The bitter evening breeze howls in the distance. Harry shivers as he steps out onto the grass, still unable to fully believe he let this happen.
He tells Ron just as much.
“I know, mate,” Ron shakes his head, his long red hair bright against the pale skin of his bare shoulders. Harry tries not to let his eyes trail much lower than that as his best friend walks in front of him, starkers, save for the broom slung over his shoulder. “You’d think we’d learn not to make bets against Dean and Seamus.”
“You’d think,” Harry nods. It isn’t the first time they lose a bet to their roommates, but the stakes seem to be higher, more ridiculous, now that they’ve returned for their final year of school. A shiver runs down his spine, and Harry clutches his Firebolt closer to his chest as if it might be able to bring him some sort of warmth. They have lost countless bets to Dean and Seamus in the past, but this is the first time he and Ron have to fulfill their end of it under the light of a full moon.
Making their way down to the Quidditch Pitch, Harry sees a small group of people gathered near one of the stands. He holds his Firebolt over his crotch, a last-ditch effort to save what little dignity he thinks he has left. Hermione approaches them, somehow managing to look both concerned and judgmental, and quite warm in her thick wool coat.
“You two better have learned your lesson,” she huffs, her breath visible in the air between them. She sends Ron a sly look before schooling her features back to something more serious. “Honestly, it’s bad enough you’re out here naked at night, but need I remind you the sorts of things that could happen on a full moon?”
Harry throws a wary glance at the Forbidden Forest.
Ron gulps. “Come on, ‘mione,” he pleads. “Cast your Warming Charm! Otherwise, we’ll freeze our—well, we’ll freeze up there.”
She purses her lips. “Fine, but this is the last time I help you. I want you to suffer the consequences of these silly wagers. Last time it took weeks to clean the purple glitter out of our dormitory!” She mutters her advanced Warming Charm that neither Harry or Ron can ever get quite right, and reminds them to take a preventative cold elixir in the morning. With a mild sympathetic smile, she turns around and heads to the stands just as Dean and Seamus approach.
“Well, well,” says Seamus. Harry shakes, still clutching his broom to hide the front of his body. But Seamus cranes his head around the side of Harry and smacks his arse. “What your robes have been hiding—”
“—can’t hide in this lighting,” Dean finishes and raises his eyebrows as Harry pushes the bristles of his broom further against his crotch.
Ron sighs. “Let’s just get this over with.”
Dean reveals a trunk floating behind him, sets it down, and opens it. Inside, a glowing Quaffle, a set of oddly colored Bludgers, and a glittery Snitch vibrate against the straps. While Dean unleashes the Quidditch balls, Seamus casts a spell illuminating the rings on each side of the pitch.
“Hang on,” Harry says, confused as to how he and Ron are supposed to play a game of one-on-one with all three types of balls.
“Confused?” Seamus quirks a brow. He grabs one of the Bludgers.
“Here,” Dean tosses him a bat. Seamus throws up the Bludger and smacks it. Before Harry can react, it hits his shoulder with a soft thud, leaving the skin warm and tingly. When he looks down, the spot is glowing a neon, pulsing green.
His mouth drops. “What in Godric’s name is that?”
Seamus beams, “Glow-Goo. Won’t come off for days. Brilliant, right?”
Harry meets Ron’s terrified stare.
Dean and Seamus laugh, and Dean pats Ron on the shoulder, saying, “We’ll be down here making sure it’s not too easy.”
The game gets off to a good start, and Harry thinks it won’t be too bad. He’s letting Ron win, despite the cheers from the crowd. Harry spends every second looking for the glittering Snitch and trying to avoid getting covered head-to-toe in Glow-Goo. After fifteen minutes, he’s convinced Seamus and Dean won’t let the game end until he and Ron have more neon showing than skin. When a Bludger hits him on one of his arse cheeks, Harry glances down and gasps. Most of his torso is covered in pink, green, and yellow neon splotches, almost like paint splatter. He’s glowing brightly against the dark sky.
Determination floods him, and he searches frantically for the Snitch while he flies toward Ron’s goals with the Quaffle. He tosses it through a ring and whips back around in time to see the Snitch glistening in the moonlight directly over the onlookers in the stands. Barrelling after it without a second thought, Harry notices Lavender Brown lift binoculars to her face on his approach. A sudden rush of embarrassment floods him, and Harry makes an abrupt turn, accidentally smacking the Snitch with the tail end of his broom. It zooms off in the direction of the Forbidden Forest.
Harry glances at Ron and shouts, “I’ll go after the Snitch!”
He flies toward the forest and slows to a lazy pace, weaving his way through the foliage. It’s darker under cover of trees, and it takes half a minute for his eyes to adjust. By the time he’s got the hang of flying around the massive trees, dodging branches, cobwebs, vines, and other obstructions, Harry realises he’s glowing brighter than anything else in the vicinity. He’s practically a light source.
He enters a small clearing and thinks he sees the glittery flash of the Snitch at the other side. Flying forward, determined, the sudden shock of a scream startles him, and Harry jerks to the side, crashing into a tree.
“Ow,” he rubs his glowing shoulder and stands, brushing leaves and dirt off his skin in the process. He turns toward the center of the clearing, in the direction of the scream. Harry doesn’t think anything could have prepared him for what he sees.
The sight of his Slytherin rival surprises him, but even more shocking is the fact that Malfoy’s covered head to toe in mud. His usual fine robes and accessories had been traded for casual work robes, hastily fitted to his slim frame and obviously not made for him. He’s sporting knee-high work boots and a large leather rucksack. Harry gulps as his eyes follow the patches of dirt and mud. Malfoy’s chest, neck, and even his hair are littered with globs and streaks of mud. Harry’s sure he’s never seen Draco Malfoy with a hair out of place, let alone this disheveled. The only thing untarnished are his grey eyes, bright and wide, staring down at Harry’s naked body.
As soon as Harry realises he’s naked in front of his worst enemy, he turns around. “What in Merlin’s name are you doing out here, Malfoy?”
“I could ask the same of you, Potter.” Malfoy’s voice seems closer than it should be. Harry turns his head as the blond approaches him, grey eyes focused on the bare skin of Harry’s back. “Please enlighten me, what your explanation is for this—” he waves his hands in the air “—clear cry for attention?”
“Cry for attention?” Harry repeats. He turns without thinking, putting a hand on his hip, incensed. Malfoy’s one to talk about begging for attention. “Like how you strut into Potions yesterday with that ridiculous silk scarf?”
Malfoy smirks. “You noticed that, did you?” He takes a step forward. “Quite a rare find. Mother says the pattern brings out my eyes.” Now only a few feet to Harry’s right, Malfoy raises his hand, grabbing his chin in a thoughtful pose. When he meets Harry’s eyes, Malfoy smirks. “Say, Potter, you weren’t distracted by it, were you? That’s not the reason your project boiled over and ate through the workbench, is it?”
Harry clenches his jaw. “What are you even doing out here? During a full moon, I might add.” Harry takes a step toward him, fists clenched at his sides. He looks Malfoy up and down, takes in his wild surrender to the elements of the forest. He ignores how calm Malfoy appears to be, how relaxed he seems despite his appearance and the inherent risks of the landscape. “You’ve obviously been digging for something. What are you planning?”
Malfoy’s smirk deepens and his finger smudges mud across his chin as he lowers his hand. “At least I’m not flaunting my naked Chosen Arse around covered in Glow-Goo, flying about the Forbidden Forest like some raunchy Harpy begging for—”
“I am not a harpy!” Harry practically shouts.
“Could’ve fooled me.”
Seething, Harry reaches out and grabs Malfoy’s muddy arm. “Come with me, we’re going to McGonagall.”
Malfoy rips Harry’s hand away. “Unhand me! You’ll get goo on me.”
“Tell me why you’re out here, Malfoy,” Harry commands. “Or I’ll—”
“You’ll what, Potty?” Malfoy’s sending him a wicked smile as he raises his wand to Harry’s throat. “You’ve no wand hidden anywhere, have you?” Malfoy peers around obnoxiously, his eyes lingering on Harry’s backside before returning to glare at his face.
Harry crosses his arms, wondering if he could summon his wand from the Quidditch Pitch.
Malfoy smirks. “I’ve got Harry Potter alone, wandless, and—” he glances down Harry’s body, and Harry feels the need to cover himself, but he doesn’t dare move. “ —naked. Some would kill for this,” Malfoy tilts his head to the side. “Some probably have.”
“What are you going to do, Malfoy?” Harry incites, his tone harsh, his breathing erratic.
Lowering his wand, Malfoy looks away.
“Really?” Harry asks, and once the wand is out of his face, he lunges at Malfoy.
“Don’t touch me!”
Harry narrows his eyes as Malfoy steps out of his reach.“Tell me why you’re out here.”
Malfoy frowns. “You first. Or are you too ashamed to admit you fly around naked? Hoping someone in your fan club gets a peek and tells everyone how big your—”
Harry launches himself at Malfoy, colliding with him, sending them tumbling to the ground, a tangle of limbs, loud grunts, and pushing hands. Harry manages to roll on top of Malfoy, shoving him down into the dirt, straddling his waist. He grabs Malfoy’s wrists and forces them over his head, holding them down with a rough grip.
“Tell me,” Harry orders, leaning down to stare into Malfoy’s eyes.
“Make me,” he whispers back, and Harry can’t help but notice his quivering lips. His gaze falls to Malfoy’s neck, speckled with mud, so pale it almost glows in the moonlight. Harry unhooks one of his hands from above Malfoy’s head and trails a finger down his jaw until he gets a lazy grip around Malfoy’s throat.
Malfoy lets out an unsteady breath followed by something close to a groan. Harry can’t tear his eyes away from Malfoy’s pouting lower lip, caught between his white teeth, red and bruised. Harry can’t decide if he wants to strangle Malfoy or kiss him.
“Do it,” Malfoy breathes.
Harry leans in, his lips inches from Malfoy’s, his grip shifting from Malfoy’s throat to the back of his neck, tilting his head back.
“Make me,” Harry mimics, leaning even lower, erasing any space left between them. A jolt of something warm courses through him when their hips meet and Harry is breathing Malfoy’s breath, drinking in a moan and leaning down to—
“Hey Malfoy,” a familiar voice calls out from the other side of the clearing. Harry jolts up, letting go of Malfoy and standing to put some space between them. He turns around and catches Neville walking toward them, also covered in mud. “Professor Sprout was wondering how much longer you’d need for—”
“Longbottom,” Malfoy sits up. “Can you please inform your housemate that we’re here for a project and that I’m not secretly harvesting black market ingredients for Dark and nefarious purposes?”
“Harry,” Neville shakes his head, trying to hide his laughter. He’s blushing at the sight of Harry’s naked form. “Lose a bet to Dean and Seamus again?”
At that point, Harry’s blushing too, taking awkward steps back to the edge of the clearing, trying desperately to find his broom. “Yes,” he says. “Er—I’ll see you in the dorm, Nev.”
Harry practically throws himself onto his broom and winces as he takes off, unaware until that moment that he was half hard. By the time he makes it back to the Quidditch Pitch, the crowd has dispersed and so had his erection. He finds Ron and Hermione sprawled in the grass, sharing a blanket. Harry lands and Ron holds up the Snitch.
“It came back right after you went for it,” he says.
Harry rolls his eyes. “Of course it did.”
“Harry,” Hermione raises a brow. “You’re all muddy. Are you alright?”
He nods. “Yeah, I erm—fell into something.”
“I hope you’re ready to live in the shower, mate,” Ron shakes his head. “Parvati says it took her fifteen days, three showers a day, to get this Glow-Goo off.”
“Great,” Harry bristles. “Remind me again why we did this?”
Ron shakes his head and laughs. “Because I’m a hot head and you like to rise to a challenge?”
Harry licks his lips and shivers, remembering the goads of “Make me” and “Do it”, the memory of Malfoy underneath him, and the things it did to his body. Malfoy had been playing at something, clearly innocent from any wrongdoing. Was it some sort of game to him? Distrust, snark, half-hearted threats. What would have happened if Neville hadn’t interrupted them? Harry’s mind wanders; he questions what he would have done, and more than anything else, he wants to know how Malfoy would have responded.
“You’re right,” he finally says. “I can’t back down from a challenge.”
If it’s a game Malfoy wants, then that’s what he’ll get. And Harry intends to win.