And he has the nerve to ask why I don't want him near that place. But then again, Harry supposes he has his own issues on spending horrendous amounts of galleons on things that could have been bought at lower, more reasonable prices.
The food items, he could handle. The cutlery and pots and pans and kitchenware, he could let slide (who was he to argue when it benefited him and his curious attachment to the kitchen). The furniture and drapes and little trinkets around the house… he closed his eyes and tutted and staggered and grudgingly accepted. But the shoes and the coats and the scarves and the clothes, oh good Godric, the clothes… he could never wrap his head around why he needed so many and why they had to be so expen—
"What the fuck is this?" Harry half-groaned, half-yelled— one hand on the banister, another clutching a dark green sweater with a price tag that suggested how the galleons, in his opinion, could have fed three small families.
"That's cashmere, in a shade of green that's particularly difficult to find," the amused and partially exasperated voice said, and the sound of it made Harry's aggravation melt just a little, "And you are defiling it with your clutching. Give it here."
He looked at the other bags, neatly placed in a row beside the fireplace, mind reeling just at the thought of how all the other purchases would be just as, if not more, expensive than the article of clothing he now held.
It's green, and yes, the color is easy on the eyes but he fails to see what sets this kind of green as different from all the other green things in their closet.
"Draco," Harry sighs, eyeing the offending price tag as he hands over the lumpy green thing reluctantly. "You have a massive pile of sweaters. Do you really need another one? Another expensive one?"
"I have long given up on trying to reason with you," Draco sighed, "And this isn't for me, you great big prat. It's yours."
Harry tried to keep a frown off his face. It's not like he didn't appreciate it when Draco bought him things, because he did. Appreciate it, that is. But he didn't need an expensive green sweater— not when he had a perfectly fine one upstairs. "Draco…"
"No, that thing that you call a sweater is not perfectly fine and yes, you need this," Draco said, eyebrow raised.
"There's nothing wrong with my sweater," Harry said, slightly indignant.
"Have you seen the state it's in? It would be a more acceptable lump of cheese than it would be as a sweater."
"Well, it's a lump of cheese that I'm particularly fond of," Harry said, "Besides, I'm sure Molly will—"
"Alright," Draco snapped.
Harry blinked, startled at the abrupt change of tone. "Er, Draco?"
"I've went ahead and got a head start at the gifts, if that's alright with you," Draco said, motioning to the row of bags that Harry had indeed seen.
"Of course it's alright. Draco—"
"I'll be in my study, then."
Harry sighed, and then reached up to rub his face. Draco was upset. Again. It hasn't slipped his notice that these episodes were becoming alarmingly common. He says something. Draco says something. One or both of them snaps. And it was disheartening that this was happening so near the holidays.
He eyed the sweater that Draco left on the couch, picked it up, and ran his fingers along the stitches before trying it on. It was soft, and it felt marvelously warm and comfortable on him. He thought of the faded yellow jumper that Molly had sent him last Christmas and couldn't help but feel a twinge of guilt. It was a bit tattered and worn-out and did next to nothing at keeping him warm and… and maybe Draco was right. He did need a new sweater if he wanted to get through the unbelievable coldness of this winter.
Harry trudged upstairs and into the study, still wearing the green sweater, and saw Draco standing in front of the large window, obviously lost in thought. The lamp next to him cast shadows across his face and Harry ached at the sadness and beauty of it all. He crossed the threshold and stood beside the blonde man.
"It's snowing," Harry murmured. He looked to the gray sky. It looked like the beginning of a storm.
Draco muttered in assent, pale gray eyes flickering to Harry once before turning his attention back to the snowy landscape.
"What's happening, Draco?" Harry asked, voice soft and slightly cracked.
"I don't know."
They were simple words. But Harry knew Draco well enough to hear the hidden plea. Fix it. Fix us. Please. And he wanted to fix it, of course he did. The only problem was that Harry was just as lost as Draco. He didn't know what to say to close this sudden gap between them. So he didn't say anything at all. Instead, he reached out and held Draco's hand, clutching it like it was a lifeline. And when Draco squeezed back, Harry breathed out. It wasn't much, but it was enough.
Harry pulled the hand closer and felt a warm glow when Draco leaned slightly on his arm.
"I do like the sweater. It's very warm," Harry said.
"It is, isn't it?" Draco muttered.
Harry lifted their entwined fingers and put a soft kiss on the back of Draco's hand. "Thank you."
There was a slight pause then Draco shrugged. "I saw you shivering last night in that beat-up old jumper. I know that you would've just waited for Molly's gift instead of replacing it yourself," Draco rolled his eyes, "But Christmas is weeks away, and that office of yours seems like it was built to wage war against warming charms. You would have frozen yourself while going through all that paperwork."
"I didn't notice."
"Of course you didn't. You hardly notice anything when it comes to your health," Draco said, a disapproving frown on his lips.
Harry smiled slightly, "Like you're any better."
Draco shrugged. "Yes, well, that's why I have you, isn't it?"
And in a sudden flash of comprehension, Harry understood. Yes, Draco had him and let Harry take care of him. But that wasn't what he was trying to get across.
You have me, too. Let me take care of you.
Harry nodded. "And I have you."
Draco turned and gave him a quick kiss— a simple brush of the lips, sighing as he went. "Yes, you do."
And when Harry looked at him, the earlier distress gone, all warm gray eyes and a small smile on his lips, he knew. They would be all right.