JK Rowling owns it all. I own nothing but my imagination.
And a big thanks to 7thandhigher for playing the writing game with me and inspiring me to write this fic! And kudos to my wonderful beta, Hanyou-elf.
Draco walked into his and Harry's house, just a small cottage about a kilometer or so from Diagon Alley and Muggle London. He loosened his grey tie, and laid his wand on the nearby end table. "Harry, you home?" he called to the silent house. He did this every night, even though he knew the answer would be the same every night.
It was dark in the living room, kitchen, and dining room, but he saw the usual light left on in the laundry room. Mrs. Figg came around the doorway, carrying a folded basket of clothes. "You look tired, youngster," she said kindly, placing the basket next to the steps leading upstairs.
"How'd he do today?" Draco asked, rubbing his hand wearily across his face. He was lucky that Mrs. Figg had survived the war. She was one of the few people that could be around Harry.
"Oh, just the same as he always is," her voice quivering, "I think he's been listening to the wireless too much though. It tires him out." She patted Draco on the arm and picked up her purse. When she'd reached the door she turned and gazed at the tired wizard taking off his tie and absently dropping it in the chair. "He wouldn't eat for me today…" Mrs. Figg said, her hands nervously twisting the handle of her purse. "I tried, but he just wouldn't." It was her nature to be a caring woman, but she didn't care to be disobeyed.
Draco shook his head. He returned the gaze of the sparse little woman who was willing to spend her days with Harry, while he worked. It never failed to amaze him that she cared almost as much as he did for Harry.
"Don't worry, Mrs. Figg, he gets like that at times," Draco replied. "I'll make sure he gets something to eat before bed." Draco started to undo the buttons to his robe. Gods he was tired, and he just wanted her to go so he could get comfortable. "Are you sure you don't want me to come by tomorrow? I mean to give you a break, or if you need to run errands, or…" the little woman looked startled at Draco holding up his hand in a stop gesture.
"No, Mrs. Figg. That's not necessary. I've got nothing I have to do this weekend. You've been so good to me this week, staying a bit later the last few nights so I could take care of things before this weekend," Draco answered, reaching for the door.
"Well, if you're sure. You know you can owl me if you need me," Arabella Figg persisted.
"I will, Mrs. Figg, I will, I promise," Draco said. He watched the silver-haired squib scurry down the street toward the bus stop. He shut the door and clicked the lock shut.
Draco looked up the stairs and saw the bedroom light was on. He smiled and began walking upstairs. He heard the faint music from WWN, some witch named Trebecka Snodgrass singing, Only to be Close to You, drifting down the steps. It was a corny song, but Harry's favorite. So Draco could tolerate it just for that reason.
Draco pushed the door open further and walked into their bedroom. Harry stood swaying in front of the mirror at the foot of their bed, singing along with the song into a hairbrush.
He'd been like this since the last battle, over two years ago. Living in his own little world of make believe. He'd forgotten Draco mentally, but still Draco could touch him, and he'd respond just as the old Harry would.
Draco walked over to him. "Hey, Harry!" he yelled over the blaring music Harry turned and giggled. He launched himself at the blond, delighted he was home.
"Dra...co," he said slowly, his eyes slowly recognizing the familiar form he'd wrapped his arms around. "Love yous," he laughed.
"I love you too, Harry," Draco smiled and kissed him on the cheek. He reveled in Harry's hug, and held the other man for a moment before worming his way loose from Harry's tight embrace. He walked to the radio, and turned the volume down. Harry had always liked music, but now it was the one thing that gave him pleasure. It surprised Draco, who'd always considered himself a music aficionado, the different types that Harry enjoyed. He loved every kind fathomable, ranging the gamut of hip-hop to swing; but what he loved most, was to sing with it. Draco supposed that he was finding some way to say what he felt when he couldn't say the words alone. He'd gotten used to Harry singing, slightly off-key at times, all the time. He turned back to Harry and began to unbutton his dress shirt. Draco watched as Harry laid down the hairbrush on the dresser and turned and flopped on the bed. He drew his legs up and wrapped his arms around them, and a wistful look played across his face.
Hanging up his shirt neatly in the wardrobe, Draco took a moment and checked the cuffs. Frayed again, and the charms wouldn't work on it anymore, and no extra money to buy a new one. Draco sighed. It wasn't the first time he wished that he had his family's money. But, the Ministry had claimed the manor and most of his family's holdings in some wayward attempt to destroy the last Malfoy. Draco now worked, something he never imagined doing in his twenty years of life. It wasn't much of a job, really, but it paid the bills. With the small stipend that the Ministry sent, he was able to live a quiet life taking care of the Boy Who Lived. 'Not that he has much of a life anymore,' Draco thought sourly. Draco finished undressing and sat down on the bed next Harry. "It's late, love... so are you tired? Would you like to go to bed?" Draco said hopefully. Gods, he was tired, and the bed looked wonderful. Ten days straight and no day off. "What do you say we head to bed?" asked the tired blond.
"Hungry, Dray… sco," reaching out and pulling Draco close by his hand. He rubbed his cheek on the blond's hand, and looked up at Draco, his eyes hopeful and shining.
"What do you want, love? I'll cook you something, if you want," Draco asked gently.
Harry smiled happily. He leaned close to Draco's ear, his lips almost touching the pale shell. "I want... you," he said haltingly. Draco turned, a surprised look on his face, and Harry kissed him. Harry never initiated anything, at least he hadn't for the past two years; he'd only responded when Draco touched him. Pulling back from the blond, he whispered against his lips. "I remember."
Draco looked blank for a moment, his pink lips forming an almost-perfect 'o'. He looked into Harry's ever shining green eyes as he tried to register what was happening. "Y-you remember? All of it?" Draco choked. "Please don't be joking, Harry," Draco pleaded.
"No... not all," Harry said slowly, his forehead furrowed in concentration, his mouth working hard to form the words. "Just you. I wanted to remember you."
"Oh, Harry!" Draco exclaimed. Draco pulled Harry into his arms, his hands hungrily roaming the thin planes of the other man's body. A thousand thoughts flashed through Draco's mind. Ron and Hermione needed to know, the healers at St. Mungo's, oh and Mrs. Figg, he'd have to owl Mrs. Figg. He pulled back and gazed into Harry's clear green eyes, his own prickling with tears of joy. "Oh love, I've missed you so, you… you remember…" he choked out and stopped.
Harry had a far away look in his eyes, his beautiful emerald green eyes growing hazy and clouded, just like the sky before a storm. And just as quickly as Draco's words had faded away, his Harry was gone. Harry looked at Draco, and smiled a goofy little smile. "Harry wants pans cakes," he giggled.
Draco paused, his mouth working to hold back the sobs that threatened to escape, and he wiped his eyes. He released Harry and put his clenched hands in his lap and hung his head, his ice white hair falling around his face, hiding it from Harry's curious eyes. He had to calm down; it would only upset Harry to see him like this. He was much too tired to deal with an overly upset Harry tonight.
"Sad," Harry said quietly. He could see Draco was sad. Harry didn't like Draco sad. Draco was nice to him and took care of him and brought him good things to eat. And sometimes Draco kissed him. He liked it when Draco kissed him. It felt nice. He mostly kissed him on his cheek, but sometimes he kissed him on his lips. Harry liked that the best.
Looking up, Draco caught the puzzlement in Harry's eyes. He gently reached up and cupped Harry's cheek, slowly caressing the lightly stubbled skin. "I'm alright, I'm alright," he said quietly. Harry reached up and covered Draco's hand stopping its soothing motion. He pulled it away and looked at Draco's hand, his darker fingers tracing the lines on Draco's pale ones. Harry looked up and grinned at Draco.
"Come on, love." Draco whispered, "I'll fix you some pancakes. And then it's off to bed for the both of us." Entwining his fingers around Harry's, he pulled him from the bed and to the kitchen.
Flipping pancakes had never been one of Draco Malfoy's strong suits. He could distill hinkypunk juice in a second and whip up a batch of headache potion in a jiffy, but getting these fried pieces of dough turned was difficult. It seemed silly to have to do them by hand, but he hadn't been allowed to keep any of the house elves from the manor, and Harry couldn't abide magic, so he'd learned to do them himself. He watched them sizzle in the pan and then looked over at Harry. The dark-haired man was busily stacking the condiments on the table and balancing his silverware on top. "Harry, unstack those, please?" Draco called. "I'm going to need your plate in a moment if you want pancakes."
Harry flashed him a dazzling smile and knocked over the stack. He picked up each bottle and shaker and arranged them in a little circle very carefully. Draco gestured for him to bring his plate over and he obediently obeyed.
Draco slid the sizzling pancakes on the plate. "Careful now, it's hot," he said gently.
"Hot," Harry laughed.
"Yes, hot, now sit down and eat." Draco slid the last pancake onto his own waiting plate. He wasn't all that hungry, but since he hadn't eaten yet today, he supposed it wouldn't hurt to put something in his belly to hold him through the night.
He sat down at the table and watched, amused, as Harry slopped the syrup over the food on his plate, and began tearing off pieces and squishing them in his fingers before popping them in his mouth. "Harry," he said more sharply than he intended. "Use your fork. You're not a child."
Harry stopped, his mouth quivered, and for a moment Draco thought he might start crying. But he dropped the mashed up food on his plate and picked up his fork and started stabbing at the bits on his plate.
Sadly, Draco watched as Harry tried to spear the food, as often as not, missing either the food or his mouth. The healers had said it was important to have him practice his fine motor skills at every opportunity. It was part of the process of healing his brain.
Absently picking at his food, Draco watched Harry eating. He was starting to fill out again. For so long, he'd been too thin, almost as fragile as a newborn chick, nothing but skin and bones. Although, he had improved; in the last six months or so, he'd started saying words again. Sometimes only one or two at a time, and other times, he would almost say a whole sentence. The healers had said he could recover completely, or maybe improve to a certain point and stop, or stay the same as he was after he was brought to St. Mungo's that day, the day Voldemort died.
Harry finished eating and set his fork down and then picked it up, tapping it against his glass. "Oh, you're done, are you?" Draco asked smiling at Harry's messy face. He stifled a snort, Harry had gotten syrup everywhere. His face was covered with the sticky fluid and, Draco laughed, it was in his hair.
Harry nodded happily and yawned widely. He pushed his plate to the side and started to lay his head on the table, his sleepy eyes drooping lower and lower.
"Oh no you don't, we've got to get you cleaned up first before bed. I won't be having you get sticky all over the sheets. Draco reached for Harry's hand, feeling the gooey syrup squished between his fingers as Harry entwined his hand with his own pale one.
'Sod the dishes,' he thought. 'I'll come down later after he's asleep and put them into soak.' It would be so much easier to use magic to do the household chores, but Harry couldn't tolerate the least bit of magic now. The lightest charm or spell would send him shrieking to the corner, terrified of whatever horror his mind associated with its use. Draco had been lucky that Mrs. Figg was able to stay with him. Even his friends weren't able to come around, their own innate magic causing him to tremble in fear. And, no one had ever figured out why Draco didn't affect him. He supposed it had something to do with the fact that he and Harry had been lovers, and Harry was secure with Draco around, magic or not.
He led Harry up the stairs to the bathroom and washed his face. It hadn't been difficult getting him clean, Harry was too tired to squirm. Harry yawned again, his eyelids drooping again. "Slee pee," he whispered. Draco stifled a yawn himself.
"Come on Harry; let's put you to bed eh?" Draco asked, his mouth quirking into a small grin. Harry had always looked sexy when he was sleepy, now he was just adorable. Draco led the sleepy, stumbling man to the bedroom and undid his belt, letting his pants drop to the floor. "Pj's tonight Harry?" Draco asked. Harry didn't answer, but just crawled into the bed pulling the covers over his head.
Draco smiled, and walked around the bed to his side. He switched off the light, and undressed in the dark. If boxers and a tee shirt were good enough for Harry tonight, it was good enough for him, too. He sat on the bed for a moment, and then lay down. Draco leaned over and kissed Harry on the cheek, and Harry reached back and pulled Draco's hand over his side to rest on his stomach.
"Hold me," Harry said in a halting, small voice. Draco scooted closer, his chest nearly touching Harry's back, his legs so close he could feel the light tickle of the hair on Harry's thighs. He lay still; content to be close to Harry, his warm, fresh scent permeating the covers and his own clothes. Soon, he felt Harry's breathing slow, and he knew he was fast asleep.
It would be so easy to run his hand under Harry's tee shirt; such a simple, little thing to do to touch the warm skin underneath. Draco's hand twitched, as he slowly rubbed Harry's stomach, his fingers making small circles around his belly button, the cotton soft under his fingertips. It would be so very easy to slide his hand lower and feel Harry. Oh, to feel him hard, and hot, and wanting him. So easy to press his lips to Harry's nape and taste the sweet skin there. And he was so close, so close, and it was so difficult to not want this. Just to feel the hot flesh under his tongue again, to feel full and loved, having Harry take him to the brink and leap over the edge together. But no matter how evil and perverted people thought a Malfoy was, he wouldn't take advantage of Harry. It would be like molesting a child.
Draco began to lift his hand off Harry's belly, but Harry shifted in his sleep, laying his arm over Draco's and his hand over the one on his stomach.
"No," Harry whispered in his sleep.
And Draco allowed his hand to remain, and he closed his eyes. Sometimes, he just wanted it to be the way it was. It hadn't been perfect. Nothing ever was. But it had been pretty damn good. 'Harry was always so warm,' Draco thought, inching fractionally closer. The heat was radiating off Harry and it was warming him, and Draco fell asleep.
It was grey, the time between dusk and dawn, the air cool from the coming fall and Draco drifted into awareness. Harry had closed the gap between them in the night; Draco's morning erection was pressed firmly between Harry's butt cheeks. Draco woke with a start. Oh gods, it felt so good, and he gently ran his hand down Harry's exposed arm, his fingertips ghosting over the exposed skin. Harry, as usual, had managed to get the covers twisted his legs, and he was uncovered from the waist up. He would have given anything he'd had left of value to make love with Harry again. Celibacy hadn't been easy, but it wouldn't have been as passionate or as loving with anyone else. It would have been sex, nothing more. Just the act of fornication without the love and trust the two shared. And Draco only wanted the man sleeping next to him, no one else would do.
Draco rested his head against Harry's shoulder. He brushed his lips against the cotton, and the longing to tear it off of him and taste the skin beneath consumed Draco. But it wasn't going to happen today, nor tomorrow, or the next. Draco shifted and leaned in and pressed his lips to the nape of Harry's neck, his tongue slipping out to tickle the warm flesh. Oh, so hot, and almost musky, the flavor flowed across his taste buds. And… sweet? Draco stifled a giggle. How in Circe's tits did he get syrup on the back of his neck? It was almost his undoing. He pressed his mouth to the sticky spot and licked it, in slow even strokes, until the spot of skin was clean. He heard Harry mumble something incoherent, and he pulled back in alarm.
Harry turned over and sleepy green eyes gazed at him before they began drooping shut, Harry almost dropping off to sleep. Harry was so close; his lips were just a breath away, red and full and lush, and begging to be kissed. Draco held his breath, and Harry pressed his lips to Draco's. It wasn't a kiss of deep passion, but one of affection and closeness. Draco leaned into the kiss, his arm wrapping around Harry's shoulder. Harry parted his lips and Draco couldn't resist. He'd tried so desperately to hold himself apart from the man, to deny himself the intimate touches he yearned for, and he slipped his tongue in Harry's mouth. Oh gods, so sweet and tender, the taste of syrup still there. And it was all that he remembered, all that he wanted, all that he craved for ever so long. He felt Harry's hand brush across his face, and tangle in his hair. And the kiss went on and on; Draco's arousal turning into a hot ache of desire, only intensified by Harry's own erection pressed into his thigh.
The men parted, Draco panting, the need for air so great. Harry smiled a soft, sleepy smile, and whispered, "Love," his eyes drifting closed again.
"Harry," Draco whispered, his arm still wrapped around Harry's shoulders. "Harry, wake up. Please, please wake up," he said, the urgency making his voice tremble.
"Go 'way, slee pee," Harry mumbled in his sleep.
The tears slipped down his face, and Draco bit his bottom lip to stop the quivering there. It was torture, this life, to almost have him back, and then to lose him over and over again, day after day. This was the life of heaven and hell that Draco Malfoy was determined to endure until one or the other finally passed beyond the veil. The heart-broken man turned over, his back to his former lover, and pulled his pillow close to his face, and he cried.
Draco had fixed Harry his breakfast, scrambled eggs and toast. It had been a good morning all in all. Harry had eaten everything and hadn't made too much of a mess. He'd even co-operated with helping Draco clear up the mess left from last night and the breakfast dishes from the morning. He'd stood next to Draco at the sink, humming a wordless tune as he rinsed the dishes and set them in the drainer. Although, Draco did have to change Harry's clothes as he had splashed a great deal of water on them and soaked them, it had been a very good morning.
Draco picked up the Daily Prophet off the back stoop. Luckily, owls didn't bother Harry or he'd have lost all contact with the Wizarding world. Harry had already wandered out into the garden, and was standing there his arms outspread. It was like he was soaking up the warmth of the sun to save and share with Draco in the night. Draco absently rubbed his fingers across his lips, still savoring the kiss from Harry. It was difficult to sleep with Harry as he was, but much easier than having to get up umpteen times in the night to comfort Harry from his nightmares.
Harry wandered over the last flowers of summer bordering the fence. He had squat down and was running his fingers up and down the stalks, and randomly breaking one off here and there. Draco knew that he'd be brought a bouquet soon, and Harry would want to take a walk down the lane. The smallest things brought pleasure to Harry, and this in turn, pleased Draco to no end.
Sitting here in the sun felt good, the warmth soaking into his bones. But, there were days he felt so much older than his twenty years, but today, thankfully, wasn't one of them. He reached for the cup of tea he'd brought outside with him, took a sip, and unfolded the paper.
Nothing new really, Ministry elections were coming up, a sale at the Weasel brothers' shop, and Draco's idle musing ground to a halt as he turned to the middle pages. His eyes widened, another rehash of the defeat of Voldemort, letters written by subscribers wondering where the Boy Who Lived had gone. Preposterous letters with theories about his disappearance filled one side of the page. Draco flipped the page and stared at photos taken before the final battle of Harry and his friends. He heaved a sigh, thankful his own picture wasn't included. He idly scanned the article accompanying the photos. The story listed the survivors of the fight, their injuries, and their recoveries. Nothing much about Harry there, except the one line about, "Harry Potter is currently living a quiet life with his companion, recovering from his injuries." The article went on to discuss the many not listed, the walking wounded. The article supposed that thousands had been injured in the various battles and their numbers would never be known.
Draco looked up from the paper and spotted Harry sitting in the dirt, digging with a stick, his face lit in a gleeful smile, dirt smudged on his face, and Draco wondered, how did one count the walking wounded?