Harry Apparated into an alley just off Tottenham Court Road, stumbling slightly from the combination of three glasses of mead, two hours of sleep, and an unfamiliar Apparition point. He peered down at his mission orders, struggling to make them out in the low light.
Another wand suddenly illuminated his parchment, causing him to stumble yet again. Squinting against the bright light, he managed to make out a tall, thin form with conspicuously bright, shiny hair.
“Right. Perfect,” Harry muttered under his breath. “Happy fucking Christmas to me.”
“Yes, because you’re the only one who’s been dragged out of bed at midnight on Christmas Eve, Potter. Let’s just get it done.”
“Fine, but why did they send you?”
“Because I was the Obliviator on holiday standby. I’m afraid it’s not an exciting conspiracy, Potter. I know how that must disappoint you.”
“You should have worn a cap over that hair. Have you never heard of stealth?”
“Oh, I don’t think we need to worry ourselves about that. You made the sound of twenty Aurors with your arrival. I imagine the culprits will have run off long before my hair becomes an issue.”
Harry’s head began to throb with irritation.
“What’s the mission, Potter? I’d like to get this over with as soon as possible.”
“There was a report of a cursed bunch of Mistletoe hanging in the doorway of a Muggle pub down the way.”
“Unusual emotional outbursts. Outwardly happy couples have stopped to have a kiss under it, and wound up in knock-down, drag-out fights. The local police have been out three times already, and no one can approach it to remove it without being affected.”
“The victims are still on the scene at this hour?”
“No. Your target is the owner. It seems he’s telling everyone who’ll listen that the Mistletoe has got evil magical powers. He lives above the pub.”
Malfoy nodded and stepped out into the street. Harry smirked when Malfoy pulled the hood of his robe over his hair.
The street was nearly deserted, but Harry hung back for a moment, watching for anyone taking notice of Malfoy emerging from the alley. When no apparent threat materialised, he followed him across the road.
The two of them stood anxiously on the pavement in front of the pub, gazing up at the innocent-looking bundle of leaves and berries above the door. Harry glanced at Malfoy with a raised eyebrow, and raised his wand.
“It works on a surprising number of curses,” Malfoy shrugged. “Try it.”
When the spell struck the Mistletoe, it glowed faintly blue for a moment and then went dark again.
“Did it work?” Malfoy whispered.
“Only one way to find out. Accio, Mistletoe!” The little bit of shrubbery sailed neatly in Harry’s hand.
“Are you bloody insane, Potter? You have no way of knowing whether—”
“Quiet!” Harry hissed, remembering why he hated working with Malfoy. Really hated it. In fact, he was moments away from strangling the bastard.
“Oh, no. I think it’s still working.”
“Why? What is it doing?”
“I’m getting really annoyed with you. I feel like hexing your snooty nose off, in fact.”
“How is that different from any other time you’re around me?” Malfoy sneered. “I feel the same way about you, but I have since you came lumbering into that alley.”
“That’s true,” Harry said, momentarily relieved. “I guess I don’t really feel differently—”
But then, quite suddenly, he did. With sudden and shocking clarity, he felt quite differently indeed.
“Wha’ —?” Malfoy began, before his eyes widened comically. “Oh, no. Don’t you dare, Potter. Fight it.” In contrast to his words, Malfoy was leaning closer, glancing rapidly between Harry’s eyes and lips. “You’re the Auror. Do some—”
Harry’s lips closed over Malfoy’s, muffling the rest of his plea. They stood stock still, staring in horror into one another’s eyes, mouths pressed tightly closed. It was the worst kiss Harry had ever had.
Malfoy’s mouth was cold and hard, his expression pure revulsion. The sharp breaths he was letting out through his nose fogged Harry’s glasses in the frigid air.
“Owdwemaitop,” Malfoy mumbled through the tight clamp of his lips.
Harry tried to indicate his lack of comprehension by squinting his eyes at Malfoy.
Malfoy gave in and cracked his mouth open to speak against Harry’s.
“How do we make it stop?”
Forgetting himself for a moment, Harry opened his own mouth to respond. As he drew breath to speak, he tasted a faint note of peppermint on Malfoy’s breath.
“I have no idea.” He was forced to mouth the words around Malfoy’s bottom lip, which he noticed was pleasantly soft when not pressed tightly to the upper one.
“What happened to the Muggles?” Malfoy’s tongue brushed across Harry’s upper lip when he made the th sound in the. It tickled.
“Eventually, they tired themselves out.” Harry’s tongue made some contact of its own.
“So, we have to…”
“I’m afraid so.” Harry squeezed his eyes shut to block out the look of sheer terror on Malfoy’s face, and pressed his tongue into the prat’s minty-fresh mouth.
Malfoy was not nearly as unpleasant on the inside as he was on the outside. The interior of his mouth was, in fact, very warm and welcoming. He had—if Harry knew his biscuits—had a gingernut shortly before brushing his teeth. Harry liked gingernuts.
Well, in for a Knut, in for a Galleon, Harry thought, and he reached his free hand into the hood of Malfoy’s cloak, to angle his head for easier access. He pressed his tongue in further, delighted to find the ginger flavour was even stronger towards the back of his mouth.
Harry jumped a bit when Malfoy’s tongue suddenly began to fight back, pressing past his own and invading his mouth. He was chagrined to imagine what flavours lurked under his own toothpaste.
Apparently, it was nothing too off-putting, because Malfoy suddenly had hold of Harry’s head, as well. The kiss began to escalate worryingly. Heads were one thing, but hips were now coming into play.
They had a mission to complete, though, and Harry had never failed to successfully complete a mission in all his years on the force. Come to think of it, neither had Malfoy. Hips it was, then.
Harry ground himself forcefully against every part of Malfoy he could reach, rolling in time with his tongue and the hand on Malfoy’s neck. Malfoy met him with equal professionalism, just as determined to defeat the Evil Mistletoe.
Harry was discovering a profound appreciation for Malfoy’s work ethic. He curled his fingers into the back of the other man’s hair and teased at the roots at his nape, pleased when it elicited a tiny moan that vibrated across his seeking tongue.
Malfoy’s mouth retreated and Harry chased after it, leaning in and nipping at his slippery lower lip. Malfoy pulled away more forcefully.
“Potter,” he breathed, in an unusually pleasant tone of voice.
“We need to get this Mistletoe to a secure location. It’s clearly more dangerous than anticipated.”
Harry blinked at him for a moment. “There isn’t anyone at the office this weekend. Everyone is gone for the holiday.” He watched Malfoy lick his lips slowly.
“I suppose we’ll just have to take it to your house then. Where it will at least be… contained.”
“What if we can’t break the curse?” Harry leaned in and nibbled at his jaw.
“We’ll send for assistance first thing Monday.” Malfoy’s damp mouth dragged down Harry’s cheek.
“Monday,” Harry repeated. “After the weekend.”
“Well, we can’t leave it here. Look at all the trouble it’s caused,” whispered Malfoy, tracing Harry’s lower lip with the tip of his gingery tongue.
“Of course, you’re right,” Harry mumbled, as he sought out Malfoy’s mouth once again. He wrapped the hand clutching the Mistletoe around Malfoy’s back and turned, Apparating them away. As they spun through the dark compression, he once again marvelled at Malfoy’s surprising professionalism.