"Wait," Harry said, unsure he'd heard correctly. "Did you just say Malfoy? As in Draco Malfoy?"
"Yeah," Ron said. "Draco freakin' Malfoy. Can you believe that?"
"But what could Charlie possibly see in him? I mean, it's Malfoy."
"No idea." Ron shook his head. "I wouldn't suggest you go about asking him either, because I made that mistake, and then I had to listen to him describe Malfoy's arse for ten minutes."
"Malfoy's arse? Malfoy doesn't have a nice arse."
Ron grimaced. "I wouldn't know."
Harry laughed almost nervously, turning his mug round and round on the tabletop. "That's ridiculous. How could Malfoy have a nice arse? He's so… so…" Harry scrunched up his nose. "Malfoy."
Ron raised an eyebrow.
"I just don't see it, is all I'm saying."
"Yeah, well neither do I," Ron said. "Imagine - my own brother, dating Malfoy. The world's gone mad."
Harry took a drink of his beer and tried not to imagine it. The idea of the two of them together made something twinge in his chest. All he knew for sure was that they were wrong for each other. Just so fundamentally wrong, and Harry didn't know exactly why, but he could feel it.
"Charlie's way too good for Malfoy," he said finally.
"I told him that, too. Did he listen? Did he care? No, all he cares about is obsessing over Malfoy's arse."
Harry huffed. "So what do you mean they're dating?" he asked, the concept niggling at him. "Like, they go out to dinner and stuff?"
Ron shrugged. "I s'pose."
Harry huffed again. "That's stupid. And I suppose they… they spent loads of time together. Get lunch, go flying, that sort of thing?" That would be the type of stuff Harry would like to do if he were dating Malfoy… which he would never consider doing.
"I don't know about that," Ron said. "All I know is that tonight, Charlie is taking Malfoy to some poofter pub in Diagon Alley."
Harry raised his eyebrows. "What's it called?"
"How would I know? He said it was something like…" Ron wrinkled his brow. "Dragon's Cave? Dragon's Wing? Dragon ..."
"Dragon's Den," Harry said.
"Yeah, that's the one! You know it?"
Harry grabbed his beer. "No," he said, before taking a long drink.
"I don't know any of those gay bars. That's Charlie's thing. He loves blokes in leather and all that."
"Sounds pretty gay," Harry said a little too vehemently. He bit his lip as he stared into his half empty mug. "What does Malfoy want with Charlie anyways?"
"Hey, Charlie's a catch!"
"I'm not saying he isn't… a catch. I just mean, don't you think it's suspicious that Malfoy wants to date Charlie?"
"Suspicious, how?" Ron asked, frowning.
"Oh, there could be loads of reasons…"
"I don't know, Harry. The war's changed a lot of things." A sort of sadness crossed his face as he added, "And a lot of people. Maybe Malfoy is just one of them."
Harry bit his lip. "But why Charlie?"
"Are you saying Charlie could be …" Ron leaned forward and lowered his voice. "In danger?"
Harry leaned in as well. "I don't know," he said quietly. "This is Malfoy we're talking about. He's had ulterior motives before."
"When dating people?"
"No! When doing… things. When doing things." Harry nodded.
Ron gave Harry a skeptical look. "I don't know, Hary, it sounds more like he's finally admitted he's gay and now he's just dating blokes."
Harry scoffed, plopping back against the seat. "It can't be that simple." It was never that simple with Malfoy. And Harry was going to prove it.
So Malfoy went to gay pubs with Charlie, did he? Dressed in leather trousers, did he? Drank lots of posh drinks and had lots of flirty conversation and danced with lots of fit blokes, did he? Probably. Most likely. Harry could picture it vividly, how Malfoy must have grinded his hips against Charlie while wearing those trousers, leaning into Charlie a little too close for Harry's liking.
Somehow, Harry found himself down the hallway of International Magical Cooperation quite a bit the next day. It was after lunch, when he was on his fifth casual stroll through level five, when he turned a corner and bumped right into someone head-on.
"OW!" shouted a familiar, irritating voice. "Watch where you're going! You nearly knocked me over."
Harry rubbed his arm where they had collided and straightened his Auror robes, looking up to see Malfoy's face twisted in a scowl.
"Why don't you watch it, Malfoy? You're not the only one walking here, you know."
"Well, at least I belong here, unlike you," Malfoy snapped. "I've seen you down here five times today, Potter. Five." Malfoy narrowed his eyes. "What are you doing here?"
Harry straightened up. "Well, it's... I'm… " He realized he looked like a blubbering idiot, mouthing words that never came out. Malfoy's unimpressed look didn't help. "Official Auror business, Malfoy, so I don't have to explain it to you."
Malfoy rolled his eyes. "Right," he said in a slow drawl. "Yes, well, do watch where you're walking, will you? Try to avoid mauling anyone else today while conducting your important 'business'."
Malfoy stepped past Harry, bumping him in the shoulder as he went. Harry held back a growl as he watched Malfoy proceed down the hall. He should really just let him go. No point in needling Malfoy any further and asking for a fight. Harry should just turn around and march straight back up to Magical Law Enforcement.
Of course, that would have been the reasonable thing to do.
"Stayed up late last night?" Harry called out before he could stop himself.
Malfoy stopped walking, his shoulders stiff, before twirling around with a frown firmly in place. "What was that?"
Harry grinned. "I said, did you stay up late last night?"
Malfoy stomped back toward him until they were less than a foot apart. Harry's heart beat frantically against his chest, pumping with the thrill of getting one over on Malfoy.
"What are you talking about?" Malfoy asked.
"I heard you had an amazing time," Harry said, scrambling for something - anything - he could say to get a rise out of Malfoy. "You know," Harry lowered his voice. "At the Dragon's Den."
Malfoy flinched away as if Harry had struck him. "Yeah, so?" he breathed, his brow slowly creasing into a defensive frown.
Harry realized he had no answer. "So…" He licked his lips. "So I heard all about it. Sounds like you had a grand old time with Charlie."
"How did you -"
"Charlie and I are really close. He told me all about it," Harry lied.
Malfoy blanched. "You're close?" Malfoy gritted out, like saying those two words caused him physical pain.
"Always have been," Harry said casually.
"Right." Malfoy exhaled, then repeated, resolutely, "Right." With that, he turned around and swept down the hallway until he turned a corner and slipped out of sight.
He wasn't even two steps through the Burrow's front door when he was attacked by a big, burly body that pushed him into the sitting room in a whirlwind of red hair and frantic stumbling.
"What?" Harry demanded when he got his bearings, grasping the sofa arm behind him for support.
Charlie's angry face was inches from his own. He crowded Harry's space, as ferocious as the creatures he worked with.
"What did you say to Draco?"
"What are you talking about?" Harry asked.
"Earlier today!" Charlie crossed his arms over his wide chest. All that work in Romania did a bloke good, Harry thought, glancing over his biceps. His stomach plunged sickeningly at the image of Charlie with Malfoy, wrapping those strong arms possessively around Malfoy's slim waist. Harry realized he was scowling, and his fists were clenched so tightly his nails dug into his skin.
"What did you say to Draco while you were both at work today?" Charlie asked again, this time more forcefully.
"Yes, Malfoy. Draco Malfoy. Blond. Cute. Nice arse. What did you say to him?"
Harry pressed his lips together and exhaled through his nose. "I didn't say anything to him," he said, straightening up and squaring his shoulders.
Charlie scoffed. "Oh? That's not what I heard."
"From who, Draco? Well he's a twat, we all know that."
"No, Harry," Charlie said shaking his head. "I don't think he's a twat; in fact, I really like him."
Harry felt like he'd been punched in the gut. Actually, he suspected being punched in the gut wouldn't feel half as bad.
"I got an owl from him today," Charlie continued, "telling me he never wanted to speak to me again, because he thinks I - and I quote - can't keep my trap shut about certain private business."
"I don't know what you mean," Harry said, but Charlie shook his head. "I swear! All I said was that I hoped he had a good time at the bar last night."
Charlie's eyes widened, and he threw his head back and groaned. "Harrryyy."
"What? I was being … I was being nice!"
"He has issues about that! It's a big deal for him. He's finally able to admit to himself that he prefers blokes, and he's working really hard to get to a point where he can come out to his family and friends and be comfortable in his own skin. Don't you understand that, Harry?"
Harry felt something coil tightly in his chest, and he swallowed to try and loosen the knot forming there.
"No," Charlie said. "Of course you don't. You're straight, you have no idea what this is like."
Harry exhaled hard, unsure of what he could say. Words swirled in his head, but he couldn't seem to make them form sentences, and when he opened his mouth, nothing came out. He just stared at Charlie, pitifully.
"Luckily, I convinced him to give me another chance," Charlie said. "It was bloody hard, too. Draco's sensitive, so I only barely got him to agree to see me again."
Harry swallowed around the now fully-formed knot. "He did?" he said grittily.
"Yeah, he agreed to hear me out tonight at dinner. And I'm lucky to even get that. So please, just leave him alone, all right? I know you two have had your issues, from the past." Charlie waved his hand at those last words, as if the past was nothing but some annoying fly he was swatting away. "But this isn't then, Harry, the past is behind us. Okay?"
Harry stood there unable to say anything, unable to move or even to nod. He felt like his limbs - his whole body - were heavy as lead.
Charlie sighed and shook his head, and then walked out of the living room, leaving Harry feeling like the floor was crumbling underneath him.
Ron strolled in just then and appeared puzzled at spotting Harry there. "Hey, did I just see Charlie storm out of here?"
Harry needed to get out. The house felt suffocating. "I don't know," he said to Ron, walking past him.
"Where are you going?" Ron asked after him. "Dinner's almost ready. Didn't you just get here?"
"I have to go," Harry said as he pushed open the front door.
Harry Apparated into the alley and made sure no one saw him. Checking that all was clear, he stepped out onto the street and walked along the row of townhouses. When he reached the orange house that was so narrow it only had one front-facing window, Harry skipped up the stoop and knocked on the door.
A few moments later, he heard clicking and clacking as though from a dozen locks, and the door swung open. Luna stared at him brightly from inside.
"Oh, hello, Harry," she said with a smile. "I was wondering when you'd arrive."
"Huh?" She knew he was coming? Figuring it didn't matter, he asked instead, "Can I come in, please?"
"Of course," she said, stepping aside to let him past the threshold.
Harry breathed in a sigh of relief the moment he stepped into Luna's house. The smell of incense comforted and calmed him, and he walked the familiar path to her tiny purple living room. He spotted one of the fluffy beanbags and immediately flopped down into it, luxuriating in how it poufed up all around him.
"Ahhh," he sighed, feeling like he was in a big, protective cocoon, safe from the world. "Luna, I'm so… confused."
"I know," she said simply, a teapot and two cups floating behind her and following her into the lounge. The tea poured itself, and a steaming cup flew straight into Harry's hands.
Although it was hot, it never burned to hold, and Harry smiled as he inhaled the smooth scent of vanilla. "Why is your tea always so delicious?"
"Because the gizzers make it." Luna said from her own bean bag. Luna did not own a sofa.
Harry had no idea what gizzers were, nor did he particularly care. He sipped his tea and let it calm his nerves. "Was it the gizzers who told you I was coming to call, too?"
"No, that was the flobberworms. They have premonitions, you know."
"They also told me you were angry about something."
Harry sighed. "Well, I was, but coming here always makes me feel better."
Luna smiled. "What were you angry about?"
Harry looked into the murky depths of his teacup. "Nothing important. I'm fine now, let's just drink our tea."
"Harry…" In that moment, Luna sounded a bit too much like Hermione for his liking.
Harry scowled. "Oh, it's just Malfoy," he spat. "He's so infuriating. What, all the sudden he's gay now?" He rolled his eyes. "Whatever. He can be gay if he wants. But why does he have to go for Charlie?
"Do you fancy Charlie?" Luna asked softly "Is that it, Harry? Is that why you're angry?"
Harry laughed. "Don't be ridiculous," he said, finding the idea so bizarre it was amusing. "Charlie's like a brother to me, just like Ron is."
"Do you fancy Malfoy, then?"
Harry nearly dropped his tea. "What? I... Malfoy? Fancy him? How could you even ask me that?"
Luna sipped her tea, watching him silently with wide, blue eyes.
"Malfoy is an annoying, infuriating, horrible … prick. He's mean, and he's snappy, and he's horrible, Luna, just horrible. But you know this," he insisted. "You know how Malfoy is. How could you even suggest I like him? Just the idea alone is absurd!"
"So you fancy blokes, just not Malfoy?"
The minute the word left his lips, Harry was struck dumb by the sound of it. Had he just said that out loud? It was probably the first time ever.
"Well, either way," Luna said calmly, as if his whole sense of identity hadn't just been shattered, put back together backwards, and handed back to him in that one instant, "it sounds like you're jealous."
Harry inhaled deeply.
Was he jealous? Jealous of what Charlie and Malfoy had? Jealous that even Malfoy was out and on his way to happiness, when Harry himself wasn't?
"What do I do?" he said finally.
"I couldn't say, Harry. Only you know what you have to do," Luna replied, her eyes sparkling.
And he realized, he did.
"Right," he said, getting up from the bean bag - more like crawling out, because the ruddy thing was like a suction cup - and putting his cup on the floating tray. "Thanks for the tea, Luna."
"Where are you off to?" Luna asked.
Harry raised his eyebrows. "To go see them, of course."
Luna's brow furrowed. "Who?"
"Charlie and Draco," he said impatiently, wondering why she wasn't keeping up. "They are having dinner tonight, I just have to find out where."
"Er, Harry," Luna got up and followed him as he rushed to the door. "You just said you didn't fancy Malfoy. Or Charlie, for that matter."
"You said I would know what to do - and I do! I don't know why, but I just know I have to go see them."
Luna watched him from her doorway as he bounded down her front steps. "Oh, all right then." She waved. "Have a lovely time!"
If there was one thing Harry was brilliant at, it was tracking spells. He wasn't an Auror for nothing. No sooner had he Apparated to Diagon Alley than had his wand buzzed with the chase, leading him in the right direction of Charlie and Malfoy's date.
Harry silently fumed as he stomped down the pavement.
Date. Their perfect little make-up date. Well, he'd just have to go over there and…
He didn't quite have a plan, but he knew that somehow, he had to break it up. He knew this in the very fiber of his being. Malfoy was not right for Charlie. They simply didn't make any sense together. Something was wrong - very, very wrong - about this.
Oh, bloody hell, not Cafe Amora.
Harry grit his teeth as the tracking spell led him right up to the new, posh restaurant that the Daily Prophet had called 'the most romantic spot in Diagon'.
Inside was Harry's worst nightmare: plush red seating, silk tablecloths, a self-playing harp, and floating candles, all lending to the amorous ambience of the place. And this is where Charlie decided to take Malfoy to win his heart back?
It made him sick.
"Mr … Mr… Mr P-Potter?"
Harry turned to see the young host staring at him like he was looking at a ghost instead of a person.
"Yeah, yeah, its me," Harry said, long ago resigned to the fact that everyone in the world knew his face. Besides, he had bigger things to worry about, like scanning the dining area for a pair of red and blond heads. He craned his neck trying to look past the host, but the man stepped right in front of him.
"Such an honor…" the man said shakily. "Harry Potter… here! Welcome, sir. Welcome to Cafe Amora."
"Thanks." Harry refrained from rolling his eyes long enough to ask, "Could you possibly help me with something?'
"Anything!" the man quickly blurted. There could very well have been actual stars in his eyes.
"My friends Charlie Weasley and Draco Malfoy are eating here tonight, and I was supposed to meet them, but I'm late," Harry said. "Would you mind pointing me in the direction of their table?"
"It's in the back, sir. The very back, just go down that way and turn right, and you won't miss them." The man fairly bounced as he literally pointed out the way. "I seated them myself only just a half hour a-"
"Thanks!" Harry chirped and sped off.
The back room was hidden from the entrance, with a few solitary tables dotted here and there. And that was where he spotted them.
Just the sight alone set Harry's pulse into overdrive. He felt overheated, like the room was sitting on a volcano about to erupt at any second.
Before they had a chance to see him, Harry cast a Disillusionment charm on himself and felt the cool spell trickle down his body, camouflaging him from head to toe. He became the same color as his surroundings, almost unnoticeable if he remained perfectly still. So he ducked behind a tall plant and listened.
"... not ready to tell everyone," Malfoy was saying.
Harry held his breath. So their relationship was a secret. He wanted to laugh. Yeah right, as if the entirety of gay Wizarding Britain didn't already know by now… the way those two flounced it around at clubs and bars in leather trousers … For some reason, he couldn't seem to shake the image of Malfoy in leather trousers from his head.
"I know it's hard," Charlie said. "It's always harder in the beginning, but it gets better later on."
"Oh yeah?" Malfoy asked.
"I promise you," Charlie said.
"Well since Potter already knows," Malfoy grumbled, "everyone else at work probably knows now, too."
Harry shrank down further behind the plant.
"No," Charlie said, shaking his head, "Harry's not like that - he'd never blab about anyone's private affairs."
"I told you, he came right up to me and practically harassed me about it!"
Charlie sighed. "I don't know what's going on with him, but I swear that's not like him."
"I promise, Draco."
Hearing Charlie address Malfoy so intimately made that knot return to Harry's chest. He couldn't take it anymore. He just…
"Malfoy," Harry said, standing up from behind the plant.
Both Charlie and Malfoy jumped in their seats, turning their heads left and right and appearing utterly stumped.
Ah, right. Harry canceled his Disillusionment charm.
Malfoy's eyebrows nearly shot up to the ceiling. "Potter!"
"Harry," Charlie said through clenched teeth. "What in the bloody hell are you doing here?"
"I came to talk to Malfoy." Harry had no idea what he was saying, but the words seemed to just tumble from his mouth.
Malfoy sat perfectly still. "Yes?" he asked frigidly
"I just wanted to say… Er…." Harry bit his lip hard. God, what was he going to say? He decided to not think, and just feel. "I don't like you dating Charlie! All right? I just don't like it at all."
"I knew it!" Malfoy snapped, all the emotion rushing back to his previously stony face. "I knew you hated the fact that we're friends. You don't think I'm good enough to be friends with him, do you, Potter?"
"Friends?" Harry scoffed. "I don't give a toss if you're friends, but you two are dating, and well, that's another thing altogether." His cheeks burned, but he was glad he'd gotten it out. For some reason, it was imperative that Malfoy know this.
"What?" Charlie said. "Me and Draco - Dating?" Charlie looked at Draco, and the two of them frowned at each other… and then both burst out into a chorus of laughter.
Harry stood dumbfounded. "What's so funny?"
"Only the idea of me and Draco dating, you half wit!" Charlie said. "What in the hell ever made you think that?"
Harry looked around, holding his arms out. "For one thing, you're having dinner together in couple headquarters. Maybe that was clue number one."
"So?" Charlie said. "I read in the Prophet they have an amazing sirloin. This restaurant's been all over the papers, if you hadn't noticed."
"And Ron said you two were shagging now or something." Harry felt himself pouting even as he said it. And fine, so Ron hadn't exactly mentioned shagging as such. But he didn't have to.
"Why the hell are you listening to that berk?" Charlie asked. "Ron doesn't know a grindylow from a pygmy puff, and you're going to go by what he says?"
Harry was about to tell him that Ron definitely knew a grindylow from a pygmy puff when Malfoy decided it was time for him to get a word in.
"Forget this," Malfoy said, rising from his seat, his face and neck flushed red. He pulled out his wallet from his back pocket and threw a few Galleons on the table. "I've had enough. It's one thing to talk to you about these things, Charlie, but to have your brother know what I'm going through, too…. Like I was saying before, it's just too much. I'm going home."
"Draco, come on," Charlie said. "Don't be like that."
"I'm fine," Malfoy said, his voice a bit tight. "I just need to sort out my thoughts tonight." His face relaxing the slightest bit, he added, "I'll owl you tomorrow."
Charlie nodded, and Malfoy walked away from the table. He didn't even offer Harry a cursory glance.
"Now look what you've done," Charlie said, rounding on Harry.
Harry stood there feeling awkward. He looked at Malfoy's empty seat. "So you're not dating Malfoy, then?"
"Oh Harry," Charlie sighed. "Come and sit down here, mate." He patted the table near Malfoy's plate.
Harry hesitated. If Charlie was about to lecture him like he was a child, he wasn't sure he wanted to sit down and listen to it. But if Charlie was going to tell him what was going on between him and Draco, then…
Harry unclenched his fists and walked to the chair Malfoy had abandoned, sitting down stiffly. "So," he said, looking Charlie in the eye. "You didn't answer my question."
"Look, Harry, if you have a thing for Draco, you should just come out and tell me. Though I must admit, I didn't see this one coming."
There was something so honest and genuine in Charlie's face and the tone of his voice, Harry couldn't find it in himself to put up a fight. With his nerves settling in his stomach like lead, Harry nodded. "All right. Maybe I do."
Charlie grinned. For an irritatingly long while. "I knew it."
"Yeah, well, so what?"
Charlie shrugged. "I'm not saying it's a bad thing."
Harry fell back into his seat. "You know, it's possible," he said, looking away, "that I overreacted."
Charlie raised an eyebrow, not saying a thing.
"I was wrong," Harry added. "Although, even if you did fancy Draco," Harry said, feeling a bit guilty, "I shouldn't have gotten in the way like this. I shouldn't have come here and ruined your dinner."
"Mate, don't even worry about it."
Harrys lips twitched as a smile snuck up on him.
"I ran into Draco for the first time a few months ago, when his department needed some advice on handling the dragon export problem in Britain. At first, we were both a bit cool toward each other, but once we worked together enough, that started to change. I realized he's not that bad. In fact, he's quite a hoot once you get him talking."
Harry was struck by an acute sense of jealousy. Part of him wanted to be the one who discovered all these great things about Malfoy. His funny side. His smart side.
"He's going through a lot of the same things I was going through when I was coming out," Charlie continued. "He needs someone who understands. And I'm happy to help." He smiled mischievously. "Not that having him around is such a hardship."
"It isn't?" Harry asked incredulously, never having pinned Malfoy as particularly easy to get along with.
Charlie's smile became lecherous. "Have you seen him?"
Harry definitely felt himself blush this time. He looked around the table at the half eaten food. Malfoy's steak only had a couple bites out of it. "Er…" Harry felt another stab of guilt. "Let me get the check."
"Harry, don't be ridiculous."
"Please, it's the least I can do. And maybe," he blushed so hard, he couldn't wipe the shy grin off his face, "you can help me out a little in return?"
Harry was sitting at his desk just finishing up a report on the latest progress his unit had made, when he heard a tapping on his door. He looked up to find Draco casually rapping on it with his knuckles.
"Oh!" Harry jumped. "Hello."
Draco strolled in, a small, cool smile on his lips, and leaned up against Harry's desk. "Busy day?" Draco asked, nodding at the pile of parchment stacked haphazardly on the desktop.
"Yeah, a bit," Harry breathed, thinking he should probably organize his office at some point.
"Well, it's almost six," Draco said, crossing his arms as he sat casually on the edge of the desk. "Are you planning on sleeping on top of your work, or are you heading home any time soon?"
Harry tore his eyes from the sight of Draco's thigh and arse on his desktop. He swallowed and then forced a smile. "Almost done filling out this report," he said, tapping the parchment in front of him. "Then I'm free."
"Such a hard worker," Draco said, throwing the report a cursory glance. He looked back at Harry, his eyes suddenly sharp. "Charlie sent me a long letter last night."
"Oh?" He tried sounding as casual as he could.
Draco smirked. "You mean to tell me you know nothing about it?"
"Why would I know anything about it? I don't keep tabs on what Charlie does or doesn't do."
"Hm, the way you were talking before, it sounded like you two were great pals."
"Yeah… Maybe I exaggerated a bit."
"Oh did you?"
"Just a little."
"I see." Draco held Harry's gaze.
Harry refused to break it first and was pleased when a soft pink flush broke over Draco's cheeks. A small flare of triumph beat in his chest. "What did Charlie say?"
For a moment, he wondered if Draco was going to respond, and then Draco blinked and licked his lips. "What was that, Potter?"
Harry grinned. "What did Charlie say?" he repeated. "In his letter?"
"Oh yes, well," he drawled. "It was very long, you see."
"So you've mentioned."
"He had to explain the whole misunderstanding from the other night when you so rudely interrupted us."
"Oh, that." Harry cleared his throat, and it was his turn for his neck and cheeks to heat up. "He explained it all, did he?"
Draco nodded minutely. "Everything."
He was looking at him like Harry was the Snitch and Slytherin was about a minute away from winning the House Cup. Draco placed his hand over the paper Harry was working on and leaned across the desk. Harry's breath hitched. The barely-there scent of Draco's cologne wafted over him as Draco leaned closer.
"Well then," Harry said, distracted by Draco's lips so close, "he explained that I'm… I'm…" Draco casually licked his lips and Harry swallowed. "I'm not quite sure what I'm doing…" He was muttering incoherently, he realized. Like a bloody idiot.
Draco pulled away. "Yes," Draco said, licking his lips again. It seemed to be something he did when he was thinking. It was cute. Harry swallowed again. "He did mention something about you being unsure. He suggested taking it slow," Draco continued.
Harry was shaking his head. "No, I don't need slow."
Draco smirked. "Maybe we can talk about it more tonight."
"Sure, yeah. Tonight is good."
"I'll come over at eight." Draco hopped off the desk and nodded once before heading out. He had reached the door when Harry stopped him.
Draco paused. Without turning around, he cocked his head to the side. "Yes?"
"You don't know my address."
He smiled, glancing over his shoulder. "I'll get it from Weasley."
That satisfied Harry for the moment, and he sat back in his seat waiting for his heartbeat to slow to a normal speed. How long until eight o'clock?
Harry unravelled the note that Charlie's owl delivered at approximately quarter to eight. Upon reading, he scowled and crumpled it up. Use a protection charm. Oh, please. That cheeky arsehole knew Harry was nervous as fuck.
He tossed the note in the bin and ran a hand through his hair, but quickly remembered that it was a hopeless endeavor.
Besides, there was no way he and Malfoy were going to fuck.
Not that Harry didn't want to - part of him wanted to get under the sheets with Malfoy. Badly. His cock definitely supported that idea.
But the rest of Harry wasn't quite sure he was ready for that. Hell, he had only just admitted out loud that he was gay. He definitely wasn't ready to fuck another bloke yet.
There was a knock on the door, and Harry jumped.
Clenching his hands nervously, he walked to the door and inhaled deeply before pulling it open.
Draco stood on the other side with his hands thrown in his pockets. "Hi, Potter," he said.
"Hi." Harry stood aside. "Come in."
Draco strolled in, looking around. "Nice place."
"Thanks." Harry watched him take everything in, wondering what he was thinking. "The living room's through here," he said, gesturing down the hallway.
Harry followed after him, watching Draco's arse as he walked. Charlie was right, he finally admitted. Draco had a damn fine arse.
After a quick observation of the living room, Draco plopped down in the armchair.
"I forgot to ask," Harry said. "Do you want anything to drink?"
Harry nodded, taking a seat on the sofa. "So." He tapped his fingers over his knees.
"Now we talk."
"Yes. We have to talk about… Er, what exactly are we talking about?"
A wicked smile curled Draco's lips. "About your hopeless crush on me."
Harry's cheeks were instantly on fire. "I don't have a hopeless crush on you." He rolled his eyes. "You're so self absorbed."
"Oh, I'm sorry, is that not what you told Charlie? Is that not why you stormed in on us the other night?"
Right, he was never confiding in Charlie ever again for as long as he lived. "I merely said I might have a… a crush on you," he gritted out, every syllable making his blush spread.
"So you're not sure?"
"No, actually, I'm not."
"So you might have a crush on me, but you can't be absolutely sure?"
Harry did not appreciate the amused look on Malfoy's face. His stupid, stupid face. "Yes," Harry said, "I believe we've clarified that pretty well at this point."
Draco inhaled heavily. "Well, you see what we have to do then, don't you?"
"We have to get to the bottom of this."
"You mean to say..."
"Figure out if you do or don't have a crush on me."
"I see. And how are we supposed to do that?"
"I propose a hands-on approach."
"And that would entail…?"
"Hands." Malfoy raised an eyebrow. "On."
Harry bit his lip. Then - "Woah! What are you doing?" He held his hands up in front of him.
"Fucking hell, Potter," Draco said, halfway standing from his seat. "Would you relax? And try not to fly off the sofa, I'm not going to attack you."
Harry laughed nervously.
Draco was moving from his seat. And he was moving nearer to him. He was sitting on the sofa right next to him!
"Oh, you're over here now."
"We can't have a hands-on approach while I'm all the way over there."
"I suppose not."
Harry turned so he was half facing Malfoy. They were sitting so close that their knees bumped. That in itself was bizarre enough to make Harry feel slightly disoriented.
"Let's start slowly," Malfoy said, his voice somehow soft and silky in a way that wrapped around Harry. "Just close your eyes and stay still."
Harry's heart fluttered madly in his chest. He held his breath as his eyes fell shut. The moments seemed to crawl by, and then -
Malfoy's lips on his lips. Harry didn't dare move a muscle. It was too good to ruin, and he desperately wanted it to last. That soft press of Malfoy's lips against his own.
Just as quickly as it happened, it was over.
Harry opened his eyes. He was dizzy.
"Malfoy." He could only see Malfoy's lips. That slow smile.
"That was a start," Malfoy said, his voice definitely more breathy than it was previously. "How do you feel?"
Malfoy laughed lightly, and Harry bit his lip, wishing he hadn't just blurted it out like that. How desperate must he sound?
"I don't think one kiss will do it, though," Malfoy said. "You can never be sure with just one kiss."
"No, I would think not."
"Best try that again." Malfoy nipped his bottom lip with his teeth. "This time a tad longer."
Harry nodded and let himself slowly lean in as Malfoy did the same. He shut his eyes just as Malfoy's lips pressed against his, and this time Harry kissed with purpose. He tilted his head and renewed the kiss, shifting on the sofa to move closer to Malfoy, until his warm body pressed against Harry's. It was like a magnetic pull, and Harry wanted to touch Malfoy all over. His hand reached out of its own accord, gripping Malfoy's thigh.
Malfoy pulled away. His face was pink now, his breathing rougher. "You're getting the hang of it quick, Potter."
"I have kissed before, Malfoy," he said with a grin. "I just haven't kissed a bloke before."
"And how do you like it?"
"I love it."
Again, way too much information.
Malfoy didn't seem to mind. In fact, it seemed to spur him on. "This time," Malfoy said, "let's try with tongue."
The words zipped straight to Harry's cock, and he leaned in first. Firming his grip on Malfoy's thigh, Harry claimed Malfoy's mouth, urging him to part his lips. With the first slide of tongue, Harry groaned low in his throat. He inwardly cringed, reminding himself to regain control over his reactions, but Malfoy didn't pull away in mocking. In fact, he brought his hands around Harry's neck and pulled Harry down on top of him. Harry sought Malfoy's mouth, chasing that sweet press of lips and the searing brush of tongue, until he found himself lying on top of Malfoy on the sofa.
"Malfoy." Harry panted and pushed himself up with his palms. He hovered over Malfoy's warm body, quite aware of the way their legs intertwined. Not to mention, how aligned their hips were.
"Don't tell me you're chickening out now, Potter," Draco said, his face flushed.
"No, it's just. Wow, this is fast."
"Well, we need to find out if your little crush on me is real."
Harry knew it was real. There was no way he could deny it any longer, when every inch of him begged to get closer to Malfoy. "Do you have any doubts?" he asked.
"Kissing is fine and good - and trust me, this is very good - but there's still something we haven't tried. It could really clarify things for me."
"What is it, then?"
"Why don't you try moving your hips, Potter?"
He couldn't help but admit that was a bloody brilliant suggestion. Harry experimentally rolled his hips. "Like this?"
"Ah, yes, just like that." Malfoy shut his eyes. His head fell back, and Harry eyed the line of his neck. He had an urge to put his lips there, to explore with kisses and soft nips of his teeth. "Harder," Malfoy demanded.
Using his knees for leverage, Harry rolled his hips harder against Malfoy's. The result was incredible, and Harry's cock stiffened from the friction.
Definitely into blokes, Harry thought over and over as they rutted their lengths together. Malfoy was breathing hard as he met Harry thrust for thrust. And most definitely into Malfoy.
Malfoy tugged at the sides of Harry's t-shirt to draw him closer, and Harry fell onto Malfoy's chest. Suddenly Malfoy's lips were on his again, and his kisses made Harry's head spin. All too soon he felt his balls draw up, the pressure of orgasm building exquisitely in his groin. He moaned into Malfoy's mouth, rutting frantically now over Malfoy's thigh, caught between wanting this to last and wanting to come.
Malfoy grabbed his arse, and that did it for Harry. Having Malfoy groping his arse and demanding more friction was too much for his brain to handle, it was just way too hot. He let his orgasm take him and he came as he buried his face in the crook of Malfoy's neck. He breathed hard as he came down from his high listening to the noises Malfoy made and feeling the way Malfoy's body spasmed underneath his as Malfoy reached his own orgasm.
They lied there together on Harry's plush sofa, gasping for breath. As the moments ticked by and the world came back to him, Harry's mind started to wander. He couldn't help but think that this experiment had turned out pretty well after all.
He sat up and looked at Malfoy, who raised his eyebrow in question.
"I'm really glad you're not dating Charlie," Harry said.
Malfoy laughed, and Harry felt the chuckle vibrating through his chest. "So that crush…?"
"Oh, it's for real," Harry said, grinning madly.
Draco smiled as well. "I'm glad you've finally figured it out."
"Me too," Harry said. Then, "I don't suppose you'd want to shower with me. I could really use one after that."
"What happened to taking it slow?"
"Oh, fuck that."