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Settle in in my slow-burning heart

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It starts like this: Five years after the war Draco turns twenty-three and gets a job in the Auror Office doing kind of what he suspects Q does in James Bond. His skills within potions and, apparently, innovation, are his credentials for the work where he more often than not spends his days inventing potions and clever ways to hide them, as well as other miscellaneous gadgets.

He loves it. In fact, he really, really loves it. He fell in love with the job just from reading the job description and knew that he had to do everything in his power, within the legal measures of course, to get the job. Surprisingly, given his past and what not, he succeeded.

All the stuff with Harry comes later.

Right. So. That small thing is perhaps worth mentioning as well. Draco is not inventing gadgets for just anyone; he’s inventing them almost specifically for Potter. Harry. Whatever. The other man was, of course, the new better-results-than-anyone-has-ever-had-before-achieving Auror by the age of twenty. Draco tells himself he doesn’t hate Harry for this very fact. It’s not always he’s convinced.

Almost more surprising than this fact, however, or even the one where they work together, is how good they are at that. Working. Together. Cooperating. Being a team. How bloody ironic, that.

“Allistar is in the living room, the first room on your right when you enter the front door,” Draco says into his microphone, which then transmits this very information to the earpiece firmly planted within Harry’s lughole. He’s watching the two dots corresponding to Harry and the guy, Allistar, who he’s attempting to catch to bring in. This he does on an actual, muggle computer screen. Let it not be said that Draco’s branch will ever be outside the reach of development.

“Am I clear?” Harry asks, the sound transmitting to Draco’s corresponding earpiece.

“Do I look like an idiot to you?” Draco responds. “Or like I have a great desire for masochism or getting sacked? Of course you’re clear.” Harry chuckles.

“I wouldn’t put masochism past you,” Harry retorts happily. Draco’s lips tug slightly in a smile, but he suppresses it, rolling his eyes instead.

“Get to work, Potter,” he says instead of responding. He ignores the tug in his belly when Harry laughs. It’s just his grand desire for a cup of real coffee, not the watery shit they have here, he tells himself.

Harry does get to work, spending barely five minutes before Allistar is stupefied on the ground, not a scratch inflicted on Harry’s nevertheless exponentially scarred skin.

“How’s that for a record?” Harry says smugly, and Draco can just hear his voice dripping with the smirk he’s absolutely certain is playing on his lips right now. He hums noncommittally, deliberately not giving Harry the satisfaction of a confirmation.

“There’s a car waiting outside for you,” he simply says instead. “Unluckily for you, since it’s only 2 pm and you’re in England and not abroad, Gawain wants you for debriefing immediately.” Harry’s groan is demonstrable.

“Can’t you be a darling and–“ Harry begins, but Draco interrupts him firmly and immediately: “No.”

Harry sighs deeply again, but must concede, judging from how he starts collecting the body up in his arms – Draco can’t see – the bloody house doesn’t have any form of CCTV and they didn’t have time to set up some magical surveillance – but he can deduce it from the shuffling about, and the way his earpiece shrieks when something grazes against Harry’s microphone. Also his and Allistar’s dots merge. Not long after they both start moving along quickly, which can only mean that they’re in the car, unless Harry have somehow managed to secure the other body onto his broom and is flying him somewhere else just to be spiteful. Draco doubts it, but wouldn’t really but it past him either.

He stays on the line only a little while longer, just to make sure that the car is in fact going in the right direction – during this time he can still hear Harry’s breathing, hardly laboured despite the heavy carrying just moments ago (they really have to get on developing something for that) – but then he cuts it off.

He looks up to find a couple of people looking his way, so he gives them a thumbs up to let them know the mission was successful – this low security level, it would have been frankly magnificent if it hadn’t been, but still – and they all go back to their work. Draco thinks he really does deserve that cup of coffee by now, but decides to get a quick head-start on his report first.

__

 

Which is how Harry finds him a mere half hour later; hunched over his desk, leaning slightly forwards towards the laptop screen as he types. He doesn’t look up, not even when a cup is placed beside his hand, but he can tell who it is by the sound of their footsteps.

“You know, if you have to lean in this closely you might need glasses,” Harry tells him.

“Gawain would be rather pissed if he knew you went here before going to him,” Draco says, not replying to Harry’s remark.

“I wanted to bring you back your tech. I know how you love it. Also, coffee.”

Draco eyes the cup with said beverage inside it, before glancing up at Harry who is leaning languidly against his desk.

“Is it good coffee?” Draco asks. He’s really tired of bad coffee. Really, how hard can it be to brew the beans properly when you can do magic?

Harry replies by raising his eyebrows at the cup, as if daring Draco to drink it. Draco frowns but takes a sip. It’s heavenly, of course it bloody is.

“Nice,” Draco says, very deliberately not revealing previously stated information. Harry smirks, like he knows that that really means “bloody fantastic”. Maybe he does.

“Now go away,” Draco mumbles slightly grumpily, admitting defeat of the coffee-incident. Harry nearly smiles again, so Draco returns his attention back to his screen in an effort to ignore him and it and the inclination to smile back. Moments later he hears footsteps receding.

 

***

 

“You kept Potter alive again, look at you,” Naomi says, positioning herself on the edge of Draco’s desk, apparently not giving a damn about the papers she’s currently crumbling.

“Marvellous observation,” he says, but it’s not mean spirited but simply banter. Naomi gets him in a way he hasn’t been gotten by many people.

“We should go drink to it,” she says.

“You say that nearly everyday, regardless of what has been achieved.”

“Is there ever a reason not to grab a drink?” Naomi asks, feigning innocence. Draco knows that she has a great desire for Draco to get laid, either at a bar or by someone at work, which is frankly a bit strange, except that he’s used to it by now.

“I would imagine,” Draco replies. “Don’t you have a girlfriend to return home to or something?”

“Estelle didn’t work out,” Naomi says, and accompanies it with something akin to both a sulk and a pout. Draco knows there’s no possible way he’d be allowed to get out of drinks tonight.

“I’ll just finish this up,” he concedes, and Naomi jumps of the desk in victorious glee.

“I knew I could count on you,” she says. Draco just grunts and waves her out the door.

__

 

They go to a place in muggle Soho because, well, they can, and because Draco needs the anonymity of it; of people not knowing what the tattoo on his left forearm really means. It’s not conductive to serious relationship, but then neither are their work. Or their mental state, really. They aren’t the kind of people who date, they will sometimes tell themselves, when they eventually break it off with whoever they are shagging for the moment.

Except Draco haven’t been shagging anyone for a few months, and Naomi has gotten it into her mind that she really needs to change this. Eventually Draco actually gives into her nagging, and possibly also his own libido, as he goes to chat up a languid, skinny, dark-haired twenty-one-year-old who’s leaning against the bar.

__

 

Next morning he gets into work ten minutes late, which is only noticeable because he’s normally there one hour early, and receives a smirk from Naomi from across the desks before he shuts himself in his office. He has to spend half an hour hunting Harry down before he will report to Draco for his new tech update. Draco only learns later how those two things are correlated, because apparently, in this, his intelligence fails him.

 

***

 

So maybe it really actually starts like this: Draco is gifted a truly horribly ugly Christmas jumper by his mother, and is guilt-tripped into wearing it at work. Not that that’s inducible of anything itself, really, it’s just that Harry comes to his office for a debriefing and nearly rips up his new side-stitches from laughing. Draco simply scowls.

“Are you perhaps ready to be a professional employee of this department anytime soon?” he asks, but his grumpy tone only induces more laughter in Harry, so he has to bend over and grasp his stomach. Draco is only a little bit worried, which is a lot less than he’s annoyed. He considers upending his cup of shitty coffee over Harry’s head.

It’s almost funny, actually, how this is where they are, considering all the places they’ve been. They did have a talk about three years after the war, meeting at Andromeda’s for Teddy’s birthday by accident. It seems that their slate is clean, or as clean as it’ll ever be. Draco still finds him infuriating though.

He’s only a little startled when Harry suddenly reaches out to squeeze the red nose on the reindeer knitted into his sweater. Harry seems to have nearly gotten his giggles under control, but the nose is too much for him, and he’s gone again, still holding onto the nose. Draco shakes his head at him, but finds a smile crawling onto his own face, before he chuckles, feeling betrayed by himself.

So if they end up smiling stupidly at each other over a bloody jumper, and Draco’s treacherous heart does a little jolt, it really needn’t be mentioned. Ever again, actually.

__

 

Apparently Harry takes the hideousness of the jumper to mean that Draco is okay with receiving terribly ugly things for presents, because the next time he’s abroad – in bloody Chicago – he brings back an eagle with the American flag on its back that is capable of singing the first three lines of the American anthem if you press it on the stomach back for Draco.

“Merlin’s beard, what the bloody hell is that?” Draco says when the spectacle is placed on the desk in front of him. Harry is just smiling stupidly. Draco nearly wants to deck him.

“A gift."

“And why is it here?” Draco asks.

“You saved my life on the mission,” Harry says. Not true, not really. Draco had simply told him not to take a left turn and otherwise guided him through the fairly simple mission where not much help was needed at all.

“Hardly,” he says.

Harry shrugs happily and turns on his heels before Draco can say anything or possibly try to refuse the horror of a souvenir. He stares dumbfounded at his door for a long while after Harry leaves out of it. Eventually he sighs at the eagle, patting it on its eagle head like it understands his struggles.

 

***

 

It becomes a thing. Harry brings Draco absolutely horrible souvenirs as gifts whenever he’s abroad and Draco is the one talking him through the mission by his earpiece. Sometimes even if he isn’t. Draco ponders the idea that it’s simply too late to refuse, and resigns himself to it. His already shabby flat now looks like a person with the worst of tastes have vomited all over all of his shelves. Draco looks at the eagle, and the small bulldog, and the elephant with exasperation every time he walks past them, and tries to get his cat to stop hissing at them.

Something else becomes a thing, as well, and Draco is certain that if not any of the other times, this is where it begins, at 3am on a Tuesday night when someone is tapping on his window by the fire escape. He’s almost always insomniac, so at least he isn’t startled awake by it.

He is however startled, when it turns out to be his old nemesis and current co-worker, and also just the bloody saviour of the entire wizarding world who’s smiling through his window and waiting to be let in.

“Aren’t you supposed to be in Oslo?” Draco asks first thing when he opens the window. He opens it, because what else can he do, really?

Harry just waves his hand as if to wave the question away, and tries to step over the windowsill and inside, but winces in pain as he moves his upper body and immediately Draco’s groggy annoyance disappears and he’s over by Harry’s side with a steadying hand on his arm.

“Are you hurt?” he asks, letting Harry rest his weight on him as he attempts to get inside. It’s rather graceless.

“Just a small wound,” Harry mumbles, but he winces and he's pale. Draco doesn’t know if he should be angry with his irresponsibility coming bloody here then, or be mostly empathetic. For the moment he’s neither, and is instead the person who closes the window behind Harry and guides him from the bedroom and to the couch, where he helps him sit down.

“Where?” he asks shortly, going in to the same sort of focused mode as when he’s guiding Harry through the safest path during his missions. Harry points to his abdomen, but doesn’t do anything else. Draco doesn’t hesitate before he takes Harry’s shirt off.

Harry is right, it is just a small wound, but it’s still serious enough to be painful, and for Harry to have lost quite a bit of blood. It’s also stitched up amateurishly, most likely by Harry himself.

“Why the fuck are you not at the hospital right now?” Draco asks him. Harry chuckles, and it’s really not funny.

“I will,” Harry promises. “I just needed to give you your souvenir first.” He pulls out a small, pink plastic statue of the Eiffel Tower, and Draco hates him. He’s just about to say something like that, when his cat interrupts him. Harry makes some sort of gleeful exclamation, and apparently forgets all about his wound or the Tower, the latter of which he distractedly pushes into Draco’s hands so he has to receive it.

“Hi, boy,” Harry coos and scratches the cat behind his ears. “What’s his name?”

Draco for a moment simply watches Harry’s fingers working Bond’s – yes, that is his name, and don’t you dare judge – fur, and feels slightly betrayed by how much the cat leans into it.

“Bond,” Draco reveals reluctantly eventually. He instantly feels Harry’s eyes on him.

“As in James Bond?” Harry asks, amused. Draco shrugs, although the real answer would be “yes”. He refuses to meet Harry’s eyes, so eventually Harry simply returns to the cat, scratching its’ neck now.

“What are you actually doing here?” Draco asks after a while. “And how do you even know where I live?”

“Already told you,” Harry knows, although ‘souvenir delivery’ must surely be a lie, if only because the idea of it is so ridiculous Draco can’t imagine a world in which it would be true. “And you’re really not that hard to track down. Not for someone with my level of clearance at least,” he smirks.

“Brat,” Draco mumbles under his breath, and Harry chuckles.

“Listen,” Harry says then, almost serious. “I’m going to go to Mungo’s first thing tomorrow, and Gawain won’t have to know that I didn’t go immediately. I haven’t even landed yet.” Draco sighs deeply. “I just really need to sleep right now.”

“Don’t you have your own flat to do that?” Draco asks, although he’s not really contemplating throwing Harry out in this state.

“Probably not good idea to be alone while sporting a new stab-wound.”

“Don’t you have friends to be your babysitter?”

“They care too much to let me miss the hospital,” Harry says, which is probably honestly true.

“I also care,” Draco says. “If you die under my watch, I’ll probably be assassinated in my sleep.”

“I promise I won’t die,” Harry smiles. Draco has already given in, really, but he lets Harry try to convince him anyway, if only to hear the slightly desperate tone of his voice. It reminds Draco of another kind of desperation, the one that comes is gasps and whispers of “please” as someone is chasing the friction you provide them with right before their eyes close and their body clenches with pleasure. Draco realises that he’s staring, and also that he’s imagining the way Harry’s lips might look right before an orgasm, and shudders. This is definitely not the kind of thoughts he should be having right now. Or bloody ever, really. Treacherous libido.

“Whatever,” Draco says nonchalantly, hoping that Harry doesn’t notice the way his voice has dropped an octave or two. “I’m going back to bed anyway. Do whatever you want. Just don’t go through or break any of my stuff. And don’t kill my cat,” he adds as an afterthought. Harry giggles again, and fuck him really, for sitting here on Draco’s couch in the middle of the night, with a stab-wound in his stomach, and still be smiling stupidly like that.

Draco gets up and leaves before he does anything monstrously dumb.

Next morning, when he wakes up, Harry is gone, but the pink Eiffel Tower is still there, as well as a sleeping indent in Draco’s sofa. He should care more.

__

 

It’s Naomi who enters his office the next morning and brings him the news of, “Harry is back. He checked into St. Mungo’s at seven this morning. Minor wound to the abdomen. Gawain has already been there, and Harry’s on leave for the rest of the week.”

“What did he do to himself now?” Draco asks, pretending he doesn’t already know.

“Hand-to-hand combat,” Naomi explains sporadically. “Knife.” It’s enough.

“Hm. Maybe I should develop him a potion against being stupid enough to get in fights he can’t win.” Naomi chuckles.

“I don’t think even you can do that,” she says, and Draco laughs, but doesn’t really feel as venomous towards Harry as he sounds. He should just really stop getting in situations where he might die. It’s getting old.

 

***

 

The next time Draco finds Harry in his flat is a Sunday afternoon, and this time his flat is being broken into, because when he enters his front door with his groceries he hears the unmistakable sound of the television being on. For a moment he worries that someone is actually here to assassinate him, but then again only Harry would actually tune into something as stupid as Judge Geordie.

“Stooped low enough to be breaking and entering now, have we?” Draco asks without looking at him as he enters the kitchen, which is not really a “kitchen” more than it is kitchen surfaces and appliances in the corner of the room that is his lounge.

“Your window wasn’t locked, so it’s really technically only entering,” Harry says. His voice is full of a challenge, like he expects Draco to throw him out. Of course Draco then resolves simply not to. He cannot give him the satisfaction.

“Can you at least use my telly to watch something better?” Draco says.

“Bond likes it,” Harry says. Draco looks up then and, indeed, Bond must like it, because he’s lying all cuddled up next to Harry, letting the man pet him. Draco honestly feels betrayed.

“He just likes being petted,” he mumbles under his breath, annoyed. He unpacks the takeaway curry that he bought himself, along with the red wine he bought for next time Naomi wants to come over for tipsy chats about their clearly non-existent love lives.

___

 

And, okay, so maybe he gives in, just for a little bit, and goes to sit next to Harry and Bond on the couch with his food. He doesn’t offer any up, because people who break into other people’s flats don’t deserve to get a share of those people’s food, but Harry steals a few bites from him anyway. Perhaps it’s a good thing. Once as close as this, watching Harry’s hand on Bond’s back, he notices how skinny and pale Harry truly is. He can’t believe anyone actually lets him out into the field. His wrist looks like Draco could break it in a second.

Draco swallows and looks up, momentarily startled to find Harry watching him with a small smile. And, alright, it is a nice smile, and Harry’s lips are nice when they’re red with the moisture from the slightly oily food. The way he’s leaning against the back of the couch, his feet on the coffee table, is so open and relaxed it almost reminds Draco of the open position of surrender his lovers will take when Draco is the one to top, before he crawls onto the other person and presses down his body– yeah, probably shouldn’t think about that. Draco goes back to his food and tries to will his flush away.

“So. James Bond,” Harry says after this has been going on for a while. Draco is thankful for the topic change, even if it is this.

“Indeed,” he says.

“Why?” Suppose that’s a fair question, really.

“They’re good movies,” Draco shrugs. “Sexist, obviously.” Harry nods.

“Hermione cannot watch them, she gets so angry. Especially the older ones.”

“Understandable, really,” Draco says. He doesn’t ask how she is, or if they’re still a big part of Harry’s life, or any of those other questions that he doesn’t know the answer to and maybe should. Like this, in their new life, it just feels like he can be allowed to forget the old, and sometimes he needs that. Likes it. He doesn’t want to ruin it by bringing up old memories and scars.

“Not sure if I liked Skyfall, though,” Harry says. This makes Draco perk up.

“Excuse me?” he exclaims. “How can you say that? Bond is right here. You’re insulting his favourite movie.”

Harry smiles, in a way that Draco almost would describe as fond, if it wasn’t that Harry is Harry, and he is him. “It just didn’t have that many explosions.”

“Listen,” Draco says. “Listen. You cannot judge this spectacle of a movie by the amount of explosions it has. The whole point is that it’s a Bond movie that transcends that. You know, Q? Who says they’ve gone away from exploding pens.”

Draco sucks in a deep breath, and scowls when he finds Harry pressing his lips together as if trying not to smile or, worse, laugh.

“What?” Draco hisses, and the smile on Harry’s face breaks through.

“You’re cute when you’re passionate,” he says. If Draco had had anything to drink, he would have choked on it. Now he just coughs violently and feels a flush spread over his cheeks. It all makes Harry’s smile even wider. Draco thinks he’s infuriating.

“That’s it,” he says. “We’re watching it.” Mostly he’s trying to avoid having to talk to Harry about what he just confessed, but this is an important issue, too. One that warrants intervention, definitely.

__

 

An hour later Draco is snuggled well and proper into the couch, a blanket thrown languidly across his legs and his chest, the movie playing on the screen. Harry is mirroring his position next to him. Draco tries not to think about how he got here. Both literally and just in general.

Harry occasionally comments on something happening in the movie, but mostly they share a comfortable silence as they watch it. Draco finds himself calmer than he can remember being for quite a while. It’s late, and he’s had a lazy day, so it isn’t too much of a surprise when he feels himself start dropping off against his own shoulder slowly. He momentarily considers seriously attempting to stay awake, or to go into his own bed, both thoughts brought on by the fact that, if he falls asleep, he might actually start drooling on Harry Potter.

He takes the chance, in the end. Which is a more deliberate wording for “He is simply so tired that there’s no way he could not fall asleep, and he doesn’t even have time to decide that he doesn’t care before he is sleeping.”

___

 

Harry is gone when Draco wakes up, somehow in his own bed, but almost as soon as he gets into work Harry appears in his office with a cup of coffee in hand. What catches Draco’s eyes is the mug: It’s the one that Q drinks from in the movie. He has no idea how the bloody hell Harry managed to find that in just one night.

Draco shakes his head, but has to admit that he does it fondly. In return he gets one of the greatest smiles he’s ever seen on Harry’s face, at least directed at him.

“You’re the Q to my Bond,” he says. Draco laughs out loud in a way he’s rarely ever done at Harry’s jokes before, and the next Thursday when Harry shows up at his window at ten pm he simply lets him in with a smile.

 

***

 

It goes on for a while. It only takes two weeks of this being a fairly regular occurrence before literally the whole department knows. Draco receives a memo from Gawain about how “Letting personal entanglements interfere with his work is strictly unprofessional.”

Draco doesn’t know how to tell everyone that they aren’t shagging. Because that’s really not what they’re doing.

Until it is.

__

 

Draco is out with Naomi, who is the only one he’s actually talked about Harry with, and who is in correlation the only one who knows that they aren’t in fact nurturing a sexual office romance, but that Harry has just taken a liking to Draco’s flat and his cat and, perhaps, maybe, his company. He gets drunk and considers taking someone home, but then he doesn’t, which is almost more terrifying than anything has been until now. He doesn’t want to go home with anyone else, he realises. When he scans the room for a potential bed-partner for the night, the person he’s really looking for is someone with dark, messy, unruly hair, long and dumbly skinny legs, accompanied by a smile so filled with innocence and sexual innuendo at the same time that it should really be illegal.

He’s been doing that for quite some time, Draco realises. Why does even being sexually attracted to Harry have to be such an infuriating, difficult thing? Dammit.

 

***

 

When he walks through the door to his flat it is instantly clear that he’s not alone. It’s only one am – Naomi found someone to go home with early, so Draco left as well, not wanting to find someone for himself. Harry is on his couch, looking like he’s sleeping, but when Draco closes the door behind him, he stirs.

“You don’t have to get up,” Draco murmurs. Harry turns from his side to his back and opens his eyes, studying Draco’s expression and outfit.

“You went out,” he states. Draco shrugs and then nods. He goes to the kitchen sink to pour himself a glass of water, and vaguely notices the sound of the couch creaking as Harry gets up from it.

A moment later the other man is behind him, and quite far up in his personal space, really.

“You smell like perfume,” Harry mumbles. “And alcohol.”

“That’s because I hung out with Naomi drinking,” Draco says, shrugging again. He turns around and watches Harry watching him. For a moment he’s confused by Harry’s intense look, but then he realises what Harry is doing; he’s trying to figure out if Draco “hung out” with someone else.

“I’m gay,” he says stupidly, as if that explains anything. He doesn’t know why he even feels the need to explain himself in the first place. “I mean, so the perfume is not from a girl. If that’s what you’re…” He lets he sentence trail off, not knowing what to say.

His eyes fall to Harry’s neck, pale, with blue veins showing. His steady but slightly too fast pulse is showing through his thin skin. God, he’s so breakable. Draco wants to let his teeth leave marks on that clear, empty skin, until his entire neck is purple with bruises. He wants to push into him, pull at him; God, he wants, because he could. He could break him so easily. But he wants to know that he wouldn't.

Draco takes a step forward, and since Harry doesn’t move away they are now truly up in each other’s space. Draco hears more than sees Harry breathe out heavily. Their eyes meet and it’s heavy and hard and so sultry. Harry raises his eyebrows provocatively, and tilts his head so Draco would have perfect access to Harry’s neck.

But then Harry does something else: he smiles that stupidly big smile of his, and suddenly Draco doesn’t just want to take him apart and mark him selfishly, he also wants to make that smile appear in-between hearing Harry moaning his name.

“Dammit,” Draco mumbles and leans in to kiss him.

It’s like that’s the only invitation Harry needs, because seconds later they’re rutting against each other like infatuated teenagers, and Harry is burying and twisting his hands in Draco’s hair, pulling him closer each time he doesn’t feel like they’re close enough. He moans into the kiss, and when Draco pushes his knees apart slightly to insert his thigh and rut it against Harry, he moans even louder.

“You’re so loud,” Draco mumbles heatedly, and bites that neck anyway. Harry lets him, but only for a while, before he pulls Draco back up.

“Fuck me,” Harry says, and oh god, Draco sure will.

“Come first,” he mumbles though, and pushes open Harry’s trousers button, before pushing it all down to the middle of his thighs. He doesn’t give himself time to take a good long look; that will come later. Right now he just spits in his hand and grabs onto Harry’s cock, twisting his grip and letting his thumb slide over Harry’s slit so the other man’s knees nearly buckle under him.

“God, look at you,” Draco mumbles, and it makes Harry push into his hand even more needing, greedy than before. Draco leans in to capture his lips. Harry really is marvellous at this, this kissing part. God, the mouth on him, Draco thinks, as Harry starts to push himself into Draco’s hand even more frequently while whispering obscenities into Draco’s neck. Draco doesn’t even register that Harry is trying to get into his pants before his hand is there, wrapped around him, and somewhere in the back of his mind he thinks that’s quite a good metaphor for this entire situation.

To be fair to Harry, Draco also almost buckles into Harry’s touch as soon as it’s on him. Merlin’s beard, they really are like horny teenagers. Harry even bites into Draco’s shoulder as his body tightens, and whispers “Fuck,” into the sore skin there as he comes all over Draco’s hands.

He's hardly done coming before he sinks to his knees in front of Draco, and Draco thinks he might go blind with lust. He tries to grab onto the edge of the counter, but finds that it’s one step behind him, so instinctively he takes the step back. Only afterwards does he realise that he just walked away from Harry’s mouth. The man currently on his knees looks up at him with a look so like the one he uses when he thinks Draco’s jokes are annoying, and Draco tries to choke down his chuckle, without success.

“Sorry,” he says, and beckons Harry closer with his foot. This is ridiculous, him with his pants only halfway off and Harry just on the floor before him. Then Harry moves in and kisses Draco’s inner thigh, and it’s just really hot again. When Harry’s lips close around him, Draco is nearly sure he’s going to be killed by him. He doesn’t entirely mind, he thinks, as he takes only two minutes to orgasm down that beautiful throat on him.

Afterwards Draco is holding on tightly to the counter, his eyes closed and his breathing heavy, trying to get it back to normal. He gives up and lets himself slide down to the floor, where he joins Harry.

“So that happened,” he says, opening his eyes again. Harry just smiles that stupid fucking bloody infuriating smile.

“That is still happening,” he says, and moves in to press a softer kiss to Draco’s lips, his mouth tasting of Draco. “You haven’t fucked me yet.”

__

 

He does. He kisses Harry again and kisses him all the way into the bedroom, guiding him through the living room with his eyes closed. The door to his bedroom is closed, so Draco pushes Harry against it and kisses him harshly. He attaches himself to Harry’s collarbone, and Harry’s nails dig into his scalp as he moans again, already hard against Draco’s thigh. Draco is not far behind him.

“Bed,” Harry moans into his ear desperately. Draco takes the hint and pushes open the door, making Harry nearly fall over his own legs as the surface behind him disappears.

“Warning,” he exclaims, apparently having regressed to the use of only single words. Draco simply grabs him so he can carry him to the bed where he pushes him down and crawls up to his neck and attaches himself to it again. Harry lets out an undignified whine and then grunts.

They eventually calm down enough to grab the lube and condoms from the bedside table. Harry takes his shirt off as Draco crawls down between his wide-spread legs. He quickly learns that Harry is incredibly sensitive; he’s wild with it, never once not trying to chase more friction than what Draco is giving him. Somewhere in the back of his mind Draco realises that this is actually Harry Potter, the man he has spent a good long time of his life hating, who is giving in to his fingers completely, desperately giving himself over. Draco nearly comes just from the thought.

“I’m ready,” Harry groans.

“Just a minute,” Draco tries, because despite it all he’d rather not cause Harry any actual harm, but the other man groans and removes himself from Draco’s grip. Seconds later he’s all up in Draco’s space, adjusting himself on his lap and pushing himself down on him torturously slowly. For a moment Draco loses all control and simply groans into Harry’s shoulder as the other man rides him languidly and with sensual movements, rolling his hips in a way that makes Draco’s body shiver in pain-edged pleasure. Draco is sure he’ll have bite-marks all over his shoulder tomorrow, and scratch-marks down his back. He doesn’t really mind.

It doesn’t take long for the familiar building of tense pleasure to build in the low of his stomach. Draco pushes Harry onto his back, and angles his thrusts so he’s perfectly aligned to hit Harry’s prostate with every one. Harry cries out and throws his head back, trying to get his hand in-between their bodies to touch himself, but Draco grabs his wrists and holds them over his head.

“You can come like this,” he says. For the first time since they begun they stop, and Harry meets his eyes, his breath heavy. Draco’s body thrums with the way Harry’s pupils are blown and his chest is flushed. Draco raises his eyebrows in a challenge, and rolls his hips just for good measure, so Harry groans again, his body arching and his neck thrown back just slightly, but little enough for them to still be able to make eye-contact. Harry bites his lips before he smiles that dumb smile of his again. Draco smiles as well, and presses it to the corner of Harry’s mouth.

“Hm?” he mumbles in question.

“Okay,” Harry agrees.

“Yeah?”

“Go on,” Harry mumbles seductively, biting Draco’s earlobe slightly. “Make me.”

So Draco rolls his hips again, and dives back down to Harry’s neck when it is thrown back once more. Harry’s legs come up around Draco’s hips to force him in tighter, and it only takes two more minutes before Harry’s breath is shaky and desperate in Draco’s ears, and he spills himself over their stomachs.

Draco makes as if to pull away, but Harry tightens his grip on Draco’s body. He knows what it means; Harry doesn’t have to say anything. So Draco keeps thrusting, five, six, seven times, and then he’s copying Harry and groaning into his collarbone as he comes.

 

***

 

When he wakes up the next morning, the space next to him on the bed is empty, but on the cold sheets there lies a yellow post-it-note. Where Harry found that, Draco really doesn’t know.

“Morning!,” it says on the note, “G called me in at five, but said you weren’t urgently needed (don’t worry, I was discreet), so I let you sleep on.
See you soon
Ps. you should probably wear your high-neck jumper
Pps. sorry ‘bout that.”

Draco only groans a little bit, and lies back on his pillow, looking at the ceiling and shaking his head at it like it holds sole responsibility for what happened last night, and not Draco himself. He’s honestly glad that Harry isn’t here, so he has some time to gather his thoughts in peace. Here’s something to think about: It doesn’t pass Draco’s notice that he slept just fine with Harry’s body next to him. Maybe it’s just the warmth of another person. Or maybe it’s simply Harry. He hopes for the former, because the latter is too terrifying.

The floorboards creak as Bond strolls into the room gracefully, and hops onto the bed with ease. Draco reaches out his hand for him, and scratches him behind the ears.

“What have I done, huh?” he asks the animal, but he just meows with pleasure and pushes into Draco’s hand. Draco pats him on the back and decides he might as well get up.

 

In the kitchen he finds an almost full coffee pot with another post-it-note on it, this one saying “Made at 5.20.” It’s now 7.10, so Draco decides not to drink it. Instead he gets in the shower, and tries not to look at the bruises and scratches littering his skin. Right there and then he decides that he will never get into bed with Harry ever again. They work together, and it’s way too complicated.

When he gets into work Naomi is by his side in the office within a minute of him arriving. For a moment Draco is nervous that she knows, and tugs absentmindedly on the collar of his high-neck shirt, but she just hands him an earpiece.

“Potter is out on a job,” she says, using her professional voice. Draco’s laptop is opened to CCTV camera access, and a file is in front of him on the table.

“You’ll be needed to guide him through in twenty minutes. Should be enough for you to read the file. It’s a three,” she tells him, and leaves the door open behind her when she strolls out.

Twelve minutes later Draco is debriefed, and two minutes later he gets the notification that Harry has arrived. He puts in the earpiece.

“Hey,” he says stupidly, and checks that the line is secure. It takes him a second to find Harry’s figure on the CCTV footage.

“Someone is a late sleeper today,” Harry says jokingly, and Draco hates him, and also his resolve to never hang out with Harry ever again could evaporate dangerously quickly.

“Don’t be smart, Potter,” he retorts, and cringes at the flirting tone in his own voice. They’re on a job, for Merlin’s sake. He watches as a corresponding smile appears on Harry’s face, before he turns to find the camera and directs his smile there, raising his eyebrows, knowing that Draco is watching him. Draco’s resolve is entirely gone.

“Your target is in the building on your right,” he says, trying desperately to achieve some sort of professionalism. Thankfully Harry is able to switch into it quite well and quickly, judging by the way his back becomes straighter and he nods.

“Alright,” he says, and lets Draco guide him through it. He enters the building and for a long stretch all Draco hears is Harry moving about. Then: “Are you sure he’s in here? It looks like someone has deserted the place very quickly.”

Draco checks the monitor, but the target’s dot is still firmly planted in the building. He wasn’t supposed to know they were coming. Draco makes eye-contact with Naomi across his screen and makes a hand gesture that is known in the department to mean “Get Gawain.”

“Alright. It looks like he knows you were coming. This changes the game.” Harry hums his agreement. Draco watches his dot on the screen intensely in lieu of better. Twenty seconds later Gawain appears on his side. Naomi, who has been listening along, explains things to him quietly. Gawain is handed his own earpiece and microphone, and the line is opened for him.
“Report, Potter,” he says.

“Not getting anything on the anti-concealment spell, Sir,” Harry says on the other end. Draco watches as his dot moves, presumably meaning that Harry is working through the rooms.

“Get the target re-tracked,” Gawain tells Naomi, who leaves the room instantly. The atmosphere is tense. It’s never good when something doesn’t go according to plan.

For a long time nothing happens other than the two of them watching the monitor intensely, and Harry giving an update after each room; “Bathroom clear.” Then Draco hears the unmistakable sound of someone with heels running across their hallway floor. Naomi appears in the doorway, panting.

“The target is still in the house, Sir,” she says. “He’s connected to Meinrad.” Meinrad is the top of a domestic terror organisation they’re trying to bring down. In short, this is terrible news.

“New information have arrived,” Draco says to Harry over the line instantly. Gawain nods when he looks at him. “Abort the mission. Leave the building immediately.”

Draco only just manages to finish before there’s the sound of a flurry of movement on the other side, and Harry grunts. “Target located,” he says, and Draco hears the unmistakable sound of him running after someone. The target's dot on the monitor doesn’t move when Harry’s does, so it’s instantly clear that they’ve been hacked.

“Do not follow,” Draco yells so Harry will hear him. “I repeat, do not follow. You are not authorised.” Then: “Harry, get out.”

“I’m fine,” Harry says, and now Draco sees the both of them on the CCTV footage. He’s only a few meters behind the target. “I’ve got him.”

“Abort!” Draco yells. “Harry, for God’s sake, stop it,” he yells. Then he watches as Harry pulls the earpiece out of his ear and throws it to the ground, before he casts a spell after the target. Draco slams his hand to the table and gets up in frustration. Quickly he’s back though and watching the monitor with worry as the target shoots back and Harry only just casts a deflection charm.

Harry wins the battle, of course he does, but that doesn’t stop both Draco and Gawain from fuming in anger. When the target is on the ground, paralysed, Harry walks back up to the earpiece and finds a camera to look into before he puts it in his ear.

“Sorry,” he says, and Draco is so angry that he simply rips out his own earpiece and gets, leaving Harry to deal with Gawain behind him, or perhaps the other way around.
He goes to the bathroom and splashes his face with water, looking at his anger-flushed cheeks in the mirror, grabbing onto the edge of the sink and sighing. He meets his own eyes in the mirror, and knows that the idea toying in his head is absolutely terrible.

He plays it out anyway.

Getting back to his own desk, now emptied out from both Gawain and Naomi, he finds Harry on the CCTV within seconds.

“Harry,” he demands, knowing that the other man still has his earpiece in.

“Yeah?”

“You better repay me for this by letting me shag you again.”

Harry laughs on the other end, and Draco tells himself that the sound doesn’t do anything to make his anger disappear. When he can’t even keep his resolve, he must at least try to keep that.

“Deal,” Harry says. Draco listens to his breathe for a moment before he cuts off the line.

__

 

They’re on each other as soon as Harry is inside the flat. Draco nearly falls over with the speed with which he tries to get out get out of his pants. Harry giggles into his mouth, and he hates him, Draco hates the guts out of him.

“Fuck,” he pants.

“That is the general idea, yes,” Harry whispers into his neck, his breath wet and hot. Draco tugs a little hard at his hair in response, but Harry just laughs again. When Draco bites his bottom lip he simply moans.

They don’t even make it to the bedroom, instead falling over each other on the couch. Harry gives Draco the best blowjob he’s probably ever had, and then he gets himself off while Draco watches, making eye contact with hooded eyes.

“Am I forgiven?” Harry asks afterwards.

“No,” Draco says, but the way he’s running his hands through Harry’s hair would probably beg to differ.

“Hm,” Harry mumbles. “What if I buy us pizza?”

“Hawaiian?” Draco asks. Harry lifts his head on his elbow, so Draco meets his eyes.

“That is the most disgusting thing you’ve ever said,” Harry says. “But okay. If that’s what you truly desire.”

Draco nods, and then that’s that. Harry gets up, the mood is broken, but later he re-joins Draco on the couch for another Bond marathon. They fall asleep on the couch, and when Draco wakes up at four in the morning with his arms snuggled around Harry’s body he decides that freaking out is overrated.

 

***

 

So now it’s begun. All it does after that is continue.

Harry continues to bring Draco the ugliest souvenirs you could ever imagine, and he continues hanging out at Draco’s flat for varying amounts of time and with various amounts of shagging involved. Draco has stopped being surprised when Harry isn’t there in the morning, but he’s also stopped being surprised when he is. Sometimes they have lazy, languid sex when Harry crawls in through the window at two am and Draco hasn’t slept yet, because he’s still not over that one. Sometimes Harry shows up in his office unannounced and gets down to his knees in front of Draco’s office chair, but sometimes he simply brings Draco a cup of coffee and lets their fingers touch. Draco has a pile of books on his bedside table that doesn’t belong to him, and he doesn’t know what this is, but he knows that he’s sort of stopped caring by now. He gets far too many magnificent orgasms for that.

Draco’s office has become filled with whispers and he’s pretty sure that there’s a betting pool about what the nature of his and Harry’s relationship really is. Naomi is the only one Draco actually talks to about it all. True to form, she tells him to just go along with it. None of them have ever put much value on labels.

Gawain has started sighing deeply every time he has to talk with Draco in his office, looking disapprovingly at the assortment of kitschy souvenirs littering Draco’s desk. Draco removes the cow painted like a zebra from Tokyo so Gawain can place a new file where it once was.

“My work is impeccable,” Draco feels the need to defend himself, although Gawain haven’t said anything.

“I know,” Gawain says, sighing again. “It’s not you I’m worried about.”

Draco frowns at the cow/zebra for a while after Gawain has left. He’s never really thought of it like that. He’s been so caught up in his past emotions for Harry, and his job, and his own life that he’s hardly considered the idea that this could be affecting Harry very greatly.

“Does he like me?” he asks Naomi later, when she comes to his office to pick a report up. She looks at him like he’s just fallen down from the moon and murmurs, “Dear God, save him,” under her breath, before she pats Draco’s cheek and leaves again. Draco remains confused.

__

 

He stays in late at work, and when he comes home a little past nine, his flat is filled with music. 80s music. Draco briefly reconsiders if he should be hanging out with Harry at all. Even more so when he enters the door and finds Harry sitting on the floor with Bond in front of him, holding him up by his front paws and making him dance to the music. Bond looks at Draco like he’s begging to be saved from this crazy human in front of him.

“Hi,” Harry exclaims gleefully, and grabs Bond from the floor and raises himself to go peck Draco on the cheek. This isn’t new, but Draco is paying attention to it now. Bond tries desperately to move into Draco’s arms instead, so Draco takes him and lets him down onto the floor, where he runs away to lie on the bed in the next room. Harry seems unperturbed.

Draco, completely unceremoniously realises that the only possible reason why he has been able to put up with Harry’s weirdness for this long is that he must be in love with him. He’s barely even startled; he supposes he’s been prepared for this for quite a while, perhaps even from the first time Harry started bringing him home those God awful ceramic creatures and other kinds of crap.

“What’s with the music?” he asks, because in this situation that is really the more disturbing revelation of the two. Harry smiles like he’s about to go on a rant, and Draco resigns himself to be living the rest of his life with a particular weakness towards that and any other smiles Harry might give him. He thinks he might be able to do that just fine.

 

***

 

Some two and a half weeks later Draco finds himself being immensely grateful for the timing of his discovery, if only because Harry nearly gets himself killed, and it would have been too much of a cliché even for Draco to have a "realization of infatuated feelings" moment immediately after that.

Harry is on a job, and he’s saying something playful to Draco in his ear the moment that the target appears from an alleyway, and he isn’t quick enough. Luckily they are helping the MI5 and the target is a muggle, so it’s not like Harry is hit with a killing curse. He is, however, hit with a bullet to his left shoulder. Harry manages to paralyse the target, but Draco still has to watch the CCTV footage of Harry’s blood bleeding out of him and being swallowed up by the pavement. He doesn’t scream or yell, because he knows it won’t help, but as he sits there and tries to talk Harry through how to save his own life, Draco resolves to be the one to murder the target if Harry is to die right then.

By the time Harry gets to the hospital his situation is critical. Draco is angry the whole ride over there, because if he lets the fury give way to the fear he won’t be able to make it, he just won’t. At the hospital he goes to the gift shop while they wait for the surgery to be over and buys the most hideous thing he can find. If Harry doesn’t wake up to see it, Draco will burn it along with all the rest of the reminders littering his shelves and his desk and his life.

Harry does wake up. He’s only allowed one visitor at first, and no one tries to get in Draco’s way. Draco doesn’t stroll up to him and confess, and he doesn’t kiss him with all of the desperation he really feels. Instead he smiles softly and hands Harry the gift.

“I got you something,” he says. Harry watches the thing and laughs until he winces with pain and has to stop. Draco wants to kiss him, so he does. It doesn’t matter who sees.

“Finally he gets me a gift,” Harry says. His voice is hoarse and low, and clearly laden with pain, but it’s also fond and amused. “Apparently what did it was nearly dying.” Draco smiles gently and settles into the chair next to Harry’s bed.

“If you wanted gifts you could have just said,” he says. “No need to be so dramatic.” Their jokes are to keep away the absolute fear of the situation, and they both know it, but they both let the jokes do their work. Harry reaches out for Draco’s head, so Draco places his on the mattress next to Harry’s waist and allows fingers to intertwine with his hair as he breathes in the smell of sweat and blood and Harry, living, breathing Harry.

__

 

When Harry comes home from the hospital they fuck in the exact same way they always do when they’ve been apart; passionate and hurried and with just a slight hint of sexual desperation. The only thing that changes is that Draco says “My cock is almost as glad as I am that you aren’t dead,” while Harry is sucking him off, and the reverberations from Harry’s chuckle through his bones make Draco groan in ecstasy, and that’s that really.

“What kind of reward do I get for not being dead then?” Harry asks, when Draco has come and is kissing the taste of it out of Harry’s mouth.

Draco rims him. And then he shags him from behind, his stomach and legs perfectly aligned with Harry’s back, their bodies slick from their sweat and sliding together, Draco’s breath panting the back of Harry’s neck damp. Harry ruts against the mattress and the sheets, and comes all over them.

Draco loves him, but doesn’t say. He doesn’t want to give Harry the satisfaction of knowing that his near-death experience was what made Draco come to his senses and confess.

 

***

 

A month later Draco goes to see his parents, and comes home at one in the morning to find Harry already fast asleep in his bed, Bond snuggled up to him cosily. Draco takes his clothes off quietly, and grabs Bond gently to move him, before he takes his place next to Harry, only he gets under the covers. He puts his arm around Harry from behind and snuggles into his neck. He spoons him, essentially.

Harry wakes up enough to hum and grab Draco’s hand on his chest, before he tangles their legs together. “Your feet are cold,” he mumbles. Draco kisses his neck in response.

“Sorry.” Harry just intertwines their fingers.

“Did you have a good time?” he asks quietly, still dragging his words from sleep. Draco hums in confirmation. He wonders if this is the time to open an entirely new conversation, and in the end considers this a time as good as any.

“My parents asked if I was seeing anyone,” he says into the fine hairs on Harry’s neck. Harry seems pretty unconcerned.

“What’d you say?” he asks.

“I said yes,” Draco reveals. He expects that Harry will perhaps want to discuss that, since that is most definitely not a conversation they’ve had between them. Instead Harry just lifts Draco’s palm to his lips and gives it a kiss.

“Okay,” he hums. Draco waits for more, but nothing comes.

“Okay?” he asks. His voice reaches normal conversation volume. Harry frowns. “Aren’t you– I mean, I meant I was seeing you.”

Harry simply chuckles. “I hope that’s the case,” he says. Draco is even more confused. He sits up in bed this time, but Harry tries to pull him back down, clearly not as bothered as Draco is.

“Harry,” Draco says. “Are we dating?”

“Hmm,” Harry mumbles, snuggling further into the pillow. “Sure.”

Eventually Harry must realise that Draco is sort of going through a crisis right now, because he turns to his back and opens his eyes reluctantly, so he can take in Draco’s expression. Draco thinks he probably looks a bit frazzled and dazed currently.

“But,” he says now that he has Harry’s attention. “I mean, we’re us.” At this Harry smiles greatly, and takes Draco’s hand to kiss it again.

“Yeah,” he says, and his tone is so fond Draco’s heart skips, that treacherous thing. “We’re us. We’re doing pretty alright being us, aren’t we?” Draco really really hates how Harry is always right about the things that matter. Harry watches him with a smile playing on his lips, like he’s waiting for Draco to realise something Harry have known all along.

“I love you,” he says then, and Draco’s brain surely short circuits. He sits for a long while and tries really hard to understand this as a concept; Harry, loving him.

“Why didn’t you say so?” he asks eventually. He’s surprised by his own voice; so small and breakable, but so fond. Harry takes mercy on him and crawls up to Draco on the bed – the bed they share six out of seven days of the week, Draco realises. Has he been blind? – and presses a soft kiss to Draco’s stunned lips.

“I did,” he says, and kisses Draco again. “I do. I give you dumb souvenirs because I know you secretly like them, and I buy you your favourite tea, and I come over here, and I shag you, and I kiss you at work, and I hang out with your friends, and your cat loves me.”

Draco is still honestly dumbfounded. Only the two of them, he thinks, could be in what is essentially a committed relationship for months and not realise; not talk about it. He squints at Harry as if that will make the idea of him and them and something like love seem clearer to him, but it doesn’t help particularly.

“Okay,” he gives in eventually. Harry sends him that stupidly fond, massive, bloody grin of his, that smile, and Merlin’s Beard, Draco have just realised that this is the way Harry smiles at him every time he thinks Draco is sweet; anytime he feels that he’s in love, essentially.

“That smile means that you’re in love with me,” Draco says matter-of-factly, because suddenly everything is clear to him. Harry laughs so loudly it nearly echoes off the walls.

“Yes,” he says. “You’re cute. I’m in love with you.”

“Oh my God,” Draco exclaims, so Harry laughs again and kisses him.

“Now lie back down with me,” he says to Draco’s cheek. Draco’s heart feels like it’s ready to burst out of his chest with its’ fullness. He lets himself be manhandled back down, and this time Harry is the one with the arms around him, as Draco buries himself against his chest. He takes in Harry’s smell and listens to his steady, calming heartbeat as he thinks.

“Wait,” he realises after five minutes. Harry hums noncommittally into his hair. “I love you, too,” he says. Harry’s lips in his hair turn into a smile.

“I know,” Harry says, and maybe that’s where they really begin.