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I Need You (So Much Closer)

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Draco circled around the field behind the Burrow for what felt like the hundredth time, the rain and wind beating against his face as he tried to catch sight of the snitch. Everyone else had abandoned the game hours ago now, but Harry stubbornly refused to give up.

“Potter!” Draco yelled, carefully letting go of his broom and cupping his hands around his mouth in hopes of being heard over the rain.

Harry quickly looped around, coming to stop and hovering right in front of Draco.

Harry’s hair was dripping wet and sticking to his forehead. Goosebumps covered his exposed arms and his clothes were soaked through but he seemed completely oblivious to the rain and chilly spring air that was whipping around them.

“What’s the matter Malfoy? Don’t tell me you’re scared of a little rain,” Harry teased, his eyes glowing with amusement.

Draco had a sharp retort ready on his tongue but the words never made it out of his mouth. Because there, right behind Harry’s left shoulder, was the little golden ball. Thank Merlin, finally.

Draco did his best to keep his face impassive. He wasn’t about to miss his chance to not only beat Harry but to also get the fuck out of the miserable rain, hopefully before he froze to death.

“You wish Potter!” Draco yelled with a laugh as he took off after the snitch, Harry chasing after them both within seconds.

The snitch zig-zagged back and forth in front of them and then darted down closer to the ground and leveled out. They quickly followed, flying side by side, their bodies almost flush against their brooms, both with an arm outstretched.

Draco inched ahead, he was so close. The wings of the snitch fluttered against the tips of his fingers, but before he could close his hand around the maddening little ball, the tail of Harry’s broom brushed against his, just hard enough to send them both spiraling out of control. They landed, roughly, in a tangled heap on the soggy ground.

“Oh good grief,” Draco groaned as he sat up, trying to wipe the mud from his eyes. He looked over at Harry to find his shoulders shaking with laughter.

“You okay?” Harry asked breathlessly.

Instead of answering, Draco took a moment to run his eyes over Harry. His hair, even more of a mess than usual, had wet grass and leaves stuck in the black curls. Mud tracks ran down his face and his glasses sat crooked on his nose. His lips were pulled up into the most ridiculous grin.

From the looks of it, Harry was in serious need of a good, hot shower but was otherwise fine.

Draco sighed in relief before realizing with a jolt that all of his Slytherin self preservation had just deserted him. His only concern had been not for himself but for the green eyed boy sitting on the muddy ground beside him.

And that was when everything clicked. It was like the final piece of a complicated puzzle slotting into place and the words were out of Draco’s mouth before he could stop them.

“I love you,” he said softly, just loud enough to be heard over the rain, “I am so fucking in love with you it’s ridiculous,” Draco said louder, laughing fondly and shaking his head.

Harry just stared at him, green eyes wide and lips parted.

Harry’s hesitation allowed Draco’s words to finally penetrate his love addled brain. What was he thinking blurting that out right now? They’d only been together for a few months. It was way too soon for declarations of love.

Draco dropped his eyes from Harry’s gobsmacked gaze as anxiety flared in his chest. He chewed his bottom lip nervously, hating how vulnerable he felt as he waited for Harry to say something.

His worries evaporated quickly though as Harry closed the distance between them, cupping Draco’s face gently and bringing their lips together. The kiss was unlike any they had ever shared. It was soft and gentle, while at the same time aggressive, teeth catching on lips and tongues crashing together.

It was a kiss with intention, a promise of more to come.

When the need for oxygen became too much, they reluctantly broke apart gasping. Harry let his forehead rest against Draco’s, green eyes meeting grey.

“God, Draco,” Harry’s voice came out low and rough, full of emotion. He tucked some of Draco’s hair behind his ear as his other hand slid down to Draco’s neck, resting gently against his pulse point, “I love you too.”

And then they were kissing again. Thunder and lightening crashing overhead.

Draco’s eyes snap open as he jolts awake.

Outside the thunder booms loud enough to rattle the bedroom windows and lightening flashes brightly against the backdrop of the inky black sky. He sits up quickly, kicking the covers to the foot of the bed and takes in a few deep breaths to calm his racing heart. He feels the body beside him stir, but he can’t look over. Not now when guilt and longing are swirling together in his stomach.

“You alright?” Kade asks, his voice groggy with sleep. He rubs his fingers over his eyes before squinting through the darkness to look at Draco.

“Y-Yes,” Draco clears his throat and rubs both hands over his face, ignoring the way they shake, “I’m fine. The storm woke me up,” Draco says and finally looks over at his boyfriend, giving what he hopes is a reassuring smile, “Go back to sleep, love.”

Kade smiles sleepily and sits up slightly, using one elbow to prop himself up enough to reach Draco’s lips. He gives Draco a soft kiss before turning over and drifting easily back to sleep.

Draco, knowing that there’s no way he’ll be sleeping again anytime soon, gets out of bed and quietly pads out to the living room. He walks over to the huge windows that make up the entire south wall of his apartment and looks out over New York City.

As he watches the storm light up the sky, he wishes, just for a moment, that he’s looking out onto Grimmuald Place instead. It’s nothing new, really. Draco is no stranger to this feeling of homesickness. It’s been five years now since he left England and he still misses it terribly at times. But Draco has a great life here in New York. He’s made something of himself, something he’s proud of.

He’s Editor in Chief of Charmed Magazine, which is now one of the most popular Wizarding publications in the U.S. and Draco prides himself on providing the magical community with factual articles that both inform and entertain.

The magazine is also what led to his relationship with Kade.

Kade Parker, an up and coming magical photographer, had been at a charity event the magazine covered last year. He immediately caught Draco’s eye, his camera hanging from his neck and his warm smile lighting up his face. They instantly hit it off, falling quickly into a relationship. And while Kade’s promising career, as well as his own, draws a lot of public attention from the Wizarding community, Draco found that he doesn’t really mind it. It’s nothing like the attention his relationship with Harry received. The main difference being, that here in New York, Draco isn’t looked down on as Death Eater filth. His intentions towards Kade are never questioned. They can walk down the street together without being harassed and Kade never has to save or defend Draco.

Although, that’s all mostly due to the fact that nobody here knows who Draco really is. He’s been using the surname Black since he first came to the States and his Dark Mark is mostly unrecognizable after being tattooed over. Now a fox, his Patronus, lays curled sleeping on his forearm. Above the sleeping fox he has a beautifully done night sky, showcasing the constellation that’s his namesake, continuing up onto his bicep.

Most of the time Draco’s able to overlook the fact that his life here is based on lies and half truths. He’s used to hiding parts of himself from others. But tonight he aches with longing, wanting to be with someone who really knows him. Someone who knows his past and still chooses to love him anyway.

Draco shakes his head, pushing those thoughts to the back of his mind and turns from the window. He slowly makes his way back to the bedroom, hesitating only a moment before crawling back into bed and wrapping his arms around Kade’s sleeping form.

Outside the storm continues and the sound of rain hitting the windows finally lulls Draco back to sleep.

*~~~*

The next morning finds Draco sleep deprived and cranky. After returning to bed he slept fitfully, tossing and turning, his dreams featuring vivid green eyes and messy dark hair.

Coffee. He needs coffee.

When he walks into the kitchen he finds Kade leaning against the large island eating the last few bites of his breakfast. Draco’s own breakfast is waiting for him under a warming charm.

“Good morning,” Kade says, glancing up with a smile as Draco enters the room. He’s tapping away at that blasted Muggle phone that he insists on carrying around everywhere.

Draco has to admit that Kade, shirtless with his pajama bottoms hanging low on his hips, is a welcome sight. His dark hair is a mess on top of his head and his brown eyes crinkle at the corners as he smiles warmly at Draco.

It’s almost enough to dispel Draco’s foul mood.

Almost.

“Wouldn’t say there’s much that’s bloody good about it,” Draco grumbles as he takes a seat and pops the bubble covering his food.

His plate is piled high with a delicious selection of food. Scrambled eggs, bacon, pancakes, and fresh fruit. Draco’s mouth waters as he picks up his fork and tucks in.

Before he met Kade, Draco couldn’t understand why anyone would want their eggs scrambled. But now they’ve become his favorite, especially if Kade is doing the cooking. His eggs always come out fluffier than Draco’s, though he can never quite figure out what Kade does to make them that way.

“Didn’t sleep well?” Kade asks cautiously, knowing from experience to tread lightly when Draco’s in this sort of mood, “Have some coffee, you’ll feel better.”

Draco gratefully accepts the mug that’s offered to him. He takes a sip and groans, his mood already improving as the sweet hazelnut coffee warms his belly.

“See, already better right?” Kade smirks, flicking his wand to send his dirty plate and mug to the sink to start washing.

Draco nods and grants him a small smile as he distractedly continues to devour his breakfast. He enjoys the silence as he eats and watches amused, as his boyfriend moves around his kitchen with easy familiarity.

Suddenly and without his permission, memories of mornings spent watching a different dark haired man in another kitchen flit through his mind.

Stomach flipping, Draco quietly sets his fork down on his almost empty plate and walks over to the sink where Kade stands, waving his wand to send the clean dishes to their rightful places. Draco wraps his arms around Kade’s waist from behind, kissing the soft skin of his neck. Kade covers Draco’s hands with his own, lacing their fingers together where they rest against his stomach and laughs fondly at the open and unprompted display of affection.

“I love you Draco,” Kade says softly, before turning in Draco’s arms and giving him chaste kiss.

“Hmm,” Draco hums, a smile forming on his lips, “I know.”

They stand wrapped around each other in silence for a few moments, Kade’s hands rubbing soothing circles on Draco’s lower back, before he slowly pulls out of their embrace and meets Draco’s gaze.

“Are you okay?” Kade asks, his brown eyes full of concern.

“I’m fine, just tired,” Draco replies and the look Kade gives him clearly says that he doesn’t believe that. But he doesn’t push.

“Alright, if you’re sure? You know you can talk to me Draco, about anything.”

Kade steps closer again and places a kiss against Draco’s forehead, his lips lingering there as his fingers tangle in Draco’s long hair.

Draco can only nod in response.

“Oh don’t forget, we’re meeting Aaron for drinks tonight,” Kade reminds him, the words mumbled against the skin of his forehead.

“Right,” Draco inwardly groans. It isn’t that he doesn’t like Kade’s brother, he does. Aaron’s a riot and always has Draco laughing to the point of tears. But it’s been a long week already and it’s only Wednesday. Draco just wants to come home after work and curl up with a good book, “What time is that again?”

“I’ll pick you up here at nine,” Kade answers as he cards his fingers through Draco’s hair, “God, you’re beautiful. But I should head home and get ready for work. I’ll see you tonight,” Kade says, sighing as he pulls away.

Draco watches his boyfriend pick up his holdall from the floor, pulling out a t-shirt and tugging it over his head. Draco stops him with a hand on his wrist, stealing one more kiss before Kade steps into the Floo and disappears in a flash of green.

*~~~*

Draco Apparates back to his apartment after what has to be the longest day ever. He spent the day, and most of the evening, going over and attempting to make the final changes to the September issue of Charmed, but he hadn’t been able to focus. His thoughts had repeatedly drifted back to his dream and thoughts of home.

It doesn’t mean anything, Draco tells himself firmly and is ready an hour later when Kade steps out of the Floo. He looks delectable in the perfectly tailored black trousers and dark green shirt.

“Ready to go?” Kade asks, smirking at Draco’s obvious ogling. It doesn’t bother Draco in the slightest that he’s been caught admiring his boyfriend. He lets his eyes caress the long lines of Kade’s body, pulling his bottom lip into his mouth the way he knows drives Kade crazy.

“Are you sure we have to go?” Draco asks, arousal starting to course through his body, “We could just stay here and I can undress you with my teeth.”

Kade just laughs and licks his lips.

“Unfortunately we really do have to go but if you’re good,” Draco raises an eyebrow at that, “I’ll let you undress me however you want later.”

“Oh fine,” Draco grumbles playfully as he moves toward the fireplace.

Kade grabs his wrist to stop him and Draco hopes that he might be rethinking taking Draco up on his offer.

“We’re going to Apparate, I’ll side-along you.”

“Why?” Draco asks, not bothering to hide the suspicion in his voice.

“Oh don’t start being difficult, you’ll make us late,” Kade scolds lightly, “Come on,” he says, offering Draco his arm.

Draco doesn’t particularly like being side-alonged. Honestly, he doesn’t like Apparating much at all. It always makes his stomach twist unpleasantly but he’s too damn tired to argue. He sighs and grips Kade’s outstretched arm.

With a crack they’re gone.

It takes Draco a moment to get his bearings once they land but when he does, he turns towards Kade with wide eyes.

“Did you just Apparate us to the top of the fucking Empire State Building?” Draco demands.

“I did,” Kade grins, clearly amused by Draco’s reaction, “I thought we could enjoy the view.”

Draco just stares at him for a moment before throwing his arms up in exasperation. He walks over to the rail of the observation deck and can’t deny that it’s a breathtaking view. The city is a twinkling sea of lights; colorful, vibrant, and honestly just astounding when you take a moment to appreciate it. The moon, almost full overhead, makes it even more beautiful. Still, Draco has no idea why they’re here. Then again, unplanned stops to admire something such as a sunset or freshly fallen snow on the trees, is not an uncommon occurrence when one is dating a photographer.

“It’s really beautiful Kade but surely we don’t have time for this,” Draco says as he starts to turn away from the mesmerizing view in front of him, “Aaron will be waiting and -“

The words of protest die on his tongue, a strangled noise escaping him as his mouth drops open in shock. Kade is down on one knee holding out a platinum ring, the inlay of diamonds and alexandrite gemstones gleaming in the moonlight.

Oh fuck.

“Draco, before I met you I thought I was happy with my life the way it was. I was convinced I was fine on my own. But then you came along and gave me everything I didn’t know I was missing. How I ever survived without you I’ll never know,” Kade laughs softly, his eyes glowing with affection, “So, Draco Black, will you make me the happiest man in the world and marry me?”

Draco is speechless. He stands there, mouth still hanging open as he stares at the ring in Kade’s hand, trying and failing to come up with an adequate response. This is the last thing he ever expected.

“Kade I - Are you sure? I mean isn’t this a little fast? We aren’t even officially living together and -“

“I’m sure. I want this forever Draco, marry me,” Kade replies, cutting off Draco’s protests with a patient smile.

But does Draco want to marry Kade? Sure he cares for him deeply, loves him even. But no matter how many years pass, putting the war, and Harry, behind him, Draco’s still broken. He’s still fighting everyday to let go of the mistakes of his past.

His love for Kade reflects that. Broken. Not quite whole.

And maybe the more important question is, would it even be fair to say yes?

Kade doesn’t know that Draco had been on the wrong side of the war. He doesn’t know about the Mark that was branded on Draco’s arm. He has no idea that Draco was stupid enough to listen to his father and pledge his allegiance to a madman. He doesn’t know how many people had been killed because of the stupid decisions of Draco’s adolescent self.

But Draco isn’t that person anymore, he was never really that person to begin with. Things might not be perfect between them but Draco has to acknowledge that he’s the happiest he’s been since he left England. And it’s not as if Kade is suggesting they run off and get married this minute. Draco will have plenty of time to explain everything about his past and if Kade changes his mind after he knows the truth, well, Draco’ll deal with the fallout then.

His decision made, Draco takes a step forward and finally meets Kade’s eyes.

“Yes. Yes, I’ll marry you,” Draco says and Kade beams at him as he slides the ring onto Draco’s finger.

They stay on the observation deck for a long time, kissing and laughing. Up there, so high above the city, it’s like they’re in their own private world. But a small part of Draco worries about just what will happen when they finally come back down to reality.

He’s fucked. So, so fucked.

*~~~*

Draco wakes up curled against Kade’s chest and for one blissful moment, it’s just an ordinary morning. But then images of the night before flash through his mind, making his stomach drop. The Empire State Building. The proposal. What the fuck have you done, Draco thinks, internally cringing.

“You awake?” Kade asks quietly.

“Yes,” Draco answers through a yawn.

“We should get up and call your mother,” Kade says, his voice brimming with excitement.

“What? No - no, we should definitely not do that,” Draco says, panic rising in his chest as he sits up and turns to Kade with wide eyes. He’s much more awake suddenly.

“And why the hell not Draco?” Kade snaps, “I’m going to meet her eventually you know.”

“I just. I think it would be better to tell her in person, that’s all.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” Kade sighs, his shoulders dropping in defeat. But the sullen look only stays on his face for a moment before he flashes Draco a bright smile, “When are we going to England then?”

Shit.

“Kade, I think I need to go alone,” Kade starts to object but Draco puts a hand up to silence him, “Hear me out, please. You know this is complicated. My mother is complicated. I just don’t feel right showing up and springing this on her. It’s been a long time and I left a lot of things…unfinished. I think I need to go back by myself. Just give me a few days to go and talk to everyone, then you and I can make a trip back together. Alright?” Draco silently prays to whatever deity that might be listening for Kade to give in without too much of a fight.

Kade hesitates, his eye’s searching Draco’s face.

“Alright fine. If that’s what you think is best,” Kade finally says and Draco lets out a relieved breath at his agreement, though Kade looks anything but happy about it.

“Thank you,” Draco says, leaning over to kiss him, “I think I should go soon, get it over with. Maybe tomorrow if I can get an International Portkey that fast,” Draco chews his bottom lip, wondering what the hell he’s going to do once he gets to England.

“Fine. Let’s get up and shower. But please Draco, only a few days. I want you back with me as soon as possible,” Kade pleads, gently running his fingertips over Draco’s cheekbone before placing a soft kiss on his lips.

Draco suddenly doesn’t trust his voice to answer, so he just nods and follows Kade into the shower.

*~~~*

Draco’s eyes shift around nervously as he makes his way through the International Portkey terminal in London the next morning. He’s just waiting for someone to recognize him and start throwing hexes at his back. But when he walks out into Muggle London without so much as a glare directed at him, he allows himself to calm down just a little bit. Maybe five years away has done some good for his image here.

Still, he’s made a reservation at a Muggle hotel and he thinks it was a good decision. It isn’t as if he can just walk into the Leaky and get a room without fielding a thousand questions, not to mention the fact that his return to England would be all through Diagon by the end of the day.

His hotel actually isn’t far from the Leaky Cauldron though and Draco can’t stop himself from shooting paranoid glances over his shoulder. The last thing he needs is for someone else to tell Harry he’s back. No, it will be better coming from him and he also can’t deny that he wants the element of surprise on his side to give him the upper hand.

Merlin knows he’ll need it.

Later that afternoon, Draco looks at himself in the large mirror in the hotel loo, fussing over his appearance. He’s wearing dark wash Muggle jeans paired with a grey long sleeved shirt and he looks perfectly fine he tells himself. Not that he’s trying to look good for Harry’s sake. No. He’s always been particular about his appearance, the fact that he’s seeing Harry today makes absolutely no difference.

He just wants to get this over with. He glances once more at his reflection, grateful it isn’t a magical mirror and therefore is quiet, before letting out a deep breath and squaring his shoulders.

“You can do this. You are Draco Malfoy and you will take no shit from Harry sodding Potter.”

He leaves the hotel a few minutes later and walks quickly to the closest Apparation point. He focuses on Grimmuald Place and feels the familiar pull around his navel as he blinks out of existence.

He lands, stumbling only a little, in a copse of trees just down the street from Number 12. Draco looks up at the shabby exterior as he approaches the house and lets the memories wash over him.

This had been his home for four years, his sanctuary after the war. After everything, it still feels more like home than the Manor ever did. Draco swallows around the lump of emotion that seems to be lodged in his throat and arranges his face into a blank expression. He raises an only slightly shaking hand and knocks loudly against the door.

And he waits.

Maybe Harry isn’t home. Maybe he doesn’t even live here anymore. Draco doesn’t want to examine why that thought makes his throat constrict painfully.

He’s just about to knock again when the door swings open.

Saliva floods Draco’s mouth as his eyes drink in the sight of Harry standing in the doorway. He’s dressed, of course, in Muggle clothes. The faded jeans hug his muscular legs in just the right places and the black Led Zeppelin t-shirt is stretched tightly across his broad chest and shoulders. His hair is a mess as usual, sticking out in different directions, looking like he just rolled out of bed. Or has just been well fucked, Draco’s traitor mind supplies unhelpfully.

Honestly, Harry’s presence is overwhelming, his familiar magic buzzing against Draco’s skin. It’s amazing that nearly a decade after defeating Voldemort, Harry’s magic still seems to seep from his pores, leaving no doubt to anyone in close proximity that he’s one of the most powerful wizards of their time.

Draco once told Harry that he reminded him of trees; strong and resistant, never wavering under pressure. Deep-rooted. Tall, his long legs making him eye level with Draco. His tan skin rough with blemishes and scars. And those eyes. Merlin. They’re so green, like the color of the leaves in summer.

Harry had just snorted and said if he was a tree then Draco was a forest fire.

Thinking back it still makes Draco want to smile like a love-sick fool so he quickly cuts off that train of thought before he does or says something he’ll most definitely regret and instead focuses on trying to keep his knees from buckling.

Draco,” Harry says breathlessly, the name falling from his lips like an answered prayer.

Draco’s mask slips, just for a second, at the look of pure relief on Harry’s face but he quickly slams his defenses back down.

“Harry,” Draco forces a sneer onto his face, desperate not to show the emotions that are battling for space in his chest.

Harry’s face falls but Draco refuses to feel guilty. He isn’t going to pretend that he and Harry are on friendly terms. Granted, Draco had rather expected more anger on Harry’s part considering how things ended between them.

“Er. Right then. That’s how this is gonna go,” Harry says looking defeated, “What can I do for you?”

“You can sign the divorce papers,” Draco says, pleased that his voice comes out even. He’ll never admit it but the thought of officially ending things, the finality of it, makes Draco feel like a heavy weight is pressing down on his chest, stealing his breath.

“Oh is that all?” Harry laughs bitterly and Draco’s hand twitches towards his wand.

Harry doesn't wait for Draco to reply, instead he simply turns away from the door, leaving it wide open. It isn’t exactly an invitation but Draco’s already well past the point of concerning himself with proper etiquette, so he storms into the house after Harry.

“What the fuck Potter! We were having a conversation you mannerless git,” Draco yells as he stomps down the stairs to the kitchen. His boots thump loudly against the old wooden steps, the sound echoing around him.

He makes it about two steps into the room before halting abruptly as his mouth drops open in shock. This is not the same kitchen he remembers.

As he looks around, his anger is momentarily forgotten.

The kitchen is bright and open. The cabinets have been replaced, the white standing out strikingly against the new marble counter tops and dark hardwood floor. It looks nothing like the dingy room it’d been five years ago.

“This is brilliant,” Draco blurts before he can stop himself.

“Yeah well,” Harry absently rubs a hand over the back of his neck, not meeting Draco’s eyes, “I’ve had a lot of spare time and galleons, so. Yeah, I remodeled some.”

Harry’s leaning against the countertop, his knuckles nearly white from how tightly he’s gripping the edge.

“Your precious Auror duties and hero complex not keeping you busy enough?” Draco asks snidely, causing Harry to look at him sharply.

“Seeing that I’ve not been an Auror for three years, no. They’re not,” Harry says flatly as he turns away suddenly, hiding his expression from Draco.

“Excuse me? What the fuck do you mean you haven’t been an Auror for three years!” Draco exclaims shocked. He quickly crosses the room, coming to a stop only a foot from where Harry stands with his back turned.

“I mean exactly what I said,” Harry says turning, his face giving nothing away, “I quit. Three years ago. Listen Draco, what do you want?” Harry asks resigned.

Draco bristles at hearing this. He practically begged Harry to leave the force, quite a few times, during their relationship. It stings to find out that Harry just up and quit after Draco left. He wonders what Harry’s reason for quitting was and why it was more important to him than Draco had been. A number of different possibilities, each more ridiculous than the last, flit through Draco’s mind.

Harry clears his throat, effectively dragging Draco out of his thoughts.

“Right. Well I suppose it isn’t any of my business. So if you would just sign these papers, I’ll be out of your hair,” Draco pulls the shrunken divorce papers out of his pocket, tapping them with his wand to restore them to normal size.

“Why now?” Harry asks, watching Draco closely.

Draco shifts from foot to foot, mentally berating himself for allowing Harry to make him uncomfortable. Somehow, he had forgotten what it’s like to have that intense green gaze fixed on him.

“Why now, seriously? I’ve been trying to get you to sign them for five fucking years! But maybe you don’t know that. Have you actually read any of the letters I sent? Merlin knows you never bothered to reply,” Draco shuffles the thick packet of papers in his hands, the papers that will dissolve their bond once they both sign them, “That’s why I assumed coming in person might get the point across better,” Draco says, letting anger bleed into his voice, trying to cover up just how very unhinged he’s feeling.

“And what point is that?” Harry asks dryly, his gaze locked on the papers in Draco’s hands.

Oh Draco wants to hex the git, he really does.

“The point, Potter, is that I don’t want to be married to you anymore,” Draco says through gritted teeth, “The point is moving on with my life.”

As he glares at Harry he sees the pain flash in those green eyes and he has to bite the inside of his cheek to stop himself from taking the words back.

A heavy silence falls between them. Draco’s heartbeat is loud in his own ears and he thinks there’s no way that Harry can’t hear it too.

“I think you should go. If you wanna talk about this fine, but not now. I’ll owl you after the weekend,” Harry says, his voice low and angry.

Draco scoffs, rolling his eyes. No one is able to get under his skin quite like Harry fucking Potter. Much more of this conversation and he’ll have emotional whiplash.

“And why not now? Merlin,” Draco says completely exasperated, “It’s just like you to have to have things done on your terms,” Draco curls his lip, his patience finally snapping, “I do have a life waiting for me back in New York you know, a boyfriend too. One who is quite eager for me to get home. So no, I do not have time for your games. Sign the fucking papers and -“

One second Draco’s yelling at Harry and the next he finds himself shoved forcibly against the wall, breath knocked out of his lungs and Harry’s rough palms pinning his hands above his head.

“What the fuck Potter! Get off me,” Draco yells beginning to panic. With his hands in Harry’s crushing grip, Draco can’t reach his wand. He’s completely defenseless and for the first time since the end of the war, Draco is honestly afraid of what Harry might do.

Harry presses his mouth against Draco’s ear, his hot breath causing the hair on the back of Draco’s neck to stand up, “You need to leave Draco. I’m not signing those fucking papers today and if you ever bring up another man in front of me again, I promise I’ll remind you who you really belong to,” Harry whispers roughly.

“Harry, please. You’re hurting me,” Draco says quietly, trying to twist his wrists free from Harry’s grip.

Harry lets go and jumps back as if burned, his eyes wide and filled with regret.

“I - Draco I’m so sorry,” Harry chokes out before turning on the spot and Disapparating.

Draco stands alone in the kitchen struggling to control his breathing. He’s seen Harry angry plenty of times, been on the receiving end of it more often than not, but this was different. A shiver runs down Draco’s spine as he thinks about what might have happened had he referred to Kade as his fiancé instead of his boyfriend.

Trying to distract himself from the rush of emotion that Harry’s possessive behavior brought on, Draco looks once more around the remodeled kitchen. He really wants to snoop around the rest of the house and see what else has been changed in his absence. He wonders if Harry still has any pictures of them together, if he kept any of the things Draco left behind in his haste to leave, or if every reminder of their relationship is gone. He isn’t sure which would be worse.

Shaking his head he turns and starts up the stairs out of the kitchen and then out of the house, not looking back.

*~~~*

Harry lands hard outside the gates to Hogwarts. He doubles over, putting his hands on his knees as he shudders out a few ragged breaths. His heart is pounding in his chest and his entire body is trembling. Breathe Harry, a voice that sounds an awful lot like Hermione says, the words echoing in his mind. It really wouldn’t do to have a panic attack right now. He just needs to get up to the castle and everything will be fine.

Harry knows he shouldn’t have let himself lose control like that. Not today and especially not around Draco but the thought of another man touching Draco, his Draco, fuck. It was like something in his brain snapped and all rational thought deserted him.

When his breathing is mostly under control again, Harry straightens up and pulls his wand from his wrist holster. He walks up to the gates and taps his wand against them. The wards recognize his magical signature and the gates swing open, creaking loudly.

Harry walks up the path that leads to the castle, the crunch of stones and dirt under his feet grounding him. The castle is generally empty this time of year, the professors and students off on summer holiday, and he’s able to make his way through the halls without seeing a single person.

Harry’s mind is racing and his stomach flips as he thinks about what just happened. He’s paying little attention to where he’s actually going but that’s alright. Harry has walked this path through the castle many times since the war and he reckons he could probably do so blindfolded at this point.

Finally, Harry reaches his destination and lets out a sigh of relief when he sees Remus watching him approach.

“Harry,” Remus says, his smile fading to be replaced with a look of concern, “What’s wrong?”

After the war Harry had happily paid to have portraits of Remus and Tonks commissioned, knowing that it would one day be a comfort to Teddy. Over the years, Harry has visited often, both here at Hogwarts and at Andromeda’s cottage, Remus and Tonks being able to go back and forth as they please.

“It’s Draco. He showed up at my door this afternoon,” Harry says in a rush, keeping his eyes fixed on a spot below the frame, “He wants me to sign the divorce papers.”

Harry runs a shaking hand through his hair, yanking a little when his fingers get caught on the tangles. He chances a glance up at Remus and finds his face is kind with compassion. He looks so much like he did when he was alive that it makes Harry’s chest ache. Sometimes Harry forgets that he’s talking to a portrait and not actually a real person.

“I’m assuming you didn’t give him what he wanted?” Harry shakes his head, “I thought not, you always were rather stubborn where Draco was concerned,” Remus says fondly.

Harry feels the corners of mouth twitching at what a massive understatement that is.

“So tell me what happened. Did the two of you talk about everything?” Remus asks, the soft timber of his voice soothing Harry’s nerves.

“No, not really. Er. I kind of lost my temper, might’veshovedhimagainstthewall,” Harry mutters looking down at his dirty trainers.

“I didn’t quite catch that mumbles,” Remus says with a laugh, causing Harry to look up and return his smile, “One more time. You..?”

“Shoved him against the wall,” Harry admits with a sigh.

“What are we going to do with you Harry,” Remus says exasperated, “And then?”

“Honestly, not much after that. I just left him there,” Harry meets Remus’ eyes and decides he doesn’t care how desperate his next words sound, “What should I do? Please, just tell me what to do.”

He might be an adult now but there’s no way he’s equipped to deal with this shit on his own.

“Harry, you know I can’t do that. This is something you need to figure out on your own. But let me ask you this, what do you want?”

What does he want? It shouldn’t be such a hard question to answer. This - whatever it is that happened, between himself and Draco is something Harry has fixated on, playing out different scenario’s in his head over and over. He expected to be more prepared if he ever saw Draco again.

Frustration at himself, at Draco, at life in general begins to build up in his chest.

“I don’t know!” Harry yells, pulling at his hair so hard his scalp tingles painfully, “I was relieved, happy even, to find him standing on my doorstep. Of course, that was before he opened his mouth,” A humorless laugh bubbles up his throat and escapes his lips, “And I would take him back if he asked, if that was what he wanted. I would do anything for him, anything. I still love him. I still love him so much it’s fucking killing me,” Harry’s voice echoes down the empty corridor. He pushes his glasses up and pinches the bridge of his nose, trying to blink the wetness from his eyes.

“I know I should let him go. I’m no good for him now and I won’t be able to live with myself if I hurt him. He’s happy, he’s moved on. I should sign the papers and let him go.”

“Why do you think you’re not good for him? You’re still the same person Harry,” Remus gives him a stern look, already knowing Harry'll object to what he’s saying, “You are the same person and I know you would never hurt him. How many times have I told you that you can’t let what happened define you. Don’t make my mistakes. If he’s what you want, if he’s who you love, then don’t give up.”

“Thank you,” Harry says softly. He doesn't really believe Remus’ words but he’s grateful for them all the same.

“No need to thank me. What you need to do right now Harry is go home. It’s getting late.”

Harry glances out at the darkening sky and sighs. He says his goodbyes and makes promises to return, before leaving the castle grounds to Apparate home.

He lands in the kitchen of Grimmuald Place and inhales deeply through his nose. He can immediately tell that Draco is no longer there. As he makes his way through the big empty house, the loneliness that he constantly carries with him presses down, threatening to suffocate him.

While he has his friends and plenty of people who love and care about him, things are different now. They all seldom get together anymore. Pub nights and pick-up Quidditch games are rare these days.

Ron and Hermione have Rose, who at a year old is already a handful and commands most of their time. Neville, when he isn’t at Hogwarts teaching, helps Hannah run the Leaky. Dean and Seamus just adopted a little girl and moved out of the city. And Luna is Merlin knows where with Rolf, searching for some magical creature or another. Harry’s the only single one of the group and since he no longer has his job to keep him busy, he spends most of his time in an empty house or talking to a portrait.

He slowly makes his way upstairs and into the bedroom, going straight into the en suite to open the warded cabinet above the sink. He glares at the rows of potions bottles before grabbing one. He carries it back into the bedroom where he sits on the edge of his bed and stares down at it with true hatred.

Harry swallows the contents quickly, knowing from experience that it’s better to get it over with. He fills the empty mug on his bedside table with an Aguamenti and drinks deeply before collapsing back onto the bed, dreading the miserable night ahead.

*~~~*

When Harry wakes up the next morning he feels like he’s been run over by the Knight Bus. His head is throbbing in time with his heartbeat and his whole body aches. He gingerly rolls to his side to reach his wand and casts a quick a Tempus. It’s almost noon. Harry knows he’ll feel better once he takes a pain potion and has something to eat but he can’t make himself get up. Instead, he lays there, in his bed that has way too much extra space, and gives into thoughts of blond hair and grey eyes.

If they were still together, Harry knows Draco would be fussing over him relentlessly. He would make Harry tea just the way he likes and insist on bringing him breakfast in bed. Draco would lay curled around him, rubbing his back and carding long fingers through his hair.

He knows this because that’s what Draco had done in the past every time Harry had so much as sniffled and god, he misses it.

That’s the thing about Draco. Once you chip away all the Malfoyness and get past the defense mechanisms, what you find underneath is a kind, compassionate person. Yes, Draco still has sharp edges, a biting retort always ready to roll off his tongue, but he’s soft in a way Harry never got to see when they were younger.

Harry’s pulse quickens as he thinks of the way Draco had looked standing on his doorstep yesterday, his mask slipping and for a mere second, Harry was able to see the emotion he was trying to hide. His hair’s longer now, longer than Harry ever remembers seeing it. The fine blond strands had been pulled up into a knot on top of Draco’s head, a few pieces escaping and falling down around his face. And his eyes. Blue-grey and breathtaking. The color of the sea before a storm.

Everyone always goes on about Harry’s eyes. Yes, he has his mother’s eyes and yes, they are very green but Harry has never understood what’s so fascinating about them.

Now Draco’s eyes, they’re captivating. Harry could happily stare into those eyes forever.

He’s jolted from his thoughts when he feels the magic of the wards tingle against his skin. Harry panics for a moment, thinking Draco has come back but he quickly disregards that, knowing that it’s probably just Hermione coming over to check on him.

He’s proven right a minute later when a soft knock and Hermione’s voice floats through the bedroom door.

“Harry?” she asks softly.

Gritting his teeth against the pain, Harry sits up enough to prop himself on the pillows.

“Yeah come in ‘Mione,” Harry answers, grimacing as his head throbs.

Hermione opens the door and enters the room. Once she sees him still in bed and obviously in pain, she crosses the room quickly, her face telling Harry a lecture is coming.

“Harry! What are you still doing in bed? Have you taken your potion, eaten anything?” Hermione asks, her Healer instincts kicking in.

“Er. Well, no. I was about to right before you showed up!” Harry quickly lies but it’s no use. Hermione has always been able to see right through his bullshit.

“Don’t you dare lie to me Harry James. Honestly, you’re twenty-seven, a grown man. You should know how to take care of yourself by now,” she says, her voice much too loud.

She walks into the bathroom still muttering under her breath and when she returns a minute later she’s carrying a potion vial in one hand and a glass of cold water in the other.

Harry dutifully takes the potion and gulps the water, instantly feeling the aches in his body and the throbbing in his head subside. He sits up and stretches his arms above his head, giving Hermione a sheepish smile before thanking her.

“You’re welcome. Now I’m going down to put on the kettle and I’ll make some toast. You,” she looks at him pointedly, “go shower and get dressed.”

“Yes ‘Mione, sorry,” Harry says with a grin, sounding like a kid who’s been caught with their hand in the biscuit jar. Hermione just rolls her eyes and leaves him to it.

The hot shower is wonderful and by the time Harry’s clean and pulling a shirt over his head, he feels almost normal.

Hermione’s already sitting at the table with a cup of tea, nibbling on a triangle of toast, when Harry walks downstairs a few minutes later.

“Sit. Eat your toast and have some tea.”

Harry does as he’s told, smearing raspberry jam onto his toast and adding sugar to his tea.

“I received an interesting owl yesterday,” Hermione says, watching Harry closely.

“Hmm,” Harry hums, hoping his lack of response will encourage her to get to the point faster.

She sighs. “It was from Draco,” Ah there it is. Hermione pauses, waiting for a reaction Harry assumes. When he doesn’t give one, she continues, “I’m guessing that doesn’t surprise you since he mentioned stopping by. I’m also guessing that you don’t care to tell me how that went?”

“Nope,” Harry says, popping the p like a petulant child, “Can’t really say that I do.”

Hermione says nothing, crossing her arms over her chest and giving Harry a stern look.

“Ugh! Fine Hermione,” Harry says, throwing his arms in the air, “It went terrible. He’s only back for me to sign the divorce papers. He ran his mouth, I lost my temper. Did you really expect anything else?”

“No, I suppose not. Although I was hoping it went well. You two are long over due for a conversation,” Harry snorts and Hermione glares at him, “This mess needs sorted Harry and you know it.”

“Well that’s unlikely,” Harry laughs humorlessly, “I told him I would owl him after the weekend and we could talk but after the way things went yesterday I don’t know. I don’t see any friendly chats in our future.”

“I’m supposed to meet him for tea today,” Hermione says uncertain and Harry hates that she’s stuck in the middle of this. Her and Draco had been close, striking up an unlikely friendship in eighth year that flourished when Harry and Draco began dating. She was almost as devastated as Harry was when Draco disappeared.

“It’s fine ‘Mione. Go and have tea with the git. Really. It’s only fair he gets a lecture too,” Harry teases with a smile, letting her know he won’t be upset if she wants to make up with Draco.

Hermione gives him a small smile and stands from the table.

“Alright. I should get going then but Harry? If you need anything let me or Ron know.”

“Yeah okay,” Harry says rubbing at the back of his neck.

Hermione drops a quick kiss to his head as she makes her way to the Floo and then she’s gone.

Harry sits in the quiet of the kitchen, deciding that a day in bed sounds pretty good to him.

*~~~*

Draco sits in a small Muggle café, nervously drumming his fingers against the table. He has no reason to be impatient, he’s early after all, but he can’t shake the anxious feeling that has settled in his body.

He has no idea what to expect from Hermione. The reply to his owl had been short and to the point. Luckily, he doesn’t have to wait long to find out.

Hermione bustles in a moment later and spots him immediately. Draco watches as she winds her way through the small tables, her blue dress swinging against her legs. She looks commanding and beautiful. Merlin, he’s missed her.

“Draco,” she says with a nod as she takes a seat across from him, “How are you?”

Draco swallows and meets Hermione’s brown eyes. “I’ve been well. How are you? And Ron? I do hope you got the gift I sent for Rose’s birthday,” Draco says and then quickly drops his eyes back to the table, focusing on adding sugar to his cup of Darjeeling.

Just as she opens her mouth to reply, the young waitress approaches the table and asks Hermione what she would like. She orders a cup of Earl Grey with lemon on the side and Draco smiles, glad that some things haven’t changed.

After the waitress leaves, Hermione picks the conversation right back up.

“Yes, thank you. The enchanted building blocks were a hit. Ron’s really good. The shops are doing brilliantly, he and George actually just opened up their third location in Wizarding Paris last month. And I’m still at St. Mungo’s of course. I was promoted last winter, I’m head of the research team in the Potions and Plant Poisoning department now.”

The waitress returns and sits Hermione’s tea down on the table with a smile. Hermione adds sugar and the lemon, before taking a tentative sip.

“Well, wow. That’s wonderful Hermione,” Draco’s a bit shocked at how much has changed. When Draco left, Hermione hadn’t even picked her specialty yet, Ron and George’s business was just starting to take off in the post war economy, and Rose, of course, wasn’t even thought of. Draco’s proud of his friends success but as happy as he is for them, he can’t help feeling left out. He’s missed so much.

“Yes, well. I’m sure things are much more exciting in New York,” Hermione says and then simply sips her tea, waiting for Draco to respond.

“I don’t know that I’d say exciting,” Draco laughs softly, lifting his mug and blowing across the surface of his tea, “But things are good. The magazine has gained a lot of popularity in the last year or so.”

“And?” Hermione asks, tapping her fingers on the table. Pointer, middle, ring, pinky. Something Draco knows means her patience is thinning.

“And there’s not much to say, honestly. Most of my time is taken up with work. When you’re not married to the Savior of the Wizarding World, life becomes rather predictable,” Draco says, attempting to break the tension with humor.

It doesn’t work.

“You’re still married,” Hermione states matter of factly, her eyes narrowed and her lips pressed tightly together, smudging her pink lipstick.

“Technically, yes. But you know we haven’t been properly together for a long time now. That’s why I’m back actually. Once Harry signs the papers, if he does, I’ll be..” Draco lets his words trail off when he sees the hurt flash in Hermione’s eyes.

“You’ll what Draco? Be gone for good this time?” Hermione demands fuming. Her outburst catches the attention of the other diners and the waitress, who is leaning on the counter watching them intently.

Hermione must notice as well because she discreetly casts a charm that Draco isn’t familiar with, causing the Muggles in the café to suddenly turn their attention elsewhere.

“What did you cast?” Draco asks intrigued.

“Just my variation of the Muggle Repelling Charm and a modified Muffliato,” Draco nods impressed, he’ll have to remember that one.

Hermione picks up the thread of their conversation easily, as if she hasn’t just interrupted it to wandlessly cast a spell she invented. Draco wonders if she realizes just how brilliant she is.

“Now I want some answers Draco. All this time and you’re just now showing up with divorce papers?”

“Hermione, I -“ Draco starts to explain but Hermione cuts him off.

“Don’t you dare try to lie to me, Draco Malfoy. You disappeared. No goodbye, no explanation, nothing. It was months before we found out where you were. Do you have any idea what that did to Harry?”

Guilt and regret burn in Draco’s chest. Of course he knows but he had done what he thought was best. He keeps his eyes firmly on his mug of tea, not quite sure what Hermione wants him to say. There are no words to fix this.

“Draco why now? Something’s changed hasn’t it?”

“I met someone. We’ve been together about a year now,” Draco blurts and then pauses, steeling himself, “He proposed a few days ago, and I’ve said yes,” Draco confesses, glad to finally be able to tell someone. But as he watches the blood drain from Hermione’s face, he almost wishes he lied. He wishes that he hadn’t ever come back. Or maybe, he wishes he never left in the first place.

“Engaged?" Hermione says faintly, "Draco, what. I mean how can you - fuck!”

Lovely, he has apparently broken Hermione. Draco can’t recall a time, ever, when Hermione has been so shocked that she’s incapable of forming a coherent sentence.

She’s still staring at him, face pale, eyes wide and Draco thinks the best course of action is for him to try and explain.

“His name’s Kade and he’s a photographer. He’s so talented Hermione. Honestly, he’s brilliant. I- I’m happy. I love him.”

Hermione opens her mouth then snaps it shut again. She does this several times before squaring her shoulders and finally letting her rant free.

“You know what, fine. Run off back to New York Draco. Marry some guy you’ve known a year instead of staying here and trying to fix things with the man who has never given up on you. Did you know he came after you Draco? Did you know that he refuses to move on at all?”

An emotion Draco can’t quite put a name to starts to build in his chest. Harry hasn’t moved on. He hasn’t given up on Draco.

Something that feels a lot like hope is spreading through his body, a million questions on the tip of his tongue. But before he can get any of them out, Hermione goes on, “Regardless, Harry will sign the divorce papers if that’s what you’re worried about. He’ll sign them because he’s still just as stupidly in love with you as he’s ever been. He would still do anything for you. And just so we’re clear, you don’t fucking deserve it.”

Draco’s speechless in the wake of her words. Hermione stands from the table, throwing down a few Muggle notes, obviously intending to leave without giving Draco a chance to reply.

“Hermione please, wait I -“

“No. Draco I can’t. You left more than just Harry behind when you took off. I know you thought we all just tolerated you for Harry’s sake but we loved you too. You were one of my best friends and you just left,” Draco catches a quick glimpse of the wetness on Hermione’s lashes before she turns away and storms out.

Draco drops his head into his hands and takes a deep breath. Maybe it’s stupid but he hoped that Hermione would understand. Her words are swirling in his mind, making his chest tight as he looks out the window and watches the people on the street pass by.

Harry came to New York. Draco doesn’t know how to deal with the feelings that information is stirring up inside him. But it doesn’t matter, he tells himself firmly. He didn’t come back for Harry. He came back to finally make peace with the past and move on. The problem is, that’s turning out to be more difficult than Draco ever expected.

*~~~*

Harry stands at the stove, stirring the vegetable stew he’s making himself for dinner.

The older that Harry gets, the more he seems to enjoy working in the kitchen, experimenting with new dishes and adding his own twists to old favorites. Over the last few years, Harry’s done a lot of cooking. No longer having a house elf makes it a necessity, if he wants to eat something other than takeaway that is.

His heart twinges when he glances over at the small door to the pantry where Kreacher used to sleep. The irritable old elf died two years ago now and while he and Kreacher never did learn to get along very well, Harry misses him terribly.

Harry was surprised, and relieved, that Draco hadn’t questioned Kreacher’s whereabouts the other day. Now those two had gotten on splendidly. Harry rolls his eyes, thinking about how much Kreacher loved having a proper Black heir to serve.

He’s just spooning some of his stew into a bowl when the fireplace flares green and Ron steps out.

“Hey mate,” Ron says, dusting the soot from his robes. Harry really needs to have that Floo cleaned.

“Hey Ron. I was just about to eat, you hungry?” Harry smirks, watching Ron sniff the air before he takes a seat at the table with a smile.

“I could do with a pre-dinner snack,” Ron replies, rubbing his hands together in excitement. He grins at Harry and mutters his thanks when a bowl is placed in front him.

They both tuck into their food and Harry listens as Ron tells him about how the new shop is doing.

“...so things are better than we ever expected after only a month,” Ron says with a proud smile.

Ron quit the Auror's before they ever finished training, deciding to help George run the joke shop instead. No one really expected Ron to have such a head for business but he does, and now they have three extremely successful locations.

“That’s great Ron. I can’t wait to come and see it for myself,” Harry’s already thinking that he can take Teddy and make a weekend trip out of it.

“So I didn’t stop over just to mooch dinner from you,” Ron sits his spoon in his empty bowl and gives Harry an expectant look.

Harry nods and gestures for him to elaborate. He silently prays that this has nothing to do with a certain blond haired git.

“I wanted to remind you about the bonfire tomorrow. Mum was fretting that she hasn’t heard from you in a few days and wanted to make sure you were still coming.”

Harry looks down at the worn surface of the table, rubbing his finger over a crack in the wood.

“I don’t know Ron. With everything going on - maybe it’s best I just sit this one out.”

“What! You have to come Harry. It’s the end of summer bonfire! Anyway, it’ll do you good to get out of this house and stop worrying about everything.”

He knows Ron’s right. Harry loves the party the Weasley’s throw every summer. The tradition had started after the war. When the dead were buried and everyone had spent many trying weeks grieving in their own ways, Molly insisted a get together to celebrate the living was just what everybody needed. So the bonfire became an annual event and Harry has never missed one, “Plus mum’ll lose the plot if you don’t show up,” Ron says with a pleading look.

“Okay, okay I’ll be there,” Harry says, holding his hands up.

“Brilliant,” Ron smiles and stands from the table, “I gotta get to the Burrow and pick up Rosie but I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Give Rose a kiss from me,” Harry says with a smile, thinking of his goddaughter.

“Will do mate,” Ron gives him a hard slap to the back, “And listen Harry, everything with Draco will work itself out. And if it doesn’t, I’ll have Gin Bat-Bogey Hex him.”

Harry laughs, he has no doubt that Ginny will be on board with that idea.

“I don’t think we need to resort to that yet mate, but I’ll let you know if I change my mind.”

Ron gives his shoulder one last squeeze before he makes his way over to the Floo and disappears into the flames.

Harry sits in the stifling quiet of the kitchen, pleading with the universe to allow him to get through the looming Weasley event without any Draco related catastrophes. Harry has a feeling Draco will be getting an invitation, whether from Ron and Hermione or Molly herself and it fills him with a sense of impending doom.

As Harry entertains himself with all the different tactics he can use to avoid Draco, his eyes stray over to the metal cabinet that sits in the corner of the room. Silently cursing himself, he gets to his feet and walks over to the offending piece of furniture. Even after all this time it still unnerves him to see it sitting there, the front devoid of any decoration. He lets his fingers brush against the cold metal, hesitating slightly, before pulling the doors open and staring solemnly at the magnets that clutter up the back of them.

Over the years, Harry had come to know all of Draco’s strange little quirks. Like his habit of sitting on any and all elevated surfaces. The kitchen table and countertops, Harry’s desk in the study, and even the wet bar in the sitting room were just some of the places Harry would find Draco perched, one leg tucked under his arse and the other leg swinging, while he read or listened to the wireless.

Or the way Draco would come home and shed his clothing, leaving a trail from the Floo all the way to their bedroom on the third floor. It was especially bad in the winter, Kreacher grumbling as he picked up discarded scarves, gloves, and jumpers.

Or Draco’s strange fascination with Muggle souvenirs. Harry still has an entire shelf full of shot glasses he’ll never use.

And then there were the bloody magnets. Because of all the Muggle things Draco could become obsessed with, it just had to be something completely ridiculous like refrigerator magnets. And so, when Draco decided Harry, and their marriage, were no longer worth it, he walked out in the middle of the night, leaving behind all these stupid things, these little reminders of himself. Things like magnets.

Harry lets his eyes skim over the colorful little shapes, his heart aching as he realizes he can still recall exactly when and where Draco acquired each one. He often wonders what Draco would say if he knew that Harry kept these things.

When Harry’s eyes begin to sting, he slams the doors closed, deciding to get the hell out of this bloody house and as far away from memories of Draco as he can.

*~~~*

Draco walks through London, enjoying the cool evening air as he makes his way back to the hotel. He’s been out most of the day, first dropping by to see Neville and Hannah, then going to his Aunt Andy’s to visit with her and Teddy. He hadn’t meant to stay so long but Teddy’s excitement at seeing him was infectious. Draco had extracted a promise from Andromeda that she wouldn’t tell his mother he was back yet. He hopes for his sake she keeps her word.

As he approaches the entrance to the hotel he notices an owl perched on a bench next to the glass doors. A few passing Muggles are giving the bird strange looks, so he slides his wand discreetly out of the end of his sleeve and casts the charm Hermione used at the café.

With the Muggles attention diverted, he moves quickly over to the owl and unties the note from its outstretched leg. Without waiting for a treat, or a reply, the owl flaps its wings and takes off into the darkening sky.

Once in the privacy of his room, Draco opens the letter, immediately recognizing Ron’s messy scrawl.

Draco,

Just wanted you to know that we all expect to see your ferret face at the bonfire tomorrow. Come around 6’oclock. Don’t bother trying to get out of it. Mum knows you’re back and says you’ll be in a heap of trouble if you don’t show up.

Ron

Well, shit.

The thought of facing a hoard of Weasley’s as well as Harry already has Draco’s nerves on edge but there’s no point in entertaining thoughts of not going. One simply does not go against the wishes of Molly Weasley.

The following evening, Draco Apparates to the end of the dirt lane that leads to the Burrow. His stomach is in knots but he arranges his face into a cool mask of indifference and starts to make his way towards the house.

It’s just the same as he remembers; crooked, overgrown and shabby but radiating warmth and loving energy.

The sight he’s met with when he comes around to the back garden has an involuntary smile spreading across his face. Various Weasley’s are on their brooms tossing a Quaffle back and forth. Molly is levitating trays of food, enough to feed a small army, to a long table that’s set up. They are balls of light floating over the table, making the already mouth watering food look even more delectable. Hundreds of fairy lights are wrapped around the trunks of a number of trees and the fire is already burning brightly, the flames reaching up towards the darkening summer sky.

He tries to keep his eyes from searching out Harry and fails miserably. Draco doesn’t want to think about the disappointment he feels when he doesn’t spot that mop of dark hair anywhere in the sea of red.

A bellow of his name catches his attention, dragging him from his thoughts.

“Malfoy!” Ron yells from across the garden, clearly already in his cups as he practically tackles Draco to the ground before pulling him into a tight embrace, “It’s good to see you Draco.”

“Good to see you too, Ron,” Draco says, trying to extract himself from the hug.

“Pull that disappearing act again and I’ll punch right in your pointy face,” Ron murmurs before finally releasing him.

“Git,” Draco says, unable to stop the grin that’s overtaking his face.

Draco says his hello’s to a whole mess of Weasley’s and Gryffindor’s before making his way over to Molly, who is muttering under her breath, rearranging the table to make room for yet more food.

“Hullo Molly,” Draco says with a nervous smile.

She turns and immediately pulls him into a tight hug, her familiar scent enveloping him. Vanilla and apple butter and warm sun on fallen pine needles.

“I’m sorry,” he apologizes quietly, knowing that those two words aren’t nearly enough to make up for all he’s done.

Molly pulls back, shaking her head and wiping the wetness from her eyes.

“You’re back now, that’s all that matters. And look at you,” she tuts, starting to fill a plate for him, “Skin and bones. Do they not feed you properly in New York?”

Draco just laughs and accepts the plate that’s piled high with Molly’s delicious food. He’s just opening his mouth to speak when her eyes light up at something, or someone rather, behind him.

“Harry dear! Oh I’m so glad you came,” Molly exclaims, stepping around Draco to pull Harry into a hug. Draco can’t help but watch as Harry’s tense shoulders relax and the furrow between his brows disappears as his surrogate mother hugs him tightly.

“Well,” Molly glances between them with a knowing look in her eye, “I have more desserts to bring out, but I better see a plate in your hand when I come back, Harry,” she says, pointing a finger at him.

“Yes mum,” Harry says with a smirk, already starting to fill a plate.

Molly retreats back inside and they’re left standing there alone. A tense silence hangs in the air between them and Harry shifts from foot to foot.

“Her cooking is even better than I remember,” Draco finally says, taking pity on him.

“Oh. Yeah I uh. Looks like we’ll all be eating leftovers for a month,” Harry replies with a nervous laugh.

“Yes, I dare say you will,” Draco cringes when his voice comes out much rougher than he intends.

Harry meets his eyes then, his mouth parting slightly, clearly about to say something that will do terrible things to Draco’s heart. And fuck if Draco can’t feel his defenses slipping already.

Thankfully, whatever Harry was about to say is interrupted when someone turns up the wireless, a Weird Sisters song spilling loudly from the speakers.

“Well, I’m in need of a strong drink. If you’ll excuse me,” Draco mutters quickly, making his escape over to the other end of the table. He pours himself a large glass of Firewhisky.

If that first glass is ill-advised, the second and third are downright asinine. Draco’s pretty certain the glass currently in his hand is his fourth, but he’s too sloshed to know for sure. And he’s definitely far past the point of giving a fuck.

As unbelievable as it is though, he’s actually having a great time. He’s managed to avoid Harry all evening and he feels strangely content as he sits on the hard ground, enjoying the warmth of the fire and the chatter of voices around him.

He startles when Hermione suddenly appears in front of him.

“I seem to recall you always dancing with me at these parties,” she says, hands on her hips, the firelight catching on the gold bangles on her wrist.

“Yes but if I remember correctly that was because my date had two left feet. Thank Salazar dancing wasn’t a requirement in defeating Voldemort,” Draco laughs, clearly his brain to mouth filter isn’t functioning properly. Damn Firewhisky.

Hermione just snorts in response and offers a hand to him. Fuck it, Draco thinks, sitting down his empty glass and taking her hand. He doesn’t hesitate, pulling Hermione into his arms and twirling her around. He does so again and again when she laughs.

“I’m sorry I left so abruptly the other day. I should have listened to your side of things,” Hermione says in a quiet voice after a few minutes.

“No ‘Mione, it’s fine. I’m the one who’s sorry. And I really am so sorry. For everything - all of it,” Draco says waving a hand to indicate all of him.

Hermione eyes widen, either from the unusual occurrence of Draco Malfoy apologizing or from his drunken slip of Harry’s nickname for her. They dance in silence for a moment before Hermione speaks again.

“So you really love this guy?” she asks, watching him closely.

“Yes,” Draco says firmly, nodding his head, “He’s amazing Hermione. I know you’d love him if you gave him a chance.”

Draco swallows, avoiding her eyes but he still feels them, searching his face.

“Alright. If he makes you happy, then I’m happy,” she finally says as she rests her head on his shoulder, her hair tickling his neck.

"Thank you," Draco says. Out of the corner of his eye, Draco sees George dipping Harry low to the ground, both of them laughing unreservedly. As if feeling Draco’s eyes on him, Harry looks over and straightens up.

And George, the meddling git, immediately and loudly starts to complain about what an awful dancing partner Harry is, before insisting that Hermione switch with him. Hermione just shrugs and gives Draco an apologetic smile as she lets George pull her into a dance.

Harry rubs the back of his very red neck, looking anywhere except at Draco.

Maybe it’s the alcohol. Maybe it’s being back here at the Burrow after so long. Or maybe it’s because Harry’s nervous energy has always been oddly endearing to him. Whatever the reason, Draco finds himself stepping closer to Harry and extending a hand.

“Come on then. Do try to not stomp my feet though, you oaf.”

“I’m making no promises,” Harry says with a small smile, curling one hand around Draco’s and placing the other at his waist.

The close proximity has Draco’s heart pounding. God, this was such a stupid idea. Draco stumbles a bit as they turn and Harry shoots him an amused look.

“That’s what happens when you attempt to drink the whole bottle yourself,” Harry teases.

“Yes, well. Probably not my finest idea, I’ll admit,” Draco smiles, loving and hating how easy this all is, “How mad would you be if I sent for some hangover potion from Kreacher in the morning?”

Draco’s only partially joking. It hadn’t occurred to him before now, but it’s strange that he didn’t see the elf when he was at Grimmuald Place. And he will absolutely be in need of a strong potion to recover in the morning.

Lost in his thoughts, Draco doesn’t notice right away when Harry stops dancing. He stands tense in Draco’s arms, a sad look in his green eyes.

“What?” Draco asks uneasily.

“Kreacher. He uh - fuck. He died, Draco. Two winters ago,” Harry tightens his grip on Draco, nervously biting his lip.

Draco’s brain stutters and stops for a moment, every part of his body coming to a standstill as he struggles to comprehend Harry’s words.

Yes, Draco knows how ridiculous this is, being upset over a sodding house elf. But that elf meant so much to Draco. Kreacher had been there on those late nights when Harry was gone, out on a dangerous mission, Draco not knowing when or if he would come home. Kreacher was there on those mornings when the Prophet arrived, the front page splashed with hateful accusations about the Ex-Death Eater who was corrupting the Savior.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Draco demands, “How hard would it have been to send a bloody owl! You should have..” Draco lets the words trail off, sighing heavily.

“I’m so sorry Draco,” Harry murmurs, his arms urging Draco closer. Instead, Draco takes a step back, watching the way Harry’s jaw clenches, “I didn’t know how to tell you. I mean you’re the one who left. You knew he was old and -“ Harry breaks off with a grunt as Draco shoves at his chest with both hands.

“Fuck you. Yes, I left but that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to be upset about this. I had a right to fucking know!” Draco yells at a stunned Harry, “I left. And I don’t know why I thought coming back would be a good idea.”

Draco’s tongue loosened from the alcohol and the need to lash out and provoke Harry, cause his next words to slip free without a second thought, “Do you know why I came back? Why I need those papers signed?” Draco’s lips pull into a sneer, “Because I’m engaged. So the sooner I’m rid of you the better.”

A number of emotions play over Harry’s face. Shock, betrayal, heartache. But rage is what dominates his features.

“You’re. Fucking. Engaged.” Each word is punctuated with a menacing step towards Draco.

Draco stumbles backwards reaching for his wand. But before he can even aim, Ron and Neville appear out of nowhere and grab Harry by the arms.

“Easy mate,” Ron says, nervously looking back and forth between them.

Draco watches as Harry tries to twist free.

“Let me go. I’m fine. Just let me go so I can leave,” Harry’s eyes are cold, all of the warmth that’s usually there when he looks at Draco gone, “Please, let me go. If I have to look at this piece of shit for another second I’ll be sick.”

Ron and Neville exchange a look before slowly loosening their death grip. And without another word to anyone, Harry turns on the spot and Dissapparates with an angry crack.

“Draco..” Ron starts but Draco’s in no mood to be consoled.

“Don’t, it’s fine,” Draco says in a surprisingly steady voice as he shakes off the hand on his shoulder, “I need a drink.”

Draco stalks off, cursing himself. He should have known better.

*~~~*

Draco wakes up the next morning to a throbbing head and a sour taste in his mouth. His stomach lurches as he rolls over, paper crinkling under his cheek as he does so. He forces his eyes open and lets out a thankful groan at the closed blinds. Draco can’t remember much of the previous night. He has no idea how he managed to get back to his hotel or why there seems to be a stack of paper under his head instead of a pillow.

He gingerly sits up, his head protesting at the movement. His stomach flips again as he picks up the papers and realizes that they’re the divorce documents. And they’re signed.

Tears prickle in his eyes as he stares at Harry’s messy signature. All Draco has to do now is sign himself and then it’ll be done, their bond dissolved, making him free to marry Kade.

Draco doesn’t understand why that thought makes his heart feel as though it’s shattering in his chest. Like someone taking a hammer to a mirror.

He notices a scrap of parchment and a glass vial sitting on the bedside table. His fingers shake as he unfolds the note.

I thought you might need this. Come over to ours and stay with us for the week. Please, Draco.

Hermione

Draco picks up the hangover potion and swallows it down. It leaves a minty aftertaste in his mouth and dulls the pounding in his head. With his mind now clear from the after effects of the all the alcohol he stupidly drank the night before, Draco knows that extending his stay here isn’t a good idea. It’s tempting though. He could spend more time with Ron and Hermione, he could go see his mother.

But Kade won’t be happy.

Fuck it, Draco thinks as he walks over to his bag and pulls out the Muggle phone Kade insisted he bring with him. He taps at the screen and after three tries he’s able to find Kade’s contact information.

Draco’ll come up with a perfectly understandable reason for why he needs to stay a few more days and Kade will just have to get over it.

*~~~*

The week passes quickly and without incident. Draco doesn’t see Harry again and he feels more comfortable than he thought possible at Ron and Hermione’s house.

They spend the week catching up and enjoying each others company. Draco beats Ron at numerous games of Wizards Chess and he exhausts a lot of energy chasing Rose around. The latter making him think back to the times when he and Harry babysat Teddy at that age.

Hermione, of course, hounds him about seeing his mother and starts up a campaign to get him and Harry back on speaking terms. Draco ignores her efforts on both fronts.

On Wednesday he has dinner with Pansy, Blaise, and Greg. They eat too much food and drink too much wine. It’s wonderful.

As unbelievable as it is, Draco can’t remember the last time he laughed so much or when he’s been this relaxed. He can’t deny that being in England has been good for him. But the same irritating thought keeps crawling back to the front of his mind.

This isn’t what I came back for.

He seems to keep forgetting that this isn’t his life anymore. And though there’s a part of Draco that longs to go back to New York, there’s another part that wishes he could stay here and pretend the last five years never happened.

Draco also has come to accept the fact that he has to tell Kade about who he really is and explain the details of his questionable past. And the more Draco thinks about how he’s going to tell him and how Kade will react, the more uncertain he becomes. The same irritating voice keeps nagging him, telling him that if he really loved Kade, he wouldn’t have all this doubt. The fact that Draco has yet to sign the divorce papers only amplifies the voice. He’s been making excuses all week and now it’s Friday, his Portkey is leaving tonight.

Draco’s stomach flips uncertainly as his gaze catches on the smashed Muggle soda can sitting on the table. In a few short hours it’ll whisk him away back to New York. Back to a life without Harry Potter.

Draco startles when an owl scratches at the kitchen window. It only takes a moment for Draco to recognize the eagle owl. It’s Orion, the owl he and Harry bought together after the war.

“Hey there,” Draco murmurs, opening the window to let the owl in, “I’ve missed you.”

Orion nuzzles Draco’s hand, giving his fingers an affectionate nip. Draco swallows the lump in his throat as he unties the letter. He’s not about to go over all Hufflepuff because of a sodding owl.

He turns and grabs a handful of owl treats from the jar sitting by the sink, offering them to Orion with a tender smile.

Draco takes a few deep breaths before opening the letter.

Draco,

I wanted to say that I’m really sorry about the other night. If you’re free today, I was hoping you’d want to come over and talk. Say around 3? Send a response back with Orion. I have to tell you that he’s very excited about delivering this note to you. Anyway. Let me know. Hopefully I’ll see you soon.

Harry

P.S. The wards and the Floo are still open to you.

Draco stares at the post script, rereading the words, trying to get them to make sense. The wards and the Floo are still open to you. So Harry never changed the wards. For the last five years he’s left the house open to Draco.

Draco shakes his head and against his better judgement scratches out an affirmative reply, smiling as he adds his own post script. He ties the note to Orions leg, stroking the birds head once more, before opening the window and watching the owl fly away.

When the owl is just a dot on the horizon, Draco’s heart clenches and he knows, with startling clarity, what he wants to do. What he has to do. Because if he's learned anything, it's that real love doesn’t walk away, feelings don’t either. People do. And Draco is done walking away.

*~~~*

Harry paces the length of his kitchen anxiously, the floor cold against his bare feet as he waits for Orion to return. He’s been up half the night trying to compose that short letter to Draco. His table is covered in scrunched up parchment and two quills lay broken, ink splatters staining the worn wood. After snapping the second one, Harry gave up and got a Muggle biro to use instead.

Hermione told Harry that Draco’s Portkey was leaving tonight. Harry argued with himself all week, finally deciding that he can’t allow things between himself and Draco to stay this way. He has to make things right before Draco walks back out of his life.

Harry jumps when Orion flies into the kitchen, landing gracefully on his shoulder.

“Hey there,” Harry murmurs to the owl, “Did you get Draco’s reply?”

Orion hoots softly before flying over to the table and offering his leg. Harry unties the letter and opens it with shaking hands.

Harry,

I would also like to apologize. For so many things. But I suspect it will all be better said in person so I’ll see you this afternoon.

Draco

P.S. Of course Orion was pleased to deliver a letter to me. I always was his favorite.

Harry lets out a small huff of laughter, feeling relieved and terrified all at once. Draco is coming and everything will be fine.

*~~~*

As three o’clock approaches, Draco’s nerves worsen. Ron and Hermione are both at work so Draco is left alone to worry in silence. He paces back and forth across the spare bedroom he’s been occupying, mumbling to himself as he tries to work out what he’ll say to Harry, while also mentally preparing himself for rejection.

Letting out a deep breath, he checks the time. Five til.

Before he can talk himself out of it, Draco walks to the fireplace and throws in a pinch of Floo powder.

When he steps out into the kitchen of Grimmuald Place, he finds Harry taking the kettle off the stove.

“Hey,” Harry calls over his shoulder, “Figured we would need some tea for this conversation.”

Draco thinks something stronger than tea is probably required but he keeps his opinion to himself.

“Tea’s good,” Draco says, picking an invisible piece of lint from his shirt, “How are you?”

Harry sighs and finally turns to face him. He looks exhausted. But even with dark circles under his eyes and scruff covering his jaw, he’s still the most beautiful thing Draco’s ever seen.

“I’m fine,” Harry says, snapping Draco from his thoughts, “Have a seat.”

Draco drops his gaze and takes a seat at the long oak table, the one thing that hasn’t changed in the kitchen. Harry sits across from him, sliding a mug of tea towards Draco.

“So,” Draco says. He wraps his hands around the mug, not really sure how to begin.

“So,” Harry replies with a strained smile.

“You never told me you came to New York,” Draco blurts out.

“What all has Hermione told you then?” he asks, not meeting Draco’s eyes.

“Not much to be honest,” Draco takes a sip of his tea, almost groaning. No one makes a cup of tea quite like Harry.

“Alright, I guess there’s some things you want to know,” Harry says quietly.

“Why did you quit the Aurors? I’m assuming something drastic must of happened to change your mind,” Draco says, failing to keep the bitterness out of his voice.

“If you call getting attacked by a werewolf drastic, then yeah. You could say that,” Harry replies simply, shrugging one shoulder as if it means nothing.

Draco knows his mouth is hanging open in shock but he can’t do anything to close it. He’s frozen, his entire world on pause. Harry’s words are echoing in his mind as his lungs struggle to bring in air.

“You- when.. What?” Draco demands, the ability to speak in full sentences deserting him.

Instead of answering, Harry stands from the table and lifts his t-shirt. Draco gasps when he sees Harry’s left side. Three claw marks, vivid red, start at his hip and run the whole way up to just below his armpit. Draco brings a hand up to cover his mouth as Harry turns and reveals the bite mark on his back. Draco stares. He wants to demand answers, he wants to say so many things but he has no words.

After a moment Harry clears his throat and lets his shirt drop.

“So I’m on suppressants as well as wolfsbane. I can’t infect anyone but the full moon still takes a toll on my body. I have some physiological side effects, my temper is worse than before,” Harry runs a hand over his mouth before laughing solemnly, “Hence why I reacted the way I did at the bonfire. I really am sorry about that Draco. You didn’t deserve to be treated that way.”

“I should have been here. I should have -“ Draco’s voice cracks before trailing off into nothing.

“You didn’t know Draco,” Harry says softly, “I should have told you. I came to New York twice, if we’re being honest. The first time was a few months after you left. As soon I finally tracked you down I got a Portkey. I was determined to drag you back home. But once I got there I couldn’t,” Harry shrugs with a sad smile and takes his mug to the sink, “The second time was after - everything. But I couldn’t force myself to tell you, to disrupt your life. I wanted you back more than anything Draco but I couldn’t live with wondering if you only took me back out of guilt.”

“Harry I -“ Draco starts but Harry cuts him off.

“I signed the papers because I want you to be happy. That’s all I ever wanted,” Harry says, walking back over and staring down at the table.

“I never signed them,” Draco says simply. Harry’s eyes snap up, full of questions and something Draco thinks might be hope, “I tried to. I put quill to parchment at least a dozen times but I couldn’t do it,” Draco swallows nervously, meeting Harry’s eyes with an unwavering gaze, “I can’t walk away again. I still love you. I’ve always loved you, even when I hated you, and I’m pretty sure I’m gonna love you forever.”

Silence.

They’re both frozen in the wake of Draco’s words, neither daring to even breath as the weight of what has just been said settles over the kitchen. No matter how badly Draco wants to drop his gaze, he fights it, keeping his eyes locked on Harry’s. He watches the emotions play over Harry’s features and he sees the moment Harry settles on one.

They both move. Draco turns in his chair, starting to stand but before he can Harry walks around the table and falls to his knees. He buries his head in Draco’s lap and hugs him hard around the waist. A choked sound escapes his lips as Draco’s fingers go to his hair, his manicured nails scrapping lightly against the warm skin of Harry’s neck.

“I still owe you an apology and an explanation,” Draco speaks quietly, his fingers still moving through Harry’s hair, “I won’t make excuses for what I did, for the way I left. That night..” His words trail off as he thinks back to that rainy night five years ago.

He and Harry had fought. Screaming at one another until their voices were raw. The Prophet had run a particularly nasty article that day.

The press had been harassing them even before they officially got together, furious that Harry spoke at his trial and befriended him after the war. It only became worse once they came out as a couple.

By then, Harry’s standing with the public had been almost as bad as Draco’s.

Harry, who had quite literally saved the world, deserved respect and support, not Rita Skeeter writing article after article debating his mental stability or speculating on what nefarious deeds the two of them got up too.

Draco couldn’t take it anymore. He told Harry he was done and walked out.

“The things the papers were saying. Merlin, Harry. You didn’t deserve that. You were being harassed every time you left the house, everyday at work. I was protecting you the only way I knew how.”

Harry lifts his head, dislodging Draco’s fingers. He stands and Draco worries he’s said the wrong thing, that Harry doesn’t understand. But Harry just straddles his lap and cups Draco’s face in his calloused hands.

“That was my decision to make, not yours. All I needed was you Draco. Nothing else mattered, nothing people said could touch me if I had you standing beside me.”

Draco feels trapped in Harry’s gaze. Those green eyes, earnest and full of heat, have him frozen to the spot as Harry stares at him.

“I left to protect myself too. I didn’t think I was enough for you, I thought you would resent me. So I walked away before you could,” Draco admits quietly.

“Not enough for me,” Harry repeats in soft whisper, “How could you think that? Draco, you are everything,” Harry says fiercely, his thumb caressing Draco’s cheekbone, catching the tears that have started to fall.

Without waiting for Draco to reply, Harry brings their lips together. Tentative at first, a question. But then Draco opens his mouth, a whimper escaping, the sound vibrating against Harry’s lips. And suddenly everything is fire. Draco’s hands find their way into Harry’s hair, pulling hard. Harry growls and nips at Draco’s bottom lip, only too soothe what he’s just bitten with a soft kiss. Draco rolls his hips, arching up as Harry grinds down, their tongues sliding together in the most delicious way.

It could be minutes or hours, Draco doesn’t know. He’s lost all sense of time as he and Harry reclaim each others mouths, again and again, only stopping long enough to drag air into their lungs. Draco can’t recall a single moment in his life when he experienced such an overwhelming feeling of rightness. And he knows, without a doubt, that he’s exactly where he’s suppose to be.

*~~~*

Eventually they break apart. Harry rests his forehead against Draco’s as they sit quietly, sharing shuddering breaths. After a few moments, Harry places a soft kiss to Draco’s lips and climbs off his lap, immediately missing the smell of his skin. Harry would prefer to not move at all, to stay right there in Draco’s lap for the rest of his life, but he knows they need to talk before this goes any further.

Harry sits in the chair beside Draco and rests a hand on his thigh. Draco’s hair is hanging loose around his face, ripped free from the hair tie by Harry’s hands. His lips are pink and swollen from Harry’s teeth and there’s a purpling bruise on his neck, just under his sharp jaw.

Mine, Harry thinks as his eyes take in every detail of Draco’s face. The light dusting of freckles across his nose. The small scar just above his left eyebrow. The exact color of those grey eyes, tiny specs of blue shining out at him.

When Harry just continues to stare, Draco raises his eyebrows, a smile playing at the corners of mouth.

“Sorry it’s just,” Harry clears his throat, “You’re beautiful.”

Draco laughs, he cheeks flushing at the compliment. “You’re not too bad yourself Potter.”

Harry returns Draco’s smile before clearing his throat once more. “ So what are you gonna do? You said you’re not walking away. That you’re staying here?” Harry doesn’t mean for it to sound like a question but it comes out as one, like something inside him still isn’t convinced that this isn’t just a really, really good dream.

Draco nods, smile still on his face, “I’m staying.”

Harry can’t help himself, he pulls Draco to him, crashing their lips together again. When they both finally pull back panting, Draco lets out another laugh.

“We aren’t going to get much talking done if you can’t keep your hands off me,” Draco says, his mouth pulled up into Harry's favorite smirk.

The smirk fades and Harry watches as Draco twists his fingers together.

“I’m just asking what you’re planning to do about your job, your flat,” Harry says as he takes one of Draco’s hands and threads their fingers together, “I just want to know if you’ve thought about what not walking away means.”

Draco sits up straighter, squaring his shoulders and looking directly into Harry’s eyes.

“Yes, I’ve thought about it. I’m staying here, with you. I’ll try to make you breakfast in the mornings and I’ll burn the toast. We’ll argue over Quidditch teams and a million other meaningless things. I’ll make fun of your dreadful fashion sense and you’ll get annoyed when I use all the hot water in the shower,” Draco smiles, his entire face lighting up in a way Harry has missed so much, “We’ll be together. That’s what it means.”

Harry wants to tell Draco, yes, to all of it. But the words get stuck in his throat. Instead, he catches Draco’s mouth with his.

“That’s the important stuff. Everything else, it doesn’t matter,” Draco murmurs against his lips. His eyes are dark, his pupils dilated, black swallowing the grey.

Harry stands from the table, pulling Draco with him and Apparates them straight to his bedroom. He realizes his mistake when Draco meets his eyes with confusion and sadness in his own.

“You moved rooms,” Draco says, his eyes drifting from Harry’s to take in the details of the bedroom.

Harry glances around as well, wondering how it looks to Draco. It’s a plain room, clean and decorated in neutral colors. The bed’s nice, not huge but big enough for Harry.

“A few months after you left,” Harry says quietly, grabbing Draco’s hand, rubbing a thumb over his knuckles, “C’mon.”

Harry tugs Draco out into the hall and up a flight of stairs, coming to a stop in front of the door to the room they used to share.

“It’s the only room I haven’t changed,” Harry lets go of Draco’s hand and steps back so he can open the door, “Go ahead.”

Draco hesitates slightly before turning the door knob and stepping into the room. He stands frozen, only for a moment, as his eyes flicker around. And then he’s moving across the room, stopping to examine the pictures and knickknacks scattered around. The room is full of reminders of what they had, tokens from all the places and things they experienced together. When Draco picks up the green jumper that’s folded carefully over the back of the chair and raises a questioning eyebrow, Harry feels his face heat.

“Why did you put a Stasis Charm on my jumper?” Draco asks.

Fuck it, Harry thinks, in for a Knut in for a Sickle.

“Because I didn’t want it to stop smelling like you,” Harry admits quietly.

Draco crosses the room in three long strides, coming to a stop in front of Harry, his face softening in a way Harry thought he’d never see again.

Harry,” Draco says, his voice cracking and his hands shaking as he pulls Harry flush against his chest, wrapping strong arms around him.

Harry fists his hands in Draco’s shirt as they stand together sharing shaky breaths. Magic crackles in the air around them.

Finally, unable to wait any longer, Harry covers Draco’s lips with his own. It’s warm and wet and amazing, and Harry never wants to stop.

Eventually, though, Harry gasps for air and breaks the kiss, letting his lips trail down Draco’s neck, sucking and biting gently as he goes. Draco moans and arches against him.

Draco’s neck has always been sensitive and it's one of Harry's favorite spots to kiss. He loves the salty, sweet taste of Draco’s skin tingling on his tongue. He loves feeling Draco’s ragged puffs of breath against his hair. He loves the noises he can draw out of Draco, the soft groans of pleasure.

Harry buries his face in the crook of Draco’s neck and inhales deeply, making Draco shiver and whimper softly. The sound goes straight to Harry’s already hard cock.

“God you smell good,” Harry murmurs against Draco’s skin.

Draco whimpers again and Harry loses all restraint. With a growl he grabs the bottom of Draco’s shirt, yanking it roughly over his head. Harry means to carry Draco to bed that very moment but he’s distracted by the brightly colored ink that decorates the pale skin of Draco’s arm.

“It’s brilliant,” Harry says entranced. He runs his fingers lightly over the tattoo, frowning when it doesn’t move or react to his touch. “Is it magical?”

“No. I wanted to cover the Mark with something…” Draco swallows loudly, “From the artist to the ink it’s completely Muggle,” he finally says quietly, grey eyes fixed on his forearm.

Harry smiles and lifts Draco’s arm to his lips. Starting at Draco’s wrist, Harry places kiss after kiss up the entirety of the tattoo.

“I love it,” Harry mumbles into Draco’s arm, “I love you.”

*~~~*

“I love you too,” Draco says as Harry starts walking him backwards to the bed.

They stumble their way across the room, not able to keep their mouths or hands off one another. At some point, Draco rips Harry’s shirt off, throwing it over his shoulder not caring where it lands, just needing to feel Harry’s skin against his own. His glasses follow shortly after, tossed without care to the floor.

When Draco’s legs bump against the edge of the bed, Harry grabs roughly at his belt with one hand while the other palms Draco’s hard cock.

“These. Off. Now.” Harry demands, each word punctuated by an open mouthed kiss on his chest.

Draco quickly does as he’s told, undoing his belt with shaking fingers, the buckle clacking loudly as it hits the floor. Harry pushes him back onto the bed as soon as he’s kicked away his trousers and pants. He licks and sucks his way down Draco’s chest, stopping to bite roughly at Draco’s nipples.

Harry’s teeth pull at Draco’s skin and Draco knows he’ll be covered in marks in the morning. The thought causes his heart to beat wildly in his chest and a moan escapes his throat. Draco rolls his hips against Harry’s, the friction setting his blood on fire. Harry kisses the trail of blond hair leading down from his belly button, stopping suddenly, his lips hovering just inches above Draco’s straining erection. Harry flicks his eyes up and the hungry, pleading look in them nearly makes Draco come untouched.

He nods quickly. “Yes. Don’t you dare stop.”

Harry gives his aching cock only one soft lick before he sits back on his knees, making a distressed whine fall out of Draco’s open mouth. Harry smirks and Draco can only bite his lip and watch, as Harry stands and peels his jeans and pants off in one sweeping motion. His cock springs free, red and hard and already wet at the tip.

Draco’s mouth waters and before he consciously knows what he was doing, he crawls across the bed, sliding off the side, and kneels at Harry’s feet.

“Draco -“ Harry starts to say but the words turn into a loud moan as Draco runs his tongue up the pulsing vein on the underside of Harry’s cock.

Draco wastes no time, swallowing down Harry’s entire length. He hums in pleasure at the taste of precome hitting his tongue and he slowly starts to bob his head up and down. One hand moves in sync with his mouth, while the other grips Harry’s thigh tightly.

It isn’t long before Harry’s pulling Draco off. “Fucking hell. Too close,” Harry pants, his hands shaking as he pushes his sweaty hair back from his forehead, “Fuck, I’ve missed your mouth.”

Draco sits back on his heels and stares up at Harry. His eyes are wild, the green almost completely eclipsed by black and his lips are red from being bitten. His entire body is shaking and the fact that Draco’s the one who made him loose control so fast, causes a rush of heady power to course though his body.

Draco’s eyes drift to the scars on Harry’s side. His fingers tighten on Harry’s hips as he places kiss after soft kiss against the marred skin. Harry stands still and lets Draco cover as much of the scars as he can reach before roughly pulling him to his feet and crashing their mouths together.

“I wanna fuck you,” Harry whispers against Draco’s lips, “Can I?”

“Fuck, yes. Anything Harry, whatever you want,” Draco swallows and meets Harry’s eyes, “Just go slow. It’s been awhile.”

Harry pushes Draco back onto the bed, hovering above him. He kisses Draco hard, pulling Draco’s bottom lip into his mouth as he grinds their hips together. Harry breaks the kiss and Draco could cry with how good it feels to have Harry’s lips and teeth marking his skin.

This time when Harry moves down Draco’s body, he doesn’t hesitate, taking Draco’s cock into his mouth without preamble. Draco quickly becomes incapable of forming a coherent thought, the only words in his head, yesmoreclosernowHarry.

When Harry’s nose brushes against the patch of blond curls at his groin and he swallows around Draco’s cock, his throat constricting tightly around the head, Draco arches off the bed so hard his back twinges. Draco cries out, begging and moaning shamelessly, not giving a single fuck about how needy and wrecked he probably looks. Desire burns in Harry’s eyes as he looks up, gaze locked on Draco, head still bobbing slowly. All the air evaporates from Draco’s lungs, leaving him gasping for breath.

He’s so close.

Draco curls his toes and rolls his hips up, thrusting his cock hard into Harry’s mouth, making him moan around Draco, the sound vibrating through Draco’s entire body.

So, so close.

And then Harry pulls off with a loud, wet pop, nuzzling his face into the crease of Draco’s thigh and clamps a hand around the base of his cock.

“Not yet,” Harry says, voice rough, his throat probably sore from the fucking it just endured.

A breathy please is all Draco can get out, already completely gone, every molecule in his body focused on the feeling of Harry against him.

“Hands and knees,” Harry commands and Draco scrambles to comply, already knowing what’s coming.

One of Harry’s hands rubs over his arse, kneading and squeezing, and the other firmly presses between Draco’s shoulders, forcing him down onto his elbows, arse offered up obscenely, flushed face pressed into a pillow.

Draco registers the tingle of a cleaning charm and then nothing but the feeling of Harry’s warm tongue dragging roughly back and forth across his opening. Harry alternates between fast, probing licks and slow, gentle caresses. After a few minutes, Draco’s loose enough for Harry to work his tongue past the tight ring of muscle and inside. A slick finger joins Harry’s tongue and Draco moans, writhing on the bed as he rolls his arse back against Harry, needing more.

“More,” Draco manages to gasp and Harry quickly complies, pulling back to mouth at Draco’s lower back as he shoves back in with two fingers. Harry takes his time opening Draco up, scissoring his fingers, twisting them slowly, in and out.

Draco feels like he’s going to spontaneously combust if Harry doesn’t get on with it and fuck him already.

“Harry, please,” Draco says through gritted teeth, his body still moving against Harry’s fingers and mouth.

“Please what?” Harry teases, “You have to tell me what you want Draco.”

“Fuck me,” Draco practically screams, when without warning Harry slams his fingers, not two but three, hard into Draco, crooking them up and rubbing them over that little nub of nerves that makes him light up like a bloody Christmas tree.

“I think I already am,” Harry says, the sound of his fingers moving in and out of Draco’s slick hole reverberates off the walls in the room, “I am fucking you, Draco. With my mouth. With my fingers. If you want something else, you’ll have to be more specific.”

Harry’s teasing him, toying with him and Draco loves it. All he can think is please don’t ever stop.

“Your cock, Harry,” Draco stutters out, “Fuck me with your cock.”

“Beg,” Harry says, and fuck but Draco is so gone already.

“Please. Harry, fuck. I’m ready, please fuck me. I need you, please. Please,” Draco shamelessly begs. His body is wound tight, screaming for release.

“Are you sure? Merlin you’re - fuck, still so fucking tight,” Harry says, his voice trembling.

“I’m sure. Please.”

“Alright. Fuck,” Harry groans, “You’re so fucking beautiful Draco. Spread out like this for me. Only for me.”

“Only you, Harry. It’s only ever been you,” Draco says breathlessly, turning his head to look over his shoulder and meet Harry’s heated gaze.

Harry pulls his fingers out and whispers the lubrication charm, slicking his cock. He reaches around and uses the leftover lube to give Draco’s own neglected cock a few firm strokes. Then Harry flips him over easily, kneeling between Draco’s splayed legs and just looks for a moment.

Finally, he bends Draco’s knees to his chest and Draco feels the head of his cock nudge against his slick entrance. Harry hesitates, gripping Draco’s thigh tightly.

“I know,” Harry’s takes a shuddering breath before continuing, “I know we have a lot to talk about but. I need you to tell me. Tell me you’re mine Draco. I need to know you’ll still be here in the morning.”

Draco’s heart stops. He doesn’t know if he’ll ever forgive himself for hurting Harry but he’ll reassure him every damn day for the rest of his life if that’s what it takes.

“I love you,” Draco says softly, reminding himself of the first time he uttered those words, so many years ago in the middle of a muddy field, rain beating down on them, “Harry, I’m here and I’m not going anywhere. I promise. I’m yours.”

“Mine,” Harry’s eyes blaze possessively as he brings their lips together and slowly presses inside Draco’s body.

Draco’s eyes fight to close at the feeling of Harry moving inside him but he forces them to stay open, not wanting to miss a single moment of this.

Harry pants, waiting, patiently allowing Draco time to adjust. After a few seconds, Draco flexes his muscles and nods.

“You can move. Fuck, please move,” he chokes out.

Harry does so immediately, pulling almost the whole way out before thrusting back in hard. He sets up a steady rhythm and Draco loses himself in the feeling until he can no longer tell where his body ends and Harry’s begins.

Draco gasps on a particularly hard thrust, his eyes rolling back and he wraps his legs around Harry’s waist tightly, pulling him down into a breathtaking kiss.

It’s not long before Draco feels his balls tighten, his orgasm building, sending tingles up his spine. His cock is leaking a steady stream between their stomachs and the little bit of friction he’s getting is slowly driving him insane.

Harry must sense he needs something more to tip him over the edge. His hips stop and he pulls out. Before Draco can complain, he flips him back over, roughly pulling him up to his hands and knees. Harry thrusts back in hard, the angle perfect, his cock hitting Draco’s prostate with every pump of his hips.

“Come on baby, I’ve got you. Come for me. Now.” At the command in Harry’s voice, his body obeys. His orgasm rips through him as he slams himself back onto Harry and covers the sheets with splash after splash of hot come.

Harry thrusts hard and deep - once, twice, three times before he’s moaning Draco’s name and following him over the edge, wet heat filling Draco’s body.

“Fucking hell,” Harry’s says, out of breath as he collapses bonelessly against Draco’s sweaty back.

Draco feels a cleaning charm wash over him and the sheets a moment later. He’s content to just lay there and never move again but Harry maneuvers theirs bodies, pulling Draco against his chest tightly, their legs tangled together.

“You okay?” Harry asks, tucking a strand of hair behind Draco’s ear. The undeniable look of love shining in Harry’s eyes makes Draco thankful he’s already laying down.

“I’m so much better than okay. Kiss me.”

And Harry does. He doesn’t stop for a long time.

*~~~*

Waking up in Harry’s arms isn’t something Draco ever thought he would experience again, but now that he is, he can’t imagine waking up any other way.

Harry’s warm, spooned behind him. One of his arms is wound possessively around Draco’s waist and the other is above their heads, resting lightly in Draco’s hair. He’s snoring softly, warm puffs of breath tickling the back of Draco’s neck.

Draco lets his eyes drift around the room, taking in the details he missed yesterday. Everything Draco left behind is there.

Guilt floods his stomach when he thinks about Harry here alone, waiting and hoping for him to come home, an entire ocean between them.

But Draco’s spiral into self loathing is interrupted by a strange but familiar tingle of magic.

Harry jolts awake just as Draco’s asks, “What the fuck is that?”

“Wards,” Harry answers, his voice rough, “Someone just came through the Floo.”

“You keyed me back into the wards?” Draco asks, surprise clear in his tone.

“Never removed you,” Harry mumbles. Draco turns in his arms and raises an eyebrow. Harry just gives him a sheepish smile, “Morning.”

“Good morning,” Draco manages to say before Harry is kissing him hard. Draco internally cringes thinking of how his mouth must taste but Harry doesn’t seem to mind. His tongue slides against Draco’s, licking hotly into his mouth over and over again.

He finally pulls back beaming. “We should probably get dressed. The only person who comes through the Floo without calling first is Hermione and I’m guessing we have about a minute before she’s coming in that door.”

“It wouldn’t be the first time she got an eyeful of us,” Draco says with a smirk.

Harry throws his head back and laughs loudly. “Remember in eighth year when -“ Harry’s cut off by Hermione’s voice floating through the door.

“Harry James Potter! I’ve been calling for an hour. You have three seconds before I open this door, so you better cover up anything you don’t want me to see,” she yells.

“Shit,” Harry mumbles under his breath as he pulls Draco tighter against his chest and yanks the duvet up over them, “Come in Hermione, we’re as decent as we’re gonna be.”

Hermione storms into the room, her lips pressed together, but as she takes in the scene, a smile breaks across her face. “While I’m very happy that you two idiots have apparently reconciled your differences, I need to speak to Draco. Alone,” Hermione says, the smile slipping.

Draco has a bad feeling about what exactly Hermione needs to say to him that requires them speaking privately.

“Hermione, I love you dearly but if you think I’m moving right now you’re mad,” Draco says glancing at Harry, who gives him a nod and a reassuring smile.

“Well. Alright,” Hermione takes a deep breath, letting it out in a rush, “Molly called me this morning. Your mother apparently called her, wanting to know where you are. She was not pleased to find out you’d be in town a week and had yet to see her,” Hermione gives Draco a pointed look, “Your boyfriend, or whatever he is, showed up at the Manor looking for you.”

Draco tenses and he can actually hear Harry’s jaw clenching. He turns and cups Harry’s face in his hands. “Harry, listen to me. I had no idea he would show up here, I swear. He must of worried when I didn’t arrive with my Portkey yesterday.”

Harry closes he eyes and takes a shaky breath. “Okay,” he says opening his eyes, keeping them fixed on Draco, “We’ll need to deal with this. Now.”

Draco lets out the breath he was holding and nods. Before he can speak, Harry is addressing Hermione, his tone pleading. “Can you please get ahold of Narcissa and tell her we’ll be there soon?”

“Yes, of course. Just don’t be too long. She was in quite a state according to Molly.”

Harry nods and murmurs his thanks. They both watch Hermione turn and cross the room. She pauses with her hand on the doorknob, “I’m really happy for you, both of you. I’m only a call away if you need me,” she gives them a satisfied smile and in a twirl of green Healer robes, she disappears through the door.

Harry finally releases the death grip he has on Draco and sits up, rubbing both hands over his face, “Well it looks like we’ll be dealing with everything sooner rather than later. Pity too, I was planning on keeping you in bed all day,” he says calmly, his mouth twitching at the corners.

The spark of arousal Draco feels at Harry’s words is quickly quelled by thoughts of an irate Narcissa. Harry brings their lips together in a soft kiss, “This doesn’t change anything right?” he asks, his eyes searching Draco’s face, “It just complicates things but it’ll be fine. Right?”

“Right,” Draco replies, relief and anxiety battle for space inside his chest but he gives Harry a small smile and leans forwards, nuzzling into the crook of Harry’s neck, “I love you so fucking much.”

“I love you too,” Harry replies quietly, giving Draco one more kiss before dragging him out of the warmth and comfort of their bed.

*~~~*

An hour later, Harry and Draco step out of the Floo and into the entrance hall of the Manor. Draco tenses beside him and the earlier good mood from their shared shower, seems to evaporate. Harry knows that Draco strongly dislikes being in this house. He’s seen first hand how Draco’s nightmares will return, how for days after a visit here he looks haunted and exhausted, a shell of the person he became after the war.

Narcissa insisted on an entire remodel after the trials. The once cold, stately house now looks warm and inviting. But no matter how much new paint is rolled onto the walls or how many furnishing and fixtures are replaced, nothing can completely remove the memories of the acts that took place here.

“You okay?” Harry asks quietly, running a soothing hand down Draco’s tense back.

Draco swallows loudly, closing his eyes and leaning against Harry before answering, “I’m fine. As long as you’re here, I’ll be fine.”

“I’m right here, I’m not going anywhere Draco,” Harry reassures.

“Well I suppose we should get this over with. I- ” Draco starts to say but is cut off as a house elf pops into existence in front of them, already wringing her hands, long ears drooping.

“Mipsy is being sorry Master Draco,” the elf says nervously, bowing low to ground.

“It’s quite alright, I know my way around,” Draco says kindly, waving a hand.

“Miss Cissy is being in the gardens with your guest,” the elf replies before popping away.

Harry follows Draco through the long hallways of his childhood home, their hands clasped together tightly. Before long, Draco turns into one of the rooms that make up the West wing of the house. Harry glances around, recognizing Narcissa’s preferred sitting room. It’s large, decorated in warm tones and there’s a fire burning low.

Harry’s eyes stray to Draco, where he stands in the middle of the room, his back ramrod straight as he stares unseeing out the French doors, chewing his bottom lip nervously.

“Draco…” Harry says and Draco turns, pulling him into a tight hug, “Are you sure this is what you want?” Harry’s throat constricts at the thought of Draco walking away again but he has to ask.

Draco pulls back and meets his eyes. “I’m sure Harry. I love you. None of this is his fault though and I’m walking out there knowing I’m about to hurt him,” Draco swallows and looks away, “It’s going to hurt you too and I’ve hurt you enough already. I can’t..” Draco words choke off as he buries his face in Harry’s chest.

Harry holds him tightly, murmuring reassurances against his hair.

“Shh it’s okay,” Harry soothes. He doesn’t know what to say to make this easier for Draco and a part of himself, a part he hates, doesn’t want to make it any easier for him, “Everything’s gonna be alright, just breathe,” Draco takes in a gulp of air, his breath shuddering out against Harry’s neck, “And I promise to be on my best behavior. I won’t punch him in the face or anything. Swear,” Harry’s words have the intended effect, drawing a snort of laughter out of Draco.

“Yes, do try to contain yourself, you brute,” Draco says in mock seriousness, his eyes wet but dancing with humor.

Draco squares his shoulders and finally walks over to the doors. Harry steps out behind him.

The garden is beautiful this time of year, teeming with life. There are flowers blooming everywhere you look. There’s a stone patio off to the right, a large glass top table dominating the space. Narcissa and a man, who Harry assumes is Kade, sit together at the table, a tea service and a platter of small sandwiches in front of them.

They both look up as Harry and Draco approach and much to Harry’s dismay, Kade shoots up out of his seat, pulling Draco tightly to his chest.

“What the fuck Draco?” Kade says in a strained voice but Harry barely hears him, he’s occupied with trying to restrain himself from ripping Draco from the other mans arms.

Narcissa is watching the scene unfold with narrowed eyes. She glances at Harry, giving him a small, sympathetic smile which he tries his best to return, before she focuses her attention back on her son.

“Excuse me Mr. Parker, but I wish to speak to my son,” Narcissa says, standing and smoothing down her pale blue robes.

Draco returns his mothers embrace tightly. Then without another word, Narcissa leads Draco back into the house leaving Harry and Kade standing a mere few feet apart from each other.

“I’m Harry. It’s - nice to meet you,” Harry says extending a hand.

Kade has a firm handshake and an easy going smile. Harry’s loath to admit that he’s also very fit.

“Kade Parker. It’s nice to meet you too,” Kade replies, his American accent only increasing his appeal, “Wait - Harry, as in Harry Potter?”

“Er yeah. That’s me,” Harry says rubbing the back of his neck and shuffling his feet.

“Wow. It’s a pleasure Mr. Potter. Draco never mentioned you two knew each other.”

A laugh bubbles up Harry’s throat, he only just manages to turn it into a cough.

“Just Harry is fine, please. And yeah, we went to school together,” Harry pauses, wondering how much he should reveal about his relationship with Draco, “We - we were actually pretty close before he moved to New York.”

“Huh. He never said,” Kade replies, understanding dawning in his brown eyes.

Just then the patio doors open and Narcissa and Draco walk back outside, saving Harry from anymore awkward conversation.

“Harry dear, would you mind accompanying me on a walk through the gardens? I could use help feeding the peacocks,” Narcissa asks in a way that doesn’t sound like a question at all.

Harry’s eyes snap to Draco. He sighs as he recognizes the pleading look in those grey-blue eyes. And though Harry’s terrified to let Draco out of his sight, he knows he won’t deny Draco anything he needs. Even if what he needs is to be left alone with the man who just had his hands all over him.

“Of course, I’d love to,” Harry tears his eyes from Draco’s and nods to Narcissa, offering his arm.

Narcissa steps closer to Harry, her aromatic perfume invading his nose as she threads her arm through his delicately. They set off onto the dirt pathway that winds through the grounds of the Manor, Harry only looking back to Draco once, before he puts his mind to the task of finding out just how mad Narcissa is over this whole mess.

*~~~*

After his mother and Harry are out of sight, Draco nervously takes a seat at the table, indicating with his hand that Kade should do the same.

“I’ll ask again. What the fuck Draco?” Kade says, shifting in his chair.

“I’m sorry, you don’t know how very sorry I am,” Draco says quietly, refusing to give into his nerves and meets Kade’s eyes straight on.

“You’re sorry,” Kade says flatly, “Draco, do you have any idea how crazy with worry I’ve been? You don’t show up with your Portkey, you don’t answer my calls. Jesus. You lied about everything. Was any of it real?”

“Of course it was real. Kade I…I never meant for you to find out like this, I was going to tell you everything the minute I got back to New York, I swear. But then…” Draco’s eyes sting but he doesn’t doubt his decision. He knows he belongs here.

“Then what, Draco?” Kade asks quietly.

“But then I realized that going back to New York, back to you, wasn’t what I really wanted,” Draco swallows the lump that forms in his throat as he watches hurt and betrayal flash in Kade’s eyes, “I’m sorry,” Draco takes the engagement ring from the pocket of his trousers and slides it across the table. The clink caused by the ring as it bumps against the glass is tinged with finality, “I can’t marry you. You deserve someone who is completely and unconditionally in love with you. I can’t be that person.”

“Why, because you’re already married? Or because you’re in love with Harry Potter?” Kade asks, his tone going cold as ice, "But I guess that's the same thing huh?"

Draco’s mouth drops open.

Kade laughs, it’s amused but somehow void of humor. “Shit. I really can’t believe this is happening right now,” Kade looks away, swallowing hard before he continues, “Even if your mother hadn’t told me, it would have taken all of two seconds to see it Draco. You’ve never looked at me like that.”

Draco doesn’t know what to say. So he sits there, twisting his hands in his lap, the silence ringing in his ears violently.

“I mean, and let me be clear, I am pissed the fuck off. But you deserve to be happy,” Kade says with a strained smile. He stands from the table, smoothing down his red shirt. Draco stands too, “I should probably go. You’ll let me know when you’re back in New York? There’s some stuff I’ll need to get from your apartment.”

Draco nods and then startles slightly as Kade pulls him in for a tight hug. “I’ll miss you Draco Black,” Kade whispers against Draco’s ear, before pulling back and placing a soft kiss to the skin of his forehead.

“I’ll miss you too, Kade Parker. Take care of yourself.”

His heart thumps wildly behind his ribs as he watches Kade walk away. The reality of everything that’s happened over the last week almost crushing him. His entire life has been turned upside down. But as Harry and his mother walk back into view on the garden path, Draco thinks that everything will be okay.

“Harry informs me that he’s taking us out for a family dinner tonight, Draco. You boys talk while I go and call Andromeda,” his mother says with a small smile. Her blue eyes are alight with happiness as she walks into the house.

“Hi,” Harry murmurs, sliding a hand into Draco’s hair and kissing him softly.

“Hi yourself,” Draco smiles against his lips.

“Everything alright?” Harry asks, the concern he’s trying to hide showing plainly in his eyes.

“Everything’s perfect,” Draco replies before he notices the two brooms Harry has propped against the table, indicating them with a jerk of his chin, “I know you didn’t get my mother on a broom. You’re not that good,” Draco teases.

Harry snorts. “No, definitely not. I thought maybe you’d be up for a quick seekers game with me,” Harry says, his eyes mischievous.

Draco looks up at the cloudy sky that promises rain. “I don’t know. It doesn’t look like the weather is going to cooperate with that plan Potter.”

Some of the excitement drains from Harry’s face. “Oh. Right, yeah I -“

“But we’ve never let a little rain stop us before,” Draco says cutting him off. They grin at each other and each grab a broom before striding off in the direction of the field behind the Manor, their steps light with contentment.

Draco has made a lot of mistakes in his life and it’s been a long, hard road that’s led him back here. But every staggered step has been worth it.

So worth it, he thinks as they take off towards the sky together.

Draco can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.

 

The End.