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Sex and the Art of Castle Maintenance

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~***~

Harry wasn’t looking for trouble. But as was so often the case, trouble found him anyway. He hadn’t meant to trip over a house-elf on the stairs leading up to the eighth year common room, nor to drop his bag so that several textbooks fell out, along with an apple which bounced all the way down to the bottom.

"Sorry, I didn’t see you there," Harry told the elf, stuffing the books back into his bag. "Are you OK?"

Her anxious wide eyes peered up at him. "Please not to worry, sir! Munkle is being in the way!"

As he reached the common room door, it still seemed strange to repeat the password into the visor of a suit of armour instead of speaking to the Fat Lady. But that was just one of the things that felt subtly wrong since the war. "Tristitia," Harry muttered, and had barely walked a few feet inside when he discovered that he was rooted to the spot, his feet unable to move another step. This was annoying in itself, but add in the fact that Draco Malfoy was standing there glowering a foot away from him, apparently also stuck, and it tipped over into fucking annoying.

Someone was sniggering. "Merlin, look who it’s caught now!"

There was a gasp and then laughter from the group of students playing gobstones on the rug in front of the fire.

"Well, well, well." Blaise Zabini sat looking horribly amused in one of the fat leather armchairs. "What an unexpected catch for the Enchanted Mistletoe."

Harry looked up in horror to see a leafy bunch of mistletoe hanging directly above them. A kind of shimmer surrounded it, like a heat haze. He tried once again to move, but his feet were gripped tight by something invisible to the eye.

"What bastard put that up there?" Malfoy spat the words out.

"It’s a mystery, Draco. I only wish I knew." Zabini’s smug voice attracted a few more people’s attention. "Oh well, I think we all know what happens next."

"Not that idiotic mistletoe again!" Hermione got up from her seat by the window, sounding exasperated. "I thought we agreed it’s completely unethical."

Harry drew his wand and aimed a quick spell at the ceiling. The mistletoe remained unscathed, but a shower of sparks rained down on them and Malfoy let out a shout. "Watch it!" His face was flushed and furious as he brushed sparks from his skinny shoulders. "It’s enchanted, you dickhead. There’s only one way to get free."

Harry knew damn well Malfoy was right, but his brain was refusing to accept the fact. "What were you doing waiting under it, you sicko?"

Malfoy’s eyes narrowed dangerously. "Waiting? I was leaving. Trust you to barge in here without looking where you were going and get us both trapped."

"Come on, boys," Zabini drawled. "You’re only delaying the inevitable."

Shit. Surely there was some other way; Hermione would know what to do. Harry looked at her imploringly but she only bit her lip, an unhappy expression on her face. He turned back to Malfoy, who was glaring at him, so close Harry could feel the heat from his body.

"We could see if anyone else wants to come and watch?" Zabini asked. "The Ravenclaws just left for the library, but I’m sure someone could run after them and call them back."

Holy Merlin, Harry could cheerfully throttle Zabini. Or Malfoy. Or both. He pictured the two of them writhing on the floor while Harry cast a variety of imaginative Jinxes at them. He gritted his teeth. "OK, then. Let’s get it over with."

Malfoy’s eyes were hard and silvery, his pupils a deep inky black. "If you think I’m just going to stand here and let you—"

"Shut up," Harry told him, and grabbed the back of Malfoy’s neck so he couldn’t wriggle away. He’d seen people trying to get free from Enchanted Mistletoe via a peck on the cheek or a quick brush of lips; he also knew it didn’t work, and he only intended to do this the once.

Malfoy was an inch or so taller than him, but Harry tilted his head up and lunged in. He could feel Malfoy resisting, every muscle clenched, until their mouths met, and then, oh hell, it was like nothing Harry had been expecting. Malfoy’s mouth felt angry and resentful, but something about it was horribly compelling. Harry intended to stop immediately, and he almost managed it. He wanted to be sure they were free from the enchantment, that was all – but he couldn’t resist lingering for a second on Malfoy’s mouth, tasting the unexpected heat of his lips. Malfoy made a tiny sound in his throat, and for the briefest moment, so brief that Harry wasn’t sure if he’d imagined it, he kissed Harry back, hot and greedy. Then someone let out a delighted whoop, Harry felt Malfoy pulling away abruptly, and they were both free.

Harry staggered backwards, appalled and totally off-balance, as the room erupted with a mixture of glee, disgust and lewd comments. Malfoy stepped back too, rubbing a hand across his mouth and looking as though Harry had Hexed him. Harry felt furious. At himself, definitely at Malfoy, and at everyone in the whole bloody room.

"Oh for heaven’s sakes grow up!" Hermione was telling them all. "If anyone charms any more of that mistletoe in here I’m reporting it. I mean it!"

Malfoy’s cheeks were pink as his mouth pulled into a sneer. "If you ever bothered to get your hair cut you could see where you’re going in future, Potter. Save us both a lot of trouble."

Malfoy pushed past him roughly and stalked out of the common room. Everyone was still staring at Harry – fantastic – but he did his best to look as though he couldn’t care less as he walked over to the window. Hermione came over and brushed his arm with gentle fingers. "Are you OK, Harry?"

"Yeah, forget about it." He realised his breathing was still all weird and fast, and his voice sounded odd. He cleared his throat. "Soon be time to go down for dinner, yeah?"

"If I find out who did it…"

"Don’t fuss, Hermione." Harry could feel his palms sweating, and he shoved his hands into his pockets. "Honestly, who cares about some stupid prank?"

He found a seat and grabbed gratefully at a Quidditch magazine someone had left lying around, staring at the meaningless jumble of words until his heart stopped flopping about in his chest.

~***~

Harry didn’t see Malfoy at dinner, which suited him just fine. In fact, he didn’t see Malfoy until the following afternoon, when he spotted him heading Harry’s way in the otherwise deserted Long Gallery. Malfoy was right at the other end, so that Harry would have to walk towards him for about a year and a half, getting closer and closer before he could finally pass him. He considered just turning around and taking a different route, but Malfoy had spotted him already – Harry saw the moment it happened, from the way Malfoy went all tense and spiky-looking – and Harry would look a total dick. So he carried on putting one foot in front of the other, not looking at Malfoy, telling himself that walking down the Long Gallery was something he did pretty much every day, and certainly nothing to get his pulse jumping like this.

He could hear Malfoy’s boots tapping sharply across the stone floor, click click click click. Harry’s tongue felt horribly dry in his mouth, and a flash of memory from yesterday in the common room made anger surge through him. It was bad enough having Malfoy back at Hogwarts in the first place. Now Harry was going to have to remember, every time he saw Malfoy, how it had felt to stand there like that, with everyone watching, and—

Click click click. Harry was damned if he was going to walk by Malfoy with his gaze dragging on the ground, as though he were intimidated by him or something. Malfoy was about twenty feet away now, and Harry lifted his eyes to find Malfoy staring back at him. A jolt of something he didn’t have a name for went through him, something that made his heart bang against his ribs, followed by a churning mix of shame and anger and discomfort… Malfoy held his gaze, his face haughty and challenging and just as they got close enough for Harry to see the silver surrounding Malfoy’s wide black pupils, he spoke.

"Tosser." Malfoy spat the word out, his face twisted with dislike.

"Arsehole," Harry snarled back. His fingers tightened around his wand, but Malfoy kept on walking without breaking stride, click click fucking click, and Harry did too, all the way to the other end, his jaw clenched so tight he could feel it down to his shoulders.

He turned the corner towards the Transfiguration classroom and found Ron on duty, helping the house-elves repair one of the damaged staircases. "How’s it going?"

"Bit slow, but we’re getting there." Ron rubbed the sleeve of his robes across his brow and then looked at Harry, his long nose wrinkling. "What’s up with you?"

"Nothing," Harry said. God, he hoped Ron hadn’t heard about what had happened with Malfoy yesterday, but it seemed unlikely there was anyone left on the planet who didn’t know about it. Harry pointed at one of the house-elves who was struggling to levitate a huge pile of bricks by herself. "Does she need a hand?"

"Oh, right." Ron raised his wand again and turned back to the staircase.

Harry looked again at the house-elf. "Oh, it’s Munkle, isn’t it?"

The little elf nearly dropped the bricks in her surprise.

"Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you. I just wanted to say that you’re doing a good job."

The elf bobbed, her long ears fluttering in confusion. "Oh, sir, Munkle is working very hard, fixing everything in the castle."

"I know. It’s all looking loads better," Harry reassured her.

"Ron Weasley is working very hard, too." Ron grimaced as he used his wand to raise a heavy stone lintel.

"I’ll come down later and help out," Harry promised.

McGonagall swept around the corner with a rustle of starchy robes. "Are you planning to attend my class today, Mr Potter? Because I suggest, if so, that you hurry up."

Harry shrugged an apology to Ron and followed in McGonagall’s wake.

~***~

Slytherin were beating Hufflepuff. No, Slytherin were Crucioing Hufflepuff. They were one hundred and twenty points ahead, and while nobody had yet caught the Snitch, Malfoy was flying like an absolute demon – he was everywhere, whipping through the air like a thing possessed, a defiant streak of green and silver. Harry was totally rooting for Hufflepuff – he was wearing a Hufflepuff scarf and everything – but there was something about the intensity of Malfoy’s play that left him slightly breathless.

When Slytherin were one hundred and ninety points ahead, Malfoy swooped out of the sky in a quite startling fashion and plucked the Snitch out of the air. His face was flushed with satisfaction as he flew a fast lap around the stands, his hair damp with sweat.

That night, Harry remembered Malfoy behind him on his broom, the desperate press of his body against Harry’s back as they ripped their way through the leaping flames of Fiendfyre. And then, in the raw, unguarded place between waking and sleeping, he let himself remember how it had felt to stand in the common room in front of everyone and pull Malfoy close, his neck warm and smooth against Harry’s fingertips, the heady, masculine smell of his skin and the shocking heat of his lips.

~***~

The likeliest possibility was that someone had Jinxed the clock in the Potions classroom, because this lesson had been going on forever. The Heating Charms must have been malfunctioning, too, because it was intolerably hot and stuffy in the dungeons today, the tarry smell from the Elixir of Eloquence only adding to the sense of claustrophobia. Professor Wegelius was walking around checking their work and droning on about the properties of dragon’s claw, and Harry longed for it all to be done so he could get out onto the Quidditch pitch. His eyes flicked to the clock. Another twenty minutes of this. It wouldn’t even be so bad if Malfoy hadn’t chosen to sit right in front of Harry today. His mere existence was a constant distraction – no, not a distraction – a horrible irritation. And Harry had no hope of ignoring him when he was right there, with his stupid bright hair and his stupid arrogant face, and his bloody pointy elbows sticking out of his rolled-up sleeves.

Malfoy had taken his robes off, and Harry had a strong suspicion that he was wearing some fancy, expensive version of the school uniform, because nobody else looked like that in it. The shirt was a crisp white, cut close to his narrow chest, and his trousers were tailored in some ridiculous way that showed off the lean lines of his legs and arse whenever he got up to check on the contents of his cauldron. Malfoy’s potion was crystal clear and a very pale lilac, just as it said in the textbook. Harry scowled at his own potion, which looked like a Flobberworm had crapped in it. Crapped in it, and then possibly committed suicide in there, from the looks of the ominous lumps at the bottom.

Malfoy stood to examine his own potion again, and Harry really needed some fresh air, because he couldn’t stop thinking about that little noise Malfoy had made when Harry kissed him. Harry didn’t know why he remembered it in such tormenting detail, let alone why he even cared how Malfoy had sounded or what the noise meant or whether it meant that Malfoy had liked Harry kissing him. Because when Harry thought about it, that was exactly what he thought it might mean. And that made him feel a weird, painful kind of ache in his chest, a mixed up mess of anger and frustration and… he didn’t even know what.

Harry was considering Vanishing his entire cauldron along with the contents, when Wegelius told them to stop working and place their potions under a stasis spell so that they could complete them tomorrow. The bell rang out its blessed release and Harry was on his feet immediately, jostling to be first to the door. He could imagine exactly how good the cold December air would feel once he got up on his new Firebolt. He hurried to the dorms and grabbed his Quidditch robes, but before he could strip off, he noticed a piece of parchment which had been slid under the door.

Mr Harry Potter, it read. Harry began to get a bad feeling before he had even picked it up and unfolded it. See me in the Potions classroom immediately. Your work today was most unsatisfactory.

It was unsigned, but was obviously from Professor Wegelius. Harry crumpled the note into a ball and threw it on the floor in frustration. Ugh. He considered heading on out to the pitch anyway, pretending he had never received it. But his results in Potions had been mediocre at best this term. If he failed this assignment, it would bring down his average for the whole year, and he couldn’t afford to toss away the marks. Why had he allowed himself to get so bloody distracted, anyway? Harry turned and made his way back to the dungeons. Perhaps if he was quick, he could still get out for a fly afterwards.

It was dark in the classroom, with only one candle still flickering against the wall. Wegelius was nowhere to be seen, but light streamed from the large cupboard which housed the potions stores at the back of the room and Harry heard the tap and clink of bottles. Presumably the professor was restocking ingredients while he awaited Harry’s return.

Harry took a deep breath and stepped inside the store cupboard. "Professor—" he began, but he stopped short when he saw not the crooked form of Wegelius, but the lanky figure of Draco Malfoy, stretching up to place a large flask on a high shelf.

"Malfoy," Harry said, and a keen sense of something being amiss plucked at the back of his mind. "Where’s the professor?"

Then the door slammed behind him, and with the sound of a key turning in the lock, Harry realised he had walked straight into a trap.

"What the fuck?" Malfoy said. He walked to the door and rattled the handle. "Open this door!" he shouted. When there was no reply, he turned to Harry, a vicious look on his face. "What’s going on, Potter?"

"I got a letter. From Wegelius. Only I don’t think it actually was from him." Harry felt a complete idiot. Why on earth would the professor have come up to the dorm and slid a note under the door if he wanted to see Harry? Harry pointed his wand at the lock and cast a couple of times, but with no luck.

"Are you serious? I got one too. Telling me to tidy up the potions cupboard while he went to a staff meeting." Malfoy watched Harry fail to open the door, then drew his own wand. "Come on, for god’s sake. I’m not hanging around in here a minute longer than I have to." He pushed Harry aside and tried a spell himself, but it was no use.

Merlin, this was too much. Harry felt like going for Malfoy, but instead he slammed a hand down on the nearest shelf in frustration, setting the bottles and flasks jumping and wobbling. "I’ve been waiting all afternoon to go flying."

"Watch it, you imbecile," Malfoy told him. "Ugh, someone will be laughing their head off about this."

Harry looked around wildly; there had to be some other way out. But there was nothing to see except floor-to-ceiling shelves, laden with ingredients… and all six foot of Malfoy, much too close for comfort. Too close to be able to breathe properly. "Why would anyone even want to lock us in here?"

"To amuse themselves."

"This has to be one of your so-called friends, Malfoy. Mine wouldn’t think this was funny."

"Oh really? No, of course Gryffindors don’t find practical jokes hilarious in the slightest." His voice dripped with disdain. "That’s why two of the cretins opened a fucking joke shop."

Harry had had enough of this. He gave Malfoy a shove in the chest so that he staggered back against the shelves, making the bottles clink wildly. "Don’t talk about my friends."

Malfoy’s wand was in his hand, his eyes hard and blazing. "Oh. You want to fight?"

"What else are we supposed to do stuck in here like this?" As soon as the words were out of Harry’s mouth, he wished he could take them back. He really didn’t want to think of other things he and Malfoy could do in here, and he struggled not to let what he was thinking show on his face.

Harry couldn’t tell if Malfoy had caught his reaction or not. But when he spoke, it was almost worse: "You’ve been watching me, Potter. Don’t think I haven’t noticed."

"No I haven’t."

"Yes you have. Watching me, all the time."

Harry felt himself flushing. It was especially infuriating because Malfoy wasn’t exactly wrong. Harry leaned forward and snarled the words. "I bloody haven’t. Get over yourself."

"You know what they’re probably hoping?"

"What?" Harry asked, his voice hoarse.

Malfoy let the words slide out of his mouth, slow and filthy. "That we’ll fuck in here."

The words jolted through Harry with a rush of adrenaline. "What the hell?" He couldn’t believe Malfoy had actually said that. His face was burning, his mouth suddenly dry.

"You know I’m right."

Harry swallowed uncomfortably. "Yeah, like that’s going to happen."

Malfoy didn’t say anything, just stood there, and everything about him seemed to blaze out a challenge. His mouth, twisted into that mocking curve, the arrogance of his stance, the long fingers still gripping his wand. Harry could see Malfoy’s chest rising and falling under the thin shirt, could see a slice of pale stomach where his shirt had come untucked, and it made Harry want to sweep all the bottles off the shelf and hear them splinter into tiny fragments on the floor.

"That’s a fucking stupid idea," Harry said, and he wasn’t sure who he was trying to convince – Malfoy, or himself.

Malfoy was staring at him now, his eyes running all over Harry’s face. "I know," he agreed.

Harry didn’t want to be staring back at Malfoy. He didn’t want to feel this way – this hot, wild rush of frustration and anger and need. Malfoy was just too close, way too close, and then Malfoy made that same hungry noise again, the one he had made in his throat when Harry had kissed him, and that was all it took.

Harry crowded closer until he had Malfoy pressed up against the door. They were both breathing so hard, and then Malfoy grabbed at Harry, his hands gripping Harry’s robes tightly, first pushing, then pulling him in roughly so that the whole length of Malfoy’s body met Harry’s in one delirious collision.

Harry pushed back, trapping Malfoy in place, barely knowing what he was doing as a growl of frustration rose up inside him. Malfoy’s wand dropped to the ground with a clatter and then Malfoy made a low, angry sound and actually grabbed Harry’s arse, his fingers digging into Harry’s flesh, and then he rolled his hips roughly, and Harry felt the drag of Malfoy’s erection against his own cock.

Oh, hell. It was provoking and infuriating and so fucking hot. Part of Harry thought he should stop, should push Malfoy away and ask him what he thought he was doing, but it just felt so good and he was so bloody wound up and frustrated and somehow this was exactly what he needed. Harry heard a moan coming from his own throat as Malfoy kept going, grinding his hips, deliberate and dirty, until Harry’s whole body was shuddering with satisfaction at how good it felt. Harry was moving, too, pressing himself against Malfoy’s skinny body, relishing the sinewy strength of it, and Malfoy’s hands were everywhere, yanking Harry’s shirt up, closing around greedy handfuls of Harry’s hair.

Merlin. Was this really happening? Harry closed his eyes for a moment, overwhelmed, then opened them again so as not to miss the sight of Malfoy’s long fingers slipping Harry’s belt out from its buckle and pushing Harry’s underwear down. He felt embarrassed at how hard he was already, how his prick leaked on Malfoy’s fingers, but Malfoy seemed to approve.

"You dirty fucker," Malfoy breathed. "Look at that."

Harry did look, and a whine escaped from his mouth as a fresh wave of arousal hit him. "Get my cock out," Malfoy ordered, and Harry wished his hands weren’t shaking so much, but he managed to unfasten Malfoy’s fly and, bloody hell, the heat and the hardness he found there. Harry couldn’t stop staring, not at the way Malfoy’s cock jerked as Harry freed it from his underwear, nor at how Malfoy thrust into Harry’s palm, staring wide-eyed and biting his lip as though he couldn’t believe the sight of himself with Harry’s fingers wrapped around the shaft.

Malfoy ran his thumb over Harry’s slit with cruel relish, and Harry’s head fell back, hitting the shelf behind him. A bottle teetered back and forth, hovering on the edge, then overbalanced and shattered on the floor. Malfoy gulped in a breath, then leaned his head on Harry’s shoulder and groaned against Harry’s skin. "Faster. Uhh. Faster."

Harry was starting to lose his rhythm, insane pleasure building in his thighs, arse, balls, everywhere, losing his mind for Malfoy’s smooth hand moving urgently over his prick, for the feel of Malfoy’s cock sliding against Harry’s palm, for the lean press of his body and the quick, panting breaths coming from his lips. Harry was going to come – any second now – and he moaned loudly, a desperate, needy sound, tightening his grip in an effort to pull Malfoy over the edge with him.

It felt clumsy as hell, but Malfoy’s body began to judder, his eyes fell closed, and that was somehow the hottest thing of all, to watch Malfoy start to lose control. Harry gasped as the first pulse of his own orgasm hit, surging through him, hard and breathless. Malfoy clutched at Harry, a stream of broken-off curses coming from his mouth, his head thrown back and his mouth open, hand still working furiously over Harry’s cock.

When it was over, Malfoy leaned back against the door, his chest heaving, looking utterly debauched. Harry’s spunk – and possibly his own – was spattered across his smooth stomach and the crisp linen of his shirt, and Harry realised his own hands were covered, too, not to mention the floor. He fumbled for his wand and cast a vague cleaning spell in the direction of all the places that looked like they needed it.

Malfoy tucked himself back into his clothes and squinted at the floor and Harry realised he was looking for his wand. It had rolled under one of the shelves. "Here," Harry said, stooping down and passing it to him.

Malfoy took it without thanks and tried the door handle, which opened.

"Hey, when did the door get unlocked?" Harry asked, but Malfoy was already out of the cupboard and walking away quickly, stuffing his shirt back into his waistband as he went. "Malfoy?" Harry fastened his trousers with still-shaking fingers before following him out of the classroom, but by the time he got to the dungeon steps Malfoy was nowhere to be seen.

~***~

It was for the best not to speak about it, definitely. It had been a really stupid, messed-up thing that happened. Harry certainly wasn’t going to mention it to anyone, and he was pretty sure Malfoy felt the same. Harry wasn’t even going think about it – especially not during classes. Or at Quidditch practice. Or in the Great Hall, when he caught a flash of blond hair, or glanced over to the Slytherin table for a moment and saw Malfoy’s skinny frame sitting there. Most of all, he wasn’t going to think about it late at night, alone in his bed under the covers, when the memory of it kept sliding into his brain, unsettling and irresistible. It was only that nobody had ever touched Harry quite like that, not with that mixture of hunger and hostility, and for some annoying reason he couldn’t seem to get it out of his mind.

Harry was on the seventh floor on his way to Flitwick’s office. His Charms essay had been due by five p.m. that day, and now it was past eleven, but he had the idea that if he just slid the finished essay under Flitwick’s door then maybe no more would be said about it in the morning. He wasn’t expecting Malfoy to be lounging in the doorway of the Room of Requirement, swigging from a bottle of something dubious and telling him to Get inside.

His first thought was that it would be wisest to ignore Malfoy and carry on walking. This decision lasted for approximately three seconds; finding out what the hell Malfoy was up to was definitely far more important. Harry wheeled around. "What do you want?"

"Get in here," Malfoy repeated, wedging the bottle into his hip pocket. His lips were shiny and flushed from the drink, and Harry hesitated for about another second before doing as Malfoy suggested. Maybe Malfoy wanted to talk about what had happened in the potions cupboard. Not that Harry especially wanted to talk about it himself – he’d just be interested in hearing what Malfoy had to say, that was all.

Harry hadn’t been into the Room since… well, since. There was a fierce smell of smoke that caught at the back of Harry’s throat, of singed, burned brick and wood and metal and—

Malfoy slammed the door shut and shoved Harry up against the wall.

"Oi," Harry said, hand going automatically for his wand, but Malfoy was pinning his arms and – fuck – mouthing at Harry’s neck, his lips hot and determined. "What the hell are you doing?"

"What’s it look like, dickhead?" Malfoy gripped Harry’s wrists so he couldn’t move. Well, Harry totally could move if he made any sort of an effort. Malfoy wasn’t that strong, even though he was wiry, and Harry was pretty good at wandless magic anyway. It was only that it took Harry by surprise and he wanted to see what Malfoy was up to…

"Are you drunk?"

"So what if I am?" Malfoy said, his lip curling insolently. He held Harry against the wall with one hand and dug the bottle out of his pocket with the other. "Want some?"

Harry knew the sensible thing would be to say no. He could hand his essay in and go back to the common room and have an early night...

He nodded. Malfoy lifted the bottle to Harry’s lips and tilted it. Some ran into Harry’s mouth, some spilled down his chin onto his chest, and god, it burned. Harry coughed, then choked, as Malfoy licked a messy path from his chin along to the corner of his mouth.

"Malfoy?" Harry rasped, then let out a grunt of surprise as Malfoy found the ridge of Harry’s cock and pressed his palm against it. He thought he should probably tell Malfoy to stop, but his body was telling him the smartest thing to do would be to wait another minute. Just to check that this was going where Harry thought it was going. He was more than half-hard now, and Malfoy seemed to be working his way down Harry’s neck again and coaxing the top buttons of his shirt open with surprising ease. "What is this?" Harry asked.

"Oh come on, Potter. I know you’re not too bright but I’m sure even you can work it out." Malfoy slid his hand over Harry’s growing erection. "Your cock knows what this is."

"But… why would we want to do this? We don’t even like each other." It seemed ridiculous to argue, when they were both intensely aware of how Harry’s body was responding. But if he’d found it hard to stop thinking about Malfoy after the first time, doing it again was only going to make it worse, surely?

Malfoy sneered. "Who cares? It’s just getting off, Potter."

That sounded sort of reasonable. Really quite sensible, in fact. "But—"

Malfoy interrupted him, glaring at Harry. "Look, do you want this blow job or not?"

"Uh." Harry’s dick twitched in his jeans, embarrassingly eager. He knew damn well Malfoy could feel it, seeing as he had his bloody hand pressed right up against it. "I—"

Malfoy produced the bottle again and took another slow pull, his tongue coming out to swipe away the stray drops, his eyes on Harry the whole time. Harry knew there were plenty of reasons to say no. He just couldn’t think of any of them. "Yeah," he said, but it came out in a sort of hoarse gasp, and then Malfoy was dropping to his knees and nuzzling Harry’s erection through his jeans, his lips parted and eyes closed as he rubbed his face across the jutting bulge of it.

"Unzip," Malfoy told him, sitting back on his heels to watch as Harry fumbled with the button and tugged the zip down. Malfoy didn’t blink as he eased Harry’s underwear down until his cock bobbed free. They both looked at it, flushed a deep pink, a fat bead of moisture already swelling at the slit, and somehow, having Malfoy look at it – stare at it, as though memorising it – made Harry even harder.

Harry felt light-headed, like he couldn’t catch his breath. Perhaps this was a set up, so that Malfoy could laugh, make some mocking comment about Harry’s dick and then leave. Harry didn’t quite believe it was actually going to happen until Malfoy put his hands on Harry’s thighs to steady himself, leaned in, and let Harry’s cock slide between his lips.

Harry felt the air leave his lungs in a long, noisy exhale. He stared, eyes riveted on Malfoy’s snooty, sneering mouth as it took Harry in, inch by inch. Harry didn’t think he was huge or anything, but he wasn’t exactly small, either, and Malfoy didn’t falter, just kept going, taking him deeper and deeper, until Harry was gasping at the way it felt to be nudging at Malfoy’s throat.

Malfoy pulled back, sucking along the shaft, slow and filthy, till he reached the crown, where he stopped, his lips forming an ‘O’. He stayed like that for a moment, looking up at Harry from under hooded lids, his expression a tormenting mix of provocative and insulting. Then, still watching Harry’s face, he took hold of Harry’s hands and placed them in his hair.

Harry’s fingers tightened almost involuntarily around Malfoy’s hair, and he thrust forwards, moaning as fierce spirals of pleasure surged through him, arcing from the soles of his feet up to his thighs. This was completely wild; Malfoy, Draco Malfoy, was sucking him off and it was like nothing he’d ever felt before. Harry stared down in amazement, barely able to believe his eyes as Malfoy unfastened his own flies and started to work his fist over his cock with evident enjoyment. It was like something from a dream, from one of those dirty magazines with the moving pictures that Harry had stashed at the bottom of his trunk, except this was real, and a thousand times better than having a lonely tug at his own dick in the dorms when no-one was around. This was hotter than hell, and Harry sagged back against the wall for support as Malfoy’s tongue lapped around his crown, seeking out all his most sensitive spots and lingering on them with obscene relish.

Harry’s fingers scrabbled desperately at Malfoy’s head. It was too much… and at the same time, not enough. He pulled almost all the way out before plunging in again, and it was so good – addictively good. Malfoy’s eyes fluttered closed in satisfaction and Harry felt a twisted thrill of pride. He drew his hips back and started to fuck into Malfoy’s mouth, his movements slow and rhythmic at first, but soon becoming less controlled.

At first he tried not to go too deep, not to overpower Malfoy, but quickly all inhibitions fell away and his only thought was to sink as far as he could between Malfoy’s lips, again and again and again, surrounded in tight, wet heat. It wasn’t just the physical feeling, although that was like nothing Harry had ever experienced. It was the fact it was Malfoy allowing Harry to do this, demanding that Harry do this, and clearly loving it, too. It was unnerving and intimate and, god, it was completely intoxicating, to do this with Malfoy, and Harry didn’t even try to hold back the sounds that came spilling from him.

A deep, urgent need thrummed in his balls, his whole body feeling like it might boil over with bliss. He held Malfoy by the hair and arched into him, and Malfoy took it all, one hand resting on Harry’s hip and the other gripping his own cock. Harry came so hard, so forcefully, that it almost alarmed him. Malfoy moaned and gagged and then apparently swallowed the lot, while Harry panted his way through the last shivery throbs, holding onto Malfoy for support.

Afterwards his legs were unsteady enough that he sank down onto the floor. He was so out of it for a minute, he wasn’t even sure when Malfoy came, but when he opened his eyes again, Malfoy was sitting back on his heels and watching Harry with an unreadable expression.

"Whoa." Harry didn’t know how to convey how he felt about what had just happened, but he thought that pretty much summed it up. Malfoy didn’t reply, but stood up and straightened his clothes, no longer meeting Harry’s eyes.

Harry felt at a loss as to what happened next. He looked around at the Room of Requirement and Merlin, it was a total wreck. Half of it was blackened and scorched, and – bloody hell, bits of it were still smoking. He couldn’t believe that Malfoy had chosen this, of all places… "Doesn’t it make you think about Crabbe? Coming in here?"

Malfoy looked at him with complete contempt. "Of course it does."

"Then, why on earth—?"

Malfoy shook his head. "You’re an idiot."

Harry glared at him, but Malfoy clearly wasn’t going to say any more and Harry wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of asking. Instead, he wondered aloud: "Does this place even work any more?"

"How do you mean, work? It’s a room where people hide stuff."

"Well, yeah, they do, but… it’s the Room of Requirement. It gives you what you need."

Malfoy laughed. "Oh, right. What you need? It gave me this bottle, and then you turned up."

"No, that was a coincidence – I was handing my essay in," Harry said, pulling out the roll of parchment he still had stuffed into his back pocket and waving it as proof. But as he said it, he didn’t feel so sure.

"Whatever." Malfoy drained the bottle and let it fall to the ground with a thunk. "See you around, Potter."

"That’s it? We just do this, and then go back to the dorms?" He probably sounded angry; he certainly felt it, although he wasn’t sure why. It just seemed as though Malfoy had tricked him in some way.

"Yep." Malfoy shrugged his robes back on.

Harry rubbed a hand over his face. He felt empty, his legs still shaky and sort of hollow inside.

"I think about it all the time," Malfoy told him, low and bitter, a hard, resentful look on his face, and Harry understood he meant not only Crabbe’s death, but all of the things that had happened in this room: Fiendfyre, the Vanishing Cabinet, all of it. Maybe all the things that had happened, not just here, but all over Hogwarts. "All the fucking time."

Malfoy didn’t stay to hear Harry’s reply. Not that Harry was sure what he would have said. He certainly wasn’t hanging around in this blackened shell of a place, anyway. He got to his feet and left, still clutching his essay.

~***~

Getting sucked off by Malfoy didn’t seem to have done a lot for Harry’s peace of mind. In fact it seemed to have brought him a new problem: random erections, the likes of which he hadn’t experienced since he was about fourteen. He spent the days struggling to concentrate on anything at all and battling against a sense of mounting frustration which even Quidditch couldn’t fix. It didn’t help that Hermione was starting to give him concerned looks when she thought he wouldn’t notice. He wondered if Hermione might also be behind the matey chat Ron had attempted the previous day as they worked together in the library.

"So, I don’t know if you heard Ginny’s seeing Rory Randall now?"

Harry didn’t look up from his essay notes. "Nope."

"Yeah." Ron sighed. "Seems like an OK bloke, I suppose. For a Hufflepuff."

Harry scratched another note in the margin before answering. "Well, I hope they’re very happy together."

Ron rubbed the back of his neck. "Yeah. So…" He paused, apparently unsure how to continue. "Is there anyone that you, you know. Like? At the moment?"

Harry felt his cock perking up, right there under the desk in the middle of the library. He tried to ignore it, but it wouldn’t stop getting all enthusiastic. Just at the merest thought of what had happened. Just at the slightest suggestion that there might be someone who Harry was currently interested in, and it made him so annoyed that he gave Ron a look that he really didn’t deserve. "No," he snapped. "There isn’t."

"OK, OK." Ron rolled his eyes. "Just wondering. Jesus."

Harry tried to focus for another ten minutes before giving it up as a bad job and making an excuse to leave. He was heading towards the courtyard, wondering whether he had time to nip back to the dorms and have a quick wank, when someone came up behind him and grabbed him by the arm.

"Malfoy." Harry frowned. "What are you—?"

Malfoy steered him swiftly through an archway and along the Charms corridor, his fingers digging into Harry’s biceps.

"Ow. That actually hurts, you know?"

But Malfoy didn’t pay any attention, just pulled Harry into a classroom and banged the door shut before yanking his tie free from his collar. "That’s handy. There never used to be a sofa in here."

Harry folded his arms. "Malfoy, you can’t just—"

"Take your shirt off." Malfoy threw his tie on the floor and started work on his own buttons.

Harry stood there for a moment, his mind devoid of anything except the pale, smooth skin of Malfoy’s chest which was slowly coming into view. Then he screwed up his face. "You’ve got a nerve. Are you basically expecting us to do this whenever you feel like it?"

Malfoy slipped the shirt off his shoulders and let it puddle on the floor. Harry had been half-hard when Malfoy dragged him in there, but now his cock was pretty much trying to force its way out to freedom.

"Yes. Got it in one, Potter. Get your shirt off, I said."

Harry was certain this was a bad idea, but it seemed like his fingers didn’t know that. They started to undo his shirt while his eyes roamed, hungry and approving, over Malfoy’s skin, and then skittered away as they reached the twisting shape of his Dark Mark. "What, and we just ignore each other the rest of the time?"

"Perfect. You’re not so slow to catch on as I thought." Malfoy walked Harry backwards to the sofa and pushed him down onto it so that he was lying on his back.

"Hey," Harry protested, but he didn’t try to get up again, nor did he complain when Malfoy climbed astride him and finished stripping off Harry’s shirt. It wasn’t that Harry was a complete pushover. But what was to stop him going along with it for now? Malfoy had no right to look this hot, and it wasn’t like it was exactly a hardship for Harry to lie there and let Malfoy undress him and – fuck – run his hands over Harry’s stomach and up to the tight nubs of his nipples…

He wasn’t going to let Malfoy have it all his own way, though. "Why does it bother you so much? Talking to me."

"Talking?" Malfoy sounded scornful. He took out his cock, which was flushed and hard, and gave it a stroke. "What– ahh– do we have to talk about, anyway?"

Harry’s erection, still cruelly trapped in his jeans, twitched and leaked at the sight of Malfoy’s. His eyes drank in every detail: Malfoy’s hand moving in a riveting drag and slide, pulling his foreskin back, exposing the shiny head and the slick drop of pre-come at the tip.

Harry struggled to remember the question. He knew there was one, but… oh yeah. What they had to talk about. "I dunno. Anything." His brain seized on something he had wondered about a couple of times. He didn’t know why, but it made him curious. "What you did before you came back to Hogwarts."

"Went to bars with Blaise and fucked a load of Muggles," Malfoy said in his haughtiest tones. "Take your glasses off."

Harry was so astonished that he did as Malfoy said without question, fumbling his specs down onto the floor at the side of the sofa. "Muggles? Really?"

"Yes, it was the thing I could think of that would– uh. Annoy my father the most." Malfoy was stroking himself in earnest now, breath coming faster, his eyes running all over Harry’s face and coming to rest on his mouth.

Harry was rapidly losing focus, but this seemed important. "And did it?" he asked. His hands came up to hold Malfoy by the hips, the bones of his pelvis satisfyingly sharp against Harry’s palms. Harry dragged the cleft of Malfoy’s arse over the bulge of his denim-covered erection, sparks of heat and pleasure shooting through him. Malfoy didn’t answer, so Harry did it again, gasping at the shocks of sensation. "Did it, Malfoy… Did it annoy your father?" he asked.

Malfoy’s mouth fell open with a helpless sound. "I– imagine so. But I haven’t spoken to him for months now, so I can’t really say. Now, will you shut up, Potter? And… open your mouth."

Harry didn’t know what surprised him more: the fact that Malfoy had sex with Muggles, the fact that Malfoy was no longer speaking to his father, or the fact that he was apparently about to come all over Harry’s face. Malfoy pulled at his cock with his left hand, and reached out with his right to Harry’s face, threading his fingers into Harry’s hair, tracing his thumb along Harry’s bottom lip. Malfoy circled his hips, grinding his arse over Harry’s prick, his pupils blown wide. Then he gripped himself tightly, one long, fervent stroke from base to tip, and started to come.

The first splash hit Harry’s chin, making him gasp. Malfoy arched his back, letting out a deep groan, and the second spurt shot across Harry’s face, streaking over his lips and cheek. Malfoy’s face was transformed, his sharp features softened into something raw and open. His cock jerked again, and again, come hitting Harry’s tongue with a burst of salt, and then further down, spattering across his chest. Malfoy watched from heavy-lidded eyes, his mouth slack as his hand coaxed out the final drops.

Holy Merlin; it was too much. Harry thrust upwards, desperately seeking friction, and then his body was jerking with sharp stabs of bliss.

Afterwards it seemed like the room was very quiet. Malfoy didn’t get up straight away, but sat staring at Harry’s tongue as it licked over his top lip, tasting salt, sweat, sex, Malfoy.

"You came? From that?" Malfoy asked wonderingly, his thumb rubbing over Harry’s cheek, smearing his semen across it.

Harry felt himself turning red. He grabbed for his shirt and wiped all the mess off his face. "I didn’t have time to wank this morning, that’s all," he lied. "I was pretty horny."

Malfoy swung his leg over and stood up. "Right. Well, lucky for you I felt the same way." Malfoy pulled up his trousers, then frowned. "I should have locked that door."

Harry finished cleaning himself up, then reached for his glasses. "Probably no need. This classroom hasn’t been used for years."

"Yes it has; the Carrows used it last year." Malfoy’s voice was very clipped, and he lifted his chin as he spoke. "This was where they made us practise Cruciatus on the first years."

Harry felt a lurch of horror in his chest. "Hell, Malfoy, how can you even— Why did you bring me in here?"

Malfoy was buttoning his shirt, but he turned to Harry, his eyes brooding. "You think if I don’t come in here then I don’t have to think about it any more? That I can forget about it? Is that it?"

Harry frowned. "No, of course not, but—"

"Here we all are, acting like everything’s fine now." Malfoy pushed up his sleeve roughly, thrusting his forearm towards Harry, the indelible lines of the Dark Mark standing out stark and grotesque against his milk-white skin. "I have to look at this every single day, you know. It doesn’t go away if I pretend it isn’t there."

Harry made himself look at it, trying to imagine how it felt to have that reminder etched on your body, his own skin tightening into gooseflesh at the thought. He didn’t know how his face was reacting, but Malfoy’s mouth twisted into an ugly shape at the sight of his expression.

"Aren’t you so glad we had this little talk?" Malfoy said sourly, pushing his sleeve back down again.

"Why did you agree to it?" Harry asked in an angry rush. "What the hell were you thinking?"

But Malfoy just stuffed his tie into his pocket and started to leave.

"We can’t carry on doing this," Harry told him. "Not unless…"

Malfoy stood still for a moment, waiting to hear what Harry would say next.

But Harry didn’t know what to say. Unless what, for Merlin’s sake? The whole thing was just a mess. The best thing would be if it just stopped, right there – wasn’t it? While Harry sat there hesitating, Malfoy looked back at him, just for a moment, and hell, there was something in Malfoy’s face, something unguarded. Harry didn’t even know what it was, but it made his chest throb, tight and painful. It lasted only a second and then Malfoy had turned away and was out of the door, leaving Harry sitting there alone with his pulse skittering in his throat.

~***~

For a few days, Harry was filled with determination to stay out of Malfoy’s way. He backed out sharply the time he found Malfoy sitting alone in the library, brooding over a vast leatherbound book, and he invented a stomach ache to coincide with Slytherin’s next Quidditch game so he wouldn’t have to see Malfoy tearing through the sky like a streak of mercury. But by Monday, when he sat behind him again in bloody Potions, and found himself staring intently at the way Malfoy’s fingers held the stirring rod, Harry had to face the fact that his resolve was weakening.

That evening, Ron was completely owning the Slytherins at chess, and Harry was enjoying the whole spectacle far more than he really should have been. He hadn’t seen how it began, but apparently bets had been placed, and by the time Harry got to the common room, Ron had already beaten Daphne Greengrass, Theo Nott, and was now wiping the floor with the alleged Slytherin chess champion, Millicent Bulstrode.

"Oh come on, Mills," Zabini groused lazily. "Show him who’s boss."

Millicent didn’t speak, but hunched over the board, her face stony, occasionally throwing a look at her opponent that promised painful retribution if Ron’s knight kept up its triumphant charge among her pieces.

"You want to be next?" Ron asked Zabini, a grin creasing his freckled face.

"Merlin, no, I can’t be bothered with that." Zabini crossed his arms behind his head. "Do something, Millie, or we’ll be here all night. You know Goyle’s not going to be any use."

Hermione was sitting by the fire, poring over an Arithmancy diagram that looked like someone had upended a cutlery drawer onto the page. Every now and again, though, her eyes lifted towards Ron – taking in the way his gaze swept over the board, the precision with which he swooped in to pick up a piece with his big hand – and her lips would curve into a secretive smile.

Ron toppled Millicent’s bishop, to a chorus of groans and jeers from the onlookers. But Harry’s attention was captured by a gleam of blond hair as Malfoy appeared in the doorway. Malfoy didn’t come into the room, but stood there, staring at Harry and leaning against the doorframe. His shirt was open at the throat and his face had a sharp, hungry look about it. Harry pulled his eyes away, but when he looked up again, Malfoy was still standing there, and this time, he jerked his head backwards in a clear signal. No-one else appeared to have noticed; most eyes were fixed on the chess game, but Harry felt himself flushing. Malfoy waited for only a moment before ducking out into the corridor again.

Harry didn’t have the slightest doubt about what it was that was being suggested. Sweat prickled at his palms, an uneasy restlessness tugging at his core. He knew he should ignore Malfoy. Stay exactly where he was. But Merlin, he craved the release that Malfoy was offering. It would only take a couple of minutes; Harry imagined himself rutting against Malfoy in some shadowy corner of the castle, fast and frantic and deeply satisfying. He was on his feet before he was aware of having made a decision.

Ron looked up. "All right?"

"Yeah. Just… going for a walk."

Ron’s eyebrows went up, but all he said was, "OK… Wait till I’m finished with Bulstrode and I’ll join you." His eyes wandered over the board with obvious satisfaction. "It’ll only be a couple of minutes."

"Nah, I need to do something. I won’t be long." Harry could feel Hermione looking at him curiously, but she didn’t say anything.

Ron shrugged. "Suit yourself."

Harry did his best not to meet anyone’s eye as he left, but he had the horrible feeling Zabini was watching him with a knowing expression.

Out in the corridor Harry looked around. Malfoy was standing in the shadows, waiting a little way off, and just the sight of him, the haughty tilt of his head and the elegant lines of his body, made Harry’s skin heat with anticipation. Harry walked towards him, trying not to betray his eagerness, but as soon as Harry was within reach, Malfoy took his arm and pulled him towards an alcove so they were half-hidden by a faded floor-length tapestry. Malfoy’s mouth locked onto Harry’s, and Harry groaned at the feel of it. There was just something about Malfoy that made him insatiable. He pulled Malfoy’s shirt out from his waistband with impatient fingers and slipped his hands underneath, revelling in the smooth skin, the lean muscle and the wonderful shocking heat of Malfoy’s body.

Malfoy’s kisses grew more demanding, his tongue swiping hungrily across Harry’s, his mouth so lush and insistent and fierce that Harry’s head swam with it. Harry ran his hands down Malfoy’s spine, over the knobs of bone to the small of his back, and then – fuck, there was no excuse for this to be so mind-meltingly hot – Harry was grabbing two greedy handfuls of Malfoy’s arse, and Malfoy was letting him.

Malfoy let out a needy sound. "Uhh. Come with me." He pulled the tapestry aside and took Harry by the wrist.

"Where are we going?"

Malfoy didn’t answer, but headed towards the staircase and kept walking, fast and determined, down towards the ground floor.

"Malfoy." Harry yanked at his arm to get him to stop, and then kissed him right there in the open, rough and quick, because it made him ache to be close to Malfoy and not be able to touch him the way he wanted. "Where are we going?"

Malfoy tugged at his wrist again and they were going round a corner, through the archway, and then – oh, shit – across the courtyard to the steps at the bottom of the Astronomy Tower.

"Malfoy… Really?" Harry wasn’t just hard, he was dizzy with wanting, and his voice wobbled as he spoke.

"Yes. Really," Malfoy said firmly, pulling them both up the first few steps.

Harry hadn’t exactly been avoiding the place… OK, maybe he had. Or maybe it was coincidence that he hadn’t been up there since that night. He stopped and gripped the handrail, planted his feet firmly on the stair. "Let’s go somewhere else."

Malfoy mouthed at Harry’s throat, moving his lips against the tender skin below Harry’s ear. "Shhh, Potter," he said, his voice urgent and low. "Keep quiet and come with me and I’ll let you do anything you want." He palmed the bulge of Harry’s erection, massaging roughly so that Harry had to choke back a whimper.

Harry wanted him so much. Almost enough to forget where they were. But every stone of the tower was thrumming with memories, too strong to block out. "Malfoy. Can’t we just— Bloody hell, why will you never talk to me properly?"

Malfoy spoke close to Harry’s ear, his breath warm and damp. "I can’t talk if I’ve got my mouth full of your fat cock, can I?"

Harry closed his eyes as another jolt of heat and desire jabbed through him. But in his mind, he saw a frightened boy with hunched skinny shoulders, his hand shaking so hard that he couldn’t hold his wand straight. "I was there, you know. I saw what happened."

Malfoy stiffened. "What?"

"I was there that night. I heard everything you and Dumbledore said."

Malfoy’s face twisted. "No. No, you didn’t."

"I did. He was offering you protection. For your family. He said he knew you weren’t a killer."

"Shut up, Potter." Malfoy clenched his hands in Harry’s shirt, screwing up the material and leaning in towards Harry again, but Harry held him at arm’s length.

"Stop it."

"No, you stop it. Who told you about that? Who fucking told you?" Malfoy was pale and furious, the angles of his face almost unearthly in the dim light.

"I know you let Death Eaters into the school. I know Riddle was going to kill you, unless you murdered Dumbledore."

Malfoy made a choking sound, but Harry carried on. "I was there under my cloak the whole time."

"You were there…" Malfoy looked utterly confounded. "You just stood there… and did nothing?"

Harry knew that wasn’t true; he’d been unable to move a muscle, but he felt a sick stab of guilt anyway. It wasn’t like he hadn’t questioned it himself. Couldn’t he have done something to save Dumbledore? If he could throw off Imperius, why not Immobulus? Why hadn’t Harry guessed what the old man was planning before it happened? "No," he told Malfoy, but his voice sounded unconvincing.

"What the hell?" Malfoy’s face screwed up in disgust. "You watched him die and you didn’t do a single thing to help?"

A toxic mixture of rage and grief roared through Harry. "No, that’s what you did." He saw Malfoy flinch, and it felt good. "I couldn’t help because Dumbledore made sure I couldn’t move. He didn’t want me to get involved."

"He did that to you?"

"Yeah. I couldn’t lift a finger. Couldn’t even blink." Harry remembered the powerlessness of it and the words came tumbling out in a hot rage. "You did the same, remember? On the train, just before you stamped on my head?"

"You tried to kill me!" Malfoy was almost yelling now, his voice shaky and hysterical. "You cut me up, you bastard!"

"I didn’t know what that spell would do." The words rasped in Harry’s throat. "You knew exactly what you were doing when you kicked me in the fucking face!"

Malfoy didn’t reply, and Harry saw he was trembling. Malfoy took a long, uneven breath before he spoke again, sounding hoarse and hollow. "You always ruin everything, Potter. Always."

Harry’s own breath was coming in hard, painful bursts. He didn’t know if he wanted to fight Malfoy, or fuck him, or just push him down the bloody staircase. Malfoy looked at Harry for a long moment until Harry couldn’t stand it any more. "What the hell is it you actually want from me?"

Malfoy shook his head, his eyes turning bitter and hard, and each word was like a pebble dropping into a frigid lake. "Nothing. Absolutely nothing. What could I possibly want from you?"

Harry wasn’t going to stick around to watch Malfoy leaving. Not this time. He pushed past him to the bottom of the staircase, and out into the courtyard, striding quickly, ignoring the painful lump that was forming in his throat.

~***~

It was only a week til Christmas, but the last days of term were dragging on, seemingly endless. Harry hadn’t spoken to Malfoy and Malfoy hadn’t spoken to him. It was probably for the best, but Harry couldn’t help the miserable ache inside him when Malfoy looked straight past him, his face utterly blank. Harry wished he could ignore Malfoy as effectively, and he did try… but when his eyes did occasionally stray towards him, he couldn’t help noticing that Malfoy looked pale and twitchy and haunted. But that wasn’t Harry’s problem, was it?

Harry had tried to dodge the eighth year Christmas party, claiming he had too much homework to do, but he had been dragged along anyway. Ron was particularly insistent and even Hermione had said firmly that they all needed a break.

Harry had lain awake several nights that week, planning what the hell he would do if Malfoy approached him again – especially if Malfoy propositioned him while Harry was drunk. He told himself the best thing to do would be to deal with it in a mature way, either by maintaining a dignified silence, or by explaining succinctly to Malfoy that this was never going to work. They simply had too much history between them to make any kind of casual sex situation viable.

In his less calm moments he suspected he might wrestle Malfoy to the ground and get in a few good punches before trying to snog his face off.

But Malfoy didn’t approach him. Not at the party, where Malfoy stood in the corner nursing one beer and looking especially untouchable, nor when Harry found himself in the courtyard one day with Malfoy crossing in the other direction. Not even when Harry came down to the common room late one night when he couldn’t sleep, and sat staring into the fire for an hour, all churned up with something that felt like a horrible mixture of grief and loneliness and anger. It was late and he wasn’t thinking straight, but he thought maybe Malfoy might be feeling the same way, like Malfoy might be the only person in this bloody place who might understand.

But Malfoy never came – why would he? – and Harry went on sitting and brooding, until the fire burned low and a bitter draught crept in around him.

As he walked stiffly back towards the dorms, feeling chilled to the bone, he could hear the noise of someone nearby gulping and sniffling. He kept walking, and got as far as the archway before turning back at the sound of a particularly pitiful sound. "Who’s there?"

A house-elf sat hunched up against one of the damaged pillars, long ears drooping.

Harry peered into the shadows. "Munkle? What’s the matter?"

"Harry Potter is not to be worrying about Munkle."

Harry just wanted to get to the dorm, draw the curtains around his bed and not speak to anyone for a week. But the elf looked too pathetic to ignore. "What’s wrong, though?"

"Oh, sir, there is being so much work to do. Munkle is trying, but Munkle is not being able to do it all."

"Well, I’m sure Professor McGonagall wouldn’t want you to be upset about it." Harry tried not to sound as impatient as he felt. "Have a break and start again tomorrow."

Munkle looked at him, her eyes swimming with tears. "Munkle is worrying that some things at Hogwarts is being too broken to be fixed."

Harry stifled a sigh. "Don’t worry about it. I’m sure you’re doing your best." But Munkle turned her face away, her body curled around itself. "Some of us will give you a hand tomorrow, OK? Why don’t you go to bed now?" Did house-elves sleep? Harry didn’t even know, but he was done with this day. "That’s where I’m going. Good night."

~***~

It was nearly the last day of term, and Harry couldn’t wait to get away from the place. The previous night he had been plagued by horrible dreams of ghosts rising from the walls and coming to smother him, pressing their spindly fingers onto his face until he was gasping to get free. He hadn’t been able to sleep at all after that, had yawned his way through Transfiguration and Charms and found himself struggling to keep awake through dinner. When he got to bed, he quickly fell into a deep sleep, but instead of waking up as usual with the breakfast bell, the next thing he knew he was lying in the dark with his eyes wide open and the oddest kind of feeling in his stomach.

He sat up, his pulse beating loud in his ears. Had someone called out to him? The dorm was quiet and still, except for Ron snoring in the next bed and an owl hooting softly somewhere in the distance. The feeling persisted; it was like an insistent tugging, as though there was somewhere he was meant to be, something important he was meant to be doing. He swung his feet onto the floor and snaked his hand under the pillow for his wand. The sensation didn’t go away, in fact, it was stronger than ever, and he tingled with curiosity as to what would happen if he followed its pull.

It felt natural and right to slip out of the dorm and down the stairs, his bare feet moving sure and silent across the rough stone. He didn’t know where he was going, but his body knew, drawn irresistibly through the castle, with only a dim Lumos to light his way as the instinctive pull guided him along corridors and through archways. The staircase he was on shifted, swinging itself around to provide a quicker route, and then he was climbing the last few steps to the seventh floor, all of him thrumming with a peculiar anticipation as he pushed open the door to the Room of Requirement.

Harry blinked. Maybe this was all a dream, because the room didn’t resemble in any way how he had seen it last. The ravaged, charred shell of the cavernous chamber was gone, replaced by a small, simple room, softly lit, containing not much more than the curtained frame of a four poster bed. And where the curtains were parted, Draco Malfoy was sitting on the bed, wearing a pair of faded cotton pyjamas. He looked up at Harry, his face wary.

"I should have known you’d turn up," he said.

"I was asleep," Harry told him. "I woke up and I got sort of… led here."

"Yup." Malfoy was frowning. "Me too. I didn’t have much choice about it."

Harry moved a few steps towards him, then stopped. "What happened to the room?"

Malfoy’s eyes moved around the room. "Looks like they fixed it. Or maybe it fixed itself."

The air was sweet and clean. You would only detect the faint traces of smoke if you had been there when it happened, if you had witnessed how it had been before, and Harry felt a stupid kind of hopefulness stirring inside him at the room’s transformation. It gave him the strangest feeling, as though anything might be possible.

"I missed you," Harry said, because it was true, and because maybe this was actually a dream. You could say anything in a dream.

Malfoy didn’t answer, but Harry could see his throat working. He sat down on the bed next to Malfoy, feeling oddly shy and self-conscious.

Malfoy was scowling at the floor. "When I took you to the Astronomy Tower…" Malfoy’s voice trailed off, but Harry could see him forcing himself to continue. "I thought maybe in the future I could walk past that place and just for once, I could remember something good that happened there."

"I know," Harry said.

Malfoy turned to look at him, and his eyes were hurt and accusing. "You always think you know everything," he said. "But you don’t."

"I know you couldn’t do it. When you were meant to kill him."

Malfoy shook his head. "You don’t know what it was like." The words started off forcefully, but his voice cracked at the end and the next part came out in a shaky sort of whisper. "You don’t know what it’s like to feel shitty or ashamed or guilty or fucking terrified, do you?"

Harry was speechless for a moment. "Are you kidding me?" Disbelief rippled through him. Was that really what Malfoy thought?

"Of course you wouldn’t understand," Malfoy went on, his voice tinged with bitterness. "You made all the right fucking choices, didn’t you?"

"All the right choices?" Harry repeated. "You’re crazy if you think that. People died because of the shitty choices I made, and I have to live with that." It felt surreal to be saying this out loud; these things he tried not to even think about. And now he was telling Malfoy, and somehow it seemed like it might help. "I feel guilty," Harry said, his voice edging into desperation. "I feel angry, and scared, and lost." It felt as though, finally, he could say this. As though he could say anything. "And lonely. I feel so bloody lonely a lot of the time."

"Lonely," Malfoy said, almost incredulous. "You?"

"Yes," Harry said firmly. "Me."

Malfoy looked at him in amazement, and then Harry was kissing him, heated and hungry, and Malfoy was kissing him back, and it was the first thing that had happened in that whole miserable week that felt the slightest bit good.

Malfoy’s hands came up to cup Harry’s head, fingers threading through his hair, and Harry groaned at the lush warmth of Malfoy’s mouth and the way Malfoy’s tongue moved insistently against his. Desire roared through Harry, and he pulled Malfoy down onto the bed with him and kissed him, slow and deep and unending, not holding anything back, until they were both breathless with it.

Malfoy pulled away for a moment. "Do you want me?" he asked, tilting his chin up, and Harry felt a ferocious need blaze through him.

"Yes, hell, yes."

"Then take my fucking clothes off." Malfoy lay back and looked at Harry with an insolent expression.

Harry didn’t hesitate; he worked at the buttons of Malfoy’s shirt, slipping them free one by one and placing his lips hungrily against each inch of pale skin as it appeared. Malfoy tasted of heat and salt, fresh and warm and impossible to resist. It felt so strange to touch Malfoy in this way – deliberately, savouring it – but in this still, dreamlike place, it was possible. Harry nuzzled his way down Malfoy’s rib cage to his flat stomach and then stopped to slip his pyjama top from his shoulders. Malfoy’s Dark Mark stood out like a blot on his arm, and Harry’s gaze stuck on it.

Malfoy lay there, his skinny chest rising and falling, and Harry took his hand and pressed his lips against the palm, still staring at the Dark Mark. Malfoy’s face was guarded, his eyes narrowed. Harry opened his mouth and let his tongue flick over the sensitive flesh, tracing the creases of Malfoy’s palm until he shivered. He laid his mouth against Malfoy’s wrist, his lips seeking out the delicate knob of bone.

"What was it like, when you had it done?" he asked, still staring at the disfigurement of the Mark. "Did it hurt?"

Malfoy lifted his chin again. "More than you could imagine." The words came out in a vicious whisper. "They had to hold me down, in the end."

Harry kissed Malfoy’s wrist again, closing his eyes against the wave of sickening rage that washed through him. He kept his eyes closed as he made his way up Malfoy’s arm, trailing his lips over where he knew the ugly black shape must be. The skin felt different there, rough and almost scaly against his mouth. He forced himself to look again; close up, it was just a blurry mess. A relic, an old scar, and Harry certainly knew about those. He raised his eyes to Malfoy’s, and found Malfoy gazing back with a kind of queasy intensity.

"You want me?" Malfoy asked again, and Harry heard the unspoken words, even with this?

"Yes," he said simply.

"You want to fuck me?"

Desire took a hold of Harry, right in his gut, and twisted in the most delicious torment. "Yes."

Malfoy lowered his eyelids, his pupils flooded with black, and Harry couldn’t wait a moment longer. He tugged at Malfoy’s pyjamas, easing them over his hips so that his cock sprang free, and then pulled them off altogether. Malfoy lay there, watching Harry’s face, all bare long limbs and smoky eyes, his cock straining up towards the ceiling, and everything about him made Harry’s head swim.

Harry stripped off his own clothes quickly, not taking his eyes from Malfoy for a second.

"Have you done this before?" Malfoy asked.

"Not with a man."

Malfoy’s eyes flashed with surprise. He let his gaze run over Harry’s body: his chest, his stomach, his thighs, and then lingering on Harry’s cock, bobbing thick and dark from a tangle of curls. Malfoy swallowed heavily, and when he spoke again, his voice was husky.

"On your back," he said, and Harry complied, sinking down onto the comfortable expanse of the bed. Malfoy straddled him and took Harry’s hand in his own, then whispered a spell into it so that Harry’s fingers were coated with a slick warm liquid. Merlin, the anticipation of what that promised; Harry's head reeled with it. His hand was shaking, but Malfoy guided it between the cheeks of his arse, and then Harry took over, his fingers rubbing eager and amazed over the tight furl of Malfoy’s hole.

Malfoy moaned, steadying himself with one hand splayed on Harry’s chest. "Inside me," he told Harry, and Harry tried his best to push two fingers in, but Malfoy’s body resisted anything more than the tip of his forefinger. Malfoy leaned in, taking Harry’s head in his hands and moving against Harry in a slow, open-mouthed kiss until Harry felt his whole body softening against him. "More, now," he said, and this time Harry’s finger slid all the way in, deep, so very deep, into Malfoy’s body, and it felt so intoxicating that he cried out.

"Ye–es," Malfoy panted. "Do it harder," so Harry drew his finger out and drove it in again, revelling in the resilience of Malfoy’s body, the shocking newness of doing this. When Harry coaxed another finger inside, stretching the sensitive flesh, Malfoy squirmed around him, above him, his breath coming fast and hot and damp against Harry’s ear, and Harry thought he could probably come from touching Malfoy like this. He pushed in again, twisting his fingers deep into Malfoy, feeling how tight and sweet and good it was inside him, and then he thought about how it would feel to have his dick inside Malfoy instead of his fingers, and he had to close his eyes and try to think really hard about something else for a minute.

"What’s wrong?" Malfoy asked, and it was horribly embarrassing, but Harry told him anyway.

"I thought I was going to come."

"My god," Malfoy said, with relish. "You’re such a slut for this."

Harry felt his whole body turning hot, but it was true. There was no point trying to hide his desire; he laid it before Malfoy like a gift. "Yes."

Malfoy shifted above him and Harry found his cock nudging at the slick warmth of Malfoy’s entrance. "Oh, fuck."

"Yes," Malfoy agreed.

"I don’t know if I can—" Harry broke off as Malfoy sank down onto him, the thick head of his cock squeezed tight as it breached Malfoy’s body.

"You can," Malfoy assured him, and then he sank down another inch and his face twisted in what looked like a deeply satisfying mix of pleasure and strain. "Just… stay still for a minute."

It felt impossibly good. Harry had to tense every muscle so as not to arch upwards, but then Malfoy shifted again, persuading his body to give way, inch by inch, so that Harry slid deeper, deeper, oh god, deeper still, until Malfoy had taken the full length of him inside.

Hell, it was powerful. Harry’s head reeled with it, with awe at what Malfoy’s body had done, and at the savage joy of being inside him. It felt so right, like this was exactly where Harry was meant to be, and he even had the idea that the room itself, maybe the whole castle, was resonating with the rightness of it. Then Malfoy started to move, and Harry just about lost his mind.

There was something so different about this night. And Malfoy, Malfoy was different, too. He was still all angles and edges, still uncompromising and challenging. But with every movement, every word, he made it clear that it was Harry he wanted, not just the release of getting off. It burned out of him, pure and unrelenting, and Harry didn’t think he could ever have imagined how this would make him feel, how being with Malfoy could feel so intimate and intense and shivery with bliss.

"Oh, god," Harry said, his voice so thick with need that he hardly recognised it. "Don’t stop. Please."

"No." Malfoy kept moving, perspiration standing out on his forehead, thighs taut, his mouth falling open as he sank down onto Harry. He spoke not much above a whisper. "Are we going to keep doing this? After today?"

Harry nodded. "Yes."

"You need it too, don’t you?" Malfoy’s voice was so raw, so throaty, it made Harry’s heart clench behind his ribs. "Harry? You need it too."

"Yes," Harry answered, and just saying it made something wild and thrilling well up inside him. Malfoy moved again, and it dragged a rough, desperate kind of sound from Harry. There was no way he could last. Not with Malfoy looking like that, moving like that. Not with the way it felt to admit that this was something he needed. "Yes."

"You feel so fucking good inside me," Malfoy told him fiercely, and Harry felt himself hurtling past the point of no return. Malfoy slammed himself down onto Harry, every muscle taut, and hell, the way he was taking exactly what he needed from Harry was ridiculously hot. Arousal burned through Harry’s veins, leaving blistering pleasure in its wake. He arched crazily into Malfoy’s body, letting go of what felt like a decade’s worth of tension. He came and came, a long, shuddering release which was far more than physical.

Malfoy took Harry’s hand and wrapped it tightly around his prick, grinding his arse down onto Harry’s still-hard cock and fucking into Harry’s hand. Harry wanted to watch this for hours, to commit the whole scene to memory, every detail of Malfoy pleasuring himself on Harry’s body, his forehead damp with sweat and his face shining. But all too soon, Malfoy gave a gasping, stuttering cry, and then he was coming too, long spurts of it arcing across Harry’s chest, his body trembling, and Harry realised in that moment that Malfoy wasn’t just hot – he was beautiful.

When it was over, Harry felt utterly spent, his whole body loose and liquid. Malfoy flopped forwards onto him and Harry was surprised to find he liked that too, liked being pinned by the weight of Malfoy’s limp body.

Malfoy didn’t speak and Harry couldn’t think of anything to say that would mean half as much as what he’d just shared with Malfoy, so he lay still and silent as Malfoy shifted around to get comfortable, enjoying the unaccustomed quietness inside his head. It wasn’t long at all before sleep stole over him, deep and dreamless.

~***~

The breakfast bell was ringing somewhere in the distance and Harry reached for a pillow to pull over his head. He didn’t want to wake up; he was so bloody comfortable and his bed smelled amazing, like—

Holy Fiendfyre. Draco. He was right there, stretched out across the bed on his front, starting to stir as the bell jangled on.

"Timezit?" he muttered.

They were still in the Room of Requirement. Naked. And the entire school would be heading down for breakfast right about now.

Harry thought about just getting back under the covers and staying there for the day. But they’d have to come out at some point, he supposed, and then—

"About eight o’clock," he admitted.

Malfoy sat bolt upright, his hair rumpled from sleep. "Shit." He sprang out of bed. "Where are my fucking—" Harry saw the exact moment Malfoy realised he only had pyjamas to put on. "Shit, shit, shit."

"You’re lucky. I’ve only got boxers and a t-shirt."

Malfoy scrabbled for his wand and muttered a spell, jabbing at the pyjamas and then swearing when they turned a violent shade of purple.

"We could just stay here till everybody’s gone to class," Harry suggested.

"You do that. Personally, I don’t want to give them the slightest reason to kick me out."

"They wouldn’t. Would they?"

"They bloody might." Malfoy had managed to Transfigure the pyjama shirt into something vaguely resembling robes, and he pulled them around himself and fastened them at the front.

Harry looked him up and down. "That’s not bad."

"It’s abysmal, but it’ll do to get me back to the dorm." He ran an appraising hand over his hair and grimaced.

Harry reached for his t-shirt. "Hold on. Can you do anything with this?"

Malfoy’s lip curled. "Merlin. You do know we covered this in third year."

"Would you shut up? I can do a sodding wandless Patronus; I just don’t like Transfiguration."

Malfoy rolled his eyes, but pointed his wand at Harry’s shirt. "Vestus muto." The fabric unrolled itself so it was several times the original length, then flicked out long sleeves and a hood. Draco frowned at it and tapped it again until it turned black. Harry took it and swung it around his shoulders.

"Thanks. Hey!" He held out his sleeves. "These are Slytherin robes!"

"Tough luck, Potter." One corner of Malfoy’s mouth lifted into a smirk. "They don’t look too bad on you."

They were about to leave when the door inched open a crack and a small, but very long, nose protruded into the gap. A large eye followed, and then they heard a small squeak and the nose withdrew hurriedly.

Malfoy flung open the door to reveal Munkle standing outside, her body hunched over as if trying to make herself look smaller. "What do you want?" he demanded.

Munkle’s ears quivered with anxiety. "Munkle is checking that sirs is reaching the Room safely, and not getting lost on the way."

"What the—?" Harry strode towards her. "Munkle, do you mean that you did this? You brought us here?"

She wrung her hands together. "Munkle is working very hard. Munkle is helping."

"Helping with what? Bloody hell, did you lock us in the potions cupboard, too?" Harry asked.

"Munkle is hearing Draco Malfoy talking to his friend. Talking about Harry Potter."

Malfoy’s face darkened. "You did not, you little sneak."

"Yes, Munkle is hearing him. And Munkle is seeing pictures at the bottom of Harry Potter’s trunk, and—"

"You what?" Harry felt himself getting uncomfortably warm. "Munkle, it’s not helping when you listen to people’s conversations and go through their things—"

"Munkle is worrying it is not right, but sirs is not knowing how hard it is to be fixing everything…" Her voice turned even more plaintive. "Is Harry Potter being very angry with Munkle? Is you going to be telling Professor McGonagall?"

Malfoy glared at her. "Yes."

Her big eyes brimmed with tears and Harry gave a exasperated sigh. "No, Munkle. But… Don’t do anything else, OK?"

Munkle nodded, backing away. "No, no. Munkle is understanding Harry Potter. No more helping him to get what he wants."

Harry opened his mouth to say more, but Munkle wasted no time before she Disapparated with a hearty crack.

~***~

Getting back to the dorms without anyone noticing he was barefoot and in Slytherin robes was one of the more memorable parts of Harry’s already memorable week. After changing into Gryffindor uniform, Harry’s body spent the morning in Herbology, but his mind was definitely elsewhere.

He was bloody lucky it wasn’t a practical lesson, so he could remain seated at his desk and hide his intermittent erection under the folds of his robes. In between reliving every single second of every moment he’d spent up in the Room of Requirement, he wondered what the hell was going to happen when he saw Malfoy again. Did Malfoy still feel the same way – that he wanted this to carry on? And was this a secret, or what? When Harry hustled in for the last few minutes of breakfast, grabbing as much toast as he could stuff into his mouth, Ron had asked where he'd been, but he didn’t know if Ron realised he’d spent the night elsewhere or not. Harry had just muttered something about tell you later, but he didn’t have a clue what he was actually going to say.

He needed to speak to Malfoy. He congratulated himself on happening to have the Marauder’s Map in his bag so he could sneak a look at it when Sprout’s back was turned. The dot marked Draco Malfoy had been in the Arithmancy corridor, and was now moving along towards the eighth year common room. Harry shifted in his seat. Even watching a fucking dot with Malfoy’s name on was making his cock ache. He really needed to talk to Malfoy, right away.

Harry was almost out of the classroom before the bell for the end of class had stopped ringing, but Sprout called him back and asked him to explain what he’d meant in the last paragraph of his recent essay on the Musical Fungi of Scandinavia. Harry hadn’t a sodding clue what he’d meant, so it wasn’t a particularly enlightening conversation, but it seemed to go on forever. When Sprout finally dismissed him, Harry hurried away, taking the stairs two at a time, thinking maybe he could still catch up with Malfoy before he reached the common room. But when he reached the corridor outside, it was deserted. Harry stopped for a moment to catch his breath. He could go in, signal to Malfoy to meet him outside, and then… He couldn’t afford to think about what might happen then. Not with his dick in this kind of mood.

Harry spoke the password into the visor of the armour, waited for the door to swing open, and stepped inside. He hadn’t been expecting Malfoy to be standing just inside the room so that Harry barged into him. And he definitely hadn’t been expecting a loud cheer to go up from the direction of the sofas.

Malfoy let out a frustrated yell.

"What?" Harry said, hating the feeling that everyone else knew something he didn’t. He tried to step sideways, away from Malfoy, and then, of course, he got it.

"Bloody mistletoe!" Malfoy spat the words out, and Harry looked up to see another shimmering bunch of the stuff above their heads.

"That is not funny in the slightest!" Hermione said. "I’m seriously going to have to report this."

"It’ll be that poxy elf again," Malfoy snarled, and Harry whipped his head round to find Munkle creeping quietly past, very close to escaping without having attracted any notice.

"Munkle," he said firmly. "Let. Us. Go."

The elf shook her head sadly.

"You promised not to interfere any more!" Harry told her.

Munkle looked at Harry with a pained expression. "Munkle is promising, but then Munkle is remembering that Professor McGonagall is being very clear. Elves is not stopping working until everything in the castle is being fixed." She gave a serious nod. "Completely fixed."

"Professor McGonagall didn’t mean this!" Harry protested, but Munkle had turned on her heel and vanished.

Harry looked helplessly up at Malfoy. The room had fallen quiet, and he could feel dozens of eyes resting curiously on them. Nerves bubbled up inside him, self-consciousness prickling hotly at his neck, but… Malfoy gazed down at him, his eyes full of a kind of fearful yearning. Fuck it. Harry reached up and laced his fingers into the hair at the nape of Malfoy’s neck. Malfoy still looked apprehensive as hell, but Harry took a deep breath and leaned in.

"Draco," he said, and then he kissed him, but not just a kiss to release the charm. It was a kiss to remind Draco of everything they had shared last night. A kiss to ease the breathless clamour that rose up in him every time Harry looked at him. A kiss to tell the fucking world that this was happening, even if Harry still didn’t know exactly what this was. He poured everything he had into it. Draco stood as though stunned for a moment, and then his mouth opened for Harry and his hand came up to the small of Harry’s back to pull him in closer, so that their bodies were flush together and he could feel Draco’s wiry strength pressing against him.

Holy hell. It wasn’t like several sunlit days, that was for sure. It was more like jumping off a cliff in the dark, your heart pounding, every cell in your body yelping in surprise, but feeling so alive, so fucking alive, giddy with the freedom and the blissful madness of it all, that nothing else seemed to matter.

Someone was whooping; Blaise Zabini called delightedly, "Bloody hell, Draco, it’s about time!"

And somewhere in the depths of the castle, a small, insignificant house-elf hugged herself and smiled.