Harry watched Malfoy nearly religiously every week when he came in on Friday evenings. It was his date night, and Malfoy always chose Pandora. Neville and Parkinson's restaurant.
Malfoy's dates were always the same. Sure the faces and the names changed, but it was really difficult to tell who was who. Was Sebastian the one with the broom business or was he an heir to a publishing company? No, that was Peterson, Harry thought.
It didn't matter.
They were all the same. They haughtily ordered the wine, without asking Malfoy's preferences. Harry reckoned, it was in order to impress Malfoy, showing him that they knew which one was the best and that price didn't matter. Malfoy ordered the starter, and they would either scowl disapprovingly, or commend him for having incredible taste.
Malfoy almost always looked bored.
Harry didn't understand why Malfoy was so keen on dating these types of men, if they didn't interest him or couldn't keep his attention for long.
At the end of the meal, the men, the Sebastians, and the Prestons — Preston, it was Preston, not Peterson, would happily accept the bill, and pay for it, leaving a gracious tip. It was, indeed, again to impress Malfoy, who only looked weary.
"Why don't you just ask him out?" Neville asked as he stood behind the bar and shined the pint glasses with a spell. He and Parkinson owned the restaurant and that was basically why Harry spent his Friday nights there, and Malfoy brought his dates there.
Pandora, was the most impressive fine dining establishment in the Wizarding Western Europe. Parkinson was incredible with decor and customer service (which came as a huge surprise to Harry), and Neville, the former Herbology Professor, turned out was brilliant at mixing drinks and talking to people about their problems. Padma Patil managed the books, and Luna provided the entertainment.
"What do you mean 'ask him out'?" Harry asked, turning to Neville, hesitant to take his eyes off Malfoy.
"You watch him every week, in and out with his dates. He never goes on more than two or three dates with the same bloke, if that, so clearly he needs something different."
"Why should it be me?" Harry wondered, hating how squeaky his tone had been.
Neville shrugged. "Why do you watch him?"
"It's fun," Harry answered.
"You have more fun watching Malfoy on his dates with other men, on Friday nights, than you actually have going on a date yourself?" Neville said. Harry could tell he was trying to hide the judgement in his voice and failing incredibly.
When Harry raised an eyebrow at his friend, Neville blushed slightly.
"I'm not his type," Harry said; his shoulders slumped a bit, and he took a swig of the stout Neville had poured him.
"How do you know that?" Neville just would not let this go.
"You've seen the types of men he dates. The way they dress and their career choices. I just wear a uniform and go to work." Harry knew that he was selling himself short. In just five years, he'd been promoted to Junior Head Auror and was in charge of three different training teams. More than anyone else had accomplished in the past at the British Wizarding Law Enforcement. Even with the fact that he didn't join the Aurors until he'd turned twenty-one.
Still, he did lead a pretty boring life. There wasn't much Dark activity at the moment, and he usually went to Pandora on Friday nights, and a Muggle film with Teddy on Sunday afternoons.
"Did you see the types of men Pansy dated before I asked her to dinner?"
Harry laughed. It was rather hilarious. Neville had taken Pansy to the Leaky on their first date and had got so drunk that he'd nearly slammed the door of the pub in her face when they were leaving. It'd also started to rain eventually, and they ran around Diagon Alley in the middle of the night looking for shelter.
At the end of the night, Pansy had told Neville that it was the most fun she'd had in a very long time and had agreed to a second date. Now they were married, and owned a restaurant together, with talk of opening a second location soon.
"It's different," Harry said dismissively. "Not all awkward Gryffindors land themselves a posh Pureblood Slytherin."
Neville snorted and turned to place the glasses in a neat row behind him. When he turned to Harry, he looked him straight in the eye. "Do you even hear yourself?" he asked shaking his head, but then much to Harry's relief, dropped the subject.
"Are you coming to the house next week on Wednesday?"
"Oh, of course," Harry said. It was Neville and Pansy's wedding anniversary, and they were holding an intimate dinner at their house.
"You know Malfoy will be there," Neville said.
"I figured as such," Harry replied and Neville gave him a smirk.
So, not dropped the subject entirely.
Harry made his way straight to the bar and was happy to see Ron there. They talked about everything under the sun just so Harry didn't have to talk to anyone else. He'd had a very long day full of meetings and the last thing he wanted was to put on a fake smile and please more people. Ron understood that, and never questioned Harry about his moods.
Before Harry knew it, he was drunk. Hermione had pulled Ron away from the bar but there was no one to stop Harry. Eventually, he went out to the balcony to get some air.
He immediately regretted that decision because Malfoy was on the balcony with another Preston, a different Preston, Harry hadn't seen yet.
"Potter," Malfoy said, sounding startled.
"Sorry, didn't mean to intrude," Harry said dryly. He lingered in the doorway between the sitting room and the balcony, deciding whether he wanted to go there or just go back to the party.
"No intrusion," the new Preston said. "I'm Zaran. Blake Zaran. It's nice to meet you."
"Harry Potter," Harry said, shaking the man's hand.
"Brilliant," Zaran, Blake Zaran, said. "I was just going to get a drink for Draco, and I—Can I get you something, Mr Potter?"
"I'm fine," Harry said and ultimately stepped into the balcony area. Blake Zaran nodded and left Harry and Malfoy alone.
Malfoy gave Harry a once over. "What?" he asked after a moment.
"What is he? Bond? James Bond?" Harry said, rolling his eyes.
"Who?" Malfoy asked, bemused.
"So, you're drunk," Malfoy said, turning away from Harry and looking out to the view from Neville and Pansy's flat. Their thirtieth floor flat that looked over Muggle city on this clear starlit night.
"So, you have a new Preston," Harry said, unable to help himself. Curse the Firewhisky.
"Didn't know you noticed."
"It's kind of hard not to, when you bring them to Pandora."
"I haven't brought Blake to Pandora yet."
Harry shrugged. "Maybe he'll bore you before you even get there."
Malfoy turned to look at Harry. He had one eyebrow arched and his hand casually rested on his hip. Harry, all of a sudden, had a very intense desire to place his hand there, too. But he resisted.
"I didn't know you had such emotional investment in who my dinner companions are."
"What?" Malfoy snapped.
"Oh please," Harry said, rolling his eyes. "As if you don't know. They are all the same. I don't know how you keep up with their names. They order the most expensive wine on the menu without even looking at what it is. Did you know two weeks ago, I told Neville to change the prices and charge forty-two Galleons for a three Galleon bottle? And your dinner companion," Harry spat out the words, "was the only one who'd ordered it. Simply because it cost forty-two. Two days later, it was back at costing three. And when the man had returned with someone else, he didn't even glance at it."
Harry took a moment to catch his breath. "The week after that, it was the same with someone else, who ordered the most expensive items to impress you. Honestly, if anything else, the wait staff loves having your table just because they make the best money that night."
"Why does it bother you?" Malfoy asked.
"It doesn't bother me," Harry answered. When Malfoy's eyebrow arched up again, he added, "What bothers me is that it doesn't bother you."
Malfoy looked at him bemused.
"So...what?" Malfoy said, after a long pause. "You think you have a better chance? Do you think you know what it takes to keep my attention. Do you know how to flirt?"
"I don't need to flirt. I'll seduce you with my awkwardness," Harry said without any hesitation, as if he were dead serious, and then realised what he'd just done.
Malfoy gave a short laugh. "Is that so, Potter?"
Harry stood his ground. He didn't flinch, nor did he take it back. He just stood there, looking determined, even though he felt like a fool. Merlin, he'd had too much to drink.
"Now what?" Malfoy challenged. "You and me? This Friday? At Pandora?" He had a smirk on his face that Harry didn't know if he wanted to slap or kiss off.
Damn, he needed to sober up.
"Fine," Harry said, since they had been too quiet for too long.
"Fine," Malfoy responded and brushed past Harry to leave the Balcony.
"If you're leaving," Harry said, before Malfoy could get too far. "Say goodnight to Zaran. Blake Zaran. For me." Harry bit his lower lip, so he wouldn't burst out laughing, and watched as Malfoy's gaze went from Harry's eyes to his lips then, licking his own lips he immediately walked away.
"I think it's brilliant," Neville said the next morning when Harry woke up on the sofa in the sitting room at Neville and Pansy's place.
"If you ask me, you've taken far too long to make a move," Pansy said as she walked past them from the bedroom to the kitchen.
"Nobody asked you," Harry mumbled as he buried his face in his hands, his elbows resting on his knees. "I all but challenged Draco Malfoy that I could seduce him!"
"What makes you think you can't?"
"I don't even like him!" Harry said, flailing his hands in his air.
"Erm...I'd have to disagree with you on that one," Neville said.
"Me too!" Pansy screamed from the kitchen.
"Just go to dinner with him, and if it's awful, you can just apologise. Tell him you were drunk, and ask him to split the check with you so it wouldn't be like a date," Neville offered, his shoulders shrugging as he said the last part.
"Except..." Pansy said, "Draco has already sent me an owl to go shopping for new clothes. He clearly thinks it's a date, since he told me not to be late. He only does that if he's got a job interview or has plans with someone new."
Harry squinted his eyes shut. "Am I really that hung over or did she just rhyme?"
Neville laughed but when Harry glowered at him, he quickly shut up. "It'll be fine. Just be yourself."
"Who else am I going to be?" Harry asked.
"He's right, you know," Pansy said, coming out of the kitchen two mugs of coffee. "Just be Potter. Harry Potter." She gave him a knowing smirk, and Harry groaned again.
Of all the times, knowing fully well what time Malfoy liked to be there with his dates, he arrived at Pandora late.
Granted, it was only five minutes, he didn't want Malfoy to think that he was brushing him off. Even though it wasn't a date, and Harry had been stupidly drunk when he'd told Malfoy he could seduce him. With his awkwardness, no less.
Malfoy was waiting at the bar. He gave Harry a scrutinising look that Harry couldn't decipher. He also noticed that Malfoy was wearing a dark blue pair of trousers with a grey shirt, paired with dark blue tie and vest. It was a new outfit, since Harry had never seen the combination before, but it didn't mean that it was new in Malfoy's wardrobe. Maybe he just wore it one the days Harry wouldn't see him.
"Sorry I'm late!" Harry said, panting as if he'd just run to the restaurant and was out of breath. He was just nervous. Not sure why. "I had an emergency case, and I couldn't get out of the briefing and had to go home and change—Sorry. I'm sure you're not interested. Didn't mean to keep you waiting."
"It's fine," Malfoy said dismissively. Although, he didn't look angry. "Shall we get a table or are we eating at the bar?"
"We can—erm—we can get a table," Harry stammered. "I didn't make reservations. I figured you would have taken care of it, since you suggested this place."
"Oh," Malfoy said, sounding put off. "I usually make the suggestion, but the invitor makes the reservation, not the invitee."
"Huh," Harry said, as if he was intrigued. "Good thing we know the owners, then." He laughed and nodded at Neville. "Hey, Neville. Can we get a table for two. Near the window maybe?" Harry tried to suppress his laugh as he pretended to be some big important businessman, kind of like the dates Malfoy brought to Pandora.
"We don't have any real windows, Harry," Neville said, looking confused.
"Hmm, didn't realise that." Harry looked around the room and spotted a table for two in the far corner. "How about that one, is that okay?" he asked, looking at Malfoy.
"You're asking me?" Malfoy looked shocked.
It wasn't really that big of a deal. "Yeah. You're eating with me, right?" Harry asked, confused himself, now.
"I'm sure that'll be fine," Malfoy said.
Harry looked at Neville again, who grabbed two menus and lead the way to the corner table.
When they sat down, Harry looked over the menu. He realised he was looking at the menu for the first time in a very long time. Usually when he sat at the bar with Neville, Neville just served him whatever he thought was good that day. So he'd never really had to make the decision. Maybe he'd let Malfoy decide, he thought.
"Do you have a favourite here?" Harry asked.
"I usually like the stuffed mushrooms," Malfoy said.
"Interesting," Harry said. He'd never tried those. "Have you had the asparagus?"
Malfoy shook his head.
"It’s not bad, either. Do you want to get one of each and share?"
Malfoy looked confused again. "Sure," he said after a while. "Sounds fair."
"Brilliant." Harry looked around for the waiter and when a girl quickly approached their table, he turned to Malfoy again. "Do you want to get a bottle of wine, or do you care if I just order the stout?"
Malfoy looked over the menu. "You're not going to tell me which one is really five Galleons and which one is actually fifty?" he asked.
Harry cringed. He'd forgotten about that part. "Uh...we'll need a minute," Harry said to the waitress, and looked back at Malfoy. "You're the expert, aren't you?"
"What makes you say that?" Malfoy asked.
"I don't know. I figured it was a Pureblood thing. Pansy is always going off about the best wine and champagne, blah blah blah. I knew Neville paid attention to it, but I just drink whatever they serve me. I never got into the whole pallets and what goes with what ordeal. If you don't have a preference, I'd ask the waitress. That's why I just stick with stouts. Stouts go with nearly everything. Even tiramisu."
"I didn't realise you were such a beer connoisseur," Malfoy said.
"Hardly," Harry said, laughing. "I just know what feels good on my tongue." Malfoy raised an eyebrow. Wait. No. "Shit, I didn't mean... No, you didn't think... I wasn't flirting."
Malfoy raised his hand to stop Harry from talking. "It's alright, Potter. Don't try to explain yourself, you'll only make it worse."
"Right," Harry said, clamping his hands under the table and feeling like he was five years old. "So, the wine?"
"I'll just get a glass of Cabernet,” Malfoy said, “and you can get your fill on roasted malts."
Harry sighed with a relief and turned to wave at the waitress again. They ordered their respective drinks and the starters, and Harry quickly shot a glance at the bar. Neville was staring right at them, looking nervous. Why was he so anxious?
"I'm sort of glad, actually," Malfoy said after they'd both been quiet for too long.
"It's usually a waste of wine, and money, ordering an entire bottle with dinner. Since I don't really drink more than one glass and my date—dinner companions don't tend to understand.
"Well, I suppose you'd have to have been on the short end of the stick to know what it really means to be satisfied enough or overindulge in something. If you've grown up with unlimited amounts of champagne being poured all around you, you don't care if it goes to waste."
"Or if you've had that, and that be taken away from you, only to be brought back — it's an interesting experience — eye opening, really."
"Exactly," Harry said.
Malfoy smiled and silence fell in-between them again. Harry was grateful when the waitress returned with their drinks and a few minutes later, someone else brought their starters to the table.
"Are you ready to order your dinner now, or would you like to wait?" the waitress asked. "Might I suggest the oysters?"
Harry cringed at the thought, he'd never been much of a seafood person and when he looked at Malfoy, he was scowling.
"So, that's a no then," the waitress said. "Why don't I just come back?"
"She seems snappy," Malfoy said under his breath.
"I reckon she'd thought that we'd be an easy table, instead, we're being unusually indecisive," Harry said.
"What do you mean?"
"Well..." Harry drawled. "I sit at the bar and eat whatever's served to me, and you are usually here with someone who has all the answers. Here we are with unable to decide what drink to order and not going with the special of the day."
Malfoy nodded but remained quiet. "You can order whatever you wish, I'm sure it'll be fine."
"Even the oysters?" Harry asked.
Malfoy scowled again. "Okay, maybe not the oysters," he said.
"What do you do when the man you're with orders something you don't want to eat?" Harry played with his fork. "I've never seen you order." He grabbed the last asparagus that was on the plate between them and stuffed it into his mouth. As Malfoy watched Harry's hand movements, he showed a hint of disappointment. "Shite. Sorry. Did you want the last one?" Harry asked with his mouth still half-full, and then quickly placed the napkin in front of it as he chewed.
Malfoy gave him a look again, and Harry thought that he was disgusted. It would be no time until Malfoy got up and walked away from him. Instead, Malfoy began to laugh. In a way, Harry had never seen before.
"You are vial, Potter," Malfoy said.
Harry shrugged, even though he could feel his face burning up. "Part of the charm I suppose," he said after taking a huge gulp of his drink. "So, are you going to answer my question?"
"I mind the shop on Fridays, but I only work half a day," Malfoy said, then picked up his glass of wine to take a sip. "I go home after and prepare a meal."
"You eat before you come out to dinner?" Harry tried to keep the shock out of his voice but was unsuccessful.
Malfoy glowered at him and he immediately shut up.
"I eat about half of it before I leave my house, and if dinner isn't satisfactory, I finish it when I return home."
"And if it is?" Harry asked. "Satisfactory." He watched as Malfoy licked his lower lip and at that moment, all Harry wanted to do was taste that wine on those lips—
"I request my house-elf to save it for lunch the next day and well, it usually doesn't happen."
Harry wondered why that was. If Malfoy had a bad date, he'd go home and finish off the food right away, but what if it was a good date? What if Malfoy took the man home, or went to his home? Did that mean that the rest of the saved meal was consumed for post-coital nourishment? Harry didn't want to think about that.
"Why doesn't it happen?" Harry found himself asking anyway.
"My meals aren't that satisfactory," Malfoy said.
"You don't like the food here?"
"I tend to lose my appetite over the company."
"What about today? Did you eat before you arrived today?" Harry hated how his voice slightly squealed at the end of the question. Malfoy didn't respond, and Harry saw a hint of embarrassment on his face. "You did. You totally ate before you came!" Harry accused him.
"I—uh—well, I wasn't sure if you were going to end up order sardines on bread."
"Who orders that?"
"I imagine Weasley."
"Well, Ron has a very interesting palette."
"He must. He's friends with you."
They stared at each other, without blinking, as if they both knew that the first one who blinked would be the loser. "Sorry to disappoint you, Malfoy. I'm not like any of your over the top, too pretty for my own reflection, sophisticated entrepreneur dinner companions. Sorry I gave a shite."
Malfoy didn't say anything. He looked taken aback.
"You know what? Forget it!" Harry threw his hands up in the air and was just about to get up off his chair and walk out when the waitress returned.
"Mr Longbottom has sent over these dishes as recommendations for your dinner," she said, looking nervous. "They are mostly sample platters since he figures that you might not be able to agree upon your entrees." She smiled at them and then turned when two men brought over two giant plates of what looked like samples of everything from the menu. Minus the seafood.
Harry nodded at the waitress and she walked away smiling. Next, he cleared his throat and looked at Malfoy. Malfoy looked everywhere but at Harry. Which was weird, because when Harry used to watch Malfoy and his dates on Friday nights at Pandora, Malfoy was always looking at them. Now, he was avoiding Harry's eyes.
"It would be rude not to try the food," Harry said, quietly.
"Yes, because you know all about politeness," Malfoy snapped. His sharp gazes were back on Harry, almost in a challenge.
"Listen, Malfoy. If you don't want to be here, you can leave. No one's forcing you to continue being on a date with me—" Shite. It was not a date. God, Harry. What is wrong with you? "I mean...we're not... it's not..." Shite.
"I thought you were going to seduce me with your awkwardness, not your discourtesy—"
"I'm sorry," Harry said. "If you want me to go, I'll leave."
"But then what about all this fun we're having?" Malfoy said, almost in a sneer that eventually turned into a smirk.
"Let's just eat and get this over with," Harry said, almost resigned and reached for the chips when his fingers grazed Malfoy's, who had tried to grab them too.
"Sorry," Harry said and quickly withdrew his hands. He tried not to think about how soft Malfoy's skin felt against his, even if it was for the briefest of seconds and then his eyes didn't leave Malfoy's hands for a long time.
"Are you just going to stare?" Malfoy asked, yanking Harry out of his thoughts.
"I thought you said it was impolite if we don't eat some of it?"
"I was just waiting for you to select what you wanted," Harry said. When Malfoy picked up his plate to show Harry that it was more than half-full, Harry nodded. "Right," he said clearing his throat and started to pick up a couple of things here and there and put them on his plate.
They ate in silence, Harry not really tasting anything he was eating as his face was fixed on Malfoy's hands, his mouth, the way it chewed, and then he was caught staring again.
"What?" Malfoy snapped.
"Nothing," Harry said shaking his head, and then waived at the waitress to ask for a refill on his stout. He noticed that Malfoy's wine glass was empty, too. He didn't ask the waitress for Malfoy, since he figured if Malfoy wanted another glass of wine, he'd ask her himself.
He just wanted to get this date—ugh that word again—over with.
"Why do you go out with them then?" Harry said, and Malfoy looked at Harry completely confused. "The companions..." Harry explained. "If they ruin your appetite, then why do you continue seeing them?"
"I have to," Malfoy said.
"You have to what?"
Malfoy rolled his eyes as if Harry was the most exhausting thing ever. "I made a two year bet with Pansy..." He paused briefly. "After the war, I'd dedicated myself into fixing up the manor, then my craft. I studied on my own to be a Potions Master, and I worked hard to get my shop off the ground. I was almost always working and Pansy was getting angry with me that I never came to her restaurant, or ever went out with anyone so she forced me to make a promise..."
"What kind of promise?" Harry asked; this was the first time he'd heard of this and he wondered if Neville was aware of it.
"Being my best friend, she claimed that she had the right to tell me what to do. She was tired of me showing up at her parties without a date and that I was always the one in the corner, not talking to anyone. She made me promise that for two years, I'd say yes to anyone who asked me out for dinner, or coffee, or whatever..." He waved his hand in a swirly motion, "and that unless I was absolutely unattracted to them, I couldn't say no."
"So the Sebastians and the Prestons..." Harry said, feeling the effects of his third stout.
"They'd asked me to dinner, and I had to accept. Surely, they weren't aware of my deal with Pansy. I just had to have one dinner date. So, I'd bring them here as proof."
"That you were dating."
"Precisely," Malfoy said.
Malfoy hesitated for a moment. "You—"
"Right. You had to say yes," Harry said. "Well, I guess it's good to know that you're not totally repulsed by my looks." He hated how defeated he sounded. He didn't even know why he was upset by this. This wasn't supposed to be a date.
"Did you take any of them home?" Harry asked; why did he want to know?
Malfoy hesitated again. "I would be lying if I said no. There were one or two that I invited back to my place, but it wasn't..."
"Did they ask you out for a second date?"
"And you said no?"
"I'd only promised at least one date per person to Pansy. If I didn't like the man, I didn't agree to see him again. She thought that if I opened myself up for all opportunities, I'd find Mr Right, like she had but..." Malfoy took a deep sigh. "Not every lost Slytherin is entitled to their true Gryffindor."
Malfoy looked at Harry, expecting him to say something. Maybe even retort but Harry didn't have any words. He'd been annoyed at all of Malfoy's past dates and to realise that they were just men that asked him to dinner that he wasn't allowed to say no to, and on top of that, Harry was also now in the same category as them, was discouraging.
"I just thought that was your type," Harry said shrugging.
"My type?" Malfoy asked, one eyebrow arched.
"You know. The types of blokes you're attracted to. I just thought — Purebloods like you attracted each other."
Malfoy gave a short laugh. "I seem to be their type," he said. "If I do have a type, Potter, I can assure you it's not someone that looks and sounds like me." He gave a smirk, and Harry braced himself for whatever was going to come out of Malfoy's mouth next. "If anything, it sounds like that is your type, Potter."
"You seem to know more about my dates than I do, maybe you have a thing for Purebloods like us. Too pretty for our own reflections? Isn't that what you'd said."
Harry cringed. Not "like" you, Harry wanted to say.
They didn't order dessert. Malfoy didn't seem to care, and Harry just wanted to get out of there as soon as he could. He wanted to get home, bury his head in some paperwork and forget all about his night with Malfoy. He was embarrassed. He'd insulted Malfoy's dates and didn't even know that they were just men who liked Malfoy, and Malfoy didn't even like them back. On top of everything else, Malfoy had only agreed to go on a date with him, because he wasn't allowed to say no.
When the bill arrived, Harry's hand brushed with Malfoy's again, because they'd both reached for it at the same time. This time, Harry didn't move his hand right away, and Malfoy's hand lingered on top of his.
"I—" Harry started to say.
"Please, allow me," Malfoy said. "Let me do something different for a change."
"We can just split it," Harry said. "Just pay half each and call it even?"
"Very well," Malfoy said, still he didn't let go until Harry removed his hand. When Malfoy opened the small black casing that usually carried a piece of parchment indicating the total, he snorted.
"What is it?" Harry asked, and Malfoy handed him the parchment.
"You're crazy if you think I'm allowing either one of you to pay. — Neville," Harry read. "I should have known." He looked at Malfoy who looked a cross between amused and conflicted.
Harry had never paid when he visited Pandora. He was usually served at the bar by Neville, and at the end of the evening, he'd leave a tip that he knew Neville just handed off to his bar back. He figured that Pansy and Neville charged Malfoy's dates for their meal because it was them paying and not Malfoy. Now that it was just him and Malfoy — it was awkward.
"I reckon we should leave a few Galleons for the waitress, though."
"It's only logical," Malfoy replied.
Harry snorted. He wanted to call Malfoy, Mr Spock, but was sure that that reference would be lost on him, as well.
Harry waved goodbye to Neville and Pansy, and nearly tripped and fell on Malfoy as he made his way to the door. "Sorry," he mumbled, trying to keep the door open for Malfoy so he could walk out with him. What Harry thought they'd do after they had left the restaurant, he wasn't sure, but he knew that he just didn't want to leave things as they were.
They walked around the restaurant to the closest Apparition point. Malfoy turned to look at Harry, his expression was again impassive, but there was something in his eyes that Harry couldn't quite figure out.
"Will you be seeing Zaran again?" Harry asked.
"Zaran. Blake Zaran," Harry said. "Will you be seeing him again?"
"No. Why?" Malfoy asked, sounding annoyed. "Did you want me to tell him to Floo you?"
"What? Of course, not!" Harry raged. "Why the fuck would I want that pretentious arsehole to Floo me?"
"You're the one asking if he's seeing someone."
"I didn't ask if he's seeing someone," Harry said, irritated. "I asked him if you are going to see him again."
"Yeah. Because you like him."
"No, you dimwit—"
"Don't call me a dimwit, you cretin—"
Harry groaned as he slapped his hands against his sides. He turned around to just walk away from Malfoy. There was no way Malfoy was ever going to have a normal conversation with him, where Harry didn't feel like he was just going to jump out of his own skin—then Malfoy pulled Harry by his shoulder, grabbed the back of his neck and pushed into him. He pushed Harry until Harry's back slammed with the sidewall in the alley, and Malfoy kissed him.
Malfoy pressed his hips against Harry's, his hand still cupping the back of Harry's neck firmly and his tongue taking control of Harry's mouth. Harry moaned around Malfoy's tongue and his hands found Malfoy's arse that he cupped tightly as he pulled Malfoy against him, increasing the friction against their groins.
Harry didn't even know he wanted to do that, until he did, and now rubbing up against Malfoy was all he wanted to do.
Malfoy broke the kiss as he pulled his head back slightly, and his question merely breathed against Harry's lips. "Do you want to come back to my place?"
"Yeah," Harry said. "Wait. You don't have to. We don't have—you don't have to say yes to me because of some—"
"You didn't ask me, you moron, I asked you," Malfoy said, and before Harry could even wrap his head around what was happening, Malfoy had side-alonged him to the manor.
Harry had also read in the Prophet that Malfoy had turned most of the rooms into various experimenting labs for his potions. Malfoy's story had been featured next to Harry's a few years ago in the Daily Prophet's feature on Where Are They Now? Harry had tried to tell himself that the only reason he'd read up on the article was because it was next to his, but he knew that he'd just been curious about Malfoy as he'd always been, and he'd always be.
Malfoy hadn't stopped kissing Harry since they'd arrived at the manor. He unbuttoned his coat, threw it on the floor as he pushed Harry from one room to another on the first floor of the manor, until they'd reached the sitting room. By the time he'd pushed Harry on the sofa, he was towering over him in only his dark blue trousers and grey shirt. He'd also managed to rid Harry of his coat and tie.
It wasn't that Harry didn't enjoy kissing Malfoy. It wasn't that Malfoy's mouth was making Harry forget his own name, but Harry made Malfoy stop.
"Wait, I can't," Harry said, realising that he probably looked and sounded ridiculous. He was straddling Malfoy's lap, with his erection pressing against Malfoy's stomach. Of all the times to be weird and awkward, Harry knew, this wasn't it.
"Oh," Malfoy said, his expression stoic again and his posture, rigid. Harry felt Malfoy tense up under his body. "If you didn't want this, then you shouldn't have kissed me back."
"I didn't say that I don't want this," Harry said, struggling to remain calm. "I just— how am I supposed to feel about doing this with you when I know that the only reason you said yes to going out with me was because you didn't have a choice? Because you'd made a deal with Pansy that you'd say yes to every bloke that asked you out."
Malfoy shook his head and he squeezed the bridge of his nose with his thumb and his index finger. It was clear that he was starting to regret this. He was starting to regret saying yes to Harry. He was going to regret sleeping with Harry in the morning. Good thing Harry came to his senses before Malfoy had.
Harry got up off Malfoy and started to button his shirt and buckle the belt on his trousers.
"It's a shame really," Harry mumbled to himself, remembering one of his favourite songs and how now he knew that it applied to Malfoy, so easily.
"What?" Malfoy asked.
"Just...You'd be so easy to love," Harry said and when Malfoy looked confused, he added, "it's a Muggle song I like."
"Sing it to me," Malfoy said, leaning back into the sofa and crossing his legs.
"I can't sing," Harry said, feeling strange. He was just standing there in front of Malfoy in his sitting room. Maybe he could just Disapparate and come back for his things later when he wasn't just so awkward.
"Try," Malfoy said. "I'm curious."
Harry closed his eyes and cast a charm that played the tune of the song. He loved this song so he'd known the spell by heart. He flicked his wand and the music began to play.
"You'd be so easy to love
So easy to idolize all others above
So worth the yearning for
So swell to keep every home fire burning for..."
He laughed as he opened his eyes and ran a hand through his hair. Malfoy was just staring at him. Looking either amused or annoyed, Harry couldn't tell.
"You want to know my favourite part of the song?" Harry asked and Malfoy nodded.
"We'd be so grand at the game
So carefree together that it does seem a shame
That you can't see your future with me
'Cause you'd be, oh, so easy to love"
Malfoy sat up with his elbows planted on his knees and looking – definitely looked annoyed.
"I know, I'll leave. Sorry to—"
"Do you remember our conversation from the balcony on Wednesday?" Malfoy asked, sounding put off like he couldn't believe that Harry was just so doltish that he had to put up with him.
"Yeah," Harry said, frustrated. "I told you that I could seduce you with my..." He felt his face getting hot again. "And then you asked..."
"I asked," Malfoy confirmed.
"You asked..." You and me? This Friday? At Pandora?
"In the almost two years that I've been saying yes to men who've asked me out on a date, I finally asked someone out. You didn't ask me to dinner, Potter. Technically, I asked you. And if you must know, no, I didn't eat dinner before I arrived to Pandora today. So before you go home and start crying over how you're not wanted, because the only reason someone would actually say yes to dating you was if they were dared—"
Harry pulled Malfoy up off the sofa by yanking on his arm. Malfoy scowled but before his scowl could see the light of day, Harry's mouth was on Malfoy's and his hands were back grabbing his arse.
"Your bedroom is...?"
"This way," Malfoy said and led Harry up the stairs to his bedroom and slammed the door shut behind them.
He pushed Harry back again, and Harry let himself be pushed. The back of his legs pressed against Malfoy's bed and Harry all but fell on it. Malfoy eased Harry onto his bed. He pushed his shoulders back and gently pressed his back against the mattress. His fingers, long, lean fingers, unbuttoned Harry's shirt with care. It was the complete opposite of how Malfoy had been reacting to Harry downstairs. Then, everything was hurried and haste, but now, it was as if Malfoy knew that Harry was his and he was Harry's, so that he could take his time.
Now, they both knew that the other wasn't going anywhere.
Malfoy slid on the floor with poise and he unbuttoned Harry's trousers, pulling them down and then releasing his cock. Malfoy marvelled at Harry's erection as if he'd never seen anything like it before. He licked his lips and looked up at Harry, catching his eye, and then smiled. It was the sexiest thing Harry had ever seen.
"What are you going to do with it?" Harry asked, almost in a whisper.
"What do you want me to do with it?" Malfoy whispered in return.
"Suck me," Harry said, slamming his head against the mattress. He was still sideways on Malfoy's bed; his hand reached towards the head of the bed and he grabbed a pillow placing it under his head. He heard Malfoy chuckle.
"Then what, Potter?” Malfoy said. “You're getting mighty comfortable on my bed."
"Suck me until I come, please," Harry said, pleading for Malfoy's touch, Malfoy's tongue.
"After that?" Malfoy said, and he licked the head of Harry's cock.
Harry whimpered with need. Wanting more of Malfoy. "Fuck me," he said. "Fuck me after that, Malfoy. I want to feel you."
It was as if Harry had said the right thing, or he'd said the thing that Malfoy wanted to hear the most, because his hand wrapped around the base of Harry's cock and Malfoy started to suck. Hard.
"Ah, fuck," Harry gasped. His hand spasmed against Malfoy's scalp, yanking hard. “Merlin, that’s so good."
Malfoy sucked and licked as Harry gave his instructions, telling him what felt good, what to do more of, and Malfoy listened. Malfoy gave him so much pleasure that Harry nearly thought that he'd been dreaming.
He was close. So close when he felt Malfoy's finger probe near his entrance. It was slick with something, and Harry hadn't even known when Malfoy had managed to lick his finger or find lube as he continued to suck him off.
Harry spread his legs as Malfoy pushed his finger in. Harry moaned, and he arched up as his cock hit the back of Malfoy's throat. That was it. One more thrust from him, one more finger pushing into him—he was panting hard. He huffed out each breath as Malfoy's tongue flicked over his slit. He made a few more jerking movements and came undone.
"Fuck. Fuck. Fuck, Draco," Harry groaned, his eyes rolled in the back of head as he spurted into Malfoy's mouth.
A moment later, Malfoy rested his head against Harry's stomach, and Harry's limp cock brushed against the fabric.
"What are you still doing with your clothes on," Harry said as he balanced himself on his elbows to look down at Malfoy.
"Didn't have time to take them off," Malfoy answered with a soft smile.
"You took plenty of time with me," Harry said as he pulled on Malfoy's collar. "It's your new shirt, I don't want you to ruin it because of me."
"How did you know?"
Harry raised an eyebrow and hoped that his expression would convey the message that Malfoy really didn't need to ask how or what Harry knew. Malfoy shook his head and stood up. He removed his two fingers that were still inside Harry and Harry winced. He watched as Malfoy removed his clothes, slowly. Not as painfully slowly as he had been with Harry, but still, too slow regardless.
When Harry's gaze fell on the Dark Mark, Malfoy froze.
"Just get over here," Harry said, trying not to sound completely annoyed with Malfoy. It was too late for regrets, to talk of faded Dark Marks, too late to go back, and Harry didn't want to, anyway.
Harry wrapped his legs around Malfoy's waist and pulled him in. His hands reached down to cup Malfoy's arse, this time without any fabric in the way, and he pulled Malfoy close. Malfoy pressed into him – lube slicked and hard.
Harry arched up, taking him all in.
"Merlin," Malfoy breathed, before he moaned a "yes," as he thrust in and out of Harry. He picked up his pace and he was brutal as if he knew that Harry could take it, as if he knew that Harry would love it.
"Just yeah. Just right there," Harry moaned, and when Malfoy shifted slightly, finding a new angle, Harry lost all rational thought.
"God, you're so fucking tight. So hot," Malfoy said through bared teeth as Harry tried to urge him on. "I can't believe...you...ah...fuck. This..." Malfoy swallowed every other word as he tried to speak, and if Harry wasn't in pure bliss, he would have laughed at how incoherent the perfectly poised and the perfectly articulate Malfoy was being.
Their mouths connected again, and Malfoy wrapped his hand around Harry's cock that was hard again. The heat of Malfoy's release pouring inside him—Malfoy moaning Harry's name, Harry's name, over and over as he pressed his sweaty forehead against Harry's—sent Harry spiralling over the edge for a second time that night.
Malfoy collapsed on top of Harry, his limp cock sliding out on its own accord as their breaths even out.
"Good date," Harry mumbled into Malfoy's hair, and Malfoy chuckled slightly. He shifted off Harry's body, and Harry managed to spell them clean before sleep crashed its way into their party of two.
He raised his head and mumbled, "What are you doing?"
Malfoy released Harry's prick and looked up at him, confused. "If you don't know, then I must not be doing it correctly."
"Merlin," Harry said when Malfoy returned his attention to Harry's cock and took him back into his mouth. "Fuck me."
"Don't stop," Harry said and rested his head against the pillow again, bracing himself for what was going to come next. Looking forward to it. It was going to be an incredible morning.
"Why did you let me believe that it was me who'd asked you?" Harry asked later that morning after Malfoy had brought breakfast in bed.
Malfoy looked sheepish. "I didn't want Pansy to find out..." When Harry looked confused, he elaborated. "She's sort of knew about my..."
Malfoy was taking way too long to answer. "Your..." Harry drawled.
"My crush on you," Malfoy said, practically in one breath. "It was why she'd suggested that I had to say yes to anyone that asked me on a date. She knew that I'd never let it be known—"
"So basically, she's been purposely allowing me to torture myself every Friday, when I watched you with other men, and forcing you to date because you'd never ask me..."
Malfoy squinted his eyes as if he was calculating it in his head. "Sounds about right."
"Poor Neville," Harry said.
Malfoy laughed and pulled Harry closer to him. "Indeed."
He was ... just so easy to love.