Title: By the Dairy Aisle
Length: 4698, oneshot
Summary: Draco's hiding from the ministry and Voldemort. Then he sees Harry in a muggle grocers.
Note: Written for Strigoia. Also fits with my hpfanfic10x10 table and hdfluffl challenge.
The cold air from the muggle freezer blew harshly onto his face. His hand groped in the nether regions but no ice cream was found, which made no sense because there had been half a container yesterday and unless Draco had taken to eating in his sleep…
"Where's my ice cream?" Draco asked as he walked into the small sitting room of the cheep flat he shared. On the grungy couch sat his roommate Seth and his girlfriend whose name Draco neither cared nor remembered.
"It's delicious. I love fruity ice cream," the girlfriend moaned, flipping her dirty-blonde hair over her shoulder and grinning sheepishly at him. Draco glowered. Seth knew the ice cream was his. No one was allowed to eat it. This was not venial.
Seth popped the spoon out of his mouth and waved his wand at the television, too lazy to reach for the remote. Draco scowled. He hated when Seth used magic, because he couldn't. Well, he could if he didn't mind the Dark Lord tracing him by it. If he was even still looking for him. He thought the Dark Lord would have found him by now. After all, it had been seven months since he'd ran away.
"Oh, I forgot to get some more at the grocers," Seth garbled around a mouthful of black cherry ice cream. "You'll have to wait for next Friday. Or you can get some yourself."
Draco stomped his foot and stormed out the door. He hated living with someone, especially sloppy Seth. But he didn't want to pay for a flat on his own because who knew how long his money would last before Narcissa cut it off (if she was even alive for he hadn't heard from her at all since he had returned to the Death Eaters after being unable to finish Dumbledore off). He didn't know if that would happen, but he wasn't about to take any risks.
Draco reached the pavement when he realized he hadn't grabbed a coat and the chilly January air was biting at him. Plus, he didn't have any money on him. He walked back in the flat and grabbed his cost. Seth and his girlfriend were laughing over some cheesy sitcom when Draco asked where the grocers was.
"And I'm out of muggle money," he hissed, angry that they couldn't even tear their eyes off the show long enough to address him properly.
The girlfriend dug in her pocket and handed him a few papers. "Here, since we ate your ice cream."
Draco scowled and left, his hands stuffed in his pockets and head held stubbornly. He couldn't wait until the war was over. Then he could come out of hiding, given that the Dark Lord lost. He wouldn't have to live in a muggle town and could move back to the Manor, given that he somehow escaped being put in Azkaban.
Lulu's Grocers was a small store on the corner of the street. Draco went to push the door open when it suddenly squeaked and slid open slowly. Draco jumped back in surprise, looking at it in trepidation. An old lady shoved her way past him and in the gaping doorway.
Quickly, he rushed through, wary of it shutting on him. What was with muggles and their traps?
The artificial lights streamed down, making his skin look eggy. Draco scowled and set off down the aisles. For a small store, there were a lot of them. He turned down the last one when he saw a long row of freezers.
Happy that he found it but angry that he even had to enter the store, he stood beside some black-haired bloke grabbing chocolate ice cream and searched the rows for black cherry. They had better have it.
A sharp gasp resounded from Draco's left and he found himself staring into bright green eyes. Draco couldn't move. His brain had frozen along with his body. Luckily, Potter seemed to have frozen too.
"Malfoy?" Potter croaked. Draco didn't stick around long enough to figure out of the croak in Potter's voice was simply from surprise or from anger. He skittered away, the ice cream forgotten, and ran once he reached the outside.
What if Potter tried killing him? It was common knowledge the ministry was after him for being involved in Dumbledore's death and letting Death Eaters into Hogwarts. Potter was one of Dumbledore's favorites and he was bloody angry with Snape for killing him. Potter had to have heard about him being involved and so he might try killing him.
Draco stopped running and walked, his breath short. Why was Potter even there? School was in service. In fact, they should have just gotten back from Christmas vacation a few days ago. Did that mean Potter wasn't attending Hogwarts anymore?
Draco shook his head and opened the door to his flat. There was no way he would be returning to that grocery store, at the least. He wasn't about to walk straight into danger. Perhaps he should move for safely. Potter would alert the ministry with seconds and they would be around, looking for him.
"Get the ice cream? Get anything else with it?" Seth asked as he helped his girlfriend put her coat on.
Draco grumbled. He'd forgotten. Now he didn't even have something to drown his worries in.
The girlfriend giggled. "What were you doing, then?" Her eyes lit up excitably. "You got a secret girl you're not telling us about?"
The door to his bedroom shut with a harsh snap. He didn't want to put up with them, especially after what had just happened.
"I'm saving up for a computer," Seth informed him. Draco looked critically at him. What the bloody hell was a computer? "So don't spend too much on groceries, okay?"
"What?" Draco narrowed his eyes. He didn't do grocery shopping. Seth always had. "Me?"
A small wad of papers fell to the table. Draco looked critically at them. "Well, frankly I'm sick of it. I always do the shopping. You can for once. Besides, Felicity's taking me out to see a movie. I'm going soon. Besides, now you can get your ice cream."
Draco glowered and thumbed through the money. "There's not enough here."
Seth rolled his eyes. "You have to pay for half, like always." He pulled a list out of his back pocket and dropped it in front of Draco. "That's the list. Get everything on there. Not much more."
He crumbled the paper in his palm and threw a coat on. It was so unjust. So what if Seth always did the grocery shopping. He chose what they have to eat, and Draco never complained as long as he had his black cherry ice cream. It was how things had worked for the past six months.
As Draco combed the aisles at Lulu's Grocers, he grumbled about having chosen to stay at his flat instead of moving. For one thing, he didn't know anywhere else he could go. His family were Death Eaters, friends in school, and the ministry was after him. Besides, if the ministry started poking around the neighborhood, Draco would leave. Maybe Potter hadn't told anyone.
Draco snorted. That was unlikely.
Standing in the dairy aisle was a black-haired bloke. Draco kicked the metal cart. It couldn't be Potter. Not again. Sure, it had been a week since he'd last seen Potter here but it would be improbable to find him again.
Cautiously, Draco crept closer. The bloke opened the freezer door and Draco looked closer. There was no way anyone else could have such messy hair. It was Potter all right. He started to leave when he noticed Potter was grabbing for ice cream. He squinted and saw it was the very last black cherry.
Draco froze. Merlin how he wanted that ice cream. He hadn't consumed any for a whole week. He stood there, glaring at the back of Potter's head, and trying to telepathically make Potter put the ice cream back.
The container fell into the cart with a soft plunk, mauling the bread. Potter turned and stared back at him. Draco silently cursed his addiction to the bleeding dessert.
"What are you doing here?" Potter asked curiously. There was no anger in his voice and Draco was momentarily confused, having expected an outrage consisting of attempted murder.
And then Draco moved. He grabbed his cart and wheeled it down the aisle. Even if Potter wasn't going to try killing him, he didn't want to stick around.
"Wait! Malfoy!" he called. "Malfoy, wait a second. Draco!"
He paused and whirled around, eyes wide as he looked at the raven-haired boy. Now that Potter had his attention he seemed unable to voice what he wanted to say. He opened and closed his mouth a few times before Draco decided he had enough of it and started walking again.
He heard a groan from behind him then Potter was grabbing his arm, holding him there. "Look, what has happened to you?"
Draco wrenched his arm away and scowled at him. He didn't need to tell anyone of what had happened to him after he escaped with Snape. About what prompted him to foolishly run away. Or maybe not so foolishly as he hadn't been caught yet. "That's none of your business, Potter."
"Seeing as I could easily inform the ministry that you were sighted here, it is my business," he replied cheekily.
"Then tell," he dared.
Potter blanched. "Well…Look - Why are you shopping here? At a muggle store. You aren't with Voldemort, are you?"
Draco tore his sleeve up, showing Potter his mark. "I'm a Death Eater, if that's what you mean. And you very well know that, what with the ministry after my tail."
"I know you didn't do anything." Draco raised an eyebrow and Potter corrected himself with, "Not really."
Draco looked around and spotted the ice cream in Potter cart, still in front of the freezer where he had left it. Weasley rounded the corner, a bag in his hand, and placed it in the cart. He stared at them in confusion. Draco looked away, back to Potter. "Why do you care?"
Tentative fingers landed on Draco's bare wrist, his sleeve still being pulled up. Draco flinched. "Are you still following Voldemort?" Potter asked, moving closer, as if he expected Draco to whisper his answer.
"No. I ran away, okay. Now, go away. And give me your ice cream," he demanded. He felt foolish giving in and answering Potter's question and felt that demanding something made him sound better. However, Potter was smiling and it probably just made him look thick.
"That's good." He pulled his hand back and stood straight.
Draco sneered. "Yes, good. Because now the Dark Lord's after my hide. How very felicitous for me." His voice leaked sarcasm and Potter winced.
"Sorry, I hadn't thought of it like that."
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Weasley making his way over, a frown on his face. Draco really didn't want to deal with both of them. Maybe Potter wasn't about to kill him but by the way Weasley was looking at him, he wouldn't mind hexing him something terrible.
"Obviously he hasn't found you yet. How long has it been? He might-"
"That's nice. I'll take the ice cream now." He turned the cart around and zipped past an angry Weasley and out the aisle. He paused only to snatch the dessert out of Potter's shopping cart. Before he exited the aisle in search of a cashier, he heard Weasley badgering Potter about what he was doing.
It wasn't right. Potter had gotten information out of him but he still didn't know why Potter and apparently his friends weren't at Hogwarts. And how could Potter say he hadn't done anything? He only knew what the ministry said, and that sure wasn't in his favor.
Sourly, Draco pulled the money out of his pocket and handed it over to the cashier lady. He couldn't believe Seth had made him do the grocery shopping again. Normally, he wouldn't have listened but he had waited until Sunday before going in hopes that Seth would give in and go himself.
"Thank you for shopping at Lulu's Grocers," she said in a monotonous voice. Draco made sure not to touch her fingers when he grabbed the change.
As he wheeled the cart outside, he smiled. At least Potter hadn't shown up. The boy probably only went shopping on Fridays. Draco decided he would have to go Sundays from now on.
Draco transferred all the bags into a small red wagon. He pulled it down the pavement feeling very foolish indeed. However, neither of them owned a car and there was no way he would be able to carry the bags. Halfway to the flat he stopped to glare at some gaping people and fish a chocolate bar out of the bags.
The chocolate was cold, and so Draco had to let it sit on his tongue for a long amount of time before it became the soft melted mess he enjoyed. The handle of the wagon was rough and frozen. It was sure to make his hand reek like metal along with numbing it.
After a few bites of his chocolate, Draco heard something shifting beside him. The wind whistled around the shape and he could hear breathing. Far from being afraid, Draco scowled. So he hadn't missed him after all.
"What do you want, Potter?" Draco growled out of the corner of his mouth, wary of the muggles that might spot him seemingly talking to himself.
The air to Draco's right gasped. Haphazardly, Potter snatched the invisibility cloak off and gawked at him. Draco hissed, frantically looking around to see if any muggles had seen him appear out of the crisp air, but Potter ignored him to say incredulously, "How'd you know I was there?"
Draco rolled his eyes and started walking again, faster than before. "You're terrible at being quiet. Just like at school last year."
"I was too quiet!" Potter proclaimed, outraged. Draco waved his free hand at him to shush. He didn't want attention drawn to him when he was pulling a child's red wagon.
"Why are you not at school?" Draco changed the subject. They were nearing his flat and he didn't want Potter to know where he lived. But he didn't want to stand out in the cold any longer either.
The raven-haired boy shot back, "Why aren't you with Voldemort and his Death Eaters?"
"I don't need to tell you anything, Potter," Draco answered callously. He struggled with the wagon, trying to get it up the steps to the flat door. Potter glanced around before waving his wand, making it feather-light. Draco thought it highly stupid for him to worry about muggles seeing that but not him appearing from his cloak.
"You tell me, I'll tell you," Potter said earnestly, his eyes shining.
Draco scrutinized him before unlocking the door and walking in, letting the door bang shut behind the wagon. He headed to the kitchen and heard the door opening and shutting again. Potter leaned against the kitchen doorway and looked around. Draco flushed. The place looked terrible.
"Nice flat," he said conversationally. Draco frowned and started placing the groceries on the table. He went and bought them, he wasn't going to put them away. "Better than ours anyway. Ours is smaller."
Draco tried not to look interested. "You own a flat with Weasley?"
"And Hermione, yeah. We're - um, looking for something." He rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly, and Draco walked away, to his bedroom. He hung his coat on the hanger in the unbelievably small closet then peeled his shoes off.
"How did you know Snape killed Dumbledore and not me?" Draco blurted, sitting on the edge of his bed and gazing curiously at Potter. That had been bothering him for a long time. And Potter said he was going to answer questions.
Potter winced and stared out the window. Draco figured he shouldn't have mentioned it so callously, but he didn't care much. "Well, I was on the tower that night."
Draco raised his eyebrows skeptically. There was no way Potter would be able to keep quiet and stationary through that whole affair.
"I was immobile. Dumbledore did that. So I saw everything. Heard everything." His eyes moved from the window to Draco's face. "I saw you lower your wand." Draco wasn't sure why he'd said that. Was he trying to convince himself of why he had followed him home and was revealing information to him?
"Why are you not at Hogwarts?" Draco insisted before Potter could open his mouth. Draco didn't want to talk about that night. And he was slightly irate that Potter of all people had seen that. Had seen his fear, his desperation.
"We are looking for something. Something that'll help destroy Voldemort. That's all I'm saying." For Draco was waiting for him to elaborate.
"Fine," Draco answered sharply. "I'm not with the Dark Lord because I'm in trouble. And that's all I'm saying."
Potter flopped onto the bed beside him, sending his carefully cynical position to be ruined. Draco glared down at him. "Get off my bed," he commanded.
"What'd they do to you?" Potter whispered, reaching his fingers out to flutter along a faint scar on Draco's hip that was peaking out between his shirt and trousers.
Draco pulled away and Potter snatched his hand back. "That's none of your business," he snapped, looking anywhere but at the boy sprawled out on his bed. He didn't like to talk about it. Actually, he never had talked about it. The memory of the numerous crucios bending and twisting his body painfully, of the cruel words and accusations, the livid faces, always sent an unpleasant shiver down his spine.
The bed creaked as Potter sat up and moved beside him. Draco tensed, wishing Potter was gone and had never made him think about it.
"Why'd you run away from them?" His breath ghosted over Draco neck, making his hair tickle his sensitive skin.
"I couldn't handle it." Potter opened his mouth to speak but Draco cut him off with, "And I'm not saying anything else." But Potter's mouth never shut. He leaned forward and Draco could only wonder what the bloody hell he was doing before chapped lips landed on his own.
At first, Draco just sat there, letting Potter kiss him sloppily. But Merlin was it sloppy. There probably was spit all over Draco's face by now. He pulled back and questioned, "What are you doing?" before Potter could lean forward again.
"I don't know," Potter breathed, sincerity mixed with confusion in his eyes. And then he was kissing Draco again. This time it was slower, less sloppy and more pressure. It was much better than the first one. Draco twined his hand around the back of Potter's neck and kissed, a reward for better kissing he told himself.
Fingers slipped down Draco's back to grasp his waist and push him back against the bed. Potter moved between Draco's legs, their lips never once leaving each other's. As Draco toed his socks off he murmured humorously, "So this is why you were stalking me all last year."
Potter chuckled against his neck, making his toes curl into the carpet. He tried shifting so his whole body was on the bed except for just his arse up but Potter was now paying attention to his ears, thrusting his tongue in, and Draco could only moan and rock against him.
"Nope. This is something new," Potter said, his voice loud against Draco's ear.
"Obviously," Draco drawled. "I think I'd remember if you snogged me before." Apparently, Potter didn't appreciate his sarcasm because he nipped at the soft skin under his ear. Draco scowled but then Potter was kissing him again, and his fingers were dancing down to the bulge in Draco's trousers. He was quite willing to forget about it.
The door slammed open and Seth's annoyed voice rang out. "You forgot the tea! You know I always need tea in the morn- what the fuck?"
Draco shoved Potter off him. Ignoring the loud thump he made when he came into contact with the floor. Draco stared at Seth, running a hand through his tussled hair. "I didn't see it on the list."
Potter grumbled and stood up, glaring at Draco while he flushed. Draco thought he looked very funny, but Seth was seething and Draco figured he ought to deal with that first. It wouldn't do to be kicked out of the flat because of tea…and Potter.
Draco shoved Potter out of the flat, tossing him his shoes. He couldn't even remember Potter removing them. Potter started to say something but Draco shut and locked the door, turning to face Seth.
"You're a fucking fairy," he said, his tone neutral. Draco glowered at him. Just because he snogged Potter didn't make him gay. Did it?
Draco decided to ignore him and stalked to his room. Seth had other ideas. He yelled, "It's disgusting. I can't believe you - you forgot my tea to fuck a bloke!"
Draco turned around and glared at him. He couldn't think of anything to reply with. It had finally hit him. He had snogged Potter - Harry Potter - and enjoyed it.
"I want you out - out now!" Seth roared, his face going blotchy.
Draco froze. "You need me to help pay rent and such."
Seth paused, his hands clenching into fists, and then said, "Felicity can move in. I'm not living with a fairy."
The door to Draco's bedroom shut sharply against Seth's voice. Draco stormed to his closet and pulled out his trunk. He was too angry to place his possessions in carefully and therefore couldn't fit it all in.
He kicked the bed angrily then fell onto it, burying his face in the comforter. Seth wouldn't back down and change his mind; Draco didn't even allow himself to hope for that. He didn't know where he was to go now.
Draco looked at the list he made. The owners of the house would be sure to know someone had spent time there. He didn't even know when they would return. Hell, he didn't know who lived there. He pocketed the small list and walked out the door of the house he had spent the past two weeks in.
As he walked to Lulu's Grocers, he became nervous. He was hoping Potter would be there but he also hoped he wasn't. Merlin knew he had spent so much of the past two weeks thinking about Potter and the snogging. And after all that thinking, the only conclusion he could come to was that he hadn't minded it.
But Draco knew Potter wouldn't be there. For one thing, it was a Saturday, not Friday. However, that hadn't stopped him from finding him on that Sunday.
He was trying to remember what type of bread was at the house when he saw a bushy-headed girl enter the sliding doors slightly ahead of him. That couldn't be Granger, could it?
Furtively, Draco padded after her. She entered the dairy aisle and huffed loudly. Potter was standing there, absently reading the back of an ice cream container.
"Harry!" she admonished. "Ron said you'd gone down here again. We're leaving soon. Ron's finishing with the packing."
Potter frowned and looked around, his eyes landing on Draco, who tried too late to dash out of the aisle.
"Look, Harry, just forget about him. If he had wanted help, he would have asked. Besides, it won't do for you to get…obsessed with him again. Not when we've only got one more to find. What are you looking at?"
Draco saw her turn around out of the corner of his eye. He was pretending to be interested in the giant freezers and not have noticed they were there. He could hear them whispering together, and then Granger's feet clicked by. She slowed down when she reached Draco but seemed to change her mind and sped up again.
"Where've you been staying?" Potter called. Draco grimaced and strode to him, not wanting their conversation overheard by anyone. "Your friend said you moved out."
"He's not my friend," Draco growled, still sore about that.
"Flat mate, then."
"Ex-flat mate," Draco corrected.
"Yes, sure. He's rude."
Draco looked into Potter's green eyes and laughed. He could just imagine how Seth had reacted to Potter showing up at his doorstep and asking where he was.
Potter smiled unsurely. "So, where are you staying at now?"
"Where are you moving to?"
Potter leaned against the shopping cart behind him and shook his head. Draco looked into the dull silver cart to find it had four black cherry ice cream containers in it. They were covered in ice crystals so Draco figured they had recently been put in.
"No clue. We just don't like to stay in one place too long. It's easy to get caught." He gazed expectantly at Draco.
He sighed and said, "I've been staying at some person's house. Not sure when they'll be returning though. I don't know where to after that."
Potter stared at him disbelievingly. "You broke into someone's house?" Draco nodded. "You're just like Slughorn."
Draco stopped searching the freezers for his dessert and looked at Potter. "Excuse me?" he said, highly affronted.
"I only meant you both stayed in people's homes when they were on vacation, that's all."
Draco pointed to the empty spot in the freezer where the black cherry should have been. "Where is it?" He looked in Potter's shopping cart. "Why do you have four black cherries in there?"
Interestingly enough, Potter blushed and averted his gaze to the floor. Draco smirked. "Well, erm," Potter started. "I saw you through the windows and was going to tempt you with ice cream."
Draco crossed his arms and leant against the cart in a manner he knew was intimidating. "Tempt me into what?"
"Er." He scratched his nose and said in a rush, "Intocomingwithus."
It was so stupid and so Gryffindor that Draco couldn't hold back a small smile. Luckily, he turned it into a smirk before too long. "And how did you know I would be here?"
Potter looked him in the eye, unraveling him. "I didn't. I've been doing it for almost two weeks."
Instead of answering what he knew Potter wanted him to, he said, "Your friends wouldn't let me come with."
"It doesn't matter. It's not like it's really monumental. They'll get over it, and if they don't, they can leave. Though I know they won't." He reached a hand out but Draco took a step back. He ignored the hurt look in Potter's eyes.
"Why do you care what happens to me?" Potter's eyes locked with his again and Draco couldn't look away.
Potter bit his lip. "I don't know…I had liked the kissing."
Draco frowned. "That could have been a fluke."
"Only one way to find out." He moved forward but not in. Only when Draco nodded, unable to wait any longer for the lips to be upon his own, did Potter kiss it. This time Draco returned the gesture without hesitation. His toes were starting to curl and that wasn't right, but Potter was tangling their tongues together and it felt right.
Potter pulled back, his hand on the side of Draco's face. His thumb smoothed circles in the skin there, making Draco's eyelids flutter. "Do you want to come with us, since you haven't anywhere to go?"
"Will there be black cherry ice cream?"
Potter's hand fell from Draco's face to wrap around his wrist. "As many black cherry desserts as you want."
Draco kicked his foot lightly and nodded. "I guess so, then."
Potter smiled and Draco rolled his eyes. He pressed their lips together, resigning himself to living with Weasley and Granger, to the numerous arguments no doubt to come, but mostly to Potter. The last one he really didn't mind.