Chapter 1: Stunned Bunny
“It’s a very modest amount,” Draco says, flipping over the parchment. His eyes scan the lines of legalese.
“Eight thousand galleons could only be modest to a Malfoy,” Blaise answers, and Draco smirks but doesn’t look up from the contract.
“For an establishment of this size and clientele, I mean,” he continues. “The building is huge and – are these numbers accurate? Twenty-eight hundred unique visitors monthly?”
Blaise says, “Yes,” then pauses, and adds, “well, it’s as close to accurate as we can get. We put a high prize on anonymity here, so those numbers could be off by as many as five hundred in either direction.”
Draco glances up from the contract. In the dim candlelight of the back office, Blaise’s dark skin is several shades darker, and edged in orange-gold on one side. “I hope there’s nothing untoward going on here,” Draco says.
Blaise cants his head to one side, mouth twisting. “Define untoward,” he says.
“Illegal,” Draco says, his voice perhaps a bit too sharp. “I mean illegal, Blaise. You know the Malfoys can’t get tangled up in illegal things these days. The Ministry has been itching for a reason to seize our fortune the minute the Dark Lord’s corpse hit the ground. They’ll take any excuse—”
“Then you can relax, Draco,” Blaise says. He smiles good-naturedly, and Draco feels his hackles settle. “There is absolutely nothing against the law going on here at Nox.”
“Then why did I need to define ‘untoward?’” Draco asks.
Blaise looks at him, eyebrows up, like he’s expecting Draco to put it together, but Draco does not. He just looks back in silence until it grows too long.
“What?” Draco says finally. “What’s the look?”
“Have you not put it together, Draco?”
“Put what together?”
Blaise laughs. “Did you even look at our expense account summary?”
Draco starts. He’d glanced through it, mostly paying attention to the monthly and annual totals. “I – yes? I mean, briefly.” He flips through the contract again.
“Doesn’t give you any clues? I was rather hoping for you to put it together on your own; I know how prudish you old pureblood families can be.”
If he was trying to make things clearer, then he’d utterly failed. Draco glances up just long enough to give Blaise a questioning look, then looks back down when he finds the expense account summary.
And now that he looks at it more carefully—
“Three hundred galleons on dragon leather?” Draco reads, sounding surprised. “A bulk order of euphoric elixir from Slug and Jigger, and – lubricant? Like for machinery?”
When Draco looks up at him Blaise is covering his mouth with one hand, his elbow on the smooth oak surface of the desk.
“Oh, Draco,” Blaise says, holding back laughter, “you really have no idea, do you?”
Draco bristles, quite without meaning to. “What exactly is Nox? And if you could tell me without being a condescending dick about it, that’d be lovely.”
Blaise ceases all attempt to hold back on his laughter this time. He pushes one hand through his wiry curls, sits back in his chair.
“I mean—” He stops, laughs. “Blimey, Draco, you really are sheltered.”
“Blaise, I swear on Merlin’s grave—”
Blaise stands suddenly, the legs of his aging wooden chair scraping on the floor. Startled, Draco follows suit.
“I mean, I can’t take Malfoy money in good conscience unless you’re fully informed on where it’s going. Leave the contract.”
Blaise exits the spartan little office briskly. Draco stands in silent stupor for a moment, then drops the contract on the desk and follows. The office door shuts neatly behind him, and Draco quickens his pace to catch up, hurrying down a dark, narrow hallway leading to a set of stairs.
“Blaise—” Draco begins, but Blaise cuts him off.
“There are a lot of rules on the floor,” he says, “but the only one you’ll need to know is that you can’t touch anyone, even casually, without express consent.”
“What?” It’s making less sense by the sentence. Draco follows him up the narrow stairs, toward a dilapidated wooden door, painted black. “What sort of club is this?”
“You’re about to find out, mate.” Blaise thumps him on the shoulder, then pushes through. When they come out on the other side, Draco sees—
—well, he’s not quite sure what he sees. He sees a lot of people, a lot of furniture, a lot of art on the walls, all of it awash in a red floodlight permeating every corner of the room. One of the first things he sees is a woman, naked from the waist down, with her legs spread open as a man with a collar around his neck presses his mouth against her—
“Oh, Merlin,” Draco says, voice about a half-octave higher than he could have sworn it was a moment ago. “Blaise!”
“Welcome to Nox,” Blaise says, gesturing to the room.
Past the woman with the man’s tongue in her – why is he wearing a studded leather collar – there’s a young man chained to a wall by his wrists and – why is that other man hitting him? There’s a lady on her knees on the floor, ankles bound, wrists tied behind her back, kneeling at another man’s feet as he chats casually with another woman – there are three people chatting jovially by a fireplace while a young man, apparently unnoticed, writhes on the floor, red magic pulsing around his chest and his large, erect – oh, God.
Draco feels hot, all over and all at once, but particularly on his face. “Blaise!”
“It’s a sex club, mate,” Blaise says. “More specifically, it’s a BDSM club.”
“This isn’t – I don’t—” Draco covers his mouth with one hands, though he’s not entirely sure why.
“Relax,” Blaise laughs. “Everyone here’s a consenting adult.”
Draco should leave. More generally, he should want to leave. But he does not do either of those things. He stares around, surprised – astonished, even – and feeling uncomfortably warm in his skin.
“I don’t know – what – what on earth is BDSM?” Draco manages, speaking through his fingers, voice a bit strangled. He tears his eyes away from a young woman getting spanked because – he can’t, he just can’t look at that right now, he’s not sure why – and looks at Blaise instead, who looks far more amused than he should be, the bastard.
“Seriously?” Blaise laughs. “You’ve never even heard the term before?”
“Blaise!” Draco says shrilly.
“All right, relax,” Blaise laughs, harder. “It stands for bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism. You know, people who get off on being tied up and knocked around a bit. Or tying up and knocking around other people, depending on your preference.”
“You cannot honestly tell me you’ve never heard of BDSM.”
“All right, all right!” Blaise says. “Do you want to go back to the office?”
“I – I—”
Yes. Obviously. Right? This isn’t – this is weird – this is the deviance his father always talked about. Wasn’t it? Without really meaning to, Draco looks back in time to see – crack – that young man tied up against the wall getting hit with – Merlin – is that a riding crop? Why would he want to be hit with a riding crop? This is definitely weird. How can it not be weird?
“We can go back to the office,” Blaise says, “but if you’re going to invest eight thousand galleons in this place, you really ought to know—”
Draco inches closer to Blaise, whispers, “People really…?”
Blaise raises his eyebrows when Draco trails off.
Not quite knowing how to finish the sentence, Draco decides on, “do – this – this sort of thing?”
“Twenty-eight hundred people a month in the greater London area, give or take,” Blaise says. “Look, Draco, if it really makes you that uncomfortable—“
“Why do people like getting hurt?”
“Different strokes, mate, Merlin. I mean, I get being shocked, but how can you have gone your entire life without even hearing about BDSM, even in passing?”
Blaise laughs. “Do I like getting tied up and knocked about? No, not really my thing. But my girlfriend’s a bit kinky, and I’m a businessman, and we figured that together we could corner the market.”
There is a blindfolded man tied to a table. His stomach and legs are streaked with dried tallow and he’s writhing as another man – Merlin and Circe.
“Don’t you think you should have mentioned this earlier?” Draco hisses at him, even though he is not looking at Blaise.
“Yeah, that would have been a great letter. Wotcher, Draco. Been ages since we chatted. Let’s have coffee some time, we can catch up and I can tell you why you should invest in my sex dungeon.”
Draco is barely listening. He’s watching the man tied up against the wall as the other man strikes him – crack! Draco’s body jolts. That’s preposterous. Right? That’s completely deviant and weird and – and—
Crack. Draco shudders, looks away, flush rising along his chest.
“Look, I know it’s out of the usual Malfoy purview,” Blaise says, “but you’ve seen the numbers. We’re pulling in six figures a month from cover charge alone! It could be making a hell of a lot more than that with a good investor.”
Draco stares at him, head swimming. He’s not even really sure what Blaise is talking about. All he can think about is the crisscrossing red stripes on the man’s back, the sound of the riding crop as it – crack! Draco swallows thickly.
“All right, Sister Malfoy,” Blaise sighs, grabbing him by one shoulder and spinning him around, “back into the office with you before your pass out on your lily-white ass. We’ll talk in the office.”
Blaise steers him back through the large black door labelled “EMPLOYEES ONLY,” marching him down the hall from whence they came, but the image of those red stripes, the sound of the riding crop, does not go away.
The problem, of course, is that even though it is clearly weird and deviant and not-at-all-something-a-good-boy-should-involve-himself-in, it’s also a good investment opportunity. A really good investment opportunity. Blaise is making an amount of revenue that is frankly staggering, and his biggest limitation is lacking the resources and connections to expand, both of which Draco could easily supply him with.
Well, no. The real problem, so far as Draco can tell, is that despite it being clearly weird and deviant and not-at-all-something-a-good-boy-should-involve-himself-in, Draco keeps involving himself in it.
He comes back to Nox four times in as many days, and Blaise familiarizes him with the business model as they walk together around the floor. They are the only two people in suits instead of – well, leather, or sometimes rubber – but no one ever seems to mind. They just keep tying people up and whipping them, or shackling their hands together and having them perform oral sex, or—
And Draco should be disgusted. Obviously he should be disgusted. But he isn’t. Shocked, yes; itchy and uncomfortable in his skin, yes; confused as all hell, yes; but not disgusted.
“There’s no alcohol of course,” Blaise says, “and no drugs or potions that alter mental state.”
“Of course,” Draco says, but he’s not really listening. They’re making a wide circle around the periphery of the room. There’s a man toward the middle, tied elaborately with ropes and kneeling on top of a table, a spreader bar between his knees. A woman stands behind him with a large paddle – swack! Draco jumps once, turns his head forward, heart pounding in his ear.
“And patrons have to sign a waiver and a terms of service agreement every time they come, unless they have a subscription.”
“Subscription,” Draco says. Ahead of them, a young woman nuzzles against the feet of a second woman, whimpering and crooning as she chats with a man in leather. Draco’s head swims.
“Fifty galleons a month,” Blaise says. “Seventy-five for unrestricted access to the private playrooms.”
Draco doesn’t ask. He doesn’t think he wants to know. Or rather, he wants to know but is a tiny bit afraid of the answer.
“Draco,” Blaise says suddenly, “do you want to go back to the office?”
“I’m fine,” Draco lies.
“Of course you are,” Blaise says. “I know you were raised in a pretty repressive way, Draco, but I can’t help but notice—”
It’s a young woman – ginger, curvy, plump, in the black-on-black uniform marking her as an employee.
“Cassandra?” Blaise answers.
“Sorry to bother you,” Cassandra says, “but Maurice needs to talk to you about holiday scheduling. His shift’s almost over, otherwise I wouldn’t—”
Blaise shakes his head. “It’s fine. Draco, I shouldn’t be too long. You all right?”
Across the room, someone has a very loud, high-pitched orgasm. Draco stares at Blaise in silence.
“Right, I’ll take that as a yes,” Blaise says. “You know where to go if you suddenly gate the vapors.”
Blaise leaves, following Cassandra into the back hallway.
Draco stands alone, near a long wall full of what he can only assume to be sex toys, while ten yards away, a young man is bent over a table and getting hit with a riding crop. Crack! Draco jerks, swallows.
Draco should be disgusted with everything about this. He should have walked out of this establishment that first day when Blaise took him onto the floor. He should cut off all ties with Blaise and spread rumors of his lechery to every reporter within ten miles.
But he doesn’t. He watches as the young man keens and shudders with every crack of the riding crop, transfixed but utterly tense, every muscle in his body whipcord-tight, almost like he’s—
Draco wheels around so abruptly that he nearly loses balance.
The name comes before anything else, before Draco notices the five o’clock shadow, before he sees the narrow V of dark hair down his front, before he realizes that Potter is in leather – Merlin – fitted leather trousers and boots—
“James Evans, according to the registrar,” he says, and God, Potter has aged like a good wine. He’s filled out, broadened, evened, and he’s wearing leather. He’s in a sex club wearing leather. “Are you lost, Malfoy?”
Draco looks up. Potter had asked him a question, but he has already forgotten what it was. He is wearing smart, rectangular glasses, and his hair is falling in front of his face and—
“What?” Draco says, a second time, without meaning to. Then, “What are you doing here?”
“I was about to ask you the same question,” he says. “I was set to make a comment about the starched, repressed ones being into all the kinky shit, but you seem…”
Potter leans against the nearby table, looks him over. Potter has hip bones. Draco can see them, stretching the leather trousers. He can’t quite look away.
“Less sex kitten, more stunned bunny,” Potter says.
“What?” Draco says, a third time. He looks up in time to see Potter smirking. In addition to hip bones, Potter has a jaw. It’s square and stubbled. It’s attached to a neck, which attached to shoulders.
“See something interesting, Malfoy?”
“I’m an investor,” Draco says, apropos a question he is mostly sure Potter asked forty seconds ago. “In the – Blaise is the – he owns it. He needs an investor.”
“Right,” Potter says. “That makes more sense than you wandering in off the street, though that doesn’t quite explain why you were watching that lovely young Domme over there take a riding crop to her sub.”
Draco understands only most of that sentence.
“Curious?” Potter repeats.
“What?” Draco asks, losing count of how many times he’s said it. “No! That – of course not! I’m not – this is – I’m an investor.”
“Uh-huh,” Potter says, and he looks over Malfoy’s shoulder. Crack. Draco had nearly forgotten about the boy and the riding crop. Without really meaning to, he turns back around in time to see – crack. The boy tied to the table sobs, arcs his back, and begs for more.
“Takes it quite well, doesn’t he?”
The voice is very close to Draco’s ear. He stiffens. There’s hot breath on the shell of his ear, and his mouth feels suddenly quite dry.
“The Domme is clearly a bit inexperienced though,” Potter continues. “You’re generally not supposed to strike the hips or shoulder blades. The bones are too close to the skin. It’s better to strike softer areas. The waist, the upper thigh.”
Potter has fingers, long but thick, drumming on the table next to Draco.
“My last sub loved the riding crop,” Potter says.
“What?” Then, “What? You’re a—?”
“No,” he says, deadpan, “I’m only here to admire the decor.”
That was sarcasm, Draco manages to recognize. Harry Potter is into BDSM. This raises at least fifty questions in Draco’s head, none of which he can quite formulate. Crack. His body jerks.
“Curious?” Potter asks into his ear, a third time.
This time, Draco doesn’t say anything.
He realizes, with creeping fingers of electricity humming slowly up his spine, that he is.
And somehow, that is far scarier than anything else he’d seen thus far.
Draco swallows – a useless gesture, as his mouth is absolute arid. He turns his head slightly.
“Why are you…?”
There’s more of that question, somewhere, but it gets lost in Draco’s throat.
Luckily, Potter is better at picking up context clues than he ever was at school.
“Because I fought and died in a war,” he says, which is not even close to the answer Draco was expecting. “Because I spent seven years of my life completely divorcing myself from the things I wanted, being punished and punishing myself for allowing myself any kind of respite. Because I stopped caring what the world thinks. And because you always were and continue to be bloody fit.”
It’s not that Draco doesn’t know he’s attractive – just the opposite – but being told it so directly, without a shred of obsequiousness, is disarming, electrifying.
“We hated each other,” Draco says.
“Is that what it was?”
If there is some corner of Draco’s mind that is dumbfounded by this situation, it is struggling to catch up with the rest of his mind, which is tense and jittery and spellbound.
“I should go find Blaise,” Draco says.
Potter doesn’t answer for a time. When had he gotten so close? They’re not physically touching – that’s apparently against the rules without express consent – but they’re close enough for Draco to feel his body heat, to detect the fading scent of cologne, and Draco’s heart thunders against his ribs.
“I’m usually here on Fridays,” Potter answers. “Do let me know later if you’re still curious next week, won’t you?”
He pushes off the table and leaves. Potter’s absence is sudden and dramatic, and Draco shivers, somehow bereft, hands shaking – and so very, achingly, painfully curious.
Chapter 2: Exploding Snap
Harry has a lot of flaws, but he has two in particular that have always gotten him into trouble.
First, he’s got a bit of a self-destructive streak. It’s not that he doesn’t care about his well-being, it’s just that he often lets other things take precedence to it.
Second, he’s never really been able to leave well enough alone. When something catches his attention, however benign or even inadvisable, he follows it with a dogged determination that, if Harry’s being honest with himself, can really only be described as unhealthy.
And that is precisely why Draco Malfoy is, and always has been, so exceptionally dangerous.
Not because he’s a not-inexperienced Dark Wizard of some power and skill, though he certainly is, but because he is the honey in every trap. He is the precisely perfect foil, as though he was created with Harry in mind, hand-crafted to push every button and evoke every flaw in him.
It’s why he comes to Nox next Friday and scans the room for the too-blonde hair, while at the same time tells himself that he should not let himself get too involved. It always goes too far with Draco Malfoy.
It’s also why, when he spots him, he walks over anyway.
He is sitting straight-backed in a chair, long and lean and gorgeous and profoundly uncomfortable – an uneasiness not mended when he sees Harry.
“You came back,” Harry says.
Malfoy purses his lips, and Harry takes a moment to look him over. All these years later, and Harry still feels like he could cut his palm if he slapped that pretty face of his.
“At least you have a shirt on this time,” Malfoy snips. It’s true – fitted, black, plain cotton. He sits down across from him.
“Sorry to disappoint you,” he answers. “Though it’s charming to see you remember what I was wearing.”
Malfoy glares at him. Harry smirks.
“Pout and fuss all you like, Malfoy,” Harry says, “but you wouldn’t have come back if you weren’t interested.”
“I sunk eight thousand galleons on this establishment, Potter; I’d be stupid not to come back.”
“Oh, of course,” Harry says. “And you’re a very assiduous investor, returning on a night when the owner isn’t even here.”
The glare intensifies, but Harry can detect prickles of defensiveness just beneath the surface. Malfoy turns his head away, and Harry is momentarily distracted by the arcing lines of his throat stretching under the skin.
“You know, you don’t have to justify anything to me, Malfoy,” he continues after a lapse of silence. “I am the last person in the world in any sort of position to judge.”
“Quite right,” Malfoy says, nostrils flared, pressing himself into the high-backed chair, keeping his eyes on anything – and, by the way they flit across the room, everything – that is not Harry. “I can’t imagine that I’d have anything at all to say to anyone in this den of depravity.”
“Den of depravity,” Harry echoes, then laughs. “Ten years ago I would have wanted to knock your teeth in for sass like that.”
Nervously, skittishly, Malfoy looks back at him. Everything about him is so pretty. Perhaps it always had been, and Harry had never let himself really admit it until all these years later, when time had dulled the anger and wisdom the resentment.
Harry stands for a moment, then slides three chairs around the round table so he’s sitting next to him. Malfoy tightens all at once, watches him guardedly, his hands folded on top of the table and his shoulders setting. There are so very many things Harry can imagine doing to Malfoy – pretty, pale, pointy Malfoy – but a Dom is nothing without self-restraint, and so he settles on—
“May I touch your hand?” Harry asks.
The question catches Malfoy off-guard, clearly. “What?”
“May I touch your hand?” he repeats, patiently.
“What sort of a question is that?”
“It’s not just a question, Malfoy, it’s the ethical cornerstone of this den of depravity. Above all things, consent. Without consent, it’s not BDSM, it’s just torture. Are you going to answer my question?”
Malfoy is staring at him guardedly. His hands are still clasped firmly together, his eyes still trained with needle-sharp intensity on Harry.
“Fine,” Malfoy says, and Harry is equal parts surprised and not surprised. He reaches out his own hand and ghosts his fingers along the shallow crescent of Malfoy’s knuckle.
Malfoy swallows, transfixed, and so Harry moves it around to skirt across his palm. He can hear Malfoy release a single, sharp, abrupt breath.
“When I first figured out that I was into tying up and hitting people, I was terrified,” Harry says, evenly, as his finger traces the lines of Malfoy’s palm and gently pulls it away from the other. “I thought the war had somehow broken me, that I’d seen so much death and darkness that it had crossed the wires in my brain.”
Malfoy is a bit breathless. “Did it?”
Harry smirks. “I don’t know,” he answers. “Maybe. That didn’t turn out to be the important question, though.”
“What is the important question?” Malfoy asks, voice drawn taut like a bowstring. Harry turns over his hand, splays his fingers across the subtle hills and valleys of his palm. Malfoy’s hands are soft and cool to the touch, thin and elegant.
“The important question was how I dealt with it,” he says. “May I touch your wrist?”
“Potter,” Malfoy whispers.
“You can tell me to stop,” Harry says, “and I will.”
Malfoy is silent a while. Harry watches his throat as he swallows. “Yes,” he says.
Harry’s fingers move up, skating across the pale blue veins visible just beneath the milky skin. Harry can feel Malfoy’s heartbeat under his fingertips as it starts to quicken.
“I could have ignored it,” Harry says, “forced it down. I could have immersed myself in weird porn, foregoing the context. Instead I decided to explore it a little more. Carefully, of course. I may have wanted to tie up and hit people, but I didn’t want to hurt anyone, not in the way I’d seen people hurt during the War.
“I studied up. I did some reading, some research. You can imagine my relief when I learned about the holy trinity of BDSM – safe, sane, consensual.”
“Safe?” Malfoy said, and he’s trying to sound brusque, but his voice is still tight with carefully restrained emotion. “Sane? There’s a man ten feet away from us bent over a table getting spanked.”
“What’s insane about that?” Harry asks, looking up to meet Malfoy’s eyes. “Who gets to decide whether or not he should like getting spanked? You?”
Harry’s fingers trace the sharp curve of his wrist bone. Malfoy makes a sound – soft, nearly imperceptible.
“Your pupils are dilated,” Harry says to him quietly.
“What,” is all he can manage in return. It’s not quite a question. Malfoy’s body is curling slightly at the spine, tightening as Harry’s finger follows the shallow artery up the underside of his arm.
“And there’s a flush rising on your neck,” Harry continues, his fingers moving ever closer toward his elbow. “Rapid heart rate, shallow breathing.”
“Signs of physical arousal,” he explains, and Malfoy actually moans. It’s short, and it’s soft, but Christ, it has to be the most intensely erotic thing Harry’s ever heard in his life. There’s a sudden ache in him, starting low in his belly and surging down toward his pelvis. It takes more self-control than Harry’s ever had to exert in his life to keep himself sitting.
“I – Potter—”
“I’ve gotten very good at detecting them,” he says, and he watches as Malfoy starts to fall apart at the seams.
Malfoy’s eyes are half-shut. The arm that Harry is so carefully mapping starts to tremble.
“If you’re this turned on by my hand on your arm and a conversation about spanking, Malfoy, I think you may need to admit to yourself what you want for your own mental well-being.”
“I—” he begins, haltingly, as Harry traces the veins under his skin toward his elbow. “Potter, I haven’t – I haven’t done this before.”
“Funnily enough, I got that last week when I saw you staring at that riding crop like it was some weird alien invention. May I kiss your arm?”
Malfoy moans again, somehow more delicious than the first time. “Potter,” he says, “that’s not what I mean. I’ve never – I haven’t done anything.”
The words may not have physically struck Harry in the face, but for their effect on him, they might as well. Harry’s hands abruptly still, and he looks up.
“I’m sorry,” he says, “what?”
Malfoy looks a bit flustered. His shoulders are tense, but he looks more upset than embarrassed. “Why did you stop?” he asks.
“Malfoy, are you trying to tell me you’re a virgin?”
He colors slightly, swallows. “Pureblood, Potter,” he hisses. “We’re supposed to wait until marriage.”
Right. Of course they are.
The thing is, Harry has rules. All Doms have rules. For Harry, most of the rules revolve around continued and verbally expressed consent. But there’s an unwritten rule in there, too, one that’s never needed much attention—
No virgins. Never virgins.
More often than not, there’s too much meaning there, too much emotional baggage that deserves to be addressed separately from the play. It demands a different kind of attention, one that Harry is not necessarily equipped to handle.
It’s not that there’s anything wrong with virgins, it’s just that those who bring it up usually place some amount of value in it, and it’s not Harry’s place to question that value. Likewise, it’s not his place to impose—
His eyes refocus. Draco is staring at him, breath still shallow, pupils still dilated.
“I don’t want you to stop,” he says, voice soft, face open and vulnerable.
And Harry realizes, all at once, that he is going to break his own rule, and that he is in a lot of trouble.
“Do you trust me, Draco Malfoy?”
Malfoy doesn’t answer for a moment. The room is dark save for a shaft of pale moonlight filtering through the window. He faces away from Harry, silvered, hair illuminated to nearly white.
“Is that necessary when you’re smacking someone about with a riding crop?” he asks.
“It absolutely is,” Harry answers at once. “And I’m not going to use a riding crop on you.”
Malfoy frowns, turns his head over his shoulder. “I thought—”
“Face forward,” Harry interrupts. Malfoy stops short, then turns forward.
“Not sure how I feel about you dishing out orders, Potter.”
“Then tell me to stop,” Harry answers gently. “I will always stop when you tell me to.”
Malfoy stays quiet.
“It’s very important that you understand that,” Harry says. “Not that I have any worries about you keeping your mouth shut for any length of time, but I never want you to feel like you can’t tell me stop.”
He makes a wide circle behind him. Malfoy is nothing but limbs, and Harry wants to map each one just as carefully as he did his arm.
“Many Doms don’t need to be told,” he says. “Many, including myself, are accomplished legilimens, who don’t need to be verbally told when their sub wants to stop—”
“You are not going to go sift through my head, Potter,” he says at once, hackles up. “And I’m not – I’m not a sub.”
Despite himself, Harry laughs. It’s not a reaction that does anything for Malfoy’s temperament.
“Right,” he says through his laughter, “my mistake. I was going to say that legilimency is usually only between those with some rapport, and it’s never done without consent.”
Malfoy goes quiet again, his paranoia apparently sated. Harry swallows the rest of his laughter.
“And I’m not going to use a riding crop on you, Malfoy,” he continues. He threads his fingers through the hair hanging past Malfoy’s shoulders, soft like gossamer. “This is your very first foray into BDSM and I am not your Dom. Using a riding crop on you would be insane.”
“When we left, you said—”
“I know what I said,” he interjects, and Malfoy’s words fall off. His hair smells like floral soap. “May I undress you?”
Even without touching him, Harry can feel the shiver run down his spine. “Yes,” he says, and Harry easily, unhurriedly, pulls his outer robe off over his shoulders.
“We have a lot of history between us, Malfoy,” he says. “And a lot of context that we can’t ignore. We have to do this right or not at all.”
He pulls off his suit jacket next, and pops the buttons on his vest one by one by dragging the tip of his wand down his stomach. Malfoy’s breathing picks up, deep but heavy.
“If you’re that concerned with our history and context, Potter,” he says, breathy, “then it might be inadvisable to take a riding crop to me, or whatever it is you—”
Harry takes the opportunity to do something he’s been wanting to do all night – reach up, twist his fingers through Malfoy’s hair, and pull sharply. He gasps, and his head falls back, and the lines of his throat arc. Harry stares at them hungrily.
“I disagree,” Harry says into his ear, and Malfoy moans again. Harry’s cock aches against his trousers at the sound of it, but he keeps his focus razor-sharp and unwavering. “I think it may be exactly what we need.”
He tugs hard on the vest, and the shirt rips open with it. The posh bastard’s shirt has self-mending buttons, of course, so Harry doesn’t even have to feel bad about it.
“Put your hands behind your back,” Harry whispers, and Malfoy, panting and shaking from the sudden cool air on his bare chest, obliges.
Harry conjures a long, red ribbon with a silent spell and ties a loose but secure knot around his wrists.
“I know you’ve developed a fascination with it,” Harry says as he ties, “but the riding crop has a lot of power behind it. It is normally used for horses, after all. No responsible Dom would use it on a sub’s first go-round.”
“Stop calling me that,” Draco hisses, “I’m not a sub.”
“Whatever you need to tell yourself, Malfoy,” Harry says, biting back more laughter. “Do you want me to stop?”
Malfoy hesitates, and the hesitation lingers. Harry watches the subtle shifting of the muscles on his back as he breathes.
“Then lie down on your front,” Harry continues.
A moment later, he does, stripped from the waist up, on Harry’s bed, and Harry feels as though he’s in physical pain at the sight of it. He wants to map every inch of his skin with his tongue, wants to take him apart just so he can see how such a beautiful creature fits together.
“Look at you,” he mutters, climbing onto the bed over him. “Wrapped up like a present.”
Malfoy’s hands flex and writhe in the ribbon. “Potter…”
“What did I tell you when we left Nox, Malfoy?”
He hesitates. When he opens his mouth to respond, Harry bends down and sinks his teeth lightly into his shoulder.
Malfoy releases a strangled moan, burying his face in Harry’s pillow. Harry bites down harder, feeling him quaver.
“Y-you said you’d sate my curiosity,” he gasps.
Harry withdraws. The mark left behind is shallow. Harry lifts a hand and rubs a thumb into the depressions.
Malfoy groans again, and his hips arc up off the bed. “Potter—”
“Accio deck,” Harry says.
His deck of playing cards flies across the room and lands on his outstretched hand.
“Deck?” Malfoy asks, through his labored breathing. “What’s a deck?”
“A deck of cards,” Harry explains, thumbing open the aging cardboard box.
“Deck of – what?”
“The riding crop is far too severe,” Harry says, tugging out the first card in the deck and turning it over between his fingers, “so we’ll start with something lighter.”
Harry sits back, straddling Malfoy’s legs. What an exquisite canvas he has to work with. A lean, pale back full of unobtrusive muscles, slender arms bound at the wrist, thin shoulders, and all that neck. He must be part swan.
Lightly, Harry traces his spine with the corner of the card, moving slowly and deliberately. He wants to savor this just in case Malfoy comes to his senses.
“I don’t understand,” he whines, squirming deliciously against the ribbon binding his wrists, mussing the comforter. “How does a deck of cards—”
Harry gives the card a flick with his finger, and – SNAP. A short, hot explosion of sparks against his kin.
“—aah!” Malfoy arcs, twists, and bends simultaneously away and toward it. The card leaves a smudge of red skin behind, and Harry wants to devour him whole.
“Did I not mention? They’re exploding snap cards.”
He gives the card another flick. SNAP.
“Nnnhhaaaah!” Another red mark on white skin.
It is always an exercise in self-control when he is with a submissive, but Harry has never had to pull quite so hard on his own reins before. Malfoy is nothing but long, writhing limbs and desperate gasping, as perfect a foil as he ever was.
“Always you, Malfoy,” he mutters, tracing the corner of the card lower as Malfoy shakes, gasps underneath him. “When we were in school together I was convinced I wanted to beat you bloody. If only I’d known I wanted this instead. We could have saved ourselves a lot of hassle.”
“Potter,” he half-sobs, then – SNAP. “Hhnaaa—!!”
Harry pushes a hand up along Malfoy’s arm, still bound, still squirming. “Do you want me to stop?” he asks lowly.
Rather than answer, Malfoy arcs up against the card, body tense, muscles trembling.
“No, Malfoy, you have to say it.”
“Potter, you tosser—” Malfoy sobs.
“This is non-negotiable,” Harry says firmly. “I can’t use legilimency to get a reading on what you want, and body language cannot always be trusted, so you have to say it. If you want me to keep going, you say it. If you wane me to stop—”
“If you stop I will kick you in the head, Potter!”
Harry physically bites his tongue to keep himself in check. He traces the upper hem of Malfoy’s finely-tailed trousers – SNAP. Malfoy shouts – a hoarse “yes!” – and his body bucks and his legs curl and twitch under Harry’s weight.
“You’re doing very well,” Harry tells him, trying his best to keep the hunger out of his voice, and his finger following the same path the card took, pressing lightly at the shallow red welt. “May I take off the rest of your clothes?”
“Yes, you bastard,” Malfoy gasps at him.
“You’re awfully pushy for a sub.”
“I’m not a—“ (SNAP) “—aaaaaahhh!”
Harry’s fingernails curl against the skin of Malfoy’s hip. “On your back.”
Malfoy struggles to catch his breath and desperately wrenches around. Even in the darkness, Harry can see the flush down his neck and chest, see the tension in his body, hidden by such a thin layer of skin. Malfoy rests awkwardly on his still-bound hands, back arced uncomfortably. Harry tugs at the clasp of his trousers and pulls. The rest of Draco Malfoy is just as lovely, just as tense with arousal, and his cock – aching hard but utterly untouched – lies hot against his stomach.
“Potter, please,” he gasps. The word all but pulses around Harry’s arousal.
“Say it again,” Harry whispers onto Malfoy’s skin.
Malfoy snarls around a sob, hips arcing off the bed. “Please,” he gasps.
Harry bends to gnash his teeth against the arc of his hipbone. He presses the flat of the card against his stomach – SNAP. “Hhnnhhhhaammmerlinyes—”
He keeps his hands steady even as his heart hammers in his chest, holds back even as he wants to let go, aches with every shout of pleasure.
SNAP. “Nnn— nnhaaa—!”
Malfoy’s bound hands writhe, his hips buck upward into the air, and Harry keeps him steady with one hand on his waist while the other drags the card ever lower, down the sinews of his stomach, the shallow V of his pelvis – SNAP.
“I – M-Merlin, I can’t—”
Harry’s hand curls tighter around his waist. The card draws lower, down the front of his thigh – SNAP (“Potter!”) – around, then upwards, and Malfoy’s legs fall open so perfectly, so willingly, even as he struggles against his bindings – SNAP (“God – yes, it’s – I can’t—“) – and his muscles are drawing ever tighter, and Harry almost wonders – but surely he isn’t—
One last SNAP, right along the soft skin where his thigh meets his pelvis, and the spark lands just to the left of his swollen red cock, and Malfoy throws his head back and howls, and Harry realizes that he is coming, beautifully, arching and writhing and shouting, striping his stomach and all the little red welts left there with come, his cock completely untouched.
For a moment, Harry is too entranced to speak. Malfoy bucks and jerks with every wave of his climax until, trembling, he collapses again, head thrown back, chest heaving.
With all the blood that has summarily abandoned Harry’s brain for his cock, it takes him a while to put together a sentence.
“Christ, Malfoy,” he says, “you are a work of art.”
No answer. Reluctantly, he tears his eyes away. Malfoy’s mouth is half-open, eyes shut lightly. Harry knows that expression. He’s pulled it out of his past partners enough times. Body surging with adrenaline but physically exhausted beyond cogent thought – he’s in sub space, and he’s not coming out for a while.
Ten minutes later, Draco Malfoy is unbound, naked, halfway between asleep and unconscious, tucked safely in Harry’s bed. A room away, under hot jets of water, back pressed against the porcelain, Harry tugs at his cock with an urgency of which he did not know he was capable.
Images of white skin and blonde hair burn fresh and hot in his mind’s eye – desperate shouts of pleasure, pleas for more, the intoxicating rush of Draco Malfoy hanging so desperately on the razor edge of Harry’s attentions—
He bites down hard on his opposite hand, because if he doesn’t, he’ll likely wake him up. He comes so hard that he’s blind for a moment, his head full of nothing but Malfoy.
It is not after several long moments that Harry comes down from the rush, slumped against the wall of the shower, and he realizes however much trouble he thought he was in before was a profound underestimation.
Chapter 3: Stinging Hex
Draco wakes up to the sound of rustling fabric and softly shutting doors.
He takes in a breath, and when he rolls over, feels a small twinge of pain on his thigh, which immediately sets off a rapid chain of memories in his head – the club, Potter, the ribbon – oh, Merlin – the exploding snap cards. Draco scrambles up to a sit and presses a hand to a small, fading red mark on his stomach—
Draco looks up. Potter is standing on the far side of the room, tugging on a pair of jeans, backlit with golden sunlight streaming through the window. Draco tenses, and one hand fists in the tangled sheets.
“How are you feeling?” he asks, fastening the jeans and ruffling at his hair, a gesture which accomplishes nothing.
Draco stares at him in silence for a time, not sure how to answer.
“I would have cleaned you up a bit better,” Harry continues, “but you were pretty out of it. Thought it was probably best to let you sleep. Besides, I can’t imagine any lasting damage coming from exploding snap cards.”
“What do you mean, ‘out of it?’” Draco asks, briefly wondering if Potter put something in his drink, before belatedly remembering that he hadn’t drunk anything.
“It’s colloquially called sub space,” he answers, crossing the room and sitting down on the edge of the bed. “A sort of overload of adrenaline and other friendly chemicals – a kind of natural high. It’s different for every sub.”
Draco’s mouth twists. The more his still-waking mind recalls the events of the night before, the more he remembers – “natural high” is a good term for it. It was strange, but lovely. He had felt disconnected, serene, almost like he was floating. He doesn’t remember being untied, though he must have been, because the ribbon is gone.
“I was half-expecting you to shout at me about not being a sub,” Potter teases.
Draco huffs. “Put your shirt on.”
“Only if you promise to stay naked.”
“I have places to be, Potter,” he says. Draco climbs out of bed. His clothes have been spell-folded on the nearby dresser, and he grabs his trousers first. “I have a lunch date with a representative from Sackham’s Bank of Wales, and then I’m having dinner with Mother—”
“I’d like to do this again.”
He stops a moment, fingers fumbling on the fabric. He keeps his back to Potter, though he’s not sure why.
“If you’re amenable,” he adds. “And based on the noises I pulled out of you last night, I think you are.”
“Bit presumptuous,” Draco says, tugging on his Oxford.
“Confident, not presumptuous. Also accurate.”
Draco turns to face him as he buttons up his shirt. “I don’t remember you being this cocky in school.”
“I don’t remember you being a walking wet dream,” Potter answers without missing a beat. “I suppose we’ve both changed.”
His fingers fumble a second time, but Draco manages to keep his face blank.
Silence lapses a moment. Eventually, Potter rises off the bed and walks around toward him. Draco is electrified by nothing but the collapsing distance between them. Potter reaches down and starts to fasten the buttons on his shirt the rest of the way up, one by one.
“I have rules I set for myself,” Potter tells him, voice low, and Draco did not think it was possible for getting dressed to be this erotic. “Don’t tell anyone I knew from school. Don’t let myself get too emotionally invested. Don’t sleep with virgins.”
Draco looks up at him through his eyelashes.
“My two best friends in the world don’t even know about the sex dungeon in my cellar.”
Despite himself, Draco smirks. “You have a sex dungeon?”
“I had a free weekend,” Potter answers, and Draco chuckles. Potter fastens the last button, then straightens the shirt with a brief spell. “My point is that you make me want to break the rules. You always have.”
“They say a little rule breaking is good in small doses,” Draco says. “I want to see your sex dungeon.”
Potter grins, but answers, “No.”
Draco frowns. “No? Why not?”
“Because my sex dungeon is something I reserve for my submissive.”
Draco doesn’t know what to say to that. It brings up several questions which feel quite important. Potter searches his face, so Draco turns away to grab his vest.
“And that’s what you want from me, is it?”
“I don’t know,” Harry says. “We’d need to talk more first. I wouldn’t let you make an uninformed decision.”
Draco fastens his vest shut. “If it’s talking you want so badly, it will have to be later,” he says brusquely. “Like I said, lunch date with the richest wizard in Wales.”
“How about Nox?” he asks.
Draco turns around in time to see Potter collapse heavily on the bed. The sunlight turns his skin gold, makes his dark hair gleam.
“Maybe next Friday?” he continues. “Good place to prompt any specific questions. Or scratch an itch.”
Draco refuses to think about how fast his heart is beating, or all the images rising to the fore of his mind. “Fine,” he says. “Friday.”
“Fine,” Potter answers. “Looking forward to it.”
Suit assembled, Draco glances back at him. Potter, hair tousled, shirtless, sitting on the bed, awash in golden sunlight, is smirking in a way that should not be allowed.
“You can wipe that shit-eating grin off your face,” he deflects, and then he exits the bedroom.
Father, Draco writes, hope you’re well.
After some consultation with our banker, I’ve diversified the Malfoy portfolio with a few investments in local businesses.
Draco pauses, wondering how much information he should offer. Too little would prompt questions; too much would—
Draco banishes the train of thought before it goes too far. He dips his quill back in the ink well.
There are a few dozen overall, the initial sink less than 40,000 galleons total. I’ve selected them carefully, and I am confident that they will provide return of at least 200% before third quarter next year.
When he reaches back to dip his quill again, he notices, tucked under the clutter of his desk, a deck of exploding snap cards.
Then he finds himself glancing at the calendar. How slowly the week’s been going.
I have an engagement on Friday, he writes carefully, but we should get dinner soon. Mother sends her love. We’ll see you when you’re back from the continent.
Your son, Draco
He sits back, breathes deeply. It’s fine. He’s just overthinking it. He’s been doing that quite a bit lately, and not just with tactful letters to his father.
Slowly, Draco pulls the deck of cards out from between two old envelopes and turns it over his hands.
The trouble is that he doesn’t want to overthink it. He doesn’t want to think about it at all. He is aggressively disinterested in analyzing what happened last weekend, about the context surrounding it, about why he wants that rush of fire on his skin and in his blood. All he wants is another go at it.
He pulls out a card from the deck. It snaps against his fingertips, a pent-up burst of magical energy, but all it draws out of him is a frown. It’s not the same. It’s not…
He wets his lips and puts the cards away. He checks the calendar again.
The first few times Draco came here, he had been the stranger in a strange land – too overwhelmed by the forest that he’d never really looked at the trees.
But now that he has his bearings, he’s able to actually explore. He still feels out of place, of course, in his pinstripe vest and trousers – there is no force in the universe strong enough to make a Malfoy wear leather – but at least those around him don’t seem to mind.
He arrives early and wanders down the long table full of what he can only assume to be sex toys, smelling strongly of sterility charms, and trying to fathom what each one is meant to do. He stands off to the side and watches submissives as they are spanked, flogged, tied, fucked with any number of things, and tries to imagine himself in similar scenarios.
He freezes, but only for a moment. He is incapable of not recognizing the voice.
“And if I am?”
There is one submissive bound to the wall, spread-eagle, gagged with something. Her thighs and backside are a crisscross of angry red stripes.
Potter sidles up next to him, watching her Domme takes a cane to her.
“That’s a St. Andrew’s cross she’s on,” he explains.
“Who in Merlin’s name is St. Andrew?”
“Dead Muggle Christian. I suppose the standard crucifix seemed a bit overdone to him.”
“I’m sure that’s what happened,” Draco says. “I wonder what he’d say if he knew people got off while being whipped on a cross named after him.”
Draco chews at his lower lip. He is remembering the week before, the sharp sparks of heat on his skin, the way it surged in his veins. He wonders what would happen if it was something more than just an exploding snap card.
“We should talk,” Potter says.
“I really don’t want to talk,” Draco answers.
There’s a beat of silence. Crack.
“I appreciate and am wildly turned on by your enthusiasm, Malfoy, but it would be irresponsible of me to go any further with this before we sort things out properly.”
“Sort what out? How hard I want you to hit me?”
Draco looks over at him in time to see Potter setting his jaw.
“Your pupils are dilated,” Draco says neutrally.
“There’s a process,” Potter returns. “A Dom and sub need to establish rules and trust. They need to come up with boundaries, hard and soft limits, expectations.”
“Potter, I’m not going to lie to you, that sounds incredibly boring. I’m standing here telling you I want to be tied up and caned and you’re trying to tempt me into litigation instead.”
“It’s not litigation,” Potter says, voice a bit drawn. “And I’m not going to cane you. Christ, Malfoy, you’re not even ready for a riding crop, what makes you think you’re ready for a cane?”
“Does my enthusiasm bother you?”
“Your enthusiasm makes me want to tie you up and fuck you so thoroughly that we both forget our names,” Potter answers at once.
He meets Draco’s eyes, and Draco is left staring up at him, feeling suddenly a bit too warm in his clothes. Something about the flat description, the sharp enunciation, the word choice, has a crystal clear image of it in his mind immediately. And suddenly, it is the only thing in the world that Draco wants.
“But it’s not about what I want,” he adds after a moment, looking away.
“It could be,” Draco says, finding himself a bit breathless.
“We should talk,” Potter repeats.
“I really don’t want to talk.”
“Fine, no cane,” Draco says. “If you were trying to – to break me in, what would you use next?”
“That must happen, mustn’t it? Breaking a sub in?”
“Jesus, Malfoy.” Draco can detect a growing tenseness in his jaw. He is staring straight ahead, avoiding his eyes, so Draco reaches up and grips tightly at his upper arm. Green eyes swivel to him.
“You’ve got something in mind,” Draco says. He can tell. “Whatever it is you’re thinking, I want to do that.”
“We can’t keep doing this without talking,” Potter tells him, but Draco can see the resolve crumbling in every line of his face.
Draco drops his voice. “Would it be more persuasive if I begged?”
For a moment, stillness – green eyes unmoving, bearing into him, an invisible tension spreading under his skin. Then, a hand – hot and calloused – fingertips on his throat, circling around, gripping him tightly by the back of his neck. Draco releases a long breath, blood surging, buckling underneath his touch.
“Yes,” Potter says at last, and Draco swallows. “It would.”
Draco breathes out, long and low, as electricity races up and down his spine. “Please,” he whispers.
Potter lowers his head, and Draco smells the sharp, heady scent of his aftershave. The hand on the back of his neck grips tighter, and Draco’s fingers grip at the front of Potter’s shirt.
“Again,” he says into Draco’s ear.
A whimper slips past the knot in Draco’s throat. “Please,” he whispers a second time, pulling hard at the fabric of his shirt, and Potter responds by carding his free hand through his hair.
“You’re going to be the death of me, Draco Malfoy,” Potter mutters.
Nox has twenty private playrooms – Draco remembers Blaise telling him as much – and he has no reason to suspect that this one is any different from the others. Walls painted black, magically-sterile toys on a narrow shelf, a single mahogany table.
“If it gets to be too much,” Potter says behind him, “tell me to stop.”
Part of Draco wishes he could see whatever it is he’s doing behind him, but the not knowing is a thrill all its own. He’s facing the wall, not quite touching it.
His shoulders are aching already; his arms are bound over his head, attached to a large metal hook on the ceiling of the cramped room. No more silk ribbons – this is heavy, industrial rope knotted tightly around his wrists, keeping him suspended just high enough for his feet to barely brush the ground. And despite – or perhaps, he is beginning to suspect, because of – the pain, he is absolute thrumming.
“Fodius flagrum,” he hears Potter mutter behind him. Draco doesn’t recognize the incantation, but at once the dark room is lit with a soft reddish glow. Despite the soreness in his shoulders, Draco looks back.
Potter stands off to the side of the room, bare-chested, wand in one hand. Extending out from the end of his wand is a long, glowing red string of knotted light. It moves and ripples with the consistency of a whip.
Oh, Merlin. A whip. His throat feels dry all at once.
“Face forward, Malfoy,” Potter orders softly, and Draco tears his eyes away, the ache in his shoulders now entirely ignorable thanks to the humming anticipation.
“Is that a stinging hex—?”
Draco’s entire body reacts all at once. It is a stinging hex, but far more potent than the children in Dueling Club ever threw his way. It hits his back with a sudden, brutal stripe of white-hot pain. All at once, he’s trembling.
Merlin, it’s good. The initial pain is a shock to his system, and his blood is suddenly surging in his veins. He’s dizzy with it, drunk off it.
“Do you want me to stop?” Potter asks, voice neutral.
“Nnn,” is all he manages at first. He is aching hard, electric, trembling; he feels like he can barely speak. “Nnn-no, no, please.”
Soft footsteps on tile, circling to his left.
“I like to hear you speaking so sweetly, Malfoy,” he says. “You’re so very polite when you’re desperate for it.”
Crack. Draco keens, shouts, bows forward and presses his forehead into the wall. Another stripe, crisscrossing the first, pinpricks all along his skin, lingering, surging.
“Would you like more?”
“Yes,” he gasps, writhing, shoulders burning. “Please, please…”
Crack. Draco shouts again, his toes curl. All the stripes of stinging pain are melting together, lighting up along his back.
Behind him, Potter growls. It’s a strangely predatory sound. “I wish you could see yourself right now,” he says, then – crack – Draco howls, bucks, body pressed flush to the wall, back burning and cock leaking. “You take it like you were born for it.”
“More,” he gasps. “Please – Potter – s-so good, Merlin—” Crack. “Hhaa–aaaaaaahnn—!”
“I am supposed to have more self-control than this,” Potter says. Crack, across his thighs – the virgin skin bursts with pain and Draco sees stars, his knees buckle.
“M-more,” Draco manages, voice garbled, head spinning with some delirious combination of pain and pleasure. “Harder. Please.”
“I am supposed to be able to restrain myself for the long-term good of the submissive,” he says, CRACK – louder, harder, more intense, and Draco cries out, cheek pressed to the warm, dappled wall. He is balancing on a razor wire, desperate for a thousand things he can’t name—
“And then you come along,” Potter says, and his voice is in Draco’s ear, and his hand is in Draco’s hair, pulling sharply. His shoulders ache and yes, yes, yes, Draco feels like he’s so close—
“You perfect, wild creature, you come along and you upend everything,” Potter says, speaking into the side of Draco’s neck, pulling him off the wall and back against him, and oh, Draco can feel the swell of his cock through his trousers, the burn of the welts on his back rough on his chest.
“How do you always do that?” he asks, and CRACK – across his stomach – Draco screams and writhes, pain and red skin blooming under Potter’s whip. “How do you always get under my skin?”
“More,” Draco begs. He doesn’t know more of what – more whip, more words, more of that delicious swell pressing against his backside – more of all of it, perhaps.
“Everything I ever wanted in a submissive in a perfect blonde package,” he says, CRACK, and Draco howls, pressing backward into Potter as another surge of pain lances through his stomach. “Never mind the years of bad blood and rocky history, you just waltz back into my life like you have any fucking business being here, and all I want to do is pin you to the floor and fuck you—”
“Yes—!” Draco shouts. CRACK. “Aaahnnggh – yes, yes, yes yes yesyesyes—!”
CRACK. He is so close, so desperately and dangerously close; his cock aches from it, his muscles shiver with it, and every drop of blood in his body burns in time with it.
“Yes,” he gasps, “please – Potter, please, fuck me—”
Draco hears what he thinks might be a moan in his ear, but Draco can’t quite hear it well enough to be sure; he’s deaf to most everything but the sound of his own heartbeat.
“Please,” he sobs, “I’m so close, I can’t – I—”
The hand in his hair tightens. “You have no idea, Malfoy, you have no idea—”
CRACK. Draco can only be physically on fire from how hot he is; he is burning alive in his own skin, and he’s so close, he’s so close—
Behind him, still pressed into him, Potter throws his wand to the side with an audible clatter of wood on tile. He pushes his hand down Draco’s burning, aching stomach, and it closes around his cock.
His movements are fast and rough and businesslike and yes-yes-yes-yes exactly what Draco needs, every muscle in his body tightens, and he presses back into Potter, and all the burning coalesces into one singular moment of impossible heat until he is coming – screaming some garbled version of Potter’s name – emptying and spasming into his hand with an intensity that rips him open and dissolves him from the inside out.
“Malfoy,” Potter purrs into his ear, still stroking him, still working out the last, fading waves of his climax, “you did so well, so well…”
Everything is fading into that intense, pleasant buzzing – Potter had called it something earlier, but he can’t remember what, and it doesn’t matter – and he is floating. His hands drop from the ceiling and he is scooped up off the ground, weightless and aimless, cradled safely against Potter’s chest.
“You were perfect,” he says to Draco, but his voice is fading in and out, and when he feels the tug of Disapparation, he doesn’t fight the unconsciousness that overtakes him.
Every now and then, Malfoy makes a noise – some soft half-word or incomplete thought – but for the most part he is silent, limp like a rag doll, deep into sub space.
His back and legs and stomach are a map of angry red welts, and Harry heals them. He is shiny with sweat, and Harry bathes him.
He should have told him about aftercare. Granted, he probably shouldn’t have done this at all, not before he’d sat him down and talked to him properly. And Harry hates himself for succumbing.
“Hmmnnn,” Malfoy mumbles as Harry cleans the sweat and tiny beads of blood from his stomach.
“Ssh,” Harry says. “Go to sleep; I’ve got you.”
His half-shut eyes shut fully, slipping back down. Harry cleans him up and puts him to bed, and makes himself promise that he won’t let this continue until they talk properly.
Already, and for reasons just beyond Harry’s articulation, he is already sure that this means too much to fuck up.
Chapter 4: Silk Blindfold
The only thing that announces his presence is the sound of soft footsteps on tile, barely audible over the sizzling frying pan. Harry glances back in time to see him come out from the hallway, one of Harry’s robes pulled over his shoulders. It’s far too big on him, which makes it less annoying and more endearing.
“Sleep well, Briar Rose?”
“This is Grimmauld Place,” he says.
“Well spotted.” Harry turns back to the frying pan. The sausage is just about done.
“I didn’t even recognize it that first night I spent here,” Malfoy continues, stopping by one of the walls of the kitchen to look over the decor, such that it is – a few framed photos from Ron and Hermione’s wedding, decorative plates that Mrs. Weasley gave him as a housewarming gift, rumpled blue-and-white curtains on the window. “It looks so different from what I remember from my childhood.”
It takes Harry a moment to remember what he means. “Did your mother grow up here?”
“It was never her legal address, but she and her sisters thought of it as home all the same,” he answers. “I never understood why. Awful, dreary, ghoul-infested place.”
“The ghouls are gone,” Harry assures him. “Hungry?”
Malfoy doesn’t answer. “I would have thought this place would be beyond saving. How on earth did you manage to make it livable?”
“Necessity,” Harry admits. “Initially I was sharing a flat with Ginny, but then we broke up, and this was the only place immediately available. I moved my things in, thinking it was temporary, and, well – it wasn’t temporary. So I made do.”
Malfoy falls silent for a while. Harry tips the contents of the frying pan onto the two plates waiting on the counter.
“The decor is ghastly,” Malfoy says after a minute.
“Well, I’m glad that cease-fire is over,” Harry sighs.
“If you think I’m going to start holding back just because you can get me off, Potter, you’re in for disappointment.”
“Eat some breakfast. I used a lot of healing salve on you last night, so your blood sugar’s probably low.”
“I was wondering about that,” Malfoy says, suddenly a bit guarded.
“Yes, this is what can happen when we don’t talk about things beforehand.” Harry sets the plates down at the small, round table by the large window. It takes Malfoy a moment of thought to decide that he should sit. “It’s called aftercare.”
“What it says on the tin, basically,” Harry says. “After a scene, it’s a Dom’s responsibility to make sure the sub is taken care of – healed and comforted as necessary. I cleaned you up, healed the welts, put you to bed.”
Malfoy’s nose wrinkles, though not at the food – he hasn’t even looked at the food yet. “Always so chivalrous.”
“It’s not chivalry when it’s mandatory,” Harry says, spearing a sausage with his fork and taking a bite from it.
Malfoy picks up the mug of tea nearest his plate, sniffs it, frowns, and stirs in a spoonful of sugar from the bowl.
“We should talk about this,” Harry says.
“Why didn’t you fuck me last night?” Malfoy asks instead.
It had not been the response Harry had been expecting. “What?”
“Last night,” Malfoy repeats. “Don’t think I don’t remember. I wasn’t that deep in – what did you call it?”
“Right, that. I wasn’t so far gone. I heard you – you said you wanted to fuck me, and as I recall, I was amenable to the point of begging for it.”
Memories resurface, unbidden, to the fore of Harry’s mind. Bright red stripes on pale skin under a sheen of sweat – the fire-hot burn of his back on Harry’s front, the perfect curve of his ass pressing back into Harry’s crotch. He does his best to fight the memories away, but it’s about as effective as fighting away a sunrise.
“You weren’t in the position to be making that choice,” Harry says after a moment, taking a pull of his own tea.
Malfoy laughs once, humorlessly. “Oh, fuck off, like you knew what I was thinking.”
“I knew you were pretty delirious, Malfoy,” he says. “And I knew that sex meant enough to you that you brought your virginity up to me before the first time you came home with me. I told you – consent above all things. If I have any doubt about anything I’m doing with a submissive, I’m not going to do it, full stop.”
Malfoy rolls his eyes and takes a sip of his own tea. “Am I supposed to be impressed?”
“Malfoy, I don’t think all the riches of King Solomon could impress you.”
“Do you know what your problem is?”
Harry sighs. “I have a feeling you’re going to tell me.”
“Your problem is that you’re taking it too seriously.”
“All this heavy-handed wanting to talk, commitments and expectations and boundaries – you’re trying to make this some grand thing, and it doesn’t have to be.”
“Yes, it does, Malfoy,” Harry says, perhaps a bit too severely. “We’re talking about a relationship in which physical pain plays a not insignificant role. We have to at least outline what we both want, where the limits are, how—”
“I don’t know any of that, do I? I only learned the term BDSM two weeks ago. I don’t know what I want, I don’t know the nuances, I don’t know what half those fucking sex toys back at Nox did!”
“Ignorance isn’t an excuse,” Harry says. “Consent has to be informed, so it’s both our responsibility to know—”
“Merlin’s sagging tits, Potter, I have enough responsibilities already! I don’t need to add to the list!”
Harry frowns. “You do realize we are talking about your physical safety, right? How can you be so dismissive about it?”
“I trust your expertise. And it’s not like I won’t let you know if I want to stop.”
Harry groans, leans back in his chair and rubs the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger. Time had changed both of them, but not entirely, because Draco Malfoy could still be the most irritating thing on the planet when he wanted to be.
“I don’t want this to be serious,” Malfoy says after a moment. “I don’t want this to mean anything.”
Harry does his best to pretend that the words don’t sting. He drops his hand and looks at him over the breakfast table. Malfoy is holding his mug of tea in both hands, eyes fixed firmly on Harry’s.
“What I want,” he says, voice low, “is for you to fuck me.”
If there’s such a thing as emotional whiplash, Harry’s sure he’s experiencing it now. To go from weirdly hurt to incredibly turned on so quickly cannot be healthy.
“What I want,” Malfoy repeats, “is for you to fuck me right here on this table, because it doesn’t matter, because it shouldn’t matter.”
Well, Harry supposes that if it was sober and explicit consent he wanted, he’s gotten that now. Malfoy is staring at him hungrily, fingernails softly scraping the painted porcelain mug.
“And hey,” he adds, “if you want to tie me up while you do, I wouldn’t say no.”
Harry should not do this. He really, really should not do this.
“You’re quite a slut for bondage, aren’t you?”
“If bondage is the part where you get tied up, then yes, I think that’s a fair descriptor.”
And there are still parts of Harry’s brain warning him not to do this, reminding him that open communication and ample forethought are the absolute cornerstones of a responsible Dom/sub relationship, but the problem is that the parts of Harry’s brain that want to fuck Draco Malfoy into the floor – that have wanted to fuck him into the floor since they were both sixteen – are quite a bit louder.
“Stand up,” Harry says, softly.
Malfoy sets down his mug of tea and rises, and Harry’s bath robe ripples around him with the movement.
Malfoy moves around the table, stopping when his knee knocks lightly against Harry’s. Harry unfolds Malfoy’s arms and gingerly opens the robe.
He did a good job last night. The welts hadn’t been that severe to begin with, of course, but Malfoy’s chest looks like driven snow – expansive and smooth and white, as though nary a finger, let alone a hex-whip, had ever graced it before this moment.
He’d never really seen it in proper lightning, but now with the sunlight shining on it, he can make it out – long and thin and silver, extending from the crux of his jaw, down his throat, and across his breastbone, stretching down toward his hip. Harry is nearly knocked flat when he remembers—
Malfoy frowns. “What?”
Harry presses his thumb to it and drags it down. All at once, Malfoy starts to tremble.
“Potter,” he says, voice tense.
“Do you remember the night I gave you this?”
Harry looks up at him, but Malfoy is looking away, one hand braced on the table.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” he says.
“Why not?” Harry asks him.
“It doesn’t mean anything.”
“You keep saying that,” Harry says.
“Spare me any of your armchair psychiatry, Potter—”
Harry shuts him up by tugging him forward by the waist and wetly kissing the long, silver scar. The sound it pulls out of him is sinful, and Malfoy’s bracing hand on the edge of the kitchen table suddenly starts bearing a lot more weight. Harry feels that familiar surge of adrenaline, the base instinct that had terrified him for so long – take, own – and with a controlled burst of wandless magic, every dish on the table goes flying onto the floor with a great clatter. He sweeps Malfoy around and pins him onto the newly-barren table.
“Aah – Potter—”
“You’re lucky I like you mouthy,” Harry says into his stomach. “Incarcerous.”
Silvery threads of magic slither up his arms, snarl around Malfoy’s wrists, and – thump – attach them firmly to the underside of the table. Malfoy’s arms are over his head, bent at the elbow over the edge.
“Wandless magic,” Malfoy pants. “Showoff.”
“Caecus,” Harry answers, and the same silver threads that bound his hands snake up and cover his eyes, eventually taking shape as a satin blindfold.
Malfoy moans deliciously. “Potter—”
“Why is it that nothing between us is ever simple?”
Harry drags his hands down Malfoy’s sides, feeling the tenseness in his muscles.
“From the word go, it was always like this.”
Harry’s hand curls around his left thigh and pushes his thigh up. Malfoy’s breathing has picked up.
“Always so complicated. Always at each other’s throats. There were times when I don’t think either of us knew why.”
Slap, hard to the underside of thigh. Malfoy yelps once, wrenches to one side.
“Stay still,” Harry says firmly.
Malfoy whimpers, but settles down again, body still taut. Harry can see the physiological reactions – the flush rising on his chest, the heightened reaction time, the swell of his cock.
“Eleven years old and calling each other rivals. Mutual obsession under a flimsy veneer of hatred. What did we know about hatred? What did we know about rivalry?”
Slap, higher, to his hip, and Malfoy strangles on his shout, arcing off the table.
“Voldemort was my rival.”
Malfoy makes a low whine. “Potter—”
“Voldemort was the one I hated. You were the one I snuck off to duel at night, the one I all but stalked for an entire year. If we hadn’t been born into an inheritance of war, I’d have been pulling your hair and chasing you around the playground.”
Slap to his backside, now wrenched high off the table. Malfoy shouts hoarsely, back arced high and taut.
“Do you ever think about that, Malfoy? About how different things would have been if we’d been allowed to be children at any point in our lives?”
Malfoy doesn’t answer, though Harry can tell by the way he’s biting down hard on his lower lip that there is an answer, just one he’s holding back.
“I do,” Harry says. “Especially lately. And maybe it’s useless to speculate, but I can tell you one thing.”
A few more subtle wandless spells – the usual rigmarole for protection and cleanliness and lubrication.
“It doesn’t mean nothing,” Harry says. “It never has and it never will.”
Harry pushes two fingers past the taut ring of muscle before Malfoy can say anything. The reaction is immediate – and very, very loud.
“Deep breaths,” Harry says. “It’s easier if you’re relaxed.”
Malfoy makes a choked sound. His legs are spread wide now, and his cock is full on his stomach. He looks absolutely edible, and it wears thin on Harry’s self-control, because he has never wanted anything quite so badly in his life.
“Do you want me to stop?”
Malfoy’s response isn’t as immediate this time. A lapse of silence passes before he shakes his head. Harry sees the lines of his throat roll as he swallows.
“Talk to me, Draco Malfoy,” Harry says. “If you’re uncomfortable, let me know.”
It once again takes some time for him to respond.
“Feels – different.”
“I imagine so.” Harry begins a gentle movement in and out, and Malfoy makes a soft, strangled noise. He presses in a bit deeper and, almost experimentally, curls them upward.
At once, Malfoy bucks his hips up, yelping in sudden surprise.
“What – what was that?” he asks, arching his neck as though trying to look down, despite the blindfold.
Harry grins to himself. The little swell of flesh under his fingertips is hot and soft, and he pushes into it a second time, more firmly, and to an even louder shout.
“Fuck,” Malfoy says, body writhing. “Fuck – Potter, wh-what was—”
“It’s your prostate, Malfoy,” he answers shortly, before slowly returning to the back-and-forth motion, now with a razor-sharp focus of where the pressure needs to be.
“Oh – f-fuck,” Malfoy chokes, legs curling, heels scraping along the edge of the table, squirming against the magic binding his wrists. Harry slowly picks up his pace. “Fuck – oh, Merlin. Thhhhhhhhaaaaaaa—!”
“Better?” Harry asks lowly.
Malfoy doesn’t answer – at least not with anything that could be called words. As Harry moves his hand with even more speed, he relishes in watching him slowly fall apart. His hips start bucking, gasping, writhing, and it eats away at Harry’s self-control.
“You’re doing so well,” Harry mutters in approval, bending forward to brace his free hand on the table, allowing him to move faster. “Look at you, you flawless creature, I could have you coming off the tip of my finger, couldn’t I?”
Normally, Malfoy is able to get out a complete word every now and then, but Harry has managed to get him entirely incoherent, which is an answer all its own. Watching him makes him feel ravenous, and when Harry feels that telltale clutch of nearing orgasm, he abruptly pulls out and takes a few steps back.
Malfoy lies supine, sprawled out on his kitchen table, hands bound and eyes covered, so close to the peak but not quite close enough. Harry takes a few very slow, very deep breathes.
“Hnngmmnn – Potter – wh-what—”
Quietly, he pulls his shirt up and over his head in one movement. Malfoy must not hear him, because Malfoy makes a keening sound, arcing his hips desperately up off the table.
“Potter, you bastard, you can’t just—”
He’s as undressed as he needs to be – or perhaps as undressed as he has the patience to be – jeans on but open, cock free – and God, what a relief that had been, he’d been so focused that he’d barely even noticed the pain of it, trapped behind denim – and slowly, he climbs onto the table.
“What, did you think I’d abandon you?”
He slips his fingers through Malfoy’s now sweat-streaked hair; the touch catches him off-guard with the blindfold still in place, and he takes in a sharp breath.
“A lovely, naked, open, thoroughly fuckable blond tied up on my kitchen table, and you think I’d keep my hands off you for more than a few seconds at a time?”
He rolls his hips forward; the shaft of his cock slides along Malfoy’s inner thigh, and God, it feels like satin.
Malfoy releases a shuddering breath that ghosts along Harry’s jaw. The hand in his hair tightens.
“Ten years of foreplay, and you think I’d sacrifice the opportunity to fuck you open?”
Malfoy makes a helpless, desperate sound. Harry uses the grip in his hair and pulls sharply; Malfoy yelps and his neck arcs under Harry’s mouth, all long, thin lines, sweat-streaked, pulse thundering just under the skin. He rolls his hips again, a slow and easy rhythm against the supernova-hot skin of Malfoy’s thigh, the crux of his pelvis, the skin of his perineum. Malfoy starts to respond, though his movements are shaky with anticipation.
“Potter, please,” he rasps.
His cock pulses as the word. “Tell me what it is you want, Malfoy.”
Malfoy whines desperately, trembling hips bucking off the table. “Fuck me,” he whispers, plaintive but deeply urgent. “Please. Potter, please.”
Harry grips his hair tighter. God, he could come off nothing but the sound of him begging.
He sobs, thrashes against his bonds. “Please!” he says, more loudly. “Please, I can’t take it – please f—” —Harry hurriedly reaches down to line himself up— “—ffffffaaaaahhhnn—!!”
All at once, he is buried to the hilt – all at once he is fucking Draco Malfoy, who is hot and pliant and a perfect satiny vise gripping his cock, who is screaming so loudly that he’d be waking up neighbors if there were neighbors to wake up. Harry grips hard on the edge of the table, and it takes far more self-control than he thought he was capable of to tell himself stop, stop, wait, let him adjust, all thoughts interspersed with fuck, yes, God.
“Malfoy,” he says, low into his ear, “listen to me very carefully.”
It’s doubtful Malfoy can hear much over the sounds he’s making, but he seems to make some effort to keep quiet, to listen.
“If I go too quickly, if I start to hurt you, you have to say desino. Do you understand?”
Malfoy doesn’t say anything, but Harry thinks he can detect him nodding. It’s getting harder and harder for him to focus on anything, for him not to hold him down and fuck this beautiful, perfect creature lying open and desperate for him.
“It’s very important for reasons I cannot adequately explain at the moment, but suffice it to say that it is about to get very difficult for me to focus on anything or really hear anything so if something goes wrong, say desino. All right?”
Harry wants to wait for acknowledgment – he really does – but God, he just can’t; Malfoy feels incredible and he just can’t — he reaches down, grabs his thigh, and he rocks forward and fucks him, a deep and thorough rhythm. He grips hard and he fucks deep and he can feel that familiar thrum in the back of his head—
And God, he’s perfect – hot and pliant and bucking back against him so eagerly, moaning and shouting himself hoarse while Harry fucks him open, every nerve in his body surging with a potent cocktail of magic and adrenaline. There’s a fire burning in him, raging quickly through his blood, and the table rattles with every thrust, and Malfoy shouts things that Harry can’t understand.
He releases his grip in Malfoy’s hair and holds him by both hips, straightening, thrusting faster. He can feel his own nearing climax in every nerve in his body – Malfoy takes it so beautifully, and his body is so perfect and responsive as Harry fucks into it, and every ounce of tenseness in his body coalesces, collapses, into an impossible knot that rips out of him—
—and he’s coming – intensely, all-consumingly – emptying wave after wave into Malfoy, who is shaking and gasping with pleasure, head thrown back, his own stomach striped with come.
And Harry slowly comes back down and – God – it’s been ages – how long had he—?
“Malfoy—” His voice is raspy, unwilling. “Malfoy, are you all right?”
He doesn’t hear an answer. Harry forces his eyes back into focus and – well, he must be all right, he’s pretty far gone. Harry releases a breath, reluctantly pulls out of him, a line come trembling and then breaking along Malfoy’s inner thigh.
He is open, debauched – and probably the most ecstatically erotic thing Harry’s ever seen. He takes a few breaths, centers, then moves to clean up his half-destroyed kitchen.
Well-fucked. Not a thing Draco would have ever thought he’d experience in his lifetime, but there it is.
The past few times, sub space had always ended with sleep. But now it was morning, and he got to come down naturally. He felt soft and pliant, loose, and very, thoroughly, incredibly well-fucked.
He watches for a while as he comes down as Potter putters about the bedroom, redressing, straightening up. When he trusts his own tongue enough to speak—
The word seems to have a physical effect on Potter – he actually stumbles, and for a moment it looks like he might fall over but for a quick grip on the nearby armoire.
“Jesus,” he says. “Don’t – don’t say it unless you need to, Malfoy.”
He’s still pretty hazy, but it’s been at least a half-hour, and most of his faculties have returned to him – or at least all the ones that make him realize the peculiarity of the situation.
“What is it?” he asks, rolling onto his side to get a better view.
“It’s a trigger-spell,” he says. “A safe word, of a kind, except it has a physical effect on me. I only really need to use it when…”
Draco watches in silence, more curious than he thought he’d be.
“It hasn’t happened in years,” he says after a pause. “Dom space. Not really the same effects of sub space, but similar processes. Floods of friendly chemicals. It gets almost impossible for me to focus, which can be pretty dangerous for a Dom. So I came up with the trigger-spell as a last resort.”
Draco hums. Normally he’d come up with a clever insult, but the best he can do under the circumstance is, “Always so careful.”
“You’re all right, then?” Potter asks.
“I’m better than all right,” he answers. “And apparently so are you.”
“I don’t normally share the trigger-spell with people who aren’t my submissive,” Potter says, stopping at the edge of the bed.
Draco looks up at him in silence. He knows what Potter wants, of course. He’s all but spelled it out for him. And there is, at least, some part of Draco that feels bad for keeping him hanging, but there is a much larger part of him that doesn’t want to give this thing in him, between them, any sort of formal acknowledgment.
Potter crouches down in front of him on the bed.
“Do you want to see my sex dungeon?”
After a moment, Draco grins.
Chapter 5: Ring Gag
There are so many things to catch Draco’s attention that his eyes can’t seem to focus on any of them.
“I’ve decided to take up a new tact with you, Malfoy,” Potter says as he comes down the steps and flicks his wand to light every candle in the room at once. The illumination does not make it easier to really comprehend. “I’ve decided that since I can’t get you to do this responsibly or properly, I’m going to have to convince you.”
One wall, Draco notices, is entirely occupied by various types of whips and flogs and things for which Draco doesn’t even know the term. Then along the adjacent wall are ropes and leather straps and strange harnesses and slings. There’s a table full of potions paraphernalia – a small cauldron, jars of reagents, an open potions tome – and then in the center of the room—
“What is that?”
It’s large and stands on four legs, with a bowed leather top. Each leg has large silver hook not far from the plain cement floor.
“It’s a saddle stand,” Potter answers. “Somewhat repurposed.”
Draco approaches it slowly, then runs his hand along the arc of the black leather. “So… so you—?”
“Face down on top of it, yes,” he says. “An arm and leg on either side. Good for a lot of different types of pain play.”
“Wow,” is all Draco can say. He wants to try it. Granted, he wants to try everything in this room at least once, but this most of all.
There’s a table not far from the saddle stand with a number of leather restraints, a few bottles of unknown contents, and—
“If we go item by item, Malfoy, this is going to take all night.”
Draco picks it up. It’s a long strip of leather attached to either side of a large, silver ring. It has a buckle on one end. Despite his best efforts, he can’t quite imagine what it is.
“Ring gag,” Potter says, stepping over and taking it gently from his hands. “Open.”
Draco feels a little twist of arousal in his gut at the casual command, but dutifully, he opens his mouth. Potter easily slips the ring into his mouth; it settles just behind his teeth, keeping his mouth open.
The purpose suddenly becomes quite clear. Draco looks up at Potter, who seems to be thinking the same thing.
“Looks good on you,” he says.
His thumb runs along the inner side of the ring, brushing at Draco’s lower lip. Before he even gets to appreciate the little sparks it brings with it, Potter pulls it out again.
“But I don’t think we can use it.”
Draco deflates. “What? Why not?”
“I have a rule about anything that hinders communication,” Potter says. “If my submissive can’t verbally express what they want or how they’re feeling, I have to be able to use legilimency on them.”
Draco frowns suddenly, remembering the last time they talked about this. There is still a kneejerk reaction – no, absolutely not, never – that he always feels whenever legilimency is brought up, but surely, some tiny voice in him protests, surely if it’s just Potter – that wouldn’t be so bad, would it?
“There are other methods of communication, of course, but I don’t want to use them for my own peace of mind.” He sets the ring gag back down on the table near the saddle stand. “As a Slytherin, I’m sure you appreciate the value of a healthy dose of paranoia.”
“Can I use occlumency?”
Potter turns, surprised. “What?”
“Occlumency,” he repeats. “I mean, partial occlumency, of course, obviously. Full occlumency would defeat the point.”
The look on Potter’s face is inscrutable. He shifts his weight from one foot the other, moves in front of him. “Yes, of course,” he says. “Of course you can. As long as you allow me enough access to know your current physical and mental state. I wouldn’t go rummaging around your thoughts and memories without permission.”
Draco chews at his lower lip, takes a breath. He leans back against the saddle stand and looks at the ring gag, still lingering near the edge of the table.
“Malfoy,” he says, “you don’t have to agree to this if it makes you uncomfortable. We both know what Voldemort did during the War—”
“I don’t want to talk about that,” Draco says shortly.
“It’s fine,” he says, “it doesn’t mean anything.”
Potter sighs. Silence lingers for a moment, heavy with everything neither of them are saying.
Eventually, Potter moves forward and puts a warm, rough hand on the side of his neck.
“You know,” he says, “when it’s done properly – consensually – legilimency is one of the most meaningful things you can do with another person. It doesn’t have to be invasive and awful.”
Draco doesn’t answer. He doesn’t want to think about it. All he wants to do is appreciate the warm fingertips on his throat. He lets his eyes fall shut and leans back against the saddle stand.
“Sex requires trust, BDSM even more, but to actually allow another person into your mind, your inner thoughts? That’s the ultimate act of intimacy.”
“Trust? Intimacy?” Draco says. “Potter, are you trying to seduce me?”
“Yes,” he answers without missing a beat. Draco opens his eyes. Potter is leaning forward, one hand on the saddle stand beside Draco’s. “I don’t normally let myself get romantically involved with my submissives, but I’m beginning to suspect that trying to make this like all my other relationships isn’t going to work.”
Draco straightens his shoulders. “Romantically involved?”
“I told you that I was switching tactics,” Potter mutters. He’s very close now; Draco can feel the heat off his skin, smell his aftershave. “May I kiss you?”
This is a terrible idea, Draco can already tell. A romantic relationship with Harry Potter? Was it not surreal enough that he let him tie him up and whip him? And even though Draco really should stop this before it goes any further, the trouble is that instead he says, “Yes.”
Potter kisses him. It’s gentle at first, chapped lips and soft breath and warm fingertips. Then he deepens it, and Draco is opening his mouth, allowing the sweet intrusion of Potter’s tongue.
And this is absolutely ridiculous, and he really should not pretend that he could ever really be in any sort of romantic relationship with Harry Potter, but instead of pushing him away, he twists his fingers in his shirt and pulls him in all the closer, and Potter responds by sliding both arms around his waist, pressing him backward into the saddle stand.
Draco’s never been kissed like this. Granted, he doesn’t have much to compare it to, but the kiss stands on its own regardless. It’s soft but firm, unhurried and intimate, warm and intense, and it sets him alight with a different sort of pleasant buzz.
The pain was nice. This is somehow better.
Potter pulls back just enough to say, “May I use legilimency on you?”
And he should say no. He should probably leave. Unfortunately, what he actually says is, “Yes.”
Potter kisses him a second time, and just before Draco loses himself in it a second time, he feels it – the same sensation burned into his memory a thousand times before.
The Dark Lord was always very liberal with his use of legilimency, and Draco had to learn occlumency in simple self-defense. He remembers the Dark Lord’s presence as painful and all-consuming and terrible, but this is—
Well, Draco doesn’t know what it is. Different, most assuredly.
Like Potter’s kisses, it’s gentle at first, warm but unobtrusive. And even though Draco immediately pulls down the harsh wall of occlumency around everything except his mind at present moment, the physical effects are still there. Potter’s presence fully immerses into Draco’s, and despite himself—
“Merlin,” Draco chokes.
“You’re so nervous,” Potter says. “Don’t be nervous. Nothing is going to hurt you.”
“Potter,” Draco says, and Potter kisses him again, with more intensity and oh, Merlin, his presence in his mind expands. Potter is red-hot with magical power, no wonder he was able to kill the Dark Lord, he’s never experienced a magical signature quite this strong. Potter’s hands on his waist move down to his hips, heave him up onto the back of the saddle stand, and Potter nudges himself between Draco’s spread thighs.
Draco realizes, with a slowly growing combination of horror and arousal, that it feels good. Potter in his head feels good. Not like the Dark Lord ever was – brash and harsh and cutting – but soft and warm and oh, Merlin—
“Good,” Potter says, grinning onto his mouth. “That’s what I like to see.”
Draco’s body is starting to thrum in an all-too-familiar way. He feels hot and pliant and eager, and Potter seems to respond to that desire, kissing him more intensely, pushing his hands up under his shirt.
“Do you know how many doors this opens?” he asks, pulling Draco’s shirt up over his head. “Now that smart mouth of your doesn’t need to be reserved for speaking.”
Draco shivers, breathes out. Potter seizes the brief moment to glide his thumb across Draco’s lower lip.
“I can think of so many better uses for it,” he says, slipping two fingers into Draco’s mouth.
He’s taken aback at first by the strange intrusion. Potter grips him tightly by the back of the hair and slides his fingers more deeply into his mouth, and Draco makes a low and desperate sound as his head is pulled back, throat exposed, fingertips sliding down.
“Did I ever mention that I was obsessed with your mouth when we were young, Malfoy?”
Even if Draco could respond with two fingers moving ever more deeply into his mouth, he wouldn’t quite know what to say. He can feel the rigid outline of Potter’s cock against his thigh, and it’s more intoxicating than he expected it to be.
“I wouldn’t have admitted to it at the time, of course – far too proud – but in hindsight, I remember always staring at it – noticing the shape, the color. Thin and pale, just like the rest of you.”
Potter’s grip tightens in his hair for a moment and he leans down.
“Do you imagine your lips would be plumper after they’ve been around my cock for a while?”
Draco makes a plaintive noise around the fingers still in his mouth.
“I’m keen to find out, as well,” Potter says. “Strip and straddle the mount.”
Potter moves away from him suddenly, and Draco is bereft, suddenly missing those strange, intrusive fingers on his tongue. Struggling to catch up with his own breath, Draco sheds what’s left of his clothes, eyes the saddle stand, and slides over it.
“Voltum,” Potter says at once, and the bindings hanging from each leg of the saddle stand snap in place around his wrists and ankles. Draco tugs, mostly out of surprise, but the leather and metal is unyielding.
Behind him, and just out of view, he hears Potter’s footsteps on the cement. Then, fingertips like ghosts on his skin. Draco shudders as they trail down his side, his hip, the curve of his backside.
“I think I was also obsessed with your ass,” he mutters. “Never was able to find one quite as exceptional. Trust me, I’ve been looking.”
Slap. Draco yelps, jerks.
Potter circles around into Draco’s field of vision. He’s got the ring gag in one hand.
Heart hammering, Draco opens his mouth. Potter slips the ring gag into place.
“So eager,” Potter says, securing the buckle at the back of Draco’s head. “I can feel it in your head. Never had a cock in that pretty mouth, but you’re still so desperate to try.”
Ring gag secure, Potter grabs him by the hair and tugs upward. At once, Draco’s throat bends until his chin is parallel to the ground, mouth held open by the little ring of metal behind his teeth. Draco looks up as much as he can, but can only just make out the features of Potter’s face, looking back down at him.
“Sixth year charms,” he says suddenly. “Do you remember the mirroring spell?”
It had not been the question Draco had been expecting, and quite frankly, he can’t make himself care. He doesn’t want to talk about charms, he wants Potter’s cock in his mouth. He squirms against the bonds, pushing his feeling impatience to the fore of his mind for Potter’s legilimency to pick up on.
Unfortunately, Potter doesn’t seem concerned with Draco’s impatience at the moment. As he frees his cock – and Merlin, Draco had never really gotten a good look at it; it’s thick and heavy and lovely, with a wide head, and Draco’s urgency to have it in his mouth is suddenly heightened – Potter begins to mutter a soft line of Latin.
“A tangible double mirrored across an axis of the caster’s choice,” he says, readjusting his grip on Draco’s hair and sliding, neatly, evenly, past the ring and into Draco’s mouth—
—and – fuck, what is—
—at once, Draco feels like he is coming undone – Merlin, the mirroring spell – as Potter pushes into his mouth, behind him, on the other side of the axis, a hot swell of flesh pressing against his entrance, pushing in—
—and it’s good, Merlin, it’s so good, an aching burn stretching him open from behind while the same flesh presses into his mouth—
“Christ, Malfoy,” Potter mutters, setting his wand down and tangling both hands in his hair. “Is there any part of you that doesn’t feel exquisite?”
—and he is fucking Draco’s mouth, slowly at first, hips thrusting in perfect time with yes, yes, yes, Merlin, it’s so good, it’s so good it burns exquisitely, spearing him open, and Potter is quickly moving faster.
Draco is trembling, fucked open on both ends, and his hands writhe in the bonds, and his cock aches against the soft leather. Potter is hot and wet and heavy in his mouth, on his tongue, leaking precome toward the back of his throat, and yes yes yesyesyesyes Draco swallows it as best he can, a movement that draws a heavy, low moan out of Potter.
“Jesus,” he pants, “eager little slut – you take it perfectly – I could—”
Potter bends forward slightly, braces one hand on Draco's back while holding his hair more tightly with the other, and he presses his hips forward and the heavy head of his cock is pressing at the back of his throat and—
—if he could, Draco would be shouting himself hoarse – Potter is pushing into his throat and Merlin, the mirror seats itself so deeply that he is seeing stars, that it lights his the nerves up and down his spine with white fire—
“Fuck, Malfoy,” he pants, hunched, and he starts a heavy rhythm, fucking his throat open while the mirror fucks his hole. “Fuck, perfect – yes, just like that, keep your throat nice and open—”
Potter must be magically suppressing his gag reflex – it’s the only possible explanation as to why his cock is buried so fucking deeply in his throat and the only thing going through Draco’s head is how he wants even more of it.
Potter seems to notice the thought, because he moans again, more loudly, and bucks his hips faster in response.
Draco’s throat absolutely burns, and he loves it; he feels like the mirror is going to rip him open on the other side, and it’s perfect; and altogether, it’s just too much, Merlin, it’s too much, he can’t take it – he’s white hot, bowstring taut, cock aching against the leather – he’s so close, he’s so close—
“Don’t you dare, Malfoy—”
The hand on his back clenches, and a ring of magic grips tightly at the base of his cock. Draco keens – as much as he’s able, with a six-and-something-inch cock buried in his throat – and saliva spills past the ring.
“Don’t you dare,” Potter pants, pistoning his hips all the quicker, his cock making wet noises as he fucks into Draco’s throat. “Don’t you dare.”
Draco feels like he might actually die – the sensations may be physically ripping him apart on both ends. The hand in his hair pulls so tightly it feels like a chunk might be ripped out, the cock in his throat moves in perfect time with its mirror, and it’s too much, it’s too much, he has to come, please let him come, Harry, Harry, Harry—
A low, throaty groan; a sudden tenseness in his muscles. “Again.”
Somehow, Draco knows what he means. Harry, please, Harry let me come, please, Harry.
Nails dig into his back; hips rock faster. The magic gripping the base of Draco’s cock grips tighter, thinning, as though nearly ready to break.
Please, Harry, please, it’s so good, I can’t take it, please, Harry, Harry, Harry…
A sudden stillness – a heavy, jagged moan – his hips still, then jerk—
Draco feels the magic snap around his cock, and at the same moment he can feel – he can taste – his come, spilling down his abused, opened throat, and Draco is coming with him, spasming and shaking against the saddle stand, rocking his hips feebly into the soft leather as Harry comes down his throat in pulsing, burning waves, even as his lungs ache and his head spins from lack of air.
When he is lightheaded, when he thinks he might collapse, he withdraws. Draco coughs, chokes, struggles to find his air again, even as his own climax is still fading.
“Draco,” he whispers. “Draco, you did so well.”
He keeps coughing – a spell is cast that evacuates his airways, and he breathes, and he is unbound, scooped up, limp.
“You were perfect, Draco,” Harry whispers, cradling him to his chest, and Draco’s vision is starting to fade into a familiar, pleasant buzz, “you were lovely. Draco, you were wonderful, why are you trying so hard to tell yourself this doesn’t mean anything?”
Draco hears the question, but can’t process it. His head falls against Harry’s chest, and he slips away to the sound of sweet whispering.
The name pulls him sharply out of his own thoughts. Blaise is staring at him expectantly.
“All right, mate?”
It takes him a while to come up with a response.
“Yeah,” he says. He straightens his waistcoat, refocuses his eyes. “I’m fine.”
“Have you been staring at that half-finished wall the whole time?” Blaise asks. “I’ve been looking for the blueprints for ten minutes.”
“Oh,” Draco says. Then, remembering that’s not actually a suitable answer to a yes/no question, follows it up with, “I mean, no. I’m just – I’ve got stuff on my mind.”
Blaise laughs. “Clearly.” He hands the blueprints to Draco, who unrolls it. The new wing of Nox is set to double its capacity, but it requires not insignificant spaciotemporal magical adjustments to fit into the little sliver of physical property that Blaise actually owns.
“Right,” Draco says. “These look good. I’ll have a closer look when I get back.”
“The contractor you recommended seems excellent so far,” Blaise says. “You want to talk about it?”
“About whatever’s on your mind. We are friends as well as business partners, or have you forgotten?”
Draco rolls the blueprints back up. “It’s nothing.”
“No, it isn’t.”
Draco frowns. “No,” he admits reluctantly, “it isn’t.” He’s not sure what it is, but he’s starting to think Potter – Harry – he is right. It’s not nothing and it never was.
“So?” Blaise prompts.
Draco can’t tell him, of course. Not everything. Obviously he can’t; that would be insane. He opens his mouth, shuts it again, licks his lips, hunts for the right words.
“I’ve been… seeing someone,” he begins, delicately.
Blaise’s eyebrows rise in apparent surprise. “Get the fuck out. Draco Malfoy, in a relationship?”
“What? No! No – I’m not – I’m not in a relationship – I just – we’re not – he kissed me recently, and—”
“Kissing? You slut.”
Draco hits him with the blueprints and Blaise laughs.
“We’ve been – you know.”
He gives Blaise a look that hopefully conveys his message. Based on Blaise’s answering expression, it does not.
“… sleeping together,” he finishes under his breath.
“Oh, blimey, so you actually are being a bit of a slut?”
“Which I say with affection,” he adds hurriedly. “Nothing wrong with a little sluttiness, after all. I mean, it’s about time. I was always sort of mystified you got out of Hogwarts with your virginity. It’s not like you didn’t have offers.”
Draco decides to forego the comment, because if he doesn’t he’s going to start slinging hexes. “It’s been a few weeks,” he says, then adds, “and it hasn’t been serious or anything. But recently, he kissed me, and apparently he wants to… make things actually serious.”
Blaise hums once. They exit the half-assembled wing, crossing into the hallway leading to the main floor. “Do you want to?”
“I don’t know,” Draco sighs. “I mean, no. I can’t. Father wants me married and siring children before I’m thirty. Inheritance and all that.”
“But on the other hand, fuck your father.”
“Shall I mark you down as a no, then, for the lavishly decadent party he’s hosting for all the new investees?”
“Nonsense,” Blaise said. “I’ll come to his party, eat his food, shamelessly hit on his snooty friends, and turn enough profit for him not to be able to yell at me for it.”
Draco grins, despite himself.
“Fuck your father, though, seriously.”
He sighs, and despite feeling better, knows that none of his questions are answered nor his problems solved.
Chapter 6: Red Letter
There is an itch just below his skin.
It is subtle, and it is easily ignorable, and if it were anywhere else on his body Harry would put it off to a bug bite or a rash.
“Harry! Look at you!”
He’d recognize her voice anywhere, of course. She comes bustling through the coffee shop and up to his table, pure energy and open-hearted warmth, and Harry smiles.
“Anika,” he says, and he rises out of his chair to hug her. She throws her arms around him and squeezes tightly.
“It’s been ages!” she says, still hugging him. “What, six months?”
“Must be,” Harry answers. “I got you your favorite.”
She pulls back and looks down at the table, and her already bright smile beams all the brighter.
“No milk or sugar,” Harry answers.
“Aftercare special!” She collapses in the chair at once. The shop is high-end, and the clear dark golden tea is in a proper porcelain cup instead of paper. She breathes in the steam. “It smells divine. How have I never heard of this place?”
“Well, you’re out in Leeds now, aren’t you?”
“Love, I would go to the moon on my lunch break if it meant I could snag a good Darjeeling.” She picks up the tea and inhales again, more deeply, then takes a sip. The sound she makes is not quite human.
Harry grins. He’d forgotten how much he’d missed Anika and her pretty black hair, smooth skin, bright eyes, sunny disposition.
“It’s good to see you again,” he says, and it is.
Anika smiles warmly at him. “It’s good to see you, too. How is that we two exes are on such good terms?”
“Well, for a start, we’re not really exes.”
“That must be it! Do you want a scone?”
Anika doesn’t wait for an answer, as is her wont. She bustles back up to the counter and flags down a barista. Harry watches, rubbing at the itch under the skin of his wrist, trying to tell himself that this is probably not a big deal.
“I was so happy to get your owl, I’ve been meaning to catch up with you,” Anika says when she comes back.
“We should definitely catch up,” Harry agrees. “But I did… I mean, I had a specific question.”
She hums at him querulously and takes a bit of her scone.
Harry hesitates. “And I’m sorry if this is invasive, but when we called things off, you said…”
She cants her head to the side. “The filium?”
“Yes.” Harry doesn’t know why he’s nervous; he shouldn’t be nervous. “You said that it was forming for you, lopsided.”
“It certainly seemed that way,” Anika answered. “I mean, what would I know, it’s rare enough on its own, and it’s not like it’s happened to me before, but it looked like it. Why do you ask?”
Harry’s mouth works for a while, but no words come out. A moment later, Anika sits bolt upright in her chair, eyes suddenly glowing.
“Oh, Harry!” she says. “Have you found another sub?”
“Oh, tell me everything about her. Or him. Or them, or – whoever! I want details.”
“Anika, it’s not—”
“And ooh, Harry, if you’re starting to develop filium—!”
“He’s not my sub,” Harry interjects suddenly, which is surprising enough to quiet Anika down. “Not – not officially.”
“It’s complicated,” Harry sighs. “I’ve been trying to persuade him… but he’s just refusing to do anything the responsible way.”
Anika frowns delicately. “Well, Harry, you know,” she says, “that filium only occurs when there’s use of legilimency.”
“I’ve been using legilimency,” Harry says. “Not full legilimency, but I have been using it, every time for – it must be nearly three weeks. And lately, my wrist…”
Harry rubs at it. Anika’s eyes swivel downward.
“Itching?” she asks.
Harry nods slowly. “And sometimes, in low light…”
“Oh,” she says.
“Our relationship is weird,” Harry says. “I like him a lot, but we have a lot of context that he’s not really dealing with, a lot of history. He says he doesn’t want it to mean anything.”
“So the itching…?”
Anika frowns, shrugs. “I don’t know, Harry, I’m not in your head. If itching is the only symptom, it could be a million different things.”
Harry sighs. “I know.”
“If you’re worried, maybe spend some time away from him?”
Would that it were that simple. “It is upsettingly hard to say no to him,” Harry sighs.
“Someone’s got a cru-ush,” Anika sings at him, grinning.
Harry groans, lets his head fall back.
“But really, you don’t have to stop things to stay away from him. All you need is physical distance. I remember you using those red letters of yours with tremendous fondness.”
Harry supposes that’s true. He hasn’t used that spell in ages. Would it be enough to keep Malfoy satiated – or at least, satiated enough to keep him away from Harry for a few weeks?
“And if that doesn’t work,” Anika adds, “you could always, you know, break it off. That’s what I did with you.”
Harry sighs deeply. It’s probably nothing, he tells himself. It’s almost assuredly nothing. But just in case…
“Excellent return so far,” he mutters. “How long now? Ten weeks?”
“Eight,” Draco answers, spearing his cake with his fork and cutting off a small corner. “In particular, the specialty apothecary seems quite profitable.”
“Unsurprising. A market well-cornered, that.”
Draco chews slowly on his bite of cake. Across from him, his father swirls a glass of red wine in one hand and examines the papers in the other. In the background, a string quartet seduces the room with Chopin.
Draco does not know why he feels like he’s waiting for his father’s approval. Granted, he’s never really known why. He’s been waiting for twenty-seven years now, and no amount of paternal recognition has ever been quite enough.
“Blaise Zabini’s opened a business?” his father asks suddenly.
Draco makes a concerted effort not to choke on his cake.
“Yes,” he answers. “A small specialty club in London.”
He chooses his words with careful precision, of course. When his father hears the words “specialty club,” he is thinking of a gentleman’s club, a place where the wealthy elite with shared interests or political views can comingle. He is not thinking about a place where people are tied up and whipped.
“A speciality club that turns a profit of nearly a quarter-million galleons a month? How much must his membership dues be?”
“It’s very exclusive,” Draco says, which is technically true, and therefore the best sort of lie. “And with numbers like that, how could I say no?”
“Be it at your own peril, Draco,” his father says, and Draco breathes a sigh of relief when he sees him flip to the next page of the dossier, “there have been rather unpalatable rumors circulating about Zabini the younger.”
Draco takes a large swallow of dessert wine.
“Something about some form of sexual deviancy. I suppose with a mother like his, it was bound to happen, but we need not entangle the Malfoy name too deeply with such disgusting things.”
Draco feels a stab of shame and masks it with another swallow of wine. Even without meaning to, his father has always been able to make him feel tremendously, painfully inadequate.
“Letter for you, Mr. Malfoy,” says the waitress to Draco’s left. It catches him off-guard, and he turns to her with a start. There’s a large red envelope waiting for him on a shiny silver plate. It almost looks like a Howler, but it isn’t shaking or smoking, so it can’t be.
“Thank you,” Draco says, taking it.
“I can only hope that Mr. Zabini doesn’t create a scene at the investee soiree next month. Presumably he has not forgotten what it is to be high society.”
Draco is about to open the letter when he notices two words written in messy scrawl across the flap – OPEN ALONE.
It takes him a moment, but Draco eventually recognizes the handwriting as Harry’s.
Open alone? Why would he need to open it alone?
“He is your friend, so presumably you will keep a firm reign on him?”
Draco looks up. “What? Ah – yes. Of course. Blaise is a dear friend; he would never do anything to embarrass me.”
“You always did have such questionable taste in friends,” his father chides, scooping up a spoonful of blackberry parfait.
“Always good to see you, Father,” Draco says, before immediately making his excuses to leave.
It isn’t a Howler, but the longer Draco looks at it, the more he notices that it bears quite a lot of similarities to one. It is trembling with the same magical energy, and Draco can detect a trigger set to go off the moment the black wax seal is broken.
Dutifully, however, he doesn’t open it until he’s back in his flat – not that he strictly needs a flat, what with his permanent address still decidedly at the Malfoy Manor, but he has discovered lately that he needs a place to escape to – and the moment he breaks the seal—
“Did you heed the warning on the back of the envelope, Draco?”
There’s no letter inside the envelope, he notices – just Harry’s voice, coming from every corner of the room all at once.
“I should hope you did, otherwise you’ll have quite a lot of explaining to do to whoever’s with you.”
Draco’s not really sure what this is.
“In fact, I hope you’re at your flat now, because I’ve owled you a present. You should go find it.”
Draco stares at the envelope in confusion.
“Go on,” Harry’s voice – or, Draco’s beginning to suspect, an echo of Harry’s voice – says, “I’ll wait.”
Draco hesitates, then leaves his bedroom when the silence from the envelope lapses longer. He moves down the hall and into the kitchen, where, sure enough, there’s a small, unremarkable brown parcel tied with twine.
“A big project has come up at the DMLE, and I’ll be quite busy for a few weeks,” Harry’s voice explains. “So I’ve set you up with a few goodies to keep you occupied.”
Draco feels a sudden flutter of excitement and sets the envelope down on the table so he can unwrap the parcel.
“I hope you appreciate this, Draco,” Harry’s voice says. “Not the gift itself, though I have little doubt you’ll appreciate that, but the act of giving it. For someone who is not my sub, I am certainly spending quite a lot of time with and effort on you.”
Draco does his best to fight down a twinge of guilt. He pulls at the layers of brown wrapping.
“How long has it been now, six weeks? A month and a half of intense play, incredible sex, and absolutely no commitment? No unrestricted legilimency, no serious conversations about what this is, what we are, what we’re doing?”
The parcel lies open. The first thing Draco sees is what looks like a long scarf. It’s a strange miasma of colors, sort of opalescent, and when he touches it, it is buttery-soft, so soft it seems to leave a trace on his fingertips. There’s something underneath it.
“Do you not understand how badly I want you, Draco? How addicted to you I already am?”
Draco swallows. He pulls the scarf aside. Underneath is—
“By now, I imagine you’ve opened your package.”
It’s a – well, Draco supposes that the only thing it could be is large glass cock. From flared base to tapered head, it’s about five inches long. It’s thrumming with some sort of magic, but Draco can’t quite tell what kind.
“You can consider it a do-it-yourself bondage kit. I’ll explain what each piece does, but first you have to take them back to your bedroom.”
Swallowing, Draco picks up the parcel and the envelope and carries them both back down the hall.
“Some part of me thinks that I should be happy with what I have – and don’t mistake me, I would not trade the pleasure of your company for any earthly desire. But even when I have you beneath me, soft and open and so lovely, I know that there’s still more I could have. I’m made aware of it every time you bring down your walls of occlumency, every time you tell me that we don’t mean anything. That vulnerable part at the very core of you – I’m beginning to think it’s the part of you I want more desperately than any other.”
Draco stares at his feet as he walks into the bedroom again.
“Undress,” Harry’s voice says, and Draco shivers. He fumbles at the buttons on his shirt.
“What is it that’s holding you back? Fear? Uncertainty? Of what? I see no fear on your face when I whip you, when I fuck you, when I bring you to that edge of ecstasy. You trust me with your physical safety, but not with your heart?”
Draco wets his lips. He would half-expect Potter’s voice to be callous, jaded – but it’s not. He sounds so sincere, and so strangely warm. It makes Draco’s chest ache.
“But you are worth the chase, Draco, and I will chase you until you tell me not to.”
For a moment, Draco does not know how to react. He’s grateful, suddenly, that Potter can’t actually see whatever traces of emotion are on his face. Perhaps, Draco thinks, that’s why he’s saying these things in a letter, instead.
“On your bed.”
Stripped now, bare and vulnerable, Draco sits on the edge of his bed. He feels tense, somehow, even though Harry isn’t even physically in the room.
“Take that glass toy now, Draco.”
He hesitates a moment, but Harry’s voice waits for him, as if knowing in advance that Draco would hesitate. He reaches out to the box left on the night stand and pulls it out. It’s heavy and cool in his hands.
“Don’t be nervous,” Harry’s voice says. “I promise you, you’ll be in love with it before long. Suck.”
Draco reminds himself, again, that Harry is not actually in the room, and there is no real impetus to do anything this enchanted talking letter is saying. He wets his lips, and closes his mouth around the head of the toy.
“You are exquisite when you suck cock, Malfoy. Did I ever tell you that? Pale cheeks hollowed, thin lips swollen, and you are always so eager. I can feel it in your head – you love the sensation of cock on your tongue, pressing into your throat.”
Draco shivers, moans quite without meaning to. He curls his legs beneath his body and sucks the toy with more eagerness.
“I can just imagine you now in your posh London flat, so wanton and debauched on the crisp white covers, sucking desperately at that toy. Adactus.”
Draco gasps, and suddenly the toy starts moving on its own. He tumbles back against the headboard, but the glass cock keeps at it; its rhythm is fast and demanding, thrusting deeply into Draco’s mouth until his jaw starts to ache. He groans heavily.
“You love it, don’t you, Draco? So desperate for it that you don’t even care it’s made of glass. Do not touch your cock. Use a spell to lubricate and fuck yourself with your fingers.”
He groans again, and his hand goes fumbling for his night stand, where his wand still is. The glass cock is thrusting more urgently into his mouth, the tapered head nudging at the opening of his throat and yes yes yes yes, Draco casts a hasty lubrication charm and desperately spears a finger into himself. Merlin it’s so good, he needs it so badly.
“God, I can just picture you, you gorgeous thing,” Harry’s voice says, heavy with arousal. “Mouth full of cock, fingering yourself so desperately. How good does it feel, Draco?”
Draco moans desperately around the toy still thrusting into his mouth, even though there is no one to hear him.
“Get yourself nice and loose, Draco. Add another finger.”
He does, and his body jerks. He whines, and the head of the toy suddenly breaches – briefly – into his throat. And yes, Merlin fucking yes, he tips his head back, giving it a straight shot and – yes yes yesyesyes – it starts to fuck his throat, in and out, again and again, a second of breathlessness and a second of breath. He twists and scissors his fingers, and it feels so exquisite—
“Is it nice and wet, Draco? Finis.”
On its outward thrust, the glass cock suddenly stops, tumbles out and onto the bed. Draco, throat still aching, whines desperately.
“Fuck yourself with it, Draco. Do not touch your cock.”
The eagerness with which Draco grabs it up off the bed would be embarrassing if anyone could see it. He rolls properly onto his side and fumbles, the tapered head searching for purchase along his backside, blindly hunting—
“If you were mine, Draco, I would keep you well-fucked daily. No more sneaking off whenever we find time between our schedules. I would come home to you every day, whip you, flog you, bend you over the Berkely horse and fuck you into inarticulacy.”
And Merlin, Draco has never appreciated Potter’s filthy fucking mouth more than this moment – at long last, the slicked toy finds purchase, and Draco pushes it in a bit too quickly – he howls and his body keens.
“Alecto,” Harry’s low voice says.
At once, the toy resumes its deep, punishing rhythm, and Draco half sobs-buckling forward at the waist – Merlin, it’s good, it’s so good, and it’s moving so perfectly, and he reaches down to grasp at his cock—
“Do not touch your cock,” Harry’s voice growls, possessive. “Innecto.”
Draco does not know what he’s commanding at first, until he sees the scarf – that strange, opalescent scarf from the box – slither out and fly to his wrists. Faster than Draco can tell what’s happening, his wrists are bound, tugged up, attached to the headboard, and Draco whines, tugging desperately as the toy fucks him so deeply and so thoroughly.
“You are going to come on nothing but the toy, Draco. Roll onto your back and arc your hips off the bed.”
It’s not a thing easily done while a five-inch glass cock is fucking into him with bruising speed and while his hands are bound tightly above his head. Gasping, whining in pleasure-pain, Draco rolls onto his back.
“If you were mine, Draco—” (Draco lifts his hips off the bed and oh, Merlin, oh fuck yes yes yes the toy is now perfectly angle, slamming brutally past his prostate and Draco immediately begins to see stars) “—I would scratch every depraved little itch you have and love you for it every time. If you were my sub, I would collar you mine, Draco Malfoy. You would be mine and only mine.”
Draco can’t take much more of this. The brutal fucking, the bindings, the filthy talk – yes, yes, he wants to be Harry’s, of course he does, perhaps he already is – his legs tremble trying to keep him up, his cock aches and pulses with the nearing orgasm, he’s so close, he’s so close.
“Come now, Draco. Come for me.”
Draco does – almost immediately, and with such a force that he loses his vision. He is coming, glass cock still fucking him, spasming, ropes of come landing on his stomach and yes, Merlin, it’s so good—
“I can picture you there, coming so perfectly – you’re already mine, aren’t you?”
Yes, yes, yes, Draco pants and rocks his hips, slipping into the pleasant buzz of sub space.
“Then why do we keep doing this dance? Finis.”
The glass cock stops, the silk bindings fall apart, and Draco collapses under his own weight.
Chapter 7: Gilded Mirror
“Burning the midnight oil?”
Harry looks up from his papers and, all at once, realizes that he’s been in the same position for far too long. His neck aches at the movement, his eyes burn at the sudden light, and his shoulders twinge in pain.
“Not that I’m impressed as all hell with your work ethic, but it’s nearly midnight.”
“Is it?” Harry rubs his hands into his eyes, under his glasses.
Shacklebolt pauses a moment, then heads inside. “Is it the Livanov case?”
“No, that was wrapped up days ago,” Harry answers. “I’m going through the backed-up request reports.”
Shacklebolt stops at his desk, frowns. “What, all of them?”
“All eight years’ worth?”
“What can I say, Minister, I’m feeling thorough.”
“There is a thin and semantic line between thorough and self-punishing, and you are nowhere near it. And how many times have I asked you not to call me Minister?”
“Don’t worry, it’s only out of respect for the office. I’m still absolutely holding you to that fifty galleons you owe me from pub night.”
Shacklebolt grins sleepily at him, then, quite without segue, says, “So who are you avoiding?”
Harry sighs, gathers up the stack of parchments on his desk (March, 2008 to July, 2009). “Who says I’m avoiding someone?”
“Please, I’ve been using the same tactic for years. It hasn’t stopped working yet. I know it’s not any of my business—”
“It’s fine,” Harry insists. “We’re friends, you’re not overstepping anything, it’s just—” He sighs, rakes a hand through his hair, sits back in his chair. “It’s complicated.”
“Isn’t it always?”
Harry shrugs, but doesn’t say anything.
“Oh, go on,” Shacklebolt says. He sinks into the chair on the other side of Harry’s desk, settles back. “I’ve had my head buried in trade deals all day. I could use the opportunity to think about something else.”
Harry sighs and wonders where to begin.
“Ever had a relationship so complicated that you have no idea where it stands?”
“I’m a politician,” Shacklebolt says by way of answering.
“With someone you’re having sex with,” Harry amends.
“Oh. Then no.”
“He’s brilliant, and I’m starting to think I’ve got it pretty bad for him. But he’s so adamant about us not being serious. I’ve tried really hard to get him to open up, to talk about things, but he always manages to…”
Harry’s mind drifts. He is upset about all those distractions Draco had managed to come up with, but only in an abstract sort of way. In practice, his distractions usually ended up with Harry fucking his throat, or Draco sobbing and begging as Harry flogs him, or with him tied up on his bed…
“So I take it the sex is good.”
“Far better than it has any right to be,” Harry says.
“Well, sex is important,” Shacklebolt concedes, lifting one ankle to rest on the opposite knee. “But I wouldn’t call it the foundation of a good relationship. If you can’t communicate with him, that’s a pretty big problem, don’t you think?”
“I mean, yes. Obviously. But there are these moments when he looks at me like I’m the sun, when he shows this real vulnerability – I think he actually does like me, he’s just trying really hard not to admit it.”
“So you’re trying to give yourself distance?” Shacklebolt asks, gesturing to the yet-insurmounted pile of forms.
“Yeah.” Harry rubs at his wrist. The itching hasn’t really stopped, but he thinks it might have lessened. “A bunch of reasons.”
“Come up with any clarity yet?”
“Not really. Mostly just that I really want to see him again.”
“Careful, that sounds an awful lot like love,” Shacklebolt says.
For a while all Harry really feels is surprise, and not in the way he’d expect to feel it. Love? Is he falling in love with Draco Malfoy? They aren’t even in an actual relationship.
And besides, what the hell does Harry know about love? The closest he ever came was with Ginny, and that ended in unmitigated disaster.
“Ooh, did I speak too soon?”
“I don’t—” Harry begins, haltingly. “It’s only been two months.”
“I notice you haven’t addressed the question.”
Harry can’t be falling in love with him. Right? He likes Malfoy – quite a lot – and he would certainly not be opposed to the opportunity to like him more, but love? Isn’t there just too much baggage they haven’t dealt with for that?
But then again, he came into it knowing the baggage, and somehow that had made it more compelling. The baggage is what had drawn him in when they were both sixteen and stupid. He likes all of Malfoy’s scars, physical and emotional; he liked his smart mouth that he had at one point convinced himself he despised; he liked his wit, the prickly guardedness around the vulnerable core, the—
“Oh, shit,” Harry says.
Shacklebolt chuckles, and Harry realizes that he is falling in love with Draco Malfoy.
From the corner of his desk, something rattles. It takes him a moment to even hear it, and a moment longer to realize what it is.
“Sounds like you’ve got a bit more to chew on. I’ll leave you to it. Try to actually go home at some point before dawn, won’t you?”
It’s the two-way mirror, the one with a link to his sex dungeon. It rattling means someone’s inside.
“See you on Monday, Harry.”
Exit Shacklebolt. Head still swimming, he picks up the mirror and sees him on the other side, nosing around the potions table in the corner of the room. He looks so curious, that same look of open-hearted wonder—
God, he really is in so much trouble.
The wards, to Draco’s surprise, actually let him in. He stops being surprised once he remembers that this is Grimmauld Place, and he is a Black by blood. That’s likely the only reason, and not because Harry went out of his way to make Draco specifically welcome.
The house is dark and cool. Either Potter’s asleep – which seems unlikely, since it’s only half-eleven, and Draco knows he’s a night owl – or he’s still at work.
“Potter?” he calls again, louder. Still no answer. Draco heads into the kitchen – nothing – then down the hall – still nothing.
Then, after a while, he heads down into the sex dungeon.
Draco’s been looking for an excuse to really look around, and the Slytherin in him would never pass up an opportunity. He charms the lights on, and all the rows of equipment, gags, bindings, racks, straps all light up with it. Draco can’t imagine how much Potter spent on this place, though with control of the Black family vaults, it was likely pittance, comparatively.
Draco moves slowly along one wall, admiring the rack full of whips and canes and riding crops, the repurposed wall-mounted coat rack full of gags. How is it that after six weeks they’ve never managed to use most of these yet? Draco’s fingers linger overlong on the handle of the riding crop, when he smells something.
It’s faint at first, like sauce muffled under a lid. It catches his attention at once, and he follows it across the room to a small, slapdash potions table. There’s a lidded cauldron, and when he reaches down to inspect the contents—
He spins at once, heart nearly leaping up his throat and out of his mouth.
On the adjacent wall, in a large, gilded mirror, is Harry Potter.
“What—?” Draco begins.
“Breaking and entering?”
Draco straightens. “Your wards let me in.”
Draco moves closer. Potter looks to be in some sort of office, with unremarkable tan walls with a map and a diploma.
“Is this a linked mirror?” Draco asks, inspecting the frame.
“One of many things I inherited from my godfather,” Harry answers. “I notice you’ve avoided telling me what you’re doing in my sex dungeon.”
Draco straightens. “Looking for you. Where are you?”
“Why are you looking for me?”
Draco’s mouth twists. He turns away from the mirror and wanders idly back toward the potions table. “You’ve been gone for over a week,” he answers, sounding as nonchalant as he can without being too obvious. “I’ve missed this dungeon.”
“Just the dungeon?” Harry returns neutrally.
“Also your cock,” Draco admits. “And the handcuffs.”
Draco looks back in time to see a pained expression on Harry’s face. It’s gone before long.
“Sorry. Work’s been…”
“Is that where you are? At work? At midnight?”
“The Department of Magical Law Enforcement doesn’t head itself. Do you make a habit of going through peoples’ shit when they’re not there to stop you?”
“It’s the best time to do it,” he deflects. “What are you brewing?”
“Be careful—” Harry begins, but Draco’s already pulled the lid off. The smell assaults him all at once.
“Oh, Merlin,” Draco says. “Is that amortentia?”
“Yes. Please be careful with it.”
Draco bends down and inhales deeply. Circe, it smells good.
“Why are you brewing a love potion?” Draco asks.
“It’s sometimes used as a sex aide,” Harry explains. “In proper doses.”
“A sex aide?” Draco looks back at the mirror. “Isn’t that sort of ethically questionable?”
“Usually,” Harry says. “But if it’s brewed correctly, it can create the feelings of lust without a target.”
Draco considers it for a moment. He supposes that could be done, if the reagent ratios were adjusted properly. And because he’s never been able to think of an interesting potions problem without overthinking it, he spends a while trying to work out those adjustments in his head before he hears Harry say—
“What does it smell like?”
Draco glances back at him briefly.
“A bunch of things,” he admits. “Mostly, like – like old, settled leather. You know? Like in an aging chair. And…” He bends down again, inhales. “Merlin. A bit like lilacs and dusty books and mint.”
When Harry doesn’t respond, Draco glances back at the mirror. Potter is siting a bit stiffly in his chair, and there’s some curious expression on his face – tight and controlled, like he’s holding something back.
“This batch smells done,” Draco comments.
“Likely,” Harry answers.
“So do you reckon if I took a spoonful of this, it would induce that lustful euphoria?”
Harry breathes out long and low. “Likely,” he says again.
Draco leans his hip against the side of the table. “Reckon that would get you back here?”
“No,” Harry says, tone unchanged.
“Why not? Surely whatever project you’re working on doesn’t preclude you ever going home.”
“I can’t, Draco,” he says. “It’s not – it’s complicated, and I don’t want you to worry about it, but I can’t.”
“What’s complicated?” Draco asks.
Harry sighs and rubs at his right wrist.
“If there’s something wrong—”
“What? Do you want to talk about something personal finally?”
Draco’s not quite sure why the comment stings like it does. In any case, Draco only knows how to deal with hurtful comments in one way:
“You’re right, that sounds pretty dull.” Before Harry can say anything, Draco grabs a ladle from the potions table, scoops up a bit of the amortentia, and downs it in one swallow.
“Draco, for Christ’s sake.”
It tastes like honeysuckle nectar and good wine, and it warms all the way down his throat. He looks back at the mirror and runs his tongue along his lower lip. “You were going to offer this to me, anyway.”
“Not now,” Harry says. “Not like this.”
Draco drags a small, metal table away from the wall and pulls it in front of the gilded mirror. Then he hops up onto it. “If you’re going to avoid me, then I should at least be entitled to remind you of what you’re missing.”
“Trust me,” Harry replies, “I know exactly what I’m missing.”
The effects of amortentia, of course, aren’t immediate, but they are pretty quick. Draco feels it at first in the tips of his fingers – a gentle tingling, that turns to a pulsing, that turns to a thrumming.
“I liked your letter,” Draco tells him, flexing his hands.
“Good,” Harry says neutrally.
“But I have to admit, a glass cock that fucks me on its own is a lot less fun without your voice in my ear, ordering me to come.”
Harry is still rubbing his wrist, expression carefully controlled. Draco feels the thrumming move into his palms, his wrists, his arms – oh, Merlin—
“This is pretty potent,” Draco says, suddenly feeling a bit hot in his clothes.
“Yes, it is,” Harry says.
“Wow,” Draco mutters when he feels a sudden rush of blood to his chest. He knows all the physiological effects of amortentia, of course – he knows that it can’t force a person into sexual arousal; all it does is incite that first itch and amplify anything that follows once it’s scratched. Though at the moment it feels less like an itch and more like a steadily-spreading fire in every vein of his body. Draco swallows hard, his mind going back over the contents of that letter.
“Merlin, that was hot,” Draco says, leaning back on his palms, squirming on the table as heat blooms on his chest and down his stomach. “I suppose it speaks to your experience as a Dom that you can make me come without even being in the same room as me.”
Harry doesn’t answer. He’s watching Draco with a controlled sort of ravenousness – he sits forward in his chair, but only just; he drums his fingers on the desk, but not too quickly. He watches Draco like a lion watches its prey.
Draco can’t take this anymore; this otherwise cool cellar is becoming unsettlingly hot. He reaches for the buttons on his shirt and fumbles to undo them—
“Slower,” Harry says suddenly.
Draco whines. “It’s hot,” he protests.
“Slower,” Harry repeats, more firmly.
Chest heaving, blood burning with lust, Draco forces his frantic hands to move slower, popping one button at a time.
“That’s better,” Harry says. “You’re much more pleasant when you’re obedient.”
Draco groans heavily as he pops the last button and eagerly shrugs the shirt off his shoulders. He rises to work at his belt.
“This push and pull is getting unbearable, Draco,” Harry says, watching as he disrobes. “You insist you are not my submissive, but you come back and submit to me at every turn. You say you don’t want anything serious, but you complicate it every time we’re together with this combination of – of callousness and eagerness. I don’t know what you want. I don’t think you know what you want.”
Draco sits back on the table, naked now, chest heaving. “I want you to come back here and fuck me,” he says.
“No,” Harry says.
Draco whines and bucks his hips off the table. His cock is already half-hard without any stimulation. “Please,” he says. “Please, the potion – it’s getting really intense—”
“I know,” Harry says, “I brewed the bloody thing. Wet your fingers for me, Draco.”
Still half-arced off the table, Draco lifts one hand to his mouth and eagerly sucks at two fingers. Harry makes a low, pleased sound, and Draco makes as much of a spectacle of it as he can.
“I don’t need to physically be there. Despite all your sass and your defiance, Draco, I can still get you off – keep you in your place – dominate you – with nothing but a word. You’re proving it right now.”
Draco groans heavily around the fingers in his mouth. Merlin, he’s right.
“Lie back, Draco, and fuck yourself on your fingers. Let me see.”
He collapses onto the metal table and eagerly spreads open his legs. He hears Harry’s low sound of approval, and Draco winds his arm around his thigh; after several weeks of regular sex, his body submits more willingly, and his fingers push in at the same time, and Draco keens.
“Good,” Harry mutters. “Tell me how it feels.”
“Nng,” is all Draco can manage at first. He’s dizzy with the amortentia; it’s pounding with every heartbeat and burning him up. It makes his fingers feel like heaven. “So good. Merlin, it’s so good…” He bucks his hips, grinds them down against his fingers.
“Deeper,” Harry says.
He presses deeper, and his body stretches, aches to accommodate. Draco gasps and rocks his hips, yes, yes, yes.
“Perfect creature,” Harry mutters. “That amortentia has gone straight to your head. How badly do you need a cock inside of you?”
“Please,” Draco sobs. “Yes. Please, please-please-please.”
“Faster,” Harry growls, and Draco fucks his fingers faster, bucking and writhing on the table. It’s not enough, Merlin, it’s not enough, he needs more.
“Please fuck me,” he sobs, “M-Merlin, I need it so badly—”
“If you beg very nicely,” Harry says, “I’ll let you use a toy on yourself.”
“Please!” Draco is frantic now; he can’t quite find his prostate with his own fingers; the position is too awkward. And even though it feels fantastic, it’s not enough – he needs the weight of a cock, the girth. He needs it so badly that he feels physically dizzy every moment that he does not have it. “Please – I need it, Harry—”
Draco sobs impotently. He scissors his fingers, tries to curl them, but it’s no use, it’s not enough; the amortentia has him bowstring-taut and absolutely insatiable. “Harry – please, Harry – I need to be fucked. I need it so badly. Please.”
A low groan. “Again.”
“Please, please let be use a toy, my fingers aren’t enough—”
“Summon a toy,” Harry says, and at once, Draco scrabbles for his wand on the end of the table, summoning – well, it doesn’t matter – whatever toy is nearest. What ends up flying into his hand is a thick, black, ribbed thing, at least eight inches long.
“Goodness,” Harry says, “you must be in the mood for a challenge.”
If there is some part of Draco that thinks his body can’t handle such a massive thing – and it is massive, at least three inches in diameter toward the base – it is drowned out by the buzz of the amortentia – need need fuck please yes.
“On your front, Draco,” Harry says, “and put that perfect ass of yours up. I want to see you take it.”
Draco nearly swallows his own tongue. He’s wet and open and loose from his fingers, but he knows not loose enough. He rolls sloppily onto his front and presses his face into the metal, knees propping up his backside, and the wide head pushes against his entrance.
“It’s too big,” Draco whines. “I need another—”
“Alecto,” Harry says suddenly and— fuck—
It pushes into him with a sudden, bruising thrust, and Draco is stretched to his absolute limits, screaming, scrabbling both hands out and gripping hold of the edge of the table and holding on for his life.
“That’s right, Draco,” Harry says. “All of my toys respond to verbal commands.”
“Merlin yes yes yes yes yes yesyesyes. Too much. More. More, please. Harry, please more.”
The toy is agonizingly slow at first; the initial thrust had only forced it in about a quarter of the way, and – oh, Merlin – it keeps slowly, steadily, pushing deeper, spearing him wide open.
“Too much, but you still want more? If I’d known you were such a size queen, I’d have gotten more creative.”
Draco doesn’t know what a size queen is but if it means more of this, he’s all for it – the toy shoves deeper and Draco howls. And it is far too much – Draco feels like he is being ripped open – but he does want more – he wants every inch of it.
“You’re taking it very well,” Harry says. “You are criminally fucking beautiful when you are being fucked, Malfoy.”
One last thrust and – “Hnnngghhaa—!!” —the massive toy is fully seated in him, and it aches, and it burns, and it’s perfect, and he wants more.
And then it slowly starts to thrust— “Meriln – Merlin, yes—!”
A heavy grunt from behind him. “Both hands on the table. You don’t need to touch your cock, do you?”
Draco can barely hear him. The amortentia is buzzing hard in his head and the toy is moving faster now – Merlin, so fast, so bruising, so big, it’s perfect, a flawless balance of ecstatic pleasure and thrumming pain – and Draco rocks back against the toy, body thrumming.
“Gorgeous fucking creature,” Harry says, voice taut and strangled.
It starts to thrust faster, and Draco starts to lose his ability to see, or hear, or think – the universe stops at his skin, and as he is fucked open, everything in him collapsing, knotting, twisting, burning up, then exploding—
—coming, desperately, painfully, that enormous toy fucking his climax out of him with such intensity that every muscle trembles with it and it feels as though his soul escapes through his cock, and he falls apart—
Harry is coming a split second after Draco, drunk off the sounds of him shouting himself hoarse and fucking against the toy.
And he knows he should not have done this, but he did it anyway.
And he knows he should not go back, but he does anyway.
He cleans Draco up and puts him to bed, watching him as he sleeps.
And after all the intensity, the passion, all that’s left is a twisting in his chest – the sweet heartache and desperate affection of a man falling in love.
Chapter 8: Riding Crop
“Father, do we really need all this? The Malfoy estate only has a handful of new investees.”
“It has nothing to do with numbers, Draco, and everything to do with making a statement.”
Two functionaries enter the ballroom with an enormous ice swan on a silver platter, its neck arched and its wings spread. They present it to Lucius, who frowns, and makes a dismissive gesture.
“It’s been several years since we have made ourselves public as a family. This party must be about a Malfoy renaissance – in the truest since, in the sense that it is a rebirth.”
The functionaries carry the enormous ice swan out just as two more carry in an even more enormous ice lion.
“We have hung our heads in postbellum shame for long enough. We must come back into society, proud, unflinching, as economically and politically dominant as ever.”
“Wouldn’t that rather give the impression that we haven’t changed?” Draco asks.
“A lion?” Lucius barks at the functionaries. “This is a Malfoy function! Take it away!”
Draco sighs. The ballroom of the Malfoy Manor is a large, open area, with tall French windows along the western wall, golden sash curtains, and a gleaming marble floor.
“Appearance is everything,” Lucius says. Two more functionaries come out with a third ice sculpture, this time of a dragon. “Perception is everything. We must shape it and prune it as carefully as we do our coffers. Moreso, perhaps. Put that one on the table.”
The functionaries set it down on the center of the long table in the center of the ballroom.
“The party isn’t even for three weeks,” Draco says.
“And when it comes, it must be perfect. Yes, I think the dragon will do. Where is the menu? Someone bring me a menu!”
A functionary scrambles over, handing the menu to Lucius. Draco watches him thumb through the parchments.
“Two parchments’ full?” he asks. “Why do we need so much food? There can’t be more than two dozen people, including their spouses.”
“It will not just be the investees present,” Lucius says. “I’ve invited everyone who is anything in the magical world.”
“What? I thought this was a small party – where’s the guest list?”
The same functionary that came with the menu hands the guest list to Draco. As Lucius yells about wine choices (“Zinfandel? This is the Malfoy Manor, not a West End dive bar!”), Draco flips through the guest list.
“This has to be at least a hundred people.”
“And every one of them needs to see that House Malfoy is back again.”
Draco recognizes most of the names. “Annmarie Gaspard, Renee Trumond – the entire Wizengamot – Prime Minister Shacklebolt – Merlin, Father, his security will be a nightmare – Quentin Tulius, Maximilian Vandon—”
“No,” Lucius says suddenly. “Not Vandon. Take him off the list.”
“What? Why? He’s the Head of International Affairs.”
“I added all the department heads perfunctorily, but I’ll gladly take a sodomite off the list. Where’s the caterer?”
Draco stares down at the name Maximilian Vandon again, feeling a sudden tug of fear and shame in his belly.
Does he even hear himself? Surely he wouldn’t really…
“Father,” Draco says, keeping up his veneer of impassiveness, “don’t you think that’s a bit archaic?”
Draco frowns, folding the guest list in half. “A lot has changed since the War, Father,” he says. “Sodomy doesn’t have the same stigma these days—”
“Don’t be ridiculous, Draco. The name of Malfoy can’t be associated with the likes of Vandon. It’s bad enough he announces his perversions to the world, but he has the gall to call for protections and anti-discrimination – and marriage! Can you imagine?”
The guest list starts to wrinkle in Draco’s grip. The dread and shame creep up all the stronger, rising like bile in the back of his throat. He hates that his father can still do this to him, after all these years, effortlessly.
“Inviting all the department heads but Vandon will send a strong message,” Lucius says, “that the House of Malfoy is still noble, still clings to the values of decency and respectability.”
So Maximilian Vandon isn’t decent or respectable, and neither is Draco. He feels suddenly small and vulnerable, like the scared child he was so many years ago when he developed his first crush on Theodore Nott and spent the rest of the school year hating himself for it.
When he notices the guest list starting to tremble in his clenched hands, he sets it down on the table and makes for the exit.
“Where are you going?” his father calls after him. “We’re not done!”
Draco doesn’t answer. He doesn’t trust his voice.
Fear isn’t something Harry’s used to feeling. In the past, that’s always been to his benefit – taking down Voldemort could have only been done by someone fearless, or to be more accurate, by someone with very little instinct for self-preservation. He has his suspicions as to the origin of his own fearlessness, involving how he was never taught how or allowed to love himself and therefore never placed any value in his own life, therefore never felt like dying would have been a great loss.
But now. Now there is something to lose. Now there’s Malfoy, who’s so tangled up in his life that Harry went and made the mistake of falling in love with him. Malfoy, who is so gorgeously and incredibly insatiable but at the same time so distant. Malfoy, who Harry couldn’t stay away from for even two weeks.
He’s not naive. He knows that he’s just as much to blame for the agony as Malfoy is. Malfoy keeps coming back to him, but Harry keeps letting him, because he’ll never be able to say no, not to Draco Malfoy, not even if it is eating him up inside.
The voice draws him out the radio broadcast of the Quidditch game – or, if Harry’s going to be honest, mostly his own thoughts – and when he turns around, Malfoy is standing in the hearth, spelling the soot off his robes.
“Hey,” he says, and before Harry can answer, continues with, “you know what we haven’t done yet? The riding crop.”
Harry watches him in surprise. “Uh—”
“I am just dying to try that out,” Malfoy says, and he’s smiling broadly – very broadly – and a little bit manically – and he sets off immediately for the dungeon. “That sounds great right now.”
“Malfoy—” Harry spells the radio off and follows him. Malfoy’s walking quickly, frenetically, rubbing his hands together as he walks.
“And maybe some ropes? I don’t know, I’m not picky. I’m just – wow, I’m just really feeling it right now.”
“Draco, are you all right?”
He pushes through the disillusioned door and heads down the steps without answering his question.
“Or one of those gags – you’ve got so many of them! We’ve only used the one, and it was great. Absolutely mind-numbingly hot. Let’s do one of those, too. What’s a good one?”
“Draco, you’re acting…”
“And there are so many hooks, too. What are they for? Let’s use some of those hooks. Don’t know what they do. Don’t care! Let’s just do something. You’re not busy, right?”
Harry can detect a subtle trembling in his voice. He stands by the bottom of the stairwell and watches uneasily as Draco hunts through the wall of sensation toys and, after finally finding the riding crop, snatches it and hurries back over to Harry. He holds it out with both hands, but Harry doesn’t take it.
“Draco, please tell me what’s wrong.”
Draco stares up at him. The manic smile crumbles slightly around the edges, and his fingers curl around the riding crop. “Why would something be wrong?”
“I can tell when you’re about to come from ten miles away when the wind’s fair. You think I can’t tell when you’re about to cry?”
Harry can see the lines of his throat roll as he swallows.
“I’m fine,” he says.
“No, you’re not. What’s wrong? What happened?”
“I’m fine,” he says, and Harry believes it even less the second time. “Everything’s fine. I just – I need to – I don’t want to think about things for a while is all.”
Harry does not like this at all. A protective instinct is rising in the back of his head, and despite Draco urging it toward him, he does not take the riding crop. “What is it you’re trying to not think about?”
What was left of Draco’s thin facade fell away. The riding crop bows sharply in his grip.
“Can we not talk about this,” he says, voice starting to thicken with emotion. “Can we please not talk about it. I don’t want to think about it. I don’t want – I can’t deal with it right now, Harry, I can’t, I just want – I want what you do – I want to be able to – to turn off my brain and not think about things, about anything—” Tears suddenly start burning in his eyes. “—I just can’t right now, so please can we—”
Harry pulls him tightly into his arms; the riding crop drops to the floor with a soft sound, and Draco falls apart against his chest.
“I don’t want to to think about it,” he says, “I don’t, I can’t, I just – please, I can’t – please, please, Harry—”
Articulacy fades by the second, and for the first time since they met again at Nox, Harry is not the least bit turned on by the sound of him begging.
Back when Anika was still his submissive, her mother died, suddenly and brutally. Anika was a mess, and with no other family to turn to, she’d come to him. To calm her down – Harry doesn’t know if it will work, but he hopes it will—
He backs Malfoy into the nearby wall, pressing him flush against the stone, trapping him there between it and his own body. Draco is sobbing at this point, hands twisted in the front of his shirt, and Harry holds him there, arms around his back and one hand in his hair.
“Ssh. Hush, you’re all right,” he mutters into Draco’s temple. “You’re all right now, I’ve got you.”
Draco sobs for a while longer, and Harry makes a mental note to annihilate whatever did this to him. God help them both if it was a person; at that moment, Harry feels like he very well might commit murder for this.
“You’re all right, you’re all right,” he whispers, and adds, only in his head, I love you so much and I am going to destroy the cause of all your pain.
It takes a while, but it seems to work – the immobility calms him down, at least enough to the point where he’s not sobbing openly against Harry’s chest.
“You know that BDSM can’t fix this, Draco,” Harry whispers. “It can’t fix anything, not really.”
Draco catches his breath in shuddering gasps. “I know,” he answers. “I know, but – it helps.”
“I know,” Harry says. “It helps. If we do this, you have to promise me that we’ll talk about it afterwards.”
“And please don’t tell me that this doesn’t mean anything, because it does.” He pulls back, looks down at him, uses a thumb to swipe away the tears still on his face. “And that’s okay. You’re allowed to find meaning in this.”
Draco’s eyes are downcast, but he nods. Harry kisses him once, briefly, even though it makes him ache.
Harry knows that it takes a special kind of intensity to really calm a submissive down, and he draws on everything he learned with Anika to pull it off.
Draco is bound strappado, wrists tied behind his back and attached to a hook on the ceiling, a spreader bar between his ankles. He is bent forward at the waist, arms bent backward and up, and already he is breathing hard.
“I’m going to blindfold you,” Harry says, “and gag you.” He approaches Draco’s front, who looks up at him, shoulders shaking. “Is that all right? I’ll have to use legilimency to keep a read on you.”
Draco hesitates, but nods. Harry pulls the blindfold – black satin – off the nearby table first, securing it around his eyes. The gag comes next – black leather with a red ball – and he fastens it at the back of his neck.
Harry gently presses into his mind. He is once again met with a hard, opaque wall of occlumency around everything that is not his immediate mental state – but even with that information, Harry’s heart aches. Draco is very much not fine. He feels profoundly hurt, angry with himself, and Harry can even detect traces of self-loathing.
He starts making a long and detailed list of all the things he’s going to do to whoever or whatever hurt Draco like this.
“You’re going to be all right now,” Harry says to him, and Draco whimpers. Harry smoothes a hand across his hair. “I’m going to take care of you. You’ll feel better soon.”
Harry picks up the riding crop in one hand and circles him slowly.
Harry can feel Malfoy’s mind as all the heartache starts to tinge with arousal, anticipation. He latches onto it.
“You are fucking beautiful like this,” Harry says, which is true. There’s a certain elegance in strappado that Harry’s always admired; the way the submissive’s body bends, the areas of extreme tenseness and looseness. Harry lifts the riding crop and lightly runs the leather tress slowly up along the back of Draco’s thigh.
Draco whines suddenly; Harry feels the surge of arousal lance through Draco’s mind.
“Drawn so tightly, but still so open,” Harry says, which is also true.
Slap, suddenly, to his thigh. Draco releases a muffled shout around the ball gag; the sudden shot of adrenaline to his system feels just as intensely erotic to Harry as it does to Draco. Harry circles back around toward his front, feeling suddenly predatory, and bends down to speak into Draco’s ear:
“You’re going to have the most intense orgasm of your life,” Harry tells him, softly.
“But it’s only going to happen after miles of hell,” he continues. Slap, to his back, and Draco howls through the ball gag, twisting in his bonds. He likes this, Harry can tell – he really likes it. Draco is thinking about how he adores the riding crop as much as he thought he would on day one, about how desperately erotic it is, about how his cock is already so hard that it hurts.
“You are quite a slut for pain, aren’t you, Draco?” Slap. Draco gasps and whines and pants. “I remember that first night – I got you off with nothing but pain. Do you reckon I could do that a second time?”
Draco groans heavily. He does think Harry can do it a second time, and he desperately wants it.
Slap, to his backside; Draco thrashes once and moans heavily. Red welts are appearing on white skin, and Harry watches as they bloom hungrily. Slap.
“I’ve never had a submissive who got off on pain alone,” Harry says. Slap. Draco shouts, and Harry can feel Draco’s mind surging with pleasure and pain. “Don’t get me wrong, they liked it – that’s rather par for the course of BDSM – but coming off nothing but pain? That’s actually quite rare.” Slap. Draco moan-sobs and Harry is intoxicated by the way it burns through Draco’s head.
“God, you’re a fucking work of art.” Harry wheels back for a bit more force – SLAP. Harry can feel the sensation go straight down to Draco’s cock; Draco loves it, and he’s getting close to coming already. SLAP. “Who told you that it was okay for you to go around being this fucking beautiful? This absolutely, ecstatically sexy?”
SLAP. Draco is very close, now; dangerously close. Harry can feel the nearing orgasm thrum through his brain. He can hear Draco chanting more more more and yes yes yes all at once. He wants it so badly, and Harry’s cock aches at it.
“You are too—” SLAP “—fucking gorgeous—” SLAP “—to be allowed out in public—” SLAP. SLAP. SLAP.
Draco is ready to fall apart. One more good hit and he would likely be coming.
So Harry stops. He leaves him dangling on the edge, desperate. When the sensation stops, Draco whines, and Harry can hear him desperately begging for more.
Harry lightly sets the riding crop down on the nearby table and moves behind Draco. His pale back is a mess of fresh red stripes. As the buzz of nearing orgasm fades down into nothing but aching desperation, Harry slicks two fingers with a wordless spell.
Without preamble, he pushes them into Draco, who once again starts to thrash and moan.
“And God, you’re fucking tight. Tight, hot, absolutely perfect. Be honest, Malfoy, were you created with the express purpose of being absolutely fuckable?”
Draco moans heavily, and Harry can feel orgasm nearing once again in his head. He works his fingers in and out quickly, pressing down hard on the little tangle of nerves inside him – to great effect. Draco’s arousal roars inside his head, drowning out everything else. Harry fucks him deep and long with his fingers, bracing a hand on the small of his back. Draco bucks back against his hand as much as he’s able, whining desperately around the gag.
“I could fuck you every day for the rest of my life and still never get enough of it,” Harry says. He adds a third finger and twists, and Draco howls, mind a blur of yes yes yes oh Merlin yes please more. Harry’s cock throbs, but he keeps his focus needle-sharp. “I would, if you’d let me.”
Yes yes yes yes Draco chants in his own head. He’s getting close again; it doesn’t take much, after nearly coming a few minutes ago. Harry fucks him open with his fingers, riding him right up to the very edge—
And stopping again, just short of that inevitable peak. Draco nearly screams around his gag. Harry extricates his fingers, takes a few steps back.
Keep going keep going please oh Merlin I’m so close I’m so close.
But Harry would be nothing without his self-control. He steps away and lets the buzz of almost-climax fade away over the course of about thirty seconds. He strips his shirt off, tugs off his trousers.
Two near orgasms have left Draco a mess of raw energy and trembling tension. Harry can tell that his shoulders ache, that his back burns with pain, and that he’s never been so intensely turned on in his life.
He returns to Draco. “If you’d let me,” he continues, picking up the thread of his thoughts again, “I would collar you mine. I would never let anyone hurt you like you’ve been hurt today.”
Draco sobs around the gag. Something else creeps up in the arousal. Harry can’t quite tell what.
“I would do anything for you, you perfect creature. People act like the Dom has all the control, but that’s an unexamined view. In the end, it’s the Dominant who is absolutely devoted to their submissive, perhaps even more than the reverse.”
He smoothes a hand over Draco’s back. The little creeping something starts to get stronger. Harry realizes, with a sudden surge, that the something is affection.
And then he realizes – Draco is dropping his occlumency.
For a moment, Harry doesn’t know what he’s feeling there in Draco’s mind – is this deliberate? How can it not be deliberate? But then he sees it—
The party, his father, the callous comments, the vile homophobia. Draco and his years of self-hatred and repression of his sexuality, Draco and his desperate attempts to be the perfect heteronormative heir his father always wanted, Draco never quite being enough no matter how hard he tried.
It’s a sudden rush of information, and Harry wants to take it apart piece by piece, but God, he can’t believe—
This is Draco, opening himself up for the first time. Draco being vulnerable—
“Draco,” he says, “God, Draco—”
Draco is suddenly tense, worried he’s revealed too much.
“No – Draco, you—”
Harry casts a number of spells all at once, sweeps Draco around, pins him down on his back onto the nearby table. Draco’s eyes are red, his chest is heaving—
“Harry—” he begins.
Harry kisses him ferociously, pushes open his thighs, and fucks him in one long, sudden, deep thrust.
Draco’s mind blanks of all complaint again; he moans desperately against Harry’s mouth; Harry grabs both his wrists, pins them over his head, and starts to fuck him thoroughly and eagerly.
Harry can see into every corner of Draco’s mind – his thoughts, his emotions, his memories, everything, and he does it because he trusts Harry, because Harry matters. Harry knows it does because he can see it, and it is the most erotic thing Harry’s ever felt in his life, because it feels like progress.
Harry’s rhythm is fast and purposeful – long, deep, intense strokes, aimed perfectly past his prostate. And Draco is shouting, crying out against his mouth, every muscle in his body whipcord tight as the intensity starts to pull him down into the thrum of sub space. Even Harry is slipping away, fading into the noise in his own head.
He holds his wrists down and fucks him, his own climax roaring toward him, and he can feel Draco tense up, body clamping down around his cock. Draco is shouting with each thrust, back arcing off the table, and Harry mutters against his mouth, so tight, you’re perfect, God, and Draco draws tighter and tighter until he is coming, shatteringly, with impossible intensity, and just feeling it is enough to send Harry right over the edge with him, shouting as he comes deeply into Draco.
It takes Harry some time to come down – he’s not sure how much. When the buzz fades, Draco is sprawled out underneath him, mind quiet, nearly unconscious. Harry is still buried to the hilt inside him, streaked with sweat, panting—
—and smiling. God, Harry thinks, he let me in.
And for the first time in a while, Harry is hopeful.
Chapter 9: Blue Thread
Draco has never really handled vulnerability well. Weakness is something he’s always kept a tight rein on. The first time anyone ever really saw him at his worst, he was sixteen years old, and Harry Potter cut him nearly in half.
The second time, he was twenty-seven, and Harry Potter had kissed him into a wall and given him the most intense orgasm of his life.
Draco is also not a big fan of pattern.
That, along with everything else, is why he sits up so abruptly in the bed the moment he’s conscious enough to be considered awake – memories come roaring back all at once – Merlin, he’d actually cried, not just in front of him but into him, and—
Oh, Merlin, the occlumency. He’d dropped the occlumency. What had he been thinking? Potter probably saw everything, right into the bloody tangle of his naked soul – Draco is gripped with a sudden wave of dread and fear – Merlin, he probably saw everything to do with his father, with his insecurities—
There’s a hand on the side of his face, gripping his chin and pulling it down.
Harry is sprawled out in the bed next to him, sheets pulled over his stomach, smiling sleepily up at him.
“You’re panicking,” he says, voice thick and uncoordinated as the fog of sleep lifts. “Stop panicking.”
The hand slides around to the back of his neck and pulls him down into a kiss. There’s a rough stubble on Harry’s face that scratches across Draco’s jaw. For a minute Draco’s mind blanks in the pleasant way it always does when Harry kisses him, and when it kicks back into focus, Draco feels the paranoia creeping back up. How much does Harry know? How would he even begin to approach asking—?
“And now you’re overthinking,” Harry mutters into Draco’s mouth before rolling over on top of him. Potter has a few inches and at least a dozen pounds on him, and the weight that presses Draco back down into the mattress is firm but not uncomfortable. “Turn your brain off for a while, Malfoy, it’s Saturday.” He kisses him again.
Draco is not sure how Potter can know what he’s thinking. “Are you using legilimency?” Normally Draco would be able to sense it, and he doesn’t sense anything out of the ordinary.
“‘Course not,” Harry mutters, mouth trailing off Draco’s and down along the curve of his jaw, the crux where it meets his throat. “Just body language. Or the filium. Don’t know.”
Harry starts kissing along his neck – sleepy, clumsy kisses moving along his pulse point, and Draco would like to keep being alarmed, but it’s getting more difficult. “What’s filium?”
Potter’s mouth stops for a moment, which Draco notices almost more than the sudden lapse of silence.
“Nothing,” he says after a moment, no longer sounding quite as sleepy. Draco knows at once that it isn’t nothing. “Misspoke. How’s your back?”
Draco hadn’t even noticed it, which he supposes is— “Fine,” he says. “Potter, about last night…”
Draco trails off and looks down at Potter, though he’s not quite sure why Potter looks back up at him mildly as he starts dropping kisses across Draco’s collar bone.
“What…” Draco begins, but trails off again. “How much do you know?”
“Well,” Harry answers mildly, trailing his kisses lower, “I know your father’s a homophobic dickhead.”
Draco swallows, though whether from the sudden feeling of vulnerability or the fact that Harry’s mouth is moving closer to his nipple, he’s not quite sure.
“I know you haven’t really forgiven yourself for being gay, or forgiven him for training you to hate yourself for it.”
“Fuck,” Draco whispers. He really did bear all.
“And I know that I don’t feel any differently about you now than I did eight hours ago.”
Draco furrows his brow, but keeps his eyes trained on the ceiling.
“Well, no, that’s not quite true,” Harry says. “I think my respect for you has deepened not insignificantly. Back in school, I was so ready to blame you for everything you were. Now, knowing what I know now, I’m amazed you turned out halfway normal, let alone so brilliant, growing up with a father like that.”
“You’re incredible, Draco Malfoy,” he interjects, “and I—”
His sentence falls short. Something Draco can’t quite name twists in his stomach and he looks down at Harry, who’s halfway down Draco’s stomach and staring back up at him, green eyes shining through long black bangs.
“You what?” Draco asks, not quite sure if he wants the answer.
Harry’s face goes through a range of different emotions one after the other, none of which Draco can quite pick up on. After a moment, he moves back up Draco’s body and bends to kiss him, as surprisingly gentle and effortlessly intoxicating as ever. Draco makes a soft sound against Harry’s mouth, wondering what else he knows, wondering what filium is, wondering—
With a gentle roll of his hips, Harry’s cock – hot, half-hard by the feel of it – slides along Draco’s stomach. Harry swallows the moan it pulls out of him by deepening the kiss. Draco’s entire body thrums with arousal, dulled by the early morning.
Harry, usually so vocal, usually speaking at length, is strangely silent – a not unwelcome change, Draco finds. There’s a different sort of intensity that starts to hum under Draco’s skin – quieter, warmer, deeper somehow, seeping all the way into his bones. And Harry kisses him so warmly, and slides his arms around his back, and moves gently against him, trapping Draco’s cock between them.
Draco curls his body upward against Harry’s in response, his own hands lifting, nails raking upward along the exposed skin of Harry’s back. It’s a gesture that pulls a low sound out of him, has him rock his hips more firmly. Blood rushes toward Draco’s pelvis, hot, intoxicating, overpowering in a very different way than he’d become accustomed to.
He feels Harry’s hand on his thigh – warm, calloused, but without much pressure. Draco lifts his leg up, tenting the scarlet bedspread, and Harry’s fingers glide up, back down, around slightly—
Draco takes in a sharp breath as Harry’s fingers probe at his entrance. Little arcs of electricity race up his spine, and it’s nothing like the dizzying pleasure-pain he’s had before.
Harry makes a low, hungry sound. “Still so wet and open,” he whispers, gently curling his fingers in deeper. Draco’s body reacts with a jerk, and he throws his head back, thighs falling open, rolling the small of his back upward for him.
“Harry,” he begs, aching.
“Ssh.” Harry bends down and kisses him heavily, and words leave again. He settles down between Draco’s thighs and lines up—
Potter’s kiss trips and falls from his lips, and he moans open-mouthed against Draco’s jaw as he buries himself inside him. Draco feels hot and pliant and oh, Merlin so full, so exquisitely full, stretched but not torn, open and soft and yes, perfect, yes yes yes.
One hand around his waist, the other bracing on the headboard. Harry moves, but not roughly. There’s no frenzy, no lovely-painful brutality, just a soft intensity that is burning through Draco with surprising speed.
Draco knows this is different. They’ve fucked before, more times than Draco can readily recall. This is not one of those times. This is not fucking.
Harry finds Draco’s mouth again and kisses him desperately. Draco’s hands rake up his back and tangle in his hair as he answers the kiss. He rocks his hips in time with Harry’s, and he feels the intensity building, burning through his blood.
It’s not fucking, but it’s good. Merlin, it’s good. Draco’s legs start to shake, his hands tighten in Harry’s hair. Harry, for his part, begins to pant; his movements don’t become harder, but they do rock deeper, God, deeper, and the headboard thumps weakly into the wall, and Draco holds onto him for fear of floating away on the current of it all.
Harry’s nails dig into the skin of his hip. Draco’s bucking becomes less even, more frantic, because Merlin it’s so good, Draco feels like he’s coming apart at the seams. And when Harry pauses to angle himself up just so—
He doesn’t speed up – he doesn’t need to – after learning to love fast and brutal, Draco is undone at gentle and intense, and he’s close, he’s close, he can feel every muscle in his body tightening, bracing.
Harry keeps his deep and gentle rhythm right through Draco’s climax, which is equally low and intense and impossibly, inescapably perfect – the only sign of Harry’s own orgasm is the way his movement seems to stutter, the tightening grip on his hip and – oh, yes – the added heat spilling into him in pooling waves; he can feel Harry coming inside him, and it intensifies those last few waves of his own climax before, trembling, he collapses again, head thrown back, heart pounding, though not from any particular exertion.
Harry kisses him again, deeply, intensely, and Draco answers in kind with as much energy as he can muster. The moment lingers a while, and then Harry pulls out of him. At once, Draco feels strangely bereft.
He rolls off Draco and collapses on his side next to him. Draco doesn’t feel the thrumming buzz of sub space, but he certainly feels good – warm and uncoordinated, and oddly at peace.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had sex when I wasn’t tied up,” Draco says, and Harry immediately busts into laughter, and Draco laughs along with him, though he couldn’t say why if asked.
“I think you’re right,” Harry laughs, rolling onto his back. “We should, every now and then. Nothing wrong with a bit of vanilla. Cleanses the palate.”
“That’s lemon sorbet, philistine,” Draco says, and Harry laughs again, louder, and Draco joins him, again. And if it’s at all strange that he and Harry Potter are giggling like school children, post-coitus, in a stripe of golden sunlight, Draco does not feel like acknowledging it.
“Lemon sorbet,” Harry says. “Christ, you’re so bloody posh it’s a miracle you can dress yourself in the morning.”
“I refuse to apologize for class,” Draco answers, gathering up his strength and climbing out of bed. “Where are my clothes, by the way?”
The bed shifts behind him. “Hey.”
Warm hands on the small of his back, his hips. Draco turns around. Harry is sitting on the edge of the bed now, hands making appreciative movements across his hips and waist. Despite the hair, which is inexplicably even messier than normal now that he’s slept on it, and despite the sleep still in his eyes, Harry looks lovely as he smiles up at him.
“You know I’m glad, right?” he says. “About last night, with the occlumency.”
Draco frowns. “Glad? Why?”
“Because it means you trusted me enough to let me in,” Harry answers. “I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m angry as fuck that your father is such a prick, and I hate that you felt so awful, but I’m glad you were able to open up about it.”
For a while, Draco’s not quite sure how to feel about that. He stares at Harry uncertainly as his hands trace the curve of his hipbones. “That’s a weird thing to be glad about.”
“It doesn’t feel weird,” Harry says. He tugs Draco forward by the hips and kisses his stomach. “I told you months ago, and it hasn’t changed since. You were never going to be like my other submissives. I want the collar, yes, the commitment, but I don’t want it if it doesn’t come with every other part of you.”
Draco remembers that, of course – he never really forgot – but the context feels different now. Harry’s really doing this – he really, genuinely wants and is pursuing a real romantic relationship.
It doesn’t feel as strange as it used to, but it still feels strange enough to make him hesitate.
“I don’t…” Draco begins, haltingly. “I’m not sure if I want that. I don’t know what I want.”
“After a lifetime of internalized homophobia, I suppose I can’t blame you,” Harry says. “But like I said, I’ll chase you until you tell me not to. I can wait. I will. You’re worth the wait.”
Draco cannot exactly say why the sentiment leaves him utterly dumbstruck.
“Anyway, I don’t have anything formal yet,” Blaise says. “Thought it would be best to at least run it by you first, before we put any ink to parchment.”
“Hm,” Draco says. He’s caught up staring at the restaurant’s skylights and the way it lets in the strange angles of moonlight. Or to be more precise, he’s caught up in his own head, and the moon just happens to be a convenient thing to look at.
“I get a sneaking suspicion you’re not paying attention.”
It is, unfortunately, the comment that actually manages to draw Draco’s attention away. “What? No, I mean – it’s fine, I’m sure it’ll be fine. We’ll have our lawyers talk.”
Dining with Blaise is always nice – or at the very least, it’s nicer than dining with his father. Blaise always insists on the hole-in-the-wall-with-a-surprisingly-good-brisket rather than his father’s choice of whatever-is-the-most-expensive. And more vitally, they can talk without Draco hating himself.
“How’s your not-relationship going?” Blaise asks.
Startled, Draco look up from his leg of lamb. Blaise fixes him with a knowing expression.
“Don’t even try to act like you weren’t thinking about it,” Blaise says. “I was around for your crush on Theodore; I remember how it looks.”
Draco makes a dismissive sound, though there’s not a lot of effort behind it.
“It’s not a relationship,” Draco says. Then he pauses, and adds, “Still.”
Blaise answers with an unimpressed grunt. He takes a sip of wine. “And I’m not supposed to read into what a good mood daydreaming about him has got you in?”
“I wasn’t daydreaming.”
“Defensive? It must be getting serious.”
“Pay your half of the tab first.”
Draco saws with great deliberateness at his leg of lamb. “I’m not defensive. And it’s still not a relationship, but it’s going…”
Blaise raises both eyebrows and bends forward in exaggerated conspiracy.
“Fine,” Draco finishes, somewhat anticlimactically. “Good. Nearly great.”
“Nearly great,” Blaise echoes. “Merlin’s sagging bollocks, that’s high praise coming from you. You must be head over tits for him.”
“Gonna tell me who it is?”
“Fuck off,” Draco says again.
“So it’s someone we both know.”
Draco groans. “Blaise—”
“And it’s got to be someone with some history, otherwise you’d probably be fine telling me. Oh, God, it’s not Theodore, is it?”
“No! Merlin, no.”
“McLaggen? You were in correspondence with him earlier this year, weren’t you?”
“He’s married with three children!”
“Not my place to judge,” Blaise deflects.
“Stop guessing. If I wanted to tell you, I’d just tell you.”
“Well fine,” Blaise snips, carving off a chunk of brisket. “I didn’t want to know anyway.”
“Clearly,” Draco says. “Have you ever heard of filium?”
Blaise nearly chokes on his bite. He starts coughing so hard that Draco is nearly ready to pull out his wand and clear his airway.
“Merlin, Draco,” Blaise wheezes once the piece of brisket is no longer in his windpipe. “Filium? Ligabus filium?”
“I – yes? What is it?”
“Who told you about ligabus filium? What kind of relationship is this?”
“I – I read it,” Draco lies.
“Bullshit you read it, there isn’t any respectable textbook in the world that will talk about ligabus filium. Draco, are you—” Blaise stops suddenly, gives him a measuring look. “Is this a BDSM relationship?”
“No!” Draco lies again.
“Holy shit, it is!”
“You’re into BDSM?”
“Keep your voice down!”
“Merlin, no wonder you looked like you were about to pass out when I took you out onto the floor that first time,” Blaise says. “If I’d known you were turned on instead of uncomfortable—”
“Blaise, I will hex you blind.”
“I’m just saying, I could have given you names!”
“Tell me what ligabus filium is or I’m going to punch you in the throat.”
It takes several more infuriating seconds for Blaise to stop laughing, and several more further for him to gather up the wherewithal to answer. In the interim, Draco does his best to glare a physical hole in the side of his head.
“It’s – Merlin, Draco—” Blaise laughs, shakes his head. “No one really knows exactly what it is or how it works. It’s really rare.”
“Is it a spell?”
“No, not really,” he answers. “It’s not so much an act of magic as it is an artifact of it. It’s the result of prolonged and repeated legilimency, coupled with other types of BDSM-related magic. It sort of just happens to Doms and subs who’ve been together for a while, but not always. In fact, not in the vast majority.”
Draco furrows his brow. “What does it do?”
“There’s no specific set of effects, or at least not any that have been well-documented,” Blaise says. “It happens so rarely, and there’s always some variation between each case. I think I’ve only seen it once or twice after four years running Nox. It appears as a sort of blue thread around the wrist of the Dominant and the throat of the submissive. From my admittedly limited understanding, it creates a sort of permanent mental link.”
Draco is not quite sure he likes the sound of that. Granted, he’s not quite sure he dislikes it, either. “A permanent link?”
“I heard it described as a sort of low-level psychic radar that’s exclusive to the Dominant and their submissive. A mutual, perpetual awareness of each other’s mental state, and any particularly strong thoughts or emotions.”
Draco looks away. He’s certainly never felt anything like that with Harry. Had Harry been feeling things like that? Draco’s mind goes back to the conversation they’d had two days ago, when Harry was barely awake, muttering things about Draco’s mental state he would have had no immediate reason to know.
“Can it…” Draco begins. “Does it ever form lopsidedly?”
“Fuck if I know,” Blaise answers. “Fuck if anyone knows, really. This is really rare stuff we’re talking about.”
“Right,” Draco sighs.
A permanent mental link with Harry Potter. At first brush, it sounds so far past ridiculous that it circles right back around into practical.
“I think it is permanent though,” Blaise continues, “once it forms solidly. And I’m fairly sure it only appears with really strong emotional bonds.”
Draco is so deep in his own thoughts that he doesn’t realize, for a while, that Blaise is giving him a knowing look that’s so smug Draco considers punching him in the throat anyway out of pure spite.
“So I guess it’s going very well,” Blaise says.
“Fuck off,” Draco answers.
“So are you the one who gets tied up or does the tying? I’m going to guess you’re the one getting tied up.”
Draco sends a hex flying into the side of his head.
Chapter 10: Time Turner
The itch has not gone away. If anything, it’s gotten worse.
And yes, Harry does know what this means. At this point it would be an exercise in willful ignorance to try and avoid the reality of the situation. He may only be able to see the little blue threads under the skin of his right wrist when the light is low enough, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are becoming more solid, more contiguous every day. It doesn’t change the fact that Harry is starting to pick up vague auras and impressions from Draco whenever they’re close enough, like he’s starting to feel his emotions and think his thoughts as an extension of his own.
And yes, Harry knows he should be talking about it, but every time he tries, he finds himself choked up. It’s not in his usual nature to be so frightened of consequence, but he is. He is binding himself – perhaps completely one-sidedly – to Draco Malfoy, and it is wonderful, and terrible, and inevitable, and all he can think about is how Draco might react. Would he run? Would he be angry? Would he never speak to Harry again?
There is still a corner in Harry – small, fragile – that is still amazed that someone cares about him. Enough to give himself to Harry, enough to giggle over jokes about lemon sorbet in the early morning, enough to look past twenty years of scars and open himself up to him. It is the same corner of him that is terrified – so, so terrified – of losing it, because how on earth would he ever find it again? It’s the part of him that never really left that cupboard under the stairs, the part of him that chokes his voice when he tries to say it – Draco, I love you. Draco, I’m beginning to bind myself to you. Draco, you are the puzzle I want to spend the rest of my life solving.
But there are silences that need filling, and if he can’t bring himself to say that, he says the next best thing:
Draco’s shoulders jerk in surprise. He’s facing away, arms pulled tight behind his back in a long, black arm binder, a single sleeve down his spine. A black silk blindfold is pulled tight around his eyes, and all he can do when he hears Harry’s voice is turn his head in the general direction of the sound.
“You’re exquisite. God, look at you.”
He trails his fingertips along the span of Draco’s back, which pulls a shiver out of him. He makes a soft sound and his head falls back, exposing the lines of his throat. He is kneeling on the floor on a small, black mat; there are leather shackles on his ankles that bind him to the cement.
Harry’s cock aches. There are ten thousand things he wants to do to him, but the first thing he does is move across the room and tap a small clock with his wand. It immediately begins to tick.
The sound of it catches Draco’s attention. “Harry?” he asks. “What’s that sound?”
“It’s an alarm clock,” Harry answers. “It is going to count down a half-hour.”
He looks so vulnerable there on the mat; Harry’s sure he feels vulnerable, too. Thighs spread wide, knees pressed to the ground, arms bound behind him, rendered blind and immobile. His cock is hard and his chest is heaving.
Harry approaches slowly. “Open your mouth.”
He can see the shiver run down his spine at the words. A lapse of silence, and he opens his mouth.
There’s no reason to delay and every reason to take what he wants with both hands. He is already disrobed – this entire day had been planned out well in advance – and the moment he catches the flash of pink that is Draco’s tongue, he grabs him by the hair and presses his cock inside.
Draco moans around his length, and Harry releases a long breath. Hand still tightly knotted in the silky cornsilk hair, he starts a steady, thorough rhythm, fucking into his mouth.
“Don’t ask too many questions, Draco,” Harry mutters over the wet sounds of his cock pressing ever deeper. “This is supposed to be a surprise. Head back, deep breath.”
Draco knows what’s coming; Harry knows he knows. Where by the subtle body language or by the early pulses of the filium around Harry’s wrist, he can detect that sudden wave of arousal and anticipation. Draco obligingly tilts his head back, opening his throat – Harry grips tightly and fucks down into it.
Christ, Malfoy’s throat. He’s never seen someone inexperienced take it so well. Harry remembers being inside his head that first time, feeling the raw buzz of intense arousal, nearly as delicious as the feeling itself, of being buried so perfectly inside the tight, wet vise of his throat.
“This weekend is going to be a good one, Draco,” Harry says as he starts the slow, deep rhythm. “I have a feeling you’ll like what I have planned tonight. And tomorrow night should prove to be just as interesting.”
Draco makes a soft sound as though he wants to say something. Harry takes the opportunity to give one long, thorough stroke down into his throat. He stays still a while, sinking into the sensation, and waiting for the first edges of dizziness to lap at the edges of Draco’s mind.
He counts to twenty, then pulls out. Draco coughs and gasps, chest heaving, a line of precome glistening on his lower lip.
“I—” Draco swallows, gulps down a few urgent breaths, “—I can’t come tomorrow. You can’t either. The party, remember?”
“Words cannot express the true, time-space-bending massiveness of the fuck I don’t give about your father’s party,” Harry says.
“He’ll be suspicious if you don’t show up,” Draco pants.
“Will he, though? I feel like he can’t be too surprised if I don’t come to a party thrown by Lucius Malfoy, lord of all dickheads.”
“Harry,” he whines.
He sighs. “Jesus, fine. Aren’t I supposed to be the one dishing orders?”
“I just don’t want to give him any reason to be upset,” Draco says, turning his head away. “If this goes bad he’ll personally blame me for it. I was the one who made the investments in the first place.”
“But you have to at least make some time tomorrow,” Harry says, moving forward again and threading his fingers through Draco’s hair. He arcs up against his touch. “I can promise it will be worth your while.”
Draco makes a sound that is, to Harry’s ear, not dissimilar from a purring cat. “It can’t be in the morning,” he says in weak protest. “Maybe early afternoon, before the party?”
Harry bends down low. “I may keep you long,” he says into Draco’s ear.
He shivers. Harry sinks into a crouch, his hands ghosting down Draco’s front, across the flat of his stomach, the shallow V-shape of his pelvis, until his fingertips slip around the base of his cock. The purring cat sound arrives again, a bit louder.
“Every time I have you, I’m tempted to just tie you up and never let you go,” Harry continues, and Draco’s hips jerk, shoulders straining against the arm binder. “To have you on a collar, to have easy access to your mouth, your cock, that perfect little ass—”
He lands a hard slap; Draco jerks and keens, body twisting, chest starting to rise and fall with more rapidness.
“Perhaps by the front door,” Harry continues, “with a decent plug in you. I could come home to find you there, bend you over the end table, and you’d be ready right away—”
Draco moans loudly as Harry fists his cock – once, twice, then withdraws, leaving Draco’s swollen, red shaft untouched in the cool air of the cellar.
“You like the sound of that, don’t you?”
Draco whimpers, hands writhing in the arm binders, legs shaking.
Harry grips his hair tightly. “Answer me.”
“Yes,” he gasps. “Yes, yes.”
“You’d like to be waiting for me when I come home from work, wet and open?”
Draco moans a second time, louder, head falling back. “Yes,” he says.
“When I left you down here, I told you to stretch yourself and use a lubrication charm. Did you?”
Draco nods feverishly.
Harry sits down on the mat across from Draco, taking a while to admire the expanse of smooth skin of his chest and stomach.
“Mind you, I know much you like it rough and dry,” Harry says, fingertips on Draco’s skin, and he writhes and gasps, the metal shackles attached to his ankles scraping on the floor. “But tonight we have to err on the side of caution. Like I said, we’ll be doing something special.”
Harry adjusts so he’s sitting cross-legged. His hands move from his chest to his stomach to his waist, then grip hard and tug him forward. Draco stumbles toward him on his knees, chains rattling, and Harry very subtly casts a ring spell around the base of his own cock. Timing is everything tonight, and he has to stick to the plan.
The head of Harry’s cock brushes the skin of Draco’s thigh. Draco shudders visibly, tangibly under his fingertips. Harry reaches down and adjusts the position; the slick, loosened ring of muscle lines up, and Harry says—
Draco groans heavily, swallows, and slowly sinks down, impaling himself on Harry’s cock in one long, unbearably slow movement. The movement is so long that it is as torturous as it is wonderful; Draco’s body is so hot and soft, and Harry lets his head drop back as he sinks down further and further, until he is pressed firmly into his lap, cock fully seated.
Draco is panting, shaking. Harry wants nothing more than to roll him over and fuck him into inarticulacy, but no, no, the plan is more important.
“Go on, then,” Harry mutters into his ear.
Breathing out shakily, Draco starts to move. Bound as he is, it’s awkward and stiff, but the eagerness is there, boundless but restricted by the arm binder, by the shackles around his ankles. Cock sliding against Harry’s chest with each movement, he rolls his hips, slowly at first. Draco’s body is like hot, wet silk, and Harry stares at his throat.
“I can picture a collar around your throat right now,” Harry mutters to him. Draco whimpers, rocks his hips faster. “Marking you mine, mine only.”
“Harry,” Draco gasps.
Draco swallows hard, arcs his back, bucks his hips faster. Skin hits skin again and again, and he starts to writhe as he bounces on Harry’s cock eagerly.
“A beautiful specimen like you would need to be kept on a short leash,” Harry mutters. “God knows what I’d do to any other Dom who even looked at you overlong.”
The muscles in Draco’s chest start ot tighten. “Harry—”
It’s an order that Draco is clearly eager to obey, but one that his bindings do not make easy. He rolls and bucks and arcs his neck. Harry lies back on the mat and watches him – Christ, he’s beautiful, fucking himself so eagerly and desperately on Harry’s cock, the leather arm binder groaning in protest as he writhes in it. Harry rests his hands on his waist and bucks his own hips to meet him halfway, and Harry watches as his cock disappears over and over inside Draco’s hot, pliant body.
Thank God for the ring around the base of Harry’s cock, or the sheer, ecstatic beauty of it would be too much for him to take. There’s a thin sheen of sweat glistening on his stomach and chest as Draco desperately rides his cock.
“All you’d have to do it say it, Draco,” Harry says. “Say you want it, say you want this, and I’d make you mine.”
His movements start to get erratic. Harry can feel Draco’s nearing climax in every muscle of his body, and abruptly, he grabs him by both hips.
“Stop,” Harry says.
“Nnnn,” Draco gasps. “Harry—”
Ring-ring-ring, goes the alarm clock on the far side of the room.
“Settle down,” Harry mutters, stroking his thighs. “Back from the edge, Draco. We’re just about to get to the good part.
Ring-ring-ring, goes the alarm clock. Ring-ring—
There’s a sudden clicking sound, and the alarm clock goes quiet.
Draco wrenches around – it’s a useless gesture, of course, with the blindfold, but it’s an instinct that won’t go away, even with blindness.
“Who’s there?” Draco asks. “Someone shut off the alarm clock.”
There comes no answer. The same someone resets the alarm clock. Then Draco can hear footsteps, and he feels a sudden surge of alarm.
“If I told you, Draco,” says – Harry? Is that Harry? The voice isn’t coming from the right place – it’s coming from the side of the room, but he knows Harry’s underneath him; his cock is still buried inside him, how—? “that I nabbed a confiscated Time Turner from the Auror stores, would you promise to keep it a secret?”
It takes a moment for Draco to put it together. “Oh – oh. Oh, my—”
A hand in his hair, the head of a very familiar cock in his mouth again – Draco groans heavily – it’s definitely Harry, the cock has the same heaviness, the same shape, and it’s moving with the same enthusiasm in and out of his mouth, pushing in the same demanding way at his throat.
Draco’s mind buzzes with the familiar pleasure and the Harry-under-him begins to buck his hips off the ground and – fuck – Draco’s mind nearly blanks with ecstasy. His cock absolutely aches – Merlin, it’s so good, it’s so good—
“Just as good the second time around,” Harry-above-him mutters, fucking into his throat, and Draco nearly gags at the suddenness, but yes, yes, yes yes yes yesyesyes. He relaxes his throat and bobs eagerly, frantically, rolling his hips, keeping time as best he can. Harry’s cock is perfect on his tongue, in his throat, and his own cock aches unbearably with the stimulus. Harry-under-him fucks upward harder, deeper, and Draco feels like he’s about ready to fall apart.
Harry-beneath-him abruptly grabs him by the back of the neck and pulls harshly down, off the cock of Harry-above-him, and kisses him feverishly. Draco misses the feeling of the cock on his tongue, but he kisses back, pressed flat into Harry-below-him, writhing on the cock still buried inside him—
Then, fingers – first trailing down his spine, then to his entrance. Harry-above-him traces the stretched ring, then—
“Sssh,” says Harry-above-him.
His fingers are slipping in alongside the cock already buried in him, stretching him to limits Draco did not know he was capable of. His body seizes, his heart pounds – surely he isn’t – that isn’t even – is it—?
“Perfect creature,” Harry-below-him whispers, lovingly, into his ear, as fingers widen him. “Lovely, beautiful creature. Ssh, relax. You can’t even imagine everything you’re capable of.”
“Harry,” Draco gasps, or perhaps sobs. He’s not sure. The fingers probe deeper – Merlin – it’s so good, but it’s so much. He’s handled long with many of Harry’s toys, but thick – it’s so thick, it’s so much, he feels like his body might split in two, but somehow, he doesn’t want it to stop – feebly, almost without meaning to, Draco rocks his hips back.
Harry-beneath-him groans heavily. “Do you want it, Draco?”
Draco half-sobs. “Y—” (he swallows hard) “Yes.”
Harry-beneath-him grips his hips tightly, gives a particularly deep thrust. Behind, Harry-above-him slips in a second finger, works him open wider. “Again.”
Draco shakes, tightens, writhes. “Yes,” he gasps. “Please. Please, yes.”
There’s shifting behind him. Draco’s heart is suddenly beating in his throat. Those fingers stretch him open and oh, oh, Merlin, there’s no possible, physical way it can fit, but he wants it so badly—
Harry-above-him places a hand on his back, bends him forward. Draco’s head spins as he feels a second cock gliding along his thigh.
“Easy,” Harry-above-him mutters, and oh Merlin oh fuck he lines himself up against the loosened ring of muscle, “easy, now. I wouldn’t be here if you didn’t love it.”
The hand on his back curls, fingertips dig into his skin, and he pushes—
For a moment, Draco’s mind clears of everything, going completely white. It burns, and it aches, and it is absolutely impossible, and it is perfect. He feels as though he’s being split in two as that second cock pushes into him; he presses his forehead onto the mat as Harry-below-him smooths his hands up his sweat-streaked back.
“Fuck,” Harry-above-him mutters. “Fuck. Just as – God – just as fucking perfect the second time.”
Harry-below-him grips him by the sides. Harry-above-him bends forward slightly, grips Draco by the shoulder and—
Draco screams, and how is he not splitting open, and yes yes more yes more please more oh Merlin more they start to move, and Draco feels stretched to his absolute limits. His own cock is throbbing in the most exquisitely perfect combination of pleasure and pain he’s ever felt. He shakes, and he gasps, and he rocks his aching, trembling hips back.
Harry-below-him groans heavily. “You’re fucking perfect,” he mutters, and he kisses wetly at the side of his mouth. “God, Draco, you take it so fucking well. You’re so tight, so perfect.”
Draco sob-moans into the skin of Harry’s shoulder. The movement mounts. Draco’s cock has never been so hard, nor indeed in this much pain. He needs to come badly. He needs to come soon, or he feels as though he might pass out entirely. The sensation is entirely too much – their strokes are never quite even with each other, there’s no familiar rhythm, just the delicious, terrible, wonderful, unbearable aching burn as his shaking body is pushed to its absolute limits.
Harry-above-him pulls him upright suddenly, kisses ferociously at the side of his neck, fucks him harder. He grips Draco’s throat tightly with one hand, his cock with the other, and Draco shouts in delirious pleasure-pain, bucking frantically against the movements.
“Beautiful—” Harry-above-him whispers harshly into his skin. “Fucking beautiful – take it—”
He thrusts – hard – and Draco screams, and his body seizes up. He is on fire. He is burning. He’s so close – he’s either going to come or burn into ash. Harry-above-him fists Draco’s cock roughly, fucks him hard, and Draco shouts, and sobs, and yes, yes, yes, he begs, more, yes, so close, yes, more.
Harry-above-him grips his throat harder; Draco loses his breath. He’s dizzy. He’s close. He can’t breathe, and he feels like he doesn’t need to. Closer, closer, inexorably, inevitably, higher and higher to a peak—
Harry-above-him shouts, strangled, into his ear— “Draco!” —and Draco shatters like so much glass, coming so intensely that it should not be possible. His body bucks and spasms; Harry-above-him empties heat into him, and yes, yes, he comes into the hand on his cock, entire body surging in time to the impossible, dizzying waves of climax, coming, burning, falling—
“Draco,” Harry-above-him whispers, roughly, hoarsely, as Draco disintegrates in his arms. “Draco, God, you’re perfect…”
Draco is dropping quickly, but in the haze, he hears something that sounds like—
I love you, I love you, I love you.
Draco dreams vividly, of shifting colors and impossible geometry. He dreams of Harry, smiling, strong, powerful, deliberate, gentle, whispering I love you, I love you, I love you. Draco is warm, collared, owned. Draco is in love.
Draco also dreams of his Father, harsh, unforgiving, unbowing, disgusted. How could you, how could you, how could you, how could he? How could Draco do this? How could he allow this shame? Draco is a pariah.
Warm love, cold fury – they meet, they clash, they fuel the storm inside him. The collar of glowing blue threads around his neck pulses, burns – from shame, or from love? Draco doesn’t know. Draco wonders if he ever will.
Chapter 11: Old Scars
“If you could put both your arms out, Mr. Malfoy.”
Draco obliges, and the auror traces the outline of Draco’s limbs with her wand. “Is this strictly necessary?”
“It’s protocol,” the auror answers.
“Plenty of previous Ministers of Magic have been to the Malfoy Manor before,” Draco says.
“Standing safety clearances must be renewed with each new administration. Turn.”
Draco sighs, turns, and gets the same treatment on the back of his limbs. “I suppose I should just be glad that you’re doing this now and not before the party.”
“Terribly sorry for the indignity, Mr. Malfoy.”
Draco looks over his shoulder and gives a start. The auror says something about Draco being clear, and steps back just in time for Draco to turn around and take the outstretched hand of Kingsley Shacklebolt.
“I didn’t think you’d come along, Minister,” Draco says.
“I wouldn’t, normally,” Minister Shacklebolt answers, shaking Draco’s hand and smiling mildly, “but I did think it was important to speak to you before the party itself. I know that a Malfoy party is so very rarely just a party.”
“You’re not wrong, Minister. Are you sure we should talk here, when…?”
Draco gestures further into the ballroom. The Minister of Magic’s security detail – all two dozen of them – are carefully combing the length of the ballroom with a sweep of magic to detect any threats to the well-being of the Minister.
“Oh, them? You get used to them after a while. Time was I always felt like I had to apologize for their existence, but these days…”
Minister Shacklebolt shakes his head.
“Anyway, I wanted to get a chance to speak to you privately, away from the ears of your father.”
Draco frowns. “My father?”
“This is quite a gesture he’s making, socially and politically.”
“Ah.” Draco sighs, tucks his hands into the shallow pockets of his waistcoat. “Yes, so he’s taken to reminding me, over and over, at great length.”
“I hope you take no offense when I offer some… skepticism.”
Draco looks back at him, keeping his face carefully neutral.
“You must understand – nearly a decade of absolute silence, and then such a bold and dramatic move. Do you happen to know what it is your father hopes to accomplish with this party?”
“Short-term or long-term?” Draco asks.
The Minister raises his eyebrows. “Whichever you think is more relevant.”
Draco sighs, watching the team of aurors finish up the sweep of the ballroom. “Short-term, I’m sure he’s just hoping to reintroduce himself and the House of Malfoy into society, to begin to reclaim the power and dignity we once had. Long-term…” Draco shakes his head. “I don’t know. I don’t think he knows.”
“It’s not that I am opposed to a Malfoy return to form, you understand,” Minister Shacklebolt says, “it’s just that I’d much rather see such a return orchestrated by you and not by him.”
Draco looks back at him in surprise. “By me, sir?”
“You think the world hasn’t noticed?” he answers, smiling. “Over the past few months you’ve single-handedly proven that the decision not to seize the Malfoy fortune was a good one. Your investments have made a not insignificant difference in the greater magical economy.”
It feels as though it’s been ages since Draco’s been recognized for anything, and for a while all he can do is stare at Shacklebolt in surprise. Eventually, he says, “Thank you, Minister, but a good investment is always mutually beneficial.”
“If you expect me to think less of your hand in revitalizing the postbellum economy because it also helped your family, you may be in for disappointment. When will you be formally taking over as the patriarch of House Malfoy?”
“I do hope you’re not sticking to the tired custom of waiting until the current patriarch is dead. I find it difficult to trust a Malfoy reemergence under the hand of Lucius Malfoy, but you…”
“Minister—” Draco starts, then stops, then struggles to come up with something resembling a coherent response, “I am sure that my father has no intentions of stepping down as the head of House Malfoy.”
“Pity,” Minister Shacklebolt says. “I could use a sharp economic mind like yours in my cabinet.”
Draco stares at him in stunned silence.
“My current Secretary of Treasury is thinking of stepping down soon, as I’m sure you know.”
“Minister…” Draco says again, though this time without any real thought as to where the sentence might go.
When Draco turns, there he is – Lucius Malfoy, patriarch, as though manifested directly out of Draco’s desire not to talk to him.
“What is – Minister!”
Minister Shacklebolt smiles in the way only a politician can – a way that is somehow both sincerely polite and painfully reluctant. “Lucius Malfoy. Were your ears burning?”
“So good to see you,” he says, reaching out to take Minister Shacklebolt’s hand briefly. “I didn’t expect you to be here.”
“I wanted to speak to your son.”
“Did you? What about?”
Minister Shacklebolt gives him a small, knowing smile. Draco isn’t quite sure how to react to it, so he does not.
“Nothing objectionable, I assure you,” Minister Shacklebolt answers, eventually. “Nor indeed anything terribly pressing.”
“Then I shall have to borrow him from you a moment.”
Draco glances back. He knows what his father sounds like when he’s reigning in fury. Draco’s not sure why he’s angry, but he’s already sure he doesn’t want to find out.
Still, it’s not as though he’d ever had any ability to say no to him.
“Just as well,” Minister Shacklebolt sighs. “I have a meeting to get to the the Muggle French president. Draco, do give some thought to my offer, won’t you?”
“I—” Had it been an actual offer? “—Yes, sir. Of course.”
“I’ll see you both tonight at the party, then.”
Mr. Shacklebolt breezes out of the ballroom, and several members of his security detail fall in behind him at once.
Lucius rounds on him, nostrils flared and eyes burning. Draco feels quite small all of a sudden.
“Draco,” he says, voice low and dangerous, “would you care to explain this?”
He produces a single roll of parchment tucked into the sleeve of his robe, handing it to Draco with urgency and anger. Draco swallows a lump in his throat, takes it, and unrolls it.
It’s the construction contract for Nox, complete with detailed outline of what hooks go where and what rafters need to support how many pounds of human weight. Draco can imagine that an intelligent man like his father could extrapolate quite a lot from it.
Dread surges out through every limb in his body.
“Draco,” Lucius snarls when Draco doesn’t answer, “when you said that Mr. Zabini ran a specialty club, this was not what I had pictured.”
Draco slowly rolls the parchment back up. His mind spins as he tries to come up with what argument would be most effective. In the meantime, his father does not stop talking.
“Have you no concept of shame?”
“You will be silent.”
Draco sets his jaw. He is twenty-seven years old, but feels suddenly like he is nine.
“What could have possibly possessed you, Draco, to put Malfoy money – to associate the name of Malfoy – with this sort of depravity?”
“You will be silent!” Lucius bellows at him. “What were you thinking? Despite racking my mind, I cannot come up with a single worse thing you could have done with this family’s money! How could you even allow yourself to be inside such a vile, repulsive place, let alone give it twenty-five thousand galleons for a new expansion?”
Draco grits his teeth and fights away the disarming sense of impotent fury and self-loathing. “Father, it’s a new century – a new millennium! And it’s just a business!”
“Just a business?”
“One that’s already exceeded expected return by a 215%!” Draco says. “There’s talk of expansion, of opening a second club in Manchester; the potential for profit—”
Draco is silenced suddenly when his father strikes him across the cheek. Draco staggers – not from the force of the blow, but rather from the surprise. His father hasn’t been violent with him since he was a boy. Once his footing is regained, he stares up at him, open-mouthed.
“How dare you be so presumptuous,” Lucius snarls at him. “How dare you spend your own family’s money on something so heinous. Do you think no one will notice? Do you think no one will see that we’ve associated ourselves with this filthy perversion?
“House Malfoy neither associates itself with nor condones this indecency. It never has and it never will!”
Draco has a small scar on his cheekbone – invisible unless someone were to look for it specifically. He received it when he was twelve years old when, upon being asked if there were any girls at Hogwarts Draco had his eye on, he sheepishly admitted to thinking that Theodore Nott was very handsome.
His father had struck him on the side of his face, and the fang of the snake on the head of his father’s cane had split the skin. It was a trifling wound, but it had never quite healed right, and as a result it had scarred over.
It may be Draco’s imagination, but he thinks it’s reopened. He reaches up to press two fingers to it, and when he draws the hand back down, there’s a small smear of blood.
“You will sever ties with Blaise Zabini,” his father snarls at him. “You will expunge all record that you ever had ties. And if you’re ever so egregious as to associate with him or his cadre of perverts, you can expect repercussions!”
He turns on a heel, storms from the room. Draco is left standing in the center of the sumptuously decorated ballroom, his old scar reopened and bleeding on the marble.
This is what he wants, isn’t it?
Soft kisses, hot and eager and slow, up his spine. His wrists are bound above his head, his ankles on either end of a spreader bar. Harry straddles the small of his back, warm hands gliding up his back.
“How do you manages to be so perfect?”
Harry’s words fall over him like water, on him but not in him. Draco feels like he is tangled up in his own head. Does he want this? Does he want this?
“I have a spell to read your life signs,” Harry says, “and I’ll be careful. But let me know if you want to stop.”
Of course he wants it – that’s not the important question.
Suddenly, pain – not broad and chaotic like Draco’s used to, but sharp and focused. Hot blood wells around an ice-cold blade on his back and Draco shouts suddenly, mind temporarily shutting down with the sound it makes in his head.
Above him, Harry groans low and heavily.
“Draco,” he purrs, tangling one finger in the back of Draco’s hair. “God, Draco.”
Hot rivulets of blood follow the arc of his ribs down toward the padded table. Draco grits his teeth against the strangled moan trying to rip its way out of his throat. He hates how hot he is, how the pain surges in his blood and makes him aware of every nerve.
Harry pushes lower down his body, shifting so he sits between Draco’s spread thighs. The knife presses down lower, on the opposite side—
Why does he like this? Why does he want this?
More hot blood on cold skin, and Draco aches from the want of it. It’s such a different sensation from the broad, brutal, chaotic pain to which he’d become accustomed, but it still manages to be perfect, and Draco loves it, and he hates that he loves it.
He knows why he likes it, why he wants it. He likes it because it makes him feel good. That’s not the important question.
“God,” Harry mutters, “you’re so fucking beautiful. On your knees.”
Draco swallows, trembles. He struggles against the spreader bar, pulling his legs forward until he’s able to shift his weight onto his knees.
“You’re fucking perfect,” Harry says, and—
Sharp, hot, desperate pain down the side of his thigh yes yes Merlin oh Merlin yes greeted with a hot well of blood trailing down toward his calf. Draco moans into the padding on the table, arcs his hips.
“God,” Harry says again, “you’re exquisite like this; you’re a work of art.”
He feels Harry shift behind him, hears the low, ragged sound of his breath, feels the hot swell of flesh pressing into him—
Draco keens as Harry starts to fuck him, slowly at first, deeply, thoroughly. He feels so good inside him, always so good, so exquisitely, ecstatically perfect, and Draco hates it. Why does he do it? Why does he continue to submit, when he could always stop, when he could always walk away?
Another sharp line of pain curving around his rib, another hoarse, strangled shout of pleasure from his throat, another appreciative groan from Harry as he drives deeper into him.
The slashes are shallow, the throbs of pain clear and defined, a spiderweb along his back and legs and sides, all on the backdrop of Harry’s rapidly hastening, rapidly deepening fucking. Harry’s sweet, appreciative words melt into the background. Draco’s throat tightens.
He submits because he likes to submit, because he likes Harry, because it provides a thrill, because Harry makes him feel good and wanted sexy. And that’s not what’s important That’s not the question that matters. Draco knows the question that matters, and it is burning in the back of his throat.
Harry pulls out of him, leaving the criss-cross pattern of pain on his back, leaving him hollow and oddly bereft. Draco swallows a knot. He knows the important questions.
“On your front.”
Draco makes a weak sound and rolls. His wrist binds spin easily around, but the spreader bar between his ankles is difficult to navigate. Harry unlocks and removes it with a hasty spell, pushes open Draco’s thighs all the wider. Draco settles on his back, blood and heat smearing on the leather, burning into his skin, and Draco trembles. He knows the important questions.
Harry pushes back into him and Draco howls, desperately, painfully. Harry fucks him open again, dragging the tip of the switchblade lightly along his collarbone.
The important questions – why is it okay to want this? Why has Draco let himself carry on with it, with this perversion? Why has he gotten so deeply entrenched in something so shameful? Why does he keep coming back again and again and again?
A stripe white-hot pain down the side of his stomach; Draco is trembling violently, wrenching, breathing through his teeth.
“Still,” Harry pants, still fucking him, a hand on his shoulder to hold him down. Draco whines.
He hears his father’s words ringing in his head. Perversion, shameful, depravity, filthy. It’s the question that’s always been there, in the back of his mind, the one he’s refused to acknowledge, refused to address. It’s a question that does not begin with why; it’s a question that begins with should.
Should he like it? Should he submit? Should he want it?
His climax thrums closer, traitorously, as another icy-hot slice of pain circles the side of his chest.
Harry’s thumb trails along the long, silvery scar on his chest. Draco tenses. Should he want this? Should he let himself? Should he? Should he?
“The night I gave you this…”
No, no, no, no. How many old scars does he have to open in a single day? He wants the pain, but he doesn’t want this. He doesn’t want to see it, to acknowledge it, even though it is staring him in the face, bearing down on his chest like a knife.
“One of the worst mistakes of my life,” Harry pants. No, no, no, no. “That night was horrible. This—”
The word has an immediate effect. The bonds on his wrists snap open with a harsh jolt of magic. Harry actually flies away from him, nearly falling off the table but for the quick reaction of catching himself on the wall. The knife in his hand clatters to the floor.
“Jesus – Draco—”
He sits upright; the wounds on his back scream in protest. He shouldn’t reopen old scars. He shouldn’t want this. He shouldn’t be here. He never should have been here. He’s filthy. This is filthy. It’s wrong and Draco hates it, he hates himself.
“I can’t,” he says.
Harry stares at him in bewilderment. “Draco? What’s wrong?”
“I can’t,” he says again, pushing off the blood-slicked table. “I can’t. I can’t do this. I—”
“Draco! Wait, you can’t – you’re wounded, let me—”
He approaches. Draco recoils.
Harry stops dead in his tracks. Draco doesn’t want to look at his face, he can’t bear it.
“I can’t do this!” Draco says, words running together. “It’s not – I can’t – it’s—”
He stumbles for the side of the room, where his clothes wait in a spelled pile. He grabs them, but his hands are shaking too badly for him to redress.
Filthy. Pervert. Sodomite. Depravity. Shame.
“I can’t, I can’t,” Draco says – shame, shame, shame – and he Disapparates.
The water is too hot, the wounds too fresh. It burns all the way down his back, down his thighs, the wounds stinging, the floor of the tub stained red.
If he stops, if he even slows down, it will all catch up to him. He scrubs, but it will never be hard enough. He rinses, but the blood won’t stop flowing. He works until the heat is too much, and he stumbles out of the shower.
“Wound salve,” he mutters, throwing open the cabinet of medical potions in the corner. “Wound salve. Wound salve – where is—”
He can’t find it. They must have run out. Would there be any in the store room? He has to find some – he can’t just keep walking around like this – he has to work it out of his skin—
He spins on a heel. He snatches the dressing gown from the hook on the wall and covers his shame as best he can, though he knows there’s nothing in the world big enough to do that.
It’s Dolly, large head poked through the handsome oak door, feet shuffling on the marble floor.
“Er,” she squeaks, “Master Lucius requests Master Draco’s presence in the foyer. The guests are arriving.”
Draco stares at her, swallows hard, nods. He does not speak; he does not dare speak.
Dolly hesitates a moment in the doorway, then slips out, shutting the door behind her.
For a while he is still in the middle of the bathroom. His hands shake. Blood keeps running down his back, beneath the dressing gown.
And Draco feels like he is falling apart. He breathes hard – shame, shame, shame – and he braces both hands on the counter.
Shame, shame, shame. In his throat, running freely down his back. He needs to get dressed. He needs to keep it together. He can’t let his father down, he can’t, he can’t.
Chapter 12: Ligabus Filium
“Madame Secretary. So good of you to come.”
“I wouldn’t miss it for the world! It’s been so long since there’s been a true Malfoy party. Not so long ago they were more important than the Cabinet Meetings.”
Lucius smiles beatifically. “And so they shall be again, one can only hope.”
The Secretary of International Affairs turns to Draco and brightens. “And if it isn’t young Draco! Not quite so young anymore. I remember when you were waist-high!”
Draco manages something near enough to a smile that she doesn’t seem to notice anything amiss.
“I see you managed to inherit your father’s striking good looks!”
“And his head for politics, with any luck!”
Lucius claps him on the shoulder, right over the fresh wound running parallel to his shoulder blade. It takes everything in Draco to swallow a shout of pain.
“Please,” he says, “enjoy the festivities. Unless my memory fails me, I think there’s a favorite vintage of yours being served.”
She bustles off, husband on her arm, into the glittering ballroom of the Malfoy Manor. In the corner, a twelve-piece orchestra plays a waltz, and strings of thrumming, spinning fairy lights twirl around the ceiling. It looks beautiful, and Draco wishes he was in any sort of condition to appreciate it.
“If you’re going to throw a tantrum, Draco,” Lucius says through a venomous smile, “then at least have the decency to do so in another room.”
Draco doesn’t answer. He does not trust his voice. He tries to force himself to smile, to middling success.
Lucius turns to him, and Draco is not fooled for a second by the pressed dress robes, the combed hair, the gleaming cufflinks. His father is still quite angry.
“This evening will go off without a hitch, Draco,” he says lowly, and Draco shrinks. “Surely you would not be so egregious as to make two consecutive attempts to sabotage your family’s good standing. Minister Shacklebolt!”
He emerges through the double doors into the ballroom to the sound of a footman calling All rise for the Minister of Magic! Those seated around the room quickly rise from their chairs.
“Twice in one day!” Lucius says. “You must be careful to avoid any display of favoritism.”
Kingsley Shacklebolt smiles wanly. “I assure you that those who know me could never make such an error. How are you, Draco?”
Draco tries to answer, but finds his voice is too hoarse. He swallows and tries again, “Fine. I’m fine.”
Draco is not fine. Draco is barely holding it together. He feels thin, like a rope sawed down to its last fibers, pulled taut on both ends. He is cold and weak and his hands are shaking – though whether from some tightly-reigned emotion or from blood loss, he can’t quite be sure.
Minister Shacklebolt seems to pick up on it to some degree. His smile fades fractionally. “Are you, indeed?”
“As this is your first formal visit to the Malfoy Manor, Minister, I thought it might be a good idea to give you a bit of a tour,” Lucius says. “Nothing too time-consuming of course – there would be quite a lot to cover – but as a student of magical history, I’m sure you’d find it fascinating.”
Minister Shacklebolt looks from Draco, to Lucius, then back to Draco. He seems to be hesitating on the edge of a point that he doesn’t quite make.
“All right,” he says.
“Draco,” his father says, “I trust you can manage this on your own?”
Draco does not miss the emphasis, nor the harsh, punctuated tone. “Of course,” he says, barely.
They depart. Draco is left standing by the ballroom door, swaying slightly. He feels like a whipped dog, so downtrod that he does not even have the strength to hate himself for his position.
But like a whipped, dog, he feels as though the only option is to continue to do as he is asked. A few more guests arrive. He greets them with everything left in him – which, he grants, is not that much.
If he can just make it through tonight, he tells himself, it will be fine, somehow. Won’t it? It must. This is where he should be, what he should be doing, how he should be. Because if it isn’t, then what the hell should he be?
It’s Blaise, dressed to the nines but frowning. The dizzy sensation tempers with sudden fear.
“Jesus, Draco, you’re white as a sheet—”
“What are you doing here.” Draco means to phrase it like a question, but all the words run together in a way that barely sounds like a sentence. “You can’t – I owled you—”
“Yeah, you fucking owled me, you absolute clod,” Blaise says, stepping forward, “do you have any fucking idea how scary that letter was? Business letters aren’t supposed to read like fucking suicide notes.”
“It – that’s not—”
“You spent three paragraphs apologizing, I’d half expected to find you with your wrists slit! What happened?”
“You can’t be seen here,” Draco says. “I’m sorry – Blaise, I’m sorry, you have to go—”
“I’m not going anywhere until you explain to me why you look like you’re about to pass out from blood loss!”
“I can’t talk right now,” he says. “Please – just go, before he sees you—”
“So this was your father! Why am I not surprised?”
Draco walks away – or at least he tries to. He’s still swaying unsteadily on his feet, but it is some small accomplishment that he manages to stay upright all the way to the refreshment table in the center of the room. The ice sculpture dragon is spelled to beat its outstretched wings as though it is taking flight, but it remains quite firmly attached to the table. For one delirious moment, Draco feels sorry for the poor bastard.
“I’m not going away, Draco!” Blaise grabs him by the shoulder and turns him around just as Draco snatches a flute of champagne from the table. “I’m fucking worried about you. Just talk to me!”
“There’s nothing worth saying,” Draco answers thinly, emptying the flute of champagne in one long swallow.
“You’re as shit a liar as you ever were,” Blaise says. “And you need to stand up to him.”
“Blaise, go home.”
“I’m serious, Draco. How on earth are you ever supposed to—”
The clutch of fear clutches harder. No, no, no. Not him, anyone but him.
But should he really be surprised when he turns and sees Harry fording his way through the growing crowd, ignoring surprised shouts of “Director Potter!” as he goes? Should he really be surprised that Harry is moving toward him like a drowning man swims for shore? And after everything, should he be surprised that he still wants to fall right into him and sleep for a year?
“Draco, Jesus, there you are! What the fuck happened? Are you all right?”
But doing what he wanted is what got him into this mess in the first place. Draco should never allow himself the luxury of indulgence ever again.
“You both—” Draco begins haltingly. “You can’t stay here. You both have to leave.”
“Potter?” Blaise says. “What are you doing here?”
“You’re ashen white,” Harry says, foregoing Blaise’s question and pressing a hand, however briefly, to the side of his face. “Christ! And you’re fucking freezing – Draco – did you not – are your wounds not healed?”
“Wounds?” Blaise says, looking sharply back at Draco. “What fucking wounds?”
“Please,” Draco says weakly, feeling like he’s about to fall apart, “please, you both have to go. If he knows you’re here—”
“Draco, I’m sorry about what happened, you have no idea how sorry, but you shouldn’t have left! You should have talked to me, let me heal you – I should heal you now—”
“Oh, shitting fuck,” Blaise says, the dawning light of sudden realization on his face, “you’re his Dom?”
“Please,” Draco says, voice cracking under it all. “Please, just go, you can’t…”
“Well, now I owe Pansy ten galleons from a bet I made in sixth year,” Blaise says. “Perfect.”
“Draco, please, at least let me heal you. You can’t just leave wounds open, they’ll fester.”
“Harry, please.” It is not the first time Draco has begged something from Harry, but it has to be his last, because, “I can’t keep doing this. I never could. Please, just leave, just go.”
God, the look of hurt on his face rips Draco open in fresh new ways. “Draco, what are you saying?”
His entire body reacts – one tremendous flinch of fear racing all the way up his spine. It’s a movement that sets off new sparks of pain.
“Go,” he says to Harry and Blaise, but when he turns around, it’s too late.
There he is, Lucius Malfoy, comprised entirely of bared teeth and foul disposition, storming up toward the center table.
“Not five minutes I’m gone and already you make another attempt to sabotage your family’s standing,” he snarls.
He moves close enough for Draco to speak through his teeth: “What is your degenerate of a business partner doing here when I expressly said to uninvite him?”
“Well, I was here to check on my friend,” Blaise interjects loudly, “but I think I’ll stay for the express purpose of pissing you off.”
“I will have you removed, Zabini!” Lucius snaps at him.
“Lucius Malfoy, I have been wanting to say this to you since I was twelve years old and you made that fucking mulatto comment about my mother: suck every cock on the face of the planet.”
Draco is either going to burst into laughter or break down into tears. It should not be so hard to decide which.
“How dare you speak to me that way! I could ruin you with the information I have—”
“It’s not a fucking secret, Malfoy!” Blaise shouts at him. “I run a sex club where people get tied up and whipped! Unlike you, my pride in myself and my work isn’t fucking conditional on what other people think!”
People are starting to stare. Draco feels like he is unravelling, right along with the situation, as everything spirals into absolute chaos.
“Guards!” Lucius barks.
“And as long as we’re fucking on the subject of proper ways to speak to people,” Blaise says, and he’s only getting louder, and this absolute insanity, and Draco’s head is spinning, “how about we fucking talk about how systematically and thoroughly you’ve fucking destroyed your own son’s sense of self-worth, you absolute goddamn twat?”
Suddenly, it’s Harry’s turn to talk: “Is that what happened? Is that why you ran?”
“Stop,” Draco says, weakly. “All of you please stop.”
“All his life he’s been trying so fucking hard to win your approval and respect and you wrap it up in so much petty, superficial bullshit—”
“How dare you—”
“—because Merlin fucking forbid he’s not an exact replica of you, espousing the same backwards, traditionalist rubbish you do! Newsflash, Malfoy: your outdated, puritanical views on life and love and sex are going to die with you!”
“Stop it!” Draco shouts, voice breaking.
“STAY SILENT, DRACO!”
And then Harry is in front of him, hunched and snarling and dangerous. “You keep your fucking distance, Malfoy!”
“This has nothing to do with you, Potter!”
“I will rip your fucking arm off before I let you lay a finger on him!”
“He is my son!” Lucius bellows, at least three times as loud as even the loudest of Blaise’s ranting, and anyone that hadn’t been listening before surely is now. “And this is my estate, my manor, my party! What are you? You’re nothing! You have no sense of true power, true dignity, true breeding! This progressive, nouveau-riche generation is comprised of nothing but sinners and sodomites and vagrants and—”
And then, Blaise Zabini punches Lucius Malfoy in the face.
It is sort of mystifying to watch, really. The initial impact – Blaise went right for the teeth – sends him staggering backward into the refreshment table, upon which he collapses. Several glasses of champagne shatter, and then the entire table capitulates under his weight. This in turn sends trays of hors d’oeuvres spilling onto him, bottles of wine breaking over him, and then – with one last, grand sound – the tremendous ice sculpture dragon toppling over on top of him and knocking him unconscious.
The room goes suddenly quiet. Draco stares down at his father, unconscious and covered in hundreds of galleons worth of food, not entirely sure what just happened, but feeling like something in him has changed in some fundamental way.
“Jesus Christ, that felt good!” Blaise says loudly, voice echoing around the deathly-silent ballroom. “Not to overstate it or anything but I’m pretty sure I just came in my pants!”
Something thin and fragile snaps in Draco’s head and he quite abruptly bursts into laughter. Full, throaty, asphyxiating belly laughter, and he doubles over. And it may be his imagination, but he thinks he can hear the rest of the room joining in.
“I’m really sorry,” Harry says quietly.
Draco smiles to himself. He is dizzy, uncoordinated, and the little snaps and arcs of pain moving up along his back as Harry magically seals the wounds are oddly nice.
“Don’t be,” he says.
“I should have talked with you more beforehand,” Harry says. “It’s my responsibility to get a read on your mental state before the play.”
“Harry, it’s fine,” Draco says. “It wasn’t your fault.”
“Are you sure you’re all right?”
“I’m so much better than all right,” Draco answers, grinning to himself. “You have no idea.”
“Really?” Harry’s voice can only be described as hesitantly optimistic. “I mean – not that I don’t believe you – it’s just that when I found you, you looked like you were about ready to break down into tears.”
“Oh, I was,” Draco answers. “I felt absolutely wrecked. But as weird as it feels to say, I think I might be over it.”
“Over all of it.”
“That’s – I mean, that’s good, but it just seems… all that baggage, and then…”
“Harry,” Draco says, turning around on the settee to look over his shoulder, when—
“Face forward, I’m not done.”
“Sorry.” He turns back around, and Harry continues healing the large wound along his ribcage. “Harry,” he continues, staring into the fire of the drawing room hearth, “it took something ridiculous to make me see how ridiculous it was. How ridiculous he was. To see him standing there, shrieking his head off about sodomites and the nouveau-riche—” Draco laughs. “Merlin, he sounded like one of those homeless doomsday prophets who stands on the corner and shouts at you about the apocalypse.”
“And it was all just that. I was pinning all my self-respect and my identity and my raison d’être on the political and emotional equivalent of a shouting homeless person.”
The chuckling turns into laughter, strong enough to force Harry to momentarily stop his healing.
“God,” Harry wheezes, “when the fucking dragon—”
“I know!” Draco says, and they both break down into laughter that lasts for several more seconds.
“Don’t take this the wrong way, Draco,” Harry says when he finally regains enough of himself to return to the healing spell, “but next time we fuck, I’m going to be thinking 60% about you and 40% about your father getting punched in the face.”
Draco dissolves into giggling – again.
“You know,” Harry adds somewhat belatedly, “if we…”
Draco grins and turns his head just far enough to see Harry in the periphery of his vision. “If we what?”
“If we keep doing that,” Harry finishes, somewhat lamely.
“I love you,” Draco says.
He can see Harry look up slowly from his spellwork. Draco can’t see him clearly enough to get a read on his face, but it’s not so important. Draco feels like he’s been sitting on this for months.
“I do,” he continues. “I think I have for a while now. I just let myself bury it so deep that I wouldn’t have to confront it.”
“Draco,” Harry says, softly.
“I love you, Harry Potter,” Draco says, turning around. Harry’s face is lit with the orange hearth light, green eyes shining. “I love you for your strength and your thoughtfulness and your willingness to rip my father’s arm off.”
Harry laughs, but only once.
“And I want to be yours,” Draco adds. “Your – your boyfriend, your submissive, both at once. I want to never take that collar off.”
“Not to alarm you, Draco,” Harry says, reaching up and trailing his fingers along the crux of Draco’s jaw, “but I think you’re one step ahead of yourself.”
Draco looks down. There is a faint blue glow around Harry’s wrist – pale blue threads that pulse in time with his heart beat. They’re glowing strong and soft, intricately interweaving.
Then Draco looks to the side, where a decorative mirror hangs on the wall, and Draco sees it around his own throat – a nearly identical twining of blue threads – ligabus filium.
Draco smiles. “Wow.”
“It’s generally not just supposed to appear that abruptly,” Harry says, “but then again, we’ve never been able to do things the right way, have we?”
Draco grins and looks back at him. Harry closes his right hand as though holding an invisible rope, and he tugs – a gesture which pulls Draco forward by the throat. Draco feels that same little chill of excitement, and he can feel it in Harry, too.
“I love you, Draco Malfoy,” Harry says, “for your intelligence and your cunning and everything else you are.”
And perhaps there is still some part of Draco that wants to ignore just how truly, uniquely happy that sentence makes him, but he decides that it is the same part of him that he’s left behind. He lets himself relish in it. Harry is in love with him, and he is in love with Harry, and he’s allowed to be happy about it.
“Should I come back later?”
Draco looks up and sees, to his surprise—
“Just wanted to check up on you,” he says. “I hope those wounds aren’t from flying glass?”
“No, no, no, nothing so unpalatable,” Draco answers, shrugging on his shirt. He’ll let Harry heal up the rest of them later.
“Good, splendid,” he says. “I just wanted to drop this off with you.”
He produces a large envelope from the sleeve of his robe, handing it to Draco.
"It's a formalized offer for that Cabinet position," he says. "I thought it would be better to get it in writing so you have—“
“I’ll take it,” Draco says before he actually takes the letter.
Shacklebolt gives a start. “Will you?”
“Yes,” Draco answers, beaming. “I will. It would be an honor to serve at the pleasure of the Minister.”
He takes the letter and thumbs open the wax seal.
“Splendid,” Shacklebolt says, still sounding surprised.
“You were offered a Cabinet position?” Harry asks.
“Of course I was,” Draco says. “As it turns out, I’m pretty fucking brilliant with money.”
From the far end of the hall outside the drawing room, Draco hears the sound of shouting, stumbling, clattering. And even though it should fill him with dread, all it does is make him grin.
“That sounds like your father,” Shacklebolt says. “Speaking of, where’s that friend of yours who punched him? I rather feel like I should send him a fruit basket.”
“His name is Blaise Zabini, Minister,” Draco answers, “and he is very fond of papaya.”
“DRACO! Where IS he! I want him BROUGHT UP ON CHARGES!”
“I suppose that’s my cue,” Shacklebolt says.
“I wouldn’t subject you to him. Thank you very much, Minister.”
“Absolutely DISGRACEFUL! I want him THROWN IN AZKABAN for his—”
As his father rounds the corner into the drawing room door, Draco grabs Harry by the front of his robes and kisses him bruisingly.
Draco isn’t watching, but he can hear the sudden silence, followed immediately by the sound of his father’s unconscious body hitting the floor for the second time that day.
Harry breaks apart. “That was mean.”
“It was hilarious.”
“It was that, too,” Harry admits, grinning.
“I’m two for two. At this point I’m on a roll. Do you reckon we can get him to do it a third time if he catches us having sex?”
Harry laughs, and Draco laughs, and he buries his face in Harry’s chest, and the threads of magic pulse warmly around his throat.