Author's Note: Not HBP compliant. Reviews and con-crit welcome.

Anti-Litigation Charm: JKR owns it all; I play for my non-profit amusement.


by Silver Birch

Chapter Two: Questions

"Why'd you do that, Potter?" Draco demanded.

He hadn't been able to catch the Gryffindor alone until nearly midnight. For reasons best known to Potter, he was to be found in the corridor leading to the kitchen at that time on that particular night; Draco, having finally given up the chase for the elusive Saviour of the Wizarding World, had rounded the corner and simply found him there. Potter had turned at the sound of Draco's voice, and the Slytherin could see that he was dressed in somewhat scruffy jeans and a green button-up that seemed to perfectly match his eyes.

"Do what?"

The brunet's voice was soft, mildly curious but completely devoid of anger or annoyance. He was unarmed, and despite what should have been the shock of Draco's appearance, he had made no move for his wand.

Closing the distance between them, Draco frowned slightly. Analysing his own tone, he knew his confusion had come across as belligerence. Yet the Boy Who Lived Once More had answered with scrupulous politeness. How long had that been going on?

"Get Dumbledore to award the House Cup to Slytherin." Harry opened his mouth, so Draco continued imperiously, "I saw you arguing before the Feast."

Harry sighed. "In five years, will everyone remember that I killed Voldemort?" He made a face of distaste. "With my luck, chances are excellent. On the other hand, once the same amount of time has passed, will anyone remember that you all turned your backs on your families to help defeat him? What you did was brave and noble, yet it's the kind of act that people love to forget. I was groomed to defeat Voldemort. I was guided and coddled and prodded to complete what I was born to do. But the lot of you, you were all groomed to join him, and you had the courage to turn away from that destiny even if it meant losing your friends and family in the process. Yet you're liable to be ostracized by the Light and the Dark. I hoped that today would help remind people of your sacrifice."

These were all thoughts that Draco had contemplated numerous times. To hear them come out of the mouth of the Gryffindor Golden Boy, however, was disconcerting.

"What are you trying to say, Potter?" he asked suspiciously.

Harry half-smiled. "I'm trying to say that I think you're amazing, Draco Malfoy."

An aristocratic eyebrow lifted. He was pleased in spite of himself, pleased in spite of his Slytherin side screaming warnings of caution. "Amazing?" There was more warmth in his voice than he should have allowed, so he tried to temper it with a specific and assessing question: "Amazing like Order of Merlin First Class?"

There, he congratulated himself, that was rather Slytherin.

Harry laughed, his face relaxing and the corner of his eyes crinkling. It hadn't been the reaction Draco had intended, but the pleasing sound warmed him to his toes.

"That, too," the Gryffindor conceded cordially.

"Then how did you mean it?" Draco pursued, wanting answers.

The messy-haired boy shrugged, a delicate pink washing up his cheeks as he admitted with evident self-consciousness, "Amazing like I want to snog you silly."

The eyebrow rose higher and his incredulity manifest as superciliousness:"You want to kiss me?"

"Desperately." The response was surprisingly quick and earnest-sounding. Harry smiled sadly. "But I've had quite a while to prepare myself for rejection. Be happy, Draco Malfoy. You deserve it."

Harry turned and continued down the corridor, away from the Slytherin. Draco thought furiously. Had the Weasel been involved, it would obviously have been a set-up. Hell, had he been involved, it would have been as well, because Slytherins simply didn't make the first move in emotional situations like this one. But Potter wasn't really a set-up sort of bloke, was he? And he had positively oozed sincerity. Given his behaviour towards Draco and the Slytherins recently, why play such a trick now? What purpose could it possibly serve at this juncture, when term was at an end? If, then, Harry was really in earnest…. Draco made a split-second decision.

"You know, Potter," he drawled after the retreating figure, "for someone claiming to be desperate, you didn't really make much of an effort."

He watched the dark-haired boy freeze in his tracks before pivoting ever so slowly. Harry stared at him for a long moment, jade eyes locked on Draco's grey ones. Without breaking eye contact, the Gryffindor retraced his steps. He only stopped once they were standing mere inches apart, closer than they had ever been without being about to fight. Harry reached out and ever so gently cupped Draco's face with his hands, his thumbs brushing along Draco's jawline.

Draco was powerless to prevent his reaction, his breath hitching noticeably, blood thrumming in his veins so loudly that surely Harry could hear it. The brunet leaned in closer still and finally, finally, his lips slanted across Draco's, warm and soft and firm. Before Draco had even considered the matter, he found that he was kissing the Gryffindor back, tilting his head so they fit together better, twining his arms around Harry's neck and pulling their bodies flush against one another. Harry's tongue brushed across Draco's lower lip and Draco immediately allowed the Gryffindor access. Harry's tongue stroked the roof of his mouth, his teeth, duelled with his tongue. Draco let out a low moan that he distantly recognized as sounding extremely needy, but that didn't seem to matter so much anymore.

When the necessity of breathing forced them apart, they stood there, breathing heavily, neither letting go of the other. And then Harry smiled, and the smile in the Great Hall had nothing on this smile. It was a little shy, but breathtakingly happy, the green eyes lit up with joy, and it was a smile all for Draco. Draco found himself smiling back.

"I think you're amazing, too," Draco admitted softly.

Harry's smile grew, and he leaned in to kiss Draco again.

finite incantatem