Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters, nor is any profit being made from this.
It started at dinner. He had taken Pansy out for her birthday to an elegant place in northern London. They were just finishing their dessert when Draco looked up and saw Potter come in the door. The red-headed Weasley girl was holding his hand.
Not that seeing Potter was an unusual occurrence. Draco saw him in Diagon Alley, at Quidditch matches, and practically every damn day in the Prophet. Every time he had to repress the desire to rearrange Potter's features with his fist. But tonight – well, he still wanted to punch him, but the strong desire to fuck Potter into the plush carpet under their feet rose suddenly to the fore.
He cleared his throat and glanced at Pansy. She wasn't looking in Potter's direction and didn't appear to have noticed anything. Good. "I'll be right back, love," he murmured. Pansy blinked and raised her eyebrows. Draco motioned towards the men's room with his head.
He needed a moment alone to calm his feelings. Not that Pansy would care if he indulged himself on the side – he'd done it several times already, after all, and as long as he increased her shopping allowance for the week she didn't say anything about it. But those had been nothing – the maid at a hotel, the clerk at Flourish and Blotts – Potter would be different.
He splashed some water on his face and stared into the mirror. Why in Merlin's name had a desire for Potter come over him? The prat wasn't attractive – still scrawny and short with those ridiculous glasses. Not to mention he was married to a Weasley.
Draco was trying to concentrate on the image of Potter in bed with a Weasley when Potter suddenly stepped through the bloody door. And damned if Draco didn't still want to push him up against the wall right then and there. They stared at each other for a second. Draco looked away first, heart hammering in his throat. He gazed blankly down at the sink, hands clenched on the sides, and tried to breathe slowly. Potter finished and came over to wash his hands. Draco shot a sideways look at him.
Afterwards, he didn't remember making a conscious decision. Suddenly he was moving quickly, coming up behind Potter. He slipped one arm around Potter's chest and before Potter could move, he pressed his lips to the side of Potter's jaw. Potter stiffened, and Draco could hear his breathing speed up. Draco looked into the mirror, and his eyes met Potter's. He stayed where he was for a second, then let go and stepped away.
Potter turned around. Draco couldn't read his expression, so he kept a wary eye on Potter's wand hand. But all Potter did was lift his eyebrows and walk back out the door.
The next day, Draco sat in his study, feet up on the desk, and thought about Potter. The way Potter's body felt under his hands, the way he had tasted. He summoned one of the owls and scrawled a quick note.
"Where are you off to?" Pansy asked as he went down the stairs, cloak in hand. She was leaning over the banister, still in her negligee and robe.
"Out," Draco replied.
It hadn't changed much, Draco reflected when he arrived. Hogwarts still loomed over the Black Lake in the distance, looking dank and forbidding. Draco picked up a stone and threw it into the water. He wondered if Potter would show up.
Potter did. "Why here?" he asked, looking angry.
Draco shrugged. "Secluded." He gestured at the forest. "Romantic views."
"Wet. Cold. Windy."
"You pick a spot next time, then."
"Who said there was going to be a next time, Malfoy?"
Draco walked over to Potter. Undid the ties of his cloak with a jerk. It fell limply to the ground. Potter was wearing Muggle clothes, naturally. Draco's fingers went to the buttons of the shirt.
Potter stood still for a few moments, then ran his hands up Draco's arms and lightly circled his throat. Draco froze for a second, but then he sneered at Potter and yanked off a button. Potter's mouth twitched, and his hands continued up to cup Draco's face.
The experience was indeed wet, cold, and windy. Draco Apparated directly home to a hot shower when it was over. It felt like a rock had permanently embedded itself in his back. But he wanted to do it again.
He did do it again. And again. And again. Potter took charge after the first time, and booked rooms for them in cheap Muggle motels. It made Draco feel rather cheap and dirty himself. Then, after the second time, it dawned on him that he was, after all, a wizard.
"This is a new touch," Potter said from the direction of the bathroom.
Draco had conjured up a hot tub, complete with mirrors and candles. "I want to do you in the water, Potter," he said, pulling off his shirt. "And watch myself doing it."
Draco figured it would be over in about three weeks. He would lose interest in Potter, or Potter would lose interest in him and that would be it. Didn't happen, though.
He knew he was in trouble when he spent the first half of the Quidditch World Cup looking for Potter in the stands. And, once he had found him, staring at him for the rest of the game. He caught Potter glancing his way several times – make that about once every two minutes, actually.
Pansy and he were supposed to attend a party afterwards. Draco left her there, telling her he didn't feel well, but that she should go ahead and have a good time. He sent an owl off to Potter the second he got home and twenty minutes later there was a knock on the front door.
Draco was there to answer it, having sent all the house-elves off to the kitchen. He slammed Potter up against the door and practically crushed his glasses trying to find Potter's mouth with his own.
Somehow they ended up on the sitting room floor. When Draco could think again, he looked around and realised they had broken two figurines that had been gathering dust on a table, pulled down one of the curtains, and completely disarranged every pillow and rug in the room. He fingered his jaw. The palm of Potter's hand had caught him there, and it would probably develop into a lovely bruise by the morning.
Potter was sprawled on the rug. His glasses had cracked, and he had flung them aside. He didn't talk – just breathed quietly, his eyes closed.
Draco leaned on an elbow and looked down into Potter's face. "You better go – Pansy could be back anytime."
"Right." Potter didn't move for awhile, but then slowly rose to his feet and got dressed.
Draco thought about using Reparo on the broken knickknacks, but didn't.
Pansy started to nag at him after two months. "Who is it?" she asked, glaring at him from where she was lounging against the pillows.
Draco was going through some paperwork at his desk and didn't bother to look up.
"I'm your wife, you know."
"Do I look stupid?" Draco snapped. "Now be quiet – I'm trying to work."
Pansy was silent for awhile, then asked, in a slightly wistful tone, "Don't you think I'm pretty anymore?"
Draco looked over at her. "You're beautiful." He meant it. She had let her curly dark hair grow out, and her figure was still curvy and smooth. Too bad hard elbows and fogged up glasses seemed to dominate his thoughts these days. "Don't worry about it. You know how I am."
Pansy regarded him thoughtfully. "I do. This just seems – different."
"It's not." He blew her a kiss. "Go to sleep, love."
Pansy drew the covers up to her chin. "Don't forget about the boys," she said in a slightly harsh tone. "Don't forget you're a father."
"Why?" he asked Potter one day.
Draco rolled his eyes. "Why are you lying in bed with me, doing what we're doing, idiot?"
Potter was silent for a long time. "Why are you?" he finally said.
"I asked you first."
Potter hit him with a pillow. "Don't be so immature, Malfoy."
"Fine." Draco sat up. "I don't know."
"I said –"
"I heard what you said. What the hell does it mean?"
"Are you stupid, Potter? It means I don't know why – after I've hated you as long as I've known you – I suddenly find you a more desirable lover than my wife – who's certainly prettier than you."
Potter plucked at the sheets. "Lover, huh?"
Draco scowled. "That's just a word. I don't love you. I don't like you, either."
"I still hate you too, Malfoy," Potter said and glared at him. "But here we are."
"Yeah. Here we are."
Draco fell asleep in Potter's arms the next time. Usually they left as soon as they were done, but Draco couldn't stop the wave of comfortable drowsiness that swept over him.
He woke up to Potter's snoring and poked him in the ribs. Potter jerked and opened his eyes. "Hey," Draco said.
Potter smiled and yawned. "What time is it?"
Draco told him. "I have to get going," Potter said, starting to rise.
"No." Draco put his hand on Potter's arm. "You don't."
"I'm bored," Potter said a week later.
"You weren't a second ago."
Potter shook his head. "Not with that. With this." He waved his hand at their dingy surroundings. "I feel too cooped up here."
Draco thought for a second. "Okay, how about this, then?" He told Potter, who grinned.
The next day, they met outside Gringotts, both hooded and cloaked. Together they walked to Gladrags. It was busy inside, witches and wizards bustling around. Potter grabbed a robe off the rack and went into a dressing room. Draco followed.
They had argued over who would hold the other one up, since they couldn't do it on the floor. Draco had finally given in with poor grace. "Sure you're strong enough, Potter?" he hissed, hooking his legs behind Potter's knees.
Potter bit his shoulder, his fingers digging into Draco's arms. Draco tugged hard on his hair in return. "Shut up," Potter whispered.
"Get rid of your wife for the afternoon, tomorrow," Draco ordered Potter.
"Why?" Potter asked, scowling.
"We've defiled my house – now it's your turn."
Potter shifted his shoulders. "She'll be suspicious."
"Deal with it."
Draco arrived at Potter's house at the appointed time the next day. He thought Potter would lead him to the sofa or the kitchen or anywhere but where he did. His bed. Where he slept with his wife.
He almost said something, but thought better of it. Potter's mouth was set, and his eyes were dark and flashing. Draco prepared himself for a rough time, but Potter was gentler than he had ever been – softly caressing Draco's skin, pressing kisses to his neck, lightly brushing back his hair. He didn't speak or look Draco in the eyes the whole time, though.
Two days before Christmas, Draco spent an hour standing in Honeydukes, staring at the licorice snaps squirming around in their cage. He wanted to get some for Potter. He wanted to get some and have them gift-wrapped and write To Harry from Draco on the label.
He finally had them sent anonymously.
He expected to get some sort of acknowledgment from Potter about them, but didn't hear anything. The next time they met, he spent the entire time holding a private debate over whether he should ask Potter if he had received the present or not. He had just decided not to ask when Potter reached into his cloak and brought out the box. "I saved them for us to share," Potter explained, popping one in his mouth.
Draco looked at Potter, sitting on the chair putting his shoes back on. "She does, huh?"
Potter straightened. "This – us. It's over."
Draco's throat became very tight. "So –" He swallowed, tried again. "So that's it then?"
Anger flashed through him. "Pansy's known for months! That hasn't stopped me!"
"You said she didn't care."
"Well she does."
"And so does Ginny."
Draco watched as Potter gathered up his cloak. "You love her?" Draco asked, the words drawn unwillingly from him.
Potter paused. "Yes."
It hurt. More than Draco had thought was possible. "Fine, then," he managed to say.
Potter opened the door, looked over his shoulder at Draco for a few seconds, then left.
He didn't see Potter much after that. But he thought about him – every fucking day.
The night after he and Pansy dropped Nicolas off at Platform 9 ¾ for his first year at Hogwarts, Pansy looked at him across the dinner table and told him she wanted a divorce.
"What?" Draco managed to say, stunned.
"A divorce, sweetie," Pansy said, looking slightly irritated.
"But – why?"
"I think you know."
Draco shook his head. "That's over. It's been over for months." He looked in her eyes. "You know I love you."
Pansy didn't say anything, twirling a piece of hair in her fingers.
"You didn't get upset before," Draco said, hurt.
"Oh, Draco, don't be so stupid," Pansy said, sitting back and crossing her legs. "If you ever did love me, which I doubt, you don't anymore. It was fine when you didn't care for anyone else, either, but now you do."
Draco told her she was wrong, that he was happy, but at the same time he was thinking about Potter. They signed the papers two weeks later.
He thought that maybe, after Potter heard about the divorce, he'd come back, but he didn't.
The next summer Draco went for an extended holiday in Italy, hoping he could forget. He met a young witch and managed to convince himself he was in love with her. Then he saw a picture of Potter in a newspaper and got drunk every night for a week. When he came out of it the girl was gone.
He went back home after awhile. Pansy came to see him and irritably told him that his sons were forgetting what he looked like. So he went to see them at Hogwarts and took them home with him for the holiday. He bought them both brooms and taught them how to play Quidditch. It helped. Some.
"Nicolas needs a new cauldron. And Elliot's winter coat is practically a rag." Pansy sniffed and poked at her salad. She and Draco were having lunch in Diagon Alley, going over what the boys would need to start a new year at Hogwarts.
"So take them shopping," Draco said.
"Can't. My sister is getting married, remember? You'll have to do it."
"Fine. I'll take them tomorrow."
The next day, after the obligatory stops were made, Nicolas and Elliot insisted on going to Quality Quidditch Supplies. After twenty minutes Draco left them to it, saying he would meet them at Fortescues and not to take all day. He was finishing his sundae when someone sat down next to him.
"Hi," said Potter.
Draco still wanted to punch him. And kiss him. "What do you want?"
Potter took off his glasses and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "I missed you."
"You're the one who left," Draco reminded him bitterly.
"Right. I'm sorry about that," Potter said slowly.
"Doesn't matter, though, does it?" Draco replied, managing to hold onto his cold tone. "It's still over, isn't it?"
Potter shrugged. "I guess."
A surge of hope ran through him, which Draco tried desperately to squash. "You guess? It's a simple enough question, Potter."
"Is it?" Potter sounded angry. "How can it be simple when I can't forget about it? When I don't want to forget about it?"
Draco's voice softened unintentionally, "You don't?"
"No." Potter reached over and took Draco's spoon, fiddling with it. "We're getting divorced – Ginny and I. Haven't made it public yet, but it's over."
Potter looked up at him quickly. "You're not."
"Maybe not so much," Draco admitted.
A sudden smile flickered over Potter's face, but he dropped his gaze again.
They sat in silence for awhile. Then, holding his breath, Draco reached across the table and took Potter's hand. "So, Potter…" he hesitated, reluctant and afraid to keep going.
Potter let their fingers slip together and squeezed. "You can call me Harry, you know."