Author's Note: I don't do Drarry. I don't know why I wrote this. It just happened, okay? So much thanks to SableUnstable who Alpha'd this and gave it her approval. Hearts to you, my love!
P.S. I own nothing, anything recognizable belongs to the lovely Ms. Rowling.
Mind If I Slither-In?
"D'you mind if I slither-in?" Harry repeated, snickering.
Draco dropped his quill on the desk and his head into his hands with a groan. It was the seventy-fourth time Potter had repeated the sentence, and a migraine had taken up residence, forcing Draco to call it a day, even though it was only three-thirty.
"Let it go, Potter," he pleaded. Pleaded, mind you, because Malfoy's didn't beg.
"Not a chance in hell, Malfoy," Harry replied, grinning. "You're never going to live this one down," he said, grabbing Draco's stress ball off the blond's desk and tossing it into the air. "Oh, man. The look on your face… hehehe."
The pounding in his skull continued and Draco fought the urge to pull his wand and hex the junior Auror across the desk with something very nasty and preferably permanent. Instead, he rubbed at his temples and took deep breaths, reminding himself that if it weren't for the irritating little berk with the damaged forehead and bad eyesight, he would probably be sitting in a cell in Azkaban like his father rather than in the Auror Department, lending his knowledge of the Dark Arts and the Old Ways to the Ministry's Dark objects purge.
"Don't you have anything better to do with your time?" he asked.
"At the moment? No," Harry said, still playing with the stress ball. "I can't do any more until you finish your reports. It would be foolish - " he made quotation marks with his fingers " - to sift through more of Nott's shit before an expert - " more quotation marks " - gives me the all-clear. It simply wouldn't do to have me die because a hairbrush that belonged to great-aunt Hortense was cursed against half-bloods and muggle-borns. I mean, think of the bad publicity."
Draco pursed his lips. "Yes, what would we do without you?" he asked, sarcasm dripping from every word. "People might actually have to save themselves."
"See? You get it. I provide an invaluable service to this community," Harry said, glancing over at his own desk - covered in antique trinkets from various pureblood families - and forgetting about the stress ball, which dropped on his nose, breaking the bridge of his glasses.
Draco didn't even bother trying to hide his amused snort as Potter cursed and fumbled for his wand, casting a hasty Reparo, then glaring at the stress ball, as though the object itself was to blame. "And you defeated a Dark Lord," he tsked.
The emerald glare turned on him, then, and Draco allowed himself to raise one eyebrow to signal that he was teasing. This had become a sort of code for the two wizards who'd been forced to work together the past four months. After several days of near total silence due to old resentments and fresh war wounds, Potter had cracked a joke. It had been at Draco's expense and he'd scowled, retort at the tip of his tongue, when he'd caught the raised eyebrow. He almost didn't see it, camouflaged as it was under that ridiculous hair, but he took a chance, and it had paid off.
"Well, you can't have the reports today," he said, returning to the business at hand. "Because of your incessant snickering at an inane comment from a stranger in the cafeteria, I've got a migraine, and I'm going home."
Harry grinned. "D'you mind - ," he began.
"Don't!" Draco snapped. "Don't fucking say it again! It sounded terrible coming from her, and it sounds worse coming from you!"
Harry held his hands up in mock surrender, but his grin stayed put. "You could have at least let her down easy, not just glared and stomped off. Bloody drama queen. What was your problem, anyway? Hasn't anyone ever flirted with you before? I seem to remember Parkinson being particularly aggressive."
It wasn't the line, it was who delivered it, Draco wanted to say, but he stopped himself. Potter already had enough dirt on him; Draco's sexual preference was still his own.
"That is not the point, Potter," he said instead. "It was completely inappropriate! If I had said the same thing to her she would have screamed 'sexual harassment!' from the nearest rooftop!"
"So… your objection is based on double standards?"
Draco sighed irritably. "Can we please just leave it? My head feels like a dozen bludgers are having a wrestling match inside it and all I want to do is get something to eat and go home."
"Alright, alright," Harry chuckled. "Come on, then," he said, rising and grabbing his robe off the back of his chair. "I'll buy you a pint."
"Fuck's sake, Malfoy," Harry sighed, rummaging through a desk drawer. "Here." He tossed something to the Slytherin.
Draco's seeker reflexes kicked in and he lunged, catching the small object before it landed on his desk and smashed. He opened his palm and stared at the glass vial.
"It's a headache potion," Harry said slowly.
"I'm not a simpleton, Potter," Draco snapped.
"Forgive me if I'm not convinced," Harry retorted. "Take it. I'm not going to poison you in the middle of the Auror Department. Even I wouldn't get away with that."
Draco studied the vial a moment longer, but decided that he didn't want to piss off one of the few people who even attempted to be civil to him. He uncorked it and tossed the potion back, closing his eyes in relief as it immediately began to work.
"Thank you," he mumbled, the words foreign and uncomfortable.
"No problem. Now, how about that pint?"
"Why?" Draco asked again.
Draco's eyebrow crept up again, but with an entirely different meaning this time.
Harry rolled his eyes. "Because without your reports, my day is over, too. I'm not ready to go home, yet, but sitting in a pub by oneself is boring." He eyed the blond. "You ever been in a muggle pub?"
"You want to go to a muggle pub?"
"Well, yeah," Harry said, as though it was obvious. The look on Draco's face said it wasn't. "I'm anonymous in a muggle pub," he explained.
Draco blinked. "Ah."
Harry hummed. "So, you in or out?"
"Wouldn't you rather go with Granger or Weasel?"
"Yes, but their shifts don't end for hours."
Draco paused. "Alright, I'm in."
"Great," Harry said, turning and heading for the lifts.
"Shit," Draco muttered under his breath, hurrying to grab his robe and follow Potter before the git was out of sight. He was uncomfortable enough going into muggle London, he really didn't need to lose his guide.
The Giant Squid was dusty, the table they'd sat down at was slightly greasy as though it had been wiped down with a dirty towel, and the beer Potter had put in front of him looked like piss.
Draco stared at the glass, the manners that had been sometimes literally beaten into him preventing him from complaining about it. Quiet laughter reached his ears.
"It's a joke, Malfoy," Harry said, taking the glass back to the counter and asking the girl to replace it with the dark bitter he'd ordered for himself. He placed the new beer in front of Draco. "Here. This is the good stuff. Well, it's the stuff I like, anyway," he amended. "They've got ten or twelve brews on tap. You can try something else if you like."
"I'm sure this will be… just fine," Draco mumbled, taking a small sip. It wasn't bad. "Do you come here because of the name? I can't imagine it's for the decor," he said, eyeing a rather tasteless painting of a mermaid sunning herself on a rock.
"The first time? Yeah. Couldn't help myself. I thought it was a joke and maybe it was run by - " he looked around " - you know, us," he ended in a whisper.
Draco nodded and drank some more of his beer, his eyes darting this way and that.
"You're anonymous here, too, you know," Harry said quietly.
Feeling himself flush a bit, Draco ducked his head. "I… um… I know that. It's just… "
"I know," Harry interjected. "Believe me, I know."
Draco took a deep breath. He was uncomfortable, twitchy, and completely out of his depth in an entirely foreign environment, but he'd known he was going to be when he'd accepted Potter's invitation. The least he could do was try to be a decent guest.
He took another sip of beer. "Is that how they really see them?" he asked, nodding to the mermaid painting and changing the subject.
By the time the second pint and a plate of shepherd's pie was gone, Draco was feeling much better. He suspected the alcohol had something to do with it, but he didn't care enough to really dissect it. It was the first time in memory he'd been able to simply be. There was no war, no threats, no danger. No blackmail, no double-crossing, no world domination. His mother was safe, and Potter was unlikely to suddenly decide to attack him.
They talked. About a lot of things. Potter asked if he'd really grown up with peacocks running about the place, and he asked if Potter really grew up with muggles and not knowing about magic. At first, Draco had been concerned about speaking of magical things, but as the noise in the pub got steadily louder, he realized nobody but Potter could hear him, and nobody was paying attention to them, anyway.
"I'm going to take a leak, and then we'll get out of here, yeah?" Harry said, and Draco nodded, lifting his glass to finish off his beer.
As Harry returned to the table, he noticed Draco staring. Following the blond's gaze, he found a young man of medium height, in fitted jeans and a grey t-shirt, with long, jet black hair leaning against the bar, and suddenly Draco's discomfort with the cafeteria girl made sense.
Before he could shake off the surprise of the discovery, however, Draco turned and caught him looking. The blond flushed a deep red and his expression shut down; Harry could almost see the walls slamming back into place.
"I should get going," Draco said, standing. "Thanks for the beer."
"No - shit!" Harry cursed, rushing after him. "Malfoy, wait!" Draco slipped out the door and was pushing his way through the throng of people getting off work before Harry could catch up with him. "Malfoy!"
"What, Potter?" Draco spun around to face him. "What?"
His aggression caught Harry off guard. "Er… well, nothing, really. Just… you know… "
"No, I don't know. That's why I asked, and if you can't explain it to me, then we're just wasting time here."
"Oh, come off it, Malfoy," Harry snapped. "I don't care if you're g- "
"Thank you!" Draco interrupted loudly. "This really isn't the conversation for the middle of the street."
"Then why did you run out to the middle of the street?" Harry shot back, watching Draco flush again.
"This is not a conversation I wish to have with you at all, Potter," Draco amended. "I'll see you in the morning." He turned to leave, but Harry wasn't having it.
Grabbing the blond by the elbow, he steered him into the nearest alley, ignoring the squawks of protest. "Look," he began. "I don't want to spend the next week or so tip-toeing around each other like we did when Kingsley assigned us together. I don't care, alright? And I don't want you to think I'll judge you. That's what I was trying to say."
Draco's eyes narrowed as he tried to figure out if Potter was having him on. He didn't really think that Potter would tell anyone, but he'd learned the hard way not to take anything for granted. He wondered briefly if he could Obliviate the junior Auror without him knowing.
"Well?" Harry prompted.
"Well, what?" Draco asked. "Are you expecting a thank you for agreeing to keep quiet about something that's none of your business anyway?"
Harry rolled his eyes. "You really are a prat, you know that?" He sighed. "Fine. How about this - I'll tell you something about me. That way we've got dirt on each other."
Draco crossed his arms petulantly and stared at him.
"You're just saying that."
"Merlin's balls," Harry groaned, running a hand through his hair. "I am not making it up. I even told Ginny. That's why we're not together right now. She wants to give me time to figure myself out. Because I've never really had that." It was true, and he'd thanked Ginny for it. "Alright?"
Draco was quiet for a full minute as he stared at a spot on the brick wall just above Potter's left shoulder. "Prove it," he said finally.
"How?" Harry asked, perplexed.
"Give me the name of a bloke you've snogged."
"Fuck off! Give me the name of a bloke you've shagged!"
"We're not talking about me, Potter!"
"I can't," Harry blurted.
"Can't give you the name of a bloke I've snogged."
"Why not? It's not like I'm going to go and ask him about it - "
"One, I wouldn't put it past you at the moment, and two… ," Harry sighed. "I can't give you a name because there is no name. I've never snogged a bloke."
"And you expect me to believe you're bisexual?" Draco shook his head.
"Are you dense, Malfoy?" Harry snapped. "That'd be a fun conversation - 'Hey, I'm Harry Potter, but you already knew that. Listen, how about a little experimentation?'," he mocked. "Yeah, that'd go down well."
"Right, because it's not like you've got the whole of the muggle world to try out," Draco snarked. "Did we or did we not just spend the better part of two hours in a muggle pub? At your insistence?"
"Yes, we did! And I can count on one hand the number of public places that I can go into without having a panic attack or flashbacks! In case you haven't noticed, Malfoy, we just came out of a war! I was a central part of that war, and I spent the better part of a year on the run, hiding from people who wanted to kill me, so you'll forgive me for not being quite ready to experience all of life's bounty just yet!" Harry shouted, fed up.
Draco pursed his lips. "Alright, fair point," he conceded. "But let's get one thing straight, Potter. Who I do or do not find attractive is my business, nobody else's. It's one of the few secrets I still have and I'd like to keep it that way."
"I won't tell anyone, Malfoy! I can't! Because then you'd tell people I'm bi!"
"Which you still haven't proven!" Draco insisted. "Blackmail is only valuable when it's factual!"
Harry dropped his head back and groaned.
"Fine. Tell me the name of the first bloke you fancied. Wizard, mind you, not muggle," the blond specified. "It has to be someone I know or know of."
The Gryffindor froze and flushed the exact shade of his house colour. "I'd rather not say," he muttered.
Draco smirked. "Oh, now you have to tell me."
Harry stayed silent as his face took on a constipated expression. He really did not want to say it, but when Draco shrugged one shoulder and turned to leave, he knew all the progress they'd made was rapidly going down the drain…
"Itwasyou!" Harry exclaimed, wincing as his voice went higher and louder than he'd intended.
Draco froze in mid-step before slowly turning towards the raven-haired junior Auror. Now it was Harry's turn to avoid eye contact as he gazed intently at every aspect of the alley they were standing in except the wide-eyed platinum blond in front of him.
"What?" Draco breathed, unable and unwilling to believe he'd heard correctly.
Harry took a deep breath, and then another. "Sixth year," he admitted quietly. "It really fucked me up most of the year because I couldn't figure out what was going on. It wasn't until someone said that I must be gay for you because I kept trying to find you on the map that I started thinking about it. Of course, it didn't last long, what with that year ending the way it did, but… "
Draco ran his hands through his hair. Then he stuck them in his pockets. Then he took them out. Then he scratched the back of his neck. Finally, he exhaled heavily. "Well, fuck," was all he could come up with.
"Is that enough dirt for one day?" Harry asked bitingly.
Draco scoffed. "That's enough dirt for the next century."
The two men were silent for several long minutes, each staring past the other in the alley. Draco could hear the hustle and bustle of people passing on the main street, but it seemed far away, as though he and Potter were somehow alone, encapsulated in their awkwardness in the middle of the sprawling, densely populated metropolis.
"Do you - " he began, then shook his head. "No, not after everything… do you?" he asked Harry.
"Do I what?"
"You know… still… ?" He flapped his hand, hoping that would suffice and he wouldn't have to actually come out and say what he was wondering.
Harry squinted, as though narrowing his eyes at the blond would somehow make the non-question clearer. Strangely, it did.
"Oh! Still fancy you, you mean?" Harry asked. Draco nodded jerkily, still not looking at him. "Er, well… I don't know that I ever did fancy you, to be honest, I just… didn't mind looking at you," he mumbled.
He said it quietly, but Draco heard every syllable.
"As for now," Harry continued. "I dunno," he said, kicking at the cobblestones. "I like you better - as a person, I mean. You're still an infuriating prat at times - " Draco snorted. " - but… I dunno."
Draco nodded. "Right. Good. 'Cause that could make things right difficult at work, you know," he said in a rush, trying to mask the disappointment that sprang up, taking him by surprise.
"More difficult than the fact that the bloke you were drooling over in the pub looked a lot like me?" Harry shot back.
The blond whipped around to face Harry, eyes wide and mouth agape. "He did not!"
"Bloody well did! I've even got that same t-shirt!"
Draco's flush returned. "I… I didn't notice," he said, only half lying. He'd made the connection all right, but he'd told himself the two men were more different than alike. Apparently, he'd lied to himself.
He hated it when he did that.
"Look, let's just - "
"How about a little experimentation?"
" - forget this - what?!" Draco yelped.
Harry didn't answer immediately. He hadn't meant to say it, and now he couldn't take it back. "I - uh… "
"I've had enough with masters, thank you." Draco's tone was angry. Draco was angry. How dare Potter suggest something like that? If he wanted to experiment, he could find some oblivious muggle and leave Draco in peace.
Harry's eyes snapped to the Slytherin and he shook his head. "That's not… I mean… "
"Not what? You mean what?"
Harry took a deep breath and ran a hand through his hair. "I didn't mean to insult you," he said, "and I certainly don't want to be your master. I just… I want to explore. I want to try. I've never had that chance, and you're the only person other than Ginny that knows about this."
"And you trust me to keep it a secret?" Draco asked, incredulous.
Emerald eyes crinkled in amusement. "Strangely, I feel like you're the only one I can trust at the moment."
"You're insane, Potter. Fucking certifiable." Draco stared at him. "What exactly would this experimentation entail, hmm? You think I'm just going to drop to my knees right here in this filthy alley and blow you to see if you enjoy it?"
"No!" Harry shouted. "Of course not! I may not have been raised in a pureblood household, Malfoy, but I do have some class!"
"Well, what, then?"
"Well, I don't know, do I?" Harry matched Draco's sneer. "That's kind of my point! But I do know the first thing I'd want to do is get away from anywhere anybody might see us."
"Ashamed, are we?"
"That's not what I meant and you know it."
Draco sucked in a sharp breath. "Yes, I do. But you can't be serious. Of all the people in the world - all the people who would fall at your feet and lick your shoes - "
"Exactly," Harry cut in. "That's exactly what I want to avoid. Of all the people in the world, you are the last person who would shout it from the rooftops if it didn't work." He sighed. "I don't want a fan. I don't want someone who thinks they owe me something. And, just for future reference, I always thought I'd be on the giving end of any blow jobs that occur."
Draco backed up to the brick wall behind him and leaned heavily against it. He huffed a laugh and shook his head, unable to believe the turn his afternoon had taken.
"So, let me get this straight," he said, looking at Harry. "You want to experiment sexually with me?"
Harry shrugged. "I'm not opposed to it."
"You really know how to flatter a person."
"Sorry, sorry." Harry took a deep breath and let it out again. "Yes, I do."
Draco shook his head again. "I'm sorry, Potter, I still don't believe you."
Before he knew what was happening, Potter was coming towards him. Draco instinctively reached for his wand, but when Potter's hand shot out to grip the back of his neck and pull him in for searing kiss, he was far too shocked to hex the messy-haired menace.
Harry's lips crashed into Draco's almost violently, and he almost pulled back to apologize before realizing that the blond hadn't pushed him away. Encouraged, he relaxed his grip and closed his eyes, allowing himself to just feel.
Draco's lips were soft under his, much softer than he'd expected, and fuller. Harry tested this fullness by sucking the lower one into his mouth, and relished the gasp that produced. Deciding not to push his luck too far, he chose not to chase that gasp with his tongue. Instead, he nipped at the lip, then licked it to soothe the bite. He sipped and lapped, but never invaded. That is, until Draco's tongue came out to meet his.
They dueled for dominance, and Draco won, grabbing a handful of ebony hair and tugging until Harry capitulated with a groan. After that, the blond called the shots, showing Harry what a real lip bite should be, and using what little height advantage he had to back Harry up against the opposite wall. He broke away, then, gasping for air and staring into the green eyes of his childhood nemesis. Oh, how he'd like to go back in time and tell his fifteen year old self all about this. He smirked at the thought.
"What?" Harry asked hoarsely.
Draco shook his head. "Nothing. Let's get out of here, yeah?"
Harry nodded. "Yeah."
Draco hooked his arm with Harry's and pulled out his wand, twisting sharply and apparating them directly into his flat. With a few flicks of the wand, he altered his wards to accept the newcomer, and then pushed Harry up against the nearest flat surface to resume their snog.
Robes were discarded and shirts were un-tucked, and Harry came up for air, giving Draco the opportunity to explore a little neck. Draco licked and nipped, wanting to leave a mark, and made a note of every spot that earned a noise.
The juncture of neck and shoulder got a yelp. The little hollow behind the left ear got a sigh. The right collarbone got a moan, and the right jugular got a moan and a hip thrust. Draco stayed there for a bit, feeding his ego with every uhhh and yesss.
"I want your shirt off," Harry rasped, slipping his fingers under Draco's crisp white button-down.
"Then take it off."
"Draco, do you…?"
"Do I what?"
The fingers crept further. "Do you…?"
Draco pulled away to look at Harry. "Do I what, Potter?"
The blond blinked. "Harry."
Harry smirked. "Do you... ?" He cocked an eyebrow.
Draco narrowed his eyes in return. "Don't say it."
Harry's smirk widened. "Do you…?"
"Don't fucking say it, Potter!"
The questing fingers shot up Draco's shirt as Harry finished his question, a look of unholy glee on his face.
"Do you mind if I slither-in?"
Author's Note: This is my first Drarry, so please let me know if I pass :)