Draco paused on the kitchen threshold the next morning and watched Potter shift between the stove, counter, and the sink wearing only those pyjama denims of his. They fit him much better than they had Draco, molding perfectly to the curve of his—


Draco gaze shot up and his face heated when he met Potter's amused over-the-shoulder look. He scowled and stalked to the icebox.

"I asked you a question, Malfoy," Potter said, his voice dripping with laughter. "Would you like some sticky buns? I'm making them fresh."

"Whatever, Potter."

"I'll take that as a yes."

Draco poured himself a glass of pumpkin juice. "I doubt there'll be any leftover for me once Weasley gets to them."

"Hermione and Ron aren't here, remember?" Potter returned to his food preparations. "They probably won't be back until tomorrow at the earliest."

Draco grunted, drank his juice, and ogled Potter out of the corner of his eye. The kits were still asleep in their cage upstairs. Morning sunlight drifted through the window over the sink and set in the back door. The smell of baking sticky buns drifted from the stove. Potter's bicep bulged as he stirred something in a bowl, his lower arm moving in a decidedly suggestive manner. Draco was glad he'd taken the time to put on robes before coming downstairs.

A tap at the window above the sink drew Draco's attention from studying the muscular lines of Potter's bare back. A delivery owl hovered outside the glass, a rolled newspaper clutched in its claws. "Get that, will you?" Potter said. "There's a sickle and an owl treat in the basket."

Draco opened the window and the owl flapped inside. The owl dropped the newspaper into Draco's outstretched hand. Draco found the money and owl treat in a heart-shaped woven basket on the counter near the sink. The owl hooted in thanks for both and flew off.

Draco closed the window, untied the ribbon, and unrolled the newspaper. The headline screamed at him, tinny voice echoing against the kitchen walls. "YOU-KNOW-WHO DEFEATED!" Confetti shot from the O's in the words, pelting Draco in the face and chest and raining down around him.

Draco spit out confetti and brushed it off the front of his robes. Potter snickered. "Naff off," Draco said, shaking the newspaper. A few extra bits of confetti floated to the ground.

The headline had surprised him, and not because of the scream or confetti. The Dark Lord was defeated? To be honest, Draco hadn't thought it would happen. Disassociated with the Dark Lord or not, Draco wasn't that happy with the news. What would happen to the wizarding world now? Oh, well, at least mother and father are safe.

Assured he wasn't going to be bombarded again, Draco read the article. He wanted to know how the greatest dark wizard since Grindelwald had met his end. Did the horcruxes Potter, Weasley, and Granger had been searching for have anything to do with it? Or maybe the Ministry Aurors actually managed to do their jobs.

Doves Released Over Ministry of Magic
Wizarding World Press, London

At approximately half-past the Witching Hour this morning,
The Chosen One, Harry Potter, 18, fulfilled his destiny
and defeated He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named in a drawn out
duel at the Riddle Estate, Little Hangleton, Yorkshire.

"It was scary," said Ronald Weasley, 18, best mate of
the Boy Who Lived. Undergoing Skele-Gro treatment at his
parents' home in Ottery St. Catchpole, Weasley and affianced,
Hermione Granger, 18, reported that getting close to You-Know-Who
was the hardest task. "After that," said Weasley, "we just had to
hope Harry would finish Vo-Vol- him off."

"I had complete faith that Harry would do it," said Granger.

Requests for interviews have been unable to reach our world's Savior,
who, we are told, is recuperating at his home in the London area.

Minister of Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour, spoke with the press—

Draco stopped reading and looked up slowly from the newspaper to stare at Potter. Potter bent in front of the stove, pulling out a tray of baked sticky buns. He set the tray on the stovetop and cursed when he burned himself on the edge of the hot tray. There was nothing to indicate that he'd fought against the Dark Lord. He wasn't bragging and hadn't commented on the screaming headline. He hadn't even mentioned it in passing, or said anything when he'd shown up in Draco's room last night. Draco wouldn't have known about it at all if he hadn't read the newspaper.

Draco's eyes widened as realization set in. He wouldn't have known at all. Potter had left yesterday to battle the Dark Lord and he hadn't said anything. He could've been killed and Draco wouldn't have known. He would've been waiting for Potter to return with a bag of cockroach clusters, having zero inkling that Potter lay dead somewhere, glassy green eyes staring sightlessly at the sky.

"How could you!" Draco roared.

"Ow!" Potter turned around and raised his arms as Draco hit him again with the rolled newspaper. "What are you doing?"

"You git! You complete and utter berk!" Draco smacked him with the newspaper as hard as he could. "How could you do that! How!"

"How could I do what? What did I do?" Potter said, attempting to ward off the blows.

"You went off to fight the Dark Lord and didn't tell me!" Draco yelled. "You just left and I might never have seen you again!"

"I told you we were leaving."

"And I told you to bring me back cockroach clusters. Cockroach clusters!" Draco rained hits on Potter's down-turned head and arms. He wished he had his wand. "Obviously, I had no idea you were waltzing off to your death!"

"Ow! Malfoy, calm down." Potter grabbed Draco's wrists.

"Calm down! I will not calm down." Draco struggled against Potter's grip, newspaper bent and crushed in his hand. His body was shaking. "I never would've known, don't you see? You could have gone forever and I never would've known."

"But I'm not gone," Potter said soothingly, as if gentling a feral animal. "I'm right here."

"You said goodbye," Draco rasped and ceased his struggles. He stared at Potter with stinging eyes. "You said goodbye to me like you knew you weren't coming back."

"There was a chance that I wouldn't," Potter said. "But it doesn't matter now, because I did come back. I came back to you."

"Potter…" Draco's voice choked on emotion. Potter searched his gaze, and his breath hitched softly. Slowly, as if barely moving at all, Potter leaned forward, over their clasped arms, and pressed his lips against Draco's.

The newspaper crinkled in Draco's grip.

Potter drew back just as slowly, nervousness on his face. "Was that okay?"

Heart hammering wildly, Draco licked his lips, rubbed them together, and closed his eyes as he inhaled a shaky breath. He exhaled audibly. "Don't ever do that again."

"Don't kiss you?" Potter sounded distressed.

Draco opened his eyes, a smirk tugging at the corner of his mouth. "No. That you should do often. In fact, I demand that you do."

Potter slumped in relief. "Oh, good."

"But no going after the Dark Lord without telling me." Draco pulled his wrists free of Potter's slackened grip and whapped him with the newspaper. "You've made me resort to common brutishness because I'm so angry with you."

Potter gave him a cockeyed grin. "Er, sorry?"

Draco smacked him with the newspaper again for good measure. Then once more because he could.

Potter laughed and caught Draco in his arms. His chest was solid and warm under Draco's palm. "I promise I won't go after Voldemort again."

"See that you don't," Draco said, tossing the newspaper aside as he slid his hands around Potter's neck. "The kits would be devastated if they lost their father."

"We can't have that," Potter said. "Draco—"

"Oh, so now it's 'Draco', is it?" Draco couldn't find it in himself to be actually upset with the name thing again, not after nearly losing Potter. "Give a bloke a snog and he thinks all's forgiven. Well, you're wrong. It'll take two snogs."

A smile stretched across Potter's face. "What'll happen if I snog you more than twice?"

"Why don't you try it and find out."

"All right," Potter said, and kissed Draco again.

Draco melted into Potter's embrace with a sigh. The kits would be ecstatic for them, and he made a mental note to send Snape a thank you card, too.

It turned out to be just brilliant, after all.


Author's Note: I hope you enjoyed this crackfic as much as I enjoyed writing it. It began as a challenge fic to pair ferret!Draco/squid and grew into this insanity from there. There is no sequel planned, but if there were, it'd involve ferret!Draco, ferret!Harry, and a whole new batch of lightning-bolt furred kits. As for Snape, well, what happened with him is up to your imagination. Thanks for reading!