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True Children Still

Chapter Text

"Got a new case for you," Head Auror Robards announced as he stopped by Harry's desk.

Harry perked up. He'd been planning to work his way through the towering backlog of paperwork that was balancing precariously on the edge of his desk, but working a case sounded much more interesting. The paperwork could wait.

"What have you got for me?"

"Nothing too exciting, I'm afraid. We just need to get a statement," Robards replied, leaning against Harry's desk and nearly toppling the unstable tower of paperwork. But for all that he was a large man, he still had the lightning-fast reflexes that had helped to earn him his position as Head Auror. He saved the tower from falling with a quick spell and a slightly reproachful look at Harry before continuing, "A woman was attacked outside her flat last night. She was robbed and banged up with some pretty nasty hexes, though she managed to escape before too much damage was done. We've been short-staffed because of that new Snidget Flu going around and we weren't able to get anybody out to St Mungo's before she was released. I know we usually send out one of the junior Aurors for this kind of thing, but unfortunately most of them have all caught the blasted flu."

Harry nodded and held out his hand. Taking statements wasn't as exciting as taking down an illegal potions ring, but it was necessary work. And, more importantly, it was still more interesting than filling out case forms.

"Li's still out," Harry said. His Auror partner, Sue Li, had been one of the first to come down with the flu and she'd been laid up for nearly a week now, though she'd sent Harry an owl last night to say she was feeling much better and should be back to work soon. "Should I go alone or do you want me to take somebody else with me?"

Robards's face creased with a subtle grimace. "I'd say you're more than equal to the task on your own, but the higher-ups have been on my arse lately about not sending anybody out alone after what happened with Jenkins." He ran a hand over his face, his brow furrowed as he seemed to mentally flick through the list of available Aurors.

"Goldstein owled in this morning, which means the case he and his partner were working on will need to be put on hold for the time being." Harry swallowed, realising what Robards was intending the moment before he continued, "Why don't you go ahead and take Malfoy with you, he should be free today."

"Sure thing, sir," Harry said, hoping his voice didn't sound as strangled as it felt.

Robards gave him a hard stare, and Harry did his best to look innocent and unconcerned, though he was fairly certain his red-hot cheeks were giving him away. But Robards just nodded before leaving with a request that Harry let him know once they had their statement. The moment he was out of sight, Harry folded over his desk, resting his forehead against the back of his clasped hands as he tried to get his ridiculous body under control.

It wasn't as if he and Draco hadn't worked with one another before—they'd gone through three years of training together and had collaborated on multiple teams and task forces in the six years since they'd become fully-fledged Aurors.

Of course, all of that was before last night.

Things felt different now that they were… something. Harry wasn't sure he was quite ready to call what they were doing dating, exactly, even though last night had most definitely been a date, the two of them sharing a nice meal together before Draco walked him home. It had been relatively chaste compared to some of the other first dates Harry had been on, but that goodnight kiss on Harry's doorstep had made Harry's stomach flutter and cramp with want, and it had taken all of Harry's willpower not to invite Draco inside for a 'nightcap'.

The date had been a long time coming. Auror Training had been rocky at first, given all the history between them. But Draco had been dedicated and hard-working, and though Harry hadn't been all that swayed by his initial apology, seeing him actually strive to be a better person, to learn and grow… that had gone a long way towards changing Harry's feelings towards Draco. After three years of training together, they were something almost like friends. In the six years since, that friendship had grown and evolved into something a little different, as Harry realised his appreciation for Draco's sharp smile and strong shoulders and broad hands was a little more than friendly.

It had taken quite a while before Harry realised he wasn't the only one feeling that way, and even longer for him to actually do something about it. Harry couldn't deny that he wanted Draco, but he still wasn't entirely convinced that dating him was a good idea. He wasn't sure a relationship between them could ever really work. It had taken a lot of hard work to get him and Draco to a place of friendship instead of animosity, and though Harry had seen first-hand the strides Draco had made to become a better person, Harry still struggled with his feelings for him. It was one thing to believe that Draco wasn't the hateful, bigoted child he'd once been and decide he was worth befriending; it was another thing entirely to want him so desperately, knowing all the terrible things he'd done. It was something Harry was truthfully still coming to terms with, just as he knew Draco was still working on making peace with his own past while figuring out how to atone for his sins and build a new future for himself. Draco had his own reasons to be wary, to be cautious of a romantic entanglement with the Saviour, and they both were well aware that everybody and their mother would have opinions to share if their relationship were to develop and become public knowledge.

So for now they were taking it slow and seeing where things went, feeling one another out to determine if the heat between them had any real potential or if it was just flashpaper, burning hot but brief. Harry knew it was smart not to rush into anything. He knew it was the reasonable, adult thing to do, but fuck if he wasn't already tired of waiting. One date, and Harry was all dreamy sighs and stomach flutters, feeling more like a schoolboy with his first crush than he'd ever felt when he was actually a schoolboy. Just hearing Malfoy's name from Robards had Harry melting in his seat, giddy anticipation flooding his system at the thought of getting to spend the day with him. Which was probably a bit fucked up, considering they were spending time together to interview a likely traumatised young witch about her recent assault.

"I heard I'm with you today," drawled a smooth, familiar voice that sent shivers tingling down Harry's spine. He raised his head from his hands, his heart skipping a beat as he locked eyes with Draco Malfoy, who was lounging gracefully against the edge of Sue Li's empty desk.

Draco raised a single eyebrow, an amused smile playing about his lips. Harry swallowed as he pressed his chair back from the desk and licked his lips. Draco's gaze darted down to Harry's mouth, and Harry's hands gripped his armrests in an effort to restrain himself from leaping up and kissing Draco breathless. Fuck, he didn't know how he was going to survive an entire day of this.

"Yeah," Harry said, managing to force the words out of his dry throat. "Robards needs me to take a statement on an assault case. You're my babysitter."

Draco's smile widened as he gave Harry a slow once-over. "I can think of worse ways to spend the day."

Harry's cheeks warmed and he cleared his throat. "Right. Well. Shall we head out?" He looked down at the file Robards had given him, scanning it for an address. "St Mungo's already sent our victim back home with an order to take it easy for the next few days, so I figure we'll drop by her flat."

Draco nodded. "We can head to her place of work if she's not in, but hopefully she was able to take the day off after a night like that."

"Agreed." Harry stood and grabbed his scarlet Auror robes off the hook next to his desk, shrugging them on before gesturing in the direction of the Ministry Atrium. "After you."

"So chivalrous," Draco murmured, a low, seductive edge to his words that had Harry's stomach flipping as he followed him out of the department. He'd made a similar comment last night on their date when Harry had held the door open for Draco as they'd left the restaurant. They'd walked companionably back to Grimmauld Place afterward, Harry's heart jumping every time their fingers accidentally brushed together. Harry's gaze darted down to those fingers now, the smooth polished fingernails, the perfectly maintained cuticle beds, the prominent knuckle bones that would feel so good stretching—

"Do you want to meet there, or shall we Side-Along?"

"Hmm?" Harry blinked and tore his focus away from Draco's hands, realising they were already at the Apparition Platform in the Atrium. "Oh, right. Err… maybe we should Side-Along. Since we're going to the same place anyway," Harry added, not wanting to seem overly eager to get his hands on Draco despite that being very much the case.

Draco's lips twitched as if he were fighting a smile, but he gamely held his arm out to Harry. "Of course," he said solemnly. "I'd hate for us to land right on top of one another." The hot gleam in his eyes belied that particular statement, and Harry's belly gave another enthusiastic shiver.

"You," Harry began, "are being very distracting." He tried to sound scolding, but his voice was a little too breathless to come off as anything other than encouraging.

"Am I?" Draco asked as Harry took his arm, sounding far too pleased with himself. He leaned in, his breath hot against Harry's ear as he continued in a low murmur, "My sincerest apologies, Harry."

Harry's breath caught as he turned to give Draco a half-hearted glare. "You're going to wish you'd done more than apologise when you get us splinched because I can't concentrate properly."

Draco flashed him a wry grin, but he edged back just a tad, enough so that the scent and feel of him wasn't quite so overwhelming. Harry took a deep breath, focused on their destination, and Apparated them both.

They materialised at the Apparition Point in Chelsea, right at the edge of the wizarding street that ran parallel to King's Road. The sweet smell of pancakes wafted in from the next street, reminding Harry that it was nearly time for lunch. Perhaps he and Draco could grab a bite once they'd finished with their interview. Not like a date, or anything—they were still on the clock after all—but just a nice, platonic luncheon between colleagues. Of course, Harry wouldn't exactly be opposed to another date, if that was on the table, but it hadn't even been twenty-four hours since the last one and Harry didn't want to seem overly keen, especially given that he was still trying to detangle the mess that was his feelings for Draco.

"I think the victim's flat is just a couple of streets away," Draco said, glancing down at the file that he must have taken from Harry at some point while Harry was distracted by Draco's… everything. He started off at a brisk pace down the road, and Harry scurried after him. Draco wasn't more than an inch or two taller than Harry but it was apparently all in his legs, and Harry had to practically run to keep up with his stride.

"This is it," Draco announced as he came to an abrupt stop, so sudden that Harry didn't have enough time to halt his momentum before barrelling right into him.

"Shit, sorry," Harry mumbled, grabbing hold of Draco's arm to keep himself from pitching forward onto the pavement. His bicep was firm beneath Harry's fingers, the muscle flexing as he righted himself. Harry stared at where he gripped Draco, struck with the knowledge that he'd never seen Draco's bare arms before, and was overcome with the sudden and powerful urge to do so right that very moment. He'd always been attracted to muscular, athletic bodies—in men and women alike—and the sinewy strength beneath his grip sent a bolt of lust straight through him.

"Are you planning to let go of me anytime soon?" Draco's tone was more playful than accusatory, but Harry quickly released him, the red of the Auror's robes beneath his fingertips reminding him that they were on duty.

Harry cleared his throat and looked up at the swanky set of flats in front of them, pretending that he hadn't just been caught fondling Draco in the middle of the workday.

"Right, well, shall we knock then?"

"Yes, of course," Draco replied, clearly amused, though Harry refused to look over at him and give him the satisfaction of seeing first-hand how flustered he made Harry.

Harry climbed up the front steps, Draco a solid presence behind him as he reached out to give the door a firm rap. They only had to wait a few moments before the door swung open, revealing an attractive gentleman who looked to be in his mid-forties. His brow was creased with annoyance but his expression quickly cleared when he caught sight of the Auror uniforms.

"Oh, hello. I was wondering when you lot would show up. I take it you're here to speak to Emily?"

"Yes, Mr…?"

"Newton. Graham Newton. I'm Emily's fiancé." He held out a hand to Harry, then Draco, his grip dry and firm.

"Right, pleased to meet you. I'm Auror Potter, and this is Auror Malfoy, and yes, we're here to speak with Emily about what happened last night."

Graham ran a hand through his hair, rumpling his perfect salt-and-pepper coiff. "We expected the Aurors would send somebody earlier, when we were still at St Mungo's." His tone wasn't exactly accusatory, but Harry felt chastened all the same. As understaffed as they were at the moment, they weren't able to respond as quickly as they should have in this situation.

"I apologise for the delay. Is Emily available now? This shouldn't take long, and the sooner we can get her official statement, the sooner we can start investigating."

Graham hesitated. "She's a little… indisposed right now. I actually need to be getting back to her, but I suppose… If you wouldn't mind…"

"Is she playing?" Draco asked quietly, and Harry glanced over at him in confusion, baffled by the sudden line of inquiry.

Graham gave Draco a startled look, peering at him intently before his expression cleared with apparent recognition, his eyes softening. "Ah, yes, I didn't recognise you in this uniform. She's playing, yes. She was quite shaken up after last night."

"I can only imagine," Draco said kindly. "Is she too far down to speak to us? If not, and if it's within your limits, I assure you my partner and I won't judge. Since we're already here, it really would be preferable if we could speak to her now so that we can get to work on bringing her assailant to justice."

Graham's jaw hardened. "Yes, yes, that should be fine. You actually might get better answers out of her if you speak to her now. Emily's got a history of blocking out past trauma, and the Healers at St Mungo's weren't able to get many details about the attack when she first came in. She was starting to respond to me a bit just before you got here."

He stepped out of the doorway, waving Harry and Draco inside before shutting the door and turning to Draco. "It's within her limits for me to invite a limited number of people over while she's playing, but I'd still like to make sure she's all right with being questioned before you see her. If you want to follow me upstairs, you can wait outside the door until I give the go-ahead." He gave Draco a hard stare. "Unfortunately, if she's not feeling up to it, I'll have to invite you both back to question her later." His tone brooked no argument, and Draco didn't seem inclined to give him one.

"Of course, I absolutely understand," Draco said, sincere and empathetic. Harry stared at him, entirely lost, as Graham turned and walked up the stairs. Draco made a move to follow, but Harry grabbed hold of his robes and held him back.

"What the hell was that?" he whispered. "You know our victim?"

"Not well. I realised I'd seen them around a few times out on the scene."

"The scene? Like, of the crime?"

Draco snorted. "No, not like that. You'll see soon enough. Just don't react, okay? I told Graham we'd be professionals, so try not be too weirded out about whatever we see. If you need me to, I can take point. I'm probably more familiar with this kind of thing, and I can explain things to you afterwards." Harry bristled at the insinuation, and Draco held up his hands in placation. "Sorry, I know I sound like a prick, but you'll understand in a minute. It'd be better if I had more time to explain, but we should probably get up there sooner rather than later. Trust me, okay?"

Harry huffed out a frustrated breath but nodded and released his hold on Draco's robes. Draco gave him one last measured look before heading up after Graham, leaving Harry to follow.

The door at the end of the hallway was open just a crack, enough so that Harry could hear the low rumble of Graham's voice, followed by a higher, softer lilt. A few moments later, Graham emerged and gave them a small smile.

"She's agreed to speak with you," Graham said, once again addressing Draco. Harry might have been offended, but it was clear there was something going on here he didn't quite understand. "I'm sure I don't need to remind you that she's in a quite vulnerable state, so I'd ask you to be mindful of the way you phrase your questions. If you need more information, you're welcome to return later."

Draco nodded, and Graham held open the door, ushering them inside.

Harry had expected to perhaps find Emily in bed, resting after her ordeal. What he hadn't expected was to see the woman—who appeared to be close to Harry's age—sitting in the middle of the floor surrounded by baby dolls. She was wearing a frilly pink dress, much like the kind that Rose was always begging Ron and Hermione to buy for her, much to Hermione's consternation. Emily's hair was braided into two neat pigtails, a bright pink bow adorning the end of each plait. Harry blinked, looking instinctively over at Draco in confusion, who gave him another pointed stare.

"These nice gentlemen are here to speak to you about last night, princess," Graham was saying to Emily, crouching down so he was on her level. "Do you think you could put your toys down for a moment and answer their questions?"

Emily frowned, looking over at Harry and Draco before focusing on the doll in her hands. "Can Sophie come?"

He glanced over at Draco, who nodded. "Of course, Em. They just have a couple of questions, and then you can go back to playing."

Emily nodded. "Will you play, too? Sophie wants her prince." She looked over towards the toy chest in the corner where the handsome crowned head of a male doll was sticking out of the chaos.

Graham smiled at her, a soft, gentle thing that for some strange reason made Harry's chest ache. "Absolutely, princess. But first, we've got to speak with our friends."

"Okay, Daddy!" She grinned at him, toothy and completely unselfconscious, before turning that smile onto Harry and Draco. "Hi, I'm Emily!"

Harry's eyes widened, and he looked once more at Draco, who gave a small, unconcerned shrug. Had they stepped into a parallel universe? Was Harry hallucinating? What possible other reason was there for a grown woman to be dressed up as a little girl and calling her fiancé Daddy, and for everybody but Harry to be acting like there was nothing at all bizarre about it? But Draco had asked Harry to trust him, and it was clear there was something going on that he didn't understand. He could ask Draco about it later, but for now, they had an interview to conduct.

He dipped his head towards Draco, tacitly acknowledging that Draco should indeed be taking point on this interview. Draco nodded before returning his focus to Emily and flashing her a wide smile that made Harry's knees go weak.

"Hi Emily," Draco said kindly as he lowered himself down into a squat. "I'm Draco, and this is my friend, Harry. Do you mind if we sit and ask you some questions?"

Harry waited until he and Draco were safely ensconced in their corner table at the chippy, steaming baskets of fish and chips in hand, before throwing up a discreet Muffliato and giving Draco the best what the actual fuck? look he could manage.

Draco, for his part, appeared to be doing his best to ignore him, tearing into his food with a little too much gusto. He yelped as his fingers prodded at the still-molten batter, throwing the fish back into the basket and shaking his hand, a sheen of hot oil coating his fingertips. Harry only allowed himself a brief moment to think of Draco's slick fingers in a far more pleasant context before focusing back at the issue at hand.

"That's what you get for ignoring me," Harry said primly as Draco cast a Healing Charm on his burnt fingers.

"I wasn't ignoring you," Draco said with a huff. "You didn't even say anything."

"Semantics," Harry mumbled as he deemed his chips cool enough to consume. "But fine. Are you going to tell me what the bloody hell was going on back there? Because that"—Harry gestured with a particularly lengthy chip in the general direction of Emily's flat—"was not normal. She was acting like a—like a child. We should have been calling for the Healers and admitting her to Janus Thickney, not interviewing her as if she wasn't in the middle of a psychotic break!"

Draco frowned and looked away, reaching for the bottle of vinegar and dousing his chips with a surprising amount of vigour as he said shortly, "If you really thought that, we wouldn't be here right now."

"You told me to trust you," Harry replied simply.

Draco's eyes flicked up to meet his, flashing with shock and pleasure, and Harry's cheeks grew warm. He felt a little too exposed, so he hastened to add, "And you seemed to have more information about whatever the hell was happening than I did."

"Yes, I suppose I did," Draco said softly. He looked back down at his meal, prodding at his fish with a hesitant finger to test the temperature, as a tiny smile plumped his cheeks.

"All right, then. Care to share with the class?"

Draco sighed, something resigned and wary and a little regretful crossing his face.

"I assume you've heard of kink and BDSM?"

Harry's eyes grew wide. That… had not been what Harry was expecting. Or, well, maybe that wasn't entirely accurate, because something about the way Emily and her fiancé had interacted had struck a strange chord within Harry. It hadn't felt precisely sexual the way he thought kink was supposed to be, but Draco throwing out that term wasn't quite as shocking as he would've thought. Still, hearing Draco—the bloke he was kind-of-maybe dating—saying things like BDSM so casually set Harry's entire body on fire. He cleared his throat around the sudden dryness.

"Err, yes. Like whips and blindfolds and stuff?"

Draco winced. "Partially. It's a lot more varied and nuanced than that, though. Plenty of people in the community aren't into whips or blindfolds at all. There are a lot of different kinds of relationships and dynamics that people engage in under the BDSM umbrella. Emily and Graham are one of them."

Harry wasn't particularly familiar with BDSM, but he'd imagined it with more leather and paddles, and less princess dresses and baby dolls.

"So the whole, erm…" Harry's heart skipped a beat as he forced the words out, "Daddy thing?"

Draco's fair cheeks grew pink and he paused to take a large bite of fish, seeming to ponder as he chewed. "Yes, the Daddy thing. Traditional BDSM relationships generally involve at least one Dominant and one submissive partner. What that looks like can vary, but I'd say that Graham is pretty clearly a Daddy Dom, and Emily is his little girl. Those kinds of relationships are usually less focused on things like impact or sensory play—those whips and blindfolds you mentioned—and more about care and nurturing. Though, of course, there's an element of punishment when necessary."

Harry chose to ignore Draco's mention of punishment and the way it made his breath catch.

"So today, when we showed up, they were… playing?"

"Essentially, yes. They were in the middle of an ageplay scene. Part of the appeal for the submissive in that kind of relationship is the opportunity to let go of all the responsibility of the adult world and drop into a headspace that's more childlike and carefree. Playing with dolls and dressing up in bows and frilly dresses and knowing that she has a Daddy to care for and protect her helps get Emily into that place. And it sounds like she was in particular need of it after the attack."

Harry reached for his fish and bit into the no-longer-searing morsel. It was delicious—crisp outside, soft and flaky inside—and he tried to focus on the warm, tasty food instead of the chaotic thoughts bouncing around in his mind. He was completely out of his depth with whatever they'd witnessed today, and he had so many questions. Harry did his best not to judge, but it seemed so bizarre. Did Emily truly enjoy giving control to somebody else, playing with toys and pretending to be a child while her partner, whom she called Daddy, watched over her? Harry's stomach flipped and he shifted in his seat.

"So, err," he began, when the silence stretching between them began to grow awkward. "What made you realise Graham and Emily had that kind of relationship?"

Draco's eyes widened momentarily before he shoved a truly gigantic chip into his mouth. He hummed questioningly, as if he hadn't quite heard Harry the first time. A little flag popped up in the back of Harry's mind and he narrowed his eyes. Draco was stalling.

"Back at their flat, you recognised him. Graham was all set to kick us out before you all but told him that you knew he was into some kinky shit and that we wouldn't say anything about it. He just looked like a normal bloke to me, so how did you know about the Daddy stuff?"

Draco's lips pulled into a reluctant frown, but if he knew Harry at all, he'd know that Harry wasn't about to let this one go. He sighed, seeming to come to that very conclusion.

"I did recognise him. It took me a minute, as I wasn't expecting it, but I've… seen him and Emily around before."

Harry's eyes widened as realisation dawned. "And when you say you've seen them around…?"

Draco sighed again, pulling the batter off the last of his fish with those long fingers of his. "We frequent some of the same establishments in London. Those that cater to people with more… particular tastes."

"Oh," Harry said dumbly, not sure how to process the fact that the bloke he fancied had an entirely different sort of experience than Harry had even known to wonder about. He cleared his throat. "So are you like Graham or Emily then?" he asked, attempting to sound casual and no doubt failing utterly.

Draco barked a sudden laugh. "Oh, neither, really. I mean, I suppose I'd say I'm more like Graham than Emily, but you remember how I said the dynamics are different depending on what you're into?" Harry nodded, and Draco continued, "Well, most of the men I've been with weren't really coming to Draco Malfoy for the nurturing sort of Dom." He flashed a small, self-deprecating smile. "I can see the appeal of that kind of dynamic, for both parties"—he gave Harry a strangely penetrating stare—"and I've gone there a few times before for partners in the past, but it's never led to any kind of sustained arrangement."

Harry blinked, feeling awkward and overwhelmed. Given his and Draco's decision to take their relationship as slow as treacle, they had been pretty actively not talking about sex. Harry hadn't thought he'd be able to make it through that kind of conversation without jumping Draco's bones, so all talk of past relationships and sexual preferences had been unofficially tabled until they'd decided this thing between them was going somewhere and they were ready to take that next step. He'd really not expected their first conversation on the topic to be about Draco's secret penchant for kink, and Harry had no idea what it meant for their maybe-relationship. Would Draco expect Harry to submit to him? Could Harry do it if that was what Draco wanted? Would he want to do it?

Before today, Harry would have thought the answer to that last question would be an emphatic no, but there was strange heat in his belly that indicated perhaps he wasn't as opposed to the idea as he might have believed. Yes, it all seemed a little baffling and strange, but it was the kind of strange that made Harry want to dig deeper and learn more. There'd been a spark of feeling inside of him earlier as he watched Graham and Emily interact, something not unlike envy and longing. He wanted to deny it, to pretend he hadn't recognised what those feelings might mean, but he generally wasn't very good at lying to himself, even when he really, really wanted to.

Once again, the silence dragged on between them, and Draco bit his lip, his expression nervous and unsure.

"I was planning to tell you about all of this eventually, of course. It's something I enjoy, and most of my past relationships have had an element of kink, but it's not… it's not something I need." He winced and wiped his greasy fingers on his napkin, having finished with picking apart the rest of his fish into tiny flakes. "If it's not something you're interested in exploring, I don't want you to feel pressured. I've never been into any of the lifestyle stuff, and it's always been more of a bonus for me as opposed to something that's necessary."

Draco slumped back into his chair, his lips pulling into a darkly amused smile as he continued.

"Salazar, what a bloody nightmare. I was really hoping we'd have a bit longer to figure things out between us before I scared you off with the whole kink thing. I mean…" He paused and made a face before seeming to force himself to continue as he met Harry's gaze, "I still want to see where this thing goes." He gestured between them. "We both know the odds are stacked against us, but I don't want this to be the straw that breaks the camel's back. If it freaks you out, I promise it's not something we ever have to pursue. We can forget about it"

"I'm not freaked out," Harry said, only lying a little bit. He didn't want this to break them, either, though, truthfully, he still wasn't sure what he felt. There was a lot to process.

Draco huffed a laugh. "You're usually a better liar than that."

"That's not actually a compliment, you know."

"It is when you're a pure-blood Slytherin," Draco said with a shrug and a shaky grin.

Harry rolled his eyes, but some of the tension began to leach out of his muscles with the return of the familiar banter.

"I'm still processing," he admitted, figuring if Draco was brave enough to tell Harry about his BDSM experience, Harry could be brave enough to share where his head was at, not that he had a clue where that was. "Honestly, I don't really know how I'm feeling about it, or what I may or may not want. But what if I promise not to make any executive decisions about our… relationship, without discussing things with you first? If we do continue to see one another, I'm sure I'll have a bunch of questions eventually."

Draco nodded, relief flickering in his eyes. "Yes, of course. I'm happy to answer any questions you have."

"Okay, great," Harry replied, his cheeks growing inexplicably hot. "In the meantime, we should probably discuss the actual case. You know, the reason why we were there interviewing Emily in the first place?"

Draco laughed. "Yes, of course. It looks like we're done eating. Shall we head back to the office to transcribe and file her statement?"

Harry made a face. More paperwork.