The Ministry's annual Orange and Black Ball was one of Harry's least favorite yearly events. There were several he had to be present at, of course: the Battle of Hogwarts celebration in early May, which Harry always had to speak at; his own birthday celebration at the end of July, where people made toasts in his name and thanked him profusely (as though there hadn't already been enough of that in the spring); and of course the festivities surrounding Christmas, New Years', and other holidays Harry would almost prefer not to celebrate.

The Orange and Black Ball on All Hallows' Eve, however, caused Harry the most dread because it also happened to be the anniversary of when Voldemort killed his parents. Sure, the Minister made a touching speech about their sacrifice and dedication, but it never erased the bittersweet taste in Harry's mouth formed partially from disgust and partially from too many sweets. This year, he was foregoing the desert table in favor of the alcohol. Ron and Hermione weren't able to attend because of a "family emergency," and Harry knew that was nothing more than little Rose having a mild case of the stomach flu.

"Sorry, mate," Ron had said apologetically over the Floo earlier that day. "But it's already a stretch to say both me and 'Mione have to stay home and take care of her."
Wankers, Harry thought spitefully. Because of godfather privileges alone they could have come up with an excuse that got him out of the dreaded Halloween Ball too.

He pulled on his costume, a white robe and dazzling gold cloak complete with a small halo, before magically lengthening his hair and conjuring a beard. His efforts might be taken the wrong way, but, as he thought wryly, at least they'd know he was not happy to be here. It was a small act of disobedience, but with his name in the bloody papers every other day, Harry couldn't afford to wreck his reputation, not if he wanted to make the influential changes so many others were counting on.

He made his way to the Ministry slowly, savoring the pull of Apparation and the freedom it seemingly offered. Naturally, Kingsley spotted him before he'd even had time to marvel at the decorations.

"Harry! So glad to see you," beamed Kingsley, foregoing a handshake in favor of a quick pat on Harry's shoulder.

"Minister," Harry smiled, forcing graciousness. "Er, what a lovely evening."

"Enjoy it while you can," said Kingsley ominously. "A case has come up – quite urgent, this one is – but it's nothing that can't wait until tomorrow. We've got the night Aurors doing some research, but naturally I'd feel better if it was in the hands of our best team in the department!"

Compliments about his abilities as an Auror were really the only ones Harry allowed himself to accept. He smiled again, a real one this time, and asked for more details.

Kingsley chuckled. "Take the night off. There will be plenty of time for you and Draco to get your hands dirty later."

"Is he here tonight?" Harry asked casually, a little too casually. Draco told him yesterday that he was going to try to skive off with an excuse about visiting his mother in Saint Mungo's for the holiday.

"Of course. He never misses an open bar," said Kingsley. "And yes, I've already mentioned the situation to him, and no, he's not going to go traipsing off into depths of the case files with you. This is a holiday, Harry; Merlin knows you could use a little break."

"Right," said Harry noncommittedly. "I think I'll take a leaf out of Malfoy's book and grab a drink, then."

"Their Bloody Mary is fantastic," Kingsley said in an undertone. He clapped Harry on the shoulder again before excusing himself and walking away.

Now that he had a proper moment to take a look around, Harry finally could appreciate the decorations. The Ministry really did go all out for these functions. Black was the dominating feature of all the decorations, encasing everything the elegantly draped crochet doilies and lace covering all furniture in sight, over the expansive carpet rolling out over the entire floor, save the dancing area, right down to the fancy dishware and cutlery adorning the tables. Despite his limited fashion sense, Harry had never quite liked the tackiness of the typical "Halloween" orange, and was relieved to see the that decorator had obviously shared those same notions. Orange the shade of hot embers was used sparingly to create a surprisingly intimate venue.

During his scan of the ballroom, Harry noticed several costumed Ministry employees and non-profit organization members watching him, each biding their time until they came over to vie for his favor. He sighed, giving in – the sooner he greeted them, the sooner they would leave him alone.

After knocking back a quick Firewhiskey, Harry made his rounds, thanking those who helped his cause and putting another round of pressure on those who hadn't. He became increasingly conscious of a gleaming pair of eyes watching his every move, occasionally adding a cheeky swing to his hips. Let Malfoy suck on that, should he happen to see.

Finally, finally, the pleasantries were over. Harry was exhausted. He'd only just grabbed another Firewhiskey and crumpled in a chair far off to the side when a tall, sexy devil appeared before him. About to tell the solicitor off for disturbing him, Harry slammed down his drink on the table and opened his mouth, but then he got a better look at his visitor. Sleek, shiny blonde hair, lithe, supple body, and an ever-sassy demeanor – this could only be one person.

"What do you want, Malfoy?" Harry sighed, slumping back into his chair and reclaiming his drink.

"What are you supposed to be?" quipped Draco by way of greeting. "An angelic peddler?"

"For Christ's sakes, Malfoy, I'm God."

"God?!" Draco burst out laughing, knocking his metallic red devil horns clear off of his head. Harry picked them up for him because it didn't look like Draco was calming down anytime soon.

"Now I'm evil God," Harry said. "No, really though," he said as Draco quieted. "These idiots always want me to be the hero, so I thought –"

"– That you'd be their Saviour for real." Draco nodded appreciatively. "Good one, Potter. You can probably imagine my costume taking on similar significance."

"Come off it, Malfoy," Harry sighed, brandishing a hand at Draco. "It's been five years since the War and you've been working as an Auror for three of those; they don't see you like that anymore."

Draco said nothing. Of course there were those who still harbored prejudice against him, but on the by and large he was treated with respect. Harry knew the difference between knowing something to be true and actually believing it in your heart. He understood that Draco still thought of himself as demonic, and surely it would be another ten years before he was convinced otherwise.

"Want some of my drink?" Harry offered. "Looks like you need one."

Draco took Harry's cup, not bothering to rotate it before taking a neat sip. As he clearly evaluated the taste, Harry's eyes fell to Draco's lips, which were shiny with whiskey. Having pronounced it decent enough to drink, Draco took a deeper swig from the glass.

They sat there together, passing the drink back and forth until the glass was empty. Their peaceful silence – apart from the loud waltz shaking the room's very foundations – was interrupted when a journalist came over and asked Harry for a dance. Without making an excuse, he flat out refused, but she was not deterred. After watching another few minutes of her feeble attempts to seduce Harry, Draco jumped from his seat, nudged the indignant journalist out of the way, and proffered his hand to Harry in clear invitation to dance.

Smiling, Harry immediately grabbed on and allowed Draco to steer them towards the dance floor.

"Have your dancing abilities improved any?" Draco shouted over the music.

"What do you think, Malfoy?" Harry shouted back.

He was relieved when Draco took the lead, positioning Harry's hand on his shoulder and taking the other with his own hand. Draco's grip on his waist felt surprisingly intimate; though Harry supposed anyone who was watching just figured that, because he and Draco were Auror partners, they were just having a laugh.

However, he felt quite differently about the situation. As they waltzed around the room, Harry found himself swept up in Draco's gleaming eyes, realizing that it had been his partner watching him make his earlier rounds. There was always attraction between them, but until now, Harry hadn't seriously imagined being with Draco in every way that mattered.

Draco noticed the change in Harry's behavior, responding to it by nuzzling close to Harry's ear – all the while without missing a step – and breathing "Want to go look at those case files?"

Harry felt a huge grin stretch across his face even as his arousal stretched his trousers in quite the same fashion. "I thought you'd never ask," he whispered back, weak in the knees.

They completed their last trip around the dance floor, whirling through other couples and drawing strange looks from those who noticed the heat in their eyes. Finally, Draco neatly exited them off of the dance floor, taking preemptive steps to stop Harry from tripping over his now-stationary feet.

"Let's go," Draco said, tugging Harry towards the door that led down to the Auror department. There was a security guard there, but it didn't take more than a few well-placed fireworks to encourage him to leave his station for a brief moment.

Slipping into the hallway, they stumbled away from the party, discarding costume props and giggling all the while.

"Did you see – his – face," gasped Harry, bent in half from how hard he was laughing.

"I'm so disgusted," said Draco, wiping a tear of mirth from his eye, "That a member of such an elite security squad would get distracted by a Weasley's Wizarding Wheeze."

"Well, they are pretty superior products," laughed Harry.

"We should know, after all," conceded Draco.

Harry shook his head. "Who would have thought you'd owe all your success to Weasleys?"

"Shut up," laughed Draco, shoving Harry. They reached the door to their office – the largest and by far the nicest one in the department, aside from the Head Auror's – and went in, slamming the door behind them.

Harry immediately crashed on the couch, throwing his feet up on the arm. "Oh, bollocks, we forgot the files."

"You tosser, they were here all along," Draco said, neatly removing them from a folder on one of their desks. "Kingsley knows you too well."

"Apparently so do you," said Harry, lighting a cigarette to take the edge off of his vice induced headache. He didn't indulge often, but it did feel more urgent when he'd been drinking.

Without a word, Draco brandished his wand with a quick jab and put Harry's cigarette out, still smoking.

"Malfoy," Harry complained, "My head's bloody killing me. Now you've got to buy me a new pack of cigarettes, cause that was my last one."

"Nasty, plebian habit," remarked Draco, opening the case file and squeezing in on the couch next to Harry. "Budge up if you actually want to read the file."

Reluctantly, Harry made as little room for Draco as he could, leaving the whole left side of his body flush against Draco's, who was also pressed up against the arm of the couch.

"Do you want to read the critical details or the mission logistics?" asked Draco, perfectly content despite being crushed against Harry.

"You read," said Harry.

With a shrug, Draco started reading the file from the beginning, and Harry soon became lost in his rich, posh voice enunciating all the important information he was sure Draco would remind him of a million times over the next few days.

At one point, his head slipped into the space between Draco's neck and shoulder, and though Draco's body slightly tensed, Harry was pleased to hear him continue to read on as though unaffected.

He was in the middle of forming his second of three potential action plans when Draco suddenly threw down the folder, and growled, "Fuck it, I can't do this anymore." Without further warning he turned around and crashed his lips onto Harry's, pulling him into what could only be described as a battle fought with teeth and tongue. Harry clutched at Draco's sinewy back, pulling him down on top of him in willing submission as they continued to kiss.

With the change in their position came a change in Draco's demeanor. Suddenly, instead of rough and demanding, he became softer and more loving, kissing Harry's lips and nuzzling into his cheek and jaw in such a sweet way, Harry almost thought he'd imagined it. After Draco gently stroked Harry's cheek, however, he clued in on that fact that this was really happening after he'd been lusting after Draco for months.

As Draco tore Harry's white robe, and started mouthing at his nipples, he grabbed Draco's hands and stilled them above his own head.

"Wait," Harry panted. "Draco, wait."

Draco locked eyes with Harry, panting from the desire that was so clear upon his face. As they looked at each other, Harry saw his lust slowly fade away as Draco started to look fearful and worried. "What's wrong?" he asked quietly. "Is this not what you wanted?"

"It is," Harry hedged. "But – er – I want you to know this isn't a one-off for me."

"Nor is it for me, Potter," Draco laughed, lightened by the clarification. "Now where were we?"

"Here." Vanishing both of their clothes, Harry smiled to see a now-naked Draco sitting on top of him.

"That certainly makes things easier." Draco pounced, kissing Harry again much the same way he'd done the first time, taking care not to clack their teeth together again.

Once he'd moved back down to Harry's nipples, Harry ran his fingers through Draco's soft hair and twirled the ends around his finger. "You're beautiful, you know that?" he whispered softly.

There was no audible response from Draco, but he came back up to touch his lips to Harry's in the softest, most loving kiss he'd ever had. Halloween wasn't his favorite holiday by far, but at least this year it had given him the most precious gift possible.

Draco nipped softly at Harry's bottom lip before leaning slightly back to put a couple inches of distance between the two. "How do you want me?" he breathed.

Harry could definitely feel his face turning red. "Inside me," he said with not a little bit of hesitation.

"Done," said Draco, kissing Harry on the cheek while gently caressing the opposite side of his face. The affection already shared between them was like laying outside in the sun on a hot afternoon; the warmth filling his body was tangible.

It was a plus on Draco's part that he began to tease Harry and really make him ache to be filled, because he could only give of himself in this way when he was really comfortable and turned on. After quickly Transfiguring the couch into a comfortable bed, Draco knelt between Harry's knees and started mouthing down his shaft, licking at the thick vein that ran down the underside. After a short while, he finally began to suck, taking Harry's cock deep into his throat and hollowing his cheeks as he worked. Harry had never seen anything more erotic or beautiful, especially in such an intimate setting.

Just as Harry thought he was about to come, Draco pulled off, sliding back up Harry's body and giving him an openmouthed kiss. It was incredibly hot, tasting himself in Draco's mouth, and Harry was sorely disappointed when Draco gave him one final peck and asked him if he was ready.

He nodded, and was momentarily curious as Draco opened his desk drawer and pulled out small glass bottle of lube.

"You brew lube and keep it in your desk?" Harry teased.

Draco met his eyes without any jest. "I've been waiting for this day for a long time."

He completely surrendered himself as Draco dipped a finger into the lube and stirred it, muttering a quick Warming Charm to make sure it was comfortable for Harry. Draco positioned them both on their sides and kissed Harry again, shifting Harry's leg up as he reached between his legs and nudged at his opening. Arousal shot through him as Draco traced circles there, gently poking his finger in as Harry softly moaned into his mouth.

They progressed slowly but surely, Draco taking his time to stretch Harry and make sure he was still aroused with the insertion of each new finger.

"Harry? Are you ready?" Draco asked once he was three fingers deep.

"Yes," Harry breathed, willing his muscles to stay relaxed. "I think I'd like to lie on my back."

Draco smiled. "I was hoping you'd say that." He gently removed his fingers, taking care to not catch his fingernails on Harry's walls, wiping his hand on a wet towel once it was free.

Before Draco could grab the lube again, Harry snatched it, slathering a generous amount on Draco's cock. He mouthed at the tip just to get Draco a little bit harder, giving him a sultry smile as he did so.

"Come here," growled Draco, pushing Harry flat upon the bed and lifting his legs. "I need you." His declaration went straight to Harry's groin, causing his own cock to throb with the thought of Draco's desire for him.

Without further ado, Draco pushed into Harry, kissing him and rubbing his cock to take the edge off of the burn. He paused after burying himself to the hilt, letting Harry adjust and beg for it before softly thrusting in from different angles, searching for Harry's prostate.

They were only a couple minutes in when Draco finally touched it, causing Harry to whimper and clench tighter around him, clutching the sheets with his free hand.

"Does that feel nice, love?" whispered Draco as they undulated together, Harry leaning into each of Draco's thrusts.

Harry wasn't able to form a coherent thought, let alone respond. Draco was hitting his spot every time, and the pressure was building to the point where he was dying for release.

"Draco," he cried, pulling their bodies closer together. Draco kissed him then, as lovingly as before, and Harry came between them, untouched, and he fell out of space and time as his vision blurred from the intensity of his climax. Once he'd regained partial senses, Harry was conscious of Draco coming, and he tried his best to clench tighter to make it more enjoyable for him even as he carded his fingers through Draco's hair and squeezed.

After a moment, Draco came back down to earth too and looked at Harry with a dazed expression on his face. Harry laughed, pulling him down for another hug.

"That was fantastic," he said in Draco's ear, possessively clutching every inch of Draco he could reach.

Draco held on just as tightly. "Agreed," he whispered. "I wish we'd done this sooner." After a moment, he rolled onto his side, spooning into Harry's chest, and then Harry felt Draco's warm come running down his hole and down the back of his thighs.

"Not only are you a good partner, you're a really good top," Harry said playfully.

Draco cocked his head back to look Harry in the eye. "I'm your partner now in every sense of the word," he corrected, "and don't get too used to it. I'm equally good on the bottom."

Harry let him have the last word and instead focused his attention on lavishing affection on Draco, kissing all the little places he'd longed to have access to for the better part of three years. They lay there comfortably together in the darkness of their office, in no rush to leave, and Harry briefly reflected back on the Orange and Black Ball. Perhaps there would be a reason to celebrate Halloween in the future after all.