Making it through the second week had been difficult for Harry. Besides missing Draco terribly, Professor Knox always seemed to have something he needed to discuss with him. If he wasn’t complaining about Casper Montague, he was asking Harry for advice on books to read, or gossiping about the other professors. Harry tried to tune him out most of the time, but he wished he’d paid more attention when he talked about Flitwick. If he had, he wouldn’t have been completely taken by surprise when McGonagall made her announcement.
“Everyone! Everyone!” McGonagall stood at the podium during Thursday evening’s supper and addressed the staff and students. “I have an announcement to make.”
The room hushed, and Harry got a sinking feeling in his stomach when Knox smiled and winked at him.
“As some of you may have known, Professor Flitwick had intended to retire at the end of this term.”
Murmurs were heard throughout the hall. It wasn’t a great secret, but there was never any official notification. Harry suspected many of the students didn’t know about it.
“However,” she continued. “Professor Flitwick has elected to end his tenure upon Christmas break.”
Harry turned to Filius. “When did this happen?”
“Well, Harry, I’m not getting any younger,” Flitwick answered. “I’d like to do some traveling. Maybe even to America. It just seemed like a good time.”
Narrowing his eyes, Harry directed his attention toward Knox, who was beaming up at McGonagall as she pressed on.
“Fortunately, we already have someone to fill his position here at Hogwarts. May I present the new Charms professor, Professor Knox.”
She turned and urged him to stand while the students and staff applauded. Harry joined in, half-heartedly. It all seemed very suspect to him that Filius decided to retire early, and Knox happened to be ready to fill his spot. And it was all the more suspect by Flitwick’s remark about going to America, of all places.
Not that Knox had really done anything wrong. He was personable. Most of the students liked him. With the exception of Montague, Harry supposed. And he’d never truly made any overtures toward Harry. Harry couldn’t point to a specific reason the man shouldn’t take over the Charms classes.
Of course, there was the bit about Knox’s criticism of the way Draco dealt with Casper in Potions. Again, Harry couldn’t actually find fault in that. He sighed. Well, there were worse people McGonagall could have chosen.
After the meal, Harry congratulated Knox on his appointment. Rather than continue on to his own second floor temporary quarters, Knox paused at Harry’s door with him.
“So, it looks like we’ll be true colleagues, then,” Knox said awkwardly.
“Uh, yeah.” Harry wasn’t sure where Knox was going with his conversation.
“I was just wondering, do you think I’ll be able to keep the quarters I have now rather than moving up to Flitwick’s? I mean, it doesn’t seem to make sense that the Charms class room is on the second floor, but the office is on the seventh.”
Frowning, Harry had to agree. “True. But Flitwick’s quarters are very nice. Actually, I always thought it was ironic that the smallest professor had one of the biggest suites. You might want to reconsider.”
“But I like the second floor.”
“I suppose it is more convenient,” Harry conceded. “You should probably talk to Minerva.”
“I will, thanks.” Knox stood a moment longer, then walked down the hall to his room.
Harry gave the password and entered his room. Just one more night, then Draco would be back. Though they spoke through the floo network most days, it wasn’t the same. And maybe, once he’d seen Harry and Draco together, Knox would stop making subtle comments and gestures designed to engender Harry’s affection.
Knox could try all he wanted, Harry thought. Draco was the only man for him.
Harry restrained himself for as long as he could after removing the wards from the entrance gate. The moment Draco crossed the threshold, Harry replaced the wards and rushed at him. Taking Draco by surprise, he nearly knocked the Slytherin over, hugging him.
“You act like you missed me or something,” Draco smirked.
“Terribly,” Harry whispered in his ear. “I can’t wait to get you back to my room.”
“Hmm, and what will McGonagall say about that?” Draco couldn’t keep the grin from his face.
Harry picked up one of Draco’s bags while he picked up the other, and they began to walk to the castle entrance.
“Nothing,” Harry said as they walked.
“McGonagall will say nothing,” Harry told him. “I’ve got us covered. For the weekend anyway.”
“How do you mean?” Draco questioned.
“The new bloke is sort of ‘on call’. After I thought about it a while, it made sense that maybe the professors should take turns being on duty for the weekends.”
“That’s brilliant,” commented Draco. “And the other professors went for it?”
“With all of us taking turns, we’ll only each have duty every twelve weekends. Madam Pince and Madam Pomfrey won’t take duty. Neither will Filch, obviously.”
The two laughed about Filch.
“Could you imagine if he was in charge of students?” Harry asked.
Draco shook his head. “That’s a frightening thought. Even as an adult.” He paused. “So, we have the night all to ourselves?”
Wriggling his eyebrows, Harry answered, “And I haven’t wanked in a week.”
They approached Harry’s door, and he gave the password.
Draco brushed past him as he walked in. “Then this is going to be one quick reunion,” he joked. “I haven’t wanked in two.”
Within minutes, Harry had Draco stripped down to a pair of Slytherin green pants, pinned beneath him on the bed. Rutting against one another like a pair of randy teens, they barely had time to snog before Harry was reaching for the lube and spreading it sloppily over his arse. Without using fingers for prep, Draco entered Harry.
“Oh, fuck. It feels like ages since we did this,” Harry groaned.
Chuckling between grunts and thrusts, Draco replied, “Considering that we fucked every few hours that weekend before I left, it has been ages.”
Harry tugged furiously at his cock while Draco pounded him. In an embarrassingly speedy manner, both men came, and collapsed in a sweaty heap.
“I’m sorry,” Harry said, out of breath. “That was so fucking fast. I couldn’t help myself.”
“Who’s complaining? I came when you did.” Draco kissed him, his heart rate finally slowing down. “It’ll last longer next time ‘round,” he grinned.
“Oh, are we trying again for that record?”
Harry drew gentle circles over Draco’s back as they lay together. He knew he missed his lover, but he hadn’t realized exactly how much until he was back. Grateful it was only Friday, Harry planned on not letting Draco out of his sight the entire weekend. Or possibly the rest of his life.
“How is your mother?” Harry broke the comfortable silence.
“Much better. Her leg is completely healed. Rather than setting it, the healers removed the broken bone and grew a new one. It was quite painful, but better in the long run.”
“And her head?”
“She still gets occasional headaches, but that’s to be expected. She’ll go back to St. Mungo’s in another week to have herself checked out. Should be good as new,” Draco said cheerfully.
Hesitating, but unable to control the Auror in him, Harry had to ask, “Draco, has there been an investigation into the accident?”
“Mother couldn’t really remember much. It seemed pointless to bring it to the Aurors.”
“What? You think we should have?” “How likely is it that your mother merely fell? She doesn’t strike me as particularly clumsy. In fact, just the opposite.”
“Stop playing Auror,” Draco smirked.
Sitting up, Harry said, “I was thinking . . . maybe I could give Ron a call. He doesn’t have to make it an official case. At least, not until he finds something.”
“And Weasley is going to do this out of the goodness of his heart?”
“Well, no. But he’ll do it for his best friend’s boyfriend,” Harry grinned. “Please. It’s worth a look. If it wasn’t an accident . . .”
“What are you saying? Do you really think my mother is in danger?”
“I don’t know Draco. But it’s a possibility.”
Draco frowned. He’d been willing to write it off as an accident. His mother was getting older, and it was plausible that she could have simply lost her footing. But now Harry was putting ideas into his head.
“I didn’t mean to worry you. It’s probably nothing.” He paused. “Let me talk to Ron, just in case.”
“All right,” Draco relented. He acted as though he was doing Harry a favor, but truthfully, he was glad. His mother had made light of the situation, however, in the back of Draco’s mind, he had doubts.
The following morning, Harry and Draco were awakened by a tapping at Harry’s door. They tried to ignore it, seeing as neither of them were on duty. But the knocking persisted.
Harry groaned. Lack of sleep the night prior left him groggy.
“Go away,” Draco mumbled into his pillow.
“I’d better get that. It may be McGonagall again,” Harry said, dragging himself out of bed and throwing on a pair of pajama bottoms.
Draco peered up at him as he walked out of the bedroom and giggled. One side of Harry’s hair was plastered to his head, most likely with dried cum.
Good, he thought to himself. I hope whoever it is figures out what’s in Harry’s hair and realizes they’re interrupting two weeks worth of shagging in two days.
Harry swung the bedroom door closed behind him, just in case.
Opening the door, Harry stood in disbelief. “Seriously?” he asked.
“Sorry for the early morning call,” Knox said. “But I had a question about the day’s detentions.”
“And you couldn’t think of anyone else to ask?” Harry grumbled.
“Well, um, I thought because we were getting so, um, friendly that you would be the best person to ask.”
Harry sighed heavily. “I’m sorry. You’re right. Some of the other professors can be a bit intimidating. What’s the problem?”
Knox held out a list to Harry. “I have a list of students. Well, it’s only two really. But I don’t know what to do with them. It doesn’t say.”
Harry laughed. “Whoever heads up detention decides the punishment.”
“Really? Like what?”
“Well, McGonagall likes to make students write essays on what they did wrong and why, and what lessons they learned. One time, when I was a student, I had to clean out Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom. Without magic.”
“Oh, there are worse things as punishments,” Harry chuckled. “But, why don’t you simply have them write essays? It’ll be easier on you. You can even take them to your office and get some work done.”
“Oh, okay. I’ll do that,” Knox smiled genuinely. “Thanks loads.”
Harry’s bedroom door opened suddenly, and Draco spilled out wearing the bed sheet wrapped around his waist. He’d been trying to listen through the door and couldn’t hear everything clearly. He could tell it wasn’t McGonagall, though, and decided the visitor had overstayed his welcome.
“So, you’re the new bloke,” Draco said.
“Draco this is Knox. Knox, this is---”
“Knox? Knox?” Draco asked incredulously. “I thought you went to America or wherever.”
“Wait, you know each other?”
Knox stood sheepishly, avoiding Harry gaze.
“Knew,” Draco said. “He’s my father’s second cousin or something like that. Or is it third cousin?”
Turning to Harry, Knox explained, “Draco’s great grandmother and mine were sisters. Our grandfathers were cousins. And so on. You get the picture.”
“Why didn’t you mention that you were related to Draco? Or that you at least knew him?”
“We haven’t seen each other in years,” Draco said, looking the other man up and down, in a contemptuous manner. “Since we were, what twelve and fourteen, when his family moved away.”
“We saw one another occasionally at family gatherings--weddings, funerals, matriarchal birthday parties,” Knox added.
Harry looked between the two. “I take it, you didn’t care much for each other.”
“Hmmph.” Harry wasn’t at all certain which one of them made the noise.
“What was the problem?” Harry asked.
Knox laughed it off. “Oh, just some good old fashioned rivalry.”
“In your dreams,” Draco scoffed. “You were hardly my rival.”
Knox smirked. “Oh, yes, that’s right, Harry was your rival.”
Draco’s smug expression dropped. He didn’t need to be reminded of how he and Harry had fought against one another. Fortunately, Harry stepped in.
“That’s all in the past. And hopefully, the two of you can put your past behind you as well.”
The other two men glared at each other a moment. Feeling the need to gain the upper hand, Draco moved closer to Harry and picked at his hair.
“Well, clearly you’ve interrupted. And we need to bathe now.” He leaned and kissed the side of Harry’s neck, never taking his eyes off Knox’s. He wanted to make it quite clear that Harry was his, and his alone.
“Right,” Knox looked away. “Thanks Harry. I’ll take your advice. I’ve got to get off to detention duty anyway.”
Trying to smooth things over, Harry called out, “No problem. I’m happy to help.”
Draco slammed the door shut.
“What?” Harry asked.
“You’re happy to help?”
“He is a new professor. We should all be working together---”
“Are you bloody blind?”
“What do you mean?” Harry questioned, but he couldn’t hide his discomfort with the situation.
“You know what I mean. He’s after you. Surely you’ve picked up on that.”
“He simply had a question about detention duty,” Harry brushed it off.
“And how many other times has he shown up at your quarters for questions?”
“Draco, haven’t I proven that I want you? Even if Knox does have a little crush on me, it doesn’t matter. It’s you I want to be with.”
“So, you admit you know he wants you.”
“He’s never made a move on me. I swear,” Harry promised. “I figured if I ignored it, eventually he would lose interest.”
Pulling Harry close, Draco said softly, “Once you get under someone’s skin, you’re pretty hard to shake loose. Believe me, I know. I spent years thinking you hated me, and it didn’t lessen my feelings for you.”
Harry opened his mouth to speak, but Draco interrupted.
“I’ll fight for you, with everything I have.”
“You won’t need to,” Harry assured him. “I love you. Nobody is going to take me away from you.”