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~

“Today, we’ll be brewing Amortentia.”

Suddenly, everyone was paying attention.

Harry lifted his head from where it was resting on his hand and looked around the room. Seamus seemed highly pleased about something and was grinning at Dean, who was just rolling his eyes. Ron whispered something in Hermione’s ear, something that Harry probably didn’t want to know.

At the back of the room, Zabini, Nott and Malfoy were also whispering something, though Malfoy didn’t look too pleased, glaring at Zabini and then at Harry. Harry looked away, feeling embarrassed for being caught staring.

“This is a tricky potion, so I’d like you to work in pairs.”

Harry sighed. He hated it whenever Slughorn paired them up. He was always the odd one out and ended up working with the other spare person. It usually ended up being Zabini. Harry would rather work twice as hard alone then with him again.

“Could I pair with you?”

Harry looked to his left to see Daphne Greengrass smiling at him. Harry was taken aback and automatically nodded, hoping she’d be better than Zabini. The Slytherin always made him feel like he was missing something, like an outsider on an inside joke that he’d never be allowed to know.

“I usually work with Padma, but she’s with Zabini.” Greengrass explained as she sat down in the space next to Harry, placing her books down delicately. A quick glance behind him confirmed that Zabini was trying his luck with Padma.

“It’s okay. I usually work with Zabini.”

Greengrass let out a little laugh that Harry wasn’t expecting. and nor did he expect that he’d like a laugh so much as he did. “I’ll be an improvement from Zabini, then.”

“Definitely.”

Harry agreed before he could really realise what he was implying, and from the look on Greengrass’ face, it was too late to correct himself without digging a bigger hole. Instead, Harry opted to block out the fact that a somewhat attractive girl was sat next to him and focus on the potion, reading the instructions like his life depended on it.

“So,” Greengrass started, leaning closer to Harry. “Do you know what yours will smell like?”

Harry thought for a moment before replying. He knew what it smelled like last time, but he didn’t know if it’d change considering he wasn’t with Ginny anymore. “I don’t know.”

A small smirk grew on Greengrass’ face. “I guess we’ll find out, then. I’ll get the ingredients. You set up.” She put her hand on his shoulder as she left, confusing Harry. He couldn’t understand why she was being so— not like Slytherins behave towards Gryffindors.

Ron walked passed Harry’s table, going to get ingredients too, and raised his eyebrow at Harry. No doubt he’d be taking the piss later.

Harry really did try to focus on making the potion, but there were little things that Greengrass did that made it difficult. At one point, she leaned over to look at the potion and almost got her long hair in it, and Harry held it back for her without thinking. Or, when she was struggling to cut the ingredients, he helped her.

He could tell straight away when they had finished the potion; he was already getting faint smells from the other finished potions, but it was far stronger when it was his own. He was greeted by the familiar smells of treacle tart and broomstick handle, but the third wasn’t Ginny’s hair anymore.

For once, Greengrass was quiet as she took in the smell, just like Harry was.

He couldn’t pinpoint what the third smell was. It was like he had been smelling it before, but now it was just amplified.

“Smells amazing, doesn’t it?” Greengrass asked, turning to face Harry.  A bit of her hair came near Harry’s face. Oh. Oh, that really wasn’t good. His Amortentia no longer smelt of Ginny’s hair, but now Greengrass’ . Harry didn’t even know he felt like that towards her.

“Yeah. Amazing.” Harry agreed, but it didn’t sound like it.

Leaving the classroom was one of the best feelings in Harry’s life, because it no longer smelt of Greengrass. He hoped that he could forget about the whole thing, and almost managed it with the distraction of Hermione developing a study plan for the trio, but then came the evening in the Eighth Year common room.

“Let’s play a little game.” Seamus announced, gathering everyone into a circle in the middle of the room. “Here’s how it goes. Everyone knows what their Amortentia smells like, so we’re going to spin a bottle and if it lands on you, either say what it is or face the consequences.”

There was a low murmur of chatter across the room as some people left the circle, Malfoy being the first one to get up with Parkinson following. Others, like Greengrass, seemed more eager to play.

Harry really should have left, but then people would ask why and that was a whole other issue. He’d rather play, hoping the bottle never landed on him, or, if it did, praying that he was a good liar.

Seamus spun the bottle to kick everything off, and it landed on Neville.

“I don’t take potions, so I can’t answer.” Neville explained, causing Seamus to grin.

“I filched some just for this occasion.” Seamus beamed happily, throwing Neville a small vial of the Amortentia.

“How the hell did you sneak that out? Slughorn searched your entire bag.” Dean said with wide eyes.

“He didn’t search your bag, though.” Seamus smirked, patting Dean’s leg before turning his attention back to Neville. “Probably a waste of time, though. I’ll tell you now, it’ll smell of plants.”

Neville looked mildly offended as he sniffed the vial. “No, it— actually, they’re quite nice plants. My favourites, the—”

“We don’t want to know, plant boy.” Seamus said quickly, cutting Neville off as he took back the vial and tucked it into his pocket. Harry didn’t want to know what else he planned to do with that potion.

Neville continued the game by spinning the bottle. It landed on Ron. He was pleased enough to tell everyone that his smelt of Hermione, and after that, Dean was equally pleased to say his smelt of Seamus.

“This isn't as exciting as I had planned,” Seamus admitted as the bottle spun again.

Harry watched as it slowed down, going past Hermione, Ron and— shit. It landed on Harry. Seamus suddenly had more interest in the game, and it seemed that even Hermione was waiting to hear his answer.

“Um, treacle tart, broomstick handle and…” Harry could feel everyone's eyes on his as his words trailed off into a whisper, barely even anything. “... grass.”

There was a sharp pain through Harry’s body, like an electric shock, and he yelped out in pain. “What the fuck was that?!”

“Lying charm, shocks you if you lie.” Seamus said offhandedly, earning a jab in the ribs from Dean.

“Oi, don’t force him.” Dean said, but Seamus ignored him, his eyes lighting up as he looked at Harry.

“What are you hiding?”

“I'm not hiding anything!” Harry tried to protest, but got another shock. It wasn't as bad as the first one, but it still stung.

“What was the third one?”

“...grass.” Harry's mumbling earned him another shock. “For fuck’s sake, that fucking kills.” He complained through gritted teeth.

“Tell us!”

“Greengrass!”

Harry didn’t get a shock, but the awkward silence was just as bad. He could feel his face heating up and did everything he could to not look at Greengrass, but his curiosity won.

Greengrass had a small smirk on her face as she, like everyone else, stared at Harry. “Call me Daphne.” She said, her smirk getting bigger.

Harry wanted to go into hibernation at that point. He’d never been so embarrassed in his life. He’d rather fight some dark wizard then deal with his own feelings.

“I think I’m going to call it a night.” He quickly said, not waiting for anyone to reply before he rushed out of the common room and into the empty boys dorm. The room being empty, Harry let himself have a moment to scream out his frustrations before flopping onto his bed, drawing the curtains and burying his head in the pillow. Why hadn’t he left the room like Malfoy had?

~

Harry was thankful the next day was a Saturday. It meant there were fewer eighth year students around, most of them being in Hogsmeade. He was scared to face everyone in the morning, and skipped breakfast, but he had to show his face eventually.

Luckily, when he did choose to show his face, the only people in the common room were Hermione, Ron and a small group of Slytherins— on second thought, that might not be such a lucky thing, as the group was comprised of Parkinson, Zabini and Nott. No Malfoy, though.

“Oh, you’re alive!” Ron exclaimed as soon as he saw Harry, patting the empty space next to him on the sofa.

Harry glanced over to the Slytherin group, and let out a sigh of relief when they didn’t take notice his presence.

“Are you avoiding everyone because of last night?” Hermione asked, her voice gentle as she closed her book. “It’s nothing bad. Daphne seems nice for a Slytherin.”

Harry frowned to himself. He had been thinking about the whole thing all night, hardly sleeping at all. It didn’t make sense, because he was sure he didn’t like Greengrass that way, despite his Amortentia smelling like her. Yes, she wasn’t bad looking, but Harry wasn’t convinced that he found her attractive to the level he did Ginny, or anyone he even mildly liked like that.

“Hermione?”

“Yes?” She replied, politely waiting for Harry to speak up.

“Do you think that the Amortentia is accurate?” He wondered, watching as Ron nodded straight away whilst Hermione pondered for a bit.

“If it’s brewed correctly then yes. The two other things you smelt seemed accurate to you, so I would guess the third would be too.” Hermione answered, sounding incredibly intellectual as she always did. And that was the problem. She was making too much sense and not giving the answer Harry wanted.

Harry couldn’t attempt to use the excuse that maybe he didn’t brew it correctly because the whole room had smelt of Greengrass’ hair. Talking about hair, Harry wanted to rip out his own out in frustration.

“Oi, Potter.”

Harry turned his head to Parkinson, who had called his name. She seemed very smug as she prepared herself for what she was going to say next. Harry guessed that he’d probably be the punchline.

“You should try the library. I’m sure there’s something in there that’ll help you,” she said, leaning over to Zabini’s ear and saying something else that Harry couldn’t hear. Whatever it was, it made Zabini laugh loudly, and Parkinson join in. Nott just rolled his eyes.

“It’s not a bad idea.” Hermione added, shrugging when Ron and Harry both looked at her weirdly. “Harry’s looking for a different answer than what I would, so when reading he’ll look at things differently.”

Harry considered it. Hermione did have a point but the fact that Parkinson suggested it was slightly off putting. “It wouldn’t hurt, I suppose.”

Hermione smiled at him, patting his shoulder like a proud parent. Harry awkwardly smiled back as he stood up, glancing at the Slytherins cautiously as he left. He had a feeling this was going to end terribly.

When he got to the library, he didn’t really know where to start. He guessed the potion section would be the best but, unsurprisingly, there were a lot of potion books. Sighing, he scanned the spines, picking up a few that might have information on Amortentia, but most didn’t seem like they would.

Harry went deeper into the library, where the lights dimmed slightly and the amount of students decreased. The latter made it easier for Harry; fewer people to get in the way and gawk at him.

He found another potion section almost in the corner of the library, tucked away from everyone. And, of course, at the small table in the section sat Malfoy, reading over a book and writing passionately. It reminded Harry of Hermione.

Taking a deep breath, Harry entered the section, trying to be as quiet as possible as he started checking the books on the shelves. Here, there were way more that seemed like they’d be useful to him and he started picking them up.

He hadn’t really spoken to Malfoy at all since the start of term. They’d had only one conversation; Harry’d returned Malfoy’s wand and they agreed on a sort of truce/let’s leave each other alone situation, but that was it. Harry was quite proud of the two of them for sticking to that, and didn’t really want to let the delicate truce go, despite how fucking irritating Malfoy was.

Soon Harry had so many books that he found it difficult to pick up ones. He had to put down the ones he was holding, and the only available place was in front of Malfoy. Luckily, the blond hadn’t even acknowledged his existence, so he was fine to continue browsing.

A History of Love Potions, The Most Deadly Love Potions, ” The low drawl spoke behind Harry, making him curse on the inside. “ A Tale of Love and Potions— I’m pretty sure that one is fictional.”

Harry quickly scooped the books up, ignoring the fact that he was struggling with the amount of books he was holding. He could barely see over the top of them.

“Why is our saviour so curious about love, I wonder?” Malfoy said as Harry followed his instinct to run away. He wasn’t in the mood to deal with Malfoy.

But, then again, dealing with Malfoy was better than Greengrass, and Greengrass was walking his direction.

Panicking, Harry turned around quickly, dumping the books on the table. He  crouched behind the table, casting a Disillusionment Charm over himself and wishing he had his invisibility cloak on him. Malfoy was frowning at him, and then his head whipped in the other direction. Merlin, Harry hoped Malfoy didn’t throw him under the bus.

“Hey, Draco. Have you seen Harry?” Greengrass asked as Harry watched her feet come closer. He bit his lip in anticipation of what Malfoy was going to say.

“No, why would he be in the library? I don’t think he even knows what it is.”

Harry felt himself relax a little, for once appreciative of Malfoy’s insults.

“Oh, it’s just Weasley said he was here, said that it was Pansy’s idea, too. Weird, right?”

Harry was going to kill Ron. And by the look on Malfoy’s face, he didn’t seem too happy either. Harry wondered what he was angry about.

“Peculiar. Weasley’s probably taking the piss. Typical Gryffindor,” Malfoy said after a minute, sounding annoyed and very blunt. Or maybe that was just Malfoy’s voice.

“Probably,” Greengrass agreed, and Harry saw her feet move backwards, away from him. “Thanks anyway,” she said, and then her feet were gone.

Harry removed the Disillusionment Charm and stood up. He was met with a raised eyebrow and judging look from Malfoy.

“Do I bother asking why?” Malfoy said, his eyes looking Harry up and down like he was trying to answer the question himself. Harry didn’t want him to know. In fact, he wished no one knew.

Harry shook his head and found himself sitting down opposite Malfoy, too scared to leave the section in case he bumped into Greengrass and too scared to check all the books out and be met with Pince’s judging stare(nevermind the smirks of anyone else who might see him with a bunch of  books on love potions).

Sighing, he picked up the first book from the pile and opened it, resting his face on his palm as he started to read, hating every word of it. Turns out it was completely useless in telling him what he wanted to know. He moved on to the next book.

Harry had almost forgotten Malfoy was there until Malfoy slammed his book shut and narrowed his eyes at Harry. “Must you look so depressing?”

“I promise you, it’s not intended,” Harry replied, looking back down at the next book he had picked from the pile. Harry read the first page and frowned in confusion. He checked the cover of the book, and everything seemed to make much more sense. “You’re right, it is fiction.”

Malfoy grinned slightly, something Harry found weird on multiple levels. “I’m always right,” Malfoy said smugly, causing Harry to raise his eyebrow because really ? “Okay, maybe not always  right. Merlin.”

Harry rolled his eyes and continued reading. He couldn’t tell if it was because of his lack of sleep the night before or how dull the books were, but he felt incredibly tired, yawning on multiple occasions.

Malfoy was busy writing what seemed to be an essay, his hand moving fast as the words flowed onto the page. He seemed in his element, whereas Harry just wanted to sleep. Perhaps if he let himself stop reading for a moment and rest his eyes, he’d be okay to carry on a moment longer.

“Potter!”

Harry blinked. “Huh?” He said automatically before groaning, his back and neck aching. Since when was his head on the table?

“I’ve been trying to wake you up for ages,” Malfoy told him, but he didn’t sound annoyed about it, strangely.

Harry sat up, ignoring the pain in his back as he did. “Sorry.”

“Don’t apologise. You looked like you needed the sleep,” Malfoy said with a shrug and stood up, slinging his bag onto his shoulder. “I woke you up because it’s dinner time.”

“Oh,” Harry said in a quiet voice. He would have expected Malfoy to have just left him there. This was… odd. “Sorry,” He found himself repeating, because it was the only thing that he was able to say.

“May I ask why you aren’t sleeping during the night time like the diurnal beings we are?”

Harry furrowed his brow. “Diurnal?”

“Opposite of nocturnal.” He explained with a wave of his hand.

Knowing what the word meant didn’t make answering the question any easier. On instinct, he ran his hand through his hair, tugging slightly. “I have a lot on my mind,” He answered vaguely, hoping Malfoy would drop it there.

“Don’t we all. My current issues are my need to eat and how you completely abuse your hair,” Malfoy said so bluntly that it made Harry scoff and roll his eyes in a fond sort of way.

Having woken up enough, Harry stood up and moved to leave the library, only for Malfoy to rest his hand on his shoulder, stopping him in his tracks. Harry turned to face Malfoy, and instantly the blond removed his hand like Harry’s shoulder was red hot and cleared his throat.

“Aren’t you going to check out your books?”

Harry glanced to where he’d left all the books he had pulled from the shelves and realised that Malfoy, being a library nerd like Hermione, was probably very offended by his actions, but he didn’t care. “They won’t tell me what I want to hear no matter how much I read them,” he answered with a shrug and continued to leave. Malfoy followed  him.

The walk was silent, but not a bad silent. It was like they had agreed to be silent with each other because they didn’t need to express the fact that the two of them were sort of acquaintances now. Harry didn’t really know what it was, something along the lines of two people getting along because of circumstance and also because starting up an argument  would open up old wounds and leave nothing safe.

When they both got to the Great Hall, they shared a nod goodbye before they went in opposite directions, Harry going towards the Gryffindor table and Malfoy to the Slytherin one. Harry watched as Malfoy went straight over to Parkinson and smacked her on the back of the head. Harry didn’t question why because he had to do the exact same thing to Ron.

“Throw me in the deep end, why don’t you?” He glared at Ron as he sat down next to him.

“It slipped out!” Ron defended himself, rubbing the back of his head. “Greengrass can be quite scary, you know.”

Hermione rolled her eyes, yet said nothing about it. She just sipped her pumpkin juice. “Did you find anything helpful in the library?” she asked Harry, not so subtly trying to ease the tension.

“Not really.” Harry chose not to go fully into his library adventure, knowing falling asleep and having Malfoy of all people have to wake him up was not the best thing in the world.

“I’m sure you’ll make sense of this eventually.” Hermione was trying to comfort him. Harry understood that. He just wasn’t very confident in it ever happening.

Harry hummed a half-arsed agreement and chose to eat his dinner quietly, not really joining in with whatever Hermione and Ron were talking about. Sometimes he envied how they were happy together and lamented that his own love life was a shit show in comparison, but his happiness for them cancelled out that feeling completely.

Harry was peacefully eating his treacle tart when Ron kicked him under the table for no apparent reason. Then Harry looked up and understood why.

“Hey, Harry!” Greengrass almost yelled, far too happy for any human being. “I was wondering, would you like to come to Hogsmeade with me at some point?”

Harry found himself lost for words. He wanted to say no, but he had no idea where to start. He couldn’t think of an excuse to give her,  considering she presumably thought he’d be in for anything.

“We’ve got that essay to write tomorrow, don’t we, Harry?” Hermione said, giving Harry an excuse for this weekend, at least.

“Yeah, sorry. Maybe another time?” Harry said, putting on his best saddened voice when inside he wanted to give Hermione the biggest hug.

“Next weekend?” she suggested, and Harry wanted to curse himself. She really didn’t give up.

“I’ll see.”

Harry sighed as she grinned and left, giving him a little wave as she did. He found his attention shift from her to Malfoy, who was looking in his direction. He gave Harry a pitying, apologetic expression, then turned back to his friends. Harry did the same.

“You need to decide what you want, Harry, before people get hurt,” Hermione advised.

Harry nodded in agreement. The issue was, it was easier said than done.

~

Since the Amortentia debacle, Harry had never wanted to go to potions less, even when Snape was teaching. He was dreading everything. If they were still studying Amortentia, Harry would combust from the stress of it, and if they were making a different potion, chances were that Greengrass would pair with him again. He couldn’t win.

Potions was the last lesson of the day, and all day Harry had tried slipping away from Hermione with the aim of skipping the class.very time he’d attempted to leave, Hermione would give him a lecture, and he wound up staying. So now he was sat at his desk, the empty space next to him about to be filled.

Harry let his body slump slightly as Slughorn announced they were moving away from Amortentia and onto some sort of antidote to love potions, which still wasn’t great. They were brewing the antidotes and, as usual, everyone was working in pairs.

Harry couldn’t help glancing to his left, seeing Greengrass smiling at him and coming closer. Then something strange happened. Malfoy slammed his stuff down on the desk and sat down so fast his life might’ve depended on it.

“Alright, Potter?” he said, staring at Harry and completely moving his body to face him, like he was blocking something, or someone, behind him.

Harry didn’t understand what was going on until he watched Greengrass’ face drop slightly and walk to the back of the class, presumably to work with whomever Malfoy should’ve been working with. Harry was thankful that he wasn’t working with Greengrass, but he didn’t understand why Malfoy had done that.

“What?” Harry managed to say, dumbfounded.

“I said, are you alright, Potter?” Malfoy repeated it like he was talking to someone incredibly stupid, his voice slow, pronouncing everything with precision.

“Why are you working with me? You never work with me,” Harry asked, accidentally sounding like he was against the idea of working with the Slytherin.

Malfoy huffed and narrowed his eyes. “Would you rather I worked with someone else?”

“No!” He replied a little too quickly, hoping Malfoy wouldn’t notice that.

“Then stop complaining and go get the ingredients.”

Harry left to get the ingredients almost immediately, Malfoy’s tone scaring him. It was a mix between annoyed and very angry. Harry hoped it wasn’t aimed at him. However, this was  Malfoy.

When he returned to their desk, both he and Malfoy worked silently, an awkward air around them. They were about halfway through making the potion, which mainly involved Harry standing back and letting Malfoy do the work, when Harry caved.

“I didn’t mean to be rude earlier,” He spoke up quietly, biting his lip as he watched Malfoy pause what he was doing and turn to face him.

“Nonsense, I shouldn’t have snapped.” Malfoy waved his hand, and in doing so, waved off the awkward atmosphere. “Do you want to have a go at stirring the potion?”

Harry nodded and swapped places with Malfoy, following the instructions, stirring the potion three times anti-clockwise and then five clockwise, ignoring Malfoy’s scrutinising stare as he did so.

“Wow, Potter, you surprised me. That was good.” Harry whipped his head around to see if Malfoy was being sarcastic, or if he, in fact, wasn’t Malfoy at all. “It wasn’t perfect, but it was good for you .” And Malfoy was back, marginally.

“Thanks, I guess?”

“You’re welcome,” Malfoy said with a shrug, making no move to take over from Harry as he leaned against the table. “Just out of curiosity, are you sleeping at the correct time now?”

“I— er— I’m sleeping a bit better.” Harry didn’t bother questioning why Malfoy wanted to know, and didn’t bother lying either. He still wasn’t sleeping well, but since he was sleeping at all, he couldn’t argue.

Malfoy nodded, then peered over the cauldron. “I think that should be ready now.”

Harry looked and agreed with Malfoy, stepping back to let Malfoy pour the potion into two vials.

“Great work, boys,” Slughorn said as he came to collect their potion vials, and then Harry realised that Malfoy was leaving. They were finished, so of course Malfoy could leave, but—

“Hey.” Harry caught Malfoy’s attention before he left, and then said the first thing that came to mind. “Want to play Quidditch later?”

Malfoy blinked. “Isn’t there practice on, or something?”

“What? Scared you’ll lose?”

Malfoy let out a sharp laugh. “You fucking wish, Potter.” Malfoy looked over his shoulder as Zabini slapped his hand onto his shoulder then turned back to Harry. “After dinner. Quidditch pitch.”

“You’re on.” Harry replied, Malfoy smirking at him before he walked away with Zabini and Nott.

“And what the fuck was that?” Ron said right in Harry’s ear, making him jump. He hadn’t even realised Ron was there, too distracted by Malfoy leaving.

“What was what?” Harry asked back, quickly grabbing his bag and leaving before Greengrass could catch him. He felt bad constantly ignoring her, but if he told her that he thought the Amortentia was bullshit, she probably wouldn’t believe him. No one believed him.

“You and Malfoy. I’m extremely confused.”

“Oh.” Harry didn’t think there was a him and Malfoy; they had only hung out in the library, worked together in potions and now planned to play Quidditch together... Okay, maybe that was something . “We agreed to be friendly.”

“That’s very mature of you both,” Hermione spoke up, holding Ron’s hand. “How are things with Daphne? Figured things out?”

Harry sighed. “No.”

“You’ll get there.”

No matter how many times Hermione tried to  instill him with fake confidence about the situation, it wasn’t going to make Harry feel any better. It was a game he had to accept he was losing.

Harry ate his dinner quickly, his excitement to play Quidditch again taking over. He didn’t even wait for Hermione and Ron to finish eating before he rocketed off to his room, changing into more comfortable clothes, grabbing his broom and a snitch then leaving for the Quidditch pitch.

He didn’t know how Malfoy  managed it, but he was there before Harry, leaning against the stands with his broom by his side. He’d changed his clothes too, so Harry just couldn’t understand how he’d had the time, unless he just hadn’t  eaten.

“Ready to lose?” Malfoy called when he noticed Harry walking over, a smirk plastered on his face.

“Is that what you said in the mirror before you came here?” Harry countered, unable to resist sniggering when Malfoy’s face shifted to one of a bruised pride.

“Oh, you’re going down, Potter.”

Harry just laughed, because he so wasn’t going down. He pulled out the Snitch in his pocket and let it go. The two of them waited ten seconds before mounting  their brooms and following it into the sky.

Harry was propelled into Seeker mode, scanning the air for a glimpse of the Golden Snitch before Malfoy did. Playing one on one with Malfoy was far more relaxed than the Gryffindor versus Slytherin games: it wasn’t a hostile competition, but more like two friends playing together.

When Malfoy rocketed off suddenly, Harry followed straight away, seeing the snitch in front of him. It didn’t take long for Harry to be side by side with Malfoy, both of their hands outstretched to grab the Snitch first.

The Snitch dropped and so did Harry and Malfoy, diving towards the ground. If they didn’t gauge the they needed to pull out of their dives correctly, they could get severely injured; however, Harry believed in himself and his Quidditch skills (and also his general skills at staying alive).

A second before he was about to hit the ground, Harry saw in his peripheral vision that Malfoy had pulled up to avoid colliding with the ground, whereas Harry reached his hand out further still. It finally clasped the Snitch as he jumped off his broom and did a forward roll across the ground, minimising his impact. Fuck, that was going to bruise, though.

“Potter, you are absolutely insane,” Malfoy said as he landed next to where Harry was sat on the grass trying to catch his breath.

“I took a calculated risk, and look!” he held up the snitch with pride, chuckling when Malfoy rolled his eyes. Always the sore loser.

Malfoy lowered himself to sit next to Harry on the grass, sighing quietly. “I never said thank you for what you did at the trials, getting my Mother and I off like that.”

“Honestly, you don’t need to. It was the right thing to do,” Harry replied, noticing how Malfoy seemed sad. He was not sitting with the proper posture he usually held, but instead hunched over like a defeated man.

“Hey,” Harry nudged Malfoy with his shoulder, trying to cheer him up. “If you like, you can hold the Snitch and pretend you won.”

Malfoy looked up, staring into the distance and shaking his head, almost like he was telling himself something before he faced Harry. “Fuck off, Potter,” he snapped without any hatred, snatching the Snitch from Harry’s hand and fiddling with it.

“Malfoy?” Harry waited until he heard a light hum from the blond before continuing. “You're good at potions.” He got a raised eyebrow from Malfoy. “What do you know about Amortentia?”

“I know that it is a complex and powerful love potion that can change its personalised scent as your love changes,” Malfoy said, full of intelligence and caution. “Is this about Daphne?”

Harry nodded, looking down into his lap. “I don’t know if I love her.”

“You shouldn’t feel obliged to just because a potion tells you that you love her.” Malfoy told him. “Love should grow naturally. It’s not something you should be forced into. Take your time.”

Harry was seeing a side to Malfoy he’d never seen before—a caring side. A few years ago, Harry would not have believed that Malfoy had a caring side, but here it was, and it was being directed towards Harry. It all felt peculiar, but nice.

“It’s not that,” Harry sighed, a hand automatically going up to tug at his hair. “I don’t feel anything even remotely close to love towards Greengrass.”

“Oh?” Malfoy sounded taken aback, taking a few moments to continue speaking. “Did you brew it correctly?”

“I did. And the whole room smelt the same.”

Malfoy hummed quietly, like he was pondering something. He tapped his finger on his chin, deep in thought. “This is interesting. No one has ever questioned the accuracy of Amortentia. Maybe, I will.”

“You will?” Harry perked up a bit, happy that someone wanted to prove he was right to doubt the potion. Hermione did slightly, but she believed in Amortentia’s accuracy. What if the whole thing was wrong?

“I will.” Malfoy nodded with determination. “I think having someone or something decide your fate for you is bullshit.”

Harry knew what Malfoy was referring to, and he had to agree. Throughout the war, he was told that he had to be the one to save the wizarding world, with no regard for what he wanted. He would save everyone again in a heartbeat, but no one ever stopped to think that maybe he just wanted to live a normal life. He could see how Malfoy felt the same, albeit on the different side of the coin.

Out of nowhere, Malfoy stood up and threw the Snitch into the air. “I’ll beat you this time,” he said as he quickly got on his broom and flew off after the Snitch.

Harry scrambled to get up, running back to where he’d left his broom and rushing to get on as Malfoy gained on  the Snitch.

“You cheat!” He yelled after Malfoy as he came up behind him, flying incredibly fast to catch up. He’d forgotten how much he loved flying. The feeling of the wind in his hair, the cold numbing his face, being carefree. It was the best.

Harry lost track of how many games he and Malfoy had played. Harry won some, Malfoy won some. He didn’t even know who the real winner was, but he liked to think it was him.

He didn’t use dirty tricks like Malfoy did, at least, at the beginning he didn’t. But if Malfoy was going to play dirty then so was he.

It had started to rain, and neither Harry nor Malfoy had noticed or cared until they were soaked through and lying on the muddy grass after falling to the ground in a messy attempt to beat each other to the Snitch.

Harry turned his head to look at Malfoy beside him, and couldn’t stop himself from laughing out loud. His hair was completely soaked and messy and the back of his clothes were completely muddy. It was so not Malfoy that Harry couldn’t help but laugh at the absurdity of it.

“What?”

“You look ridiculous,” Harry wheezed, gripping his stomach as he laughed harder. If Malfoy could stop looking so stern and grumpy that would be great.

“You always look ridiculous, but do you see me commenting?” Malfoy said as he stood up and searched his pockets for his wand, probably for some cleaning charms.

“Actually, yes. You comment on my appearance practically anytime we speak,” Harry countered, smirking as he got the upper hand on Malfoy.

Malfoy opened and closed his mouth, a little flustered, and chose to not reply at all as he cleaned  mud off his clothes the best he could. The rain was helping him.

Harry calmed down and stood up, wandlessly summoning his broom with a simple movement.

“Show off,” Malfoy muttered before turning on his heel and marching off towards the castle.

Harry ran to catch him up, frowning up at the sky,  which had also turned dark at some point—Harry really should have paid attention to that instead of focusing all of his attention on catching the Snitch. At least Malfoy hadn’t  noticed either.

When they got into the castle, they created puddles wherever they walked, their clothes dripping wet. Harry tried to magically dry his clothes, and so did Malfoy, but it didn’t help much. They were soaked right down to the bone.

They got to the staircases, and Malfoy paused. “Want to get a hot chocolate?”

“Hell yes.” Hot chocolate sounded fucking great. Harry couldn’t remember the last time he had the hot drink and he didn’t realise how much he had missed it until Malfoy brought it up.

Together, they went down to the kitchens and asked the house elves for two mugs of hot chocolate. Malfoy went weirdly quiet while they were in the kitchens, avoiding looking at the house elves completely. Harry pondered this, wondering if it was his prejudice or his being on Voldemort’s side of the war that caused this. But Malfoy was being fine with him? It must have been something else, Harry was sure of it.

He thanked the house elves for the hot chocolate, the hot mug instantly warming up his hands as he held it. His glasses steamed up as he took a sip, sighing happily after he swallowed.

Once his glasses weren’t steamy anymore, he noticed that Malfoy was gone. Frowning, he exited the kitchens to spot Malfoy sat on the floor in an alcove, legs crossed and holding his hot chocolate close to him.

Harry sat down next to him and raised an eyebrow, silently asking what was wrong.

Malfoy rolled his eyes and looked down at his drink. “The Dark Lord liked to torture house elves.”

“So did your father, you know.”

Malfoy’s eyes snapped up to stare Harry down, rage within the grey irises. “I’m fully aware of that, thank you,” He said through gritted teeth.

Harry stayed silent after that, not knowing what to say that would bridge the slight rift that had come between them. Sometimes silence was better than saying something. Still, they sat with their shoulders almost touching as they drank their hot chocolate. The tension was still in the air, but there was also a kind of comfort under it.

Eventually, Harry found that he had to speak, having left his watch in the dormitory. “What time is it?”

Malfoy Vanished his now empty mug and pulled a small pocket watch out of his robes. It was silver and looked old as it fit perfectly in the palm of his hand. Harry would have expected Malfoy to have something more extravagant. It made Harry think that maybe everything Malfoy owned wasn’t as flamboyant as he first thought. “Half ten.”

“Half ten?!” Harry had no idea it was that late. Hermione had probably already gone to bed at this point.

“Well, we started playing Quidditch at around six, maybe seven, talked for a while, played more Quidditch and we’ve been here for around half an hour, so sounds about right,” Malfoy explained blankly, tucking his watch back into his pocket.

Harry Vanished his mug too and stood up, deciding to start heading back to the common room. The eighth years’ curfew had been pushed back to ten instead of nine, so they were only half an hour late. Still, Harry kept an eye out for Filch as they walked up to the eighth year tower, but Malfoy seemed carefree, unconcerned  about being caught. Harry, however, knew that if he got detention for this he’d never hear the end of it from Hermione. He prefered to save himself the earache.

They got back to the common room unnoticed, and the common room itself was empty.

Harry turned to Malfoy. “Good night, I suppose.”

Malfoy nodded back. “Night.” And they both went separate directions to their rooms.

Harry thought everyone was asleep, at least  until Ron came up behind him when he was in the middle of taking off his top.

“Merlin, you scared the shit out of me.” Harry put his hand on his chest, feeling his heart beating faster.

“Where’ve you been?” Ron asked, worry on his face.

“Quidditch with Malfoy, I thought you knew?”

“I did but I didn’t think you’d be this long. What the fuck have you been doing with him?”

Harry rolled his eyes at what Ron was insinuating and sat down on his bed. “Quidditch, Ron. Quidditch.”

“Quidditch in the dark and the rain? I’d believe you’d do that, but Malfoy? He wouldn’t want to mess up his precious hair.” Ron did a slight impression of Malfoy, brushing his hair off of his face like Malfoy always did, but with less finesse.

Harry couldn’t think of anything to say back, because Ron did have a point.

“Good night, Ron,” he found himself saying as he closed the curtains around his bed so he could get out of the rest of his kit, which was still slightly damp, and change into his pyjama pants.

He got about two hours sleep before waking up. He tried to get back to sleep but was unsuccessful, too much on his mind even to pinpoint which particular thoughts were keeping him awake. Sighing to himself, Harry got up and headed down to the common room, hoping maybe if he sat in there for a while he would be able to clear his head.

Just as he reached the common room, he heard two voices having a heated discussion. Harry became cautious as he peeped around the corner, seeing Malfoy in full black silk pyjamas and Parkinson in a tight nude nighty that blended with  her skin colour. Harry thought for a moment that she was naked.

“Do you know how badly this could end? Okay, we may have taken it as a joke, but now this is just going too far!” Parkinson snapped at Malfoy, seeming extremely concerned about whatever they were talking about.

“You’re overreacting again, Pans, like you always fucking do.”

Parkinson let out a harsh laugh. “Overreacting? You’ve got to be kidding me. This is serious, Draco, when are you going to see that?”

“Oh, fuck off, Pansy,” Malfoy muttered back, walking past her like she wasn’t there as he sat down on one of the sofas.

“Fine. I’m not helping you when you inevitably end up in the shit, Malfoy,” Parkinson replied before she stormed off. She moved so fast that Harry didn’t have enough time to hide, and Parkinson barged right past him, their shoulders colliding. “Prat,” She said under her breath, and Harry couldn’t tell if she was referring to him or Malfoy.

Harry entered the common room properly, where Malfoy was still sat on the sofa, and joined him. “Why’s Parkinson so mad?”

Malfoy flicked his eyes at Harry, them narrow and agitated, then back to the fire in front of him. “It’s nothing that concerns you, Potter.”

“No need to get so tetchy. I was just asking.”

“Well, don’t.”

Harry opened his mouth to say something back, but no words came out, so he shut it. This wasn’t the same Malfoy that he spent all evening with playing Quidditch and having a borderline heart-to-heart conversation. But it was. This was Malfoy. He was stupid to think that he could be friends with someone so arrogant, so irritating, so—

Harry huffed and stood up, not sparing Malfoy a glance as he stormed back off to his dorm, forgetting why he’d left his bed in the first place.

~

Malfoy hated him, Harry had decided. He’d gone back to hating him, or he never stopped hating him; Harry didn’t know which, but either way he felt like a fool. Malfoy probably made him open up just to take the piss with his stupid Slytherin friends in their stupid Slytherin corner of the common room.

Harry’d turned up to Defence early that morning, and Malfoy was already waiting outside with his friends. Harry had tried to say hello in his non-verbal way, with a nod and a small smile, and Malfoy had turned his back on him.

In potions, Malfoy didn’t pair up with Harry again, and instead shoved Nott towards Harry’s desk, still avoiding all eye contact with Harry. Nott even apologised for it.

After potions, the Slytherins claimed the most comfortable sofas in the common room, the absolute gits. Not that Harry really minded the chair he was on, he’d  but he’d rather sit over  there  on those  sofas.

To top it all off, it seemed that McGonagall wanted to achieve Voldemort’s goal of finishing Harry off with her Transfiguration homework— it was practically impossible!

“‘Mione, can you help me with this?”

“I’ll look over a draft after you’ve finished writing it.” Hermione said back as she concentrated on her extra curricular work.

Harry huffed and threw his quill down on the table, admitting defeat. Why did he ever agree to coming back to Hogwarts? He let his head fall to the table, his hair flopping all over the place.

Harry didn’t know how long he’d sat with his head on the table, but when he raised it, Greengrass was sitting next to him.

“Oh, sorry,” he mumbled quietly, feeling bad if she had been sat there a while, waiting for him to acknowledge her. He tried to flatten  his hair, knowing it was messier than usual.

“It’s okay,” she said with a little giggle, resting her chin on the palm of her hand. “I was thinking: you, me and Hogsmeade, this weekend? Madam Puddifoot’s?”

Harry was instantly reminded of Cho and that date. He did his best to avoid grimacing, but then he began to think that maybe it wouldn’t be as bad as that and that maybe he should start dating, because it wouldn’t hurt to try. He went to open his mouth to speak but—

“He’s busy.”

Harry looked up to see Malfoy stood at the table, looking directly at Greengrass, and Harry was brought to his senses, remembering how he didn’t want to date Greengrass because he knew he didn’t like her like that.

“Is he now, Draco? Do enlighten me as to why you  know he’s busy?” Greengrass snapped back, narrowing her eyes.

Harry turned to Ron and Hermione, who were watching the situation unfold in silence, but with less knowledge of what was going on. If he were honest, Harry didn’t really know either, except that Malfoy was being his confusing, hot and cold self.

“We’ve got a potions project,” Malfoy said with ease. Lying seemed  to be second nature to him.

“I don’t recall Slughorn setting anything.”

Malfoy pressed his lips together, then smirked. “He didn’t. Potter and I are actually interested in the subject and would like to get good grades. You should try it.”

Harry’s eyes widened after Malfoy’s quite rude insult and he watched as Greengrass stood up in a huff and stomped off to her dormitory.

Malfoy watched her go before looking back to the group remaining at the table, giving a shrug to Ron and Hermione’s questioning looks before leaving the common room.

“Interested in potions? You?” Ron said, eyebrows raised.

Harry glanced from Ron to the door slowly swinging shut behind  Malfoy. He turned back when he could no longer see him. “He’s good at potions.”

“So am I but you don’t want to do projects with me,” Hermione bit back as Harry found himself turning to the closed door again, Malfoy still on his mind.

“I’ll explain later.” He said quickly and got up, leaving all his stuff behind as he rushed out of the room in an attempt to catch up with Malfoy. Luckily, the blond hadn’t gone too far.

“What the fuck was that?!” Harry called after him, Malfoy turning around.

“You still want to know if the Amortentia was wrong, do you not?” Malfoy was acting oblivious, which only made Harry angrier.

“You ignore me all week and now you want to help me again? Why?”

Malfoy stared at him blankly. “Do you want help or not?” he repeated, his arms crossing.

Harry could feel the anger inside of him getting stronger. “You’re a complete dickhead, you know that?”

“It’s all part of the charm,” Malfoy brushed his hair off of his forehead dramatically, and Harry could have sworn for a second that Malfoy smiled, but his face returned to its blank expression straight after.

Harry bit his lip. He wanted to tell Malfoy to shove his potion expertise right up his backside, but on the flip side, he wanted answers. Sighing, he answered, “Fine. I still want your help, but only because I want to know. It has nothing to do with you.”

The corner of Malfoy’s lip curled up slightly. “Whatever you say. Saturday, meet me in the common room at nine, and don’t be late.” With that, Malfoy turned on his heel and continued leaving in the direction he’d been heading in before. Harry avoided all temptations to transfigure something into a really hard quaffle and throw it at the back of his head, although, imagining it was almost as satisfying.

Harry returned to the common room and was met with more questioning expressions as he sat down.

“Can’t talk, I’ve got transfiguration work to do,” he said before Ron and Hermione could even ask him anything. Harry picked up his quill and continued what felt like Satan’s work.

~

Harry was sat on the sofa. Ten to nine. He tapped his foot on the floor and stared into the fire. Five to nine. He fiddled with the frayed edges of the sofa cushion and glanced at the doorway. One to nine. His leg started bobbing up and down, his nerves starting to show. Nine o’clock.

Malfoy walked into the common at the stroke of nine, and Harry leapt up from the sofa as soon as he saw the blond, earning himself a raised eyebrow and a smirk.

“Come on then, Potter. We haven’t got all day,” Malfoy said, not baring Harry a single glance as he strutted out of the common room, his robes flowing behind him dramatically.

Harry found himself trailing after Malfoy like a lost puppy before he caught up to  walk alongside him. “We do have all day, though.”

“That’s besides the point,” Malfoy said with a flourish of his hand. “Anyway, a research project like this will take longer than a day, so having all day won’t affect the grand scheme of things.”

Harry held back a smirk. “So that means I can walk slower?” He let his pace slow down enough to force Malfoy to spin around, flustered.

“What? No.”

“But you said that having all day doesn’t affect anything. So we’re in no rush,” Harry said with a shrug, shoving his hands into his pockets and pretending to be fascinated by whatever was outside the window. A bird flew past, but apart from that, it was a boring, grey day.

“Potter—” Malfoy started, but whatever he was going to say, he never got it out. Harry could sense a glare burning his cheek, but refused to give in and turn round to see for himself.

The next thing he knew, Malfoy grabbed the collar of his robes and dragged him down the corridor.

“Merlin, let go!” Harry screeched as he struggled to keep up with Malfoy’s extremely fast pace. Fuck him and his long legs.

“Only if you agree to stop being so infuriating.”

Harry turned his head to see Malfoy’s face, which he regretted because he didn’t expect his face to be that close. Nor did he expect Malfoy not be pissed off like he sounded, but instead smiling. Malfoy, smiling.

When Harry realised he was staring, it was too late to do anything to make it less noticeable, because Malfoy was staring right back at him. Harry couldn’t read his grey eyes apart from knowing that the Slytherin wasn’t angry—Harry knew what that looked like. But this? This was foreign.

At that moment, Malfoy’s smile dropped along with his grip on Harry’s collar and he cleared his throat. Harry couldn’t help but notice a slight red tint to his face and ears as Malfoy continued walking.

Harry straightened out his robes and followed Malfoy all the way to the library, turning into Malfoy’s servant as the blond pulled books from shelves and shoved them into Harry’s arms to carry around.

Harry noticed Malfoy picking up A Tale of Love and Potions and couldn’t help but say, “That’s fiction.”

Malfoy raised his eyebrow but said nothing. He also didn’t return the book to its place on the shelf. What the hell did Malfoy want with a novel?

Harry guessed that they weren’t going to be working in the library when Malfoy motioned for him to put the books down in front of Madam Pince. Harry felt incredibly awkward as she narrowed her eyes at them To make matters worse, Neville was stood nearby and saw what they were checking out.

“Potions project.” He felt like he needed to explain to Neville, who just nodded and went back to his random Herbology book.

“Mr Malfoy, you already have ten books checked out, you cannot check out anymore,” Pince told him with a stern voice, her hand laid on the top of the book pile possessively.

“I’m not checking them out, he is.” Malfoy causally gestured to Harry with his thumb, like the bastard knew Harry hadn’t checked out any books. Harry would have been offended if he didn’t know Malfoy was completely right to assume that.

Madam Pince huffed and started checking out their pile of books, her eyes frequently  glancing back up to look at Harry and Malfoy suspiciously. Harry had no idea what the woman was thinking, and to be honest, he didn’t want to know.

Once she had finished checking out the books, Harry opened his bag and let Malfoy slide them inside. Malfoy was very particular about the way he positioned them, making sure each book was safe and not bent out of shape. It was kind of cute how much he cared.

Harry was back to following Malfoy, the two of them walking to towards the dungeons in a comfortable silence. However, Harry was starting to think that Malfoy was taking him to the Slytherin common room, which wasn’t comforting in the slightest. The Slytherins would attack him like vultures on a dead body.

The closer they got to the Slytherin common room, the more Slytherins there were in the corridors. They always greeted Malfoy in some way, whether it was a smile or a polite nod. Harry instead received weird looks, like he was trespassing.

They’d passed all the potions rooms, so the little bit of hope that Harry had had about their destination was now gone. This was it. This was how he was going to die.

Then Malfoy took a wrong turn, going in the opposite direction to where Harry remembered the Slytherin common room being. As far as he knew, the only things down the corridor Malfoy was going were random store cupboards and a dead end. He’d stared at the Marauder’s Map enough to know.

“Aren’t you going the wrong way? Slytherin dungeon is that way,” Harry said, pointing in the other direction before realising what he was admitting to.

Malfoy turned and looked at him suspiciously. “How do you know it is that way?”

Harry let his mouth fall open slightly as he tried to think of an excuse, but no words came to his lips. In fact, even if they had, he wouldn’t have been able to say them, as Malfoy continued talking.

“I’m not mad. I’m not taking you to the Slytherin dungeon, ever. I would not trust you with the password nor would I trust any other Slytherin not to murder you.”

Harry furrowed his eyebrows in confusion. “Then where are we going?”

Malfoy smirked a little and turned around to continue walking all the way to the end of the corridor. Finally, Malfoy was facing a plain wall. Harry had no idea what he was doing until his drew his wand, tapping the wall and muttering something too quiet for Harry to hear. The wall shifted into a door. Malfoy stepped inside the newly revealed room.

“Holy shit.” Harry said in awe as he followed Malfoy into the room. It was darkly lit inside. The walls were lined with books, potions and ingredients and in the centre of the room was a large desk with a cauldron and parchment scattered around it. “What is this place?”

“The Slytherin potion room. I come here to work sometimes,” Malfoy said casually, sitting down at the desk and shoving what Harry now realised was his own work aside. “The door opens for me only.”

“How?” Harry asked, joining Malfoy at the desk in confusion.

“It used to be Severus’ room. He gave it to me at the beginning of seventh year. I don’t know who knew about it before him. I think it was a room the potion professors used to tutor students, but I didn’t really have the chance to ask.”

Harry noticed the change of atmosphere immediately  in the way Malfoy’s voice lowered itself and how he kept his eyes glued to a part of the desk that had been burnt by something. Harry reached forward and grabbed Malfoy’s hand, trying to be comforting. Malfoy didn’t flinch away, but his eyes flicked to Harry, unreadable. Harry gave his hand a light squeeze. “It’s okay.”

Malfoy took a deep breath and nodded, pulling his hand slowly away from Harry and turning his attention to the books in Harry’s bag. “We should start.”

“Yeah.” Harry agreed absentmindedly, his hand going to his hair as he watched Malfoy lay the books out across the desk.

“My first point would be to make sure the Amortentia was brewed correctly in the first place, but I have no samples.”

“Oh, Seamus stole some.”

Malfoy paused for a moment, looking like he was about to go crazy or curse Harry into next week. “Finnigan stole some and you didn’t think to tell me?”

“I didn’t think it was important!” Harry defended himself, feeling Malfoy’s glare burn his face.

“Didn’t think it was important?” He repeated mockingly. “Potter, do you want to prove that the Amortentia is bullshit or not?”

Harry blinked. “Well, yeah—”

“Then go get the potion that Finnigan stole,” Malfoy ordered him, one eyebrow raising when Harry didn’t move. “What are you waiting for?”

“He’s not going to give it to me, he’s probably planning something with it.” Harry didn’t know what though, because Seamus was happy with Dean, but he could guess that it would be something Fred and George would be proud of.

“Then steal it,” Malfoy replied with a shrug. “You have an invisibility cloak, use it.”

“How do you know about my cloak?” He asked back, his eyes narrowing.

Malfoy’s eyes, in comparison, rolled to this question. “You spent a whole year stalking me, Potter. I noticed.”

Harry was speechless. He had no idea Malfoy had noticed, and now he was too flustered to excuse himself. He’d had to stalk him, Malfoy had been up to something! And, Harry wouldn’t necessarily use the word stalking, just a slight following at most.

“I-”

“Go get the potion and we can forget about it.” Malfoy said, the tone in his voice trying unsuccessfully to joke. It was like he regretted bringing it up.

Harry stood up and almost left the room silently until he realised he had to say something otherwise he’d kick himself. “I don’t blame you, you know.”

Malfoy turned to loom at Harry, looking like a defeated, broken man—the Malfoy without all the lies and the façade.

“I don’t want your forgiveness.”

“I’m not forgiving you.” Harry said, and anyone else would think it was harsh, but it was what Malfoy wanted to hear. Besides, how could Harry forgive someone he was never really mad at in the first place? “I am just saying that I understand and it wasn’t your fault.”

Malfoy nodded and gave Harry a small, sad smile. Harry returned it before leaving the room, watching as the door turned back into a wall in front of him.

He set off to find Seamus’ stolen potion, feeling better about everything. Something about that small conversation with Malfoy, seeing the real Malfoy, made him feel a certain way. Not that he knew what way that was exactly. It was just a sort of… happiness? No, that wasn’t the right word. Harry couldn’t describe it perfectly yet, all he knew for certain was that it was just… nice.

Harry was thankful that when he got to the dormitory Seamus and Dean weren’t around. In fact, no one was. He was stood in the bedroom alone when he Accioed the Amortentia It shot out of Seamus’ top drawer and rocketed into Harry’s hand. He really didn’t expect it to be this simple.

“What are you doing with that?”

Ah. Harry turned around and came  face to face with Neville, his eyes flicking from Harry’s probably bright red face to the potion in his hands.

“Potion’s project.”

“The one you’re doing with Malfoy?” Neville asked, one eyebrow raising. “You’re close with Malfoy now?”

“Um. I suppose, yeah?” Because Harry would say that he was close to Malfoy in comparison to how they used to be.

Neville sighed with what seemed like relief. “Finally. It’s about time you two stop playing around each other,” he said with a fond smile before motioning to the potion in Harry’s hand. “You won’t need that, though.”

Harry was left speechless. He had no idea what the hell Neville was going on, but let it drop because Neville was letting him get away with stealing from Seamus, and he didn’t really fancy being burnt alive if Seamus found out.

He managed to make it back down to Malfoy’s potion room successfully, feeling crazy as he knocked on the wall and waited for Malfoy to open it.

After a few minutes of insistent knocking on the wall, it morphed into a door and Malfoy swung it open. “What took you so long?”

“Neville is crazy,” Harry explained as he stepped past Malfoy and returned to where he was sat before, placing the potion down on the table.

“Longbottom’s insanity is known to many people already,” Malfoy drawled slowly as he sat back down next to Harry, the proximity between them close.

Harry couldn’t shake what Neville had said. Were he and Malfoy playing around each other? What did that even mean? They were school enemies and now they were… something. And what was Neville insinuating when he said Harry didn’t need the Amortentia? Was he suggesting… No. Impossible.

“Potter, what are you waiting for?”

Harry blinked. “What?”

“Smell the potion, see if anything has changed.”

Harry nodded slowly, picking up the small vial and popping off the stopper. He took a strong sniff and felt disappointment hit him when he could still smell Greengrass’ hair. But there was something else. It was faint, too faint to pinpoint what exactly it was. But it was a nice smell. It made Harry feel happy, safe.

“Well?”

“Still treacle tart and broomstick handle,” Harry told him, watching as he wrote it down in his extremely neat handwriting. Posh fucker. “And still Greengrass, but not as strong. There’s something else too but I don’t know what. I can’t really describe it.”

Malfoy rolled his eyes and tutted, his way of telling Harry that he should know what his own Amortentia smelt like. Harry felt the same. That smell was now bugging him. What on earth could it be?

“Interesting,” Malfoy said into the silence after a while, tapping the end of his quill on the table as he looked in deep thought. “That’s interesting.”

“What is?”

“Nothing,” Malfoy clearly lied. He grabbed one of the books they’d collected from the library and shoved it into Harry’s hands. “Read this.”

Harry looked down at the cover. A Tale of Love and Potions. “But this is fiction?”

Malfoy sighed and flipped open the back page where it had the author’s notes. Based on her own experiences, it read. “It may be fiction but there could be an opportunity for a case study out of it.”

Harry nodded. “Right.” He flicked open the first page and started reading. It was about a woman’s quest to find the man that smelled of her Amortentia. Harry remembered reading the beginning bit, where she broke up with her husband  because her Amortentia didn’t smell like him.

“I don’t get it.”

Malfoy looked up from the far more sophisticated book he was reading. “Don’t get what?”

“Why she left her husband because of a potion? They were in love, he cared about her with all his heart, why leave him?”

Malfoy shrugged. “People like her believe that potions are accurate.”

“Was it accurate? Did she find the person it smelt like?” Harry asked eagerly, leading Malfoy to roll his eyes. Some day and his eyes were going to get stuck like that.

“Read the book, Potter.”

Harry pouted. He wanted to know what happened now, not later. However, he did as he was told, spending the whole day engrossed in the book until he got to the end. He had no idea what Malfoy was doing, but at least he got to the end of the book.

“She got back with the man she left?”

“She did.”

Harry frowned. “Then what was the whole point of it all? The person who smelt like her Amortentia was a piece of shit.”

“He was. And she was happier with the other person.” Malfoy was speaking slowly, like he wanted to make sure Harry understood. “So…”

“The potion doesn’t mean everything. Sometimes you can be happier with someone that isn’t necessarily your desired love.”

Malfoy smiled a proud smile. Harry felt overwhelmed by joy; he understood why Malfoy had made him read the book and, despite it being fiction and heavily fabricated, it gave Harry hope. He was so happy in fact that he leaned forward and wrapped his arms around Malfoy, squeezing him tight.

Malfoy made a sort of choking sound but fell into the hug, squeezing back ever so gently and patting Harry’s back. “Stop being such a Hufflepuff,” he muttered into Harry’s ear, but didn’t stop hugging back.

Harry did let him go, though, grinning at him widely. “What have you found?”

“I’ve been looking into the ingredients and the composition of the potion, what makes it smell the way it does and how each ingredient has a certain effect,” Malfoy explained, looking down at his intricate notes, which Harry couldn’t begin to understand.

“So the fancy stuff?”

Malfoy let out a small laugh that made Harry’s heart skip a beat. “Yes, the fancy stuff. I have a few theories that I’ll need to test out.”

“Great!” Harry said eagerly, wanting to do everything right away,  before realising the time.

“It’s dinner time. We completely missed lunch.”

“Oh,” Malfoy said almost inaudibly, glancing at his pocket watch to confirm what Harry had just told him. “I suppose we should go to the Great Hall and eat.”

Harry nodded. “I suppose.” He was hesitant to stand up, and it seemed that so was Malfoy; both of them stayed seated and glancing at each other.

Malfoy was the first to break, clearing his throat and standing up. “Come along, Potter. I’m starving.”

“Right, of course. You’re already skinny enough. You can’t lose anymore weight.” Harry slung his bag over his shoulder as he stood up, noticing Malfoy’s offended face and wondering if he’d gone too far.

“I have a high metabolism, okay. Not everyone can turn from twig to muscle man like you have.”

Harry squinted his eyes. Malfoy may have been trying to insult him, but there was a compliment hidden in there and Harry didn’t know what to think. He’d gained some muscle over the summer and from his occasional Quidditch workouts, but he didn’t think it was that noticeable enough to be called a muscle man .

“Hmm. If you say so. I prefer your slim figure to my weirdly toned one any day, though,” Harry said with a shrug, deciding that if Malfoy could ‘compliment’ him, then he could do the same. He walked towards the door and looked back at Malfoy, who was frozen in his spot. “Now who’s the one dawdling.”

Malfoy snapped back to reality and glared at Harry. “I hate you,” he told him with no malice In fact, it was like it had opposite meaning. Harry did his best to push it to the back of his mind.

“Aw, you know you love me.” Harry teased back, nudging Malfoy with his shoulder. The brief feeling of Malfoy’s warm body against his side made Harry want to walk closer to him, to prolong it. He didn’t know why, only that he liked it.

As they were walking, something dawned on Harry. He had no idea what Malfoy’s Amortentia smelt like. Malfoy knew all about his, yet Harry knew nothing about Malfoy’s. He frowned, and decided to ask him. “Hey, what does your Amortentia smell like? You know mine. It’s only fair I know yours.”

As soon as the words left Harry’s mouth, Malfoy visibly tensed. Hell, Harry could even feel him tense next to him.

“I don’t want to talk about it.” He wasn’t looking at Harry. It felt like he was looking anywhere else.

“I don’t care if it’s embarrassing. Nothing is worse than mine, or Neville’s smelling like plants. Wouldn’t be surprised if one day he was caught being indecent with a plant.” Harry’s comment made Malfoy smile a little, like he was hiding back a laugh. Harry was glad that he managed to ease the situation a little. “I won’t judge.”

Malfoy sighed, shoving his hands into his pockets. “I just, I can’t right now.”

“Why—”

“Drop it, Potter,” Malfoy snapped, creating distance between him and Harry so their sides weren’t touching anymore. Harry missed the warmth.

“Sorry,” Harry muttered, running his hand through his hair and resisting the urge to roll his eyes.

“No, I should be the one saying sorry,” Malfoy sighed, copying Harry’s actions with his hair. “I didn’t mean to snap, it’s just a rough subject.”

Harry nodded but didn’t say anything. He wasn’t angry about being snapped at, it was more that Malfoy didn’t trust him enough to tell Harry what his Amortentia smelt like. Maybe one day.

Harry felt the warmth return to his side and relaxed. “Bet it’s something embarrassing, like cheese.”

Malfoy started to smile, and that smile turned into a laugh. “Cheese?!” he cried out through his laughter, his hand holding onto Harry’s shoulder for support. “You’re so fucking random.”

“It’s all in the charm,” Harry said, flipping his hair dramatically as Malfoy’s hand gripped tighter on his shoulder. The Slytherin hardly ever laughed, and now that he was, it was almost like the floodgates had been opened. Not that Harry was complaining. Malfoy had one of the nicest laughs he’d ever heard.

“You know, I think I could be a comedian,” Harry continued, a giant grin on his face.

“I’m laughing—” Malfoy started, taking a few deep breaths to calm himself down before continuing, “—because you’re such a fucking idiot.”

“Yet again, it’s all in the charm.”

Malfoy had gone back to rolling his eyes, but his hand remained on Harry’s shoulder.

When they reached the Great Hall, however, he removed it.

“Want to continue the potion work tomorrow?” Malfoy asked, the two of them halting just outside the door.

“Yeah, sure!” Harry replied, maybe a little too eagerly. He watched Malfoy open the great hall door and almost asked him to sit at the Gryffindor table with him, but realised what a stupid idea that was before any words came out. “I’ll see you, then.”

“Of course.” Malfoy gave a little wave with his classic smirk before walking towards the Slytherin table. Harry resisted watching him the entire time and went to join Ron and Hermione. They were so  deep in conversation about a date night or something that Harry really didn’t want to know that they took no notice when he sat down.

He ate in silence, his eyes meeting Malfoy’s across the room and sticking his tongue out at him. Malfoy returned the action. Then Parkinson slapped him on the arm and the two of them started what looked like an argument. Harry tried to work out what they were saying, but he was useless at lip reading.

Eventually, Parkinson moved away to sit with Greengrass of all people, and Malfoy seemed defeated. Their eyes met again and Harry mouthed an, “Are you okay?” in his direction.

Malfoy nodded in reply but made no effort to look at Harry after that.

“Hello, Harry,” Luna said in her dreamy voice, appearing out of nowhere to sit opposite him, blocking his view of Malfoy. “Neville says you are working with Draco. I can tell. Your aura is completely different.”

He furrowed his brows in confusion. “In what way?”

Luna smiled. “I think that’s for you to find out, Harry.” She stood up and walked away, muttering something about some magical being that she needed to attend to, leaving Harry in complete confusion. Why did Luna always have this effect on him?

“Wait, when did you show up?” Ron said, finally realising that Harry had joined them.

Harry rolled his eyes and laughed. Sometimes he wished he could be so in love he was oblivious to the rest of the world. Maybe one day.

~

Harry had been working with Malfoy for three weeks, and he was yet to know what Malfoy was doing. Harry was like his assistant, fetching the books he wanted, finding the page for him, even stealing ingredients from Slughorn’s store that weren’t in the secret potion room. At some points, Harry swore he was being made to steal stuff just for the fun of it, and Malfoy’s grins afterwards made Harry want to comply more.

Every time they met up, which was almost every day after class and then all day on the weekends, Malfoy would make Harry smell the Amortentia, and everyday it would smell less and less of Greengrass and more like the mystery smell he was yet to identify. The stronger it got, the more he recognised it, but he had no idea where from. Malfoy also hadn’t let his guard down enough to let Harry know what his Amortentia smelt like.

Harry hadn’t seen Ron and Hermione much recently; they were often off together on study date sessions and Harry was working with Malfoy, but when they did see each other, it was great. Everyone was happier and more relaxed. Like before… everything.

They all had a free period, so Harry headed down to their potion room. He was about to turn a corner when he heard raised voices. He slowed down and peaked his head around the corner to see Malfoy and Parkinson, neither of them looking happy. What the hell was going on with them recently?

“Why can’t you just for once stay out of it?!” Malfoy yelled in Parkinson’s face, voice full of anger, fists balled.

“Because I can see what’s going on! You’re too fucking deluded to care!” Parkinson yelled back with just as much anger. “You’re not even doing this for him. It’s for yourself! It’s like you’re clinging onto the last bit of hope that he will like you back.”

Malfoy jaw dropped a little in shock, before he quickly closed it and huffed. “Why can’t I just do something nice for someone? Why does everything have to have an ulterior motive?” He sounded so defeated that Harry wanted to go hug him.

“Because you’re you, Draco. You never do anything unless you gain from it,” Parkinson said, and Harry would have believed that months ago, but now, he wasn’t so sure.

“People change, Pans. Shame you don’t.” Harry was almost cheering Malfoy on as he said that, the way his confidence came back and the way he turned on his heel and triumphantly walked away from his friend.

Parkinson was left standing in the hallway, watching Malfoy walk away. “He won’t love you back, you know!” she yelled after him. He?

“And you know what?” Malfoy turned back around, his arms spread wide out. “I don’t care.”

With that, he continued walking away. Parkinson stayed, watching Malfoy like she was about to say something back, before he turned a corner, disappearing from view. Harry watched as she sighed and started walking towards him, leading him to stand against the wall and hope that she didn’t see him. She didn’t.

Harry sighed deeply as she too disappeared from view. He had no idea Malfoy was gay. Or maybe he wasn’t gay. Maybe he was bi or something. The point was, Harry had no idea Malfoy liked men. Harry hadn’t met anyone that liked men, apart from Sirius and that wasn’t really spoken about much.

However, Harry felt like he was invading Malfoy’s privacy, because he hadn’t told him he was gay, or whatever he was, and Malfoy probably wanted to keep it to himself. He contemplated Obliviating himself before deciding that actually speaking to Malfoy might be the best. Because then Malfoy could Obliviate him, and the man was far more skilled than Harry at those sorts of things.

When Harry got to the potion room, Malfoy opened the door and let him in without his usual “Oh, it’s you” greeting that always made Harry roll his eyes, yet smile a little.

Harry could tell Malfoy was upset. He wanted to comfort him, like Malfoy had been comforting about Greengrass. “Malfoy? Can we talk?”

Malfoy frowned, sitting down. “About what? I’m making some of the potion today, so if it’s not important—”

“It is. Please,” Harry insisted, watching as Malfoy became more confused. “I overheard you and Parkinson just now.”

Malfoy visibly tensed and looked away from Harry, his jaw clenching.

“You like guys?” Harry asked quietly, trying to be as cautious as possible. “Is that why you didn’t want to tell me what your Amortentia smells like? Because it’s a guy?”

Malfoy sighed, nodding ever so slightly. “I suppose you could say that.”

“I just want to tell you that I’m not judging you, whatever you define your sexuality as, you can trust me, even Obliviate me if you don’t want me knowing. And as for that guy who doesn’t love you back, he’s not worth your energy.”

Malfoy’s eyes, wide and full of shock, flicked to Harry’s. “You mean that?”

“Yes. I like guys as well as girls, not that that matters anyway. You’re a decent person, Malfoy, when you’re not being so stuck up and scary. That guy must be blind to not notice that,” Harry said, meaning every word of it. Malfoy was alright. Harry didn’t know many people who were willing to start a whole potion project just to prove something wrong and help Harry.

Malfoy scoffed a little. “You’re an idiot, Potter, you know that?”

Harry nodded, the corner of his mouth curling up into a smile.

“And for the record, I’m completely, one hundred percent gay. Just thought you should know,” he said, getting up to grab the ingredients from the shelf. Harry watched as he did, letting his eyes fall down to his backside. Harry had no idea why he hadn’t noticed how brilliant Malfoy’s arse was before now.

Harry settled into some of his charms homework, which he really should have done earlier, as Malfoy made the potion, occasionally asking Harry to chop something up or stir it. The atmosphere was calm around them. Harry was glad he asked Malfoy about his sexuality. It was nice to know more about Malfoy.

“Hey,” Harry started, realising there was one final thing he didn’t know. “You never explained what your theory was.”

Malfoy ignored him, continuing with the potion. Perhaps he didn’t hear Harry.

“Oi."

Malfoy put his index finger up to Harry, silently telling him to wait, the bastard. Malfoy completed the last step the potion required before the room started to smell of treacle tart, broomstick handle and that mystery fucking smell. No more Greengrass.

“Now I will explain.” Malfoy pulled out all his notes, about one hundred pages worth of his stupid posh handwriting talking about stupid potion stuff that Harry would never understand. “I’ll explain in simple terms for you. I looked into the ingredients and how they react with each other and the human senses. The smell comes from what your deepest desires are, correct?”

“Yeah,” Harry said.

“So what if even your brain doesn’t know what your deepest desires are?” Harry frowned at Malfoy. “Hear me out. What if you were so oblivious to the love that even your brain didn’t know what it was, and now there’s an empty space where a smell should go but there’s no smell there. I looked into the biology side of things and the brain does this a lot: it takes something else to fill the gap. What if you only smelt Greengrass because she was right there and filled the empty space, and the new smell you have been smelling is what it should smell like? The true empty space.”

Harry blinked, taking in all Malfoy was saying. “So, you’re telling me that I’m so oblivious to what I love that my brain replaced it with what was nearest.”

“Don’t sound so surprised, this is you we are talking about.”

Harry scoffed. “Thanks.”

“All my research is here.” Malfoy shoved the papers on top of Harry’s charms work, pointing to multiple parts of his writing. “I have examples, and studies, my own experiments with the ingredients, the way they work in other potions. It makes sense.” Malfoy was like an excitable kid, sounding so proud of his work.

Malfoy had moved so close to Harry to show him his work that their faces were almost touching. Harry could smell his cologne, his shower gel, even his hair products. It was so strong that—

Harry felt like smacking himself. The smell he was trying to work out all this time was Malfoy. Draco fucking Malfoy. Everything made sense. Neville’s comments, Luna’s comments. His own fucking comments. Malfoy was right, he was the most oblivious person ever. How could he not realise?

Overcome with emotion and realisation, Harry did something unbelievably stupid and ridiculous. He leaned forward, closing the gap between him and Malfoy. Malfoy was half way through a sentence about some research some Muggle did when Harry’s lips met his. The kiss, or peck even, only lasted for a second before Harry pulled away, pushing his chair away from Malfoy and running his hands through his hair.

“Fuck. I’m sorry,” Harry said quickly, not even daring to look at Malfoy. What was he thinking? Malfoy was in love with some other guy! Why did he think kissing him was a good idea?

“What the fuck?”

Harry squeezed his eyes shut. “I wasn’t thinking. Shit. I’m sorry. Can we just ignore that?”

“No, we cannot fucking ignore that!” Malfoy snapped, his voice high and angry.

“You love someone else. I shouldn’t have done that.” His own voice was so quiet and so broken that Harry hated hearing himself. Why did he have to mess everything up?

“Look at me.” Malfoy asked. Harry kept his eyes closed. “Look at me!” The raised voice snapped Harry’s eyes open to see Malfoy had moved closer to him, his grey eyes blazing. “Explain.”

“It smells of you, okay? Is that what you wanted to hear?” Harry told him, regretting every word and wanting to look away from those fucking grey eyes but not being able to.

“You’ve been so fucking kind to me, despite everything. You don’t treat me like some hero You make me laugh, make me happy, cheer me up. You—”

Harry was cut off by Malfoy’s lips on his, and as much as he wanted to kiss back, he couldn’t. He pushed Malfoy off of him. “No, I’m not going to be some sort of rebound. You’ve solved the project, so why don’t we just spend some time apart?”

Harry stood up to leave, not getting very far before Malfoy’s hand clamped onto his wrist.

“It’s you.”

“What’s me?”

“The guy I’m in love with.” Malfoy was so quiet that he barely heard him. Harry felt like he almost imagined it.

“What?” Harry turned around to face Malfoy, meeting those grey eyes again.

“Don’t make me repeat myself.” Malfoy hand was loosening on Harry’s wrist, and Harry didn’t want it to.

Harry’s Amortentia smelt of Malfoy and Malfoy’s smelt of Harry’s. Harry took a few seconds to process everything.

It seemed that every time Harry realised he was an oblivious idiot, he did something impulsive. This time, he caught Malfoy’s hand before it left his wrist, holding it as he came closer to Malfoy, the grey eyes staring up at him as he sat on the blond’s lap and then leaned down to kiss him, properly this time. Harry’s legs straddled Malfoy, their hands still holding as they kissed, teeth clashing, tongues against tongues. Harry’s spare hand went to Malfoy’s cheek, cupping it, as Malfoy’s free hand went to Harry’s arse, pulling him closer.

Harry wanted to cherish this moment forever, but he had to pause. “Is this what we are doing?”

“Yes.”

“Good.”

They went back to kissing, Malfoy catching Harry’s bottom lip between his teeth as he thrusted his body upwards. Harry could feel Malfoy’s hard cock against his arse, and his own erection pressed against Malfoy’s chest.

Malfoy let go of Harry’s hand to push off Harry’s robes and rip off his shirt. Harry had never seen such strength in someone, and he didn’t even consider the way Malfoy might judge his scars like he had with Ginny. With Malfoy, Harry was comfortable.

The Slytherin’s lips moved to Harry’s chest, sucking lightly as he made his way to his nipple, his tongue twirling around it. Harry shivered at the feeling of it, his hands moving to Malfoy’s hair and tugging. Merlin, it felt good to mess that up.

It was now Harry’s turn to strip Malfoy down, not with as much ease and strength as Malfoy had done, but he still got the job done. Malfoy was shirtless. His eyes met the network of scars across his chest and he instantly froze.

Malfoy used this pause to take matters into his own hands. He stood up, taking Harry with him. Harry had no idea how strong he really was, and it was making his hard on worse.

Malfoy put him down on the table and shoved his torso down, his back hitting the hard surface roughly as Malfoy climbed on top of him.

Harry’s hands automatically found Malfoy’s arse as the blond returned his lips to Harry’s chest, his lips soft as they sucked on his tan skin. He moved further down his torso until they reached his trousers. Harry saw the lust in Malfoy’s eyes as he yanked off his trousers and pants in one swift movement, freeing Harry’s hard dick.

Malfoy smirked as he gently kissed the tip of Harry’s cock, the sensation enough to send chills through Harry’s body. His hand moved to grip the edge of the table, forgetting the cauldron of Amortentia was there until a second too late. It fell to the ground, smashing loudly, but neither boy cared too much.

“That—” Malfoy put his hands on Harry’s hips, pulling him closer. “—was an—” His lips met Harry’s neck, biting. “—expensive—” He pushed his own hips down, pressing his clothed dick against Harry’s exposed one. “—cauldron.” He exhaled against Harry’s neck, the warm breath tingling his skin.

“I want to see you,” Harry whimpered, the hand that remained on Malfoy’s arse moving to the hem of his trousers, edging underneath.

Malfoy smirked, his eyes almost taunting him. Harry watched as he sat back, undoing his flies as slowly as possible. Harry was gagging for it, too eager to wait. He reached forward and assisted Malfoy, tugging his trousers down and taking in the beauty that was that cock. Fuck. Was there a part of him that wasn’t perfect?

“You’re beautiful,” Harry complimented, about to sit himself up before Malfoy pushed him back down again.

“Do you know what I want?” Malfoy whispered softly in his ear, his teeth brushing against the lobe.

“What?” Harry murmured back, the sensation of their cocks rubbing together almost too much for him to handle. He needed to do something about it, and fast.

“I want you. In me. Now,” Malfoy almost ordered, and it was confirmation that Harry could go ahead.

Harry turned them over so that he was above Malfoy. The feeling of towering over the blond was weird. He liked it when malfoy was in control, but… that could still happen. He turned them back over, making Malfoy straddle him. Harry’s hands held his thighs tightly, his nails digging in as Malfoy summoned some lube—of course he had some—and took one of Harry’s hands, coating his fingers for him.

Harry let Malfoy glide his hand to his hole, not moving his hand at all unless the blond made him.

“Do you want to be in me, Potter?” Malfoy purred, tilting his head to the side seductively.

The way he said his own name made Harry’s dick twinge.

“Yes, fuck yes,” Harry said, and the next thing he knew Malfoy had pushed Harry’s fingers inside of him one by one. Fuck, he felt so good, so tight—

Malfoy’s head went back as he moaned, his neck exposed for Harry to lean forward and glide his tongue along his Adam’s apple before sucking roughly. Malfoy moaned again, the sound vibrating Harry’s around mouth.

Harry moved his fingers up and down, Malfoy’s hand tight around his wrist as he did, until it changed purpose. Now, it was tight around his cock. Harry choked out a moan as Malfoy moved his hand up and down his shaft, the skin against skin causing friction.

Malfoy was in control, and boy did Harry like it. Harry was helpless to Malfoy’s power, the way the Slytherin was leading the situation had Harry losing it already.

“Ready?”

Harry nodded in return, too gone to attempt to form coherent words. He watched as Malfoy positioned himself and was not prepared for how magnificent he would feel around him, or for the sounds Malfoy would make.

“H-Harry,” Malfoy whimpered as Harry sat up to make them more comfortable, and when he did, Malfoy’s hands went to his back, his nails digging in deep.

Harry pressed his forehead against Malfoy’s as he started to thrust, his hand going down to Malfoy’s dick and rubbing his thumb across the head. He watched as Malfoy bit back a moan and made his next thrust rougher, just to make sure he heard Malfoy’s beautiful sounds.

He hooked his leg around his waist, using it to pull Malfoy onto him with every push.

“Draco, fuck,” Harry grunted, his lips going to his collarbones, the skin salty from sweat. Harry bit down, relishing in the groan Malfoy made. “You make such beautiful noises. Be loud for me.”

Malfoy’s fingers dug in harder, his head burying into the crook of Harry’s neck. “You— feel so— good,” he murmured, his hand moving to Harry’s hair and yanking his head back. “You’re mine.”

Harry gulped, closing his eyes. “I’m yours,” he agreed, his breath hitching as Malfoy took control again, quickening their pace.

“I’m close,” Malfoy whimpered, and Harry pumped him harder, let Malfoy make him thrust harder. He wanted to hear Malfoy in all his glory.

“Come for me,” he begged, feeling himself edging closer too.

Malfoy’s whole body shuddered, climaxing hard as he screamed out Harry’s name. The mere sound of it brought Harry to the edge, pulling out just in time before his whole body filled with immense pleasure. He let Draco’s name leave his lips as he came, his vision blurring and his body shuddering with Draco’s.

They fell down onto the table, clinging onto each other as they panted, desperately trying to gain some sense of normality again. Harry didn’t think he could ever come back from something like that. No one could. It was the best sex he'd ever had.

“Woah,” Harry managed to say, being the first to break the silence. He looked down at Draco against his chest, still panting. “You okay?”

“Fucking brilliant,” he grinned, lifting himself up to peck Harry on the lips. “I’m afraid your back and neck may be a little obliterated, though.”

Harry grinned back as his eyes flicked down to Draco’s collar bones. “Same goes for you.” He motioned weakly at the bruises he’d left behind, watching as Draco chuckled lowly then leaned down to kiss him softly, the kiss breathy and tasting salty from sweat.

“I’m surprised we didn’t break the table,” Harry said, sitting up ever so slightly. Draco’s papers were under them, some ruined by come, but Draco didn’t seem to care.

“I bet Severus regrets giving me this room.”

Harry’s eyes noticed a messy handwriting amongst the neat one and it dawned on him. He was going to be late to charms. “Shit.”

“What?” Malfoy asked, frowning as he watched Harry leap up.

“Charms! We’ve got a test. And—” Harry picked up his homework, the ink bleeding and the paper soggy. “—my homework is ruined.”

“Was it worth it?” Draco asked, smirking ever so slightly.

Harry smirked back. “One hundred percent.”

“Only one hundred?” Draco said in mock offence, making Harry roll his eyes as he gathered his clothes from around the room. He cleaned himself up with a simple spell and rushed to get his clothes on. “And here I was thinking you’d be a cuddler.”

“I can’t miss this test. I think Flitwick and McGonagall would both kill me,” Harry tried to reason, but Draco’s pout was making it hard.

“Am I not threatening enough? I could kill you.”

Harry laughed. “You would never.”

Draco hummed quietly, like he was actually considering it. He jumped off of the desk and came up to Harry, gripping his waist. “I expect to see you later.”

“Of course. Maybe somewhere a bit more comfortable, though?” Harry wasn’t complaining at, but that wooden table was hard.

“Oh, I’m sorry, is this room not up to your standards, oh mighty saviour?”

Harry playfully hit him on the arm for that comment. “Maybe I want to fuck you in a bed, is that too much to ask?”

Draco stayed quiet apart from a low hum.

“If we’re in a bed, we can cuddle properly.” That changed the mood. Draco started to smile, and Harry swore he was blushing. “Who knew Draco Malfoy was a cuddler.”

“Oh, get lost,” Draco bit back, pushing Harry towards the door.

“Have fun tidying up!” Harry yelled back before leaving, wishing he had time to see Draco’s reaction to that. The room was a mess with the Amortentia all over the floor, the smashed cauldron, the numerous pieces of parchment scattered everywhere, the come.

Harry knew he was a mess, but he didn’t have time to sort it out as he rushed to charms. He was only a few minutes late, and got judgemental looks from everyone when he entered the classroom, panting after running all the way there.

Flitwick raised his eyebrow at him, and tapped the pile of essays on his desk, silently asking for Harry’s.

“I spilt something on it, sorry.” His excuse was lame, but he was glad Flitwick let him get away with it for now. He sat down next to Ron and tried to avoid his questioning glare as Flitwick explained the test task.

“Is that a hickey?” Ron hissed into his ear, lowering the collar of his robes and exposing Harry’s neck.

“You’re so embarrassing.” Harry said as his hand shot up to his neck to cover the incriminating evidence and he felt his face heat up.

“Oh my god, who was it?” Ron asked eagerly, earning himself a glare from Hermione and Flitwick.

“None of your business,” Harry whispered back, ending the conversation there.

He tried to focus on the test, but his mind was so used to being able to smell Draco, whether it be through Amortentia or Draco himself, that he just couldn’t concentrate. His whole being craved the Slytherin, it felt like an addiction.

But all Harry had to do was wait two more hours. He was a man of his word, and kept to it. Needless to say, he and Draco had a very fun evening, with added cuddles.

~

Draco always managed to amaze Harry. Whether it was Draco’s looks, his brains or the way he could click his fingers and Harry would be at his mercy. Harry was well and truly whipped, and he was loving it.

“Alright, Potter?” Draco smirked as he went past, Parkinson clinging to his side. Ha. He’ll never love him back? He liked how much she cared about Draco, but really, she should have more faith.

“Malfoy,” Harry returned the greeting, watching as Draco winked at him before turning his attention back to Parkinson. Malfoy was sat on the sofa with Parkinson on his lap. Harry didn’t bother getting jealous because he trusted Draco. Although, on second thought, he did wish to be in Parkinson’s place.

“Harry, why can’t you tell us who you’re with already?” Ron whined next to him, shoving him lightly. “Even Malfoy is being open with his relationship, look at him and Parkinson.”

Harry did his best to hold back his laughter. Draco and Parkinson. Everything about it was wrong.

“Ron, let Harry have his own personal space. If he wants to tell us, he will when he’s ready,” Hermione said, not even bothering to look up from her book. “And, Harry, for Merlin’s sake, learn some healing charms.”

Harry felt the heat rise to his face as his hand went to his neck, covering another mark Draco had left behind. “I keep forgetting, okay?” And he liked having them, they reminded him that he was Draco’s, not that he’d tell his best friends that.

“Oh, I forgot. Don’t sneak off tonight please, Seamus is planning some sort of party,” Ron told him before leaning over Hermione’s shoulder, pretending to read what she was reading just to get her attention.

Harry huffed at the two of them and decided to leave them to it in favour of seeing Draco and asking him if he wanted to join everyone at Seamus’ party. Draco was never a social one, especially with Gryffindors, but Harry wanted him to be friends with his friends. Like a proper couple.

Harry was just about to go over to Draco when Greengrass stood in front of him. He’d almost forgotten she even existed, let alone the whole Amortentia drama.

“Can we talk?” She asked, and Harry nodded back. It was about time he was honest with her anyway.

They walked together out of the common room and to a quiet alcove, sitting down on the ground together.

“I know about you and Draco,” she said, getting to the point straight away.

Harry’s eye went wide. “He told you?”

Greengrass shook his head. “I notice things, I’m smarter than people think.”

“I’m sorry for leading you on,” Harry said, watching as Greengrass smiled a sad smile.

“That wasn’t you, that was the Amortentia. I should have asked what you wanted, and not gone off what a potion said.” She looked down, playing with a lock of her hair. Harry felt badly for her.

“You’ll find someone, you know. It won’t be me, but someone.”

Greengrass laughed a little at that. “You’re a nice guy, Potter. Draco is lucky.”

“Thanks, Greengrass,” he said back genuinely. She wasn’t as bad as he first thought.

“Call me Daphne, please.”

Harry nodded. “Okay, Daphne. Call me Harry.” He extended his hand to her, shaking her hand. It was weird. He thought that maybe out of this chaotic situation he might have made another friend.

Their conversation was short, ending there, and the two of them returned to the common room. Draco’s eyes were on them, narrowed and silently asking questions. Harry gave him a small smile to let him know that everything was okay.

“Oh, Malfoy.”

Draco’s eyes narrowed even more as Harry came closer to the group of Slytherins. Parkinson, Nott and Zabini were all looking at him suspiciously.

“Seamus is planning a party thing tonight in here, you lot should come,” Harry said with a shrug, retreating quickly. He didn’t like to admit it, but Draco’s friends were scary. Harry watched as Zabini started laughing, Nott shaking his head in shame at Zabini and Draco just covering his face with his hand. Parkinson, however, was glaring at him. Harry deliberately gave her a fake smile. How dare she assume he wouldn’t love Draco back?

As Seamus’ party came round, Harry was glad to see the Slytherins had stayed in the room. He was also glad to see how much alcohol Seamus had snuck in.

“I did have greater plans, but someone stole my Amortentia, so don’t fucking complain,” Seamus said as he gathered everyone around in a circle, passing firewhiskey and other alcoholic drinks to people.

Harry’s eyes met Draco’s, the two of them realising that they never returned Seamus’ Amortentia, and that it was still in the potion room, along with all of Draco’s notes. He said he’d publish it one day, when there was less prejudice against the Malfoy name, and Harry hoped that that day would come soon. Draco deserved all the praise in the world.

“Let’s start with spin the bottle.”

The firewhiskey Harry was drinking was already giving him a buzz, and as the game unfolded, he didn't care what was going on. He was too busy staring at Draco. Draco stared back. His grey eyes were so intense that Harry could feel himself falling into them. Fuck, he really loved that man.

He only started paying attention as Draco spun the bottle. Harry was begging all the gods to make it land on him. He needed it. The bottle started slow down as it reached Harry, his heart beating faster, but it went too far. It landed on Ron.

The room went into hushed whispers and laughter as they watched Draco and Ron, the Slytherin getting up and coming closer, glancing at Harry.

Harry couldn’t do this. He couldn’t let this happen. Ron had screwed his eyes shut, gripping Hermione’s hand as Draco glanced at Harry again and lowered himself to kiss Ron.

That was it. Harry couldn’t just sit there and let that happen. He reached forward, grabbing Draco’s collar and pulling him in front of him instead of Ron. Draco looked confused for a split second before he realised what was going on, and completely complied, slamming his lips against Harry’s with so much force that Harry almost fell onto his back.

Harry leaned back a bit, looking up into Malfoy’s eyes before glancing around the room. Everyone was staring at them. Ron’s jaw had dropped as he put two and two together. Harry didn’t care, though. He spun Draco around and made him sit in his lap, wrapping his arms around his waist. Draco laughed quietly, his hands resting on top of Harry’s.

Harry didn’t care what anyone else thought, because Harry was Draco’s, and Draco was his.

~
END