Chapter 1: The Proposal
"Potter, I need to hire you."
Harry looked up from his book and scowled at Malfoy. They had unfortunately both been roomed together at Auror academy and Malfoy nearly never spoke to him unless it was training related and whenever Harry tried to talk to Malfoy--be his friend--Malfoy always shut him down.
"Hire me? For what?"
"To be my pretend boyfriend."
Harry's eyes widened at that. What was Malfoy on? Didn't he have a boyfriend?
"In case you are wondering, Sebastian and I are off. He's managed to make a fool out of me as I realised the other day that he was shagging half his mates from tactical training. The gay ones, anyway. He told everyone that we weren't exclusive, which was a lie, of course. And when I found out, he insulted me."
"So why do you need me?" Harry asked; he couldn't help but think that Sebastian was a fool. He'd seen those guys in tactical training. They weren't half as good looking as Malfoy. Malfoy with his slender body, his style of dressing - making the robes hug every curve of him - no, Harry needed to stop right there.
Malfoy's cheeks reddened and Harry didn't know if he was angry or embarrassed
"There's the holiday party in a few weeks where all the training teams assemble. I don't want to go alone. I don't want to show up with a random date, either. I really want to make Sebastian squirm. Since you are the most famous person in training -- not to mention the wizarding world. I want it to be you."
Snow fell outside his window and the chill that seeped in the room through the frosted window pane making Harry shudder, or maybe it was Malfoy's proposal. It was one thing to pine over Malfoy when he was with someone else. But now? Malfoy wanted him to pretend to be his boyfriend? Hold his hand in public? Fake that it was a holiday romance.
This might have been the biggest challenge Harry could face yet.
"Are you sure you want it to be me though?"
"Sebastian was always a bit jealous of you. He always acted so insecure and now if we pretend to be together - it'll really stick to him."
Chapter 2: Step One: Pretending to Hide
"If I agree to do this," Harry said carefully, "what will happen in the end? I mean are we just going to break up?"
Malfoy seemed to think for a few quick seconds and came up with his answer. It was obvious he'd given it a lot of thought.
"Primarily, I just want to get the holidays over with. At the end of this term of Auror training, we'll be separating anyway. This term we're doing Leadership Training, and next term I'm on Criminal Investigation and you're doing...?"
"Civilian Training," said Harry.
"Right. So we'll ask for different roommates and pretend we called it off. It's only for a few weeks. I mean, it can't be that hard for you to pretend to like me. You're always chatting me up anyway."
"Malfoy..." Harry said sternly. He could feel a blush rising up his neck and he willed it down. "You realise this is the most you've ever spoken to me since we started training. How can you pretend to be my boyfriend? You don't even look at me in public."
"Clearly things will change now. So, Potter? Are you in or not?" Malfoy eyed him and Harry didn't respond. "I can pay you."
Harry felt as if he'd been stabbed through the heart with an icicle. "I don't want your money."
"Then what do you want?"
"When the time comes, I'll let you know."
Malfoy eyed him with suspicion but nodded once. "Very well, let's discuss how we should proceed with this."
Harry sat back on his bed and let Malfoy talk for a while. He tried to listen but honestly, Malfoy was such a planner, and Harry knew from experience that things never worked out the way you planned. He didn't tell Malfoy this though because Harry quite liked watching Malfoy. Now he could watch him without looking creepy or weird. Malfoy expected him to watch him.
"So, let's go!"
"What? Where are we going?"
"We have to be seen together in public, Potter. Come on, then."
Malfoy pulled on Harry's arm and they left the room. When Harry saw someone approach them, Malfoy quickly let go of Harry and looked guilty. He didn't make eye contact with the other recruit and kept walking.
"What was that about?"
"Pretending to keep it a secret," Malfoy said rolling his eyes.
Finally, they left the building their dormitories were in and Harry was hit with a torturously chilly breeze. He saw an abandoned phone box that was covered with snow and wanted to hide inside it. "In here," he said, pulling Malfoy in there with him.
"What are you doing?"
Harry quickly came up with an excuse. "I just saw Jones walking towards us."
"Jones is the biggest gossip at the academy. If he sees us then..."
"Ah, good thinking!" Malfoy said and as Jones peered into the phone box, Malfoy leaned in and kissed Harry's cheek. His breath lingered on Harry's skin and Harry's glasses fogged up.
Merlin, this was going to be a difficult task!
Chapter 3: Step Two: Making the most of it.
On Friday night, Harry suggested to take Malfoy to a nice restaurant. He'd been wanting to go on a date with Malfoy for so long, now he had the perfect excuse for it.
Sure, he knew it wasn't the real thing but for the time being, he was going to take whatever he could.
Le Petit Chateau wasn't terribly far from the Academy so he asked Malfoy to meet him there. Harry arrived early to make sure that they had a decent table ready for them. As soon as he'd gotten there, he spotted Jones sitting at the bar with a Muggle woman. Harry smiled to himself, he knew that Jones like going to this particular restaurant, and figured the more they were seen together in front of Jones, the better it would be for Malfoy's plan.
Malfoy arrived right on time. He wore a Muggle suit that fit him perfectly. The dark suit contrasted well with his pale skin tone and the grey tie matched his eyes. His entire ensemble was flawless.
"You look...shit..." Harry mumbled, at loss for words. "I mean... that's good."
"Well, then. I used the Galleons you wouldn't take and purchased this outfit. Good to know it worked." Malfoy smiled at him and took his arm as they were shown to their table.
Jones’ eyes were on them the entire time.
Harry let Malfoy order for him, who took pleasure in doing so. However, when it was time for dessert, Harry eyed the flaming plum pudding that a waiter carried over to the table near theirs, and Malfoy refused to order it for them.
"But, why? It looks incredible."
"We are going to share a small serving of the chocolate-caramel tart that you will be spoon feeding me. I'm not ordering that monstrosity for our table."
"Don't I get any say in this?" Harry asked.
"No, your choices are awful."
Harry rolled his eyes. "You know, Malfoy, if I can do you a favour, I can also be unfavourable." When Malfoy looked at him confused, Harry continued. "I can help you get over Sebastian by sending you to Azkaban for the holidays instead. I've still got a bit of a pull in the wizarding society and the Minister of Magic will do anything for me."
"You're hilarious, Potter," Malfoy said without any amusement. "You kept me out of Azkaban and you'll send me there whenever you feel like it? Why don't you include my father in the--"
"I didn't mean it like that, Draco."
Malfoy huffed. "Whatever."
"Honestly. I knew that Sebastian was a bore but I didn't realise you'd end up losing your own sense of humour because of him."
Malfoy looked offended and Harry couldn't help but smile. "He is not a bore!"
"Please, he was. Everyone thinks so."
"Who is everyone?"
Harry shrugged. "I don't know. Everyone."
Chapter 4: Step Three: Bicker Like An Old Married Couple
When Malfoy decided that Harry wasn't going to tell him who "everyone" was (mainly: him), he moved on.
"Tomorrow, they are doing a photoshoot at the Ministry for all the Auror-cadets," he said.
Harry raised an eyebrow; he'd not heard about this and wondered if this was something Malfoy was just making up.
"We'll go in the morning. We should get our picture taken together. There will be a big tree set up and we'll have to pick out our ornaments."
Malfoy seemed to be utterly frustrated with him again. Good. At least now he knows I won't just roll over and do whatever he wants to make his ex-boyfriend jealous. He patiently waited for Malfoy to continue, silently hating Sebastian more by the minute. Still, he was glad it wasn't Sebastian who was doing this with Malfoy.
"If we get our pictures taken early then they will be floating around our ornament at the holiday party." Harry gave him a blank look. "Honestly, Potter, did you hear anything I'd said before. We can go and pick our ornaments, our names will be on them. And then when we arrive to the holiday party, our picture and ornaments will be there for everyone to see. People will know that we planned on going together. That we're an item."
"Hmm..." Harry mused. "That's a good idea." It really was. It sounded all romantic and they didn't have anything like this during the Yule Ball at Hogwarts.
"What time tomorrow?"
"Why? You have plans?"
"I do," Harry lied. Then he quickly remembered something that he was supposed to be doing. "I need to go to the owlery and send my holiday shopping order. I need to make sure I have all the presents for the Weasleys. I can't delay it any longer."
"Potter, you still haven't done your Christmas shopping?" Malfoy gaped at him.
Chapter 5: Step Four: Don't admit to being a stalker
The author does not celebrate Christmas due to various reasons - including that it's not her religion - so everything in this is made up. Don't hold me to it when it comes to traditions b/c I've like no idea.
Harry really loved this time of the year. His favourite part of the holiday had been receiving all the Christmas cards in the post. From his friends, former classmates from Hogwarts, and even some people that he didn't know. He still wasn't used to getting fan mail, and his favourites were always the holiday ones.
However, most of all what he was looking forward to was spending time with the Weasleys and enjoying the tradition of the Christmas crackers. The games, the hats, and being surrounded with the people you love was the most cherished thing in his life.
Now that he was dating Malfoy, he wondered if he'd be obligated to invite him over. His thoughts nearly came to a screeching halt when amongst his post, Harry noticed a letter from Hermione.
Ron has been going out of his mind at the shop because he thinks that he's swallowed some magic potion and is hearing things. I, however, haven't done such a thing. Is it true? Is it really true? Are you seeing Malfoy? I thought he was with that Sebastian Darlington, how did you manage to steal Malfoy away from him?
You must tell me everything!
With all my love,
P.S. Ron doesn't know this, but I found the engagement ring he's been hiding. Only now, I have to hide it from him for another year before he proposes. If he can't find it... well you know.
Harry shook his head as he read Hermione's letter, and at the same time, his stomach churned. He didn't want to lie to his friends, but if Hermione was lying to Ron and hiding the ring simply because she didn't wish to be engaged yet, he could play this game for Malfoy.
As soon as Harry thought of Malfoy, he'd stepped into the room. Harry quickly hid the letter from Hermione in one of his books and closed it; placing it under the pillow. When he looked up at Malfoy, he wasn't even looking at him.
"What's the matter?"
"How do you know something's the matter?"
"Because you're walking slow, your head's down, you're calculating something in your head, and thinking of how to make your move."
Malfoy raised an eyebrow at him, looking sceptic and surprised at the same time.
"We were in tactical training together, remember?" said Harry.
Chapter 6: Step Five: Get a clue!
Malfoy made a face at Harry when Harry called him out on his behaviour. He'd been watching Malfoy for a while now, so yeah, he knew when Malfoy was upset, contemplative, or feeling murderous. His face was an array of emotions that Harry loved to watch.
"Mother sends her love," Malfoy said showing Harry a box of shortbread biscuits that he eventually threw at him and Harry caught it. "Father, on the other hand..."
Harry opened the box and nibbled on the biscuits. "Fuck, these are good."
"Nothing but the best at the Malfoys."
"No kidding." Harry smiled at Malfoy from his bed and when Malfoy's scowl deepened, he became serious. "Very well. What does Lucius Malfoy have to say?"
Malfoy sighed and sat down across from Harry. "The Darlington family is pureblood, noble, well-known in the wizarding world. Perhaps it's time to think of my future and simply not of my obsession."
"Obsession? Wait...don't your parents know that Sebastian is a wanker? The bloke cheated on you. He doesn't deserve you. Fuck his pureblood name—"
"It's easy for you to say, Potter. You're the bloody Saviour."
"Yes, and who died and made Lucius Santa?" Harry asked, annoyed and frustrated with the way the Malfoys were still controlling their son. Had they not learned anything from the blindly following Voldemort. "You have every right to live your life the way you want. You shouldn't have dated that arsehole in the first place. I was really surprised when you'd linked up with him—"
"Why?" Malfoy asked with genuine shock.
"Because. You deserve better!"
Before Harry could continue, there was a knock on the door and Padma Patil walked in.
"Hi, boys. Are you decent?"
"What? Yes of course—" Harry stopped himself because for a brief moment he'd forgotten that he and Malfoy were boyfriends. He was so invested in telling Malfoy his worth, he'd stopped pretending that he cared about him. Since he actually did.
"I just came to ask Draco if we're still on for tomorrow," Patil said with a smile as she looked around the room.
"Yes!" Malfoy said getting up off his bed and coming to sit next to Harry. He sat a little too close and their legs touched as Malfoy wrapped his arm around Harry's shoulder. Padma Patil was one of Harry's closest friends at Auror Academy and she happened to be dating Nott, who was quite close with Malfoy. Still, Harry had no clue what this was about.
"We're all going ice skating tomorrow. It's tradition before the holiday party. For all the Auror cadets to get together and we can't use any magic!" Malfoy told Harry excitedly as Padma eyed them both.
Harry was so certain she could see right through them. If there were anything going on between him and Malfoy and that now they were boyfriends, he would have told her. He bet she was thinking that.
"Brilliant," Harry said nervously. "Can't wait."
Chapter 7: Step Six: Make him laugh
Harry felt Malfoy's tension oozing out of him. In the past, they'd never been out in public together. Sure, they had been at the same events but they'd never even spoken. Merlin, they'd barely spoken when they were alone in the room together, now, Malfoy had to talk to him. He had to be seen with Harry. And they had to be civil.
That'll be interesting.
Still, Harry figured he knew why Malfoy was so nervous. In the past, Malfoy and Sebastian had been all over each other in all public events. They'd mingled around the room together, always held hands, and Sebastian also leaned over and kissed him a few times. Now, Harry was certain, it was the idea of seeing Darlington that made Malfoy nervous.
"It'll be fine," Harry said to him as soon as they had their ice skates on and they were ready to go. Now, it was just the matter of waiting for Padma and Nott to join them.
"I don't see him," Malfoy said casually, looking around the rink.
Harry tried not to make a face. Yes, he knew this was all a facade, at the same time, he wanted Malfoy's undivided attention. Harry skated a bit closer and leaned in to whisper in Malfoy's ear, "Don't worry. When he does show up, he'll have something to be jealous over."
Harry felt Malfoy's body shiver next to him and Malfoy looked at him, slightly blushing. "You think so?" he asked.
"Yeah, I do."
A few seconds later, Padma skated right up to them with ease while Nott looked as though he were struggling behind her.
The rest of the evening flew by. Harry managed to fall on his arse a handful of times and every time Malfoy laughed at him. Harry had never heard Malfoy laugh so hard or look so relaxed and he was loving it. He thought that making a fool of himself just to hear Malfoy laugh again was worth it.
"Oh, I see Stacey from Civilian by the hot chocolate stand, I'll be right back!" Padma announced and skated away with moves so angelic, Harry wondered if she wasn't lying and really wasn't using magic.
Nott, Malfoy, and Harry stood around awkwardly for a while and Harry had no idea what he could have said to break the silence. He looked around at the crowd again and didn't spot Sebastian. The bloke hadn't shown up, after all.
"Potter, do you mind if I speak with Draco for a moment?" Nott looked at Harry and asked as Padma seemed to be returning from the hot chocolate vendor.
Harry narrowed his eyes but when Malfoy seemed to be all right with it, Harry didn't think he could object. He turned his attention towards Padma and walked away.
"Hey, Harry. Everything okay?"
"Yeah. Do you want to go for a walk?"
Chapter 8: Step Seven: Keep It Together!
Harry and Padma decided to walk around the park near the ice-skating rink. Harry let Padma talk about her gift ideas for her family, and how they don't really celebrate Christmas in the traditional way. Because of this reason, it's causing a strain between her and Nott's relationship.
"Christmas shopping has, of course, been a nightmare!" Padma said as she keeps walking and her arms are flailing around. "I've never been with someone who is so bloody filthy rich, you know? Not to mention someone so traditional..."
Harry nodded, trying to show understanding.
"Sorry, I shouldn't complain. I mean, I truly adore Theo but I just don't know what to get him. Can you ask Draco?"
"Harry," she said and Harry turned to look at her only to realise she'd stopped walking.
"What is the matter with you?"
Harry diverted his gaze away from Padma and paid his attention to the beautiful piece of holly hiding in the snow. He bent down to pick it up. He could pretend in front of everyone, but not in front of his friends. He was glad Ron and Hermione weren't there because they would see right through him. Needless to say, Padma was already suspecting herself.
"Did something happen between you and Malfoy? I mean besides the fact that you two have gotten so close... I didn't even realise..."
"Can I tell you something? You have to promise that you won't tell anyone. Not even Nott."
Padma rolled her eyes. "Fine. I swear. I won't tell a soul."
"It's all pretend. Malfoy and me. I mean you know that he and Sebastian broke it off not too long ago and it was because he found out Sebastian was cheating on him—"
"What? Are you bloody serious? He was cheating on Draco? He was telling everyone I know that they had an open relationship..."
"Yeah, it's a mess. I guess Malfoy's a bit embarrassed about it and well he asked me to be his pretend boyfriend up until the holidays are over. He just doesn't want to go to the Holiday Party by himself and well I was going to go alone anyway and—"
"Oh, Harry..." Padma said and paused before continuing. "Are you sure it's pretend?"
"For me, you mean?"
"Well, for both of you. I have seen you talk to Malfoy in class and he's always curt and cold, but he's like that with everyone. During group sessions, I see the way he looks at you. I mean, I don't think it's pretend for him."
"He hates me. Trust me. I know."
Padma laughed and placed her hand on Harry's shoulder. "We'll see. Let's wait until the holidays are over and you can tell me then. Maybe it'll start out all pretend but I can't help but think that there's something there... Maybe I'm just a romantic."
Harry looked at her with a blank expression. "Padma, you have detailed notes on every single family member and their interests. You map out every gift you've ever given someone and try to compare it with your choices. I'm certain you've got analytical reviews on each item you could purchase for Nott for Christmas—yeah that's romance right there."
"One can be logical and romantic, Harry."
Harry threw his head back and laughed at her response. Before he could say anything else, he saw Nott and Malfoy approaching them.
They walked back to the skating rink and decided to do a few more laps. Malfoy looked deep in thought and Harry had half a mind to ask him if he told Nott about their arrangement, but he refrained. He didn't want Malfoy to know that he'd not been able to keep his mouth shut.
At the end of the night, Harry couldn't help but think over what Padma had said. Could it be? Could it be possible that it could turn from all pretend to reality?
Chapter 9: Step Eight: Always keep eyes on the target
As time went on, Harry tried to pay a different sort of attention to Malfoy. Sure, he held Malfoy's hand when they were in public, especially when they were out shopping together and saw silly but cute (and ridiculous) Christmas displays around town. He always tried to notice how long Malfoy held his hand for, before he let go of him.
When no one was around, Malfoy seemed self-conscious and he'd immediately let go of Harry. If Harry's touch tried to linger, Malfoy paid no mind to it. The more time they spent together, the more Harry was convinced that Padma was wrong. Malfoy didn't feel anything for Harry more than what he'd let on. He didn't like Harry the way Harry liked him. He wasn't even sure if he actually liked Harry at all!
During their daily duelling seminar, Harry opted not to be paired with Malfoy. He thought about distancing himself from the man, unless he was required to spend time with him. There was no point in making himself more miserable than he already felt. So, he asked Padma to be his partner before Malfoy got the chance to approach him.
When Malfoy noticed that Harry was with Padma, his face twisted in a disappointed scowl that he played off as a jealous lover. "Afraid to get your arse handed to you, Potter?" he said in a joking way as if he was all too familiar with Harry and his techniques.
Harry chuckled and played along. "That's not what you said last night, Draco."
Everyone in the room laughed and Padma smacked Harry's shoulder. "That's not a nice thing to say to your boyfriend."
"Don't worry, he'll make me pay for it later." Harry winked at Padma and they walked away from the group ready for their exercise.
It wasn't that Harry was trying to see Malfoy's every move when they were in the same room, but unlike before, their training felt different. It was as if Harry thought he could feel Malfoy's eyes on him. How was that even possible. Before this, Malfoy had never even given him the time of day.
Padma was great at planning, she was brilliant at coming up with scenarios, and wasn't even half bad at defence, but at throwing curses? She had nothing on Harry. Harry knew he could block whatever hex she was casting toward him, so he was only giving her half of his attention.
Throughout the training session, Harry searched for Malfoy.
Perhaps it was reflex, or maybe it was that Harry was always aware of Malfoy because he saw the hex shoot out before it even hit him. Hit Malfoy. Harry dodged whatever curse Padma had directed towards him and made a run for Malfoy.
It was too late.
Malfoy had been hit.
"What did you do?" Harry yelled at Kent, the man Malfoy had been duelling against.
"Ventriculai Perfora--he told me he could handle anything, even though I knew he wasn't really paying attention. I mean it was obvious he was staring at you the entire time. Still, I didn't mean to--"
"Stop talking!" Harry yelled as he cast a Patronus and sent it off with a message. He wanted to let St Mungo's know that he was on his way there with Malfoy and that he'd been hit with curse that literally cut through his intestines. This wasn't the type of hex one should have been using in a practice duel.
"What can I--" Kent began to speak again but Harry shut him up with one look.
"You can inform the teachers and Malfoy's family that you've just sent him to the hospital with severe injuries," Harry spat the words out as he wrapped his arms around Malfoy, securing him. "I'll be taking him to St Mungo's personally. Make sure his family--"
"But--" Kent objected.
"You better follow through with this Kent, or I'll personally make your life a living hell."
Chapter 10: Step Nine: Buy Him Presents
Malfoy was in the hospital for two days under critical condition until he was determined stable. Harry had been by his side almost the entire time.
Since it was almost the holidays, the Auror Academy excused his absence from the training sessions. On top of everything else, Harry was ready to use the "hero of the wizarding world" card if he needed to. He was not going to leave Malfoy alone.
The only time he did take a break was when Narcissa Malfoy came to visit. She didn't say much to Harry, and Harry wondered how much she already knew. Was she aware of his and Malfoy's relationship? Malfoy had made it a point to let the wizarding world know they were together, no doubt, she'd got the news somehow.
In order to avoid scrutinising looks from Narcissa, Harry decided to pop over at one of Malfoy's favourite bookshops and buy him a few gifts. Even though he was mostly sleeping now, he was eventually going to wake up, but still be under care for a few more days. He didn't want Malfoy to get bored.
What would he buy a wizard that seemed to have everything?
Harry had always seen Red Raymond's books around the room and Malfoy reading the mystery novels. He was really into that wizard's writings. When Harry arrived at the bookshop, he discovered Raymond had published a new book in his series so Harry purchased one. He also bought the latest Quidditch Weekly along with a few gossip magazines he knew Malfoy would enjoy.
As he got ready to leave the bookshop, Harry was bombarded with wizarding world news reporters.
"Mr Potter! Is it true that Mr Malfoy is in the hospital? Did you two have a lover's quarrel?"
"Mr Potter, how long have you been dating Mr Malfoy? Any comment on your engagement announcement in the Christmas edition of the Prophet?"
"What?" Harry snapped before he realised that it'd be best just to keep his mouth shut and find the closest Apparition point.
By the time Harry arrived at St Mungo's, it was late, and Narcissa Malfoy had left. Harry was glad for it. He wanted to avoid that awkward moment for as long as he could. At least, this time that his son was hurt, it wasn't entirely Harry's fault.
"Potter!" Malfoy was awake and sitting up on his hospital bed.
"How do you feel?"
"Is it true that you were here the entire time?"
"Yeah, I managed to get the time off from the Academy so I could—"
"Good show! Now the relationship looks even more real!"
"Yeah, that was my goal," Harry said dryly. "Anyway, I got you some things..." Harry handed the bag of gifts he'd purchased for Malfoy and sat on the seat next to the bed. "I was also harassed by reporters and photographers asking if we were ready to announce our engagement..."
"One thing at a time," Malfoy said and looked into the bag. "Bloody hell, how did you know what to get me?"
"I..." Shite. Harry hesitated as he thought of an answer. He didn't want to actually tell Malfoy that he knew a lot about him. That he watched what he read, ate, drank — even if they shared a room together.
"I... Well the book was easy since you have them lying around the room. The rest, I had a conversation with Nott..." Sure, that sounded believable. Now he just had to make sure to tell Padma to tell Nott to corroborate with his story.
No harm done.
Chapter 11: Step Ten: Surprise Him. Surprise Yourself
When Malfoy returned from the hospital and he and Harry were attending lectures again. Everything seemed to be normal for the time being, until Harry overheard a conversation in the men's loo.
"I'm telling you, it's not real."
"How can it not be real? It's Harry Potter we're talking about. He won't just fake a relationship, not with a former Death Eater."
"Fine, I'll make a bet with you. I bet I can prove it that their relationship is a facade. I mean, have you even seen the two of them kissing? And they're supposedly in love? I bet I can get a Prophet reporter to prove it."
"Very well. What do you want to bet? What would I have to do...?"
"Let me think about it. It's going to be something good. I'll make you walk around the cafe in women's knickers or something..."
"No, mate. I'll take that bet. I know Potter wouldn't lie being in a relationship. Not with a bloke. Not with a Death Eater. You are the one that's going to be walking around in women's underwear."
Harry nearly panicked and ran out of the loo in search of Malfoy. When he finally found him in their room, he told Malfoy everything.
"It's not working. People aren't buying it."
"We'll have to do something drastic," Malfoy said and Harry sighed with a relief. He couldn't believe he was so desperate to make this fake relationship look real. Why didn't he just tell Malfoy how he felt? Maybe then, they could be dating for sure and instead of trying so hard, it could easily become real.
"We'll have to kiss in public."
"I'm sorry, what?" Harry's head was spinning. Did he just say kiss? In public?
"Yes, that's it. We'll go to one of those tourist spots and have our picture taken. Then maybe someone will accidentally send it to the Prophet, anonymously, of course—"
"Of course," said Harry.
"And then we wouldn't have to worry about it."
"But where will we go?"
"The London bridge. The wizards say that it's a famous tourist spot, I always wanted to go there with Sebastian but the bastard just never had the time," Malfoy said rolling his eyes. "This'll show him."
"What are we going to do there?" Harry asked, confused. From what he'd heard, and seen, the London Bridge is a busy place with cars and buses crossing the bridge regularly. Maybe there was a wizarding side that he didn't know about?
"There's a pedestrian way on the bridge, and during the holidays, it's quite bustling with tourists, Muggles and Wizards. If we're seen together - maybe get a picture taken - it'll be quite the show!"
Malfoy seemed quite adamant on going through with this so Harry didn't mind. What was he going to do now? Say no? Not after he'd made such a big deal that their relationship wasn't passing off as real. Not after he'd made the show of buying Malfoy all those presents and even being courteous with Narcissa Malfoy at the hospital.
He'd signed up for this and well, this is what was happening.
"Brilliant," Harry said. "Just really brilliant."
Eventually, just how Malfoy had predicted, a photographer spotted them, knowing who Harry was and offered to take their picture. "The best quality wizarding photo!" he assured them.
"Certainly!" Malfoy said excitedly and wrapped his arm around Harry's waist, pulling him close. "Make it a good one, then!"
Harry looked at Malfoy hesitantly before looking at the camera and smiling. Then Malfoy leaned down and brushed his lips against Harry's cheek. Harry knew it was now or never. Malfoy had said he wanted to kiss on top of the bridge and well...Harry was going to give him exactly what he wanted. He was Malfoy's boyfriend.
Harry turned his face and captured Malfoy's lips in a soft yet demanding kiss. He swiped his tongue against Malfoy's lower lip before gently biting on it.
Malfoy jerked his head back with a surprise but Harry only smiled at him. "You wanted a good show, right?" he whispered so only Malfoy could hear him. Then, Malfoy grinned at him.
"You surprise me, Potter."
Chapter 12: Don't Try To Make Him Jealous. Make Him Jealous.
The photo of their kiss circulated the news everywhere. It was one thing in theory, Harry had thought, but to actually be part of the news like that again, was something else. He'd been idiotic enough to go along with it and everyone around them was rejoicing in a way you'd have thought they were bring joy to orphans.
Still, Harry kept his head high and went along with it. He knew that people always needed something to look forward to and forget about their own problems. He'd just not thought newspaper headlines like Wizarding World Hero Dates Death Eater was going to be one of them.
When he returned to his room after a long day in training, Harry found a few letters waiting for him on the bed.
There was one from Ron.
Mate, are you sure about this? Are you really sure?
Was all it said.
And then, there was one from Ginny. Harry feared opening that one. He'd no idea what she would say. She was rather understanding when he'd come out to her as bisexual, and preferring being with men, but to actually see a picture of him kissing another bloke - kissing Draco Malfoy - made his heart speed up.
Things had escalated so quickly that he'd not even had the time to marvel in the fact that his lips had met Malfoy's. That Malfoy had kissed him back on that bridge.
I can't say that I'm surprised to know that you have a boyfriend. Although, I'm a bit shocked to discover that it's Malfoy! However, turns out Hermione knew of your feelings for him all along, and that is somewhat upsetting, because I really wish you'd told me so I didn't have to answer to Mum's astonishment with my own shock.
Needless to say, now Mum and Dad want you to bring Malfoy over for the holidays. Can you do that? Would the Malfoys even allow that? I can't even imagine!
In any case, just so you are not surprised by this news. I'm seeing someone new. I'm not going to tell you who it is because it's not reached the 'let's kiss on top of the London Bridge stage' yet, still I like him. He gives me my freedom and is in no rush for us to meet our families!
Before I go, I'm sending you a little present. I bought it at my brothers' shop and thought of you. I know things might seem a bit upside down right now, but know that even the quirks of things, there's always something sweet and meaningful there. I hope you and Malfoy enjoy drinking hot cocoa from these silly mugs.
Harry opened the gifts that were sent with his letters and laughed at seeing them. It was a pair of upside down Santa mugs and along with it, she'd packed packets of hot chocolate and marshmallows. Harry took out his wand and prepared the drinks and placed them on the bedside table.
It was as if on cue, Malfoy entered the room.
"What's this?" he asked plopping on his bed and eyeing the drinks on the table.
"Ginny sent me this gift so I made some hot cocoa."
"Oh?" Malfoy said and looked away from the mugs. Harry wasn't sure but he thought that Malfoy was avoiding eye-contact with him. "Holiday present from your girlfriend?"
"What? No!" Harry said, almost laughing. "She's my ex, and well, she knows I'm with you."
At that, Malfoy's head immediately snapped up. "What?"
"For what it's worth, I guess. She saw the picture in the gossip column, just like the rest of her family and the world." Harry shrugged and picked up the red mug handing it to Malfoy. "Here, I made this for you."
"You sure she'd want you to share this with me?"
"Why wouldn't she?" Harry asked, utterly confused. "She's given me the blessing to date you."
Malfoy rolled his eyes and took the mug from Harry's hand. "Brilliant. I can sleep better at night now."
Harry sat on his bed and picked up the other mug. It was white and he traced the Santa design on it before he looked at Malfoy and tried to understand his reaction.
Was Malfoy jealous?
Chapter 13: When you tell him how you feel. Mean it.
Harry thought about Malfoy's reaction for quite a long time. It was one thing that Harry grumbled (mostly to himself) whenever Sebastian was mentioned but for Malfoy to act so jealous, in the privacy of their own quarters, was a very different thing.
"You know the Prophet sent me a letter this morning about interviewing us. Together."
"For what?" Malfoy asked, finishing off the last of his hot cocoa Harry had made for him.
"Our dating life. I understand if you don't wish to do it. I mean, it is fake, right? It's not like we are actually going to announce our engagement or something ridiculous like that. We're going to break up in the New Year. I don't want any more unnecessary attention than I've already been receiving. Next thing you know they'll run an article on how we're introducing Christmas traditions to each other - even though I have no traditions. I'd not realised that once I signed on with you as my boyfriend, the press would be back in my life. Not to mention all the lies I have to tell my friends around me."
"So you don't want to do it?" Malfoy asked, looking confused. "Then why did you even bring it up?"
Harry shrugged. "I don't know. It's not like I have anyone else to talk this out with. I tried..." Harry stopped before he nearly confessed that he'd told Padma, but she hadn't even believed him. "Forget it."
"No, hold on..." Malfoy said sitting up on his bed and looking alert.
"Oh no. I shouldn't have said anything."
"Are you interested in anyone else, Potter?" Malfoy asked.
You. "No. Not in anyone else, Malfoy." Well, it was the truth - from a certain point of view.
"So what's the harm in continuing on this charade? I read one of your interviews a while ago—"
"You've been reading up on me?"
"Not the point," Malfoy said sternly. "Now. Let me continue, so I read that you'd said that you weren't interested in anyone because you wanted to concentrate on Auror training. So the chances of you meeting anyone here besides me, I reckon, are low. Unless you think you'll happen to fall for someone in the next term. If you think you're developing feelings for someone, then tell me, and we'll call it off. But for the time being, I wish to be single but I don't want Sebastian to know that I'm upset about what happened between us..."
"Wow, you can talk, Malfoy. I'd no idea."
Malfoy glowered at Harry and Harry grinned up at him. "So, that's a yes on the interview then? We'll pretend to be madly in love with each other, can't keep our hands off each other! Oh, and even better, we can wear each other's clothes. Do you still have your Slytherin tie from Hogwarts? Maybe I can wear your tie and you can wear mine! We'll be so nauseatingly in love, no one in the wizarding world would want to talk about us!"
"I hate you, Potter."
"I know, but more than that, you need me."
Malfoy sighed with resignation and leaned back into his bed. "That, I do."
They sat in the common area of their dormitory. Thankfully, it was noon time so almost everyone was either in the cafe, or had gone out of lunch.
Their thighs touched as Harry held Malfoy's hand in his and spoke to the reporter. After the formalities of "how did you two meet" - which she knew, and "was it love at first sight" - which it most certainly was not, they got to more detailed questions.
"How did you know Draco Malfoy was the one?"
Harry took in a deep breath, squeezed Malfoy's hand, and then looked into his eyes. "I guess I always knew," he said. Malfoy smiled back at him, and Harry knew that Malfoy thought he was acting. He had his fake smile on him, as in Harry was doing a good job being over the top.
"Right..." he mumbled to himself and looked at Rita. "The timing was never right. During the war, we were forced to be on the opposite sides and then after the war we were here. Malfo—Draco always had a boyfriend, and I sort of just pined in silence for a while." Harry shrugged, refusing to make eye-contact with Malfoy. "And with his last breakup, I knew I had to do something. I had to confess. And well as they say, the rest is history."
Rita sighed deeply and then scribbled away on her parchment. Another quill and parchment hovered behind her, which was also taking notes. Harry could only imagine how much of what he'd said was actually being written.
"Are you serious?" Malfoy asked with a whisper.
"I'm sorry, Draco, what was that?" Rita stopped writing to look up at them.
Harry gave Malfoy a tentative smile and before he knew it, Malfoy kissed him. Harry didn't have time to ponder whether or not it was a real kiss or just for show. He simply kissed him back. If it was for show, he had to make it a good one. If it was real, then he had to kiss him.
"And what about you, Draco? How does it feel to know that Harry has been waiting for you all these years?"
Malfoy wiped a tear from his eye and Harry couldn't see clearly so he didn't know if it was a fake gesture or not. "I'm surprised to know that I had a chance. I dated around, never approached him with my feelings because I'd no idea he'd reciprocate them. I thought he was so..."
"So...?" Rita urged him.
"First, I thought he was straight. Then, I thought he was out of my league. So—"
"Out of your league? You can't be serious!"
Malfoy smiled at him so innocently that Harry couldn't help himself. He kissed Malfoy again. They kissed and kissed and kissed until Harry saw the flash from the cameras that broke his concentration.
"Ah. Young love," Rita Skeeter said sounding whimsical. "Too bad it never lasts."
Harry was taken back by her comment and before he or Malfoy could say anything else to her, she packed up to leave.
Chapter 14: Know that he'll always surprise you.
Not long after Rita Skeeter left Harry and Malfoy alone, Malfoy received an invitation from the Weasleys.
"What does it say?" Harry asked Malfoy, plopping down on his bed, and attempting to hide his nervous. He had a feeling this was going to happen soon. Especially since Harry had received that letter from Ginny accepting their relationship.
"An invitation for dinner. Tomorrow night."
Malfoy looked annoyed. "No. Of course not, it's for both of us, obviously. Why would I be invited alone? That's seems ridiculous."
Harry shrugged. "Molly invites Hermione over all the time without Ron. So it's not all that ridiculous."
"So is that your way of saying you're not coming with me?"
Harry shook his head. "I would never leave you alone in that house, are you kidding? You'll walk in through the door and George will start renditioning you with inappropriate Christmas carols while you're sitting next to the fireplace with the yule log burning. And then forced to sit next to Charlie and Neville at the dining table. Trust me, that's something I wouldn't want to wish on my most hated enemy--"
"Longbottom? Why would he be there?"
"Charlie and Neville are a thing now. They got together sometime around the New Year last year and well, whenever Charlie comes to visit during the holidays, they are always on top of each other. I guess it's what happens when you're in a long distance relationship and Neville works all the time in his lab, Charlie's got odd hours at the Dragon Sanctuary so it leaves little time to see each other."
"Oh. I didn't realise...That Weasley bloke, Charlie, he's the hottest one of the lot."
Harry's stomach turned with jealousy. Of course, Charlie was hot, but to know that Malfoy found him attractive--
"Good on, Longbottom. About time he got himself a proper boyfriend."
"You speak as if you know Neville well," Harry observed. Malfoy had relaxed on the bed by now. He leaned back and looked up at the ceiling and closed his eyes for a brief second. Harry watched Malfoy's neck, his Adam's apple bob, and Harry's cock stirred with interest. He wanted nothing more than to reach over, wrap his fingers around the back of Malfoy's neck, and pull him in for a kiss.
"I visited with Longbottom after the war. Pansy and I, we went to apologise as part of our penance. Well, it was her really and I accompanied her. I suppose, not surprisingly, and rather infuriatingly he was gracious. We met for coffee a few times before I joined the academy."
"Oh, I had no idea."
This time Malfoy shrugged and sat us as he started to remove his shoes and socks. "I asked him not to tell anyone. I liked becoming friends with him and I was afraid..."
"Afraid of what?" Harry asked as Malfoy trailed off.
"Afraid that he'd be taken away from me if people found out we'd become close. He was the only person in my life that never wanted anything from me."
Harry smiled ran a hand through his hair. "It was the exact same thing Charlie'd said to me about him. Neville is one of those rare finds, I reckon."
Malfoy smiled. "Indeed."
"So, we should go to the dinner then? You'll catch up with Neville, you know when Charlie's not busy groping him in front of everyone."
Malfoy laughed softly. "Why not?" Still, he looked nervous.
"It's been years after the war, Malfoy. You're not still worried about--"
"I don't think I'll ever stop worrying about that," Malfoy said.
They sat quietly for a few minutes, each on their own bed, and Harry couldn't help but notice how comfortable it was between them now. In the beginning when they'd started rooming together, there was always so much tension, but now that they were actually friends, sort of, it was better.
Chapter 15: Don't Hold It In
Harry held Malfoy's hand as they walked into the Burrow together. Almost everyone jumped up from their seats to greet them. Neville was the first to pull Malfoy into a hug. Even though Harry knew that Neville was madly in love with Charlie, it didn't help his heart from skipping a beat to see Neville and Malfoy together. What if there had been something there that was just never explored?
"Good to see you, Malfoy," Charlie said with a firm tone as he pulled Neville away and shook Malfoy's hand. Harry tried not to smile at how jealous Charlie looked because of that hug. It was nice knowing he wasn't the only one.
"Come on," Harry said, placing an arm around Malfoy's shoulder and pulling him away.
"I thought he was going to murder me," Malfoy whispered in Harry's ear.
Harry laughed at Malfoy's frightened expression but then he grabbed Malfoy's chin and turned his head. They watched as Charlie ran a hand through Neville's long dirty blond hair and then pulled Neville close.
"I don't know what he has to worry about," Malfoy said as Harry led him to the sofa in the sitting room. "I wish someone looked at me the way Longbottom's looking at his boyfriend."
"Right," Harry said clearing his throat and just in that moment Molly rushed out of the kitchen as a force not to be reckoned with.
Molly pulled both Harry and Malfoy into a tight embrace, and Malfoy coughed as if he'd gotten the air squeezed out of him. Harry knew the feeling.
Harry decided not to focus on his jealousy and insecurity but on the joy of being there. He stared at the window display of the word JOY all lit up and smiled. He was happy. Happy to be there. Happy to be with Malfoy - even if it was kind of a fake relationship.
Maybe it was time for Harry to tell him how he felt.
The passed on, but Harry never got his chance. Even though he was aware of Malfoy's hand on his shoulder, knee, or thigh, while they mingled with the guests, Harry never actually said anything.
By the time they were getting ready to leave, he knew he looked sombre. It must have been obvious enough for Malfoy to notice.
"What's the matter?" Malfoy asked, helping Harry with his coat, before putting on his own coat and travelling cloak.
"Nothing. Sorry, I just--"
"Potter..." Malfoy began to speak, but before he could do it, Harry kissed him.
And much to Harry's surprise, Malfoy kissed him back.
Chapter 16: Cause Trouble
The room was radiating with Christmas decorations. The cafeteria where the academy cadets met for lunch looked as though it'd been completely transformed.
Everything was vibrant, shimmering, and there wasn't a corner in the room left unattended.
Harry walked in with Malfoy by his side, ready to steal the show.
After he'd kissed Malfoy in such an urgency at the Burrow, a few days ago, they'd not really talked about it. Still, there was something there Harry wasn't able to identify, but hadn't questioned it either.
He'd never felt closer to Malfoy. Yet, he'd never felt further apart.
They held hands whenever they were in public, teased each other with innuendos to keep up the facade, and kissed each other when the timing seemed right; but when they were in their quarters, they slept in separate beds. At the same time, they talked about everything.
Malfoy told him about his day, and listened to Harry as he spoke of his. They gave each other advice in dealing with their colleagues, techniques in the training, and if anything, Harry felt as though he'd found a friendship in Malfoy he'd not thought possible.
Still, Malfoy wasn't his. Not really. It was all pretend, and maybe someday it was going to be over.
Now, they were finally here. The highlight of the season; the reason Malfoy had asked Harry to be his pretend boyfriend. The Auror Academy holiday party: the night where all Auror cadets let go of their inhibitions and simply enjoyed themselves.
The Christmas tree was lit, the gingerbread cookies were set on all the tables, the champagne and the wine were flowing effortlessly. Harry was Malfoy's date, who looked so bloody radiant, Harry was sure he was the reason the room was shining so brightly.
"Thanks for this..." Malfoy leaned down and whispered in his ear. "I don't know if I could have done this tonight without you."
Harry leaned in and kissed Malfoy's neck, making sure he really made a good show of it. "I can't say the pleasure hasn't been all mine."
Malfoy smiled and before he kissed Harry on the lips, he whispered, "you're really good at this pretend boyfriend thing, Potter. I'll have to consider you again if I need your services."
Harry was about to reply with something witty and possibly flirty when Sebastian Darlington, of all people, walked up to then.
"Draco..." he whispered, looking annoyingly hot with his dark brown hair tousled, his blue-green eyes shimmering, and his dark navy robes fitting him well.
Harry scowled at him, his hand squeezing Malfoy's hand hard, as he tried to keep his cool.
"Oh, Seb! Didn't know you were here already..." Malfoy gave Sebastian a quick once over and turned to the man that was standing next to him. "Hi, I don't think we've met. I'm Draco Malfoy. And this is my boyfriend, Harry Potter."
The man that was by Sebastian's side offered his hand to shake Malfoy and Harry's hand but Sebastian held him by his elbow and slightly jerked him away.
"Boyfriend? I didn't realise you two—"
"Yeah, well..." Harry chimed in before anyone else in their little group could, "I knew that the moment Draco was single, I had to tell him how I feel. I couldn't watch him ruin his life, waste his time, with losers anymore. I wanted to be with him, and now I am..."
Harry raised an eyebrow and glowered at Sebastian, nearly daring him.
"I'm sorry... were you two a thing?" the man next to Sebastian said.
"And you are..." Harry said in his most Malfoy-tone ever. Malfoy turned to him and smiled as if he approved. Spending all that time with Malfoy was making him sound like him.
"Marco. Marco Jacinta. I'm Sebastian's boyfriend."
"Is that true? Which one?" Malfoy asked.
"I don't understand," Marco said, looking confused and his gaze darting between Malfoy and Sebastian.
"Oh, you know, I was with Sebastian for months until I discovered that he had more than one boyfriend. I mean, you'd have to be around for a while to not have known about us. We only split a few weeks ago—"
"A few weeks?" Marco said, sounding surprised, and then he turned towards Sebastian, glaring at him. "We've been together for months, you said I was the only one—"
"Oh, honey..." Malfoy said smoothly, "Look, Harry. The poor soul... He'd no idea he'd been shacking up with a compulsive liar, and a cheat..." Malfoy shook his head as if he felt bad for the bloke, and Harry knew he didn't. Malfoy was kind of a bastard at times. Okay, most of the times.
"What?" Marco nearly shrieked, and Sebastian started to lie through his teeth immediately.
"Don't listen to him, Baby. He's just jealous—"
Marco slapped Sebastian then, the echo of his hand meeting Sebastian's cheek spread throughout the room and Malfoy took a step back.
"I think this is the time we go and find our table..."
"Right, you are," Harry agreed and he and Malfoy walked away from the arguing couple.
Chapter 17: A friendly face
When Harry and Malfoy found their way to their table, Padma was there with Nott, along with Luna.
Harry was surprised to see Luna at the party, since she wasn't an Auror cadet, but he figured she'd been invited by someone that was.
"Harry!" she said, smiling and walked up to him for a hug. She was wearing a holiday jumper with Christmas decorations and the word "Balls" designed on them. "Do you like my jumper? I thought it was quite festive given the situation..."
"What situation?" Malfoy asked, taking a seat next to Padma and looking up at Harry and Luna, still holding hands. He frowned, but Harry tried not to read too much into it. He was most likely only playing along.
"Well, obviously for the reason that the Auror Academy is filled with men! There are 10 men per women cadets. If anything, this entire thing is about nothing but men and their balls!" Luna exclaimed and Pansy nodded along, approving Luna's choice in jumper.
Harry chuckled lightly. "Hey, I told Ginny to join..." He knew it wasn't his imagination then when he saw Malfoy stiffen up next to him. "So who invited you here, anyway?"
"Otto," she said.
"Jones?" both Harry and Malfoy said in surprise.
"Yeah, Otto didn't want to ruin his chances of finding a man tonight, so he brought me."
"For good luck?" Malfoy asked.
She shrugged. "He knows I won't be offended if he leaves me alone to go home with the bloke."
"Well..." Harry said raising his champagne glass, "Here's to Jones getting lucky!"
Chapter 18: ...and then at times he'll break your heart
"Who's that bloke at the bar with Darlington?" Jones asked as he approached the table and sat down next to Luna. He offered her one of the two drinks he'd carried for himself from the bar.
The Academy provided meals for the party, along with waiters and waitresses refilling wine or champagne glasses, along with the spiked punch, for the guests. But if you wanted something stronger, you had to go to the bar.
Luna finished her Firewhisky in one shot as Harry and Malfoy turned to look towards the bar. Harry was sure Jones was talking about Marco, Sebastian's date. Harry slid his hand on Malfoy's thigh and rubbed it gently. Malfoy didn't react to his touch, at all. Harry thought it was a good sign.
"His soon to be ex-boyfriend, I presume," Malfoy said shrugging and then turned to take a bite of the piece of minced pie placed in front of him. "If he were going to cheat, the least he could do was keep it all together. He didn't think he was going to see me tonight? How stupid is it for Sebastian to think he can parade around his new boyfriend at the party, when everyone knows that he's a lying cheater that cheats."
"Leave me alone!" Marco said and he glared at Sebastian as Sebastian walked away and returned to his table. Marco turned towards the bartender and ordered another drink.
"He's hot," Jones said.
"Really? You're going to make a play for Darlington's boyfriend?" Nott asked.
"Ex-boyfriend, I reckon," Harry said.
"Go for it!" Malfoy said encouragingly! "He seemed like a really nice man. I wondered if I should go and flirt with him just so I can stick it to Sebastian!"
Everyone at the table quieted down and they all looked at Harry, trying not to look at him. Harry felt his face burn; he was utterly mortified. Malfoy had just dismissed him in one second since he still cared about Sebastian so much, and not about Harry, at all.
Harry withdrew his hand from Malfoy's thigh, and felt like he was simply curling into himself. He had half a mind to simply Disapparate from his chair. But he didn't want to react like it bothered him. Even if it bloody well fucking bothered him.
Chapter 19: And you dance
"Let's dance!" Luna said as the silence on the table continued and she got up, coming around the table, grabbing Harry's hand. "Come on, Harry. It's been a while since you've stepped on my toes."
Harry allowed her to pull him away and he didn't even look back at Malfoy to see his reaction.
"Don't worry too much about it, Harry. I don't think he meant it the way you're taking it."
"What do you mean?" he asked, spinning her around the room. "And, I've been practicing by the way."
"Oh, how fun!" she squealed and her joyous laugh echoed through the room. Harry threw his head back and laughed as well. "And what I mean is..." she said after she'd sobered up and they were dancing slow again, "he likes you. He's just hurt. And when someone's hurt they say silly things. He doesn't want to kiss that other bloke. You know that, right?"
Harry shrugged. "I don't know, do I?"
"Mind if I cut in?" Malfoy's voice was smooth as he placed a hand on the small of Harry's back and stepped closer. "Luna, Jones's ordered you some mulled wine from the bar. It's waiting for you at the table and Jones is making his moves on Marco."
"Oh, great!" she said, looking delighted. "This deal with Otto's worked out quite nicely for me. A fun dance with Harry, and free drinks!" She kissed Harry's cheek and walked away from them, and Harry watched her go, as Malfoy's hand didn't move an inch. If anything, he only pressed it against Harry's body; harder.
"You're cross with me." It wasn't a question. Malfoy came around Harry and rested his arms on Harry's shoulders, his fingers playing with Harry's hair.
"Why would I be cross?" Harry said, finally finding his voice. "You want to fuck that Marco bloke to get back at Darling--"
"You can't think I actually meant that!" Malfoy whisper shouted. "I just blurted it out. I wouldn't--" He stopped himself from finishing that sentence.
"You wouldn't what?"
"I wouldn't trade you for him." Malfoy's voice was low, and he was avoiding eye-contact.
"What does that mean?"
"Malfoy. What do you mean?"
Malfoy's sharp gaze bore into him and then he closed the remaining distance between them. "Since the Skeeter interview, or maybe before -- I've stopped."
"Stopped?" Harry asked, not catching on.
"What?" Harry felt stupid for being so stupid. Was Malfoy saying what he thought he was saying?
Malfoy didn't reply for a while. They continued dancing slowly, holding each other, as their embrace only became tighter.
"I wondered if it was all in my head," Malfoy said finally. "I feared I was reading too much into...us."
"No," Harry said quickly. When Malfoy frowned, he added, "You're not reading too much, what I mean to say is that I don't want to pretend."
Chapter 20: Show him how much
It was as if the universe knew to screw with him again, a group of people dressed up in elf costumes came in and started to dance around the room.
The intense gaze Harry had been holding with Malfoy dissipated, and Harry was almost afraid they'd lost their moment. Except, Malfoy said he'd not been pretending for a while now. So even if the moment was lost, he had not lost him.
All Harry wanted in that moment was to take Malfoy home. Even if he didn't have a home, not really. He lived in the dormitory at the Academy, and he technically owned Grimmauld Place, but his home was more the Burrow than Grimmauld Place. Still, he imagined a warm sitting room, a brightly lit tree, a warm fire -- all where he and Malfoy could stay and no one would bother them. Where they could be alone. Explore each other in ways Harry had only dreamt about.
He looked away from the distraction, everyone laughing and enjoying themselves, and smiled at Malfoy.
"You like me." Malfoy frowned at Harry and Harry couldn't help but laugh. "You like me just as much as I like you."
"I hate you, Potter," Malfoy said but his smile dissipated any venom in the words. "There's a part of me that'll always hate you."
Harry shrugged. "I suppose that's true. But it'll be good for our sex life. Hate sex can be hot..." He paused for a moment when a light twinkled in Malfoy's eye. He was interested. "Or so I've heard."
"Are you suggesting you'd like to find out."
Harry smiled. "I'm suggesting we should get out of here and let me show you how much I don't hate you."
Chapter 21: Make Him Yours
Harry knew when exactly the day he'd come to terms with his feelings for Malfoy. He'd always liked him. Always. Just like Malfoy had confessed, he'd also hated him.
Malfoy brought something out in him no one else could. And when he'd seen him after the war, after the Trials, at Teddy's first Christmas, he thought it was a completely different man.
Malfoy still had stood tall and confident; he still had that air about him, and Harry'd completely fallen for him.
As they headed off to their room, away from the party, away from prying eyes, Harry remembered all the best Christmas dinners he'd ever had. At Hogwarts in his younger years, and then at the Burrow as a grown up. None of that deliciousness compared to the feeling of Malfoy against him. Pressing against his body, his hot mouth on Harry's neck.
His heart raced, and Malfoy tasted so good; better than any piece of ham or turkey or treacle tart he'd ever had.
Malfoy was a rare delicacy and Harry wanted to savour every moment of it. He'd been longing for it since forever and now Malfoy was there, and Harry was never going to let him go.
Malfoy whimpered against him as Harry's hand travelled down to cup Malfoy's balls through his trousers. They hadn't even made it all the way back into the room yet, as they were still against the closed door behind them, and they couldn't take their hands off each other.
Harry couldn't believe this was real. This was really happening.
He stumbled backwards and Malfoy pushed him, and when the back of his legs hit his bed, he collapsed on it. Malfoy was right on top of him. Malfoy's hot breath made Harry moan. He felt Malfoy more than anything else. His hands couldn't work fast enough as he tried to pull Malfoy's shirt out of his trousers and Malfoy was doing the same. Their shoes went flying across the room, the belt hit the floor with a loud thunk, and when Malfoy pushed Harry's shirt all the way above his head and played with his nipples, Harry nearly lost it right then and there.
"Touch me!" Harry found himself begging. His voice was coarse, his throat dry, and he felt hopeless.
"I am touching you," Malfoy said teasingly and Harry couldn't help himself then. He didn't want to hold back, so he didn't, and he grabbed Malfoy's trousers, pulling them down. Then he rushed to remove his own. He didn't give Malfoy a chance to change his mind, or protest, or comment, or anything. He grabbed Malfoy's arse and drew their hips closer together, grinding them, which made his cock rub against Malfoy's.
"Don't fuck with me right now, Malfoy," Harry warned. "Fuck me."
Malfoy leaned in for a hard and bruising kiss as he moaned around Harry's tongue, frantically bucking his hips to increase the friction between them. Harry was glad to know he wanted this so badly too. He was just as desperate.
As much as Harry had wanted to hold on, he knew he wasn't going to last very long. By the time Malfoy did manage to bring his hand between them, to get them both off at the same time, Harry had climaxed. He would have felt bad for being so eager, for not making it last, but Malfoy was right there with him. It wasn't at the same time, but it was close enough.
Malfoy's head hung low, his hot breath dampened the crook of Harry's neck and he whimpered again as he continued to buck his hips; it was as if he wasn't ready for this to end. Harry hadn't wanted that, either.
"Promise me we'll go again in a few," Malfoy said, moving off Harry and laying down next to him on Harry's bed.
"Only if you sleep next to me tonight," replied Harry.
Malfoy hummed with amusement or satisfaction, Harry wasn't sure, and turned to his side to cuddle up next to Harry.
"That can be arranged."
Chapter 22: Let him fight his own battles
The room was dark, and the first thing Harry took in as he awoke, was the scent of Malfoy's hair. It still smelled as though Malfoy'd just come out of the shower, when in fact, Harry knew he'd been sleeping there next to him all evening.
Harry smiled to himself, his lips against the back of Malfoy's neck when Malfoy shifted slightly.
"What time is it?" he asked.
"No idea. Late, I reckon," replied Harry.
"Hmm..." Malfoy mused as he pushed his arse back against Harry's groin, and gasping when he felt Harry's erection press back.
"You said you were ready to go again in a few, and I think it's been a few hours now."
"Didn't realise I was that tired..."
"Yeah. Maybe you just like sleeping next to me," Harry said.
Malfoy turned around so his head was on Harry's chest. "Maybe. It was a nice sleep, even if the beds are far too small for two people."
Harry wanted to say that tomorrow, they could discuss transfiguring the bed bigger, or combining both of their single beds to make a real bed when Malfoy got on top of him. He straddled Harry's lap, stroking his sides. His hands felt like heaven as they roamed up and down Harry's body.
"Would it be presumptuous of me to discuss top or bottom in this moment?" he asked carefully. It was one thing they'd fooled around, but to take the next step in their relationship without even having properly discussed it was another thing. They had just gone from "let's not have a fake relationship" to giving into their desires. But were they actually boyfriends? Harry had no idea.
Malfoy leaned down and kissed him softly before whispering in Harry's ear, "What do you like?"
Harry's entire body shivered with desire and he jerked his hips up. "I like sex. Whether it's me inside you, or you inside me, I won't care. Not with you..."
"Why not?" Malfoy asked, nipping Harry's ear and then kissing his neck, before he made his way down Harry's stomach.
"Isn't it obvious?" Harry asked, grabbing a hold of Malfoy's hips and pressing him down on his erection. "I want you. I want you so much I can't think straight. So if you want to call the shots, that's fine with me. If it's something I won't like, I'll let you know."
Then Harry turned his head and concentrated on the small lamp on his bedside table. He mumbled a spell to bring some light in the room so he could see Malfoy's face. He didn't want to do this in the dark. He wanted to be able to tell what Malfoy was thinking. Feeling. Enjoying.
Malfoy smiled down at Harry and leaned down again. This time, he mumbled against Harry's lips. "Get the lube. I want to ride you."
When Malfoy started to move, Harry couldn't help himself anymore. He grabbed Malfoy by his hips and they moved together.
Malfoy was absolutely breath-taking like this. His head tilted back, his eyes closed, and his Adam’s apple bobbing as he swallowed while practically dancing on Harry's cock.
Harry opened his mouth to say something, tell him how he felt, how he felt about Malfoy, when there was a knock on the door.
"You can't be fucking serious!" Harry groaned, grabbing a pillow and muffling the sounds of his frustration.
"Ignore it," Malfoy said, reaching down and removing the pillow from Harry's face. "I don't care who it is..."
Harry was going to say "Okay," when there was another knock.
"I'll place a silencing charm, and claim we were sleeping..."
"It might be an emergency," Harry found himself saying, and then hating himself for it. He was in no condition to move. And he absolutely, positively, didn't want Malfoy to get off him.
The person on the other side of the door knocked again. "All right, I'm coming!" Malfoy roared while scowling.
"No. Neither one of us is..."
Malfoy glared at Harry before he awkwardly balanced himself on his knees as Harry slid out of him. Harry had half a mind to whine but he knew the quicker they get rid of whatever was at the door, the quicker they could get back at this.
He watched as Malfoy summoned his dressing gown and put it on. Then, he pulled the curtains around their sleeping area that separated the sitting room from the bedroom, and also hid Harry from the view of the door.
"Don't you move. Don't make a sound, don't close your eyes, and don't even think about touching yourself until I'm back. I want you like this when I return."
Then, without a word, he walked away from Harry to answer the door.
What? Are you bloody serious? Harry thought.
"Draco, I made a mistake."
Harry's eyes widened when he heard the confession. His heart sank when he thought what if...What if Malfoy decided to take him back? What if Malfoy had been waiting for this?
Give yourself a little credit. A voice in his head spoke. And Harry knew it was right. He'd just been with Malfoy; they'd just been so close together. There was no way Malfoy was going to go running back to Sebastian. Not after everything that'd happened between them.
"Just listen, okay? I'm sorry. I made a huge mistake. I didn't know how good I had it with you, and I was being an arse, okay? Is that what you want to hear? Fine, I admit it. I know our families wanted us to get together, but I didn't know if I could associate myself with former Death Eaters. But I was stupid. I wasn't thinking right. I can't be apart from you, Draco. I can't be apart for Christmas without you knowing how I really feel..."
Harry heard Malfoy taken in a heavy sigh before he spoke. "Sebastian, go back to your room."
"What? Why?" Sebastian sounded defensive, which only annoyed Harry. It was too little too late to want Malfoy back. To want him back like this. He'd seen Harry with Malfoy, and now he was missing him? Now he'd realised he'd made a mistake.
"You really have the worst timing, don't you?"
"What does that mean?" Now, Sebastian sounded angry. Harry wanted to get off the bed and confront the bloke now, but he'd promised Malfoy he was going to stay put.
"Seb, I was literally in the middle of a great shag when you knocked on my door. I was going to ignore it, but I thought there'd been some real emergency. Do you know how long it's been since I've had—"
"Draco..." Sebastian sounded put off.
"No. Seriously. His cock—which for the record, is bigger and thicker than yours—was nicely fit inside of me as I was riding him, and I was so hard, because I've been looking forward to fucking his face later..."
Harry couldn't believe it. Had Malfoy honestly just said all of that to Sebastian? And then the thought of having Malfoy's cock in his mouth, while he tugged on Harry's hair and fucked his throat made his own cock leak.
"Please don't talk like that," Sebastian said, "You're hurting me, Draco."
Harry scowled. Merlin, he wanted Sebastian to leave already so he and Malfoy could go back to doing what they were doing. He hoped Malfoy didn't lose mood for it.
"...and then you're here with your half-arsed confession, wanting me back. Why? Because you saw how hot we were together, and you were bothered. Because Otto Jones managed to seduce your date from right under your nose?"
"I still have feelings for you. I still love—"
"I don't care if you get on top of the Big Ben and enchant the sky spelling out your love for me. The ship's sailed."
"I'm with someone who is far better than you in a million and one ways. He's kind, thoughtful, he listens to me, cares about my bloody day, and has the balls to stand up to my father. I was an idiot to date you. Sure, I liked you, but mostly it was because Father approved of you. And I can't be with someone if my heart's not in it. Harry—he has my heart, do you understand?"
"You always liked him," Sebastian said, dryly.
"Maybe, I always did. But I would have been with you, because we were together, and I'd made a commitment—"
"So, now you're committed to him? You don't think he will leave you once he realises what a handful you are?"
Malfoy snorted. "Maybe. But part of me thinks he already knows what a handful I am and likes me anyway. Either way, I'm going back now. I'm going to close this door and step away. Just go back, Sebastian. Let's not make this anymore awkward than it already is. We have to stay in the academy together. We'll probably eventually end up working together. Let's just move on."
It was quiet for a while and again, Harry wanted to get up, but then he heard the door close.
Chapter 23: Happy Morning
Harry woke up first. Malfoy was still snugly pressed against him, but if his snores were anything to go by, he wasn't about to wake up any time soon.
After the Sebastian incident in the midst of their really hot sex, and then Malfoy all but telling Sebastian the entirely of their sexual acts in great detail, they'd resumed their activities. Then, they'd fallen asleep again.
Now, Harry was restless. He liked the idea of Malfoy, his supposed real boyfriend, next to him but he didn't want to wake him up for another session. Not when Malfoy looked as though he'd not slept well in ages.
So Harry decided to sneak out of bed, and dress as quietly as he could. Instead of taking Malfoy out for breakfast, or making breakfast for him in their room, he thought it'd be best if he went out got Malfoy's favourite and coffee. It was what good boyfriend did, right? And Harry wanted to be a good boyfriend. A better boyfriend than Sebastian. He already had a better cock, might as well have a better personality too.
He smirked to himself at Malfoy's words when he was telling Sebastian how Malfoy enjoyed Harry's cock inside him.
Don't start thinking about sex again! he told himself and quietly walked out the door.
The first Christmas after the war hadn't been the best. Many wizards had lost their family members in the war, but now, things were getting better. They were getting better every year. Now, everything was even more so because he had Malfoy.
Chapter 24: Breakfast
Much to Harry's dismay, the breakfast place had a long line. He waited for what felt like hours in queue. Finally, he was able to order; nearly everything he knew were Malfoy's favourites. Avocado toast, the fancy container of sliced apples with sprinkles of cinnamon and a dollop of almond butter, Greek yogurt, and scrambled eggs for himself. Malfoy have been the healthy one, but Harry liked his obsessions also, so he also ordered two croissants because he knew Malfoy was going to want one. Ever since they'd started "dating," and having most of their meals together at the academy cafe, Malfoy ordered a plate of healthy food, but would almost always steal Harry's croissant.
He waited patiently for his order as he looked around at the decorations in the cafe. The tree was well-lit and Christmas stockings hung from the ceiling as the music played on. All it was missing was mistletoe, and Harry had to wait for Malfoy to be around for that. Everything was so cheerful, full of hope, and even though it was a busy morning, all the people around him seemed happy. Quite like how he felt.
Finally, he made his way back to his rooms and when he opened the door, he found Malfoy sitting on his bed. His bed. Not Harry's. The curtain was pulled back, making their living space into one giant room and Malfoy wasn't fully dressed. He only wore his black pants and a tight white t-shirt as he held a parchment and quill in his hand. He looked hot. Before they were fake-dating, when they were simply roommates, Malfoy was almost always properly dressed. He changed in the bathroom, and went to bed fully dressed. This was the first time Harry had seen so much skin in such broad daylight; he'd almost lost his footing and dropped the breakfast and coffee.
Malfoy looked up at Harry and seemed as though he were simply in disbelief.
Harry's brows furrowed at the statement. "Yes. Just went out for some breakfast."
"Oh," Malfoy said.
"What did you think? I wasn't coming back?" Harry closed the door behind him and placed the breakfast on the counter of their make-shift kitchenette. "I live here, you know." He grabbed a few plates and placed it next to the food when he turned around to look at Malfoy again.
"What's the matter?"
Malfoy shook his head and got up off the bed to come and stand next to Harry. He started to scrummage through the bag of food Harry had brought, and Harry could tell that he was avoiding making eye-contact with him.
"Hey..." Harry pulled Malfoy close from behind and nuzzled in his hair. "Did you think—Merlin, I can't even imagine what you'd been thinking? I just wanted to get us some breakfas—"
"I know. A note would have been nice, though. I didn't know if you changed your mind and ran—"
"Shit..." Harry said, pulling Malfoy closer. "I honestly didn't think I was going to be gone for so long. You looked so peaceful so I didn't want to wake you. I'm sorry, Malfoy." Harry held Malfoy as they stood in silence and Malfoy leaned into him, and Harry felt him relax. He was so glad for it. He'd no idea what he'd been thinking! Of course, he should have left a note!
"Forgive me?" Harry asked, kissing the back of Malfoy's neck as Harry's hand went up the front of his t-shirt.
"Maybe..." Malfoy said in a teasing tone. "Depends on what you got me."
Harry started kissing the back of Malfoy's neck and moved his way down until he was on his knees and pulling Malfoy's black pants down with his fingers. He lightly bit Malfoy's arse before he parted his cheeks and licked his entrance. "Your breakfast will have to wait. It's my turn now..." he said.
Chapter 25: First Fight
"I knew it!" Padma announced, a little too loudly for Harry's own good when Harry told her he and Draco—he was Draco now—were actually an item. They were standing in line to order coffee from the corner shop before heading back to training. "I told you. I told you he liked you from the start!"
"What is she on about?" Draco walked up to Harry and placed an arm around his shoulder.
"I was just telling Harry here—"
"Oh, right!" At least she had the decency to look sheepish. "Nevermind. So, will you tell me what you and Theodore have been secretly meeting about or am I going to have to withhold sex from him to discover it?"
"You what?" This time it was Harry who was confused and curious.
"I...I can't tell you," Draco said, visibly turning red. Harry hadn't seen him this embarrassed in a very long time. Not since he'd been turned into a ferret and then turned back into human.
Draco quickly turned around and walked away, leaving Harry and Padma alone to join Nott by the pastries. Harry turned and looked at Padma with one eyebrow raised.
She shook her head. "Poor bloke. I suppose I shouldn't be so harsh to him. I mean, I did find it already..."
"Find what?" Harry asked; this wasn't getting any more clear.
"His Christmas gift for me," she said. "I was afraid it was going to be something really bad so I went snooping around. I didn't want his gift giving to go completely horrible. And then I found it."
"What was it?" Gods, she was being so cryptic, it was driving Harry mad.
She leaned in and whispered in his ear. "An engagement ring."
"Oh..." Harry said, eyes wide. "Aren't you a little young...?"
She shrugged. "Maybe. But engagement doesn't mean marriage tomorrow. I reckon we'd have to get through the academy and the next year before we can discuss anything serious. Besides, he'll have to come and ask for my hand in marriage from my parents, of course. I think that's why he's been meeting with Malfoy in secret. Malfoy would have more information on traditional pureblood wedding customs that aren't all that British. He's well-versed in all of them. It's too bad Theodore's family didn't focus his education..." She trailed off and Harry had stopped listening.
Draco had been meeting with Nott in secret? He had no idea. Pretend boyfriend or real one, Harry usually always knew Draco's whereabouts. He started to worry if there were things he'd missed about Draco and whether he should have been paying more attention. Harry wanted to be a good boyfriend, and didn't want Draco to think he was taking him for granted.
Eventually, the queue moved up and they ordered their coffees. On the way back to the academy, Draco slipped his arm around Harry's and they walked slow. "What was Patil on about anyway? What did she know?"
Harry shrugged. "Just..." He paused for a second. "Draco, did you tell anyone? About us I mean? Before we became official I guess." The words were coming out slowly, as Harry was carefully calculating what to say. The snowfall was heavy and they were trudging through it, leaving foot marks as they walked. If the coffee in the academy cafeteria weren't utter shite, Harry and his friends wouldn't be making this trek almost on a daily basis.
"No," Draco said without hesitation.
Oh. "Very well, then."
"Did you tell Patil?"
Gods, he really was such a know-it-all wasn't he?
"Maybe. I needed to talk to someone about it..." Harry whispered, afraid he was going to upset Draco.
"Potter, I told you not to!" Draco all but yelled. Padma and Nott were walking far ahead of them so they didn't hear, or if they did, they didn't turn.
"Calm down. She won't tell anyone. Not even Nott."
"But that's not the point—"
"Will you relax?"
"Relax?" Draco roared. "You had one fucking job, Harry. I asked for one bloody favour!" Draco stormed off away from him and Harry chased after him. But, they'd already reached the academy and were getting ready to go into training. Whatever it was, it was going to have to wait until later.
"What? They got the wrong angle of your face again?" Harry teased, but Draco didn't move; he didn't acknowledge Harry's presence.
He walked up to Draco's bed and sat down. Draco shifted in his position, angling himself away from Harry. "Draco..." Harry tried to reach out and Draco moved away again.
"What is your bloody problem?" Harry snapped.
"I don't have a bloody problem!"
"I get you're pissed off at me. It's fine for you to be cross but I don't understand why you're this upset. I told one fucking friend. And she promised she wouldn't tell anyone. She didn't even tell Nott! And I took you to the Burrow under the pretence of you being my boyfriend. No one knows. It's not going to come out or anything and now we're actually together. What's the harm?"
"Why did you have to tell her?" Draco asked, still angry, but Harry could tell his resolve was slightly melting.
"I had to tell someone. Talk it out. I'm not like you. I can't be all Slytherin and sneak around and plot and plan on my own. I need friends."
"Didn't realise we weren't friends."
Harry rolled his eyes. "We weren't friends. I thought you hated me. You barely looked at me and the only time you talked to me was when you needed my celebrity status!"
Draco's eyes widened with surprise and he got up off the bed. Harry immediately followed him. "I didn't mean that."
"No!" Harry grabbed Draco by the shoulder and turned him around. "No. You are not going to push me away. I said the wrong thing, I know, but I'm not going to let you punish me for trusting my friend."
Draco tried to free himself from Harry's grasp but Harry was holding on tight. So Draco stomped on Harry's foot and then punch him, albeit lightly, in the stomach. All the hand-to-hand combat training they'd received in their first term was finally paying off. Draco was small but he used his size and strength against Harry.
Harry didn't want to hurt him, but he didn't want to be pushed around either. He grabbed Draco by the wrist and twisted his arm; making sure his other arm was pinned under Draco as he pressed Draco against the small counter in their kitchenette.
"Will you just listen?!"
"Why? Why are you being like this? I'm not going to let go until you tell me why!"
Draco sighed and pushed back against Harry, and even if they were fighting, the fact that Draco's arse was rubbing up against Harry's groin was making him hard. This was not the time to get aroused, Harry thought, and if this were anyone else, a criminal perhaps—this was not the reaction Harry was going to get. He pushed his cock against Draco's arse and pinned him down.
Draco let out a small whine, that was equal parts frustration and equal parts arousal. "Because, you'll leave me too. Even if you want this to be real. You'll get sick of me—"
Harry let go of Draco right away. He turned Draco around and grabbed him by his shoulders. "That's not going to happen."
Harry silenced Draco with a kiss. He grabbed Draco's face, all but digging his fingers in Draco's skull. He tried to kiss the living fuck out of him; to tell him how he felt and he could never feel like that for anyone else, didn't want to feel like that for anyone else, and Draco was crazy to think after all this time he was just going to leave.
Then, Draco was kissing him back; giving it just as good as he was getting it. Harry parted his lips and Draco slammed his tongue in, fucking Harry's mouth with it and Harry groaned, equal parts frustration and equal parts desire.
"I love you. I'll never leave."
Chapter 26: Still Learning
"What?" Draco's voice echoed in the otherwise quiet room as Harry's confession parted from his lips.
"You heard me," Harry said, yanking on Draco's belt so he could get his trousers open.
"Harry, you can't mean that—"
"You told Sebastian I was kind, and paid attention to you, and all those other things... Why do you think that is? I've liked you since forever, Draco. I've told you already. Why can't you believe I love you?"
Harry kissed Draco's neck as his hands shoved Draco's trousers down and palmed his cock.
"You can't say something like that and expect me to—"
"What? Expect you to have sex with me? I didn't say it so we could have sex. I don't need to say that to have sex with you..."
Draco was looking at him wide-eyed, as if Harry had done something completely unexpected. It wasn't all that unexpected. It wasn't like Draco had invited Harry over to the manor for Christmas dinner and Harry had got on well with Lucius Malfoy and they'd become fast friends; now that would have been unexpected.
He just needed to figure out more. Figure Draco out.
Chapter 27: Make Him Love You
Harry had been with Draco for less than a two weeks, and it was already like an upside down sleigh ride. First, Draco was freaking out because he'd told Padma about their pretend relationship, only to tell her it was real. Harry assumed that Draco was worried because telling Padma the truth meant Harry didn't want to be with Draco - which of course, made no sense. Now that Harry had admitted his feelings to Draco, it was a complete melt down of a different kind.
"Harry..." Draco whispered so low, Harry didn't know if Draco was actually speaking. "I don't...I don't deserve you."
"What?" Harry nearly snapped in his response. "What the fuck are you talking about?" Harry let go of Draco's cock and grabbed his trousers; then he pulled Draco towards the bed and they both sat down on Harry's bed. "Start from the beginning."
Draco made a face and Harry grinned. So he wasn't completely gone insane just yet. That was good.
"I know you said you've fancied me for a while now and I wish...I wish I could say the same to you. I mean, a part of me has always been drawn to you, yeah, but I was with Sebastian. And when we were together, I wasn't thinking about anyone else. Not about you. I started the pretend relationship facade because I wanted to make him jealous. Because I wanted him back—"
"You did?" Harry asked, unable to help himself from interrupting. He couldn't believe things had just taken such a toll to the opposite direction so quickly. "I thought—"
Draco cupped Harry's face and brushed his thumb against Harry's lower lip. "I wasn't thinking. I just wanted revenge. But, what I said to Sebastian was true. Even when it was a fake relationship, it was the best relationship of my life. I—much to my surprise—loved spending time with you. When you held my hand in public, I felt safe."
"It's all I want," Harry said, holding Draco's hand then. "All I want to do is make you feel safe."
Draco smiled. "You're brilliant. And I can't believe I'm saying that about you. Harry Potter. But you are. And I just want you to know the truth before you make any declara—"
"I love you," Harry said. "That's not going to change no matter what you say."
It was finally time to say goodbye. Or at least, go their separate ways for the Christmas holiday. Draco was heading over to the manor, and Harry was going to settle himself at Grimmauld Place before attending the Christmas Dinner at the Burrow. He was looking forward to the holiday festivities, celebrating new and old traditions and seeing how the Secret Santa with his adopted family was going to go on. He was sure that the Weasley brothers would out do themselves with some hilarious results.
He did his best not to focus on how he was going to spend weeks apart from Draco. They hadn't made New Year's Eve plans, and truth be told, Harry was disappointed at how Draco had dismissed his confession. Harry'd told Draco he'd loved him on several occasions, and every time, Draco had only smiled and changed the subject. As Slytherin as he was, Draco wasn't all that hard to read.
It made him uncomfortable and Harry wasn't sure how he could finally get Draco to see.
Note: Happier Chapter will be posted tomorrow. Stay strong, my friends.
Chapter 29: When he writes you a letter
Much to Harry's surprise, Draco was the first one to reach out. He'd sooner thought that the Weasleys would get a bright pink tree.
It's only been a few days at the manor, and it's a complete mess. I can't believe I actually miss you. Or maybe I just miss the sex. Okay, I most certainly miss the sex.
In any case, Aunt Andromeda's been over for a few days now and little Teddy is running around the house driving the house-elves and my father mad.
I hate to admit it, but seeing my father frustrated with someone else for a change is actually kind of a relief. He's not even had the time to irritate me with his irritation of me dating you. At first, I was able to brush off any negative things he'd have to say, because well you know, it wasn't real. However, now that our relationship is real (It is real right? I keep thinking you're going to change your mind any day now), I can't just sit around and listen to him speak ill of my boyfriend.
In any case, I wondered if you'd be willing to accompany me at the Malfoy New Year's Eve party that we're having. It was a last minute decision and Pansy thought it'd be a good idea. She supposed I could use all the alcohol as on Christmas Day, Teddy, along with seven of his friends are going to be here having a gingerbread house competition.
Kill me now.
Oddly enough, in tactical training they do not teach you how to deal with tiny monsters.
The Weasleys are also invited to the party. Bring Neville.
P.S. Okay, the party was my idea because I want to see you and don't know how to say it otherwise. Well, I also just did. So just get here as soon as you can.
Harry read the letter four times with a smile so big, it hurt his face. He'd been hoping for an olive branch from Draco, and now this was so much more than that. Draco was throwing a party just so he could have an excuse to see him.
Of course, he was going to go. He started packing immediately. He'd arrive on the twenty-sixth and wouldn't care if Lucius Malfoy didn't want him there.
Chapter 30: The New Year's Eve Party
On the morning of the New Year's party, Harry woke up wrapped around Draco. His half-hard cock was all but nestled in-between Draco's thighs and he inhaled the scent of Draco's shampoo. It was clear that Draco had got up, showered, and then curled himself under Harry again.
The few days Harry had spent at the manor, were mostly spent in Draco's bedroom with either one of them inside the other. They'd fucked each other so much that Harry felt as if he knew Draco's body better than his own.
"Are you ready for tonight?" Draco asked.
"Which part?" Harry asked, pulled Draco closer and bucking his hips so his cock slid in and out of Draco's thighs. He loved the feeling of waking up next to Draco. "The Fireworks?" He chuckled nervously. "Where we have to see all of our friends, and I'm required to be fully dressed? Or where I get to kiss you in public and get glared at by your father?"
Draco laughed before he edged himself away from Harry to turn around and then rested his face in the crook of Harry's neck. "All of it," he said. "Although, I suppose I shall agree with you that being fully dressed in public is completely overrated."
Harry laughed kissed the top of Draco's head. "Padma and Nott are going to be there."
"I know, the newly, happily engaged couple. Maybe when the attention is on them we can sneak out and find a few minutes alone."
"Draco Malfoy. I never thought you would be the type to be up for a bit semi-public groping. What if we get caught?"
Draco shrugged. "My house. My rules."
Ron, Hermione entered with Neville, Charlie, George, and Angelina. They all came over to say their hellos before moving on to the bar to get a drink. Neville had lingered for a few seconds to speak to Draco, though, and then eventually Charlie had dragged him away.
Harry was nervous to see Ginny, because even though they were good friends now, and Ginny had given her blessing to Harry — she still made Draco jealous.
Except, Ginny hadn't arrived alone.
Harry thought back to the letter she'd once sent him stating that she was seeing someone new and that someone new was apparently, Blaise Zabini.
"Did you know?" Harry asked Draco once they'd entered the grand room and Zabini's hand had been on the small of Ginny's back the entire time.
Draco shook his head. "I had no idea. I'd somewhat lost touch with Blaise after I joined the academy because of all the work we have to do and he was doing some travelling of his own. I only see Theodore as much as I do because we're in the academy together—"
"They're coming this way," Harry said quickly and Draco stopped talking.
"Hi Harry," Ginny said smiling and pulled Harry in for a hug. When they broke apart, Harry found Draco scowling and he rolled his eyes. "Malfoy," she said next, shaking Draco's hand.
"I didn't know you two..." Harry started to say but then stopped himself because he didn't want to be rude. He hated it whenever people asked him such questions about him and Draco.
Zabini smiled and wrapped a possessive arm around Ginny that she immediately shrugged off. "We ran into each other at a charity Samhain Ball my company was throwing and Ginny was the honoured guest—"
"What was so honourable about her?" Draco asked with a semi-derisive tone and Harry elbowed him in the ribs. "I'm sorry. That was awful of me—"
"It's okay. I'm just as jealous of Potter, Draco," Zabini said softly.
"Oh, come on!" Ginny protested, and when Zabini and Draco stared blankly at her, she shook her head. "My Quidditch team was the honoured guests. I met Blaise there and we went out for coffee the next day and well...we've been seeing each other since then."
"Do your parents know?" Harry asked. "Do your brothers?"
She nodded. "I told them all on Christmas morning before you arrived. I told them to keep it quiet and when we received the invitation for this party—I figured it was the best time to be open about it."
"That's brilliant." Harry gave both Ginny and Zabini a genuine smile and then offered his hand to Zabini who shook it without hesitation. "I'm really happy for you both. Blaise, I don't think you could get yourself a better girlfriend." Then he pulled Draco close to him and kissed him on his cheek.
Ginny eyed Harry suspiciously for a second before she smiled at him in return and then she and Zabini were off to get themselves a drink.
"So you're okay with this?" Draco asked when they were out of an ear shot.
"Why not. I've moved on, she's moved on...what's the matter?"
Draco shrugged. "I don't know. Blaise is my friend and if we see him, then she'll be there too and you and her in the same room—"
"Draco," Harry said, pulling Draco out of the room and into an empty hallway. "How many times do I have to tell you that I love you? Do you know what that even means? It means I don't want Ginny. I don't want anyone. I want you. You invited me here and I arrived in a heartbeat. I've not left your room, your side for days."
When Draco didn't respond for a few seconds, Harry thought he understood. He'd figured out why.
"I'm not Sebastian," he said. "I won't cheat. I won't lie. I won't leave."
Draco nodded. "I know. I know. I trust you. I'm just scared, all right?"
"Of course," Harry said, kissing Draco's nose. "But relax, okay? It's your party. Let's have some fun!"
Chapter 31: Epilogue
"I need to be able to trust us," Draco said when Harry said he didn't understand why Draco was moving out.
For their new term at the academy, both Harry and Draco had the option of switching their roommate. Now that Harry was going to be with the Civilian Training programme, and Draco was going to be working with Padma in Criminal Investigation, the cadets had the choice to keep their former roommates or find a new one that was matched in their training programme.
Draco told Harry that he wished to room with Padma. He and Padma were going to get a suite, meaning, they would share their living space and the kitchenette, but would have separate rooms.
"What does it have to do with trust?" Harry asked, annoyed.
"You know how Ginny walks in the room and I overreact. Still?" Draco asked, admitting his faults which Harry knew was one of the hardest things to do for him.
"Yeah, so?" Harry asked, shrugging. "I know Darlington left you with a few scars and well, I can see why you have trust issues. But I know you trust me."
"Yes. I trust you because I'm with you all the time!" Draco said, flailing his arms. "Harry, we don't spend any time apart."
"I thought you liked spending time with me."
"I do!" Draco said. "It's not about that. But..." He sighed and sagged on the sofa in the sitting room at Grimmauld Place. After the New Year's party and before going back to the academy, Draco had been spending almost all of his evenings with Harry at the Black Family house.
He ran a hand through his hair and looked up at Harry. "I want to be able to breathe. I want to be able to enjoy my alone time not worrying that if you're five minutes late it's because you're getting your cock sucked by someone— I know you're not like that. I know you won't cheat. I just need to be able to trust myself that I won't freak the fuck out every time a hot bloke flirts with you because in the back of my mind I think that if I'm not there — you'd be flirting back."
"Being cordial to someone and smiling at them isn't always considered flirting, Draco. You know I get approached by—"
"Exactly. Can't you see? I want to have a proper roommate. I want to be able to bond with my fellow-cadets and trust you at the same time! It should be totally okay that you go out to the pub with your mates, and some of them will be gay or bisexual, and some of them will try to pull you. I need to be okay with giving you my trust. My love."
Harry sat down on the sofa next to Draco and pulled him in for a long, deep kiss. "I didn't know you had all of this going on in your head..." Harry said softly, his fingers threading through Draco's soft hair. "I understand, of course. I trust you know what you're talking about."
"You do?" Draco asked, his lips lingering against Harry's. "You're not upset?"
"No. You're right. It's time to start the new year with a new perspective. As much as I love being your boyfriend, as much as I love being with you, we're at the Auror Academy to learn. To be able to beat our fears, and discover new ways of tackling conflict. This is a conflict, and we'll be able to get past it. So if your gut-instinct is that we shouldn't room together. That we should spend time apart so we can learn to trust each other—it's a good idea."
Draco smiled and kissed Harry again before he settled himself on Harry's lap.
"I just don't know what we'll do if I wake up in the middle of the night and want you," Harry said, as Draco bucked his hips and was grinding down on Harry's cock.
"Then, you better come and fuck me in my room," Draco said simply. "I'll have my own room, after all."
And it's over. Thank you to everyone that read the story and commented and liked it or hated it. You guys are the best. Writing this every day/posting it every day was a lot of fun
Chapter 32: Bonus Chapter
Post Christmas Gift
Notes: So yesterday I was browsing through some of the early chapters of "Nothing Ventured (Nothing Gained)" and found a plot hole. So I immediately reached out to my amazing beta: nia_kantorka and was like THERE'S A FORGOTTEN CHAPTER. I hope you guys enjoy it. All my thanks to NIA as I wrote this chapter SO DRUNK and she fixed all my mistakes. All the remaining errors are mine. Blame the wine, yo.
After returning to the Auror academy in the New Year, Harry settled into his room with a new sense of purpose. Now, not only did he have to concentrate on his studies to be an Auror, he had to make sure his relationship with Draco thrived.
Since Draco wasn't going to be his roommate anymore, Harry had to also come to terms with the fact that he was going to be living with a new bloke. He didn't think much of it thought because he was sure whenever he was not in training, he was going to be spending his time with Draco. There was no way Draco could now get rid of him. He was going to be the man's shadow.
It was a surprise when Harry got the owl with his holiday pictures. He'd not expected them, if anything, he'd nearly forgotten all about them.
It was a stupid thing that he and Draco did early on into their arrangement - a thing to only make Sebastian Darlington jealous. Now, the proof of their silly venture was in his hands.
It was Harry and Draco by the big Christmas tree in the dining hall at the academy. They were making faces at each other, and in some of the pictures Padma and Nott were there too -- he remembered what the occasion had been. Draco had said that they were doing a photoshoot and he wanted their pictures taken so when they would arrive at the ball their pictures would be all displayed at the event. Harry had been so lost in being with Draco, he'd forgotten all about it. It seemed Draco had too. They'd never gone by the big tree display to look at their pictures.
He wondered if Sebastian had come across them.
Could that have been the reason why Sebastian came to their room later that night with his confession -- telling Draco how he wanted him back?
Before Harry could gather all the pictures and go see Draco, Draco was at his door with his own copies of them.
"Can you believe this?" he asked when Harry opened the door. "I didn't even remember that we'd taken these and to come back to the academy and open up my mail to receive these pictures -- it's almost a post-Christmas gift!"
"Yeah..." was all Harry said before Draco launched himself at him.
Draco's lips were on Harry's before he could say anything and they were kissing, Harry hastily closing the door behind them and then dragging Draco to his bed. They were naked and under the covers in no time and Draco was pinned under him, wanting, and teasing, and being so fucking sexy that Harry nearly lost himself.
"Gods, I don't know how you think we can survive this term without you here with me..." Harry mumbled against Draco's neck as he pushed into him. He knew Draco's body so well now, he could navigate it in the dark, and still know when Draco smiled, or gasped, or frowned and when Harry's touch was too much for him. He loved knowing Draco's body -- feeling like he knew it better than his own at times.
"I know, but we have to try..." Draco said, and arched up, meeting Harry rhythm to rhythm.
"So you like the pictures?" Harry smiled as he nuzzled into Draco's neck, and they moved together.
"You know I do. Even if we weren't going to work out as a pretend couple, they were going to be my thing to keep. A reminder that there was life after Seb and that there was a chance that things could be good."
"They are good," Harry insisted.
"I know..." Draco agreed, and then they were quiet for a while as the rode out their orgasm, appreciating each other's bodies with pants, and sighs, and hands touching everywhere.
"God, I love you, Draco..." Harry said, resting his body next to Draco's and Draco immediately wrapping himself around him.
"Yeah. You know I love you too."
Harry smiled, yeah, he knew it. But it was still good to hear the confession from his boyfriend.