Disclaimer: Characters are, of course, owned by J.K. Rowlings. No copyright infringement intended.
A/N: Draco/Harry slash. Rating is PG-15 for sexual situations. A bit of silliness written in August 2005 for The Eros Affair website/Livejournal community. With affectionate apologies to Antoine de Saint Exupéry. Thanks and hugs to Kaalee for the beta.
Plot prompt: Harry to Draco: I promise to let Ron catch us.
More notes at the end. . . .
A Night To Remember
One Saturday afternoon, in a nook secluded deep in the dim and dusty, seldom-visited back recesses of the library, Harry sat at a small table opposite Draco, working on a Potions research project they had been assigned to complete together. Harry had a large library book propped upright on the table in front of him and was slowly turning the pages, supposedly searching for a specific reference they needed. In reality, he was turning the pages and watching Draco covertly over the top of the book.
Draco was bent over the parchment that was stretched out between them, his left forearm resting on the table, his left hand spread to hold the parchment steady while he wrote busily with a plumed white quill. Harry's gaze lingered on that slender hand, unable to stop himself from imagining what the touch of those fingers could do to him. Draco's fine hair had fallen forward so that Harry couldn't see his eyes . . . but Harry could see his mouth, could see the soft pink lower lip that Draco alternately held behind his teeth in concentration or licked, with just a hint of the tip of his tongue showing.
The air in the room was becoming increasingly still and warm, and Harry had completely forgotten what he was meant to be looking up.
"Found it yet?" asked Draco, pausing in his writing to check what he'd just written. "I'm almost ready to do that section on the effect of Jobberknoll feathers now."
"Er . . ." said Harry. Right. Jobberknoll feathers. How could he have forgotten that? "No," he said, "not yet, it's not in the index and – " Draco raised his head and looked up at him from under a fringe of flaxen hair and Harry forgot what he was saying. A very definite flush crept over his face.
Draco gave him a slow, lascivious grin. "You do know, don't you, Potter, how lucky you are to have me as your partner?" He raised one eyebrow smugly, then dipped his quill in the ink and continued with the section he had been working on. "Because, otherwise," he added, still grinning, "you would be entirely hopeless at this."
Harry grinned back, a teasing challenge in his eyes. "At this, maybe," he countered, "but you didn't seem to think I was entirely hopeless . . . last night." Harry smirked over the top of the library book when Draco's quill faltered slightly, then he leaned forward to whisper, "I seem to remember someone moaning, 'Oh Harry, Harry, oh God, oh YES!' with his face buried in a pile of dirty dust rags on the floor of Filch's supply closet last night."
Draco stopped writing abruptly and fell back in his chair, covering his face with the plume of his quill, but Harry still saw the faint pink stain that spread over Draco's cheeks, and he grinned wider.
"I am forced to admit," said Draco in a low voice, after a moment, "that you have proved to be . . . surprisingly skilled . . . at certain . . . things."
With a soft exultant laugh, Harry turned back to his book to renew his search for Jobberknoll feathers – until a stockinged foot slipped up under the cuff of his trouser leg to tickle suggestively at his bare shin. Harry inhaled a sharp breath and looked up to find Draco staring at him with desire flaring in his light gray eyes like a dare. The book slid from Harry's hands and dropped shut with a bang as Harry jumped to his feet, the entire project forgotten.
Ron sat in the Gryffindor common room with Hermione, fidgeting. He was working on a Transfigurations theory essay, but kept glancing up expectantly at the portrait hole every time someone came in. He and Hermione had finished their Potions project an hour ago. Of course, Hermione was really good at the subject, he reminded himself, and maybe because of that, they had gotten done extra quickly. But Harry had left much earlier and definitely should have been back by now. Ron scowled and absently crumpled one edge of his parchment.
"Oh honestly, Ron," said Hermione, a touch of impatience in her voice. "The theory for turning a boa constrictor into a hat is not that hard." She gave him an exasperated look when he frowned at her. "All you have to do is visualize the elephant inside – "
"I know," said Ron, irritably. "It isn't that. I'm worried about Harry," he said, now trying to smooth out the wrinkled edge of his essay. "He's been gone a long time . . . and he's with Malfoy."
There was something new going on between Harry and Malfoy that Ron couldn't quite put his finger on. For one thing, Harry hadn't seemed nearly as reluctant about being paired with Malfoy on that Potions essay as Ron had expected he should be. But more than that, Ron had caught them trading odd, secretive glances lately, and when Malfoy had very purposefully bumped into Harry in the hall last week, Ron was sure he'd seen Harry grin for a second. Also, like now, there was the suddenly displeased, tight look Hermione got whenever he mentioned their names. All of it added up to something very questionable in Ron's mind.
"I'm sure he's fine," Hermione said in a taut voice.
Hermione's tone made Ron even more suspicious. She knew something – he was sure of it. He laid down his quill and put the stopper in his ink bottle. "I'm going out," he said, making up his mind to find out what was going on. He remembered overhearing Harry tell Malfoy that he'd meet him at the library this morning after breakfast. "I, er . . . need a book from the library," he added.
Hermione smiled at him rather craftily. "Good," she said. "Make sure you check out the bookshelves at the very back of the library. You might find what you're looking for there."
When Ron got to the library, he didn't see Harry or Malfoy anywhere – all the tables were occupied by other groups of students. He sighed and turned to leave, wondering where he could start looking next, when Hermione's last words came back to him. Had she been trying to tell him something . . . else?
Slipping quietly through the aisles to the back stacks, Ron wondered if he was wasting his time. If Harry was working on a project with Malfoy, he certainly wouldn't have agreed to come way back here. He was thinking again of where he would search next when he rounded the corner of the last bookshelf and came face to face with what he was looking for. He had found Harry and Malfoy all right – with Malfoy's arms wrapped tightly around Harry's neck.
Ron's first reaction was to assume that Harry was being attacked and strangled, but a double take revealed that it was Harry who was straddling Draco's lap and was . . . oh my God . . . kissing the Slytherin with a passionate, single-minded intensity that left Ron frozen in his tracks. Ron's jaw dropped to his collar, his eyes glued to the unfathomable spectacle before him.
He must have made a slight gurgling noise, possibly something like a mingled retch and a gasp, because suddenly Harry and Draco broke apart and both turned to look at him.
"I think I'm going to be sick," whispered Ron, barely able to speak. "Harry . . . have you lost your bloody mind?" He sank to the floor with his back against the bookshelf and buried his face in his hands.
Harry decided he didn't really need to answer that. "Sorry," he said softly in Ron's general direction. He scooped up the almost finished essay while Draco grabbed their quills and the ink pot. "I'll . . . er, talk to you later . . . to explain. . . ."
"The look on his face!" laughed Draco, breathless from running, as they tumbled together, kissing and fumbling with clothes, into a remote third floor broom closet. He and Harry had swept up their belongings and fled from the library before Ron could come to his senses and start yelling. Now, robes and shirts and trousers were being shed in a flurry of bumping elbows and knees and haphazardly tossed onto the only clear floor space in the center of the tiny room.
"That face," repeated Draco, between returning Harry's greedy kisses and trying to hang his boxers fastidiously on the end of a mop handle, "will go down in my personal memories as a moment of remarkable perfection. God, I'd love to see that again," he exclaimed, dragging Harry down onto the pile of clothes littering the floor. Draco laughed again as Harry straddled his hips and leaned down to kiss him. "Can you imagine his face, if he saw us now?" he asked, grinning scandalously up at Harry.
Harry pulled back a little, startled by this comment, and eyed Draco thoughtfully. "Are you saying you'd really want Ron to catch us . . . like this . . . ?"
"You have to admit," said Draco, running his hands slowly up Harry's thighs, "it would be so bloody brilliant."
Harry sat up a bit more and looked down at Draco, seeing the pale hair fanning out in stark contrast against the black robes beneath Draco's head, the fair silken strands almost disappearing on top of the random white edge of a shirt sleeve, framing a face that captivated him entirely. The gray eyes were kindling into silver, lit with rare amusement and enjoyment; the mouth softened into a wide, rare smile. That was an expression he would not mind seeing again, even if it was at Ron's expense.
Then, I promise to let Ron catch us, thought Harry as Draco's slowly sliding fingers slipped up over Harry's hips and cupped his waist, pulling Harry back down and into the kiss his comment had momentarily delayed. It was his last coherent thought before he surrendered completely to the flash-fire and slow burn of Draco's mouth on his own, of Draco's body under his, arching up to press with tantalizing demands against him.
Two weeks, and countless explanations later – including the story of how Hermione had discovered Harry and Draco together in the back of the library and been reluctantly sworn to secrecy – Harry was smuggling Draco up to the Gryffindor dorm under his invisibility cloak. It was so hard to find places to snog, much less shag, where they wouldn't be discovered by housemates or one of the teachers, or heaven help them, Filch or Mrs. Norris. They'd used the Room of Requirement occasionally, but that didn't seem entirely safe either – anyone desiring a place to be with a lover could potentially walk in on them at any time. Harry's ever-recurring nightmare was that he might someday awaken, after falling into a numb post-shag stupor, to find Snape or McGonagall staring down at him lying naked in Draco's arms on the floor of wherever they'd ended up that time. Snape, of course, would be very bad, but McGonagall. . . . Harry inwardly cringed every time he imagined his Head of House's thin disapproving lips going white with shock – it was just too ghastly to contemplate.
So when an opportunity had presented itself for Harry and Draco to actually share a bed for the whole night, it was much too good to pass up. And there was another possibility that Harry had in mind . . .
"Are you sure this is a good idea?" whispered Draco for the tenth time as they crept up the dimly lit, winding staircase. Bed or no bed, this was the Gryffindor dorm and he was jumpy and ready to hex anyone who so much as noticed the space he displaced under the cloak. Rabid Gryffindors were nothing to be trifled with in a dark stairwell.
"It's fine," said Harry, rolling his eyes. "I told you. Seamus and Neville and Dean are all staying overnight in the greenhouse with their Advanced Herbology class," he explained again, very glad he was not taking Herbology this year. "The Night Crawling Orchids are blooming and they get horny. The class has to keep watch all night to prevent them from sneaking into the beds with the Strumpet Vines. And Ron is out with Hermione. He might be gone for hours."
"Errg," said Draco, his upper lip curling, perfectly articulating his deeply offended sensibilities at the unwelcome mental image of Mugglebrain and the Weasel doing anything remotely resembling amorous, intimate touching. Harry had pointedly forbidden him to even think Mudblood in connection with his friend, so Draco had had to resort to thinking up a new name for her. But no matter what he called her, picturing her like that with Weasley was beyond revolting.
But then they were alone in Harry's deserted room, dark except for the moonlight spilling in pale arched rectangles from the windows on one side. Harry pulled off the invisibility cloak and took Draco's hand, leading him to the bed. Draco turned at the bedside and drew Harry close, his earlier reluctance melting swiftly away as Harry's hands found their way under his shirt. Then Harry was kissing him and doing that thing he did with his tongue, and Draco forgot about Mugweases and Brainsleys and er . . . whoever. . . .
With one hand fisted into the sheets beside him, the other gripping for dear life onto Harry, Draco tried to cling to the last shreds of his self control. He was perilously close to screaming. The scream had been building up for some time, as Harry brought him just to the edge and no further, teasing him with near-release over and over. It was tautly coiled in his chest, hanging poised in each shuddering breath, lying like a bottled-up force in the back of his throat that grew steadily with the exquisitely mounting pressure that was spreading in waves of fire through his body, melting bone and rational thought. And still Harry held him, almost delirious with the waiting, so close. . . so close. . . .
Draco bit down on his lower lip, wondering hazily through the pulse hammering in his ears why Harry was making this take so bloody long . . . when the door opened and closed as if in answer.
Harry froze for a half-second as footsteps started across the room, then he frantically shifted away from Draco, scrambling in a rush to pull the sheets up over the two of them – just in time. A lamp lit and suddenly the drapes on one side of the bed were swept aside.
"Ron!" said Harry, blinking in the sudden light.
Ron stood looking down on them for a second with an expression of complete incomprehension on his face. He stumbled back, looking around as if trying to confirm his bearings, then realization hit him like a bludger to the gut and he stared slack-jawed at Harry and Draco, his eyes going huge and round with shock.
Then with a sharp intake of breath, Ron seemed to gather himself. "What the BLOODY HELL is going on here?" he bellowed.
"We . . . were just, er –" faltered Harry.
But Draco cut in, utterly incensed. He'd just been wretchedly cheated – torn from the very brink of imminent ecstasy and denied what should have been the most glorious, spectacular, mind-numbing orgasm of his entire life – and by that accursed Weasley! It was not to be borne. "It's none of your BLOODY BUSINESS what is going on here, Weasel!" he snapped, outraged. "Go find your own bed! No one asked you to come barging in on other people's privacy!"
"BUT. . . !" Ron seemed thunderstruck, then went rigid with anger, fists clenched at his sides. "This is MY BED!" he shouted.
"What?" shrieked Draco He sat up abruptly in a panicked dilemma, torn between wanting to keep the sheet pulled up for modesty's sake and not wanting it to touch him. "Harry? Is that true?" he hissed. "That I'm naked and . . . and . . . my naked bits are touching Weasel's sheets?"
There was a moment of horrified silence as Ron and Draco both stared at Harry, waiting for his answer. Harry looked from one appalled face to the other and ran a hand through his hair, then nodded.
"Yes," he admitted sheepishly.
"ARRRGHHH," screamed both Ron and Draco simultaneously.
The sight of Draco's bare bum, shining like a pale moon as it disappeared out through the other side of the bed curtains made Ron's face flame nearly scarlet. Ron screwed up his eyes as Harry, too, disappeared through the curtains, rushing after him. There was a limit to how much flagrant arse-exposure he could stomach in one night.
Harry's face poked back through the curtains a few seconds later, after having hastily installed Draco in his own bed. "I'm really sorry," he said with an apologetic grin. "It was dark and we were . . . er, sort of in a hurry. We'll put up a silencing charm – you won't have to worry about hearing anything."
"You must be joking," said Ron aghast. "Don't bother! I'm not sleeping in the same room with Malfoy – or in any bed that Malfoy's been in – at least not until I'm sure the sheets have been changed by the house elves tomorrow."
"Ron!" said Harry, exasperated. "You slept with a rat in your bed for years!"
"Oh, don't be bringing that up," said Ron defensively with an involuntary shiver of disgust. He looked slightly green and vastly put out. "I'll be spending the night down on the couch in the common room, thank you very much!" he informed Harry in a injured tone before he turned and stomped off to the door. "Just don't forget that the rat you're sleeping with is really a . . . a ferret!" he added, glaring, then slammed the door behind him.
"What on earth were you thinking, Potter?" demanded Draco when Harry got back in bed with him. He was sitting up, hugging his knees, his face dark with anger. "I know I can be devastatingly distracting, but for you not to realize you're not even in your own bed . . . ?" He shuddered, revolted. "I may be scarred for life, you know! The very idea!"
"It was your idea, Draco," said Harry, watching Draco carefully, but with a slight grin. "You said you wanted to see his face – if he caught us like that together." Harry reached over and brushed a wisp of hair away from Draco's eyes, his touch gentle, apologetic if it needed to be. "He wouldn't have seen us in my bed," he explained. "I couldn't think of any other way to make that happen."
Draco goggled at him for a second, until he realized what he was doing and instantly composed himself. "You mean you committed this . . . this . . . wanton act of insanity . . . deliberately?" he asked, incredulous.
"Yes," said Harry.
Draco thought about this.
"You planned this whole incredibly insulting, despicable and pervertedly brilliant scheme . . . just because of what I said?" he asked again. He was grinning now, his expression amused and pleased. "Just for . . . me?"
"Yes," said Harry, grinning back. "And because I wanted to see your face . . . like it is now."
"It was funny," mused Draco. "Just like I pictured it would be." Then he looked up at Harry, a shadow of disappointment clouding his face. "But I was so angry," he pouted, "I didn't really get to enjoy it." He paused, and a mischievous glint appeared in his eyes. "Say . . . maybe we could let him catch us again . . ."
"Maybe . . ." said Harry, smiling at the undeniably amusing thought of Ron finding them shagging, shockingly and inexplicably everywhere he turned, then shook his head. "But I'd rather not," he added frankly. "Ron is my friend. I can't do that to him again. And this is private . . . and . . ." He paused, suddenly straying unexpectedly into previously unspoken territory. "And . . . it means a lot to me," he went on softly, determined to find the words for what had never been said. "I don't want to cheapen it."
Draco's expression sobered immediately, his face smoothing into an open vulnerability Harry had never seen before.
"Do you . . . mean that," Draco asked hesitantly. "This isn't just . . . fooling around . . . to you?"
"No," said Harry. "Not anymore," he added, acknowledging that perhaps it had been that at first – simply a shifting of one kind of sparring into another. But that too had subtly and gradually changed somehow, shifting unnoticed, further and deeper into meaning and attachment and perhaps into the beginnings of something he wasn't quite ready to name yet.
"Is it just fooling around . . . for you?" Harry asked cautiously, needing the truth but fearful of it.
"No," whispered Draco, putting Harry's fears to rest.
Harry pulled Draco close and kissed him deeply, sincerely, and with a stirring new tenderness. "Where were we," he murmured against Draco's mouth as they slid down in the bed to lie together, "before we were so rudely interrupted?"
"I was about to scream," said Draco, trying to sound cavalier, but blushing furiously.
"Oh, yes," breathed Harry. "I remember."
Some time later, Ron, tossing and turning on the couch in the common room, sat straight up in alarm. His eyes nearly popped out of his head and his hair was practically standing on end at the distant uninhibited scream that echoed down the stairwell from his dorm.
Very early the next morning, when Harry brought Draco downstairs before anyone else was up, they found Ron sleeping with his head buried under two couch cushions. Draco, guessing why, snickered gleefully to himself all the way back down to the dungeons. It had been a deeply gratifying night – one that he would most certainly remember always, for many reasons, as a night of rarest perfection.
A/N: For anyone who has not read The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry, the book contains a wonderful explanation of how a drawing of a boa constrictor which has eaten an elephant might easily be mistaken for a drawing of a hat - until you see the cut-away view of the elephant inside it. :)