Draco stood on the pavement in front of Hogsmeade's newest establishment. He stared in mild horror at the name on the signboard above the door: Feluna.
Draco shuddered, then he squared his shoulders and marched inside. Business was business, and if Loony chose to order her cakes from him, so much the better. As soon as Draco stepped through the door, a cat began to wind around his ankles, depositing white fur on his dark gray trousers. He sighed in frustration. Draco liked cats well enough, but he'd rather not wear fur, thank you ever so.
"Lovegood?" he called.
She peered out from a door in the back. "Good morning, Draco," she greeted him. "Come on back. We're meeting in the office."
Draco hesitated. We? Did he have competition? He'd thought Lovegood meant to get her cakes from his bakery, Cake-OH!
Draco entered the office, stride faltering for a split second when he saw Potter was in there with Lovegood. Draco's heart sped up. He ignored his reaction to the speccy git and took the chair that Lovegood waved him to.
"Lovegood, Potter," Draco said smoothly. Coolly.
"Malfoy," Potter returned with a smile.
Draco's heart gave a giddy throb, and so did another part of his body. He cleared his throat and crossed one ankle over the opposite knee.
"Hi, Draco," chirped Lovegood. "I see you've met Midnight."
Draco's forehead furrowed. "The only cat I saw was completely white."
"Yes, that's Midnight," Lovegood said with a nod.
Draco's lips parted with the question Why? on his tongue, but he let it go. There was no sense in trying to make sense of Lovegood's nonsense.
She beamed at him and got down to business. "What do you think of my new cat cafe?"
"I think it's brilliant," Potter replied.
Draco wasn't as convinced, but he was tactful in his own reply. "It's certainly different," he said. "Are you sure it will flourish in Hogsmeade?"
Potter spoke up before Lovegood could. "It will be tremendous," he said. "It's all Lily can talk about. She and her friends can't wait to have a cup of tea and cuddle some cats."
As if the cats sensed they were the topic of discussion, there arose a meow and a clatter from the cafe. Lovegood shot up from her chair. "Excuse me," she blurted as she dashed out of the office, leaving Draco alone with the object of his lust. Ever since he'd read in the Daily Prophet that Potter was bent, his marriage was ending, and he was leaving the Aurors, Draco had been obsessed. His reaction irritated him. Merlin, he'd like to think he had better taste than that! Draco tried to avoid Potter whenever possible, in hopes that his libido would cease pining, but it seemed that Fate, and Lovegood, had other ideas.
Draco sought to distract his wayward thoughts by striking up a conversation. "I must say, I don't have much faith in this venture," he said. "It's absurd, and even the name of the establishment is ridiculous. Feluna?"
Potter's brows rose above the frames of his specs. "Cake-OH!?"
Draco's eyes narrowed at the insult. "Quiche Me, Harry?" he sneered. Draco didn't even see Potter move, but he was aware when firm lips pressed against his own. He froze, but when Potter's warm tongue swept out to caress Draco's lower lip, he moaned and leaned in, deepening the kiss.
Potter sat back, and it was over. He licked his lips, smiled, and said, "I thought you'd never ask."
Draco collected his scattered wits and decided to be outraged. "Why, you-"
"Sorry about that," Lovegood interrupted when she returned. "Tiny was upset that Big Tony had climbed to the top shelf above the selection of teas."
"Speaking of teas-"
"I say, Potter!"
"...will you carry white jasmine?" Potter finished, ignoring Draco's outburst. The question was directed at Lovegood, but he spared Draco a glance and a smirk.
Draco could do nothing but fume. He refused to squirm, never mind the throbbing ache at his groin.
"Yes, of course," said Lovegood, replying to Potter's innocent-seeming question.
Draco knew better; Potter was up to something. He didn't know what, but he didn't think for one minute the git fancied him. An inappropriate thrill shot through Draco. He didn't realize how intently he was looking at his nemesis until Lovegood remarked on it.
"Did I miss something?" she asked.
Draco blinked and turned to focus on her. "We were just...discussing the names of our businesses," he improvised.
Lovegood smiled at him. "I love Feluna," she said. "Do you like it?"
"Ahem," Draco squirmed. "I think it's an interesting way to incorporate cats as well as your name."
"I think it's interesting that all of us chose business names that incorporate our own names," she beamed in response.
Draco's brow furrowed again. "Certainly, Feluna and Quiche Me, Harry do," he conceded, flicking a warning glance at Potter, lest he pounce again.
"Are you saying your bakery's name doesn't do the same?" Potter challenged.
"Of course not."
Draco felt his face get warm. Damn Potter and his sexy smirk. Draco wanted to wipe it off of his face, using his lips. No one had ever been able to both aggravate and attract him the way Potter could.
"I like the name you picked for your bakery," said Lovegood, defusing the snark and tension in the room. "Now then, I asked each of you to provide samples of your food so we can try them together. I'll make some tea."
When Lovegood bustled out to fetch tea, Draco called for one of his elves. "Spicy!"
Potter cocked a brow again. "Spicy?" he drawled, just as the elf in question appeared.
"You is needing Spicy's help, Mr Harry Potter, sir?"
"I called for you, Spicy," Draco snapped. Her ears drooped, and he reined in his temper. Draco cleared his throat and tried again. "Spicy, would you please summon the cakes we baked for Miss Lovegood this morning?"
The elf beamed at him, her good humor restored. She snapped her fingers, and a tray with three beautiful layered cakes appeared. Spicy levitated it to the table in one corner of the office.
Potter's eyes grew wide with wonder. "Oh," he breathed in delight.
"Hah!" crowed Draco. "Now you know why I gave my shop its name."
Instead of taking umbrage, Potter's green eyes sparkled. He bestowed a brilliant smile on Draco, whose heart skipped a beat. Potter didn't speak. He removed a tiny picnic hamper from his pocket, flicked his wand at it, and opened the lid of the re-sized hamper. A tantalizing, savory smell wafted out, making Draco's mouth water.
The office door, which Lovegood hadn't closed completely, creaked open, and a tabby cat barged inside. It hopped up on Lovegood's vacated chair and meowed.
"He wants some of my quiche," said Potter, smiling at the gray striped feline.
Lovegood returned then, a tea service levitating behind her. "Get down from there, Spot," she scolded the cat.
Draco looked at the cat's striped coat and back to his hostess. "Spot?"
"Draco, did you invite Spot in here?" Lovegood chided.
"Certainly not," Draco sputtered indignantly. "It was Potter's food that attracted him."
Potter nodded in agreement. "My quiche brings all the cats to the yard."
"What?" "Sorry?" Draco and Lovegood asked at the same time.
Potter grinned at them ruefully. "Just a little Muggle humor," he said.
Lovegood giggled. "You're so funny, Harry."
"Speaking of funny," Draco began, "why did you name a striped cat Spot?"
"Oh, I didn't name him," replied Lovegood. "He chose his own name."
Draco's mouth opened, but he was incapable of articulating an intelligent response.
Once again, Saint Potter saved the day. "Well done, Spot," he congratulated the cat, scratching him under the chin. "Bravo."
Lovegood sent the tray to the table, where Spicy helped set up. In the meantime, Lovegood scooped Spot up and carried him to the door. She set him down and closed the door. Spicy took her leave, and Draco and Potter joined Lovegood at the table.
"Let's eat," she said, dishing up small slices of quiche.
Draco brought a forkful to his mouth, delighting in the wonderful flavor. "Mm," he hummed. He glanced at Potter, only to see that Potter was watching him intently. Draco could almost feel the heat of Potter's gaze on his lips.
"You like it?" Potter murmured.
"Oh yes, it's wonderful!" exclaimed Lovegood, breaking the heated exchange between Draco and Potter. "I knew you were the one I would order my quiches from, Harry," Lovegood continued.
"Thank you, Luna. I'm happy you like the quiches I made."
They sampled each of the three quiches Potter had provided, and Draco was hard-pressed to decide which was his favorite. There was asparagus and Swiss cheese, tomato basil, and ham with leeks.
"I have other quiches I make," said Potter. "These are some of my own favorites."
"I can't wait to try the others," Lovegood said with enthusiasm.
Draco privately agreed. He would need to either frequent Feluna in the future, or beard the lion in his den by visiting Quiche Me, Harry.
They sat and sipped tea, cleansing their palates as they discussed the various quiches. Draco kept his own comments to a minimum, preferring to let Lovegood and Potter do most of the talking. Finally, it was time to sample his cakes.
Draco did the honors, plating first the Black Forest cake, then the Lemon Poppyseed, and finally, the Blackberry Lavender cake.
Lovegood oohed and aahed over each, but Potter's moans of pleasure were nearly Draco's undoing. He shifted in his chair, trying to ease the pressure in his pants as Potter practically fellated each forkful of cake.
"Remind me to have you make my wedding cake," Potter said between bites.
Disappointment dulled Draco's enjoyment of his confections. "You're getting married?" he asked, striving to sound casual.
"Is that a proposal?" Potter quipped.
"No, you berk! I was only..." Draco's voice trailed off when Potter had the gall to laugh at him.
"Relax, Malfoy. I was taking the piss," Potter said with a chuckle. "But, just so you know, I wouldn't say no."
"The cakes are fantastic, Draco," Lovegood interrupted. "I can't wait to serve them in my cafe."
He redirected his attention to her. Once the import of her words sank in, Draco smiled. "Thank you," he said. "I appreciate the opportunity."
Lovegood held up a hand. "There is a condition attached to doing business with Feluna."
Draco's lips thinned, and a quick glance at Potter showed that he was just as surprised.
"What condition, Luna?" Potter asked her.
She smiled and folded her hands primly on top of the table. "As both of you know, Feluna isn't just in the business allowing people to get something to eat or drink while enjoying the company of cats. I am also intent on finding homes for the cats."
As Draco was wondering what that had to do with him, Potter groaned and slumped back in his chair. "Ugh, Luna, no."
She patted his hand. "Harry, it's been years since you lost Hedwig, and it's time to share your life with another familiar friend."
"Hang on," Draco said sharply. "You expect me to adopt a cat?"
"Of course," Lovegood beamed. "You'll enjoy having someone to come home to."
"But, I don't want a cat!" he protested.
Lovegood reached across the table and picked up Draco's tea cup. She tilted it down and peered inside. "The tea leaves indicate you have a cat and love in your future."
"You're only saying that," Draco grumbled.
Potter had yet to straighten from his slouch. "She's actually quite good at Divination, Malfoy," he said on a sigh. "Best to pick out a cat and prepare to fall in love."
Lovegood nodded at Potter and reached for his cup. He snatched it away, saying, "I've had enough of prophecies."
"That's okay, Harry," she said. "I understand. Would you like Tiny or Big Tony? They're the only two currently ready for adoption."
"I'll take Tiny!" Draco blurted. If he had to take a manky cat home, he wanted a small, unobtrusive one.
"That's so sweet of you, Draco," said Lovegood. "I wasn't sure I'd be able to home him."
Draco's teeth clenched. "What do you--"
"Come on," Lovegood interrupted, pushing her chair back to stand up. "Let's go meet your new cats." She led the way into the cafe, where a dozen cats milled or lounged around.
Draco spied a beautiful silver cat and pointed it out. "May I have that one?" he asked.
Lovegood looked where he indicated. "That's Ginger," she said. "She's not ready for adoption yet."
"Ginger?!" Draco exclaimed. He got an enigmatic smile in return.
"She chose her own name," said Lovegood. She turned away. "Tiny!" she called.
Draco saw a small kitten playing beneath a table, and his heart melted. Just a little, mind. However, it wasn't the kitten that Lovegood scooped up. No, she picked up the largest, most rotund black cat that Draco had ever seen.
"You cannot be serious," he said.
Potter snorted softly, and Draco aimed a glare in his direction. Lovegood handed him the cat, and Draco nearly groaned at the strain of holding the big oaf. "I suppose you're going to tell me that Tiny chose his own name, too?"
"Of course," chirped Lovegood. She bent down and picked up the adorable kitten and handed it to Potter. "Here's Big Tony," she said.
Potter grinned and rubbed the gray kitten's ears, setting off a rumbling purr. Tiny rumbled in Draco's arms, followed by an unsavory smell. He then bunted Draco's jaw and flexed his claws into his shoulder.
"Hello, Tony," Potter was cooing to his kitten.
"Big Tony," Lovegood corrected him. "You two should know that Tiny and Big Tony are best mates, and they'll become morose if they don't get to see one another frequently. You'll need to arrange play dates for them."
"Arrange what now?!" cried Draco.
"Play dates?" Potter mused more quietly. He sent a speculative look in Draco's direction. He met Draco's eyes, then gave him a slow, head-to-toe once over.
Draco's erogenous zones sat up and took notice.
"Play dates sound like fun," said Potter. "Don't you agree, Malfoy?"
"Yes," Draco murmured. He blinked and shook himself. "That is, I am very busy as a baker, and play dates may not be feasible."
"The cats can enjoy one another's company while we heat things up in the kitchen," said Potter. "Er, in our kitchens, I mean." His cheeky grin belied his belated correction.
"Splendid!" Lovegood interjected, clapping her hands. "As the two of you spend time together, I'm confident you'll inspire each other to new heights."
Draco scowled at Potter. "What was that?"
Potter grinned at him. "Why don't you bring Tiny by tomorrow evening?" he suggested. "I live above my shop."
"You live at Quiche Me, Harry?"
"Yeah," Potter replied, "but I won't be satisfied with just quiches for long."
Draco caught the innuendo, and he swallowed heavily. He glanced at Lovegood, then back at Potter. "Yeah, alright," he said with a sigh.
Potter's eyes swept Draco once more, and he said, "I can't wait for our play date, Draco."
Merlin help me, thought Draco. Neither can I.