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Accepting a Compliment

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“In conclusion, gentlemen,” Blaise finished, setting his quill down with a flourish, “I think you’ll find that Puddlemere United is poised to give you the highest return on your investments should you choose to sponsor us this season. And no, I’m not just saying that because I’m their manager.”

His little jibe got him a few chuckles from the assembled representatives. A few of them were reaching for the contracts as he spoke. Blaise suppressed the urge to pump his fist. He had this one in the bag.

“Now, I admit I might be a little biased given my associations with PU, but I assure you that we’re the best team out there! Why? Because we’ve got the S.N.I.T.C.H! That’s Spirit, Nuance, Intuition, Teamwork, Camaraderie and...”

“Blaise! Get out here and fix this before I murder your thrice damned Seeker!”

The enraged shout rang out like a battle cry. Some of the sponsors jumped in their seats. Old Atticus Selwyn yelped in alarm and upset a pitcher of water.

Blaise groaned and swiped a hand over his face. “Heart,” he finished dryly.

The next second, Draco Malfoy burst through the door, with murder in his eyes.

“Hello, Draco,” Blaise deadpanned. “What can I do for my star Chaser today?”

Draco was not appeased by the compliment. He strode past the assembled sponsors, leaned over and slammed his fists on Blaise’s desk. Oh, he really was pissed this time.

“He did it again,” he bit out.

Blaise reintroduced his hand to his face. Honestly? This again? How had this become his life? “Draco,” he tried. “I’m kind of in the middle of someth...”

“You fix this,” Draco hissed back. “You fix it, or I’ll fix him. And it won’t be pretty.”

Blaise gave up. He didn’t exactly have a choice. On one hand, the sponsors were important. On the other, his Seeker was liable to lose a limb— or something much more valuable— if someone didn’t calm Draco down.

“Fine,” he sighed. “Let’s talk. Please excuse us, gentlemen. This will only take a minute.”

The sponsors filed out with grudging whispers and muttering and wary glances in Draco’s general direction. Once the door clicked shut, Blaise turned to him.

“Well, go on. What did Potter do to you this time?”


Earlier that day:

Draco tucked the Quaffle under his arm and made a landing. He was absolutely wrecked. Marianne Holdt— team captain and resident slave-driver— had gotten it into her head that the Chasers needed a little one on one time. Thanks to her wise and generous leadership, Draco had a whole new collection of bruises to show off.

All he wanted to do was take a shower and crash. In fact, he was so exhausted that he almost didn’t notice Potter jogging up to him. Draco frowned. There was no Seeker practice today. Why was Potter here? Draco made it a point to avoid him as much as possible, given their complicated history.

Unfortunately, Potter was pretty much everywhere.

“Hey there, Malfoy,” Potter greeted, striding alongside him.

“Afternoon, Potter,” Draco replied in kind. “What brings you to Chaser practice?”

“Just watching,” Potter replied easily. “You had some new moves out there today.”

Draco blinked in surprise. Potter had noticed? How long had Potter been watching him? The thought was disconcerting and it just fed his long-standing paranoia about Potter being ‘up to something’. Potter’s odd behaviour recently had certainly not helped matters along. Suddenly, Draco wanted nothing more than to leave before something weird happened.

“I should go,” he said firmly. “Have a nice day, Potter.”

“You too,” Potter grinned.

Draco heaved a sigh of relief and started to walk away.

“Oh, I almost forgot,” Potter exclaimed suddenly. “Bloody good game today, Malfoy!”


Draco yelped as a strong hand made contact with his backside. He may or may not have jumped a bit. For a moment, he could do nothing but stand there and come to terms with the fact that Potter had just...just smacked his arse!


This was the third time this week!

Draco gnashed his teeth and fumed in silence as Potter walked away, whistling a jaunty tune.


“That’s it?” Blaise spoke up once Draco had run out of steam. “He gave you a little congratulatory pat and that has you baying for his blood?”

Draco whirled on him with bared teeth. “It was not a ‘little pat’! It bloody well hurt!”

Blaise took a deep breath and willed away a chuckle of amusement. Draco certainly wouldn’t appreciate the humour in this situation. “I’m sorry to hear that,” he offered reasonably. “I’m sure he doesn’t mean anything by it. Maybe it’s some strange Muggle sports custom.”

“Then why doesn’t he do it to Rogers or Jones?” Draco demanded. “Why does he only go after me? Every time I turn my back it’s bloody good game, Malfoy or nice flying out there, Malfoy or hey, those leather gloves give your arms great definition, Malfoy and then...and then...!”

“And then?” Blaise prompted helpfully.

“And then he wallops me and runs away!”

This time, Blaise did snicker. Draco growled and threw a paperweight at him, which he neatly dodged. “Calm down, I’m on your side,” he placated. “I see the pattern and you have my deepest sympathies.”

Draco’s jaw tightened. “Why does he do this? He’s up to something! What does he mean by ‘great game, Malfoy’?”

“I think he means ‘great game, Malfoy’, Malfoy,” Blaise retorted.

Draco scoffed. “Amateur. Something’s off here, I know it! I just don’t know what it is.”

“Or maybe, you just don’t know how to accept a compliment,” Blaise reasoned.

“What kind of compliment involves smacking my arse?!”

Blaise smirked and raised an eyebrow. “Okay, I know you’ve been single a long time but even you can’t be this thick.”

“What the hell are you yammering about? Are you going to fix this or not?!”

Blaise gave it a moment’s thought. He could do the sensible, mature thing and have a discrete chat with Potter about team ethics and borderline sexual harassment.

But what kind of Slytherin prescribed to something as plebeian as maturity?

“No,” he replied firmly. “You and Potter are grown men and I’m sure you can work this out between yourselves. I suggest you resolve this as soon as possible.”

Draco’s shoulders went back. “Maybe I will,” he muttered belligerently, turning heel and making for the door.

“In fact,” Blaise added casually, “maybe you should get a little payback. Potter has it coming and it would certainly drive the lesson home.”

Draco paused for a moment and Blaise held his breath. As far as bait and hook went, it had been a transparent attempt but Draco was so utterly oblivious to anything Potter related. There was a chance he might just go for it.

“You know what? I think I’ll do just that. Stupid Potter trying to mess with my head! I’ll show him what...”

Draco’s sullen muttering faded away as he stomped down the corridor in search of his victim. Blaise smirked and settled back in his chair. This was either going to be the best scheme he’d ever pulled, or it would get him killed.

Either way, things were going to get very interesting very soon.


Harry whistled as he stepped out of the shower, with a towel slung low on his waist. He looked around and was slightly disappointed to find himself alone. Of course, it was too much to expect that Draco would be here but then, Harry hadn’t exactly been subtle.

Or had he? Draco’s only reaction to his admittedly aggressive courting endeavours seemed to be a blend of confusion and annoyance.

Harry pondered his options. Maybe he should graduate to towel snaps? That would certainly get his teammate’s attention...

He was so lost in his musings that he didn’t notice the stealthy figure sneaking out from another stall and prowling behind him. When the figure tugged his towel, Harry’s eyes grew wide. Before he could register an appropriate response, the towel slipped off and then, without further warning...


Harry yelped and jumped a good six feet in the air as a sharp smack was dealt to his bare bottom. When he turned around, Draco was smirking victoriously.

“Good game, Potter,” he drawled.

Harry blinked and concentrated on not rubbing his stinging arse. Or the fact that he was standing buck naked in front of Draco Malfoy. Who had just spanked him. What the hell had just happened?

“Um, thanks?” he managed.

Draco’s eyes narrowed. Wait, why did he look so pissed? He clenched his fist and barged into Harry’s face, eyes flashing with indignation. “Not so much fun when it happens to you, is it?” he snapped.

Okay, this was weird.

Harry opted for bravado in the face of this strange turn of events. “Well, I’m not entirely opposed to having your hands on my arse, if you get my drift,” he offered with a cheeky grin. “Still, a little warning would be nice.”

Draco gaped at him like he’d grown two heads. “A! I didn’t get a warning when you did it to me!”

“What, that smack from before?” Harry barked out a laugh. “That was a compliment, Malfoy! People do it all the time in Muggle sports. It’s just an expression of sportsmanship, is all. Besides, I’m sure it didn’t hurt.”

“That’s what you think! It did too hurt! You...”

Harry bit his lip to quell a laugh as Draco flushed and trailed off his rant. Apparently, he’d said more than he’d intended to. He looked rather adorable at the moment, all embarrassed and caught off guard. Harry cocked his head. He could work with this. If he played his cards right, maybe Draco would come to him.

“Well,” he offered finally. “I’m really sorry if I...uh, injured you in any way. That wasn’t my intention. I was just trying to offer up a compliment, honest.”

And land a few spanks on that fine arse, he added silently. Not that he would ever say so. Draco would very likely kill him.

Draco just looked sulky now. “You only do it to me,” he muttered petulantly. “Why don’t you compliment Rogers? Or Jones?”

There was a question in that sulky demand. Why me, Potter? Harry could read it clear as day. Oh yes, he was hooked. Now, all Harry had to do was reel him in.

“Maybe I don’t want to compliment them,” he replied with a sly smile. “Maybe you’re the only one I want to...compliment.”

He prowled closer and his smile widened when Draco skittered back a few steps.

He didn’t look particularly thrilled at this turn of events. He glared and his chin lifted with a defiant jerk. “Potter, you’re naked,” he stated, because apparently that wasn’t obvious. “This is all very untoward!”

“You’re the one who jumped me in the shower,” Harry contested. “You stalked me, ripped my towel off and spanked my bare arse. Excuse me for getting the wrong idea.”

Draco sputtered indignantly. His cheeks flushed a lovely scarlet. “I didn’t...I only did spanked me first!”

“Yes,” Harry agreed, taking the last step and pressing his nude body against Draco. He shifted his hips and his blood flared at the telltale bulge rubbing against his own. Harry smirked and traced his hands down Draco’s hips, squeezing his arse gently. “And I plan to do it again.”

He silenced any further protests from Draco with a firm kiss. Draco squeaked in surprise and attempted a half-hearted struggle, but Harry just held on and groped his arse shamelessly. When their groins brushed together again Draco groaned in pleasure and relaxed in his grip. Harry smiled into the kiss and gave him one last squeeze before breaking away.

“Come on,” he said as he cajoled a somewhat dazed Draco into a shower stall. “I still haven’t congratulated you for today’s game.”

Draco blinked and his brow furrowed suspiciously. “Are you going to spank me again?” he demanded.

Harry chuckled and gave him a fond peck in response. “You’ll learn to love it.”


Blaise cornered Draco in the lockers a few days later. He hadn’t received any indication on the progress of his little scheme and he was starting to get curious. Blaise liked to follow through on all his plots.

“So,” he said, eyeing Draco as he stepped out of the shower, “did you work things out with Potter?”

The only tell was a slight stiffening in Draco’s shoulders. When he turned around to face Blaise, his face was carefully blank. “We came to an agreement,” he offered evasively.

“That’s good news,” Blaise prompted. “No more unwarranted smacks?”

Draco cleared his throat and crossed his arms defensively. “Certainly no more unwarranted smacks,” he mumbled.

How very interesting.

“Well, I’m glad it all worked out,” Blaise offered jovially. “And hey, if you need to gripe about Potter again, my door is always open.”

“I think Potter and I will be just fine,” Draco mumbled skittishly. “Look Blaise, it’s been nice chatting but I have to change and go to practice.”

“Of course,” Blaise obliged, stepping aside at once. “Have a good one!”

Draco hurried away on the double, bunching a towel firmly around his waist. Not firm enough, though. The towel slipped just the tiniest bit, and Blaise raised an eyebrow as he spied a vivid red handprint stark against pale flesh.

Oh, it was too good to resist.

“You’re not going to have any trouble sitting on your broom, right?” he called.

“Blaise! Salazar, who says things like...shut up, you tosser!”

Blaise cackled all the way back to his office.