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I Can't Take It!

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             “I can’t bloody take it anymore!” Were the words screamed in Draco’s face as he opened the door. He blinked rapidly at the fuming man in front of him. Weasley. That was someone he hadn’t seen in years, not since the final battle.

            “Excuse you?” Draco reprimanded with an arched brow. He honestly had no idea what was happening here. He must have mixed up his ingredients when making his potion this morning, causing a severe hallucination--because that was the only explanation his mind could come up with at the moment.

            “At first, I thought I was just delusional, seeing things where there was nothing, but I know I’m not.”

            Draco blinked rapidly as he too concluded Weasley was delusional. Something he had always known to be true.

            “You keep writing books about Harry!”

            Every rational thought left Draco as dread filled his stomach. There was no way that Weasley had figured it out. His mother was blissfully unaware of who his muse was, his friends were just as clueless, all wondering who could possibly be the one he was desperately pining after. The whole world was blind but yet Weasley had discovered his secret?

            “Don’t give me that look!” Weasley spat hotly. “It’s so obvious. I don’t understand why no one but me thinks so! I see your stupid books everywhere. Witches giggle in their offices at work, completely engrossed in your horribly sappy novels.” There was a pause as a freckled nose wrinkled in disgust.

            “I can’t go into Diagon Alley without seeing your ugly face plastered from every window, advertising this travesty.”

            Ugly? Draco huffed angrily as he listened somewhat impatiently to the hogwash spewing out of Weasley’s mouth.

            “My own wife reads them and badgers me incessantly about reading them too!”

            That had Draco wincing, he wasn’t sure how he felt about Granger reading his works. It was a little uncomfortable, if he was being honest.

            “I can’t even go to my parents without seeing your entire collection stacked against the wall. My mother reads them!” A pitiful moan escaped. “My own mum!”

            A trickle of amusement was making its way inside of Draco. Oh, he was still annoyed and ticked off but seeing Weasley in so much distress because of him, was lifting his spirits.

            “I have put up with this for years and I can’t take it anymore!” Weasley took a step forward, which Draco was loath to admit made him want to take a step back. Weasley was clearly mental.

            “You have to tell Harry how you feel,” Begged the disturbed wanker. “I can’t take another novel. I can’t take the pining! I can’t take the whining! I can’t take another fucking thing! If I have to listen to one more person tell me how ‘wonderfully heartbreaking’ your stories are, I will either murder you, Harry or myself.” A pause. “And I can’t honestly tell you which one of us is at the forefront of that. Perhaps I will kill us all and be done with it.”

            Threats weren’t something new to Draco, but this was the first time he had been on the receiving end of one done so vehemently.

            “I’m an Auror,” Weasley unnecessarily reminded him, as if he hadn’t been aware of this. “I know how to murder someone and make it appear as an accident. They’ll never find your body.” The sheer conviction in the promise was almost staggering.

            Draco rolled his eyes as he looked to the sky, debating about hexing Weasley.

            “Are you finished?” He drawled with an exaggerated yawn, hoping to get rid of Weasley.

            Blue eyes narrowed dangerously. “You know what is the worst part of all of this?”

            The question was obviously rhetorical, but Draco shook his head anyways, hoping this would be the last thing said on the topic.

            “Harry loves your books.”

            Draco’s breath caught in his throat as he swallowed heavily and looked away from Weasley for the first time.

            “He talks about them constantly, mentions his favorite parts, grins goofily as he reads your novels in public. Every single book is handled with care and patience. He adores them and you by extension.”

            Words had long ago left Draco, he didn’t know what to say at all. Couldn’t think of anything. For someone who made a living off of words and formulating beautiful lines, this was almost embarrassing.

            “I don’t like you.” Weasley continued on. “Never have and might not ever will.”

            Again, Draco rolled his eyes. The feeling was entirely mutual.

            “But,” Weasley whispered softly. “It’s painfully obvious that you love Harry.” Blue eyes searched his and Draco felt as if his blackened soul was being judged.

            “The things you write deserve to be said not just written. Harry deserves this, deserves this kind of attention and deserves the love you put into those stupid pages.” There was a slight reddening of Weasley’s cheeks. It was obvious he despised complimenting Draco on his books.

            “Just do something. Please. While I can’t take another one of your books, I really can’t take Harry’s self-deprecating responses as to why it just isn’t possible that he is the target of your obsession.”

            He would have liked to rudely point out that it wasn’t an obsession, but he was distracted by the rest of the statement.

            Weasley took a deep sigh. “Just think about it.” As violently as the conversation began, it ended with a soft whisper and pleading eyes.

            Draco watched Weasley walk slowly away from his front door, so slowly that it was obvious he was hoping to be called back.

            This was life-changing. He could slam the door and pretend that this whole disaster had been a hallucination and never think about it again… or he could take a Gryffindor plunge into bravery and do what the characters in his books do, which was get their man.

            “Weasley!” Draco called out, making his decision. “Get your horrid arse back here.”

            The way red brows arched, silently asking for more, had Draco huffing. Who knew that Weasley was a sadist too?

            “Help me ensnare a Gryffindor.”

            A frighteningly wicked grin appeared on the redhead’s face, causing Draco to question if he had just sold away his soul to a starving Dementor. Merlin, help him.

 

 


 

 

            Harry had lost all concept of time as he became enchanted in his favorite novel. There was a warning in the back of his mind that was telling him Ron should be meeting him soon, but his favorite part was coming up and that was just more important.

            -Lyra’s resolve crumbled as she watched the only person to ever matter die, right before her eyes. Every last positive thought left her as the world darkened drastically. How could Emily have left? After everything they had been through, Lyra couldn’t bear the thought of living in a world without her sunshine. The ray of light that made her previous dark and desolate world full of bright colors. How was she to go on? How could she possibly recover from the sheer—’

            Ron cleared his throat loudly as he sat down at their usual table inside the Three Broomsticks. He snorted at the way Harry startled violently, dropping the book on the table. He didn’t even have to look at the book to know it would be one of Malfoy’s shite novels.

            “Ron!” Harry scolded as he quickly picked up the book and flipped through the pages, trying to find where he had left off. “I’m almost done.”

            Ron rolled his eyes, wishing this wasn't the norm. “You’ve already read that book at least twenty times, possibly more. There can’t possibly be anything else left to glean from it.”

            “Just because the book comes to a close doesn’t mean that the story can’t continue on in my mind.”

            That had Ron throwing his hands into the air in defeat. “You are obsessed. His novels aren’t even that good.”

            Harry lowered his book enough to glare at his best friend. “I beg to differ.” He moved the book in his hands rapidly, using it as an example. “This one is his best one to date.”

            The enthusiasm in Harry’s voice was the only thing that kept Ron from sighing heavily. Curbing Harry's interests was never something he wanted to do, even if that meant listening to Harry rave about Malfoy's books. 

            “I know that most people don’t like it because Emily dies, but it is just so wholesome and heartbreakingly wonderful. Lyra comes to the realization that she has to live not only because Emily would have wanted her to, but also for herself. She becomes less guarded, moody and cynical. Despite the sad ending and the grief of never finding love after Emily, Lyra found herself. She found who she is and a reason to live,” Harry sighed sadly as he placed a hand on his chest.

            “It just hits you right in the heart, you know what I mean?” He asked as he looked back to the book, fighting the urge to get teary-eyed as Lyra sobbed over the discovery of Emily’s body.

            “No,” Ron honestly argued, grinning at the glare he received. He did not want to hear another lecture on the importance of the stupid books, so he cleared his throat.

            “Speaking of Malfoy.” Ron had to hold in a snort at the way Harry’s head snapped up rapidly, eyes lit in interest. “I heard he has a new novel about to come out.”

            “What?” Harry asked, setting aside his novel and giving Ron his full attention. “Where did you hear that? Because I have an owl subscription to the publishing company. They send out newsletters updating fans on any new information. So far, I have received nothing.”

            Ron scrunched up his nose in distaste. “Merlin, you really are obsessed. Since when do you have an owl subscription to his books?”

            “Don’t look at me like that.” Harry ducked his head as he felt his cheeks heat up. “Hermione has a subscription too!”

            It was clear that Ron was going to have to have a talk with the both of them about keeping things from him, but now was not the time. “I have it on good authority that the book is to hit the shelves within the next month.”

            Harry narrowed his eyes suspiciously. Ron wasn’t usually so tight-lipped about things. What was going on here?

            “Has anything been released? Do you know what it’s about?”

            Ron rolled his eyes. “I’ve only heard a little bit, but it seems it is about two boys who grow up disliking each other until they realize that they only have each other to count on.”

            “I love it already.”

            That had Ron laughing loudly. “You haven’t even read any of it! For all you know, it could be pure shite. Just like the rest of the books.” The last bit was mumbled, but by the kick to his shin, he knew that Harry had heard him.

            “Does Hermione know?” Harry wondered as he felt excitement stir inside him. It had been months since the last book was released and he was honestly looking forward to anything Malfoy writes. The man sure knew how to captivate an audience.

            “No, but that’s because I just found out,” Ron lied smoothly. He had been spending weeks with the stupid git, trying to work out the best plan of action. They had both agreed that since Harry loves his books, that the best plan would be to use the next novel to broadcast just what Malfoy was trying to tell Harry. The whole bloody book would be littered with obvious clues. So obvious that no one would be able to read it and not think it was about Harry.

            “Have… you talked to him recently?” Ron asked, knowing that Harry sometimes came in contact with the idiot from time to time.

            Harry gripped the table tightly as he nodded. “I was at the apothecary in Diagon Alley last week and we… talked for a few minutes.” Talk was a stretch. He had made a complete fool of himself. Ended up babbling the whole time due to nerves and Malfoy only had a chance to say a few words. It was mortifying. “I don’t think it was anything noteworthy though.”

            Ron rolled his eyes, barely containing a scoff. Oh, it had been noteworthy alright. Every fucking time he spoke to Malfoy since then, all he wanted to talk about was Harry. Sure, it was less subtle than Harry’s gushing but it was there nonetheless. He just wanted to shove them both into a room and be done with it. Why was he the only one who seemed to be aware of their mutual pining?

            Harry cleared his throat. “Enough about this. Tell me about you. What have you been up to since I saw you last week?”

            The rest of the night was spent talking, reminiscing and enjoying each other’s company. Despite Harry’s wide grins and happy attitude, Ron knew that Harry was lonely. His friend had never been one to complain, but Ron knew--he could tell. He just hoped that this plan would work. Harry deserved to be happy.

            …. Even if that meant putting up with a snarky, sneering prick who wrote horrible books.

 


 

           

            From the moment Harry picked up Malfoy’s newest book, he knew that this was going to be different from all of the others. Call it intuition or just a gut instinct. The book was longer than the others as well, it just heightened his curiosity.

            An anxious aura filled him as he flipped open the first few pages. He froze when he noticed a dedication page. This was new. The only time Malfoy had ever added one was his first novel and that was one dedicated to his mother.

            For my muse. You have shaped my life in so many ways. Ways that you aren’t even aware of. I hope that my books have inspired you as much as you have enlightened me.

            For my enemy. You have been there for the many downs and never the ups, but that is just the way it goes sometimes. Despite the start to our horrible interactions, you have always been there and that is something I thank you for. A constant in my life that was desperately needed.

            For my aching heart. I have put so much of myself into this book that I feel as if I am on display. Vulnerability is not something that I am used to and I worry about the reaction this book will bring. My heart is always cloaked and buried behind a cold and aloof attitude. Hopefully, this will bring me joy or closure. I will take either.

            For the little boy in the shop who changed me. You looked at the world with wonder and an awe that was endearing. It made me realize that my own world was missing the colours that you see every day. Every part of this dedication goes to you. You are my muse, my enemy, my aching heart and the little boy wrapped in one. This book is for you and I hope that you love it.

            Harry’s heart was beating past what could be deemed as healthy. His breathing had picked up and his thought process was quickly evaporating. What? His first thought was to think that it was about him but that was just silly. Why would Malfoy write a book about him? It wasn’t as if he was important to him. They may not be enemies any longer, if they ever could’ve been classified as such to begin with. But they weren’t exactly friends now. Sure, there was no animosity and no sneers. Polite smiles and small talk was typically their norm.

            No. It made more sense that the book was about someone else. He was just seeing something that wasn’t there. It wasn’t as if there hadn’t been other boys in shops or other people who could’ve been an enemy to Malfoy.

            With a slightly aching heart, he tentatively flipped the page and steeled himself for whatever the book had in store for him.

 


 

 

            Draco was pacing back and forth relentlessly. Why had he done this? How in the world had he allowed Weasley to talk him into being so obvious? This was all Weasley's fault.

            “I hate you,” Draco threw out as his anxious feet kept him moving in a restless pace.

            Ron rolled his eyes as he watched Malfoy completely lose his coveted decorum. It would’ve been amusing if it wasn’t for how plainly obvious Malfoy was when nervous.

            “The feeling is mutual. Please stop that.” Ron pointed to Malfoy’s rapidly moving feet. “I am having sympathies for your poor rug.”

            When flashing silver eyes narrowed at him dangerously, he realized that perhaps now was not the time to goad him.

            “Relax,” Ron attempted to soothe. “Harry is a fast reader and will be finished soon. Not to mention this will be at the top of his to-do list.”

            Curiosity was making its way inside of Draco as he reluctantly allowed his worries to melt away for just a moment.

            “Why do you say that?”

            Ron snorted as he shook his head. “Because he reads everything you write. When I said that he adores you, I wasn’t just saying it. He really does love your books.”

            That had Draco sitting down in his chair as he bit his lip. “That makes it worse,” He whispered, staring into the fire as he wished he could go back and change the entire book. “If I knew there was only a small chance that he could read it, then I would be alright. But knowing that he is going to read it is nerve-wracking.”

            Ron arched his brows at the turn of the conversation. Malfoy wasn’t one for admitting any kind of emotion, he wasn’t sure what he was supposed to make of this.

            “I didn’t just make it obvious to Potter who the book was about. I made it obvious to everyone. This is a public relations nightmare. My manager has already told me that it was a mistake, but I just couldn’t resist.”

            “And why couldn’t you resist?” Ron already knew the answer but if they were going to get anywhere in this conversation, Mafloy was going to have to say it.

            Draco snapped his gaze away from the fire and glared darkly at Weasley. The unimpressed and expectant look he received in return had him huffing in defeat.

            “Because I love him,” The whispered admittance was spoken with so much pain that Ron shifted in his seat. He prayed to any higher powers at work that Harry wouldn’t break Malfoy’s heart. Which was honestly a disturbing thought. Somehow, Draco bloody Malfoy had become his friend. A close one at that.    

            Despite Weasley not saying anything in response, there was a kindness in his eyes. Something that was surprising but not unwelcome. If nothing came out of this, at least he would be walking away with a possible friend.

 

 


 

 

            Never write in a book. That was a cardinal rule that Hermione had instilled in Harry. Books deserved a certain proper care and respect.

            But that went out the window after the first few pages of Malfoy’s book. Thoughts, theories and the things that just didn’t make sense were written in the margins and even over some words.

            Each sentence and new page had Harry literally at the edge of his seat. The book was more of a biography than it was fiction. Sure, things had been changed and made more romanticized, but this was directly out of Malfoy’s life. It was impossible not to see glimpses of Malfoy through his words.

            --His life was quickly morphing into something his nightmares could only envy. What was he supposed to do? Was there courage deep down in his bones or was the cowardice louder? How was he to stand up against injustice when doing so would place him in harm’s way? If it was only his own life that was in question, it would be easier. However, his mother was in danger as well. Is it true cowardice to give into evil if it is to protect the ones you love?

            Thoughts of approaching the opposition had entered his mind, but there was too much animosity. Too much angst and not enough trust. Sometimes, doing what is wrong is the only path in life. He just hoped that he would be alive long enough to correct that path later on.—

            Harry paused for a moment as he breathed out heavily. He had never given thought to how Malfoy’s life would have felt like personally--couldn’t even imagine what he would’ve done if the positions were reversed. It is easy to judge and place opinions from afar but reading about it set all kinds of things into perspective for him.

            --Love. Such a weakness. Something that his father had told him would amount to nothing. Dorado tried repeatedly to allow that mentality to fill him, but it was growing harder and harder the older he got. How could it be a weakness if it filled him with wonder? Surely, the way his heart beat faster and his lips twitched, aching to smile couldn’t be deemed a bad thing?

            If love was a potion, then he wanted to forever bottle it. Love was the driving factor in everything in his life so far. Despite his father’s words, he was going to allow love to worm its way into his heart and home it for free.—

            Harry smiled softly at the way Malfoy could make him feel a million emotions just in a few paragraphs. He was falling for the writer and couldn’t stop but wish things could be different. Couldn’t help but ache to have someone love him the way Malfoy loved his muse.

            --Everything about the plebian boy set Dorado’s emotions into turmoil. How could someone infuriate him so strongly, but also make him weak in the knees? What was the duality here? How could such a contradiction exist?

            Harvey, the beautiful boy with horrible clothes and no fashion sense. The clumsy and awkward boy could demand attention without meaning to. Something unique about Harvey drew people in. It could be his belief that everyone deserved to be saved or even the general smile he held for anyone who treated him in kind.

            Dorado hated how easily the brunette seemed in all situations. There was an envy at the easy acceptance Harvey seemed to gain from his peers while he himself was never looked at as something other than the suspicious child of an evil man.

            Despite his envy, he couldn’t deny that his feelings towards the other boy were quickly morphing into a love-sick teenager. He despised Harvey for getting under his skin like this, but at the same time wanted to pull him closer. Wanted to love him more than he wanted anything else.

            Life is about learning lessons and realizing that you can’t have everything was one of those lessons. Once Dorado realized that he wanted Harvey in ways that he shouldn’t, ignoring his emotions was one of the hardest things he had ever done. Harvey was the only good thing in the world, let alone his own life. He wasn’t allowed to feel this way towards him. Wasn’t allowed to fantasize about a world where they could belong.

            If only Harvey had adopted the same mentality. At every turn, the boy was just there. Silently and publicly trying to gain his attention. Why couldn’t he pine in peace? Why couldn’t things be hypothetical? Why did he want to run away with Harvey and never look back? They could forget their worries and just exist together for a blissful moment. —

            Harry sighed sappily as he adored seeing two characters fall in love. It was adorable and the internal angst was everything at this moment. Usually, he had a hard time putting himself into one of the characters but for some reason, he was seeing himself as Harvey. Which was embarrassing considering his growing crush on Malfoy.

            Time was irrelevant as Harry lost himself in the book. Even food was a passing thought. Stopping would just be sacrilegious at this point.

            --Fights with enemies are inevitable, but fights with those you admire are just as violent. Perhaps not on the surface but definitely in the heart. As Dorado laid on the floor, bleeding profusely and pain searing every part of his body, he knew that the possibility of death was high. He knew that Harvey hadn’t meant to harm him quite like this, but it was his own form of justice. Perhaps death would be better. Perhaps this would be saving the world a lot of misery if he was to go out like this. Death wasn’t something he feared, it was just another lesson that he would one day discover.

            Time and his own awareness had evaporated with every breath he took. With nothing but his own fading mind to keep him company, thoughts and regrets filled him. Would his mother be safe? Would she be alright? As he closed his eyes and wished that he could’ve done things differently, he heard Harvey’s voice. It was impossible to tell what was being said, but the worry in the tone was palpable. Which didn’t surprise him in the slightest--Harvey always had a soft spot for those in pain. Even his enemies.

            Harvey. That was another regret, perhaps his biggest. If life was different, he would’ve made the proper introduction. He would have shown the Harvey what kind of person he was and not his father’s projected thoughts. Dorado would have let Harvey know how much he meant to him. Harvey would know that his actions were the only thing keeping Dorado going at times. Everything about Harvey had him hopelessly and horribly in love.—

            Harry’s breath caught in his throat as he blinked rapidly. He reread the page over and over again, trying to understand if what he was seeing was true. The similarities to Harvey and himself were getting harder and harder to ignore. It was nearly impossible to stop the merging of his own life and the written one before him.

            Was he Harvey? Was Malfoy writing about their life? Was this happening or was it just what he wished was happening?

            He closed his eyes and tried to look at things from an observational point, but his emotions were too invested. All he could picture was himself and Malfoy together. All he could see was Malfoy.

            --War is beautiful in its passion but ugly in the wake of destruction. Two sides fighting but is it worth it? Are the deaths and destroyed families worth this kind of pain? How many dead bodies are passed the point of no return? How many lives have to be taken before both sides realize that this isn’t the answer?

            The more time Dorado spent with Harvey the more he realized that he couldn’t pretend to be neutral. He was choosing a side and only time would tell if it was the right choice.

            Obligations to his family were strong, but the love he felt for Harvey was stronger. How could he go home and be the person that was expected of him when all he wanted to do was be elsewhere?

            Never in his wildest dreams did he think Harvey would feel for him the way he felt for the boy with messy hair and eyes brighter than his future. Simple conversations had led them to admit what was always below the surface. Tentative touches, shy smiles, and many midnight meetings led to a love that surpassed all expectations of either boy.

            Love was beautiful and not a weakness. With Harvey’s hand entwined in his own, it felt as if the whole world was at Dorado’s fingertips. His father had been wrong. The only weakness was hiding one’s feelings. Repressing emotions doesn’t make them disappear, it only builds them up until it explodes outward.

            The future wasn’t written in the stars like his namesake. He couldn’t gaze at the sky and map out his decisions. But as Dorado stared into kind emerald eyes, he knew that the only future he cared about was one with Harvey. Love would get him far in life and he couldn’t wait to explore it.—

            Thousands of things were flitting around inside of Harry’s mind. Harvey had the same physical appearance as himself couldn’t be a coincidence. Was Malfoy really writing about him? Was this something that had been happening before?

            Harry was about to close the book and floo over to Hermione’s and grill her for thoughts, but he stopped when he realized that there was a final page to the book, one that didn’t have to do with the story.

            My muse. I wrote this for you because every time I see you, I feel as if I can’t breathe. I see you and think back to the first time I saw you as a little boy in a robe shop. The wonder you had in your eyes as you took in the wizarding world is the same wonder I see when I look to you.

            I gave Dorado the happy ending that I wish I could’ve had. He got his Harvey and as heartbreaking as that is to envy your own character, I wouldn’t change a single thing.

            As public as this is to say, I am hopelessly over the moon for you and I use words to hide behind those emotions. It’s easy to write out one’s feelings, but voicing them is a fear that I have yet to find the courage to overcome.

            We have gone from enemies to acquaintances and that is an accomplishment that I am rather proud of. My heart aches to be more but I will settle for Dorado’s happiness if that is not written in the stars for myself.

            Thank you for being the constant in my life. Something that you never intended to be, but gave me the motivation to accomplish my own dreams.

            This book is for you, Harry, and I hope that you find your own Dorado one day. Hopefully, you get the happy ending that you deserve.

            Harry hugged the book to his chest as he rose to his feet quickly, only to sit back down when he realized he had no destination in mind.

            What was he supposed to do? There was no denying it now. Malfoy wrote a book for him. The thought alone had his mind swimming. Merlin, how long had this been going on? Had Malfoy felt this way about him for a while? If so, why not say anything?

            Although, he supposed that wasn’t really fair. It wasn’t as if he had ever spoken up and admitted anything to Malfoy either.

            Before Harry could decide that this was a dream and not reality, the sound of an incoming floo could be heard. He jumped to his feet in time to see Hermione rushing in.

            “Harry.”

            It was interesting to hear the different inflections in her tone. She somehow sounded excited, stunned, awed and resigned all in one.

            Harry bit his lip as he gave her a meaningful look, not ready to voice his thoughts. It was too soon to wrap his mind around it.

            “Oh,” Hermione whispered as she wrapped her arms around him tightly. “I can’t tell you what to do.”

            He loved that she knew exactly what he was thinking. “But Harry, the book alone without the dedications is heartwarming and enchanting. Merlin, he bared his heart out for you.”

            Harry ran his fingers through his hair as his heart started beating fast.

            “Not just vague hints either,” She continued, unaware of the dangerous spike in his pulse. “He publicly admitted his undying love for you.”

            Harry arched a brow at her choice of words. “I didn’t see that written anywhere.” He stepped away quickly to dodge her slapping hands.

            “You know what I mean,” She huffed out breathlessly. “It’s just so sweet.”

            “Do you think he means it?” Harry whispered his true fear. He couldn’t allow himself to get wrapped up in this if Malfoy really didn’t mean it.

            The look he received was the same look Hermione gave him when they were still in Hogwarts and he hadn’t done his homework. It was the same look she gave Ron when he had been worried about getting married because he didn’t think he was good enough for her. It was the same look she gave reporters when they asked personal questions. It was the look she gave people when she considered them particularly thick.

            “Harry.” Hermione threw her hands up in the air. “There are a million things about Malfoy that I would doubt or question, but this isn’t one of them. No sane person would put themselves out there like that and not mean it. This could ruin his career if the publicity isn’t handled correctly.”

            The mounting hope that had been slowly creeping inside of him since he began reading, suddenly exploded outwards. It was nearly unfathomable and totally crazy, but he would be damned if he was going to allow an opportunity like this to slip through his fingers.

            Hermione smiled softly at him, but Harry was too distracted to care what exactly she was thinking. He did, however, pay attention when she cupped both his cheeks and leaned forward till their foreheads were pressed together.

            “The only thing you have to question is yourself. What do you want Harry?”

            The question should be hard and complex. It should make him pause to question the validity of it all, but Harry could care less.

            “I want him, Hermione.” The admittance was soft, so soft that he knew it wouldn’t have been heard if she hadn’t been so close.

            The brilliant smile his friend released was the push he needed to get moving.

            “Then go get him.”

 


 

 

            Draco slumped in his chair with a defeated attitude and a breaking heart. He had done what Weasley suggested and put himself completely out there and so far, nothing had come of it. Logically, he knew that Potter might not even read his book for a couple of days. It wasn’t as if the silence was the finale.

            He had long ago kicked Weasley out, he wasn’t in the mood for false reassurances or a cheery demeanor. Draco just wanted to get drunk and pretend that his latest book was a figment of his imagination.

            With a steeled resolve that didn’t match his inner turmoil in place, Draco pulled himself up and made his way towards the stairs.

            Before he could get a single foot up, a furious pounding on his door had him halting. Draco rolled his eyes. Weasley was back. Would it kill him to knock like a normal human being? What was with the incessant racket? It was as if the Weasley was determined to annoy him at every turn. Which wouldn’t surprise him in the slightest.

            “Weasley, I thought I told you—” His words didn’t halt elegantly or even come to a standstill. No. Draco gasped in surprise at the sight of Potter at his doorstep.

            Despite his earlier impatience at not hearing from Potter, he couldn’t help but wish he could’ve had time to mentally prepare himself. Salazar, he wasn’t ready for this. Was Potter going to tell him he read the book and hated it? Or worse still hated him?

            Harry smiled softly at the rising panic in grey eyes. It was clear that whatever was between them wasn’t something Malfoy had gotten used to just quite yet. Which was reassuring in so many ways.

            “Can I come in?” He prompted when it appeared that Malfoy was just going to have him stand outside.

            Draco winced slightly as he stepped to the side and allowed Potter in. “Any particular reason you are here?”

            Harry huffed a little as he rolled his eyes. It was obvious that Malfoy was trying to deflect the topic at hand. He ignored that completely as he took a step forward towards Malfoy

            “You said that you hoped I would find my own Dorado,” Harry whispered as he fought the urge to touch a pale cheek. “But what if I don’t want Dorado?”

            Draco blinked rapidly as he wondered what that meant. Was Potter saying that he didn’t want him?           

            “What if I want my own Draco?”

            Draco had to fight every possible warring emotion to keep his whimper in place. He wanted to shake his head to clear his befuddled mind, but Potter kept talking--kept causing his heart to beat erratically and kept his hope rising.

            “I don’t just want to be your muse, Draco.” Harry paused as he gave in to his urges and cupped Draco’s cheek. “I want to be yours in every single way.”

            “Harry.” It was whispered breathlessly and a little unsure but it was a start.

            “I want the chance for you to become my muse," Harry whispered, eyes roaming Draco's face. "I want to be able to one day show you my thoughts and feelings as you have done. No one has ever done anything like this for me.” Harry looked down as a feeling of self-doubt crept upon him.

            “I’m not good with words,” Harry continued, unable to meet Draco’s eyes. “I’m not good at expressing my emotions and I am awful at communication. Not because I don’t want to, but because I never had anyone to communicate to growing up. So, I apologize if this isn’t as elegant as your books, but I want you to know that I like you, Draco.”

            Both men felt their cheeks pink up at the admission, but neither one seemed to care.

            “I like you a lot," mumbled Harry nervously. "Far more than someone should when we are enemies turned acquaintances. I am falling for you and it scares me. Because you manage to get under my skin like no one else ever has. But you also leave me thinking about you for hours and I can’t help but wonder more about you. I want to get to know the side of you that writes beautiful novels and adores their mother. I want to get to know the man behind the books and the person whose ideas leave me boggled for weeks.”

            Draco wasn’t sure if this was the part where he was supposed to say something, because all rational thought had left him the moment he opened the door and saw Harry standing there.

            “You have me Draco,” Harry gently whispered. “If that is what you wish.”

            The last sentence had Draco leaning his head back in a startled manner. Had the Potter lost his mind? It was something he himself had thought about Harry from time to time but to think that he wouldn’t want that? Nonsense.

            Draco lifted both of his hands and cupped Harry’s cheeks. One would have sufficed but with Harry’s warm hand still on his own cheek, it only made sense that he outdo him.

            Harry had been right, words were Draco’s forte, but this time he decided to silence his words and his thoughts. Draco was going to allow his actions to do the talking right now.

            The short distance between them got smaller as Draco leaned forward and softly pressed his lips against Harry’s. The small gasp of surprise would play on repeat in Draco’s mind for weeks to come.

            As their lips moved against each other’s languidly but filled with passion, Harry’s head swam. He tilted his head to the side and welcomed the deepening of the kiss.

            Harry dropped his hand in favor of wrapping them around Draco’s waist and pulling him impossibly closer. He wasn’t sure where one of them began and the other ended. Kissing Draco was an experience he would never forget. Malfoy made every kiss pale in comparison and set his entire body alight from within. His veins were singing as loudly as the passion of the tongue tangling with his own.

            One of them groaned but it was hard to tell who, hell, it might have been the both of them.

            “Does that answer your question?” Draco whispered against Harry’s mouth before nibbling a plump bottom lip.

            “Most definitely,” Harry agreed as he returned the favor and began nipping Draco’s lip. He paused for a moment as something came to him.

            “But I was wondering why you thought Ron was at your door when I knocked?”

            Draco looked away briefly. “Yeah, about that…”

 


 

 

            Epilogue

 

            Having free time with no cases and not an ounce of paperwork was as suspicious as George’s new creation for the shop. With nothing left to do at the office, Ron decided to go home and wait for Hermione to get off work.

            The sight of an owl waiting for him had him rushing straight to it, instantly alert. He recognized the pretentious prick of a bird. Only Malfoy would own an animal as prickly and rude as his own personality.

            After wrestling with the owl for longer than Ron cared to admit, he finally got the bloody bird to release his package. It honestly wouldn’t surprise him if Malfoy told the bird to act this way towards him on purpose.

            The heaviness of the package had him curious. He knew that Harry and Malfoy were on vacation, traveling the world. Ron had helped Harry form the perfect plan to ensure that Malfoy would agree to marry him. So, what was this? A bit too big to be any photos. Perhaps they sent a souvenir of some kind?

            When Ron tore open the package, he sat down with furrowed brows at the sight of a book. As far as he knew, Malfoy hadn’t written anything in months. Thank goodness for that, because the already sappy novels had increased in level of tooth-achingly numb sap since the few years that his friends got together.

            The book looked too new to be a copy of one his other works. Besides, Ron couldn’t remember ever seeing this one before. Not that he read Malfoy's books. Nope, not even a little bit. He turned the book over to peer at the back, hoping that something would jog his memory.

            Two warring families who despise each other for things done long ago to their ancestors. The true reasons for the feud get lost with each passing generation, both sides believing that they are in the right. Both sides hating those they can’t understand and demean everything they each stood for.

            Can two young boys from opposing families find an unlikely friendship or will they allow the prejudice and misguided beliefs of their parents to pit them against each other?

            Ron let out a squawk of surprise before he opened the cover and searched the first few pages.

            I would like to dedicate this book to my best friend. Without him, not only would this book not exist but I would never have been given the kick to my arse that was needed. Despite the way you shouted at me and insulted every single thing about me that day, you made all of this possible.

            Thank you, Weasley. Thank you for being there.

            “Oh my god,” Ron breathed out as he blinked rapidly at the words on the page. He couldn’t believe it. Not only had Malfoy publicly admitted that he was his best friend, which was something that tended to surprise his family, but he had dedicated a book to him. He refused to allow this to choke him up.

            Ron frowned as a sudden realization came to him.

            “Now I have to fucking read it! Or else I’ll look like an arse.”

            Despite his words and reluctant attitude, this would be his favorite book. It would go on his side of the bookshelf, right next to Quidditch Through the Ages.

            Perhaps Malfoy’s books weren’t all that bad.