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Tumbler Drabbles

Chapter Text

“Finish your broccoli,” Draco said not looking up from his plate.

Harry waved a stalk of the offending vegetable, “At least eat a bite.”

Draco glared over at Harry, “Don’t undermine me, Potter.”

Harry widened his eyes and shrugged.

Albus and Scorpius looked from Harry to Draco. James rolled his eyes. Lilly giggled.

Draco shook his head, half rolling his eyes, “Three bites of broccoli,” he conceded.

“Or no dessert,” Harry added.

Draco grinned, “Exactly.”

Albus and Scorpius groaned in unison,“Buuut DAAAA-AAD!”

Harry gasped in mock shock, “Did you just call me butt-dad?”

“I think they did,” Draco said, trying to hide a smile.

“You’re awful,” Scorpius lamented.

“I thought your name was Harry?” Draco asked, “You’ve been Awful Buttdad all this time?”

“I’ve been living a lie,” Harry said flatly.

“This is the worst,” Albus grumbled, “I can’t wait till we go back to the Hogwarts and we don’t have to hear any more of your jokes.”

Draco smirked, “We’ve only made four jokes in our entire lives and they’re all sitting right in front of us.”

“I’m done.” James dropped his fork loudly on his plate, stood and left the table.

Harry snorted and burst out laughing.

Draco smiled broadly, holding up his hand. Harry high-fived him.

Albus dropped his head on the table, “This isn’t worth dessert.”

Scorpius elbowed him as he quickly ate as much broccoli as he could stuff in his face, “Quick,” he murmured, his mouth full.

“Lilly thinks it’s funny,” Harry said.

Draco said, “She has very good taste.”

Lilly laughed.

“Lilly is eight,” Albus muttered.

Chapter Text

Harry checked through his closet, then looked again, slower. He frowned to himself and dug through the laundry hamper. He was certain he had folded his christmas jumper last night and put it away. It wasn’t due to be washed yet though Draco teased him constantly for wearing it.

He headed downstairs, calling as he went, “Draco? Have you seen my jumper?”

“No,” Came the muffled response from the living room.

Harry shivered and shook his head and went to the kitchen, sometimes he left them over the back of a chair. No such luck. He decided to check the coat rack by the front door, he had left his jumpers in stranger places.

“Are you sure you haven’t seen it?” He called absently, “It’s the blue one with the snowflakes.”


Harry sorted through the coats, no jumper. He sighed, rubbing his arms and walking slowly back to the living room to warm up by the fire. He’d just have to wear a Weasley jumper until-

He stopped in the doorway.

Draco was stretched out on the couch, a book propped open on his chest, wearing a vibrant blue jumper covered in white glittery snowflakes.

“And you haven’t seen my jumper?” Harry raised his eyebrows.

Draco’s gaze flicker up from the book briefly and then he very deliberately slumped down into the couch, the jumper sliding up to his chin and bunching around his chest, “No.”

“Oh.” Harry leaned against the doorframe, “Are you certain?”

Draco shifted in the large fluffy jumper so that the collar crept up over his nose and pulled the sleeves up so that only the tips of his fingers poked out to hold the book up. He looked over at Harry, his eyes wide with contrived innocence and shook his head, “Haven’t the faintest notion, Potter.”

Harry sighed, “That’s a shame. It’s very comfortable. And very warm.”

“Mhmhmm.” Draco hummed appreciatively.

He couldn’t stop the grin that spread over his face. Shaking his head, he walked over to the couch and straddled Draco’s thighs, “You’re a menace, Malfoy.”

Draco lifted his head, the book dropping to the floor unheeded as Harry leaned forward.

Harry fingered the hem of the soft jumper as he kissed Draco, nipping his bottom lip and following it with is tongue. Draco sighed into the kiss and cupped the back of Harry’s neck.

Harry slid his fingers under the jumper, tracing the edge of Draco’s trousers and shoved his ice cold hands against Draco’s stomach.

Chapter Text

Someone found it. Someone put it in the eighth year common room. Someone probably thought it would be funny. Especially, when someone opened the chest. They never found out who that someone was because it wasn’t funny. It wasn’t funny at all.

The crash of the chest bursting open made the small round room go silent. All eyes turned, everyone looked as the boggart emerged from the dusty trunk.
Draco was closest and perhaps that was the someone’s plan all along.

Draco eyes went wide and the room was silent, afraid it would be Voldemort, Nagini or Crazy Bellatrix. Who else would Malfoy be afraid of? They held their breath, afraid to move, or speak as the boggart changed and became a boy. A boy with blond white hair that stood up in the back from a prominent cowlick, wearing shorts with grass stained knees and grey eyes that almost seemed too big for his face.

Draco rocked backward, all the air pulled from his lungs in one fell swoop as that small, innocent face looked up at him and began to flush with tears.

“Why?” the boy sniffled, “We were gonna be amazing. The best that ever was.” Tears welled and poured down the boy’s cheeks, dripping off his chin onto the floor.

No one moved, in that moment, no one could even breath.

Draco went pale as paper and a violent shiver was bowing his shoulders. He couldn’t look away.

The boy scrubbed his forearm across his eyes, a great sob heaving from his chest, “Everything’s ruined! Everything!”

Harry slowly weaved his way through the crowd. He stepped in front of Draco and casting his patronus as the boggart changed into a dementor and was quickly banished back into the chest where it was locked away with a silent flick.

The silence of the moment shattered and everyone found their breath again. The common room quickly emptied as the students there found other things to do, anything to take them away from that moment.

Until only Harry and Draco were left and Harry waited silently.

Until the spell seemed to break over Draco as well and he took a deep shuddering breath and blinked the tears caught in his eyes.

It was a moment time he had seen before but this time Harry didn’t draw his wand. He only offered his open hands, palms outstretched. Alone in that room, Draco cried into Harry’s shoulder. He let himself mourn for the future he had once dreamed of and the past he had ruined and the weight of both in his chest.

Chapter Text

The first couple times he thought it was a coincidence. The next couple times he thought it was just weird. After it happened ten more times it was annoying. So he bought an entire box, a wrapped straight from the factory box, and every single card was Harry fucking Potter and that, that, was absolutely fucking hilarious.

“I'm serious, every time,” Draco insisted, raising his eyebrows.

Pansy sat back in the plush purple chair in the eighth year common room and shook her head.

Blaise laughed, “It's not possible, you're having us on.”

“Give me a chocolate frog and I'll show you,” Draco said smugly.

Blaise flipped open his bag and Pansy groaned, “Oh, don't! He's just mumping for free chocolate or attention,” she frowned slightly, “or both, more likely.”
“They're just chocolate frogs,” Blaise pulled out a slightly battered carton and tossed it over to Draco.

Draco grinned, scooting to the edge of his chair and held the box out and opened it with a theatrical flourish. The chocolate frog jumped out and Blaise snatched it out of the air, popping it into his mouth with satisfaction. Draco plucked the card from the bottom of the box with two fingers and held it up with a smug grin. It was a Harry Potter card.

Blaise laughed.

“That was only once!” Pansy rolled her eyes.

“What was only once?” A soft dreamy voice asked.

Pansy twisted in her seat, “Draco says that whenever he opens a chocolate frog, he always gets Potter cards."

“Really?” Luna walked into their little circle, sitting on the end of the couch near Pansy, “That seems fun.” She reached into her robe and pulled out a handful of things, butterbeer caps, an acorn, some string, lots of loose hard candy and two chocolate frog boxes. She passed them over to Draco and leaned on the arm of the couch, watching him attentively.

Draco only hesitated a second then shrugged and opened the first box. Plucking out the frog and handing it over to Luna who stared at it meditatively and then gave it to Pansy with a smile. Draco pulled the card out and showed it to the group and then set it next to the first on the table in front of them.

“A coincidence!” Pansy said, biting the chocolate frog in half and leaning forward slightly as Draco opened the second box.

He ate the frog himself this time and removed the third chocolate frog card with a satisfied air, it was Harry Potter.

Blaise grinned like a cheshire cat, “No fucking way!”

“That's a wonderful trick, Draco,” Luna said, clapping her hands.

“I've got one!” Dean stepped into the gap between two chairs, tossing over a box.

Seamus stepping up behind his shoulder, “I want the frog,” he said as he lobbed another box along with Dean's.

More people were starting to gather and a few ran to their rooms or sent patronus' to tell their friends. Draco went pale for a second and swallowed hard then lifted his chin and went on like this was exactly what he was expecting. He opened box after box and slowly the table in front of him began to fill with chocolate frog cards and every single one of them was Harry Potter.

“Bloody unbelievable,” Blaise whispered.

Seamus was shaking his head, “The odds are just, this- It's impossible! You must have rigged it somehow!”

Draco grinned smugly at his strange and somewhat dubious new talent, “I told you. Every time.”

Someone behind his shoulder held out another chocolate frog box. Draco was a bit bored of the game but everyone was watching so he opened it anyway and blinked. The chocolate frog jumped away unheeded as he stared, the card wasn't Harry Potter.

Draco looked up.

Harry was leaning over the back of his chair and looked down at him with a grin and a conciliatory shrug, “I always get Dumbledore.”

Chapter Text

They skittered as they slid across the floor, a rough metallic noise until they stopped right at Draco's feet. He didn't think about what he was doing, thinking wasn't involved. He just picked up the black round glasses and slid them into his pocket, holding them tight in his fist against accios and the searching of Potter's friends. They were his now.

Draco didn't tell anyone he had them. He liked to carry them in his robe pocket and trace his thumb along the round metal. At night, in the privacy of his curtains, he would take them out and clean the smudges from the day, clean them of his touch. At first, he liked to just hold them up and look at them to revel in the fact that they were his. He wore them a few times but Potter really was blind as a bat and they hurt his eyes. Most of the time he would just set them on his bedside and stare at them as he lay on his side and pretend that the person they belonged to was laying just behind his back. When he closed his eyes, sometimes he could even imagine the heat of another body but when he turned to look, his bed was always cold.

Potter got new glasses, silver ones that didn't look quite right. Classes went on, life went on, and nothing very much seemed to change. When that feeling became too much, Draco would squeeze the glasses in his pocket until the metal dug into his hand to remind himself he had this.

It was almost a strange sort of relief when he realized Potter was following him around again. He was never very quiet, even his breathing was too loud for sneaking. Draco had to wonder if he did it on purpose, any proper wizard would use a silencing spell on themselves. Draco didn't care, the weight of Potter's burning gaze was like a blanket, its own kind of heat behind his back. It let him know he wasn't alone.

Days, weeks, a month of silent hidden obsession. Draco was tired, there had been tripping jinxes and stinging hexes but there were always those. It was the boy, who was probably only twelve, who had looked through him with cold eyes and hissed deatheater as he passed that had sunk into his chest like lead shot and brought with it cold unbearable exhaustion.

He skipped dinner, went straight to his bed and pulled the curtains closed and took out Potter's glasses. He cleaned them and held them up and imagined green eyes looking back through them, looking at him and never being cold.

“I knew you took them.”

Draco startled back against his headboard as Potter pulled back the curtains, his invisibility cloak slipping off his shoulders and pooling at his feet like mercury. Potter reached for his glasses and Draco closed his hand around them, pulling them tight to his chest.

“Give them back, Malfoy!” Potter lunged for them.

Draco jerked out of the way, went to roll off the other side of the bed, his free hand scrambling to pull his wand from the tangled fabric of his robe. Potter grabbed one of his wrists then the other, sliding his knees onto the bed to keep from falling over, scrambling onto Draco to pin him down so he couldn't escape.

Draco strained against his grip, panting and panicked. He gripped the glasses so hard he was afraid he would break them. Potter switched his grip so he could hold both Draco's wrists in one hand, pressing them tight into the pillow. Draco had never imagined Potter's grip so strong, his hands so rough, the heat from his body so intense it almost hurt.

Potter grabbed his hand, tried to pry his glasses loose, “Let- Go-!”

Draco gripped harder, tried to get free one last time, his chest hurt along old scars and he felt like he was dying again. “Let me have this one thing,” his voice cracked with frantic desperation and he squeezed his eyes shut to stem the sudden surge of despair that his anchor was going to be taken away. “Please just let me have this one thing,” he heard the tears in his own voice though he hadn't let them escape his eyes.

Potter's grip didn't loosen but he paused, “Why?”

“Please.” Draco opened his eyes and saw Potter's brow creased with a slight frown. When Draco blinked, the tears he had been trying to hold back trailed down his skin and into his hair. He turned his head away, to hide at least half of his embarrassment.

He felt a hesitant touch, a fingertip traced the trail of the tear and then startle back. Potter sat back and his eyes widened. He looked at Draco as if seeing him for the first time. Draco felt the grip on his wrists loosen but he stayed still. Potter shifted his weight on Draco's thighs and he reached towards Draco again. His fingers traced the line of Draco's neck, skating up along the line of his jaw and Draco turned his head into that gentle touch.

Draco's cheeks were flushed with heat that filled his chest like a summer day. Harry was looking at him like the world had narrowed to only him. The tears caught in his lashes were no longer rooted in despair but something that felt an awful lot like hope.

Harry let his wrists go, “Keep them.”

Chapter Text

“You lost! You lost, you lost, you lost!” Pansy singsonged and bounced on the balls of her feet in a little victory dance.

“Shut up, Pansy,” Draco hissed, the tops of his cheeks flushing bright red.

She paused her dance and abruptly leaned right in his face, “You. Lost!” She giggled and clapped her hands excitedly.

“Just dare me already!” Draco said scanning the eighth year common room for signs of any potential classmates to witness his humiliation.

“Hmm,” Pansy smiled gleefully, practically wiggling with excitement, “You have to do anything I say, anything at all.”

Draco groaned and slumped down into the chair, “Stop drawing it out, Pansy, you evil cow, just pick something.”

She gave him a dirty look for that and Draco immediately regretted saying it.

“Fine then,” she said sharply, “You have to kiss whoever walks into the room next. A proper, fucking kiss too, you prude.”

Draco groaned in dismay, “Pansy!”

“Well now you have to snog them,” Pansy said, turning to watch the common room door and crossing her arms over her chest.

Draco stared at the door with apprehension and a growing dread. Ninety-nine percent of the eighth years were abysmally horrid and the other one percent- he shuddered- didn't bear thinking about.

He gritted his teeth and forced out a weak, “Please, Pansy.”

She glowed at the plea but her smirk only became more wicked, “I expect tongue.”

Draco pressed his hands over his face and sincerely wished to vomit. Pansy's cackle of pure delight made him look up and then he decided death was preferable and slowly stood up to throw himself into the fire.

“Oh, no you don't, you fucking drama queen,” Pansy caught him by the back of his robe and forced him through the maze of chairs and couches until he was right in front of Potter.

Oh, fucking, Potter.

He was flushed and windswept, with his broom thrown over his shoulder and sweat staining his collar. He was staring warily at Draco with those ridiculous green eyes, brushing his tongue across his lower lip, tightening his grip on the handle of his broom.

The other one percent.

Fucking Harry Potter.

“What do you want, Malfoy?” Potter asked a little stiffly.

Draco had no answer for that. Throwing himself out the window was better than answering that.

“Malfoy?” Potter's brow furrowed.

And then he felt Pansy's hand in the center of his back and she pushed.

Draco stumbled forward, his outstretch hands finding balance on Potter's broad chest. Potter had caught Draco's arm with his free hand and braced him. Potter was hot to the touch, his shirt damp, he smelled like sweat. Draco's heart was pounding in his chest so hard it hurt. He swallowed hard and leaned forward, screwing his eyes shut as his mouth met Potter's, too afraid to see his expression.

Potter's lips were full, smooth, and completely still against his. Draco shivered, his hands twitching against Potter's chest. He went to pull away, to fuck off before he had to endure this stillness anymore, and heard Potter's broom hit the floor, felt his hand catch Draco's chin, circle around his nape and pull him close.

Potter kissed back.

Draco gasped with relief and wanting, falling into his touch and kissing back hungrily. He gripped Potters shirt tightly in his hands and Potter's hand pushed through his hair. Potter nipped his bottom lip, stole his gasp to slip his tongue into Draco's mouth.

They only pulled apart reluctantly to catch their breaths.

“Fucking hell, Malfoy,” Potter said faintly with something that almost sounded like reverence.

Draco looked into those green eyes that almost seemed like they had never seen him before. He could feel Potter's heart thundering under his hands.

“I need to shower and change.” Potter swallowed hard, hesitated, “Will you be here after? Will you wait?”

“Yes,” Draco said faintly.

Potter scooped up his broom and headed towards the dorms then stopped, came back, stole another breathless kiss, “You'll be here?”

Draco nodded.

Potter kissed him again and than ran towards the dorm stairs, disappearing with a clatter.

“You owe me,” Pansy said with a purr.

Draco could only nod.

Chapter Text

“Just grab his arm,” Blaise hissed, “Pansy!”

Pansy tsked and rolled her eyes, “Why’d you get him this drunk anyway?”

Blaise shrugged and staggered as Draco leaned into him suddenly, “It was funny last time.”

“Let’s just floo home.” She grasped Draco’s hand and led him across the bar towards the fireplace like he was a small child.

Pansy didn’t see them, Blaise saw them too late, Harry Potter and his friends were crowded around one of the small round tables on the side of the room. Draco, who had been silent and melancholy since his fifth fire whiskey, suddenly looked up with the expression of a bloodhound on the scent.

He pulled away from Blaise with the uncanny grace of the well sloshed.

Blaise clutched after him ineffectually, “Shit!” trying to grab his arm as Draco wove through crowds that seemed to close up as Blaise went to follow. Then he spotted Harry and let out panicked, “Fuck!”

Pansy spotted them and walked around to get a better view, a wicked grin on her face.

Harry looked up just as Draco loomed over him, setting his pint down with a frowned, “What do you want-”

But that was all he managed to get out before Draco grabbed him by the front of his jumper to haul him up, overbalanced and fell forward pulling Harry with him into a tangle on the ground.

“The fuck, Malfoy!” Harry snapped, pinned to the ground by Draco’s weight, his legs still over the overturned chair.

“We can never be together,” Draco said softly, his voice shaking and muffled by the fabric on Harry’s shoulder where he had buried his face.

“What?” Harry asked, his brow furrowing.

“I ruined it and we can never be together,” Draco said, dragging his head up, his eyes looking suspiciously shiny.

Harry looked utterly baffled, repeating dumbly, “What are you on about, Mal-”

Draco lurched forward, kissing half Harry’s mouth. He kissed Harry again, slightly more on target, bumping their teeth together before Blaise pulled him up and Ron helped a dumbfounded Harry up.

“Thank Merlin, he’s too sloshed to ever remember this,” Blaise muttered.

“Fuck that!” Pansy laughed, “I’m going to put this memory in a pensive as soon as we get home!”

Blaise was about to tell her off for being a harpy when Harry stepped over. Blaise suppressed a sneer, “Look, he’s just pissed, no harm right?”

“Um,” Harry rubbed his hand over his mouth absently, glancing over at Draco who was draped over Blaise and either passed out or crying into his shoulder, he flushed faintly and held out a slip of paper, “It’s my address. Tell Malfoy he can owl me some time, for dinner or just coffee if, he’d rather.”

Blaise took the paper staring at it in astonishment.

Pansy snorted, laughing so hard she had to brace her hands on her knees.

Chapter Text

Draco stared at the dress robes hanging on the front of his wardrobe. White with silver edging, a green waistcoat, and tie, black slacks. The robe was designed to be worn open, to best compliment the mix of wizarding and muggle fashion. It was Astoria's idea. What better way to declare a pro-muggle standing. Draco grimaced, privately his father would call it tolerance, and something vague about moving forward and spirit of cooperation to the press.

He ran his finger along the fine silver stitch work. Behind him, the sun was just creeping over the horizon. In few hours- He shuddered.

The door clicked faintly and swung open.

Draco glanced over, expecting to see a house elf or perhaps even his mother, her eyes as shadowed with worry and exhaustion as his, though, neither of them would speak of it. There was no one. He pulled his wand out, as the door swung shut.

Silvery fabric slipped from Harry Potter's shoulders and pooled on the floor. His hair was the worst Draco had ever seen, his eyes ringed with dark circles.

“Why-” Draco's voice cracked, “Why are you here?”

Harry smiled humorlessly, “And just let you get married?” He bit his bottom lip so hard it left a line of white, “Why-?” His voice broke, “You just left and then I find out you're-” He looked down at the floor.

Draco wanted to cross the space between then, to pull Harry into his arms and hold him, but the desire warred against a bitter fury that kept him frozen in place, “It was just a fling, Potter-”

“Six months is not a fling!” Harry said furiously.

Draco sneered, rage filling him and blotting out the web of despair, “Six months of sneaking around?! Of muggle restaurants and muggle dates! Six months of secrecy?!”

Harry stared at him like was mad, his jaw clenching and unclenching as he furiously wrangling with his anger. He clenched his hands tight into fists and then forcibly stretched the fingers out, his hands shaking.

“Do you deign it?! You can't can you?!” Draco squeezing his wand tighter in his hand.

“I choose muggle places to avoid the press.” Harry choked out.

Draco's eye twitched, “Fuck you, Potter. I was just the dirty little secret you didn't want anyone to find out about.”

Harry shook his head, “You weren't! I told Ron and Hermione, Ginny knew.”

Draco chest tightened painfully, “You think I care about your friends?”

All the fury seemed to drain out of Harry like a pulled plug, his shoulders slumping, his breath leaving him in a shudder and his back slid down the door until he was small on the floor, his knees pressed to his chest.

Draco swallowed, his own anger slipping away from him at the sight of Harry so vulnerable no matter how he grasped at it.

Harry twisted his hands in his hair, “I really cocked everything up. Merlin I-” He looked up at Draco, biting his lip again, “I was so afraid of scaring you off, I was afraid the press, and my friends- I just held it all back.” He opened his mouth and then closed it again, pressing his mouth together into a thin line. “Fuck,” it came out breathless and shuddering, “I love you, you know.”

The world dropped out from under Draco's feet.

“Do you remember at that carnival? You won the goldfish and you were laughing and kissed me right in front of that awful woman running the booth,” A faint smile twitched at the corner of his mouth then faded, “That's when I realized I loved you.”

“That was-” Draco breathed.

“We'd only been dating for a month and I felt like a complete berk falling in love with you so quickly and I was afraid-” Harry's throat bobbed erratically as he swallowed, “-When I tried to hold your hand and when I invited you out with my friends- You pushed me away and I-” He shook his head roughly, “Hermione said I should let you set the pace and be patient. I thought I was- And now-!” his throat closed on the words.

Draco swayed and put his hand out to catch himself, his palm pressing against the thick fabric of his wedding robes. He stared at them with widening eyes, “I'm getting married.”

“Don't. Draco, don't,” Harry pleaded.

Draco's hand was surrounded by white, silver filigree winding past his fingers. “What am I supposed to do?”

Harry pushed himself up. Draco turned to meet him and Harry grabbed his hands, squeezing them tightly as if they were the only thing holding him up, “Marry me instead.”

Draco's eyebrows shot up, “Harry-”

“No. Marry me, Draco,” Harry searched his eyes frantically, “We can go to the registers in the Ministry-”

“You want to elope?” Draco's voice wobbled somewhere between a laugh and disbelief, “You have to give notice.”

“You already have.” Harry said, “I can pull some strings, change the paperwork, I can make it work, Draco, I can- I-”

Draco kissed him, cupping his chin and pulling him in closer, “Yes.” he whispered against Harry's lips.

Harry laughed with relief, sagging against Draco, wrapping his arms around his neck and kissing him sweetly.

Draco said, “We have to get ready.”

The sun was rising, yellow light spilling in through the windows, seeping along the carpet to climb the walls and their cool skin.

Draco pulled Harry into the shower with him and they washed some of the sorrow from their skin and weariness from their bones. In front of the mirror, Harry carefully combed Draco's smooth blond hair into place and Draco carefully worked his fingers through Harry's wild black hair.

It took three tries but Draco transfigured duplicates of the wedding robes, each and every piece, with Harry's arms looped around his waist as if afraid to let him go for even a second. Tailoring spells weren't Draco's forte but Harry was near enough his measurements that the suit only needed a few tweaks here and there.

“You're going to dress me in Slytherin green?” Harry said playfully.

“You look beautiful in green,” Draco said softly, guiding Harry's arms into the white dress shirt and doing each button up, all the way to the top, straightening the collar and smoothing his hands over the smooth material.

Harry smiled, “You look better in blue,” he said, taking the duplicated dress shirt and holding it out for Draco.

Draco slid one arm in, shifting as Harry slid the shirt around his shoulders and through the other arm. He fumbled with the buttons and Draco rested his hands over Harry's to sooth their shaking. He leaned forward to kiss Harry's temple and had to squeeze his eyes shut at the surge of emotion in his chest.

Draco spelled his waistcoat a vibrant blue to suit Harry's green and to see Harry's smile once more.

“We'll have to go to an owlery,” Harry said as Draco buttoned the green vest, “Ron and Hermione can be our witnesses.”

“They won't try and stop you?” Draco asked quietly, slipping on his waistcoat.

“No.” Harry said, “I've been mooning over you for five months after all...” He smoothed his hand over the blue silk.

Draco knotted the tie around Harry's neck. He swatted Harry's hands away when he tried to tie Draco's but let him snug the knot tight to his collar and straighten it.

“We should owl all our friends,” Draco said.

Harry's brows rose, “All of them? What for?”

“Well, the catering is prepared, cake, entertainment,” Draco smiled, catching Harry's hand and kissing his knuckles, “It would be a shame to waste it.”

“And if your father burns it all down in a fit of rage?” Harry asked his eyes shining with amusement.

Draco chuckled, “Well, I don't know about your friends, but mine would find that just as entertaining.”

“True,” Harry laughed.

“This seems like a dream,” Draco reached up and pushed a few errant strands of black hair back.

The door clicked and swung open. Narcissa only hesitated for a second, then quickly shut the door behind her.

“Mother-” Draco started but stopped when he saw her smiling.

She walked over to them and hugged Draco tightly. When stood back, her hands still on Draco's arm, tears were trailing down her cheeks, “You're eloping?” She asked.

“Yes,” Draco said, “Mother, you- You aren't upset?”

“Of course not!” She laughed, wiping her eyes carefully, “When Harry came to me and told me about your relationship-” Draco looked over at Harry in surprise, “-everything made sense. The five months you were together were the happiest I had ever seen you, Draco.” She took the outer robe from off its hanger and draped it over her son's shoulders, carefully pinning it in place with practiced ease, “And I have only once seen you so miserable as you were this last month.”

“You let Harry through the wards,” Draco said.

She nodded and picked up the other white robe and walked over to Harry. He turned around so she could place it over his shoulders and then turned back, letting her pin it in place as she had with Draco's.

“You're my precious son,” Narcissa said softly, smoothing Harry's robes absently, “I just want you to be happy. If Harry Potter make you happy then how could I ever upset with him, or you?”

Draco was so moved he almost couldn't speak, “Mum.”

She beamed and Draco couldn't remember her ever smiling so brightly before.

Narcissa took Harry's arm and then Draco's, “We don't have much time. The house elves will be serving breakfast soon. I've lowered the anti-apparition wards.”

“You're coming with us?” Harry asked.

“I'm not about to miss my only son getting married.” Narcissa squeezed their arms and side-alonged them to the Ministry.

Chapter Text

Harry stared up at the rough wooden beams on the ceiling and blinked. The world was swimming slightly and he frowned at it. Then he remembered, he was drunk. It was, he was... at a Christmas party, no, a pre-christmas party with friends, lots of friends. He had had a drink, recently, but someone had taken it from him and now he was laying on the couch staring at the ceiling. He wasn't really that drunk, somewhere passed buzzed and treading in the beneficent shallows of drunk but not really one or the other properly. Beneficent. Beneficent, what a fantastic fucking word. He wasn't sure what it even meant-

The wireless was playing christmas songs and Harry perked up as it switched songs and started singing along absently, “Last Christmas, I gave you my heart~ But the very next day, you gave it away~”

“Must you take up the whole couch, Potter?” Draco sighed.

Harry broke off from his singing and grinned up at him. With some difficulty, he grabbed the back of the couch and pulled himself up.

Draco sat down and Harry dropped back down, his head falling onto Draco's lap.

Draco glared at him, “How much have you had to drink?”

“Too much an' entirely not enough.” Harry bemoaned, reaching up and sliding his hand along Draco's cheek and down his chin, “But is better now.” His hand dropped back to his chest.

“Really now?” He arched one perfect fucking eyebrow at Harry.

Harry was still grinning like a fool. He turned his head as the christmas song caught his attention again and caught on to the end of the verse, “-you gave it away~ This year, to save me from tears~ I'll give it to someone special~”

“What are you giving away?” Draco asked.

“My heart,” Harry said, looking back up at Draco.

“Muggle music is really so strange,” Draco mused, cocking his head as he listened to the song round out to the last refrain.

Harry happily sang the verse one more time, it was one of his favorite christmas songs because it was just so pretty and lovely to sing, “Last Christmas, I gave you my heart~ But the very next day, you gave it away~” He watched Draco mouthing along to the words silently, whispering the last two he had heard Harry sing already, “This year, to save me from tears~ I'll give it to someone special~” Harry smiled at the low thrum of Draco's voice, audible to only him.

Draco's hand gently threaded through Harry's hair and he asked, “Who are you going to give your heart then?”

Harry laughed and then relaxed into a gentle smile, “I can't give 'way something I haven't got anymore.” He reached up and pressed his palm against Draco's chest, “ 'S right here.”

Draco stared down at him and shook his head slightly, “You're a complete sap and absolutely hopeless, Potter.”

“You're a Potter too, you know,” Harry said.

Draco placed his hand over Harry's, “Oh, I know,” he lamented playfully, brushing Harry's hair back and kissing his forehead.

“What 'bout your heart?” Harry said softly, happily losing himself in Draco's dove grey eyes.

Draco smiled, “You're taking very good care of it.”

Chapter Text

Harry's head felt tight. The room was swimming in grey light from what was leaking around the curtains. When he closed his eyes time moved strangely, sleep came in fits and bursts and the sunlight that was there was gone. He dragged himself out of bed only to use the bathroom, force half a glass of water down his throat and then staggered back to bed and closed his eyes.

Something smacked his forehead sharply. Harry twitched and forced his eyes open.

Draco slowly lowered his head until he was only six inches in front of Harry's face and came into sharp focus, then he glared at Harry, “How long have you been running a fever?”

Harry blinked, and lifted one shoulder slightly in a shrug, “don't know,” he mumbled.

Draco sighed, leaned back and smacked Harry's forehead again, “You are an idiot, Potter. A complete and total idiot.”

Harry tracked the shape of Draco as he went to Harry's bathroom and heard him going through the cabinets. Harry let his eyes close, there weren't any pepper-up potions but Harry was too tired to say, every muscle in his body tight and aching, his throat rough and aching, just too, too tired. He let himself fall back to sleep.

“Wake up.” A voice said impatiently.

Harry ignored it.

The owner of the voice pitched his arm sharply.

Harry flinched, frowning slightly and opened his eyes.

“Can you sit up?” Draco asked, sliding his arm behind Harry and pull him up without waiting for a response.

Harry groaned as his muscles complained at the movement.

Draco pushed his glasses on and then held a small glass bottle to his lips, giving him a second to react before tipping the bottle up and filling Harry's mouth with the bitter, spicy taste of pepper-up.

Harry squeezed his eyes closed and braced for the wave of heat that swept through his body pushing out the worst of the illness and leaving only the exhaustion and lingering ache.

“How?” he asked faintly once he felt he could.

“How what, Potter?” Draco said flatly uncorking another bottle.

Harry closed his eyes briefly, “I was out of pepper-up.”

“I'm quite capable of going shopping,” Draco quirked an eyebrow and pressed the next potion to Harry's lips, “Pain reliever.”

Harry quickly drank the blue potion and shivered as it went to work, spreading through his battered body like a cooling wave.

Draco grabbed a glass of water from the bedside table and helped Harry drink, “You need to change out of those clothes.” He pushed Harry back to lay against the headboard and then bustled around Harry's room, grabbing clean night clothes and a warm damp flannel. Harry let Draco strip the sweat stain clothes from him and wipe him down before hitting him with a mild drying spell and pulling a clean baggy tee shirt over his head. Draco even cast a freshening charm on the sheets and then fussed Harry back under the sheets.

Draco conjured a chair beside the bed and sat down with a sigh. “What do you like when you're sick?” Draco asked.

Harry's brow furrowed, “...Nothing? Sleep, I guess.”

“Don't make this difficult, Harry,” Draco said, “What did your family do when you were sick?”

“Lock me in my cupboard with a glass of water and some tablets,” Harry said before he thought and then instantly regretted it. He had told Draco a little about growing up with the Dursleys but was always afraid to say too much.

Draco's expression turned murderous briefly and then he shook it off.“If you think your tragic backstory is going to scare me off you're quite wrong,” Draco sniffed, leaning over and grabbing a bag by his feet, “You shall have what I like then.” He took out a shiny red and green apple and a small paring knife.

“Have you ever peeled an apple before?” Harry asked anxiously, watching Draco awkwardly peel the skin off the apple, “Isn't there a spell for that?”

“Mother always did it this way,” Draco said stubbornly, his brow furrowed in concentration.

Harry said faintly, “At least cut away from yourself, please.”

Draco shot him a glare and then turned the knife away, “I think she did it so she wouldn't be stuck fretting.”

“Or you could use a spell,” Harry said, “I'm fine. You don't need to fret over me.”

“You look like death warmed over and you've been ill for at least two days during which you told no one you were sick or needed help,” Draco said icily, keeping his eyes fixed on the apple, “I'll fret if I like.”

“Oh...,” Harry said meekly and watched quietly as Draco finished peeling, most of the skin off the apple and began to slice into the apple. Harry couldn't stop himself from flinching every time Draco pushed the blade towards the core, certain he was going to end up cutting right into his thumb or palm.

Draco held out a rather mangled looking slice of apple, “Eat.”

Harry ate it and all the other slices without complaint.

Draco looked down at the core in his hand and vanished it with a pleased little smile. His hair slipped down in front of his eyes and Harry reached over and gently pushed the fine white blond hair back behind his ear.

“You're impossible,” Draco sighed and leaned forward to kiss him.

Harry turned his head and Draco ended up kissing his ear, “I don't want you to get sick-”

Draco bit his earlobe making Harry yelp and grabbed his chin pulling his head around and kissing him hard, “I'll kiss you if I like and if I get sick, you can take care of me. That's what people who are dating each other do, it's what people who care about one another do.”

“Are you angry at me? For being sick?” Harry asked, rubbing his ear.

Draco slumped back in his chair, “Not for being sick you pillock. Were you listening at all or are your ears congested as well as your head?”

“I was listening!” Harry snapped, “I just don't understand.”

Draco crossed his arms over his chest and then uncrossed them, the line between his eyebrows twitching as he forced himself not to yell. He took a deep breath, “Fine. I'll explain in a way even you can understand. How would you feel, if you hadn't seen or heard from a dear friend for two days and when you drop by to check on then, they're laid up in bed, flushed, running a fever and look like they're in pain?”

“But that's-”

Draco smacked him on the forehead, “Answer the purely hypothetical question.”

Harry glared at him and answered reluctantly, “I'd be worried.”

“And?” Draco prompted.

Harry said softly, “And want to help them.”

“Anything else?” Draco raised his eyebrows.

His voice dropped to a mutter, “I'd wonder why they didn't ask for my help earlier”

“Good. Now that we have that sorted, do you want an orange?” Draco asked, “I brought an orange as well or maybe you'd just like some soup? I had the house elves make it so you needn't worry about me poisoning you with any ill-advised attempts at cooking,” He pulled a large lidded ceramic bowl from the bag by his feet and unstuck the lid with a flick of his wand and put it aside, filling the room with the smell of chicken noodle soup.

“Hey, Draco?” Harry said hesitantly, “...Thank you. I've never had anyone take care of me like this before but I'm glad it was you.”

“You should be both honored and humbled. Feel free to grovel at my feet once you've healed up,” Draco said flourishing a large soup spoon.

Harry grinned and gave a weak laugh.

Draco held a spoonful of soup out.

“You know I can feed myself right?” Harry said.

Draco grinned wickedly, “Oh, I know,” He pushed the spoon closer.

Harry groaned, “You're really going to do this?”

The spoon tapped Harry's bottom lip, “Say Ahh, Harry,” he said with syrupy sweetness.

Harry frowned, “You are-” Draco pushed the spoon into his mouth, “-mph-!”

Draco tugged the spoon back out of his mouth with a triumphant smile, “Wonderful, I'm sure you meant to say.”

Harry swallowed and corrected, “Incorrigible.”

“And charming,” Draco dipped the spoon back into the soup.

Harry countered, “Impossible.”

“And very handsome,” he held out the spoon still grinning like a cheshire cat, “Come on now, eat your soup.”

Harry reached out to grab the spoon and Draco twitched back out of reach.

“ah-ah-ah,” Draco chided, wagging an admonishing finger.

Harry dropped his hand, slumping back with a sulky glare.

Draco held the spoon out again.

“I'll get you back for this,” Harry promised, opening his mouth and letting Draco feed him, stubbornly not mentioning that it was best soup he had ever had.

“I'll look forward to it,” Draco smirked, “Unlike some stubborn Gryffindor's I have the misfortune to be dating, I quite like being spoilt.”

Harry sighed, half smiling without even realizing it, “Of course.”

Chapter Text

Harry slowly pushed the door closed behind him, turning the handle so it closed silently. He pushed the heel of his boot, stumbled and leaned heavily against the wall, cursing silently under his breath. With the wall as support, he shucked his boots, leaving them in a pile right in front of the door and let his cloak fall off his shoulders right beside them.

The stakeout had gone well but their information hadn't the most accurate. So they had set up near midnight the night before, he and Ron trading off with Angela's group but the drop off hadn't happened until nearly one in the morning the next day and after the booking and paperwork, well...

Harry pushed his glasses up to rub his eyes and fought down a yawn. He looked at the couch which had never looked more inviting. He shook his head. He should shower first. He headed for the main floor bathroom, his hand on the handle then turned and headed up the stairs, careful to avoid the steps that creaked. The bedroom door was open and he slipped inside quietly. Light from the first blush of morning was leaking around the curtains and casting a warm yellow glow upon the figure curled on his side in the large bed.

Draco sighed in his sleep, his hair looking white in the dim light. He looked younger, the lines and worries eased by sleep. Draco's eyelashes fluttered and then slipped open, blinking sleepily and focusing on Harry.

“Sorry,” Harry murmured, “I didn't mean to wake you.”

“You're looming,” Draco murmured.

Harry rubbed the back of his neck, “Yeah, I should- I just missed you.”

Draco smiled and rolled onto his back.

Harry braced his hand on the mattress, the bed creaking as he leaned over and kissed Draco, brushing the fine blond hair from his forehead. Draco gripped the front of Harry's shirt and held tight when Harry went to pull away.

“I should take a shower,” Harry protested.

“Later,” Draco grumbled.

Harry let himself be pulled into bed, Draco wrapping him up in blankets and his arms, twining their legs together as he buried his head into Harry's hair with a hum of contentment. Harry pulled his glasses off and rested his head against Draco's shoulder, his hands sliding along the soft thin teeshirt Draco was wearing.

Harry's brow furrowed, “Is this the teeshirt I was wearing yesterday?”

“You left it on the floor,” Draco said, his voice lacking the accusation he probably intended and already drifting back into sleep, “If you don't want me to steal your things then put them away properly.”

Harry smiled and held Draco a little tighter, “You missed me too.”

“Of course I did, you numpty,” Draco murmured, “Now let me sleep.”

Harry hummed his assent and closed his eyes.

Chapter Text

“Well, Potter, what does it smell like?” Draco asked, raising a cheeky eyebrow.

Harry rolled his eyes, “You, asshole.”

“Fuck off,” Draco sneered.

Hermione walked over and leaned on Harry’s shoulder, “Finish your Amortentia? It looks good.”

“Of course it does. I made it,” Draco said smugly.

Hermione shook her head slightly, “Charming as always, Draco.” She leaned over the cauldron and breathed deeply, closing her eyes with a smile.

“What’s it smell like?” Harry asked.

She smiled dreamily, “Pretty much the same, cut grass, parchments and old books and Ron.”

“Sap,” Harry grinned and nudged her.

“What about you?” Hermione asked.

Harry leaned forward and took a deep breath, “Treacle tart, the pitch right before a frost and,” he took another breath, “ A sharp, citrusy soap and Sleekeazy’s Hair Potion number 12.”

Hermione patted his shoulder comfortingly, “So Draco?”

“Yeah, it’s a fucking tragedy,” Harry sighed.

“Razor sharp wit really,” Draco said acidly, “fucking wankers.”

“Still won’t believe you?” Hermione said.

Harry shook his head, “Nearly pushed me down the stairs when I asked him to Hogsmeade last week.”

Hermione leaned over Harry’s shoulder, “He really does mean it you know.”

“And I’m the bloody Queen of Shiba,” Draco muttered under his breath, stuffing his book into his bag and grabbing their potion sample to turn in.

Hermione shook her head and went back to grab her own things.

Harry quickly pulled his bag over his shoulder and trotted to catch up to Draco, “Why won’t you believe me?”

Draco’s jaw twitched.

Harry ran a hand through his hair, “I mean, if you’re straight or don’t like me just say.”

Draco spun on his heel and pushed a hand against Harry’s chest, forcing him back a step, “I’m not going to be the butt of your joke, Potter. I thought you had grown up,” He hissed.

“You’re exhausting,” Harry groaned, “And it’s not a joke unless it’s one the universe is playing on me.”

Draco’s eyes narrowed and he lunged forward, grabbing Harry’s robes in both hands and shoving him back against the wall.

Harry gasped at the impact, scrambling at Draco’s arms, his heart pounding with adrenaline.

“Are you having fun now? Having a laugh?” Draco snarled.

Harry half laughed, “Fuck!” He licked his lips, “God, I’m such a mess.”

Draco’s face flushed faintly with rage, “I hate you so much.”

“I don’t,” Harry gasped, he reached down and grabbed Draco’s belt and yanked the blond against him, bucking his hips forward, “Can you feel that? I’m so turned on right now, how fucked up is that?”

Draco’s eyes widened and he shivered.

“You’re the only one that gets me like this,” Harry breathed, biting his bottom lip until it hurt. He let go of Draco’s belt sliding his hands along his waist, “You drive me crazy.”

“That’s my line,” Draco said faintly, his voice hoarse.

Harry rolled his hips against Draco and laughed when he felt Draco starting to respond to him, “Do you believe me now?” He asked breathlessly.

“Can’t,” Draco whispered.

Harry’s brow furrowed and he leaned forward so their breath mingled, “I want you.”

“You can’t.”

“I can. Bloody-fucking-savior I can want whoever I want to,” Harry tipped his head forward to kiss him and Draco shied away.

“The bloody-fucking-savior can’t want me,” Draco swallowed, “Not me.”

Harry glared at him, reaching up and wrapped a hand around Draco’s nape to hold him close, “Do I look blind, you gormless wanker? I know who you are and unless you break my nose right now I’m going to kiss you.”

Draco’s breathing hitched and his eyelashes fluttered as Harry licked his lips, tugged Draco closer and kissed him. He paused for half a breath, half a breath to let Draco react, to shove him, punch him, run away but he didn’t. His mouth was soft, his lower lip full as Harry kissed him ravenously. Draco’s hands on his robes pushed under the thick wool and hungrily sought for the skin under his tee shirt. Harry bit Draco’s lower lip, slipping his tongue in Draco’s mouth when he gasped, sliding his hand from Draco’s neck up into his hair, his other hand explored down Draco’s side and grasped his arse.

“We’re going to be late for transfigurations.” Hermione said calmly.

Draco jumped back, his cheeks flushed and mouth bruised.

Harry gave her a resentful look, “Go on then, I’m quite chuffed to be late or not show at all for that matter.”

Draco tried to straighten his rumpled robes with shaking hands.

Hermione grinned, “Nice show, by the way, about half the school saw you. See you later, Harry, Draco.”

“Fuck.” Draco growled.

Harry grabbed Draco by the arm before he could bolt, “Now will you go to Hogsmeade with me?”

“People saw-” Draco tried to pull his arm free, “Let me go!”

“Not likely,” Harry said gripping harder and letting Draco pull him along, “You’re going to bugger off if I let you go now.”

“Damn right I am, you pillock!” Draco grabbed Harry’s arm and tried to pry it off.

Harry lurched forward and grabbed a handful of Draco’s robe. “Not letting go,” he growled out through clenched teeth.

“What is your problem, Potter!” Draco snapped.

“My problem is I fancy you!” Harry shouted back, pushing until it was Draco backed against a wall, “Why are you making this so difficult? Merlin’s tits! I just wanted to date you.”

Draco’s grip loosened, “What?”

“Date you! You dense mother-fucking pillock! I want to date you!” Harry huffed, “I’ll make it easy for you, Yes or no. I’ll never ask again,” he warned.

“Alright, fine! Yes, you heathen.” Draco snipped, brushing Harry’s hand off and straightening his robes with a huff, “Why didn’t you just say that in the first place?”

Harry’s brows shot up, “I swear I’ve never wanted to hit you more in my life.”

“Hogsmeade tonight, around six?” Draco asked calmly.

Harry sighed, squeezing the bridge of his nose, “Fine. I’ll meet you at the doors.”

Chapter Text

He was doing it again.

Draco clenched his jaw, his eyes flicking from the book in front of him to the figure seated across from him in the library. Curling black hair, long dark lashes framing impossibly green eyes and full lips. Lips he pulled it into his mouth, biting and letting it slowly pull free turning white, then pink and flushing red, wet and slick.

Draco suppressed a groan, tightening his grip on the book in front of him as he shifted in his seat. He was so aroused it was verging on painful and about an inch away from throttling Harry-fucking-Potter for being so mindlessly, frustratingly attractive. All the gods damn Flitwick for making the project with assigned partners, all the gods damn everyone that seemed to keep pushing the two of them together like this.

He was doing it again!

“Stop biting that fucking lip!” Draco hissed, barely suppressing the urge to slam his hand on the table.

Potter looked up, innocently perplexed like a sad dog that didn't know why it was being scolded, “What?”

Draco felt himself start to flush and lifted his chin with a sniff, “If you continue chewing on your lip like an animal, I will be forced to strangle you with your own tie, Potter!”

Madam Pince cleared her throat meaningfully. Draco glanced over at the woman, giving a conciliatory nod before returning his attention to Potter, who was staring at him thoughtfully, it what seemed to be a most terrifying manner.

Potter tilted his head, his eyes flicking over Draco, “Hermione did say...” he murmured to himself and then pulled his fucking lip between his teeth again!

Draco felt heat crawling up his cheeks and the weight of his wand in his robe pocket just begging to give Potter a hex up the arse.

Potter shifted in his seat like he was trying to get comfortable, his eyes never leaving Draco's face.

Draco let go of his book with the sincere intent to give Potter a few boils when he felt something touch his leg. A warm socked foot pressed against his knee, toes curling around and sliding down his shin. Draco froze in complete and utter shock, his eyes still fixed on Potter worrying his lip with a decidedly more calculated look in his eyes.

Potter's foot slid along the top of his shoe and up Draco's leg, edging his sock down to touch skin. Draco shivered swallowing hard as Potter traced the shape of his ankle. All the while, Potter stared at him hungrily. His foot paused, his eyebrow raising like he was waiting for Draco to tell him to stop, which Draco had absolutely no intention of doing, no matter that he wasn't certain if he could even speak at that point.

Draco choked down a whimper of disappointment as Potter pulled his foot away. A light touch reappeared on his knee and then Potter slid his foot along the inside of his thigh. Potter slid forward in his seat, tight to the table, his hands pressed flat to the table. His toes brushed along Draco's inner thigh, he raised his eyebrows in silent question.

Draco's hands slowly slid from the top of the table, clutching the wooden arms of the chair as he slowly slid forward until his stomach pressed to the edge of the table and Potter's foot pressed tight to his erection. He shuddered as Potter curled his toes, pressing and rubbing into Draco with infuriating slowness.

The chair creaked as Draco tightened his grip, his breathing coming out ragged. Potter squeezed and Draco bit his lip to keep from crying out, slumping over the table as he came in a staggering surge of pleasure that left him trembling. Potter made a sound somewhere between a growl and a groan that sent a shiver down Draco's spine.

“I can see what you mean about the lip biting,” Potter said quietly.

Draco carefully sat back up, pushing his hair back in place self-consciously. He had bit too hard and his lip was throbbing. He felt Potter's magic wash over him, cleaning the mess in his pants which he had no intention of thanking Potter for, or mentioning, ever.

Draco cleared his throat, “Perhaps, we should continue studying elsewhere.”

“My room?” Potter suggested.

Draco agreed with a nod and closed his book.

Chapter Text

“You know I'm just a consultant, right Potter?” Draco said acidly, trying to scrape mud from his arms and legs, “I am not a mad auror with more adrenaline than sense.”

“You have mentioned it before,” Harry said tersely, taking deep breaths. It was, after all, his fault Draco had ended up in the swamp following up a lead on black market dittany growers. It was also Harry's fault that when he tripped on a root he had grabbed for the first thing in reach, which had been Draco, and pulled them both into a mug bog with the consistency of quicksand that had taken them twenty minutes to get out of. 

Now they were both coated in mud up to the chest. Draco had somehow managed to scrape most of it off and didn't have any on his hair or face, other than a small blob on his cheek. Harry had it in his hair, face, and just about everywhere else.

He just, really, really wished Draco would shut the hell up.

“What kind of absolute idiot can't identify dittany?” Draco muttered.

His wand clutched so tightly into his fist he could feel every groove and notch in the wood. “Why can't we just cast scourgify?” Harry groaned, ducking under a branch Draco let go, nearly smacking him in the face. Draco was watching the ground for signs of the tiny herb but he had to have done it on purpose, Harry just knew it.

Draco shot a look back at Harry what reminded him of Snape, “I have explained, Potter, dittany only grows in soil that contains mercury and propagates moondew flowers, do you really want to know what happens when you introduce magic to that combination?”

“Ok, ok,” Harry conceded trying not to think about the places mud was now making its home.

“Are you certain?” Draco said mockingly, “Because it involves your skin turning yellow and slowly melting off. Sounds like a right jolly Gryffindor thing to do.”

Harry took another deep breath and slowly let it out, “I understand, Draco.”

“I sincerely doubt that,” Draco said.

“Just shut up!” Harry snapped, “I swear, I get it!”

Draco stopped in his track and spun around, his expression furious.

Harry went on, “I'm sorry about everything that's happened but you're not the only one that's uncomfortable or unhappy about all this!” He threw up his hands, “I swear sometimes I think you only care about yourself!”

Draco stalked over to him, stabbing his finger into Harry's chest, “You egotistical, fucking arsehole, I can't believe-” he stopped and shook his head, “I fucking hate you.”

Harry smacked Draco's hand away, “Yeah, well, I hate you too!! Fucking wanker.”

Draco jerked back like Harry had hit him, his eyes widening, “You-” his words choked and died in his throat, “-You what?” He blinked rapidly, his head turning away to try and hide the tear that had slipped down his cheek.

Harry stared in shock, then caught Draco's chin, tugging it back round to face him. He brushed the tear from Draco's face before he had even realized what he was doing.

“You're covered in mud,” Draco sniffed, looking down at the ground, another tear blinking free.

“Sorry,” Harry said softly, wiping the other tear away, smearing the mud on Draco's cheek, “I don't hate you.”

“Like I care,” Draco muttered.

Harry sighed and smiled ruefully, “Alright.”

“I don't,” he insisted with a faint pout, finally bringing his eyes up to meet Harry's, a faint pink flush colouring the tops of his cheekbones.

Harry leaned forward, chancing a brief kiss, tensing in anticipation for the worst.

“This is awful,” Draco groused, “We're disgusting.” he sniffed again and blinked his tears back.

“Can I try again when we're cleaned up?” Harry asked.

Draco glanced away and shrugged, his cheeks flushing further.

Harry smiled, “How about dinner then?”

Draco pulled away suddenly, his eyes fixed at where he had glanced away. He stalked through the trees to a small clearing surrounded by scrub and strange pale flowers. “Here it is.” Draco gestured.

Harry followed. The clearing was full of tiny dittany plants. It was a king's fortune, especially at the obscenely high prices the growers were charging for them, and the final evidence they needed to convict the group they had arrested a few days ago. Harry activated his tracking medallion and sent his patronus back to tell them he had found it. Soon the collections team would be apparating on Harry's location.

Draco shifted his weight, his arm brushing Harry's. He cleared his throat nervously, “Dinner would be nice.”

“Yeah?” Harry looked up with a hopeful smile.

Draco smiled faintly back, “Yeah.”

Chapter Text

Draco heard the squeal of delight and bare feet running full tilt down the stairs. He stopped around the corner, his arms shooting out and scooping up a soggy toddler, her hair still bubbly with soap.

“Papa!!” Lilly yelled with a mixture of delight and the wiggly determination of one whose escape had been thwarted.

Harry was at the head of the stairs as Draco started up them, his exasperated husband nearly as wet and soapy as their daughter who was actually meant to be having a bath, “You caught her!”

“Yes,” Draco said, raising an eyebrow, “forgot to spell the door locked again?”

Harry ran a hand through his hair, “No, I did,” he sighed and gestured down the hall where the bathroom door was leaning against the opposite wall, apparently blown off the hinges.

Draco's brows rose.

“Her wild magic is, something,” Harry sighed.

“Indeed,” Draco said faintly, “She's going to be a powerful witch.”

Harry nodded as they made their way back to the bathroom. Harry fixed the door and Draco did his best to negotiate with their soapy daughter who had decided about two months ago she hated baths, or just loved escaping them and pelting through the house naked. They put her back in the bath together and Harry gratefully stood back, letting Draco rinse the soap from Lilly's hair and carefully work in a bit of conditioner.

“Where are the boys?” Harry asked.

Draco had to pause before answering as Lilly smacked the water and splashed it all over him, “James is reading to Albus and Scorpius in the living room. They were behaving themselves last time I checked.” Draco rinsed Lilly's wild curling red hair one last time and lifted her out of the tub, wrapping her in a fluffy towel.

“Well, that won't last,” Harry chuckled, he grabbed the edge of Lilly's towel and carefully wiped the water from Draco's face, “I'll go check on them. You can get her dressed for bed?”

“Of course I can,” Draco said absently, taking his wand out to cast a gentle warming and drying charm over their little troublemaker. He turned and called after Harry, “Don't think I didn't notice you foisting her off on me. It was your turn, Potter!”

He heard Harry laugh and shook his head. Draco didn't mind, not really, and Lilly actually listened to him, well listened to him more.

Draco wrapped the towel around Lilly and picked her up, carrying her to the room she currently shared with Albus and Scorpius. The room was too small for three but Lilly got too scared to sleep alone and Albus and Scorpius were inseparable. Jame was intensely independent and would have been furious if they had even tried to move Lilly in with him.

As soon as Draco sat Lilly down in her room she ran to her dresser and pulled out her welsh green dragon onesie. Draco helped her put it on, doing up the buttons while she growled and made fire noises, bouncing impatiently on the balls of her feet. As soon as the last button was done Lilly took off, running out of the room and down the stairs with a dragon roar.

Draco followed behind her to the living room where all the furniture, from the chairs and couch, to the tables and even the vases and knickknacks, were all tipped over, “What in the name of Merlin happened?”

James, Albus, and Scorpius were lined up and looking guilty.

Harry stood in front of them, his arms crossed over his chest, “I have no idea-”



“We just-!”

Harry cut them off with a look, “I don't care how it happened or who did it or whose idea it was but you're going to fix it, now, by hand.”

James glowered beneath his black hair. Albus and Scorpius both went over to the nearest chair, carefully tipping it back over.

“James,” Harry said in a warning tone.

James huffed and went over to help his brothers.

Lilly ran full tilt around the edge of the room making whooshing noises and threw herself into the chair as soon as the boys had it right side up.

Draco walked over to Harry who leaned against him tiredly, “I thought we weren't going to let Lilly wear that to bed anymore. She gets too wound up.”

Draco slipped a hand around his waist, “Is that right? I may have forgotten on account of it not being my turn to get her ready for bed.”

Harry snorted a tired laugh, “You're impossible, Malfoy.”

“Thank you,” Draco smiled smugly and leaned over, kissing the top of Harry's messy mop of hair. “We should probably flip the couch ourselves. Just to be safe.”

“You're right.” Harry sighed pulling out his wand, he paused before levitating it and stole a quick kiss.

Draco looked around the living room, his kids arguing over how to flip the coffee table back over, while their youngest jumped from the chair to the floor with a roar, Harry turning over the couch and putting it down with a loud clatter, and smiled.

Chapter Text

“So...” Harry rubbed his eyes tiredly, “we finally caught the poachers. I have portkey for tomorrow. I'll twenty your time.”

On the other side of the floo fire, Ron was holding a squirming Hugo while Rose sat patiently in Hermione's lap, smiling shyly at Harry whenever he glanced her way.

“We should have a welcome back party,” Ron said.

Hermione gave him a look.

Ron went on instantly, “He's been off in China for nearly three months! It doesn't have to be long, just a chance for everyone see him.”

“I don't know...” Harry said tiredly, he glanced to the side when someone tapped his shoulder, “I've got to go, other people need the international floo. See you tomorrow? Tell Draco for me, I couldn't get a hold of him earlier.”

Ron rolled his eyes.

“Of course we will,” Hermione assured him.

Harry ducked out the fire and fought down a yawn. Nearly three months tracking down dragon poachers all across Europe and Asia. They had only caught the poachers because they got sloppy killing a Chinese Fireball. Harry didn't envy them, the Chinese wizarding community was very protective of their dragons and was pushing for the death sentence.

Harry shook his head, rubbed his temples and went back to his cot to sleep until his portkey departure.

Harry stumbled when he landed in the Ministry's portkey arrivals. He was ushered off the platform and into Hermione and Ron's tight embrace while his head and stomach were still reeling. One person was noticeably missing, however.

“Where's Draco?” Harry glanced around, “You did tell him, right?”

“Well,” Hermione said, “Ron's idea got me thinking-”

“You guys.” Harry groaned.

“It'll be a surprise!” Hermione insisted.

“I don't want surprises, I just want to see Draco.” Harry sighed.

He let them drag him along to a small bar that had been rented out for the night just for them. He smiled and laughed, greeting all his friends and family that had come out to see him and use his homecoming as an excuse to get absolutely pissed. He looked up every time the door opened, his heart squeezing in his chest so tight he felt like he might die.

He finally stood from the table, tapping Hermione on the shoulder, “This has been great but I'm going home. I need to see-”

A wave of silence washed through the bar behind him and Harry heard a familiar voice that made his eyes ache.

“Just one drink. I don't know why I let you convince me to come out, Pans. I'm really not in the mood-”

Harry turned around, the crowd pulling back as Draco and Pansy stepped inside. Draco looked too thin and his eyes were shadowed, but he was still the most beautiful thing Harry had ever seen.


Draco's grey eyes snapped up and widened, “Harry?” He whispered, stumbling forward.

Harry's cheeks felt like they might break from smiling as he ran to Draco wrapping his arms around his waist and lifting him briefly in a surge of adrenaline and happiness. Draco hugged Harry's neck, burying his face in the crook of his neck.

“God, I've missed you,” Harry's voice cracked.

Draco cradled Harry's face in his hands and kissed him breathless. They were both shaking.

“You're too thin,” Draco scolded, his eyes roving over Harry as if trying to sear every inch of him into his memory, “have you been sleeping?”

“I could say the same thing about you,” Harry said faintly.

“I couldn't stand it,” Draco said, pressing his forehead to Harry's, “Don't ever leave me again.”

“I don't wa-”

“I mean it,” Draco interrupted fiercely, “Stay with me forever, Harry. Marry me.”

“Draco,” Harry breathed in shock.

Draco's hands slid into Harry's hair tangling in the curls, “Say yes,” he begged.

Harry swallowed hard, his voice coming out a wobbly mess on the verge of tears, “Yes.”

The whole building shivered with the force of the cheering, both Harry and Draco startling at the realization they weren't alone. A round of drinks was ordered, congratulations were shouted but Harry didn’t care.

Harry tightened his grip on Draco waist, “Let's go home.”

Chapter Text

“What is this, Potter?” Draco asked, looking around the circular ring of seats in the round room.

Harry took Draco's hand, leading him to his favorite spot, “You'll see.”

It was the middle of the week and they were the only ones in the planetarium. Harry kept hold of Draco's hand as a gentle woman's voice announced that the presentation was about to begin.

“What-?” Draco looked around.

“Muggle stuff,” Harry said, “sit back, it's starting.” He pointed up at the ceiling as the room grew dark.

Above them, pinpricks of light began to appear slowly as they would at night, growing brighter and more numerous as true dark fell until every star shining brilliantly, the long sweeping arc of the milky way crossing the sky above them like a river.

Harry glanced over and saw Draco's mouth parted in an 'oh' of amazement as the sky slowly spun like the earth's axis. The woman was quietly narrating about stars and planets with a brief history of astrology.

Draco squeezed Harry's hand, “There's draco!”

Harry looked back up as Draco excitedly pointed out the serpentine line of stars that made up the draco constellation and squeezed back in acknowledgment.

Harry own eyes scanned across the sky until he spotted canis major and he pointed out the brightest star, like a diamond in the dog's collar, “There's sirius and...” he picked out the leo and the star right at the heart of the lion, “regulus.” both the brightest stars in their constellations and some of the brightest stars in the sky, sirius chief among them.

Draco's shoulder pressed tight to Harry's and they shared a smile. They watched the rest of the presentation in silence, never letting go of each others hands.

Draco blinked rapidly as the lights came back up.

“Did you like it?” Harry asked nervously.

“I did,” Draco said, his eyes still shining with excitement.

Harry let out a relieved breath.

Draco raised an eyebrow, “Were you really that worried, Potter?”

Harry nodded, “I've never shared this with anyone else but-” he ducked his head in embarrassment, “-I wanted to share it with you.”

“You're impossible,” Draco said, the tops of his cheeks flushing pink. He squeezed Harry's hand, “Thank you for showing me.”

Chapter Text

Harry was sitting behind him when he first noticed. It wasn't hard. Noticing Draco Malfoy was an old and easy habit to fall back into and once he started again it was almost impossible to resist.

The was a History of Magic lesson and Binns was as boring as always. Two rows up and one desk over Harry saw Draco push the sleeve of his shirt up until just the edge of the dark mark was visible, a strange shock of black on that porcelain pale skin. His thumb bent, as he dragged his nail over the black ink over and over again. By the end of the lesson, the skin was red and inflamed.

After he had seen it the first time, Harry seemed to spot Draco doing it all the time. He would stare down at his own hands tucked under the desk, his brow furrowed and he worried his skin and the inside of his cheek. Most of the time Draco seemed fine. He talked with his friends, studied in the library and was snide and sarcastic as always but that nail over skin, it worried Harry in the depths of his gut.

When the weekend came. Harry went to muggle London. He put his purchases in his bag and on monday Harry came in late for History of Magic just to take the empty seat next to the pale young man. He ignored the glances of alarm from Draco and pulled out his book and parchment though he knew he wouldn't be paying attention. In the bottom of his bag, he took out a bundle of pens, sharpie pens in every colour of the rainbow. Pulling the rubber band off, the pens rolled across his book and all across their shared desk.

Draco's left arm was between them. Harry wrapped his hand around Draco's narrow wrist and pulled his arm under the table. He held on loosely but firmly, ignoring the way Draco tried to pull free. He ignored his hissed questions and growing alarm as Harry pushed his robe back and then carefully unbuttoned his sleeve to push his shirt back.

When he glanced up Draco was pale, staring at his forearm with heartbreaking revulsion. Harry picked up the green sharpie, pulling the cap off with his teeth so he could keep hold of Draco's arm. He drew a long green stem right across the center of the black tattoo.

Unlike wizarding magic, that couldn't seem to effect the dark mark, simple muggle permanent ink covered it easily. He capped the green pen and picked up the white paint pen and carefully drew a narcissus flower right over the skull. He had practiced it for hours on sunday to make sure he could get it right. Harry blew gently on Draco's arm to dry the ink faster and felt him shiver. The yellow sharpie finished the pretty little flower.

He heard Draco's intake of breath when he realized what Harry had drawn and looked up with a smile. He let go of Draco's wrist, scooping up a handful of pens in all sorts of colours. He fanned them and held them out hopefully. Draco paused from running his fingers across the bold ink and stared at the pens as if hypnotized. Slowly, as if they might bite, he reached out and took the light blue sharpie. He uncapped it and drew bluebells. Harry took the purple pen and drew violets.

By the time class ended Harry and Draco were pressed shoulder to shoulder and Draco's arm was covered in flowers instead of scratches.

Chapter Text

Draco ran his finger along the rim of his empty glass absently. The edges of his vision swam as he looked up at the bartender who raised a single perfectly groomed eyebrow at him.

“Another?” she asked.

Draco closed his eyes briefly, squeezing them until they ached, “Bring me... whatever's next on the menu.”

“Yeah, alright,” she smirked, taking his empty glass, “What did you think about the French 75 then?”

“Nice, lovely,” Draco said absently, not entirely sure he could remember precisely what the last drink had tasted like.

“One Dark n' Stormy, comin’ up,” she said brightly.

Draco sighed he fished a few more muggle notes from his pocket and shoved it on the other side of the bar. She had been very friendly all night not that he was surprised. There weren't many people in the bar on a tuesday evening, much less a sad drunk wizard who was likely overpaying a great deal because he honestly couldn't be arsed to check the numbers on his flimsy paper money.

He ignored her attempts at conversation when she returned and took the tall glass of what tasted like rum and ginger beer. Draco was prepared to stumble through something approximating a conversation when someone sat beside him, ordering a rum and coke and sending her off.

Draco blinked, his brow furrowing, the voice beside him had sounded familiar. Draco turned slowly so his head wouldn't fall off and found the other bloke watching him curiously. The other bloke that looked remarkably, disturbingly, identical to Harry Potter.

Potter tried on a hesitant smile, “What's a pretty thing like you doing in a place like this?”

Draco stared at him.

“One rum and coke,” the bartender said, flipping a paper coaster in front of Potter followed by the drink.

“Is he real?” Draco asked very carefully, pointing at Potter.

The bartender shook her head, “You're cut off.”

“Fine,” Draco said impatiently, “but you didn't answer the- my question.”

She raised an eyebrow, “He's real, sweetheart. Wave if you need anything else.” She shook her head and headed towards the other end of the bar leaving Draco alone with Potter.

“Great,” Draco mumbled turning back to his drink, his last drink, “as if the day couldn't get worse.”

“What happened?” Potter asked and immediately hesitated, “You don't have to say if you don't want to.”

“Nothing,” Draco stared at one of the tiny bubbles clinging to the inside of his glass, very slowly inching its way to the top. “It wasn't serious,” He said abruptly, “He said from the start it wasn't going to be,” Draco frowned at the glass, the tightness in his chest returning in full force, “I'm the idiot who thought maybe...”

“Maybe?” Potter said softly, leaning closer so Draco could feel the heat from his shoulder.

“That... that maybe we could work it out this time. ...So stupid,” Draco leaned on the bar, pressing his face in his hands, “Blaise is always casual, always- every relationship he's ever had's been that way- been casual.”

Potter made a soft little comforting hum, shifting that slightest bit closer so his shoulder pressed against Draco's.

Draco frowned at himself and narrowed his eyes, “Why am I telling you this?” he looked over at Potter who was trying to look innocent but Draco didn't buy it for a second, “Telling sob stories to bloody fucking Potter, stupid isn't real Potter.”

“I'm real!” Potter said with affronted amusement, “The bartender did say, you prat.”

“Am I supposed to believe her? She just- just wants my silly paper money,” Draco said

Potter tried on that smile again, his bloody ridiculous green eyes shining with amusement, “She cut you off, remember?”

Draco did remember, vaguely. He frowned, “What do you want anyway, Potter. With me.”

Potter ruffled his hand through his hair, “Mostly... I mean the bartender's been chatting you up all night and-”

“And what?” Draco could help the grin creeping on his face, “I don't go for muggles or people of the feminine persuasion for that matter. Wait-” he blinked and leaned closer to Potter, “You weren't jealous? You?” He tried to tap Potter's chest and missed.

Potter caught his hand, “For someone so completely pissed it's annoying how bloody articulate you are.”

Draco sighed leaning heavily on the bar to make the swaying stop but it only slowed.

“You know,” Potter said carefully, “don't do casual relationships.”

“Good for you,” Draco muttered pulling his hand free.

Potter sighed, “I probably shouldn't be trying this when you won't even remember it in the morning.”

There was a loud clap behind them and the bartender called out to the bar, “Last call and then you lot have to pour yourselves out onto the street!!”

“Are you going to finish your drink?”Potter asked, nodding to Draco's mostly full glass. His own glass was only half empty.

Draco shook his head slightly, “I dislike rum and ginger beer... a great deal.”

Potter slipped off his stool, ducking his head so he could whisper in Draco's ear, “Can I side-along you home?”

Draco narrowed his eyes at Potter, “You?”

“You're too drunk to apparate safely, it's the least I can do,” Potter insisted.

“Such a hero,” Draco sneered half halfheartedly.

“Yeah,” Potter smirked, “So can I?”

Draco studied Potter, his curling black hair, green eyes and easy smile, and a feeling of exhaustion washing over him. “I don't want to go home,” Draco said quietly, his voice cracking faintly.

“Should I take you home with me then?” Potter asked with a teasing little smile.

Draco felt inexplicably relieved at the idea and suddenly shy as he became more aware of that fact that, one, Potter was real, and two, the real Potter, who was his crush through most of school, was flirting with him, sort of- rather poorly- and, three, had offered to take him home.

“I-” Draco hesitated, feeling a flush spread across his cheeks.

“Ten minutes! Pay your tabs and start clearing out you lot!” The bartender cried. She looked over at Draco and winked, “You got some place to go, gorgeous?”

Draco felt his face grow hotter and he reached out to Potter, his hand catching hold of his waist, “I do, actually.”

Potter smiled, “Yeah?”

“Yes,” Draco sighed wondering how much he would come to regret this in the morning.

“Brilliant,” Potter slipped a hand around Draco's waist, pressing into the small of his back, “Let's get out of here then.”

Draco let Potter lead him out of the bar and around the corner into a dark alley, but stopped him before apparating, “Sorry, just my phone,” he patted his pockets until he pulled out the slim little device.

Potter's brow furrowed, “How'd you get here with one of those? Did you come in a cab?” he reached out for the phone and Draco let him take it. Potter clicked the phone on and played with it with an ease Draco envied. Pansy had got it for him and he was still only comfortable with calling. He could text but it was a chore and embarrassed him to no end, picking out the letters one at a time like a child.

Draco retrieved a bag from his coat only a little bigger than the phone, “It's lined with lead, blocks magic interference.”

“Where'd you get it?” Potter asked not looking up from the phone.

“Some muggle shop,” Draco said evasively, snatching the phone from Potter and closing it tightly in the bag.  “I'm going to puke when we land, I hope you know that,” Draco warned Potter with as much decorum as he could with such a statement.

Potter looked thoughtful, “I'll have to aim for the bathroom then.”

Before Draco had any time to retort Potter tightened his grip on him and they apparated away in a crack of twisting, pulling, worst idea ever made. Potter had good aim, though, and they landed in the middle of an unfamiliar bathroom where Draco just managed to make it to the toilet and relieve himself of his last two or three drinks. The rest of the night bled together as Potter steered him through drinking water and taking a shower, being given strange sleepwear and another glass of water and a small potion vial that Potter assured him would help in the morning and then he was in a bed that was soft and smelled divine and... he fell asleep.

Draco blinked awake to an unfamiliar ceiling. A warm arm tightened across his chest. Draco looked over expecting- he didn't know what he had been expecting- because his mind was totally and completely filled with the reality of Potter. His hair was sticking up everywhere in wild curls and tufts, his famous scar fully on display if Draco hadn't been certain who it was, as if he didn't know every detail of Potter's face, no matter how it looked.

The memories of last night seeped back like treacle as Draco stared at Potter's sleep relaxed face. Some things were hazy, what he had had to drink, everything that had happened up to Potter but, Potter and his arrival were stamped so clearly on his mind's eye, Draco could have closed his eyes and been right back there, swaying and drunk and feeling sorry for himself. But he wasn't at the bar, he was in Potter's bed, with Potter clinging to him like a limpet.

Draco had no idea what to do. So he shook Potter's shoulder.

Potter pulled open one green eye with a glare, “Why are you awake?”

“Why are you asleep?” Draco retorted feeling much more certain of himself with someone to retort to. “Don't you have a job, Potter?” he added, feeling quite pleased with himself.

Potter closed his eye briefly with a frown and then groaned, levering himself onto one elbow and leaning over Draco to the bedside table to pick up a phone, similar to Draco's but slightly different.

“What are you doing?” Draco asked.

“Calling in sick,” Potter muttered, squinting at the screen as he quickly tapped out a text, “You have a message,” he nodded to the table.

Draco's phone had been removed from its little bag and the little green indicator light was blinking. He took the phone and nervously turned it on. Only Blaise and Pansy had his number. It was a text from Blaise, all it said was, liar. Draco squinted in confusion. Right above was a text Draco didn't remember sending that said, i'm not going home alone tonight.

Potter dropped his phone on the side of the bed and leaned over to read Draco's screen.

“Rude,” Draco grumbled.

Harry frowned at the phone, “What a tosser.”

“Did you send this text?” Draco asked suspiciously, pushing himself up onto one elbow.

“Well it's true,” Potter said, “and he is a tosser.”

“He's my friend,” Draco said weakly.

Potter snatched Draco's phone.

“Hey! What are you-!”

Potter pulled him back down on the pillows, pressing his head right next to Draco's as he lifted the phone, “Smile.”

Potter pulled the phone back to his face and smiled with satisfaction.

Draco reached for the phone as he realized what Potter had done, “Don't-”

“Too late,” Potter singsonged and turned the screen to show that the picture had already been sent.

“You idiot,” Draco groaned, burying his head in the pillow, “He'll go straight to the papers.”

Potter relaxed next to him, shrugging absently as he tossed Draco's phone next to his own.

“Don't you care?” Draco said, pulling his head up.

“Yes,” Potter said after a pause, “If he goes to The Prophet then the whole wizarding world will know you're mine.”

“What?” Draco said faintly.

Potter shifted his head on the pillow, “Sorry, I'm getting a little ahead of myself. Will you go out with me?”

“What?” Draco repeated feeling lightheaded.

“I promise I don't do casual,” Potter said earnestly, his eyes searching Draco's, so very large and vivid without his glasses.

“Since when do you like blokes?” Draco asked, scrambling to make sense of this impossible madness.

“I like both, for a while now,” Potter responded calmly.

“And I- I'm-”

“Ridiculously fit,” Potter said.

Draco swallowed, “We've never got along.”

“It's been years, people change.”

“Then-” Draco clutched at straws, “then you don't even know me.”

Potter smiled, “We can get to know one another.”

“I- Potter...” Draco said helplessly.

“Go out with me?” Potter asked again.

Draco wondered if it were possible to choke on disbelief. He wanted very much to pull the pillow out from under Potter's head and smack him until he made sense, “I don't believe you.”

Potter groaned, “You're impossible.” He reached over, sliding his fingers across Draco's cheek and around to cup the back of his neck as he leaned forward and kissed him. “Now do you believe me?” he asked as he pulled away.

“No,” Draco said his head still reeling.

Potter kissed him again and again, “Now?”

“No,” Draco repeated feeling a faint smile tugging on the corner of his mouth.

Potter licked his lips, eyes narrowing, “Fucker.” He sat up, pushing Draco onto his back and straddling his waist, “How about now?” he asked, rocking his hips.

Draco groaned, “Getting a little ahead of yourself aren't you?”

Potter laughed breathlessly, slipping his hands under Draco's thin borrowed teeshirt, “Want me to stop?”

“No,” Draco said quickly.

Potter grinned wickedly, “Go out with me then?”

“Alright, yes,” Draco said, “if I must.” He grabbed Potter's wrists and pulled him down into another kiss.

Beside them, their phones blinked with waiting messages and were completely ignored.

Chapter Text

He's sitting at the table, longer, thinner and darker than it ever was in real life and the banquet hall is crawling with shadows that whisper like ghosts. On all sides, there are ghosts come real once more, his aunt Bella, Greyback, the Carrows. He's at the head of the table, and Father is at his side, looking proud and pale with a fear that would only grow over the weeks.

Mother isn't there. Muted screams seem to seep through the stone walls. There is conversation but it is strangely garbled and warped and when he tries to focus on it, it changes, becomes lower, slipping together into a single sound. Scales sliding along stone.

Draco tries to stand, tries to run. His hands are stuck to the arms of the chair like he's shackled. As he thinks it, he feels cold metal tighten on his wrists, pressing his arms more firmly to the old polished wood. Nagini is getting closer. He can hear her under the table. He looks down and only sees blackness. He looks up and everyone at the table is looking at him in silence. They are all smiling. Except for his father. Father looks and turns away and Draco wants to scream at him to look, to see what he has wrought. And he feels cold scales against his legs. Looks down at a pair of fangs, a red mouth bigger than his head, lunging-

Draco startled awake, sweat soaking his back. 

He controlled his breathing out of habit, not wanting to wake Harry, and carefully slipped from the sheets. His feet pressed on the cold wood floor in a mixture of shock and relief. He made his way to the bathroom in the dark, closing the door behind him before he dared to turn on the light.

He regretted the decision almost immediately when he saw his own reflection looking back at him, pale, eyes shadowed and looking as drawn as he had been at seventeen. Draco turned away from the mirror and slid down the wall, letting his feet press against the cold porcelain base of the toilet. He took a deep breath and let the cold sink into him, absorbing the silence and the bright artificial light until he could let go.

Tears ran down his cheeks as shivers wracked through his body in waves. Draco wrapped his arms around himself, catching a glimpse of black staining the skin of his inner arm. As he pressed his thumb over the offending mark the dream came back in full force- the slithering, the darkness- and Draco shuddered, biting his lip until he could taste blood and staring up into the light until the dream passes once more.

The bathroom door clicked faintly and Draco didn't bother to look over as Harry sat beside him on the floor, leaning against his arm.

“I was trying not to wake you,” Draco muttered bitterly.

“Hmm,” Harry hummed faintly, pulling Draco's arm into his lap, “I have trouble sleeping alone.”

Draco swallowed hard, whispering, “I know.”

Draco felt Harry's head drop against his shoulder, “Nightmare?”

“Yeah,” Draco said softly, his eyes drawn against their will to Harry's fingers rhythmically tracing over the lines of the dark mark like a prayer.

“Did you know, that this is my favorite part of you?” Harry said.

Draco felt his breath hitch in his chest. “Lies,” he said as lightheartedly as he could manage, “You've told me more than once you like my arse best.”

Harry laughed.

Draco turned his head into Harry's thick, curling back hair, smelling sweetly of Draco's shampoo. “Why?” He asked quietly.

“Because this is the part of yourself you hate the most,” Harry said, rubbing his thumb over the head of the snake, “and I want to love the least of you when you can't...” he sighed, “sorry, that probably doesn't make sense.”

Draco pressed his lips together, blinking back tears, “You're such a sap.”

“Yeah, probably,” Harry chuckled.

Draco took a deep breath, pressing a kiss the top of Harry's head. “...What do you hate most about yourself, Harry?” he asked quietly.

He could feel Harry flinch against him, his fingers stopped tracing the mark and slid up his forearm, over his palm and each of his fingers. Harry lifted Draco's hand, pressing the palm over his heart where Draco knew there was a curse scar the shape of a starburst where he had been hit by the killing curse for the second time.

“I see,” Draco said, pressing his hand flat to Harry's chest, feeling the slow rise and drop of his breathing, and below that, the steady beating of his heart, “then... I'll love it for you.”

Harry shivered and said fondly, “You sap.”

“Libel and slander,” Draco said absently, tracing the bottom of Harry's collarbone.

“Don't worry, I won't tell anyone. Your secret is safe with  me,” Harry flattened his hand over Draco's, “Come back to bed?”

Draco nodded, “Yeah.”

Chapter Text

Harry frowned. He was certain he had left it hanging over the end of his bed. He knelt down and looked under the bed just in case but there was nothing, not even dust bunnies thanks to the diligent house elves.

“Neville, have you seen my hoodie? The red one I was wearing yesterday?” Harry asked.

“He's down in the common room,” Neville said, not bothering to look up from his little windowsill garden.

Harry's brow furrowed in confusion, “What?”

“Malfoy's down in the common room,” Neville said absently. He glanced up at Harry's prolonged silence and shrugged, “Who else would take it?”

“Thanks,” Harry said hurriedly, heading out of the room and down the hallway to the common room.

Sure enough, there was a red-clad figure laying on one of the couches by the fire. He was slumped down so his neck was at an awkward angle he'd come to regret later, hood pulled up and hiding most of his ridiculous blond hair, sleeves pulled down over his fingers. He had a book balanced on his chest about three inches from his face. Harry rather suspected that Draco was in dire need of a pair of reading glasses but would rather die than admit it.

Harry walked over, stopping in front of the couch to demand, “Give it back.”

“No,” Draco said flatly turning a page and squinting at the tiny type.

Harry sighed and scrubbed his hand through his hair, “Come on, all the rest are being washed.”

“I know,” Draco said smugly.

“You're the worst, why are you like this?” Harry groaned.

Draco twitched an eyebrow up, “Have you met my father?”

Harry frowned and grabbed the bottom of the hoodie Draco was wearing.

“What are you doing!” Draco sputtered, his book falling on his chest as he grabbed Harry's wrists, pushing back down.

“Taking. my. hoodie. back,” Harry said through gritted teeth.

He pushed up harder and Draco pulled down. The book slid to the floor with a thump. Harry climbed onto the couch, a knee between Draco's legs. The hoodie along with Draco's shirt rode up his chest as they struggled. Draco raised his free foot and braced it on Harry's shoulder to shove him back and Harry furiously leaned against it. Until Draco's foot slipped and Harry tumbled onto Draco in a heap that left them both breathless.

“Fuck,” Draco groaned, “Are you made of lead, Potter?”

Harry tried not to laugh, he really did, but Draco's pouty frown pushed him over the edge and he started laughing so hard he had to hold onto the couch to keep from falling off.

Draco rather unsuccessfully fought down a smile, “Arsehole.”

Sitting at a small table nearby Ron groaned, “Merlin, they're doing it again.”

Hermione smiled fondly, her chin propped on her hand, “I think it's cute.”

“This is torture. I'm going to the library,” Ron said, shoving his parchment in his bag, “They don't even realize, how do they not realize?”

“I'll come with you,” Hermione smiled, twirling her wand and sending all her books and parchments neatly into her bag, “They'll figure it out eventually.”

“And then they'll be worse!” Ron grabbed his bag, “You know they will be!”

Hermione smiled and took Ron's arm, “You'll be fine, I promise.”

Chapter Text

“What the fuck?!” Potter threw up his hands and then promptly jammed them in his hair. He stopped his pacing and stared at the archway where a door had been about... -Draco idly cast a tempus- an hour ago. Apparently, Potter had been driven to distraction simply by the idea of sharing a space with him and was flirting with a level of mania that made Draco quite uncomfortable.

Draco laced his hands together in his lap, uncrossing his legs and recrossing them the other way. He was expecting Potter to start throwing spells again if he kept to the pattern he had established so far. Hopefully, he would cast something that would rebound and turn him into something quiet, like a rabbit.

Potter spun toward him though, “Why aren't you upset!” he snapped.

Draco raised an eyebrow, “It seems to me you're doing a good enough job for the both of us.”

“I just, can't-! I can't believe this!” Potter turned back to the blank wall.

Draco turned his gaze to the small table in front of the small fireplace in the small room that had once been his room, or perhaps Potter's, they both had their own trunks and a rather unfortunate mix of their belongings. The horrendous Chudley Cannon's poster Potter had hung on his wall had been neatly sliced down the middle in a quite satisfying way.

As he was staring at the table, tea service and a plate of sandwiches appeared. Draco stared and then surreptitiously pinched himself in case he had caught Potter's madness. The sandwiches remained and so Draco uncrossed his legs and sat forward. Under the teapot was a slip of parchment filled with tiny crabbed writing which Draco had the unfortunate luck to recognize as Granger's. He skimmed through the contents as he carefully poured himself a cup of tea and then, begrudgingly, poured Potter one as well.

“Potter, sit down,” Draco said, “Have a cup of tea.”

“I can't sit down! I don't know how you can sit down! We're trapped and no one-” he broke off and spun around, “A cup of tea?”

Draco nodded to the table and held out the note between two fingers, “Ms. Granger, along with half the school I would wager, are doing their best to free us from this terrible fate.”

Potter shot him a look and snatched the note out of his hand, dropping into the other small armchair beside Draco's and snatching up a cup of tea to sip on sulkily.

“I couldn't help but notice that Granger encouraged you to just tell me? Something?” Draco said, his lip curling, “I hope it's not communicable.”

Potter choked on his tea and started coughing wretchedly.

Draco rolled his eyes and cast Anapneo with a much put-upon sigh.

Potter sucked in a deep breath, “Thanks,” he said hoarsely, “and no, it's not- you can't catch it,” Potter frowned faintly looking upset.

Draco looked away. He didn't need any more reminders that Potter couldn't stand being trapped with him. Unpleasant tea turned into unpleasant lunch which Potter spent a great deal of fidgeting restlessly and once he had eaten, he went back to pacing. At the very least Draco could stare at his arse while he did it. Potter had a very nice arse.

“How long do you think it will take them, you suppose?” Potter asked.

Draco hadn't moved from his chair, “The castle's never eaten anyone before, so it's impossible to judge.”

“I guess we'll just be digested and shat out into Filch's office,” Potter said absently.

Draco suppressed the grin trying to twitch its way onto his face, “If the castle intended to kill us, it wouldn't have allowed them to send a tray.”

“Yeah, but that's just house elf magic,” Potter said and then brightened up, “House elves! If they can send in food maybe they could apparate us out!”

“If it were that simple, they would have done it already,” Draco sighed.

Potter spun on his heel to the stone patch where a window should have been looking panicked. Draco rolled his eyes and cast a tempus, showing that it was quite late.

“What are we going to do about the bed?” Potter asked, his voice cracking. He cleared his throat looking embarrassed.

Draco turned in his chair slightly, there was indeed only one bed, slightly wider than a normal bed, on top anyway. The comforter could have passed from a rather awful christmas quilt from a half blind senile aunt.

“We can take turns,” Draco suggested.

“No.” Potter quickly added, “I mean, you can take it.”

Draco raised an eyebrow, “You've been pacing all night, Potter. As soon as you let yourself relax you're going to pass out. You take the bed.”

Potter bit his bottom lip, his brow furrowing in frustration and started pacing again. “This is bloody stupid. We should just share. I know you don't like me-”

I?!” Draco cut him off in a surge of rage. He snapped his feet, “You are the one that has been desperate to get away from me since the start!”

Potter's eyes flashed, his hands tightening into fists at his sides, “That's not-! It's not-! Fuck!” he turned away and then back, “You don't understand.”

Explain it to me then, Potter,” Draco said acidly, crossing his arms over his chest.

Potter opened his mouth, jabbing a finger at Draco and then abruptly closed his mouth and-Draco could have sworn- flushed. He swallowed hard and said, “If you don't hate me then we can just share.”

Draco froze.

“You're a liar,” Potter said icily.

“That's not-” Draco scrambled for a half decent lie and blurted out, “I'm clingy.” He felt his cheeks start to get hot. It was the worst lie imaginable.

“Clingy.” Potter repeated flatly.

In for a knut, in for a galleon. He lifted his chin imperiously, “When I sleep. It's embarrassing. Now you know and we can just take turns-”

“I'm fine with it.” Potter said, lifting his own chin in imitation, “I don't mind, so as long as you don't have any problems with me-?”

Draco clenched his jaw and ground out, “No. That should be fine.”

They stared at each other in cold silence for far too long before Draco shoved past, getting his night clothes from his chest and take the small bathroom first to get ready. Potter glared at him as he came out but Draco just sniffed and went to the bed, burrowing under the blankets, on his side facing the wall. He closed his eyes and pretended to be asleep when Potter finally came out.

The bed creaking and tipping under his weight as Potter laid down. There was a stretch of silence that felt off, filled with unsaid words. Draco could feel the heat from Potter's back so close to his own.

“Draco?” Potter whispered faintly and it took everything in him not to shiver at the sound of his name.

Draco waited to see if Potter would say anything else but he didn't and eventually he fell asleep.

Someone was touching his hair. Fingers brushing through the fine strands as gently and carefully as if he were made of glass. Draco had always been a light sleeper but the war had made him even more so; a fact of which Potter was apparently unaware of. A fact that Draco had been unaware of was that he was, actually, clingy when he slept with someone. He had both arms wrapped around Potter's waist and his face pressed to his chest, all of which Potter didn't seem to mind. With all the touching Potter was doing, yesterday seemed to make a great deal more sense.

In for a knut, in for galleon, Draco thought with a smirk, sliding his hands down.

Potter gasped.

Draco smirk grew and he opened his eyes a crack to see Potter's expression as he squeezed his arse, one lovely buttock in each hand.

Potter twitched against him in shock.

“You have a fantastic arse,” Draco said, his voice still rough from sleep.

Potter was flushed, his hair mussed as if he had gotten up to something particularly indecent.

Draco sighed, “This is the part where you kiss me, you daft pillock.”

“Oh!” Potter said, “...Oh.”

“Come on then,” Draco prompted him impatiently.

Potter hesitantly leaned down, drawing Draco chin up with one hand and kissing him gently. Draco shivered despite himself and held Potter tighter.

The castle shuddered, stone grating harshly against stone until there were windows where they once were and a door which burst open almost immediately to admit Granger and Weasley.

Potter froze in absolute horror.

Weasley immediately turned right back around and walked out of the room.

“Oh!” Granger said looking faintly flushed and politely averting her eyes, “You told him, Harry?”

“Not quite,” Draco smirked, “It was a bit like day long game of charades but-” his smirk softened into a smile, “-I do believe I've gotten the point.”

Chapter Text

The kitchen looked alien and strange to Harry. Perhaps because it looked like it had never been used or perhaps because Harry had never seen it in daylight before.

He glanced nervously back at the bedroom door, which he had moments before eased closed behind him trying not to make to much noise and wake the blond still curled up in the bed. Harry opened one cabinet after another dismayed to find most of them empty. One held dishware and another had half a shelf of cereals and sweetened fruity quick oats that only required hot water, the rest held nothing.

Everything he needed to make coffee was all left out on the counter, even a single green mug with the Slytherin crest on the side. Harry hesitantly dumped a scoop of coffee grounds in and started the machine, it was strange looking like it was going to explode any second, as many wizard devices did. It hissed at him in what he hoped was a making coffee sort of way and not seconds away from a kitchen full of shrapnel and coffee grounds sort of way.

Harry’s fingers tapped a nervous staccato on the fancy white marble counter. He had never spent the night before, neither had Draco. They hadn’t really talked about it. There was a lot they didn’t talk about. If it weren’t for the fact they both worked at the Ministry and ran into one another quite often this ‘relationship’ of theirs would have never made it past the first drunken one night stand.

He pulled opened the chill box, a blast of cooling charms washing over him as he examined the contents. There were at least six different take out containers stacked to one side and Harry was certain some of them had to be going whiffy by now, even with cooling and preservation charms. There was also a load of fresh produce, carefully wrapped meats and a small basket of eggs.

On top of a bell pepper there was a note written in a curving elegant script. Harry unstuck it, a smile growing as he read it. The note was from Narcissa, along with all the fresh food apparently. She chided Draco for eating too much takeout and reminding him about their sunday brunch plans. He set the note on the counter and grabbed eggs, the bell pepper, onions, and mushrooms to make an omelette. Or omelettes he corrected himself, feeling a tremor of anxiety as he remembered where he was.

He found a knife that likely had never been used and charmed it to start chopping everything. He washed the frying pan just in case it too had never been used. The butter in the pan warmed and melted as the cook top heated at the tap of Harry’s wand. He smiled a little ruefully, it figured Draco would have the best in wizarding tech, even in a kitchen he probably never used.

Harry didn’t really think as he cooked. His mind wandered to Ron and Hermione’s recent marriage, as it often did these days. They were so happy in their new home, with their new life. Meanwhile, to most of the world, Harry appeared to have been single for almost a year now after many years of rocky broken relationships. His friends knew he was seeing someone, they also knew it was an uncertain casual relationship, though neither Harry or his friends had said as much or so directly.

Harry folded one omelette, sliding it onto a plate and putting a stasis charm over it before starting the next. He just… wanted more. His relationship with Draco was good, wonderful even, but it was missing so many things, like proper dates, morning afters, talks about the future. He didn’t need promises of forever or even marriage just- his eyes drifted to Narcissa’s note- just a promise for next week or even tomorrow.

Behind him, the door clicked open but there were no following footsteps. Harry looked over his shoulder. Draco was standing in the doorway his hair mussed, wearing a pair of sleep pants and loose shirt made of modal as soft as silk. He was frozen in place, his eyes wide with shock. Harry felt his stomach sink and turned back to the stove, plating the second omelette mechanically.

He felt numb. The question hovered on the tip of his tongue but he couldn’t bring himself to say it out loud; Do you want me to leave?

The floor creaked faintly.

Harry turned off the stove.


Harry's throat felt so dry it hurt but he managed a faint, “Yeah?”

Arms slid around his waist, pulling him back slightly as Draco pressed a soft kiss against the juncture of Harry’s neck and shoulder.

“You stayed,” Draco said softly, his voice sounding a little rough around the edges.

Harry shivered faintly, sliding his hands over Draco’s.

Draco pressed his chest to Harry’s back and Harry could feel his heart racing.

“That’s alright?” Harry asked leaning into Draco.

“I never thought… you would want to,” Draco said carefully.

Harry felt some of the tension leave him and a tentative hope take its place, “And if I wanted morning afters? And dates…” his voice dropped, “a future, together?”

Draco shivered.

Harry turned, first his head and then his whole body, taking Draco’s face in his hands. He wiped the first hint of a tear from the corner of Draco’s eye.

“Everything,” Draco said hoarsely, “you can have everything.”

Harry smiled and leaned forward, stealing a soft chaste kiss, “Just you. I just want you.”

Chapter Text

It was the smell. It was so rare to smell cigarettes in wizarding london and he had the strangest feeling of deja-vu that he had to follow it. He found Draco Malfoy leaning on a wrought iron fence staring out into space, a cigarette caught between two fingers. His brow was pinched in anger but as Harry watched it began to relax. Every breath of smoke he let out seemed to take tension with it and gentled his expression. Harry asked him out that day.

It would be months later that Harry realized the smell of cigarettes reminded him of Sirius. Harry had never seen him smoke but the smell had always clung faintly to him. It was strongest in his old room, in the clothes he had abandoned when he ran off to live with the Potters. It was Sirius’ smell but the longer he spent with Draco the more it became Draco’s smell.

Draco always did his best to vanish the smoke and launder his clothing but the scent lingered, especially in his jackets. Harry stole one, burying his face into the fabric to smell him when they had to be apart for too long. Harry asked him to move in that day.

Draco never really talked about how he had started smoking and Harry never really pushed. Everyone coped with the war in different ways and it was easy to see how they relaxed him. On weekends when it was just the two of them he smoked very little, one or two. On days when work was hard or nightmares had disturbed his sleep he might chain smoke two or three until the shaking in his hands eased. He said he could quit whenever he wanted and Harry believed him.

Harry insisted Draco see a healer every six months and a full body scan at that. The healer would always tut at Draco and lecture him about the health of his lungs in the way Harry sometimes wanted to. Then they would give him an inhaler with a potion in it. Once he breathed it in, his lungs would be back to new. Harry still worried though. He almost wanted Draco to see a healer every three months, every month even. The idea that Draco might one day get sick, that he might ever have to live without him was too much to bear. 

That day Harry asked Draco to marry him.

Chapter Text

“Look- Malfoy, get back here!”

“No,” Draco said coolly.

Harry stomped after Draco as he lifted his chin and walked into the great hall, intent on ignoring Harry.

Harry ran a few steps grabbing Draco’s arm and pulling him back, “Look, if you just asked Slughorn-”

“I will not,” Draco bit out and jerked his arm back, “Release me, Potter.”

Harry tightened his grip and took a half-step closer, “I know he’s not the- your first choice but he’d apprentice you if you-”

“If you asked,” Draco snarled.

Harry scrubbed his free hand through his hair in frustration, “That’s not-!”

“NOW KISS!!” Someone shouted.

A wave of silence flowed through the hall followed immediately by a ripple of laughter.

Harry quickly let go of Draco, stumbling backward, his face growing hot.

Draco’s mouth had fallen open in shock, his entire body gone stiff as an ironing board.

Ginny climbed up onto her bench, hands cupped around her mouth as she began chanting, “KISS! KISS! KISS!”

Amid the laughter, more and more people began to take up the cry, filling the room with an echoing ’KISS! KISS! KISS!’.

Harry had the inexplicable the need to reassure Draco of something, whatever would make him feel better. He had been trying for months to win Draco’s trust and now it all seemed to be falling apart. Yet, he couldn’t seem to string words together, all of them running into a jumbled mess of embarrassment that came out as ums, errs and I don'ts, It’s not-

Draco unfroze slowly, looking hurt at first but quickly growing furious. His hands clenched into fists and stormed right out the doors he had come through originally.

There was a collective groan as he left.

Harry was torn by indecision before finally deciding to go after Draco. He didn’t know what he was going to say but he couldn’t leave it as it was.

Harry never got the chance. As soon as he was in the hall, Draco grabbed his arm in one hand, the other pressed flat to his chest, pushing Harry back until his back hit the wall, pressing all the air out of him. The kiss that followed took the rest of his air, leaving him gasping, his mind reeling, Draco’s eyes searched Harry’s, pinning him to the wall more firmly than his hands ever could, before he turned and marched away.

Several seconds passed before he was able to think clearly again and then pushed off the wall to go after Draco. He didn’t know what he was going to say but there was no way he could leave it as it was.

Chapter Text

When Sirius Black was six, his parents were taking him somewhere and they had to pass through a muggle park. He saw children like him, playing and laughing, a little girl saw him, smiled bright as a sunflower blossoming and waved her whole arm in greeting. Sirius smiled back tentatively, raising his arm but almost as soon as it was up, his mother grabbed it and forced it back down. Her voice hissed angrily in his ear but all he could see was the little muggle girl looking a little sad and confused and turning away. He didn’t remember where they were going, he didn’t remember what his mother said, he remembered the other children, the waving girl and the throbbing in his wrist.

When he was eight, his father took him to a bookstore. Regulus was there and stuck close by his father side. Reg was quiet. His parents thought he was good and obedient. Sirius thought he was afraid.

Sirius wandered away, hardly paying attention to the thick leather-bound volumes filled with things he had no interest in. Just walked up and down the rows of bookshelves, dragging his fingers across the spines as he went. He turned a corner and nearly ran into another boy about his age. He had wild black hair and cheerful brown eyes behind a pair of glasses too big for his face and he appeared to have been doing the same thing Sirius had been.

Sirius gave him a careful nod.

The other boy grinned, “My name’s James, what’s yours?”

Sirius,” he said with a burst of excitement and a hopeful smile.

They immediately joined ranks, walking shoulder to shoulder down the aisles. Touching the books became pushing them to the back of the shelf so the spines were uneven like a choppy ocean wave. It became a contest and soon they were each going as fast as they could, sharing excited challenging glances as they tried to push in more books then the other.

When his father found him, he grabbed Sirius’ shoulder and pulling him away so quickly it sent a surge of fear down Sirius’ spine. His father’s voice was low. He never raised it, never yelled when he was angry like his mother did, it only got quieter and somehow far more terrifying. He lectured Sirius about propriety, about pride and upholding their family’s name and Sirius nodded to each one, his movements stiff with a fury he could not name. Until Jame’s father came and got him and simply chuckled, setting the books to right with the flick of his wand and telling his son to take it easy next time. Then Sirius knew exactly why he was angry.

Amidst his father’s reprimand, Sirius peeked behind him and briefly saw James and his father looking at him with a sad, worried expression. Sirius turned and waved to James as he left, not caring when his father turned him round again, his voice dropping to an even quieter hiss.

When Sirius was ten, his parents trussed him up in formal robes and took him to the Malfoy Manor. The Malfoys were having a party and being ten years old apparently meant he was old enough to attend. He was meant to make connections, to meet “important” people. His mother often spoke of his duty as the heir to the Black family name as if he didn’t understand. He did understand, perhaps, he often thought, better than she did.

He was given a glass of punch by a house elf and ushered into a corner of the ballroom where the other younger people were. Lucius was at the centre of it. He was a few years older than Sirius but younger than many there, yet they all deferred to him. Many of the other kids looked at Sirius suspiciously when he stepped into the circle.  He was introduced by Margery Parkinson and quite suddenly they all became far more welcoming in a calculating way. There was a strange tension, a feeling that somehow Sirius’ very existence would disrupt Lucius’ sway over the group.

He could almost hear his mother’s voice talking about the Malfoy’s and the Blacks, about ancestry and nobility, wealth and prestige. He was meant to sway power, he was meant to reign on equal footing with this pompous little blond arse or, even better, usurp him, for the Black family, for their legacy. The idea felt sour in his mouth, he managed a nod at the group and sipped from his punch which was hardly any sweeter.

He hardly said two words that evening, wandering off whenever the opportunity presented itself. Each time a house elf would fetch him back and he would be stuck at the party all over again. His mother’s cold looks changed to fury, changed to a lecture that promised stinging hexes across his backside when they got home and worse if he didn’t behave. He went back to the children’s group.

He listened to them talk about the Wizengamot and the Ministry, their voices dripping with disdain and the absolute certainty of their future power to change things however they pleased. Lucius talked about half-bloods and muggle-borns using words that made Sirius think of breeding dogs. Pure bloodlines. Culling the sullied. Eradicate mugglekind. Like they were vermin instead of people. It made him feel sick and furious. So he broke Lucius Malfoy’s nose, staining his silk dress robes with blood.

His mother pulled him away, apologizing stiffly the Malfoy’s, their cheeks coloured with anger and embarrassment. They wanted Sirius to apologize as well but for all they squeezed his arm until it would surely bruise, he gave them nothing but sullen silence. He would take his mother’s punishment. He wasn’t sorry for what he had done.

When Sirius was eleven, his name was called to be sorted. As he walked up to the stool, an old witch holding up the ragged old hat to put on his head, he paused before he sat, his eyes briefly resting on the green decked Slytherin table. There was Malfoy, Crabbe, Goyle, Nott and Parkinson, all the people he was meant to know, the house he was meant to be sorted to. The only desperate thought he had as the hat went over his ears was not there.

A voice, dusty and faint hummed with interest inside his mind. No. Slytherin would be a poor choice for you… and not Ravenclaw, too impatient. There is a great deal of potential in you… There was a long pause in which Sirius experienced the sudden hysterical realization of how absolutely furious his parents were going to be. He knew he didn’t want to be in Slytherin but somehow he had expected he had no choice. All Blacks ended up in Slytherin.

The hat shouted to the whole room, “Gryffindor!”

Sirius left the dais to stunned silence that graduated into whispers. His new house watched him warily like he was a snake wearing a lion pelt.

He didn’t recognize most of the other first years in Gryffindor, except for a familiar mop of black hair, attached to a familiar face and glasses still too big for his face. Sirius had often hoped to see James again, daydreamed serendipitous reunions followed by a fast growing friendship, unlike anything he had ever been allowed.

Can I sit here?” Sirius asked, pointing to the spot beside James.

Sure!” the other boy said brightly, his face furrowing as Sirius sat, “I know you from somewhere…”

At the bookstore? We pushed-”

-the books into the shelves! I nearly won.” James said with a bright smile, “My Mum laughed herself sick when Dad told her the story.”

One of the upper years shushed them and gestured to the front where Headmaster Dumbledore was taking the podium to give a speech. Sirius didn’t much care.

Neither did James who leaned close to whisper in his ear, “I’m rather glad you were sorted here.”

Sirius whispered back, “Me too.”

Chapter Text

Her name was Eleanor Wicksworth, she was sixteen- a sixth year naturally- a Ravenclaw, and she was in love. Harry knew all of this, and a great deal more, because she had told him repeatedly and at length. He had tried to turn her down nicely at first and then more and more firmly but she would always show up at his elbow the next day asking to eat or study or go on a date together.

So it wasn’t really a surprise, to him, when he eventually lost his temper.

“I’m never going to go out with you! Ever!” Harry shouted, unaware of the crowd coming up behind him.

Eleanor Wicksworth looked at him with wide, pretty doe eyes, “But how can you tell for sure? You won’t even talk to me. If you got to know me, you’d see we’re perfect for-”

“Because I like blokes!” Harry snapped and instantly regretted it, feeling his face get hot. He had imagined coming out before, it had never looked like this. “Just leave me alone!” he said darkly, shouldering her out of the way and stomping back to the Gryffindor dorms.

He sulked through lunch and by the time dinner rolled round, the whole school was talking about what had happened. His friends were supportive about him coming out. They weren’t supportive of him skipping dinner and dragged him down to the great hall with them.

It turned out to be no worse than any other point his life where he had become a spectacle, with everyone staring and whispering about him. Malfoy, on the other hand, looked positively delighted. He was no doubt plotting how best to mock Harry about this revelation. Harry ran through lists of things Malfoy could say as he mechanically ate his dinner. Something about disappointing his fans for sure, or taking the boy wonder off the market. He’d bring up Ginny for certain, that probably make Harry lose his temper. Then they would fight, wands if they were far enough apart but if Malfoy was close enough Harry would try to hit him.

He ate enough to keep Ron and Hermione from giving him their concernedexpression and excused himself. He took the long way back to the tower, hoping to avoid everyone. Harry stopped with a groan when he heard someone running after him. As he turned around, Malfoy rounded the corner, pushing his hair back, straightening his robes that had gone askew from running, though he was obviously pretending he hadn’t. Harry braced himself.

“So,” Malfoy stalked up to Harry with a smirk, “I heard you’re available.” For the briefest of moments, Harry saw an expression of dismay cross Malfoy’s face as if he would have done anything to take those words back.

Harry felt his face get hot. Of all the people he imagined asking him out, Malfoy was not one. That was what had just happened, hadn’t it?

“Did you just ask me out?” Harry asked tentatively.

Malfoy’s cheeks had taken on the faintest hue of pink as he swallowed hard, his throat bobbing, “Perhaps,” he said, his voice nearly cracking on the single word, and provoking a brief expression of embarrassment before he hid it away, looking calm and composed once more.

Harry was completely and utterly dumbfounded.

Malfoy’s brow twitched together, he frowned faintly, “Well?!” he demanded.

The flush on Malfoy’s face was deepening and Harry could feel his own cheeks burning hot. He felt like he was thirteen all over again.

Harry took a deep breath and looked at Malfoy, properly, from top to bottom. He was as tall as Harry, slim, there was something about him that made it seem as if he had been drawn from a single elegant pen stroke, even the pointiness from when he was younger had softened somewhat. He was quite handsome.

Harry said, “I won’t ask you to stop being an utter prat since I don’t think you’re capable-”

“Hey!” Malfoy said indignantly.

“-but, could you manage not to be cruel?” Harry finished.

Malfoy blinked, “Are you insinuating that you would-”

Harry nodded.

“And all I have to do is-”

“Not be cruel, especially to my friends,” Harry said.

Malfoy glanced away, biting his lip for just a second before he nodded. “Very well,” he still couldn’t look Harry in the eye, “This weekend, would you have dinner with me?”

“Yeah,” Harry said, …“What time?”

“I- I’ll have to see what sort of reservation I can get at short notice,” Malfoy said, “I’ll let you know once I do.”

“Reservations? Will I need dress robes?” Harry asked with a spike of anxiety, “We could just go to the Three Broomsticks-”

“I’m sure whatever you have will be fine. It’s not a problem.” Malfoy said, “It’s- Trust me.”

There was almost a pleading look on Malfoy’s face and Harry found himself relenting with a nod. He wasn’t sure he had ever been to the sort of restaurant that needed reservations.

Malfoy smiled and turned on his heel, hurrying back down the hall, stopping at the corner to call back, “This weekend! Don’t forget!”

Harry flushed again. He leant against the wall once Malfoy was truly gone, his heart pounding from nerves and excitement. He suddenly couldn’t wait for the weekend to come.