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Paradox

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.

 

par·a·dox noun \ˈper-ə-ˌdäks, ˈpa-rə-\

1 : a tenet contrary to received opinion
2 :
a : a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true
b : a self-contradictory statement that at first seems true
c : an argument that apparently derives self-contradictory conclusions by valid deduction from acceptable premises
3 : one (as a person, situation, or action) having seemingly contradictory qualities or phases

Part 1

The bed dipped when Draco rolled off the man and gracefully jumped out of the bed. The dark blue silk covers slid down his perfectly shaped thigh and revealed his lithe, naked body. He searched his robes and pulled a pack of smokes from between the discarded pile of fabric, lighting one and throwing both the package and the lighter towards his lover.

"I've got to be going," he said while pulling his pants and trousers over his narrow hips, not even looking at the man still in the bed.

"I do not smoke," the other man said, but lit up a cigarette anyway.

"Sure," Draco replied with a sneer. "You don't smoke and you're not gay."

"Precisely," the man replied, dragging on the cigarette lazily.

Draco sighed. It was always like this. Every fucking time he'd answer the owl, Apparating his way across the country, jumping in bed and spreading his legs for someone that wouldn't even admit to being sexually attracted to men. He still wondered how someone could be so firmly in the closet he was even lying to himself.

The worst thing was he'd been falling in love with the man for a while now. The 'fuck and walk' routine was getting very old, very fast, and on top of that, it was starting to hurt him.

As he buttoned his robes, he vowed for what must have been the thirtieth time, that he wouldn't do this to himself again. He would ignore the next owl summoning him to the cold depths of the Hogwarts dungeon.

"If you're so bloody hetrosexual," he spat, "then what the hell are you doing with me?"

Severus Snape rolled over to crush the cigarette on the candelabra, making his long dark hair fall over his face before swiping it back behind an ear with his long, potion-stained fingers.

He looked up at the younger man with an emotionless expression. "I would assume that was blatantly obvious, Draco," he said, but the blond just raised his eyebrow in confusion.

The next words out of the Potions master's mouth were both bored and condescending, and they cut Draco straight through his soul. "You are available."

The young man closed his eyes for a moment and swallowed thickly. "So I'm no more than a whore to you, is that it?" he asked with his heart hammering in his throat.

"There's no need to be so crude," Snape said. "But essentially, yes."

Draco threw his cigarette butt on the hard stone floor and crushed it with his boot before angrily rushing through the door. He slammed it shut behind him and leaned against the unforgiving wood for a moment. 'Do not give in, Draco,' he thought while trying to fight back the tears. God, how could he be so stupid? Not once, not twice, but time and fucking time again. He'd never considered himself a masochist, but clearly things had changed over the past few months. Months in which he'd let his old teacher summon him and fuck him before tossing him out again.

His father would turn over in his grave if he knew his son had been putting out for the half-blood traitor. Of course, Draco didn't think Snape a traitor. No, the man had protected him and saved his life when he was confused and terrorized into doing the Dark Lord's bidding. The man had made sure that a young boy would not become a killer and condemn himself to a life in prison.

If Voldemort's death had saved him from a life of servitude, Snape had saved him from himself, and whatever the man put him through, he'd always be grateful for that.

Pulling himself together, he walked down the dungeon corridors, back up the stairs, and out the front door. Hogwarts ––the last place he'd ever thought to visit again when he walked away from the final battle with his parents. He'd been a coward, to walk towards them when all seemed lost. Shocked and weary to the bone, he watched Longbottom stand up and do what he hadn't had the guts to do himself. A boy, a pureblood like him, yes, but so much more of a man than he'd been himself at that point. There was something one could say for Gryffindor bravery; it might get you killed more often than not, but it was certainly more honorable than Slytherin self- preservation.

Before he reached the gates past which he could finally Apparate home to lick his wounds, he stopped dead in his tracks. A silhouette against the pale moon that shone over the lake, was a man. It wasn't particularly weird for someone to be standing at the bank staring over the calm water, though it was strange that someone would be doing so at three o'clock in the morning.

Draco took a few steps towards the lake, not sure what he'd actually do or say to the person standing there, but wishing to do or say something. Before he reached him, the man turned around and glanced in his direction. Draco startled, for he couldn't be sure from this distance, but the man looked shockingly similar to Harry Potter. However, what would Harry Potter be doing back at Hogwarts? As far as he knew, the man had some daring and life threatening job at the Ministry. He was one of their hitmen or whatnot.

He stood there, unable to move, until the man turned and stalked towards the castle. Draco turned on his heels, pushed past the gates, and Apparated home.

.

It was only a week later when Draco cuddled tighter against the long and warm form of his former teacher, holding on for just one more post-coïtal moment of bliss. Taking in the man's touch, his smell and his taste. Pretending for just a moment that this was more than what it ultimately was; his self-inflicted destruction.

"Don't you dare fall asleep, Draco. This is not a hotel," Snape snapped from beside him, clearly recovered from coming deep within the younger man's arse only moments ago. He sighed and rolled away from his lover, getting up and once again searching his robes for his cigarettes.

"I need a shower," he said, throwing the pack towards Snape and walking gracefully towards the bathroom.

"You can shower somewhere else," Snape replied. He stretched out, lit a smoke and dragged on on it, as Draco turned around with his mouth open in frustration.

"I don't care that you're an oblivious arse, and I care even less that you're an utter bastard, but I'm not walking through Hogwarts with cum sticking to my chest!" he all but yelled.

Snape reached out for his wand and swished it in the younger man's direction. Draco felt a tingle on his torso, and when he looked down, his chest was cleansed.

"Fine," he snapped. "This was the last time, you hear me, Severus? This was the last time I let you use me without giving anything back!"

"And pray tell, in what way would you have me 'give back'?" the man replied in a dry tone. "What is it you fantasize about after you leave my quarters at night, hmm? Some ill conceived romantic gesture? A declaration of some sorts? Wake up, Draco."

"I don't know, I don't even care, I just-" he said with a quivering voice. "I'm not your whore, okay?"

"Of course you're not," Snape said. "Just as you don't beg me for it, writhe nor plead."

"That was the last time," Draco said, barely convincing himself, and put on his clothes in silence.

Snape didn't reply until the blond was halfway through the door. "You'll be back," he said, unfazed, and Draco slammed the door shut behind him.

Why? Why was he still doing this? Why couldn't he just forget about the man and pretend the bastard was dead or something? Why did he keep Apparating to Hogwarts to have his heart broken over and over, for him to have to patch it back together before he once again walked back to his inevitable doom. He must be barking mad.

He made it out of the castle without being seen. If only Snape cared enough for him to use the man's Floo to get home. But just as well, he knew Severus didn't care about him, not one single bit.

Draco didn't want to go home. What was there anyway? A bottle of firewhisky and an empty bed, nothing special. Instead, he walked out to the lake and sat down on a large boulder. He'd been there for over an hour when a clear voice interrupted his thoughts.

"You were here last week as well," Potter said, stating more than asking.

"Yeah, I was," Draco replied and glanced up at the raven-haired man standing a little to his left.

"Why?" he asked.

"I don't see how that's any of your business," Draco snapped, his patience already running thin.

"It's not, really," Harry said as he sat down on the damp grass next to Draco's boulder. "I was just curious."

Draco thought about telling him, for a few confusing seconds, but why would he? It wasn't like he and Potter had ever been friends. The few times he'd seen the man since the war were strained at best. He'd tried to be civil on account of the man speaking at both his and his mother's hearings, but managed only barely. Potter had a way of getting under Draco's fingernails.

"It's peaceful out here, isn't it?" Potter asked, to Draco's surprise. Why was the man making conversation? Couldn't he just leave him alone? He really wasn't up for any bantering.

"I suppose," Draco answered. He shifted uncomfortably on his boulder, not exactly knowing if walking away now would be rude, and not exactly knowing if he cared in any case.

"I've come out here often at night since I've been back," Potter said, something dark clouding his well practiced smile.

"Back?" Draco asked, wanting to know why the man was at Hogwarts in the first place.

"I'm teaching Defence now," Potter clarified. "It's like coming home, though entirely different at the same time."

Draco was intrigued now. Whatever caused Harry bloody Potter, saviour of the wizarding world, to leave his exciting job and return to teach at their old school?

"How come it's different?" Draco asked, not daring to ask the question he really wanted an answer to.

"It's just not the same anymore, is it?" Potter replied, looking out over the lake with a melancholic expression colouring his features. "Dumbledore is gone, my friends have all moved on, even you."

"M-me?" Draco asked, not quite sure how him not being there would make the slightest bit of difference to his previous enemy. Though enemy might've been too strong a word. Adversary, yes.

"It's like when I met the ghosts of my parents, you know?" Potter asked, but Draco shook his head; he didn't know. "When I saw them, I was so happy. They were my parents after all."

Draco nodded; he could understand that. "But they weren't, not really. They couldn't hug me or take care of me. They were just a whisper of what used to be. That's what Hogwarts is to me now. It's just a whisper of a home, a lingering ghost."

"So why don't you leave?" Draco asked him. "I thought the Weasel clan all but adopted you?"

Potter winced and turned his head away. "Things have been... different. They love me, I know that, but it's been hard since Ginny broke up with me," he said into the distance.

"She did, did she?" Draco mused with half a smirk on his face. "What happened? Did she finally realize you weren't the golden boy hero she thought you were?"

He was joking, referring to the way the youngest Weasel used to fawn and fangirl over Potter right after he saved her from the Basilisk. That was why the softly muttered 'yes' shocked him to no end.

"What?" he cried out.

"Ginny never really accepted me for who I was," Potter explained. "I never realized it until one day she up and left me for 'not giving her the life she expected when she got together with the boy who lived'."

The last part he said while hooking the middle and index fingers of both his hands in the air.

"Her mother never told her that fairy tales weren't real?" Draco snapped disgustedly.

Potter chuckled and cast his eyes down to his feet. "Guess not," he said softly.

"Well, Potter," Draco said haughtily. "You can't really expect anything else from a blood traitor like her. Be glad to be rid of her and find yourself some decent woman."

"Don't call her that," Potter whispered.

"Whyever not?" Draco exclaimed.

"The war is over, Malfoy," Potter said sarcastically. "In case you didn't notice, the light won. Blood status isn't worth anything anymore."

"I know, all right?" Draco yelled. "I was just trying to cheer you up! Bashing the ex-girlfriend, you know? You'd be happy to know I don't care about purity of blood."

"Oh, okay," Potter murmured. "Thanks, I guess."

"If you really feel lonely," Draco said, "Pansy has always had a thing for you. I think she's single at the moment."

Potter chuckled again. "Thanks for the thought," he said. "But breaking up with Ginny did help me realize one thing. I'm as gay as carnival in Rio."

"Gay as what?" Draco asked, the fact that Potter just told him he liked men only sinking in a fraction of a second later. "You're what?"

"Gay, Draco," he said with a smirk. "A shirt-lifter, a ponce, queer, a poo-"

"Yes, I know what gay means," Draco snapped. "But when did you become one? It?"

When no answer but an annoyed sigh was forthcoming, Draco realized something else. "Since when do you call me Draco?"

"You'd rather I keep calling you Malfoy?" Potter snapped.

"Merlin, Potter, I didn't say that!" Draco answered exasperatedly. "Why must you make everything so fucking difficult?"

"Harry," Potter replied.

"W-what?" Draco replied, feeling confused.

"If I'm going to call you Draco, you might as well call me Harry," he explained.

"Why?" Draco replied, still not entirely sure what was really going on. He got all but tossed out on his arse by Snape, to end up having a surprisingly pleasant conversation with Harry bloody Potter, and somehow they now were or weren't on a first name basis after hating each other for 15 years.

"It is my name, after all," Potter, no, Harry, answered.

"All right, Harry," Draco said hesitantly. "Thanks for the conversation, I guess."

He pulled his cloak tighter around his body and stood up.

"You're leaving?" Harry asked him in an almost disappointed tone. Almost, because the saviour of the wizarding world would never be disappointed to see him, a Malfoy, leave.

"It's four am," he snapped.

"Yes, I suppose it is," Harry said while looking up at him, incredibly green eyes gazing through those widely unflattering spectacles. "Well, maybe I'll see you around."

"Yeah, see you," Draco answered noncommittally. He truly had no intention of ever setting another foot inside Hogwarts.

.

It had been four weeks when Draco finally relented. Four silent weeks without any summons from the cantankerous object of his affection. Four excruciating long weeks in which Draco came to doubt anything and everything he was worth. The man mightn't love him back, but he'd always been sure Snape at least desired him as much as Draco desired Snape. Some tiny fleck of confidence that told him the man at least preferred him in his bed to anyone else. However, the cold shoulder Snape was giving him hurt even worse than all the biting and cutting remarks thrown his way.

He gave up, swallowing his pride and doing something completely un-Malfoyish. He begged.

Severus,

I haven't failed to notice you haven't invited me to come over these past few weeks. I wonder if this has anything to do with the things I said last time. If so, I'd like to point out that I wasn't entirely myself when I made those statements and look forward to your reply.

Draco Malfoy

Well, it wasn't really an apology, nor was it an actual plea for a summons, but it was far more demeaning than anything he'd ever done before. Save for letting Snape use him in the first place. He just didn't know how to stop. It hurt to be with the man, but it hurt far worse to not be with him. Draco would take anything Snape deemed him worthy of giving, which wasn't much, but it would have to do.

He sent his owl and waited patiently for the reply. Well, he was patient the first hour or two, before starting to feel annoyed. By dinner time, Draco couldn't hold back his worry anymore. What if the man didn't want him anymore? What if he'd truly ruined what little thing he had? What if Snape had replaced him?

His musing was interrupted by the arrival of one of his oldest friends, Pansy Parkinson. The woman was formidable in the face of a sulking Draco, you had to give her that.

"You are not still mooning over Professor Snape, are you?" she snapped once she took in his forced smile. "Oh, Merlin, you are!"

She slapped him in the face, and ignored his answering glower while he reached up to touch his stinging cheek. "Listen to me, Draco Malfoy!" she screeched. "You are a strong man and a powerful wizard! You will not, I repeat, you will not behave in this completely unbecoming and shameful fashion. Do I make myself clear?"

When Draco didn't reply and cast his gaze to the floor, she grabbed his chin painfully and forced him to face her. "Do I make myself clear?" she repeated.

"But I love him, Pans!" Draco cried out. "I don't know what to do!"

"You're not in love with him, honey," she drawled. "You're obsessed! You've always wanted to please the man beyond reason. It's like you crave his approval like nothing else. It's unseemly, Draco, that's what it is! Completely inappropriate and frankly, it's beneath you!"

"Like you know anything about love! How many marriages was that, Pans?" Draco growled, knowing by the look on Pansy's face that he'd gone too far.

"Fuck you, Draco!" she bit back. "Fuck you and your farce of a relationship!"

She opened the door and shot him a final, angry glare. "Call me when you're ready to apologise!" she spat, slamming the door behind her under Draco's answering 'Not fucking likely'.

She had no right to say he didn't know how he felt about his lover. No right at all! He wasn't mooning; Malfoys didn't moon. He was just a little anxious for a reply from the man, that was all. A reply that still hadn't come.

He was about to write another letter, one that contained some true and serious begging, when a large, dark owl tapped his kitchen window. Recognizing the owl as Snape's, he quickly let the bird in and took the letter tied to its claw.

Draco,

On the stipulation that you are done throwing infantile tantrums like a spoilt little child in my presence, I will expect you Friday at 9 pm.

SS

The young man sighed in relief and sagged back against the kitchen wall, sliding down to the floor. How had he ended up in this situation? A situation where his mind was completely taken over by thoughts of Severus Snape? How had that man acquired so much power over him that a rejection or an acceptance from him changed his entire state of mind?

.

That Friday he stood wringing his hands in front of Snape's door. He breathed in and out a couple of times before finally knocking.

His heart leapt when the door swung open and a very irate Severus Snape appeared. "You're early," he snapped, moving to let the young man through.

"Good evening, Severus," he said in a shaking voice. "How are you?"

"Fine," the Potions master answered and closed the door behind him. Draco wasn't fazed by the lack of courtesy from his lover, and tried again.

"How was your day?" he asked while sitting down in one of the armchairs in front of the fire.

"Fine," the man stated again, sounding more annoyed this time.

"My day was great," Draco said, ignoring Snape's failure to reciprocate the question. "I went to Gringotts today and ran into Theodore. He wanted me to tell you tha-"

"You're not here on a social call, Draco," Snape said, cutting in on him. "And as you're early, I would appreciate it if you'd refrain from bothering me and leave me to my work. You can wait in the bedroom if you cannot control your excessive chattering."

Draco's shoulders sagged in defeat, and he made his way through the door leading to his lover's bedroom. Once inside, he carefully stripped to his pants and sat down on the bed. 'A booty call', that's what Muggles called an engagement like this. It annoyed him to no end that it hurt so fucking much each time Snape cut down his every attempt to make their encounters more personal, more meaningful.

Why he still even tried, he wasn't sure. He just knew he'd do whatever it would take for the man to acknowledge his sexuality and develop some sort of feelings for him.

He was all but drowning in his disappointment when the door opened and Snape walked in. The man opened the many buttons of his robes with a flick of his wand and draped the black fabric over a nearby chair. Without a single look in Draco's direction, he pulled his trousers and pants down, exposing pale and scarred flesh to the damp, dungeon air.

Draco drank in the sight with parted lips. The man wasn't beautiful in any sense of the word, nor was he toned or particularly appealing to anyone but the young blond. Draco sagged back into the pillows on Snape's bed, waiting for him to join him there.

Snape ran a single finger from Draco's navel to his clavicle, making him hard and shivering with just that touch. He then closed his hand over the younger man's shoulder and led him to turn over to his stomach.

Draco hoped, every time, that this would be the time when Severus would fuck him on his back. That he could look into those dark eyes as the man's cock pushed past his tight ring of muscle. He hoped, but never expected as much, and this was clearly not that time.

He buried his face into the pillows as Snape pulled his pants down and muttered a lubrication spell that slicked and relaxed his entrance. He felt the blunt head of the Potions master's cock push against him and bit down on his bottom lip when the man entered him in one smooth thrust.

Snape never made a sound while fucking him. Draco would be writhing and moaning, begging for the man to take him harder and faster, but his lover never so much as breathed louder than usual. The only sound he did make was the sound Draco always dreaded to hear. It was a low groan that came with a stiffening of the man's body and cum flooding through his passage. The sound that meant it was over.

He yanked at his own erection and quickly made himself come. It felt... lacking, in some way. The sex wasn't forced or bad. If anything, he loved having his lover's cock inside him, loved the feel of the stretch and slide, but there was no connection. Draco was having sex and Snape was having sex, at the same time, but never together.

The young man closed his eyes and waited for his breathing to calm down while he pressed his back against the warm body behind him. A calloused hand rested on his thigh, which probably meant Snape was still in some oblivious post-sex state, because he would only touch Draco like this when he didn't realize he was doing it.

Not wanting to be kicked out by the man's condescending words, Draco sat up and reached out to grab his robes. Like always, his pack of smokes was easily within reach and he quickly lit one. This time he didn't pass the pack and lighter to Snape, who was eyeing him surreptitiously. He haphazardly put on his clothes and walked towards the door without muttering a word.

"What? No heated parting words?" Snape said from the bed, and Draco slowly turned around.

"There really isn't any point, is there?" he asked rhetorically. "Besides, I've got no time to exchange snappy remarks. I've got plans."

He was lying, and somehow he knew that Snape knew it. The man narrowed his eyes before shrugging. "Just as well," he said, waving his hand dismissively.

'Damn it!' Draco thought. Even when he was trying to make his exit with his pride intact, Snape had a way of turning it around and making him feel unworthy and unwanted again. The man never gave a single inch, like he enjoyed hurting him. However, Draco was fairly sure Snape didn't really enjoy anything; at least he never let out that he did.

He all but fled the dungeon quarters and made his way to the castle doors, dead set on Apparating away from this place as fast as possible.

"Hey, you," he heard when he crossed the corridor leading to the great hall. Turning around, he saw Potter, no, Harry, leaning against the wall.

"Evening, Potter," he replied with a nod of his head. He couldn't be sure in the nearly dark corridor, but it looked like the other man winced at his words.

"I thought we agreed on you calling me Harry?" he said and took a step towards Draco. "Visiting your godfather?"

"My what?" he asked confused. What on earth was the man talking about?

"Professor Snape," Harry clarified. "He's your godfather, isn't he?"

Draco almost choked on a sour chuckle. "He most certainly is not," he answered, tasting a little bile in the back of his mouth at the thought of having sexual relations with someone holding that position.

"Oh," Harry just said.

"Whatever made you think that?" Draco asked, still a little exasperated.

"I don't know," Harry said shrugging. "It's what everyone was saying back when we were in school."

"You don't think that my father would've ever allowed someone with a defiled blood status like Snape's to be my godfather, do you?" he said. "No, my godfather was Regulus Black."

Harry opened his mouth into a perfect 'O' and his eyes widened. "Regulus Arcturus Black? Sirius's brother?" he asked and Draco nodded. "Does that make us godcousins or something?"

Draco chuckled. "I guess it does," he answered, never having really thought about it like that.

"Well, seeing we're practically almost not really family," Harry started "would you care for a drink?"

Draco wanted to say no and yes at the same time. Thinking about the alternative, having a drink at home, alone, made him accept. "Sure," he said. "It's not like I have anything better to do."

Harry rolled his eyes. "Don't overwhelm me with your enthusiasm," he chuckled. "Come along, I'm up in the tower."

.

"It's quite sad that you're bunched up at Hogwarts on a Friday night, isn't it?" Draco said without any real venom in his voice.

"You're the one that has nothing better to do than accept my invitation," Harry retorted.

"Touché," Draco said. "No, but seriously, where's the other two parts of the happy trio? I thought you guys were joined at the hip."

Harry sighed and turned the firewhisky around in his glass. "Hermione and Ron have a kid now; Rose, she's adorable. I understand they can't up and leave her with Molly while they go and have fun with me. Though I miss them, you know?" he said, surprising Draco with his openness. "Why aren't you out on the town?"

"I didn't really know how long my earlier engagement would last, so I didn't make any plans," he said without really saying anything. It was bullshit, of course. He hadn't gone out on the town for months now, another reason why Pansy was angry with him. He sighed and gulped back a large mouthful of firewhisky.

"Get up!" Harry commanded, making Draco look up in confusion. "Get up!"

"What? Why?" Draco asked.

"We're not sitting here like a bunch of pathetic losers!" Harry exclaimed.

"Speak for yourself," Draco replied dryly. "I bear no resemblance to any kind of loser in my worst of hours."

Harry just glared at him and raised an eyebrow. "Fine!" Draco snapped. "Where will you have us go?"

The raven-haired man, who had just gotten up from his chair, sagged back into it. "I don't really know," he said. "We used to go to 'the Three Broomsticks', but since Lavender Brown bought it from Rosmerta, I've been vehemently trying to avoid the place. That woman is vile!"

Draco chuckled, remembering the slightly overweight girl who used to walk after the Weasel and called him Won-Won at every chance.

"I know just the place," he said with a gleam in his eye. A gleam that immediately seemed to put Harry on edge.

"That sounds ominous," he said, eying the blond suspiciously.

"Not at all," Draco said, reaching out to grab the man's wrist. "I think it's high time you embrace your recently discovered sexuality, don't you?"

"No, not really, no," Harry replied, trying to pull his wrist out of Draco's grasp.

"Oh, Harry, Harry," he said. "All work and no play makes you a very dull and unbecoming queer."

Harry sniffed and turned his head away from the other man. "Riiiiiight," he said.

"Come on!" Draco said, unrelenting. "Get up off your tight arse and get changed! I'm taking you to London!"

He moved to open Harry's wardrobe and searched through the man's clothes. "Have you got nothing decent?" he asked. "These are all worn jeans and teaching robes!"

Harry shrugged and joined Draco at the mahogany wardrobe. "It's not so bad," he said, picking up a faded pair of jeans. "These are only two years old."

"Not so bad?" Draco screeched, taking the pair of jeans from Harry. "Those are positively ancient! They hold no form at all! No self-respecting wizard would wear anything like this! Even the Weasel clan knows how to dress better than this! How on earth do you hope to find a guy who will appreciate your arse if you don't show it?"

Harry scowled and snatched back the jeans, throwing them onto the floor of the wardrobe and closing the door. "Maybe I don't want anyone appreciating my arse!" he snapped. "Maybe I'd like to find someone who will appreciate a nice conversation, who likes my personality better than my looks or scar."

Draco huffed. "Sure you want that," he said. "You're a romantic Gryffindor, after all. But how on earth do you plan to find a guy like that if they won't look at you twice? Hmm?"

"A guy like that doesn't mind a pair of old jeans, Draco," Harry replied, his conviction slightly wavering already. "We're not all rich and spoiled snobs like you."

"Yeah, and fairytale princes still ride you off into the sunset on white horses," Draco retorted. "Some of us live in the real world."

"Fine!" Harry snapped. "Why don't you dress me then, oh, all- knowing fashion guru."

"I like the sound of that!" Draco said with a wink. "You okay with Flooing to my place?"

.

Two hours later, Harry looked at himself in the mirror, wide-eyed and open-mouthed. "Good God!" he exclaimed while turning and admiring his own assets in the mirror. "I don't look like this at all while naked!"

"Like what?" Draco called from his bathroom.

"I don't know, fit, I guess," Harry replied. He couldn't believe how well the Slytherin green shirt looked on him. He usually went for reds, staying true to his old house. Even the occasional blues and yellows were represented in his wardrobe, but green wasn't a colour he'd ever choose for obvious reasons.

Besides that, the pair of black low slung skinny jeans that left no room for his wand hugged his arse like a second layer of skin. He felt exposed and vulnerable in this outfit.

"They are clothes, Harry, not Glamours," Draco stated. "It won't show off anything that isn't naturally yours."

"Are you sure?" Harry asked in an uncertain tone. "I'm fairly convinced my arse doesn't normally look this, this..."

"Firm?" Draco asked and swatted said arse as he walked back into the bedroom. "Get over yourself, you look hot! Except..."

"What?" Harry asked, blushing over the unexpected compliment.

Draco reached out and took his glasses, folding them and throwing them on top of the discarded pile of Harry's robes. "There, much better!" he said, stepping back and crossing his arms over his chest.

"Hey! Give those back! I don't wear them as an accessory, you know? My eyesight is really bad!" Harry cried out, but Draco didn't pick them back up. Instead, he pulled out his wand.

"Are you a wizard, Potter, or not?" he said with a sigh, and flicked his wand.

"Wow!" Harry called. "You healed my eyes!"

"I most certainly did not," Draco replied, sliding his wand inside his sleeve. "I spelled the air in front of your eyes to resemble the effect the lenses have on your sight. Really, Harry, if I hadn't known you in school, I'd think you were completely dense. It'll last for an hour or two, and then you'll need to replace it. It'll irritate your eyes in the long run though, because it also takes away the moisture out of the air and leaves your eyes very dry when exposed for a long time."

"Oh," Harry replied sheepishly.

"Enough about you!" Draco said haughtily. "How do I look?"

He twirled around and wiggled his arse at Harry, who suddenly felt his mouth turn very dry.

"Uhm, good, you erm," he muttered. "You look good."

"Good, hmm?" Draco asked, looking in the mirror himself. "Guess I'd better change then. I always look good, I want to look great tonight."

"You do!" Harry said hurriedly. "Look great, I mean! But aren't you worried someone will grab your arse or something?"

"Why on earth would I be worried about that? In fact, I expect they will! Just look at it!" he said and wiggled his arse again.

"Well, I imagine not very many girls would be grabbing it in a gay bar," Harry explained. "Aren't you bothered by some men wanting to get their hands on you?"

"No, of course not!" Draco said, really not understanding what Harry was going on about. "I'd be more bothered if they didn't want to get their hands on me."

It finally dawned on him when he looked at Harry's puzzled expression and he laughed. "Merlin, Harry, did you really think I was straight?" he asked and Harry nodded. "Well, I'm not! I'm 'Gay as a carnivore in Rio', I believe you called it."

Now it was Harry's turn to laugh. "What?" Draco asked.

"A carnival in Rio, Draco," he corrected. "It's a Muggle expression. It's like a parade of people dressed up in colourful costumes, dancing through the streets of Rio de Janeiro."

"Oh," Draco replied. "Yeah, that makes much more sense."

He threw a last glance in the mirror and turned to face Harry. "Let's go, or all the good looking guys will be taken!"

"How can they?" Harry retorted cheekily. "We haven't even arrived yet!"

.

"This is a Muggle club!" Harry called out, before realizing where he said it and clamping his hand in front of his mouth.

"Obviously," Draco replied, and dragged the other man through the thick ground. "I don't fancy taking home and fucking Mister-Sizzling-Hot to wake up next to Mister-Worn-Off-Glamour the next morning. Here you at least see what you get!"

"Speaking from experience?" Harry asked, looking around at the barely clad young men writhing their sweaty bodies all over the dance floor.

"Unfortunately, yes," Draco said and turned to face Harry. Without any hesitation, he laid his hand on the man's waist and started dancing gracefully.

"W-what are you doing?" Harry asked, his face flushed in embarrassment.

"What do you think I'm doing?" Draco replied. "I'm dancing with you! Now don't just stand there. Move!"

Harry glanced around him again and saw the way all those other men moved. "I can't dance," he said and pulled away from the blond.

"Of course, you can!" Draco said. "There's nothing to it. You just move your hips from side to side and back and forth like this." He showed Harry how to move by taking his hips in a vice grip and grinding him against his own body in a very sensual and tantalizing way.

Harry couldn't help but stand there while his cock started to pay attention to the delightful friction. When Draco's eyes snapped up to look him in the eyes, he blushed furiously and pushed the man away. "I can't dance, okay?" he cried out and turned away.

Looking over his shoulder, he saw Draco stare after him with a weird gleam in his eyes. "I'll get us some drinks!"

It took him about fifteen minutes to get through the throng of men at the bar. Once he finally caught the attention of the bartender, he ordered two pints, and forced his way back to the last place he'd seen Draco, but Draco was no longer there. Harry scanned the floor and finally saw a flash of white blond hair move in the middle of a small group of men. He got closer, meanwhile taking a sip of ale.

The blond was moving like a god, and he surely wasn't the only one to think so. There were hands all over his body, sliding up and down his arms, his thighs, his stomach. Harry didn't think he'd ever seen anything as sexy as Draco being touched by all these strangers.

Still, it pulled at something inside him. It wasn't fair! These guys didn't even know the man, and they were allowed to have their hands all over him.

Draco looked up and winked at Harry, showing his obvious approval of all the attention. Harry was seething inside. Well, not really, because he couldn't care less about Draco being all felt up, now could he? But something was definitely going on inside him. Something he wasn't familiar with. Something very close to jealousy, but not close enough, because that would be ridiculous.

He huffed and finished his drink, setting the glass on a nearby table and gulping half of the other pint down. Draco narrowed his eyes at the sight, but Harry ignored him. He drank the rest of the beer and put that glass away as well. Twitching his neck and shaking his hands, he moved closer to where Draco was dancing, set on showing he could get some attention as well.

He might not be a very good dancer, but in the half dark like this, who the hell cared? The alcohol was already buzzing through him pleasantly, and the music was clearly pounding a rhythm into his head that couldn't be ignored. He placed his hands on the small of his back and swayed his torso from left to right, his feet firmly planted on the dance floor.

It didn't take long before he felt a warm body press against his back. Fueled by the confidence this gave him, he started grinding his arse into the stranger's groin, his hands now steadily making a way from his chest to his stomach. Hands that were soon joined by another pair, and another. Harry's heart was beating wildly in his chest, his blood rushing excitedly through his body, pooling in the obvious bulge in his tight jeans.

He reveled in the feeling of being desirable, of being wanted. His eyes were still closed when a set of soft lips met with his and a rogue hand cupped his erection. He moaned lightly and parted his lips, allowing the stranger's tongue to invade his mouth. It tasted like cherries––overly sweet, sugared cherries. Not at all a taste he liked, but he didn't care, because someone was kissing him. Someone wanted to kiss him, not because he was the bloody boy who lived, and the kiss just went on and on.

Some commotion made him look up and meet a pair of angry, grey eyes. "Let's go, Potter!" Draco snarled. "This place is a bust!"

Slightly dazed and completely confused by Draco's apparent discontent, he followed the other man outside. He was pulled around the corner and into a dark alley, where Draco Apparated them both to his London flat.

"W-what?" Harry asked as Draco pushed his robes and glasses into his arms.

"You're drunk, Potter," Draco stated. "Go home!"

"I'm not drunk!" Harry drawled, not entirely sure how the room instantly turned from sharp to blurry.

"Sure, Potter," Draco replied, pushing him towards the fireplace. "You're perfectly sober, that's why you were letting a bunch of strangers practically fuck you on the dance floor."

"Oh, come on! I was just enjoying a bit of a snog!" Harry cried out, feeling very frustrated. It was one thing to be completely cockblocked, but another to be cockblocked by an argument with Draco fucking Malfoy.

"A bit of a snog?" Draco asked, his voice going higher than he thought possible. "The guy had his hand down your pants, for Merlin's sake!"

What? No! That couldn't be right. Harry didn't remember having a hand down his pants. He looked down to where the supposed hand would have been, but saw nothing but blurry splotches of colour.

"I can't see," he said, feeling a little put out. There was a reason for him not being able to see, he just couldn't remember it.

"Your glasses are in your hand, Potter," Draco replied dryly. "The spell wore off."

Right! Spell that temporarily made him see without glasses. He shoved his glasses back on his nose and looked around the room, catching his own reflexion in the mirror.

Three angry red marks coloured the skin of his neck and throat, his hair was horribly mussed, even worse than usual, and his fly was... open. "Fuck!" he said, dropping his robes as he hurried to zip himself back up.

"Yes, that's what I said," Draco muttered. "They were getting ready to fuck you right there."

"I wouldn't, I mean, I didn't even notice!" Harry said with another of those pretty blushes on his cheeks. Draco looked away.

"Clearly," he said. "Now I think it's time you went back to Hogwarts, don't you think? I'll pick up my clothes when I visit next."

Harry nodded, picked up his robes, and took a pinch of Floo powder being offered to him in a gold plated box. He wanted to say something else, maybe some sort of goodbye, or thank Draco for the evening, however it turned out, but thought better of it. Instead, he threw the Floo powder at his feet, called out his destination clearly, and disappeared in a flash of green flames.

.

A week later Draco received another owl from Severus, summoning him to come over late on Friday night. He didn't really acknowledge the fact that there was a rush of excitement going through him at the prospect of running into Harry again. Instead, he fully focussed on the fact that he would be with Severus again, another chance to convince the man they belonged together.

He dressed in his best robes and fussed over his shoulder-reaching hair for what might have been an hour. He liked the way the longer hair looked on him. It wasn't flat like his father's had been, but cut in a meticulously arranged mess of layers that fell over his eyes when he leaned forward. It made him seem both younger and more mature at the same time. Boyish, yet dangerous. Pansy often told him he reminded her of a rebel.

Pansy. He would really have to owl her soon. She was after all his best friend, and he missed her even, though her constant meddling and lecturing were driving him insane.

This wasn't the time to think about her. He needed to calm down and prepare himself for tonight. He had only about an hour before he had to Apparate to Hogwart's gates. Unless.

Throwing a pinch of Floo powder into the fire, he called out to Potter's quarters.

"Harry?" he asked once the connection was established. "Harry, are you there?"

"Draco!" Harry called out excitedly. "How are you? You want to come through?"

"I'm fine, I just wanted to ask if I could use your Floo later to come through," he answered. "I usually Apparate, but I hate the walk up to the castle from the gates."

"Uhm, sure, I guess," Harry replied, a little put out. "Do you want to go out after your visit?"

"And have a repeat of that porn show you gave last week? I think not," he answered, smirking at the now familiar blush on Harry's cheeks.

"I'd hoped we could avoid another scene like that," Harry said, not giving up just yet. "I can be good, I promise."

"We'll see," Draco said. "I'll come through in about an hour, all right?"

"Sure, Draco," Harry replied. "Are you visiting Professor Snape again?"

"I don't remember ever saying I was visiting Severus," Draco said, not quite sure why it bothered him so much to have Harry know.

"Of course you're visiting him," Harry said. "Who else would you be visiting? I can't see you playing wizard chess with Flitwick or Hooch. I'm not stupid."

"Could've fooled me," Draco smirked, still not directly answering Harry's question.

"Look, as much as I enjoy breaking my back talking to you, you might as well come through and have a drink before you have to go down to the dungeons," Harry said, stepping back to let the other man through.

"Fine," Draco said, and checked himself in the mirror one more time before Flooing through.

"Damn, Draco, aren't you dressed up to the nines!" Harry called out and whistled for good measure.

"I'm always dressed well, I fail to see how today should be different," he answered flatly, not wanting to give his secrets away to the man he tentatively wanted to call a friend.

"You're dressed to kill," Harry smirked. "Something between you and Snape I don't know about?"

Draco paled but quickly composed himself. "What on earth are you talking about, Potter? Severus and I are just friends."

"If you say so," Harry replied and poured two glasses of firewhisky. "He is one sexy son of a bitch, though. If I wasn't so horribly appalled by his complete lack of social skills and personal hygiene, I'd go for him myself."

Huffing and taking a gulp of whiskey, Draco turned and looked out the window overlooking the Quidditch pitch. "It would be a waste of time," he said sarcastically. "The man is convinced he isn't gay."

"And you're convinced otherwise?" Harry asked.

"I have no opinion on the matter," he replied before skillfully changing the subject. "So you wanted to go out again tonight?"

"Well, I don't know how long you expect to be in the dungeons, but if you're back at a reasonable time, yeah, I'd love to go out again. I promise I won't drink as much this time, nor to let myself be mauled in any way," Harry said solemnly.

"Fine, I don't think I'll be longer than an hour, so I don't really see a problem," he answered, feeling a bit of relief at the thought of not having to go home to an empty apartment after leaving Snape's quarters.

.

"You're late," Snape snarled when he opened the door for Draco.

"I'm sorry," the younger man replied. "Harry was in the middle of some crazy story about his old job and I forgot the time."

His old professor raised his eyebrow at the careless statement. "Harry," he said coldly. "Harry Potter? Why were you there at all, Draco?"

"Why do you care?" Draco snapped back, but answered when the older man just kept staring him down. "I used his Floo to get here, we're sort of friends now, going out with him later."

"Are you?" Snape asked, not really expecting a reply when he turned and made his way to the bedroom, opening the buttons of his robe as he went.

Draco quickly followed.

Today was different somehow. Not obviously different, but some of the most peculiar things happened. For one, Snape didn't prepare him with a spell, but instead slid his long fingers sensually in and out of Draco's arse. Secondly, halfway through the sex he leaned in and kissed, kissed his shoulder. And if that wasn't strange enough, Snape got up off the bed before the younger man could move after his orgasm and came back with a decanter and a couple of glasses.

It wasn't like he wanted to cuddle or talk, but Draco surely knew something had changed. He wasn't thrown out of there during their post-coital cigarette, nor was he thrown out directly after. Instead, they drank some firewhisky together in silence, until Snape collected his glass and pushed him to turn over again. For a second time that same night did Snape fuck him. Not roughly or fast the way the first time went, but slowly. He even reached around and got Draco off before he orgasmed himself.

The blond man wasn't sure what to think. Was this the start of something new? Were Severus's feelings for him finally changing? He didn't know, didn't dare to hope. For now, this was good, perfect even. He felt warm, safe and accepted.

"I've got an early morning tomorrow," Snape said after hours of sex and afterglow. "I think it's time for you to leave. You can use my Floo to get home if you'd like."

Flooing home... Harry... Fuck!

He then realized what had changed. Snape hadn't wanted him around longer, no feelings were forthcoming, nor would they ever be. He didn't want him, he just didn't want Harry to have him. Which was fine, because he wasn't interested in Harry in that way, was he? If he were, he would have certainly thrown a tantrum when the man was almost being raped on the dance floor of some Muggle club.

Which he basically had.

Fuck!

Confused didn't even come close to whatever Draco was feeling. He couldn't be interested in Harry, could he? He was in love with Severus, had been for a long time. Still, the guilt that swept through him for keeping the other man waiting the entire night told him differently.

"Yeah," he replied absentmindedly. "I mean, no. I kind of stood Harry up tonight, might as well apologise before I go home."

"Fine!" Snape snapped. "Go see Potter!"

"What the hell is wrong now?" Draco asked, getting further from understanding the older man by the minute.

"Why would you think anything is wrong? Go! Find your Potter and get out of my quarters!" the man said icily.

"Oh, for the love of," Draco cursed. "Why do you care if I spend time with Potter? It's not like you're fucking him."

The man didn't respond and something was wrenching in Draco's stomach. "Oh my God! You are! You're fucking Potter behind my back! Aren't you?" he yelled.

"I don't see how anything I do or anyone I fuck concerns you," the man bit back. "Go, get out! Go home, or go find Potter, I don't care. Just get out of my rooms!"

Draco felt like a beaten puppy when he pulled the door closed behind him. He didn't even fully understand why the thought of Snape fucking Harry hurt him so much. Who the fuck was he angry at? Severus? Harry?

He really didn't know what to do. He should've Flooed home from Snape's fireplace. He should've just left the both of them to do whatever they pleased. Like he cared. Snape was an arsehole, he always had been. Draco knew this and he still fell in love with the bastard.

But Harry, naive and clueless Harry. Harry who got drunk off a firewhisky and a pair of pints. Harry who blushed so prettily when he was embarrassed. Harry, who ended the enmity between them and looked so disappointed when he Floo called him earlier. He couldn't believe someone like him would let himself be used by the likes of Severus Snape.

That was it. That was exactly what was bothering him. True, Harry said something about thinking Snape sexy earlier, but didn't he say that he was appalled by him in some way? And didn't he say last week that he wanted someone to have a conversation with instead of them admiring his arse? That didn't sound like the type of person who would go for casual sex without commitment.

He had to talk to the man.

He rushed up to Gryffindor tower and banged on the portrait to Harry's room, rousing all the portraits in the corridor.

"Keep it down, will ya, lad?" one of them shouted from a few feet away. "He's not there!"

Draco turned to face the redhead that was talking to him from a gilded frame. "What do you mean, 'he's not there'?" he asked, but the portrait huffed and waved him away.

"He left a little while ago, love," a blond woman called from another frame. "He didn't look very happy. Of course he never really looks happy, now does he?"

"Do you know where he went?" he asked the woman. "Was he wearing a cloak?"

"Of course he was, dear," she answered him with a smile. "Who would ever go outside without one in this weather?"

"Thanks," he muttered and ran back to the stairs, hoping he was right in thinking the man would be at the lake.

And sure enough, he was right. Now that the moon was gone and the stars were the only thing that lit the dark night, it was harder for Draco to see Harry standing by the lake. But see him, he did.

"Harry," he called out softly, not wanting to startle a very powerful wizard any more than tickling a sleeping dragon.

"You're still here!" Harry answered in a surprised tone.

"Of course, I am," Draco replied. "I said I'd be back, didn't I?"

"You also said you'd be an hour," Harry retorted, still not having looked at him.

"Things got... complicated," Draco said. "I'm sorry I kept you waiting."

"It's okay, Draco," Harry said softly, his gaze now firmly focussed on the ground. "I understand you'd want to spend time with your lover more than go out with me. You should've just said."

"Why do you say that?" Draco asked.

"There are a million ways to add one and one, Draco," Harry said while finally looking up at him with those amazing green eyes. "It still only ever adds up to two."

"I-" Draco tried, but didn't really know what to say.

"You could've just said you two were in a relationship," Harry said. He sounded sad and beaten and Draco really didn't want him to sound that way. He wanted to see that bright smile again, the one he showed the other week when they were just talking.

"Some relationship," Draco stated. "He actually tried to convince me that he was fucking you on the side."

"He what?" Harry cried out, disgust written all over his face. "I never!"

"I know that," Draco replied. "What I'm trying to say is that I'm not even sure what I'm doing with the man."

Harry opened his mouth to answer, but Draco cut him off.

"I know what it is we do," he tried to explain. " I just don't know what I'm doing doing it, you know?"

"Erm, no," Harry replied, his eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "I really don't. I mean, you have sex right?"

Draco nodded and dropped his gaze to the ground. "Do you love him?" Harry asked tentatively.

"I'm not sure," Draco answered honestly. "I thought I did, but now I'm not sure."

"What changed?" Harry continued.

"Nothing, I don't know. I shouldn't be telling you all this. It's of no importance," Draco mumbled, not really ready to tell the other man what had been going through his head the past hour. The past few days even, if he was truly being honest with himself.

"Something changed," Harry stated factually. "I can see it in your eyes. What is it, Draco?"

Draco's head snapped up and green eyes met intense grey ones. "You," he whispered, barely audible.

Harry's eyes widened in surprise. Hoping he wasn't wrong, Draco closed the distance between them and slowly leaned forward.

Harry just looked like a deer caught in headlights, eyes still comically wide, mouth shaped into a tight 'O', his lips all pouty and incredibly kissable. At least Draco thought them to be incredibly kissable; the most kissable lips on the planet, actually. In fact, he couldn't think of anything other than kissing those incredibly kissable lips.

Their noses bumped at first, mostly because Harry twitched his face while Draco closed the last few inches between their mouths. The kiss itself was completely awkward and bumpy, like they were both kissing for the very first time. Still, to Draco it was the best kiss he ever had, and he was sure Harry would feel the same once he got past the shock of kissing the other man.

Draco opened his eyes and searched Harry's face for his reaction. He hadn't really moved. If it wasn't for the fact that his lips seemed to be a little more moist than a minute ago, you wouldn't have been able to notice a difference at all.

Then all of a sudden Harry seemed to snap out of it and flinched. Draco's heart fell and he took a step back, hoping the man wouldn't curse him all the way back to London.

Harry's eyes focussed on Draco and he looked unsettled. "Snape's going to kill me now, isn't he?" he asked and Draco just stared at him dumbstruck. "I mean, you kissed me."

Draco still didn't really understand and Harry reached out to shake his shoulders. "You kissed me, Draco!" he shouted. "Snape's lover kissed me!"

He turned and walked towards the lake. "I'm so dead," he whispered into the dark night before he turned back to face the blond man. "Why the hell did you kiss me?"

"Because I wanted to!" Draco answered. "Why are you so upset? Because I kissed you? Or because you're deluded into thinking that Snape will care even the slightest bit?"

"What? I don't know! Neither! Both! Why?" Harry cried out, throwing his hands into the air.

"Because I'm going to kiss you again," Draco whispered and laid his hand against Harry's cheek. The man gasped, his eyes turning a bit murky as Draco inched closer again.

The second kiss was so much better than the first one, while the first one had already been so bloody perfect to start with. Draco couldn't hold back the moan from passing into Harry's mouth when the other man parted his lips and slid his tongue over Draco's upper lip.

Harry's hands clung to his robes as if he wasn't entirely sure if he was going to push Draco away, or pull him closer. This incredibly powerful, but completely guileless man needed more than a quick tumbling shag in the middle of the night. This man deserved to be wooed to the best of Draco's abilities.

This was what made him pull back from the kiss and look into those amazingly green, clouded eyes and whisper his goodnight.

"W-what?" Harry asked in a panicked voice.

"Goodnight, Harry," he whispered again. "I hope you dream of me, because I will certainly be dreaming of you."

God, that was cliché, but completely honest, nonetheless. He turned, walked slowly to the gates, and with one last look over his shoulder, Apparated home. Leaving a thoroughly confused raven-haired man standing like a statue beside the lake.