A/N: Light-hearted DMHG fluff. Just a short and cute AU idea that came to me a while ago. I know, it's not terribly descriptive or even all that good – but I got a brief kick out of writing it, so there. Characters belong to JK Rowling. Enjoy!


Picket Fence


She smiled softly, keeping her back to him and feigning sleep. She knew that tone; he wanted to say something important, something genuine. Merlin knows he can never say anything that comes from the heart while looking her in the eye.

"Are you asleep?"

Draco really didn't need to ask such a ridiculous questions. He knew she was awake. He knew she was going to hear every word, every hesitant pause, every sigh. She could probably hear his heart pounding in his chest.

"Well . . . I'm going to talk anyway. No doubt you can hear me, though I can't exactly imagine how you can through that mess you call hair."

He grinned as her naked shoulders stiffened, and pictured an affronted look on her supposedly slumbering features. The fire was burning low, but there was enough orange light in the Room of Requirement for him to see the outline of her body.

"Anyway," he continued, impulsively reaching out to stroke her arm gently up and down. "I just wanted to say that . . . I've never been happier or more sure of myself than I am when I'm with you."

He paused and watched her in the ember glow, noting that her breathing had become heavier. He honestly did not know what had prompted him to dive into this, plunging headfirst into a new dimension of their relationship. In their secret stolen moments together, it was always she who spilled her heart to him, while he stood their dumbfounded at being so lucky to have a girl like her say those things to a boy like him. But watching her lie there like that, naked and golden and smelling like his skin . . . he couldn't just say nothing.

"And . . . I know that I can't offer you the same things other people can. Like the Weasel, or Potter." He couldn't stop his voice from turning slightly bitter. "I can't promise never to hurt you or piss you off. I'm not the knight in shining armor you deserve. There's no house with a picket fence waiting for you down the road if you stick with me."

He took a deep breath and stared off into the darkness for a while, letting his hand rest on her arm. She was awfully still. Somehow she always knew when he was just gathering his thoughts, screwing up the nerve to say these things. She would wait for him. She always waited. Even so, he wished there was a way she could just . . . read his mind, or something. The love of and frequent use of long-winded speeches was something his father had never successfully passed on to him. Particularly concerning matters of the heart.

"But I can promise you some things," he went on. "I promise that I will never mock you or make you feel smaller than you are. I won't try to protect you from the things you deserve to know, nor will I try to solve a problem for you that you can easily solve yourself. We both know how much you hate that. I promise you that there is no one in the world who admires and respects you as much as I do. And . . . and I promise . . ."

He leaned closer to her and whispered in her ear so that his lips nearly touched her. She was holding her breath now.

". . . that nobody on this planet will hunt you down as fiercely as I will if you even think of leaving me."

She opened her eyes and rolled onto her back, trying to look indignant but failing horrendously. Her mouth twitched mutinously towards forming a warm smile.

"Lovely vow," she said, raising an eyebrow. "Will you chain me to the bed now or later, when my slave bonds are finalized?"

He pursed his lips as if in deep thought. "Hmmm. Later, I suppose. Until then, the chains will be useful for . . . alternative activities."

She squealed and moved to slap his arm, but he was already drowning her in kisses and other promises.