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Harry's flat was silent as Draco stepped through the Floo. It should have been a welcome reprieve after the boisterous chaos of the Burrow, but the stillness left Draco cold. He should have gone straight home after dinner, instead of following Harry back to his flat, but Draco knew that hadn't really been an option. The Burrow's Floo didn't connect to Draco's flat, and insisting on Apparating home afterwards instead of leaving with Harry would have made a statement, one Draco was positive that the Weasleys would all-too-gleefully read into.

The problem was, Draco wasn't entirely sure they'd be wrong.

Apparently the sudden and oppressive silence unnerved Harry as well, because he continued whatever inane conversation he'd been having with Ron right before they'd left. Clearly, he'd been too absorbed to realise that, despite Draco's presence during the first portion of the conversation, Draco hadn't actually been participating in the discussion. Still, Draco kept his expression neutral and polite, nodding and humming along at the appropriate portions as he followed Harry into the kitchen. Draco watched Harry make a cup of tea as he spoke, wondering if there was any way he could feign a headache and head back to the relative safety of his own flat.

Harry's voice was jovial, his expression upbeat, but there was an unmistakable sharpness buried at the bottom of his tone that set Draco's teeth on edge. His clothes felt too tight, and Draco tugged at his collar, loosening the uppermost button in an attempt to get some more air. He didn't want to be here, not when he could feel a storm brewing between them, the building tension vibrating through his very bones. For all his childish antics and the horrors that he'd been confronted with during the war, Draco had been bred to avoid direct confrontation with family and close relationships, and Harry was nothing if not direct. Draco was becoming better at it, too, realising more and more every day that he didn't want the life he'd been raised for—the passive aggressive remarks and chill silences—but it didn't make the arguments any less upsetting.

He stilled, his body acknowledging the sudden quiet before his mind fully registered that Harry had stopped speaking. Draco turned to look at him, stomach clenching at the flicker of frustration and anger on Harry's face. He must have missed his cue to hum in agreement with whatever it was that Harry had been saying. Silly of him to be so careless as to give Harry an opening.

"You could make more of an effort, you know." Harry's tone was disappointed and accusatory, which never failed to raise Draco's hackles. He wanted to respond with something flippant, to pretend he really thought that Harry was upset about Draco not listening to him just now, but Harry wasn't going to make things that easy. "Maybe you could try, I don't know, not looking absolutely miserable the entire time we're at the Burrow?"

"Me? I'm the one who needs to put in more of an effort?" Draco spat, his temper beginning to bubble over. "I'm the only one in that entire misshapen house that's putting in any fucking effort at all! Sort of hard not to look miserable when I get to spend two plus hours with a bunch of people who hate my guts and do their level best to ignore any contribution I try to make."

"They're trying, Draco. It's only been a couple of years since the war. You can't expect them to get over everything in just a few weekends." Harry’s voice turned hard. "The burden shouldn't have to fall to them to forgive you. You have to earn it from them."

Draco had to bite back his instinctive retort, wondering if that was a line Hermione had fed Harry or if he'd come up with it all by himself. Lashing out was Draco's preferred method of self-preservation, but he knew it wasn't going to win him any points now. He went with the truth, instead.

"Do you think I don't fucking know that?" Draco asked. "I know perfectly well why they all hate me; I don't blame them for it. But I don't know what else you want me to do." Draco shivered, his body flashing hot and cold. Living after the war, trying to make up for the things he'd thought and done, was the hardest thing Draco had ever had to do. Sometimes he wasn't sure what the point of it all was, if anything would ever really change, if anybody would ever believe that he'd changed. "I've apologised, I'm doing my best to live a life I can be proud of. I'm trying to unlearn an entire childhood of rhetoric and bigotry. What the fuck else do you want from me?"

Harry clutched his teacup so tightly in his hand, Draco was surprised it hadn't shattered. Draco watched Harry's knuckles turn white, and felt abruptly and utterly exhausted. He was just so, so tired. Tired of this constant pressure that vibrated beneath every gesture and every moment of his and Harry's relationship. Weary of the neverending energy it seemed to sap from his bones, the incessant emotional drain of never feeling good enough, brave enough, pure enough for Harry. And wasn't that a funny thought, Draco Malfoy not pure enough for the half-blood hero of the wizarding world. But it felt true enough to Draco. His soul, his very skin, was tainted, stained with a darkness that wouldn't ever wash away, not completely, no matter how much he tried to rid himself of it.

"I know they're your family, Harry," Draco said, his tone softening as his anger slunk quietly into the background. "You love each other, and I have no desire to keep you from them. I know they're good people, but they aren't quick to forgive." Harry opened his mouth to interrupt, but Draco held up a hand, hoping to stall him. "Again, I can't blame them for that. They have every right to hate me. I know I, or my family, have done reprehensible things to just about every single one of them personally, and that isn't so easy to let go of. But I don't know what good my presence in their home is doing. It couldn't be more obvious that not a single one of them wants me there."

Harry stared at him, his expression unreadable, before he stated, "I want you there."

And just like that, Draco's fury came roaring back to the surface, as sudden and violent as the twist of Apparation.

"Yes," Draco snapped. "And we all know that whatever Harry Potter wants, Harry Potter gets. Regardless of anyone else's feelings on the subject."

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Harry shot back, his green eyes glinting behind his glasses.

"Oh, nothing at all. It's just interesting that you don't seem to see any issue with how one sided this all is, demanding that I go with you to the Burrow every week, and to pub night whenever you and your merry band of Gryffindors get together despite the fact that nobody wants me to be there by you. And yet you've never once come with me to the Manor for dinner with my parents, or deigned to grace us with your presence when I'm out with my friends."

"That's different," Harry snarled, his upper lip curling with displeasure. Draco supposed it was true enough, but it didn't stop him from wanting to scream sometimes with the imbalance of it all. How could Harry not see that he was always holding all the cards? Maybe he did, a small, poisonous voice inside Draco's head whispered. Maybe Harry just liked it that way.

"Ah, so I have to sit through uncomfortable visits with your friends and family as your boyfriend, but you don't have to do the same for me?"

The teacup finally gave in to the pressure of Harry's iron grip, shattering in his hand. Harry barely seemed to notice, vanishing the shards with an angry flick of his hand. Even through the throb of Draco's anger, he felt a prickle of appreciation for Harry's casual use of wandless magic, the way using his inherent magic was finally starting to become second nature for him. Of course, Draco didn't have long to linger in that appreciation before Harry was spewing anger at him.

"None of my friends or family ever tried to kill you! I know you're not an idiot, Draco. You know the war wasn't just some game. Your father tried to literally murder me when I was fucking fifteen. Fifteen. My best friend was tortured in that bloody Manor of yours. Your best friend wanted to give me up to Voldemort to save her own skin. And don't even get me started on Lucius slipping first year Ginny that bloody diary. I don't care if he didn't actually know what it was, he still knew it was dangerous." Harry's face was red and flushed, and his chest heaved with the force of his fury. He ran a hand through his wild hair, tugging at the strands in obvious frustration. "Are you seriously saying those things don't make a difference?"

"Of course they do. But all those things my family's done to you? I've done them all and worse to your friends. And yet, you ask them to sit down with me every week. How is that different?" Draco paused to take in a breath in a futile attempt to ease some of the tightness in his chest. "Don't you think that people can change? I have, haven't I?"

Harry hesitated, and Draco wasn't sure if that was a point in his favour or not.

"You're different."

Draco ground his teeth. Not, then.

"Why? Because I'm the one you want to fuck?"

Harry's cheeks flared bright red before he set his jaw stubbornly. "They haven't changed, Draco. They haven't put any effort into making amends or showing that they don't believe the same pure-blood bullshit that got us into the war in the first place. Not like you have."

For the briefest of moments, Draco felt a flash of pure, seething hatred for the man standing in front of him. He hated Harry for putting the redemption of all pure-bloods on Draco's shoulders alone, hated him for seeing the good in Draco while refusing to look any further. As if dating the wizarding world's most recent shining symbol of hope and goodness wasn't difficult enough.

"And how the fuck would you know that?" Draco could tell Harry wanted to interrupt, but he didn't give him a chance. "No, really. How would you know? Have you ever had a conversation with any of them since the war? With Pansy or Greg or my mother? I mean, my mother saved your life, and yeah, she was doing it for me, not for your noble cause, but do you think she has nothing to redeem her, that maybe she hadn't begun to have her own doubts?" Draco turned to face the wall, struggling to get his breathing under control, fighting against the urge to punch or hex the closest thing he could get his hands on. "Just because they never personally apologised to you, it doesn't mean they haven't changed or aren't making an effort." He turned back to face Harry, his insides writhing. "It's not so fucking easy, remaking yourself, you know. Realising that every single goddamned thing you've been taught to be and believe in is wrong. And it's pretty fucking hard for people to show you they've changed if you won't give them a chance. Maybe Pansy would apologise if you ever gave her the time of day, instead of sneering at her like everybody else in the wizarding world, like you all think you're so much better than us."

"I don't think I'm better than you," Harry said quickly. A little too quickly. Draco stifled an incredulous snort.

Because, at the end of the day, that was one of the biggest problems between them, wasn't it? Harry was good, so wonderfully good, and Draco knew that Harry would never mean to think he was above anybody else, but that didn't mean it wasn't true. On some level, Harry did believe he was better than Draco and his family, better than the people that had sided with the Dark Lord and taken his mark. Of course he did. He was right to.

And that was right there at the centre of so many of their issues. Harry was better than Draco, and how could things ever be equal between them, when at their very core, Draco was so much less than Harry was? How could Draco be angry about Harry refusing to visit with his parents after what his father had done to him? What right did Draco have to his fury and his misery when Harry had suffered so much more, when Harry had made all the right choices, all the hard choices that Draco hadn't been able to make? What leg did Draco ever have to stand on when faced with somebody like Harry?

"Sure," Draco said woodenly, his insides feeling heavy.

"Draco…" Harry replied, his expression conflicted. "I understand what you're saying, but can you honestly tell me that your father has changed?"

Draco sighed. His father was just a piece, a small piece, of what was wrong between them, but of course Harry would choose that bit to focus on. "Maybe my father is a lost cause, I don't know. We don't talk about that kind of thing anymore. But even with all his faults, he's still my father and he loves me." He might not show that love the way other parents did, but Draco knew his father cared about him, and he knew how ashamed and horrified Lucius was that his actions and beliefs had almost cost him his only son. Things had been tense between them for years, and they'd only got worse in the aftermath of the war. Malfoys didn't have open and honest conversations about their feelings, and Draco wasn't sure they'd ever fully mend what had broken between them, but Draco couldn't cut him out of his life. "I don't condone his actions, and we have our share of issues. We'll never be as close as you and Arthur, but I can't just walk away, either. He's always going to be a part of my life. Maybe not a big part, but a part just the same."

"I—" Harry ran his fingers through his hair again, his body sagging. "That's fair."

His tone was grudging, and Draco knew that, despite Harry's head telling him that Draco had a right to a relationship with his father, his emotions were saying something else entirely.

Something brittle inside Draco snapped, the jagged edges piercing his lungs, his heart. He sagged, sudden, bitter realisation flooding through him.

"I don't know if I can keep doing this," he breathed. I don't know if I should.

Harry's entire body went still, his green eyes going wide and frightened. "What do you mean?" Harry whispered, the sound seeming to echo in the silence of the kitchen.

Draco's mouth was dry, words sticking in his throat, but he forced them out. "It's like we're stuck. Doomed to repeat the same mistakes, to have the same argument, day after day, week after week. It's never going to change."

"You don't know that," Harry said, desperation colouring his words. "You can't know that, Draco."

"Can't I?"

Salazar, Harry was good, so good, but Draco wasn't sure if he was good for Draco. He was so much better than Draco deserved, and there wasn't a person in the wizarding world who didn't think so. And, in fact, a large majority of those people felt it so strongly, they were overcome with the need to make Draco's inferiority perfectly clear with Howlers and articles in the Prophet and icy silence whenever Draco joined Harry at whatever event Harry requested his presence at. He knew that Harry cared for him, maybe even loved him like he claimed to, but Draco was beginning to wonder if that was enough. Could Draco really spend the rest of his life with Harry, living with a person who was the literal embodiment of all the things that Draco wasn't? Being with Harry was like living in the Manor in the week before one of his mother's fancy parties, when everything was perfectly clean and exactly in the right place, and Draco was under very strict instructions to walk quietly and carefully and not disturb a thing. As a child, he'd always been so conscious of his body during those miserable weeks, of the fact that he was something messy and uncontrollable, unwelcome in the pristine façade his mother had the elves put together. Draco had lived in terror of getting something dirty, of becoming the stain that ruined his mother's perfect décor.

That was all figurative with Harry, of course—he didn't give a flying fuck about dirt or messes—but sometimes...sometimes he acted like he'd forgotten about Draco's past, about the things that he'd done, and the way the rest of the world saw him. Draco wanted to be flattered by it, wanted to believe it was because Harry so thoroughly believed in Draco, that he couldn't fathom why others didn't. He wanted that to be the truth, but as desperately as he wished it were so, Draco couldn't make himself believe it. Because Harry wanted normalcy. He wanted love and happiness, and after the life he'd had so far, he bloody well deserved it. Draco knew that becoming involved with Draco hadn't been in Harry's plans, and sometimes, in the deepest dark of night, he wondered if Harry wouldn't have gone back and changed who he fell for, if he could. After all, nobody would have chosen to fall in love with Draco Malfoy if they could avoid it, not after the war. But somehow, life had thrown them together, and Harry wasn't the type to deny his feelings, but he also desperately wanted Draco to be somebody who could fit into the life that he'd always pictured for himself. He wanted Draco to go to the Burrow and laugh at Ron's stupid jokes and support Hermione's lost causes. He wanted to stroll down Diagon Alley hand in hand with Draco under the blazing sun, wanted them both to feed each other Fortescue's in full view of the world.

But that was a fantasy.

The Weasleys tolerated him with a simmering hostility that made Draco's skin crawl, Ron's jokes were at Draco's expense more often than not, and Hermione talked of her causes with a snide undertone that just dared Draco to make a comment and reveal his 'true colours'. Draco could barely make it down Diagon Alley without getting hexed or yelled at, Fortescue's had never reopened after the mad man whose mark Draco bore had executed the owner, and Draco was becoming increasingly and devastatingly sure that he would never, ever fit into Harry Potter's life. Not as anything other than a footnote, anyway.

"Don't say that, Draco. It's us. We're never going to stop fighting, but that doesn't mean it's not worth it. I love you."

"I'm…" Draco took a deep, shuddering breath through the tightness in his throat. "I'm just not sure that's true. I mean, I believe that you love me," Or that you think you do, "—but I don't know if that's enough. Sometimes I look at you, and all I see is every one of the mistakes I've made. And it''s fucking hard, being with somebody who always makes me feel inferior."

Harry's expression went slack with shock and horror, his eyes beginning to glisten. "I don't—I don't think that, Draco. I don't." Harry's voice was thick with emotion, and Draco found his own eyes beginning to burn in response.

"I know you don't, Harry," Draco said, his tone rough. "At least not consciously. Honestly, it's not your fault. This is on me, my own perceptions of our relationship, self worth." Draco leaned against the wall, letting the solid wood support his weight when he felt like collapsing onto the ground. "I'm not sure it's healthy, our relationship. I don't know how to feel like I deserve you, and I don't know if we'll ever be able to get to a place where I feel like we're on equal ground. Like we're true partners."

"I—I'm not perfect, Draco. Jesus, you make it sound like I'm a god or something. You don't need to put me on a pedestal."

"Trust me, I'm not. I know you're not perfect, Harry, I do. But surely you can see how unequal things are? How our pasts influence our present. We're not making a new life together, you're trying to fit me into yours, and bits of me are breaking off as you try and cram me into a mold that doesn't suit."

"No—that's not—"

"If we were to move in together, where would we live?"

Harry blushed and stammered. "Well, I thought you'd move in here. Not yet, obviously, but when we're ready."

"And what about my flat? You know how much I love it, how proud I was of finding a place for myself that was completely my own."

"Um, well, it's just—"

Draco didn't let him finish. "If we got a pet, what would we get?"

Harry's brows furrowed. "I, err...I always thought I'd get a Muggle dog at some point. I really wanted one when I was a kid."

"Even though I've mentioned on numerous occasions the traumatic incident I had with a crup when I was a child?"

Harry snorted, and Draco's fingers twitched towards his wand. "You weren't serious about—"

Instead of hexing him, Draco continued, "And what would we do if I decided to apply for that prestigious potion's apprenticeship in South America?"

"I—uh, I don't know. I didn't think that was a possibility. I thought you decided you didn't want it."

"I never said that, and I haven't made any decision yet. Applications aren't due for several more weeks, but the point I was trying to make holds. Every one of those decisions are things we should be talking about together, but you had the answers all ready to go without asking me what I thought at all."

"Those were just hypotheticals, and you put me on the spot. It's not like any of that is set in stone. Of course we would discuss things before they happened," Harry growled in obvious frustration. "You're twisting my words to make your point."

"Maybe. But I'm not entirely wrong. Your instinct is to make the decision and I think, on some level, you feel like you're entitled to that right. And I, on some level, don't entirely disagree. There's a power imbalance here."

Harry stared at him, clearly upset and half terrified at the conclusions that Draco was drawing about their relationship. "We can work on it. Now that we know it's there, we can fix it. And I...I can come with you to see your parents if that's what you want."

Draco shook his head, though that only made Harry's expression more manic. "No, Harry, you were right. How can I ask you to sit down and break bread across from a man who tried to kill you?"

"Then you don't have to come with me to the Weasleys."

" deserve someone who can be accepted by your family, who can share in your life with you fully. I—" Draco's voice broke and he looked away. "I don't know if that will ever be me."

A wounded sound escaped Harry's throat as he shook his head furiously. "No," he said loudly. "No, you don't get to tell me what I deserve."

And then he was crossing the kitchen in several large bounds, his body crushing Draco's against the wall as their lips met in a desperate kiss. Harry licked into his mouth like a man possessed, his body a burning line against Draco's own as one hand slid into Draco's hair and another squeezed his waist. Draco could feel Harry's desire, his hunger tinged with an undercurrent of aching sadness that made tears prick at the corners of Draco's eyes. He knew they shouldn't be doing this, not now. Sex wasn't going to fix anything, it wasn't going to bury the truths that had finally come to light.

But Harry was kissing him with his impossibly soft lips, his hard body was moving purposefully against Draco's own, and Draco didn't want to be smart about this. He wasn't sure if he could be. Draco let himself get carried away on the current of Harry's passion, his hands squeezing Harry's arse to pull them even closer together. He wanted to feel every inch of him, wanted to feel the always-blazing heat of Harry's body, warmed from within by the raging fire of his brilliant soul, an entire fucking sun encased in flesh and bone.

The two of them stumbled down the hall to Harry's bedroom, half tripping over each other as they shed trousers and shirts and socks as they went. Draco couldn't get enough (he could never get enough), his hands roaming over Harry's firm back, his silken hair, the puckered scars on his chest. They both had scars on their chests, and even that was a pinprick of pain and guilt on Draco's conscience, another reminder of the past Harry could never let him fully escape. Because Harry had been scarred on his quest to rid the world of an evil madman, and Draco's scars had been a horrible accident caused by Draco's fear and anger and his selfish instinct to hurt others in order to protect himself.

Harry made a noise low in his throat as they finally hit the bed, bringing Draco out of his slow downward spiral and back to the present and the eager, naked man in front of him. Harry tugged Draco down with him when he fell back onto the mattress, and Draco let himself be led, let himself follow Harry in this, even if he was beginning to realise he couldn't follow him forever. Harry spread his legs, fitting Draco between his thighs perfectly, making no secret of his desire. Draco's stomach grew hot, and he kissed Harry harder, more desperately, while his mind tried to spare a few brain cells to focus on conjuring up some lube.

Inside, Harry was even hotter, gripping Draco's fingers tight as Draco rushed to prepare him. Usually, Draco liked to linger on this part, liked to take his time opening Harry up, cataloguing every twitch of his muscles, every micro-expression of pleasure that crossed his face. They were both too keyed up for that now, a jittery, bursting energy wavering between them, amping up the arousal until Draco's vision blurred and his hands shook.

Harry urged him on with hitches of his hips and eager little sounds of approval as Draco's fingers slid in and out. He loved this, loved taking Draco inside of him, and Draco loved to give it to him. Harry was always so vibrant and alive, and Draco never felt more like Harry's equal than when they were in bed together. He could almost pretend they were just two blokes making each other feel good. They could never escape their pasts, not entirely, but when their bodies were entwined, none of the rest seemed to matter as much.

Draco knew what the people who saw them together thought, that their Saviour was just having himself a bit of fun bending over the pretty blond ex-Death Eater. How horrified they'd all be to realise that most of the time, it wasn't like that at all, that nine times out of ten it was Harry on his back, begging for Draco's cock, glorious and unashamed and unrestrained in his desire. Another thing for Draco to be jealous of, the way Harry could ask for what he wanted in a way that Draco still struggled with. Years of being told what masculinity and strength looked like as the only Malfoy heir had burrowed deep, and even still, whenever Harry took him, that first press into Draco's body carried as much sin and shame as aching pleasure. Sometimes, he wondered if he really did prefer it this way, or if he'd internalised so much of his upbringing as to warp his very desires. Draco had long since learned that he wasn't to be trusted, and it was no surprise that even his longings were suspect.

"Come on, Draco," Harry moaned. "I'm ready. I want you inside me."

He was ready: arse soft and relaxed, skin flushed with excitement, green eyes dark with lust. Draco was ready too, his own cock heavy and dripping wet, ready and eager to bury itself inside Harry's all-too-willing body. He removed his fingers from Harry's arse and shuffled to his knees.

Draco's breath caught as he looked down at Harry stretched out below him, his thighs spread wide, his prick thick and flushed against his stomach, the very picture of hedonistic decadence. He was still wearing his glasses, somehow making them look sexy and distinct as always, despite the truly hideous frames. Beneath the amorous glaze of his eyes, Draco knew Harry wasn't missing a thing, his keen and observant mind cataloguing Draco's expressions and reactions as surely as Draco was cataloguing Harry's. Draco suppressed the urge to rip the glasses from Harry's face, to blur and dull the force of Harry's focus, to reduce the twist of vulnerability in his stomach at the exposure. But Harry liked to be able to see Draco when they had sex, and Draco didn't want Harry to look back on this moment with anything other than pleasure. It was always great between them, but Draco wanted this to be better. He wanted to make Harry feel good, so good that he wouldn't ever be able to forget Draco, so that no matter what happened between them, Harry would carry an imprint of their time together deep inside. Draco wanted them to be unforgettable.

He rubbed the slick head of his dick against Harry's entrance, his body shuddering at the zing of pleasure that shot through him at the stimulation. Beneath him, Harry's eyes seemed to glow with need and desire. Harry shifted, his hips tilting upward, and that was all the encouragement Draco needed. He slid inside slowly, steadily, the way eased by lube and practice. Draco's watched Harry as he breached him, taking in the fluttering of his lashes, the raggedness of his breath, his exhaled "Oh," when Draco's hips finally settled against the curve of his arse.

Draco held himself there for several breathless heartbeats, savouring the liquid pleasure pumping through his veins, unable to tear his eyes away from Harry's magnetic gaze. Harry's legs stretched out, before coming up to wrap around Draco's waist, jolting him forward until he had to brace himself on his hands. Harry's lips quirked into a pleased smile, even as he shivered at the shifting of Draco's body within his own.

"Impatient," Draco reprimanded softly, something within him easing at the way Harry's eyes lit up at the familiar banter, like this was just like any of the other myriad of times they'd gone to bed together.

As if sensing the dark turn Draco's thoughts were threatening to go down, Harry arched into the press of Draco's cock while reaching up to tug Draco's mouth down for a heated kiss. Draco went along with Harry's wordless plea, his hips taking up a hard, deep rhythm that had Harry moaning and whining into Draco's mouth.

Harry growled at a particularly hard thrust, and Draco pulled back from Harry's lips, much to Harry's evident displeasure. His hands wound into Draco's hair in an attempt to pull him back down for more toe-curling kisses. But as sweet as Harry's lips were, the little noises dripping from Harry's mouth like honey were even sweeter. Draco shifted, pinning Harry's wrists to the bed on either side of his head, pleased at the shudder of lust that wracked Harry's frame and the eager moan that followed it.

Draco hadn't had much experience before Harry—despite his many claims to the contrary—so he couldn't be sure if he liked his partners to be vocal in general, or if was one of the many things in his life that seemed specific to Harry. All Draco knew for sure was that watching and feeling and hearing Harry come apart beneath him never failed to send arousal blasting through him like a well cast Confringo.

Those beautiful sounds Harry made were one of the things Draco would miss the most. After.

Harry looked up at him, his eyes wide and clear and so, so green, like emeralds or everlasting pools or some other equally poetic simile. It was too much, the purity of Harry's soul staring right at him, the undeniable knowledge that their days together were numbered. Tears began to prickle at the back of Draco's eyes, and he suppressed a scream as he began to fuck into Harry harder, faster. He buried his face in Harry's neck, nipping and sucking on the sweat-salty skin there in an attempt to get his emotions back under control. The last thing he needed to do was start crying in the middle of sex like some bloody teenaged girl.

It was all so overwhelming: the feel of Harry beneath him—hot and sweaty and dirty and perfect; the frenzied ecstasy of his impending orgasm—heavy and cloying and uncontrollable and encompassing; the wild and savage swell of his emotions ballooning in his chest, threatening to choke him with every gasp of breath. Draco was close, so fucking close, and he was struck with the sudden desire to slow things down, to draw them out. What if this was their last time together? What if Draco never got another opportunity to watch Harry shake apart on his cock?

But it was too late to pull back now, the momentum of his climax already gaining speed and pushing for the finish line. He came with a guttural moan, his cock spilling inside Harry's body as he continued to pump his hips. Harry's entire being shivered as Draco emptied himself, no doubt feeling the warm rush of Draco's come as it slid out of Harry's body alongside Draco's plunging cock.

Draco kissed his way down Harry's body as his softening cock slipped from Harry's arse, eager to bring Harry off. He wanted to taste him, wanted to feel the girth of Harry's prick on his tongue, wanted to experience the salt and musk and heat of Harry's sex. Harry was more than on board with Draco's plan, his fingers sliding easily into Draco's hair and his hips twitching up into the warm press of Draco's mouth as he wrapped his lips around Harry's shaft. It didn't take long for Harry to come, just long enough for Draco to sink all the way down, his tongue swirling along the underside, throat constricting around the head. Harry let out the strangely adorable little keen that always accompanied his orgasm, a pure note of pleasure that Draco was pretty sure he'd developed some kind of Pavlovian response to. Another one of Harry's sounds that Draco would have to learn how to live without.

Harry's softening prick slipped from his mouth, and Draco pressed a kiss to Harry's hip bone. He rested his cheek on Harry's thigh and took a moment to breath him in as their heartbeats began to slow and settle. Harry's fingers carded softly through his hair, sifting through the strands like sand. Draco's throat grew tight. His chest constricted.

Blinking, Draco pushed himself off the bed, rooting around the pile of his discarded clothes to find his wand. He carefully avoided Harry's eyes as he cleaned them both off, but when Harry caught his hand and tugged him back to bed, Draco didn't resist. He felt hollowed out, empty in the wake of an orgasm that seemed to have taken every last bit of Draco with it.

Harry pulled him close, clinging to him tightly with too many arms and legs, his cheek resting right above Draco's heart. He was always so hot, his Harry, but even pressed as closely as they were, Draco felt cold. Everywhere Harry touched him, he felt numb, a strange prickling iciness creeping steadily through his veins.

As was customary after orgasm, it didn't take long for Harry to drift off to sleep. His breath was a slow, steady puff against Draco's breast, and his limbs maintained their fervent grip on Draco's body as if, even unconscious, Harry was worried about Draco leaving. He wasn't the only one.

Draco lost track of how long he lay there, staring at the ceiling, watching the light and shadows shift along as dusk turned to night. His chest felt heavy and compressed, as if a great weight were pressing down on him, squeezing the air from his lungs. He breathed shallowly, ignoring the tingling at the corners of his eyes and the burn at the back of his throat. Instead, he focused on the memory of Harry's body beneath his own, the brilliant shine of his eyes, the generous clutch of his body, the easy way he gave himself to Draco, utterly, completely, as if Draco were someone who deserved such a precious gift. He let himself linger in every caress, each stuttered breath. And then he shut it away, folding the memory up with the utmost care, placing it gently into the most beautiful box he could imagine, before burying deep inside. There, it would be safe, until Draco had need to call upon it again for comfort, to remind himself that this really did happen, that this moment between him and Harry had been every bit as real as the horrible memories that sometimes threatened to drag Draco back into darkness. Draco had had his time with the light, even if it wasn't meant to last.

Draco closed his eyes, and waited.

It wouldn't be long now.