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February 15th

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Sunlight warmed the outside of his eyelids, and the world was a cloud of soft blue; not even the bitter taste of his tongue and the crust of sleep in his eyes could destroy the calm flowing through him.

He sat there, slowly waking up in the light, not particularly caring if it were morning or afternoon sun shining through the window, and took stock of his body. The buzzing in his veins remained from his most recent memories but instead of an intrusive shaking of limbs, he felt electrified and full of purpose and energy. He felt as if he were to look in a mirror he would be blindingly bright.

The bone cold he normally awoke to was nonexistent. His muscles and body were as soft and warm as a beautiful pudding. Christmas pudding. The kind with a pile of galleons to find instead of a single sickle. Every tick on the clock next to his bed woke him up further until he felt like stretching his arms high above his head and stretching so grandly his toes spread and peeked out from underneath the down comforter, a chill air nipping at them, and he brought them back under with a rustling of sheets.

While laying on his side he faced the window, and he decided to succumb to that sweet pull of sleep one feels even after the most restful sleep in weeks. Rolling to his belly, however, proved just how awake he was.

Or, how awake his cock seemed to be.

Groaning, his hips pressed involuntarily into the mattress to rub against his sleep pants in a way he hadn't experienced in months. Would this have been on the Ministry flier? Part of Granger's pep talk? A renewed libido after years of suppressed magic and resigned exhaustion? He doubted it, even as he hiccuped from the surprise of sensitivity.

He kept his eyes shut, his breathing increasing as he couldn't stop the roll of his hips, the wakefulness he'd gained in the last slow minutes falling away like a broken sieve. A hand, previously gripping into his sheets beneath the pillow like a lifeline, moved down the material, hypersensitive to each bump created by his tossing and turning while sleeping, smoothed over the elastic waistband. The coolness of his hand against the burning heat of his hip made him buck twice and his breath hitch again, the muscles of his abdomen contracting-

"Oh good, you're awake."

"What the fuck?"

Draco lifted his hand from where he desperately wanted it, shooting it out violently in an arc while he twisted himself around. A shock of dark hair and bright eyes flew in his vision as he overshot his turn and wrapped himself in his comforter and made a swift acquaintance with his bedroom floor.

"Malfoy! Jesus, are you alright?"

Landing facedown had its perks, like being able to mumble unintelligibly into the floor: "Oh, smashing, Potter, just enjoying the pleasure of being alone in my own fucking house."

"Hermione asked me to check on you, she loaned me her key."

Draco knocked his face against the floor a few times, his head softly thudding against the carpet. Of course Potter heard him. Of course Potter sounded put-out.

The unmistakable rattle of a tea tray broke the short silence while Draco's thoughts spun between the distraction in his pants he had been so looking forward to taking care of, and trying to ignore the idea that it was ardently not going away because the very wizard he'd been starting to imagine to speed things along was standing in his bedroom.

He wanted to die. He prayed for an Avada to get him out of this hell.

A heavy sigh. "Let me help you up, you're probably still exhausted. You were only asleep twenty hours."

"Twenty hours?" Draco croaked. Hermione's final conversation warning him about the side effects slowly piecemealed back together in his brain.

"Yes, and you probably need help standing."

Draco looked up, turning his body so his torso was facing up. Harry knelt next to him, and the shock of red Auror robes was conspicuously missing. At this angle he could see the slight stubble dusting the underside of Harry's chin and a spot of something white on his neck right near his Adam's apple, which moved even as he watched Harry swallow automatically. Toothpaste, perhaps? Shaving cream?

The clock in the living room chimed three times before falling silent again, and he was still on the floor with an unfortunate erection and Potter reaching over to help him up.

"Wait," he stuttered groggily, his tongue and lips still a bit numb from the after effects. "It's three o'clock on a...uh…"

"It's Thursday," Harry supplied for him, reaching over to tug at the blanket around Malfoy's torso, pinning his right arm to his side, and admittedly exactly where Draco did not want him to see.

At least, not yet.

"Don't you work Thursdays?" Draco stammered, stalling for more time.

Harry chuckled and Draco hated himself for thinking the crinkles around his eyes were attractive. "No. I have Thursdays off until midnight."

Draco worked to control his breathing and tried to keep himself from being compromised once the comforter was off of him, grasping at anything he could say to possibly distract Harry from helping him up. "So you agreed to dinner with me even if you had to go into a midnight shift right afterwards?"

"Yes," Harry said, his hands slowing as he dragged out the single syllable into not quite a question.

Finding the moment he needed, he used every ounce of focus and strength to push himself into a seated position. Leaning casually against the wall below the window, he primly arranged the comforter around him, and almost released a sigh of relief that the down texture covered his distraction. Harry's hands were too preoccupied messing up his own hair to assist his movements and cause an even more unfortunate incident.

"I apologize for standing you up," he said, keeping a straight face and putting a heavy sincerity in his voice, ignoring the slight lightheadedness from sitting up. "But you see this meddling man at work released me from indentured servitude and I haven't been myself since."

The snort that left Harry's lips made a raspberry sound followed by a true guffaw. "You must have hit your head when you fell. Hermione will kill me if I don't take care of you, she would be here but -"

"She's got her parents tonight, I know."

Harry faltered. "How do you know that?"

It was Draco's turn to blush. "There aren't many neighborhoods in wizarding Britain pleased to share space with Muggles. I may have suggested a realtor a few years ago…"

"You helped her find her parent's house?" Harry gaped a bit, sitting back on his bum to cross his legs in front of him. "I always wondered how she managed to get them into that area, it's so difficult to get in touch with a realtor. Dawlish, Auror I work with, he had a hell of a time applying."

"Favors aren't as fun if their details are given away, Potter," Draco said, trying to shut him up.

"So you won't tell me why she has your flat key?"

"Do you ever shut up?"

"Not normally."

Damn him and his rakish grin; Draco could feel his already strained resolve crumble. "Silence can be golden. Wear your heart on your sleeve all the time and it will dry right out. Poof." He used his free hand to illustrate just that: a fluttering of fingers that would have mortified him without the haze of exhaustion.

Harry's grin twisted into an amused grimace. "Alright, that's enough. Time for bed, soup and tea. In that order. Up you get."

A fit of giggles bubbled in his throat at the way Harry scrunched up his nose, the little wrinkles up under the bridge of his glasses. He'd been able to distract himself sufficiently and when Harry's arms went beneath his armpits to lift him like a rag doll, his entire body was as languid as a cat.

"Whoa there," buzzed against his shoulder. The feeling of Harry's voice against his neck, that line of skin behind his ear, was more heavenly than the few moments of solitude, before interruption. "You're dead weight. Hold on."

The feeling of hitting turbulence on a broom washed over him again, but instead of a featherweight charm from Hermione, his feet were swept up from the rug. Panic flowed through him as his shoulders pressed against a bicep and a familiar warmth flooded through his abdomen with a deliriously fit chest pressed against his hip and arm.

"Stop struggling, Malfoy, I've got you."

"Yes, and now you can put me down!"

More chuckling, and that damn vibration of Harry's voice doing things to him he wished were happening in any other situation, except the one where he was draped uselessly in his arms.

Well. Maybe this was exactly where he wanted to be. Damn.

"Relax, I'm serious, Hermione will lecture me for hours if anything happens to you," Harry said as he leaned over to put Draco back on his bed.

Reaching down to pick up the discarded blankets, Draco caught a glimpse of the top of a set of boxers printed with golden snitches, but the line of tanned skin above the waistband and below Harry's black shirt was worth almost revealing his erection to the other man. He swallowed something that felt like the size of a Quaffle as he reached out to help arrange the comforter, careful to haphazardly arrange it below his midsection. The line of skin remained in his vision as Harry walked away to grab the tea tray off of his dresser. As he returned, Draco openly observed him, his head cocking to the side as the electric buzzing began again. Harry's face was stoic in concentration, working to not spill a drop of the food on the tray as he placed it in front of his charge.

"Do you need me to help you?"

His tone implied Harry had asked the question more than once, and he attempted to regain the balance of the conversation. "What? Oh, no, I am certain I can handle feeding myself. You've got a bit of toothpast on your neck, by the way. Noticed when you manhandled me."

Though it was delicious soup, and he was so parched he finished two pots of tea in no time, the constant presence of Harry in his flat unnerved him and he only half finished the serving. Had he folded the couch blanket? Were his counters clean? His mother would be so disappointed if he had a houseguest as lovely as Harry without offering him something to eat.

Harry seemed preoccupied enough with his seat in a chair taken from the kitchen, a magazine Draco recognized as a local Quidditch gossip rag, to not notice Draco's own distraction.

"Was chicken noodle not the best choice?"

Draco blinked to break his stare at Harry's stocking feet, the informality drawing his attention. "I love chicken noodle. Who made it?"

Harry rolled his eyes. "Molly. She made a huge batch today when she found out you were under the weather."

A creeping dread filled his half-full stomach. Harry's face fell exactly how it had done in the elevator, realizing exactly what he'd said.

"Molly doesn't know any details, Malfoy. I only mentioned I wouldn't be around for dinner tonight like I do on Thursdays, meeting Ron for Auror duty and all that, that I would be checking up on you for Hermione. She gets very overprotective and sent me over with enough food to probably feed both of us for a week."

The notion of spending a week in his flat with Harry made his already twisted stomach flip.

Biting the inside of his cheek, which only served to make the numbness worse, he replied, "I believe you, Potter." A sudden thought occurred to him, "Aren't you going to eat with me? I did ask you to dinner after all."

"Not particularly hungry, I'm afraid," he replied with a small smile, waving his hand at Draco to get on with his meal. "Besides you're the one whose metabolism is in overdrive, according to that little pamphlet Hermione shoved under my nose this morning. She hasn't made me study in years and it did not bring back fond memories."

Draco chuckled a little, understanding completely the overbearing nature of his rival-turned-friend. Hours poring over the Archives of the Ministry during his first year in rehabilitation, spending almost every hour with her, had ground down his patience and reshaped his perception of her entirely. He stared at his soup for a few more minutes, eating another couple mouthfuls, before his head started spinning and his eyes stung with exhaustion. He pushed the tray away gently and painstakingly adjusted himself in order to sit up further on the bed.

Without a word, Harry set down his tabloid with a picture of Ginny Weasley grimacing from a page, and took the tea tray away to the kitchen. When he returned the gentle clinking of the dishes washing themselves rang in the next room.

"Did you," Harry cleared his throat, casting his gaze around the room, and stepping closer to Draco's bed. "Did you need anything else? You look bushed."

"You sure know how to compliment a man," grumbled Draco, but he couldn't deny the growing feeling of exhaustion washing over him. A man's hand, Harry's hand, rested on his shoulder as he slumped down into the mattress, eyelids fluttering and eyes unseeing. He unconciously moved into the warmth of Harry's hand as it smoothed the comforter over him.

He was certain he'd already fallen asleep, and Harry had left his bedside, when a sweep over his brow caught him unawares. With his eyes opening in shock, he caught Harry staring with eyes comically wide, his traitorous hand still hovering over the fringe he'd swept out of Draco's eyes.

Feeling small, and the slow drone of bees buzzing filling his ears, Draco searched his gaze and asked, "Will you be here when I wake up?"

Without hesitation, Harry nodded. "Go to sleep, Malfoy."

And he did, with the softest grin to grace his face in months.