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28 Minutes in Heaven

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“I hate you,” Draco said.

“I hate you more,” Harry replied.

Then they continued to sit there staring at each other.

After another few seconds, Harry checked his watch. Merlin. They’d only been in this cupboard for a minute. There were six left of this particular brand of hell which their friends called Seven Minutes in Heaven.

“This is stupid,” Draco said then, and Harry hated to agree, but he did.

They were in the eighth year common room’s cupboard, each sat on an empty, overturned crate that had once contained tubs of cleaning potion. A broom and a mop were leaning in the corner, and a few shelves held various products like wood oils, sponges and cloths, miscellany that surely no one could possibly find arousing, yet here they were, expected to… do stuff.

They sat facing one another, both tense, though Malfoy seemed to be trying to appear relaxed. He’d propped his elbows on the shelf behind him, and he leaned back, legs splayed, like his betrousered cock was on offer if Harry wanted it. Harry didn’t. And Malfoy didn’t want anything of Harry’s either. The whole thing was absurd. But they were at the first party of the new school year, and this stupid game was what everyone else wanted to play. It just so happened that Harry had drawn Malfoy’s name out of Millicent Bulstrode’s hat, so… here they were. In heaven together.

Harry checked his watch again, and Malfoy rolled his eyes. “As if you could do any better,” he said snidely.

“As if I could do any worse.”

“You wish, Potter.” (Whatever that meant.)

You wish, Malfoy.”

Five more minutes to go.

Malfoy sighed, his gaze finally unlatching from Harry to roam the contents of the cupboard. “Why the fuck do we need a cleaning cupboard anyway? Isn’t magic itself enough?”

Harry scoffed. “You wouldn’t know about all the hard work that goes into keeping a place this size clean, would you, Malfoy? All you know how to do is bully an elf into doing it for you.”

Malfoy’s eyes flared, and he looked at Harry again. “I…” he began and then stopped. Smaller, “I liked Dobby.” And it sounded… real.

Which made Harry furious, and he frowned at Malfoy anew, clenching his fists.

“How much time is left?” Malfoy asked.

Another glance at his watch. “Three minutes.”

Malfoy sighed. After a few more painful seconds, he asked, “What made you come back here, Potter?”

Harry scoffed. “What made you?”

“Oh, isn’t it obvious?” Sarcasm dripped from Malfoy’s thin, sneering lips. “I came back to get stuck in a cupboard with the Saviour. My life is now complete.”

Malfoy changed position then, leaning forward, his elbows on his knees. It mirrored Harry, bringing them entirely too close to one another across the thin, nearly insignificant space.

They looked at each other again now. Malfoy’s cheeks were gaunt, almost as deeply undercut as during sixth year. His eyes, always an odd grey, which Harry had always thought of as lacking in colour, he now saw were ringed in something like green. Like dark forest green. His neck was long, his throat bobbing in a swallow as Harry watched.

There was the sound of a timer outside the cupboard, then the click of the lock. The door swung inward slightly.

“Fuck you,” Malfoy said in parting as he stood.

“Yeah, fuck you too.”

They went for the doorknob at the same time, Harry’s hand overlaying Malfoy’s and closing. He yanked back from the touch. Malfoy blinked at him, standing too close… so close Harry could smell the peppermint on his breath. And he knew, in that moment, knew… that Malfoy must have done it in preparation for…

A kiss.

Malfoy hauled the door open, nearly smacking Harry in the face with it, and was gone.

~

Not that Malfoy had wanted to kiss him. Perhaps he freshened his breath well before Harry had drawn his name out of that hat. That was certainly much more plausible.

But it sat in Harry’s mind the next few weeks. It sat there and gnawed at him. It sat there and said, ‘What if?’

Harry tried to keep his head down and do his work. That’s what he was here for, after all… to make up for all that time lost. He was here to get good enough marks to go into the Auror training program with Ron. To start a regular life as a regular wizard.

But he’d always tried to keep his head down at Hogwarts, and it had never worked to keep him out of trouble before, so why should it now?

Trouble looked different this year, though. It looked like having to break up a fist fight between the Hufflepuff Seeker and one of the Slytherin Beaters during a practice match. It looked like stepping in when insults between Houses (always Slytherin, always) turned to wands drawn. It looked like undoing hexes on Slytherin students, on their belongings, on their meals… Harry didn’t want to be doing it, but… Well, someone had to. And often it just happened to be him.

It also just happened to be Malfoy, either getting hexed or, surprisingly, trying to prevent them as well. Harry had caught him standing between Gregory Goyle and Zacharias Smith, pushing at Goyle’s chest until he walked away from the shouting match. Harry had seen Malfoy slip on a jinx left for him, and had been close enough to step in and catch him before he fell down the stairs and broke a bone or two.

“I don’t need your help, Potter.”

He’d smelled like cologne that time. Like wealth and highborn arrogance and like the insufferable prat he was. But he looked like shit. Like sleepless nights. And Harry’s hands fell from him too slowly, releasing him but lingering, as though Malfoy might crumble before his eyes.

“Back off, you poof,” Malfoy had snarled.

Harry had then had to force himself not to push the jerk down the stairs himself. “So what if I am, arsehole? Next time I’ll let you fall.”

He felt Malfoy staring after him as he stalked away.

~

“Oh you have got to be joking,” Malfoy said, looking down at the slip of parchment he’d just drawn from the hat. Then, resigned, “Let’s go, Potter.”

It was December now, and they were at the party being held before everyone went off on Christmas hols.

The game had seemed like a good idea at the time, at least to everyone who wasn’t Harry. Not that Malfoy was looking pleased now either.

“Give me some of that,” Harry said to Ron who was holding the bottle of Firewhiskey. Ron poured him a shot, and Harry downed it in once grimacing go, handing his glass to Ron. “After you.” He held the cupboard door for Malfoy as their former friends, now traitors, whooped and clapped and wolf-whistled after them.

They shut themselves inside. And it was so quiet you could hear someone whisper under a muting charm. They stood there a moment, properly close. Malfoy looked like he was holding his breath.

“Well,” Harry said, wiping suddenly sweaty palms on his jeans. “Take a seat.”

Malfoy blinked, and before he took Harry’s suggestion, he sighed. And that’s when Harry smelled it. The peppermint again.

But then Malfoy was dragging a crate under himself and plopping down. Harry followed suit.

“So, Potter, how’ve you been?” Malfoy asked, pleasantly unpleasant.

Harry shrugged. “Sort of shit, I guess.”

When Harry looked up, Malfoy’s eyebrow had risen.

“What?”

“Nothing. I suppose I’m just wondering how shit it could possibly be for the Boy Who Won the War.”

“I have problems too.” Harry hated how whiny he sounded. “Look, let’s just get through the next…” He checked his watch. “...six minutes.”

“Sure, Potter. Whatever you say. I was just trying to make polite conversation. But I guess we can sit here and stare at each other like knobs instead.”

Harry huffed a sigh. He let some of the seconds pass. “You look skinny.”

Affronted, Malfoy began, “Well, you look…” But then his gaze dropped, wandering carefully over the cotton stretched across Harry’s chest, down his stomach, over his thighs which strained at the denim of his jeans, then back up. He swallowed. “Your scar looks worse. Don’t you know how to apply salves?”

Harry blinked at him. “I didn’t think a salve would help at this point. I’ve had it practically my whole life.”

Malfoy rolled his eyes. “You’re an idiot. I’ll bring you something tomorrow.”

Harry frowned.

“Or not,” Malfoy said, misinterpreting Harry’s silence. “It’s no skin off my eyelid.”

“No, I… Thanks,” Harry said.

Malfoy frowned back at him. “You’re welcome.” Then, “How much time left?”

“Four minutes.”

To Harry’s surprise, Malfoy stood. He wandered the half a step he could go in such a small cupboard, over to the shelves opposite the door and began examining the labels on the cleaning potions. “I didn’t mean to be… you know, an arsehole about… you know…”

Harry waited for him to continue, not wanting to make assumptions. Plus, receiving an apology from Draco Malfoy was rather like getting hit with a Stunner in Defence.

You know,” Malfoy said again, like Harry was too dense for words. “I didn’t actually realise you might be…” His gaze flicked uncertainly Harry’s way. “You know. Bent.”

Speechless, Harry could only blink.

Malfoy lifted a potion bottle, sniffed it, and put it back down. “So you are then.”

“Bent?” Harry asked.

“Yes,” Malfoy replied, extremely interested in the cleaning products.

Harry sighed. “I think so. Yeah.”

When Malfoy turned toward him, Harry spied a soft blush on his pale cheeks. “Me too,” he said.

Harry swallowed. “Really?”

Malfoy nodded jerkily, and Harry let his breath out through pursed lips slowly. Then he said, “I mean, I haven’t actually ever… done stuff… with a bloke.”

Malfoy’s eyelashes flirted shamelessly with his high cheekbones as his gaze drifted down. “I’ve only done a little bit… of stuff,” he said almost sweetly. “Hands,” he clarified. “Twice.”

“You’ve done hands?” Harry found himself blurting out.

Malfoy nodded. “But not like… It was in the dark. There wasn’t even kissing.” And now he lifted his eyes and looked at Harry in the cramped room.

“No?” asked Harry.

“No,” said Malfoy softly.

All the air seemed to have escaped through the tiny gap under the door. Harry licked dry lips… and watched Malfoy’s gaze fall to his mouth.

The timer went off. The door unlocked and swung open once more. Malfoy exhaled loudly, pushed a potion back where it had been on the shelf.

Harry stood, and they nearly collided at the door again. “After you,” Harry said, his voice sounding strange to his own ears.

Malfoy left quickly once more, but it didn’t feel like last time. This was a different sort of escape.

~

Christmas was fine. Harry spent most of it at the Burrow, some of it with Andromeda and Teddy, and then he just… went back to Hogwarts a few days early.

Everyone else in his dormitory was still with their families. Ron and Hermione begged him to stay longer with them, but Harry sort of felt like being alone for a bit. The Christmas cheer was nice, and he really enjoyed seeing the looks on his friends’ faces when they opened their presents. He wasn’t sure what he was looking for now: privacy? quiet? Whatever the case, he sighed in deep relief walking through the doors to the castle and trudging up the stairs toward the eighth year common room.

The fire had been kept here, and it felt warm and safe. There was a blissful sort of silence except for the crackling of the firewood. Harry made his way to his own room, opened the door, flung a Lumos over the space… and saw it, sitting on his made bed.

He dropped his bag and wandered over, picking it up. It smelled good, like fir trees and vanilla. There was a note Spello’d to it, and Harry adjusted his glasses to read:

Scarhead:

This one is specifically for your stupid face. I have others, for the body, if you want them.

Hope this helps to make you less ugly.

Cheers and Happy Christmas, I suppose.

-M

~

“Ow. Son of a…” Harry winced as he smeared Malfoy’s salve over his eye. It was thick, like an ointment, and now that he’d coated a good part of his face with it, he realised he could hardly see.

“What the actual fuck,” came Malfoy’s voice from the bathroom doorway, and Harry startled so badly, he dropped the salve altogether.

He whirled, blinking his one good eye (and ‘good’ was relative without his glasses) in what he thought was Malfoy’s direction. “What are you doing here? I thought everyone was gone.”

The blurry Malfoy shape shrugged. He didn’t answer Harry’s question, just stalked forward, tsking at Harry. “Dear Merlin, how on earth did you fuck this up? There are directions. Did you even read them?”

“It’s a salve. I figured you just smear it on—”

“You do not smear it on. You dab it on, you complete twat.” Malfoy drew his wand then and Scourgified Harry’s face.

“That shit stung,” Harry complained.

“It won’t if you apply it properly.” Malfoy snatched the tin out of the sink basin where Harry had dropped it. “Come here.”

Harry took a step toward him.

“Close your eyes.”

Harry frowned and then did it.

“Stop frowning.”

Harry sighed hard but then smoothed out the tension in his face. He felt Malfoy come closer… felt his breath on his face. Then came the softest touch of Malfoy’s fingers on his forehead. “You dab,” he said again, quieter now, into the space between them. “You don’t smear.”

His fingers, light on Harry’s skin, left cool little salve-shines in their wake. He gathered a little more ointment and then came back, smoothing it over Harry’s cheek where the lightning crash of it branched wider. Harry held his breath, felt Malfoy’s on his jaw, his utter nearness.

Malfoy said, “Hold still, Potter.” Then his fingers drifted softly, feather light, over Harry’s eyelid. “That’s good,” Malfoy told him, his breath now warm over Harry’s lips. “How’s that?” he asked, thumb moving some of the ointment into his eyebrow.

“Better,” Harry said, opening his eyes to find Malfoy still so close, his hands cupping Harry’s face, gaze studious on the scar.

Malfoy must have realised how close they were… that Harry was looking at him. He met Harry’s eyes, inhaled shortly, and then, finally, stepped back.

“Here,” he said and then slapped the tin onto Harry’s palm. “You’re so useless, I swear to fuck, Potter.”

But he said it breathlessly. And then he left.

~

Even by New Year’s they were still the only two eighth years in the castle.

Hermione had Owled that she and Ron were staying at Shell for the few days until term began again (a wee romantic getaway, Harry knew), and everyone else seemed to have plans as well.

Harry had no plans. It seemed Malfoy didn’t either.

Harry found him with a book in the common room that evening.

“What are you reading?”

Malfoy simply held the book up for Harry to see. “Arithmantic Theorems.” Harry winced.

To his surprise, Malfoy’s lips twitched. “Yes, that look you’re wearing is how my brain feels.”

Harry nodded, hands in his jeans pockets. And then he said something truly idiotic, even for him. “So, I was thinking I might go up to the Astronomy Tower, set off some Wheezes fireworks.”

Malfoy looked apprehensive but maybe also… interested.

“I figured, since we’re the only two here, maybe you’d want to… come with me, make sure I don’t kill myself?”

Malfoy closed his book. “Throw in a bottle of brandy, and I’ll consider it.”

“I… don’t have a bottle of brandy,” Harry informed him, an odd feeling in his stomach now, something resembling disappointment.

But Malfoy said, “Good thing I do.” Then he actually smiled a little bit as he stood, tossing his book onto a table.

~

“It’s fucking cold,” Malfoy said, shivering as they leaned on the bannister and looked out over the grounds. His breath sent small ghosts of itself floating upward, whisked away by the wind. He took a pull from the naggin of brandy (which Harry had watched him nick from Zabini’s things). He handed it to Harry. “Might not be the right weather for your fireworks.”

“We’ll see, I suppose,” Harry said. He drank, a slow pull, and then handed the bottle back, careful to avoid Malfoy’s cold fingers.

While he fiddled with getting one of the rockets set up, Malfoy bounced on the balls of his feet, arms wrapped around himself.

“Christ, Draco.” Harry said, sending a strong warming charm his way and only belatedly realising what he’d said. It was a good thing his cheeks were probably already pink from cold.

Malfoy shivered, tugged his Slytherin green hat down over his ears, and muttered a thank you.

“Okay, ready?” Harry called.

Malfoy nodded, teeth chattering a little.

Harry set his wand to the fuse on the rocket’s end and then stood with Malfoy to watch. It took off with a whining fizz, but the wind immediately grabbed it and flung it off course.

“Oh shit.” Harry ducked and instinctively shielded Malfoy’s body with his own. But the rocket only smashed into the side of the castle, exploding into purple sparks and then dying.

Crouched now next to the parapet, Harry lifted his face and found Malfoy’s wide eyes with his own. And then, after a moment, they began to laugh.

Harry’s hands fell away from Malfoy’s body as it trembled with mirth, and Harry fell flat on his back on the cold stone, his hands over his eyes. “That was terrible.”

“It was a test run,” Malfoy clarified. “Look, I’ve been working on something. Mind if I try it out?”

Harry sat up. “Go for it, Malfoy. Should I take cover?”

Malfoy smirked at him, wand drawn now, but then he stood near the edge of the balcony and got still and quiet. Harry watched him, concentrating before the cast, and then wordlessly, Malfoy swished his wand slowly through the air.

At first it seemed like nothing was happening. But Malfoy kept casting, and little by little, the wind began to die down.

Harry got to his feet, wandering closer to watch Malfoy work. The night became still, the stars bright and flickering. The trees stopped waving their branches. Everything dropped into a hush.

Malfoy turned his gaze on Harry then, and Harry saw the spark of accomplishment there, bare and happy, nothing arrogant in it at all.

And Harry said, “Wow.”

~

Setting off fireworks went well after that, and they took turns lighting the fuses, each of them shouting encouragement out into the night when the rockets met their zenith and exploded into sparkling colour.

Harry cheered when his turned into a lion’s head and roared before it dissipated.

They fell to hysterical giggling when Malfoy’s wrote out the word “Tits” for apparently no reason.

They used all of them, and when they couldn’t set off any more fireworks, they passed the bottle back and forth between them and sent sparks off from their wands.

“Bet you can’t write ‘tits’,” Harry said and laughed to see Malfoy do it.

“Maybe I should try ‘dicks’ instead, considering,” Malfoy said, his bright eyes meeting Harry’s, the both of them sobering a little at the reminder of this personal thing they had found they shared.

Harry set the bottle down and shoved his hands in his pockets finally, the bitter cold having descended on them once Malfoy’s weathermancy wore off.

“How did you learn that?” Harry asked.

“I taught myself. It took… months.”

“Could you teach me sometime?”

Malfoy turned to look at him, a little stunned, and then nodded.

“It’s fucking cold,” Harry said again now. “Do you want to go in?”

“What time is it?” Malfoy asked.

Harry checked his watch. “Merlin,” he said. “It’s almost midnight.”

“Let’s stay out a few more minutes then,” Malfoy said.

“Okay,” Harry agreed and cast a new warming charm over them both. “What do you want to do out here?”

Malfoy took a step toward him, his gaze on the stone under his feet. “I don’t know.”

Harry let his eyes move over Malfoy’s cold face, the splotches of red on his cheeks and the end of his pointy nose. “What do you want to do at midnight?”

Malfoy blinked. He looked up. “What do you want to do, Harry?”

Harry bit his lip. He stepped closer too. They were nearly touching.

“I’m cold,” Malfoy said.

And it was so easy then, to lift his hands and wrap Malfoy up in his arms. “This okay?”

Malfoy rested his forehead against Harry’s and then nodded.

“Almost midnight,” Harry said.

“Maybe it’s already midnight,” Malfoy answered. “Maybe it’s turning midnight right now.”

“Maybe…”

“Maybe we should…”

But then their lips were close enough that they finished the sentence that way, with a kiss.

It began softly, tentatively, a question they asked each other. Malfoy exhaled against Harry’s lips, and Harry met Malfoy’s bottom lip with his tongue, a brief touch. But Malfoy tilted his head, parted his lips a little more… Harry waited one breathless second, and then he pulled him close and kissed him deeper, taking Malfoy’s sweet sound at it into his own lungs.

It had hardly begun at all when they heard it: the door slamming open below, the pounding of feet on the stairs, boisterous laughter.

Malfoy moved back first, out of Harry’s arms, and Harry blinked at him, the arousal still coursing through every part of his body. Malfoy’s lips were pink, his gaze startled but still hooded, his pupils round and telling. They looked at each other, and all Harry could do was think, ‘I kissed him. He let me kiss him.’ And then, Merlin, ‘Not enough.’

The group of seventh years exploded onto the tower, and Malfoy shuffled back even further, dropping his gaze away.

“Harry!” Ginny said, Luna, Jasper, Donovan, and Harper all joining her.

“Hey!” Harry greeted, even as his gaze moved beyond the group to follow Malfoy’s retreating back. “Malfoy and I were just—”

“Were you setting off fireworks?” asked Harper. She blew on her hands. “We were at the lake and heard explosions. Got any left?”

“Er, no, sorry,” Harry told her, watching as Malfoy made his way to the stairs. He wanted to call out to him… wanted to follow. But Ginny was talking to him now. They were all wishing Harry a Happy New Year. And Malfoy had disappeared, the sound of the door closing behind him making Harry’s chest ache faintly.

~

There was another party on Valentine’s. Because of course there was.

Harry and Malfoy had skirted around each other for a while after New Year’s, but then as the term progressed, things thawed between them enough that Malfoy would say hi to him, so long as Harry said hello first. They could hold brief, awkward conversations.

All Harry wanted to do was get him alone and talk about what had happened (or kiss about it). Yet one thing the distance between them let Harry do was gaze. And now that he was gazing more openly at Malfoy, it was dawning on him how fit Malfoy was. A little too skinny still, sure, but… lithe and graceful, the angles of him begging for Harry’s hands.

But Malfoy was quite good at never being completely alone. He always had Parkinson hanging off him or Blaise or Goyle, or they were in class and he was wrecking Harry’s concentration at every turn.

“What’s wrong with you?” Ron finally asked during Advanced Charms one day.

“Hmm? Nothing.”

Hermione had given him what seemed like a knowing look, but Harry couldn’t quite be sure. Hermione knew loads about a tonne of things, and she very often looked like it.

But then the party happened. And they were all now sitting around the warm common room, and the hat came around to Parvati.

She drew a name and blushed. “Er, Blaise,” she coughed, “Zabini,” as if there was another one.

Blaise sprang up, looking pleased, and off they went into the cupboard with the rest of the room making suitably scandalous noises in their wake. Except for Harry, who was just trying to control his sweaty palms and who couldn’t seem to stop swallowing.

And Malfoy too. Though he didn’t look anxious like Harry felt; he looked like a posh stone wall. But when their gazes met, something passed between them. Something that contained the delightful shiver of cold, with the taste of brandy to it, a shared memory of that broken moment. That or Harry was just fooling himself.

The group chattered away for the requisite seven minutes until Parvati and Blaise emerged, each looking a bit dishevelled and rather happily dazed. Pansy cat-called them, and Ron hooted between cupped hands.

Then it was Hermione’s turn with the hat. She looked at the parchment for a long moment and then said, “It’s Ron,” which didn’t seem to warrant the face she was making. Harry understood why when she added, “...and Pansy.”

“And who now?” Pansy said, sitting up straighter.

“What?” Ron croaked, and then, when Hermione showed him the paper, gulped.

They leaned in together and held a conference in urgent whispers. Harry caught, “...hat… couldn’t have known… magic… I didn’t think… are you sure?”

Harry looked over to the Slytherin contingent and saw Pansy in talks with Malfoy and Blaise as well, a bright pink flush on her cheeks.

But then Pansy stood, cleared her throat, and lifted her chin. “Well then,” she said, “can you two handle it?”

Harry’s gaze swung back to his friends. They stood. Hermione nodded. “Let’s go.” And Ron shot Harry a look that seemed more terrified than turned on.

They went into the cupboard. Millicent started the timer.

“You ever seen the hat throw a threesome?” Seamus asked Neville, who just shook his head in subdued awe.

His friends off in the cupboard with Pansy, Harry no longer had anyone to sit with. He screwed his courage up and moved over next to Malfoy whose small sofa was now minus Parkinson.

“Interesting,” Harry said.

“Yes,” Malfoy answered.

“Do you think they’re going to… you know…?”

“How would I know? Two-thirds of them are your friends.”

“I…” Harry began, then before he could think what to say to him, the git stood up and moved across the room near Padma, Dean, and Seamus instead.

Harry’s anger flared. His cheeks heated. He sat there, now alone, and glared at the floor, then Malfoy’s profile, then the floor again.

The timer went off and, slowly, Hermione, then Pansy, and lastly Ron staggered out. Their hair was messier than when they went in, and Harry could swear that Pansy’s skirt was askew. He wasn’t completely oblivious; he’d noticed both his friends eyeing Pansy’s shorter skirts, her shirts unbuttoned a little further down than years previous. Her cleavage had got rather… nice, as well. He’d be happy for them if he weren’t so frustrated with someone else.

He thought about simply leaving the party. Perhaps no one would notice. He stood, started making his way toward the dormitory hallway, when his own name rang out into the room.

“Oh, Potter.”

Harry turned at the sound of that voice… saw Malfoy holding up a small slip of parchment. Harry felt all the blood rush out of his skull. He let all his breath out slowly. He tried to see what emotion Malfoy was successfully keeping off his face as he waited for Harry to cross the room. Malfoy’s jaw was tight, his nostrils slightly flared. But as Harry got closer, he could make out the steady little jump of Malfoy’s pulse, so very fast… the trace of a blush over his cheeks.

Harry sighed. “After you.”

“No, after you.”

They stood staring at each other, and then they both tried to enter at once, their shoulders knocking.

Harry firmed his lips. “No, really. After you.”

Malfoy scoffed, stepped into the cupboard, and then Harry joined him, the door closing, the magicks going up.

For long moments, nothing happened. Malfoy stood there looking at him, and Harry looked back, trying to figure out which Draco was in the cupboard with him: the sneering arsehole who hated him, or professed to; or the sweet one whose lips had parted for his in the bitter cold.

As Harry tried to figure it out, Malfoy’s lips flattened into an angry line.

Harry sighed. “Why are you being such a dick all of a—”

But Malfoy was on him, pressing him firmly back into the shelving. “Shut up,” he panted. And then he kissed Harry, so hot it was feverish, so hungry and deep and everything they hadn’t had a chance to get to before.

Malfoy’s hands went into Harry’s hair, cupped his face, and then dropped, unbuttoning his plaid flannel shirt. Harry moaned helplessly into his mouth.

Malfoy’s tongue was a devious thing, lapping over Harry’s only to retreat before Harry could suck on it. And Harry really, really wanted to taste Malfoy’s tongue… wanted to feel it against his own, learn it, get him to make that wonderful noise he’d made on New Year’s, whined against Harry’s mouth.

But Malfoy pulled back enough to say, “Fuck you for sitting next to me like that.” He was breathing hard, opening Harry’s shirt. His lips found Harry’s collar bones, warm hands grasping Harry’s waist, and he started mouthing across, down… “As though I wasn’t having enough trouble not climbing into your bloody lap.”

He had been? He’d been having trouble with that? Harry wished he had a Time Turner so he could go back to New Year’s Eve and follow Malfoy down the stairs. Wished he’d dragged him into some dim corridor, closed them off in a room. Anything to get Malfoy climbing into his lap. Because it sounded spectacular.

“Fuck,” Harry gasped as Malfoy’s teeth closed over his nipple.

Malfoy flicked a glance up at Harry’s face, said coyly, “Tits,” then he licked quickly, gently, until Harry thought he might come.

“Draco,” Harry said, his voice coming out low and aroused.

Malfoy’s hand insinuated itself between Harry’s legs and squeezed his cock. “Merlin, you’re so hard,” he breathed, tongue licking right under Harry’s ear now. And it was a revelation, to know that beneath all the cool and the avoidance, there had been this.

“Of course I’m fucking hard,” Harry said and then took Malfoy by the hips, pushing his back into the shelving behind him, rattling potions and knocking over the mop. And as Harry kissed him deep, kissed Malfoy until he moaned high and tight against his lips, Harry ground his hard cock against Malfoy’s willing body.

And he was willing. He was very willing. His hands started working on Harry’s jeans, and it struck Harry like a blow: this was happening.

Malfoy got them turned, Harry’s back against the shelving once more. He broke the kiss, looked deeply into Harry’s eyes for a moment as if seeking something. Then he slid to his knees in front of Harry, parted the denim of Harry’s fly, and leaned in to leave a soft kiss on the bulge in Harry’s underwear.

Harry breathed his name, a shocked, airless sound. He gripped the shelves behind himself for balance. Malfoy blinked up at him, then he leaned in again, and this time his tongue peeked out as he opened his pretty lips and kissed just under the cotton-held head of Harry’s cock. Harry closed his eyes. He could feel Malfoy’s warm breath, the wet touch of his tongue, and then, Merlin, the gentle, soft suction of that mouth…

“Holy shit,” Harry whispered. He looked down then, startled and aroused by the sight of Malfoy there on the floor, tilting his head and angling for another exploratory kiss along Harry’s length. Harry longed to take himself out, to feel those soft lips against his skin, to be inside his wet mouth. Merlin… The knock of his heart felt almost frightening, so hard and intense. He was lifting his hand to sink his fingers into Malfoy’s shiny hair when it happened.

It must have been the ringing in his ears that caused him to miss the sound of the timer. Or maybe it was Malfoy’s hot, damp breaths against his cock. Whatever it was... the door swung open on quite a tableau: Harry’s shirt and trousers open, and Malfoy on his knees, his face in Harry’s crotch.

A laughing Zabini’s, “Oh fuck,” snapped Harry to awareness.

It all went quickly and clumsily: Malfoy sprawling away from him on the floor, Harry turning his back on their friends to zip his jeans over his jutting erection, his underwear now wet from both his own pre-come and Malfoy’s mouth.

Harry tripped a little over one of the crates and careened into the shelving with an elbow, knocking down several potions, righting the bottles he’d knocked over and trying to button his jeans at the same time and failing at each.

“Looks like they could use another seven minutes,” said Millicent wisely, an undercurrent of other people’s shocked and amused voices tittering away in the background.

When Harry had got himself as decent as he could, he turned to see Malfoy—Draco—standing once more, though his hair had been tousled a bit by Harry’s fingers and had yet to be completely smoothed down again. The blush on his cheeks was fucking lovely. Lovelier still, the swollen, pink lips… the startled, still-aroused look in his darkened eyes.

Draco cleared his throat, straightening his spine. “Come, Potter,” he said, and then, when Harry simply stood there, he took Harry by both sides of his open shirt front and tugged, dragging him out of the cupboard. He shot the finger to whoever was laughing the loudest on the way out. “Yes, and you can fuck off as well, Blaise,” Draco said. He stalked through the common room with Harry just behind, stumbling along after him.

“Have a lovely evening, dickheads,” Draco said as they made their way through the whistling and friendly jeering, and then they were in the hallway, and Draco’s hand dropped from his shirt, finding Harry’s hand instead. His fingers squeezed; he was trembling slightly.

A door opened—Draco’s door—and then he was pulling Harry through, closing it, letting go of Harry to pace away.

“Your wards are stronger than mine,” Draco said. “Would you mind, Potter?”

Harry did as bidden, drawing his wand and flicking up not one but three different privacy spells.

Draco turned to him in the dim room. The moonlight fell pale through a gap in the curtains, enough to barely illume Draco’s hair.

“I’m sorry,” Harry said. “I didn’t hear the timer.”

“I didn’t either. Clearly.” Draco was blushing still, and Harry lost his breath a little bit at the sight of him, combined with the very recent memory of the feel of his mouth.

And Draco had brought him here, to his room, and asked that Harry ward the door.

Harry took a slow step toward him. “It felt… really good.”

Draco blinked at him, his eyes slightly widened. He watched Harry approach.

Harry took two more steps. “Do you want to—?” he began, but then Draco said, “Yes,” as urgent as Harry felt.

Harry cupped his face with one hand. “I’ve never…”

Draco took Harry’s still-open shirt and pushed it off his shoulders. “Neither have I,” he said. “Not like this. Not with…”

Harry thought he detected the thrill of a ‘you’, voiceless and yearning. His body responded fiercely, whether or not that had been what Draco had intended to say.

Harry let the shirt drop to the floor and moved closer. Draco lifted his chin, a bit breathless. Harry leaned in and kissed him, no interruption waiting around the corner now. Nothing but this bigger, even quieter room. Nothing but the dark and them in it, with more than a few minutes to spare.

~

It felt amazing, all of it. Undressing Draco, seeing his body completely naked before Harry’s gaze. His long, pretty cock, hard and red at the tip and already glistening; Harry was rapacious for it, left utterly wanting as he watched Draco scoot up onto the bed. Then feeling Draco’s warm regard all over his skin, Harry undressed too.

He crawled up over Draco, kissing him down into the pillows.. Draco’s legs parted to allow Harry to lie between. Oh God, their cocks touching. Everything touching. His hands in Draco’s hair, Draco’s down Harry’s back, their legs tangling… the shy first thrusting against each other.

Harry lifted his lips to watch Draco’s face as they moved together. Draco gasped, his leg hooking harder around the backs of Harry’s thighs. Then Draco’s eyes were on his lips, and he said, “Roll over,” and Harry obeyed, shifting onto his back.

Draco kissed him, once, and again, and then moved his mouth down Harry’s body, kissing chest, ribs, his stomach as Harry breathed hard and clutched at his pillow in anticipation, before Draco took Harry’s cock into his mouth and slowly sucked him.

And it was the most amazing. Too much so. Harry felt embarrassed by how quickly he got there. “Draco… I… I might… Oh God…”

Draco lifted his mouth, but only to say, “I want you to.”

“You do?”

Draco nodded. He took Harry’s cock between his lips once more and sank sensuously down. He set up a rhythm, and the mere sight of that bobbing head would have been enough without his hot tongue, his soft moans.

Harry came in his mouth, back arching, his whole body tense with it. And as Draco swallowed it, a small whine coming from him at the taste, Harry let himself thrust easily, a hand on Draco’s head, pushing his cock in and in and in, panting until it was through, until Draco lifted his mouth, licked his lips clean of it, and gave Harry this slick little smile that had Harry wishing he could stay hard. Stay hard and have that mouth again, over and over until Draco’s voice went hoarse from it, until Harry could no longer get it up.

Draco, seeing this on Harry’s face, gave a soft breath that was half laugh, half sigh.

But Harry said, “Your turn,” and watched it land, Draco’s pleasure at having wrecked Harry transforming back into something else. Something Harry grasped onto as he manoeuvred them, getting Draco’s back to the bed now, sinking between his legs, greedy at how readily they parted for him. He took Draco’s cock into his mouth and groaned.

~

And Draco, it turned out, loved Harry’s mouth on him. He opened his legs still further as Harry sped up. His hand pushed its way into Harry’s hair, his hips fucking up off the bed helplessly. Harry thought of Draco coming in his mouth and his own cock twitched. Then he thought of something else.

He lifted his mouth. “May I... go lower?”

Draco blinked at him, and, a bit desperately, nodded.

Harry pushed Draco’s legs up toward his chest, nipped at the flesh of his arse, breathed him in… realised that he loved it. He dipped his tongue into Draco’s crevice, found the delicate skin of his anus and licked him there.

Harry got hard again rimming him. Merlin, he was doing this. His tongue was in another boy’s arsehole. In Draco’s. It felt strangely like flying, getting Draco to make those noises… feeling him trying to work Harry’s tongue in deeper with the desperate pumping of his hips. Harry held him open for it, lapped around his hole, getting it wetter than wet.

“Harry…” came Draco’s gasping voice. “I want to… I want you to…”

Harry pressed the pad of his finger there, rubbing in small circles. Draco keened at it, hands pushed hard into the headboard. Harry murmured a lubrication charm, and Draco panted above him as Harry sank his finger inside.

Almost immediately, Draco was riding it, urging with his body for Harry to do it. He did… and watched Draco bloom open for it, his every movement urgent and hot. Harry eagerly watched as he snuck a second finger in and Draco took it. Draco nodded fervently and bit his lip. His eyes opened, and their gazes met, Draco’s pupils blown wide.

“Fuck your fingers into me,” Draco said.

Harry began thrusting in, harder now, finding a rhythm that made Draco squeeze his eyes closed once more. Harry loved how wide open he stayed for it, knees up, his feet curled… loved the flush that crawled up Draco’s chest, the hard swallowing of his throat.

Then Draco opened his eyes and said in a different voice, darker, “Fuck me,” like he meant it, like he would take it if Harry didn’t capitulate and give it to him.

Harry removed his fingers, and Draco turned over, lifting his bum.

Harry’s cock jerked up so hard it was almost painful. He moved in behind him, positioned himself. Draco cast a lubrication charm so strong his hole was dripping. Harry pushed, Draco cried out, and then he was inside. Just like that, he was sliding inside.

Panting, Draco winced a little as it went in, but when Harry hesitated, he groaned and said, “Harry, yes,” and so Harry kept going, a little in, and a little out, until the slick way relaxed more, and he was sliding in and out in a rhythm, and Draco was clutching the bedding in his fists, his back arching to take it.

Harry held Draco’s hips in his hands and felt something suffuse his body. His fingers gripped tighter, and Draco responded to it, backing into him, forcing Harry’s cock deeper. Harry fucked him, bottoming out each time, and Draco began to shake.

Harry took him then, an unrestrained whipping of his hips. Draco’s hand disappeared between his own legs, and moments later, he gasped, soft with surprise, “You’re making me come.” His arse gripped Harry tightly in sweet little clamps as he spilled himself onto the sheets.

Harry drove in, kept fucking him, until Draco went limp and sated, and then he fucked him still more. He held Draco’s lax hips in his hands, held him up, and took his arse until he felt it rise up inside… until Harry threw his head back and came, pushing his semen in and relishing the feeling of fucking it deep into Draco’s pliant body.

With one last hedonistic groan, Harry finished, and they collapsed together into the bed, Harry’s cock still inside, their slick bodies pressed together, boneless, breath uncollected.

Harry moved a little, felt Draco’s back against his chest and wanted to kiss it… realised he could. He lifted up enough to put his mouth to Draco’s shoulder blade, moved slowly to the other one. His lips found a pale, thin line. Examining it, he saw it was one of several, and that some wrapped around his sides.

Harry pulled out slowly but then stayed hovering above him. “Did I do this?” he asked, tracing a scar with his finger.

Draco sighed beneath him. “Potter…”

“Would you turn over?”

Harry gave him room, and Draco did as he asked. It’s not that he hadn’t seen the faint scarring before. He’d just been too distracted by his own arousal for them to properly compute; they crisscrossed his front as well but were very faded, some like silver thread cutting over his skin.

“I did this to you,” Harry said, guilt suddenly puncturing the high of the sex.

“I did things to you too,” Draco said.

Harry lay next to him, and Draco rolled to his side. “No wonder you hate me,” Harry murmured.

“No wonder you hate me,” Draco rejoined, lifting his left forearm so that Harry had no choice but to acknowledge his Mark.

But then Draco let it drop to the bed again. He sighed. “Potter, do you think I’d let you fuck your cock all the way up my arse if I hated you still?” And then, catching himself, “Okay, well, perhaps I would have.” A small smile. A pause containing a sigh. “I don’t though,” he said.

“Neither do I,” Harry admitted. “I was lying when I said I did.”

Draco’s gaze fell somewhere between them. “I’d remove the Mark,” he said quietly, “if I could.”

Harry nodded, finding with a small jolt of recognition that he believed him.

Draco looked at him, gaze soft on his then travelling down. He brought tender fingers to the scar on Harry’s chest. “How many do you have?”

Harry shrugged.

Without another word, Draco rolled away from him, leaning over to dig in his bedside table. Harry admired the view as Draco’s body stretched to reach, his back muscles elongating, his arse flexing and relaxing again. Harry wanted to touch it. He wanted to touch him everywhere, all over. Even his left arm. Simply everywhere.

But Draco rolled back with a tin in his hand, like the other but larger. He pushed Harry onto his back and then straddled him. Pleased and surprised, Harry’s hands came up to hold Draco’s hips.

“This isn’t sex,” Draco told him with a curve to his lips. (And you could have fooled Harry; everything was going to feel like sex with Draco now, but most especially being naked-straddled by him.) Then Draco dipped his fingers into the salve and began to rub it into the second scar Voldemort had given him. He was firmer with his touch here, and the salve itself smelled different, like cinnamon, clove, a hint of bitter Dittany.

“Draco, did you make them? The salves?”

Draco nodded. He said, “Give me your hand.”

Harry offered it, and Draco rolled his eyes. “The other one.”

Harry switched, and Draco smoothed some of the salve into the writing that had been carved there.

“How did you know about that one?” Harry asked.

“Everyone knows about that one,” Draco told him, frowning. “Do you have others?”

Harry gestured to his side, where his flesh had torn as he’d tried to scale a fence when they’d been running from the Snatchers. There was an ugly gash there that he’d never had time to heal properly, but when Draco focused on it to apply his salve, he didn’t flinch, and Harry found that it felt good… someone touching him there. Draco touching him there. His cock started to get hard.

Draco looked down at it and smirked. “Really, Potter?”

Harry pulsed his hips up, trying to get some contact with Draco’s body. “Yes, really, Malfoy.”

Draco set the salve aside and performed a Scourgify on his hands. He wrapped one around Harry’s rising cock. “If you keep getting inconveniently aroused by me, I may need to keep you in my bed all night. Is that what you want?”

Harry groaned at the twist of Malfoy’s wrist, his cockhead peeking through the hole Malfoy’s fist made.

Harry let himself tell the truth. “Yes,” he said, watching the word light a small fire in Malfoy’s gaze… before he leaned down and took Harry’s mouth under his own.

~

Harry awoke with a start. Someone was pounding on the door.

“Get up! There’s a fight!”

Malfoy came awake then too. “A what?” he asked blearily.

And there wasn’t time to appreciate his nudity all pressed up against Harry’s body. “A fight,” Harry answered, already propelling himself out of bed and dressing quickly.

They emerged into the hallway to yelling and drawn wands. Harry took it all in quickly: three Gryffindor seventh years against one Slytherin, Harper, who was trembling, wand wavering, her eyes damp.

Neville was standing near Harper, and he had his wand drawn on the three Gryffindor boys, which was all Harry really needed to know.

“Put your wands down,” Harry told the boys from his House. “Now.”

Two obeyed, but one, Stefan Walsh, was more stubborn, or more of an arsehole. And then he spoke, and Harry realised how much worse it was than he’d imagined. “It tried to touch me. It went for my dick.”

It. He was talking about Harper.

Harry hadn’t ever wanted to punch someone as badly as he did then. It was only the knowledge that his doing so would take this from very bad to so much worse that he didn’t. His hand had crept to his wand though, but before he could open his mouth to tell Walsh where he could stick his transphobia, Draco had stepped in front of Harper and raised his wand to Stefan’s throat.

“If you say one more word about her, I will fuck you up so badly you’ll be unrecognisable, do you hear me?”

Stefan blanched. His wide eyes dropped to the Dark Mark, visible on Draco’s arm, seeing as Draco had only thrown on a t-shirt and a pair of trousers.

Then Stefan sneered. “Didn’t think a Death Eater would care so much about a trann—”

And then before he could finish the slur and before Draco could actually kill him, Harry let the punch fly and knocked Stefan out cold. He fell to the hallway floor with a sick thud, his head luckily landing on someone’s shoe rather than the stone.

Though there had been no love lost between them on the Quidditch pitch years before, Harry looked past Draco at Harper. “Are you okay?”

“I didn’t try to touch him,” she seethed.

“Yeah, I get that,” Harry said. Then before he could ask if she needed to see Madam Pomfrey, McGonagall arrived on the scene in a flurry of black robes and anger, Hermione having gone to fetch her and presumably explain.

McGonagall looked at the two instigators who remained conscious. “Do you share your friend’s hatred?” she asked. “Would you like to be expelled alongside him?”

“Expelled?” one of them exclaimed.

“Oh absolutely Mr Walsh is expelled,” McGonagall thundered. “The question was, do you share his views?”

“N-no, Headmistress,” said one, while the other just shook his head violently, looking very much like he might lose control over his bladder.

“Detention for a month,” she declared. “You are to come immediately to my office. Madam Pomfrey?”

Harry only now noticed the other woman standing there. “Please see to Mr Walsh. I will notify his parents that as soon as he is able, he will be leaving with them.” She turned to Harry, glanced at Draco too, his wand still drawn but arm hanging down now. “I will deal with you both later.” Then, to Harper, “My dear, I am very sorry this happened to you.” To Pansy and Millicent, who had flanked Harper protectively, “Take care of your friend. Let me know what she needs and she shall have it.”

The hallway slowly emptied with a lot of awed muttering and both Luna and Blaise helping to Levicorpus Stefan’s slack body to the hospital wing.

“Thanks, Harry,” said Millicent as she and Pansy led Harper back toward the Slytherin dorms. Harry gave the three of them a nod, flexing his hand.

“Thanks, mate,” said Neville. “I think I might have got expelled myself if you hadn’t shown up.” He wandered off with the rest of the eighth years, back into the common room.

Then only Harry and Draco were left, and Draco still clutched his wand tightly in his fingers.

“I think you can put it away now,” Harry said gently.

Draco finally did, holstering his wand and blowing out through pursed lips. Then he looked at Harry shaking his hand out and smirked. “You really fucking punched him, didn’t you?”

Harry laughed a little in return. “I really fucking did.”

“It was hot.”

“Was it?” Harry asked.

Draco nodded, stepping closer.

“Well, you threatening to disfigure Walsh was…”

Draco winced. “Too much.”

“No, it was hot,” Harry told him, breaking into a smile. “Probably shouldn’t have been, but…” He shrugged.

Draco slipped close enough to touch and held out his hand for Harry’s. Harry let him take it and examine it closely, turning it this way and that. Then, to Harry’s utter shock, Draco lifted it to his lips and gingerly kissed his knuckles.

“I would take you back to my bed,” Draco said, making Harry’s heart pound and his dick get a little hard, but then he ruined it by adding, “but I think we need to call ourselves a meeting instead.”

“A meeting? Who?” It was a little distracting, the fact that Draco was still holding his hand.

“The eighth years. I think…” He sighed. “I think it’s up to us to change things around here.”

Harry looked at the serious expression on Draco’s face, and he truly couldn’t help leaning in, tilting his head, and kissing the breath out of him right there.

~

It was hard work, implementing all the things they came up with in late night talks with Hermione and Ron, Dean and Seamus, Ginny, Neville, Blaise…

“I want in,” Harper said a couple of weeks later once word had got around even more. “Nev said you’re starting a group for queer and questioning students and their allies?”

“‘Nev said…’” Harry, a little stupefied, suddenly realised that Neville and Harper spending all that time together might not have been completely platonic. “Er, yeah. Sure,” he said brightly. “The more, the merrier. There will be a meeting about it soon in the Divination classroom.”

The queer club had been, of all people, Ron’s idea. He’d been quite stern about it, and it had begun to dawn on Harry that a good many of the people he loved were having realisations that they were not especially straight, Hermione included. Harry, of course, was also one of those people. Draco was too, and Ron made eye contact with him meaningfully during his rousing bid for an alliance.

Harry and Hermione were heading a team for crisis intervention without violence. Punching Stefan not-withstanding—and everyone agreed that doing so was well earned and also satisfying—most situations that had come to wands recently could have been circumvented sooner and without the use of force. Harry wasn’t sure if he was the best person for the job, but McGonagall seemed to heartily approve, so he stayed on, and the group got a lot of traction.

One day, lazing around in the Quidditch stands between classes, watching Hufflepuff practise, Harry’s head lain in Draco’s lap, Draco said quietly, “I want to get us a Mind Healer.” His fingers hadn’t ceased their slow carding through Harry’s hair, but his expression was thoughtful as he stared out past the game-play and into the distance.

Harry blinked up at him. “For… you and me?”

Draco looked down at him then. “No, I meant the school.” Then he sighed, hand drifting down to rest on Harry’s chest, over his beating heart. “I suppose, it being March, it wouldn’t be for us for long. But I think the school could use one. The students need someone to talk to, even when there’s not a war on. Everybody’s got problems. You know?”

Harry raised his own hand to cover Draco’s, a swell of affection rising in him so fiercely that he felt he might not be able to speak. He managed, “Come here,” and then drew Draco down for a kiss.

~

Tonight was going to be their first official meeting for Queer and Questioning Students, shortened to QAQS (and unfortunately pronounced ‘quacks’, since someone [Blaise] had made the joke once and then, of course, it had stuck).

Harry checked his watch nervously.

“Do you think anyone else will come?” Draco asked him.

They exchanged worried looks, and then just when the clock on the wall began to chime seven o’clock, a tide of students rounded the corner of the hallway and made their way toward the empty classroom. In front were Ginny, Luna, Donovan, and Jasper. Harper, already waiting with Harry and the others, sat up straighter, a glowing smile dawning on her face. Neville took her hand. Ginny had that look in her eye that said she was going to crow about this accomplishment for years to come—because following her and her group was easily half the bloody school.

Harry gulped. He looked at Hermione’s round eyes, Dean and Seamus with their jaws hanging open, Harper now with eyes shining. Then Harry turned to Draco, and Draco said calmly, “We’re going to need a bigger room.”

~

It was a high. They’d had to move to the Great Hall, and the meeting, allocated an hour, went on for two and a half.

Luna took mad notes with a Quick Quotes Quill as several students got up and spoke about what it was like to be trans in a school where being a Metamorphmagus was all fine and good so long as you transformed into a duck rather than a different gender. They talked about pronouns and gender fluidity, being nonbinary, being bigender. More people spoke on the topic than Harry ever realised would want to, which he supposed was exactly why they’d needed the group to begin with.

Luna announced, loudly, happily, “I think I’m asexual!” and then proceeded to then jot it down on her notepad. Multiple students murmured and nodded, many looking grateful or relieved.

Dean stood up and spoke on the intersection of being black and queer. Hermione joined in and then talked about bisexual inclusion, and Harry sat there and wondered if that included him. He wasn’t quite sure. Maybe he fell under the ‘questioning’ part of QAQS. He looked over at Draco, who spent the entire meeting listening without saying a word, and felt a sensation he couldn’t quite name… like a draw, powerful. He watched Draco’s sharp profile, and it reminded him of the moment your own magic connects with your wand and your whole body sings with it. His body sang for Draco Malfoy.

Maybe, for now, that was all Harry needed to know.

~

There was one last party to end the school year, except that for the eighth years, it was ending their entire time at Hogwarts.

Some seventh years had finally infiltrated, as Neville was indeed dating Harper, and Luna and Ginny simply showed up out of nowhere with the password to the eighth year common room and no one really questioned it.

It was their last year too, Harry realised.

Draco was on the floor at Harry’s feet while Harry sat in the big squishy chair he liked best. He’d leaned forward, his knees bracketing Draco’s body as he kneaded Draco’s shoulders and neck under his hands, waiting for his turn with the hat.

He wondered, not for the first time, if he’d finally draw someone else, and if he did, what they’d do about it. Probably just sit and have a chat about the cleaning potions. But… they hadn’t ever spoken of it or formed a plan of action. Maybe Draco would go in there and snog somebody. Harry couldn’t say he was surprised by the ferocity of his dislike for that idea.

Hermione had the hat next, and she pulled out the parchment and bit her lip. “It’s… just Pansy this time,” she said. She looked at Ron. But he said, “Yeah,” maybe a little too quickly. Clearing his throat, he then added reasonably, “I mean, the hat wants what the hat wants, babe.”

Hermione snorted, which wasn’t a sound Harry thought he’d ever heard from her. She leaned in and kissed Ron lingeringly on the lips. Pansy stood as well, and she pressed a kiss to Ron’s head, pulling an empty Pensieve phial from the pocket of her (very) short skirt, dangling it for Ron to see and winking.

“Yes please and thank you,” Ron said, and then Hermione took Pansy’s hand and pulled her into the cupboard.

Ron looked at Harry, his face red, eyes dazed, and Harry smiled at him in return. Though Harry wasn’t sure he could do it, if it came to that. His thumbs dug into Draco’s muscles a little harder, and though Draco hissed with the increased pressure, he then groaned and whispered back to Harry, “Merlin, like that,” and that was all it really took to give Harry a raging hard-on.

Hermione and Pansy emerged after seven minutes, Hermione looking well-kissed and Pansy looking like the cat who ate the canary. They sat together with Ron, Pansy slapping the Pensieve phial into his hand and then plopping her stockinged feet in his lap and leaning luxuriantly back into the sofa cushions.

Harry wondered how it was all going to work outside of school. Would Hermione and Ron continue to see Pansy? Draco had said his friend might take a Potions Mastery apprenticeship in Italy with Blaise. Harry knew Draco was ace at potions too. Would he want to go with them?

He was so lost in his own thoughts, hands moving methodically over all Draco’s tense spots, that he barely registered the hat thrust toward him.

“Your turn, Harry,” Millicent said.

Harry left off the massage to reach into the hat and pull out the parchment, holding his breath.

But there, in lovely caligraphy, was the name he wanted to read, and he showed it to Draco, who smiled and got gracefully to his feet.

“But that’s boring now,” said Blaise with a groan.

“Is it?” Draco shot back at him. “I beg to differ. Would you like your own Pensieve phial of it for proof? I’ll have you know I can get Potter off in under five minutes when I use my—”

Slapping his hand over Draco’s mouth was pure instinct, although Draco kept blabbing nonsense against Harry’s palm, even as, chuckling now, Harry dragged him into the cupboard and slammed the door.

“You twat,” Draco said once his lips were free to flap once more. But he said it smiling.

Harry, feeling so fond of him it was sort of frightening, sighed. “Have a seat,” he said.

“What, you’re not going to use this opportunity to demonstrate your superior blow job technique?”

“I did that this morning. And I’ll do it again later too, if you want.”

Mollified, and blushing a little, Draco sat opposite Harry on his crate. And they stared at each other. Harry checked his watch.

Draco’s eyebrow rose. “Have an appointment, Potter?”

Harry sighed. “No. Time just… it’s moving so fast. Too fast,” he clarified.

Draco’s look softened. He swallowed, nodding. “I was thinking about that,” he said.

“Yeah? About what?”

Draco shrugged. “About what we’re going to do after we leave Hogwarts.”

“We?”

“Yes, Harry. We. Unless…” He looked apprehensive suddenly, and Harry slipped onto the floor between them, coming close enough to take Draco’s hands in his own.

“No,” he said. “We is good.” We was so, so good. He gave a little tug, and Draco met him on the floor, sitting on Harry’s lap, wrapping his legs around Harry’s back. Draco’s arms came around Harry’s neck and they rested their foreheads together.

“I don’t want to be an Auror,” Harry confessed into the silence, the safe space they’d somehow made between them over the last several months. It felt easier to admit it, back in this cramped, warded room. “Merlin, all I wanted when I started this year was to get good enough NEWTs to become an Auror with Ron. And now I don’t even think he wants it anymore either.” Then he asked, “What do you want, Draco?”

“If I say, ‘your big cock’ are you going to consider that a proper answer?”

Harry growled and pulled him into tighter against his body. “But no,” he said regretfully.

“I thought not,” Draco said and then sighed. “I… think I want to become an Unspeakable.”

Harry felt the gallop of excitement for it in his own chest.

“I mean, I thought about the Potions Mastery, and it’s probably the better option considering the Ministry may not even let me in the bloody door.” He leaned back to look at Harry’s face, “But Granger said she’d apply with me… that we could apply together.”

“Brilliant,” Harry told him. “You’re brilliant.”

“I still have the Mark,” Draco hedged.

“You’ve changed.”

Their gazes met, locked. “I know, Harry. You taught me how to change.”

Harry gasped quietly and saw all of his own feeling reflected on Draco’s face.

The timer went off. The door unlocked. Harry cast hard through the palm of his hand, closing the door again and locking it resoundingly. He leaned his forehead against Draco’s again. “There’s not enough time.”

Draco drew his wand and gently unlocked the door again. “We’ve got plenty of time,” he countered.

Then as the door swung open on the common room full of their friends, they held tightly onto each other, and they kissed.