Draco hated alcohol. He had the alcoholic tolerance of a baby bird and yet, Pansy always convinced him to drink.
He knew - fuck, did he know - that he and alcohol should not bloody mix but before he knew it, he was 5 firewhiskey shots in and Pansy was forcing him to drink some muggle liqour he faintly recalls being called vodkey. Draco could resist a lot of things - not taking the last donut in the office being one of his best examples of self control - but he could never resist showing Pansy up.
It was one of his very, very few flaws. A small price to pay for the rest of sheer perfection, if he dare say so himself.
The alcohol burned as it went down and he shook his head to shake off the unpleasant feeling, slightly wondering why muggles willingly drank this vodkey thing. In all honestly, he would not be drinking as much if Harry fucking Potter had bothered to show up. But Harry wasn't here and he wasn't going to show up because apparently the git had a bloody date and no one had bothered to tell Draco until after he'd apparated to the pub in his best casual clothes.
Draco popped a chip into his mouth, not caring that he was looking like a slob because fuck it, Potter wasn't there and he really couldn't give a shit. He wanted nothing more than to get fat and miserable while Potter was probably out there, snogging some random bloke when it was Draco who he should be snogging.
He was in the middle of navigating another chip into his mouth when shouting got his attention and he ended up mashing the chip onto his cheek, softly cursing. From their slightly raised table, Draco could see that Dean and Seamus were arguing with some guys - pretty aggressively by the looks of it - and he stifled a groan. It was always those two that got them in trouble.
The group had gotten so used to their fights that they had set up a babysitting system and of course it was Draco's turn this week. Because he was oh so lucky. Heaving a sigh and looking longingly at his chips, he shoved his way through the crowd.
"- fucking dancing queen!" Seamus shouted, his eyes hazy enough that Draco knew that for every shot he had had, Seamus had probably has 2 or 3. How he hadn't died of alcohol poisoning, Draco didn't know.
"What's going on?" He slurred to Dean, wondering if they had time to make a run for it. Judging by the density of the crowd, they didn't.
"These Americans think they can dance better than us so Seamus challenged them to a dance off," Dean slurred back and Draco literally could not hold back the groan of frustration. They had talked about this.
Hell, they had a fucking intervention for him but a dance off was apparently the only way drunk Seamus would settle fights.
So of course the idiot hadn't stopped challenging anyone and anything to a dance competition. What was more surprising was the fact that anyone ever agreed to the idea.
As much as Draco wanted to retreat and gorge himself on chips, he knew that he was stuck with them. He was their babysitter and having 3 against 2 just wouldn't do - he needed to even the odds. So Draco took his position on the other side of Seamus, mentally bracing himself for whatever Seamus had planned. Which, speaking from past experience, would either end in disaster or arrested. Twice, it was both.
He sneered at the three men in front of them, trying his best to look haughty despite the fact that he was swaying and the intensity of his gaze was causing him to go slightly cross-eyed. Before he could face plant onto the floor, a hand was wrapping around his arm and he blinked blearily up at Neville, wondering what he was doing.
"They're doing 'the dance'," he explained and Draco wanted to simultaneously smash his head into a wall and cheer for the couple. That was also another point in the intervention. The familiar song began to play out through the speakers and before he knew it, the Americans were having their asses handed to them as Seamus and Dean began to dance seamlessly.
"The dance" referred to some dance off Seamus had seen in a muggle film - White Chicks, if he recalled correctly - and had forced Dean to memorize with him. Of course they were bloody good at it and most wizards didn't know what to fucking do when they were bouncing around like basketballs. Needless to say, they often won by sheer luck and surprise.
The song finished and Seamus threw up his imitation gang signs - something that they had discussed in the intervention as well, because Merlin's hairy ass, he was going to get murdered some day - and within seconds, the deafening silence was interrupted with loud cheers and shouts of disbelief. Draco snorted and let Neville guide him back to the table, his mouth already watering at the thought of his abandoned chips.
"-and don't fucking come back!" He heard Seamus yelling at the retreating Americans, probably being held back by an equally intoxicated Dean. God, they really needed to assign Seamus a better babysitter seeing as the current one was more focused on eating than overseeing.
Draco was drunk. He was absolutely, without a doubt, completely drunk off his arse. And when he got so drunk that he couldn't tell a raccoon from a hyppogriff, he got sentimental. Which was yet another reason as to why he did not drink.
He didn't even notice the salty tears streaming down his cheeks until Hermione touched his shoulder, shaking him gently.
"Draco? Are you alright?"
More faces came into view and he belatedly realized that everyone - including Seamus, who, had been last seen dancing on top of the bar - had gathered around the table, staring at him in varying degrees of concern. Well, everyone except Potter.
That thought alone brought a new wave of sadness and tears.
"Draco, what's wrong darling?" Pansy's voice filtered through and Draco turned to her, his eyes still watery but not leaking. It was as if someone had slowly been picking away at the walls he had built around himself, slowly tearing them down until they were so weakened that the pressure behind them brought them down. He was exhausted. He was so tired of lying to himself and hiding his careful gazes and just being alone that he didn't even try to stop the words crashing through the walls.
Circe, he was so far gone that he hardly cared that their whole friend group was staring at him intently.
"My heart hurts," he sniffled, a few more tears escaping as the thought of Harry with someone else seared itself into his brain. He wanted Harry to be happy, he deserved it more than anyone, but that didn't mean it didn't hurt.
Merlin did it hurt. It felt as if someone was using his weakened heart as a stress ball sometimes, nails tearing the newly healed scars open and drawing more blood. Overdramatic, he knew, but it hurt so bloody much and he cursed himself for letting himself get so weak - especially over someone he never had a chance with anyway.
Blaise, the only Healer in their group instantly sobered up, "Do you need to go to St -"
Before he could finish, Draco was laughing a bitter, humorless laugh.
"No. My heart hurts because I'm in love." He spit the last word out with mild disgust, more so at the fact that he couldn't seem to find it rather than the idea itself.
"Shouldn't you be happy then?" Pansy asked, coaxing more out of him even though he could see the realization in her eyes. She was always too smart for her own good. Her and Hermione both.
"He doesn't love me back," Draco confessed, resolutely staring at the faint scars on the table. How did they get there? Was someone just carrying a knife around to carve into public tables? Bloody shameless they were.
"Draco?" He hummed in response and continued to stare at the table. A tiny, somewhat sober part of his brain was objecting, screaming at him to shut up before he said too much but his attention was diverted when Pansy laid a hand on his.
"Who is he?"
Such a simple question but it held so many answers. The most amazing, selfless human being Draco had ever met. The most powerful wizard of their generation. Savior of the Wizarding World. Defeater of Voldemort. In the end, he settled for the most simple one.
Draco groaned as he woke up, feeling as if he had been run over by a dump truck a few dozen times. The hangover potion on his bedside table seemed so far away and he blinked at it a few times, trying to summon it with his glare alone.
Approximately a minute later, he huffed and rolled over, snatching the vial and forcing its contents down his throat. He shuddered in disgust - no matter how carefully he brewed the potion, it always had the faint taste of anchovies.
The foul taste hardly registered as he caught sight of a little notecard that had been hidden under the vial. Gingerly, he picked it up, praying to the Gods that he did not take someone home the night before.
Reading it, he realized that he would have very much preferred a 'Thanks for the night xx' card rather than what he was holding.
We should talk. Lunch at our place today. - Hermione.
Oh. Oh no.
The memories of the night before came rushing back to him - the alcohol, the chips, Seamus's dance off, blurting his biggest secret to their shared group of friends. Draco groaned into his arms. What had he done? Surely Hermione and Ronald had already blabbed to Harry and told him that Draco Malfoy, heir of the most disgraced pureblood family in Britain and his childhood nemesis, was in love with him.
Merlin, he could see it now; Harry's immediate distance and disgust, their friendship ruined, everything crumbling around him.
Panicking, he hurled himself off the bed, getting onto his knees and digging around until his hand wrapped around the handle of his suitcase.
"Okay. Okay, this is fine," he muttered to himself, throwing the suitcase on his bed and making his way to his wardrobe. He scanned through his clothing, wondering if he should shrink everything down or shove as much as he could into his suitcase and leave the rest.
"Malfoy?" Potter asked sleepily, one hip leaning on the doorway and his voice so deliciously rough from sleep that Draco found it hard to keep his composure. Christ, no one's voice should sound like that minutes after they've woken up. It was a voice so husky, velvety smooth and so mesmerizing that Draco would've dropped his underwear if Harry had so much as mentioned them.
On second thought, he was already considering the option and Harry hadn't mentioned them at all.
Merlin and Morgana, he was so utterly fucked.
"What are you doing?" He asked when Draco didn't reply, his eyes wandering over to the open suitcase on his bed. Draco's heart raced and he racked his brain for an answer. What was he doing? Running away just because the man he loved had possibly been informed of that very fact?
"Uh. Unpacking," he said slowly and watched as Harry's brow furrowed.
"That suitcase is empty."
"Because I've just finished unpacking."
"I - where - you know what? Forget it. I'm gonna make tea," Harry huffed, seemingly too tired to interrogate him.
Draco carefully sat down again, his tongue feeling too big for his mouth and his heart seemingly ready to jump out of his chest. It seemed as if Potter was not yet made aware of Draco's carefully hidden feelings. Or if he was, he was pretending they didn't exist.
He sighed loudly, flopping back onto his bed in a very undignified, un-Malfoy like way.
He hated living with Harry sometimes, not because of their bickering - and bicker they did - but because Draco could never escape.
His thoughts, his heart, his home was filled with Harry. Hell, he couldn't even breathe without taking in the lingering scent that was purely Harry. If someone could bottle up that scent and make it into a candle, Draco would buy them all. that's how helplessly infatuated he was.
He counted to ten, mentally calming himself down.
He could do this. It was just tea, after all.
And if not... well, his suitcase was ready.
Draco was mortified. He was beyond embarrassed and wanted nothing more than to get back home and continue stuffing his suitcase but his alleged best friend had all but dragged him to the Granger-Weasley residence.
Currently, he was sitting on an armchair, bouncing his leg as he was prone to doing when he was nervous.
"I actually have a meeting today with the Minis-" he began, his voice confident and strong.
"Kingsley is on vacation," Hermione cut in, her voice gentle but her eyes sharp and observing. He found that that look didn't help his nerves at all - what if she was sizing him up? He knew he wasn't good enough for Harry - he was Draco Malfoy, after all - but that didn't mean that he wanted to hear it from Harry's best friends.
"Oh stop scaring him 'Mione," Ron called from his position on the couch and as much as Draco had originally hated him, he felt a wave of gratitude toward the gangly ginger.
"I'm not. Right, Draco?" She asked sweetly, but her smile was feral. Oh Gods.
Just then, the floo chimed and their friends began to file in, greeting each other as Draco's heart was giving out warning signs that it would not survive lunch. He was going to die, right then and there, that much he knew. There was no way his poor little heart could take on so much stress and embarrassment.
He cursed himself for not following through with his original plan of escaping to Romania.
Before he could come up with another excuse to bail, Hermione was ushering them to the dining room which was already set up with a light salad course, courtesy of Hermione's magic, no doubt. It looked delicious - he wasn't going to lie - but he had no intentions of living through an intervention. Seamus's had been enough for him.
"Have you all come up with your reasons?" Hermione asked when everyone was seated.
Circe, so it was an intervention.
"Draco. Kindly shut up," Pansy drawled, leaning back and sniffing the wine in her glass. Snobby witch. Draco had never been one for physical violence but the thought of punching Pansy in the face was looking more appealing by the second.
But even he knew that he would never hit her. Hex her, maybe.
"Most of us," Hermione cut a look to Ron, "have noticed your attraction for quite a while... and well, frankly, Harry's love life has always been a bit appalling - no offense Ginny - so we figured that we would try and help. Worst case scenario, we have a bit of awkwardness. Best case scenario, you guys end up happy and Harry has someone worthy of him."
"I - worthy?" Draco managed to squeak out, immediately cursing himself for not speaking clearly and with confidence. Hermione opened her mouth to reply but surprisingly, it was Ron who spoke.
"Mate, you may be a right git but even I can agree you're better suited for Harry than the blokes he picks for himself," Ron snorted, not realizing the impact his words had on Draco.
He felt touched.
These were the people he had hurt in his youth, people who he had shouted slurs at and mercilessly taunted, and yet, they were gathered around him, assuring him of his worth. Sometimes, he marveled at their progress, from petty rivals throwing taunts at one another to opposing sides of a war that took too much from them to awkward friends, and now, to a family.
Despite the years of friendship with the people around him, he still felt immensely grateful for them. Never before had he had such unyielding love and support from so many people and just the thought of that made him want to bawl like some suffering Hufflepuff.
"Ah - thank you, I suppose," he said stiffly and Hermione grinned, seeing through his facade. She had always been far too smart for his liking.
"Draco, darling, if we're going to make this work, you're going to need our help," Pansy explained, conjuring a small piece of parchment. He couldn't make out the words but based on the script, she had written it herself. At his questioning look, she smirked.
"You're hopeless at flirting and Potter is - well, he's different."
"We all came up with things to do to get his attention and we're going to combine them into one list," Blaise explained, producing his own parchment. The rest of their friends began to produce their scraps of paper, some of the already starting to murmur and talk amongst themselves.
To say he was bewildered would be an understatement. He felt oddly anxious - what if it didn't work? What if Harry found out and felt not only angry but disgusted with him? Putting those doubtful feelings aside for the time being, he couldn't help but frown. Truly, he felt slightly offended. He was Draco fucking Malfoy, he knew how to flirt, he knew how to seduce just fine, thank you very much.
He didn't need a list to get Potter's attent-
"Draco, mate, get ready to take notes. We like to call this 'How to Slyther-in to Harry's Bed,'" Ron proclaimed, looking scandalized when Hermione whacked him in the arm. Apparently, the name was not agreed upon.
Sighing, Draco summoned a quill and parchment. If anything, he'd get a laugh out of this. There was no way he was using their list.
Draco stared down at the list of tips he written, swallowing audibly when he read the first one. The first tip was given to him by Dean and Seamus, who had combined their tip into one.
1. Touch him innocently - go for his
Draco narrowed his eyes at the crossed out word, surely written by Seamus. It also looked like Dean had written "arms" various times given the way it was darker than the rest of the words. Okay, so it was safe to assume that he should touch Harry's arms. Simple enough.
When he flooed back into their flat, he made his way to the kitchen, needing a strong cup of coffee if he was going to gather the courage to be close enough to Harry to touch him. Just the thought of that was making his stomach twist in knots, he was pretty sure that when the time came, he would probably combust.
It was late when Potter finally walked through the door and he was looking exhausted, more so than usual. Draco's heart twinged in sympathy - Harry was a workaholic if he knew one and because he was the Chosen One, he was often worked harder than most, since more was expected of him.
It was beyond unfair but not even Hermione had been able to convince him to lessen his workload. Bloody hero complex and all.
"Hey," he said, sitting down at one of the stools.
"Hey yourself," Draco replied, settling onto the seat across from him. He watched as Harry wandlessly and wordlessly summoned a cup of tea, the liquid steaming hot already. Fuck if that wasn't a bit of a turn on. But back to the task at hand, how was he supposed to touch Potter? Just lean over and grope his biceps? Make an excuse to lean into him?
Bloody hell, Dean should've written up a fucking plan.
The sight of Harry's red rimmed eyes, however, derailed any notion of a plan.
"You okay?" He asked after a minute of hesitation, it felt strange for there to be so much silence in their flat. Harry liked to keep the place lively with music from the wireless or chatter or laughter or the occasional humming. But now it was deadly silent, the only noise being their breathing and Draco's deafeningly loud thoughts.
It wasn't physical contact but maybe getting Potter to open up would help his efforts. That and Draco really couldn't stand seeing the torn expression on his face, in so much pain but with no outlet.
"Honestly? No," he said, heaving a great sigh that shook his body much like a sob would. Draco's hand tightened around his own cup briefly, his heart clenching painfully at the utter despair and sheer melancholy tone.
"What's wrong?" It was a stupid question to ask, he was Harry sodding Potter, when had his life been rainbows and sunshine?
"We- we had a raid today," he said, fiddling with the salt shaker they left out for decorative purposes. "There was a little boy... Gods, Draco. He - he couldn't have been more than 10 years old and fuck - we couldn't save him," Harry rushed out, looking down and Draco held his breath, waiting for more. When no more came, Draco leaned down, noticing the great tears that were rolling down Harry's cheeks, splattering onto the countertop.
He had never been one for affection but there was something twisting in his heart, making it so hard to breath, urging him to move. It was as if Harry's pain was his own and the sudden grief of losing a child wash over him so greatly that tears stung his eyes. He couldn't imagine how Potter was feeling, responsible and guilty for not being able to save everyone.
"Hey, hey, it's not your fault," Draco cooed softly in a voice he usually reserved for comforting his mother. He stood beside Harry, a hand on his back, rubbing small circles as he tried to calm himself and Potter at the same time. Moving quicker than he had anticipated, Harry turned, burying his head onto Draco's chest, his arms winding around his waist and holding him so close that Draco was afraid to breath, lest he ruin the moment.
It hurt to see Potter so helpless and vulnerable but Draco felt... he felt closer to him, getting to see a side of Harry that so few saw. He just wished it wasn't under such circumstances.
He only hesitated a second before softly patting Harry's head, feeling the warmth of his tears as they escaped his eyes and were absorbed by his shirt.
"You did what you could, Harry," he murmured, leaning his cheek on the soft curls that he had spent his adolescence loathing. How he had ever hated them, he couldn't say.
Neither of them knew how much time had passed when they finally broke apart but by then, Harry's tears had subsided and Draco had touched more of Harry than he ever had before. Both physically and emotionally.
So maybe he hadn't followed Dean's tip to the letter but this moment felt better, more intimate, and Draco hated himself for loving it so much.
He didn't know what he'd do if this little ploy of theirs failed because he knew that he couldn't go back to what they had before. He just couldn't. It would be like chaining down a bird - it'd be alive but never free, never happy, never able to do what was so natural.
Merlin have mercy on him.
He was so, so utterly fucked.
2. Smile. When Potter comes into St. Mungos, nothing calms him down more than a simple smile.
Draco had an amazing smile - even when he was a baby and had no teeth, he could charm witches with a gummy grin - but whenever he practiced smiling in the mirror, it felt off. It was as if his face was refusing to cooperate with him. He frowned; there was no way he could smile at Potter like that, looking all constipated and pinched.
A knock had him shoving his hand mirror into the top drawer and with a slightly strangled 'come in,' none other than Blaise Zabini, provider of the latest tip, walked in.
"I'm going to pretend that I didn't watch you making faces at your mirror for the last five minutes -" at Draco's squawk of indignation, Blaise snorted, " - but I'm headed up to the Auror department for Potter's follow up examination, if you, for some unknown reason, would like to accompany me."
Draco really wanted to scorch off Blaise's waggling eyebrows but if he did, he was sure the invitation would be retracted and he'd have to explain to an Auror or two why exactly he'd attacked his friend. Instead, he sighed over-dramatically and nodded, gathering his robes and shrugging them on.
"I suppose I will. Lunch after this?"
"I was counting on that," Blaise smirked, strolling easily through the Ministry corridor.
The walk to the Auror department was a short one but it felt like an eternity to Draco. His heart felt oddly fluttery, almost excited, to see Potter and he wanted to groan at the thought because while he could deal with everything else, he didn't know how to deal with his fucking heart.
"Let's see, he should be right - oh." He looked over to where Blaise was staring only to feel his heart plummet down to his stomach.
Draco had no legitimate reason to be jealous - Harry wasn't his, after all - but it still made his heart twinge in pain upon seeing Potter and some female Auror talking quietly, standing closely and laughing at whatever they were talking about. They were Aurors for Merlin's sake, what could possibly be so funny in their office?
"We can just wait over here," Blaise muttered, guiding Draco over to the wall next to Potter's private office. Which happened to be locked. Which meant that they'd have to stand around, watching Harry flirt his day away until he finally noticed them.
Circe, what had he been thinking? Coming up here was a mistake. Actually, the whole bloody list was a mistake. There was no way he'd ever taken an interest in Draco, with tips or without. Sure, they were friends now but that didn't erase everything they'd ever shouted at one another. It just meant that they tolerated one another a bit m-
"Poor girl," Blaise muttered. Draco whipped his head around so quickly that he could almost feel his neck nearly snap.
"What?" If anyone deserved sympathy it was him, not some random Auror who currently had Potter's full attention on her. Bloody hell, Draco was literally being subjected to torture, watching the love of his life shamelessly flirt with some woman.
"Potter's not into her but she is," he explained, his eyebrows drawn in a pensive way, observing the pair. Draco couldn't help but snort. Of course Potter was interested, was Zabini blind?
"Look at his body language. If he was interested, he'd be standing closer, you know? Baring his chest to her, asserting his dominance by towering over her," he explained, turning to face Draco in the way he was describing, " -but also expressing trust by exposing his vulnerable parts."
Draco glanced over, his body still facing Blaise's as they leaned against the wall. Potter and the woman were still talking but he did notice that Blaise was right - while the woman was turned toward Harry, he had his shoulder to her, only his head turned to look at her. "Still..." he said but Blaise either ignored him (probable) or just didn't hear him because he continued talking.
"He'd probably step closer too," Blaise mused, stepping closer to Draco, "claim that he wants to hear her better and all, but it's really so he can scent her." His explanations were making some sense and the irrational jealousy Draco had experienced was beginning to fade. But...
"Scent her?" He wrinkled his nose in disgust. "Zabini, I'm not sure you've noticed but Potter is hardly a dog."
At that, Blaise cut him a glare that would've had a lesser man flinching. "The last time you were drunk, you waxed poetry on Potter's smell -"
"Point. Taken." The arrogant bastard just smirked.
"And if he were really interested," he continued as if he'd never been interrupted, "he would lean in and tuck a lock of her hair behind her ear. Establish physical contact and fluster her." He reached up and touched a golden blond strand of Draco's hair, smoothing it back whilst leaning a bit closer. He blinked up at Blaise, surprised that the other wizard would actually demonstrate on Draco himself.
"Zabini," a voice barked from across the room and they jumped apart, the moment broken. While trying to calm his racing heart, Draco looked over to where the voice had come from and his heart nearly stopped when he noticed two things.
One, the woman from before was completely forgotten, seeming to gravitate toward another coworker.
Harry was glaring at Blaise so intensely that Draco was surprised he didn't suddenly ignite into flames. If he didn't know better, he'd say that Potter was jealous. That thought alone sent a thrill of excitement up his spine but he immediately tamped it down, not wanting to excite himself over nothing.
But Merlin, was jealous a good look on him.
The office was deathly quiet as Blaise went through the examination, the silence only interrupted by the occasional command.
"Alright. Everything seems to be in order, just remember to keep too much pressure off your shoulder," Blaise said in his healer voice, leaving no room for argument.
"Ready?" Blaise asked as he finished shrinking and packing away his equipment. Draco nodded and stood, feeling somewhat relieved that the tense atmosphere would soon be behind them. As hot as Potter had looked while jealous, Draco found that he didn't really like the aftermath with everything feeling oddly stiff and Potter's heated gaze on him every time he looked at the man.
"Actually, Draco could I speak with you for a second?" Harry interrupted and Draco felt his heart jump up to his throat, lodging itself there and threatening to choke him.
"Could this wait? We have lunch plans," Blaise explained smoothly and it suddenly clicked into his brain what his friend was doing. He was riling Harry up, exposing him to the risk of losing Draco if he didn't make a move - but of course he wouldn't make a move. He wasn't even interested in -
"Mind if I join?"
The smirk that Blaise shot him did nothing to reassure his already shot nerves. He filed out after Zabini, pretending not to notice the heat that Harry was radiating, standing so closely behind him that if Draco just arched, he was sure that Harry's front would be press-
"Ah, shit. Looks like I have to run." Blaise explained, not looking the least bit rushed or worried. "Have lunch on me, though."
Without waiting for their replies, Blaise waved them goodbye, taking off toward the floo network where he'd probably floo home and heat up leftovers. Draco was willing to bet all the gold in his vaults that Blaise was just a fucking liar and had decided to try and push them together. A fact he appreciated but still, the principles of it were off.
"That's a shame. How does Lorenzo's sound?" Potter murmured, entirely too close to Draco, his mouth nearly at level with his ear. The low, deep quality to his voice had his stomach flipping wildly, his heart hammering against his rib cage in mad protest, and his mouth go suddenly dry.
He nodded tersely and only felt a tiny bit disappointed when Harry took a step away, establishing a more appropriate distance between the two of them. As they walked, Draco willed his dick to listen to him for once in its life because as great as robes were, he did not want to ruin this with a distracting boner.
"So, er. You and Zabini?" Harry inquired casually, his eyes looking upward as he scoured the puffy white clouds crossing the expanse of the unusually blue sky.
"What about us?"
"Are you two... seeing each other?" He asked and Draco thanked Blaise Zabini from the bottom of his heart because damn did it feel good to know that Harry was seething with barely contained jealousy - a slight exaggeration but Draco was content with its use - all because he thought that Draco and Zabini were together. The mere thought was laughable but Draco played along, knowing when to sound coy.
"No, but-" Harry tensed, "-who knows? I'm certainly not opposed to some romance."
They walked the rest of the way in silence, Harry pressing a hand to Draco's back when they nearly got separated. He was wearing 4 layers and yet, the touch was searing itself into his skin, marking him, ruining him for anyone else.
Or, his traitorous mind added, he was already ruined for anyone else.
The crooked smile that Harry shot him, shy and private, only confirmed his thoughts.
3. Be spontaneous, Harry gets tired of routine and little else will excite him (not like that you ninny) like a new adventure.
Draco gnawed on his lip, wondering if his idea could actually be considered as an adventure. Spontaneous? Yes. Adventure? Debatable.
But if he were to be honest, his impromptu trip wasn't all about Harry. Draco could admit that he was the tiniest bit selfish, and, well, he loved astronomy and it just so happened that there would be a meteor shower later that night. Before he could second guess himself and hide his planning, he felt the wards shift as they let Harry apparate in, and braced himself against the counter, hoping that Harry would either accept or get the rejection over with quickly.
"Hey, Malfoy... what's all this?"
"Articles. There's supposed to be a meteor shower later night. You may accompany me, if you were ever so inclined," he said, his voice so detached and polite that his ancestors were probably grinning down at him. His heart, however, was racing at the idea of-
"Yeah. Yeah, I'd love to," Harry said quietly, a small smile taking shape on his lips and holy shit, it was so endearing that Draco wanted to take the memory to a pensieve and rewatch the scene until it was imprinted into his eyelids because it was beautiful. It was beautiful and radiant and warm and Draco wanted nothing more than to launch himself at Potter and feel that smile against his lips.
Instead of throwing himself at his flatmate and embarrassing himself, he settled for a wide smile, one showing all of his teeth.
And yeah. Maybe Blaise had been right. Because Harry's smile grew wider and Draco could feel himself falling faster.
Again, he was so, so fucked.
To no one's surprise and Draco's misery, it rained.
The night had started nicely enough. They had arrived an hour before the meteor shower was supposed to happen, hanging on the edge of a cliff that seemed to jut out into the sky painted in hues of pink, orange, and purple. The blanket they had laid out was charmed with a cushioning charm and everything had been going perfectly - in fact, they had only argued like 4 times in the last 20 minutes.
Underneath the darkened sky, Harry had used some spell he had learned to enhance and brighten the usually obscure constellations, thrilled to show Draco the constellation he already knew by heart - the constellation he was named after. And so they had spent some 30 minutes observing the brightly twinkling stars, sharing whispered stories until Draco's heart felt so light that it seemed as if it could float away.
And then the fog rolled in. It was normal enough, he supposed, to have fog rolling in. But then came the clouds.
Heavy, dark clouds weighted down by the amounts of water they carried.
"Hey, uh, Malfoy? Maybe we should -?" Harry gestured over his shoulder, indicating they should leave. Draco, despite his nerves, shook his head.
"It'll clear soon enough," he promised, but he couldn't help but glance apprehensively at the looming clouds.
So they had stayed there for approximately 30 minutes more until the heavens had opened upon them and drenched them within seconds. There had been a lot of shrieking - mostly on his part because he was wearing his brand new sweater - and cursing from them both as they struggled to gather their things. They had slipped and slid against the muddied floor, holding onto each other for balance before a bolt of lightening lit up the sky and scared Draco half to death.
He clung to Harry for dear life, thinking that if he were to die tonight, he would die in the arms of the man he loved, dammit.
It was a bit of a struggle but Potter managed to apparate them to their living room, both of them caked in mud, luckily with everything intact, and looking like half drowned rats. They stayed like that for a few seconds, dripping in the silence of their flat, water droplets dripping onto the hardwood before Harry chuckled.
And before he knew it, Draco was joining him, laughing until his stomach hurt and all he could hear was Harry's rich chuckles ringing so close to his ear.
It was so natural. Embracing Harry, laughing with him, even when the circumstances were less than fortunate. Draco paused suddenly, his laughter dying down as he watched Harry snort and chuckle, his eyes crinkling with obvious joy. Oh Merlin, his heart began to pound crazily because he knew he wanted this with Harry - wanted everything with Harry. He wanted to see Harry argue with him, come home with him, cry with him, laugh with him. He wanted Harry like he needed to breathe.
"That was -"
"Amazing? The most fun I've had in weeks?" Harry filled in, leaning back to look Draco in the eyes.
"I was thinking more along the lines of 'a bloody mess' but I suppose you could be right," Draco teased, a smile tugging at the corners of his lips, crinkling the edges of his eyes. Merlin, he felt so alive.
But then, he was more than alive. He was thrumming with anticipation, waiting for something more.
"Harry?" He whispered as the tip from earlier ran through his mind, be spontaneous.
"Draco?" Harry whispered back, the mirth from his voice disappearing as emerald eyes met silver. Draco licked his lips, noticing the way Potter's gaze seemed to be glued upon the gesture, following his tongue's every movement.
Honestly, he didn't remember leaning in but he couldn't find it in himself to question it, his eyes shutting slowly on their own accord as his lips neared Harry's own, already -
"Draco?" Pansy's voice called out and he cursed internally as the grip on him loosened until Harry was letting go of him completely, stepping back awkwardly. He rubbed the back of his neck and with flaming cheeks, bid Draco goodnight. He could only watch him retreat, his heart pounding dangerously against his chest.
He gathered himself as best as he could and smoothed his wet hair back, doing his best to channel the signature Malfoy glare.
It took every ounce of self control to not hex Pansy into the next fucking century as he accepted her floo call.
"We should have another pub night," Ron announced a week later and as much as Draco hated alcohol, the idea of drowning his sorrows in cheap booze was appealing. Merlin knew he needed it.
They had gone back to their usual routine after that fateful night, skirting around the elephant in the room and pretending that nothing had happened.
It was absolutely killing Draco.
Rejection he could handle, but the refusal to acknowledge what had happened was twisting his heart with a steel knife. It hurt. He wanted to talk about it, Christ did he want to discuss it, but he couldn't bring it up - not when he was the one who had made himself vulnerable the other night. He was waiting for Harry to breach the subject and so far, he had given no indication that anything had ever happened.
"Alright," Hermione nodded and the planning was underway before he could agree or object. The pub from last time wouldn't take them back, not after Seamus had danced on top of the bar.
"How about that new club on Diagon?" Seamus suggested, positively glowing at the prospect of ruining another drinking establishment. Draco bit his tongue and willed his laughter away.
If anything, the evening would distract him from thoughts of unrequited love and almost kisses.
"Before we leave," Hermione said loudly, drawing everyone's attention, "I think we need to implement some form of system so we don't lose anyone this time."
"We've never lost anyone," Seamus emphasized.
"We left Neville in muggle London with no wand!"
"What if we left him on purpose," Dean countered, already a little tipsy, "that's not losing him." A murmur of agreement went through their friend group.
"Was it on purpose?" Hermione questioned, her lips pursed in a way that had Dean sobering up considerably.
"I - no. But he came back! He's not lost. Huzza!"
Draco couldn't help the snort that escaped and his eyes sought Harry's, who seemed just as amused as he was. Despite all their difference and the history in their friend group, it could not be denied that they were the most amusing group of people Draco had ever encountered.
"Regardless. We're using the buddy system," she said and proceeded to explain what exactly it was before she paired everyone off. Potter nodded when he was assigned Seamus, and when Blaise grumbled about being assigned to Dean, Draco was quick to jump in and take his spot.
He could only pretend that everyone else was oblivious to his reasons.
Draco smiled apologetically at the cashier as Dean continued to rant about the injustice and tyranny they lived with.
"It's madness! Bloody wasteful too," Dean slurred, leaning on Draco slightly as the cashier bagged their groceries which consisted of donuts, donut holes, and edible glue.
They stepped out into the brisk night air, where Harry was talking to Dean quietly, both of them leaning on the brick wall.
Before Draco could respond, Seamus was frowning, "I gotta piss."
His declaration was met with agreement from Dean who stood up wobbly and led an equally drunk Seamus into the alley before Harry or Draco could object.
"They're a mess," Harry sighed, his tone laced with amusement. Draco hummed in agreement, the alcohol singing happily in his veins as they waited for their friends, his thoughts pleasantly blank. A few seconds passed and then Harry turned abruptly, his movement catching Draco off guard until he saw how serious Harry seemed, his eyes intense in a way that had Draco's blood thrumming with anticipation like that night a few days ago.
So much for distractions. All he could think about now was seeing that intense look again but with considerably less clothing and a bed underneath them. Draco swallowed at his unbridled thoughts, his mouth suddenly parched when he noticed Harry's gaze drop to his lips and throat.
"C'mon buddy!" Seamus shouted, waving frantically to Draco. He could only sigh.
Typical. Of course his second chance at swapping spit with the Golden Boy would be interrupted.
Draco felt like shit. A month.
A whole bloody month had passed and Harry continued to dance this little tango around Draco, always managing to evade him. Their pubs nights now had a glaringly obvious lack of one Harry James Potter and he seemed to only come home to sleep and shower.
It was bloody maddening, is what it was. He was hurt and Harry's distance was only hurting him more, rubbing salt into the wound and reminding him that no matter how hard they tried, their easy friendship was never going to return all because they had nearly kissed twice.
The flat was dark when he got back, reminding him yet again that he had managed to drive Harry from their home until the latest possible hour. Well, Draco had given him more than enough time to get over himself. There was no way in Hell that he was going to let Harry walk away from the friendship they both had worked so hard for.
Or at least, that is what he told himself as he settled down at the kitchen island, intent on waiting for Harry to waltz through the front door or the floo.
His blood was boiling when he sat down and he began to prepare all his arguments, making sure to bring out the most pressing issues. The clock ticked along thunderously, each tick grating on Draco's nerves because it was nearly midnight and Harry still wasn't home.
He was growing tired and more agitated as the seconds passed, and when the floo chimed, he raced to the living room, ready to tear Potter a new one. His angry tirade died on his lips as he caught sight of a teary eyed Hermione Granger wiping soot off of her shoulders.
"Draco," she whispered, the mere tone she used letting him know that his world was about to start crumbling down around him, that nothing would make sense anymore if she said anything else.
"No. No, no, no. Please no, Hermione. No," he begged desperately, his throat constricting because it couldn't be right - Harry Potter was the boy who defied all odds, the man who could rid Draco of his tears with a fucking smile, the man who put everyone else before himself, the boy who lived.
"Draco," she said more sharply, her voice still gentle enough to anger Draco because how dare she come here and tear apart his life with just one word- "He needs us."
His anger deflated at that, his traitorous heart leaping with the tiny glimmer of hope embedded within those words. Harry wasn't dead. Harry needed him, needed them, and he would be there if it was the last thing he did.
That evening, Draco discovered that he would gladly move heaven and hell if it meant that he'd never have to see Harry in such a state again.
Potter looked broken. Utterly broken.
There were blossoming bruises along his jaw and bandages on his forehead and cheeks, most likely covering scratches and gashes. The bags under his eyes looked like bruises against his pale skin, making him look so dead that Draco had to fight back a sob.
Draco felt as if he were working on auto-pilot, letting his body control what he was doing because his mind was far too distracted to pay attention, too worried to think of anything other than Harry. How he had ever been mad at him was a mystery now.
"-lucky to be alive," the healer murmured to Hermione, who nodded shakily, the gangly ginger behind her rubbing her shoulders comfortingly.
The ugly green chair was uncomfortable but Draco didn't pay it any attention - Harry was on a hospital bed looking like he had dueled death headfirst and Draco would gladly sit on a spiked chair if it meant being next to the man he loved.
Circe, he loved him so fucking much. If he lost him... he'd lose himself too. They were entertwined, him and Harry, ever since the first time they had met when they were 11 year olds and Draco couldn't bear the thought of not having Harry there with him.
Harry, the one who taught Draco how to use a bloody toaster, the first one who saw past his mistakes and his past and accepted him, the man who would always, always make time to listen to Draco. The one who would wipe his tears and replace it with a smile. The one Draco had fallen irrevocably in love with.
Harry couldn't leave. He was the boy who lived. He was Draco's.
With tears falling down his cheeks, he laid his head next to Harry's hip, tangling their fingers together. They were entertwined. Always.
A week passed and Harry had yet to wake up.
Draco had stayed by his side the whole time, often falling asleep and waking up to the steady beeping of the machine, the only reassurance that Harry was still alive, his heart still beating. The night healer came in, shooting Draco a wary glance which he dutifully ignored. Hermione was right - Circe, what had his life come to? - if Draco wanted the healers to like him, he'd have to make amends for hexing that one intern on the first night.
It wasn't his fault, though. They had flat out refused Draco's very polite request to stay the night. He'd only pulled his wand when that one pig nosed nurse had tried to guide him out of the room.
He would make amends. Eventually. Not now. Now he was too tired and too worried about Harry to even think about sucking up to the healers.
The bruises were thankfully gone but Potter seemed to have shut down, a coma his body had unconsciously induced to try and prevent further injuries. It had saved his life, apparently but Draco couldn't understand why Potter wasn't waking up now that all threats were gone.
"Bloody hell, you're still here?" Blaise said from the doorway and he turned around with a glare.
"Of course I'm still here, you prat," Draco hissed.
"Draco, I get that you're about 2 seconds from changing your last name to Potter but for the love of all that is holy, please go home. Harry is bound to wake up any day now and you look like shit. You won't do him any help by being on edge and exhausted."
"I - no. I need to be here when -"
"Do you want me to send you upstairs? You know Luna has been dying to evaluate your mental health," Blaise threatened, his eyes shining with worry and determination that made Draco feel even more tired. Hospital food mixed with the occasional hour or two of sleep were not doing Draco any good, he knew, but he couldn't bear to go home and be faced with the emptiness and silence that were awaiting him at their flat.
"Okay, okay. I'm going," he muttered, standing slowly and stretching.
When Draco came back the next day, he was greeted with the sight of Harry Potter sitting up in bed, looking positively starved and exhausted but alive. The sight of his green eyes alone had Draco's knees buckling under the relief.
He sat down wordlessly, observing Potter for a few seconds, his hands twitching to hold his as he had done so the whole week he'd stayed at the hospital with him.
"I, I'm glad you're alright, Potter," he said gruffly, his eyes meeting emerald eyes for a second before sliding away. He knew that if he stared at those tired, yet impossibly bright eyes, he'd do something stupid like snog the idiot.
"Listen, Malfoy -" was all he managed to get out before the door burst open and in tumbled the entirety of the Weasley clan, all of them clambering over to the bed to try and assure themselves that Harry was alright.
A tight smile later, Draco was excusing himself.
Potter was alright. That was all that mattered. They would talk about it - them - eventually.
Unfortunately, as opposed to what many may think, taking a week off from work was not the wisest decision Draco Malfoy had ever made. His files were in disarray and the cases he had handed over to some other Ministry attorneys had been all in vain because half of them ended with an undecided vote which meant that Draco had to file even more paperwork and show up to the next court hearing as co-counsel.
Which was just fucking great.
"Belinda!" He shouted just because he could. He had far too much pent up energy after leaving the magical hospital and the dismal news on the progress of his cases had his mood souring faster than milk. Harry had been discharged a day after Draco's visit and their little dance had resumed, expect that this time around, Draco was taking part in it too.
His feelings, just like his cases, were a bloody mess and he found it easier to immerse himself in his work rather than try to sort them out. He wasn't evading his feelings, not exactly. He was just ignoring them - preferably forever.
It wasn't the wisest method, he knew, but he was a prideful man and as of late, he had little pride to speak of. His carefully kept infatuation had been revealed to the entirety of his friend group, he had embarrassed himself incredibly trying to seduce the man he was infatuated with, and then slept with said man and been more or less rejected.
As if materialized by his thoughts, the list "5 Step Guide to Seducing Harry Potter" (as Dean and Neville had so eloquently titled it), peeked out from underneath a particularly large file and Draco's lip curled in disgust. How he ever thought he'd pull something like that off was beyond him.
The middle-aged woman came bumbling into the room, a file in one hand and a mug of tea in the other and startled, Draco shoved the little list into the first file he could reach.
"I -" he paused, "I'm working from home today. I presume all my meetings can be pushed back a day."
"Yes, sir," she answered dutifully, a questioning look in her deep brown eyes. He turned away from her then, not wanting to succumb to the urge to share his goddamn feelings like a ninny, and started to shove a number of case files into his satchel in his haste to leave.
He grunted in reply.
"Are you alright?" The question caught him off-guard. Sure he could see the curiosity and concern in her eyes but he hadn't expected for her to actually voice her question. Unbidden, a bitter smile found its way to his lips. He thought about it for a moment, about the pain in his heart, the sadness in his life, the loneliness that plagued him more than not.
"No. I'm not," he said, striding past her to the door. At the doorframe, he paused and gave her a small, sad smile. "Then again, how many of us are actually alright?"
Draco raced around the flat, trying to gather everything he needed because he was running late for the first time in years. The one bloody time he actually had to wake up before 6, his internal clock decided to snooze and let Draco sleep in.
Of course, it was on the morning of his most pressing case - one the Aurors had brought in 3 months back. It wasn't high-profile by any means but the charges pressed against the wizard were grave and could mean to life in Azkaban. Which Draco was going to ensure.
If he could show up to the bloody Ministry on time.
He nearly sprinted to the door, case file in hand, when he crashed in none other than the man who had managed to avoid him in a tiny flat for a good chunk of the past 2 months.
He cursed loudly. Of all days, today was the worst for Potter to suddenly decide to get his head out of his marvelous arse and try to talk to Draco.
"I've gotta go," he explained hurriedly, already moving back and around Potter's frame.
"Later, Potter!" He nearly snarled, agitated by everything already. If he didn't show up to court, not only would that vile wizard walk free, but Draco would surely be ridiculed and demoted back to the smaller cases, not given by the Aurors. Draco shuddered at the thought of going to court to fight for custody of a crup again.
No, he would show up in the nick of time and win for Merlin's sake. Potter and time and all else be damned.
When Draco stumbled into the flat nearly 8 hours later, his good spirits fled the building and traveled to some desolate location out in the country, leaving him positively cold and numb. He stared in shock at the little list tacked onto the wall, his heart freezing in terror.
It was one thing trying to seduce Potter and failing. It was another completely to fail and have Potter know what he was trying to do.
He couldn't bring himself startle, the terror in his veins freezing his whole body and forcing a horrible sensation in his nose, a tell-tale sign that he was moments away from crying.
He knew that Draco had tried and failed to woo him, that he was just as pathetic as those besotted fangirls who wrote him fanmail.
"I am." He replied tersely, resolutely staring at the list, his heart thudding slowly, painfully, as it mocked him. He felt exhausted suddenly. Scared but exhausted. He had won the case by the smallest of margins and after pouring over the next case, he had decided to head home, only to find a confrontation waiting for him.
Confrontations were not his thing. Confrontations led to disappointment and demise and sadness and Draco just couldn't deal with it. He preferred to ignore and persevere.
"Were you going to tell me?"
Draco drew in a sharp breath and schooled his features before whirling around to face Potter.
"Tell you? For what purpose? Oh, I apologize, did you want new material to humiliate me with or is it just that you've yet to grow out of.. of..."
Potter was striding closer, his gait smooth and sure despite the fact that four weeks ago, he was looking like a skeleton in a hospital bed. Draco found it hard to focus on his words when Potter was so close and instead drew up to his full height, his cheeks still burning red with humiliation. Silently and stonily, Harry thrust a piece of parchment into his hands.
5 Step Guide to Seducing Draco Malfoy
"I - what -"
"Shut up, Malfoy," Harry all but growled, his lips dangerously close to Draco's. "You're all I could think about for who knows how long and now that I know my feelings are returned, I'm not going to let you back out of this. Not after I've had my way with you."
Draco felt a pang of heat deep in his belly, his traitorous dick already beginning to respond to the dark promise in Harry's word and the low timbre of his voice. Lips brushed the corner of his lips and it took every ounce of strength to not turn his head and fuse their mouths together.
"What are you waiting for then, Potter?" He challenged. That was apparently all it took before Harry was picking him up, their mouths moving frantically against one another as he walked them steadily toward Harry's room.
"Fuck," Draco groaned, rising up before slamming down, his hole clenching tightly around Harry's prick.
"You look so bloody gorgeous bouncing on my cock," Harry panted out in between thrusts upward, his fingers lightly pinching Draco's rosy nipples as he continued to fuck himself. His thighs burned with exertion but Draco couldn't stop, addicted at once to the deliciously painful way that Harry's thick cock stretched him.
Suddenly, Harry's fingers were curled tightly around Draco's hips, lifting him up as if he weighed nothing, forcing him down with an intensity that had Draco nearly sobbing. It was ruthless and degrading, as if Harry was using him - it was shameful, utterly humiliating but Draco found himself wanting it, wanting Harry to take until Draco had nothing left to give.
"Please, please, harder," he babbled, his breath hitching when Harry's hands tightened enough that he knew they'd leave bruises.
"So good," Harry murmured, sitting up and guiding Draco onto his back, his legs immediately spreading in invitation, his hole surely gaping open after the brutal fucking.
Harry looked absolutely feral above him, a fiend waiting to pounce and Draco whimpered at the analogy, wanting nothing more than to have Harry take him. It wasn't long before Harry was thrusting into Draco again, his cock stretching him once more as he resumed the punishing pace that had Draco begging for more.
As they laid together in their post coital bliss, Harry's arm wrapped protectively around Draco, Draco's head resting on Harry's chest, he sighed contently.
The list he hated so much before had proved to do as intended - albeit not as he had envisioned.
Now it was up to Draco to do the rest. He trailed his hand across Harry's tanned chest, his fingers lacing with Harry's.
He knew it would be okay. They were entertwined, after all.