“It goes this way!”
“No it doesn’t!” Harry insisted.
“I swear to god, if you tie this lopsided, I am going to murder you in your sleep, Harry Potter,” Ginny said and stuck her chin up.
Harry’s fingers fumbled at the bow tie around Ginny’s neck, bending his knees awkwardly to try and tie it properly under her chin.
“You should have just gotten a clip on,” Harry grumbled, untying it yet again.
“You know clip-ons are cheap! This is a serious event.” Ginny flicked her ponytail back and jutted her chin out the other way.
Harry sighed and stood up straight, leaving the bow tie hanging around her neck. Ginny sniffed and pushed him out of the way so she could see in the mirror.
“I just wish I could-” Ginny yanked at the tie, pulling it completely out of the half knot Harry had managed to get it in, “-do this properly!”
“I could get Draco,” Harry offered, already moving towards the door.
“No!” Ginny snapped. “It’s his party. He’ll give me that side eye and sigh.”
Harry folded his arms across his chest and grinned. “The sigh will be directed at me, you know.”
“As it should be,” Ginny glared at her reflection. “His own boyfriend can’t tie a bow tie.”
“Hey!” Harry said. “Neither can you!”
“Yes, well, I have an excuse,” Ginny said.
“And what is that?”
“Historically, women’s clothes were done up by servants, and so the buttons were on the opposite sides as men’s. Because the men dressed themselves, of course. The buttons never changed sides, even though servants stopped dressing them. So! I’m accustomed to doing things on the opposite side, which means I can’t tie a bow tie because it is traditionally made for men!” Ginny said.
“Is that even how bow ties work?” Harry asked, bewildered.
“Can I please get Draco?” Harry whined. “It’s not even really his party. It’s for you!”
“Harry.” Ginny turned away from the mirror to face him. “Draco is throwing the party, which makes it his party.”
“But he’s throwing it because you made the Holyhead Harpies, so it’s for you…” Harry said slowly.
“Ugh. You men never understand anything,” Ginny said exasperatedly. “Go get Draco.”
Harry heaved a sigh of relief and bolted out of the room to fetch Draco.
When he re-entered the guest room that Ginny was occupying, Harry was being towed along by the one and only Draco Malfoy, who was dressed in a full set of formal wizarding robes. Harry was bright red and muttering under his breath at Draco who was scolding him for not being able to tie a bow tie correctly.
“It’s simple etiquette, Potter” Draco was saying as he strode over to Ginny.
“You look marvelous, Ginevra,” Draco turned away from Harry. His previous look of teasing irritation was quickly replaced with a beaming smile as he faced her. “Your choice of androgynous robes and a bow tie? Exquisite! You truly know how to pull yourself together.” He shot a glare at Harry, who shrugged guiltily.
Draco swiftly tied the bow tie around Ginny’s neck and placed his hands on her shoulders, leaning back to look at her.
Ginny turned away and looked back in the mirror. She grinned at Draco’s reflection. “Perfect.”
Draco smiled back and Ginny kissed him swiftly on the cheek before stalking out of the room with a jaunt in her step.
“She’s insufferable sometimes,” Harry muttered after she left.
Draco turned, his face softening. “So are you.”
“And you,” Harry said.
He was only teasing, but Draco could see the tense set in Harry’s spine and posture. Harry had never been much for parties.
“Hey,” Draco said and pulled Harry close to him.
Draco smoothed his hands over Harry’s shoulders before cupping his hands on the sides of Harry’s neck. The tips of his fingers brushed carefully against the tips and curls of dark hair at the nape of Harry’s neck, and Harry sighed, shifting towards Draco’s touch.
“It’ll be fun,” Draco smiled. “And you can leave if it’s not.”
Harry closed his eyes. “You’re throwing this party in our flat. I can’t leave.”
Draco leaned to rest his forehead on Harry’s shoulder. “I’ll set up wards around our room, and you can stay there anytime you’d like.”
Harry lifted his hand up to the back of Draco’s head. “No, I’ll be here. I want to have fun. With you.” Draco kissed Harry’s collarbone. “If it gets to be too much, I’ll just find you.”
“You won’t have to find me,” Draco said.
“I’ll be by your side the whole time.” Draco lifted his head up to see the smile resting on Harry’s face.
Harry rolled his eyes and took a deep breath, and then wrapped his arms around Draco. “Then let’s do this.”
“Wait,” Draco stopped him before he could go. “Just one more thing.”
Draco pulled out his wand with a swish and conjured an untied bow tie.
“If you’re about to teach me how to tie a bow tie as a loving gesture-” Harry warned.
“Relax,” Draco rolled his eyes and plucked the ribbon from the air and wrapping it graciously around Harry’s neck. “I was just adding a final touch.”