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Temptation on the Warfront

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"Stop moving! Or you'll fall and I won't catch you," Harry flicks his hair out of his eyes, one arm around Draco's waist, and the other outstretched and fiddling with the shower taps. Water sprays down in freezing cold rivulets, soaking Harry's arm and half of his face.

Harry curses, and Draco laughs as he gently untangles himself from Harry's side and leans against the tiled wall. Cleaning charms can only do so much before they become ineffective, and after a shit load of Draco's grumbling and whinging, the Healers finally gave their consent for Draco to shower, as long as he accepted assistance.

Draco paled upon hearing that, no doubt disliking the idea of a stranger seeing his naked body nearly as much as Harry disliked the idea of a stranger seeing Draco's naked body.

"I'll — er — help him," Harry volunteered, squirming under the raised brow of Healer Clarke. Harry, embarrassed, but thinking the guy would have to be blind not to notice there was something going on between Harry and his patient, met Draco's gaze across the hospital room, and witnessed his grey eyes go from helpless to excited.

Harry flushed a hopefully not-so-noticeable shade of crimson, because Draco was unwell, goddamnit, and Harry wasn't about to debauch him in a Saint Mungo's shower cubicle, as appealing as that sounded.

Now, after adjusting the water temperature to an acceptable warmth, Harry takes a step back and turns to give Draco the all clear, and is met with something that makes him groan and think that the cold shower is a better idea after all.

"Aren't you going to stay with me?" Draco asks plaintively, his tone a complete contrast to the burning look in his eyes, and his hard, waiting cock, which draws Harry's eyes like a magnet now that Draco's discarded his gown.

Harry's voice seems to have left him, because seeing Draco like that, standing naked and beautiful and aroused, right in front of him, is doing very dangerous things to his brain, heart, and cock. And it should be illegal, Draco being this perfect, because he's supposed to be fragile and recovering, and he's giving Harry the hardest time trying to control himself — literally.

"Fine," Harry croaks, looking away, his face aflame, at anything that isn't Draco. "But don't get any ideas. You're a patient."

"Who said anything about ideas?" Draco takes a step closer, still using the wall to balance himself.

Harry refuses to point out that Draco's erection is the very definition of an idea, and rolls the sleeves of his shirt up. "Get in, then." He gestures into the shower as he moves to the side.

Draco, for once, does what he's told, and makes his way rather capably to stand beneath the shower head. He lets out this delighted little sigh that has Harry's fingers and toes curling, and tilts his head back to allow the water to slide over his neck and chest.

"Aren't you getting in?" Draco asks, and Harry's eyes are glued to the movement of his long, pale throat, and the way the water darkens his hair to a sandy blond.

Harry, jeans now uncomfortably tight, says hoarsely, "My job was to make sure you didn't trip and smash your head on the floor, not — not shower with you."

Draco makes a disappointed noise in the back of his throat, and then turns so Harry gets a clear view of his lithely muscled back, and the pert roundness of his arse.

Harry swears under his breath, pressing a hand to the front of his jeans to try and alleviate some of the ache, some of the need.

"What was that?" Draco's voice travels over his shoulder.


"I need help washing my back."

Bloody likely, Harry thinks. But the offer of sliding his hands over Draco's smooth, wet skin is too tempting to pass up, even though Harry is more than certain that Draco is quite capable of washing his own back.

Reminding himself that nothing's going to come of this, because Draco is a patient, and Harry isn't going to let anything happen, Harry slowly shucks off his shirt, and after a moment's deliberation, his jeans too.

Harry's glasses join the pile, and then clad in nothing but boxers, and sporting a very obvious erection that will probably give Draco the idea of Harry having an idea, Harry steps up behind Draco in the shower. It's a small space, and after the curtain is drawn it becomes even smaller, and Draco's gasp is nearly as loud as Harry's when Harry's bare chest comes into contact with Draco's back.

Harry knows Draco can feel the press of his cloth-covered cock, and Harry tries desperately not to think about how right now it's resting snugly against Draco's arse. His effort is rapidly obliterated, however, when he reaches around Draco to pick up the soap and Draco pushes himself purposefully back into Harry's crotch.

Harry hisses in a breath at the friction and clenches a hand around Draco's hip, both to stop him from doing that again and to keep him from moving away.

"Harry…" It's half-moan, half-whine, and Harry's forehead slumps onto Draco's shoulder as the warm water sluices over them both.

After a long moment of gritting his teeth and trying to keep himself together, Harry moves away a fraction so as to soap up Draco's back. His muscles flex under Harry's ministrations, causing Harry to drop the soap, but Harry doesn't mind, because instead he just runs his fingers over the prominent bumps of Draco's spine, up and down, until Draco rasps his name again and it's too much.

"You — you almost died," Harry reminds him in a near-whisper, as if he could ever forget what was the worst moment of his entire life.

Draco turns to face him, curling his arms around Harry and pulling them flush together. Harry can feel the pebbled nubs of Draco's nipples, and the harsh beating of his heart. Harry wonders if Draco can feel his heartbeat too, but then nothing else seems to matter, because Draco's kissing him, his mouth hot and delicious and his tongue intoxicating as it swirls around Harry's.

Harry could do this forever — he really could — but right now his body is thrumming simultaneously with the need to shove Draco up against the tiles and take him, because Draco is his, and Harry will never lose him again, and the need to kiss every inch of him, to plant his lips across Draco's skin with the promise of everything that is to come — with the relief of having Draco next to him, alive.

And Harry can't do either — because taking advantage of a sick person is wrong — even though Harry gets the feeling that Draco is laying it on thicker than it really is — not that he minds, because he wants to be there with Draco through everything — through sickness and health. And god, that sounds like a bloody marriage vow, but Harry doesn't care, because Draco's in his arms, and he's panting and grinding his naked, glistening cock against the soaked strain of Harry's boxers — and Harry is about to explode.

He shoves Draco back with a gentle hand to his chest, trying to catch his breath amidst the gathering steam of the shower. Draco looks as though someone's just told him Christmas is cancelled, and with a low whimper he moves forward to capture Harry's lips once more.

Harry is too quick, and turns his face to the side to allow Draco's mouth to fall against the corner of his own. Draco makes a satisfied sound as though it's okay, as though cheek kissing is better than no kissing, and then leaves a trail of bites and licks down the line of Harry's jaw.

"Draco — s-stop — gotta wash your back — remember?"

"But I want you…" Draco murmurs against the skin of Harry's neck, and Harry's eyes nearly roll into the back of his head as he groans.

"I could hurt you," Harry whispers, almost inaudible beneath the sound of the water.

Draco replies with something jumbled which Harry thinks is 'I don't give a fuck' and skates his hands over Harry's lower back. And then Harry gets the most brilliant idea — something that will give them both what they want — and it makes Harry's pulse speed up with excitement and his stomach flutter with nerves.

"You do it," he says, gliding a hand through Draco's dripping hair. Draco stops mauling Harry's neck and lifts his head to look at him, all darkened grey eyes and swollen pink lips. His expression is full of surprised awe, and a sudden lust that burns everything else to ashes.

And then Draco's guiding Harry to face the wall, slowly shifting Harry's boxers down and then resting his weight slightly against Harry's back. Harry shivers when he feels Draco's hot breath on the nape of his neck, and part of him is desperate to move away, to fight against the trusting position of being caught between a wall and a body — defenceless. But he knows this is Draco, Draco behind him and running his hands over Harry's arse, squeezing and stroking. Draco, whose cock is hard and needy, rubbing against Harry's hip. Everything is Draco, and that is why Harry closes his eyes and gives into the sensations of being breached, of being stretched open. That is why it is perfect.

Harry hears something clatter onto the tiles, a wordlessly summoned wand, no doubt, and while he should be thinking about how fucking hot it is that Draco can do wandless magic, all he can focus on are the cool slippery fingers sliding into his arse, and the soft spoken whisper of a spell he used on Draco more than a month ago.

Harry groans, his forehead thunking against the clammy tiles, because it aches but it feels good — so good, and it only gets better when he feels Draco's teeth bite into his shoulder.

"Harry," Draco rasps, "you're so perfect like this… so fucking perfect."

Draco's voice coupled with the gentle strokes of his long fingers has Harry arching his back and making a filthy, guttural sound that echoes around the bathroom. He clenches his teeth, needing to ask Draco if he cast silencing charms, because the last thing he wants the Healers to think is that The Chosen One likes to defile patients in shower cubicles. No one will expect it is the patient doing the defiling, and that Harry Potter is practically gagging for it.

But Harry doesn't get time to ask, because then something bigger and hotter is replacing Draco's fingers, and Harry can barely breathe. Because Draco's cock is inside him, filling him, and it makes him feel complete.

Draco's leaning the majority of his weight against Harry now, his inhales scratchy and uneven by Harry's ear, and his fingers digging so harshly into Harry's hips that they both know they'll leave marks. Harry's own erection is trapped against the cool tiles, and the pressure is sinfully delicious.

For a few seconds Draco doesn't move, and Harry thinks he knows why, because he remembers all too well how it felt to enter Draco's body for the first time, to be overcome by the utter brilliance of scorching heat and silky tightness. Harry experiments by clenching his muscles around Draco's thick cock, and is rewarded with a sharp thrust and a ragged exhale of, "Oh fuck — Harry."

And then Draco's fucking him, hard and then slow and then hard once more, and Harry loves it nearly as much as he loved fucking Draco. But he loves it even more when one of Draco's hands come up to lace his fingers between Harry's against the wall. Because somehow it is just as intimate as being joined together, as the rapid, glorious build that erupts between their bodies.

Harry pushes back, Draco pushes forward, and they give eachother everything they have.

Draco loses himself while crying out Harry's name, his cock throbbing and pulsing with the force of his orgasm. Harry chokes over something like a sob as he feels the hot rivulets of Draco's release fill him up and drip down his thighs, before the spray of the shower rinses it away.

Draco's panting, one hand still gripping Harry's so tightly that his already pale knuckles have gone even whiter, while the other skims idly around to Harry's front, tugging roughly on his cock until Harry too, slumps boneless against the wall, thrumming and sated.

Harry turns, ready to ask Draco if he's alright, but before he can so much as open his mouth Draco's lips are on his in a gentle kiss.

"We're alive," Draco says.

Something in Harry's chest convulses, and he draws Draco into the circle of his arms.

"We're alive," Harry says, confirming it for his own ears.

And with a smile he reaches for the soap and begins to properly wash Draco's back, knowing that even if Draco does fall, Harry will always be there to catch him.

Harry tells Draco about his death in the Forbidden Forest two nights after Draco made love to him in a shower.

Draco listens, his eyes trained on the darkest corner of the room, and his teeth clenched as each of Harry's words drive something harrowing and painful into his heart.

When Harry breaks down, and the first tremors begin to take a hold of his body, Draco holds him close, and after the hours pass and Harry settles alongside Draco in his hospital bed, Draco kisses him tenderly.

Because they're alive — together — and they're okay.

Nobody knows when exactly Draco Malfoy moved into Grimmauld Place. Harry has a vague idea, and he thinks it was a slow process that began on the night Draco was finally released from Saint Mungo's.

There's a slight drizzling of rain as they stand in one of the back alleys behind the hospital, intent on avoiding all the gatherings of reporters.

'I've nowhere to go,' Draco doesn't say, but Harry can tell he is thinking it by the deep ridge across his nose, and by the way he doesn't look up from the pavement. Because Draco only has an empty Manor to go back to, a place full of horrific memories and nightmares. And that's when Harry realises that he doesn't know where he has to go either. He could go to Ron's, he supposes, but he doesn't know if Draco is welcome there, and he won't leave him.

He takes Draco's hand, the one empty of his newly returned Hawthorne wand, and without a word Harry apparates them onto the top doorstep of Number Twelve Grimmauld Place.

Draco casts a wary glance up at the old white building, and then turns his questioning eyes on Harry. Harry smiles at him, and without relinquishing Draco's hand he pushes open the door to reveal the familiar entranceway.

Draco goes still, his fingers tightening around Harry's, and Harry can tell that he is thinking about the first day he arrived here. Harry doesn't know exactly what those early days hold for Draco, but for him they hold something tense and wild, yet somehow wonderful.

He knows there will be destruction upstairs, and the reminder of what Yaxley had been so close to doing, but that's okay, because then Draco looks back at Harry and gives him the slightest of nods, and Harry knows that, just as he himself is, Draco Malfoy is ready for whatever this is to begin.

Draco inherits a house he doesn't want, and money he doesn't know what to do with.

When he goes to his parents' funeral, Harry is there with him, and he doesn't let go of Draco's hand.

Draco doesn't cry, because he did all his crying on a bathroom floor in the arms of Harry Potter. But he does feel the tears sting behind his eyes, and when they become too much of a threat he focuses on Harry's palm against his, and then everything is alright again.

It is a small, private affair, warded against the Prophet reporters, and Draco gets the feeling that most of the people who attend don't know whether to mourn or rejoice.

There's a woman across from them who keeps staring at him. She's dark and familiar, the soft lines of her face making Draco's stomach churn, and when the service ends he is surprised to see Harry hug her, but not as surprised as he is when she hugs Draco too.

Andromeda Tonks becomes a comforting force in Draco's life, and while at first he doesn't know how to act around her, he soon finds that listening to her tell stories about his mother is enough to hold them together. When Draco meets his cousin, Harry's godson, he is struck by the similarities between Teddy and the young man he loves. The war took parents from them both, Draco too, and on afternoons when the weather is dreary and Teddy's grandmother wants to have her hands free for a few hours, Draco and Harry lose themselves amongst the laughter that reading to a giggling toddler brings.

Harry gives him this look whenever he sees Draco interacting with Teddy, and even though Draco awkwardly grimaces whenever the child cries or screams, the look is always warm and full of promise. Draco suspects he gives Harry the same look sometimes, because like most things in his life, Harry Potter is unfairly good with children, but instead of inducing jealousy — because really, children are smelly, snivelling things — seeing Harry calmly explaining what a sheep is to a little boy who can't even properly understand him, makes Draco itch with the need to be alone with him.

Andromeda will come to collect her godson before the sky darkens, and as soon as the front door shuts behind her, Draco will pounce on Harry and devour him against the entryway wall, and Harry will fall apart with welcoming groans as though he has been waiting for it just as eagerly as Draco has.

Harry does interviews and speeches and a load of other rot that he wishes he didn't have to do. But it's okay, because at the end of the day he will go home to a sanctuary, to a place that the press can't find, to a place where nothing is expected of him.

Draco's essence begins to infiltrate Grimmauld Place in the form of his toothbrush on the bathroom sink, and an array of jars and vials in the shower which Harry presumes are hair products. The first time Harry sees them, he can't stop grinning. The second time, they seem to have multiplied, and Harry struggles to make room for his own humble, singular bottle of shampoo.

Harry finds a mug he doesn't recognise in the kitchen, and it makes his heart beat a little faster to see that Draco has placed it right next to the one Harry always uses.

Stacks of books start to gather on side tables and on occasion, the floor, and even though Harry swears when he stubs his toe on them, wondering if this is how Ron will feel when he moves in with Hermione, he can't help but shake his head with affectionate amusement.

Harry thinks the biggest change has been the sudden lack of space within the bedroom closet until one day Draco springs on him the idea of redecorating the whole house. They patched up the upstairs hallway well enough, and spent many afternoons dusting and throwing out a lot of junk — with the help of a begrudged Ron and a very enthusiastic Hermione — so Harry can't really see what more they can do to brighten up the old Black family house.

But Draco is brimming with excitement over the idea, and there's a light in his eyes that Harry never wants to see extinguished. So he shrugs and gives in, because they have a lot of time, and Harry wants nothing more than to spend it with Draco. And if he were perfectly honest with himself, he would admit that a small part of him is actually looking forward to seeing what Draco can come up with.

Everything's okay, because at the end of the day Harry goes home to a place where Draco Malfoy is waiting for him.

"They're all rather grotesque," Draco disdainfully eyes the paint swatches Harry is holding out for him to look at. Harry sighs, withdrawing his hand and rubbing his forehead. Draco watches him raptly from where he sits next to the tin of white ceiling paint on the floor.

This is the fourth time Draco has turned his nose up at Harry's paint suggestions today, and although a vast majority of the different yellows remind Draco of vomit, there have been several that he has found somewhat acceptable. He just doesn't want to tell Harry that, because there's something deliciously amusing that makes his body flood with heat when he gets Harry riled up about insignificant things — such as paint colours.

It took them long enough to decide on what colour to do the Drawing Room in, let alone for them to get over their argument about 'shades' and 'tones,' which Granger ended up intervening in when she dropped by yesterday afternoon. Draco was rather pleased when she agreed with his choice of yellow being more suitable than Harry's vibrant blue — not that he'll ever tell her that.

Granger's input resulted with Harry reluctantly giving in and making another trip to the 'hardware' store, leaving Draco alone with Granger to have a surprisingly tolerable conversation about the book she left back in his Saint Mungo's Ward. Thanks to that book and Harry's company, Draco had been able to get through tedious hours of pain and Healers prodding at him and shoving potions down his throat — even though Harry had given him an amused look when he caught Draco reading it.

Harry returned an hour later, slamming two heavy tins of yellow paint down on the kitchen table in front of Draco.

"It's the wrong shade," Draco pointed out, barely lifting his eyes from his scribbled Drawing Room plans.

Harry stared at him for a few long moments, the muscle at the corner of his jaw jumping before he said, "you've got to be fucking kidding me," and then stormed out of the room. Draco listened to the angry thudding of Harry's footsteps up the stairs before he gave in with a grin and hastened to follow him.

Draco found Harry sprawled out with exhaustion across their bed, a thought which would always send that fluttering thing in Draco's stomach into overdrive, and didn't hesitate to stretch out alongside him.

"Remind me again why I'm letting you do this," Harry huffed, his eyes closed and his dark hair mussed over the threadbare sheets — which Draco couldn't wait to replace.

Draco buried his nose into the crook of Harry's shoulder, inhaling the smell he would never get tired of, and smirked. "Because this place is a shithole…" He placed an open-mouthed kiss to the side of Harry's neck, and in response Harry immediately relaxed and drew Draco closer to him. Another kiss, then, "And because you love me."

There was barely more than a second before Draco found himself covered in Harry, with Harry's hands in his hair and Harry's lips against his. And Draco thought it was all worth it, that being fussy and a perfectionist and pissing Harry Potter off would always be worth it, so long as every single one of their days ended like this.

Now, Draco thinks it's still worth it, even when Harry looks like he's about to incendio all of the paint swatches he brought back from the store this morning. Draco snatches the card from Harry's hand before he can walk away, and basks in the abrupt look of relief Harry gives him upon thinking Draco's finally made up his mind.

Draco spends more time than necessary perusing the colours, even though he's already made a decision — he just wants to leave Harry hanging for a little longer. He hums deep in his throat, happy when, from the corner of his eyes, he sees Harry's gaze drop to his lips — like it always does when Draco makes that sound.

"This one's not as grotesque, I suppose," Draco tells him, tapping a finger on the bottom shade, a pale lemon yellow, which isn't too cheerful, or too sickening — a win, in Draco's opinion. Draco hands the card back, resisting the urge to smile when Harry's fingers brush his as he takes it, and sure enough, when he looks up, Harry is staring at him through hooded eyes.

"Are you going to help me with this?" Even though Draco's blood is slowly starting to travel south, he gestures innocently to the tin of ceiling paint, which Harry doesn't even bother glancing at.

"I was under the impression that I had to go back and buy the 'not as grotesque' colour," Harry retorts, his voice somewhat husky.

Draco swallows away the sudden dryness in his throat, trying not to be too obvious. "Can't it wait?"

"Can't that wait?" Harry shoots back, looking at the poor, untouched paint can sitting atop the tarp.

"No," Draco says, shifting one of the rollers so it's more aligned with the one next to it.

"Why not?"

"Because, the ceiling needs twenty-four hours to dry before you can put the wall colour on."

Harry gives him a bemused look, and Draco flushes. "Why not just use a drying charm?"

"It's not good for the paint, it makes it all lumpy!" Draco huffs, almost defensive. He has the desire to cross his arms, but he won't, because Harry's already looking at him as though he's a child.

"Since when were you the expert?" Harry's lips twitch.

"Since I decided to spend my summer holidays restoring your bloody house."

"Our house." The correction is so soft that Draco almost misses it. Harry's smiling now, which makes Draco smile too, and then Harry shakes his head, lowering himself to sit cross-legged on the tarp as he says, "alright, paint master, tell me what to do."

And maybe it's the smiling, or the fact that Harry just said 'our house,' but suddenly Draco can't care less about painting, and he launches himself at Harry and curls his fingers around the back of his neck as he attacks his lips.

Harry has to fling out an arm to stop himself from falling when Draco straddles his lap, and he knocks over the opened paint tin.

But neither of them notice, because Harry is too busy trying to peel off Draco's shirt as quickly as possible, and Draco is too busy unbuckling Harry's belt and stealing all the air from Harry's lungs.

Harry's hard already, and Draco wraps his hand around him with a moan.

"God — Draco — what about the — the paint?"

"Fuck the paint," Draco bites Harry's jaw, moulds his lips over Harry's pulse point.

Harry growls as though he would very much like to fuck Draco instead, and moves his own hands down to unbutton Draco's trousers.

They take their time, caressing and tasting eachother, and when they finally come together it is with Draco sitting astride Harry, his back arched and his head thrown back, and Harry buried so deeply within him that neither of them can tell where one ends and the other begins.

The ceiling ends up drying lumpy, and the spilt paint leaves a splattered white stain across the floorboards, which neither of them try too hard to remove. Ron Weasley will notice it, several weeks later, and with a lifted brow he will ask if someone had an accident. Draco smirks, Harry blushes, and later that night Draco will walk into the Drawing Room to find Harry dragging the couch forward to cover it.

Draco spent over five hundred galleons of his family's estate on that couch, and in a dignified snit he will go on a rant about how its rich magenta glory cannot be fully appreciated unless it sits precisely two feet behind the stain. Harry grumbles something under his breath, and Draco inwardly smiles, because he knows Harry is even more reluctant than he is to simply cast a few strong cleaning charms at the stain and be done with it.

Harry tries the same thing with a ghastly tasseled rug a week later, but Draco manages to discard it under the excuse of it being hideous and unfitting with the colour scheme he spent hours on deciding.

The paint stain remains, and it is a stark, bright reminder of what took place before the walls became lemon yellow. Draco loves it, and he knows that secretly Harry loves it too. Because the memory of how it got there burns brighter than any stain ever could.

Sometimes Harry argues with Kreacher until the elf grudgingly accepts the night off, and trudges moodily back into his cupboard. Harry has tried to convince him to take one of the free guest bedrooms upstairs, which have also fallen victim to Draco's ruthless interior design phase, but the elf won't have anything of it. Whenever Hermione comes over she'll take one look at Kreacher and then arch her brow at Harry, her lips pursed, and wordlessly tell him that he isn't trying hard enough.

On these nights Harry and Draco will cook together, and they are some of the most gruelling yet enjoyable moments of their relationship.

Draco pretends as though he's something of a muggle chef, and likes to order Harry around, getting him to add ingredients that don't even sound like they belong together, and making him do all the menial tasks that Draco doesn't want to do. Such as cracking eggs, chopping and handling meats, and pretty much everything that isn't putting in copious amounts of herbs and spices and stirring whatever concoction they deem fit to tackle.

Most times this will lead to arguments, and Harry raises his voice a fraction to remind Draco that he never so much as set foot in a kitchen until he came to Grimmauld Place. Draco's eyes flash, and then he will either snog Harry senseless, or start a food fight which will end with them snogging anyway.

Every Friday night Ron and Hermione will come around for a meal, and sometimes they'll bring steaming tureens full of Molly's cooking and several bottles of butter beer. These nights Harry will mentally compare to heaven, and he knows that when Draco has his first bite of Mrs Weasley's cooking he is impressed too — even though he does his best not to show it. Harry can tell what Draco's thinking by the way his fork hesitates before it lowers back down to his plate, and the discreet glance he offers in Ron's direction.

Things are somewhat strained between Ron and Draco until the day Ron gets his first look at the tastefully furnished rooms in Number Twelve, and whistling under his breath he says, "Wow, wanna come do my house too?"

Draco snorts out a laugh, and then they both look at eachother with mortification which quickly turns into a mutual agreement to act as though that never happened.

After that, things between them become relaxed, and games of exploding snap turn into raging battles of wits and tactics when Draco teams up with Hermione and plays against Harry and Ron. Needless to say, Harry and Ron lose. Chess is another story, and Draco beats Ron nearly as much as Ron beats Harry.

Ron will thump up the stairs after inviting himself into the house, complaining about a hard day of helping out at Fred and George's shop. Wanting to let out frustration and exhaustion, he'll announce, "Where's Ferret boy? I feel like flogging someone."

Draco's head will pop out of the drawing room and with a scowl he'll say something like, "up here, Weaselbee. Feel like taking an early trip to the grave? You've come to the right person."

And Harry smiles, despite his worry that his best friend and his boyfriend will murder eachother over a checkered piece of wood. Ron keeps his promise about never willingly starting a fight with Draco, and Draco, whenever he strays over the threshold from snark to insults, will remember that Ronald Weasley is the unfortunate inclusion to the package deal which is dating Harry Potter, and he'll hold his tongue.

Sometimes Harry and Hermione will watch and pretend not to be bored, talking quietly amongst themselves as Ron and Draco become more intense and stony-faced with each passing move. Hermione tells Harry she's already organised to go back to Hogwarts to complete her Newts when the castle reopens, and that she's busy trying to convince Ron to do the same. Harry doesn't tell her that he thinks she's fighting a losing battle.

"You and Draco should think about coming back too, Harry," she says.

Harry shrugs and his eyes land on Draco. They seem to have great difficulty lately staying on anything that isn't Draco, because looking at Draco Malfoy is addicting, and nearly as much of a drug to Harry as kissing him is.

"Maybe," Harry says. He supposes he would do anything as long as Draco is there beside him, and they do it together. He hasn't thought about where he'll go from here, and whether he'll become an Auror or not. Sometimes he and Draco have whispered discussions about it in the night, when they're curled together beneath the blankets. On one such night Draco confided to Harry in an embarrassed murmur that he had thoughts about becoming a Healer, and after a second's pause Harry kissed him hard and told him that sounded perfect.

Now, as if feeling Harry's eyes on him, Draco casts an annoyed look in their direction. Seeing whatever expression is on Harry's face, however, softens Draco's own into a look they normally only share behind closed doors.

Draco loses the game with red cheeks, and Ron doesn't let him live it down for days.

Hermione Granger turns up one afternoon when Harry isn't home, and she's wearing a thin golden band on her ring finger, and an expression that makes Draco think she'll burst, and he'll have to be the one to scrape from the walls what he assumes will be the leftover pieces of Ron Weasley's fiancee.

Granger doesn't look at all perturbed that her best friend isn't here, and for a scary moment Draco thinks she might throw her arms around his neck and strangle him due to sheer exuberance.

"Er — congratulations, Granger," Draco says after she affirms with a squeal what he has already deduced. He thinks he'd rather say something like, 'you have my condolences,' but he finds himself reluctant to wipe the grin off her face.

She side steps him and heads for kitchen, a bottle of champagne in her hand. "Ron's just gone to tell Molly and Arthur and then he'll be over."

Just as Draco opens his mouth to give her some sort of response, Harry appears on the doorstep, his arms laden with grocery bags. Harry doesn't look at all surprised to hear the news as Granger launches herself at him and gives him the strangling Draco narrowly avoided. In fact, after Granger relieves him of the bags and bustles back toward the kitchen while humming something off-key, Harry whispers to Draco, "'bout bloody time. Ron's been stressing about it for weeks."

Draco quirks his lips, a little pleased to hear there has been something bothering Weasley other than his frequent defeats at chess. The thought is cut off when Harry suddenly presses his lips to the corner of Draco's mouth, and then draws back with a tired smile. "How was your day?"

Draco knows Harry is run down by the constant Ministry meetings and charity events he attends, and even though Draco misses his company when he's away, Harry Potter is who he is because he can't refuse the chance to help people. And this, Draco has come to realise, is one of the reasons he is irreversibly infatuated with him.

Draco shrugs, "I went to see Teddy."

Harry's brows lift, and his smile resurfaces. "Yeah? What'd you do?"

Draco knows Harry treads carefully, because Draco's apprehension towards leaving the house has become something that goes unspoken between them. Draco will never be comfortable with having his insecurities openly displayed, but the way Harry handles him is with respect, patience, and an unwavering promise that it's okay, that no matter how long Draco needs before he's able to immerse himself back into the Wizarding world, Harry will always be there for him.

"Andromeda took us to a 'museum.'" Draco says, hoping his excitement doesn't show on his face. Teddy squealed happily at different artefacts and statues which his grandmother pointed out to him with quiet explanations. The boy probably couldn't understand more than a word or two, but Draco had been listening intently, with a subdued keenness for all of the history and facts on offer within the muggle building, and a growing respect for all the knowledge his Aunt had probably come across throughout her marriage to a muggle-born.

"Did you like it?" Harry asks, his green eyes searching Draco's face. Draco did like it — it was enlightening, despite the way it made him feel guilty for his previous prejudice. However, as soon as they came across the World War Two exhibition, Draco began to feel sick, and after a mumbled excuse to Andromeda, he made his escape and apparated back to Grimmauld Place as soon as he could. Andromeda looked at him with knowing, her kind eyes sympathetic, and within them Draco could see traces of his mother, which helped somewhat dampen the disgust he felt upon reading the accounts about a man whose sick mind could rival Voldemort's.

"It was alright," Draco says eventually. Some time during his musings, Harry must have taken his hand.

"Don't let Hermione hear you say that. Museums are one of the things she lives for."

Draco doesn't doubt this, and he manages a weak smile that makes the stiff line of Harry's shoulders relax.

They're interrupted by the arrival of Weasley, who brings what Harry calls 'take-out' and a beaming grin which everyone is on the receiving end of, including Draco.

That night the four of them dine on fish and chips and champagne, and it is perhaps the best meal Draco has had in a long while. Because even though his and Harry's kitchen adventures are enthralling, and leave the taste of Harry on Draco's tongue for days, the end result of their cooking is generally atrocious.

For the following weeks, Weasley walks around like he's the luckiest man that ever was, and strangely, Draco finds that he is happy for him.

"Harry," Draco whines. Harry knows Draco hates to have the word 'whine' applied to him, but the Slytherin does an awful lot of whining when he doesn't get what he wants, when he wants it. But Harry also knows not to mention this, because the last time he told Draco he was whining, he'd been treated to a sulky silence for the rest of the day, and Draco throwing him scowls that Harry couldn't take seriously — due to the pout Harry just wanted to kiss away.

"What's up?" Harry asks, muttering a curse as he almost bumps his head on the television stand. Spending the majority of his teenage life growing up in a magical castle means he's a little behind on muggle technology, and no matter how much he likes to think he knows how to make it work, because really, how hard can it be, he can't get the bloody TV to turn on.

"What are you doing?"

Harry doesn't need to look over his shoulder (not that wants to, because it would probably result in another bump on the head) to know that Draco is watching him from the drawing room doorway, arms crossed, with one hip jutting out to the side as he attempts to perfect his veneer of boredom.

"Trying to make this telly work," Harry says through gritted teeth as he stretches his arm up and around to get access to the back of the TV.

"Why?" Draco replies instantly. He sounds almost petulant, and Harry would probably find it endearing at any other moment, but right now he is particularly peeved off, and this close to fire-calling Hermione and, sacrificing his pride, asking her to fix it for him.

"So we can watch it," Harry says, successfully jamming one cord in what is hopefully the right socket.

"Watch it? What the hell's the point of staring at an oversized black box?"

Harry rolls his eyes. He won't admit it, but he finds Draco's lack of knowledge on anything muggle quite hilarious, not to mention cute — he's more likely to get flayed if he were to reveal the cute part, though.

"It's a television, Draco, you watch movies on it."

"What the fuck is a movie?" Draco is closer now, Harry can tell by his voice.

Harry sighs as he turns the power on, wondering if modifying the wards of Number 12 to allow technology to work was worth it just so he could good-naturedly accept Arthur's latest obsession as a gift — an old television set he'd spent months restoring.

"Something you'll love, trust me," Harry says as he wriggles out from under the cabinet, palms scuffing against the recently lacquered floorboards.

"But there are other things I'd rather be doing, other things I love more," There's a delectable trace of heat behind Draco's words, one Harry has become very well acquainted with over the last few months.

Harry turns around, and Draco's standing right behind him, gunmetal-grey eyes burning as they look down at him. "Yeah?" Harry says, his voice thick. "Such as?"

Draco looks incredibly put-out, as though he'd rather not say something which will make him fit his own definition of a 'sentimental sap of a Hufflepuff.'

But then he gives in, his face softening as he says, "you."

And then he pulls Harry to his feet.

The first time Draco Malfoy goes to the Burrow is on Christmas Eve, when the snowfall is a light and delicate dusting atop the surrounding hillsides.

He is standing next to the same person he was a year ago, back in the chilly enclosure of a small cemetery, only now they share something that is so much more than just a mutual need to live through the next day. Yet just like last Christmas Eve, Draco holds Harry's hand, and they both know it is more of a lifeline and a way for Draco to ignore his nerves than it is a reminder.

"It'll be fine," Harry tells him. There's snowflakes in his hair, white against black, and Draco would brush them all away if it wouldn't mean they'd be later than they already are.

Draco looks from Harry towards the crooked, uneven house, which has the style of Weasley written all over it, and for some reason, he finds himself believing what Harry says to him. Draco gives Harry a nod, and clutches the bottle of Ogden's finest whiskey a little tighter in his free hand. He hopes for it to be something of a peace offering, as he has no idea how Weasley's parents will take to the son of the person who tried to ruin their lives. Harry has spent the last two weeks, and especially the last half hour — hence the lateness — assuring Draco that they will accept him, because they accept Harry, and that's all that matters. But Draco still has his doubts.

"Ready?" Harry asks.

"As ready as I'll ever be," Draco replies with a sigh, and then together they tread down the snowy hill. Draco gives Harry a slight shove, hoping he'll fall into the snow and give Draco something to snicker about. Harry gives him a look that seems to say 'challenge accepted' and then they are both laughing and stumbling, and by the time they reach the Burrow's front porch Draco finds the uneasy knots in his stomach have loosened.

The door swings open almost immediately, and with a loud exclamation of, "Harry!" Molly Weasley sweeps Harry into a choking hug. For a moment Draco is struck by the picture of how natural they look together, how Harry fits into the arms of a woman who isn't even related to him, and somehow makes it seem as though she is his mother.

Harry pulls back, grinning, and then the woman's warm brown eyes turn on Draco, and those knots begin to tighten with a newfound vigour.

"Draco — good to see you could make it, dear," she's smiling, and Draco wonders if she really means it, or whether she's just saying it for Harry's sake.

"Thank you for inviting me, Mrs Weasley," Draco hopes his voice doesn't shake.

"Oh," Mrs Weasley looks somewhat surprised for a second, and then she waves a hand dismissively through the air and says, "nonsense, dear, 'Molly' is fine."

Draco doesn't know what to say to this, and he thinks he would have withered away due to awkwardness by now if not for Harry's hand lightly resting at the small of his back. After a pause that is too long, he says, "I hope you and Arthur like whiskey," and hands her the bottle.

Now, even more surprised, she takes it, and when she looks back up at Draco there seems to be something like indecision flickering behind her eyes. Draco knows it isn't much, but it was the best he could do. Besides, Harry had been in charge of the gift-buying, and even though Draco had protested, Harry still stubbornly signed both of their names on each present, making Draco out to be more thoughtful than he's ever likely to be.

Mrs Weasley is still staring wide-eyed at the whiskey bottle, and Draco is thankful when Harry clears his throat and says heartily, "So, shall we go in then?"

Draco thinks that's the best idea he's heard in a long while, because it's freezing outside and getting more bloody awkward by the second.

Mrs Weasley lets out a good humoured laugh and several apologies, and takes a step to the side to allow her guests to precede her into her home.

Draco follows after Harry right away, intent on not letting him out of his sight all night, but before Draco can so much as get through the door he is enveloped in a sudden bone-crushing hug.

And maybe it is because she is just overjoyed to be in possession of a finely aged bottle of whiskey, or maybe it is because Draco Malfoy saved her son, and this is the only way she can think of to thank him — but Molly Weasley hugs him. Draco goes rigid, unaware as to what to do — whether he should pat her on the back or disentangle himself with a polite attempt at nonchalance. Eventually he settles on the former, and when they seperate there are the glistening remnants of tears in Molly Weasley's eyes.

She pretends they aren't there, and ushers him inside and into a warm, crowded room full of golden light and Christmas cheer. Draco panics for a moment, because he can't see Harry through all the groups of chatting and laughing people — but before he gets the chance to give himself over to the anxiety, he is swamped on either side by Fred and George Weasley.

"Evening, Malfoy," Fred says, or maybe it's George — Draco doesn't think he'll ever be able to tell them apart. He's seen them a few times throughout the past months, on trips to Diagon Alley after Harry convinced him that things would be okay, that he wouldn't leave Draco's side. Strangely, Draco can admit to himself that he likes the twins, especially when they give him discounts in their shop and Ron Weasley's face turns a jealous puce colour.

"Evening," Draco replies easily enough.

"How're things?" George asks.

"Or more like, how're Harry's things." Fred waggles his eyebrows, and Draco tries and fails not to blush.

"Fine, thankyou," Draco grits out, catching Blaise Zabini's eyes amidst all the carrying of mince pie platters and champagne flutes.

"Tell us, then, what'd you get the old boy for Christmas, eh?"

Draco suffers an elbow to the ribs as both twins grin slyly at him.

"Not telling," Draco huffs.

"Oh ho, that kind of gift, is it?"


"Good, 'cause we know what Harry's gotten you," Fred says it as though he's withholding priceless information, and despite himself Draco perks up with interest.

"And what's that?"

"Not telling," George fires back, and then he and his twin share a laugh.

Draco rolls his eyes just as Blaise reaches them, his arm around Lovegood's waist. Draco tries not to appear amused by her getup of a spangly gold dress and dangling carrot earrings, and greets them neutrally just as the twins slap him on the back and slink off to torment the party's new arrivals.

As the night progresses, Draco begins to relax, because no one is throwing him disproving glares as though he shouldn't be there, and no one looks as though they are about to hex him either. Draco is surprised at how many familiar faces he sees from Hogwarts — he spots Longbottom with his hand in Ginny Weasley's, much to Draco's satisfaction, because even though he'll never admit it, part of him had been just the tiniest bit jealous of her for capturing Harry's attention. He spots Seamus Finnigan and Dean Thomas teasing the garden gnome atop the towering Christmas tree, and quite a few others he doesn't know by name.

The dinner is just as delicious as he grudgingly expected, and seated between Harry and Granger, and opposite the twins, Draco doesn't find conversation lacking at all. Every now and then Harry squeezes his thigh beneath the table, a warm, reassuring pressure that makes Draco smile into his plate of roast turkey.

It isn't until after dessert when the boisterous chatter has died down and there is talk of present swapping that Draco begins to feel the panic seep back into his insides. However, that panic quickly diminishes and is replaced by confused shock as George sashays around the room with a stack of squashy looking presents and drops one into Draco's lap.

Draco attempts to blink away his surprise and gives Harry a questioning side-long glance. Harry, who has an identical looking package in his own lap, looks innocently away and immediately engages Longbottom in a discussion about plants. Draco frowns, inspecting the present carefully for any signs of it being addressed incorrectly, but unfortunately, slanted across the front in handwriting he doesn't recognise it says 'Dear Draco, Happy Christmas.'

All around him is the sound of tearing paper and laughter, but Draco can't focus on any of it, because he's too busy wondering what he has done to deserve a gift from anyone here — anyone who isn't Harry. Harry — who sentimentally convinced Draco that they shouldn't exchange their own gifts until midnight.

But then Draco moves his hand aside, revealing more writing.

Love from, the Weasleys.

And it just doesn't make sense. Because no one has ever given him love before — no one besides Harry, once again. Because Harry is Draco's everything, and never has he thought that he could have something more — that he could have something like a family.

Draco looks up, and into the eyes of Arthur Weasley across the living room, nursing a glass of whiskey and smiling faintly. As he notices Draco staring back, he nods his head a fraction and lifts his glass, toasting what is the start of something new, of something that isn't light and dark or right and wrong, but simply a 'thank you for what you did for my son, and welcome to the family.'

Draco's throat suddenly feels too tight, so he averts his eyes and slowly peels back the layers of soft tissue paper, and what he sees makes it feel even tighter. In his hands he holds a knitted blue jumper, a large yellow 'D' stitched onto the front, and even though he has teased Harry mercilessly in the past for wearing his 'H' emblazoned Weasley jumpers, somehow this — this is perfect.

Draco clears away the lump in his throat, but he still can't breathe properly, so with a muttered apology he gets up and excuses himself, heading without a thought to the outside porch.

The night air surrounds him, drying his sweaty palms and helping him regather everything he should be thinking about — like the how and the why — instead of being unnecessarily touched by a gesture that is obviously normal amongst the Weasleys.

And that's what stumps him — the fact that it is normal. That they have accepted Draco into their normality, and Draco can't wrap his head around it.

Harry finds him there, leaning against the wooden railing, and he's already wearing his own jumper — a burgundy coloured thing with a dark green H. He holds Draco's out towards him, "It's a little chilly."

Draco takes it, runs the soft wool through his fingers, and then slips it on over his dress shirt. Harry grins at him, crooked and perfect, and then wraps his arms around Draco's waist, resting his cheek against Draco's shoulder.

"I told you," Harry murmurs. "That everything would be alright."

Draco closes his eyes, reminding himself that it's okay for them to hold eachother like this when other people might see them, because the war's over and life's too short to do anything but relish in the feel of Harry Potter's lithely toned body against his own.

The moment is interrupted, however, when Ron Weasley walks out of the front door, his mouth full of whatever it is he's carrying a platter of. "Blimey, can' 'oo two wai' for one more 'our?" He looks between them, humour the only thing playing around his mouth, as he finishes chewing. "Mum's just 'bout to put on Celestina Warbeck's latest rubbish."

Harry laughs, the reverberations of it travelling down Draco's spine. "In that case I reckon we'll stay out here."

Weasley sighs, envious of what is probably the brightest idea he's heard in a decade, and then gestures at the plate he's holding, offering them what look like individual puddings. Draco's too full to eat another bite, so he declines along with Harry. Weasley shrugs and stuffs another one into his mouth, causing Draco to think that he's lucky Granger isn't out here to see him do it.

"You're lucky you got blue," Weasley points at Draco before brushing crumbs off his chest and taking another pudding. "I always get bloody maroon."

Weasley disappears back into the house, and along with the sound of carols and laughter the breeze carries the shrill tone of Molly Weasley berating her son for eating all of the puddings.

Draco laughs, and Harry laughs too.

"Draco, wait — what are we doing here?"

Harry hurries to catch up with Draco's long strides, grabbing his hand and making him stop. The little town square of Godric's Hollow is exactly as it was a year ago, and for the life of him Harry can't understand why Draco brought him here.

"You'll see," Draco tells him, for what is probably the fourth time. He sounds a bit nervous, and it makes Harry nervous too. Draco tugs on Harry's hand, and together they set off in the direction of the church yard. Harry's mind reels, wondering if Draco's really brought him back to his birthplace at midnight for sentimentality's sake, or whether he just thought it'd be a prime time to visit Harry's parents.

The cemetery gate creeks shut behind them, and then they are winding their way through snow-covered stones.

When they come to a stop in front of Lily and James Potter's grave, Harry lets out a sharp breath to see there are already wreaths of white roses blending in with the snow.

And when Draco begins to speak, it takes Harry several seconds to realise that he isn't talking to him, but to Harry's parents.

"I'm sorry about what happened to you… and I'm sorry Harry never got the love he deserved growing up without his parents. But I — I wanted to let you know that he's in good hands now, because — because I love him. And so do a lot of other people. I think if you were both alive today, you'd be almost as proud as I am to see him." Draco pauses, and turns to look at Harry. Harry can't move, can't breathe, and his mouth's open and his eyes are shining, but all he sees is Draco — and the way Draco looks at him as though he's the light of the universe. "He's smart and stupid, and brave and wonderful. You'd also be surprised to know that he's bloody good-looking, and I — well I feel like the luckiest bloke alive to be able to stay with him. So thankyou. Thankyou for what you did — for giving him life, and for protecting him, and don't worry, because I'll be protecting him now — and I love him more than I love myself, more than I've ever loved anyone—" Draco breaks off, his cheeks pink and his eyes closed, and for a moment Harry thinks he's about to cry, but then Draco smiles and reaches into his pocket.

He withdraws a tiny velvet pouch, and from inside it he pulls a thick band of silver, intricately patterned with vines and laced with promise magic. Harry's heart feels as though it's about to launch out of his chest with how fast it beats when Draco wordlessly slides the ring onto Harry's third finger, and then takes out an identical one which he puts on his own.

"Happy Christmas, Harry," Draco says, his cold breath misting in front of him.

Harry doesn't waste a second before he kisses Draco, attacks his lips and tastes his tongue, tastes everything that is so perfectly Draco that Harry might just fall to pieces.

They keep kissing until Harry can't take it anymore, until he wraps his arms around Draco's thin waist and apparates them back to Grimmauld Place.

That night Harry makes love to Draco as though it is their first and last time wrapped into one, and they are both so caught up in the feel of eachother that Harry forgets to give his own Christmas present to Draco until the next morning.

They are naked and twisted in the sheets, and Draco's neck sports a scarf of lovely mouth-shaped bruises that Harry can't stop looking at. Draco Malfoy is beautiful in the mornings — he's beautiful all the time, Harry thinks, but there's something about the softness of his skin, and the heaviness to his eyelids in the mornings that makes Harry want to scoop him up and never let him go.

Draco prods Harry with his toe. "Stop staring and give me my present." He's grinning, and it's all lopsided and gorgeous, because just after he wakes up Draco hasn't had the time to arrange his features into his Malfoy mask.

Harry grimaces, feeling sheepish, because what he got Draco pales in comparison to what Draco did for him. The ring feels warm and inescapable around Harry's finger, and he knows that for the next few days he won't be able to stop smiling at it.

"Er — it isn't much."

And it isn't much. It's a paper bag full of boxers. Some have baby elephants on them, others have monkeys and bananas, and there's even one pair with countless little Eiffel Towers dotted all over the place. It isn't much, but Draco laughs and makes it all worth it.

"I swear, Harry, if you don't plan on taking every one of these off me with your teeth, then I'm going to strangle you."

They both grin, and Draco gets up and pads to the bathroom, bag in hand.

They don't get past the first pair, because what hides beneath the brightly coloured cotton is too much of a temptation for Harry to pass up, and they spend most of Christmas morning wrapped around eachother on the floor.

And it's the best Christmas Harry has ever had.

Harry Potter still dreams of the war. He wakes up sweating and shaking, but Draco is there — always there, and he will hold Harry until sleep finds them both, just as Harry will do for him when Draco wakes up from his own nightmares.

And when the day is new again, they will spend it together.

One of Draco Malfoy's new hobbies is watching television and making fun of nearly everyone who appears on it, however this doesn't stop him from staring at the screen attentively when an action-packed movie comes on.

One of Harry Potter's new hobbies is watching Draco Malfoy watch the television. Sometimes when he's particularly absorbed his lips part slightly and he frowns, and Harry finds him so irresistible that quite frequently whatever movie is playing goes unwatched as Harry ravages Draco on the couch.

They still fight, and they both know they will probably always fight — argue over who ate the last biscuit, and bicker about who left the half-empty mug on the coffee table. But they also know their heated debates and disagreements will end in hot kisses and the stripping of clothing until they are both so lost within eachother that everything else ceases to exist.

Harry Potter died in a war. But he came out of it alive. He came out of it breathing. And most importantly he came out of it with the gift of the person beside him, and that is more than he could have ever asked for.

The birds sing, and the leaves of the trees rustle and dance, and on a warm spring morning in Grimmauld Place, Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy play 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' on the piano.

Harry fucks it up, but that's okay, because Draco still loves him.

Draco calls Harry an incompetent twat, but that's okay, because Harry still loves Draco too.