Once a week.
They do it once a week, and then the air reeks of sandalwood with citrusy undertones for days.
“Days!” Harry’s been ranting about it again.
Malfoy clenches his teeth.
“Look, Potter,” he says, without unclenching them. “If the smell of my laundry detergent bothers you that much, you’re more than welcome to bring your own. Actually, I could have suggested it before, but I was worried that you didn’t know what detergent was.”
“I know what detergent is.”
“Not obvious, judging by the grungy state of your— ” He lets his gaze trail to Harry’s shoes, and sneers. “—trainers.”
“Can you at least buy the unscented sort? The sort that won’t leave my clothes smelling like they belong to a posh, uptight twat?”
Malfoy finally looks up from the pile of laundry he’s folding and putting away in his trunk. Harry can feel the exasperation roll off him like waves lapping at his feet, and his gut heats with nasty satisfaction.
“Fuck. You. Potter. I’m not your house-elf,” Malfoy snarls. He snaps his trunk closed, marches up to Harry and pushes a piece of clothing into Harry’s hands. “I am so fucking done with you. I’m going to try and appeal to McGonagall’s clemency one last time—something along the lines of give me another roommate or give me death.”
The door rattles in its hinges when Malfoy slams it shut on his way out. It sends a waft of citrusy sandalwood in Harry’s direction. All right, so maybe Harry’s reaction was slightly exaggerated. The smell isn’t so bad. In fact, he would quite like it—if only it didn’t constantly remind him of the insufferable prat he had for a roommate.
Harry lets out a fuming exhale. As if McGonagall would change her mind. He’d asked— begged —her to give him another roommate at the start of Eighth Year. I believe Mr Malfoy is the perfect match for you, Mr Potter, and I would very much appreciate if you didn’t question my decisions, now here’s the door, Mr Potter, was all he was able to get out of her. And so for the past three months, he’s had to suffer Malfoy’s presence at the worst possible times:
- Trying to do homework sitting in his bed, while barely a few feet away, Malfoy sucked on the tip of his quill as he wrote his Potions essays.
- Falling asleep to the soft sounds of Malfoy’s breathing.
- (Sometimes waking up in the night, too, to the sound of Malfoy having a nightmare—whining and sobbing and making Harry’s chest feel tight with pity—chipping away at the hatred he felt for Malfoy, one bad dream at a time)
- Peeking from under his blankets in the morning to watch Malfoy as he woke up. As he pushed his sleep-rumpled hair from his eyes. As one leg of his pyjamas hitched up in his sleep to reveal the soft-looking, pale hair of his leg gleaming in the morning sunlight. As his long, arched feet dangled from the side of the mattress. As he looked more human than Harry was ready for.
- Throwing him discreet sidelong glances during Charms classes—the only one they had in common anymore.
- Flinching when Hermione elbowed him in the ribs, Stop ogling Malfoy or I swear to Merlin, I’m asking McGonagall to give you the Giant Squid for a roommate next term (so much for being discreet)
- And finally, the greatest predicament of all: the weekly laundry chore.
He looks down at the t-shirt Malfoy handed him before he stormed out.
Finds out it’s not Harry’s t-shirt.
It looks like one of Harry’s t-shirts. It’s white, plain, like the ones he likes to wear underneath his school shirts and jumpers. But...but it’s stretchier, and the fabric is slightly thicker. Softer. Better quality.
Definitely Malfoy’s shirt.
Harry’s nostrils twitch. Brilliant. Now he’s going to have to fold Malfoy’s things as well? No way in hell. He’d sooner take another midnight stroll across the Forbidden Forest. He’s dropping the damned shirt on Malfoy’s bed and that’s all he’s doing. The haughty bastard can go fuck himself—and fold his own laundry, for all Harry cares.
The fabric is soft, though. So soft. As soft as Malfoy’s leg hair looks…
Where the fuck did that thought come from?
Harry shakes his head. And catches a whiff of something. Sandalwood and citrus and... warmth. He hesitates. Brings the t-shirt closer to his face. And—and smells it.
It smells...it smells like something Harry wants to roll around in. To close his eyes and fall asleep to. To save all for himself. Maybe if he licks it, no one else can have it…
It smells like Malfoy.
Oh. Oh no.
His eyes fly open. He hadn’t realised they’d fallen shut.
Oh shit oh shit what does he do now?
The shirt. Drop it on Malfoy’s bed. Let the haughty bastard fold it himself. Yes, that was the plan all along!
He takes a step in the direction of Malfoy’s bed.
Stops. Worries his lip between his teeth.
Turns, walks back to his bed, lifts his pillow, and stuffs the white t-shirt under it.
Why on earth—?
Does it matter?
No one will ever know.
It’s late. Judging by Malfoy’s soft breathing, he’s been asleep for a good half hour.
The white t-shirt has burned a hole in Harry’s bed for hours. It’s burned a hole in his head, to be exact.
And Harry’s cock has been inconveniently half-hard ever since he beat a hasty retreat out of his room, away from the evidence of his—oh Merlin, his feelings? Can he call them feelings? Does he have feelings? Is that what it was from the start??—his bloody feelings then, for lack of a better word. His bloody feelings for Malfoy.
Malfoy lets out a snore, and turns in his sleep. He’s facing Harry now. Eyes closed, hair mussed, face peaceful in the darkness bathed in muted moonlight. The Malfoy only Harry gets to see.
He reaches for Malfoy’s t-shirt and pulls it from under his pillow. The smell of Malfoy attacks him as hard as it did in the morning. Dirty war tactics, Harry thinks, before plunging his face into the folds of Malfoy’s t-shirt, slipping his hand into the front of his pyjamas, and closing his hand around his aching erection.
Merlin, that feels good. He’s waited for it all day.
It’s harder to feel guilty about it when it’s too dark for Malfoy to see him.
He takes another deep breath—another unfair attack to his overwhelmed senses—and pumps his fist faster. It’s not the first time he’s wanked in their shared bedroom—it’s not the first time he’s wanked in a shared room full of other boys. He can stifle his moans like he’s in the fucking wank Olympics. He’s about to go pro. His prick is dripping precome in his hand. He closes his eyes and breathes.
In his mind, he’s in the Potions classroom—another fantasy to file under Where the fuck did that come from?? —after everybody’s left except Malfoy. Who stands and walks up to him, eyes dark with purpose. He grabs Harry by his shirt—the same white t-shirt that Malfoy wears—and kisses him. When he pulls back, his thin lips are pink and swollen and wet with saliva. Harry’s cock gives an eager twitch in his hand and he wanks with frantic dedication. Fantasy-Malfoy has his eyes fixed on Harry. He falls to his knees and opens Harry’s flies with unflinching fingers...and his breath caresses the leaking tip of Harry’s cock… and he opens his mouth to—
Harry opens his eyes and jerks his hand away from his cock.
Malfoy is sitting on his bed, his pale eyes glinting in the dark.
“Fuck,” is all Harry finds to say.
Then… then Malfoy does the unthinkable. He lifts the covers, and slides under them and next to Harry.
Slides into Harry’s bed.
“What the fuck are you doing?” Harry whispers. It doesn’t come out as angry or shocked. It comes out as… intimate.
“You sounded like you were having fun. You woke me up. I came over to show you how annoying it is when someone pulls you out of something real good. Like sleep… or like whatever you were doing a minute ago.” He slides closer, and freezes. His hand pats the fabric bunched under Harry’s head. He lifts his head and squints.
The t-shirt is unmistakable, starkly white against Harry’s navy sheets.
“Is that— Potter, is that what I think it is?”
He pulls at the t-shirt, hard, and Harry’s head jerks with it.
“Oi! Boundaries, Malfoy. Ever heard of them?”
“Boundaries?” Malfoy’s teeth gleam in the dark. “You’re telling me about boundaries, when you’ ve got my t-shirt in your bed?”
“You gave it to me!”
“Well, it was a mix-up, wasn’t it? Here, Potter, take my shirt and wank to it. That definitely sounds like me.”
“If you’re not going to make yourself useful, you might as well go back to your bed, Malfoy.”
The words are out of Harry’s mouth before he can stop them. He wants to clap his hand over his mouth, but remembers where his hand has been just in time to avoid it.
Malfoy doesn’t go back to his bed. If anything, he moves even closer.
Harry can feel the heat of his body through his pyjamas. He can smell him—the real Malfoy, not the memory of him lingering on a pathetic t-shirt.
Malfoy lifts his head and leans close. His breath tickles Harry’s ear. Goosebumps erupt over his arm and leg.
“I can make myself useful,” Malfoy whispers. “I can. If you let me.”
Harry’s too stunned to speak. He waits, two breaths, three breaths of Malfoy against his ear, warmth and heat and darkness surrounding him, making what would have seemed impossible in the light of day suddenly attainable—natural. His fingers slide down Malfoy’s arm, wrap around his wrist, and guide his hand until Malfoy’s palm is pressed against the stiff bulge tenting his pyjamas.
“Harry…” The word hangs in the air between them, tentative and quivering, and Malfoy grabs Harry more firmly, rubs along the length of Harry’s cock. He kisses the lobe of Harry’s ear. Kisses down the side of his neck, small, wet kisses that make Harry’s toes curl. He closes his teeth around the skin where shoulder meets neck, just when his hand slithers under the waistband of Harry’s pyjamas and wraps around his cock.
“Malfoy,” Harry half-gasps, half-moans, bucking into the touch. It’s a dream. A dream. It can’t be. It can’t be Malfoy, touching him, murmuring things against his skin, rutting his own hard cock against Harry’s thigh—
“Your cock is in my hand. You could have the courtesy of calling me ‘Draco’.”
Harry pushes his hand into Draco’s hair, pushes his cock into Draco’s fist. He meets his eyes, stormy and pained in the pale moonlight. “Draco,” he whispers. And kisses him.
The next evening, when Draco comes back to their room, the white t-shirt sits in the middle of his bed, folded with so much care its very presence exudes fondness—maybe even love. Maybe. Someday.
Harry’s never been more certain of anything.
He’s sitting on his bed, (pretending to be) reading his Charms textbook, and when he meets Draco’s gaze, Draco turns his eyes away with a smile.