Title: Of Rain and Picnics
Author: Gypsy Silverleaf
Pairing: Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Characters unfortunately not mine.
Archives: HarryPotterRealm.com, ff.net, FictionAlley.org
Summary: Draco has a secret or two. What happens when Harry finds out?
Warnings: Fluff. Fluff, fluff, and more fluff. Oh, and mud. Lots o' mud.
Notes: This was written BEFORE Order of the Phoenix came out, so certain things aren't exactly consistent with canon. Thanks to my beta - the wonderful, sparkly, and hilarious Naadi Moonfeather. This fic is dedicated to Meg Kerin and was donated to Nasalley.org, promoting humour and charity around the world. Please review!

Of Rain and Picnics

Harry Potter had been all right when he first started dating Draco Malfoy, supposedly his archenemy, around Christmas of his seventh year. The snarky blonde twerp had cornered him in a hallway and instead of fighting they'd ended up kissing. Yes, Harry was certainly all right with that.

It was now over two years later. They were still together, much to the surprise of friends, family, and mentors. Professor Snape, in fact, had been heard telling Remus Lupin and Sirius Black that if Harry and Draco stayed together for more than three months, he would sit in his classroom naked for a whole school day.

Sirius was still laughing about that two years later. Snape just sneered whenever it was brought up.

After Hogwarts, the couple had moved into a small, aged castle surrounded by rolling green hills. A forest lay a half-kilometre away, sprawling across the valley, and rising up to meet distant mountains. Draco and Harry shared everything - they knew each other inside and out. Draco knew Harry's demons, his nightmares, and his dreams; Harry knew Draco's fears and hopes, and his deepest, innermost secrets. They didn't care how clich├ęd that sounded, either.

But it was only until recently that Draco had admitted to Harry something very secret. Something he had kept, for years, very close and away from his one true love - he really liked picnics.

Draco had tried to explain, over Harry's laughing, that his mother used to take him picnicking all over the grounds of Malfoy Manor when he was little. He'd enjoyed picnics ever since, but was scared Harry would laugh - really, Harry was trying to stop - so he'd asked Hermione Granger-Weasley to go on picnics with him when he knew Harry and her husband Ron would be gone for at least two or three days because of work, which they'd been having to do for the past few weeks.

That shut Harry up.

"Oh, love, you should have told me," Harry had said, distressed. "I would love to have a picnic with you!"

Draco was surprised. "Really?"

"Yes, of course. I've never been on one." A strange light had come to Draco's eyes as Harry spoke. "Just let me check with the Ministry," continued Harry, slowly, watching his boyfriend's reaction. "I'll get a few days off, just for us to have a picnic . . ."

How Harry regretted those words. He was beginning to think Draco was obsessed with picnics. Hermione was probably encouraging him, too; she was an acclaimed writer of novels and textbooks (most recently a best-selling book on charms) who had jumped at the chance to move her work from her home office into the open air. She apparently didn't work too much, though, because Harry heard from Ron - who had also just learned of these meetings between his wife and Malfoy, and, in the words of his brothers was "not a happy ickle Ronniekins" - that Hermione was now complaining of never getting her work done when she was around Draco.

But when Ron advised her to stop having picnics with Draco, she'd turned up her nose and said if he dared suggest that again she'd hex him because she wasn't about to cut off contact with one of the most interesting and wonderful people she knew. When Harry had just shrugged his shoulders as Ron was telling him this a few days before the picnic, the redhead had been furious.

"I don't understand why this doesn't bother you more, Harry!"

"Well, Ron," Harry had replied, "he wouldn't be my boyfriend if I didn't find him interesting or wonderful, which I certainly do."

Much to Ron's displeasure, Draco "had" to have three more picnics with Hermione over the course of two weeks to plan a menu, map out a perfect location, find the perfect blanket, and discuss the proper silverware. Hermione had also been at the castle almost every evening for the past week. She'd dragged Ron along, and she and Draco had forced their significant others to stay out of the kitchen and the parlour while they plotted. Supposedly, the picnic was going to be very romantic, and thus everything had to be in order.

Ron had been sickened by the thought of anyone being romanced by Draco Malfoy - Harry was actually rather flattered. After Harry told him this, Ron snorted in disgust and took his best friend out for a bit of flying.

"Malfoy's off his rocker, Harry," Ron had told him as they did loops around the castle. "You say he really likes picnics? Since when did a Malfoy picnic?"

"Since his mother got bored and took him out every Saturday before he started Hogwarts, Ron. And since when did Hermione go with him?"

Ron spluttered. "Hermione - Malfoy - h-he must be trying to -"

Harry cut him off. "I doubt Draco's trying to filch your wife from you, Ron. . . ." He frowned for a moment, thoughtful. "He was afraid I'd laugh at him or think it was silly if he told me he wanted to go on a picnic, so he took the only person he thought wouldn't laugh at him."


"Much like you."

Ron reddened and Harry laughed.

"It's still strange, Harry, you've got to admit," Ron said. "He wants to make every little detail just right. Hermione's told me a bit about it. Does it take two weeks to plan a bloody picnic?"

"He loves me," Harry had answered simply, but as he thought about it afterward, he was conflicted. Draco and he didn't normally do extravagant things for each other, not even on their birthdays or Christmas. Why was Draco doing this?

"Love," Harry began the night before they were to have their first picnic, standing in the doorway to the kitchen, "I don't understand why you're doing all this. It doesn't need to be perfect -"

"Yes, it does!" Draco snapped from the table where he was carefully packing the imperishable items into the basket. He folded his arms across his chest, scowling, as Harry approached and stopped in front of him. "It won't be fun otherwise."

"Don't you think you're going a little overboard?" Draco raised an eyebrow. "I mean," said Harry slowly, smiling, "you know you don't need to impress me." He put a hand to Draco's cheek and stood on tiptoes to kiss the slightly taller man's forehead. "You already do."

The corners of Draco's mouth turned up slightly, but the look on his face was resolute as Harry drew back. "As much as I appreciate the sentiment, love, you have absolutely no say in this. Tomorrow will be your first picnic. And it's going to be flawless, wonderful, and -" he rolled his eyes as Harry put an arm around his waist and kissed him again "-absolutely perfect."

"I heard it might rain."

Draco moved away a bit quickly. "Where did you hear that?"

Harry frowned. "The radio, Draco . . . the Wizard Wireless Network's weather report. 'Sporadic and heavy rain showers all weekend.'"

"Well, obviously they're wrong. It-it's been clear all week," Draco said shakily, nervously patting his hair with one hand. The blonde looked back to the open picnic basket, pale.

"Your hair will be fine, love, whatever the weather's like. You shouldn't worry," Harry teased. Draco didn't answer. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing, nothing at all." Before Harry could open his mouth to object, he said, "Why don't you go to bed, Harry? I'll be up in a while." He forced a smile at his lover when Harry appeared ready to protest. The colour was returning to his face. "It's almost midnight and I will not have you falling asleep tomorrow."

"Draco -"

Draco put an arm around Harry's shoulders and pulled him close. "It's not up for negotiations, Harry," he purred. Harry shivered and then squirmed as Draco tickled his sides. "Now don't be an arse and go to bed."

"All right, all right, I'm going!" Harry laughed. "Please - just stop tickling me!"

Draco smiled and pulled his hands away.

"But before I go, I have one question to ask," said the black haired man.

"What is it?" said Draco, entwining their fingers.

"Are you . . . obsessed with this picnicking business? Hermione told me you guys have at least one picnic a week, if you can manage it. Sometimes two, especially when I can't be here, and you seem to be going a bit - honestly - a bit mad with making sure tomorrow's picnic goes exactly as planned."

Draco's face grew serious. "I like picnics, Harry."

"It's just - I think you're being a bit extreme about all this. I don't -"

"You've been talking to Weasley too much. I like picnics, Harry."

"Okay, Draco."

"And I want you to enjoy your first picnic."

"Okay, Draco."

"It's not going to rain tomorrow."

"Whatever you say, Draco."

"Hermione will be here in the morning for last preparations."

"Okay, Draco."

"Luckily the red-head's not coming."

"All right, Draco."

"He'd put a damper on-"

"Can I go to bed now?"

Draco smirked and let go of his lover's hand. "Of course. Good night, Harry."

The next morning, Harry woke late. Draco's side of the bed was empty and already cold from the cool, late spring morning. He showered, dressed, and went down the several spiral staircases of the castle to get to the small kitchen. Hermione shooed him out almost immediately, stuffing a pastry into his hand.

"Really, Harry, you're not supposed to see what we're packing for lunch," she said. "It's supposed to be a surprise." Draco stood behind her, looking anxious, as if something was bothering him. "You'll love it, though, don't worry - and look! The sun's shining. It shouldn't rain today. We've left juice in the parlour if you're thirsty."

"I can't even give my partner a good morning kiss?"

Draco smiled apologetically. "Sorry, love. Too busy."

"Can I least have the newspaper?" Harry pleaded.

"No! Read a book for once, Harry," Hermione said sharply, "and one that's not about Quidditch! Now go away."

"But I -" It was no good. Hermione had shut the door in his face.

Harry could hear Draco's voice, muffled but angry, from beyond the door. He sighed as he heard Hermione snap at Draco, and their voices drifted farther away as they crossed the kitchen to return to their work which, Harry had seen, was spread all over the kitchen table and counter.

This will be an interesting day, Harry thought to himself as he wandered the lower levels of his home. Draco's cat, Freyja, streaked away from him in the small dining hall, intent on catching a mouse. Once Harry'd had enough of following her progress, he went outside to sit in the garden. Yawning, he settled himself on the wrought iron bench nestled between overflowing flower boxes.

The valley below the castle was green and fresh-looking, as if there had been a sprinkle overnight that had cleaned the world around them. The flower gardens around the castle were blooming and bright with colour. Spring was in full force and while the clouds off in the distance looked somewhat ominous, Harry had to admit it was picture-perfect day.

He smiled to himself. Draco would probably say it was the perfect day for a picnic.

As the sun rising quickly in the sky warmed his skin, Harry was glad he'd told Ron and his superiors at the Ministry he would not under any circumstances come to work. It was too lovely a morning to miss. . . .

"He's quite adorable when he's awake," said a distant voice.

"Even more so when's he's asleep. Alas, we must wake him up." Lips pressed against his and Harry opened eyes, blinking slowly. Draco was leaning over him, smirking.

Hermione was standing behind Draco, holding the large picnic basket and the blanket. "Hello, Harry," she said warmly. "Have a nice nap?"

"He needs all the sleep he can get," Draco replied, watching Harry blink several times and rub his eyes. "Mr. Potter doesn't realize that he's working too hard."

"While you sit around the house and do nothing."

"You know that's not fair, Hermione. I read, I write, I cook, I have picnics with you -"

"I must have dozed off," Harry said blearily.

Hermione chuckled and handed her burden to Draco. "Well, I must be going. Ron and I are going to the Burrow for lunch."

"Thank Merlin you don't have any children yet, Granger. That house would probably buckle under the strain, what with all the red-headed offspring of your husband's brothers running about the place already."

"That's Granger-Weasley, Malfoy," Hermione said, raising an eyebrow at him. She turned to Harry after a moment. "Good-bye, Harry."

"'Bye, Hermione," Harry replied, struggling to his feet. He kissed her cheek and she Disapparated.

The two young men were silent for a moment, staring at the spot where Hermione had been. They finally looked at each other.

"Hi," Harry said shyly after another silence, blushing.

"Hello," said Draco, grinning, clearly amused. He handed Harry the basket. "Done napping?"

"I think so."

"Right then, let's be off."

As they started walking down the grassy hill towards the forest, Harry realized there were hardly any shadows on the ground and the world around them seemed dull. The clouds, once far-away, were now bearing down on them.



"Have you looked up recently?"

Draco glanced up at the clouds moving quickly overhead to cover the blue sky. They reflected beautifully in his cool grey eyes. "It's nothing. They'll pass."

"You're acting very strange, Draco."

"How so?" Draco asked airily, not meeting Harry's eyes.

"I don't know," Harry admitted, looking away. He stared up into the clouds. "I think it's going to rain."

Draco linked their arms and steered his boyfriend onto a narrow dirt path winding its way between two hills. "Of course it's not going to rain, Harry," he responded, feigning a placating tone.

Harry snorted. "Really. And that's why it's raining across the valley."

"Must be seventy kilometres away."

"Draco . . ."

"Let's not think about it, all right? We're supposed to be having fun."

"I am!" Harry said defensively. "I just think it's going to rain."

"Harry -"

"Maybe we should go back to get an umbrella."

"Harry, I'm getting very tired of this conversation. If you say another word about the rain, I'll kill you, do you understand?" Draco glowered at the green-eyed man. "Very. Slowly."

"Just please don't use spoons. I heard it hurts more if you do that."

Draco stared at him, but a grin replaced his frown after a moment and he laughed. "You heard what Hermione said when you came down for breakfast - it's not going to rain. And if it does, we'll be done with lunch and back in the castle before the first drop of water hits the ground."

Harry's stomach rumbled. "All right, I believe you, but that reminds me - I'm really quite hungry. I haven't eaten in Merlin knows how many hours."

"Well, stop paying so much attention to the clouds, then," Draco said, exasperated, as they strode down the path from the hills into the trees, "and let us get on with the bloody picnic. I have sandwiches and champagne, and -"

"So is that what we're having for lunch?"

Draco glared at his boyfriend. "I didn't mean to say that."

"What kind of sandwiches?"

"Shut up, Harry."

"Where in the forest are we going?"

"Shut up, Harry."

"What year is the champagne?"

"I brought you the newspaper," Draco replied coldly. He let go of Harry's hand and dug around in the blanket until he produced a slightly crumpled copy of the Daily Prophet.

"Oh, how nice of you," said Harry, not bothering to hide his sarcasm and taking the paper.

Harry was grateful when Draco stopped in a small clearing a few minutes later - the silence had been irritating - just a few metres from the entrance to the forest. They could still see their little castle, rising high above them, from where they stood. Draco threw the blanket to the ground and it magically spread open. He took the basket from his boyfriend and dropped it carelessly on top of it.

"This is where we're having your first picnic, Harry."

Grinning, Harry flung himself onto the blanket. He reached for the basket. "Good. I'm starving."

"Ah, ah, ah," Draco said, rubbing Harry's shoulders and kissed the top of his head before sitting down across from his boyfriend. "Forgive me?"

"For being an arse? Yes."

Draco smirked and pulled the basket away, much to Harry's disappointment, and opened it. He pulled out two wineglasses and a bottle of champagne. He poured one glass and handed it to Harry, then poured one for himself.

"There's something to be said about fine wine," Draco said as he returned the bottle to the basket, "on a beautiful spring day. It -"

"Wine?" said Harry, holding up the glass. "I thought this was champagne."

Draco glared at him, again. "You've just completely ruined the mood, Harry - once again. I was trying to be debonair."

"And you succeeded only in confusing me."

"If you weren't such a git, you might understand -"

"What? That you can't read alcohol labels clearly? Maybe you need glasses like me." He tapped his spectacles. Draco didn't respond and Harry sighed. "Fine. Pout. You do it so well."

"Thank you, Harry," said Draco sarcastically, "for being such an insolent brat."

"Well, that was low."

Draco leaned toward his boyfriend and kissed him, teasing Harry's lower lip with his tongue. Harry whimpered - protesting - when the blonde moved away a few minutes later.

"Any more insults?"

"Mmm," Harry murmured, gazing at Draco through half-lidded eyes, "not right now."

"That's what I thought," Draco replied, smugly. He touched his glass to Harry's. "Cheers."

"Did I miss any news?" Harry asked, opening the newspaper.

"Not much. Weasley's favourite team won again."

"Amazing what enlisting a Gryffindor will do for a Quidditch team."

"I hate Weasley's sister, I really do."

"I'm sure the feeling's mutual," Harry replied with a snort as he scanned the daily headlines. Draco pulled two plates from the basket and began piling them with corn beef sandwiches and sliced fruit. The dark-haired man looked over the top of the paper to see the food and seemed to approve.

"What happened at the Quidditch match in Kent last night?" Draco asked, handing Harry his plate. "I didn't read that far. Just the headlines, the weather, and half of the sports section. Hermione took the paper away from me when she arrived around nine, saying I had to 'focus.' Honestly - focus my arse."

Chortling, Harry cast his eyes back to the paper. "The Arrows beat the Kenmare Kestrels, two hundred-thirty to one hundred-forty."

Draco snorted and took a bite of his sandwich. "Good," he said with a mouthful of food. "I detest the Irish."

"You like Seamus."

"I also enjoy Irish whiskey from time to time, and I'm also eating this damned corned beef Ireland is so famous for because you like it, but that doesn't mean I can't have a passionate hatred of the Irish."

"You just don't like the Irish because every time you bet against one of their Quidditch clubs, they win."

"Yes, well," Draco grumbled, "eat your ruddy sandwich."

"Not yet, I'm looking for something." Draco opened his mouth to say something, but Harry smacked the paper and shouted, "There! You and Hermione both need glasses because you obviously didn't read the weather forecast right. It says right here that heavy rain is predicted in this part of England for the rest of the day!" The Boy Who Lived looked up from the paper, eyes sparkling triumphantly.

The look on Draco's face was positively murderous. "For the last time, Harry," he said furiously, "it is NOT going to RAIN!"

As soon as the words left his mouth, a flash of lightning exploded across the greying sky. The accompanying thunderclap boomed over the hills and into the forest of the grounds. Large raindrops began plopping on the ground all around them.

"Damn it all to hell, Draco Malfoy!" Harry shouted, holding his now very wet copy of the day's Prophet over his head and jumping to his feet. "I told you this would happen!"

Draco stared up at the sky, blinking. Rainwater splashed into his wineglass and he glanced at the picnic basket, muttering a few words. The glass disappeared, and a red and white umbrella floated from the basket into his hand. He opened it, then leveled his gaze to an obviously infuriated Harry Potter. "Hermione didn't say it would rain," the blonde said innocently.

The rain was starting to come down in buckets and Harry was soaked to the skin almost immediately. "I did, Draco! I did! You were too busy trying to plan this picnic to listen to me - and now you pull out an umbrella!" he yelled angrily.

"Well, of course. Why wouldn't I? The Prophet said rain was in the forecast."

Harry's mouth dropped open and he couldn't speak for a moment. "What -" He stopped and stared at Draco, who was grinning devilishly from under the protection of the umbrella. "You planned this, didn't you?"

"Of course I did!" Draco exclaimed, shocked Harry would think otherwise. "From the very beginning. I thought you might like it - I am certainly enjoying myself."


"Well, for one, it's very funny to see you looking like a wet cat," said Draco, speaking loudly over the roar of raindrops hitting the trees and thick undergrowth around them. "It's adorable, actually. Second, I like to experience a picnic in every type of weather, and third - "

Harry lunged at him suddenly, seized the umbrella, and jumped away from Draco as fast as he could. Draco gazed at Harry, open-mouthed, as the rain poured down, drenching him as well. The sight was quite comical for Harry to see Draco Malfoy at something other than his best - his shirt sopping wet, his normally pressed jeans rumpled, his hair dripping and disheveled.

"This is where your plan changes, Mr. Malfoy. Now who's the one looking like a drenched cat?"

Draco managed to growl, "My hair."

"Poor Draco," Harry cooed. "Darling, really, you look adorable soaked to the skin. You don't need this."

"My hair," Draco repeated. Harry's triumphant grin faltered slightly and he took a step backward as a predatory glint came into Draco's eyes. "You took my umbrella, Harry. My umbrella."

"Draco, your hair will dry," Harry said uneasily, taking another step back. His grip on the umbrella tightened. "It's just an umbrella."

Draco ignored him. "Give it back to me, Harry." He held out his hand. "Now."

Harry found himself a few more feet away from Draco before he found his voice. Boldly, he asked, "And what if I don't?"

Draco was suddenly on his feet and Harry took off running back towards the castle. Harry's feet almost slid from under him, but he caught himself before he fell and kept running, his boyfriend at his heels. Sparing a moment to glance behind him as he sprinted, he saw Draco slip, then catch himself, and continue tearing after the Boy Who Lived.

"Give it back, Harry!" shouted Draco over the bucketing rain as they raced down the muddy path.

Harry steered off the path and scrambled up a hillside. Draco charged after him and Harry threw the umbrella to the side. As Harry crested the hill, he looked back again. Doing this slowed him down and Draco launched himself at Harry. Harry's foot slipped as he tried to get away and Draco tackled him. They fell, laughing, to the ground. The puddle they landed in sent splashes of water everywhere, drenching them and covering them in mud.

Draco's hands were all over Harry in seconds, tickling him. The rain poured around them and nearly drowned out Harry's yelps. He struggled to get up, but his legs were caught beneath Draco, who was mercilessly tickling him. Water splashed into his mouth and he choked.

"I'm going to drown!" Harry cried, squirming helplessly.

"Not before I tickle you to death."

"You wouldn't!"

"Try me."

"The third one," said Harry, between giggles and gasps of "Stop! Please!" "What's the third one?"

"What?" Draco blinked and drew his hands away, putting them on either side of Harry's head to keep himself steady.

"The third one - the third reason why you brought me out on a picnic to get rained out."

Draco paused, thinking, then rolled his eyes. "Oh, that. I thought it might be rather romantic."

"Romantic?" Harry slowly stopped giggling and wiped at his fogging glasses.

"Very." Draco took Harry's glasses gently off his face, carefully putting them in his pocket. He then leaned down, his face scarcely a centimetre from Harry's, and stared into his emerald eyes. "Do you know what day it is?"

"March something?" Harry asked, looking confused.

"April sixteenth. Exactly two years, three months, and one day since when?"

"What -"

"Something happened to us then. What was it? Exactly two years and three months since . . .?"

Harry frowned for a moment, thinking back, then his eyes lit up in understanding. "Two years and three months since the staff of Hogwarts found out about us."

Draco's lips touched his boyfriend's damp forehead. "Right in one, Harry. We'd barely been together three weeks when Snape and Remus caught us snogging in the dungeons. Our favourite Potions master told Dumbledore - and Remus, of course, told Sirius, who screamed at Snape for letting me touch you."

Harry smiled wistfully and put a hand on Draco's hip. "I remember. No one was very happy."

"Do you also remember the bet Severus made with Remus?"

"That if we stayed together for three months," said Harry slowly, moving his hand underneath the soaked shirt, and trailing his fingers up and down Draco's wet skin, "he would sit in his classroom, starkers, for an entire day?"

Draco snickered at the memory and accidentally shook water from his hair into Harry's face. Harry squawked indignantly and tried to sit up, but Draco grabbed his wrists and pushed them above Harry's head. "He lost the bet," he said, softly.

Harry stared into Draco's eyes, grey like the clouds above them. He barely heard the rain pounding the grass and hills around them, he ignored the mud and the water covering him from head to foot - all he could focus on was Draco's eyes, his words, and the pounding of their hearts.

"He's lost the bet a thousand fold," Draco whispered, dropping his head so their foreheads met. He took a shuddering breath - Harry wasn't sure if his boyfriend was nervous or cold.

"Are you all right?" Harry said, almost inaudibly.

Draco chuckled. "Hardly." He swallowed and looked back into Harry's eyes, darker than the green grass around them, sparkling like emeralds. He released Harry's wrists. His hands went to Harry's face, and Harry's hands went back to his hips. "I've had a speech going through my head for weeks now and I knew it by heart . . . and now I think I've forgotten it.

"We've been together for two years. No one thought we'd make it . . . not even Remus. He just wanted to see Severus naked." They both smiled at that. "But," Draco continued, "look at us. Still together, still in each other's arms, still in love. The world scorned us, some of our friends hated us, for loving one another, and yet we persevered. We're still here and I can only think of loving you more each day. You give me so much and you helped me more than you know.

"You know I've always liked you, since the first day I met you. I've told you that. You were a challenge - mysterious, captivating, and, as I realized fifth year, breathtakingly beautiful . . . I've never told you, almost because I was worried you'd laugh, but that's when I started pulling away from my father. Your light drew me in and I couldn't stand to be in the darkness anymore."

"Draco . . ."

"I want you to know I would marry you, if I could," Draco said quickly, his voice slightly choked. "If we could. Neither the Muggle world nor the wizarding allows it yet, and it breaks my heart, because I want to bind myself to you. No one should be able to say we aren't sacred. Maybe it's stupid to ask the world to accept us, but I want them to know it's okay that we love each other just as much as Ron loves Hermione. It doesn't matter who you love - it only matters how you love and why you love. You're my heart and I promise one day I'll make you mine. Forever."

Harry was speechless and couldn't move for a long time. Suddenly, he crushed his mouth against his lover's and felt as if he never wanted to leave that moment - that sweet moment when everything that had seemed right in the past was even more wonderful and perfect than before - but he had to so he could say four words.

"I love you, Draco."

Draco smiled, softly. They let themselves lay there for a while, listening to the rain around them, indifferent to the cold because their hearts were warm.

"So," Harry began, "you did all this so you could . . .?"

"Hermione helped me plan the 'ruined' picnic. What took us so long in the planning was waiting to be sure it would rain on the right day. We worked on some weather charms for me to use just in case. I was worried this morning and she fussed at me about it for a while . . . but it all turned out perfectly." Draco sighed as Harry's fingers gently caressed his back. "I told her what I wanted to say to you and I think she almost swooned. Apparently, she'd like Weasley to do the same thing."

"Ron's not the take-you-on-a-picnic-and-drag-you-into-the-mud romantic type, unfortunately," Harry replied.

"I think I should take offense to that."

"Probably, but please don't." Their lips met and Harry closed his eyes for a moment.

"What are you thinking about?" Draco asked softly. His thumb caressed Harry's cheek.

"You," Harry murmured, not opening his eyes. "How lucky I am to have someone to drag me into the mud and take me on picnics and want me in his life forever."

"I love you, too, Harry."

Harry hummed happily when Draco kissed him again. He opened his eyes, which were strangely - and beautifully - bright. "I think the rain's beginning to stop."

Draco looked around. "That it is. Ready to go back to the picnic?"

Harry gaped. "Are you really that obsessed?"

"What do you think?" said Draco, smirking.

"What about the picnic basket?" Harry asked.

"I'm sure it's floated all through the forest to the stream now." Draco nipped Harry's nose playfully. "It's long gone, but it doesn't matter. I was kidding, at least about going back to the picnic. It's a bit muddy." Harry started to say something, but Draco cut him off. "Of course, that doesn't mean I'm not obsessed with picnics."

"Ah, well, I didn't think so. Can you get off me now? You're crushing me."

"I'll do more than that."

Harry sniggered. "I certainly hope so."

Draco released Harry's face and helped him put his glasses back on. He ghosted his fingers over Harry's lips then started to get off of him. The rain shower was most certainly coming to an end. The clouds above the hills and the castle pulled apart, as if only for them, and patches of blue peeked through. The blond smiled as he stood up, drinking in the warm, and welcomed, sunlight. A rainbow reached across the sky.

"He'll lose it forever."

"What?" asked Draco, blinking. He helped Harry to his feet.

"Snape. The bet." Harry put a hand on Draco's neck and pulled him in for a gentle kiss. "He'll always lose the bet."


Harry grinned. "Well, I certainly hope so," he teased. "Are you trying to say, after well over two years and this little prank you pulled on me just now, and your promise, that there's no hope left for us? No forever?"

Draco took Harry's hand and kissed it. "Well, there's always hope for me. I'm pretty - even soaked to the bone. You I'm not so sure about. You still have the appearance of a wet cat, and that's not very pretty."

"Oi!" Harry tried to hit Draco with his free hand. "I thought you liked that! And you're one to talk - we're both covered with mud and sopping wet."

"Actually, you're the only one covered in mud."

"Shut up, you git."

Laughing, Draco reached out and tickled Harry gently, grinning as the shorter man yelped, then let go of his hand and started up the hill. "C'mon, let's go back to the castle and dry off. As this was all planned, Hermione's left us some lunch. We'll have a picnic in the kitchen."

"Not a picnic in the parlour?"

Draco stopped and turned, quirking an eyebrow. "Why not every room?"

Harry's eyes lit up. "I definitely like that idea." He joined Draco and they started walking.

"And tomorrow, when the rain clears, we'll have a real picnic."

Harry groaned. In a flash, he was running up the muddy, slippery slope toward the castle, with Draco right behind him. They laughed all the way home. As Draco's arms went around Harry and they hurtled through the castle doors, the Boy Who Lived reflected that it had truly been the perfect day for a picnic.

- fin -