Disclaimer: JK Rowling and other parties nominated by her own Harry Potter. This is a not-for-profit work of fanfiction. No copyright infringement or offence intended.

Story: Post-war. Involves the exchange of 'instant messages' between Harry and Draco who both work at a private company called Auror International. The company evolved after Ministry-directed Auror work dried up and Auror missions were henceforth outsourced. Times are still tough, business isn't exactly booming. Harry supervises a team of Aurors that just so happens to include Draco Malfoy. Draco's 'wandering eye' during office hours has been annoying his supervisor of late. Story ignores DH.

Beta: Reviewed by faeriechii. Many thanks!

Instant messages, bleeding-well slow communication.

By Naesy

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-Harry's messages are in plain text.

Draco's messages are in bold text.

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Chapter 1

oooo

"HOOT! HOOT! You have an instant owl from: Harry Potter."

-Malfoy. What. Are. You. DOING?

Potter?

I would have thought it obvious.

-Yes. It is. Very obvious!

-Malfoy? You're as subtle as the Hogwarts Express steaming towards a tunnel. At full speed!

Huh. Nice analogy, all things considered.

And…?

-And WHAT?!

Your clarity overwhelms me, Potter. Let me speak plain English - and might I suggest the use of a dictionary if the following question puzzles you?

Get ready… Here we go: what, pray tell, is your problem?

-What is my problem? What is MY PROBLEM?

Dictionary, Potter, dictionary.

-Here's the problem…

-Malfoy, WHY ARE YOU HITTING ON THAT CLIENT?

Because the last few were either too ugly or too old or too poorly dressed. I mean, did you see the redhead? What was with his shirt? I'm retching at just the memory of it.

-Oh, for the love of Merlin. You are incomprehensible!

Me? I think the real issue here is YOU, Potter.

Namely: why do YOU care what I do?

-I don't bloody stupid -ARGH!

Hm. A thorough and thought-provoking answer.

-ARRRGGHHHHH!!

I'm sensing that you're feeling a little stressed over there, Potter.

Maybe you should try some Muggle meditation?

-ARRRGGHHHHH!!

No?

A Calming Draught then?

-ARRRGGHHHHH!!

A massage? Heh heh. (Wink, wink)

-Again, ARRRGGHHHHH!!

Fine.

Perhaps a bit of Loosen the Hell Up, Potter! Potion then?

-You. Are. The. Embodiment. Of. Pain.

-Serious pain.

-Whenever I'm around you? Pain. It's nothing but pain.

Really? You flatter me. I didn't know I had that kind of effect on you.

I'm blushing.

-Shut the hell up, Malfoy.

-This is serious. The deal with Gringotts is enormously important to us! They are this close to signing!

-If you screw this up…? Well then it will all, pretty much, be: $#&$X!#$!!!

Look, Potter. You and I both know: any attention I happen to give to any client can only 'sweeten' any deal. And that's without any, heh heh, 'screwing' as you so indelicately put it.

And by the way, some of the keys on your keyboard appeared to be sticking down at the end there.

-You are such an egotistical, conceited, SELFISH prat!

I am not selfish. I'm very generous.

There's plenty of me to go around!

(smiley face)(smiley face)(smiley face)(smiley face)(smiley face)

Merlin, I LOVE those smiley faces! I just learnt how to do them! Such handy little things.

Who would have thought that Muggles could be so clever? Those smug little smiling faces that I'm free to insert into a message whenever I see fit almost make me reconsider my mild distaste for the Mugheads. Almost.

-Riiiight. I'm going to go, again, with an oldie but a goodie: ARRRGGHHHHH!!

Again, Potter, pay attention: Some of the keys on your keyboard appear to be sticking down. You should really get that checked out.

-Malfoy? Do you have ANY IDEA just how precarious the situation for Auror International is right now? The Ministry work has all dried up, you idiot! Since they outsourced all Auroring work, we rely upon contract work with organisations – like Gringotts! That means, we're guaranteed nothing beyond the few contracts we currently have. Nothing, Malfoy, NOTHING!

Hm. You are a fountain of knowledge, Potter. You astound me. Why, that information is completely new to me… seeing as how I don't work here or anything!

-Malfoy? Shacklebolt would have a coronary if he knew you were setting your sights on Gringotts' Assistant Head of Security! Call me crazy, but I for one do not want to be out of a job! I happen to like eating food and having a roof over my head and a bed to sleep in.

Well, err, 'Crazy' (an interesting choice for a new name, Potter), if that's what this little hissy fit of yours is all about then why didn't you just say so? I knew you had nothing but some dust, cauldron rust and a bit of Floo powder in that head of yours, but, honestly… if you've mismanaged your Black inheritance that badly? Then I could probably spare a couch. Or a piece of floor.

A bed might be pushing it. There are only so many at the Manor, you see.

I might be able to spare a piece of toast now and then.

All it would take would be for you to ask nicely.

…And beg at my feet.

-You GIT. I try to help you out here, to stop you from destroying your career and from destroying, single-handedly, the future of Auror International! Not to mention the livelihood of all your fellow co-workers!

-And you carp on about bloody begging!

-And toast!!!

I like toast. Toast is good.

-Oh, Merlin.

And there's nothing wrong with begging, Potter. I like begging. Begging is good too. Of course, I am always on the receiving end, an experience you'll probably never know. No matter.

In fact, Potter? Perhaps it's time you gave begging a go.

Here, I'll help you out. Try this: "Draco? Please oh please oh please oh please oh please ----------------------------------------------------------------"

Do you really want me to fill in the blanks?

-Here are the blanks: STOP BEING SO UNPROFESSIONAL AND START REINING IN YOUR OUT OF CONTROL LIBIDO! -There. Blanks filled.

Look, Potter. I am a single guy. I'm twenty-six. I live alone. I work especially long hours. I'm here in this God-forsaken building more than anywhere else in the world. And sometimes… it gets lonely.

-Malfoy? Oh shit, I'm sorry. God, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to, well, you know.

-Sorry. I really am. Please forgive me.

-I meant no offence. Really.

Hahahahaahahaha! You Gryffindors are all the same.

PATHETIC!

I had contemplated writing in a few "Sniff!"s and "You just made me cry"s - for extra sympathy - because I wasn't so certain you'd be that easy to sucker in. To think, I was actually concerned that you wouldn't fall for a much more restrained version of my sob story. Seems I was wrong because… YOU DID! Check it: Hahahahaahahaha!

-You suck.

Recap: Hahahahaahahaha!

-I hate you.

One more time: Hahahahaahahaha!

-I. HATE. YOU.

All together now: Hahahahaahahaha!

-LOATHE YOU.

For old time's sake and with extra emphasis: HAHAHAHAAHAHAHA!!!!

-Malfoy. I'm quickly learning why you ARE in fact so lonely.

Potter…?

That was not a very nice thing to say. In fact, that comment was, quite honestly, awful. I thought you had more sensitivity than that. You, of all people, should know what's it like to, well, to be all alone.

-I'm NOT falling for it.

Damn. What if I add a few of those sniffs in?

-Do your worst, Sniffles.

What are we talking about again? Oh, that's right. This is just ANOTHER one of your whinging whiny nonsensical messaging sessions! Just to get MY ATTENTION!

Honestly. I didn't know you had it that bad, Potter.

-Had WHAT so bad? And I don't want to get your attention you idiot!

Oh, Potter. Just SAY IT already.

-Say WHAT?!

What's been on your mind since forever.

-I've NO idea what you're talking about.

Oh please. You're not fooling anyone.

-Fooling who?

-Stupid stinking Slytherins!

…And yet, apparently, you're still trying to fool YOURSELF.

(No reply)

Don't look at me that way, Potter. Your death stares are simply ludicrous.

Gryffindors are just hopeless at glaring anyway. Instead of malicious and menacing, you all end up looking as intimidating as six-year olds with a bad case of The Mr Cranky Pants.

(No reply)

Head shaking does not improve your death stare either.

(No reply)

(smiley face)(smiley face)(smiley face)(smiley face)

Heh heh - I just LOVE them!

Oh wait, I've just figured out how to do this too:

(frowning face) (frowning face) (frowning face) (frowning face)

Amazing!

(No reply)

Oh come on! Potter? Just say it! You know as well as I do what's really going on here.

(No reply)

I hear repeatedly banging your head against your desk like that is bad for your health, Potter.

(No reply)

Alternatively, I hear banging other things, repeatedly, can be quite good for one's health.

-ARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Deep breath, Harry. ARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Potter, Potter, Potter. Fine. I'm going to say it because you obviously won't. And your keys are AGAIN sticking.

-Go ahead then. Enlighten me, Malfoy.

(No reply)

-Interesting, Malfoy. So very enlightening.

(No reply)

-Still waiting, Malfoy…

(No reply)

-Cat got your tongue, Malfoy? Dragon got your typing hands?

Fine. Here it is, Potter:

You WANT me.

And you're too afraid to admit it.

(No reply)

Cat got your tongue, Potter?! Dragon got your typing hands?!

-I DO NOT want you!!!!

A-ha. Right.

Of course, your emotionally-charged protest is telling me a whole other story altogether.

-I'm ending this communication. Just STOP HITTING ON THE CLIENTS, OKAY?

(smiley face) YOU WANT ME (smiley face) YOU WANT ME (smiley face) YOU WANT ME (smiley face) YOU WANT ME

(No reply)

Now, don't get mad. After all, you're only human.

oooo

"HOOT! HOOT! You have an instant owl from: GOD."

Potter. What are you doing over there?!

-Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

That is precisely what I thought. Not setting a great example for your supervisees out here, Potter. Very unprofessional. Tut, tut.

You look half asleep! Or bored!

-Maybe because I am. There's nothing to do. That's why that contract with Gringotts is so critical, Malfoy. You know, what with the whole 'no work' and all.

Well, who's to blame for that then?

-I don't know. Who? You?

YOU, you idiot.

-ME?

Of course. As always.

-WHY?

Well, you went and bleeding-well killed that mad wizard, Vulgarwart, when you were 17, didn't you?

And then, as if that wasn't enough, you just had to go and round up his stupid little followers after that as well, didn't you?

-WHAT? Are you saying I shouldn't have killed Voldemort and captured those Death Eaters too?

NO. You just could have paced yourself, Potter. That's all. I mean, really? That was years and years worth of work there.

YEARS.

But, NO. One smarmy little Chosen One had to just flick his wand a few times in a short space of time and rid the Western world of all evil as we know it.

-Oh, yes. Just a few wand flicks. While I was watching TV, to be precise. In fact, I only bothered to wave it during the commercial breaks.

-You know me and how brilliant I have always been, magically speaking.

Well, I wouldn't go that far. I clearly recall how barely passable you were at school.

But I would go so far as to say: You went about your hunt for all that is evil in an entirely selfish fashion.

-Oh, Merlin. What the hell are you- just - bloody hell.

-Fine. Go ahead and tell me why. (Because I know you want to anyway.)

I will. Because not only did you do it all so quickly! - but you went and rounded the stinking Vulgar-snort rats up... all by YOURSELF! I mean, can't you ever stop and think about your co-workers here for even a moment, Potter? Their future careers and their livelihood!

They like to eat and to have roofs over their heads and beds to sleep in at night too, you know.

-Oh, my God. Draco Malfoy, you are the embodiment of pain! Serious pain. Serious pain of the I CAN'T BELIEVE I HAVE TO WORK WITH YOU AND SEE YOU EVERY BLOODY DAY variety.

-So this is my fate. After everything.

-Well, fate is a cruel, sick and twisted evil bastard of a basilisk; one that I'd just like to violently annihilate. AGAIN.

Right. Well then. I see.

So that's how it is.

I was going to rescue you from the depths of boredom and see if you wanted to join me for a coffee, but now? I SHAN'T.

-Woe is me.

SHAN'T, SHAN'T, SHAN'T.

-Shan't away.

-Preferably far, far away… from ME.

oooo

"HOOT! HOOT! You have an instant owl from: Harry Potter."

-Hi, Malfoy.

-So. Nice coffee then?

Splendid.

Nice boredom?

-Yes. It was brilliant. Brilliantly boring.

-Okay. Perhaps, before? Maybe I went a little… overboard. You know. With the whole basilisk and, well, 'annihilate' thing.

Oh? You think?

-Yes. Surprisingly, I do.

-It wasn't very professional of me.

-And for that? Well, I'm sorry. I really am.

(No reply)

-Malfoy. What are you doing?

Printing out your apology. That's one for the corkboard.

Right next to the one where you're saying that you want me.

-WHAT? I never said that!

The print out NEVER LIES. And aren't editable messages just the dandiest things?! Those Mugheads… honestly… I'm learning to like them more and more.

oooo

"HOOT! HOOT! You have an instant owl from: Harry Potter."

-Take it down, Malfoy!

Hm. No. I don't think so.

-TAKE IT DOWN!

Err. "No". Look the word up. Dictionary, Potter, dictionary.

Oh, sod it - let me help you out. 'No' means the opposite of 'Yes'. As in: Nope, Not a Chance, I Don't Think So, and, lastly, In Your Dreams.

-I DON'T WANT YOU, YOU IDIOT! AND NO STUPID EDITED INSTANT MESSAGE ON YOUR CORKBOARD IS GOING TO PROVE OTHERWISE!

-Besides... I'll just take it down when you're next away from your desk.

I've already fixed it with one of those non-removable binding spells.

-You might want to cast a Non-Killable charm on yourself while you're at it too. Oh that's right, there's no such thing…

oooo

"HOOT! HOOT! You have an instant owl from: Harry Potter's my h-h-hero!"

Is there a reason why your eyebrows look like they're glued together right now, Potter? In case no one has ever been kind enough to say it to you, I will. I'm selfless like that.

Okay, here we go.

The frown? Not a good look. It's very unbecoming. Honestly. You'll get wrinkles.

-Merlin, Malfoy! Can't you control yourself for ONE DAY?

-That's the delivery boy. He can't be older than eighteen!

How would YOU know who I'm hitting on? You've had your nose in that book all day, haven't you?!

And 18 is legal.

-You are so depraved! Can't you find someone else? Like someone at least a little older? Someone who at least has to shave and whose voice doesn't occasionally break into soprano-pitched squawks mid-sentence?

Are you offering me an alternative? (I notice you need to shave. Quite often by the looks of it.)

-NO!

Ah. But I think you are. Once again, you're practically going insane in that little office of yours. Why? Because I'm dangling a bit of Malfoy magic right in front of you… for someone else.

-I don't care who you dangle it for, YOU IDIOT!

-Just stop dangling it for clients - or poor defenceless delivery boys!

-Dangle it somewhere else!

That's a lot of "dangling" you've referred to in that there message, Potter.

Care to share why you're focusing a lot of attention on that little – no, correction: large, VERY LARGE (smiley face) - bit of detail?

-JUST. CUT. IT. OUT.

So, who is this alternative you're suggesting?

You should know: I like them athletic, good looking, and fit. They must also be attractive, not to mention easy on the eye, and gorgeous. And? Painfully hot. They must be hot.

Plus, stunning.

And... hot.

-Merlin's mouldy sock, Malfoy! You are so bleeding VAIN!

It's important this 'mystery person' knows what kind of chance 'they' are in for when it comes to getting fortuitous with someone likemoi!

So, tell me. Is this alternative YOU? (smiley face)

Or are you now playing bleeding matchmaker for me?

-Bloody- $X#&!&#$X&!! ARRRRGGGHHHH!!!

-And the keys are working JUST FINE.

Yep. Knew YOU were the alternative. (Can't blame you for trying, Potter.)

-You want an alternative? Fine. Here's an alternative. Meet Mr Resignation. I think you two were made for each other.

Is he HOT?

-No. Perhaps Mr You're Going To Get Fired is more your type.

Oh come off it! That guy's been hit with the seriously ugly wand!

I'm way out of his league.

oooo

"HOOT! HOOT! You have an instant owl from: I met Harry Potter and all I got was this lousy, stinking house-elf t-shirt."

There's that Mr Cranky Pants look again. Tell me. Is that how you managed to overthrow Voldy-snore?

-You're doing it again.

What?

-HITTING ON OUR CLIENTELE!

For someone who is so concerned about the wellbeing of our Little Auroring Company here, you seem to do a lot of "watching" - of one certain co-worker, I might add - and not a lot of "working", as it were.

-It's not hard to see, Malfoy. A CLEAR GLASS WALL separates my office from the general office area where you are. And when 'certain' clients arrive, all I have to do is flick my eyes upwards from my computer, just one degree or two… and suddenly… the office out there is like your own private little nightclub. Complete with bad lighting, mood music, and moves that make any grown man – or woman – SHUDDER. And, even though I'm at least twenty feet away from you and can't hear what slimy things you're saying to them? It makes me shudder too.

Just SHUDDER.

Yes, I'm sure you do shudder, Potter. More than shudder. Such as shake and tremble and sweat at the mere sight of me. It's a common side effect. You'll get used to it.

Hm. No, on second thoughts? You won't.

-I am going to be sick. SICK.

Steady there, Potter. I'm terribly sorry. My fault. Forgot to mention that the mere sight of me makes people light-headed and dizzy too.

And, no, you won't get used to that either. Ever.

-You work in a large, open space office, Malfoy! Have a little decency for the workers around you! They shouldn't have to put up with your behaviour either.

So, you're suggesting an office swap? Why, what a splendid idea! This large office area cramps my style anyway. And I'm sure the clients would more than appreciate a smaller, cosier space to meet with me in.

Oh! OH! Wait! What about… we share an office! Potter? What a GREAT idea! You and I could work happily alongside one another! Me stealing your quills… me stealing the better chair… you SHUDDERING at my mere presence… you sending angry little instant owls whenever I so much as glance at another human being… me stealing the best parchment…

The possibilities are endless!

(No reply)

So, it's settled then? When can I move my things in?

(No reply)

Potter. This is quite odd, but I think I can see a twitching muscle in your jaw. From here.

oooo

"HOOT! HOOT! You have an instant owl from: Harry Potter's 'Chosen One'! If you don't believe me, just take a look at the print-out on my wall! "

Potter. What is that thing you just emailed me?

-That's our new Policy on Workplace Sexual Harassment. Peggy, the new policy officer, just started drafting it. Thought you of all people should read it.

Why? Are you feeling harassed? Are you feeling that I am giving you 'unwanted' sexual attention?

-NO, YOU GIT.

So, in the off-chance that you were lucky beyond your wildest dreams and I happened to give you any such attention, then it would be 'wanted'? Yep. Knew it.

-I sent it to you because our clients might be close to feeling harassed by you.

(5 minutes later)

I couldn't find anything on 'clients' in here. That's a green light if ever I saw one.

oooo

"HOOT! HOOT! You have an instant owl from: I met Harry Potter. And, let me tell you, he's A LOT shorter in real life."

You know, I wouldn't really go after that delivery boy, Potter.

-Really, Malfoy. How fascinating. Do tell me more.

Yes, I know. It is fascinating, and I will tell you more, because with your miserable love life, who knows what you'll learn?

The truth is, I'm very selective, Potter. When it comes to finding 'my type'? Few meet the bill.

-Yeah. At eighteen, he was too mature for you, wasn't he?

In some remote parts of the world, that may qualify as a joke. Not, unfortunately, here though. A pity for you.

-HEY! WAIT A MINUTE - I'm exactly the same height as you, Malfoy!

So very quick, Potter. And to think I've been wondering lately - to the point of Crucio-like frustration - if you could GET any SLOWER.

-Huh? What are you on about?

And, you've just confirmed that: yes, you can.

oooo

"HOOT! HOOT! You have an instant owl from: Harry Potter."

-Malfoy. What was that all about…?

What?

-Malfoy. You just kissed me.

Did I?

-Yes.

When?

-Not two minutes ago.

Where?

-Well. You know. On the lips.

No. WHERE?

-Downstairs. In the doorway of that empty office. The one Miranda just moved out of. At the end of the hallway.

Oh that.

-Yes. That.

What about it?

-Er...????????!!!!!!!!

I think your keyboard keys are starting to stick again, Potter.

-Why did you just kiss me?!

Because of an age-old Christmas tradition. A fine one at that, too. One that I most certainly did not want to contribute to the degradation of. Surely it should continue on throughout the ages.

-HUH?

Mistletoe, Potter.

-Malfoy. It's not Christmas! It's JULY!

Well that's not my fault! Talk to the person who left the blasted plant up there.

-What? What plant?!

Above the door, Potter. Where it's usually placed.

-That wasn't mistletoe. Not even close! It was a Hawaiian lei. From when Miranda went on holidays last year.

Well it looked a lot like mistletoe.

-It was plastic! With bright red, yellow and pink flowers!

What's your point?

-I don't know. That maybe… YOU'RE BLIND! Or awful at PLANT RECOGNITION!

Hm. It's possible. Either way, if it bothers you so much, well then I'll ensure it won't happen again. Merlin. Just steer clear of doorways come Christmas, Potter.

-I'll do that.

Do whatever you like, Potter.

-I will.

Good.

-Good.

Great.

-Great.

Fine.

-Fine.

I love Draco Malfoy.

-Do you just, Malfoy? I would NEVER have guessed.

POTTER! You were supposed to repeat me again, you idiot!

-Oh really? Is that SO?

-Ahem... I believe the words I'm looking for are: "Check. It" and "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

-Now where's that 'print' key...

-I think your proclamation of self-love deserves a prime place on my wall.

oooo

"HOOT! HOOT! You have an instant owl from: Harry Potter."

-Okay. What was that all about?!

What?

-Malfoy? You just kissed me! Again!

Did I…?

-Er. YES.

Huh. Well, there you go.

-And this time there was no mistletoe, or plastic non-mistletoe-looking plant for that matter in sight either.

Oh. Right. Interesting…

-Well?

Well what?

-Why did you just kiss me for the second time?

Because I tripped and I fell onto your lips.

-Really?

NO, you idiot.

-Then what?

You still had some of Marjory's chocolate cake on the corner of your mouth after you wolfed down that mammoth piece a few moments earlier. And, I happen to like her cakes but I missed out on getting a piece what with all the hungry vultures around here.

-Seriously?

NO, you idiot.

-Then why?

BECAUSE I BLOODY WELL WANTED TO. MERLIN!!!

-Really?

NO, you idiot.

-Oh.

YES, YOU IDIOT.

-OH.

(No reply)

-Whoa.

(No reply)

-So what does this all mean then?

Let's get married and start making babies.

(No reply)

Stop sniggering, Potter!

(No reply)

Potter! You're laughing like a madman in there.

(No reply)

POTTER!!! Look, I don't know what this means. What do you want it to mean?

-Erm, marriage and babies…?

Potter!!! I don't have a bloody womb! And how did you manage to just type that?! You look like you're going to die from laughter!

(No reply)

Oh, Merlin. Did you just fall off your chair?! POTTER!!!!

(No reply)

You're still sniggering!!! Potter!!!

(No reply)

SO. Does this mean, you'd let me do it again?

-Yes.

(smiley face)(smiley face)(smiley face)(smiley face)(smiley face)(smiley face)(smiley face)(smiley face) (smiley face)(smiley face) (smiley face)

oooo
This was chapter 1 of 2. TBC!