In the end Harry put Johnny into bed, cast some very strong shield charms on the room, a healing charm on his throat and then joined the others in the main room. Tanith wasn't there, which meant he had no backup, but also meant he didn't have to worry about her.
"Harry Potter should be coming up on thirty," Ohno said before anyone else could jump in with questions; "you are not thirty."
"Well done for stating the obvious," Draco said and received a glare for his trouble.
Clearly Draco's temperament had not improved much.
"I regressed myself ten years and finally got to live my childhood," Harry snapped without the slightest bit of remorse. "I'm James Black now and James Black I will stay, because I actually like my life."
"You ran away," Draco said in an unsympathetic tone.
"Yeah, well I was alone, suicidal and people only ever saw the fucking scar," he all but growled, "and let's not forget the people who still wanted to kill me, a la today, so forgive me if I don't give a shit if I was running away or not. Now, can we get back to the problem at hand?"
He really, really did not want to go through this now.
"You don't have a scar," Celski said and if he hadn't sounded so pathetically confused Harry might have snarled at him.
Instead he reached up and ripped the false skin off his forehead.
"Better?" he asked.
After that Lysacek even looked as if he might be starting to believe the whole situation was not some huge prank.
"Are you seriously saying magic is real?" the man finally joined in the conversation.
"Very," Draco said shortly, "and you're not supposed to know about it."
Draco then looked at Harry.
"We should obliviate them and be done with it," the Slytherin said in a dismissive tone.
"Just try it," Ohno said and placed himself between Draco and J.R., which was very sweet, but so not the point of the conversation.
"No one is obliviating anyone," Harry said very firmly; he was a little fed up of the grandstanding.
He really wanted to get Lysacek further away from Johnny by the time his friend woke up, but he knew the man would not leave without an explanation, and that didn't even bring Ohno and Celski into the equation.
"How can Johnny be a vampire?" Lysacek asked and at least that was the topic Harry wanted to talk about.
"He was born that way," Harry said simply; "he wears a necklace when he's on the ice; it makes him as good as human. Before you ask, it's under a charm so no one can see it. All Wizarding competitors in Muggle sports have charms on their kit to make sure they can't cheat with magic, even accidentally; Johnny's necklace is the same type of thing. It's more comprehensive than that, but it comes down to making it an even playing field. He hates the damn thing, but he loves the ice so much he does it."
"So why did he go loco today?" was the next question, which Harry had expected, but wasn't sure he should answer.
"He's been wearing the necklace off the ice as well as on it for reasons that you are going to have to ask him about when he's feeling better," he said as he decided what he could tell and what he couldn't. "Because his father," he pointed at Draco, "showed up to kill me ..."
"He's under a spell," Draco defended his parent.
"...Johnny lost the necklace," Harry continued and ignored Draco for now; he would be having that conversation later.
Ohno looked at the closed bedroom door and then at Lysacek and Harry remembered his hasty 'Vampire in heat' comment and realised that the short track skater had just caught on.
"That has gotta suck," was Ohno's comment on the matter.
"I'm sure it does," Harry replied and looked the man right in the eye, "and it's private, so we're not going to discuss it without Johnny or with anyone else."
Ohno gave a small smile at the telling off, but nodded. It did, however, have the effect of reminding Celski that Harry and Draco were not the only wand wielders in the room.
"I know where you went to school," Celski said, glaring at his friend, "and there is no way that's magical."
"My dad doesn't believe in Muggle/Wizard segregation," Ohno said simply; "I've done all the magical stuff by correspondence course."
Harry hadn't even realised that was possible and he wondered if people could do that in the UK too.
"Were you ever going to tell me?" Celski asked and all but pouted.
It looked very much like there was about to be a lovers' quarrel and Harry added another tick to the boxes that made him think the rumour about the pair being more than friends might be true.
"Yes," Ohno said in a very upfront manner; "I had a whole speech planned, but looks like it's a little late now."
Given the way that lessened the ire in Celski's face, Harry thought Ohno might partially be off the hook, at least until the younger skater got his friend somewhere private.
"Will Johnny be okay?" Lysacek asked when it was clear there was not going to be a short track skaters duel to the death at that very moment.
"Yeah," Celski agreed, "he looked really out of it."
"He'll be fine once we get the necklace back on him," Harry assured them both, warmed by the fact that Lysacek seemed concerned.
"The Aurors have it," Draco said in an almost neutral tone, which was a win in Harry's book, "I'll go and retrieve it."
"Thanks," Harry said, since he had no intention of leaving Johnny alone any time soon; "if we can get it back on as soon as he wakes up he should be okay to do the interview I know he has this afternoon."
Draco nodded and then turned to the door.
"Do not disappear again, Potter," was the Slytherin's parting words.
Harry just rolled his eyes, like he had a choice.
"Evan," he said, turning his mind back to the problem at hand, "would you mind going somewhere a bit further away until we have Johnny back to normal?"
Lysacek did not look happy about that.
"What is it about me that's causing this?" Lysacek asked, obviously unsettled.
That was a question and a half and Harry couldn't figure out how to answer that without giving away Johnny's secret.
"And does this have anything to do with why he's been flirting with me outrageously since the end of the Men's competition?" was the next rapid question and Harry about gave up.
At least it did seem that Lysacek was more observant than most people thought he was.
"Yes," he said, since there was no point denying it, "but I can't tell you why. I'm sure Johnny will want to as soon as he wakes up properly, but until then would you mind going somewhere at least a mile away?"
Lysacek's face was a picture.
"A mile?" the gold medal winner asked in a slightly strangled tone.
"Two if there is anywhere around here you can go," Harry replied with a nod. "Vampires have very good radar."
He wasn't about to mention that it was only that good if said vampire was 'obsessed', but it made his point. Lysacek still didn't look happy, but the man did nod.
"Okay," he said, "but get Johnny to call me as soon as he feels like explaining. This is my cell. Tell him not to take too long, because I'm not in the mood to wait."
Then Lysacek shoved a card into his hand and all but stormed out.
"Are all figure skaters so highly strung?" Ohno asked in a completely innocent tone.
Harry just looked at Celski.
"I think you might find out short track skaters are highly strung as well if you don't do some explaining of your own soon," he pointed out and Ohno took a good look at his younger friend.
"You might be right," the man agreed with a small smile; "come on J.R. we've got some talking to do. You'll let us know when Johnny is okay, Harry?"
"Yeah, sure," he replied with a nod, "and it's James now; I have no intention of going back to my old life. All I have to do is figure out how to get rid of Draco Malfoy and we can all go back to normal."
Ohno laughed at that.
"Like any of this is normal anyway," was the cynical response.
At least Harry could agree with that and grinned.
Ten minutes after everyone had left, Draco returned with the necklace and Harry was very glad, because he could feel Johnny stirring behind the shields.
"How the hell did you end up here?" Draco asked, passing him the necklace.
"I told you," Harry replied, checking the clasp to make sure it hadn't been broken; "I regressed myself to eleven and then went and played Muggle."
"But figure skating?" Draco sounded incredulous.
It was kind of a strange thing to have ended up doing.
"Have you ever skated?" he asked, confident that the necklace was in one piece and its enchantments were still active.
Draco shook his head.
"It's as thrilling as flying," he said and knew he probably looked distant as he thought about it, "and sometimes you actually do fly. I love every minute on the ice; I wouldn't be here otherwise."
For a moment Draco actually looked impressed.
"I'll talk to you later," he said, feeling Johnny stir again, "right now I have to make sure Johnny is okay. If an irate vampire comes charging out of there," he pointed at the bedroom door, "in a few minutes, stupefy him for me will you?"
At that Draco smiled, but did nod.
"And don't even think about climbing out the window," the Slytherin said and Harry found himself smiling as well.
He put his fingers to his temple and made a face.
"Okay," he said with mock seriousness, "that's off the list."
Draco appeared genuinely amused at that; it was an expression Harry barely recognised on the other wizard. Draco had changed, grown up a lot since Harry had last seen him. Where he was a gangly twenty year old, Draco was a full bodied thirty year old and he looked like he was in shape. Harry found himself vaguely interested, but he stopped that thought in its tracks; Draco was probably happily married and continuing the Malfoy line by now.
"See you in a little while," he said and bent down to the small fridge to grab the bottle and straw he knew Johnny kept there, before ducking into Johnny's bedroom to avoid doing something stupid.
Johnny moaned quietly just after he shut the door and he moved over to beside his friend's bed, placing the necklace and blood on the bedside table. He waited and eventually Johnny's eyes fluttered open.
"Ow?" Johnny said as soon as he saw him and the vampire seemed confused.
Harry gave his friend a smile.
"How do you feel?" he asked, since Johnny looked pale.
"Like something hit me hard," Johnny replied and went to sit up. "What happened?"
Stupefy hexes could be very like a blow to the head and mess with the short term memory for a little while, so Harry wasn't really surprised that Johnny didn't remember much.
"You lost the necklace," he said, helping Johnny into a sitting position. "You saved my life and in doing so the necklace came off and I had to Stupefy you."
Johnny looked aghast.
"What did I do?" the smaller man all but demanded.
"Nothing hideous," Harry promised, hoping to calm Johnny down a bit; "you didn't get to him," they both knew who 'him' was, "but you almost did. Two of your other team mates saw everything: Ohno and Celski, but it turns out Ohno is a wizard. Did you know that?"
Johnny shook his head; that seemed to be as much a shock to him as it was to Harry.
"He kept that quiet," Johnny said, still looking dazed.
"Yeah, well all three of them know who I really am now as well," Harry continued; "Draco managed to give that away and is currently in your living room. I thought about killing him, but it might be hard to get rid of the body with all the press running around."
The way Johnny just stared at him for that comment showed quite how out of it Johnny was; there wasn't even a flicker of a smile.
"What are they going to do?" Johnny asked.
"Nothing," Harry replied and patted his friend on the arm; "but they're probably going to want an explanation. I told Evan you'd talk to him when you're feeling better."
"I'd rather just get on a plane," Johnny said, looking a little terrified.
Harry picked up the bottle of blood and handed it to his friend with the matching straw.
"Unlike me," he said with a sympathetic smile, "you have never run from anything."
Johnny looked down at the bottle and then up at him, seeming pensive, and then gave a huge sigh.
"So much for breaking it to him gently," Johnny said and flicked open the bottle and put in the straw; "he could be a complete tool about this you realise? It has been known."
He took a long suck as if he was drinking Coke.
"And you've been known to be a complete bitch," Harry replied with a small smile; "but I don't think he will be, he was worried about you."
"Really?" Johnny asked, letting the straw drop out of his mouth and brightening considerably. "How worried?"
It was typical Johnny; up and down at a moment's notice.
"How should I know?" Harry replied and rolled his eyes. "He was concerned, that's all I can say. He knows this has something to do with him and he didn't seem to like the fact that he's causing you bother. Anything else you're going to have to find out for yourself."
Johnny didn't look overly pleased with the answer, but went back to sucking up the blood.
"So," Johnny finally began talking to him again, "Draco Malfoy; cute like the movies or pointy like the books?"
Harry found himself laughing despite the enormity of the situation.
"In school, pointy," he replied, dropping into his best impression of overtly gay, "right now; I'd do him in a heartbeat."
Johnny grinned and then brightened again.
"Right," were his next words, "give me five minutes to freshen up, then I'm coming out and you can introduce me to this hot example of man flesh."
There was no arguing when Johnny said something in that tone, so Harry nodded and stood up.
"Okay," he said and picked up the necklace from the table and handed it to Johnny; "you have five minutes."
Johnny put it back on, fading to his human state instantly, but still smiling, which was good, so Harry bent down, gave his friend a peck on the cheek and then sashayed out, making Johnny laugh.
When he turned, having entered the living room and closed the bedroom door, he found Draco watching him.
"Potter, are you gay?" Draco asked, sounding perplexed.
Clearly his sashaying had been noticed.
"Not exclusively," he replied, throwing caution to the wind, "why, interested?"
It turned out Malfoy's could blush.
"You haven't improved," was Draco's less than stellar comeback.
Harry just smiled; he liked having one up on his old rival.
"Shouldn't you be off worrying about your father or the Aurors or something?" he asked, since now he didn't have Johnny to worry about it actually occurred to him who had attacked him.
"He's on his way back to St Mungo's with the Aurors," Draco said in an offhand manner; "we've had him locked up there since the spell first manifested four years ago. They've made a little headway and if some idiot hadn't shown him a Muggle newspaper so he saw you he never would have gone off on one. At the moment I'm more worried about you pressing charges. The Aurors will want to speak to you about the whole thing."
Harry hadn't actually thought about that; he had been so used to Voldemort taking pot shots at him when he had been in the Wizarding world that it hadn't occurred to him what someone might do under more normal circumstances.
"If he's under a spell I'm not going to try and have the book thrown at him, Draco," he said, understanding a little of Draco's waspishness now. "I'd rather the whole thing just go away quietly actually; I really don't want everyone to know where I am. I left the Wizarding world to get away from Harry bloody Potter and I'd rather he stayed where I left him and let James Black continue as if nothing had happened."
"I would love to help," Draco replied and it actually sounded genuine, "but I think it's already too late. My father was raving before some idiot let him escape and this was this morning's headline at home."
Draco pulled a small folded something from his pocket and resized it back to its former state, at which point Harry could tell it was the Prophet. There on the front page was a picture of him from just after the war and a Muggle one of James Black from what he assumed was a paper back home. The headline proclaimed: "Harry Potter and James Black, Same Person?"
"Fuck," he said very loudly.
"If you had chosen a less obvious name we might have been able to spin something," Draco said and handed him the paper, "but I think it's more than obvious what the truth is."
Harry just glared at his one time rival for that; he had thought about his name very carefully and he was proud of it. It stood for two of the most important people in his life even though he barely remembered one and had known the other for such a short time. Names defined people and he liked the one he had chosen for himself.
"Well I'm not going back," Harry said firmly; "this life is mine."
"Good for you," Draco said and Harry was very surprised to find that it looked as if Draco meant it, "just be prepared to mix them a little. The moment you set foot in Britain the people who cared about you are going to start showing up and the Ministry will undoubtedly want an explanation."
"The Ministry can suck my cock," was Harry's response to that; "all they ever did was make my life hell. If they set foot near me the first thing I will do is sue them for every penny they have for letting me have an abused childhood and allowing a Dark Lord to get anywhere near me."
Draco actually looked interested at that, almost impressed.
"Now that part might actually work," was the grudging acknowledgement.
"Yes, well I have had nearly ten years to come up with a backup plan," Harry told his companion. "I may be a Gryffindor, but I'm not stupid. My legal representatives have had the paperwork ready for six years, just in case."
Now Draco really did look impressed.
"Who'd have thought that you actually have a brain," was the backhanded compliment.
That made Harry smile just a little, but then he looked back down at the paper again. His simple life was over.
"Do excuse me for being late," Johnny's voice broke him out of his thoughts and he turned to see his friend exiting the bedroom; "you must be Draco Malfoy, pleased to meet you."
Draco shook the offered hand.
"Glad to see you're feeling better," Draco returned politely.
"Much, thank you," Johnny replied, the epitome of gentile politeness even though he did give Draco a once up and down; "I think I'm beginning to remember some things from this afternoon, but you'll have to forgive me if I'm a little vague."
"A double stupefy will do that to anyone," Draco replied with a nod.
"Double?" Johnny looked to Harry for clarification.
"Ohno and I both got to our wands," he explained apologetically, "and he's a surprisingly good shot."
Johnny just shrugged.
"Better that than me getting to Evan," was the practical response. "Is that you I see on the front page?"
Harry nodded and passed it over.
"It's the main Wizarding newspaper from home," he said with a sigh, "seems I'm busted."
Johnny seemed to be reading the article.
"No publicity is bad publicity, Jimmy," Johnny said, giving him back the paper and patting him on the shoulder gently; "you just have to know how to spin it. This could be good for your career, get you some Wizarding sponsorship as well as Muggle. Imagine how much money you could make selling the story of your reinvention, and we all know how expensive new skates are these days."
That rather made Harry stop and he blinked at his friend; he hadn't considered it that way. He was so used to compartmentalising the different halves of his life that possible pluses of mixing the two had never occurred to him. It was going to be a nightmare when he got home to begin with, but in the long run it could actually help him.
"I knew there was a reason I liked you," he said and grinned at Johnny, who, of course, basked in the praise.
It turned out that Johnny was feeling better, but not on top form, so he needed to rearrange the interview he was supposed to be doing and just get some rest. Not really surprising after the morning's activities, so Harry dragged Draco with him after being made to promise that he'd reappear when Johnny called. It seemed that Johnny was afraid of facing Lysacek alone and he had begged Harry to be there for moral support. Of course he had said yes, even though he had his own things to sort out. It did mean, however, that he had time to talk with Draco alone and he took the Slytherin back to where he was staying.
"You're tidier than you used to be at least," Draco observed as he walked in to the small room Harry had been allocated.
"When you're pretending to be eleven and don't want any adults around, you get into the habit of keeping things neat and tidy yourself," Harry replied and threw himself onto the bed, letting Draco have the only chair; "I never grew out of it."
Draco sat himself down with all the grace Harry remembered him having on a broom.
"I've only ever heard of one person trying what you did," the Slytherin said, tone almost admiring, "and they managed to turn themselves into a hideous giant baby. How did you do it?"
It wasn't really an unexpected question, but Harry didn't have a very clear answer.
"The woman who sold me the spell and potion told me it was all about focus and want," he replied with a shrug. "I wanted it very badly."
"Quite Slytherin of you to vanish so completely," Draco pointed out.
That made Harry smile; it was a compliment indeed.
"No one was looking for an eleven year old," he replied, thinking back and remembering his flight from the Wizarding world; "it wasn't that difficult. I made all the financial arrangements before regressing myself and then I just stepped from one life into another. A few cosmetic changes, hiding the scar and I was all set."
He noticed that Draco was looking at him rather closely then.
"You do look very different," Draco finally said; "how did you tame the mop?"
Harry grinned and ran his hand through his hair; it was now straight and manageable, a long way from the untameable nest it had once been.
"The Muggles have some very inventive hair products," he replied and wondered what Draco thought of the two-tone he had it dyed at the moment.
It was deep red on top and black underneath in an asymmetrical style which had matched his costume.
"When I first disappeared I just used to dye it brown," he added, remembering the mess he had made of it the first time, "but when I started skating that just wouldn't do. Straight after getting my first pair of skates I was pointed at a decent hairdresser."
That had been a very eye opening experience; he remembered it well.
"Now that is a miracle," Draco replied with a smirk.
"So," Harry decided he'd answered enough questions for now, "what have you been up to?"
"Oh, nothing overly exciting," Draco replied with a shrug, "got married, had a son, got divorced, committed my father; the usual pureblood thing."
Surprisingly Draco sounded just a little tired and Harry had to wonder if maybe the Wizarding world wasn't hard on purebloods as well.
"Sorry it didn't work out," Harry said, feeling the need to say something supportive, even though he really didn't know Draco anymore.
Draco smiled at that. Harry was a little disappointed to find out Draco was straight, but then you couldn't have everything. The Slytherin was impeccably turned out and very pretty to look at, but Harry was beginning to think that was a Malfoy thing.
"It was working out fine," Draco said, looking ruefully amused and seeming to want to talk, "until the Prophet stuck their nose in. You leaving left a terrible hole in the market for gossip and so they started looking harder at we purebloods. When the pictures of Astoria and Pansy hit the front page, Astoria and I decided there was no point in continuing the sham of a marriage. We had, after all, achieved what we set out to do and produced an heir for both our families. Astoria still lives at the Manor, but we have separate lives."
"Astoria and Pansy?" Harry had to ask.
That sounded so completely risqué for purebloods and Draco smirked at him for the question.
"Seems our press were picking up bad habits from the Muggles," Draco replied. "They took pictures through Pansy's bedroom window; very juicy stuff. Pansy sued them for some very large amounts of money and I doubt anyone will try such a thing again, but by then the damage was already done; everyone knew that my marriage to Astoria was a front. Our divorce was headline news for a while and they hounded Astoria. Can you believe they actually thought I didn't know what my own wife was up to?"
Harry smiled at that; it did seem farfetched to him. Their entire generation was paranoid thanks to the war and Slytherins were paranoid to begin with and Draco Malfoy was the Prince of Slytherin which led to only one conclusion: Draco would have to have known everything.
"The Prophet was always staffed by idiots," Harry agreed from where he was lounging. "Any tips for dealing with them when I get home?"
"Keep smiling and sue them when they step over the line," Draco said with a wicked grin.
Harry had not failed to notice that Rita Skeeter's name was all over the article about him on the front page and he relished the idea of suing the annoying woman. He let himself enjoy the thought for a little while.
"By the way," Draco said suddenly, breaking him out of his thoughts, "the answer's yes."
Harry frowned; he had no idea what Draco was talking about.
"Gryffindors," Draco said and rolled his eyes, "the attention span of a Puffleskin."
Harry gave Draco his best affronted look.
"Slytherins," he replied with a very dramatic sigh, "always expecting other people to understand their neuroses."
From the way he smiled, Draco liked that comeback and Harry was quite pleased he had had ten years to sharpen his tongue. When he had left the Wizarding world he had not seen Draco at all since school, but he was beginning to think they might have grown into being friends had circumstances been different.
"Am I interested, Potter," Draco said, with exaggerated slowness, as if talking to an idiot, "the answer's yes."
That did shock Harry into properly paying attention.
"Well you did ask," Draco said, clearly pleased at having surprised him; "if only we'd known at school, we could have had a much more amenable relationship."
For a moment Harry's brain tried to rationalise that and came up with a huge mess, so decided not to bother.
"Thank god," he said, leaning back against the wall, "I thought my gaydar was off."
Draco actually laughed at that.
"You're much more dramatic this time round, Potter," Draco said with a smile; "I think I like it."
"Black," Harry corrected, "or James, not Harry and definitely not Potter."
One thing he was completely sure of was that he was never being Harry Potter ever again.
"And I've been associating with figure skaters and coaches for eight years," he added with a grin, "it rubs off."
He would have loved to have continued the conversation, but something made a noise, a clear bell like note and Draco reached into his pocket. What Draco pulled out looked like a small leather photo frame, only he appeared to be reading it.
"Sorry, P...James," Draco said, standing up; "Mother needs me to assist with some things to do with father. I have to be going."
Harry stood up as well.
"What is that?" he asked curiously, looking at the device, since he had never seen one.
"This is a Weasley Communicator 2009," Draco said and then waited for his reaction.
"You're using something from a Weasley?" Harry asked, shocked.
"The whole of Wizarding Britain is," Draco replied and Harry realised how out of touch he really was. "Hermione married Ron and then they both went into partnership with that blasted brother of his and they started bringing out these two years ago. I believe they work like Muggle ... um ... email, is that right? No up to date wizard or witch will be seen without one these days, even Mother learnt to use one when I gave her one for Christmas. They are a lot less messy than owls or firecalls. I think they're about to go global."
Harry was amazed; the Wizarding world was entering the twenty first century. The Communicator made a sound again and Draco looked down at it.
"Those idiots," was Draco's response. "Sorry, I really must go."
"Of course," Harry said, sorry to see the other Wizard leave when he was just getting to know the man again.
"Goodbye, James," Draco said and offered his hand, "sorry that we met again under such trying circumstances."
"Not your fault," Harry replied and shook Draco's hand; "thanks for your help."
Draco just nodded and pulled out his wand. It looked as if he was about to disapparate, but then he paused.
"Would you care to join me for dinner tomorrow night?" Draco asked and rather took him by surprise again. "I know a nice restaurant not far from here."
For a moment Harry just stood there and then he smiled.
"I'd love to," he said.
"Shall we say seven for seven thirty?" Draco asked and he nodded.
Draco looked pleased and then he was gone with a crack. Harry threw himself back on the bed and laughed; it was turning out to be a rather enjoyable day.
Harry felt a little awkward being dragged into Lysacek's room behind Johnny, but his friend had a death grip on his hand and was clearly very nervous so he couldn't exactly abandon him.
"You brought backup?" Lysacek did not sound ecstatic about the idea.
"Moral support," Johnny said, anything but his usual confident self.
Harry just gave a small shrug at Lysacek and allowed himself to be shoved into a chair. He noticed that Lysacek's room was larger than his even though it was a single as well; clearly there were perks to being well known.
"Sorry about earlier," Johnny said rapidly before Lysacek could ask anything else; "you weren't supposed to find out that way."
"But I was supposed to find out?" Lysacek asked, sounding surprised.
Johnny sat down with a dramatic sigh, right in Harry's lap since there was still only one chair in the room even if it was bigger. Harry didn't object since Johnny wasn't heavy, but it was very odd being treated like a piece of furniture.
"You may have noticed," Johnny said, looking a little embarrassed, even from the angle Harry could see him, "that I've been turning up around you more than usual over the last couple of days?"
"It was hard to miss," Lysacek replied; "you don't do subtle."
That earned the man a small smile at least.
"That was me feeling you out," Johnny explained, warming slightly at the fact that Lysacek did not seem to be annoyed about this truth, "seeing if you might be interested, even a little bit."
"You know," Lysacek said, sitting down on his bed, "most people actually believe I'm straight."
"Have you checked the internet lately?" Harry asked; he couldn't help himself.
Johnny gave him a look.
"Sorry," he apologised and went back to being moral support furniture.
"Let's just say I was hoping and leave it at that," Johnny said and gave Lysacek a small smile.
"Why?" was the flat response.
Johnny glanced at Harry again looking nervous and Harry sent back a look he hoped meant, 'just tell him'.
"This is going to sound clichéd," Johnny said, looking back at Lysecek, "but you're my perfect man."
Lysacek looked as if he was caught between total disbelief and laughing his arse off.
"You once said there was nothing special about me and we'd never be friends," the gold medallist pointed out.
"I lied," Johnny said pointedly; "I'm an idiot, okay? It was for the cameras and you've said some spectacularly stupid things for them too. I didn't choose this to begin with; it's biological and it came on suddenly and it made me look at you and realise I'd actually refused to view you as a person. When I began looking I realised how much of your press I believed without actually seeing you and then I started seeing what was under the charade and well ... it's not just biological anymore."
"And today was?" Lysacek asked, clearly not sure how to take the confession.
"That bit was biological," Johnny said, sounding embarrassed again. "Vampires can find someone who is their perfect match biologically speaking..."
"Perfect match how?" Lysacek asked, interrupting Johnny's flow.
Harry didn't need to be able to see more than Johnny's back to know that his friend was worried about that question.
"Blood and sex," Johnny said quietly and kind of fast.
"You want to bite me?" Lysacek sounded scandalised.
The way Johnny hung his head and stayed silent didn't help matters and Harry was suddenly glad he was there.
"Don't knock it until you've tried it," he said and all but glared at the other skater.
That was the problem with the Wizard/Muggle divide, neither side really understood the other. At least Lysacek looked a little abashed by his comment and Harry nudged Johnny to continue.
"When I realised what I was feeling about you I tried to stop it, I didn't think there was any way it could work," Johnny said quietly, "but I couldn't and the more I learned about the real you the more obsessed my vampire side became. I started wearing the necklace off the ice as well as on it when I almost jumped you at a meet early last year. This morning was my vampire side not wanting to take no for an answer. If you're anywhere near I can only take the necklace off behind some very strong shields."
There was silence for a little while.
"What happens if you get to me without the necklace on?" Lysacek asked, barely showing any reaction at all.
"I bite you, I molest you and I try and get you to have sex with me," Johnny said rather brashly, clearly not enjoying the conversation at all.
"And if I didn't want to?" was the next question.
"I don't know," Johnny said kind of desperately, standing up and beginning to pace, "why do you think I keep this damn thing on all the time?"
"And it's just your vampire half that wants this?" Lysacek said and Harry thought the man was fishing for something.
That was the straw that broke the camel's back it seemed and Johnny rounded on the other skater.
"Haven't you been listening?" Johnny all but demanded. "That's the biological bit; that's what started it all off, but no, it's not just my vampire half. I'm in love with you, you oversized mongoose and I can't say it any plainer than that."
Then Johnny fled with what Harry thought was unintentional dramatic flair for once, leaving a shell shocked Lysacek behind him. The other man clearly didn't know what to do and looked at Harry kind of helplessly.
"He's in love with me?" was the rather pathetic question.
"Hook, line and sinker," he replied with a small shrug; "has been for months from what he told me the other night. I think I should go and make sure he's alright."
Lysacek just nodded, quite obviously having no clue how to react. Harry stood up and went to the door, turning just before he opened it.
"You could do a hell of a lot worse," he said and then slipped out.
Harry had found Johnny pacing his room with a very stoic expression on his face, but the moment he had seen Harry the rather overwrought skater had burst into tears. This was not Johnny being dramatic or over emotional, this was abject misery and Harry wrapped his friend in his arms and tried to ride out the wave.
It was half an hour later, after Johnny had cried himself out and Harry had done his best to help his friend not look as if he had been sobbing for twenty minutes, that there was a knock on the door. Johnny looked aghast, because they both knew there was no way someone wouldn't know exactly what he had been doing if they clapped eyes on him, and ran into his bedroom. Harry went to answer the door.
To his surprise, on the other side was a rather confused looking Lysacek.
"Is he here?" Lysacek asked.
"Come on in," he said, hoping that this wasn't about to get worse; "he's in the bedroom."
Lysacek stepped in and then stood there awkwardly and Harry went over and opened Johnny's door. His friend was standing just on the other side where he would not be seen and appeared terrified.
"You can't stay in here," Harry said simply.
"I can't go out there like this," Johnny protested, tear streaks still clear on his face.
Normally Harry might have agreed, but he thought it would be a good idea if Lysacek saw just how upset Johnny was about the whole thing. He didn't give Johnny a choice and grabbed him gently by the arm and pushed him into the main room. If Johnny had had longer hair, Harry was pretty sure his friend would have been trying to hide behind it.
Lysacek looked shocked at Johnny's appearance and didn't bother covering it. Harry just hoped that the man realised he had Johnny's heart in the palm of his hand, because he was not above kicking some gold medal winning arse if necessary. This had changed from being a game to test the waters to something much, much more and he was pretty sure Johnny had only realised that when talking to Lysacek earlier himself.
"Okay," Lysacek said, breaking the silence, and as far as Harry could tell the man seemed to be mentally preparing himself for something, "I am attracted to you, have been for a while, but I never intended to act on it."
Johnny sat down on the couch with a bump and Harry didn't blame him. That really wasn't how he had expected Lysacek to make his opening gambit.
"I've never had a boyfriend and the one and only time I ever tried anything with a guy it was such a disaster that I decided girls were just easier," Lysacek continued, seemingly defending himself and, given Johnny's stance on such things, Harry could understand why.
It was more honesty than Harry had expected, but then again he really didn't know what the relationship between Johnny and Evan was actually like. The pair had known each other for a long time, but it was beginning to look as if they had never really known each other at all.
"What are you saying?" Johnny asked quietly, voice carefully neutral.
Harry felt like he should leave, but he didn't want to break the moment, so he stood there and pretended to be invisible.
Evan looked a little lost then and for the first time Harry actually felt true empathy with the man. He also realised that the gold medallist had taken the step from Lysacek to Evan in his head thanks to his honesty.
"I don't know what I'm saying," Evan said appearing confused and apologetic at the same time, "but I saw how upset you were and I don't know what to do, but I had to tell you the truth. I'm not good with new things, I'm not spontaneous like you, I don't know how to deal with anything like this."
Johnny laughed then, a broken little sound and Harry could see tears back in his friend's eyes.
"It takes a lot of planning to be spontaneous," Johnny said in an almost self-derogatory tone.
They were both so thrown by the whole thing; the morning's incident had dumped them both in it and neither seemed to know what to do. He was sure Johnny was trying not to push and Evan just didn't seem to know what he wanted.
"Why did you come here, Evan?" Johnny asked, drawing in a deep breath and sitting up straight even though Harry could tell all his friend wanted to do was curl up and be hugged. "I don't know what to do unless you tell me."
Evan frowned at that.
"Will it go away?" Evan asked.
Johnny's expression was a mask, Harry could tell, a mask that had slipped very carefully into place.
"I'm not sure," Johnny replied, voice calm and tone clipped, "maybe, eventually, in a couple of years when I'm not around you anymore."
It was only the truth, from what Harry knew this obsession was like an addiction and the only way to get rid of it was to be far away from the source.
"Years?" Evan asked and had much the same expression as when Harry had asked him to go at least a mile away.
"It's not something I can just turn off," Johnny said, as if commenting on the weather.
Harry had a little idea of the effort it took for Johnny to hide his emotions, but he was pretty sure Johnny was dying inside.
"You're really in love with me?" Evan seemed to find that idea totally unbelievable if his tone was anything to go by.
Johnny just gave a tight little nod; it had cost him a lot to admit that, Harry knew. There were many things Johnny revealed to many people, but things like this he kept inside, that much Harry was very sure of.
"Why?" Evan really was stuck on that it seemed.
"You want a list?" Johnny asked with a false smile.
Evan frowned again at that.
"But you don't even like me," the gold medallist protested.
"Didn't like you," Johnny said in a quiet little whisper, "past tense. I let myself be fooled by the image you like to portray."
"It's the only way I can survive," Evan said, almost as quietly and sat down.
Harry hoped that was a good sign.
"You want to play straight," Johnny said, voice not betraying any emotion, "I get it."
"No," Evan said loudly and then looked confused, "I mean, that's not it: if I actually thought I'd be happy with a guy I'd go out there and tell the whole damn world; I'm not that shallow, I just don't know if I can do that."
That caused an expression to appear on Johnny's face, one of surprise and more than a little incredulity.
"I know how to relate to women," Evan said, clearly trying to explain something he wasn't quite sure about himself; "I know how relationships work. I have no clue about anything else. I've never let myself think that way about a guy."
At last Harry saw something like understanding on Johnny's face and he really did consider quietly making for the door.
"I think it's about the same," Johnny said, sounding nowhere near as cold and controlled anymore.
The pair looked at each other for a little while.
"Could you even like me?" Johnny asked eventually in a tiny little voice, all confidence gone.
"I don't think I know you," Evan replied looking directly at Johnny.
"Would you like to?" was Johnny's next question.
The silence after that seemed to go on for hours rather than seconds and Harry held his breath. If Evan said no he was pretty sure Johnny's shutters would come slamming down again and he had no idea how long it would take to put Johnny back together. He had helped cause this; he had made Johnny actually do something about it, upsetting the status quo and he was beginning to realise just how big it actually was.
"Yes," Evan said and Johnny looked like he was battling to retain some semblance of calm, "I can't promise anything," Evan ploughed on, "I don't..."
Johnny reached out and put his hand over Evan's.
"I know," Johnny said, smiling just slightly, a tear escaping from his eyes, "you don't know the real me. It's more than I have a right to ask for, thank you."
Evan looked down at the hand on his and then slowly turned his over and took hold of the much more delicate fingers. Harry couldn't help it as a smile burst over his face; it was so much better than he had expected.
"Double date," he said as the idea just burst into his head.
Johnny looked over at him while wiping his eyes with the back of his free hand.
"What?" Johnny asked as he gathered his composure.
"Tomorrow night," Harry said, thinking fast, "I have a date with Draco at a restaurant."
Johnny looked surprised and pleased all at once.
"I was going to tell you later," Harry said since he had been meaning to mention it, there just hadn't been the right time. "I was thinking, knowing Draco it's a very nice, discrete place and we could make it a double date. Avoid all the awkward silences when someone can't think of something to say. We could give Evan the 101 of the Wizarding world at the same time."
"And Draco wouldn't mind?" Johnny asked.
"I'll get in contact with him," Harry replied, liking the idea more and more; "he'll just blame it on the whole Gryffindor thing and probably tease me about being insecure for the rest of my life, but I can handle that."
Johnny looked at Evan, clearly asking for his opinion, but Evan was still looking a bit overwhelmed by the whole conversation and it took the poor man a little while to come up with an answer. What came back was half a nod, half a what do you think kind of shrug and Johnny seemed to take that as a firm yes.
"Okay," Johnny replied and actually managed a real, full on, Johnny smile.
Harry grinned; things were looking positive.
Of course it was only when he had left Johnny and Evan alone to have a quiet talk that he realised he had no idea how to get hold of Draco. They moved in different worlds, literally, and Draco didn't have a mobile phone. It took a good hour and a half and several phone calls and lots of explaining before he finally managed to get a message through via a friend of a friend who knew someone who could get a note to where Draco worked. The note had a partial explanation and his phone number and he only hoped Draco would be able to ring him.
An hour later his mobile went off.
"Hi," he said as he answered it, "James here."
"Harry?" said a rather unsure voice from the other end.
"Draco," Harry said, brightening instantly, "thank god, I thought I'd never reach you, thanks for calling."
"Yes well I'm borrowing a phone in the Muggle office next to mine," Draco replied and seemed to be finding the whole thing unsettling. "What was it you needed to speak to me about so urgently?"
Harry only hoped he wasn't about to offend Draco with his suggestion.
"This is probably going to sound bizarre, but would you mind if we made tomorrow a double date?" he asked, deciding that beating around the bush just wouldn't work.
There was silence from the other end.
"Let me guess," Draco finally said, "your vampire and his mate."
Harry wouldn't have put it in those terms, but it amounted to the same thing.
"Yes," he replied, hoping he hadn't just blown it; "let's just say there's been some drama here since you left and I'd really like to make sure there isn't any more. I'll make it up to you."
That drew a laugh from Draco.
"You're a hopeless romantic, aren't you?" Draco said, sounding amused, which made Harry breathe a sigh of relief, "Are you sure you shouldn't have been a Hufflepuff?"
"The hat mentioned Slytherin," Harry replied, beginning to relax, "but never Hufflepuff."
"Oh Merlin, you'd have ruined my house," Draco responded in a very dramatic tone; "your Gryffindor tendencies would have infected everyone. Thank god the hat had some sense."
Harry actually laughed; it was funny how something that had been so serious at school felt so insignificant now.
"So we're still on for tomorrow then?" he asked, just to make sure.
"Yes, Harry," Draco replied and Harry decided now was not the time to remind Draco he was James now, "I will ring and change my booking. Just make sure the colonials do not embarrass me."
Harry laughed again; he was almost sure Draco was only joking.
Harry didn't see Johnny again until mid evening, when he received a text message about meeting up for coffee. When he arrived at the little café in the village he found it was a group gathering and as well as Johnny, Evan, Ohno and Celski were there too. Johnny looked much brighter and together than he had last seen him, which was very good news.
"Jimmy," Johnny saw him and waved him over.
It seemed there was already a drink on the table for him.
"I ordered for you," Johnny said and gave him a huge smile before linking arms with him and dragging him into a seat.
Harry took one look at Evan and Johnny and realised that the two were carefully not touching and Harry realised Johnny was using him as a substitute. They were in the middle of a public café so he didn't object.
"So is everyone okay now?" Celski asked with all the earnestness of youth on his side.
It was amazing what difference a few years made; the rest of them were all a lot more jaded.
"Getting there, I think," Johnny replied, a little too brightly by Harry's guess, but then Johnny had had a very hard day. "I wanted to thank you all for your help today; it could have been disastrous."
"Why were you trying to get to Evan?" Celski ploughed right on without seeming to realise the territory he was stepping into.
"J.R.," Ohno said, smiling a little at his friend's complete lack of tact, "I think that's a personal question."
It was clear Ohno had not explained to Celski what Harry knew the skater had worked out earlier and was leaving it to Johnny. His respect for the man went up a little more.
"No, that's okay," Johnny said with a little smile, "you deserve an explanation. It's why I ... we," Johnny corrected himself and looked at Evan, "asked you to come."
Evan appeared a little embarrassed, but then he didn't strike Harry as the emotionally expressive type, at least not in company.
"Like I told Evan," Johnny said quietly, "he's my perfect man."
For a moment J.R. looked shocked, Harry gave up thinking of him as Celski, because the shocked expression made the young man look about twelve and then he grinned. Young men were not known for their touchy feely talk about emotions habits, but J.R. didn't really seem fazed by the admission.
"So you two are..?" J.R. asked and did a little pointing motion between them with his fingers.
"We're getting to know each other properly," Johnny said, smiling a little more, "then we'll see."
"But you guys have known each other for years," J.R. pointed out and looked confused.
That made Harry smile.
"We've never been friends."
Surprisingly it was Evan who spoke this time.
"It's a lot different than just bumping into each other in the locker room," Evan said simply and the way his eyes flicked over to Johnny, Harry thought that the distinction was a very good thing.
He had no idea what Johnny and Evan had talked about after he left them, but there seemed to be a quiet acceptance between them now that made him think everything might work out.
"So what would have happened if you'd got to him this morning?" J.R. asked, stepping where angels feared to tread.
From the looks of it Ohno wanted to bang his head on the table.
"J.R.," Johnny said with a wicked smile, "you know what you and Apolo were doing when I knocked on his door this evening?"
J.R.'s face flushed beautifully and the poor young man glanced at Ohno nervously. Clearly J.R. didn't think everyone knew.
"Hate to break it to you," Ohno said, nowhere near as embarrassed as J.R. it seemed, "the whole team has had us figured out ever since we 'celebrated' after the 1500."
J.R. actually looked shocked, which was all kinds of cute in Harry's book.
"The whole team?" J.R. clearly had no idea how obvious the pair had been being. "Oh god, does my mom know?"
Apolo put his hand on J.R.'s arm before the young man could panic.
"J.R. your mom sat me down and gave me the 'you hurt my son and...' speech two years ago," Apolo said gently; "she's been waiting for us to finally get together for a while now."
J.R. eyes were huge and round.
"Why didn't you tell me?" was the instant demand.
Harry looked at Johnny and they both grinned; young love was so sweet.
"I didn't want to push you into anything," Apolo said, putting his hands up in surrender.
From the looks of things this could be a bigger blow up than the whole wizard thing.
"Guys," Harry said, deciding to step in as a neutral party.
They both glared at him.
"Public place," he said in his own defence.
J.R. did not look happy, but there were no immediate ramifications.
"We are having a very long talk about you deciding not to tell me things," was J.R.'s final word on the matter.
Harry would have given money to be a fly on the wall for that one.
"You two are so cute together," Johnny said as the pair turned back to the rest of them and it became clear that Apolo did have a blush reflex after all.
Big strong speed skaters clearly found being called cute embarrassing.
"So you two are cool now?" Apolo asked, looking at Evan and Johnny and not being too subtle about changing the topic of conversation back to something other than him and J.R..
"We're cool," Evan said before Johnny could reply and caused Johnny to beam at him cheerfully.
Evan was turning out to be somewhat different to how Harry had expected.
"And you Jimmy," Apolo asked, much to his surprise; "everything okay after the whole someone trying to kill you thing."
Harry's hand went to his throat automatically, even though the charm had put everything back to just about normal.
"Draco's dad is locked up again, under proper guard this time," he replied, keeping his voice down, "and I have a date with Draco, so yeah, everything is okay."
That made Apolo's eyebrows lift to almost his hairline.
"You have a date with the son of the guy who tried to kill you this morning?" Apolo said a little incredulously. "Aren't you two supposed to be enemies or something?"
Harry supposed it might have seemed odd to some, but he had decided to leave his previous life behind and that was part of it.
"Well if he tries to poison me at dinner you'll know who to point the Aurors at," he replied and grinned.
He was feeling good about things again, even if his life was going to be different from now on. His date was going to be interesting if nothing else and he liked the feeling of camaraderie that seemed to be growing between him and the little group around the table. It would be interesting explaining to his GB team mates why he seemed to be hanging out with lots of Americans.
Harry and Johnny had spent the afternoon shopping after Johnny had spent the earlier day with the Sundance film crew out and about. Johnny had been adamant that he needed some things or he would not be ready for the date. Harry thought it was just an excuse to blow off some steam and they had headed into the depth of Vancouver's shopping district and spent money neither of them could really afford. Johnny had found a shirt he thought would look delightful on Evan and promptly bought it and Harry was very unsurprised when Evan turned up to the date wearing it. Johnny had been right, it looked very good on the tall skater.
"What's that?" Evan asked when Harry held out a small silver circle that had been delivered to his room earlier in the day.
"A complimentary diners' portkey to take us directly to the restaurant," Harry said with a grin; "Draco had it sent round."
"The resturant has portkeys?" Johnny's eyes were open in shock and Evan just looked confused.
"Draco only dines at the best establishments," Harry replied, rather enjoying Johnny's reaction, "and before you ask, no, none of us can afford to eat there, but Draco insists on paying. He said, and I quote; 'I have to spend the family fortune on something and it might as well be apologising for the mess my father created yesterday'."
Johnny looked thoughtful for a moment, but then smiled.
"Do you have a sugar daddy, Jimmy?" Johnny asked sweetly.
Harry found himself blushing furiously; he had never thought of it like that. In his head he and Draco were the same age, but on the outside Draco was ten years ahead of him.
"Portkey," was all he said and the other two touched it as well.
The tugging sensation was as unpleasant as ever and Harry would have landed on his arse if it hadn't been for a very efficient member of staff, clearly in position to stop such things happening to the diners, but the expression on Evan's face when they arrived was worth the whole trip. Johnny was of course perfectly balanced and had stopped Evan from falling over, but Evan's face looked like he had just got off a ride at Disneyland.
"One day I will learn how to take a portkey and not fall over," Harry promised himself after he thanked the man who stopped him landing on his behind.
"Just think of it as a double axel," Johnny said helpfully.
"Gentlemen, if you would come this way please," the Maître d' said with a smile, "Mr Malfoy is already at the table."
Harry straightened himself out, grinned at Johnny and followed the smartly dressed man down a small corridor. To his surprise they did not end up walking into a larger restaurant, in fact they were shown into a private room where Draco was waiting for them. Draco stood up as soon as they came in and Harry was very impressed by what he saw. Draco was wearing a very chic suit which was beautifully tailored to fit him and everything about him screamed rich and good looking.
"Good evening," Draco greeted with a smile, "it nice to meet you all without a crisis going on."
"Thank you for inviting us," Johnny said with all due politeness, even though they all knew it hadn't quite been like that.
"Please," Draco replied, "have a seat."
Since there were only four chairs it wasn't really difficult to decided where to sit; Harry took the spot to Draco's right and Johnny to the left and Evan opposite. The table was decked out with the finest linen and silverware and Harry felt just a little underdressed. It wasn't as if he had expected to need posh clothes at the Olympics apart from when he was on the ice.
"I've ordered some sparkling wine to start," Draco said and nodded at the waiter who was standing unobtrusively in the corner; "I find it gets the appetite going, but you're most welcome to order something else if you'd prefer."
Harry wasn't a big drinker, but he accepted some of the wine when the waiter came to pour it, as did both Johnny and Evan. They were then all handed menus, menus which did not have prices on which gave Harry another clue as to how exclusive the place was.
"So, Johnny," Draco said as they all browsed the menu, "I hope you're fully recovered from yesterday's unfortunate incident."
"Completely, thank you," Johnny replied, taking a sip of his wine and smiling, "I think I shall relegate it to the not-memories section of my brain like certain other events in my life that are mortally embarrassing."
"You looked very apocalyptic coming up that hallway," Even commented with a strange little smile; "I was impressed."
For a second it looked as if Johnny wasn't sure if Evan was making fun of him or not, but he must have decided not because he smiled.
"I'll have to remember that," was the playful response.
"Anyway, we've all had our embarrassing moments," Harry decided to get the conversation going; "I mean Draco has the Ferret incident and we won't even go into the whole Cho kissing fiasco for me."
Johnny looked delighted.
"Those actually happened?" he asked and Harry knew he was on to a winner.
They had covered many things when they had talked after the men's competition, the embarrassing bits hadn't been on the list.
"Oh that damn woman managed to get all the really dubious bits correct," Draco said dryly; "it was some of the other things she had wrong. Did you read that epilogue? What was she on when she wrote that?"
And that was it, the ice was broken and the conversation began. They spent the evening talking about the wizarding world, the ice skating circuit and all sorts of other things while drinking very expensive wine and eating wonderful food. As it turned out Draco was witty and charming and could give as good as he got with any verbal interplay and Harry was very pleased he had said yes to the date. The years since they had last seen each other had changed Draco as much as they had him and he really enjoyed getting to know his one time rival again. Evan, it seemed had a very dry sense of humour, which, once the shock had worn off, started to show and Harry thought that Johnny might be in for more than he had bargained for. Evan might be more of a slow burn than the firecracker that Johnny was, but that didn't mean Johnny was going to get things all his own way.
By the time they had had dessert, an event that had been quite entertaining in itself since Johnny had ordered something completely decadent and then proceeded to make obscene noises as he enjoyed it, they all seemed happy and relaxed. Harry did not fail to notice how Johnny and Evan were leaning very close together and that Johnny's hand was somewhere under the table and out of view. Evan didn't look as if he was trying to cover anything up, so Harry was pretty sure nothing base was going on, but he was also pretty confident Johnny's hand was on Evan's knee and Evan was not objecting.
Alcohol helped mellow people out, not that any of them were more than a little happy, but it still helped. It had been a stressful couple of weeks, what with the Olympic competition and the whole vampire in heat episode as it would be labelled in Harry's head forever and ever, and it was good to unwind.
In the end they Apparated back to Harry's room, since they could be sure there was no one there, with Harry taking Johnny as a slide along and Draco taking Evan. Harry was not sure where Evan and Johnny were going when they left, but he was sure they were going in the same direction. It was really sweet how they were avoiding holding hands, but didn't seem to realise they were walking closer together than was usually normal.
"I give it two days before Johnny has Evan right where he wants him," Draco said as Harry closed the door.
"He already has him," Harry replied confidently, "they just have to realise it."
"Quite," Draco replied with a smile and gave Harry a very obvious once up and down. "So, are you going to offer me coffee or are we just going to catch up on what we've been missing?"
Harry raised an eyebrow.
"Oh, so that's how it is, is it," he said with mock indignation; "you buy me dinner and now you expect me to put out?"
Draco just smirked at him.
"Well I can always go home to Astoria and cry on her shoulder how I was spurned by Harry Potter," Draco replied and stepped closer.
Harry was pretty sure someone had just turned up the heat in his room.
"That would make me look very ungracious wouldn't it," Harry replied and moved in himself.
In his old life Harry would never have dreamed of this. It was so far away from how Harry Potter had been that he really almost was a completely different person, but he wanted it now. Relationships weren't something he tried very often, but he had the feeling he would not be able to get rid of Draco very easily. He wasn't sure what they were embarking on, but he liked the idea of the possibilities that arose.
"I saw your free program," Draco said and caught him by surprise.
"How?" he asked since the Olympics was not a big wizarding thing.
"I borrowed one of those PC things," Draco replied, moving in very close and breathing over his ear; "from the Muggle office where I used the phone. I saw one of them watching something on ... um ... Y-tube..."
"Youtube," Harry corrected, more than a little impressed that Draco had been anywhere near a computer.
"And they showed me when I asked."
Harry gave a little whimper when Draco nibbled his ear.
"You're very flexible," Draco whispered in a very sultry tone.
The inference and the way it was said went straight to Harry's cock and he reached up, grabbing Draco's hair and demanded a rather desperate kiss.
"I can put my leg behind my head if I want to," he said between needy kisses.
It wasn't as if he was undersexed, but he had a burning need to be fucked until he could barely walk. The collision of his old life and his new life had upset his balance and it felt like there was a gulf between the two that could not be bridged and he wanted to seal it. Somehow being there with Draco felt like doing that and he realised he needed it a little more than he was willing to admit. Maybe something had been missing in James Black and he was being offered the chance to put it back.
"Fuck me," he said running his hands over every bit of Draco he could reach, "please; as hard and as fast and as soon as you can."
Draco pulled back a little at that, but after a moment seemed to come to some decision and Harry didn't really care what his one time rival was thinking, because he found himself being pushed backwards towards the bed.
"Whatever you want, Harry," Draco said and for the first time since his real name had been revealed he didn't care that it was being used, in fact it made him tremble inside.
There was so much between them, so must past that was being left unsaid and it didn't matter. At the moment his old life and his new life were hurtling together and he didn't care about anything else.
"As hard and as fast and as soon as I can?" Draco asked, pushing him back onto the bed.
Harry landed flat on his back, feeling the sexual tension crackling through him.
"Yes," he said, almost giving Draco a challenge.
Draco just stood there and smiled before drawing his wand. It wasn't that Harry had forgotten Draco was a wizard, it was that that he was more used to having sex the Muggle way and he hadn't really thought about how Draco might fulfil his request. After one spell he was naked and his clothes were piled neatly in the corner; after another he felt empty and completely clean; after a third he felt his anal muscles relax as if loosened by long play; and after a fourth there was the familiar slick feeling of lubrication in all the right places. He moaned at the delightful sensations.
Then Draco threw off his jacket, undid his flies, pulled out his cock, cast protective charms on himself just like a Muggle would have pulled on a condom, lifted Harry's legs up and apart and pushed all the way home in one thrust. Harry literally howled as he was completely taken and his nerves fired all at the same time. Even with the preparatory spells he wasn't really ready and it burned, but in a way that set his body on fire.
Draco seemed to know exactly what he wanted, what he needed and gave him barely seconds to recover before he was moving again. Long, deep, hard thrusts emptied him and filled him with punishing repetition and he loved it. The two completely separate parts of his life were crashing together and he needed to be able to feel, to know that this was real and not some bizarre dream. This new Draco he really didn't know was replacing the old one in his head, making that memory grow and become an adult, allowing him to bridge the gap that he had pushed to the back of his mind as insurmountable.
He didn't really care what he was doing, what he was saying or how loud he was being as he twisted his hands in the sheets and hung on. He could have been revealing his innermost secrets for all he knew as he lost himself in the delirium of sex and memory. He had been a shell when he had reinvented himself, an empty man whose problems and relationships and pain he had left behind, refused to acknowledge for so many years and now it was coming back. James Black was happy, well adjusted, strong and a fighter, but he had been missing a large part of himself and Harry had to let that back in. Only the feel of Draco kept him grounded, stopped him flying apart in the frenzy inside of him.
When he came it was with a cry of heartbreak and pain, but hope and joy as well. He could never have explained it; it was too complicated, too fundamental to him and for a little while he didn't really know what was going on. Too much adrenaline, too much sensation, too much everything took the world away and when it came back he realised he was crying and he was cradled against a firm chest.
He didn't really know why he was crying, he didn't know what he was feeling at all actually, but it felt cathartic.
"You're back," Draco said in a way that made Harry think his lover understood somehow.
"Sorry," he said quietly, pretty sure this was not what Draco had expected when they came back from the restaurant.
"Don't," Draco said in a firm, but gentle; "it's happened to us all."
Harry looked up into Draco's face then; he didn't understand.
"It was the war, Harry," Draco said and he realised that Draco really did understand; "it scarred us all, took away parts of our childhood. I broke down in my mother's parlour just after my twenty first birthday; everything hit me all at once and I just collapsed. My mother put me to bed and brought me hot tea and my favourite cakes and told me fairy stories until I was ready to face the world again. You ran away, remade yourself, but it's been waiting for you hasn't it?"
He just nodded then. His tears had stopped and he felt kind of refreshed as if he had needed to feel all of that to be made new.
"I think I ruined your shirt," he said as he realised that Draco's pristine white shirt was as covered in tears and snot as he was.
"Yes, well," Draco said and handed him a handkerchief that seemed to come from nowhere, "you can buy me a new one when you win your first gold medal."
That made Harry smile; new life and old coming together.
"It's a deal," he said with a little laugh.
"You don't know how much it costs yet," Draco warned and made him laugh harder.
His emotions were still a little wobbly, because it took him a few seconds to get himself back under control.
"Will you be there when I come home, please?" he asked, knowing he had no right, but needing someone who understood.
Draco gave him an enigmatic smile.
"I'll even fly home with you on that abominable Muggle contraption if you want me to," Draco replied and Harry felt his heart beat faster.
They had connected on a level they had never had as children. Their world had been damaged by a madman, destroying lives on both sides of the battle and Harry felt a kinship with Draco that he had never really understood before.
"Thank you," he said and he meant it from the bottom of his heart.
He wasn't sure where this would lead or what it meant, but it gave him some peace.
"Now," Draco said, moving them both into a sitting position, "I think you need to sleep. Let's get cleaned up and into bed and then in the morning we can get back to the sex."
It took Harry a few seconds to work out what that meant, since his brain was a little fried, but then he smiled; Draco intended to stay.
The Olympics were over and, wow, had it been a mad time. Harry wasn't really sure quite how he was going to be received at home, given that the truth was out, but at least he wasn't doing it alone. The fact that Draco seemed to be slotting into his life was weird, but good and he only hoped he didn't do something to wreck the burgeoning relationship. He hoped Johnny could work it out with Evan too, because he knew it was weighing on Johnny's mind.
Vancouver airport was going to be a nightmare and people were leaving in staggered, organised chaos. Johnny's flight was leaving before his, so Harry had left his luggage in his room and come down to see his friend onto the bus that had been laid on the ferry people to the airport. Taxis were like gold dust, so everyone was happy there was a bus. The first thing he noticed as he walked into the area that was being used as pick up was that Evan was there as well and was standing a few feet away from Johnny. The pair weren't exactly ignoring each other, but they weren't talking either. There was no press in the village, but they still seemed to be playing it safe.
Over the last couple of days they had been spending large amounts of time with each other, but mostly in private. Harry was still waiting for them to get a clue and realise there was no going back, but he couldn't live their lives for them, so he had to leave them to it. He knew they were both going to be in L.A. soon, so he refused to be worried.
Apolo and J.R. were saying goodbye to Johnny and Harry trotted over to join them. That was something that had surprised him; Apolo and J.R. seemed to have him in the friend bracket now. It was a random set of circumstances that had lead them to talk to each other the first time, but, even though the short track had still been going on and all the skaters were busy with training, J.R. had looked him up at least twice and he'd bumped into both skaters more than once. He was pretty sure he knew half the US team by now given who he'd been hanging around with.
"Got everything?" he asked brightly as he bounced up behind Johnny.
He refused to let the fact that he didn't want this to end show through. Harry was really sad to say goodbye and he knew the Worlds weren't far away, but he was going to miss Johnny a lot. When he had arrived in Vancouver he never could have guessed what good friends he would make. They had each other's phone numbers and email addresses and just about every other method of communication known to Muggles and Wizards, but Harry still didn't want to go home.
"Every item on my list is ticked," Johnny replied clearly trying to be cheerful, but not wanting to leave either, "better get it on the bus I suppose."
Harry picked up Johnny's suit case, since his friend had his carry on as well and almost put it down again.
"Good god, what do you have in here?" he asked; it weighed a ton.
"Just everything I need," was the straightforward answer, accompanied by a sweet smile.
Harry shook his head ruefully and lugged the dead weight towards the coach, putting it in the hold. He turned back just in time to see Evan walk over to Johnny and tap him on the shoulder. What happened next would go down in Olympic history, at least among the athletes, because as Harry had learned, what went on in the village stayed in the village.
When Johnny turned, Evan grabbed him by the front of the jacket, dragged him close and then bent down and kissed him. At first Johnny's body language screamed shock and then, right there, in front of everyone, Johnny climbed Evan like a tree, wrapped his legs around Evan's waist, grabbed handfuls of hair and began kissing back like the world was about to end. Harry was impressed that Evan stayed on his feet, but then again strength and balance were among a figure skater's most important qualities.
After the stunned silence of everyone around the bus, which went on for a good twenty seconds, there came the first wolf whistle and some cheering when it became clear Johnny and Evan were not about to stop. When people began clapping and shouting out scores, Harry wandered over to where Apolo and J.R. were standing.
"Do you think either of them is going to remember they have a bus to catch?" he asked in a conversational tone that he knew full well the intertwined couple of figure skaters would be able to hear.
"Not unless we get a hose," J.R. replied, beaming from ear to ear.
The young man had very pink cheeks, which, from the way Apolo was looking at him, Apolo found adorable.
"They're at it already?" came the dry comment from behind them and Harry turned to find Draco standing only a couple of feet away. "And here was I coming to say a civilised goodbye."
"You expect the colonials to be civilised?" Harry replied with a laugh and got punched on the shoulder by Apolo for the quip.
"I heard that," Johnny said, finally breaking the kiss and turning to give him a raised eyebrow look.
"You were supposed to," Harry replied, but was shocked into silence before he could say anymore when Draco walked up beside him and pecked him on the cheek.
Draco, not known for his public displays of affection, just smirked at him.
"Can't be out done completely by our US cousins," Draco said, as if it explained everything.
"No fair," he heard a female voice bemoan, "all the cute ones are gay."
And several people laughed.
"As if you didn't all know that already," was Johnny's comeback, as he gracefully dismounted Evan.
Johnny was beaming from ear to ear and literally glowing with happiness and, surprisingly, so was Evan. It seemed that a decision had finally been made and Harry was very pleased with the outcome. People didn't seem to think Evan was the sharpest crayon in the box, but one thing Harry could tell was that once Evan had made up his mind about something, it appeared, he was dedicated to it. Harry knew Johnny did not discuss his relationships in the press, but Harry was pretty sure this was one Johnny wouldn't mind getting out.
"Bus," he said, giving Johnny another big hug for good measure.
"And tomorrow you'll learn that C is for cat," Johnny replied when he pulled back, still grinning, but with just a hint of tears in his eyes.
It was sad to be going home.
"I'm going to miss you," he said, refusing to cry even for Johnny Weir; "make sure you email me as soon as you get home so I know you are safe."
"Yes, Mom," Johnny said with a cheeky grin.
It was silly; he'd only known Johnny a couple of weeks and yet he felt as if he was sending off his best friend to places unknown. They were going to be seeing each other soon anyway, but Johnny had really gotten under his skin.
"I think everyone else wants to get to the airport," he said, since he couldn't think of anything else to say.
Johnny just smiled at him and then gave him a peck on the cheek.
"See you soon," Johnny said and then turned to his discarded bag.
Harry looked over at Evan who seemed somewhere between incredibly pleased with himself and somewhat embarrassed about everyone seeing everything. It was quite sweet really.
"Good luck," he said and stuck his hand out towards the other man.
He was quite surprised when he found himself dragged into a warm, although very manly hug.
"Thanks," Evan said and Harry didn't think it was just for the well wishes.
He nodded and then stepped back, letting the two skaters head for the bus. Heaven knew what was going to happen next, there were so many variables for all of them, but Harry had high hopes. As he waved some of his new friends off, standing next to two others, he couldn't help but wonder about his old friends at home. It was not going to be easy to see them again, but he knew he had to and the part of him that was not quaking at the thought was kind of looking forward to it. He wondered what they would think of James Black; he hoped they'd like him.