Chapter 1: Prologue
Harry was not used to blind dates. And honestly, he was also not a fan of those. Well, even if he said so, he was there, wasn't he? Waiting anxiously for the moment the promised person would walk through the door of Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop. He couldn't complain about the situation he was in.
Everything was arranged by Hermione Granger, who could find time to fret about her best friend's love life even though she was drowning in work at the Ministry; and Astoria Greengrass, a woman who worked with the other and was coincidentally trying to find someone to date a relative of hers.
Hermione thought it would be such a great idea to kill two birds with one stone and send Harry on a blind date with someone she didn't even know.
Precisely because she didn't know who he was meeting with, Harry did not know the gender of his date. I mean, it would probably be a girl (since Hermione didn't know about his bisexuality) but Harry wondered if that would be the case.
He was informed that the person was attractive, but he would at least like to know what to expect.
He sighed, drinking a little more of his lemon-balm tea. The person was ten minutes late and he decided he would grumble about that to Hermione and Astoria when he saw them again.
The worst of all was not that the person was late or that he did not know who it was. The worst part of that stupid date was that he was sent there listening to Hermione go on about how he was lonely and he needed some company. The worst was that his best friend was responsible for that whole shit show.
"Hey, as your best friend... I feel a tad guilty because it was my idea." Ronald had said. "But you have to move on, Harry."
Harry was reasonably shocked.
He had relationships throughout his life! There was Cho, his first love, which did not last long because both of them were too shaken by Cedric's death. There was also the problem that they were in the middle of a war. It didn't work out and he moved on, after a while.
There was also Ginny. Which... well, didn't work out either. The two just didn't fit. Harry could not imagine them building a life together and being one hundred percent happy.
He shook his head, trying to move his past loves away from his mind. He had to focus on the present, on the person he would meet that day.
Hermione, at least, had given him a description of the person. She wrote it down so that he would not forget any detail.
"According to Astoria, the person is a little bit taller than you, has gray eyes and pale white skin. Their hair is short and blond, always in place. They will be wearing a black trenchcoat and a green scarf."
Harry couldn't deny that the person appeared to be remarkably pretty. The gray eyes and the blond hair were an interesting combination, to say the least. He should not jump into conclusions, however, since Hermione had given him such a poor picture of the person, not worrying about the little details, such as their hair texture and such.
Harry was wearing a black coat that covered a sweater Molly Weasley had knitted for him. His old Gryffindor scarf sloppily garnished his neck, and his hair continued to be as rebellious as it had always been.
His emerald eyes traveled through the various faces of the people in the Tea Shop. No one matched the description. No one with white and pale skin, gray eyes and short blond hair.
"At the moment I saw this hair and this scarf, I knew it was you, Potter." He heard a familiar voice behind him.
There it was. The black trenchcoat, keeping the slender pale figure in front of him warm. The Slytherin green scarf was meticulously tied, and there was a black hood covering his silky blond hair.
Harry choked on his tea.
"Malfoy?" Harry asked, standing up. He could not believe his eyes. That was the man he had a date with?!
The blond simply ignored him, sitting at the other side of the table. "I knew this would be a disastrous idea, especially when Astoria told me she did not know who I was meeting with." He sighed. "But I promised I wouldn't run away and I'm a man of my word, so let's get this over with."
"Are you sure you have the right bloke?" Harry asked. He had no doubts Draco was his date - after all, he matched the description perfectly - but maybe Draco had the wrong person?
The blond took a piece of paper from his trenchcoat's pocket, and clearing his throat, he declared:
"Wild black hair, tanned skin. Green eyes. They will be wearing a black coat and a red and yellow sweater that matches his Hogwart's House colors. Will also be using a Gryffindor scarf."
"It surprises me that you agreed meeting with a Gryffindor."
"What can I say? I'm desperate." He smiled, but there was no humor in his expression. "Let's cut the small talk: I'm sure the people who organized this stupidity had no idea of who they were coupling. But now that we are both here, I want to make a deal."
"What kind of deal?" He asked.
Draco smiled. This time, in an evil way
When he saw that smile, Harry knew he had majorly fucked up.
Chapter 2: Ignoramus
In which they arrange the arrangement
an ignorant or stupid person
"And why do you think I will accept this deal?" Harry crossed his arms, resting his back against the chair. He could not believe the words that came out of that man's mouth.
"Simply because you are an ignoramus Gryffindor." Said Draco. "And because that would help you too. Think about it a little. No friends bothering you, telling you you are "too lonely". No more intrusive questions... And you will have the pleasure of my company."
Harry frowned, skeptic. He may not know the meaning of "ignoramus" but he knew that Malfoy was mocking him.
"If you think just a little more, I think steam will be coming out of your ears." Draco smiled impertinently. Materializing two parchments, he concluded: "Of course, this deal would have clauses suggested by the both of us."
Harry took one of the parchments. The words started to reveal themselves as he looked at the paper.
"This contract is entered into by and between Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter. The term of this Agreement shall begin on January 15th and shall continue through until May 15th.
In our relationship, we agree to:”
And then the clauses began. Dates, gifts, meeting the parents and friends, everything a real relationship was about except, you know, the feelings.
There were prohibitions, conditions, everything a real contract should have. Harry was honestly surprised by Malfoy's determination.
He read the contract in his own, Harry way, and ended up with a headache.
"So, what do you say?" Draco asked, holding his face in one of his hands. "Do you agree with the Contract's clauses? Do you want anything to be included?
"No... No, I think everything is fine." Harry said, confusedly blinking. "But... But why? Why are you doing this?"
"You don't need to know why. Just sign it." Draco crossed his arms, seriously. Harry shook his head, refusing to do so. Draco sighed, giving up. Potter was too damn stubborn. "Ok, ok. I'm doing this because my parents want me to get married."
"And what is the problem?" Harry asked. "It's not like you like someone, is it?"
"That's not the point, Potter!" Draco answered. "They want me to marry Astoria Greengrass."
Suddenly, everything seemed to fall into place. That was why Astoria was so desperate to find someone to date her "relative".
"And I'm gay." Said Draco, making Harry choke on his tea once again. "Oh, come on, Potter. It's not a great mystery.
Harry coughed hard. That was unexpected. It was not hard to imagine the words Draco Malfoy and gay in the same sentence since the man never had a girlfriend - well, at least, a real one, Pansy doesn't count. The thing was that the thought had never crossed Harry's mind.
"I don't want to marry a woman I am never going to love!" Draco said. "Besides, it is a great way of coming out of the closet, isn't it? I mean, the public also doesn't know about you."
Harry lifted an eyebrow. And Malfoy knew?
"And you know?" He inquired. Draco merely sighed.
"You are the definition of an 'open book', Potter." He said. "Well, you can come out to the wizarding world as the hugest queer and stop being bothered by questions about secret lovers."
"Yeah, and then the questions will be about a specific lover." Harry snorted. "I still see no gain for me in this, Malfoy."
"Status, attention, the pleasure of my company, a stable love life... A sexual life, which I'm sure it would be news for you. "
"I won't!" Harry said, too loud for his own good, attracting some glances at their table. He continued, a little lower: "I won't fuck you, Malfoy!"
The blond merely shrugged. "Your loss, not mine." He said, a petulant half-smile creeping into his lips.
Harry stood up, wroth. He would listen no more from that man, that seemed to only be able to mock him. That was, for sure, the worst date he had ever had.
He left the Tea Shop with Malfoy at his tail. "Potter!" He called. "Potter!" Harry could not care less about what that git had to say.
He didn't speak with Malfoy since the end of his school life. Harry decided to become an Auror as Malfoy got a random position at the Ministry. It didn't take long for them to give up those jobs and seek things they liked to do.
According to the rumors, Draco had built a place to sell various types of potions, becoming a respectful apothecary in no time. Harry had become the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, at Hogwarts.
The two of them seemed to live in completely different worlds and the fact that Draco simply appeared out of nowhere trying to make absurd deals irked the-boy-who-lived.
"Potter! Don't ignore me!" Said Malfoy, which only annoyed Harry. He had always been a slut for attention. "Harry, please!"
That made the man stop. Not only the shock of hearing his name coming out of that mouth, resounding in that hoarse voice that was used to spiting venomous words everywhere but also because of the word he said. "Please"? Coming out of a Malfoy? That surely was unusual.
"Maybe you are happy like this, and I can't blame you for that." He said. "But I'm desperate. I can't live lying to my parents anymore. I can't live with them talking to me about marriage every day, because I know they will want my spouse to be a woman, and I can't do that."
Harry sighed. That was a low blow, throwing the "my parents want me to marry a woman and I can't live in a closet for the rest of my life" card.
He turned to Malfoy.
"Let's do this." Harry approached the blond. "I accept it, but you'll have to add some things in the contract."
"Anything." He said, frowning. He seemed wary of what Harry would ask for, but as he said so: he was desperate.
"The first condition is that we can't lie to each other." He took a step towards Malfoy. "If I'm going to lie for you, I want you to be honest with me. I need to trust you because we will be together in this, okay?" Malfoy nodded. "The second is that we have to be peaceful with each other and with friends and family. So, no calling Hermione a mudblood and such, you understand?" Malfoy nodded once again. "And the third is... you can't fall in love with me, and I cannot fall in love with you. Too many feelings involved will only cause trouble."
"That won't be a problem, Potter." Said Draco, smiling pretentiously. "I would never fall for someone like you."
Harry stared at him, waiting for an answer. Where did those words come from? He had no idea.
Harry gave him a sneering smile. He would not let the chance of mocking Malfoy go to waste, even if he had no idea what he was talking about. "You can't fall in love with me?" Really, Potter?
Draco raised one eyebrow, finding all that sneer and jeering coming from Harry rather strange. He thought the man was a potato.
"How about we discuss that somewhere calmer?" Draco asked, and Harry merely shrugged, sinking his hands in his pockets. "Great." He said, taking the other's left arm as if it was no big deal, not weird or anything. "Where are we going to, deer?"
Harry laughed, amused. That Malfoy was something else.
"Home, baby." Harry retorted, making Draco wrinkle his nose in disgust.
"We'll have to work on that, Potter."
They disapparated, leaving Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop behind, taking a step towards the greatest mess of their lives.
Chapter 3: Pusillanimous
In which Harry and Draco become pen pals
showing a lack of courage or determination; timid.
Harry had to plan his classes, but he could only think about how he fucked up.
Why, on his sane mind, had agreed to fake date Draco Malfoy? There was no advantage for him, now that he stopped to think about it; he could live with people constantly asking him about a possible partner, but could he live with people constantly asking him "why that partner"?
It was for pity, certainly. Harry did not exactly like Draco, but he certainly did not want the man to marry someone he couldn't love. Arranged marriages sometimes work out, but not if the person is everything but your preferred sexual identity.
He ran a hand through his hair, not quite believing what he had done to his life. What was going on with the world? Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy? He wouldn't be able to believe if it wasn't him who had fucked up.
"Everything okay, Harry?" Neville asked, pulling Harry away from his thoughts.
He nodded. "Yeah, I'm just reevaluating my life choices."
"Why? Is there something wrong?" He asked.
"What would you do if someone asked you, no, begged you for you to be their fake boyfriend. Like, hypothetically." Harry said, regretting it right after. Well, Neville surely wouldn't tell anyone, would he?
"Well, it depends on the person, doesn't it? I wouldn't accept it if I wasn't friends with this person." He said. "Not even if they begged me. I know it seems I'm not able to say no, but I can, and I would never get into a situation this complicated. Why?"
"Uh... Nothing, nothing."
Neville frowned, thinking the whole situation was way too weird but ended up giving up on pressing Harry. He started to talk about how his herbology classes were doing great, instead, and that the thought of being a good professor would have never crossed his mind before the beginning of the term.
"I also never thought I would be a good teacher." Said Harry, sincerely.
"Oh, please, Harry." Said Neville. "You thought us DADA when we were in the fifth year, and everyone thought you were great at teaching."
Harry laughed, a bit embarrassed. "It is different when we are in the middle of a war." He said, and Neville's eyes softened.
"Yeah, I understand."
The two of them started chit-chatting, Harry allowing himself to drift away from his brand new problem that was fake dating Draco Malfoy. They talked about students, about the House Cup, about Hogwarts, about their friends.
Harry almost forgot about Draco.
Almost. He would have calmed down a hundred percent if it wasn't for that stupid owl entering the teacher's room and dropping a letter on his lap with the Malfoy seal.
He sighed, irritated. What would he do, now?
I'm sending you an itinerary, a plan that we can follow during our fake dating period. There are dates and days related to work, that is, days in which we will discuss our relationship so that there is no flaw in our story. We need it all memorizes, scarface.
I ask you to read the itinerary with attention because I am a busy man and I won't tolerate lateness or forgetfulness. If you forget one of our dates I will show up in your work and I won't be held accountable for my actions, because they will be merely consequences to your airheadedness.
I know you do not like the idea, but please don't be pusillanimous when I introduce you to my parents. Yeah, you will have to go through the parent introduction, and I imagine you will want to introduce me to the Weasley. I have accepted already, I hope you do too.
Just like the letter said, there was an itinerary inside of the envelope. A two-page itinerary. Harry could feel the beginning of a headache.
"Is there something wrong?" Neville asked.
"There's a lot of wrongs in my life right now." Harry sighed. "I have to solve some stuff, Neville. I'm going to my room. Goodnight."
"Goodnight." He waved goodbye.
Just like Harry thought, the itinerary gave him an intense headache. Goodbye, weekends.
Draco had simply decided to occupy all of his weekends with dates or "work dates", as he called it. Harry was already feeling sick just thinking about it, even before having to look at the blond's face.
You need to re-evaluate this itinerary. There is no chance I will spend all of my weekends with you.
And I'm not going to meet your parents in two weeks, are you out of your mind? Technically, we were supposed to start or 'relationship' on that date, don't you think your plan is a little rushed? Calm your tits, man.
Harry sent the letter to the other with the itinerary, which now contained comments in some of the events and markings in red. He wouldn't be able to stand more than a day socializing with him.
It did not take long before another letter arrived.
I will take your complaints into consideration, but the next two dates of the itinerary, which happen this week, are still up. We will have our second date and only then will we discuss our planning.
But you will meet my parents in two weeks.
Harry realized then, right at that moment, that Draco was hiding something from him. And he would do everything in his power to find out what it was.
He was feeling lucky since one of the conditions of the contract was that Draco couldn't lie to him. Well, the blond really wasn't lying, just omitting, which was not explicitly prohibited. He knew how to enjoy the contract's holes, didn't he?
If Harry asked him directly, though, he wouldn't be able to escape.
Yeah, Harry had a plan. And that plan would be graciously executed that weekend.
Chapter 4: Meander
Here I am, with one more chapter! I hope you like it!
(of a person) wander at random.
"So, what are you hiding from me, Malfoy?" Harry inquired, the two walking through Hogsmeade. They were going in the Shrieking Shack's direction, and Harry could not fathom why Draco had chosen that place for a date, but he did not question the blond's decisions.
"A lot of things, Potter." He said. "What exactly do you want to know?"
"Why are you so desperate to make me meet your parents in two weeks?"
"Oh, that's easy. It is my last day to give my parents a good enough reason for me not to get married to Astoria." He answered. Harry never expected it would be so easy to get the truth out of him. "I'll be coming out of the closet and introducing you as my boyfriend to them."
"Why didn't you tell me that before?" Harry asked, quite irritated.
"I had to make you sign the contract first. This could scare you or something. I was desperate Potter. I am desperate."
"Getting married is not that bad, Malfoy. And divorce is a thing." Said Harry. "You know, we, British people, invented the divorce."
"It astounds me that you know history."
"It astounds me that no one has murdered you yet."
The two of them walked in silence for some time. Just as they approached the woods near the Shrieking Shack, Malfoy offered his hand to Harry, who rolled his eyes but accepted.
The two of them walked into the small grove, and Harry got more and more curious at each step.
Draco turned lefts and rights as if he knew the place like the back of his hands. Harry thought that was quite suspicious.
Soon enough, they arrived at a clearing, which had a small lake on its center, frozen because of the time of the year. Draco let go of Harry's hand, sitting near the shore. The dark-haired man followed suit, sitting by his side.
"This is our second date," Draco said, "do you have any questions?"
At that moment, Harry realized Draco didn't know much about dates. "Sure." He humored him. "Why did you bring me here?"
Draco merely shrugged. "It's pretty, it's near Hogwarts and I like it here. It is isolated, few know of its existence." He said. "Next question."
Harry laughed. "This is not a job interview. Relax."
Draco turned to Harry with a glare, the idea of a blush creeping on his face. "I am not nervous."
"Well, you certainly look like it," Harry smirked.
The two of them stood silent for a moment. Potter realized that Draco had no idea what to do. "Well, we have to get to know each other, don't we? People ask questions on dates." He said.
"Well, ok." He said. "Let's play twenty-one questions, then. I ask you twenty-one questions, you ask me twenty-one questions." Harry said.
He felt a little bad seeing Draco so disoriented and desperate. That was not the Malfoy he was used to.
He was used to the arrogant, sneering Malfoy. The smart, ambitious, dedicated Malfoy. He was even used to the regretful Malfoy. It was incredible, even, how a single person was able to have so many different sides.
"Ok, you can start." He said.
"How did you find this place?"
"I was meandering through Hogsmeade in the sixth year, looking for an isolated place where I could have some time for myself, you know... Have a break from all that was going on." He shrugged. "I ended up finding this place. It was a happy accident." He sighed, remembering everything that had happened to him during that year. It sucked. "My turn. Why you, the-boy-who-lived, is single? No one wanted you?"
"I dated Ginny for a while..." He said. "It took some time, but I realized we didn't... fit. There was also Cho. Once she got over Cedric and I broke up with Ginny, we hooked up some times. It also didn't work out. And I am not desperate to find someone, contrary to popular belief."
"Life is short, Potter." Said Draco. "I'm sure that you'll want someone in a couple of years."
"Malfoy, if it is meant t be, then it will be, that's what I think." He shrugged. "Now it is my turn. Was I your first option to get rid of Astoria?"
Draco shook his head. "No. My first option was Blaise, but he is dating someone. Pansy would be a good option, but that would not meet all of my expectations. I wanted to come out, too." He said. "Nobody would believe in me and Theo. Goyle... Well, Goyle wasn't even an option, I must admit."
Harry couldn't hold back a laugh. He wasn't able to imagine Malfoy and Goyle in a relationship. The idea was too comical for his brain to stand it.
"I have few friends, Potter. When Astoria decided to help me and said there was someone at work who wanted to set her friend up with someone, I accepted." He said, shrugging. "When I found out that the 'someone' was Granger, I thought the 'friend' would be you. As I said, I am in a situation in which I cannot be too picky."
"I hadn't connected the dots. I did not know you and Astoria were friends."
"It doesn't surprise me." He snorted. "My turn. Why did you accept it? It is not actually useful to you, no matter how many times I try to convince you otherwise."
Harry pursed his lips. He shrugged. "I didn't want to... I don't know. I... can't imagine how hard it must be to hide who you are from your parents, but I know it must be painful."
Draco was going to make a snarky comment, but he realized what those words meant. "I don't know how it must be to hide who you are from your parents since I don't have any." How Draco could make a joke after a blow like that?
"What's your biggest regret in life?" Harry asked, which made Draco roll his eyes. Now he wanted to be #deep? "Remember you can't lie to me."
"And you love that, don't you?" Draco sighed. "Either... Either having my father as a role model when I was little or... Or getting the Dark Mark. Anyway, do you like to be who you are, the-boy-who-lived, the Chosen One, the hero of the wizarding world and such?"
"Well, I must admit that I hate the attention, sometimes. I think I wouldn't wish this to my worst enemy." He said, shrugging. "So I think I have to just suck it up. What about you, do you like to be who you are?"
"I think no one really does." He said, looking at one of his covered arms. "What is your Patronus memory?"
"Wow, what a deep question, Malfoy. Didn't know you were so interested in me." He said. "It is my mom. The only memory I have of her. I don't even know if it's real." He smiled sadly. "What is yours?"
"Never had to cast one." He shrugged.
"Never had the curiosity?" Harry asked, making Draco furrow his brow.
"I have more things to do, Potter." He rolled his eyes. "What is your Patronus?"
"Suits you." He said. "I was reading about them the other day, Patronuses, I mean. From what I remember, the deer symbolizes some kind of internal balance—but I doubt that is your case, Potter. It can also mean that you are too judgemental." Draco said. "You choose one group to yourself and cast others away. You are a natural leader and has strong opinions."
"Don't you want to read my tea leaves as well?" Harry laughed, making Draco glare at him.
"I hated divination. That woman was crazy." He said. "Besides, it's not like it has some real basis."
Harry rolled his eyes. "What is your boggart?" He asked.
Draco turned to him, brows almost meeting his hairline. "Really? Well, I never found out. In our third year? Probably my father. Now, I'm not sure anymore. Is yours still a dementor?"
"Yeah. I thought it would change after the war, but it is still a dementor." Harry smiled. "What about your Patronus, what do you think it would be?" Harry asked. "No, better yet, do you want to find out what is your Patronus, I can teach you."
Draco stared at him for a couple of seconds. "It's not like I am desperate to find out, Potter. You are probably more excited than I am." He said. "What about we let that to our, I don't know, next date?"
"Oh, so I scored another date?" Harry asked, wiggling his brows "You do know what people say about third dates, right?"
"Wasn't it you who said you wouldn't fuck me, Potter?" Draco smiled maliciously. "Changed your mind?"
"I think it is quite funny you are so desperate to get into my pants. Is it some kind of repressed desire?" Harry laughed, making Draco laugh a little, as well.
Harry didn't expect that date to go so smoothly. He thought Draco would be more "professional", cold, direct. He got the blond acting like a normal person, instead.
That was interesting.
It was interesting because even though the war had ended, Harry and Draco couldn't spend a lot of time talking to the other without going at each other's throats. Sure, they didn't throw punches in the middle of the street as they used to in the corridors of Hogwarts—especially during their eight-year—but the venomous words were still there.
"When did you find out you were bi?" Draco asked.
"Forth year." Said Harry. "Triwizard Tournament. That was my gay ascension. You have no idea how big of a crush I had on..."
"Cedric?" Draco guessed. "Please, Potter, half of the school thought you were having an affair."
Harry was surprised. Really?
"As I was telling you, Potter, you are an open book." The blond said, rolling his eyes before the amazement of the other.
The dark-haired man decided to ignore that. "What about you, when did you find out you were gay?"
"Yeah? Who was it?"
"That doesn't matter. And I think I would like to keep private matters to myself, Potter. Privacy still exists in a relationship... Or at least it should." Draco said, crossing his arms. "My turn: you said you and Gina didn't work out, but what really made you two break up?"
"That doesn't concern you." Harry said, frowning.
"Oh, it seems I poured some salt in an open wound." Draco laughed. "It's because you can't get it up, right?"
"Why are you so obsessed with my sex life? Do you want to be a part of it?" Harry snorted.
"Yew, no. That was not in the contract."
"Not because you didn't want to." Harry laughed, glad Malfoy had forgotten about the question. "And even if it was, I would have taken it out. I don't want to do it with you. Who knows where your ass has been."
Malfoy lifted an eyebrow. "What are you insinuating?"
Harry simply sent him a mischievous smile. Draco decided to ignore that direct attack at his honor and simply rolled his eyes. "I don't want to play anymore, let's get out of here, it's way too cold."
"It was your idea, dumbass." Harry said, getting up.
"Well, I didn't expect it would be this cold!" He exclaimed, holding onto Harry's hand again.
That was weird. Even though they were wearing gloves, he could feel the coldness from Malfoy's hand. That was something he never imagined doing. It all seemed so wrong. Being there, holding hands with Draco Malfoy.
He felt the blond's hands trembling, and now he noticed that the other seemed to be cold.
Harry started taking off his coat when he realized what he was doing. Was he really giving a warm piece of clothing up to the strange creature beside him? Was he really giving his coat to Draco Malfoy?
Oh, screw it. He would give his coat to Draco. That was a date, wasn't it? At least the two of them wouldn't have to lie when someone asked for stories about their first dates, right?
"Ah, and when I was cold Harry gave me his coat. It was so romantic."
He felt like puking just from imagining Malfoy's voice saying those words, but he managed to hide it. The blond, seeing the coat that was being offered to him said nothing, just accepted it."
"What a waste." Draco mumbled after a sigh. "This beautiful place, with this romantic atmosphere and these questions would suit any other two better than us. What a waste of a lovely second date."
Yeah. What a waste of a lovely second date.