see what kind of house Potter lived in and his breath caught in his throat as he saw Potter himself walking down the sidewalk in the opposite direction, facing him. He wasn’t alone.
Ginny Weasley was hanging on his arm, both of them carrying heavily laden grocery bags in their other hands. They were talking and laughing in a quietly intimate way as they walked up the steps to a grey stone townhome. Potter put down his bag to open the door, and Ginny leaned in to kiss him—Draco looked away, a sickening rush of emotion heating his skin.
Well, he wouldn’t be getting his Monitor from Potter today. And he certainly wouldn’t be attending that fucking party. He spun on his foot and stalked away.
Harry went to the kitchen for another beer. The gathering, which had turned into more of a full-blown party when most of the former D.A. showed up, was in full swing. Ginny had been following him around all night and he wished he could get a little space. It wasn’t like he didn’t want to be around her, but she was constantly in his field of vision and it was starting to feel oppressive. He grimaced and shook his head as he opened the bottle and took a swig. Oppressive was the wrong word. But he couldn’t think of the right one.
Seamus wandered into the kitchen and leaned up against the counter.
“You seen Luna?” he asked, reaching for a beer.
“I think she’s talking with Ginny,” Harry said, wanting Seamus to stay in the kitchen and hang out with him for a minute. “They were on about Pygmy Puff mating or something, I don’t think you want to interrupt them.”
“Nah, I’ve just been thinking—Luna’s fit, yeah?” Seamus raised his eyebrows at Harry and then waggled them a bit. Harry nodded and frowned.
“But I thought you were with—”
“Eric? Yeah, we hung out a bit but to be honest, mate, he’s a bit boring. Now Luna, there’s a girl with a sense of adventure.”
Harry swallowed. Luna had more of a sense of adventure than Seamus knew, given that she had her sights set on Goyle. Harry frowned again.
“Well, you’re a right barrel of laughs, Harry!” Seamus laughed. “What’s got you so down?”
“Nothing.” He took a swig of his beer and turned away, feeling upset and not knowing why. It just seemed so easy for Seamus, switching back and forth between men and women. Like it was no big deal. For him it probably wasn’t. But for Harry… he rubbed his forehead. “Just a headache, I think.”
“Oh, I’ll give you some space,” Seamus said softly. “Gonna try to get Luna on her own, wish me luck.”
Seamus wandered back out into the living area and Harry sighed. He tried not to notice how good Seamus’ arse looked in his tight trousers.
He’d almost finished his beer and was working himself up to returning to the party when Ginny came in. She walked right up to him and put her hands on either side of him, tilting her head expectantly. Harry leaned in, letting her expectation guide him. When they were alone, this wasn’t so bad. It was just physical. The problem was when they were in public and she wanted to pretend that they were in love. He felt guilty continuing to fool around with her when he knew that he wasn’t able to give her what she wanted, but she wouldn’t leave him alone. And it wasn’t like he found her repulsive.
Ginny’s warm breath ghosted over his lips and then she was kissing him. She was a good kisser and he felt a prickle of interest stirring. Her tongue slid between his lips and he opened his mouth wider, letting his hands fall to her hips, and then around to her arse. With his eyes closed, she could be anyone. Seamus. Hm. That was interesting. The stirring of arousal increased slightly. He groped Ginny’s arse and pulled her closer, finding that he was getting hard. Ginny made a small noise of approval in the back of her throat. Then the image of Seamus dimmed and became someone else. He imagined sensual lips, the column of a strong neck, a specific scent—Harry jerked away from Ginny. He’d been thinking of Malfoy.
This couldn’t still be happening.
“Harry, what’s wrong?” Ginny asked, her brow furrowed. “I was really getting into that, and you were too.” She punctuated this by grazing her fingers over his erection, which was now at full staff. He jerked further away.
“Yeah, it was—yeah. But I—I just remembered something I need to ask Hermione. It’s about work. Sorry. I’ll find you later?”
Ginny shrugged and said, “Sure, I guess.” She looked disappointed but not surprised, looking over her shoulder as she left the kitchen.
Harry opened the junk drawer and slid out the device, putting it in his pocket. He wended his way through the guests, saying hello to people as he passed. He spied Ron and Hermione deep in discussion near the loo. It looked amicable but intense. Harry didn’t really want to interrupt but he felt he had no choice.
“Er, guys?” he said, and they swiveled their heads as one to look at him.
“What’s up, mate?” Ron said, looking critically at Harry’s flushed face and reddened lips. He never looked happy when he could tell that Harry and Ginny had been making out.
“Uh, I have something I need to show you. Can you come to my room?”
Hermione and Ron nodded, exchanging glances. They went as a unit to Harry’s room and filed inside. Ron took a seat on the desk and Hermione perched on the bed, carefully avoiding the piles of dirty clothes. Harry paced near the door, trying to work out how to tell them about Malfoy and the Monitor.
“So, you guys know about the Holyhead investigation, right? I didn’t tell you this, but I got called in to interrogate Malfoy.”
Hermione’s eyes went wide. “But you—you’re just a trainee!”
“I know. And I bollocksed it up, no surprise since I haven’t had any instruction in interrogation techniques. But that’s not the only reason I messed up, I don’t think.”
He pulled the device out of his pocket. He was no longer completely certain that the device did what he had thought, but it was time to find out for sure. “Hermione, have you ever seen something like this?”
Hermione took it and peered intently at it. Her mouth made a small “o” as the thing made a whirring sound. That was odd, it hadn’t done anything at all for Harry, it had just lay there inert and inexplicable.
Hermione held it out to Ron and then pulled it back to herself. “Oh, it changed! This one said 'Saving People' but now it says 'Proving Self Worth'"—her eyes flickered to Ron—she blanched. Ron held his hand out for it and Hermione reluctantly handed it over.
“Huh. Now it reads ‘Omniscience’. Hey, there’s two more dials—'Solving mystery’ and—” Ron broke off, blushing. Hermione’s face was turned away from his.
“What is it? What does all that mean?” Harry asked, turning from Ron to Hermione. Hermione extended her hand imperiously to Ron without looking at him and Ron handed it over.
“I’m pretty sure this tells you the motivations of the person nearest you, when you’re holding it.” She looked closely at it again and murmured to herself. “It seems to have a dial for main motivation, secondary motivation—or wait, maybe it’s current motivation, and then a motivation that seems to relate to how the person feels about whomever is holding the Monitor.” She stopped and Harry noticed that she looked embarrassed. Ron was looking at the wall, smiling slightly.
Harry mulled this over. “So, it can’t, like—make you feel anything?”
“No, I don’t think so. That’s not how it works. It just detects the, well, not exactly feelings of the person, but what they want out of life. And from the person holding it.”
Harry realized he wasn’t that surprised to find this out. He felt a bit queasy, but that was it.
“Where did you get it, Harry?” Hermione asked.
Harry stalled for a second and then said, “I took it from Malfoy.”
Hermione frowned and Ron startled. “Why? It’s not like this is a nefarious object. Is he under investigation?”
“He was. I was assigned to tail him. I, uh, I searched him and found it.” Harry felt bad but he was going to allow his friends to think he had a legitimate right to confiscate the object. He didn’t think he could spill the beans on exactly what he’d thought the item did, or why. He’d come clean to them at some point. But not now, not while he had so much to sort out.
“But why do you have it? Shouldn’t it go to the Ministry? Or back to him, if he’s not under investigation anymore?”
Ron put his hand on her leg. “Hermione, Harry’s the Auror trainee. He knows what to do with things seized from suspects. I was feeling like leaving soon, you want to go?” He threw her an intense look that Harry pretended not to see. She colored furiously and bit her lip. Ron took her hand and pulled her out of the chair.
“Thanks for the help,” Harry said. Ron clapped him on the back on his way out, looking like his mind was already far away. Hermione pecked his cheek and said, “Enjoy the rest of the party.”
“Actually, would you mind telling people I went to bed? They can stay for as long as they want but I’m done for the night.”
Hermione nodded. “Get some rest. You’re working too hard.”
Harry made a face and shooed her out.
Alone, he stripped off his clothes and lay in his bed, kicking aside the pile of dirty clothes and pulling the covers over his legs. He Noxed the lights and listened to the sound of the party winding down. Thoughts swirled through his mind, rich with problematic implications. He couldn’t stop thinking about his reaction to Ginny’s kiss, when he’d briefly found himself thinking of Seamus, and then Malfoy. And then confirming that the device was nothing like what he’d thought. Not a trick, not a trap.
It was probably time to confront this thing head on; this thing that kept happening to him around certain men. Around Malfoy in particular. Harry let his hands drift over his chest and touch his nipples, raking a fingernail over the left one. It sent a pleasurable chill down his spine.
It wasn’t like there was anything wrong with liking blokes, after all. He wondered what Malfoy’s nipples looked like, were they sensitive? His cock was getting hard just thinking about it. Harry bet his nipples were tiny but stood out a fair way, probably the lightest pink. He bet Malfoy loved having them played with. His right hand made its way under the covers, just barely grazing the tent in his pants. Would Malfoy’s cock be similar to his? Bigger? Smaller? Thicker? Longer? Was he cut? There were so many possibilities.
It was so stimulating to just let himself go there, especially now that he knew how much Malfoy had enjoyed that scene in the alleyway. Harry couldn’t bother to be fussed about it any more, it was exhausting and useless. If he were honest, he’d been slowly acclimating to the idea for a while, and he felt ashamed that he’d tried to blame his feelings on the strange compass-like device he’d taken from Malfoy.
Harry slid his pants down and took his cock in hand, imagining that it was Malfoy’s elegant fingers grasping his shaft, twisting and pulling just so. He moaned, and he liked the sound of it - Malfoy was probably pretty loud and he probably enjoyed it when his partners made their pleasure known; he was such a narcissist. Harry smiled as he pulled on his cock harder; Malfoy was getting rougher now, his breath irregular and hot on Harry’s prick.
Oh yes, oh god - what if Malfoy went down on him? No - what if he went down on Malfoy? Harry groaned at the thought of how much Malfoy would like that. God, he would love it, love having Harry on his knees in front of him. Harry was shocked at how much he wanted it, wanted to shuffle forward on his knees and take the head of Malfoy’s cock in his mouth. Wanted to learn the taste of it, the shape of it, what kind of touches it responded to. Maybe - maybe Malfoy was super sensitive and liked just the lightest touch? Harry’s fingers tried to replicate that on himself, but it was too frustrating. Maybe he liked it firm and with lots of lube. Harry wandlessly conjured some lube. The wet slapping sound of it always turned him on so much. He reached underneath himself with one hand and slowly wiggled a slick finger up his arse, and then a second-- he’d tried this a couple of times now and had found it very much to his liking.
His thoughts became hopelessly jumbled - one minute he had Malfoy’s cock in his mouth, down his throat and Malfoy had his hands tangled in Harry’s hair, pushing him down over and over, babbling a hoarse stream of profane encouragement. The next it was Harry whose cock was engulfed in Malfoy’s sarcastic, cruel mouth - so wet, so alive, that wicked tongue stroking and those lips sucking and the sounds he would make - Harry’s body arched off the bed as he streaked his covers with spurt after spurt of come. He trembled and sank back down, his whole body glowing with relief and satisfaction.
As he drifted off, he thought back to Malfoy’s face, fey and striking in the golden afternoon light. How different he had looked in the interrogation room, fighting to - to protect someone, Harry now realized. That’s why he wouldn’t say whether he was with someone. Who was it, Harry wondered. Was it Luna? Or one of his Slytherin friends? He fell asleep to speculations about Malfoy’s possible entanglements.
Back at his flat, Draco couldn’t stop thinking about that kiss. He’d never thought of himself as the jealous type, and even now the inkling that he might be experiencing that emotion only served to heighten his outrage. He poured himself a drink and flopped on his divan, but soon found himself up and pacing the room. Downing the whiskey in one gulp, he remembered how it had felt to have Harry pressed up against his arse. It had felt like victory.
The image of the she-weasel kissing Potter assaulted his mind’s eye once again and he dashed the tumbler into the grate. The sounding of breaking glass brought a measure of self-awareness back and Draco laughed ruefully at his dramatics. He Levitated the shards into a pile and resolved to clean them up when he was less tipsy. Then he noticed how much better he felt for the casual destruction and ordered his house-elf to bring him a dozen glass tumblers, which he proceeded to dash into the grate one after the other to spectacular effect. He hadn’t had a good tantrum in a long time—it felt satisfying. Freeing.
Eventually he put himself to bed, trying to focus on the feeling of release and forget the frustration that preceded it. He tossed and turned for hours, only claiming sleep as the sun crept in at his window.
On waking, he determined two things. First, he was going to show Potter that Draco Malfoy didn’t need any device to make himself desirable to anyone. Second, he was going to prove that whatever tepid romance Potter had going on with the girl Weasley couldn’t hold a candle to the obvious chemistry he had with Draco. Draco realized that these were the resolutions of someone hopelessly obsessed, but he didn’t care at the moment.
He showered and changed into the green silk shirt he’d worn at the interrogation and some tight black trousers that had always driven Blaise wild with lust. Then he realized it was only eleven o’clock in the morning and he would need to wait until it was dark to try to accost Potter—he didn’t want to risk anyone seeing him with Potter lest they form, well, the right impression. Calling for his house-elf to bring him some extra-strength calming potion and setting a Tempus alarm, he stripped and lay in his bed, drowsing.
He dozed for most of the day, drifting in and out of consciousness and touching himself every so often. This level of unproductivity was unusual for him but he couldn’t focus on anything else—he placed the blame squarely on Potter. Potter and his perfect fucking self with his perfect fucking life and his perfect fucking excuses. Except they weren’t so perfect, those excuses, were they? Draco couldn’t wait to prove him wrong.
The alarm went off at six in the evening. By then, Draco was pent-up and starving. He told his house-elf to prepare something for dinner and took a long hot shower. The water sluiced over his skin deliciously and hit his straining cock, tempting him to sate himself but he held back. He needed to hang on to all his energy, all his focus.
Draco dressed in the green shirt and black trousers again, checking his appearance in the mirror. He performed the usual styling spell on his hair and smirked at his reflection. No wonder Potter’s reading had swung to sexual attraction.
It was getting onto eight o’clock now. Outside, the streets looked bluish in the twilit evening. Draco’s heart beat faster as he swung a light cloak around his shoulders and made his way to the Floo.
He stumbled out of the fireplace at the Three Broomsticks and looked around quickly, assessing the crowd. It was a quiet Sunday evening and the few customers who were there paid him no mind. He exited as blandly as possible, pulling his cloak tight around him to avoid dramatic sweepings.
Once on the street down to where Potter lived, Draco had the sudden clarity to realize that he essentially lacked a plan. Was he going to knock on Potter’s door? Peep in his windows? Try to break in? The last was a definite no, but Merlin, it had some appeal. If only Potter were a lower-profile wizard with a less inopportune career. Draco took a quick moment to consider how satisfying it would be to waylay Potter in his own home, then discarded it. He would just have to play it by ear.
Draco walked up to Potter’s house, nerves twanging unpleasantly. He steeled himself and knocked, running through possible opening lines in his head. A minute went by with no answer, then two. He knocked again, harder and longer. Again, minutes passed. Potter either wasn’t home or he was screening his visitors. Scratch that, he definitely wasn’t home. Even if Potter was wary of talking to him, there’s no way he would back down from the challenge of having Draco Malfoy at his doorstep. He must simply be out.
Wheels turning furiously in his brain, Draco walked back down the front steps of the townhome. His feet carried him to the alleyway a few doors down from the house, and he ducked into it to get off the street where he was feeling strangely exposed. He realized that even if Potter wasn’t home at the moment, he would come home at some point. He might be out but surely he wouldn’t be gone for a long time; tomorrow was Monday and he must have work early in the morning, a fine upstanding citizen like him. Draco settled in to wait. From this vantage point he could see the street corner around which Potter was like to come when he made his way home.
By the time Potter ambled around the corner, hoving into Draco’s line of sight, Draco was heartily tired of waiting for him and was starting to feel humiliated by his own actions. He clung to the fact that he needed to get his Monitor back, and that he would be damned if he’d let Potter continue to believe that his attraction to Draco was due to some enchanted object. He felt his anger rise and clung to it.
Potter was wearing rather well-fitting Muggle jeans and a sweater that clung to his arms and shoulders and torso in all the right places. His hair was appealingly tousled, his jaw slightly scruffy and all in all his appearance gave Draco an immediate boner. He was about ten steps past the alleyway when something in Draco snapped and instead of waiting for Potter to get home and then going up to knock again, he decided to go on the offensive.
He darted out behind Potter and put his hands on his waist, leaning in to whisper against the side of his face. “Come into my office, Potter.” He felt Potter’s body react to his presence like it had been hit with an Ennervate. Using the advantage of surprise to pull Potter around, Draco hustled him into the alleyway and cast an Impertubable on the entrance.
“Oh fuck,” Potter said, but he was surprisingly easy to maneuver up against the wall, his body unresisting against Draco’s.
“Malfoy, what are you doing?” He sounded breathless, husky. Like he knew exactly what Draco was doing and was unopposed. For some reason, this set Draco off worse than ever.
“You brought this on yourself, Potter,” he said hotly in his ear. “You had no right to take my Monitor and I’m going to need it back. It’s time for you to give me what you owe me.” Draco pressed himself all down Potter’s back, grinding his erection in the firm arse under him. Potter’s body went very still. It was thrilling to turn the tables on Potter like this—he indisputably had the upper hand here. “And I’m going to need something else, too,” he said, voice low and rough.
“What’s that?” Harry asked, a faint note of belligerence in his voice.
“I’m going to need you to admit that I didn’t have to use any magic device on you,” he whispered, licking his ear and relishing the shudder that went through Potter. He brought his hands around to the front of Potter’s jeans, finding a responsive and impressive bulge there. Potter gasped. His body suddenly came to life and surged against Draco’s, pressing back against him.
“That scene outside the pub the other night, it was all you,” he purred into Potter’s ear as he slid his groin against that pert arse, crowding him against the brick wall. His right hand groped and stroked the length of Potter’s erection through his jeans while his left wandered up and down Potter’s flank, pushing up under the sweater to feel the smooth skin and dusting of hair on his stomach.
Draco was more turned on than he thought he’d ever been in his life; the curve of Potter’s arse just felt perfect against his prick, his body taut and firm under Draco’s hands. His mouth was watering, he wanted to lick every part of Potter til he cried for mercy. If it was like this with clothes between them, what in Merlin’s name would it be like naked? The thought caused a moan to escape him, which turned into a growl.
“It was your desire—you want me, you couldn’t help yourself and I didn’t have to do anything, Potter. That was nothing but you. Wanting. Me.” he said, punctuating every other word with a stroke of his hand and a thrust of his hips. He was getting far too caught up in this, the heady power of putting Potter in his place, in his place beneath Draco, trapped between him and the wall, nowhere to go and he wasn’t even trying.
He was loving this.
Draco undid the button on Potter’s jeans and Potter’s hands went to help him. Together they got pants and jeans pushed down around the top of his thighs, his cock freed and jutting out for Draco’s hand to grasp. Both of them were panting heavily, a frantic heat building between them. Part of him wanted to keep talking, keeping rubbing Potter’s desire in his face, but he couldn’t keep his voice steady anymore and besides, Potter wasn’t exactly denying it. His every motion affirmed Draco’s words, told him that yes he wanted Draco, yes he wanted him helplessly, overwhelmingly, humiliatingly, publically, right now right now right now.
Potter pushed his dick into Draco’s hand—hard, bucking and rutting for all he was worth, making tiny mewling sounds in the back of his throat. Ducking his head and nosing aside the shirt collar, Draco sucked and bit at Potter’s trapezius, drawing a loud groan and causing Potter to grind against the cock pushing into his clothed arse. Draco was close, but he was damned if he would come before Potter did.
He picked up the pace, twisting his hand at the tip, drawing his thumb over the top and grazing the slit, over and over. Potter’s head lolled back, exposing more neck for Draco to devour—he took full advantage. Hot liquid lust roiled in his belly; he felt like his blood had turned to come, he was so ready to reach completion. Potter must be close, he must be.
“Don’t hold back,” Draco murmured against his neck, and Potter’s hips jerked spasmodically as he pumped warm stripes of come all over the brick wall and Draco’s hand. The slippery hot feel of it sent a bolt of urgent need down Draco’s spine and he spent himself inside his pants. He didn’t care about the mess—he felt phenomenal.
Draco faded out for a few seconds, basking in the afterglow of making Potter’s body confess its desire for him. His smirk was of legendary proportions as he leaned against Potter’s back and listened to them both regain their normal breathing.
After a minute or so, Potter pulled his hips back and tucked himself away, then made an odd humming sound. It sounded like someone nerving themselves to say something, but what would he possibly say after that? Draco straightened, setting himself to rights and readying himself to extort the Monitor, but he felt suddenly sick at the thought of threatening to out Potter in order to get it.
Potter turned but stayed where he was, facing Draco at a distance of mere centimeters. His wide green eyes, pupils huge in them, arrested Draco’s words, whatever they would have been. Draco’s gaze drifted downwards, away from the intensity of that look. He saw full, bitten-red lips and flushed cheeks; Merlin, Potter was hot in the aftermath of a nice quasi-consensual shag. Draco was tempted to lean down and capture that mouth, lick his way inside and make Potter beg for more.
“What now?” Potter said and it took Draco a minute to realize he’d been asked a question.
He tore his gaze away from Potter’s face to give himself time to think. “I still need my Monitor, Potter. Unless you have it on you, we’ll have to go back to your house.”
“You know where I live?” Potter said, eyes going to the alleyway entrance.
“Yeah,” Draco admitted. It was pretty clear he did, otherwise how would he have waylaid Potter? “Luna told me.”
“That’s right. You’re friends with her,” Potter said, shifting uneasily. “You, uh. You can come get the Monitor.”
This was all strangely anticlimactic; Draco didn’t know what to do with his hands suddenly, or what expression he should be wearing. Smug triumph no longer felt like the right response. Potter’s attitude was neither defeated nor defiant. He couldn’t quite put a finger on it; maybe his brain was still addled from that admittedly excellent orgasm. Draco did some uneasy shifting of his own; the come in his pants was cooling and drying unpleasantly.
“Mind if I—?” he half asked as he got his wand out and performed a quick cleaning spell on both of them. Harry startled and glanced at him quickly.
“Thanks, er… yeah. You ready? It’s just this way,” Potter stuttered as he made his unsteady way out of the alley.
Draco trailed after him, not knowing what to expect anymore. None of this made any sense. He’d been certain Potter would fight back; he would cause a confrontation, he would deny Draco the Monitor, Draco would have to extort it, there would be accusations and insults—the whole Potter/Malfoy show, in other words. This was just unsettling.
Potter was walking briskly towards his house; Draco reluctantly trotted to catch him up, staying by his side because following Potter like a lost puppy was not on.
They mounted the stairs and Draco hung back as Potter opened the door to a quite charming entryway, polished wood glowing in flickering candlelight. Potter turned and held the door open for him. Draco ducked inside, face heating. He really did not know how to conduct himself in the face of this courtesy.
Harry headed into a large well appointed kitchen and turned to wait for Draco to enter. Draco stepped in and looked around cautiously, taking note of how well-used the room appeared to be. Cared for but definitely lived in.
“You, er, want anything?” Harry said, halfheartedly gesturing towards the cupboards.
“Yes. My Monitor,” Draco said without inflection. He couldn’t believe he was here without a fight, without harsh words. He felt wrongfooted and he hated it. How was this supposed to go?
Harry swallowed and said, “Sure. I, uh—you were right. I didn’t have the right to take it. It wasn’t. Obviously. Not what I thought it was.”
“No shit, Rowena.” Draco rolled his eyes.
“Look, arsehole, I’m trying to apologize.”
“Why?” Draco nearly yelled. “It’s not like I didn’t lead you to—nevermind, save your apologies, I just want it back.” How dare Potter finally start treating him like a human being instead of the walking embodiment of all Slytherin stereotypes?
Except that wasn’t quite true, was it? He’d been quite cordial when Draco had run into him around town, and he’d taken the cuffs off him in the interrogation room, and he’d—a dark suspicion formed in Draco’s mind.
“It was you.”
“What?” Potter went from looking offended to looking caught out.
“You cleared my name. Why?”
“What do you mean, why? It’s my job,” Potter said, staring at the floor. “When I took the—” he gestured to Draco, “I noticed there was a trace on you.”
“A trace?” He couldn’t think who would have done that, unless maybe…
“It was Montefiore. You know him? What am I saying, of course you do.” Potter ran his hand through his hair. “You mind if we sit down?” he asked, looking towards another room that must be a parlor or the like.
“Potter. Am I ever going to get the Monitor back?”
“Oh. Sure.” Potter looked sheepish as he turned to rummage in a drawer. “Uh, here it is.” He thrust it out for Draco to take.
Draco stepped forward and took the Monitor from Potter’s hand. He gallantly refrained from looking at it, then a thought occurred to him. He held it out to Potter.
“Take it back,” he said. Potter quirked an eyebrow at him, and, well—Draco hadn’t known he could do that. It was shockingly hot. “I want to see what it says.”
“Oh, you want me to,” Potter mumbled as he reached out to take it again. He looked at it and his face bloomed with color.
“What does it say? You read the three dials—”
“I know how to read it,” Potter said absently. “Hermione showed me.”
“Of course she did,” Draco drawled. “Well?”
“Um. The first one says Survival, the second says Recompense. I don’t even know what that means.” Potter halted.
Draco had a funny feeling. “What’s the third say?”
Potter’s lips quirked. “Sexual attraction,” he said, eyes flickering up to meet Draco’s. Draco blushed fiercely but held his gaze. "Well, I guess it’s not the biggest surprise I’ve ever had in my life,” he said, and Potter started to laugh. Draco felt a laugh bubble up inside him and let it out, hearing the way it mingled with Potter’s laughter. It sounded good.
As the laughter trailed off, their eyes met again and Draco felt a strong surge of want pulse through his body. Potter was fit, there was absolutely no denying it. His breathing came faster and he forced himself to calm down. There was no point in pursuing this.
“Can I have it back now?” he said, a little coldly given their shared amusement moments ago. Harry shook himself and nodded, holding it out. His face showed disappointment, Draco thought, or maybe it was just confusion.
As he took the Monitor from Potter, Draco glanced down at it, not really intending to check it. In a split second, though, his eyes registered that the third dial no longer pointed to ‘sexual attraction.’ It now simply said ‘attraction.’ Huh. He shook his hair out of his eyes and put the Monitor in his pocket, brushing aside a slight sensation of discontent.
“So, Montefiore put a trace on me.”
“Yeah. You want to go in the living room?” Harry gestured towards the room beyond the kitchen, and lights came up in it. A tray of drinks materialized—who knew, the git had manners.
Draco walked into the living room without answering, finding a comfortable chair and snagging a drink that looked like butterbeer but tasted much better.
Harry settled himself in a chair opposite and got himself a drink, taking a long swig and setting it down.
“Yeah, the trace made me suspicious.”
“Why? Surely you must know that someone like me would have enemies, plenty of them. Why would you care?”
“Yeah, but traces aren’t really allowed without a warrant,” Harry said defensively. “I was worried.”
Draco’s eyes felt like they boggled out of his head. This was getting all too surreal—Potter had let him molest his person without a complaint. Potter had invited him into his home, politely even. And now, Potter was evidently worried for him? Looking out for him? Draco swallowed and composed himself, mind racing.
Was it really so surprising? Potter had returned Draco’s wand after the battle, after all. He’d testified at Draco’s trial. He’d rescued him from the fire in the Room. Draco risked a look at Potter’s face. Potter was staring into his glass as though it contained the answers to all the mysteries of life. Draco was tempted to go over and squeeze in, have a look himself. He was certainly facing a mystery right now. The mystery of why it had taken so long to see what everyone else had been seeing for years.
Saint Potter was actually an honest to Merlin saint.
Minutes seemed to have passed while Draco’s world turned upside down, but it was likely only a few moments. He cleared his throat. “So, you tracked down who put the trace on me? Because you were wor—” The word stuck in his throat.
Potter nodded, still looking into his glass. “I took it to Robards and we investigated Montefiore. Turns out, years ago he bribed his way out of conspiracy charges, but it was covered up by sympathizers in the Ministry. It was enough to bring him in for questioning about the trace, and he confessed to trying to buy a, uh, pornographic quill from you.” Potter chuckled a little. “I guess he was planning to use it to discredit Kingsley, part of a scheme to work his way into power. He, uh, he tried to frame you for the Holyhead incident—it was Montefiore who bought the explosive candelbra from Yaxley and engineered the whole thing. Seems like Yaxley had stolen it from the Manor at some point.”
“So why wasn’t I brought in? If he named me,” Draco said, feeling remarkably calm in the face of having been deliberately framed for four wizarding fatalities.
“Well, the quill wasn’t actually a dark object, so there wasn’t anything to bring you in for. Montefiore claimed you were selling off dark artifacts from some stash you had, but he couldn’t prove anything.” Harry’s expression looked suspiciously bland—he was hiding something.
“But come on, surely the Aurors wanted to investigate anyway. He testified under Veritaserum, didn’t he?”
“Well,” Harry stalled. He rubbed the back of his neck and for the first time, Draco found the gesture charming rather than irritating. “I… argued that there was no proof that you had any dark objects. If the quill wasn’t dark, then…”
“And they listened to you?”
“Sometimes being the, uh, Savior has its benefits.” Potter looked over at him, the slightest smirk gracing his mouth. “Also, I pointed out that Dawlish had overseen the extraction of all the dark arts stuff from the Manor in the first place and he wouldn’t have left any behind. Dawlish leapt to your defense after that.”
“Slick, Potter,” Draco said, smiling widely in spite of himself. “Downright Slytherin.”
“Thanks,” Potter replied, looking smug. Something flipped over inside Draco at the idea of a Potter who took that as a compliment.
“So, why didn’t you use your alibi, Malfoy?” Potter asked out of the blue.
“What?” Draco felt his face register dismay and smoothed out his expression.
“You know, during the - at the Ministry, when I was questioning you?” Potter’s cheeks were flushed dark. “You wouldn’t say who you were with, the night of the attack.”
“I was- I was with a friend. I didn’t want them dragged into it.”
Potter’s eyebrows raised at that. “Loyal. I like that,” he said softly.
The atmosphere between them shifted somehow. Had the candles dimmed? Draco surreptitiously looked around, his gaze finally landing on Potter again only to find those green eyes staring back at him. A jolt of some nameless emotion lanced through him.
“So, I guess I owe you then,” Draco said. A number of ways in which he could repay Potter flitted through his mind, and he allowed them to show on his face. The very recent memory of what they’d done in the alleyway, and the fact that Potter had been a very willing participant, had finally sunk all the way into his nervous system. His body was on fire with the implications. They could do… anything.
Potter’s eyelids fluttered down, lashes casting a shadow against his skin. He looked delicious. Draco could think of, oh, a million things he’d like to do with him; that handsome face, that gorgeous body.
But this was Harry Potter. He was an Auror trainee, the Savior of the wizarding world, apparently Draco’s own personal Savior as well. He may be a saint, but he was dangerous. Too dangerous for Draco to get closer to.
Draco had no plans to abandon his enterprise, or Greg. They needed the money from selling that stash. They were entitled to it. He was damned if he’d let anything stand in his way, not even his dick.
“You don’t have to repay me,” Potter said.
Draco got up. “Good to know,” he said, voice dull. He had to get out of there. “Thanks for the Monitor. I’ll let myself out.”
Harry stood up, his mouth open as if to say something, but nothing came out. Draco swept past him, through the kitchen and out the door.
Greg bounded up to Draco at the pub, an uncharacteristically positive energy radiating off of him.
“Draco! It’s great to see you!” Greg patted his back, causing Draco to choke a bit on his drink.
“Greg,” Draco drawled after clearing his throat. “Anything you want to share? You’re awfully chipper,” he said, with a meaningful look.
Greg’s face split in a broad smile even as he ducked his head and shuffled his feet a bit. Merlin, he really was just a giant puppy dog. Draco smirked at him. “Things went well on the coffee date, I take it?”
Greg nodded and looked up, cheeks rosy. He looked young, and happy, and Draco felt a sharp shock of jealousy. Jealousy? Of Greg? No, he was happy for him. He was, truly.
Draco forced a smile onto his face. “Are you meeting her here?”
“Yeah, in a bit. Wanted to catch up with you first. Did I tell you?”
“Tell me what? You have more news?” Draco leaned in and lowered his voice. “Is it about our—”
“No,” Greg said firmly. “No actually, they gave me a raise and a promotion at Eeylops. I’m senior assistant in charge of Owl Wellbeing.” He beamed, literally beamed, at his friend. Draco found himself beaming back effortlessly.
“That’s brilliant, Greg! I’m proud of you. Let’s get you a drink, yes?” Draco walked towards the bar, waving Greg into a seat at the table he’d been occupying. Occupying and brooding at, if he were honest.
He couldn’t seem to stop wanting to thank Potter for his defense of Draco’s innocence. Partly it was gratitude, partly shame—since in fact Draco was not entirely innocent, even though he’d had nothing to do with the Holyhead incident. Mostly, he acknowledged uncomfortably, he wanted to explore that attraction that the Monitor had identified. After thinking about it—obsessing, really—it had occurred to him that the loss of the modifier “sexual” was a step up, not a demotion.
Potter was attracted to him. To all of him, not just his body. Potter was interested. In him. As a person.
It made him breathless, which pissed him off; but still, he couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was absurd. And pointless. He and Greg had to keep going, there were thousands of Galleons to be made and they weren’t exactly in a position to disregard that. Unfortunately.
Except Greg had just gotten a promotion. And a raise. Draco accepted the drinks he’d ordered from the bartender and walked back to the table, mind racing.
“So, that raise,” Draco opened. He wasn’t sure he ought to probe, but he couldn’t help it. Maybe the raise would be enough, maybe Greg didn’t really need the money so much now.
“Yeah, actually I was thinking,” Greg started, then took a huge swig of his lager, nearly finishing the glass. He wiped his mouth and started again. “I was thinking, Draco. Um. With this raise, I probably—don’t get mad, but I was thinking that maybe I could just, you know. Put the, er, business on hold. For a while. Just me, you know. You could still sell them, and you’re better at it than I am. You could sell mine! I don’t care. I just. I don’t want to do it anymore.”
This was, hands down, the most words Greg had ever strung together in Draco’s presence. Draco was speechless. And relieved.
“Yeah, I was wondering about that. I might, er, do the same. You know. Just for a while.” Draco flushed as how inarticulate he’d become. Greg didn’t seem to notice, but it was telling.
He was doing this for purely practical reasons, he reasoned. It was getting dangerous; they’d already sold the most valuable pieces, and with the recent investigation it just didn’t seem worth it to continue. Especially if Greg didn’t need to. It wasn’t like he couldn’t start it up again, if this thing with Potter didn’t work out.
This thing with Potter. He’d just thought those words. Those words, in that order, had just crossed his mind.
He forced himself to pay attention to Greg, who had launched into another unprecedentedly long speech about how good things were at his job and how relieved he was to take a break from, you know, and how Luna was helping him come out of his shell. He nodded and smiled and all the while was thinking about those four words.
Luna arrived soon thereafter and Draco made his farewells, air-kissing her on each cheek and whispering in her ear, “Take good care of him.” She favored him with a luminous smile. It felt like a blessing.
His heart was leaping about in his ribcage like an idiotic rabbit. Draco actually pressed his hand to his chest in an effort to calm it. He couldn’t believe the intensity of his physiological reaction to the sight of Potter’s door knocker in front of his face. If anything, he would have expected his dick to get in on the excitement, but it was strangely quiescent.
Draco lifted his hand to knock and was startled when the door opened before he made contact.
“Malfoy?” Potter said, a smile tugging at the corner of his lovely mouth.
“Potter,” Draco said, inclining his head politely. “I’ve, er, I was just in the neighborhood.” Oh, very smooth, he thought to himself, suppressing an eyeroll.
“Er, yeah,” Potter grinned. “And you’ve been on my doorstep for five minutes.” He chuckled but tried to turn it into a cough. “The wards chimed.”
Draco wished there were a spell to prevent blushing. The slightest increase of blood flow showed up on his fair skin like blazes, it was monstrously unfair.
“May I come in, please?” he asked flatly, taking refuge in etiquette as his mother had taught him.
Potter sobered and said, “Of course. I was just having some tea. You should, er, join me.”
Draco stepped into the foyer, noticing how warm and inviting it looked, how good the house smelled. Potter brushed past him to lead the way to the sitting room, and he followed, eyes trained helplessly on that incredible arse.
“It smells good,” Draco said as his eyes alit on the table full of tea cakes and scones.
“I made them myself,” Potter said. “Well, some of them. The scones. The other stuff came from the shop around the corner.” He gestured for Draco to sit in a comfortable looking armchair next to the sofa where he’d clearly been sitting, to judge by the sprinkling of crumbs on the arm. Potter nervously brushed them off as Draco seated himself, crossing his legs.
“Tea?” Potter asked, picking up the ceramic teapot and preparing to pour, and it was just so funny, suddenly—like they were children playing at being grown ups, having a little tea party. Draco started to laugh, and Potter followed, and soon they were hiccoughing, tears streaming from their eyes.
Draco wiped his face and said, “Some tea would be lovely, actually,” and that just set them off again. After they’d calmed down for the second time, Potter picked up the pot of tea and poured some into a mug. Draco accepted it, taking a deep, slow breath and feeling like the whole world was tipping on its axis.
They sat there for a minute or so, perched precariously on the edge of losing it yet again, sipping tea and not looking at each other. Eventually, Draco put down his mug and looked at the selection of treats. He wasn’t really hungry but he wanted something to do with his hands and they did look and smell delicious.
“The scones are fresh out of the oven,” Potter said, voice suddenly serious. Draco turned his head to look at him and the desire he saw in Potter’s eyes stole the breath from his lungs. He straightened in his chair, unconsciously uncrossing his legs and getting his feet under him just in case. Just in case Potter made a move and he needed to climb in his lap or something. Potter looked very much like he was about to make a move, if Draco was any judge of body language. His hand was poised on the arm of the sofa, like he was bracing to lift himself up.
Draco’s eye flickered to Potter’s lips and he licked his own. Potter's gaze followed his tongue and darkened further. It was—it was really about to happen. Potter stood up and Draco followed in an instant. His hands went out to steady himself as he began to sway and ended up resting on Potter’s waist. His firm, muscular waist. Draco’s fingers curled in, grabbing and pulling him closer. Potter, ever so slightly shorter, looked ever so slightly up at him and smiled.
“Hi,” he said, nearly inaudible.
“Hello,” Draco returned, looking at Harry’s mouth. Harry.
Harry closed his eyes and leaned in and then, oh. They were kissing, closed mouths brushing warmly against each other. Lips parting, tongues meeting and tentatively sliding together—Draco’s knees went liquid and nearly buckled under him. Potter was good at this.
Potter—Harry—Harry’s hands went around to Draco’s arse and groped, ungh—Merlin, it felt so right. His hands were large and strong and Draco wanted to pin them over his head and torture Harry’s body with his tongue until he writhed and begged. The kiss deepened and pulled him down into a vortex of need. He realized he was making small sounds and told himself to stop but it was no use. He had no control at all. Harry just drove him completely mad.
Draco pushed at Harry, pulling his head away from the kiss. “Should we—?” He began to ask, meaning something about moving to a bedroom, but Harry just reeled him in again and sat down on the sofa behind him, pulling Draco on top to straddle him. Draco steadied himself, hands over Harry’s shoulders on the back of the sofa, leaning down to press his forehead to Harry’s. “This is crazy,” he breathed, closing his eyes.
“This is crazy,” Harry agreed. He pushed his hips up into Draco’s crotch and Draco opened his eyes in surprised pleasure, groaning softly at the sensation of their erections grinding together.
“I love kissing you,” he said, and Draco took the hint, covering Harry’s mouth with his own and diving in. They bucked and rubbed against each other, whining a little at the difficulty of getting the friction they needed. Finally Draco had had enough—he’d spent too many nights lately imagining just what he would do to Harry if and when he ever got him alone in private. He wasn’t wasting anymore time—if grinding down on Harry’s crotch could be called a “waste.”
Draco slid to his knees before Harry and put his hands on Harry’s thighs, looking up from between his legs and letting a truly filthy smile form on his lips. Harry looked down at him, eyes wide, mouth completely and utterly debauched. He seemed to be mesmerised. Draco took it as encouragement. His hands went to the waistband of Harry’s jeans, unbuttoning and yanking on the zipper with a rather shameful lack of finesse. Harry helpfully lifted his hips and Draco dragged the jeans and pants down around his thighs, finally getting a good look at that generous cock that he’d only felt the last time, in the alleyway.
It was gorgeous—nice and thick and a lovely shape, skin velvet smooth over rock-hard flesh, the foreskin just barely retracted from the flushed head. Draco’s eyelids fluttered shut in anticipation as he lowered his head to take in the crown, tonguing the foreskin back with little licks. Harry’s head fell back as he hissed in response, hips thrusting upward.
Harry tasted and smelled so fucking good. Draco slid his hands up to grasp Harry’s hip bones, pinning him to the sofa. His dick got impossibly harder at the thought of restraining Harry. Draco wanted to pin him against any number of surfaces, control his coming and going (and coming), make him subject to Draco’s every sexual whim. He ran his lips over the shaft of Harry’s cock, causing him to moan.
Draco decided that both of them had waited long enough for release, so he went to town on Harry’s cock, pumping his fist over the shaft, letting his saliva slick the way. He sucked hard on the head, tonguing the slit, and that was it, Harry came in successive waves, spurting hot into Draco’s mouth and filling it. Draco swallowed with pleasure—he considered a nice load to be a tribute to his skills.
Licking his lips, he pulled away from Harry’s groin to look up at him, smiling with dazed satisfaction. Harry returned the look with interest, eyes unfocused behind his glasses. He took them off and tossed them on the side table, then slid down to join Draco on his knees by the sofa. He slid both hands into Draco’s hair and brought his head down for a lingering kiss that went straight to Draco’s long-suffering cock.
Draco smiled into the kiss as he pushed his trousers down, noting how Harry’s gaze traveled with his hands. He was wearing nothing underneath them, so his cock jutted up between the vee of his open waistband, and Harry’s eyes fixed on it. Suddenly, Harry sprang into action, turning to grab his wand that lay near his glasses on the table, and he gestured wordlessly at the both of them, banishing their clothes entirely. Draco didn’t give the slightest fuck where they’d gone, even though those trousers were his favorite.
And then they were naked together, rubbing up on one another and laughing like the boys they never had been. Draco felt joy in every pore of his body; he’d never really imagined having this with someone but it somehow utterly failed to surprise him that it was happening with Potter. Harry.
“Harry,” he tried. Harry moaned and sucked on his neck, and Draco said it again, lower. “Harry…”
“Yes, Draco?” Harry said in almost a purr, and Draco nearly blacked out from the surge of lust that flooded him.
“I want to fuck you,” he whispered. “Please let me.” He held Harry to him, arms around his back, one hand at the nape of his neck. He suddenly felt tender, achingly so, as though he’d proposed marriage instead of a sex act.
Harry laughed brokenly and said, “I thought you’d never ask.” He pulled out of the embrace and turned around to face the sofa, draping his torso across the seat and thrusting out his arse.
“Like this?” he asked over his shoulder.
“Merlin, yes,” Draco replied, surprised that he was even able to articulate words. He put his hands on Harry’s arse, pushing and squeezing it, feeling the lovely muscle under the incredibly soft skin and admiring the fluff of springy hair in the cleft. “I want to...” he began and Harry said “yes” before he could say anything further.
Draco lowered himself to tongue the very summit of the cleft, dragging it down as his hand spread the cheeks further apart. The fuzz of the hair tickled his lips but he urged more saliva from his mouth and got the area all slick before circling the hole lightly. Harry whimpered and reared back a little, and Draco had his second opportunity to restrain him. He pressed down on Harry’s cheeks, immobilizing that fine arse and giving himself purchase to ream him open with his tongue, thrusting in and in and in, drawing incredible sounds from Harry.
His cock was unequivocally demanding some attention now, so he murmured a spell to both lubricate and stretch Harry, then inserted two fingers. It suddenly occurred to him that he didn’t know whether Harry had done this before, but the intrusion didn’t seem to bother him at all—to the contrary, he moaned deliciously and ground back on Draco’s hand. Crooking his fingers down, Draco managed to graze a spot inside Harry that made the moan turn into a howl. His dick throbbed at the sound—so uncontrolled and desperate.
“I’m going to—” he said as he leaned up over Harry’s body where he supported himself on his elbows on the sofa. Harry nodded, so Draco lined up and sank in, just the tip, just a glorious fraction. They both groaned at the intrusion, Harry breathing hard but taking it, taking it so well. Draco’s cock sank further in and Harry said, “Draco,” in a voice so wrecked and beautiful that Draco wanted to devour him alive. Instead, he slid the rest of the way home, seated fully in Harry’s lovely arse and losing his mind at the feel of it surrounding him.
He thrust, just moving an inch in and out, and his body flooded with pleasure. Draco kept his eyes focused on the side of Harry’s face, watching his eyes close in bliss, his mouth parted on a gasp. He thrust again and Harry smiled, and Draco had to close his eyes at that. He started fucking in a tight rhythm, not deep but with intent, and then he cut loose and dragged his cock over Harry’s prostate relentlessly. Harry braced his hands against the back cushion, pressing back on Draco’s cock, trying to fuck himself on it. Draco plunged into him as hard as he could, turning the pace from relentless to punishing. The filthy sound of his cock filling Harry’s hole, the slapping of his balls against Harry’s body, the cries Harry made, helpless noises of agonised pleasure, were like the loveliest music he’d ever heard. His eyes were closing in bliss but he forced them open to watch himself plunder Harry’s arse, the flesh of his cheeks bouncing with every thrust. Harry had pushed one of his hands between his body and the sofa, and Draco followed it with own hand, grabbing at Harry’s erection and pulling mercilessly.
It only took a few minutes more of this total insanity to draw heartstopping orgasms from the both of them. Harry’s come covered Draco’s hand and Draco’s hips pumped his completion into Harry’s arse as that passage clenched rhythmically around him. Their panting echoed in the room as Draco lay his head on Harry’s shoulder, eyes closed, inhaling the scent of him.
“That was—Jesus, Malfoy,” Harry said in a fucked-out voice. Draco felt boneless on top of him; he didn’t want to move.
“I liked it when you were calling me Draco,” he murmured into the skin of Harry’s back.
Harry stirred and Draco lifted himself off and away, pulling out of that phenomenal arse. He watched as a thin dribble of come leaked out and shuddered at the brutal eroticism of the sight. With any luck, this wouldn’t be the only time he’d get to see that, or cause that. He leaned over and grabbed Harry’s wand and was surprised to feel how responsive it was as he cast a cleaning spell on the both of them.
Harry turned around and smiled shyly at him, then looked around, apparently for his clothes. Draco laughed.
“You banished them, remember? Where do they usually go when you do that?”
Harry frowned. “It depends. If I was focusing, which I don’t think I was, they go to the laundry room. Here, I’ll just—” He took the wand from Draco’s hand, standing and gesturing towards the door. A pile of clothes whipped towards them in a rush, hitting both of them in the face with their respective ensembles. They both chuckled as they sorted through their clothes, pulling on pants and shirts, buttoning trousers and jeans.
As Draco was shaking out his trousers to put them on, the Monitor fell out of the pocket and rolled over to land at Harry’s feet. He’d completely forgotten it was in there. Draco reached out for it and Harry picked it up, glancing at it. He did a doubletake and Draco felt a mild sense of trepidation; clearly, it didn’t just read ‘sexual attraction’ anymore. Oh no. What had it changed to?
Harry looked up and the oddest expression crossed his face as he glanced over at Draco. His eyes lit up and he was obviously suppressing a smile. Draco couldn’t bear to know what the dial read; he had a sudden conviction that it said something mortifying like “romance” or something even worse. Biting his lip, he held out his hand for the Monitor, silently vowing to keep the damned thing at home for the time being.
Once they were dressed in their clothes, they sat a bit awkwardly on the sofa next to each other, Harry leaning forward with his elbows on his knees, Draco leaning back, one leg crossed over the other. A strange silence reigned, only broken when Harry said, “Fuck it,” turned to Draco and pulled him forward into another kiss. Draco sighed and fell headlong into it, opening his mouth under Harry’s.
They kissed languidly for a moment, then Harry pulled away a fraction. “I guess we like each other,” he said against Draco’s mouth.
“I guess we do,” Draco said back, nipping at Harry’s lips. “What are we going to do about that?”
“You seeing anyone?” Harry asked, running his hand up the back of Draco’s neck and playing with his hair. Draco shivered, then laughed.
“I’m seeing someone right now, Potter.”
Harry backed up. “You are?” he asked, looking shocked and put out.
Draco smiled slyly. “You, you great git,” he said, brushing the hair out of Harry’s eyes. “I’m seeing you.”