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Burn the Curtains and the Wine

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He expects the sand. He's in the fucking desert, after all.

What Harry doesn't expect is the swift kick to his gut that follows. His opponent takes advantage of Harry's sudden loss of vision, the man's right leg whipping out in an arc as he springs from where he's crouched beyond the gusting sand. It's enough to knock Harry on his arse, and probably would have done a lot worse if it wasn't for Harry's hastily cast Protego.

Harry scrambles onto his elbows, eyes stinging as he scuttles across the scorched earth like some deranged crab.

"Arresto Momentum!" he shouts into the swirling sandstorm before him. The dust hovers as if caught between the push of the diminishing winds and the pull of gravity. It's still too thick for Harry to bare his lungs to the onslaught of dust and debris without the protection of the bandana he's using to cover his mouth, but it's thinned enough for Harry to cast a powerful Eradication Spell, and he can't help but feel a bit smug when the particles of sand disintegrate in front of him and his adversary mutters an audible oath.

Serves him right. Harry will admit that conjuring the sandstorm was a brilliant tactic, but the 540 kick that followed was an absolute willy waver. The bloody fucker.

Harry will absolutely deny any grudging admiration for an assassin who works for an organisation as despicable as Sang Pur, but there's no denying the excitement that courses through him when his opponent launches himself at Harry. Harry feels the weight of the impact as the wind gets knocked out of him once more, and he twists to the right, narrowly escaping a hit to the crown jewels.

They roll as they trade jabs, his adversary refusing to go pliant even after Harry lands a particularly well-aimed punch to the man's lower jaw that, while seeming to temporarily stun the man, would have left anyone else insensible. Harry takes advantage of the distraction, pinning the man's arms overhead and reaching for his opponent's wand, but then the man bucks up with his hips, his powerful thighs tensing as he throws Harry off. The shift of power is done so quickly that Harry's surprise must show in his eyes, for as the man straddles Harry and nudges the sharp end of his knee against Harry's balls his lips curl into a triumphant smirk.

Warmth floods through Harry—from his embarrassment, as well as something else stirring in his belly. It's a heat that nearly matches that of the fire crater lying less than a hundred feet away, blazing angrily as it spits bubbles of molten rock into the air. A fist catches the corner of Harry's mouth, and he tastes the tang of copper that oozes from his lips. The man seems to have forgone his fancy wandwork for brute force, and Harry grins as he feels his adrenaline surge in response.

Harry knows that the Tekes have nicknamed this place 'The Door to Hell', but at this very moment, he's never felt more alive.



Three years ago

Harry stares out at the wall in front of him. There's a divot in the plaster where the paint changes from a dingy, minty green to celery, or maybe it's just his hazy vision. He blinks, and the pain that's seared across his backside comes back into focus.

He’s always known his recklessness would be his undoing.

“Is that the best you’ve got?” Harry grits out.

He flinches as a palm cracks across his bare buttocks, his muscles flaming in its wake. Harry pushes up onto his elbows and arches his back, choking back a whimper as his body reacts to Draco’s touch.

He feels rather than hears Draco’s shuddering breath, the puff of air making his toes curl. It slides across his shoulders then disappears until there's nothing, nothing except silence and the cramping in Harry's fingers from gripping the sheets, the stiff, cheap linen folding under the pressure like a paper accordion. He's about to let loose with several choice expletives when Draco steadies the sides of Harry's arse.

Draco fingers dig into the reddened flesh, his nails surely leaving crescent-shaped calling cards as he kneads and then prises the cheeks apart.

“I’m going to wreck you, Potter,” Draco rasps. He slides the pad of his thumb between Harry’s arse cheeks, the path already slicked with sweat, until it's pressing against the sensitive rim of Harry's arsehole. It’s teasing, maddening, the blunt insistence capped by the hint of nail, and Harry finds himself leaning back, chasing the feeling.

“Get on with it,” Harry grunts, as Draco lets out an infuriating chuckle.

“So impatient," Draco admonishes, his breath catching. "Is Krum not doing it for you?”

Harry lowers his head onto the pillow, the weight of his body shifting onto his elbows and shoulders as he rolls his eyes. He and Viktor are co-workers and close friends but nothing more, despite what Draco or the media might think. Even if Harry and Viktor were a couple, he’s not sure why Draco would care, anyway. It's not like they're even friends-with-benefits. They’re more like former-enemies-who-are-now-almost-civil-acquaintances-with-benefits, and it doesn’t explain the petulant and possessive tone that underlies Draco’s snide remark.

Any further efforts to suss out the source of Draco’s irritation are shut down when Draco replaces his finger with the tip of his prick. Harry hears Draco’s satisfied hum as he rubs his slippery cockhead along Harry’s sensitive, swollen hole. It’s followed by a bright burst of pain as it pushes against the ring of muscle; Harry presses back, fighting his body’s instinct to resist, eventually surrendering to the sweet burn as Draco slides in, and Harry lets out a long and throaty groan.

“Fuck, you feel so good,” Draco moans as he sinks in further, his perfectly manicured nails leaving their mark.

The admission threatens to unravel something inside of Harry. “Less talking and more fucking,” Harry grunts. “Unless you’re not up to—”

His next words are knocked out of his throat as Draco draws back, then slams into Harry with such force that Harry feels it all the way up to his chest. Draco grinds against him, the angular bones of his hips bruising Harry’s arse as he settles the weight of his palm between Harry’s shoulder blades to push Harry down. Harry can feel his pulse quicken as he fights against the urge to escape the pressure of Draco’s competent hand, the harsh smell of the utilitarian detergent from the pillowcase filling Harry's nose and mouth.

“You were saying?” Draco smirks. He may have returned to England chastised and repentant, relegated to some menial desk job within the Department of Transportation, but he's still a right tosser, even though he’s admittedly more fit than ever.

Still, even though Draco's words are lighthearted, there's an edge to his voice—a slight uptick at the end of the sentence—that makes Harry think Draco’s control is slipping.

Harry clenches his arse, the muscles squeezing around Draco's cock. He hears Draco’s whimper, and a part of Harry fills with a smug satisfaction at the sound. He knows how good his arse looks, how the years of training and fucking accentuate the dips and curves of his backside in all the right places. He’s close to coming himself, his own cock an angry red, its tip weeping from being mercilessly teased. He could come with just a brush of his cockhead against the sheets, but he won’t—won’t do it first, can't think of giving Draco that satisfaction, not when they’ve been playing this game for the past hour.

For months, really.

And then Draco leans over, the planes of his surprisingly toned chest sliding against the sweat of Harry's back as his breath lingers hot against Harry’s ear.

“You should see yourself, Potter. So fucking desperate for it, like you can’t get enough. You can’t, can you? The Ministry's Golden Boy, begging for cock, holed up in some filthy room far away from the paparazzi, your friends…from Krum. Just for the pure pleasure of fucking yourself on my dick.” Draco shifts, the change in his position causing Harry to gasp as a bolt of fire-hot pleasure lances through him. Draco digs his fingers into the sides of Harry’s hips hard, hard enough to bruise, and begins to pound into him mercilessly. His hips snap jackrabbit fast, his words stilted as he grunts. “You’re going to come like this, come on just my cock and nothing else. Because nothing makes you feel like this…no one fills your arse better." The sound of slapping skin echoes through the room, and Harry hears the hoarseness in Draco's voice as his own arms begin to falter under the strain. "You were made for me, Potter; made to take me, take my cock. Merlin, you should see yourself, you greedy fuck—"

Harry howls, his vision whiting out as his orgasm punches through him, his abdominal muscles clenching and thighs juddering as he comes untouched, his dick twitching as it pumps his release. He swears it’s because the head of Draco’s cock rubs repeatedly against his prostate, the drag against the sensitive gland merciless until Harry's nearly begging for relief, that Harry thinks this is one of the best fucks ever.

It's not because of Draco’s words, or the fact that Draco's tone turns almost reverent, that Harry's mind drifts towards something alarmingly like bliss. It’s only because Harry hasn’t been fucked in weeks that he never wants this moment to stop, and definitely not because of the way that Draco groans when he finally comes, or the way he falls forward and wraps an arm around Harry's chest as if he doesn’t want to let go. It's because Harry's wrung out that he savours the last moments they're connected, even as Draco's movements slow and his cock softens, spunk and lube dribbling out between them.

It’s possible that Harry passes out. Eventually, it's the sound of Draco's boots thumping against the floor that causes Harry to rouse.

Harry blinks as Draco slides the boots over his socked feet.

“You're going…?” He turns and throws his arm out towards the nightstand, hand reaching blindly as he frowns. Bloody hell, where are his glasses?

Draco makes quick work of his laces. He’s nearly fully dressed, looking almost too well put together for one-thirty in the morning, except that his hair is mussed, cheeks faintly pink, and lips kiss-bitten.

“I have to be up at six. Some of us actually have to work for a living." Draco's mouth is set in a straight line, but his voice sounds almost fond as he watches Harry fumble around in the bed covers. “You know, there is such a thing as an Accio,” he adds as he hands Harry his glasses.

“Why, when I have you to do my bidding?” Harry says with a snort. He sits up and puts on his glasses just in time to catch Draco glancing at Harry’s chest, his eyes lowering to Harry’s stomach before settling on the soft outline of Harry's cock.

“Don’t push it, Potter. You're not that charming, despite your delectable arse. Speaking of which, ta for the fuck. Perhaps one day, you'll actually outlast me.”

Draco opens the door with a wicked grin then exits, the trolleyed patrons of the White Wyvern audible in the background as Harry flips him the bird.



Two years ago

Harry doesn’t care that people are blatantly staring as he strides into the waiting room, or that every single one of the white plastic chairs that fill its interior are occupied by bored teenage wizards and their frustrated parents. He banks a hard right and heads down the hall as the frazzled edges of his control sputter and fail.

“Out!” he barks as he throws open the door, causing the room's two occupants to sit up with a jolt.

One of them recovers more quickly than the other.

“I hadn't realised you were my two o’clock, Potter," Draco drawls, eyeing Harry disapprovingly. Harry knows he looks less than presentable; his hair hasn't seen a comb in days, his clothes are stained and tattered, and his face is probably as dark as his mood. "Though I hope you're not here to take a picture for your licence. Mrs Honeycut is notorious for capturing even the smallest of flaws, even without your attempts at appearing utterly dreadful."

The wizard who sits across from Draco sniggers. Harry throws him a baleful glare and hisses. He wonders if he might retain his talent for Parseltongue, because it doesn’t take much more before the young man is up on his feet, hastily grabbing his files before scurrying out.

“Now look here, you can’t just barge in whenever you feel…” Draco’s eyes widen, his words trailing off as Harry begins to tremble. “Merlin, Harry, what’s wrong?” he asks, standing.

The Coburg catastrophe, or the Coburg cock-up were some of the kinder phrases being thrown in Harry's face. The ones said behind closed doors were a thousand times worse. Regardless, there's no question it was a fuck-up of monumental proportions.

“I…” Harry squeezes his eyes tightly. He needs to get this out, to be able to unburden his abject feeling of failure, and takes a gulping breath as his guilt and anguish burst through. “There was a problem at work. A…mixup with the schedule, and nothing was in its proper place. Things weren't where they were supposed to be, and I let everyone down.” He grinds his teeth in frustration at the inadequacy of his words, limited by what he can say, and torn by what he wants to.

“Did the Kestrals and the Bats end up in the same hotel after last week’s kerfuffle?" Draco asks as Harry buries his face in his hands. "I swear, there are some days I don’t pity you. Quidditch players are the worse divas imaginable.”

“Draco…” Harry says impatiently. His magic is pushing out at the edges, and the last thing he wants to be doing is talking about the Kestrals or the bloody Bats when the baubles on Draco’s desk are, and everything else around them is, in danger of shattering.

Draco cocks a brow. “Considering you neglected to point out the hypocrisy of my statement, you’re definitely in bad shape.” He removes his wand from the lining of his sleeve and flicks it towards the door, muttering a Locking Spell. “What do you want?” he asks, replacing his wand as he walks towards Harry.

“I want…” A shudder runs through Harry’s entire body as Draco cups his face, their foreheads touching. “I need you,” he whispers.

“Mmmm,” Draco says. He pushes away a strand of Harry's hair from where it’s plastered against Harry’s cheek, then licks a long, slow path along the side of Harry’s neck to his ear. “You’re sexy when you’re all growly and out of sorts, you know.”

Harry braces himself to be teased some more, but Draco is nothing if not surprising. Harry’s fists clench as Draco tilts his face and gives him a saucy grin before running his hands along the length of Harry’s back. His palms skim the sides of Harry's waist, working their way down Harry's hips, to the backs of Harry's thighs, until Draco follows their trail and falls to his knees.

Harry’s cock stirs as Draco's touch finally kindles something beneath the desperation that's been gutting him for the past several hours. It burns away some of the wretched misery, leaving him vulnerable and bare.

“Please,” Harry begs, his voice breaking. Draco loosens Harry’s flies then pushes Harry's trousers and pants down in one go until they sit rucked around Harry’s thighs, just low enough to free Harry's dick. Draco takes Harry's rapidly hardening cock in hand, his mouth parting as his tongue swirls roughly along the flushed head. He looks beautiful on his knees with his lips slick with spit, his grey eyes dark as he looks at Harry from beneath his pale lashes, unable to suppress the small, needy sounds that emerge from his mouth.

"Fuck, Draco," Harry groans as Draco wraps his pretty lips around Harry's cockhead and swallows him down, precome and saliva coating the shaft as Draco tongues it like an ice lolly. Harry threads his fingers through Draco's hair and gently tugs, the soft and silky strands so different from Draco's sharp personality and the razor-tipped barbs that often leave his mouth.

Harry gives in to the pleasure. He allows his mind to be blissfully blank, wishing to be free from his anger and pain, to live for just this moment. He grasps the shaft of his cock and pushes it deeper into Draco's mouth. It's more of a demand than a request, and he's lucky it's not met with teeth.

It's bliss, then, when Draco redoubles his efforts and Harry sinks further into the wet heat of Draco's mouth. Merlin knows where Draco learned his technique—not that Harry minds, or particularly cares, as long as he's the beneficiary of it.

Yet a small part of him whispers that he does care. That even though this…relationship between them is some undefined, temporary thing, and Harry could always find another mouth or hole to fuck, it wouldn't be the same. Because it wouldn't be Draco.

Draco must sense that Harry's mind is wandering. He stops to grab Harry's hand, gently squeezing Harry's fingers as if to ask for more, then swallows him down until Harry's prick hits the back of his throat.

Draco's eyes grow wet as his face flushes bright from the effort. It's the unmistakable, choking sound that does it; Harry's hips snap as he gives in to his most base needs, fucking into Draco's mouth, faster and harder.

When Harry comes it's with a roar so loud he swears it can be heard on the next floor. Draco remains on his knees, face tear-stained as he swallows every drop. It's only when Harry's legs threaten to buckle that Draco stands, picking up a napkin from his desk as he rises to delicately wipe at his mouth.

"Sorry about that," Harry manages once his blood has rerouted to his brain. He tucks himself back into his trousers, and the realisation that he might have exposed their romantic entanglement with his more-than-enthusiastic vocal performance gives him pause. "I, erm…I could always cast a couple Obliviates on your co-workers," he jokes weakly.

Draco straightens out the cuffs of his shirt. "It's nice to know that even the Saviour isn't beyond employing unscrupulous methods to achieve the greater good. Luckily, I had the foresight to cast a Muffliato. My reputation—and yours—remains intact."

Harry hesitates, his finger hovering over the button of his jeans. "You did?" he asks, brows furrowing. He certainly hadn't given Draco any warning when he barged into the office. A quick glance shows that Draco's wand remains where he usually keeps it, in the halfway-opened drawer of his desk. Perhaps Harry got carried away more than he thought.

"I did." Draco's face is a faint shade of pink, the loose strands of hair surrounding his face like a debauched halo. His breathing is too quick, and there's a noticeable bulge in the front of his trousers.

"I…" Harry glances at the round, Muggle wall clock that's a familiar staple in every Ministry office. "I could take care of that for you," he offers, looking pointedly at the generous outline of Draco's cock.

Draco's cheeks pink further. "I don't know if you've noticed, but I have a line of angry would-be-Apparitionists outside my door. I'd like to make it to lunch some time before tomorrow."

Harry's both disappointed and glad at Draco's refusal. Anthony and Hermione are waiting for him, and with everything that's happened today, he's not sure if he can put them off for much longer.



Sixteen months ago

"Harry." Draco manages to look both apologetic and pissed off when he sees Harry standing outside the door to his flat. "You can't just barge in any time you feel like it. I'm busy."

Harry grips the box in his hand. It took him forever to track down a bottle of Draco's favourite champagne. "It's Wednesday evening."

Draco rolls his eyes. "Yes, Merlin forbid I have any kind of a social life."

"Oh," Harry says, deflated. If he strains, he can hear the sound of muted laughter along with clinking dishes coming from the next room. His cheeks heat as a heavy weight settles in his chest. "My apologies, I didn't realise you had company. Erm…here." He shoves the box with its wrappings at Draco, whose eyes grow large as his mouth drops in protest.

"What is this?"

"You mentioned this was your favourite. When we were arguing about the best drinks."

"Harry, did you get me a '95 Clos D'Ambonnay? It costs nearly £3,500!"

Harry winces. "I know."

Draco cradles the box carefully, his eyes hooded in thought. "Not that I'm not exceedingly grateful, but whatever for?"

"It's our anniversary," Harry says. "That is, it's been two years since we…well, since we started…" Harry's voice trails off; he never knows what to label what they have, or what they are. Things just happened, and then things continued to happen.

"Fucking?" Draco finishes the thought slowly, arching a brow. "Oh, Harry. Hold on." He holds up one long, elegant finger, the same one he usually sticks up Harry's bum when he starts to finger Harry open, and Harry swallows. "Don't go anywhere, please."

Harry frowns as the door shuts. He wonders how long Draco will keep him waiting when the door reopens in less than a minute.

"Come on in," Draco says. From the corner of his eye, Harry can see Blaise helping Pansy into her wrap. They're putting away their wands, and the air contains the lingering traces of magic. Harry's nostrils flare; it smells like a conventional Cleaning Charm. He peeps around for signs of anyone else, but everything looks in its proper place, with no dinner party or orgy to speak of.

"How do, Potter," Pansy says with a smirk. She saunters by and cups Harry's face, then pats him on the cheek. "No need to apologise for ruining our evening. We were just leaving, anyway."

"Potter." Blaise returns Harry's nod, then turns and gives Draco a wink. "Enjoy the rest of your evening, Draco. Don't do anything I wouldn't."

"Was that supposed to be a warning?" Draco calls after them. He's wearing a ridiculous smile on his face even after they've left, and Harry feels his heart soften, just a little.

Draco walks over to the kitchen and places Harry's gift on the counter before unwrapping it. Even though Harry told him what lay inside, Draco's jaw drops slightly once he removes the bottle from its ebony box.

"Circe, clearly I won in this deal. Shall we make a toast?" Draco casts a Cooling Charm and then Accio's two champagne flutes to float from the sideboard, the fine crystal landing on the counter perfectly spaced and without a bobble. Even though it's a simple spell, Draco's technique is precise and finely-honed, and executed with a grace that seems effortless.

Harry doesn't remember Draco being quite so good with spellcasting while at Hogwarts. He must cast a thousand Accio's during the day as part of his job with the Department of Magical Transportation to have become so proficient.

A pang of sympathy hits Harry over Draco's situation. Draco's skills certainly aren't without merit, and although he's not sure where Draco fucked off to for several years following the war, he's seen how seriously his former nemesis takes his paper-pushing job: always the first to arrive and last to leave.

Harry wishes he could do something more for Draco. Perhaps after his next trip, if there's time, he could call in some favours.

"Harry?"

Harry's eyes dart up guiltily. Draco is watching him with a wary expression, his eyes scanning the room before returning to Harry. "Is something the matter?"

"No. Sorry," Harry says with a strained laugh. It's amazing how focused he can be in certain situations, while his mind wanders at others. "They're sending me to Plovdiv in a couple of days. Rumours of a doping scandal."

Draco relaxes visibly at the answer then sets about to fill their glasses.

"Hmmm," he says as he hands Harry his drink. The champagne sparkles merrily, the topaz bubbles popping and fizzing against Harry's nose. "Didn't you just go there a couple months ago? Something about possible broom tampering?"

Ugh. It's times like these where Harry hates how perceptive Draco is.

He shrugs. "Classified information," Harry says apologetically. "Most likely, it's nothing. We're just obligated to check everything out."

"Lucky you." Draco pouts. "At least you get to travel somewhere fun. Plovdiv is one of my favourite cities."

Harry sighs. He's sure there's no sightseeing to be done this go-around. "I wish I could enjoy it more. The Ministry keeps me on a pretty tight schedule whenever I travel."

"Ah, yes. Surrounded by fit men and women, being wined and dined at all those meet-and-greet dinners. Must be a tough life," Draco muses. He shakes himself. "Anyway, what should we toast to?"

"Fun adventures?" Harry suggests.

Draco raises his glass. "And safe travels."

Harry takes a sip of champagne—too large of one, he realises, as he starts to feel overly warm. It's been a long day, and the only thing he's had is coffee and a rather stale biscuit at breakfast. If he's not careful, he's liable to end up with a hangover that'll give even the strongest Pepper-Up Potion pause. "Do you want to grab something to eat?"

Draco looks torn. "I can't. I've an early day tomorrow." Harry is about to tell him that he doesn't think the Ministry will care if he punches in late for once, when Draco quickly adds, "But I could do takeaway, if you'd like?"

Harry smiles. "Curry?"

Draco clutches his chest and gives Harry a horrified look. "With champagne?" He picks up the bottle and pats the glassy curves, stroking it as he coos, "Don't worry, darling. He didn't mean it. Only a heathen would think to pair you with something other than the most expensive seafood."

"I did mean it," Harry says, suddenly jealous of the damned bottle.

Draco rolls his eyes and places the magnum down. He walks over to his wine cooler, pulls out a six-pack of beer, and brings it over to Harry.

Harry recognises the make immediately. "Dark Lord Imperial Stout?" he says, unexpectedly delighted. "You remembered!"

"Of course I did. You nattered on about how great it was for at least half an hour."

"And it is," Harry agrees. "But however did you get it? They only sell it once a year."

"So I discovered," Draco sniffs as red steals along the curves of his cheeks. "Well, given the way you went on about it, I had to try one. A Malfoy is accustomed to the best, after all."

Harry busies himself with opening the bottle and steals a glance at Draco in the process. Draco's face is still flushed and he's wearing the trace of a pleased smile. Harry decides not to point out the fact that all six bottles in the pack are still present.

"This is ridiculous," Draco says crossly, pointing an accusing finger at the telly. "It's not even that the fight is choreographed poorly—I mean, the Praetorian guard's blade literally disappears halfway through the scene—but the opponents are meaningless and the leads aren't going to die. There's no agency, nothing to be gained from this tripe."

Harry leans his head against the sofa. He's pleasantly buzzed, enough so that he forgets himself and props his feet up against Draco's coffee table. Draco promptly reaches over and nudges them off. "How do you know they won't die?" Harry asks, his eyes half-lidded.

"Because they still have another film in the trilogy."

Harry leans against Draco, smiling at him fondly. "Keeping up with Muggle blockbusters, Draco? Who would've thought?"

"Your fault entirely. I try to inject some culture into your life, and this is what you teach me instead."

Harry turns. His head is already resting on Draco's shoulder, so when he looks up their faces are so close they're practically touching. He can smell the traces of lemon and coriander on Draco's breath, the breadiness of the champagne.

"Modern movies are a part of culture." Harry means to give Draco a pat on the head, but as he touches the fine, blond strands of Draco's hair, he ends up carding his fingers through them, feeling their silken weight as they glide between his forefinger and thumb.

When Harry lifts his gaze, he notices that Draco's watching him intently. Draco's grey eyes, which can turn a flinty blue when angry, are now warmed over with flecks of yellow and pale green.

Draco licks his lips. Harry used to think they were too thin—at times, almost cruel—but right now they're shiny and pink with just a hint of teeth peeping through, and they're one of the most sensual things he's ever seen.

"Harry," Draco whispers. Something shifts between them. It's nearly imperceptible, but undeniable. This thing that they have…it's not just about fucking, and Harry's not sure why he hasn't noticed it earlier. But before he can process it further, Draco tips Harry's chin with his hand, angles Harry's head, and bends down to brush his pink lips over Harry's mouth.

The kiss isn't angry or needy. It's gentle and almost sweet and, in some ways, it knocks Harry for a loop even more. Draco takes his time; it's almost as if he's experiencing the softness of Harry's lips for the first time ever, marvelling at the way Harry opens up to his demands as their kiss deepens.

Harry sighs as Draco's tongue sweeps roughly against his own, twisting and licking along the inside of his mouth.

"Draco," Harry whispers as they pull apart. The movie credits are rolling, the music fading until all that remains is the staticky blue signalling the end and the sounds of their joint breathing.

When Draco unbuttons Harry's shirt, he undoes them one at a time and not in a fit of impatience. As his fingers push aside the fabric and skim along Harry's sides, his touch is gentle yet deliberate, and Harry's flesh burns, marked by their wake.

When Draco slides off Harry's jeans, it's with a slowness that could almost be mistaken for laziness. It's how Draco's eyes warm over with genuine pleasure that lets Harry know this is something special, as if Draco's desire is now fueled by something more than just having a fit and willing body against him. It's the manner in which he works Harry open, his fingers sliding inside Harry's arsehole one at a time, fucking him almost lovingly, that tells Harry their relationship is no longer one of acquaintances, but friends.

It's the way Draco slips inside him when Harry's ready, working Harry over in such a way that makes Harry believe in fairy tales and happy endings. As if the roll of Draco's hips, the sounds that spill from his mouth, and the magic of his kiss could leech poison from an apple, or wash away the burden of one hundred years of sleep. It's the way that Draco holds Harry in his arms when Harry comes, his eyes widening as he follows Harry and spills, Harry's name a reverence on his lips, that makes Harry not only see stars but reach for the moon.

It's the kind of sex that's mind blowing and magical, yet surprisingly domestic. It makes Harry long for someone to come home to every night. Someone who can take away the hard lines and angry edges of his life and make him feel clean and uncorrupted.

And perhaps it's the beer and champagne, or the post-orgasmic glow, or the way Draco tucks Harry closer as if he doesn't want the moment to end, that has Harry wishing this were something more permanent. That he could trade their spur-of-the-moment, clandestine meetups for lazy mornings with breakfast in bed and goodnight kisses.

And perhaps he thinks these things out loud, going as far as to think that Draco—with his mundane job, prickly exterior and posh tastes—could grant Harry that feeling of normalcy. He marvels at how lovely it would be, if they were actually married, and he could come home to dinner and a movie, and Draco in his pyjama bottoms and socked feet.

Despite their history, there's something about the way they fit together that seems so right. And perhaps Draco is just as desperate and impulsive as Harry, or wishes for those things as well, because he nuzzles Harry's cheek, his voice muzzy and sweet with happiness, and whispers, "Let's do it."

Sometimes, Harry's instincts are infallible.

Other times, instinct can be a bitch.