“—and I had to tell him, darling, I’ve had such a lovely time tonight, but i think you may have— misread the situation slightly, if you think that’s on the table for a fifth date at this calibre of restaurant…”
Draco snickered as he wove slightly unsteadily towards his front door, Pansy’s arm clamped tightly around his right elbow as the two supported themselves up the walkway.
Breakfast had turned into brunch, had turned into several bottles of wine, had turned into an impromptu tour of the caviar and cocktail menus at the Rivoli, and now and he and Pansy were somewhat less than sober as they toddled home. He could still taste raspberries and chardonnay, while Pansy smelled rather more strongly of vanilla and maple as she’d spilled onto her scarf just before they decided that perhaps they should head home.
He carefully navigated them up the four steps leading to his door, cursing Pansy’s propensity for immensely impractical heels. “Next time we go to breakfast, can you please wear more sensible shoes? If you fall right now I don’t know if I’ll be able to catch you.”
“Nonsense, dear,” Pansy waved her free arm briskly, forcing him to tighten his grip to keep her balanced. “You’re the only one who appreciates these shoes, anyway– if I don’t wear them with you, it’s proving Mummy right that they’re a waste of money, and god knows the men I’m seeing recently don’t care. And you know Blaise is useless with women’s fashion.”
Draco fumbled for his wand, nodding sagely at that. “I think he’s more focused on what’s underneath the clothes as he peels them off, and less on the quality of the stitchwork.”
Pansy snorted unattractively, swaying slightly as she waited while Draco tapped the lock twice, causing the door to swing open. “I’m just saying. For all the time he spends peacocking himself, and the number of couture dresses that have decorated his bedroom floor, you’d think he would know a little more about what exactly he’s desecrating.”
“You know Blaise can’t see beyond his own reflection, Pansy. We’re lucky he hasn’t wasted away to nothingness in front of the mirror, mourning his true love that he can never have.” Draco tripped over something on the other side of the doorway– blasted postal elves insisted on dropping his packages just inside the frame instead of putting them on the receiving table he had conveniently located in his entryway. “Shit!”
Pansy peered over his shoulder at the black and white box at their feet. “Ooh, Draco, really darling, Gucci? Are we supporting Accademia graduates these days?”
Draco scowled and bent down to retrieve the box. “As you well know, Pansy, I would not be caught dead purchasing something designed by someone whose training was completed at a school less than 100 years old, and I’ve barely forgiven Saint Martins for McQueen. No, this must be a gift from…” He trailed off and squeezed his eyes shut, realizing his error too late.
“A gift? My my, Draco– I had no idea you and Potter were so serious. What have you been doing to capture his attention so?” Pansy’s eyes were alight with malicious glee. “You simply must open the box at once, I’m dying to see what Potter’s sent you.”
Draco winced, thinking back to the last gift Harry had sent him in a clothing box– that ridiculously garish gold vibrator that cost over 100 Galleons and had come with cufflinks, for god’s sake—he’d forbidden Harry from wearing them, because of course the prat had gotten them a matched set, but Draco was pretty sure he’d seen a wink of gold at his wrists in the Prophet photos taken the last time Harry’d gone to dinner with Luna—and while the present had been very mutually enjoyable, he wasn’t exactly dying to open something similar in front of Pansy– and prayed that this box simply contained an ill-considered piece of clothing.
Squaring his shoulders, he walked to the sitting room, already pulling at the thick black ribbon– hopefully, if he could get a quick peek and it was something…untoward, he could distract Pansy with one of his nicer bottles of Blishen’s before she insisted on seeing. A discreet pull up on the lid’s corner revealed what looked to be fabric under the tissue paper reassured him that at least he wouldn’t be unwrapping sex toys in front of his oldest friend.
Pansy trailed behind him, kicking her cherry-red mules carelessly onto the floor. “Seriously, Draco. You’ve been unbelievably close-lipped about the Potter situation– I had to find out from Teddy of all people that he’s actually been visiting you at work, you know. And now he’s sending you unprompted presents? He’s not courting you, is he, because I have to tell you, darling, I think the horse has quite left the barn when it comes to the virginity clause–”
Draco scowled. “Does Nott really let you call him Teddy? Never mind, I don’t want to know. No, Pans, he isn’t courting me, Merlin. I doubt Potter could name even one of the required incantations. No, he just...likes giving gifts. He bought Granger and Weasley a house, you know.” He set the box on the coffee table and collapsed—with grace, thank you—onto the couch, glancing up and taking in Pansy’s arched eyebrow.
“Right, he just likes giving gifts. You must be an absolute tiger in the sack, darling– Gucci may be gauche, but it certainly isn’t cheap.” She gave the box a doubtful glance before beelining to the wet bar. “Nightcap?”
“Is it still a nightcap if it’s three in the afternoon,” Draco mused, tugging the ribbon the rest of the way off and wrinkling his nose at the embossed logo. “And I’ve been telling you for years, just because I don’t brag about every little encounter like Blaise doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m doing. A gin, please, there’s a doll– and I’ve a bottle of that Blishen’s ‘98 if you promise to behave yourself over this; it’s really nothing.” Probably nothing, his mind added as he worked the lid off and tossed it under the table.
He smiled faintly as he heard Pansy squeal delightedly– was she ever easy for a good whisky– and contemplated the tissue paper with all the concentration his sozzled mind could conjure.
It’s just– he and Potter were still casual, he thought. Well, not casual casual– they’d been seeing each other for four months, and while yes, Harry did visit him at work on occasion, and Draco had stopped seeing anyone else five weeks in, but– the gifts were. A lot, he knew they were, and while he’d been perfectly happy to float along and enjoy himself, he had a sinking suspicion that A Conversation would be required soon, and he wasn’t sure he was ready for Potter’s particular brand of intense, whirlwind dating, followed by the abrupt, inevitable ending splashed all over the papers when he lost interest. Presents seemed to be an escalation to the next step, which frankly, Draco would rather put off as long as possible.
A glass was suddenly hovering in front of his vision, shaking gently and clacking the ice cubes together. He snatched it out of thin air and tipped it towards Pansy, who’d settled herself at the other end of the couch, feet tucked under her legs.
“Well?” she asked impatiently, nodding at the box.
Sighing, he leaned forward and flipped the tissue paper off to the side..and stopped, staring down at what was revealed.
A glance to the side revealed that Pansy was equally struck. “Good lord,” she muttered faintly, eyes rapt on the garish blue fabric within.
Gingerly, Draco reached out and pinched it out of the box. A jumper– a bright teal, cable-knit, turtleneck jumper. He stared at it in dismay.
A muffled sound drew his attention back to Pansy, and yes– there she was, doing her best to cover up laughter. “Oh, darling,” she managed, “I’m so sorry, Draco, but– oh, has Potter even seen your clothes, I mean even one time, or has he been too busy ripping them off you to notice that you don’t wear colour?!”
Draco wondered the same thing as he dropped the jumper into his lap, smoothing the fabric flat distractedly. It was quality work, to be sure– everything Potter spent his money on was, these days– but teal?
“Oh!” Pansy gasped, and before he could stop her she reached out and snatched the piece of cardstock that had been hidden below the jumper. He squawked and dove at her, but she gleefully held it aloft and rapidly began to read aloud.
“ ‘Draco’– oh my, first-name basis? –’Draco, saw this in 10men and thought of you. Wear it Tuesday? Harry’ –and with two x’s as well. Draco! I don’t even know where to begin!” Pansy sounded delighted, which only spelt doom for him, Draco mused gloomily as he finally managed to snatch the card away.
“You’re such a hag,” he muttered, eyes flicking over the message before he tucked the card back into the box. The jumper got folded neatly and placed in as well, and with the lid covering the shockingly bright slash of colour in his otherwise subdued sitting room Draco felt more composed.
Pansy, on the other hand, looked near-frantic with delight. “Well. Well. Harry Potter is sending my best friend jumpers in colours that don’t exist in nature. And asking him to wear them on dates! Good lord, Draco– are you becoming Potter’s kept man? How tarty.”
Draco sneered. “Hardly. You’ve seen how Potter dresses; I’m not sure he owns any neutrals. Look, I only promised you that whisky if you promised not to be a bitch. We can either stop talking about this—with anyone—or you can hand that glass right over.”
Pansy pouted for a moment, but reluctantly switched the topic over to Daphne’s latest boyfriend’s desperate attempts to win her family over.
Draco laughed at the right moments, but half his mind was on Harry’s note. Clearly, he’d have to try and figure out how on earth he was meant to pull off the jumper– Harry would be hurt if he didn’t, and Draco was uncomfortably aware that he’d do quite a lot at this point to avoid hurting Harry’s feelings. Maybe those grey jeans with boots, and a black leather coat if it’s chilly…? He winced, imagining how washed-out the vivid neon would render his complexion; but then, pictured Harry’s face softening, that small smile he pulled out when he was truly pleased about something…
Ugh. Fine. He resolved to pick up the styling issue later on, and focused back in on Pansy’s recounting of Stori’s shockingly successful efforts in convincing Daphne’s beau that the entire Greengrass clan were strict magi-Creationists. Merlin, where did Daphne find these men?
Tuesday found Draco standing at the mirror, plucking anxiously at his sleeves. It was an unseasonably warm spring day, so a jacket to at least tone down the colour was right out– he was right, though, that grey jeans and black boots were really the right option. He’d had to tailor the waist in a bit and they were definitely tight at the thigh, but for an off-the-rack purchase he was pleasantly surprised.
The teal, though.
Draco had been wrong– it didn’t wash him out. He looked pale, yes, but something in the undertones of the blue offset his hair and made his eyes look enormous and bright.
It still wasn’t something he’d ever buy for himself, or something he planned on wearing on a regular basis. But Draco was forced to admit that Harry had, somehow, managed to pick a colour that actually suited.
Ugh. He’d be insufferable.
Sighing, Draco Apparated to 12 Grimmauld’s receiving room. He had to stop himself from fussing more at his hem while he waited for Harry to make his way downstairs.
A great clattering of heels on stone announced Harry’s approach, and Draco shifted slightly, angling himself to lean against the fireplace nonchalantly.
Harry burst into the room, and Draco snapped his gaze to his face. He felt himself colour as Potter’s gaze roved over his outfit, from jumper to jeans (where his eyes lingered perhaps a bit longer than was couth), to boots. He smiled, just a little, the side of his mouth curling up, and Draco’s ears felt hot at the lingering scrutiny.
Stepping forward, Harry ran his hand down one of Draco’s sleeves. “You wore it,” he said softly, eyes brightening. “It looks great. Do you like it?”
Draco huffed a bit and crossed his arms, quickly uncrossing them at Harry’s raised eyebrow. “It’s a bit...brighter than what I’d have selected for myself, as I’m sure you’re well aware–” Harry snorted. “–but I can’t fault the quality, Potter. I wasn’t sure about the rest, though– is what we’ve got on appropriate for wherever it is we’re headed tonight?”
Draco glanced over Harry’s outfit, raising an eyebrow at the (relatively) subdued black-and-white Mandarin collar shirt. Yes, the patterning was a bit louder than Draco preferred, but Harry in anything even remotely resembling a basic was...unprecedented. He registered Harry standing still for his perusal with an amused smile, but ignored it as his eyes dropped down past the loose-fitting trousers to—
“Potter! Are those from the Burberry fall line?”
Harry’s smile tilted from amused to smug. “What, these old things?” He kicked out a foot, letting Draco admire the camel-coloured print and the stacked heel.
Draco scowled. “You rotter. Since when do you buy Burberry? I didn’t think those were even available yet!” He resisted the impulse to crouch down to examine the detailing.
Harry shrugged carelessly. “I called in a favour. Do you remember Piero–”
“He’s still speaking to you?” Draco interjected in disbelief.
Potter coloured a bit at that. “Well...no, as a matter of fact, he won’t take my calls. Still sore about how we...anyway, though, I’d met this bloke Antonio through him, and it turns out that he is old college chums with Riccardo, and–”
Draco absolutely had to interrupt again. “Potter—I’m sorry, are you telling me you’re friend-of-a-friend with Riccardo Tisci, and you never thought to mention it to me until now, as you flaunt the boots I’ve been coveting for the last two months??”
Harry looked guilty. “Well, I’d forgotten, you see, and I ran into him a little over three months ago, before you and I...well, we got…re-acquainted, that night—just the one time, I swear it, and anyway, we hadn’t–” Harry’s expression was tipping to anguished as he tripped over his words to try and explain.
Draco rolled his eyes. “Calm down, Potter. It was right when we started seeing each other and were both still sleeping with other people. I’m not going to get angry about it, I was doing the same thing.”
“Right,” Harry muttered, ducking his head. “Well, anyway, the next morning he mentioned it briefly, but I had to get going—you and I were going to the Wassails?—and it completely slipped my mind until I saw fall’s line-up, and I gave him a ring to ask how to go about getting a pair of these. He wasn’t terribly pleased to hear from me, truth be told, but I guess the idea of the publicity was too much for him to hold a grudge over, and I managed to get a pair before the pre-sale, even.” He looked pleased with himself.
“Fucking figures,” Draco muttered, casting a baleful glare down at Harry’s feet. “Y’know, someday people will stop throwing whatever you want at you just because of your name.”
“Hopefully not anytime soon—unless, of course, you don’t want to keep our reservation at Social Eating House tonight…”
Slick git. Harry knew Draco’d been dying to try the chef’s dining experience, but they’d been booked out for eight months last time he’d checked. He sighed, and Harry’s face made it clear he knew he’d won. “Fine, Potter. I’ll allow you to throw your name about as long as I continue to reap the benefits.”
Harry smiled. “Nobody I’d rather share them with, Malfoy. Are you ready?” He reached out and touched Draco’s sleeve once more, eyeing him with satisfied pleasure. “I really am pleased you wore this, you know. It’s just as I’d pictured, on you.”
Draco huffed. “Anything for you, Potter.” Oh no, that came out quite a bit less sharp than he’d intended. “I must say, I’m impressed by your sartorial selection this evening, too– I had no idea you owned something so subdued.”
Harry’s eyes crinkled as he gestured Draco to the door. “I’m a man of mystery, Malfoy. We’ve a bit of time– I thought we’d Apparate to St. Patrick’s and walk? It’s quite nice out.”
“That’s fine. Did you want to cut through the park to see the gazebo?” Draco ambled out into the entranceway, conscious of Harry’s eyes fixed firmly on his rear end. He smirked a bit to himself– having to make the tailoring fits himself had been an inconvenience, but these jeans were definitely worth the hassle.
“Sounds perfect,” Harry said distractedly. When they reached the front door, he ducked into the coat closet and came out with– oh Merlin…
Draco’s jaw dropped. “Surely you’re not wearing that over that shirt, Potter?”
Harry swung the tan jacket on, adjusting the lapel and smoothing his hands down the embroidered floral patterning. “What? I thought you approved when I wore more neutrals.” The side of his mouth was jumping in badly-concealed amusement, damn him.
“You can’t layer patterns like that!” Draco got a closer look at the jacket as they walked out the door. “Dear god, Potter, is that Dior you’re mixing with the Givenchy? Have you taken leave of your senses??”
“Fashion rules are meant to be broken, Malfoy! Side-along?” Harry offered an elbow.
Draco took it with an aggrieved sigh. “You have to know the rules before you can break them, you know…”
It shouldn’t have come as a surprise when a pair of the Burberry boots appeared on Draco’s desk over his lunch break on Friday, but somehow it still did. Draco looked at the opened box for a long time– there was no note, he’d near torn the packaging apart to double check– and wondered what, exactly, he’d gotten himself into.
Harry went away for a weeklong off-site training seminar, and when he got back Draco was scheduled to speak at the annual Potionwork in Healing conference, a five-day affair that was in Florence this year, so all in all it had been almost two weeks since they’d last seen each other when Draco dragged himself off the sofa to answer the brisk knock at his front door.
He hadn’t been expecting anyone, but he wouldn’t put it past Blaise to have some sort of monitor on his townhouse so he could pop in whenever he knew Draco was at home and hold him hostage while he shared unsavoury stories about his latest conquests.
Draco desperately hoped it wasn’t Blaise– he was exhausted from the international travel and unbelievably hungover. The potioneers at this conference took full advantage of the open tab at the hotel and the generous line of credit extended by the organizers at nearby bars, and even though Draco vowed each year to just have a drink or two, he inevitably got roped into overindulging with his cohort, all of them celebrating the chance to spend time together away from the responsibilities of work. His liver always felt pummeled by the time he got back.
“I’m coming,” he grumbled as the knocks sounded again. He pulled the blanket closer around his shoulders as he pulled the front door open. “Honestly, Blaise, you should know better than…” he trailed off, staring at the three men at his stoop, two of whom were holding an oversized dark grey box.
“Mr. Draco Malfoy?” the man in front inquired crisply, consulting his clipboard.
“Yes?” Draco blinked a few times. “Can I help you?”
“Delivery,” the man said, stepping forward and forcing Draco further back into the hallway. He plastered himself against the wall and watched in bemusement as the other two men hauled the box into his home, leaning it against the wall near his entrance table.
The clipboard was thrust under his nose. “Please sign indicating successful delivery, sir.”
“Right,” Draco said vaguely, scribbling his name while still staring at the box.
“We hope you enjoy your purchase from the McQueen Fall Line, Mr. Malfoy. Have an excellent day.” The men all nodded in Draco’s direction and exited.
Purchase from...oh, god. Draco suddenly noticed the black patent stylized Q in the middle of the box, and his blood ran cold. Surely, Harry knew him better than this…
Absently waving a hand, he levitated the box to follow along behind him into the living room, suddenly even more grateful that Blaise hadn’t made an appearance today. He’d never be able to explain this.
“Bloody Potter,” he muttered, dropping the box onto his coffee table and setting to work at tugging the top off.
What lay within the box...Draco simply didn’t have the words to truly articulate a description.
A silver-and-gold moiré silk tuxedo glinted up at him from the crisp black tissue paper. Sharp tailoring, Draco noted faintly, taking in the crisp folds of the collar and the crease down the trousers. The colour seemed to shift under his gaze, from silver to gold and back, a product of the alternating threadwork and the rippled effect from the calendering. The effect was dizzying, especially if one were hungover.
It was a striking piece, Draco had to admit, and exactly something that would catch Harry’s eye, but why on earth was it at his house?
A dark thought occurred, then. Surely...surely Harry hadn’t meant this for him?
Something grey flashed in his vision then, and he stepped forward to pluck up the cardstock pinned to the breast pocket. The thin fabric rustled slightly at the brush of his fingers.
Draco– this reminded me of you. Hope you’re recovering well from the bacchanal– I very much enjoyed the increasingly drunk texts the other night. See you when you’re up for it? –H xx
Oh, that did it.
He stepped to the fireplace and whipped some Floo powder into the fire. “Harry Potter’s,” he snapped, crouching down and tapping a foot as he waited.
Harry’s stupid, grinning face popped into the flames. “Malfoy!” and oh, he sounded genuinely delighted, the prat. “I didn’t expect to hear from you today. How are you feeling? Have you run out of hangover potion? I think I’ve a few more around…”
Draco plastered on a smile. “Potter, you’ll never believe what’s just happened– I was resting on my sofa, hoping for a swift and timely death, when a passel of men appeared at my door! Would you like to know why they were here?”
Harry’s smile dimmed a bit. “Ah...I think I probably can guess…”
“Would you like to come through,” Draco said through gritted teeth, stepping back from the fireplace. It wasn’t a question; Harry, smartly, did not interpret it as one, and stepped through almost immediately after, Vanishing the ash on his shoulders before it hit Draco’s floor. His eyes tracked immediately to the box in the center of the room, displayed like a centerpiece on the coffee table.
Draco crossed his arms. “Alright, Potter. While I…appreciate the presents, really I do, I’m afraid I have to draw a line somewhere. McQueen, Harry, really? You know how I feel about that whole bloody house! I believe we’ve discussed this, at length, when you came over in that offensively bright pink blazer last month??”
Harry winced and carded his hand through his curls. “I know. I just...look, I saw it and it reminded me of you, alright? I know it’s a lot…”
Draco huffed disbelievingly. “What, praytell, did you see of me in this suit?”
Harry sat down on the couch and leaned over the box, stroking down the front of the jacket with one finger. “I thought of your eyes, when I saw it,” he said softly, plucking at the lapel and rubbing it between his fingers. “I thought of your eyes, and how slippery and cool the fabric would feel, and how I could grab the collar and reel you in and...it’s stupid. It was stupid and this is too much, I know that, I just...I don’t have great impulse control?” He ducked his head and stared up at Draco through his stupidly long lashes.
Draco froze, indignation fleeing the scene entirely. “You…” With a sigh, he sat close to Harry on the sofa, pressing their thighs together. “You were thinking of my eyes when you saw this?”
“Well...yeah, Draco. You’ve looked in a mirror recently, haven’t you?” Harry was watching him out of the corner of his eye.
Draco passed a hand over his face. “Look, Harry. I know I...we have different tastes.” Harry snorted and muttered understatement, but Draco pressed on, ignoring the interruption. “But...I like it, that you think of me. That you’re thinking of me when you’re out shopping, or reading the fashion mags, or doing whatever during your day. I just…” He hesitated.
Harry turned to face him then, expression earnest. “I get it. I do. I’m a lot. I’m full-on. And I understand if...that you might be, concerned I guess, about all of this. Really, I do. I know what the papers say, I know what I’ve been like in the past, and…” He winced a bit. “I keep trying to prove to you, you’re on my mind all the time. Maybe I’m going about this the wrong way, but I wasn’t sure how else to...plus, you know, there’s a part of me that still loves riling you up.”
Draco snorted and met Harry’s wide green gaze. “I know, Harry. You’re fairly transparent when you’re trying to get a rise out of someone. I guess I just...worried that this would be like everyone else, and I...didn’t want to hit the six-month mark and have you get bored.” His voice went quiet at the end and he looked down at his hands.
Harry reached out and turned Draco’s chin so they were eye-to-eye again. “Draco. I could never be bored of you. You’ve pissed me off and fascinated me for 16 years– do you really see that changing now that we’ve added sex into the equation? You’ve drawn my attention like literally nobody I’ve ever met. I…” he hesitated, took a breath, and continued. “I’m in love with you, you know. All these things...I like to give things to people I love. And I know you can buy your own stuff, but I like sending you things. I like imagining you opening something in the middle of the day and thinking about me. I’m...sorry if it’s stupid.”
Draco sighed and leaned forward, tipping his forehead onto Harry’s shoulder. “I love you too, you plonker,” he said, voice muffled. “I’m insecure and irrational and bloody picky, but I love you, too. And I love opening the gifts, I just...was afraid of what it meant. I didn’t want it to be a sign that we were heading towards the same ending as everyone else.”
Harry’s had crept around to the back of his neck, petting Draco’s hairline, fingers raising goosebumps in their wake. “Don’t think that’s possible. You’ll never be rid of me.” His voice was a little unsteady.
Taking a deep breath, Draco picked his head up and turned back to face the tuxedo still innocently sat on his coffee table. “I am going to have to request that you never ever purchase anything like this for me ever again, though. I mean, honestly, Potter. Where on earth would I even wear this, were I inclined to dressing like a bloody statuette?”
Harry chuckled, sliding his hand down Draco’s spine to rest on his lower back as he leaned forward to examine the suit again. “Well, really, I think you could wear the jacket anywhere. Maybe with those tight black jeans of yours…? –Ow, OK, I was joking, I won’t ask you to wear this in public, I promise!” He batted away Draco’s hand, which was jabbing him hard in the side.
Draco sighed and stood up. “I’ll go hang this in the second closet, then. Slap a few preservation charms on it so it doesn’t wrinkle. I’ll give you this, Potter, the craftsmanship is exquisite, even if the concept is too gaudy to be allowed.”
Harry stood and helped him put the box back together, then turned to face Draco, a sly smile pulling at his mouth. “So, if you’re not too angry about this, maybe now’s the time for me to tell you about the simply divine lilac suit I saw in this fall’s Boss collection…?”
“POTTER! Pastels, on my colouring, you cannot be serious....!”