Harry stumbles out of the club, the cool night air stinging his hot cheeks.
He’s not drunk, but he’s off kilter having just rushed through the dance floor in pursuit of a flash of white-blond hair. The pounding music still thumps in his chest from the entrance, and he looks around for the object of his pursuit.
This is also why he notices a man lift off his place leaning against a wall down the street, glancing around a bit, but not noticing Harry watching as Harry has a notice-me-not cast on himself.
He walks quietly down the street into an alley, and a flash of metal catches Harry’s attention. He runs after, cancelling the spell keeping him hidden.
But when he turns into the alley himself, he’s shocked to find the man blinking dumbly at a cat sitting on the top of a fence at the end of the alley.
Harry takes the knife from his hand, Vanishing it just before the man turns to face him.
“Excuse me sir, are you attempting to mug that cat?” Harry asks blandly.
“Er, no.” The man frowns, looking back to the end of the alley in confusion.
Harry rolls his eyes, shoving the man against the wall as he’s preoccupied and patting down his pockets. Sure enough, a variety of mobiles, wallets and various jewelry are hidden in his coat.
“Alright, you’re coming with me.” Harry says, pulling his magical handcuffs out of a pocket.
“You a cop?” The man asks suddenly.
“Close enough.” Harry shrugs.
He honestly just never took the cuffs out of this jacket after he’d quit his auror position. He’d sort of forgotten they were in there to begin with, as the pockets are magically expanded.
Harry brings the would-be mugger down to the nearest station, removing the magical cuffs before anyone sees them and giving the man a rough shove inside.
“This man tried to mug me. You’ll find his pockets are full of stolen items.” Harry tells them.
“Oh.” The on duty officer says. Harry rolls his eyes.
“Sir, we’ll need a statement-”
“Fine.” Harry scribbles down his name as well as a brief description of where and when he’d encountered the man. He left out the fact that the man seemed to be mugging a cat.
“Are you a veteran?” The officer asked, handcuffing the man with regular muggle cuffs. “Usually people don’t haul their muggers downtown to turn them in.”
“Sort of. And I was in law enforcement after. Have a good night.” Harry says, sliding the page across the desk to the man.
He doesn’t pay attention to what the man says after that.
He’s still bewildered by what had led him out of the club to begin with.
The flash of pale hair leaving replayed in his mind, and he found himself back to the alley where the mugger had gone.
Strangely, the cat was still there, sitting on the fence, blinking at him curiously.
It had probably been half an hour since Harry had left, so it’s not shocking that the cat hadn’t gone, but it was odd.
The cat was delicate, slim and sleek, with white fur and large grey eyes.
“You look familiar.” Harry frowns, stepping closer. The cat kept staring at him, and Harry moved so slowly that he was nearly standing still.
Close up, he could see a smudge of black on the cat’s left front leg and a faint pink scar running across its chest.
Suddenly, the sight of the odd cat and the memory of the flash of hair collided in Harry’s mind, and he had to wonder.
He reached out slowly, gently picking the cat up. It yelped in surprise, but didn’t quite fight back, so Harry held it in front of his own face, staring deeper into its grey eyes.
“Malfoy?” He asked.
He felt ridiculous immediately. A random cat and he suddenly thinks it’s Malfoy’s animagus form. He doesn’t even think Malfoy is an animagus. But now he’s talking to it, and he knows he’ll never forgive himself if he doesn’t find out.
So Harry brings the odd cat home, setting it - him, he supposes - on a table and staring at him suspiciously.
It’s… it’s not that late yet, so Harry chances a call to Hermione.
“Harry, this is really not a good time.” Hermione says apologetically. Honestly, Harry can’t remember the last time it had been a good time.
“I’m sorry, ‘Mione, just have a quick question.”
“Alright, what is it?”
There’s a baby and a toddler screaming in the background, and Ron’s voice speaking soothingly but not quieting either child.
“You had a case a week ago about an animagus, right? Do you remember seeing Malfoy’s name on the registry?”
“Draco Malfoy? No, I would’ve remembered seeing it. Why?”
“Oh, no reason. Just curious.” Harry assures her. He knows he wouldn’t get away with it normally, but Hermione is tired and stressed enough to not ask.
“Okay. Well, I’ve got to go, Harry, I’m sorry. We miss you, though. Come visit soon.”
“I will.” Harry promises her. “Bye, tell Ron I said hi.”
Harry hangs up, lowering his head to be level with the cat.
“That’s very Malfoy of you, to be unregistered. So don’t think that this proves anything.” He tells the cat, which just blinks back at him.
Harry takes out his mobile.
“Fortunately, I have his number.” Harry says confidently, dialing it. As soon as it’s ringing, he realises he has no reason to be calling this late on a Friday, so he decides that if Malfoy answers, he’ll just hang up.
The cat meows, but Harry doesn’t speak cat so he doesn’t respond.
“Hello, this is Draco Malf-”
Satisfied, Harry hangs up.
“Merlin, why is he still so posh even over the phone. Well, I guess you’re off the hook. He picked up.” Harry tells the cat, patting his head. He doesn’t seem pleased at that, so Harry takes his hand back. He’s still a stray, after all.
“I suppose I could check the book shop Monday, but that’s hardly conclusive.” Harry says thoughtfully. He startles when he hears footsteps on the stairs.
“Harry, you’re home.” Neville yawns sleepily. “Thought you’d gone out tonight.”
“I did. Brought a mugger to the station and found this cat, which I still suspect is Malfoy. So I came home early.” Harry explains to his housemate, who is filling a glass of water barefooted and in pyjamas.
“Why on earth do you suspect that is Malfoy? Is he an animagus?”
“He’s not registered as one, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he just didn’t want to register, you know how they don’t like him at the Ministry.” Harry says. Neville shrugs.
“I s’pose. Sort of looks similar. Pale and irritable.”
“Right, but there’s more, isn’t there? Same eye colour.” Harry points out. Neville squints at him.
“Why do you know Malfoy’s eye colour? Do you even know Ron’s?”
“I-” Harry sputtered. “It’s er, it’s blue. Right?”
“How would I know?” Neville says. He bends to look the cat in the face. “So white cat, er, grey eyes… yeah, must be him.”
“Look-” Harry sweeps up the cat, which cries indignantly as Harry plops him into his lap, holding up his chest. “Front left leg, a black smudge like the Mark, and across his chest, Sectumsempra scar.”
“I thought you said you’d slashed from his face down his chest. If Malfoy has scars from it, we’d’ve seen them on his face and neck, and this cat would have more than one.”
“Maybe some were healed better?”
“So why would there be scars on his chest if they healed the ones on his face?”
Neville makes a good point. Still, though. Odd.
“I wish I knew how to use the Homorphus Charm to test if he’d turn back.”
“Here, I know it.” Neville leaves the room for a moment and comes back with his wand, casting something softly at the cat in Harry’s arms, which mewls in complaint as the spell sort of ruffles his fur but doesn’t otherwise transform him.
“Okay… so that’s hard to explain…” Harry says.
“Well it wouldn’t be out of the question for him to be an animagus. That charm targets the animal’s memories and internal identity, reverting them to their true self, or their human self. But if an animagus has started identifying more with their animal form than human, or if they’re skilled in Occlumency, the charm doesn’t work.”
“Malfoy is an Occlumen, he was pretty good if I remember right.” Harry remembers. “So that doesn’t actually prove anything.”
“Okay. Well, I still don’t really think it’s him.”
“I thought I saw Malfoy at the club I was at earlier. That’s why I stepped out and found the mugger.”
“Did you see his face? Thought you only go to muggle clubs.”
“It was a muggle club, and no, I didn’t see his face, just his hair.”
“Well then why would you think Malfoy would be in a muggle club? Probably just some other tall blond, loads of people bleach their hair to be his colour.”
“It wasn’t bleached, it was natural. And he does work in a muggle shop, for and with muggles, so he’s clearly not as vehemently opposed to muggles as he used to be.” Harry points out.
That’s where he’d found Malfoy earlier this year and struck up a tentative friendly truce (‘friendly’ as in they stuck to insults based on appearance and habits).
“Fine then, so Draco Malfoy was spotted leaving the same gay muggle club you happened to also be at, and vanished suddenly, no trace aside from this suspiciously sentient cat that sort of shares his colouring. I don’t know, Harry.”
“Okay fine, it’s a bit far fetched that he’d be in the same club as me and then would wait around after I saw him in cat form and willingly come along with me. And I also called his mobile just now and he picked up, so I don’t know how he could’ve done that if he was this cat.” Harry puts the cat back on the table.
“Glad to hear you’re being reasonable now. You should get some sleep.”
“I don’t know if he’s hungry.” Harry says. “Does an animagus eat in this form?”
“I haven’t the foggiest. Ask Ron, he accidentally had a pet animagus once.”
“Already called them earlier, they’re wrestling the kids into bed.”
“Well, then just give him some milk or something. I assume that if it truly is Malfoy, he could shift back and get himself something to eat while you sleep if he’s hungry.”
With that in mind, Neville opens the refrigerator and scans his eyes over everything inside.
“Are you trying to memorise it so you can tell if anything’s gone in the morning?” Harry guesses.
“Doesn’t hurt. I don’t really think that’s Malfoy as he’s being far too polite with you right now and didn’t even try to scratch you earlier when you picked him up. I can’t imagine that Malfoy would make a cuddly cat.”
“I wasn’t cuddling him!” Harry protests.
“So if that is Malfoy, you think he’s just alright with you manhandling him and showing off his chest scar? You’ve told me yourself that human Malfoy is still dodgy about the Mark.”
“That’s a good point.” Harry says. “Then again, maybe cat Malfoy would just so you would say that and I would be thrown off the trail.”
“I think you’re reading into this too much, mate. I’m off to bed, if any of my things are destroyed by that cat, he’s going to be an outdoor cat. And if there’s food missing in the morning, you’d better have him buy us groceries.” Neville warns.
“That’s fair enough.” Harry turns to the cat again. “Don’t mess with any of our stuff or I’m kicking you out.”
The cat meows again but not with any kind of tone that makes it seem like he’s understood. Harry sighs again.
“You are a dumb cat.” Harry tells him.
The cat doesn’t react, just blinks back at Harry.
“Now I know it’s not Malfoy. He would never let you call him dumb.”
Harry has to agree with that.
Harry examines the cat again.
“I’ll go to a pet store tomorrow and pick up something you can eat. If you are Malfoy, just grab something from the fridge if you’re hungry.” Harry instructs him seriously. The cat doesn’t respond, likely due to being a cat. Harry sighs.
He eventually offers the cat some bits of Neville’s tea biscuits, breaking one apart and feeding him by hand. The cat eats the whole thing quite fast, but Harry isn’t confident that cats can even eat that sort of thing without being sick, so he doesn’t offer him a second.
Harry brings him upstairs, leaving him on the floor while he attends to his own toilette before bed.
“Well, I certainly hope you’re a friendly cat and don’t try to attack me in my sleep.” Harry says with a yawn, getting into bed. The cat meows.
He elected to sleep on top of the cushioned window seat in Harry’s room, and is still curled up there peacefully when Harry woke the next morning.
After his morning yawn and stretch, Harry rolls over to see if his new pet is up.
“Good morning.” Harry greeted him automatically. “I suppose you need a name.”
The cat blinks awake, lifting his head to gaze out the window. A bee hovered above the flower box, and the cat’s face followed it as it flew around.
“I’m gonna call you Draco.” Harry says. “Does the job.”
Draco doesn’t react, but meows unhappily when Harry picks him up.
“Can you stay on my shoulder? That would be much easier.” He says, lifting the cat to lay behind his neck like an expensive fur collar.
Harry had really bulked up as an auror, and his shoulders are broad and heavily muscled still. Honestly, it should be plenty of space for a dainty little cat to lay.
Draco meowed near his ear.
“Good, stay put now, wouldn’t want you falling.” Harry tells him, shoving his feet into the fluffy pink slippers Ginny had given him as a joke a few years ago.
“I have no idea what to feed you. S’pose I’ll have to buy food from a pet shop? Merlin, I sort of have a pet now.” Harry realises. “Do you need shots?”
The cat meowed indignantly, and Harry laughed.
“Okay Draco, no shots until I see you and Malfoy in the same room. Wouldn’t want to accidentally poison him. Or you, I guess. Getting you sterilised is also out, don’t worry. You may keep your bollocks so long as you behave and don’t get freaky with any pretty lady cats. I’d hate to find out what sort of horrors animagus-animal hybrids make.”
Another angry meow from Harry’s shoulder makes him laugh.
Harry’s mobile is buzzing as they enter the kitchen. Neville’s gone already, but the ID says it’s Hermione calling.
“Hey ‘Mione, everything alright?”
“Perfectly. I just wanted to see how you were doing, you sounded off last night when you called. I’m sorry we didn’t get to talk, really.”
“That’s alright. I know you two have your hands full. I’m doing well, I’ve adopted a cat.”
“Oh. That’s a bit of a surprise. Is that why you were asking if Malfoy’s an animagus?”
“Yeah, he just sort of acts like Malfoy sometimes, I’ve named the cat Draco in honor.”
“Well, it’s funny you should bring up Malfoy at all. Have you read the papers?”
“No, what happened?” Harry asks, on edge immediately. He’s rarely been asked that question when something hasn’t gone horribly wrong.
“I’m sure it’ll be fine, but the Manor was raided a couple nights ago. He still lives there, but he was gone when the aurors got there. They found… well, a lot of Dark Artifacts.”
“Right, but those were his father’s. We heard him talk about them in school, remember?” Harry says, looking to his cat as if in confirmation. “He works in a muggle bookshop now, he hardly uses magic. I haven’t even seen him carry a wand.”
“Exactly how much time do you spend with him that you know that?” Hermione asks in surprise.
“I don’t! I mean, not that much. I just see him fairly regularly and stuff comes up sometimes.” Harry protests, although there’s no way Draco would’ve heard what Hermione said even if he is Malfoy.
“Right. Well, if word about the Ministry’s to be trusted, he hasn’t been back to the Manor since and hasn’t been to work in a couple of days either, there’s a watch on the shop. So there’s a search out for him and the papers say to owl if anyone spots him.”
Harry looks at Draco again, frowning.
“That’s a good reason to take on an animagus form.”
“Right, but how would he know he’d need to? It was a surprise visit, he wouldn’t have been able to prepare, an animagus potion takes months to brew.”
“He could’ve already been one, my dad did it at 15.” Harry points out. “And Malfoy’s good at potions. He got really skilled in unusual magic Seventh year, remember?”
“I honestly don’t think it’s very likely that your cat is Malfoy’s animagus form, Harry. You just happened upon each other, what are the odds of the cat you brought home secretly being a wizard in hiding?”
“Alright, Hermione. Let me know if you get any more news. I was already planning to check the bookstore myself.”
“I’ll keep you updated, Harry. Take care.” Hermione says, and hangs up.
Harry summons the paper from the front porch, huffing when he reads the front page. ‘ Death Eater Flees Manor after Aurors Find Dark Artifacts: Draco Malfoy, heir to Malfoy estate, went missing from his Wiltshire home Wednesday and is wanted for possession of highly illegal items. ’
The moving photograph below the headline is one of Malfoy from his trial, which Harry assumes is just to really hammer home what a dangerous and scary Dark Wizard Malfoy is, but in the picture, Malfoy only looks frightened and thin.
“Draco, come see this.” He tells the cat, who is sitting on his kitchen counter. “And don’t sit on my kitchen counter, who knows how clean your arse is.” He complains.
The cat doesn’t respond in any way for another moment, but hops down when Harry spreads the article over the table. He looks over it for a moment, then curls up on top of it. Harry pats his head.
“I get why you’d want to just be a cat until this blows over. I’m sure they’ll check for your magical signature at your house and prove you didn’t have anything to do with those things.” He assures the cat, who purrs lightly for a moment.
Harry makes himself some breakfast, then dresses to go to a pet shop to determine what a perhaps secretly human cat would eat.
Harry buys pet-things.
Thanks everyone for all your comments and kudos, they mean the world to me!
“Uh, why do you ask, sir?” The employee asked warily.
“I’m only curious as I wouldn’t want a human who did happen to eat this cat food to be poisoned.” Harry explains.
He’s well aware that he’s an incredibly strange sight today.
He’s wearing muggle clothes with his old dragonhide auror boots, plus a prim white cat across his shoulders, and he’s inquiring about which cat food would taste the best to a human.
“It’s er, it’s cat food. It’s not meant to be eaten by people.”
“No, I know that. But if a person did eat it, would they be alright? Does cat food taste good?”
“I don’t know, I’ve never tried any.” The employee says, baffled. “Should I fetch my manager? She may be more helpful.”
“Sure, that’s fine.” Harry agrees, turning back to the cat food shelves. Once he’s gone, Harry looks to the little fuzzy face on his shoulder. “Anything strike your fancy? I could get a couple if you want to try different ones before deciding.”
Harry has no idea why he’s being so generous with a cat who may be his once arch-rival. But still, it’s nice. Harry hasn’t had a pet since Hedwig and he’s missed the company.
Hermione and Ron are busy all the time, and Neville works long hours in his private study even when he is home. The rest of their friends from school are all doing different things, some aren’t even nearby anymore. And the aurors Harry had been friendly with didn’t invite him to drinks now as he hadn’t worked with them in nearly a year.
When Harry had happened upon Malfoy’s book shop shortly after quitting, he’d taken his book recommendations seriously and found that Malfoy had wonderful suggestions. Much of Harry’s downtime now was filled with reading Malfoy’s carefully curated choices.
A meow brought him back to the present.
“Right, can’t talk. Er, could you point? With your nose or something? I’ll put you down.” Harry suggests, taking Draco off his shoulders.
He glances up at Harry, but eventually sniffs about a little, looking at the different bags, cans and cartons of food. He leaps up onto a shelf, nudging a bag with his nose.
“This one?” Harry asks, but the cat just looks at him blankly. “Okay. Any others?”
Draco turns his nose up at the rest of the food options, then leaps back onto Harry’s shoulder gracefully, settling across them once more.
“Sir, Evan mentioned you had some questions about choosing a cat food.” A middle aged woman approached Harry with a friendly expression.
“Yes, I’ve recently acquired this cat and he’s very picky. What would you say is the best tasting option for food? I’m looking for something that would also be alright for a human to eat.”
“That’s… a bit of an unusual request. But none of these food options are harmful if ingested by a human. Do you have children who may get into the cat food?” She asks.
What an obvious reason to ask the strange question!
“Yes! I do. A toddler, cutest thing ever but he’s always getting into the cupboards.” Harry lies, and Draco sort of startles on his shoulder at the vigor of his response. Harry strokes the tail draped easily over his shoulder. Draco meows righteously and hits Harry’s nose with the tail, though it doesn’t have much force behind it. “Draco, behave!” Harry hisses at him. Draco meows angrily again.
“Right. Well, all of the foods we sell are organic and healthy options for your pet, and are harmless for humans to ingest. I can’t personally offer my opinion on taste, but I’ve found that this type of wet food is particularly popular with our cat owners.” She says, pointing at a can that Draco had specifically turned his nose up at.
Harry takes the cat off his shoulders again, holding him up to the can.
“What do you think? I’ll get this and the one you picked so you can try both.” Harry offers, but once again, Draco turns his nose up with an upset meow. “Okay, just the one you picked then.”
The manager is giving him a strange look as Harry drops Draco to the floor and hoists the large bag Draco had chosen over his shoulder.
“Like I said, very picky.” Harry offers as an explanation, walking out of the aisle with Draco following him toward the front of the store.
“Of course.” The manager says weakly. “Is he chipped?”
“Is he what?” Harry pauses. Draco looks at her as well, a strangely human reaction.
“Most pet owners chip their pets so if they get lost, anyone who finds them can return them to the right home. It’s a quick injection, hardly hurts them at all. Same reason you’d use a collar but it’s more permanent so if anything were to happen to the collar, you could still be reunited.” She explains.
“Er, no, he’s not. Do you sell collars, though?” Harry asks curiously.
“We do, there’s a selection up near the registers. We can have a tag engraved while you wait as well.” The manager offers, on her usual footing once more. Harry looks down at Draco, who glares at him. Harry grins.
“Yeah, can you help me get him a collar and tag? Maybe a bell, too?”
Draco glowers the whole time Harry sits with the large bag of food, but doesn’t try to escape.
“Here you go, Mr. Potter.” Another employee holds out a pale pink collar with a little heart-shaped tag reading
If found, please return to:
12 Grimmauld Pl, London.’
He isn’t particularly concerned about the inscription or his address, since he’s nearly positive the cat is actually Draco Malfoy and therefore wouldn’t actually get lost in the first place. It’s more of a… private joke.
A tiny silver bell also jingles merrily as the collar is passed to Harry, who turns to find Draco standing, looking as murderous as a cat can… which is to say, quite.
“Come here, Draco.” Harry says with a grin.
As he reaches for the cat, he takes off, running deeper into the store away from Harry.
“Pardon me a moment, I’ll be right back.” Harry tells the baffled employee. He jogs off after Draco, following the sleek little white blur as he darts between the aisles.
Finally, he comes to a stop at the very top of a high cat tower, and Harry starts laughing.
“You can’t stay in the store, you gotta come home with me. Come on, Draco, don’t be a prat. Unless you want to be eating street rats and sleeping in the cold…”
That seems to do the trick, as Draco turns his head back toward Harry with a haughty air. He climbs down and jumps back onto Harry’s shoulder.
“Good, hold still now-” Harry says, starting to put on the collar, but Draco snatches it from his hands and tosses it away. “Draco!” Harry scolds.
The second try, Draco seems to have resigned himself to allowing the collar. Harry coos at how cute he is, rubbing his ears, and Draco hisses at him, which makes Harry laugh again.
“So stuck up even as a cat. Alright, I’m getting this tower thing too and we’ll go home.”
Harry lifts the cat tower down from the shelf, carrying it easily in one hand and returning to the front of the store.
“I’m back, cat in tow. I’m also getting this.” Harry tells the clerk, who scans the barcode from the collar’s tag, the food and the tower.
Draco is behaving again, so Harry puts him back down, to Draco’s apparent dismay.
“Yes, you have to walk like the rest of us. I’m carrying all your shit back to the house.” Harry tells him. “Suck it up.”
Draco turns up his nose and looks away from Harry.
“It’s almost like he understands you.” The clerk says as she punches some more buttons and gestures for him to slide his card.
“Oh I’m fairly certain he does. He’s always been quite smart.” Harry says vaguely. Draco looks back at him curiously. “See? He likes being complimented. Big ego and all that.” Harry teases, and Draco hisses again, turning to the exit while he waits impatiently.
The clerk startles Harry by laughing.
“Right. Well, I hope everything is satisfactory. Have a good day.”
“You too!” Harry says brightly, hoisting the food bag onto his shoulder again and picking up the tower. “Let’s go, Draco.”
Once they’re on the street, Draco winds his way between Harry’s feet, and Harry wonders if he’s nervous with all the cars passing.
“You alright, Draco?” He asks. The cat looks up, then jumps onto the tower that Harry’s holding in one hand, climbs his sleeve and walks across his shoulders to perch on the food bag laying across Harry’s left shoulder. Harry laughs.
“Well, that solves that problem I guess. Good thing you don’t weigh anything.”
Draco meows impatiently, and Harry picks up the pace back to Grimmauld.
In an effort to stay in shape to eventually rejoin the ranks of the aurors, Harry had installed a home gymnasium of sorts, turning an old ballroom into a workout room. He had some spelled weights which he could change the heft of, a magically moving floor to run on, and a few other contraptions set up to maximise the space.
Granted, he didn’t often use it, as the past year has lessened his desire to return to work now that he finally has some goddamn peace in his life, but today, there’s a bit of an unexplained spark in his step as he gets up, so here he finds himself.
He leaves the door open in case Draco wants something or gets lonely in the big empty house.
Harry starts by running, working up a sweat and stripping off his tshirt. The mirror off to the side tells him he’s already flushed, but that’s his own fault for not having been in here for a month at least.
Once his legs are burning, Harry steps off and stills the floor with a wave of his hand (he had to learn some specific wandless spells because Hermione got really grossed out at the notion of his sweaty hands holding his wand. She had a point).
He doesn’t notice the little white cat sitting in the doorway until he’s dangling by his knees doing upside down sit ups and hears a sort of strangled noise.
“Draco?” Harry asks, midway through his set. He lowers back down, kicking his legs off to flip easily off the bar and Draco meows again, sounding only slightly more possessing of his wits. If that’s something you can judge by a cat’s meow.
“You alright? Need food or anything?” Harry offers, wiping his sweaty face with a flannel and kneeling in front of the cat.
Draco’s eyes are wider than usual, the black spreading far over the grey.
“Is it possible for a cat to look feverish? Because you look a tad peaky.” Harry says in concern, leaning closer.
Draco doesn’t respond, just jumps onto Harry’s damp shoulders and licks at the sweat.
“Oh no, I don’t think salt is good for you-” Harry tries, but he’s interrupted by a slight scratch. “Ow! Gentle, please.”
Draco lays down, rubbing his cheeks on Harry’s neck and purring loudly.
“Okay, I’m going to er… You wanna sit on my back while I do push ups?” Harry suggests, and Draco doesn’t seem to mind this idea as he doesn’t leave or make any other noises.
Harry slowly shifts so Draco can move from his shoulders to the centre of his back, and Harry takes the plank position.
Draco is so little that he doesn’t add much weight, if any, and Harry cranks out a strong set before he drops down to his stomach to rest.
“I swear, if you are Malfoy and you get off on this… Well, fuck you.” Harry laughs, though he’s strangely intrigued by the idea of Malfoy getting off on this. He decides not to acknowledge the thought.
Harry finally has to shoo Draco as he enters the bathroom, and Draco meows indignantly, hopping up onto the bed to meow in Harry’s direction until the door closes.
The hot water soothes the ache in his muscles, and Harry stays in the shower longer than he usually would.
When he comes out, Draco is curled into a little ball on Harry’s pillow, purring noisily with his eyes closed. The sheets look a bit more rumpled than one would expect from a small cat, but then again, Draco had been a bit pissed to be left out here.
“Hey Draco, I’m making dinner.” Harry says, poking the cat gently on the nose.
Draco lifts his head, looking around and then at Harry. He yawns, and Harry grins.
“C’mon, up.” Harry says, twisting his shoulder closer to Draco in invitation. Draco leaps up easily, taking his usual spot. “Lucky for me you’re such a dainty kitty or it might hurt after my workout.” Harry teases, and Draco hisses.
Harry laughs. This cat must be Malfoy, there was no other reason for Draco to hiss.
While Harry cooks, he hums what he’s referred to in his head as the ‘cooking tune’ he’d heard Molly sing to herself on many occasions at the Burrow. Draco purrs softly, and Harry occasionally offers him a nip of ingredients he’s using. Draco particularly enjoys the cheese.
Harry sits him down on the table, sprinkling a few pieces of cheese into the cat food, which seems to make it more palatable to his poncy cat.
“Do cats actually like drinking milk?” Harry wonders aloud. He takes out the carton from the fridge and pours some into a saucer, setting it in front of Draco, who stares at it for a moment before sniffing and dipping his tongue into it.
“You have a very small tongue.” Harry tells him, and Draco just looks up, licking his nose. “Such a dainty kitty.” He teases, and Draco stares at him a moment longer before returning to his milk.
By the time he’s done with it, Harry has finished his own food, and with a wave of his wand, sets the kitchen to cleaning itself up.
Draco watches mesmerised, and Harry watches Draco.
Finally, the cat tears his eyes away and gets back onto Harry’s shoulders.
Harry decides tonight is as good a time as any to seek out his friends and their strong opinions, so he puts on his trainers and tells Draco the plan.
“Draco, we’re visiting the Weasleys tonight, Hermione told me to visit them the other day and I want them to meet you.” Harry says, shrugging on a jacket. Draco meows in displeasure, jumping down from his perch.
“I know you don’t like them, but seeing as you’re a cat for now, you’ve got to do as I say.” Harry says with a grin, scooping Draco up and setting him across his shoulders again. “And don’t you dare run off, you’re wearing my name so you’ll be easily spotted. Plus, I’m pretty sure I could Summon you by the collar.”
Draco meows angrily, but stays where he is.
Harry puts his hand on Draco’s back just in case as he Apparates them to the quaint little Weasley house. Draco meows indignantly.
“Harry, you’re here!” Hermione says breathlessly as she opens the door.
“I am, don’t mind me, I’ve just come to see how you’re all doing. Can I help out at all?” Harry offers. Ron enters the room with a child in his arms.
“Yeah, hold Hugo, won’t you? He won’t stop fussing and I’ve got to take a piss.” Ron says, thrusting the unhappy child into Harry’s arms. “Nice cat.”
“Thanks.” Harry says vaguely, adjusting the baby to be more comfortable and sitting down on the sofa.
“This is the one you think is Malfoy?” Hermione asks, stuffing Rose’s chubby little legs into her pyjamas.
“Yeah, looks a bit like him, doesn’t he? Go say hi to Hermione, don’t be rude.” Harry leans forward enough for Draco to be dislodged, landing gracefully on the floor. He meows angrily at Harry. “Be nice. ” Harry insists, and Draco glares at him for another moment, then curls up on another couch.
“He certainly acts very cat-like.”
“Malfoy already acted very cat-like.” Harry points out.
“I suppose you’d know.” Hermione shrugs.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Harry asks defensively. Hermione smiles.
“Harry, we’ve talked about this. You’ve always been very aware of Malfoy, and ever since you found his shop you’ve gone there nearly every week. You’ve started talking about him obsessively every time we see you just like Sixth year all over again.”
“They have good books at that shop!” Harry protests.
“They sell the same books any other shop would sell.” Hermione corrects. “I know, I’ve been and there’s nothing special about the shop itself.”
“You went to Malfoy’s shop?” Harry repeats.
“Of course, I wanted to see if he’s still dreadful. Unfortunately, he wasn’t working at the time and unlike someone, seeing Malfoy isn’t important enough to me to go back another time.”
Harry huffs, but can’t deny it without incriminating himself.
“Thanks for taking him, Harry.” Ron says, wiping his hands off on his jeans. “How’ve you been?”
“Pretty good, actually. Draco’s been surprisingly good company.” Harry says, looking at the ball of white fur on the next sofa.
“Draco?” Ron asks, noticing the cat there. “Oh, this must be the cat you’ve adopted, huh?”
“Yeah, I named him Draco.” Harry explains.
“Right, you think he’s Malfoy in disguise.” Ron says in a tone Harry recognises as him humoring the situation.
“Look at him, he’s got a black smudge where Malfoy has the Mark on his arm, and there’s a scar across his chest where I sectumsempra’d him.” Harry says. “And his eyes are the same colour.”
“Since when do you know Malfoy’s eye colour?” Ron asks with a smirk.
“I’m observant.” Harry says indignantly. “Why does that shock everyone?”
“Because you’re only observant with Malfoy. Could you even tell me what colour Ginny’s eyes are?” Hermione challenges.
“Er- Blue, aren’t they?” Harry asks, looking at Ron’s for confirmation, pleased he’d at least gotten that right to Neville. They’re probably the same, right?
“Merlin, you dated her!” Ron laughs. “They’re brown, by the way.”
“Sod off.” Harry grumbles.
Ron sits down heavily next to Draco, who is jostled and meows unhappily at Ron.
“Like I’ve said, Harry. I highly doubt your new cat is Malfoy. It’s really cute you named him Draco, though.” Hermione teases. Harry rolls his eyes.
“You’ll all feel like a bunch of morons when he turns out to be Malfoy after all, and I’ll be the one laughing then.”
Ron peers into Draco’s little face curiously. Draco stares back blankly.
“I see why you named him after the git, he’s certainly just as pointy as Malfoy was. Still, I agree with Hermione, I think it’s too coincidental for you to have just happened upon the one cat in Britain that’s wanted for crimes against wizards.”
Draco hisses, and Ron laughs.
“Now that is something Malfoy would do.” Hermione chuckles.
“See? You should’ve seen him in the pet store. And I called him dainty earlier and he hissed then too.” Harry says.
“You really think Malfoy would willingly let you put a collar with your name on it?” Ron points out, trying to read the tag when Draco hisses again and gets up to walk off.
“I guess.” Harry shrugs. “He did try to stop me but gave up, I guess.”
“Or maybe he’s into it,” Ron grins, wiggling his eyebrows. “Just put up a token fight over it.”
Harry snorts, blushing.
“I highly doubt that.”
Harry returns to Malfoy's bookshop with Draco
“Am I meant to give you a bath?” Harry realises belatedly. “I suppose one doesn’t typically invite a strange cat into one’s home without bathing them or checking for fleas.”
Draco gives him a somehow affronted look before returning to the licking of his paws.
“I’m sure you take very good care of yourself, but there are plenty of ways you could’ve picked up something during your adventures.” Harry says, leaning closer like he would be able to see the fleas if he tries hard enough.
Draco meows, staring back at Harry in challenge.
“That settles it, I’m giving you a bath whether or not you like it.” Harry says, scooping up the cat before he can try running away.
Draco sort of squawks in discontent, and Harry brings him into his bathroom, shutting the door securely before he puts Draco down on top of the toilet tank.
“I will be minimally invasive, I promise. I just don’t want an infestation in my home, it would be very hard to explain to the muggle pest control why I’ve got such a strange house.”
Harry turns on the water to a nice warm bath temperature, then plugs the drain.
“I reckon I’ll have to use my shampoo on you. It’s meant for curly hair, or that’s what Hermione tells me at least, but I don’t think it’ll change anything about your fur.”
Harry is mostly talking to himself as he sets things up. Then he’s tasked with getting Draco into the water.
“If you work with me here, it’ll be much quicker and easier for us both.” Harry tells him, approaching slowly. Draco hisses, backing away until he’s on the edge of the tank.
Harry picks him up, ignoring the meow of protest and attempts at scratching to lower him slowly into the water.
“It’s not that bad, Draco.” Harry tells him, holding his body so only his legs are wet while Draco flails and splashes Harry as much as possible. “Merlin, you’re really going to make this as difficult as possible aren’t you.”
Harry puts Draco back down on the rug, letting him dash off to the sink as a refuge.
“You git, you’ve soaked me.” Harry complains, pulling his wet shirt off. Draco seems distracted by the movement, so Harry takes the opportunity to turn on the sink faucet, which is thankfully warm from the tub heating up, and soaking Draco’s back end while he leaps away from the water with a loud meow of betrayal.
Harry catches him easily, and holds him against his chest for a moment, hoping to soothe him.
“This is for your own good, Draco. You’ll thank me later. Well, actually probably not. But I’ll thank myself to not have fleas.”
He strokes Draco’s back, sitting on the rug next to the tub.
“I’m putting you back in now, I’d thank you to cooperate.” Harry says. Draco meows unhappily, but not as aggressively as earlier.
He still puts up a token resistance, but finally stands sadly in the shallow water. Harry makes a sympathetic noise at the waterlogged cat glowering at him.
“You look so sad.” Harry says with a smile, scooping water in his hand over Draco’s back. Once Draco’s sufficiently soaked, Harry grabs his shampoo.
“Here, smell.” He offers, holding his hand out with the glob. Draco sniffs it curiously, and his eyes blink slowly. “See? Not bad at all.”
He scrubs the shampoo into Draco’s fur gently until Draco’s purring beneath his touch. Harry smiles, noting that Draco stops once he’s seen Harry’s face.
Finally, Harry turns the water back on to rinse him off, and Draco sullenly allows it.
The tub drains, and Harry takes Draco out of it to wrap him snugly in the best towel he owns.
Draco’s little face peeks out from the bundle, and Harry laughs.
“You’re so cute .” He strokes from nose to behind his ears with one finger, and Draco starts purring again, then falls asleep.
On Wednesday, Harry brings Draco out with him, and he pauses outside the bookstore.
“I think I’ll actually be disappointed if Malfoy is here. That would mean you actually are just a regular cat.” Harry says. He sighs aloud. “I’m going mental.”
He opens the door.
“Hey Harry!” Celeste greets him warmly.
“Hi Celeste.” Harry says to her, following his usual routine of looking over the ‘employee’s choice of the week’ display. Usually the selection is done by Malfoy himself, but this book cover is too gaudy, not something he would’ve chosen. Harry’s heart sinks a bit.
Normally, he reads the cover and just as he’s finishing, Malfoy comes out of the back room with a funny little comment about Harry’s appearance that day and Harry laughs before he insults Malfoy right back.
“Potter, did you wait till after you chose your outfit before putting on your glasses?” Malfoy says, his grey eyes full of teasing and none of the contempt they used to hold. Harry grins.
“Always trying to worm your way into customers’ good graces with your delightful charm, huh Malfoy?” Harry says back. Malfoy laughs, a light, carefree sound that Harry loves.
“I’ve just the thing for the likes of you. Not too challenging but quite the page-turner.” Malfoy says, walking to the fiction section of the store, knowing Harry will follow. Harry always follows.
When he finishes the book synopsis, Harry looks around with a frown.
“He’s not here.” Celeste says sadly from where she’s arranging books on the shelf behind the counter. “Hasn’t been here for a week now.”
“Do you know where he is? What happened?” Harry asks. As a muggle herself, Celeste knows nothing of Malfoy Manor’s raid or Malfoy’s disappearance.
“No idea. He didn’t say anything, or seem like anything was wrong. He just… didn’t show up for his shift Thursday. We were supposed to get drinks after I closed on Friday, but he wasn’t there either, or answering his mobile.” She pauses her work, leaning her elbows on the glass countertop.
Harry unconsciously finds himself petting Draco’s head where it sits on his shoulder.
“I hope he’s alright.” Harry says.
“Me too. Every day that he doesn’t show up, I get more worried. Our boss said that if he doesn’t turn up or give some kind of explanation by the end of the month, he’ll be terminated as an employee.”
“Really? What if he’s… sick, in the hospital or something?” Harry asks.
“I’m sure he could get his job back if he had a good explanation, like a coma or something, but we have to hire someone else to pick up the slack. Sales are starting to suffer.” Celeste explains. “It’s really a shame, he’s good. Lots of people have missed him already in the shifts he’s missed, he gives excellent recommendations.”
“I know.” Harry says immediately. He blushes slightly when Draco purrs a bit on his shoulder. “Er, his suggestions to me have always been really good. I was hoping to pick up another today.”
“Oh!” Celeste stands up straight, dashing into the back. She comes back with a book in her hand. “Would you happen to know anything of this? He closed the last shift he was here, and this was open on the marked page. He never leaves things out, I was wondering if it was some sort of message. Everything was closed down and locked up but this was still out.”
Harry takes the offered book, opening to the bookmark. Draco jumps off his shoulder onto a nearby short bookcase. Harry glances at him.
“You alright, Draco?” He asks, which makes Celeste give a funny little noise. Harry blushes when he looks at her.
“You named your cat after him?” She asks in surprise. Harry blushes deeper.
“Yeah, I did. He looks like him, doesn’t he?” He says, nodding to the cat, who tilts his little face at Celeste.
“Sort of. If Draco was an animal, he’d probably look like your cat.” She offers. “He’s even got a spot where his tattoo is.”
“You’ve seen his tattoo?” Harry asks in surprise.
“Once. Is he weird about it with you too? It seems like you’re sort of friends.”
“He’s always been weird about it.” Harry shrugs. “I think he regrets getting it. Actually, no, I know he regrets it.”
Draco meows as if in agreement, and Harry brushes his hand over his head once.
“How do you know each other? You didn’t meet here.” She says. She had been working the first time Harry had been to the shop, had witnessed the confused
‘Malfoy? What are you doing here?’
‘I work here.’
‘Seriously? Everyone said you’d gone to France.’
‘You read the articles about me, Potter?’ Malfoy lifted a brow at Harry.
‘I read the paper, and it happened to be about you that day. Don’t get cocky.’ Harry corrected, ignoring his blush.
‘I wouldn’t dream of it.’ Malfoy said haughtily. ‘Now can I help you find something or are you going to gape at me till closing?’
“No. We went to school together.” Harry explains. “Weren’t exactly friends then, but we’ve come to some sort of truce I suppose.” He looks over at Draco, who seems like he’s ignoring the conversation entirely.
“I see. I thought maybe you’d dated, from the way he reacted.”
Harry turns red and Draco coughs in a strange way for a cat.
“No. No, we very much did not date.” Harry says decidedly. Celeste gives him a weird look.
“Did you want to?” She asks suddenly, nudging her glasses higher on her nose. “God, did you sleep together, and then it was like, really weird afterward for some reason?”
Harry blushes up to his hairline.
“No! Er, I mean… no, we were sort of arch rivals in school.” He says haltingly. He hurries on . “I hadn’t seen him for years until I came here. Didn’t think he was even in Britain anymore.”
“Yeah I remember that. Why would he be in France? Did something happen? I know he speaks French, although he gets super dodgy when I ask about it. And he never told me why he was in some paper you read. No matter how much I looked, I haven’t been able to find any record of his name in a paper.”
“Erm.” Harry starts uncertainly. “I didn’t know he speaks French but it’s not surprising, he’s always been very posh and secretive.” Harry says, giving Draco a look.
“Is he secretly rich? He dresses like he is, like an old money sort of way.” Celeste interrupts. Harry hides his relief.
“Yeah, from what I know. I’ve been to his family’s house before, it's… ridiculous.” Harry laughs. “He still lives there. Or did, before…” Harry trails off.
Before he vanished.
“Right.” Celeste says, sad again. “Well, what do you think about the book?”
Harry reads over the marked page, but it seems like just another novel, this one is about a lighthouse keeper. Harry knows that Malfoy is partial to ocean-adjacent stories.
“He must’ve been reading it, this is something he’d read for fun.” Harry shrugs. “I can’t see anything special about the book itself.”
Draco meows, stepping forward a bit to catch Harry’s attention.
“What, do you think I should buy it?” He asks. Draco meows again, looking away. Harry follows his gaze, but doesn’t see anything specific he should be looking at.
“Strange cat.” Celeste remarks.
“I know.” Harry agrees, lifting Draco back onto his shoulders. “I’ll get this. Maybe there’s a secret message I’m not seeing. I’ll let you know if I find anything out.”
Celeste rings him up. Harry pokes about the shop a little more, though he’s not really sure why. Draco rests comfortably from his perch.
“I suppose without you here, it really is just a normal shop.” Harry sighs when Celeste is helping someone else.
Harry isn’t all that surprised to be approached by a muggle-clothed auror as he exits.
“Mr. Potter.” He greets. Harry nods, not remembering the man’s name.
“Evening. Something wrong?”
“You must know of the disappearance of Draco Malfoy, yes?”
“I saw a headline about it but I don’t know the particulars. Don’t tell me you suspect me.” He tries to joke, and the auror shakes his head.
“Of course not, sir. As a former auror yourself, not to mention Saviour of the Wizarding World, you’re the last person for us to suspect. Besides, you’re famously unfriendly with the suspect.”
“Right.” Harry says blankly. “So what’s the trouble?”
“Malfoy worked there, in the shop. We’re keeping an eye out for him should he return here.”
“I see. What do you need from me, then? I have dinner plans I’m inclined to keep.” Harry lies again.
“Of course. I just wondered if you’d seen anything inside the shop you think might be suspicious. Our examinations have shown your magical signature is prominent inside indicating you may frequent this shop.”
“I’m friends with the clerk inside, the young lady.” Harry says, not mentioning he’s only friends with her because she’s friends with Malfoy. “Nothing seems out of place, I’ve just come to buy the book she recommended.”
“I see. Would you object to being scanned for Malfoy’s signature? He may have some sort of charm he uses to disguise himself.” He says, eyeing the white cat sitting in agitation on Harry’s shoulder.
“I assume any objection I may have would not be taken into account. Are you suggesting my pet cat is a disguised Malfoy? I think I may have noticed that, not to mention I’ve had him longer than Malfoy’s been missing.”
“Certainly, of course you would have been aware, my apologies for the insinuation. I’m only meaning to be thorough.”
“Is Malfoy an animagus?” Harry asks.
“Not registered, but you never know. He’s not one to abide by the law.”
“If I recall correctly, he was acquitted by the law, and at least over the course of my time as an auror, I was never informed of any further infractions.” Harry points out. The man frowns.
“You’re defending him?”
“I’m stating facts.” Harry corrects. Appearing sympathetic to Malfoy now wouldn’t help either of them. “I suggest you stick to them as you continue your investigation. Good evening.”
Harry leaves before the auror can realise that he never scanned their signatures, nor did Harry actually deny defending Malfoy.
“I never liked him, he’s a kiss-arse.” Harry tells Draco as he walks back home.
When they arrive home, he runs the official auror revealing charms over the book, looking for anything unusual while Draco watches.
Sure enough, prints registered to Malfoy in the Ministry magical database are found, along with a few others’ which are unidentified, and most likely muggle. Harry is surprised to find one set belongs to another auror, one who had never been particularly fond of Harry when he worked there, likely due to the favouritism Harry had unwillingly been shown.
“Did aurors find you in the book shop?” He asks Draco. “Is that why you ran? News about the Manor didn’t hit until Saturday morning. If you’d left the book there after closing when you normally put everything away, that must mean you left in some kind of hurry.”
Draco the cat only blinks back at him blankly. He lays down eventually.
“After they’re done investigating the artifacts at your house, I’m sure they’ll call off the search for you and you can go back to how things were.” He says, petting Draco gently. “Still sucks though.”
Draco is difficult to find when he’s hiding.
Granted, Harry assumes Malfoy had been in hiding when he’d found Draco and kidnapped him, but the cat Draco is significantly better at not being discovered than the person Malfoy and Harry suspects it’s because his cat spine is made of rubber.
This realisation comes to him as he hears a faint meow from a shelf in the sitting room, and looks up to see Draco’s nose peeking out from a basket on a high shelf as he's coming downstairs after his shower. Harry laughs.
“Oh hey. What are you doing up there, are you stuck?” Harry laughs. He can only imagine how embarrassing it would be for Malfoy if it turns out he’d gotten stuck in a basket somewhere and had to cry for Harry’s help.
Draco meows once more, ducking his head back down and out of sight.
Harry picks up the basket and peers into it.
“Are you this bendy as a person?” He asks, impressed. It gives him a funny feeling that he decides to ignore.
Draco hisses indignantly, so Harry laughs again and sets the basket back on the shelf where it was before and sits down to read a magazine Luna had sent him.
He was nearly done with it when a blur of white landed on the seat beside him.
“Hi pet, you done hiding?” Harry asks with a smile, but Draco seems distracted looking at what Harry’s reading.
Harry closes the magazine and uses the edge to nudge Draco’s chin up so he looks at Harry.
Draco’s pupils suddenly dilate widely, and Harry opens his mouth to express concern when Draco leaps down from the sofa and darts off.
“Huh.” Harry says vaguely.
Harry throws a party
Draco isn’t in his normal spot when Harry wakes up, so he takes advantage of his morning wood, closing his door with magic and pulling his pants down.
With Draco around, he doesn’t take the time to let loose like he used to, only sometimes in the shower. Harry sighs in relief when he gets a hand around himself. He summons his lube, adding it to the equation.
He’s just starting to work up to something when he hears a faint scratching at his door. He ignores it at first, but as it only gets louder and doesn’t stop, he grunts, pulls back up his pants and wipes his hand on them, getting up.
When he opens the door, Draco is sitting there primly, paw raised and claws out, frozen now that the door is gone.
“Yes?” Harry asks sarcastically. Draco puts his paw back down, meowing up at Harry but not entering.
“Go away, I’m busy.” Harry says shortly, gesturing vaguely to his erection. Draco hisses, but turns and leaves, strutting away angrily. Harry hears him going down the stairs, then shuts the door and returns to his business.
Once he’s done and out of the shower, he finds Draco licking his paw in the kitchen, steadfastly ignoring Harry.
“Sorry I was short with you earlier, I was preoccupied.” Harry explains, not really sure why he needs to justify himself to his cat. Draco meows, but doesn’t look at him. “You know you’re not supposed to be on the counter, but I’ll give you a pass since I was cross.”
Draco meows again.
Harry turns his attention to making some breakfast, and after a while, Draco jumps onto Harry’s shoulders, his claws scratching Harry’s bare skin lightly.
“Ow! Gentle, Draco. Put your claws away.” Harry complains.
When Harry sits down on the sofa to eat instead of the kitchen table, he notices the book Malfoy had left out in the bookstore is on the floor instead of where Harry had left it when he put it down.
“Draco? Were you reading this?” Harry asks with a laugh. He picks it up. The bookmark is in the same place as before.
Draco the cat meows, knocking the book out of Harry’s hand and taking a spot on his lap, meowing insistently and looking at Harry’s eggs.
“I don’t know if you can eat eggs.” Harry says. “Then again, who knows what an animagus can and can’t eat, if you’re even Malfoy to begin with.”
Draco meows again, and Harry sighs.
“Fine, go ahead.” He says, turning the plate so the scrambled eggs are in front of Draco’s nose. “Don’t eat the sausage, I don’t think it’ll be good for you.”
Harry was woken up mid-scream, and panting, he realised Draco was stepping on his forehead repeatedly, meowing in concern.
“Draco? Sorry, did I wake you up?” Harry asked. He picked the cat up, setting him on his chest instead. “Merlin, I just had the worst dream.” Harry sighs. His heart is still pounding, and he kicks the twisted blankets from off his legs.
The flashes of green light still play behind his eyes when he blinks, and he pets Draco’s fuzzy back absently as he catches his breath. Draco seems fine with curling up on Harry’s chest, contentedly purring.
“You know, when ‘Mione had Crookshanks at school, she was always talking about a cat’s purrs accelerating physical healing somehow, like hidden magic in a muggle animal.” Harry huffs a little, and Draco lifts his head as the sudden movement jostles him.
“Sorry. It’s just a bit funny to me that it’s you here with me after all this time. You could sleep on the bed if you wanted to, I can’t imagine the window seat is very comfortable or warm.” Harry offers. Draco doesn’t respond, but lays his head back down and starts purring again.
By the time Harry does get up, he’s feeling refreshed and surprisingly well rested despite getting his usual four and a half hours of sleep.
“Merlin, is that the date?” Harry asks in surprise, noticing Neville’s calendar stuck to the refrigerator.
Neville is a creature of habit, and back when Harry was working, he’d watch sleepily from the kitchen table as Neville performed the exact same routine every morning, starting by drawing a large X over the previous day’s date and ending with washing out his coffee mug. Neither would speak as Neville’s ability to talk didn’t come until he was leaving for work, and Harry was always crabby in the mornings.
“I suppose some shopping is in order then. I’ll have to leave you here, and remember not to mess with any of Neville’s things or you’ll be sleeping in the yard.” He says, pointing at Draco’s face. Draco meows blandly.
Harry pours Draco some of his cat food and makes himself an omelette. After Draco has eaten a bit of the cat food, he hops onto the table to meow at Harry’s food.
Harry cuts a little corner off his omelette with minimal vegetables and holds it out on his fork for Draco, who takes the offered bite delicately. Harry feeds Draco until the cat sits down and seems content.
“I’ll pop by the pet shop again and see if they have a list of human foods that cats can eat, just to be on the safe side.” Harry tells Draco. “Cat food smells awful to me, and I can’t imagine it’s much better for you.”
Draco starts licking the back of his paw, focusing on that while Harry finishes his breakfast.
Finally, Harry is ready to leave and sits to put on his trainers while Draco jumps onto his shoulders.
“Draco, you have to stay here. I’ll be running lots of errands today. Plus, I don’t think grocery stores allow animals.” Harry explains, lifting Draco off his shoulders.
Once on the floor again, Draco leaps back up defiantly with a noisy meow right into Harry’s ear.
“I know, I don’t want to leave you here either, but I’ll be back as quick as I can, I promise.” Harry assures him, patting his head and leaning back down to lace up his shoes.
With a final upset meow, Draco climbs down again, stalking off to the kitchen.
Harry’s noticed the cat does that when peeved, as he knows Harry doesn’t like when he sits on the counters.
“Get off the counter, Draco!” Harry shouts on a whim. A loud meow responds, and Harry laughs. “I’ll be back soon.”
Harry leaves, heading first to the pet store.
“Oh hello! How’s your cat?” One of the employees who had helped Harry the last time asks him cheerily.
“He’s well, a bit upset to be left at home today.” Harry laughs.
“He’s quite canny.” She agrees.
“Yes, he is. I actually just came in to ask about diets. See, he’s not overly fond of cat food, doesn’t eat much of it.”
“He may not have a large appetite, I remember him being fairly small.”
Harry laughs, the idea of Draco, who is several inches taller than himself, being told he’s a ‘fairly small’ cat is amusing, to say the least.
“That’s true. But he will eat some of my food after, so I was wondering what kinds of food I should avoid giving him.”
“Oh. Well, anything too salty isn’t good, or most sweets. But you could give him eggs, rice, chicken or other meats that aren’t too salty, fish of course, cheeses… Would you like me to write a list?” She offers.
“Yes, please.” Harry says in relief.
A few minutes later, he has a detailed list of things Draco should be fine to eat, and he heads next to a party store.
After scanning through all of the aisles and trying to remember the various wizarding or muggle parties he’s witnessed over the years, Harry finally settles on a large candle, pointed party hats, a wide, dark green spool of ribbon and colourful confetti.
The final stop is the supermarket, and Harry buys far more than he’d probably need, but can’t find it in himself to feel bad about it.
When Harry came home, he spotted the end of Draco’s tail disappearing into the kitchen.
“Hey Draco. Neville, I’m home!” Harry shouts, kicking the door shut.
Draco is sitting on the counter again when Harry enters the kitchen to put the food away.
“I told you to keep off the counters!” Harry scolds with a smile, putting everything down and washing his hands. He flicks some water at the cat.
Draco hisses, wiping his face off on his paws and hopping up onto Harry’s shoulders where Harry would be caught if he flicked more water.
“Clever cat.” Harry says, looking at the damp little face. Draco meows. “Hey, where’s your collar?”
Harry dries his hands off, abandoning the food sitting out to look.
“Hey Neville, do you know what happened to Draco’s collar?” Harry asked, wandering about the halls looking for either his flatmate or the pale pink collar itself.
“Yeah, I took it off him, sorry. You were out when I got back.” Neville’s voice calls.
“Why’d you take it off?” Harry asks, stepping into one of the studies to find Neville working on something.
“I know I’ve said I don’t think it’s Malfoy, but on the off chance that you’re right… well, if he tried shifting back with the collar on, it would strangle him before he can take it off.” Neville explains.
“Seriously? Fuck, I should’ve thought of that.” Harry frowns. “It wouldn’t transform with him?”
“Not unless he had a lot of power in the transformations, like McGonagall. But it doesn't seem worth the risk just for a joke. He never leaves the house without you anyway.”
“Good point.” Harry frowns. “I wonder if there’s a charm that would make it sort of elastic.”
“Why? You want Malfoy in a collar with your name on it?” Neville asks with a glint in his eye that Harry doesn’t like.
“No!” Harry protests too quickly. Neville grins. “I just-” Harry runs his hand through his hair, but doesn’t come up with any good reason, so he just leaves the room to Neville’s laughter.
Draco meows mockingly from his shoulder.
“Shove off, Draco.” Harry grumbles, scooping up the cat and putting him on the kitchen table.
“Harry, what in Merlin’s beard are you doing?” Neville asks, surveying the chaos of their shared kitchen.
“Oh hey Neville. I’m making enough dinner for everyone, have a seat.”
“Right, but why?” Neville asks again. “And why’s Draco wearing that?” He asks in amusement.
Draco is sitting crankily on the kitchen table, the green ribbon tied in a large, messy bow at the back of his neck with long tails hanging around the front. He also has a pointed muggle party hat held on by an elastic around his chin. He doesn’t look pleased.
“Oh, I went to a muggle party store, I didn’t know what else to get, I’ve seen these hats and I’ve always found them very funny. And don’t worry, I’ve explained to him that he can take the ribbon off by stepping on the tails. If he is Malfoy, he understands.” Harry says, petting Draco’s back. Draco looks at him in contempt.
“I see. But that doesn’t explain why?”
“It’s his birthday.” Harry says simply.
“How do you know Draco’s birthday?”
“I’ve been wondering that all day, but I just know for some reason, I guess it came up at school sometime.” Harry shrugs.
“No, not Malfoy’s, Draco’s, you’ve had him for three weeks.” Neville says. “Although, the fact that you know Malfoy’s birthday is not something I’ll be letting go. You don't even know mine and we've lived together for years.”
"Sure I do, it's near Christmas." Harry says with a frown. "We don't celebrate it here because you're gone for the hols with your family for a week and a half every year."
"Harry, my birthday is the day before yours, July 30."
"Why did I think it was December?"
"Well, I'll throw you a proper party this year then to make up for it." Harry promises.
"Are you going to tie a ribbon around my neck too?" Neville teases, and Harry snorts.
"No, you're not a cat. Look, whether or not this cat is actually Malfoy, I know Malfoy’s birthday is today, alright? I never got to celebrate my birthday until after Hogwarts, and it feels shitty to be forgotten. I wanted to make sure he got to celebrate even if he’s a cat now and it’s only you and me here.” Harry explains. Neville smiles widely.
“That’s really sweet of you, Harry. I’ve always known you had a soft spot for the git.” Neville teases. Harry leans forward to hold his hands over Draco’s pointy little ears as he meows weakly.
“ Neville! Not in front of Draco!” He hisses, and Neville laughs.
Neville finally stops teasing when Harry threatens to not share dinner.
Dinner itself is a strange combination, but Harry wants Draco to be able to partake. He makes scrambled eggs with melted cheese bits and pulled chicken, seasoning on the table for the people, bland in the pot for Draco.
He also gave Draco a shallow dish filled with pumpkin juice, and for dessert, he made a berry tart for himself and Neville, and a little dish of berries with less batter and seasonings for Draco.
Draco meows contentedly as he finishes everything Harry’s served him as well as some of Harry’s own dish. It seems like more than a cat would reasonably be able to finish, but Harry doesn’t mention that.
“Happy birthday, Draco. I got a candle too, though I think you’ll have to let us blow it out for you.” Harry says after dessert. He holds it up, lighting it.
Neville humors him and joins in a spirited ‘Happy Birthday’ song and he and Harry blow it out as Draco meows, leaning closer to the flame like he’s mirroring them.
Finally, Neville excuses himself, wishing the cat a happy birthday and thanking Harry for the strange meal.
Harry hums to himself as he cleans up with Draco sitting on his shoulders.
“I know this is probably not the best birthday you’ve had, but I hope it wasn’t the worst, either.” Harry says, drying the dishes. “Maybe if next year you and I are friends, we can celebrate properly.” He offers, petting Draco’s head. Draco purrs. He’s been doing that, recently.
When Harry finally gets into bed, Draco jumps onto his chest, worming his way under the covers.
“Oh hey.” Harry laughs, lifting the blankets for him to get settled. Draco’s little white face pokes out.
Draco nudges Harry’s neck with his nose, licking him a couple times, then stares into Harry’s face, blinking slowly. Harry smiles, petting from his head down his back. Draco’s tail twitches.
“Happy birthday, Draco.” Harry says. Draco meows softly before he curls up on Harry’s chest, the warm weight just as soothing as the purrs.
Harry drifts to dreamless sleep with a smile.
See my drawing of cat Draco and person Harry on Tumblr!
Harry makes a Big Decision
Harry laughs as Draco bats at the tassel Harry keeps swinging toward his head.
“I’ve never been more convinced that your cat is not Draco Malfoy.” Neville says from his armchair.
Harry rolls his eyes.
“Maybe he’s just very good at faking it.” He shrugs, looking back at Draco. The cat ignores the look, batting the tassel away again.
Harry is laying on his stomach on the floor by the fireplace next to Draco, who was here first. Neville joined them not long ago to work on… something. Whatever it is Neville works on - Harry doesn’t really know and has asked too many times to ask again.
When the flash lights up the room, both Harry and Draco snap their heads toward Neville.
“A photo? Really, Neville?” Harry asks, feeling self-conscious for some reason.
“On the off chance that your cat turns out to be him, I want this to show the Weasleys. Domestic bliss at the Potter-Malfoys, or the Malfoy-Potters, depending on who wins that argument.” Neville says, taking the Polaroid photo and setting it aside.
Harry rolls his eyes, refocusing his attention back on Draco.
“Whatever, you know we’re cute.”
Neville just snorts, so Harry ignores him.
Draco rolls onto his back, his paws still swiping at the tassel as Harry swings it. He blinks his eyes up at Harry.
“Neville’s being ridiculous.” Harry says to him, pleased when Draco chirps his agreement. “I would never hyphenate, anyway.” Harry adds with a glare toward his friend.
“Oh, you’d become a Malfoy, then?” Neville says with a laugh.
“Now there’s a headline.” Harry says, and Neville pulls out his wand to levitate another log onto the fire.
Harry yelps when Draco scratches him.
“Draco!” Harry rebukes, scowling at the cat and sticking the scratched side of his hand into his mouth. "I swear, I take my eyes off you for one second-"
“He’s a bit of an attention whore.” Neville says casually, which makes Draco hiss, rolling onto his belly again and glare at Neville threateningly. The reaction seems to tickle Neville. “He has that in common with Malfoy at least.”
“Malfoy’s not like that, not now.” Harry says, still licking at the cut even though it’s shallow enough to not bleed.
“Oh isn’t he?” Neville says with a smirk.
“No! He works a perfectly respectable if thankless job and he hasn’t been in the paper in years - aside from the Ministry stuff, but that’s hardly his fault.” Harry says.
“I do wish Malfoy was here to listen to you defending him so fiercely.” Neville says.
Harry flushes red, realising he’s taken the bait and he’s fairly certain Malfoy is here to listen.
Sure enough, Draco twists back to meow apologetically at Harry’s hand, walking over and nudging it with his nose.
“It’s not that bad, but don’t do that again or there will be consequences.” Harry warns.
Draco chirps softly, then bumps his head against Harry’s shoulder. He meows, rubbing his cheek against Harry’s, which tickles.
“Okay okay, you’re right, probably not. But it was very rude of you.”
Draco meows again, flopping down in front of Harry and tilts his head to the side, staring. Harry smiles, then moves so he’s sitting against the sofa, grabbing Draco to hold in his lap.
“You hear Sprout’s retiring at the end of this year?” Harry asks Neville as he pets Draco.
“Yeah, McGonagall mentioned it.” Neville says. “She offered me the position but I’m not sure if I want to take it.”
“Why wouldn’t you? You’ve talked about going into teaching before.”
Neville shrugs, keeping his focus on the books he’s got open and hovering around him.
“I’m not sure I’d be good at it. I’m sure someone else would be a better choice. Besides, I’m not even 25, there’s plenty of time if I decide I do want to start teaching.”
Harry looks at Draco, who has his eyes closed and his face resting on his paws.
“I get that. I mean, you’d be a good teacher, I don’t doubt that. But there’s always time to change your mind.”
“How is dear old Minnie?”
“She’s good. Going strong, the parents, teachers and kids all love her, of course.” Neville says with a smile.
“She asks about you, what you’re up to, and all. She was relieved when you decided to take time away from the aurors.”
Harry smiles. McGonagall always wanted for Harry to live peacefully after everything, and it seems she’s finally gotten her wish.
“I don’t think I’ll go back.” Harry says with a finality that even surprises himself.
“No? What made you decide?”
Harry doesn’t miss Neville’s glance at the dozing cat in his lap.
“I like this.” Harry says, gesturing vaguely at the room. “It’s nice to not have to worry about going to work tomorrow. And I actually don’t miss the daily adrenaline spikes.”
“They always did send you on the most dangerous cases.” Neville says, frowning.
“That’s another thing, I don’t think I’d ever stop being Harry Potter working for the Ministry. They sort of just expected me to bust in with a good old Expelliarmus and save the day.”
Neville snorts and rolls his eyes.
“That’s not surprising.”
“So maybe I’ll find something else to do, maybe I’ll just be lazy and useless for the rest of my life.” Harry shrugs. “We’ll see.”
Neville works quietly for another moment.
“Once his case is wrapped up and his name is cleared, you’ll be able to decide what you want.” He says, like every part of that statement is a sure fact.
“I’m- I’m not dating Malfoy, you know.” Harry says, sure that his face is flushed red.
Draco shifts slightly, so Harry resumes petting him.
“You might as well be.” Neville says easily. “You’ve been pining away since he vanished.”
Harry scoffs, darting a glance down at Draco, who appears to be sleeping, but Harry doesn’t want to take that chance.
“I’m not pining. I’m bored because I’ve run out of books.”
“Then go buy more, there’s an easy solution to that.”
“But- but how am I supposed to pick ?”
Neville rolls his eyes.
“Ask the girl clerk, what’s her name?”
“Yeah, ask her. Just because Malfoy knows you more intimately doesn’t mean she’s no good at her job.”
“ He does not know me intimately. ” Harry hisses.
Neville only laughs.
Harry uses a spell to put out the dying fire, and the resulting whoosh of cool magic seems to rouse Draco.
"Time for bed." Harry says lifting Draco to lay across Harry's shoulders. He meows softly and presses his face against Harry's neck.
When Harry gets up, he notices the Polaroid picture that Neville had left out, intending to get rid of it.
"Aw." He whispers instead. Neville had gotten his camera to take moving photos like the rest of the wizarding cameras, and the photo captures a few seconds of Harry playing with Draco on the floor.
In the photo, Harry has a ridiculous smile and soft look on his face, and Draco looks very relaxed and content.
Soft purring from Harry's shoulder startles him, and he realises Draco's also looking at the photo.
"Fuck it, we are cute." Harry mumbles, swiping the photo and heading upstairs.
And so what if he sets the photo in the corner of his dresser mirror?
Harry does go to the book shop the next day, this time alone, as Draco was nowhere to be found when he left.
“Hi Harry!” Celeste greets him cheerfully, pausing her conversation with an elderly gentleman. “I’ll be with you in a moment.”
Harry waves at her before heading to the section Malfoy usually picked his books from.
He skims over the titles, barely reading any of them as a feeling of disappointment that Malfoy’s not beside him, making snide jokes and witty comments or telling Harry the synopsis of whatever book he's recommending, washes over him.
“I’m not pining. ” Harry repeats to himself. The very notion-
“What?” Harry spins, seeing Celeste watching him with an amused expression.
“You’re not pining, you said?”
“Oh- I uh- nothing.” Harry stammers. “I’m just… I’m looking for something.”
“A particular something?”
“No, just… something . I don’t know, I’m not used to choosing my own books.” Harry says with a sheepish expression. Celeste smiles.
“Yeah, me neither. He used to pick things out for me, too. I’ve no idea how he does it so well, he’s got a knack - has ever since he first started working here.”
“Yeah.” Harry agrees sadly. "He just... knew what I would enjoy without me having to tell him."
“I know exactly what you mean." Celeste sighs. "It’s really lonely here, working by myself. I mean, Martha’s hired someone to pick up the slack, but he’s no good, not compared to...”
“She replaced him?” Harry asks in surprise. He shouldn’t be, really, as it’s been nearly two months since Malfoy’s last shift here, but he didn’t think of it until just now.
“I know.” Celeste says. “I wish I knew if he’s alright. I keep checking the obituaries, calling hospitals for missing persons-”
“I don’t think he’s dead.” Harry cuts in, not understanding the sharp, ugly feeling of loss that he gets from hearing Celeste looking at
He doesn't want to consider having lost him. He can't imagine what it might feel like if Draco really isn't Malfoy.
“You don’t?” Celeste asks, sounding relieved. “Why do you say that?”
“I- I’m not sure.” Harry frowns. “I don’t know. I just… I just know. Call it intuition.”
Celeste has her lip between her teeth like she’s trying not to say something, but Harry sighs, gesturing for her to spill it.
“Are you- do you believe in soulmates?”
Harry balks. That is not what he thought she was going to say.
“Uh.” He blinks a few times. “I don’t know. I guess, in theory. Please do not tell me you think he’s my soulmate.”
“I don’t. I don’t really believe in soulmates myself, to be honest. But you’ve got a weird sort of… I don’t know, there’s some sort of understanding you seem to have between you. A connection - a bond.”
“That’s probably because we’ve known each other for so long. I met him over ten years ago, we’ve been through a lot of the same things.”
“Well, if you want, I can tell you some of the things he’s recommended for me, I don’t know what all he’s given you but he does have good taste.”
Harry agrees, and leaves the shop with a stack of books - mostly solo adventure novels - and a lonely feeling.
Harry glares across the pillow at his cat.
“You are not allowed to sit on my face.”
Draco meows uncaringly, laying down and closing his eyes.
“Hey, I’m talking to you!” Harry says, poking at Draco’s nose. “My face is not your bed, and if you do that again, I will put you outside at night.”
Draco meows unhappily, getting up and padding across Harry’s chest. He licks Harry’s jaw.
“Oh come on.” Harry laughs, shifting him so he’s in view again. “You can’t just start being cute to make me forget you’re in trouble.”
Draco chirps as if to say ‘oh can’t I?’
Harry smiles, petting Draco’s back.
“Okay fine, you’re forgiven. But don’t expect leniency next time.”
Draco lays down, curling into a fluffy white ball and starts purring. Harry huffs lightly.
“You know I get sleepy when you purr.” He complains, still petting.
His eyes start to close again as the sensation lulls his mind.
Harry and Draco have dinner guests
Harry feels a little bad.
“Hey.” He says softly, lifting his head to look at the cat on his stomach. “Hey, Draco.”
He nudges him gently, pokes the little paws until Draco stirs, lifting his head and yawning.
“Hey, good morning, kitty. I’m really sorry, but you’ve got to move, I need to piss.”
Draco complains, settling back down and trying to go back to sleep. Harry snorts, then resorts to moving Draco manually. The cat seems to be mostly okay with continuing to snooze curled up on Harry’s still warm pillow.
Harry relieves himself, but by the time he gets back to the bedroom, he’s too awake to fall back asleep. He usually gets up around now anyway, so with a pat to Draco’s sleeping head, Harry leaves the room again.
Once more, he finds himself in the exercise room, jogging on the moving floor.
Right as he’s getting ready to step off, Draco meows from the doorway.
“Oh hi, pet, you awake now?” Harry teases. Draco gives him an unimpressed look, walks over onto the moving floor in front of Harry and keeps up with the moderate pace easily.
“Are you showing off now?” Harry laughs. “I can set it faster if you think you can keep up with me.”
Draco deliberately turns back, then yawns dramatically, which makes Harry laugh more.
“Alright, kitty, you asked for it.”
Harry turns up the speed, setting the floor to gradually increase until he stops it.
When Harry is full-out sprinting and Draco is running near his feet, Harry rolls his eyes.
“Okay okay fine-” He gasps between breaths, waving again for the floor to slow to a stop. “I concede, but know that you wouldn’t’ve had it so easy if I hadn’t already been running for half an hour before you got out of bed.”
Draco meows again, and Harry notes with some satisfaction that he’s panting lightly.
Harry grabs his bottle of water and slumps down against a wall, soon joined by Draco on his shoulders.
“Water?” Harry offers. Draco leans his nose in, so Harry squirts some so Draco can catch it. The excess runs down Harry’s chest, but he doesn’t mind, he’s overheated anyway.
Draco laps some up, then noses at the sweat running down Harry’s neck.
“Don’t drink my sweat, you disgusting perv.” Harry says, wrinkling his nose, but unable to hide his smirk. “You’ll get dehydrated.”
Draco stands up and hops down.
“Ouch! Fuckin claws-” Harry complains, hissing as the sweat makes the scrapes sting. “Draco!”
Draco dashes out of the room before Harry can squirt water at him.
Harry shuts the book on his thumb and jumps up, looking for his housemate in his study.
“So you remember how Draco had that collar?” Harry asks, skipping a greeting. Neville looks up.
“Yeah, sure.” He says, a smirk ready to form.
“Where did you put it when you took it off?”
“I didn’t put it anywhere, I just set it on the table downstairs. It wasn’t there the next time I was downstairs so I assumed you put it away somewhere.”
“I didn’t.” Harry frowns. “Think Draco put it somewhere?”
“Well unless we have another housemate you haven’t told me about, I assume he did.” Neville says blandly. Harry snorts.
“You’re already aware of our third housemate.”
“Draco’s a cat, he doesn’t count.”
“Well Malfoy is a person, so he does count.” Harry shrugs. Neville rolls his eyes.
“You still think it’s him after all this time? You don’t think we would’ve noticed?”
“Well, Ron’s pet rat was a person and he lived in our room for three years without either one of us noticing so I don’t think we’re very good at looking.” Harry points out.
“Sure, but we didn’t know what to look for.”
“I do.” Harry says confidently. “When have I been wrong about Malfoy?”
“You thought he was the heir of Slytherin.”
“Okay, besides that.” Harry frowns.
“You thought he’d moved to France after the war.”
“Sod off.” Harry grumbles, turning away as Neville laughs.
“For the record, Harry-” He starts, waiting for Harry to turn around again. “I think you’re just waiting to see Malfoy in that collar.”
Harry chokes out a noise that doesn’t sound like English, turns red and leaves the room.
It takes some searching, but Harry eventually resorts to casting ‘ Accio, Draco’s collar!’ in every room of the house.
The collar flies into his hand from a woven pot that sits on the top shelf of a bookcase in Regulus’ old room, and Harry rolls his eyes.
Armed with his wand, an apple, the collar and his book, Harry sits down to work on the charms until the collar shifts in size along with the apple as he casts Engorgio on it.
Then he goes looking for his cat.
“Draco!” Not in the kitchen. “Draco!”
Draco is dozing peacefully on the window seat in the late afternoon sun, and Harry feels bad for rousing him, so he sits on the other end and looks outside as he waits.
An hour later, Draco blinks himself awake and starts slightly when he notices Harry.
“Hey, sorry. I didn’t want to wake you up.” Harry says, petting his head. Draco relaxes.
“I found a charm that’ll make… things adjust to shifts in size.” Harry starts, holding back laughter as Draco eyes him suspiciously. “Yeah, so if you were to shift back, it would change with you.”
Draco meows, looking affronted.
“And don’t worry, I’ve tested it out, it works.” Harry shrugs.
He lifts his hand with the collar, and Draco stares at it, though he doesn’t look as offended as he had the first time Harry’d tried to put it on him.
Rather reluctantly it seems, Draco allows Harry to clip the collar back around his dainty neck, which Harry of course follows by picking him up and laying across the window seat in the sun with Draco curled in his arms.
“Such a good kitty.” Harry teases, smiling warmly. Draco glares for a moment, then settles down comfortably.
“Sweet pet.” Harry murmurs softly, stroking the soft white fur and feeling rather sleepy himself.
The sizzling of a pot boiling over startles Harry into action, and he quickly turns down the fire of the stove.
“Shit.” He mutters, checking on the other parts of dinner, but it seems as only the neglected pasta is at risk.
Draco meows innocently from the kitchen table, where he’s perched delicately in front of Harry’s chair.
“No distracting me, Draco, or I’ll fuck up dinner.” Harry complains, pointing a wooden spoon at the source of his downfall. Draco tilts his head and blinks back. Harry rolls his eyes.
Once everything is set to be served and under stasis charms, Harry turns back to the table, a bit disappointed when Draco’s not there anymore.
Fortunately, he finds him laying in front of the fireplace in the sitting room.
“Oh I hope they don’t floo in and step on you.” Harry snorts, picking the cat up and sitting in an armchair. “That would not turn out well for anyone.”
Draco licks Harry’s hand before he allows himself to be pet.
“Once you’re human again, I imagine you’ll be itching to eat good food. There’s a restaurant in muggle London that serves gyros, they’re excellent.” Harry says, tilting his head back against the chair back as he strokes Draco’s back absently.
“I’ll show you sometime, I can’t imagine you may have stumbled upon it knowing you and your posh tastes, it’s a little hole in the wall spot that’s easy to miss.”
Draco purrs contentedly, and Harry is happy to wait like this before the chaos that is the Weasley family of four.
Sure enough, when the floo roars, Draco jumps up.
“ Oof, my intestines, Draco-” Harry complains, and Draco shifts his paw placement accommodatingly. Harry lifts him to lay across his shoulders as Ron steps through with Rose in his arms, followed closely by Hermione with Hugo.
“Hey mate - ooh, something smells good.” Ron grins, putting Rose down and clapping Harry on the shoulder. “Hi Draco.”
Draco meows nicely, and Harry pets his head in thanks. Even though Harry and the Weasleys visit each other every now and then, Draco never has a good time as Hugo always goes for Draco’s tail.
“Hi Harry!” Hermione greets him breathlessly, giving him a quick peck on the cheek while she adjusts Hugo to hold him more comfortably. “Draco.”
Draco and Hermione get along quite well, as she once had a cat and knows how to respect their boundaries. Draco meows at her in greeting as well.
“I hope you’re all hungry, I’ve got dinner ready.” Harry grins, following them into the kitchen.
Rose is already poking about the cabinets while Ron fusses for her to not make a mess, and Hermione drops into a kitchen chair, looking grateful.
“I’m starved .” She says emphatically.
Harry plates everything up, and Ron transfigures a chair into a proper seat for Hugo - Harry had complained the first time he’d done this but Ron assures him that the structural integrity of the chair is just as good when he transfigures it back before they leave.
When it comes to dinner, things go the same way anytime they’re together: Harry finishes first, as he’s never kicked his habit of eating as fast as he can just in case the food’s taken away; Ron finishes next because he doesn’t wait to chew before talking; Hermione is civilised, and she’s only done before the kids because she has an adult-sized mouth to work with. Rose never quite eats the whole serving and Hugo wraps things up by flinging his food anywhere and everywhere.
Draco watches irritably from Harry’s shoulders, even though he knows he’ll get extra chicken and eggs later on. Harry suspects he’s tired of the boring food, and he’s been stockpiling sweets for Malfoy as soon as he’s able to come back out of hiding.
Conversation over dinner is scattered, as both parents are busy getting their children to eat, but Harry doesn’t mind it.
“I’ve decided I’m not going back to work.” Harry announces when he’s done eating. Ron looks up.
“No? You’re sure?”
“Well, not the aurors at least. I think Malfoy had it right all along - find a steady job doing something peaceful but enjoyable. Maybe I’ll look for something in a bit, but I’ve really started enjoying my freedom.” Harry admits. Hermione smiles.
“If anyone’s earned time away from working, it’s you, Harry.” She says. “Let me know if I can help you look at all, there’s loads of muggle jobs like Malfoy’s I think you might enjoy.”
Harry looks at her with interest.
“I’m interested in hearing more, would you make a list for me?”
“Of course!” Hermione says, looking excited to have something to set her mind to.
She and Ron had a switch-off where she’d take six months off work following a birth, then he’d take the six months after that while she went back. It worked well for them, but as Hugo’s not quite six months yet, she’s been bored and itching for things to occupy her brain.
After dinner, Ron shared a spirited account of a case he’d been working - busting an illegal potions lab - and showed off a nasty looking scar on his forearm by his elbow. Hermione winced when she saw it, and Harry wondered how bad it had been when he’d received it.
Harry ends up holding Hugo while Ron plays with Rose on the floor. Hermione looks very relaxed and a tad exhausted from the armchair she’s fallen into.
“Rose’s birthday is coming up soon.” Harry says.
“Oh dear me.” Hermione smiles, shutting her eyes.
“The terrible threes.” Ron agrees with a laugh. “We’re planning a party, your invitation will be the first to go out.”
“I look forward to it.” Harry grins. “Is three old enough for a B-R-O-O-M?” Harry asks, looking at where Rose is running around Ron in circles as he makes grabs for her. She’s screaming and laughing, and Harry hopes she’ll enjoy riding a broom as much as running so he and Ron can show her how freeing it is to fly.
“They’ve got those kid ones, haven’t they?” Hermione asks. “I suppose that sort of thing would be alright.”
Ron whoops, lunging for her as she passes him again, managing to catch her arm as she trips, keeping her from a nasty spill.
“What could possibly go wrong?” He snorts, tickling her until she’s kicking and shrieking.
“Ouch!” Harry jumps as Draco scratches his shoulder as he hops off. “Draco, what did we say about the claws?”
Draco looks back once, meowing in apology before he climbs his cat tower to the very top and only his ears are visible.
“How are things here?” Ron asks, looking up at the tower.
“Good, yeah, Neville’s got his garden in the back, we have late summer vegetables growing out our ears. And Draco’s been behaving himself for once, though I’m still not sure where he’s hidden my bag of sweets that I got from Luna - I suspect he’s eaten them.”
“Cats aren’t supposed to eat sweets, Harry.” Hermione says. “You’ve got to set things up so he can’t get into the things that’ll be bad for him.”
“Well he’s not really a cat, so what good would cat-proofing the house be?” Harry shrugs.
He rolls his eyes as Ron and Hermione exchange a look.
“ Merlin, do not give me another talk about how that’s not Malfoy.” Harry says, nodding toward the tower.
“It has been a couple months, Harry, don’t you think he’d have transformed back by now?” Hermione says gently.
“He’s in hiding, he wouldn’t come out if he’s still being searched for.” Harry shrugs.
“He’s not hiding from you . Besides, he’s probably the first person you told about not going back to work for the aurors, I highly doubt he thinks you’ll turn him in.” Ron adds.
“Actually, I told Neville first.” Harry says archly. “Although he was present at the time. But I was talking to Neville.”
“I’m glad you’ve got a pet you like, Harry, that’s good and you seem really happy, but you’ve got to let it go. Malfoy’s just disappeared somewhere, maybe he’ll be back but maybe he won’t be. You might just find him in a- a clothing shop or something, who knows, you’ve always been able to find him. But you’ve got a nice cat there and you need to treat him like a cat for the good of his health.”
“You guys remember sixth year, right?” He asks pointedly. “When I was so sure something was going on with him and neither one of you believed me? Who was right?”
“ You were, Harry.” Ron and Hermione say in unison, rolling their eyes.
“I know Malfoy, and there’s no way that cat isn’t Malfoy.” Harry says, looking up at the cat tower again, where a little white face is visible over the edge. “Trust me, I can tell when a cat is a cat and when a cat is my former-arch-rival-turned-unlikely-acquaintance.”
Hermione scoffs, but doesn’t dispute it.
“Where else would he be?” Harry presses.
“Who knows, France?” Ron shrugs.
“I don’t think so, why would he go to France now when he hasn’t gone all these years?”
“Maybe he’s got another house, the Malfoy seem like the sort of people to have multiple homes for no good reason.” Hermione says. “I mean, they have albino peacocks, they’re definitely the sort of people to have a summer chalet in the hills or something.”
Harry laughs, then shrugs.
“Again, why would Malfoy still live in the Manor where he’s got loads of terrible memories if he could’ve just gone off to some other residence?”
“Maybe the other homes don’t have house-elves to do things for him.” Ron says. Harry shakes his head.
“The Manor doesn’t either, he freed all of them when he inherited it.”
“Did he really? Good for him.” Hermione says, sounding pleased. “Maybe there’s hope for him after all.”
“So my point stands, if he’s been living at the Manor, it’s probably because he doesn’t have a better place to live. And if that’s the case, then where is he? The articles said his bank vaults have been under surveillance, so he doesn’t have access to money, and he hasn’t been to work at all, and his friend at work has no idea where he’s gone.”
“Hm.” Hermione frowns. “Muggle flat, maybe?”
“No money.” Ron says. “Relative?”
“He doesn’t have contact with any of them.” Harry says. “Maybe… just maybe… I’m right, and he’s up there.” Harry says, pointing to the cat tower.
“Actually, he left the room five minutes ago, so even if your cat is Malfoy, he’s not in the tower.” Hermione says.
“He left? Oh I hope we haven’t upset him.” Harry frowns.
Harry and Draco Get Some News
I've gotten such an incredible response to this story and it makes me so happy - so thanks to everyone who's commented! Enjoy this chapter:))
Harry suspects that talking about Malfoy did upset Draco, because he can’t find him anywhere even after the Weasleys have gone. He searches the entire house aside from Neville’s floor, as Draco never goes there.
“Draco?” Harry asks, opening the door to Regulus’s room. When he doesn’t find him, he moves to leave, until he hears a faint meow.
Draco meows again, and Harry listens for where the sound is coming from. He finally pinpoints it to a half-open drawer full of clothes.
“Hey, are you okay?” Harry asks, lifting Draco out and cradling him the way Draco only allows when he’s wanting to be pampered. “I’m sorry, I know it’s not pleasant to be talked about, I should’ve seen that it bothered you.”
Draco chirps softly, hiding his face in the sleeve of Harry’s shirt.
Harry tuts, bringing Draco back down to the bedroom and putting him on the spare pillow.
“I’ll be there in just a moment.” Harry promises, heading into the bathroom to move through his toilette for the night.
Draco is asleep when Harry returns, but wakes up even though Harry tries to get into bed as gently as possible. The cat pads his way over and curls up right below Harry’s throat, purring noisily as he drifts off again.
“Sweet dreams, kitty.” Harry murmurs.
Hermione, true to her word, sends Harry an exhaustive list of muggle jobs for him to look into.
Among them include: park caretaker; pet shop worker; school teacher ( also could be at Hogwarts, Harry, you know Minerva wants you to teach DADA ); librarian (really follow Malfoy’s lead! ).
Harry puts the list into a drawer in his desk, wanting to thoroughly review his options but not feeling up to making the decision now.
Instead, he goes outside to bother Neville as he works on their garden.
Draco startles Harry by landing on his shoulders as Harry’s passing through the kitchen, and he suspects Draco had been on top of the refrigerator, though he couldn’t prove it.
“Hey lads.” Neville greets them pleasantly as they step into the afternoon heat. “Pass me that spade, would you?”
“Squash?” Harry asks, gesturing with the tool to the vines Neville’s untangling.
“Summer squash, reckon you could make something with this?”
“Sure, there’s loads of ways to use a good summer squash.” Harry shrugs, then starts going through the list in his head so he’s prepared for when Neville puts it on the counter in a week or so. “Have you thought about the teaching position?”
“A bit. I’ve had some time to consider it today. They don’t need an official answer for some time still, but I’m leaning more towards yes than no, to be honest.”
“Yeah?” Harry asks. Neville laughs.
“Don’t sound too excited about it, I’ll think you want me out of the house.”
“Who would grow my food for me?” Harry teases.
“Good point. Think you’ll look for work anytime soon?”
“Not… not soon. But I think I will. Maybe if you go to Hogwarts then I’ll be bored enough to look for something.” Harry shrugs.
“Oh I’m sure you will be. I’ll bet you could find something you enjoy, though. There’s a ‘help wanted’ sign on the shop I was at earlier, they sell lots of arts and crafts things but I go for the gardening materials.”
“You think I could get hired at a craft shop?”
“Sure, why not.” Neville grins. “It’s worth a shot, anyway, if you think you’d enjoy it.”
“Maybe I’ll look into it.” Harry shrugs. “When will the sweet peas be ready?”
“I reckon there’s some ready now if you want to look.” Neville says, gesturing over his shoulder with the spade and flicking dirt onto himself in the process. He doesn’t seem to notice or mind.
Harry paws through the leaves and plucks the few pods he can spot.
Draco swats at a fly as it buzzes near Harry’s ear. Harry bends to grab a lemon off the ground, holding it up for Draco to sniff. Draco loves the smell of fresh fruits.
“I’ll make us some lemon squash when you’re back again.” Harry offers, laughing as Draco noses at Harry’s neck, tickling him with his whiskers. “Hey, that tickles!”
Draco meows again, settling down.
“Malfoy’s going to be confused why you’re trying to pamper him when he goes back to work.” Neville laughs.
“He can understand me, Neville, he knows.” Harry shrugs.
“If you say so.” Neville says obligingly, rolling his eyes.
“How do you feel about a trip to visit Celeste?” Harry asks Draco as he offers a forkful of eggs to the cat on his lap.
Draco meows agreeably, taking the bite politely.
Harry takes the time to walk to the book shop with Draco laying across his shoulders as usual.
Honestly it would be annoying to carry him around like this in the warmth of the summer, but Draco’s very light and having to keep him balanced there has done wonders for Harry’s previously terrible posture.
“Oh, Harry!” Celeste greets him warmly, stepping down from the ladder in the corner where she’d been putting books onto shelves. “I’m so glad you’ve come, I just found something.”
“Hi Celeste.” Harry smiles, following her to the counter, where she shuffles about in a basket of paper for a moment.
“How have you and Draco been?” She asks as she searches.
“Good, thanks. How are things in the shop?”
Celeste purses her lips, lifting a single page of paper out of the paper basket.
“They’ve been better. I’ve managed to get the shifts staggered so I can work alone. Wilson’s alright, keeps things tidy at least, but he’s very chatty. I feel weird about it.” Celeste says.
“I understand.” Harry says. Malfoy’s not chatty, he’s more quiet now, witty still but he doesn’t talk needlessly, just when he has something to say.
“Anyway, I found this the other day. Don’t know how I missed it, this paper’s so different from the usual stuff we use, but it’s definitely his handwriting.” Celeste says, sliding it across the counter.
Harry’s eyes skim over the unfamiliar words. The sheer number of apostrophes and -eaux’s tell him it’s written in French.
The paper’s familiar though, oddly enough. It’s the sort of Hogwarts-reminiscent parchment Harry keeps at home. He shouldn’t be too surprised that Malfoy uses the same type of paper as him, but he’d sort of assumed whatever Malfoy would use might be nicer or more posh somehow. Maybe edged in gold or silver or something.
“You found this where?” Harry asks, looking up into Celeste’s hopeful face.
“It was in the back, under some books that have been sitting there for ages. I finally moved them because they’d only been there since he wanted to reprice them - he was convinced that they were valuable for some reason. But since he’s gone…” Celeste blinks quickly and clears her throat. “Anyway, it was underneath them.”
Harry frowns at the page.
“That’s your name at the top, isn’t it?” Celeste asks, leaning over the counter to read the page. She passes a small notebook page over as well, written in her scrawling English. “I tried translating some of it but I’ve been busy all day.”
“It’s a book list.” Harry realises. “His book list for me, look, these three names on the side, those are authors of books I’ve read.”
Celeste’s eyes inexplicably well up with tears.
“Oh my god.” She whispers.
“Are you alright?” Harry asks in surprise. Her head snaps toward him, and she tries to gather herself but it doesn’t work very well.
“How are you not more upset about this?” She asks him suddenly.
“A-About finding a booklist?”
“About him being gone ?” She whispers. “I- I keep going into the back room with half a sentence out before I realise he’s not here to answer it, even though it’s been months . There’s been no word, no John Doe’s matching his description anywhere - Harry, I can’t even find a record of Draco Malfoy ever existing. No birth records, school records, nothing. I feel like I’m going crazy!”
Harry frowns, then takes Draco - who’s been oddly quiet this whole time - off his shoulder and passes him across the counter into her arms.
Draco seems to understand the message, and he purrs, putting his paws up on her shoulders like he’s hugging her. She cries then, burying her face in the soft white fur.
“I feel like I’m going crazy too.” Harry admits quietly. “But it’s going to be alright. He’ll come back, I know it.”
Celeste holds onto Draco for quite some time, and Harry leans against the counter petting Draco’s head occasionally. Finally, she sits up, taking off her glasses to wipe her eyes before finding a tissue and making some rather undignified noises as she blows her nose.
“I’m sorry.” She mumbles. “I’ve just… you’re the only other person who really knew him at all, and… well, you get it.”
Harry nods, smiling sadly.
Draco moves back to take his perch on Harry’s shoulders again, nosing at his neck for a second before lying down. Celeste laughs, a thin, watery little noise, but it’s better than a sob, so Harry’s glad to hear it.
“Oh, did you want to pick up the books from that list?” Celeste asks, leaning forward to look at it again.
“I’ll get the fourth title, I’m pretty sure I’ve read the first three.” Harry says, frowning at the French and comparing it with the English and finding the loose translations are similar to books he’s got at home.
“You don’t want all of them?” Celeste asks in surprise.
“I do, but I’ll come get them one at a time.” Harry says.
Celeste looks at him curiously, but doesn’t press.
When Harry’s got the new book in hand and is heading home again, he explains to Draco.
“See, I’ve got you. She’s by herself, that page from you is the last thing of yours that hasn’t vanished.”
“Hey Harry!” Neville shouts from the front door as Harry leaves the bathroom, yawning.
“Huh?” He yells back.
Harry slumps down to the kitchen, where Neville is standing over the stove while the kettle heats up.
“What’s going on?” Harry asks, grabbing himself a beer from the refrigerator.
“Merlin, did you just wake up? It’s four o’clock in the afternoon.” Neville says, looking at Harry in surprise.
“‘S Saturday.” Harry shrugs, opening the beer and taking a long drink. It’s cold and refreshing and wakes him back up again.
“It’s not like that matters much, you don’t work anyway.” Neville shrugs. “You’re going to screw up your sleep schedule, though.”
“I didn’t mean to.” Harry says, slumping down into a kitchen chair. “I was reading and I fell asleep.”
“Well, that’s what happens when you read in bed.” Neville says, pouring the hot water into a mug. “Anyway, that’s not why I called you down here.”
He takes the seat across the table from Harry and nudges the paper Harry hadn’t noticed over.
“Something about me in here?” Harry asks in disappointment. He’d been doing very well keeping out of the papers ever since he’d quit the aurors.
“Shockingly, no. Not you this time.” Neville says, flipping the paper open to an article with a still photo of what Harry recognises as Malfoy Manor.
Malfoy Arrest Called Off: Aurors find no evidence to suggest former Death Eater Draco Malfoy had anything to do with the dangerous and illegal items found in his inherited home. The search for Malfoy called off after over four months. Malfoy’s whereabouts are still unknown as of the writing of this article, but it’s likely he will resurface in the near future. Aurors stationed at Malfoy Manor have been removed from the premises.
“Oh.” Harry says. “ Oh! This is great! Draco!” He shouts toward the doorway.
“So if he’s just in hiding, I’m sure he’ll turn up soon.” Neville says, sipping at his tea.
“He’s in hiding here, Neville.” Harry says pointedly. Neville shrugs dismissively. “Draco!”
Harry eventually goes upstairs to find his cat, who is exactly where Harry left him when he got up to use the loo.
“Hey, Draco wake up.” Harry says, settling back down on the bed near the sleeping, purring lump of fur.
It takes a few more pokes, and then eventually Harry just leans his head very close to Draco’s ears and talks at a normal volume.
“Draco, wake the fuck up, I have good news.”
Draco startles awake with a yowl, glaring at Harry as he realises what’s going on. Harry rolls his eyes.
“It’s like you haven’t slept in days, Merlin. Read this.” Harry says, setting the article down on the bed in front of the cat.
Draco blinks at it for a second, then tilts his head up at Harry.
“ Fine. You’re so spoiled.” Harry says, picking the paper back up again and reading it aloud.
When he’s done, Draco looks like he’s asleep again, so Harry pokes his nose.
“Are you listening? This means you can go back, you’re free again.” Harry says excitedly.
Draco yawns and sets his chin back down on the bed and closes his eyes.
Harry sighs, flopping back and picking Draco up to lay on his chest. Draco does not object.
Wondering how long it’ll be until his cat transforms into his prickly former-nemesis, Harry takes the time to pet Draco and appreciate the soothing purrs.
“I’ll miss you around here.” Harry admits quietly. “I don’t know what I’m meant to do with the cat tower.”
Draco purrs louder, shifting around and his tail swipes Harry’s mouth. He sputters.
“Hey, watch it!” He complains, though his laughing sort of takes the edge away.
Draco leapt up onto Harry’s lap, startling him.
“Oh hey. Done messing with Neville for the night?” He teases, rubbing Draco’s ears. Draco meows, then purrs, laying down. “I’m reading the new book still.” Harry says, showing the cover of his book.
Draco lifts his head slightly, looking at the offered cover, then puts it down again to rest on Harry’s thigh.
“Celeste really misses you. She told me when I went to the shop without you that it doesn't sell nearly as well without you. I never thought I’d be telling you this, but you’re really fucking good at your job.” Harry laughs sadly, petting Draco’s back.
“I miss you too. Not just because I’ve missed the banter, either.” Harry huffs. “Merlin, since when do I look forward to seeing you?” He says half to himself.
Draco licks his paw a couple times, then gets up, standing fully on Harry’s lap before he curls up again in a tight little white ball of fur. Harry smiles, resting his free hand on Draco’s side.
“I hope you know that when you’re human again, if this is really you, I’m never going to let you forget what a good pet you make.” Harry teases. Draco closes his eyes, purring louder like he’s trying to drown out Harry’s words.
Harry allows it, returning his attention to the story while he absently strokes Draco’s soft fur.
Harry and Draco go for an Outing
“I’m sorry, sir, we only allow animals on board if they’re registered emotional support pets or seeing eye dogs.” The woman’s voice is crackly over the phone, and Harry nudges Draco’s nose to feed him a piece of chicken.
“Oh he is.” Harry says, thinking quickly. “I’m a veteran, he’s an emotional support pet.”
“Thank you for your service.” The woman says genuinely, and Harry doesn’t mention that he hadn’t fought for Britain . “Can you give me your pet’s registration numbers for the form?”
“Erm, yeah. I’ll have to go dig up the paperwork, can I call back?”
“Of course, sir.” She says, sounding like she’s not really expecting to hear back.
“Alright, thank you very much.” Harry says, then hangs up.
He brings Draco through the floo and goes straight to Hermione’s desk.
“Oh, hi Harry, everything alright?” She asks.
“Splendid, erm. You can still create fake documents, right? Legally?”
“Want to tell me what you need them for?”
Harry sits opposite her and explains his plans.
“You’re sure you want to bring him onto the ocean ?” She asks, eyeing Draco warily.
“Oh yeah, Malfoy’s favourite stories are set around the ocean. You know, sailors, sea people, ocean towns. I think he’d probably like to visit, you know? He’s been cooped up lately.”
“ Do not tell me my cat is not Malfoy.” Harry cuts her off firmly. “I’m tired of hearing it, and even if I’m wrong, which I’m not, Draco is very well-behaved when the situation calls for it and I’m sure he’d enjoy an outing.”
Hermione sits back in her chair, pressing her lips together for a moment.
“Alright, Harry. I’ll humor you.” She sighs. Harry huffs. “What paperwork do you need, I’ll put in a request for it.”
“You don’t create it yourself anymore?” Harry asks, surprised.
“I’ve a whole department now, Harry, I’ve got other things to do.” She smiles.
Hermione has worked her way to Head of the Department for Muggle Relations and Wix Integration (Wixtegration, as Harry and Ron call it behind her back). She provides equivalent paperwork - school records, job references, medical records - that translate wizarding things into a muggle equivalent.
“I need something saying Draco’s registered as my emotional support animal.” Harry says, which makes Hermione laugh softly.
“Well, I don’t feel any moral opposition to that. I’ll get things sorted here and owl the paperwork to you when it’s done.”
It’s fairly easy to get himself a ticket after that, and he’s greatly looking forward to the weekday trip.
“I swear, it’s been ages since I’ve been to the sea, this is a long time coming.” Harry tells Draco over dinner. Draco meows.
“I know, there’s nothing stopping me from just Apparating to the coast, but it feels like cheating somehow, like if you’re going to the sea you have to do the work to get there or something.”
Draco laps up his pumpkin juice while Harry goes on about his previous trip, back when Rose was a baby and he’d brought her and Ron out to give Hermione a break from her crying.
“You know, we’re really lucky that Hugo’s so quiet, Rose used to scream bloody murder constantly.” Harry says. Draco hisses at the mention of Hugo’s name, which makes Harry laugh.
“He doesn’t know pulling your tail bothers you, he’s only a baby.” Harry says, offering a bite of rice to Draco, who eats it primly off the fork.
“Smells good, is there any leftover?” Neville asks as he comes in from the hall.
“Plenty, the pot’s still hot on the stove.” Harry says. “You just get home?”
“No-” Neville yawns loudly as he serves himself. “No, I fell asleep in the study.”
“Mhm. I feel like I could sleep for a week, the research alone is driving me mental.” Neville says as he sits in the unoccupied chair. “I can’t believe I’ve just accepted having a cat on the dining table at dinner.”
Harry snorts, and Draco looks offended.
“He’s very clean.” Harry offers.
“He’s still a cat.”
Draco turns up his nose and shifts to sit with his back to Neville. Harry laughs, petting Draco’s head.
“He doesn’t mean it, he’s just cross that I like you more than him.”
Neville rolls his eyes then.
“I’ll admit, he’s an alright pet. At least he’s not getting himself into scrapes all the time.”
“He’s very independent.” Harry agrees.
“Don’t you think…” Neville trails off. “I mean, if this was Malfoy, don’t you think he’d have gone back by now? What reason does he have for staying here if he’s not on the run anymore?”
“Maybe he’s waiting for the press to die down. Or to make sure there’s no one lurking about the Manor waiting for him to get home.”
“But… you know as well as I do that Malfoy’s still a proud wanker, I can’t imagine that he enjoys being a house pet. I would think he’d want to get back to his life again as soon as he could.”
Harry shrugs again.
“I don’t know, Neville. I’m not kicking him out, though, I’m sure he’s got a reason for it.”
“I wasn’t suggesting you kick the cat out, Harry.” Neville says tersely. “Just… consider the possibility that Malfoy’s just… maybe he’s gone now, Harry.”
Harry shakes his head, but Neville keeps talking.
“I know you’d had some sort of friendship or - or something going on, and I’m sure he didn’t take that lightly, but… maybe he’s decided he’s sick of being under the Ministry’s thumb and he’s just gone.”
“Malfoy wouldn’t just take off without warning if he wasn’t intending to come back.” Harry frowns. He pets Draco, though it’s more to comfort himself than anything. He doesn’t want to think about why Malfoy disappearing for good troubles him so much.
“I’m not saying he doesn’t intend to come back… ever . But holding onto the notion that Malfoy’s this cat just because he shares colouring and you’re convinced he’s got the same personality isn’t really healthy. You’ve got to let it go, Harry.” Neville says seriously.
Harry sighs, taking Draco onto his lap.
“I’m… I’m not ready for that.” He whispers, looking at the top of Draco’s head.
Neville purses his lips, but mercifully doesn’t say anything else for a while.
“Sorry I upset you, I’m just a bit worried for you.” Neville shrugs.
Harry shakes his head.
“I know. I know.”
Harry looks into the wide grey eyes in Draco’s face, smiling as he blinks up at Harry.
“It’s just… Things are easier like this.” He admits.
“Yeah, I suppose they are.” Neville says gently.
Harry inhaled deeply.
“Nothing like ocean air.” He tells Draco, petting his head.
They’d had quite the time finding the right transport out here, but they’ve arrived just in time to join the queue boarding the boat.
“How big does the boat have to be - how many people on board for it to count as a cruise?” Harry asks absently, ignoring the funny look from the woman in front of him.
Draco meows, closing his eyes as the breeze ruffles his fur.
Harry and Draco boarded, and fairly easily found a nice little table on the deck where they could order some food after leaving the dock.
“I think you’d really enjoy a multi-day cruise.” Harry says to Draco, who’s sitting primly on top of Harry’s folded jacket in the seat facing Harry. He’s little enough that he’s barely visible, and Harry’s sure he’s indignant about that.
“I’ll find one for us sometime, we could explore the Mediterranean. We’ll have to find you a strong sunblock, though, I imagine your pale complexion does not react well to sunlight.” Harry teases, and Draco glares. Harry laughs, feeling lighter than he has in a few weeks.
He looks out to the water, watching the white caps shift as their boat disrupts them.
“What a lovely cat! What’s her name?”
A stranger has come up and started petting Draco while Harry was distracted. Draco is looking at Harry with very wide eyes, and Harry holds out a hand, so Draco hops across the table and away from the woman and into Harry’s protective embrace.
“Uh, thanks, erm. His name is Draco.” He says, just this side of polite. Her drawn-on eyebrows lift.
“ He? But- But he’s got a pink collar . A boy-cat should have a blue collar, or perhaps green or black.” She says archly.
“Did you know pink was originally a little boy’s colour, as it was considered ‘young red?’ And that blue was a demure colour for little girls? It’s almost like gender associations with colour are a social construct.” Harry says tersely. He turns to Draco, who is now glowering spectacularly at the woman. “I swear, more earwax than brains.” Harry mutters.
Draco meows in agreement, lifting his nose haughtily as Harry pets his back.
The woman has an affronted expression, and she leaves in a huff, muttering something about ‘ no respect’ and what ‘ this generation has come to.’
Harry snorts indelicately.
“She must’ve been in her fifties. Was she going to hit on me, you think?” He asks Draco, who gives him a bland expression that seems to mean ‘yes, you idiot.’ Harry laughs.
After that, Harry orders himself a fancy fruity beverage which he’s decided not to feel strange about, and has a dish of crepes with fruit, which he’s sharing with Draco.
The sun breaks out of the clouds briefly, and Harry adds his button-up to the pile of things Draco’s sitting on, stretching his arms in the tshirt and smirking at the way Draco’s eyes follow the movement.
Unfortunately, it’s not only Draco’s eyes watching him, and he shoos a couple more women away by taking long drinks of his brightly coloured beverage, hoping they buy into the stereotype and not bother him.
When the trip comes to an end, he’s feeling warm and fuzzy, and Draco seems to agree, curling up on Harry’s shoulders and purring contentedly while they journey back home.
Neville’s in the living room when they arrive, and he glances up from his work.
“Hey lads, have a good trip?” He says pleasantly. Harry grins.
“Lovely, thanks.” Harry says, flopping onto the sofa and moving Draco to his chest as he lays back. Draco allows himself to be arranged so Harry’s nose is pressed into his fur and one of his paws is in Harry’s hand and petted softly. Draco has exceptionally cute, soft paws.
Neville snaps another photo of them, and despite Harry’s grumbling, he’s absolutely going to swipe it and add it to his little collection upstairs. Fodder for teasing Malfoy when he comes back, probably.
“Oh my god, how did I not think of this sooner?” Harry exclaims, startling Draco out of his midday snooze on Harry’s lap. He chirps in annoyance, but Harry soothes him with extra pets.
“Are you stuck as a cat?” Harry asks. He remembers reading about animagus transformations, recalling that sometimes when a person first transforms, it’s difficult to return to their human form.
Draco doesn’t react, just curling closer to the warmth of Harry’s body.
“Okay, you don’t have to answer me directly, just-” Harry pauses. He grabs a biro lying on the table, holding it up to Draco, who takes it in his mouth, looking confused.
“Take that. If you’re unable to transform back into a person but you want to, then leave it in the kitchen by the sink. If I see it there, I’ll get Minerva on the line and she’ll be able to help you.”
Draco meows around the pen, then hops off Harry’s lap.
For a brief moment, Harry’s heart pounds as Draco darts off, but he gets a sinking feeling when Draco turns for the stairs instead of the kitchen.
Well, there’s still time.
Disappointment settles heavy in Harry’s chest every morning as he makes his way into the kitchen, hoping to see the missing biro by the sink and it’s never there.
Moving automatically, he brews a pot of coffee for two, sits at the table nursing his and waits for Neville to come down the stairs at 6:03 as he does every weekday.
Harry watches as Neville sleepily crosses off another day on his calendar.
It’s nearly the end of October already.
Harry sighs into his coffee, scowling when his glasses fog up.
Neville sits quietly across from Harry, eating his breakfast on autopilot and grunting wordlessly when he burns his tongue on his too-hot coffee.
By the time Harry’s coffee is gone, Neville’s gone back upstairs to get ready for work and Harry’s stomach is growling.
Draco comes down as Harry is frying up some bacon, and he steals a bite when Harry’s not looking, his whiskers catching the crumbs as he watches Harry innocently.
“You’ve got bacon on your face.” Harry mumbles, brushing them away gently with the faintest hint of a smile.
Draco hops onto Harry’s shoulders, his claws scraping softly as he keeps his balance.
When Harry sits down to eat, he shares his eggs with Draco and pets him almost incessantly.
“Halloween’s coming up.” Harry says offhandedly as he goes to wash up. “I think Neville’s going to Luna’s party, so it’ll be just you and me here.”
Draco meows noncommittally.
“I don’t get it. It’s been so long since your name was cleared, why are you still- Why aren’t you coming back?” Harry says, holding his cat up to look into his face, which is not very helpful.
He sighs, setting Draco down on the sunny window seat as he heads into the bathroom for a shower.
Halloween is terrible.
Harry doesn’t enjoy it like he did at Hogwarts, where there’s a feast, and friends, often ghosts, and usually some sort of shenanigans going on. He’d been invited to party with his friends, but the day held a somberness for Harry that they shouldn’t have to feel.
This year, though, he’s not only a tad lonely, he’s severely bummed out.
See, Draco’s still laying on his chest as Harry mopes in bed as soon as the sun goes down, but he’s still furry and has ears which are too pointy and he has sharp claws instead of smooth skin, a smirking mouth and delicate hands.
Harry doesn’t really want to acknowledge that he’d been hoping for a dramatic holiday reveal, and when Draco had firmly remained a cat, Harry grew cranky.
He’s doing his best to not show it, as the tiny, but growing part of him which is unsure about his pet’s origins doesn’t want an innocent cat to feel guilty about not being who Harry had wished he was. After all, it’s not the cat’s fault he’s not secretly a wizard formerly wanted by the law who had vanished over five months ago.
Not even the prospect of cake which Neville had offered to bring from the party managed to lift his spirits, as it only reminds him of how excited Malfoy always got whenever cake was involved. Besides, he feels bad about Draco not being able to enjoy it too.
Harry and Draco have a lovely morning in
Harry woke slowly, realising gradually that there’s another weight in his bed, one heavier than Draco’s fuzzy little body. Still groggy, he reaches out, pulling his bedmate closer to steal some warmth.
His hand comes in contact with a bare stomach, and he frowns, not remembering having bed anyone the night before.
He opens his eyes a crack, shocked to see the figure beside him is decidedly naked and very much not Draco the cat.
“Circe fucking Merlin’s arse!” He yells, sitting up with a jolt.
The man suddenly opens his eyes at the shout, and Harry scrambles for his glasses on the nightstand. The blurry face is familiar, but without his glasses, Harry is far too blind to be sure.
While he’s looking for the frames, a sudden weight lands across his lap. Malfoy has jumped on him, grabbing his wrists and holding them back with a strangled ‘No!’
Harry grunts in surprise, trying not to think too hard about the warm body pressed against his.
“Malfoy!” Harry asks, squinting. “I knew it was you!”
“Yes, obviously!” Malfoy says, voice sort of crackly from sleep and disuse.
“Bugger off, I’m just getting my glasses.” Harry says, realising Malfoy probably thinks he was about to get his wand, which is also on the nightstand.
“Oh.” Malfoy says, moving back slowly. Harry huffs, shoving his glasses onto his face to look at the face across the bed.
He finds with a surprising zing of desire that the pale pink collar still sits on Malfoy’s throat. The charm had worked, then. He also notes that Malfoy’s hair has gotten quite long and rather shaggy, falling into his eyes.
“Are you naked?” Harry asks, reaching to lift the blankets. Malfoy slaps his hand down over them.
“Why are you looking?” He hisses.
“I- I have no idea. Care to explain yourself?” Harry says, flushing bright red and getting out of bed.
Malfoy sits up and scrubs a hand through his pale hair.
“I was supposed to be awake before you.”
“What?” Harry asks dumbly.
Malfoy is still half under the blankets, his knees bent and his other hand resting where his feet probably are, overall slouchy in sort of a cat-like way. If he looked, Harry would see his arse where the blankets failed to wrap around his back.
“Sometimes I shift back in my sleep.” Malfoy explains, rubbing his hand over his face. “But usually I wake up before you do, so I can change back before you see me.”
“Right, well that doesn’t explain why you’re still here. I told you they recalled the warrant out for you, it’s been months since the announcement. You read the paper.” Harry points out.
Malfoy blushes slightly.
“I don’t know, I just… It’s just… it’s nice, being here. I hated living in the Manor. I didn’t want to go back.” Malfoy admits.
“You could’ve just asked me to move in. This is a large house, you wouldn’t even have to stay in this room if you didn’t want to.” Malfoy frowns like he hadn’t considered that option. “Or you could’ve rented your own bloody flat, no one is forcing you to live at the Manor.” Harry says.
“I can’t get a muggle flat without a muggle bank account, and I need an address to get a bank account. They didn’t accept ‘Malfoy Manor, Wiltshire.’ Wizard landlords hang up when they hear my name. You wouldn’t’ve kicked me out? Neville either?”
“Neville probably wouldn’t be thrilled, but it is technically my house and he rents out his floor. There’s loads of unused space. Besides, you know he’s moving to Hogwarts this fall anyway.”
Malfoy looks out the window as a bee flies by, and Harry wonders if he’s unused to being expected to respond now.
“You alright?” Harry prompts.
“Uh, yeah.” Malfoy says, shaking his head. He shifts back into cat form before Harry’s eyes, jumping down and crossing the room to Harry’s chest of drawers, leaping onto the top. He meows insistently, looking down to the highest drawer, where Harry keeps his pants.
“Merlin, I’ve changed in front of you.” Harry realises, opening the drawer. Draco grabs a pair of pants in his mouth, hopping down and going into the bathroom, nudging the door closed.
Malfoy steps back out a moment later, wearing nothing but Harry’s tight black pants and the pink collar. Harry wills his body to not react to that. It’s a losing battle.
“I never looked, don’t worry.” He says, sitting back down on the bed, slouching a bit with one leg over the mattress and the other on the floor, his hands pressed flat into the duvet. It’s like he’s forgotten to sit as a human and honestly… very cute, Harry decides.
“You’ve really just been a cat for what, seven months now?” Harry asks in disbelief.
“That’s the great thing about being a cat, I sleep so much during the day that I end up staying awake most of the night. I switch back sometimes. Neville’s not very good at keeping track of what's in the fridge. Cat food is gross.” Malfoy wrinkles his dainty little nose.
“ You picked that kind.”
“The others were worse.” Draco says with a grimace. “And I cannot believe you put a collar on me.”
“You’re the one still wearing it.” Harry points out. Malfoy flushes, his hand touching the collar like he’s forgotten he had it on. “You could’ve taken it off anytime, since you apparently switch back and forth regularly. Or even this morning…”
Malfoy only gets more flushed as he reaches for the clasp. Harry crosses the room again, and Malfoy’s pretty grey eyes look up at him, blinking the same way they did as a cat. Harry’s hand covers Malfoy’s on the closure.
“Do you… like wearing this?” Harry asks hesitantly. “Because it sort of seems like you do.”
Malfoy’s eyes suddenly won’t meet Harry’s, and he quickly unclasps the collar, shoving it into Harry’s hands.
“Shut up.” Malfoy says uncomfortably.
He’s still sitting in that loose, feline way, and Harry lets his eyes roam up the long, pale legs. Malfoy’s flush starts on his chest and continues all the way up to his white-blond hair.
With a finger under his pointy chin, Harry tilts Malfoy’s face up. Malfoy blinks slowly, silvery eyes darkening.
His lovely face holds the wide, silver eyes he shares with his cat form, a straight nose, high cheekbones and strong jaw. His lips are coral coloured and he licks them nervously under the scrutiny. Harry looks at Malfoy’s eyes again, finding curiosity winning out over embarrassment.
Hesitantly, so Malfoy could push him away if he’d wanted to, Harry holds up the collar, wrapping it around Malfoy’s slender throat and clasping it at the nape of his neck. Malfoy blushes even deeper than before and can’t hide his shiver.
“You’ve been such a good pet for me.” Harry says gently, exploring a hunch. Malfoy’s eyes close before he flutters them back open again. “I’ll be sad to lose you, Malfoy.”
Malfoy sort of whines, his lips forming a little pout of displeasure. Harry pauses.
“Oh.” He realises, leaning in slightly to lift the heart shaped tag clinking at the back of the collar. “Pardon me, says here your name is Draco.”
Draco’s shoulders relax a little as he sighs.
“So, Draco… think maybe you’d like to keep being my little pet?” Harry says sweetly, and Draco’s eyes close again as he inhales deeply, gooseflesh breaking out over his shoulders and thighs. He nods in a quick little motion. Harry smiles.
He runs his fingers along the bumpy skin of Draco’s shoulder, making the gooseflesh even more prominent.
“You lost your job, you know.” Harry says abruptly. Draco frowns, looking up at Harry.
Harry unclasps the collar again, and Draco scowls petulantly.
“We should talk.” Harry points out, setting the collar aside. “And that was distracting you.”
“I can multitask.” Draco retorts. Harry snorts.
“What are you going to do? Are you going back to work? Do you want to move in here?”
“I don’t know.” Draco falls backward onto the bed, his hands flopping down to rest near his head. “I don’t know if they’ll give me my job back, I’ve been gone almost a year. And the Ministry knew to find me there, which I don’t like.”
“Maybe not. Like you said, you haven’t been there in a long time, they might not look for you there anymore. And your boss still talks about what a good employee you were, I think she might consider rehiring you.”
“Good employees don’t vanish for months on end with no word.”
Harry shrugs. Draco covers his face with his hands, groaning in exasperation.
“My life is a mess. This is why I didn’t want to not be a cat.”
“You’re an adult, Draco. You have to pull yourself together. You can’t just turn into a cat to avoid your problems.” Harry nudges Draco’s foot hanging off the bed with his own. “I’ll help if you like, you know I have nothing to do.”
“Yeah, why aren’t you working?” Draco asks, removing his hands.
“I did for a while, but I wasn’t dealing with my trauma in a healthy way, so my mind healer suggested I take some time off.” Harry says, nearly word for word what he’d told all of his friends when he quit his auror position, now almost two years ago.
“I guess you hardly need to, between the Potter and Black fortunes.” Draco says.
“You don’t either, mister Malfoy heir.” Harry points out.
“The Malfoy fortune was greatly exaggerated.”
“You’re broke?” Harry asks in surprise. “But, the Manor-”
“Not broke. But not particularly wealthy, either. My father spent a great deal of it while we were at Hogwarts, between staying out of prison and having people do his bidding. I could get by, but no income makes me uneasy. I can afford to live in the Manor because it doesn’t cost much to keep up with only one person living there, as it’s already in my name. But I doubt I could pay rent on a flat without a job, at least not for very long.”
Harry sits on the bed next to Draco.
“Okay, so you’ll need a job. I think you should go back to the book shop, the worst they can do is say no.”
“I suppose.” Draco says again.
“Or…” Harry leans down, resting his weight on his legs and elbows above Draco. He intentionally lowers his voice. “You could stay with me for a bit and… figure things out.”
Draco whines and closes his eyes, flushing from the waistband of his pants up to the roots of his fair hair. His skin goes from white to dark pink very quickly, Harry finds.
“Harry-” He breathes out. Harry gets off, sitting up again, wondering if he’d crossed a line. “It wasn’t the damn collar distracting me, it’s you .”
“Oh. Oh.” Harry smiles smugly. Draco rolls over, burying his face in the duvet between his arms with a groan. His shoulders are flushed a pretty pink too. “Come on, Draco. We should eat.”
Harry pats the small of Draco’s back, and Draco shifts slightly so one eye peeks up at Harry.
“I’m done eating cat food.”
“Of course.” Harry agrees easily.
“No, it’s gross. ” Draco complains, finally standing. “Thankfully, Neville got me out of that absurd collar so I could change back and eat real food.”
“I’m sorry about that, by the way. I didn’t realise it wouldn’t transfigure with you.”
“I didn’t either. I’m curious about why Neville knew. I tried, but only got sort of halfway before I had to go back to cat.” Draco says, rubbing his neck absently.
“You should’ve told me!” Harry exclaims, but Draco gives him a look.
“How? I couldn’t switch back even if I’d wanted to.”
“Right. Well, thank Merlin for Neville.” Harry says. Draco huffs in agreement. “You want to change?”
“No, I’m fine like this.” Draco says with a frown, giving Harry a funny look. “Oh, you mean clothes. I’m alright, I don’t think your things would fit me as I’m both taller and narrower.”
“Right, narrower.” He repeats, eyeing Draco’s itty bitty waist again. He licks his lips.
“Stop ogling me!” Draco complains. “It’s distracting.”
“You’re only wearing my pants!” Harry protests, pausing as they leave the room to grab a fluffy lavender dressing gown off the back of his door, a gift which he never uses. He tosses it to Draco, who puts it on with a smile.
“This is mine now,” he says. “I know for a fact you don’t wear it.”
Harry agrees. He decides Draco should wear that colour all the time.
Harry tells Draco his plans for the day as they go downstairs to the kitchen. Neville’s voice greets them just before they enter.
“I’m still here gents, hope you’re both dressed.” He calls. Draco closes the dressing gown up tightly with a yelp as he and Harry freeze in the doorway. “ Malfoy?”
“Who did you think was with me?” Harry asks.
“I don’t know, sometimes you bring men home!” Neville protests. Harry blushes.
“I haven’t for over a year! And they don’t stay the night .”
“ Please tell me you weren’t the cat.” Neville covers his face with his hands. “Are you two shagging now? Oh no, it didn’t start in cat-form, did it? No, don’t tell me.”
“Neville, shut up.” Harry pleads.
“We have not shagged and I am the cat.” Draco says, sounding scandalised.
“He might be staying around awhile.” Harry tells Neville.
“I figured. Look, you make a decent cat and I appreciate that you haven’t clawed up my stuff or anything.” Neville tells Draco awkwardly.
“Are- is this you telling me you’ve forgiven me?” Draco asks exactly as awkwardly. Neville huffs.
“Well if that’s your apology, I suppose I’ll take it.”
“I am sorry, Neville. For everything.” Draco says.
“Oh. Well, thanks. I was just about to leave, if I find out you have had sex on any surface of the kitchen, I’m moving out.” Neville tells them, and matching blushes colour their faces.
“Neville!” Harry hisses.
Neville leaves holding his hands up, mumbling some sort of farewell.
Draco sinks into a chair, covering his face and groaning.
“Oh, and stop eating my biscuits.” Neville pokes his head back in and points at Draco. Harry laughs loudly. Draco doesn’t answer.
Harry whips up a nice breakfast for them, though this time he makes double and serves Draco his own plate.
“So, what was your plan then?” Harry asks. “When your house was raided. What happened?”
“Oh. Well, I was at work, actually. I saw a couple aurors coming through the window and transfigured just in case. I didn’t know what had happened at the Manor until you found out. I just knew I was wanted for something that I most likely didn't do.”
“Did I see you in the club? I thought I did.” Harry asks.
“Yeah, I lucked out, I was behind the club and the men’s loo window was open, some blokes were getting it on and had left most of their clothes outside the stall. I took them and went to get some food from the bar as I hadn’t eaten in awhile. But of course, you were there since I can never escape you no matter what I do.” Draco gives Harry a look , and Harry laughs nervously.
“To be fair, I was there first.”
“Whatever. So obviously I had to leave before you saw me. I didn’t know if you would turn me in but since I don’t carry my wand anymore, I doubted I could’ve gotten away if you had caught me.”
“I wouldn’t have, I didn’t even know you were wanted yet. Why don’t you carry your wand?”
“I sort of got used to not having it.” Draco gives Harry another, more pointed look, and Harry apologises. “Plus, I’ve learned most basic spells wandless so I don’t really use it outside the Manor anyway.”
“That’s kind of hot.” Harry says before he can think better of it. Draco grins.
“I know. At any rate, that blasted muggle followed me, so I had to Vanish the clothes back to the loo, Obliviate him and transfigure before you caught up. All without a wand.”
“Why didn’t you leave? You were still there when I got back.”
Draco sighs heavily.
“I didn’t really know where else to go. I didn’t count on you knowing immediately it was me.”
Harry takes Draco’s hand. Draco relaxes slightly.
“It was. I’ve felt sort of helpless and lost since I was fifteen, but this was the first time I was really helpless and lost.” Draco admits. Harry gives his hand a squeeze.
“Do you still feel like that?”
Draco laughs mirthlessly.
“Depends on the day. It helps that you guys liked me, even if no one else believed it was me. And of course, sleeping with you is hardly a chore.” Draco winks. Harry laughs.
“About that. If you don’t have anything to wear, then you’ve just been prancing about my house for months naked at night?”
Draco snatches his hand away.
“Don’t mock my plight,” he says dramatically. He rolls his sleeves up, but shoves the left one back down again as he realises he’s exposing the Mark.
Harry covers Draco’s right hand with his own before the forearm is hidden again, meeting Draco’s eyes hesitantly. Draco only stares back, so Harry brushes his thumb along the Mark. Draco shivers almost violently and blushes brightly. Harry raises his eyebrows.
“ Not a word.” Draco hisses, yanking his sleeve back down.
“I didn’t say anything!” Harry protests. Draco squeezes his eyes shut and pushes a hand roughly through his hair.
“There’s a lot of magic concentrated there. That’s why it’s sensitive to another wix.”
“Is that why you’re so weird about it?” Harry asks without thinking.
“I’m ‘weird’ about it because it represents the worst choices I’ve made in my life.” Draco says seriously.
“Oh.” Harry says blankly.
“My turn to interrogate you. Why do all your friends think you were waiting for me to come back before you decided on a new life path?” Draco asks, and Harry scratches the back of his neck, feeling far too warm.
“I don’t know!” He says, and Draco gives him a weird look. “I just… maybe because they think I’m obsessed with you?”
“You are obsessed with me. You’ve always been obsessed with me.” Draco points out. Harry folds his arms on the table and hides his face in them.
“I’m not obsessed with you! I just… I keep running into you.”
“You were a biweekly regular at my book shop for nearly a year, but you’ve only been three times in all the months since I stopped working there.” Draco points out with a smile that Harry can hear.
“Because I’m shit at picking out my own books.” Harry says, but it’s a weak explanation.
“Harry, you couldn’t even leave me alone in school.”
“You’re one to talk! You made the Potter Stinks badges! How long did you spend on that?” Harry retorts. Draco rolls his eyes.
“Not that long, I was very good at Charms. And it was a great joke, one I know you’re not mad about because you have one. I saw it in your room.” Draco says smugly. “Which means you’ve kept it for over nine years.”
“I don’t get rid of anything.” Harry argues. “I still have my cousin’s hand-me-downs and it’s been far longer than nine years.”
“Alright fine, so you’re a hoarder.” Draco says, and Harry scowls as he realises he still lost the argument somehow.
“My point still stands, you couldn’t leave me alone any more than I you.” Harry says, and Draco shrugs.
“I wanted attention, now I don’t. I haven’t sought you out in many years, you’re the one who found me. I barely believe that you just happened to go to my book shop, it’s nowhere near your house and there are many nicer, bigger shops closer.”
“Well, I did find yours by accident, I was on a long, anxiety induced walk.” Harry says airily. Draco rolls his eyes.
“It’s seven miles from here.”
“I was very anxious.” Harry huffs.
“Whatever, Harry. It’s fine that you’re obsessed with me.” Draco shrugs, and Harry scoffs out a protest. Draco laughs.
Harry leaves the room, ignoring Draco’s calls trying to placate him. He snatches up Draco’s collar from his bed, then nearly bowls Draco himself over when he turns to go down the stairs.
Harry can actually look down into Draco’s face from his place one step higher, and he very purposefully clips the collar back around Draco’s throat.
“I may be obsessed with you, but you’re obsessed with wearing a collar with my name on it as your owner, pet . My ickle kitty .” Harry tells him lowly, and Draco sways backward, eyes closing and whining loudly.
“ Bedroom . Bedroom now .” Draco rasps, and Harry grins, grabbing his hand and pulling him up the stairs.
Draco shifts down to cat form and out of his clothes, then back into person form, now naked. It’s very efficient, Harry realises. Draco drops onto the bed and looks back, waiting for Harry.
“That’s the fastest I’ve ever seen someone strip. You eager for my cock?” Harry says directly into his ear, leaning over Draco’s naked body so Draco can feel just how naked he is compared to a mostly clothed Harry.
Draco whimpers noisily, pressing his face into the mattress. Harry smirks, running his fingers down the hot skin of Draco’s shoulder and down his arm. Harry firmly grabs Draco’s left forearm around the Mark, and Draco moans, thrusting into the bed.
“Sensitive, pet.” Harry comments, releasing him. “You get so flushed and easy as soon as I clip your collar around your pretty neck.”
Draco whines pitifully, twisting to see Harry’s face and inadvertently proving Harry's point.
“Are you just going to tease me or are you going to fuck me?” Draco whispers.
“I’m getting there.” Harry says, dragging his hand down Draco’s side and gripping his hip.
Draco’s skin is extremely soft and warm, and Harry wants to lick it. So he does, from the dimples above Draco’s arse all the way up his spine to where the collar rests.
Draco pants heavily, his delicate hands fisting in the sheets.
“You’re so dainty, so precious.” Harry whispers, hands finding Draco’s little waist again and lifting him bodily to lay fully on the bed. Draco yelps as he’s maneuvered.
“Don’t tease me.” Draco whimpers. “I want this.”
“Me too.” Harry breathes. “Merlin, you’re perfect, let me see you.” Harry flips Draco over and starting at his lovely face, his eyes run down Draco’s body.
“ Harry -” Draco whines, squeezing his eyes shut. “ Touch me.” He pleads.
Harry’s cock jumps at that, and then again when he sees Draco’s cock is steadily leaking over his stomach. Harry reaches out for it, and Draco shudders at the first brush.
“ Merlin .” Harry groans when he finally grips it and his squeeze makes Draco keen loudly. Draco’s hands lay near his head twitching with every stroke of his cock. Harry lets go, ignoring the betrayed sound Draco made.
He summons a bottle of lube from his nightstand, slicking up his fingers.
“Put your leg on my shoulder.” He instructs, nudging the right leg. He brushes the back of his fingers along Draco’s inner thigh to telegraph his intent, then swipes the lube along his hole, which clenches up along with Draco’s hiss.
“Relax.” Harry says, rubbing gently. After a couple deep breaths, Draco unclenches, and Harry presses the tip of one finger in.
It’s slow going, as Harry, one, wants to not hurt Draco, and two, is really fucking enjoying the desperate noises he’s making.
After two fingers are thrusting in and out easily, Harry shoves them deep, searching. Draco’s cry and full-body shudder tell him he’s found it. He grins, pressing the spot again. Draco’s hand flies to his cock, pinching the base.
Harry forgoes all caution and shoves his fingers back in, fingering him roughly.
“One more, can you take it?” Harry says as warning, and Draco shivers.
“Yes.” He says hoarsely.
Harry uses his free hand to grab onto his waist again, stroking the hot skin.
“I’m going to fuck you now.”
Draco whines something that sounds like a combination of ‘please’ and ‘finally.’
“You’re really mouthy, pet.” Harry teases, withdrawing his fingers and lifting Draco’s leg off his shoulder. Draco gives him a look that makes Harry laugh. “I expect nothing less of you.” He agrees.
Harry strips off his sweats and catches Draco looking at him intently as he removes his pants. His head drops back with a groan when Harry’s hard cock is exposed.
Draco pants as Harry slides in slowly.
Once seated, Harry has to take a moment to gather his wits. Draco’s long legs wrap around his waist.
“You are so tight. ” He breathes. Draco huffs, then squeezes around Harry, making him yell. “Fuck!”
Harry starts slow, thrusting in and out steadily until Draco relaxes around him enough to kick it up a notch.
“I’m close.” Draco says, and Harry huffs in agreement. He strokes Draco’s cock, then redirects his attention to his arm, brushing his fingers hesitantly over the Dark Mark, which makes Draco’s back arch off the bed.
“Fuck!” Harry says again as Draco’s arse squeezes him, and he brings Draco’s arm to his mouth, licking and nipping at the Mark, which drives Draco mad, if the way he’s thrashing around is any indication.
Draco comes first, all over himself, and Harry follows shortly after.
He collapses half on top of him while still inside, cock pulsing as he fills Draco.
Harry can’t speak for a few minutes, even as Draco wiggles out from beneath him and dislodges Harry’s softening cock.
He disappears into the bathroom for a moment, coming back as he wipes his chest down with a damp flannel, dropping back down on his stomach once clean.
“Fucking hell.” Harry whispers after ten minutes have passed. He looks over at Draco, who appears to be asleep. “Draco?” Harry prods at his side.
Harry tucks the covers around him, tugging him closer to hold his body as he starts drifting off as well.
When he wakes up, the bed is cold, and Harry sits up, trying to remember what’s missing before he remembers that his cat is Draco Malfoy and they just fucked earlier. But Draco is a person, not a cat now.
“Draco?” He asks the empty bedroom.
Harry gets up, pulling his pants on and goes downstairs looking for Draco.
He finds him sitting on the counter, in human form still, eating crisps straight from the bag. He startles when he sees Harry.
“You’re not supposed to be on the counter.” He teases, stepping between Draco’s legs.
“I thought that was only a rule for the cat.” Draco challenges, setting the crisps aside.
Harry pulls his legs around his waist, then slides him off the counter. Draco’s arms wrap around his shoulders.
Harry sits them both down on the kitchen chair.
“I don’t know where your arse has been.” Harry teases, and Draco rolls his eyes.
“You just saw where it was.” He reminds Harry. “And I took a shower while you were asleep.”
“Whatever would Neville say?” Harry asks. He suddenly hears footsteps in the hallway.
“Ask him yourself.” Draco suggests, nodding to the door. Harry turns to see Neville gaping.
“Did you-” He starts, looking around the kitchen. “ Harry!” He groans, dropping his head back. “Can’t even manage one day without fornicating all over the one room that’s actually common space?”
“Relax, Neville, I fucked him in bed.” Harry says, which makes Neville blush and that makes Draco laugh.
“Is there a reason neither of you are dressed?” He asks, going to the refrigerator and taking out a beer.
“Yes. We just fucked.” Draco says easily, making Neville choke on his drink. “And I have no clothes here.”
“Merlin, this is barmy.” He grumbles, grabbing a few things to put together his dinner. “Do I need to move out? Seriously?” He asks Harry.
“There’s plenty of space for you, Neville. We can be… more considerate if it bothers you.” Harry says genuinely. He knows Neville likes living here with all the protective wards keeping the world out.
“Do what you want, it’s your house. As long as you don’t have sex in the kitchen. I will not tolerate that.” Neville says with his back to them as he makes his food.
“That’s entirely fair.” Harry agrees.
Draco leans against his chest, tucking his face into the crook of Harry’s neck sweetly, and Harry smiles, pulling his body close.
“Merlin, you’re so cute.” He whispers, and Draco does what Harry assumes is the human equivalent of purring.
“I’m eating in my room.” Neville grumbles. Harry snorts. “Oh, hey, Malfoy, how did you manage the phone thing? Harry said he’d called your mobile when he first brought you here, said you’d picked up.”
“Oh yeah, how did you do that?” Harry asks. Draco snorts.
“Call it again.” He says without moving away from Harry’s neck.
“I don’t have my mobile on me, Neville?” Harry asks. Neville rolls his eyes, but pulls his out anyway. Draco tells him his number, and Neville dials it. It rings for awhile, but eventually a familiar voice says
“Hello, this is Draco Malfoy. I’m very sorry to have missed your call, kindly leave me a message with your name and number.” Then a long beep. Harry’s face reddens as he realises.
“I didn’t pick up, you got my voicemail.” Draco explains. “Dimwit.” He adds affectionately. Neville laughs loudly.
“I didn’t know what to say to you so I hung up right after you said your name. I thought you might think it’s a booty call or something.” He explains.
“What were you going to do if I’d been at the shop Monday? ‘Oh hey, sorry I called you on Friday and hung up.’” Draco asks.
“I… sort of forgot about caller ID.” Harry admits. Draco laughs quietly, shaking his head.
“It’s good you have a massive cock or I’d have to leave you for someone smarter.” He teases. Neville coughs.
“Right. I’m leaving before I lose my appetite entirely.” He says, taking his plate and beer, opening a cupboard before he leaves. He pokes around for a moment. “Malfoy, I told you to stop eating my biscuits!”
“Sorry, I was hungry.” Draco shrugs. “I’ll buy more.”
“Unbelievable.” Neville grumbles, glaring at Draco. “And I’m charging you for all the food you’ve been sneaking for the last several months.”
“That’s fair.” Draco agrees. Harry rolls his eyes.
“Neville, I buy all our groceries.”
“It’s the principle, Harry!” Neville says as he leaves.
OKAY this is a huge chapter but I couldn't bring myself to break it up any more, I've kept you guys waiting long enough I think. Genuinely, all the comments have brought me so much joy, so thanks to everyone!
Things get very fun and sexy and fluffy from here, so I'm excited to see what you all think of this chapter as the rest of the story will be more like this one and less like the beginning (sexiness, anyway).
To any future readers- this chapter is a good stopping point to give yourself a little break. Make sure you stay hydrated and get enough rest:)
Harry and Draco go on a proper date
Harry and Draco have a lot to talk about, but they don't get around to most of it that first day.
Draco excitedly tells Harry about the next novel on the list Celeste still has in the store, and how perfectly it suits Harry's book standards.
Once Harry showers, he comes out of the bathroom to find Draco has tidied the bedroom and realises with a jolt that despite the fact that Harry never makes his bed, it's nearly always made. It makes him wonder what else Draco’s been up to around the house secretly that Harry hasn't noticed.
They take a long walk around muggle London, dipping inside every shop that looks even remotely interesting and poking about at the goods, joking easily and making future plans. They don't have to say aloud that they'll be together then, they just know.
And Harry's never felt less anxious in his life.
"You know, Hermione works in the wix documentation service, she can make official documents saying you've been in a coma for this whole time, Celeste mentioned a while back that it could excuse your absence."
"I'm still undecided about whether or not I'll go back there at all. I mean, obviously I will, if for no other reason than to see Celeste and apologise, but… I don't want the Ministry to keep tracking me."
"I can ask around, if you'd like. Make a donation that would ensure whatever documentation on your whereabouts is mysteriously misplaced."
Draco huffs a laugh, slipping his hand into Harry's.
"I appreciate that, really, but I don't need you to fight my battles for me."
Harry rolls his eyes. Honestly, everyone around him is so against free help.
"It's hardly 'fighting a battle,' I just have to pop by one or two offices and it's taken care of. But if you don't want me to, I'll stay out of it."
Draco squeezes Harry's hand and points out a glass sculpture in the fancy art gallery they're perusing, mentioning how closely it resembles a cock. Harry snorts.
"Oh! Ron and Hermione!" Draco exclaims as soon as they've stepped back onto the street. "Are you going to tell them?"
Harry feels a wide grin form on his face.
"They've been such smug bastards ever since your name was cleared and you didn't turn into you."
"I've got an idea, how well can you lie?" Draco asks with a gleam in his pale eyes. Harry snorts.
Once the plans are laid, Harry drags Draco in the direction of the South Bank of the Thames.
"Where are we going?" Draco asks huffily as they speed walk down the busy street.
Draco picks up on it quickly, staring up at the huge wheel as they grew closer.
"Not the Eye?" He gapes.
"Have you been before?"
"Never, I found out about it a few years ago from Celeste. We were going to make a trip but the queues were too long so we ended up getting drunk instead."
"Marvellous. Well, we'll go now. I've been with my friends several times, you'll love it."
"But the queues!" Draco protests. "There's always so many people there, especially on a Friday!"
Harry gives Draco a wink, tugging him along faster.
The truth is, the queues are far too long to wait through. So Harry never does.
Through a disillusioned doorway, a much smaller queue waits for the carriage muggle London does not know about: carriage 13.
Everyone assumes 13 was left off because no one wanted the bad luck of riding in it. There very much is a carriage 13, but it's only visible to wizards.
"Oh, Merlin!" Draco exclaims, looking around.
They only wait for twenty or so minutes (Harry may or may not have been recognised by the operator, though Draco was not, thankfully) for the carriage to reach the bottom again and they're escorted on board.
Draco watches the windows as they rise into the sky, and Harry watches Draco. His silver eyes are round as ever as he tries to look out all sides at once.
"I've never been this high up." Draco admits. Harry is surprised.
"How would I have?" Draco asks, turning to look at Harry. "Has a new broom come out since I went into hiding? You really should've told me about it."
"If one has, I hadn't heard. No, I suppose you wouldn't have, I forgot you've never been in an aeroplane."
"Celeste mentioned that once, I had to pretend I knew what she was talking about before looking for a book on them." Draco says with a sheepish smile. "I think I'd rather be killed on the ground than be taken into the sky to be dropped suddenly."
"They're very safe, muggles use them all the time. There's constantly aeroplanes in the sky, most of them arrive safely."
"I refuse to consider them appropriate travel options until you can truthfully say 'all of them arrive safely.'" Draco mutters, and Harry grins.
Draco slips his hand into Harry's on their way back down, and doesn't let it go when they leave. Harry hopes to every higher power that no reporters or Creeveys are nearby.
Draco requests candy floss on their way back home, which he shares graciously, though Harry's never had much of a taste for the stuff and only eats a bit of it.
"You know, we've got this whole thing backwards." Draco says absently as he twists stringy sugar around his fingers and licks it off. It's very close to obscene but Harry doesn't mention it. His lips are tinged blue from it.
"What whole thing?"
"Us. This, whatever it is." Draco says, pointing between them with the floss stick. "First, I moved in with you, then we shagged, now we're on a date - I assume that's what this is, yeah?"
He suddenly looks uncertain, and Harry grins.
"I was under that impression myself."
"Right. Well, like I was saying. Cohabitation usually doesn't come before at least friendship, and while we were certainly friendlier, the bar was not very high on that front."
"Fair point. Moving forward, we should plan on disrupting the social order of relationships until ours is beyond recognition, yeah? It would serve Rita Skeeter right, to have to bungle about trying to make sense of things."
Draco shakes his head, but he's smiling.
"Then I propose the next out-of-order item is a kiss." Draco says, stuffing a rather fluffy twist of floss into his mouth.
"How revolutionary, a kiss at the end of a first date." Harry grins, but before Draco can protest, Harry has pushed Draco’s back against a gate to kiss him properly.
Draco's lips are soft and plush and they taste like candy floss. It's perfect.
When he finally pulls away, Draco’s eyes look a bit glazed until he blinks a few times.
"Oh." He says so quietly, Harry can hardly hear it.
"Oh?" Harry teases. "You'll give me a big head with talk like that."
Draco blushes, and Harry notices him touching his own lips when he turns away to continue walking. Harry grins.
At home again, Harry and Draco brush their teeth side by side. Harry makes faces at him through the mirror until Draco nearly spits toothpaste all over the counter.
"You're absurd." He mumbles, winding his arms around Harry's waist and pressing several kisses into Harry's hair. It's very nice.
"Thanks." Harry says blankly, unsure of what he's responding to.
Draco is already in bed with his eyes closed when Harry finishes, and he looks quite like an angel in the dim light.
"Will you come to bed or are you content to just stare at me until the sun rises?" Draco asks without opening his eyes.
Harry rolls his eyes and slips into bed beside the oh-
"Naked?" Harry grins. Draco huffs, rolling over.
"I will go sleep in another room if you want me to put clothes on." He says flatly.
"I doubt I'll ever want you to wear more clothes. I'm just pleasantly surprised."
Harry shucks his own pants at that, and envelopes Draco’s body against his own.
“I think your friends might be right.” Draco says against Harry’s neck.
“You must really like me.” Draco explains. Harry flushes, but Draco can’t see it as his eyes are still closed.
“Whatever.” Harry huffs. Draco blinks those lovely eyes open, looking at Harry.
“I really like you too. A lot.” He says quietly. Harry grins widely.
“Yes really, you twat.” Draco laughs, settling back against Harry again. His grin doesn’t falter.
“I liked you better before you called me a twat.” Harry complains.
“Of all the things I’ve called you, that’s really not that bad.” Draco points out.
“That’s true.” Harry agrees. “You were a terrible teenager.”
“Oh, I know.”
Harry is nearly asleep when Draco pokes his little tongue out to lick along Harry’s throat and jaw.
“Hm?” Harry asks.
“What?” Draco asks.
“You licked me.” Harry says groggily.
“You licked me earlier.” Draco says, sounding a bit embarrassed.
“That was during sex.” Harry says.
Draco doesn’t answer for a while.
“I just wanted to.” He finally says. Harry smiles.
“I didn’t say I minded.”
Draco hums contentedly, licking Harry’s neck a couple more times before nuzzling his nose against Harry’s ear and settling down.
“You’re just as catlike as a person as when you’re a cat.” Harry says.
Draco huffs lightly but doesn’t say anything.
“See?” Harry teases. Draco pokes him in the ribs. “You’re only proving my point.” Harry says, and Draco snorts irritably, turning over to face the other way. “Come here, pet.” Harry says, pulling him back to cuddle him close. Draco whines. “Do you like being called my pet?”
“No.” Draco says petulantly.
Harry laughs, nipping the back of Draco’s neck near where the collar sits.
“ Harry .” He breathes.
“Yes, pet?” Harry asks mockingly.
“Sod off.” Draco grumbles, rolling onto his front and out of Harry’s arms.
“I don’t know if you genuinely don’t want me touching you or if this is just your kitty way of getting attention.” Harry says. Draco doesn’t answer, so Harry tentatively reaches up to run his finger along the side of Draco's throat.
“I’m too tired to have sex again.” Draco mumbles. Harry lifts his hands from his neck.
“That’s fine, we can be done. Do you not want me to touch you?”
“No, it’s okay, I like it. As long as you know we’re not doing anything else tonight.”
“Okay.” Harry says. “Can you come back here then?”
Draco shifts along the mattress to lay on top of Harry’s chest, his face hidden in Harry’s shoulder.
“This is nice.” Harry says softly as the silence wears on.
“Shush.” Draco whispers, shifting closer still. Harry smiles.
"You're like a real librarian sometimes."
"I swear, Harry-"
When Harry woke up alone in the dark, he paused, looking if maybe person Draco had gone back to cat Draco somewhere. He couldn’t see him anywhere in the dark room, so he got up to investigate.
As soon as he stepped out into the hallway, he heard quiet talking from the kitchen, so he crept down the stairs silently, skipping the step that creaked.
Harry stood behind the wall near the doorway, listening to the sounds from the kitchen. It was Draco, speaking quietly to himself.
“Neville Longbottom, hiding the biscuits from me again? Has that ever worked?” He tsks softly, and Harry hears “ Accio, Neville’s biscuits.” Followed by the packaging opening up.
Harry risked peeking around the corner to see Draco’s back turned to him as he pulls out a little pile of the round biscuits and sets them on the counter carefully.
He wraps the package back up and puts it into a cupboard, taking a nibble of the first as he turns to the refrigerator, pulling out the carton of milk and setting it on the counter as well.
Then he takes a teacup and bag, filling the cup with water magically and casting a spell to heat it up. Once heated, Draco puts the teabag in, checking the time on the glowing muggle clock. He hops up to sit on the counter, humming sweetly a melody Harry recognises from the various times he’s hummed the same song with cat Draco on his shoulders. Harry smiles.
Draco thumbs at the pink collar on his throat, smiling faintly and closing his eyes as he waits. Harry’s chest warms with fondness.
Finally, Draco deems that enough time has passed, and he Vanishes the teabag (wandlessly, my my) and opens the carton of milk. Then he sniffs a bit, holding up the carton to his nose to sniff it specifically, a wrinkle forming between his brows.
“Honestly, Harry.” Draco says quietly, poking his pinky into the tilted carton and tasting the drop he picks up with a grimace. He closes the carton, setting it aside. “Harry Harry Harry, love-of-my-life, Saviour of wizards everywhere and auror extraordinaire, letting the milk go sour!” He huffs.
Harry feels his mouth drop open, and he ducks further behind the wall as Draco shuffles about, pouring the bad milk down the drain and tutting to himself over it.
“This is what happens when both this house’s inhabitants drink coffee and cream instead of tea with milk as a civilised person should. To think Harry’s cat has more class…” Draco scoffs, and Harry’s shock morphs back into amusement and affection.
Draco dumps far too much sugar into his teacup and takes a sip, alternating it with bites of the stolen biscuits.
“Oh! There’s chocolate around here somewhere, isn’t there? I saw Harry hide it.” He says, poking through a few cupboards.
Harry smiles widely, remembering Draco’s penchant for sweets since he was a child. It appears he’s no different now.
“Maybe once I have my clothes back, Harry will go to Honeyduke’s with me, Merlin knows I’ve missed visiting. Think it’s probably been years now. I think he’d like the muggle shop too, though it doesn’t have as many options.”
Draco makes a little sound of victory as he procures the foil-wrapped chocolate Harry had bought the other day, before the grand reveal, intending to save it for hot chocolate on a cold night with cat Draco curled on his lap. He thinks this use is far better.
Smiling like a child in a candy store, Draco unwraps the chocolate, breaking off pieces to eat with his biscuits. Harry watches him snack, chatting to himself every now and then about whatever crosses his mind. Harry’s heart hurts with how strongly he feels about the person sitting on the countertop talking to himself like a loon.
Finally, he finishes his tea and cleans the cup, setting it back exactly where it had been. He Vanishes any crumbs and repacks the rest of the chocolate into its foil, setting it back where it came from as well.
In a rush, Harry realises he’s about to leave the kitchen, so with a mumbled silencing spell, he dashes back up the stairs, only to turn back and come down a bit more noisily.
As his audible footsteps approach the kitchen, he hears a small yelp of surprise, and as soon as he turns the corner, person Draco shifts into cat Draco, then after a moment, back into person Draco. Harry is too shocked to comment.
“Sorry, habit.” Draco says, fussing with his hair. Harry smiles.
“That’s alright. What are you doing up?”
“I usually come down about this time and eat something.” Draco shrugs. He’s still a bit flushed. “Did you just wake up?”
“Yeah, a minute ago.” Harry lies, hoping Draco buys it. Draco seems to relax slightly, releasing a breath.
“I see. I was just about to go back to bed, are you hungry or just looking for me?”
“Just looking for you.” Harry says, stepping into the kitchen. “I sleep better with you there.” He admits.
Draco blushes a little, and his hand seems to unconsciously touch the collar before he catches himself, running his fingers through his hair instead.
“Right well, bed then?” He asks. “Milk was sour, by the way, I tossed it.”
“Oh, sorry. I usually take cream.” Harry says, managing to keep a straight face. Draco gives him a funny surprised look, but doesn’t say anything else. Harry smiles warmly, and Draco looks down. “Ready to come sleep, pet?” Harry asks in a bit of a teasing voice. Draco blushes more.
“Mhm.” He agrees, taking Harry’s hand and waiting for Harry to lead the way back up to their room.
He curls up close to Harry again, pressed tightly into his side and nuzzling Harry’s skin. Harry kisses his hair.
“Sweet dreams, pet.” He says softly. Draco sighs.
Draco has made the decision by Tuesday to go back to the bookstore and see how he’s received before trying to be rehired.
He’s nervous, Harry can tell, and keeps reaching up to touch the collar that he’d left in their room at home, only catching himself once he realises it’s not there.
Harry opens the door for him, and Draco glances back before entering.
“Oh my god!”
Celeste drops the book she’s in the middle of scanning, dashing round the counter to run up to Draco and collide into a hug.
“I found him.” Harry says cheerfully.
The customer who was watching in confusion from the counter looked at Harry.
“He’s been missing, used to work here.” Harry tells her quietly, making his way around the former coworkers.
When Celeste pulls away, her eyes are watery, and she smacks Draco’s arm.
“Where have you been!” She demands. Draco huffs, rubbing his arm.
“Yeah, good to see you too.” He says. “Maybe finish ringing up this lovely lady and then we can talk, alright?” He suggests, and Celeste looks back at the counter, wiping her eyes.
“Of course! I’m so sorry, ma’am.” Celeste says, returning to her position behind the register and scanning the stack of books.
The woman smiles kindly, but doesn’t say anything and is gone quickly, looking back curiously before she closes the door behind herself.
Celeste comes back from behind the counter, sitting on the outside and glancing between Draco and Harry expectantly.
Draco sighs, looking at Harry briefly before he leans against the counter himself.
“Well, the official story is that I was in an accident and have spent the past several months unidentified and in a coma, and I have completely legitimate paperwork to prove it.” He says blandly.
“But the real story…?” Celeste prompts.
“The real story… is a bit more complicated, and I can’t tell you everything, much as I wish I could. Don’t tell Martha, as I’m going to ask for my job back and I think it might be a tough sell with the real story.” Draco begins.
“Now I just want to know it more. You have my word it’ll be a secret. I assume Harry knows?”
“Yes, Harry knows. My… My family was mixed up in some shady business when I was a child, and as I’ve inherited everything after their… deaths, I was sort of caught up in the tail end. I had nothing to do with it, but it took some time to prove it, and because of my family name, the… the authorities are disinclined to take my word seriously. So I’ve been in hiding since my last shift here so I wouldn’t be arrested again.”
“Holy shit!” Celeste says. “And things are… alright now? Your name was cleared?”
“From what I know, yes. They got things sorted a few months ago, but I wasn’t ready to come back. Just in case.”
“Holy shit… How could anyone think you had something to do with that sort of thing? I mean, if I came in here one day and found you with a smoking gun in your hand and a dead body, you could still convince me you’d been framed and were innocent.”
Harry laughs a little at that notion, but Draco gives him a look.
“Is that because you trust him or because he can literally talk himself out of a death sentence?” Harry asks her.
“ You were the one who talked me out of a death sentence, Harry!” Draco exclaims, and Celeste’s eyes widen.
“You were going to be executed?” She asks in shock. “How’d you get him out of it?” She asks Harry.
“No, that happened when I was seventeen.” Draco reassures her, which doesn’t help at all.
“Draco’s father was a piece of shit, tried to get him involved in the family dealings.” Harry says easily. “He tried to kill me at least twice.”
Celeste claps a hand over her mouth.
“When you were seventeen? ”
“Oh, no. He tried to kill me the first time when I was twelve.” Harry explains.
This doesn’t seem to be helping Celeste come to terms with Draco’s reappearance and she squeezes her eyes shut.
“Wait a second, you told me you got your tattoo when you were a teenager. What does it mean then, if you got it after you’d apparently gotten out of a death sentence? ”
“I got the tattoo when I was sixteen, actually.” Draco says, covering his left arm with his hand even though the tattoo is already hidden beneath his sleeve.
“Sixteen? Is that even legal?”
“I don’t think so.” Harry butts in. “At any rate, Draco’s back now. What are the odds he can be rehired, do you think?”
Celeste squeezes her eyes shut for a second, shaking her head as if to clear it.
“I’m positive he could. Martha still laments the days when we had regulars.”
“They don’t come anymore?” Draco asks in surprise. “Not Angela, or Louise? What about the book club?”
“Well they do, every few months or so. Not as often as they used to, since the handsome young man they like so much doesn’t work here anymore.” Celeste says sadly. Draco frowns.
“That solves that problem.” Harry shrugs.
“Did you ever find my things, by the way?” Draco asks suddenly, moving behind the counter.
“What things? The only thing that was here was a book. Harry bought it.”
“No, I know. But I left a few things here. I couldn’t go home after my last shift.”
“This was the last place you were before disappearing?” Celeste asks.
“I guess, yeah.” Draco answers absently.
He pulls out a few books from one shelf, fishing behind them to pull out a mobile.
“I suspect I have a missed call from you on here.” He gives Harry a look, and Harry rolls his eyes. Celeste watches them curiously but doesn’t comment.
He opens a drawer, lifting out the plastic tray with desk supplies, plucking up a set of keys and a very fancy fountain pen.
Draco then pulls down a poster which has been there as long as Harry’s known. He picks up the signet ring Harry recognises he’d worn when he used to work here, as well as a pin that he wears on his jacket lapels, and those triangle things Draco puts on the corners of his shirt collar sometimes.
“I think this is a sign that I need to clean around here more often.” Celeste says in amusement.
Draco laughs easily, and Celeste smiles widely when she hears it. Honestly, if Harry wasn’t so sure that Draco really cares for him, he’d wonder if he and Celeste had something going on.
Finally, Draco goes up to a tall bookshelf and pats around along the top of it, pulling down three dusty notebooks.
“These are the moneymakers.” He says, holding them up. He pockets the other things and plunks the books down onto the counter. “I’m kind of surprised those were still up there, I thought one of you would’ve known of them.”
“I’ve never seen them.”
“How was I supposed to know those were there?” Celeste asks in surprise.
“You work here. And Potter, you were an auror, some deductive skills should be expected.” Draco says loftily.
“A what?” Celeste asks, but Draco starts talking again before either can answer.
“This is a list of all our regulars. I can text some of them once I charge my mobile, but the others will just have to hear through the grapevine.” Draco says, flipping through the book.
Each page has a different name and lots of notes written in French (Harry assumes).
“Martha would be thrilled, we didn’t know you had a secret customer list!” Celeste says. “Wait, they do know you have their numbers, right?”
“Please. They wrote them on my hands, I think they’re aware.” Draco says. Celeste snorts.
“Must’ve been pretty disappointed to find out you’re bent and taken.” She teases.
“What?” Draco asks, looking at her. Celeste tilts her head.
“You two are dating, aren’t you?”
Draco and Harry look at each other.
“I mean, yeah. But very recently, how did you know?” Harry asks her.
“It’s pretty obvious.” Celeste shrugs, but when they stare at her, she elaborates with a puff of breath. “You call each other by your proper names now, which you never did before, always surnames. You look at each other constantly, I mean more than you used to, and you’ve stopped insulting each other. So obviously something’s different.”
Draco blinks a few times, and Harry worries he’ll go back into cat-mode, but he snaps out of it.
“Huh. Well, at any rate. That’s what this one is for.” He continues, regaining momentum as he goes. “This one is all the books I’ve read and my opinions on them. It’s extremely valuable as I’m sure you understand.”
“Git.” Harry says affectionately, bumping into Draco’s shoulder. Draco winks back.
“And the last one is sorted by category of book, it’s the one I use for recommendations.”
“That’s where the real magic happens.” Celeste says, and Harry and Draco both freeze for a second before they realise she’s using the word magic the muggle way.
“Right.” Draco says. “I’ll have to update the second, I finished the book I left here.” He says, pulling out a pen from behind the counter and leaning down to write. Draco hadn’t opened the second two notebooks like he had the first, but Harry is unsurprised to find that he’s writing in French now.
“How come you never speak French to me, pet?” He complains. Draco scoffs, but doesn’t pause his writing.
“You never speak Parseltongue to me.”
“I lost it after he killed the horcrux.” Harry says, knowing Celeste won’t understand without context.
“Did you really? That’s incredibly disappointing.” Draco says, finishing his notes and returning the pen. “You should learn something else.”
“I’m shit at learning.” Harry says.
“Well, I’m not. I’ll teach you Russian.”
“You speak Russian, too?” Celeste asks in surprise. “How many languages do you know?”
“Four. Not Russian, but I want Harry to speak one I don’t understand, it makes things more fun.” He winks at Harry.
Celeste balks for a moment, shaking her head slowly.
“Draco…” She begins, pausing until Draco gives her his full attention. “We’re friends, aren’t we?”
“Of course.” Draco answers without hesitation.
“I suppose I can forgive you disappearing for close to a year without warning or trace. But apparently, there’s a whole fucking lot that I don’t know about you.”
“Yes, that’s by design.” Draco says. Celeste doesn’t look placated. Draco sighs. “Like I said, my family was extremely shady, so there are a lot of really unusual things about me that I can’t really talk about.”
“Yeah, I know.” Celeste says.
“I would love to tell you everything, but there’s a whole side of the world that Harry and I have been exposed to that hardly anyone knows about. And those aren’t our secrets to tell, we could get in trouble for telling you about them.”
Celeste sighs heavily, but shrugs.
“Okay, I understand. Just tell me what you can, I don’t like feeling like I know nothing about you. And you too, Harry. We should get coffee together, outside of work.” She suggests. Harry grins, looking at Draco.
“That’d be nice, I think.”
“You should come over to our house.” He says, and Harry can tell it was an impulsive invitation because Draco immediately looks at him with a ‘sorry, should’ve asked first’ expression.
“Yeah! We’d really love to have you sometime.”
“You live together? I thought you just came back.” Celeste asks in surprise. “And yes absolutely, I want to come over.”
“I stayed with Harry for a bit before officially returning to civilization.” Draco shrugs. ‘A bit’ is an understatement, but Celeste doesn’t need to know that.
She smiles widely.
“I’m so happy for you two. You both seem really happy together.”
Harry bumps the back of Draco’s hand with his own, twisting their fingers together.
“Yeah, we are.”
I'm so shocked at how well this story has been received! I treasure all your comments, they've been getting me through all the shit going on at work lately and I suspect I would've dropped this story a while ago if I hadn't had all of your constant support. Thank you sincerely :)
Harry and Draco Tell Ron and Hermione
Harry entered the living room and flopped into a chair. Neville glanced up briefly.
"Trouble sleeping?" He teases. Neville knows Harry started sleeping through the night when he got a pet.
Harry rolled his eyes.
"Draco’s asleep, I came down for a cuppa, water's heating up now." Harry explains.
"Draco has a spell to almost instantly boil it." Neville says. "I've asked him about it but he says it's nonverbal and he doesn't know how to explain it. All he could say was that he just 'thinks really hard about tea.'"
Harry chuckles. He's seen that spell before.
"Draco is going to end my life." He says dramatically, lounging back in the seat.
Neville snorts, finally setting his lap desk covered in pages aside.
"Oh yeah, Voldemort? Whole bands of dark wizards? No problem. But that twink, Draco Malfoy in your bed, yeah, he’s going to kill you."
Harry laughs. He’s very relieved Draco and Neville have gotten along so well, he had been a tad concerned about that.
“You’re honestly alright with him here?” Harry confirms. Neville shrugs.
“He stays out of my way for the most part, and he’s pretty nice when we cross paths. Yeah, I’m alright.”
“I’m glad.” Harry says, rubbing his eyes beneath his glasses. “I’m glad, because I really like him, Nev.”
Neville doesn’t look at all surprised.
“You’ve liked him for almost two years.”
“He’s only been here less than one.”
“Harry, you’re lying to yourself and me if you say you weren’t going to that bookshop to see him and hear what he has to say about things. He’s not even here right now, you don’t have to pretend with me. I know you better than that.”
Harry sits forward, looking at Neville closer.
“You didn’t say anything before.”
“I didn’t think it would matter if I said something. Besides, you’d get around to doing something about it eventually. And you really enjoyed having him as a cat, I didn’t want to make that awkward.”
“He said I’m the love of his life.” Harry says quietly. Neville’s eyebrows shoot up to his hairline.
“Well- I mean, not to me. But I heard him say it.”
“Who was he talking to?”
“Himself. He does that when he’s by himself, I don’t think he knows I heard him.”
Neville rolls his eyes.
“I doubt it, he’d be very embarrassed about it I think. He’s not particularly forthcoming with his feelings.”
“No, not at all. It’s hard to read him sometimes. I think he was easier to figure out when he was a cat.”
Harry’s bedroom door creaks open, and he looks up to the top of the stairs to see Draco - in pants, for Neville’s sake - rubbing his eyes and looking extremely cute.
“Hey, I’ll be there in just a moment.” Harry says, getting up to pour his tea.
“Bring me a cup?” Draco requests, turning around and heading back into the bedroom.
“Tea before bed - really, Harry.” Neville tuts teasingly. Harry rolls his eyes.
“Look, if my pet wants tea, I bring him tea.” Harry says with a grin. Neville scoffs.
“Yeah, it’s not obvious at all that you like him.”
Harry snorts, but goes upstairs without further comment.
Draco is sitting up against the headboard with his eyes closed. He smiles softly when he hears Harry come in.
“Thanks.” He says as he accepts the hot cup. Harry pats his thigh.
“Anytime, kitty. You awake now, or are you going back to sleep?”
Draco’s sleep cycle is beyond fucked up after spending so many days napping randomly and waking up at night to sneak some people food.
“We’ll see after this tea. Did you make it how I like it?”
“Far too much cream and sugar? Of course I did.” Harry says, slipping in beside him. Their thighs contrast beside each other - Harry’s are tanned, thickly muscled hairy legs, while Draco’s are long, toned and pale.
Draco sips at his tea quietly, his eyes closed again, and the little smile on his lips.
Yes, Harry is very fond of him, indeed.
“Oh Merlin.” Draco flushes brightly and freezes. Harry frowns in concern.
“What? You alright?”
“I’ve just realised that Neville saw this.” Draco nudges his pink collar with his thumb.
Harry laughs loudly.
“It’s alright, pet, Neville knows I… I like it.”
Draco rolls his eyes.
“That’s so embarrassing.” He whispers, but Harry notices he hasn’t tried to take it off.
“It’s fine, Neville doesn’t care. Do you really like wearing it? Like not just during sex, but generally? It can’t be comfortable.”
“I suppose it's not.” Draco shrugs, touching it. “I’ve gotten used to it. I used to take it off but then it just… didn’t really bother me.”
“You took the bell off."
“I don’t like when people can hear me coming.” Draco says, leaning over so his cheek rests against Harry’s temple.
“You hid it, then. Not Neville.”
“Of course I did. Why would Neville hide it in my cousin’s room?”
“That was a point that I’d sort of thought you really were just a cat.” Harry admits. “I went back and forth a lot, especially recently. You’re a very canny cat, but the outside circumstances really didn’t add up to it being you, especially when you didn’t go back after your name was cleared.”
“Harry, you really are quite thick.” Draco says affectionately.
“Hey! No one else believed me at all!”
“They didn’t live with me for months on end. By the way, I hate Hugo.”
“He’ll grow out of pulling your tail.” Harry teases. Draco huffs.
“What a stupid child.”
“Merlin, Draco, he’s a baby!” Harry laughs.
With Draco’s rehire at the bookshop pending, Harry suggests they set Draco’s dramatic reveal to the Weasleys Jr into motion. They may need paperwork from Hermione, and Harry wants to allow plenty of time for that to happen.
He kneels down in front of the fire and tosses in a handful of floo powder. Draco is off to the side, out of sight.
“Oi mate, you alright?” Ron’s voice comes, his head sticking out of the fire.
“Hi Ron, is Hermione there?”
“‘Mione!” Ron shouts over his shoulder - or rather, where his shoulder would be if it had been visible. “She’s just changing Hugo’s nappie, should be here in a second. What’s up?”
“I’ve really taken what you’ve been telling me to heart.” Harry begins somberly, and Ron frowns.
“About the cuffed jeans? Good, it’s about time.” Ron says. “Ow!”
Hermione’s face appears beside him.
“ No, he obviously means about the cat.” She says.
“I mean about the cat.” Harry confirms, which makes Draco roll his eyes blandly.
“And?” Hermione presses.
“And I think you’re right, I’ve been spending so much time waiting for him to turn into Malfoy that I’ve been missing out on other things - like dating again. I decided it’s time to try to find something real.” Harry says.
Ron and Hermione look at each other meaningfully, then back at Harry.
“That’s brilliant, mate, really, I’m happy for you.” Ron says sincerely, which makes Harry feel a tiny bit bad. But not really.
“Honestly, Harry, we just want for you to be happy.” Hermione adds.
“I know you do.” Harry smiles.
“Have you started talking to anyone yet? There’s a lovely man in my office who I think you’d really like-” Hermione starts, but Ron cuts her off.
“Please don’t set Harry up with your receptionist, he’s so stupid.” He whines. Harry laughs.
“I’ve already started dating someone.” Harry announces, and his friends congratulate him. He waves them off. “Yes yes, I know, very exciting. I would like to introduce you, though.”
“Of course! Why don’t you come over tomorrow night? Or we could go to yours? Whatever you think he’d be more comfortable with.” Hermione says.
“Tomorrow night at yours is perfect.” Harry grins, looking over at Draco and winking.
“Oh- is he there right now?” Hermione asks, having seen the wink. “Or are you winking at Draco?”
“I’m winking at Draco.” Harry says, trying to contain his smirk. They’ll never see it coming.
“Bloody cat.” Ron snorts. “Right, well we’ll see you tomorrow then, Harry.”
They say their goodbyes and end the call.
Draco starts laughing immediately.
“And I thought I was the petty one.” He says, moving to straddle Harry’s thighs and curl up against him.
“I can’t believe they didn’t think you’d be cuddly.” Harry grins, pulling Draco closer and kissing the side of his neck. Draco huffs.
“Like hell, I’m not cuddly. They’ve seen us, whenever you’re not too busy coddling that blasted baby-”
“Hugo has no idea why you don’t like him, you know.” Harry interrupts.
“I don’t not like him, I hate him!”
Harry laughs loudly, keeping Draco in place while he tries to pull away.
“He’ll grow up and you’ll have to be nice to him, you know.”
Draco sighs heavily.
“I’m trying not to think about the day he becomes sentient.”
Harry knocked on the door to Ron and Hermione’s. Draco was standing slightly off to the side so he wouldn’t be immediately visible. He’s looking dapper in a silver brocade waistcoat over a black shirt and trousers with his less shaggy, but still longish hair falling into his eyes.
He’d decided to wear the collar, sort of a ‘yes, I was the cat’ conversation starter. Harry agreed that it would be very funny to see their faces.
Harry also very much likes seeing it on Draco’s throat, so he would’ve agreed with anything just for Draco to keep wearing it.
Ron answered the door with Hugo in his arms, his hair neatly combed and dressed more sharply than Harry’d seen in quite some time. Harry felt honored that he’d think to dress up to meet his new boyfriend.
“Hey Harry, nice to-” Ron stopped as he caught sight of Draco, who had a mischievous glint in his eyes and a small smile on his lips.
“Nice to see you too, Ron, can we come in?” Harry asks cheekily. Ron, his jaw hanging open, stepped aside, and Draco followed Harry into the house.
“Ron, manners !” Hermione said from behind the door, where she was catching Rose as she ran about. “Harry, would you introduce-”
Hermione also stopped in her tracks as she turned with an armful of toddler and a wide gaping mouth.
“So this is the guy I’ve been seeing, you may know his name. Draco Malfoy.” Harry says with a broad grin.
“ Blimey. ” Ron whispers.
“Now, I’m not going to say ‘ I told you so -’” Harry starts, and Draco takes over.
“ He’s too nice, so I’ll say it. He told you so.” Draco says with a smirk.
Hermione bursts into hysterical giggles, sinking onto the couch and pressing her forehead against the back of Rose’s head.
Ron still seems unable to form words other than ‘blimey.’
“Oh come on, it’s not shocking at all, is it?” Harry says, talking loudly over the sound of Hermione’s laughter. “You’ve had literally months to get used to Draco being around.”
“To be fair, Harry, they haven’t seen me in several years.” Draco shrugs. “Well, they didn’t think they’d seen me in years.”
Harry and Draco take the small sofa, and Ron sits next to Hermione and Rose.
“Oh my god, I can’t-” Hermione wheezed. Ron exhales shakily.
“Merlin, mate, you could’ve warned us on the call yesterday.” He says, still looking a bit shell-shocked but starting to find the humour in it.
“That would defeat the purpose of a spectacular reveal now, wouldn’t it.” Draco says easily. “And where’s the fun in that?”
Hermione snorts as she catches her breath.
“So I assume this is all to say that yes, you’ve been the cat this whole time?” She asks him.
“Yes, exactly.” Draco smirks.
“Why’ve you got a collar on?” Ron asks unsubtly, and Harry laughs.
“It’s the collar he wore as a cat, Ron.” Hermione says, setting Rose down and sighing as she runs off again.
Draco seems to relax a bit, settling against Harry’s side and twisting their fingers together.
“Because Harry likes it.” Draco says, and Harry lifts their joined hands to press a kiss to the long, pale fingers.
Hermione and Ron exchange a look, less smooth than usual, even.
“Oh come on, none of that ‘we’re married we can read each other’s minds’ shit, guys.” Harry complains.
“Watch your damn language!” Ron scolds, and Hermione scoffs.
“Well, I suppose Draco’s heard it already anyway, but we really just want you to be happy, Harry.”
“And if it’s with Malfoy-” Ron shrugs.
“Ron, you’ve called me by my proper name for nearly a year now. Don’t stop because I look different.” Draco says mildly. Ron snorts.
“I called the cat Draco. It’s difficult to keep it all straight when Harry was going on about how human you were.”
“And I was right?” Harry points out indignantly.
“Yes yes, you were right against all odds that Malfoy was Up To Something Nefarious and it turns out that all he was stealing was your heart.” Hermione says mischievously, and Draco laughs a bit, kissing Harry’s face again.
Not cuddly, his arse.
Wooooooo this story is wrapping up quick!
“I’m a good pet owner, right?” Harry asks suddenly. Draco looks up from where he’s folding the throw blanket and tossing it over the sofa.
“If by ‘pet owner,’ you mean harbouror of fugitives and caretaker of an intelligent animagus, then sure, you’re alright.” Draco shrugs. Harry rolls his eyes.
“I took great care of you.”
“Yeah, you did.” He agrees after a moment. “Then again, I took care of myself too, it’s not that hard when your pet has human intellect. You pretty much only had to give me food.”
“Fair enough. What if we got another pet?” Harry says. “Maybe a dog. Or a cat, we have the cat tower anyway.”
Before he’s finished his sentence, Draco has mounted his lap and is grumbling in his ear.
“ I’m your pet. You don’t need another. I don’t want any distractions.” He hisses, and Harry laughs.
“You don’t like the thought of competition?”
Draco purr-growls into Harry’s ear, and the sound is strangely arousing. Harry moans lightly in response, Vanishing Draco’s clothes, though he protests weakly. Draco hates when his clothes disappear, but Harry’s in a hurry. He only leaves the collar on.
He bites at Draco’s pale skin, flushed pink in desire.
Grabbing handfuls of his arse, Harry guides Draco’s hips to move against his own, grinding down as Harry breathes heavily.
“Open your damn trousers, I’m still prepped from this morning.” Draco hisses, and just as Harry moves a hand to comply, a knock at the door breaks the trance.
Harry and Draco look at each other in panic.
“ Shit! Celeste!” Harry breathes, scrambling to get them to their feet.
“Answer it, I’ll be right back.” Draco says, smoothing down Harry’s hair and straightening his clothes. “Merlin, you look like you’ve been shagged.”
“Was about to.” Harry grumbles, but Draco’s shifted down to cat form, and Harry hurries to the door.
“Harry! I’ve brought drinks!” Celeste says brightly, stepping inside without even needing an invitation. Harry smiled.
“Hi Celeste, good to see you.”
She makes a funny face, leaning forward as she peers down the hall.
“Was that Draco?” She asks. Harry balks. Draco was supposed to change back to human in their room, dammit! “Your cat.” Celeste clarifies, misreading the look on his face.
“Oh! Yes.” He turns to hear the faint patter of paws on the stairs. Their door closes almost silently a second later. “He’s a bit wary of people in his house, we don’t have a lot of visitors.” Harry lies, hoping she’ll buy it.
“I see, cats are so skittish sometimes, huh.” She agrees easily, and Harry breathes out in quiet relief. “I’ve missed seeing him though, he was such a funny little thing. Maybe he’ll recognise me later.”
“Maybe.” Harry says vaguely. “Person Draco will be down shortly, he’s prinking upstairs.” Harry gives her a look of what he hopes is fond exasperation, and she buys it, laughing.
“I knew he must take a long time getting ready.”
Harry leads her into the sitting room, where she makes herself comfortable in the large, plush armchair.
“Did you inherit this place? It has sort of an old charm.” She says, looking around. “Like the set of a period drama.”
“Er, yes, my godfather willed it to me.”
“Curious. It hardly seems to make sense on the inside after seeing the outside, it feels wider than the front of the house.”
“Oh it is,” Harry said easily, as Draco had already thought of this and come up with a prepared answer. “The place next door is a front, it’s connected to this property.”
“Is it! How interesting!” Celeste says.
Just then, Draco’s delicate - human - footsteps are on the stairs, and Harry relaxes as Celeste is distracted from asking about the strange house.
“Celeste! How lovely to see you!” Draco greets cheerily, stepping down from the shadowy stairwell looking so handsome and well dressed that Harry gives him a once over while Celeste is saying hello.
Then he freezes, noticing the pale pink not quite hidden below Draco’s shirt collar.
Harry’s wand is upstairs, so he can’t cast a notice-me-not, nor can he discreetly mention it to Draco without Celeste hearing.
So he settles himself in for an embarrassing few minutes as Draco reaches the sitting room, the light certainly good enough here for the collar to be seen.
When Celeste is still looking at him and not Harry, he catches Draco’s eye and touches his own throat. Draco’s eyes widen suddenly, but he catches himself.
“Would you like some tea?” He offers, and Celeste agrees easily.
When Draco returns, the collar is gone.
“I have a question.” Celeste says vaguely, a quarter of an hour later.
“Alright.” Draco shrugs, the picture of nonchalance.
Celeste ponders a moment, setting down her teacup.
“Isn’t it confusing to have a person Draco while Draco the cat is still here?” She asks, and Harry wonders from her tone if that was the original thing she was planning on asking. It seems like she changed her mind.
“It was at first, but Harry often uses pet names for me instead, so it’s surprisingly pretty easy.” Draco says.
Harry doesn’t mention that said ‘pet name’ is actually just pet . Which doesn’t make the pet-partner distinction much easier, but then again, cat Draco and person Draco are one and the same so it doesn’t much matter.
“How cute.” Celeste smiles widely. “Is one of them Malfoy?”
Draco laughs loud and short, grinning as he looks at Harry.
“Haven’t called you Malfoy in a while, have I?” Harry smiles back.
“No, and I quite prefer it, thanks. No giving him ideas, Celeste.”
Celeste laughs along, but then she starts fidgeting again.
“Think you could coax him down? I’d like to say hi, it’s been awhile since you’ve brought him by, Harry.” She says.
It’s a trap. She somehow knows, but Harry doesn’t know what to do about it.
“He’s probably hidden away somewhere upstairs, he scratches when he’s irritated.” Draco shrugs, and Harry nods, pulling the collar of his jumper sideways to show her scratches from the last time Draco had been on his shoulders while Harry was shirtless. Without the fabric to cling onto, Draco always leaves little scrapes even if he’s trying to be careful. Harry doesn’t mind too much.
“I see. Why do you put him on your shoulders if he does that?”
“He likes being high up, gives him an ego boost, and because he’s too lazy to walk.” Harry says easily, which is actually true. Draco huffs lightly into his teacup, though Harry doubts Celeste could’ve heard.
“He sounds like quite the spoiled cat.” She teases, looking at Draco, who does his best to remain nonchalant, but Harry knows he knows she knows too. Merlin, this is dumb.
“Okay, clearly you know.” Harry says, setting his cup down. “Go ahead and ask.”
Celeste tilts her head, regarding them both for a moment. She opens her mouth a couple times before finally just coming out with it.
“Draco, are you a cat?”
Draco sighs, closing his eyes for a moment.
“Yeah.” He says simply, and Harry runs his hands through his hair. Celeste rests her chin on her palm, watching. Waiting for an explanation.
“Okay.” She finally says when Draco doesn’t continue.
“Okay? You don’t have more questions?” Harry asks in surprise.
“No. Well, yes. A million. But I assume this is part of your secret world you can’t tell me about.”
“If only all muggles were this understanding.” Draco mumbles under his breath.
“What? Muggles?” Celeste asks. “I’m a… a muggle?”
“Er, yeah. Sorry, can’t really explain what that means.” Harry says apologetically.
“Can I ask one thing, though? You don’t have to answer if you… well, if you can’t or don’t want to.”
“Is it… you? Or the collar?”
“Huh?” He asks eloquently.
“The collar. The… the pink collar. You and the cat, well, you and you as a cat both wore it.”
Draco and Harry both flush, and Celeste raises her eyebrows.
“Well, that answers that question.” She says with a laugh. “Sorry to bring it up.”
“It was a joke.” Harry blurts out.
“A… a joke, at first. When I first found cat Draco. A joke to put the collar on him because I knew it would annoy person Draco to wear something with my name on it.” He explains.
“At first.” Celeste repeats. Harry feels his flush deepen, and her grin widens. “I see. So what really happened, then? You had cat Draco a couple of days after the last shift, but you seemed genuinely worried when you came in, like you expected Draco to be there working.”
Draco shifts, and Harry looks over before he starts explaining.
“I didn’t… know it was him. I just had a feeling. No confirmation, in fact there were a lot of things telling me it wasn’t him, but… I just felt really strongly about it.”
“Harry’s been obsessed with me since we were eleven, he could find me in a crowd deaf and blind.” Draco cuts in. “It’s incredibly frustrating sometimes.” He adds, giving Harry a bland look. Harry snorts.
“I have not been obsessed since eleven, it started at fifteen, at the earliest. It wasn’t really a thing until sixteen.” He protests. “Ask Ron or Hermione.”
“I have. They both agreed it started on the train. Neville says it started in the robe shop.” Draco says haughtily. Harry balks.
“It honestly was pretty obviously you, Draco.” She shrugs. “You carry the tattoo over and all.”
“I know.” Draco grumbles, rubbing his arm absently.
“I don’t understand why you don’t just… get rid of it, if it bothers you.” Celeste says suddenly.
“I can’t, it’s permanent.” Draco shrugs.
“Then get a tattoo over it. Cover Ups are common, I’m sure you could find one you like.”
“Cover… Cover Ups?” Draco asks.
“Sure, something bigger on top to cover the old one.” Celeste says easily.
“Have you tried that?” Harry asks Draco. He knows Draco has tried getting it removed, but nothing has worked so far, as the magic is strong.
“Er, no. I don’t think it would work… although, maybe a muggle tattoo would. Muggles don’t interact with it the same way.” Draco says.
“What?” Celeste interrupts.
“It… reacts. When someone like Harry touches it.” He shoves his sleeve up, taking Harry’s hand to hover over the ugly Mark. “See, look.”
The snake began writhing and hissing, as a wizarding tattoo interacts with another wizard’s magic nearby, though Harry doubts regular wizard tattoos would be as sensitive.
Dropping Harry’s hand, Draco reaches his arm out to Celeste.
Celeste hesitantly hovers her hand over it as Harry had, but the snake is still, unmoving.
“You can touch it.” Draco says tensely.
Celeste complies, poking the skin gently. Still no movement.
“It’s like magic.” She says curiously, and Draco’s hand freezes in the air. “Holy shit, you guys can do magic.” She whispers.
Harry and Draco don’t deny it immediately, and she sits back in her chair, running her fingers through her hair.
“I won’t tell anyone, don’t worry. Holy shit!” She says. “I’m right, aren’t I? You’re… you’re what, witches? Are you Wiccans?”
“I don’t know what that is.” Draco says.
“Er, sorcerers? Warlocks? Wizards?”
“The last one.” Harry says. Celeste looks excited, but doesn’t say anything else. “It’s a whole thing… that you’re not supposed to know about it, so-”
“My lips are sealed.” Celeste says brightly. “So back to the cat thing, how did you encounter each other? Harry, are you a cat? Or… another animal?”
“No, it’s pretty uncommon to be able to do what Draco does. My dad could turn into a stag, though, and my godfather a large dog.”
Harry tells her the story, and Draco adds his side whenever relevant.
“What’s it like, being an animal for so long?” She asks curiously.
“It’s not too bad. Of course, I spent enough time as a person to not go crazy. When Harry and Neville were asleep, I’d come down here and walk around, read sometimes… though speaking of the stupid collar, I almost died because it was too small to fit my person neck, so fuck you Harry. Neville took it off me as a cat when he realised.”
“I’m sorry, who is Neville?”
“Oh he lives here with me, he’s another of my friends from school.” Harry explains.
“I lucked out with Harry bringing me home, though. He’s got the worst Saviour complex I’ve ever seen, so one sad look and he’s hand feeding me from his own plate.” Draco smirks, giving Harry his most Spoiled look. Harry rolls his eyes.
“Well, you’re a very pathetic little cat.” Harry says with a grin, and Draco hisses in displeasure. Celeste laughs, and Draco seems to realise what he did a second after.
Celeste waves him off.
“Were you a cat first or a person first?” She asks.
“Was I… what?”
“You know how sometimes there’s stories about an animal turned into a person? Or did you learn to turn into a cat?”
“Oh. I’m human, I’ve always been human. Still am even when I’m in cat form, it’s only a temporary thing, I’m not biologically 100% cat.” Draco says.
“Can I… Can I see?”
Draco tilts his head at her.
“The transformation? I- I guess. Fair warning, the clothes don’t come with me.” Draco says.
Celeste shrugs, and Draco shifts easily, dropping to the floor to jump onto the little table for her inspection.
“Holy shit!” She says again, lowering her head to look cat Draco in the eyes. She looks at Harry, who shrugs. “Can you still understand me?” She asks the cat.
Draco nods his head, sitting down comfortably.
Celeste hesitantly pats his head, and Draco somehow rolls his eyes. She laughs.
“How was this not more obvious to me?” She asks Harry.
“He acts more like himself now than before. He played dumb so I couldn’t confirm it was him.” Harry says dryly.
“That makes sense. How did you know it was him? You found him on accident.”
Harry picks up a resentful Draco, holding him to show the scar across his chest.
“That scar. Seemed like a weird place for a stray to have a scar, but I knew Draco had that in school.” He decides not to explain that it was actually put there by Harry himself. “That and the Mark.”
“Uh, his tattoo.” Harry corrects himself. He sets Draco down, who meows in irritation. “Sorry, pet.” Harry says with a little smile. He realises the name slipped out, and bites at the inside of his cheek. He needs to be more careful. “Be right back.”
Harry picks up his clothes from the couch, bringing them into the kitchen and Draco follows, shifting back as soon as he’s out of Celeste’s sight. He pushes Harry into the wall silently, kissing him deeply, though briefly, then shoves Harry back out of the kitchen, swatting his arse with a laugh.
Harry sort of squawks in surprise, but collects himself as Celeste gives him a weird look.
“Trouble in paradise?” She teases. Harry flushes.
"Harry?" Draco’s voice called across the house as Harry opened the door.
"I'm home." Harry yells. He swings the bag of plants Neville had asked him to pick up onto the chair near the door.
Draco is in the kitchen sitting on the counter, and Harry laughs when he sees him.
"Good morning, kitty. I see you have been up to no good." Harry says, giving him a kiss and moving to the sink to wash his hands.
"Oh contraire, darling, I've finally fixed your closet. Everything is sorted into types of clothes. Loungewear, muggle, nice-ish, work appropriate, fancy and formal."
Harry raises his eyebrows and moves between Draco’s knees.
"That's very sweet of you. So sweet, I think I will waive the 'no pets on the counter' rule in gratitude."
Draco rolls his eyes, but his cheeks flush a bit.
Harry wraps Draco’s legs around his waist and hoists him up, hands beneath his arse.
"Where are we going?" Draco asks with a small smile.
"Couch. I'm very tired. Neville needed a lot of plants."
"Why couldn't he get them himself?"
"Something about a timeline mishap, and I felt a little bad about him walking in on us snogging the other day so I didn't mind too much."
"We were mostly clothed." Draco protests with a humph as Harry falls onto the couch.
"Mostly." Harry agrees with a grin.
Draco prides himself on being mainly a trophy pet when he's not working, lounging about in various states of undress and getting fucked very regularly.
Neville doesn't care, he's told Harry, as Draco mainly keeps out of the common areas that Neville uses, like the kitchen and living room - at least when Neville is home.
Draco pushed Harry down to lay along the sofa and arranged himself on top. He peppered kisses all over Harry’s forehead and hair until Harry was laughing and gave his bum a squeeze.
"We really wasted so much time." Harry says absently as he rubs small circles on Draco’s skin.
Draco hums softly and shifts so his lips are pressed into Harry’s throat.
“Well, we’re here now, and not wasting a second more.” Draco murmurs.
Harry can’t remember ever being happier.
I have decided I will be writing a scene or two from Draco's POV and post it as a separate chapter, it's just a matter of picking what to write
Soft Things... well, mostly
Draco was dozing still when Harry woke up. After some time when it appeared Draco wasn’t waking up soon, he slipped out of bed and checked to see if the even breathing continued.
When he confirmed that he hadn’t woken his boyfriend, Harry went to the exercise room to work up a sweat before breakfast. He prefers to cook with Draco around making comments about whatever popped into his head, cooking alone is far too quiet now.
Harry was still in just his pants, and after a sprint on the moving floor, he started a set of pull ups with weights tied around his middle.
That’s how Draco found him, though Harry noticed him coming down the hall before Draco saw Harry. He was rubbing his eyes sleepily, mid-yawn when he looked up and froze in place.
“Morning, pet.” Harry grunted as he pulled himself up, continuing while Draco stared. It really is excellent motivation, showing off like this.
“Holy fuck .” Draco whined after a moment, sagging against the doorway. His hand reaches up to grasp at the collar. Harry watches with a smug grin as Draco’s cock hardens very quickly, visible in his pants.
“Wanna get on my back again while I do push ups?” Harry smirks, and Draco flushes.
“I’m too heavy like this.”
“No you’re not.” Harry says, dropping to his feet. He removes the weights and turns his back to Draco. “Come here.”
Harry directs Draco to wrap his arms around his shoulders, then takes the plank position like before. Draco presses his face into the nape of Harry’s neck with a whimper.
“You okay?” Harry asks with a laugh. He starts a set, and feels Draco’s tongue licking at his skin.
“ So hot .” Draco whispers, then nibbles at Harry’s skin.
“This is a good incentive for me to exercise regularly.” Harry grunts, Draco’s weight making it difficult to push back up again. But he manages half a set still, which seems to do the trick impressing Draco.
Harry pushes himself and Draco back upright again, and taps Draco’s hands to release his shoulders when they don’t let go automatically.
Draco steps away, slumping against the wall.
Harry takes a long drink, then turns to face Draco again.
“Are you done?” Draco asks, voice scratchy and weak.
“I guess so, I usually do squats too but I’m hungry.” Harry says with a shrug.
“You want to eat breakfast or shower first?”
“Shower.” Harry says, wiping off his face. When he moves the towel away from his eyes, Draco is right in front of him.
“Any objections to fucking me senseless before you do?” He whispers. Harry grins.
Draco shifts into cat form and jumps onto Harry’s shoulders, licking at his neck again, and Harry tosses him gently onto the bed once they arrive. When he shifts back, he’s already hard and breathing heavily.
“Don’t you dare hold back.” Draco says as Harry strips off his pants. Harry growls, and it makes Draco shiver and whine.
Harry manhandles Draco how he wants him, pinning his hands above his head and biting roughly at his throat. Draco’s hips lift up to press into Harry’s, but it can’t be much help.
When Draco is panting and whimpering, Harry flips him onto his stomach, palming his arse. Harry licks at the back of his neck where the collar sits, and gooseflesh breaks out all over Draco’s back and shoulders.
“Pet.” Harry whispers into his ear before sucking the earlobe into his mouth. Draco exhales shakily, pressing his hips into the bed and moaning.
“ Please. ” Draco begs, turning his head to look up at Harry with wide-blown pupils. Harry very much enjoys the sight.
He slicks up his fingers and presses them into Draco’s rim, gently, but insistently. Draco opens up easily, and is soon fucking himself back onto Harry’s fingers. Harry can feel his prostate and rubs up against it repeatedly until Draco is crying and pleading.
“Ready for my cock?” Harry asks. Draco nods desperately.
Harry slides inside slowly and Draco’s back arches as he tries pressing closer. Harry groans.
“You feel so good, pet.” Harry whispers, leaning down over Draco’s body. His tired muscles protest, but he holds out long enough to bottom out.
Draco’s arse is hot and tight and so fucking good . Harry tells him such and Draco whines again.
As soon as he’s gotten a grip on his own orgasm, Harry fucks into Draco at a brutal pace, with Draco mumbling curses into his pillow below him.
“Fuck I’m- I’m close-” Harry groans, and Draco squeezes around him, which makes Harry come suddenly, fucking shallowly as he does.
Once he finishes and can catch his breath again, he rolls Draco over.
“You didn’t-” He starts, but Draco shuts his eyes, thrusting his left arm forward, offering for Harry to use the Mark. “Fuck.” Harry whispers.
The sensitive skin is hot to touch, and Draco grabs for his cock as soon as Harry presses his lips against it.
“No, no, you don’t need that.” Harry says, holding Draco’s right hand up above his head. Draco whimpers but doesn’t pull away from Harry’s grip.
Harry licks and bites the Mark, and Draco writhes and moans, lifting his hips off the bed chasing friction in the empty air.
“Come on, pet. Come for me.” Harry whispers against the skin.
With a wail, Draco does come, his back arching and his cum covering his chest and neck.
Harry leans down to lick at a bit of it dripping across Draco’s nipple, and his thumb brushes over the Mark one last time.
Draco gasps, and his cock spurts more cum out weakly, and Harry looks at Draco’s face in surprise.
“Wow. I’m a little impressed by myself.” Harry says. Draco laughs hoarsely.
“Yes yes, excellent work, thank you kindly.” He rasps, his chest rising and falling heavily as he catches his breath.
Harry flops down beside him.
“I’m glad you were an auror, if it’s the reason you’re so fucking fit and healthy now.” Draco says.
“I was a late bloomer.” Harry shrugs.
“Clearly. Better late than never?”
It seems like it’s going to become a pattern, at least until Draco gets his sleep cycle under control again.
“Miss me?” Draco asks from his counter perch.
Harry hums with a little smile, planting himself between Draco’s knees and wrapping his arms around Draco’s waist.
“Tea? Have a sip of mine.” Draco offers, holding his cup to Harry’s mouth.
“It’s very sweet.” Harry mumbles, licking his lips and letting his forehead fall onto Draco’s chest. “Are you almost done?”
“Nearly. I’ve just been thinking.”
Harry hms sleepily.
“Do you think magic is a personal thing or… a world thing? Would there be magic if people never existed?”
“Pet… it’s half four in the morning.” Harry chuckles.
“Think about it. Magic users are mostly people, but there are magic creatures. Dragons, acromantulas, hippogriffs, et cetera et cetera. And there are trolls, hags, house elves, other somewhat sentient beings… but what if those sorts of beings never existed. Would the world still have magic? How would it manifest?”
“Hogwarts has magic.” Harry offers blearily.
“My dear, Hogwarts was built by people, I hope I’m not the first to tell you that.” Draco says, patting Harry’s shoulder with a hand warmed by his cup of tea.
“And you’re thinking about this now why? ”
“Sometimes things just pop into my head when I wake up.”
“Is this what you would ponder as a cat staring off into space all the time?” Harry teases.
“No, I didn’t think very much as a cat. Brain capacity is limited, it gets difficult to ponder much. I was usually just picturing- erm, things. Randomly. As they popped into my head. You know.” Draco says, then swallows the last of his tea in one gulp.
Harry gives Draco a funny look, but at this hour, can’t think too hard about it.
“At any rate, I think magic would find other ways to manifest, but I was trying to imagine how it might. When you came in, I’d just landed on weather and plants. Lightning is magical, I think.”
Harry shakes his head with a smile and shifts Draco’s collar so the tag rests in the back again. It makes a faint tinkle. Draco catches his hands and kisses each palm before they return to his waist.
“You know… I really like your person brain capacity. But sometimes I wish it slept through the night so I didn’t have to think so hard.”
Draco laughs lightly and cleans his teacup, puts it away and hops down from the counter. He gives Harry a nice kiss and strokes his hair back from his forehead.
“Well, I for one enjoy not being told to stay off the counters while you’re sleepy. Shall we?”
Harry lets Draco nudge him up the stairs to their room again and pepper his face with kisses until he dozes off.
“I have something for you.” Harry says as a greeting when he comes home. The weight of it in his hand is making him giddy, wanting to just give it to Draco straight away.
“Oh? Please tell me you’ve brought me sweets, I have a lot of time to make up for.” Draco says, glancing over. He picks up on Harry’s radiating energy. “You alright?”
“Perfectly. Sit?” He gestures to the sofa. Draco complies, eyeing Harry. “I just wanna make it clear that I’m not proposing, this is just a gift.” Harry says, and holds his hand out before Draco has time to react.
“What-” He asks, looking closer. “A ring?”
“Not a proposal, I figure it’s a bit soon for that even for us.” Harry says sheepishly. “But I noticed that you touch your collar a lot when you’re anxious, even if it’s not there. Thought this could be a more socially acceptable substitute.” Harry explains nervously.
Draco smiles - beams, really, lifting the simple silver band up. It’s brushed silver, which takes away the mirror so it only gleams dully, something meant to not stand out too much.
He slips it on his right hand, flexing his fingers as he examines it. It fits perfectly. Harry waits for him to say something, but he just stares at it mutely, his face almost expressionless.
“Oh and it’s charmed to shift with you, too. It’ll be invisible while you’re a cat, we don’t need people noticing the poncy cat prancing around with jewelry.” Harry adds anxiously.
With a watery chuckle, Draco finally looks at Harry.
“I love it. This is really sweet, Harry, thank you. I love this.” He leans forward into Harry’s chest, tucking his face against Harry’s neck with a soft kiss. While he’s there, he starts speaking again. “I don’t wear the collar to be kinky.”
“Really?” Harry asks in surprise. He knows it’s more than just a kink, but he figured Draco just leaves it on out of convenience after sex.
“No. Well, sometimes… like... not in the way you think. But... I like it because you gave it to me. It makes me feel like you… you’ve wanted me here, like I’d be safe with you and… like I belong. And touching it reminds me of home. Of you.”
Harry blinks away tears.
“I’m home to you?” He asks weakly. Draco laughs a little, pulling away.
“You always have been, in your own irritating, speccy way. I can’t remember a time in my life when Harry Potter wasn’t incredibly important to me. I’m glad that now, he’s just Harry, though.” He says, brushing away a fallen tear from Harry’s cheek with his thumb. Harry smiles. He rubs his thumb over the ring sitting on Draco’s slim finger.
“I'm glad you like it.” He says.
Draco leans in to give Harry a sweet kiss.
“You remember the night after you accidentally gave yourself away?” Harry asks.
“Yeah, when you found me in the kitchen?”
“Mhm. I actually found you there a lot earlier than you knew.” Harry admits. Draco flushes.
“Oh Merlin. That’s embarrassing.” He mumbles.
“I talk to myself. Helped me stay sane last year, though now it’s a habit.” Draco says. “You heard me, didn’t you?”
“Yeah. It was extremely cute.” Harry grins.
Draco huffs, rolling his eyes.
“You only think that because you like me.”
“Maybe. I hadn’t seen you like that before.”
“What do you mean, ‘like that?’ Batty?”
“No, you git. You were really relaxed, like you felt completely comfortable. And what you were talking about was really funny.” Harry admits. He pauses before saying the important part. “And I heard you say that I’m the love of your life.” He says in a whisper.
Draco tenses up, and Harry rushes to finish his thought.
“That night, seeing how you are when you think no one is watching, even before I heard you say that… it made me want to see you like that all the time. I think that’s the night I fell in love with you.” Harry says.
Draco bites his lip.
“Yeah?” He whispers, a wide smile fighting its way onto his face.
Harry nods, then yelps as Draco launches himself off the sofa to knock Harry backwards to lay on the floor. Anything he’d wanted to say is swallowed by kisses, and Draco’s fingers twist into his hair.
“I love you.” Draco says against Harry’s lips, barely pulling back to say it. “I love you, I love you, I love you.” He murmurs, and Harry grins until there’s too much teeth to kiss anymore and Draco moves to his neck instead. “I love you. I love you .”
“I love you, Draco. So much.”
“I thought I would burst if I didn’t say that soon.” Draco whispers, biting Harry’s earlobe. Harry laughs breathlessly.
“Now you can say it as much as you like. I won’t get tired of hearing it.”
“You know.” Draco begins vaguely, elbows deep in a barrel of various wrapped candies. “I get why pets are like that.”
Draco pauses, considering, before he withdraws his hands to lean against the counter as he talks.
“Man’s best friend.” He says, and Harry shakes his head, not understanding any more than before.
“-is a dog. What are you talking about?”
“The point carries. Pets… they… see, you don’t interact with a pet like you do a person. Right? You only talk to them nicely unless they’ve gotten in trouble, you shower them with affection and you feed them. Pets may not understand what you’re saying, but they understand you love them.”
“Alright…” Harry says, raising an eyebrow and waiting for Draco to get around to his point.
“I think that’s how I fell in love with you. Initially, at least.”
“Because you were my pet?”
“Yeah. S- Sort of.” Draco brushes his hair back, and Harry waits for him to gather his thoughts. “You only feel... loved. It’s hard to feel loved and not start loving back, you know?”
“So you’re saying I’m a really great pet owner.” Harry says with a smile. Draco rolls his eyes.
“ No, you git. I’m saying… Merlin, I don’t know what I’m saying. Remember my birthday?”
“How did you know it was my birthday?”
“No idea, I just did.”
“That’s very embarrassing for you. I only know yours because it’s practically a national holiday. Either way, I felt so very loved that day. You bought me a candle!” Draco exclaims.
“Is that your standard of party? Thought you were a rich kid with lavish galas every year.” Harry says blandly.
“I haven’t celebrated my birthday at all since before the war. Last time I actually had a party was when I turned fourteen.” Draco says. Harry frowns.
“I guess. Not really what I’m getting at, here.”
“You licked my face.” Harry recalls. “And slept on my chest. Wait, did you shift back that night? Did you sleep on me naked and I missed it?” Harry asks in shock.
“You’re getting sidetracked!” Draco complains, though his pinkened face indicates Harry’s answer.
“Get to the point, pet, I have no idea what you’re trying to tell me.” Harry says fondly. Draco sighs.
“I don’t know either. Guess that’s it, really.”
“Pets feel very loved?” Harry summarises.
“ I felt very loved.” Draco corrects. “Because I am your pet, and because you were nicer to me than anyone’s been in a really long time.”
“That’s really sad.” Harry frowns, putting his hands on Draco’s little waist. “Celeste is nice to you.”
“Celeste is nice to everyone.”
“ I’m nice to everyone.”
“Not really. You’ve been a bit of a recluse since you quit the aurors.”
“How would you know?”
“Because Ron mentioned it, and because you stopped shaving a month after you found the book shop, which was right around when you quit.”
“Maybe I wanted to grow a beard.” Harry counters.
“You hate it, you’re always scratching at it.” Draco points out. Harry huffs.
“Whatever, I’m nice.”
“You were nice to me.” Draco says. “And it made me feel like I was special to you.”
“You’ve always been special to me. ‘Specially annoying.” Harry teases, and Draco pouts. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” Harry says quickly with a smile, stroking Draco’s sides.
Draco pulls away from Harry’s hands on his waist.
“Whatever, Harry, I’m trying to have a heartfelt moment here but since you’ve only mocked me since I started…” Draco says airily, moving back toward the barrel of sweets. He sounds haughty and posh, but it’s an exaggeration to hide the genuine hurt.
Harry feels like a prick.
“I’m sorry, pet, I’m only teasing.” He says sweetly, nuzzling his nose against the back of Draco’s neck. “You’re very special to me, not just because I loved having you as my pet, but because you’re someone I’ve grown to really like, even before you moved in with me. I kept going back to the shop because of you, the reading material was secondary.”
“Really?” Draco’s voice is hopeful and surprised.
“Yeah! I thought you knew that. I was so disappointed that day when you didn’t come out from the back and start making fun of me. As cute and ridiculous you are as a cat, you can’t talk, and I missed that so much.” Harry says, brushing back the stray hairs from Draco’s forehead.
“You always tell me to shut up.” Draco says flatly.
“It’s an expression, Draco. I say that when you’ve backed me into a corner because you’re so much smarter than me and it’s incredibly unfair how witty you are.” Harry half praises, half complains. Draco’s face lights up.
“You think I’m smart?”
“Of course you’re smart, I’m not the first to tell you that.”
“ I know I’m smart.” Draco says. “I didn’t know you think I am.”
“I do, Merlin, I need to do a better job of telling you why I like you.” Harry says mostly to himself.
“I wouldn’t mind.” Draco says loftily, and Harry smiles.
“I’ll start a list, you can swipe it while I sleep.” He teases, but Draco actually seems to like that idea.
“You have to hide it, else it’s no fun.” He says. Harry grins.
“Of course, pet. Now are you going to buy half the sweets in this store?”
Draco smiles happily, scooping handfuls of the candies into his bag. Harry just watches with a fond look.
“Do you know why I like being your pet?” Draco asks.
“Because I fed you by hand and you didn’t have to do anything but sleep all day?” Harry asks. That’s what Draco had mentioned before, anyway, but it sort of sounds like Harry’s being a prat again.
“That wasn’t awful. But no.” Draco pauses while Harry drops a few wet kisses down the side of his throat. “Merlin, Harry, you’re going to make me hard in a bloody candy store.” He complains.
Harry grins, but steps back, only briefly running his hand over the Mark to tease.
Draco’s knees give out for a second as his breath hitches, though he catches himself quickly, gripping the candy barrel and holding his weight on his elbows for a moment. He turns to Harry with a red face and a fierce glower.
“I very much regret letting you know how sensitive that is.” He says, a touch of genuine irritation there. Harry shakes his head, lifting his hands in surrender.
“Sorry, sorry. I’ll stop, please tell me what you were going to say.”
“How would you feel if I was constantly doing everything in my power to make you randy in the most inappropriate places?” Draco asks with a scowl.
“You already do that.” Harry shrugs, giving him a once over.
“I don’t try to.” Draco says. “Imagine if I did.”
Harry can’t really imagine what that would look or feel like, but that drives the point home.
“Okay, I’m sorry, pet. I won’t do it again, promise.” Harry says honestly. Draco nods once, thrusting his bag into Harry’s hand.
“What did you want to tell me before?” Harry asks.
“You’re not interested.” Draco says, barely sparing him a glance as he walks toward the front of the store.
“I am, I want to hear what you were thinking about, Draco.”
“You’ve barely let me talk at all since I started, you don’t care what I’m saying.” Draco says, the hurt finally naked as he stops trying to hide behind sarcasm.
Harry stops in his tracks.
“Oh my god. I am an awful boyfriend, aren’t I?” He says, more to himself than to Draco’s back. Draco stops.
“You’re not an awful boyfriend.” He says, but it lacks conviction.
“No, I am.” Harry realises. “I’m really, really sorry Draco. Honestly.”
Draco finally turns around, with the saddest eyes that feel like a punch to Harry’s gut. How had he missed this?
Harry determines with a mental slap to his face that he needs to fix this. Not now, now he just wants to finally listen to what he’s talking about and for Draco to not be so sad. Fixing comes later, to show he means it.
“Can I hug you?” Harry asks hesitantly. Draco nods stiffly, but doesn’t come closer, so Harry goes to him. Draco finally relaxes into the embrace, and Harry presses a soft kiss to his hair. “Really, Draco. I’m sorry I’ve made you feel like this.”
“It’s fine.” Draco mumbles against Harry’s shoulder.
“Don’t do that, don’t say things just to make me feel better, I know I’ve fucked up and I want to make it up to you.” Harry says.
“Let me start by buying you all the sweets you like.” Harry says, pulling away. “And I’m listening now. If you want to tell me what you were talking about earlier.”
“I’ve forgotten what I was saying.” Draco mumbles, and Harry doesn’t really believe it, but if Draco doesn’t want to share that anymore, he won’t press.
Harry tries to be especially attentive all day, pausing what he’s doing to give Draco his full attention while he speaks, not messing around and getting too close for Draco’s comfort, mentioning anytime Draco does something cute that Harry loves.
Basically, being a halfway decent boyfriend for a change. Harry is ashamed it took him so long to step up.
“You’re not awful.” Draco says as they’re walking home. Harry tilts his head, biting back the snippy, sarcastic remark that immediately wants to jump out.
“Boyfriend. You’re not awful, you’re a really incredible boyfriend almost all the time. You’re just… thick. Sometimes. You’re very unobservant and I’m very good at hiding, so it frustrates me. When you don’t notice things, I mean. I don’t know how to not hide, and you don’t know how to look.”
“I was too thick to see that I was bothering you, but I’m trying to pay more attention.”
“Thanks.” Draco says simply.
“I am really curious to know why you liked being my pet, if you still want to tell me.” Harry says.
“Why do you say it like that?” Draco asks.
“What? Say what like what?”
“Every time, you say I was your pet.”
“I… I’m sorry, I’m confused.” Harry frowns, looking at Draco for some clue. His face is impassive, and Harry is disappointed to see that.
“Like I’m not anymore.” Draco finishes.
Harry blinks several times, thinking.
“You… you still consider yourself to be my pet?” He finally asks. Draco takes his hand from Harry’s, using it to scratch his nose, but he puts it into his pocket instead of returning it. Harry stops their walk, turning to face Draco. “Talk to me, please? I’m confused about what you’re telling me.”
Draco huffs airily, his eyebrows arched in a way that makes him seem unbothered, and he looks at Harry’s forehead or ears to avoid eye contact without seeming like it. How did Harry never notice these expressions?
“It sounds like I’m not.” Draco says, voice bland and composed.
“That’s not an answer to my question.” Harry prompts. Draco closes his eyes for a moment.
“I want to be.” He says quietly, not opening his eyes until Harry is silent a beat too long. He studies Harry’s face, then clears his throat. “It’s alright, though. Let’s go home.”
“No no, this isn't done. There’s more you’re not saying.” Harry puts his hand on Draco’s shoulder before he turns away, and Draco sighs like he’s very put out by this. An expression meant to annoy, to frustrate Harry into dropping it. “You want to keep being my pet.”
“As I said.”
“Okay. What does that mean? I mean obviously, you’re a person and not an animal, so I don’t know what ‘being my pet’ means to you.”
“I… I belong.” Draco says with a frown.
“You belong to me?” Harry asks, but Draco shakes his head.
“No. I belong. With you, around you, in your home, whatever.” He says, shaking his head again and touching his left arm briefly, then his bare throat. “Before the war... I knew where I belonged. I was a Death Eater, a Pureblood, the one chosen to kill Dumbledore. I’m happy I’m not those things anymore, but I feel… really lost. I haven’t known my place in anything since you came back to life and killed him.”
Harry remembers talking some time ago with Draco, a similar conversation, about how Harry made him feel welcome and safe here when he adopted him as a cat.
“I’m a better pet owner than I am a boyfriend.” Harry says flatly. It’s a statement, not a question.
“You’re a much nicer pet owner than boyfriend.” Draco corrects.
“I can be nicer to you.” Harry says seriously. “I can love you like you want to be loved.”
Draco closes his eyes, smiling for the first time this afternoon. Harry is relieved to see it.
“I’m your pet. Person or not.” He says softly. “You make me feel welcomed and safe and like I’m wanted here.”
Harry feels quite dense, but he’s starting to understand.
Draco lost his entire family and all his friends in the war, in various ways. He lost his footing, his ideals, his understanding of the world. He lost the school where he’d sought refuge, the rivalry he’d once clung to in tears, and the safety net Hogwarts had provided. He lost his innocence and his childhood. And for nearly a year now, he’d lost his home, his money, his job and his security.
In some of those ways, he’d actually lost more than Harry did.
Draco was drifting in a changed world and he didn’t know how to land.
Harry looks up into his face, holding out his hands to bring him in. Draco places his tentatively against Harry’s.
“Draco, the cunning Slytherin, the bookshop employee who’s impossible to not love, the poncy kitty who wormed his way into my heart. You belong. Here, with me if you’d like. I want you with me, I want to hear what you have to say, I want to know you.” Harry tells him. Draco blinks a few times, smiling weakly.
“All I want is to belong.” He whispers. “Anything more is just extra.”
Harry pulls him close, hugging him tightly against his own body, cradling his head against Harry’s neck.
It’s a strange position, bags full of sweets and other odd items dangling from his elbows while he tenderly holds his somewhat taller partner there in the middle of the sidewalk.
But Harry doesn’t care.
Draco sat in front of Harry quietly.
Harry was sitting against the sofa on the floor reading one of Draco’s book selections. He finished the sentence he was reading and looked up.
“You okay, pet?”
Draco gently took the book from Harry, setting a bookmark in it and putting it off to the side. His face was impassive, but the way he was moving made Harry a little concerned.
“I overreacted. Earlier.” He says finally. Harry tilts his head.
“All of it, probably.” Draco says. “I’ve thought some more and I owe you an apology.”
Harry shakes his head.
“I stand by what I said before, that I’m very bad at emotional vulnerability.” Draco continues. “And I’m responsible for the long history of antagonism in our relationship. So when I make an extremely vague request for affirmation, it’s hardly shocking when your first reaction is not raw, honest truth all the time. I can’t expect you to interpret my statements and respond how I want you to when I’m not willing to first open myself up to you.”
Harry blinks a couple of times.
“Okay? Can you dumb that down for me? I don’t know what you’re saying.”
“I’ve come up with a plan to even things up a bit. Going forward, I’m going to try to be more open and honest with what I need. And I’m starting by…” Draco shuts his eyes and inhales deeply. “I’m going to tell you a few things I’d hoped to never share.”
“You don’t have to-”
“No, I think I do. So I’m going to tell you these things and afterward I’ll probably ask for you to shag me so I can calm down and I might be upsettable and spend the night as a cat, we’ll see. Do you agree to my terms?”
Neville stands from his armchair, taking his teacup and the letter he’d sat down to read a bit ago.
“I don’t need to be here for this.” He says, leaving the room.
“Sorry Neville.” Draco says in that same calm, disattached voice. “You don’t want to know my biggest, most humiliating secrets?”
“I already know plenty.” He says, tapping his throat.
Draco blushes and his hand touches his collar briefly before he realises what he’s doing and he clasps his hands on his lap. Harry notes with smugness that his thumb brushes over the ring on his right hand.
“Okay, I appreciate this and all, but you don’t need to make yourself uncomfortable just to prove to me you’re trying.” Harry says firmly. Draco shakes his head.
“This isn’t just to prove something. It’s called exposure therapy. I'm hoping that you knowing more embarrassing things about me will help me to feel less uncomfortable about things.”
“Okay. Go ahead, then.”
Draco nods and licks his lips. Clears his throat. He reaches out toward Harry’s face and pushes his glasses up and into Harry’s hair. Then he places his cold hand over Harry’s eyes.
“What’s this for?”
“I can’t get through this if you’re looking at me.” Draco says tightly.
“You could sit behind me on the sofa.” Harry points out.
“Your facial expressions are an important part of this.”
“You’re covering my face.”
“Yes, well I can feel it. And stop wiggling your eyebrows, it tickles. Please. I need… I need you to work with me on this.”
“Look at you, getting better already.” Harry says with a smile. He can practically feel the embarrassed flush radiating off Draco even with his eyes shut.
“Okay. Okay. Erm. I cried on my birthday. This year, I mean. Well, I’ve cried on several birthdays but particularly this year. I cried a lot. It was a very emotional day for me. First- with the damn collar, being able to finally get back to this body and my smarter brain. And then, when I figured out the dinner you were setting up was for my birthday. And then again when you went to sleep, I cried next to you while you slept.”
“That’s not really embarrassing, though.” Harry says. “Crying isn’t that bad, I’ve seen you cry plenty.”
“It’s not encouraged in pureblood homes, it’s very embarrassing for me. Okay next thing. Celeste is the first friend I’ve ever made the right way. Everyone else I’ve ever been friends with I’ve bribed with nice gifts or money.”
“You mean Crabbe and Goyle didn’t hang around and do your bidding for the fun of it?” Harry asks reflexively. Draco’s fingers on his face flinch a little. “Sorry, that’s uncalled for. I’m sorry I said that.”
“It’s true.” Draco says uncomfortably. “At any rate. I climbed a tree once and got stuck and my father had to come and Levitate me down. I was fifteen.”
Harry barks out a surprised laugh. He tries to keep his laughter to a minimum by pinching his lips together, but he’s still shaking with it. Draco removes his hand.
Even through his blurry vision, Harry can see Draco smiling, though his face is flaming red.
“Fifteen?” Harry repeats.
“I know.” Draco says softly. He scrubs his hands over his face. “I spent three days writing ‘Weasley is our King.’ And the tune is muggle, there was a muggleborn Slytherin who had a wireless that played the tune, I borrowed it.”
“And how long did you really spend making the Potter Stinks badges?”
Draco laughs easier now.
“Honestly, not that long. I made the first one with some vague, hypothetical advice from Flitwick and used a duplication spell to make the lot. But I did spend several hours designing them. It took some time to make them get worse if they were tampered with.”
Harry shakes his head with a smile.
“And everyone thinks I was obsessed with you. Okay, next thing.”
“I got an erection when you spoke parseltongue the first time- well, I have no idea if it was the first time, but the first I heard it. During our duel.”
Harry’s eyebrows raise.
“Really? Oh, now I wish I could still speak it. Ron knows some, maybe I’ll ask him.”
“How does Ron know any? He’s not a parselmouth.”
“I never heard the difference when I spoke it, it sounded like English to me. But Ron can repeat a bit of it, he used it to open the Chamber of Secrets during the war to get Basilisk fangs.”
Draco shakes his head.
“I can absolutely never hear him speak it. I will not allow myself to be attracted to Ron.”
“Any other embarrassing things to tell me?”
Draco’s flush had started lightening a little, but returns full force. He covers Harry’s eyes again with his hand.
“Yes. Erm. I have a praise thing- I get off on it. And humiliation, a little. So pretty much anything you say to me will set me off if you add ‘pet’ on. Or ‘kitty.’”
“I do know about those, shockingly. But it’s nice to hear you say it out loud. I’m proud of you, kitty.”
Draco’s hand trembles slightly and he whines softly. Harry pries his fingers away and puts his glasses back on. Draco is the colour of a tomato.
“You’ve done so well, pet, telling me these things.” Harry says, a little teasingly. “It’s so cute to see you all flushed and embarrassed after revealing some of your secrets. The tree one is especially funny.”
Draco covers his face with his hands and pulls his knees up to his chest.
“ Harry -” He complains.
“Okay okay. Back to the subject at hand.” Harry says, reaching out and stroking Draco’s shoulder.
“I need a minute.” Draco says, his voice muffled behind his knees.
Harry obliges him, sitting his head back against the sofa seat while he waits. Draco shifts so his eyes are visible, though nose-down is still hidden.
“I’m no good at this stuff. I’m really emotional, I react strongly to everything and I cry easily.” Draco says quietly, stiffly. “I act all aloof and unbothered by things, but I’m just- I’m very uncomfortable with vulnerability and I need to get over that with you.
“I-It’s important for- Something that- I need to hear that you like me. More often than you might think. I always use very passive statements to express myself and I get very frustrated when you don’t pick up on it. But that’s not your fault, and I’m working on it.”
Draco pauses to catch his breath, and Harry slips his hand into the space between his arms where his wrist is hidden.
“Draco, I love you very much.” Harry tries, and Draco shuts his eyes slowly.
“Yeah. Yeah that’s- I like that a lot. You don’t use my name much. I like the others, but. It’s nice to hear you use my name. I- I like to hear you use my name.”
“I’ll listen closer to you. When you’re telling me stuff. I feel really bad about our conversation earlier. Every time I think about it, I feel awful for how many times I shut you down for trying to share something that was obviously difficult for you.”
Draco opens his eyes again.
“Is there anything I can do for you? Like, I mean. Something you’d like? That you’ve missed?”
“I’m not picky. I just like when you’re here and I get to touch you and stuff. I suppose you could say you love me more. I don’t really-” Harry huffs. “I’ve never really heard it with any sort of regularity. So it’s nice to hear from you.”
Draco smiles warmly.
“I can do that. That is easy. If there’s anything else, you can tell me when you think of it.”
Harry nods, then leans in for a kiss. Draco pulls back first.
“I think you should maybe fuck me now. If you want to.”
“I’d like that.”
Draco doesn’t spend the rest of the night as a cat, as it turns out.
Once Draco had been thoroughly shagged and was drifting off to sleep on top of Harry’s chest, Harry patted his head.
“Pet.” He starts. Draco lifts his head ever so slightly.
“I love you.” Harry says with a smile.
Draco smiles too, hiding it in the crook of Harry’s neck.
“I love you too.” He mumbles.
I've reworked this so many times, it ended up double the length I was aiming for... well oh well...
Wow! I've tacked on another chapter again, I've grown too attached to this dynamic to just let it go lol. Next chapter will also be longer, that's the Draco POV one, and after that is an epilogue/finale. Then this story will have come to an end! Bittersweet, idk. I'll definitely miss writing it, though!
Draco's perspective of his cat-year
This is //super// long but I hope you guys enjoy it! Draco is literally such a ponce and I love him dearly.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Things are simpler, as a cat. Emotions are not as complex and thoughts so carefully worded. Maybe that's why, even when he's alone in a hidden place, Draco remains in that form.
Maybe he's not ready to face the empty loneliness of this new stage of his life, the one where he doesn’t even have the company of his muggle friends - where he can’t even talk to Celeste , his best friend in the world.
But being a cat does not mean he's impervious to hunger, which is why he's stalking around behind a muggle club, sniffing the air to scout out something. Anything.
And he's in luck. Draco silently lands inside the men's loo, shifts back back to his old body, paying careful attention to the noises coming from the cubicle before snatching up the fallen jeans and tshirt and slipping into the thudding music and flashing lights of the main floor.
Unused to the club scene, Draco’s senses are overwhelmed even dulled as they are in this form.
He resigns himself to flirting with the broad shouldered man who's watching him with interest, in hopes he could coax him into buying Draco some fish and chips.
But then, his luck abruptly runs out.
He turns away just as Potter’s head lifts, like he instinctively knows Draco’s only ten feet behind him.
Against the urge to stay. Stay with Potter. Draco turns and walks straight out the front door.
He's not sure if Potter saw him. Doesn't know if he's following Draco out. But if he turns… he won't be able to walk away a second time.
So Draco doesn't turn, he leaves the thumping and pulsing building behind, walking as fast as he dares without attracting attention to himself.
He's barefoot, too. His cold feet ache as he hurries along the street.
He passes by a muggle man leaning against the wall suspiciously, but Draco doesn't have time to deal with him - not here, not in full view of where Potter is undoubtedly only seconds behind.
Draco strips naked quickly, concentrating hard on the clothes to send them back where they came from - hopefully unnoticed. He could do it instantly if he had a wand, but he’s foolishly stopped carrying his.
"Oi!" The muggle says blankly as he turns the corner, knife in hand, to find Draco naked and very clearly with nothing of value on his person.
"Obliviate." Draco says almost desperately. It doesn't work, the man only stares in bewilderment.
He approaches the man, who is still baffled enough to not try to slash Draco with his knife. Draco touches his forehead.
" Obliviate ." He tries again, hearing Potter’s footsteps coming up quickly.
The man stumbles back slightly, and in that second of memories resetting, Draco shifts back into his cat form and jumps up onto the fence surrounding the alley, just in time to see Potter turn the corner.
Potter disarms the man easily before he realises there’s someone behind him.
“Excuse me sir, are you attempting to mug that cat?” Potter asks, sounding a little amused.
"Er, no?" The muggle responds.
With all the skill of a boy hero and former auror to boot, Potter pins the man to the wall and examines the contents of his person, his pockets, hands, et cetera.
“Alright, you’re coming with me.”
Draco watches with rapt interest as Potter pulls auror manacles from his pocket - evidently just… for fun? He's no longer an auror, why does he have cuffs on hand?
“You a cop?”
Potter pushes the man from the alley and down the street.
Draco stares after them.
He stares at the empty alley with the uncomplicated longing of simpler emotions.
Completely unaware of time having passed at all, Draco is surprised when Potter returns, looking bewildered when his eyes land on Draco.
"You look familiar." He says.
Draco nearly runs then. How could Potter know? How could he be familiar when he's never seen Draco like this before?
Potter reached out slowly, carefully, and so caught in his nerves, Draco didn't try to escape when Potter picked him up, though he did make a surprised noise.
Potter’s brilliant green eyes stared into Draco’s. He wondered if his Occlumency shields would protect his simpler mind, if Potter tried reading it.
"Malfoy?" Potter asked, then seemed to regret saying the name at all, but it was all Draco could do to not start purring.
Potter tucked Draco against his chest and oh- oh-
He shut his eyes tightly. Harry is warm, so warm . His heart beats evenly under his skin and Draco can smell the faint salt of sweat and antiperspirant.
Harry Apparates to his home, directly into the sitting room. He brings Draco to the kitchen and sets him on the table and looks into Draco’s eyes again.
He stays like that for some time, like Draco might revert to his usual body if watched long enough.
Finally, he pulls out his mobile and dials a number.
“I’m sorry, ‘Mione, just have a quick question.”
He waits for a moment.
“You had a case a week ago about an animagus, right? Do you remember seeing Malfoy’s name on the registry?”
“Oh, no reason. Just curious.”
"I will. Bye. Tell Ron I said hi."
Harry rests his chin on his folded arms in front of Draco, resuming his staring.
“That’s very Malfoy of you, to be unregistered. So don’t think that this proves anything.”
Harry opens his mobile again.
"Fortunately, I have his number."
No no no.
Draco remembered the day he'd given it to Harry, written it on his hand like all the ladies at the bookshop do to Draco. He’s not forgotten how strong and warm Potter’s hands are, how nice they feel in Draco’s.
"Tell me what you think of it. It's one of my favourites, so I will be cross if you're rude about it."
Potter rolled his eyes, but a smile teased at his lips.
"However will I tolerate your displeasure? But I'm sure I'll love it."
Draco's heart raced as Potter glanced at the digits on his hand.
"Paper?" He prompted when Draco capped his pen.
"Text me yours, it'll be faster that way." Draco said. But he didn't care how long things took with Potter.
Potter shrugged and took his book from the counter and left the shop with a little wave.
"You're sure you didn't have something? Snogged while drunk at a party once and vowed to never mention it?" Celeste prodded with delight in her eyes as she restocked the shelves.
"I'm very sure." Draco says with a dismissive wave.
Potter had texted Draco that evening, saying something benign about the first chapter.
Just to be a git, Draco texted back ‘pardon, who is this?’
Potter responded with ‘Harry ,’ but when Draco pretended he still didn’t know, he added ‘ It’s Potter you absolute prat .’
Draco had giggled embarrassingly in his empty room of his empty home. But at least no one was there to hear it.
And now Harry was dialing his number. It rang. And rang. And rang.
Draco makes a panicked noise, but he's not sure what he could do to stop this. Harry would make him transform back, maybe turn him in.
Draco’s eyes found the doors, the escape route he'd have to take as soon as Harry realised.
He didn't want to leave, but he didn't want to go to prison either. Especially not for something he's reasonably sure he didn't do, whatever it was.
He hears a murmur from the other end of the call, but Harry hangs up without speaking.
“Merlin, why is he still so posh even over the phone. Well, I guess you’re off the hook. He picked up.” Harry says, patting Draco’s head.
Draco stares in shock.
He had most certainly not picked up his phone.
But Harry took his hand back, and Neville Longbottom came into the room - Draco vaguely remembered Harry mentioned having lived with Neville for some time.
Neville stared into Draco’s face as they talked. Draco was pleased that Harry knew his eye colour but evidently not anyone else's.
"Look." Harry says, sweeping Draco into his lap without warning and exposing his underside. Draco makes another noise of surprise and humiliation.
“Front left leg, a black smudge like the Mark, and across his chest, Sectumsempra scar.”
They debated the semantics of Draco’s scarring for far too long. Of course, how could they know the sheer amount of magic that had been channeled into Draco’s body by specialist healers at his father's request? A scarred Malfoy heir would not do. But there were still faint scars where the worst of the curse had hit. Evidently, Harry hadn't know it had scarred at all.
When Draco heard Homorphus Charm, he panicked again. This would be humiliating.
But as Neville cast, Draco threw up his strongest Occlumency shields, and it worked. The charm flickered against his fur but did nothing else.
Neville told Harry that the charm wouldn't work if Draco was an Occlumens, and Harry said that Draco was a very good one. Draco felt wonderfully warm.
He's distracted from the rest of the conversation until Harry lifts him slightly to look into his face again.
"Don't mess with any of our stuff or I'm kicking you out." He says, but he's still stroking Draco’s head gently, and a faint meow slips out.
Draco will have to really pull himself together if he's going to play the role of Real Cat that Isn't Draco Malfoy.
"You are a dumb cat."
Harry is watching for a reaction, so despite how he feels about being called dumb, Draco stares back blankly.
Draco is wanted for his father's Artifacts.
Harry'd left the paper out and Draco read the whole article while he was in the shower.
Really, he should've disposed of them all by now, but he rarely ventures beyond the safe haven of his little suite of rooms that he'd hidden in during the war.
He's massively hungry, trying to nick small bits of things from the refrigerator without making it noticeable. He has to restrain himself from eating an entire box of biscuits - he only eats half. But he's so hungry .
Harry comes back down the stairs, and Draco Vanishes all the evidence of his raiding and transforms back into a cat just as Harry comes in.
“Anything strike your fancy? I could get a couple if you want to try different ones before deciding.”
Draco’s tiny cat heart can't take the delicate and gentle way Harry’s treating him.
A soft meow leaves his mouth without permission and Harry takes it as a protest.
“Right, can’t talk. Er, could you point? With your nose or something? I’ll put you down.”
He doesn't really need to, Draco can smell them all from his spot on Harry’s shoulders and they all reek.
Once he's selected the least offensive option, his stomach twists in anticipation at the thought of something , however repulsive, to fill it.
He leaps back up onto Harry’s shoulders just as a short woman approaches.
Draco’s hardly paying attention when Harry shouts.
“Yes! I do. A toddler, cutest thing ever but he’s always getting into the cupboards.”
It makes Draco jump in surprise, and Harry tickles the end of his tail, and when Draco pulls it away, it flicks into Harry’s nose.
The rebuke hurts, and Draco meows in distress without really meaning to.
But Harry has gone back to his conversation and isn't paying attention to Draco anymore.
When Draco is following Harry down the aisle, the woman says something else.
"Is he chipped?"
Draco’s head snaps in her direction. He doesn't know what 'chipped' refers to, but having heard Harry mention casually how some pets have their balls just-
"Is he what?"
“Most pet owners chip their pets so if they get lost, anyone who finds them can return them to the right home. It’s a quick injection, hardly hurts them at all. Same reason you’d use a collar but it’s more permanent so if anything were to happen to the collar, you could still be reunited.”
Draco does not like the sound of that at all.
“Er, no, he’s not. Do you sell collars, though?” Harry asks.
Draco is somehow even less excited about the way Harry’s talking now.
He finally expresses his displeasure at Harry when they're waiting for the collar tag to be engraved.
The collar jingles. Draco refuses to wear something that jingles.
"Come here, Draco." Harry says darkly with a smile that curls Draco’s insides.
He's not sure where he's running to , but this is just the sort of humiliation he can't tolerate.
“You can’t stay in the store, you gotta come home with me. Come on, Draco, don’t be a prat. Unless you want to be eating street rats and sleeping in the cold…”
Draco’s heart stops.
No, he can't be left here alone and cold and hungry and-
Draco jumps back down to Harry’s shoulder.
"Good. Hold still, now-"
Draco grabs the collar in his mouth and tosses it down. He cannot endure this-
But Harry’s disappointed scold makes him putty in those big, strong hands.
He allows the collar to be clipped around his throat, and pretends to be mad when Harry softly strokes his fur and behind his ears and- and-
"Morning, Potter, you're in early. We've just opened." Draco says calmly, watching as Potter finishes reading the back cover of the recommended book Draco'd put there for that exact purpose.
"I finished that first book last night and I've been dying to read the next in the series for the last seven hours." Potter says, looking at Draco in an almost manic way.
"You didn't sleep, did you." Draco says with an air of disapproval. Potter's hair is especially ragged, and it's difficult to focus on the matter at hand when speaking with someone who looks like they've just had a thorough shag.
"Not a wink. Now point me in the direction of the next one and I'll be on my way."
Draco tuts, leading Potter toward the shelf where he's already set aside a copy of book two with an official shop bookmark - Potter asks for a new one every time, says Grimmauld Place eats them but Draco knows he's just disorderly.
"I'm not giving you book three unless you've proven that you've slept at least five hours tonight." Draco says, holding the book just out of Potter's reach (bless the Malfoy height genes for their superiority over Potter) and fixing him with a firm look.
"How the hell'm I supposed to prove that? And who says I'll want book 3 or be back tomorrow?" Potter challenges.
Draco tries very hard to not roll his eyes, but doesn't succeed.
"Please." He says simply. Potter huffs, jumping and snatching the book from Draco, their fingers brushing briefly. Draco
doesn't feel warm about that.
"Fine, I'll read it earlier so I have time to sleep before coming back." Potter says, marching toward Celeste behind the counter, watching with tired amusement.
"Hi Harry. Draco's right, you need to sleep before you go mad."
"More mad, you mean." Draco interjects, and Celeste gives him her patented 'yeah, I know you fancy him you twat' Look.
"I'll sleep, I'll sleep." Potter mutters. "Gods above, I had no idea you lot cared so much for my health."
Celeste snorts as she takes Potter's money.
"Course, I think it's pretty obvious." She says, giving Draco another one of her Looks.
Draco wakes up to an empty room, memory fresh in his mind. He feels warm and content, knowing Harry's sleeping more now.
He follows the trail of Harry’s scent into an unfamiliar hallway where there are unmistakable grunting noises coming from a room.
Draco’s mouth falls open with a ridiculous noise as he catches sight of Harry hanging by his knees, shirtless and sweaty, his abs crunching and releasing with every time he sits up.
He is fully awake now.
"Draco?" Harry asks, and he effortlessly kicks his legs off the bar to land firmly on his feet.
“You alright? Need food or anything? Is it possible for a cat to look feverish? Because you look a tad peaky.”
He crouches in front of Draco and stares into Draco’s unblinking eyes.
No no no this isn't- this can't-
In an effort to escape the examination, Draco jumps up onto those broad….. sweaty….. muscular…..
“Oh no, I don’t think salt is good for you- Ow! Gentle, please.” Harry says so nicely, so sweetly-
Draco just about collapses down and can't help but purr and nuzzle Harry’s neck- oh Merlin- Harry-
“Okay, I’m going to er… You wanna sit on my back while I do push ups?” Harry asks, and moves slowly for Draco to pick himself up and rearrange himself into a more level spot.
Harry can do so many . Draco knows he doesn't make it any more difficult, not really, but Harry’s so big now… it must be hard…
When Harry’s done, he flops down to lay on his stomach, bracing himself on his elbows and oh- Draco can feel his back muscles shift and flex.
“I swear, if you are Malfoy and you get off on this… Well, fuck you.”
Harry says this with a laugh, but all Draco can think is would you please?
Draco gets carried away when Harry brings him back to the bedroom, and he meows at Harry's smirking back when he's left there instead of being brought into the bathroom.
But once the shower starts, Draco can't help himself.
The sheets smell so much like Harry did before he went to shower, the scent driving him wild with need and want and- and-
Draco buries his face in the pillow, rubs his cheeks on it, so his scent mingles with Harry’s and ohhhhh...
He needs to do something- anything about this feeling.
Without much thought, he moves to the centre of the bed and tries to shift back to human, but somewhere in the middle, his airway is crushed and Draco wheezes, panting and panicking as he tries to shift back midway.
The blasted collar with its stupid bell-
And Harry’s name-
His unsuccessful - and brief - moment with his bigger, smarter person brain helps to clear his head though, and he realises what an awful idea it is to wank to Potter in Potter’s bed.
Back in full cat form, Draco’s fright fades into resignation as he realises he's stuck like this until Potter decides the joke is over and takes away the collar.
At least he can smell their two scents for now. It’s enough. It has to be.
Draco curls up tightly on the pillow and breathes it in until Potter’s done in the shower.
Draco is rather insulted.
Not mortally, just a bit.
Because Potter genuinely believes Draco is incapable of cooking.
Nevermind that Draco has spent the last several years learning, having dismissed his elves and now living alone.
Nevermind that Draco is a very competent adult who knows how to find books with instructions.
Nevermind that Draco has a very lovely muggle friend who’s taught him half of the recipes he makes regularly.
But Harry, between his snatches of humming a tune that always sticks in Draco’s head for hours after, is constantly explaining bits that Draco already knows.
“If you add paprika or cumin to nearly anything, it tastes like you’ve used a recipe.” Harry says. “Course, you shouldn’t have either, not as a cat, but when you’re back, I’m sure you’d enjoy them.”
Draco meows, more interested in swiping some chicken from the pan when Harry’s back is turned, but that would require moving from Harry’s shoulders and Draco isn’t too keen on that idea.
“Neville, when he moved in, he didn’t know the difference between a wooden spoon and a saucepan.” Harry laughs. “Something about purebloods not learning household chores, I suppose. But he’s learned well enough.”
Harry’s chopping vegetables now and offers up a bit every now and then for Draco to eat. They’re bland and raw, but Draco’s hungry all the time and refuses to eat more of his cat food until he’s on the brink of starvation.
Anytime Neville is around to eat dinner, he and Harry talk about whatever Big Thing is going on, which is anything from Ministry business to Hugo Weasley’s newest tooth.
Draco always hisses when he hears Hugo’s name, because the blasted child has no sense of boundaries and always takes it out on Draco and his tail.
Harry hums the song while he cleans up after dinner, and Draco often dozes off on his shoulders.
Harry comes clumping down the stairs with damp hair and looking devastating in his muggle joggers.
Draco peaks out through the spaces in the basket he's sitting in.
It's nice in this basket. No one knows he's here, but he can see nearly everything. Not that there's much to see but it's still comforting. He also can very much appreciate having walls around all sides to make him feel safer.
But he pokes his head up over the top with a soft noise to alert Harry of his presence.
“Oh hey. What are you doing up there, are you stuck?”
Harry comes over and lifts the basket, peering down at Draco inside it.
“Are you this bendy as a person?”
Draco hisses instinctively but he thinks… maybe if it meant Harry would look at him like he's staring at the wall right now… maybe he could work on it.
That is, if Harry ever frees him from this absurd fucking collar.
Draco eventually leaves the safety of his spot in search of affection, and he lands on the couch beside Harry, who is reading a magazine.
What in this magazine could possibly be better than petting Draco?
And then- Harry rolls up the magazine and with the edge, nudges Draco's chin toward himself… and the… the command, the way he just… demands attention…
A tingle runs through Draco’s little body and he's suddenly so... so…
He runs up to the bedroom and he squirms under the sheets, burning with that feeling and with want .
He finds a spot where Harry’s scent is nice and strong and breathes it in, wishing he could escape to his person-cock-having body, the one with opposable thumbs, to relieve the desire threatening to overtake him.
Harry finds him there much later. The sun has gone down, and Harry sounds surprised that he's here, curled up tightly and sleeping.
"Hi pet, I was wondering where you'd gone off to." Harry says, slipping in beside Draco.
Draco purrs happily when Harry puts him on his chest and pets him, his breathing even and sure. The gentle strokes are dreadful for his constitution, but there are worse ways to die.
Draco feels so wonderfully, thoroughly overwhelmed.
Harry knows his birthday.
Harry knows it and he gave him a party. There was a candle, and Neville was there being nice and Harry made them dessert that Draco could eat and… and.
He waits until Harry is asleep. Just enough asleep.
Shifting back to his person form is easier now, as he'd done it a couple times right after Neville freed him.
Draco swipes at his cheeks, not letting his happy tears fall onto Harry and wake him. He hasn't dared to touch Harry anytime he's in person form, even while Harry’s asleep, just in case he wakes up and sees.
But it seems worth the risk right now.
He presses kisses into the wild black hair, runs his fingers over Harry’s cheeks and jaw. He wants so badly.
"I adore you, my love." Draco whispers. "You're beautiful and sweet and perfect and I-"
Draco chokes but it doesn't matter. Harry can't hear him anyway.
He gives Harry’s face more kisses and lays down near him. Not touching, just… close.
It feels absolutely wonderful.
Draco knows his cat brain isn't as clever and processes things differently. He might not be in love with Harry the way people love each other. But…
He's been trapped with only the use of that simpler mind for weeks now and it hardly seems like it matters how Draco loves him. It's only important that he does.
Draco never knew just how poorly Harry sleeps.
Having spent several weeks now in Harry’s bedroom at night, he’s prodded Harry more nights than not, hoping he won’t wake him fully but enough to snap him out of a bad dream.
Tonight, Draco has to shove his cat face into the crook of Harry’s neck and nudge him repeatedly, meowing and hoping Harry will stop crying. Harry rolls over and Draco has to fight the impulse to dart out of harm’s way when Harry’s big arms enclose him.
But really, Draco hardly minds sleeping against Harry’s chest, and purring seems like it really helps to calm Harry down.
So that’s how Draco sleeps, night after night.
It feels a bit skeevy to sleep in person form next to Harry, let alone cuddled up with him. Sometimes he’ll accidentally shift back overnight, but Harry doesn’t notice and Draco moves away or shifts back as soon as he realises.
For the most part, though, Draco has no trouble dozing intermittently in cat form while held snugly against Harry’s chest.
Harry sleeps better now, now that Draco has a pattern down.
Every night, Harry gets in bed and pats the spot beside him for Draco to lay down.
Harry falls asleep within forty minutes of turning the light off, and Draco moves to lay on his chest. He doesn’t even have to consciously start purring, he just does it.
After an hour, Harry rolls over onto his side and Draco moves to lay under the top arm. Draco usually falls asleep for a bit then, until Harry starts snoring, when he gets up to go have a snack until Harry’s done with that stage of his sleep.
Neville sleepwalks occasionally, so Draco has to navigate that, but he can just shift back into cat form and duck behind the counter until Neville has finished checking on his plants in the garden (common sense is not guaranteed, one time Neville brought an entire plant, roots scattering damp dirt everywhere, back inside and Draco watched him sheepishly replant it before marking off his calendar the next morning)
Once Draco gets back, he presses a kiss to Harry’s hairline and shifts back to cat for the rest of the night.
And so, the bags beneath Harry’s eyes that Draco assumed were just part of his face they’d been there so long, the bags faded.
Draco very nearly gave himself away.
He’s hiding in Regulus’s old room, keeping out of sight and hoping Harry lets him be for a few hours at least.
Three things had happened in the following order:
First, Harry had been in a very good mood. Draco suspects it was because of treacle tart he’d received from Molly Weasley, but that has yet to be proven.
Due to this extraordinary cheer, he was lavishing affection upon Draco at an unprecedented level.
Such attentions included, but was not limited to: laying on the floor and animating a plush mouse to roll about while Draco chased it (he’s not proud of it, but he has to admit, running around with something to do for a change is rather nice); singing a very poor rendition of a sea chanty while dancing about the sitting room with Draco in his arms; and lastly - disastrously - petting Draco into a puddle of mush, and stroking his cheeks with one big, warm hand.
Then, Draco, in his utterly humiliating lack of self control with his emotions, had come this close to slipping back into his person form, wanting more than anything in the world for Harry to stroke Draco’s person cheek the way he did his cat cheek.
And finally, Harry’s mobile rang, and Draco was out of the room before Harry even had said hello.
So, here he is, buried beneath musty smelling clothes in a drawer, replaying the moment of Harry’s soft expression and unguarded eyes as he reached out and brushed his hand so sweetly, so gently, against Draco’s fuzzy cheek.
Oh Merlin, there’s no way Draco comes out of this experience unscathed.
Honestly, fuck Harry to the highest degree.
Harry had shooed Draco out of the bedroom, where he had been taking a pleasant nap on the bed, warmed by the sun and Harry’s scent on the sheets, in order to strip the bed and put different sheets on.
These new sheets smell like detergent and dust. There’s not a trace of Harry in them, and that is just…
Absolutely unacceptable .
Draco pouts for the rest of the day, refusing to get in bed until Harry coos at him and takes Draco from the window seat and places him directly onto his chest.
The sheets will smell correct again in the morning.
“I was supposed to be awake before you.”
“Sometimes I shift back in my sleep.” Draco says, his heart racing.
This is it, this is the day he loses Harry.
“But usually I wake up before you do, so I can change back before you see me.”
“Right, well that doesn’t explain why you’re still here. I told you they recalled the warrant out for you, it’s been months since the announcement. You read the paper.”
Draco can feel his blush, and it only makes the anxiety and unease in his stomach worse.
Why are you still here?
Don’t tell Harry you love him. Don’t tell him you’re in love. Don’t.
“I don’t know.” Draco says flatly. It doesn’t sound convincing. “I just… It’s just… it’s nice, being here. I hated living in the Manor. I didn’t want to go back.”
“You could’ve just asked me to move in. This is a large house, you wouldn’t even have to stay in this room if you didn’t want to. Or you could’ve rented your own bloody flat, no one is forcing you to live at the Manor.” Harry says.
Draco frowns, surprised to hear that Harry would’ve let him stay. Would he still? Has Draco overstayed his welcome now?
“I can’t get a muggle flat without a muggle bank account, and I need an address to get a bank account. They didn’t accept ‘Malfoy Manor, Wiltshire.’ Wizard landlords hang up when they hear my name.” Draco says, trying not to sound bitter. “You wouldn’t’ve kicked me out? Neville either?”
Harry shrugs widely, looking unconcerned.
“Neville probably wouldn’t be thrilled, but it is technically my house and he rents out his floor. There’s loads of unused space. Besides, you know he’s moving to Hogwarts this fall anyway.”
Draco does know.
Something out the window catches his eye, and he’s-
It sounds very much like Harry is telling him he can stay. He’ll have to move rooms, but- but.
Draco could eat as a person at the table. He could tell Harry when he’s being stupid or smile soppily when he does something lovely. Draco might be smiling an awful lot, if he stays.
Of course he’ll stay.
It hardly matters, that Harry doesn’t feel the same. Draco knows Harry likes him, even if it’s just as… well, a pet.
Being Harry’s pet as a person sounds unbelievably wonderful.
If he’s Harry’s pet, he-
Draco starles, looking back at Harry.
Beautiful, absurd, charming, magnificent Harry.
He’ll be the best pet anyone’s ever seen.
Only one last chapter!
Draco’s head rests on Harry’s thigh, and he shivers occasionally.
“You doing alright, pet?” Harry asks, stroking his hair. Draco whines, looking up at Harry with those lovely grey eyes.
“I can’t do it.” He whispers.
“Are you done?” Harry asks, setting his book aside. “Do you want to stop?”
Draco whines again, rubbing his cheek on Harry’s leg. His fingers twitch on the bed, but he doesn’t otherwise speak.
“You have to use your words, kitty.”
“ No .” Draco whimpers. “I want to come.”
“You will. You see the timer?”
Harry taps the top of the hourglass timer hovering in front of them. Draco nods.
“If you want to come, you wait till the timer runs out.” Harry reminds him, and Draco groans, rolling onto his other side.
Harry lets his eyes roam appreciatively over the curve of Draco’s waist and his hip. His eyes land on the stretched rim with the vibrating plug nestled between Draco’s soft arse cheeks. Harry resists the urge to pet the attached fluffy tail or give it a tug to further tease.
“I thought the whole idea of a pet is to pay attention to them.” Draco complains. Harry laughs, putting his book aside.
“You want some attention, kitty?” Harry slides down to lay beside Draco, nudging at his hips until he rolls onto his back. “I’ll give you attention. Try to not come.”
With that warning, Harry leans over Draco, bending down to lick and suck his nipples.
“Harry-” Draco whimpers, his hands fisting in his own hair. “ Harryharryharry… ”
The plug is vibrating evenly, but Harry nudges it deeper inside his pet, changing the setting to an almost random pattern. Draco’s stomach clenches and he groans, long and loud.
Moving down his torso, Harry sucks and nips at the skin, leaving purplish red marks that would stay for days on Draco’s pale skin. Draco sobs when Harry passes over his cock in favour of sucking his bollocks into his mouth gently, one and then the other.
“I can’t, Harry, Harry I can’t take it- I can’t-” Draco wails, his legs kicking beneath Harry as much as they can. “I’m gonna come-”
“No you won’t, pet. Not yet.” Harry says, pinching the base of his cock.
Harry himself is hard enough to cut diamonds, but watching Draco come undone like this is so much better than wanking too soon.
“It’s t-too much-”
“You can say stop anytime.” Harry reminds him, and Draco throws his head back and groans.
Harry strokes up the inside of Draco’s thigh, making gooseflesh rise. He nudges at the base of the toy settled deep inside Draco’s hole, making him cry out again. Harry keeps his palm against the plug, pressing it into that spot that makes Draco completely incoherent.
“So desperate for it, kitty.” Harry smiles, whispering against Draco’s flushed, burning hot skin. “So noisy with your pretty arse stuffed full for me. I love to watch you like this, absolutely devastated just by something in your arse. You don't even need me to touch your cock for you to come, do you? You're so easy for me, pet.”
“ Harry -” Draco gasps, his lips the colour of wine from all his biting and licking at them.
“Are you going to be good for me, pet? Wait for the timer to finish? Or do we need to be done today and start over tomorrow? Again.” Harry says softly.
Yesterday had been much of the same, and Draco had tapped out before the timer was out, which means that he hasn’t come in nearly a week.
“H-how- time?" Draco whimpers pitifully. Harry brushes the pale hair off his lover’s forehead.
“Not long. Maybe a minute.”
Draco lets out a shuddering breath of relief.
“I-I’m going to kill you for this.” He pants. Harry grins. It’s not the first death threat of the evening and certainly not the first of their time fooling around with edging like this.
“And whose cock will you ride until you see stars? It'd be a shame, you do look so gorgeous on my cock, kitty.” Harry teases, running his fingers along Draco’s very ticklish, very sensitive hip bones.
“ Ah- ” Draco arches his back off the bed, which shifts the plug deep inside him and he yells out a slew of curses. Harry pinches the base of his cock again to hold off the orgasm once more.
“Almost there, kitty, and then you can come. You’ve done so well for me, you’re such a good pet.” Harry breathes against Draco’s throat, watching the sand running out in the hourglass.
“Ha- ahh- rry-” Draco cries, and Harry releases his cock as the last grain falls through.
All it takes is Harry’s fingers brushing once against Draco’s Marked arm and he’s done for, coming all over his chest and Harry’s hand, sobbing and wailing the whole time.
Harry gently removes the plug and switches it off as Draco rides out the waves of his orgasm, taking deep, heaving breaths with his eyes closed.
“So when do you think you’ll get around to killing me? I’ll put it on my schedule. I’ve affairs to settle before my untimely demise.” Harry says once Draco’s breathing has slowed.
“Fuck you, Harry.” Draco croaks, and Harry laughs, gathering his kitty into his arms and settling Draco’s head on his chest.
“I love you too, dear.”
It takes another half hour for Draco to regain his wits, and Harry can tell when he has. Draco gets mouthy when he’s recovered, and he nips at Harry’s throat.
“Fancy putting those lips somewhere else, maybe?” Harry asks innocently. Draco scoffs lightly, but presses a few kisses to Harry’s face before moving lower.
“Tactless.” He hums, a faint smirk lifting the corners of his mouth. Harry snorts.
“I just edged you into oblivion and gave you an incredible orgasm, I think it’s my turn now.
“You know you get off on me losing my mind for you.” Draco says, truthfully. “But I suppose I could oblige you, in thanks.”
Harry starts to laugh, but it turns into a moan as Draco’s mouth arrives at its destination.
“Mmm… kitty, you have no idea how much I love your mouth.”
"Neville is coming tomorrow." Harry says brightly.
He's excited - he hasn't seen Neville since August and it's the longest they haven't seen each other in a few years.
"Oh good, I was hoping he would." Draco says, licking the syrup off his fork in a way that should be illegal.
"He's stopping by before he goes to his family's dinner. He'll be tired but I sort of wanted to give him his present straight away."
Draco smiles sweetly.
"I can't persuade you to give me my present a week early too?"
Draco loves presents. He gets very excited anytime Harry surprises him with something, and always thanks him with all manner of affection, effusive praise and or sexy things
He gives just as good as he gets, too. Harry’s wardrobe has been tailored to fit him properly, though Draco initially wanted to just replace everything altogether.
He's given Harry odds and ends for reading - bookmarks, books on tape for when Harry’s eyes get tired, a journal like his own to keep record of the books Harry's read, various bookends and knickknacks for the bookcases…
And of course, he's taken Harry on a series of the most spectacularly muggle dates possible. Apparently there are lots of outing ideas in the books he recommends to the ladies’ book club.
But still. Harry has something really good for Draco and he wants to wait until Christmas.
"Sorry pet, you'll have to wait until it's time." Harry says, reaching across the table to pat Draco's hand lovingly.
The next day, Harry is fiddling with a string of Christmas lights trying to get them to light up. He’s lounging on the sofa in the living room.
Draco had been curled up over Harry’s lap, but got peckish and bored, so he went into the kitchen to find some sweets. And there are plenty, courtesy of Molly.
Harry hears the kitchen door to the garden open up and Draco’s surprised
Harry starts untangling his limbs from the broken lights trying to get up and see his friend quickly.
" Draco, have you learned nothing in my absence?"
Draco yelps as Harry tosses the lights aside, wondering what's going on. Neville appears in the kitchen doorway a moment later carrying Draco bridal style.
Harry bursts out laughing.
" No pets on the counter." Neville complains with a wide grin.
He brings an indignant Draco over to the sofa and drops him onto Harry’s lap.
"This is yours, I believe."
Harry laughs more, cradling a peeved, pouting Draco and stroking his hair.
"Yes this pet is mine, thank you for returning him."
Neville laughs and claps Harry’s shoulder.
"It's good to see you lads."
Despite his scowl in Neville’s direction, Draco can't hide his smile.
Harry levitated a tall stack of wrapped presents over to Draco, whose face lit up at the sight.
"Those are all for me?"
"Every last one." Harry grins.
Draco shoves aside the wrappings on the floor already to make room and pulls the first gift off the top.
Harry had asked Celeste and a few of his other more talented friends to help him learn to wrap things properly. Draco’s gifts to Harry are nearly always wrapped in the most beautiful packaging.
It takes him forever, because he always tries to save the wrappings, but Draco finally pulls out a book.
Draco only owns a few of his favorite books, though he must read a thousand every year. He says he doesn’t have more because he doesn't have space to own all of them, but Harry guesses that he can't afford to buy that many. He always reads them at the shop when it's quiet or borrows them from the library.
"Ooh! Where did you find this? I've never heard of it." He asks giddily, turning it over to read the back.
"I have my ways." Harry says with a smile.
Draco gives him a funny look.
"Well I'd like to know those ways given that I'm a book person and you've managed to find me a book that sounds incredible and that I somehow haven't heard of."
He looks over at the stack.
"Merlin, Harry, are these all books?"
Harry nods, and Draco waves a hand over the stack to set the wrappings to undoing themselves while he reads the titles.
"I've never heard of any of these!"
"I know." Harry grins, biting his lips. "I may have swiped your notebooks to check what you've already finished or plan to read soon."
Draco stares at Harry for a minute.
"You know I have eight other notebooks that have already been filled up?"
"I swiped those too." Harry says.
The truth is, Harry has been planning this gift for well over two months.
He first went to every book place in the city - libraries, bookshops, publishers - and with the help of the employees, sorted through books that they suggested for Draco. Harry even sought out shops selling other languages, so he has some French and Italian books in the stack (he's still not sure what the last language Draco speaks is, and Draco thinks it's very funny to not tell him).
With that massive list, he took the titles that were not in any of Draco’s notebooks. It took ages to find Draco’s stash of notebooks, and even longer to go through them and cross check every title.
Then he went back to all those places and found the absolute prettiest versions of each book. For some, it was paperback, but for others, he found lovely gold-embossed copies.
And now they sit in front of Draco, a list of eleven of Harry’s best recommendations.
"One for each month we've been dating." Harry says finally.
Draco sits up from where he's been examining each title. He's got tears in his eyes and he swipes at his cheeks hastily.
Harry grins. Making Draco speechless is a task, and he always feels successful when he manages it, even if usually it's by saying something so spectacularly stupid Draco can't put together a response.
"It's a good thing I don't start working until January because it took forever to find things you haven't read."
Harry knows that the longer Draco doesn't say anything, the more he'll ramble, so he's quite glad when Draco crawls over the piles between them and kisses Harry soundly on the mouth.
"For me?" He asks.
"You went to all that trouble just for me?" Draco whispers.
"Well worth it." Harry says softly.
Draco huffs a shocked laugh. He's still on his hands and knees in front of Harry, but with a tug, easily allows himself to be cuddled on the floor.
"I love you, Draco. Of course it's worth it."
Harry and Draco are visiting Ron and Hermione again, and Draco is glowering at Hugo.
“Would you like to hold him?” Hermione asks.
“I would not, thanks.” Draco says, and Harry rolls his eyes.
“I’ll take him.” He offers.
Hermione flops back against the sofa once Hugo is safely passed over, and Harry catches Draco making a face.
“Yes?” Harry asks with a smirk. Draco huffs.
“That’s why you don’t like him?” Ron asks in surprise. “Merlin, you sleep with Harry , he snores much louder.”
“Harry is worth it!” Draco cries. “Hugo is useless and irritating.”
“Draco doesn’t like him because Hugo used to pull his tail all the time.” Harry says, and Ron and Hermione say ‘ohhh’ in unison.
“Harry, you’d agree that he’s very posh, yeah?” Ron asks blankly. Harry squints at him.
“Er, sure. Why?”
“Posh people have all sorts of things they do for reasons beyond mere mortal comprehension, like not burping after dinner.”
“Does Malfoy snore?” He asks finally, and Harry chokes out a startled laugh.
“No, Draco doesn’t, but cat Draco does. Quietly, though, it’s really cute.”
Ron feigns a gagging noise, and Hermione smacks his arm with a scoff.
“Disgusting. Absolutely uncalled for.” Ron says mockingly, but Harry can see the smile in his eyes. Harry laughs.
Draco looks rather put-out, and rearranges himself on the sofa to monopolise Harry’s non-Hugo-holding right arm.
“Come on, pet, don’t be mad.” Harry teases quietly, pressing kisses to the side of his head. Draco visibly melts, and from the corner of his eye, Harry sees Hermione cover her mouth with her hand to hide her grin.
“I’m not mad.” He says flatly, and Harry kisses his face again, just to be sure.
Ron stands dramatically, clapping his hands together.
“Well, if anyone else hasn’t lost their appetite yet, your food is in the kitchen. This absolute sap-fest can go on elsewhere.”
But after dinner, after Harry has fed Hugo and Draco is looking antsy and out of sorts, Ron takes the baby from Harry’s arms with a wink and nods toward Draco.
Draco relaxes into Harry’s arms.
I can't believe it's over! I remember when the premise came to me and I sort of debated not writing it, but I'm so happy I did:)
Thank you all so very much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this little epilogue along with the rest of this story. Special thanks to everyone who commented - you kept me motivated to see this story through!