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Seeing Red...Well Ginger

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Draco accepted that he faced the risk of a lot of gingers when he went ‘round to Harry’s. Weasleys were simply part and parcel of being in Harry’s life, and while it was a steep price, it was one Draco was willing to pay. What Draco had not accepted, not come to terms with, and certainly not been consulted about, was the pile of ginger fur currently sitting on Harry’s kitchen counter.

Ginger hair was one thing. It came attached to freckly witches and wizards who, while they might be rather tiring at times, had their own damn homes to go back to. They left. Ginger fur, on the other hand, came attached to pets. Things that needed and demanded and, worst of all, shed.

The beast’s back twitched and Draco could see the little cloud of fur waft up into the air before settling on the kitchen counter around it. The place where Draco and Harry regularly put food. Not that the fur was the worst thing currently on that counter. The way the thing was sitting, it’s anus was certainly making contact with the counter. The creature didn’t have any sort of buttocks to act as buffer between where it produced waste and where Draco had made tea just that morning.

What the fuck had Harry been up to that day? Draco had only been out of the house for a standard eight hour workday. Harry was meant to be at work as well, fighting Dark wizards and making the wizarding world feel safe. When had he found the time to collect this...this...was it a common cat? Surely if Harry insisted on bringing some shedding, pooping, needy pet into his home he would chose something highly intelligent and completely magical. Even as Draco thought it, he knew that Harry would not buy a pedigree Kneazle. No, he would chose something mangy and neglected, possibly something no one else could love.

The cat, yes it was surely just a cat, finally turned to look at him where he stood planted in the doorway clutching a bag of groceries. It’s amber eyes bore into him, making him feel distinctly unwelcome in the house he slept in more often than his own. He resisted the urge to back out of the room. It was Harry’s house and Harry had given him a key. He bet furbag didn’t have a key. Yes, that was a ridiculous thought. Of course a cat didn’t have a key. Why was he challenging this cat as if it were a rival for Harry’s affection? Draco hadn’t felt this insecure in years.

From a cat.

Draco walked into the room and put his key in the dish on the bookshelf. He would normally have set his bag on the counter, but used the kitchen table instead to avoid spooking the cat. Amber eyes watched him rustle in the bag and then take the biscuits, tea, and jars of jam to their respective cabinets. There. No problem at all. The cat just sat there like a stuffed animal not causing any trouble at all. Draco had nothing to worry about.

Maybe he and the cat could even get on. Granger seemed to enjoy her feline, so perhaps there was something to them. The purring was supposed to be soothing, right? And some of them were definitely cute. The large ginger cat blinked at him. Well, some were cute. This thing looked like the cat version of Goyle, but with Weasley’s colouring. Not really something that screamed cute.

Footsteps announced Harry’s arrival before he entered. He was dressed in an old t-shirt and flannel bottoms that were frayed where his heels stepped on the hem. His damp hair explained his absence from the kitchen when Draco first arrived, although Harry usually was showered and making drinks by the time Draco got off work. Harry’s greeting was cursory--his kiss barely making contact with Draco’s skin--before he started on about the cat.

“Isn’t he handsome?” Harry hurried over to the counter where the furbag had come alive and was now reaching toward Harry with its nose until Harry scooped him up. The cat nuzzled his face against Harry’s jaw and neck. “We found him in a warehouse during a raid. Poor thing was being kept by some bad people doing bad things.”

Draco suspected the cat didn’t care what a person did so long as said person supplied food. It certainly didn’t look like it had ever missed a meal.

“But that’s not your fault, is it, baby? No it’s not, you poor thing.”

Draco realised that Harry was no longer addressing him. In fact, he wondered if Harry remembered he was in the room at all as Harry and the cat rubbed their faces together. Draco bit back the urge to tell them to get a room. Draco knew full well that Harry didn’t find jealousy becoming, and the fact that it was a cat wasn’t likely to change that. Best to play nice.

“Have you decided on a name?” There. Draco would show interest. Be the bigger pers--species.

Harry was holding the cat with one arm while stroking it with the other. “Not yet. I want to pick something just right. Will you help me?”

There were those big green eyes that cast Imperio on Draco every time.

“Of course, Harry.” Of course. Draco would be happy to name his competition. How about Homewrecker? Love Thief? Or just stick with Furbag? “How about Rufus? It means red-haired. Or in this case, red-furred.”

“Rufus.” Harry said it slowly like he was trying it out. “I like it.” He stopped using his hand to stroke the spoiled beast and pulled Draco into a one-armed hug instead. Draco ended up pressed against the newly named Rufus, who looked distinctly unimpressed with their new proximity. He and Draco both. At least he didn’t scratch Draco’s eyes out. Draco could work with that.