"keep your friends close. keep your enemies closer."

random one-shot written while trying to get out of writer's block.

What now?

Harry Potter sat alone in his old dormitory, surrounded by the familiar gold-and-maroon curtains, watching rain lash against the mottled windows. The party raged downstairs, but he wasn't in a celebratory mood. Now that Voldemort was dead, he was struck with the sudden realization that his life's purpose had altered dramatically.

Picking up a photo of Ron and Seamus that rested on the table next to his bed, a smile spread across his face. Finally, he thought with an internalized laugh, he had the guts to snog her. I'm glad. It's been a long time coming.

He went to the window and stared out into the distance. The grounds were littered with ripped clothing and broken wands. The bodies had been moved, and the rain washed the blood from the grass. So much death...

"Harry." A voice jolted him from his thoughts.

He turned to see Draco Malfoy standing in his doorway. Instantly, his defenses went up.

"Who the bloody hell gave you the Gryffindor password?"

"Granger."

"She hasn't been here all year, how would she know--"

Draco arched his eyebrow. "It's Granger. She knows everything."

He had to admit that much was true. "What do you want?"

"I, uh-- just wanted to thank you," he said, his gaze on the floor. "I mean, for saving my arse tonight."

"Twice," Harry reminded him.

"Yeah. Twice."

"No problem." Harry turned back to the window.

"Listen, my mum wanted me to thank you too. And apologize, for--"

"What's with all the niceties from the Malfoy family?" Harry said dryly. "Trying to convince us all that you were Imperiused again, that you were really on our side the whole time, now that your hero's dead?"

"It's not like that."

"Yeah, sure." He turned to face Draco with a glare. "You know, I haven't forgotten you tried to kill my best friend."

"I was trying to kill Dumbledore. It was an accident."

"And that makes it so much better."

"It was that, or watch my family die!" shouted Draco, taking a few steps toward Harry. "What would you have chosen?"

"Seeing as Voldemort already killed my parents, I don't think he'd make that ultimatum," he shot back. "Look, why don't you just get out of here. You've thanked me and all that, so unless you're after some Death Eater glory by avenging Voldemort, there's no reason for you to stay."

A pause. "I never wanted to be a Death Eater," he said quietly.

"That why you were bragging to your Slytherin mates about doing the Dark Lord's work back in fifth year?" Hatred rose in Harry's chest like smoke.

"I had to!" Draco yelled. "You have no idea what this has been like for me. My whole life... being trained as a killer... being groomed to fill my father's shoes someday... I never wanted any of it. It was thrust upon me."

"So why didn't you put your foot down?"

"I'm not a bloody Gryffindor," he spat. "You're supposed to be the courageous ones. Not us."

Harry snorted. "So you think it was hard for you?" He was the one advancing on Draco now, rage in his heart. "I've been dodging Killing Curses for seventeen years now, Malfoy."

"I know!" Draco exclaimed. "And that's why... that's why I could never tell you this until now."

"Tell me what?" A look of thorough confusion washed over Harry's face.

"The hardest thing for me-- it wasn't the Dark Mark, it wasn't the threat against my family, it was..." He sighed. "It was you."

"Malfoy, what the hell are you--"

"Knowing," he continued, "that every second of every day Voldemort was plotting to kill you. Knowing that all he wanted was to take you out of this world. It hurt worse than a Dementor's kiss."

"Malfoy, I don't know what--"

"Jesus Christ, Potter. I thought you were supposed to be smart. Maybe it would be better if I explained it like this."

And before Harry knew what was happening, Draco cupped his chin and kissed him full on the lips.

Harry spat on the floor. "Bloody hell, what the fuck was that supposed to be?"

"You are thick. That was a snog, Potter. Haven't you had one before?" He smirked.

"Of course I have-- but that's not the bloody point. What are you doing snogging me?"

"Can you keep your bloody voice down?" Draco glanced nervously behind him. "I don't want the whole damn school up here."

"Why," Harry pressed, "did you just snog me?"

"I like you."

"You like--" He looked like he'd just found out Ron was keeping one of Aragog's children as a pet. "You've hated me from the first day we met, you prat!"

He shook his head. "No," he said, "I didn't. I tried to make friends with you, remember? Although, I don't blame you for turning me down back then. I was a miniature of my father in attitude and appearance. No one wants to be friends with a git like that."

"Thank you, Captain Obvious."

Draco smiled appreciatively. "And I thought you were a right foul little prat at first, running 'round with a Weasley and a Mudblood. But then I grew up and I looked past the propaganda my father fed me, and I saw you for who you were."

His eyes were like daggers. "Them too, or are they still just a Weasley and a Mudblood to you?"

"Yeah," Draco said. "Weasley and Granger never did a thing to me I didn't deserve." He paused. "Especially that punch in third year. I deserved that."

"Damn right you did." Harry folded his arms.

"And then I found out--" here he sank into a sitting position on Harry's bed-- "I found out that they were trying to kill you. And when I realized how much I wanted to stop them, I realized--"

"That you, uh... liked me?" Harry filled in.

Draco nodded, his hands folded together. Why the hell am I here, this was stupid, bloody fuck I'm an idiot.

"So... why didn't you ever tell me? I mean, it might have been awkward afterwards, but at least we wouldn't have been fighting all the time." He paused. "I think."

Draco stared at his hands. "I had to protect myself."

"Protect yourself?"

"Yeah. If I told you how I felt... and you by some miracle reciprocated... and then Voldemort killed you... I would have... I don't know. I just couldn't have dealt with it." His eyes filled with watery regret. "I'm weak, I know."

Harry felt his heart soften, and he sat tentatively on the edge of the bed next to Draco. "You're not weak. Remember when the Snatchers caught us and brought us to your house? Voldemort-- and the rest of the Death Eaters, your father included-- would have killed you if they knew you'd recognized us. But you didn't say a thing. I know you knew it was us. But you didn't give us up."

"Yeah." He sniffed.

"Thank you."

"You're welcome."

"So..." He couldn't stop the question. "Why?"

He shrugged listlessly. "I don't know. Believe me, I tried my damndest to convince myself I was just making stuff up. But... well, I have these dreams about you, and you're always..." Shifting uncomfortably, he trailed off.

And here, for the first time, Harry knew what Draco was thinking. He'd had the dreams too-- when he hadn't been trading visions with Voldemort, Draco appeared in his sleep wearing nothing but a pair of black boxers and a mischievous little smirk. It was always the same; a recurring dream that he couldn't shake. He'd always been more concerned with what Voldemort was doing.

Until now.

"I know about the dreams," Harry said tentatively, not daring to look Draco in the face.

"How?" he demanded, his eyes narrowing. "I never told anyone!"

"I have them too."

"You--" He calmed when he saw the earnestness in Harry's expression. "You do?"

"Yeah. You're always-- well, you're never wearing too much." He felt his face turn red.

"You're sleeping," Draco continued.

"Yes. And you come over me. I don't wake up--"

"Until--"

Harry nodded, and Draco's cheeks filled with color. Quickly, he averted his eyes, staring at the quilt. "I've never seen it in real life." He spread his hand out over the fabric. "It's a darker red than I thought."

To this, Harry replied, "I've never finished the dream."

Something in Draco's stomach tugged at him. "Neither have I."

They sat for a moment, staring at each other, until Harry finally broke the gaze. He put his hands down to push himself up from the bed, and his skin brushed Draco's.

"Harry." It was a plea, the eyebrows arched in a way Harry had never seen them before. He looked so much better when he wasn't glaring. "Harry..."

Something in those two syllables, the simple two syllables of his first name, made Harry stop to consider Draco in an entirely new light. Before, it had been his last name only, the sharp consonants dripping with disdain every time they exited Draco's mouth. Now it was his first name, hushed and soft, propelled from his lungs with tenderness.

"You meant it," Harry said tonelessly, holding Draco's gaze.

"Every word," came the sincere reply.

Almost without volition, Harry found himself on the bed again, placing his warm hand over Draco's cold one.

A flicker of hope lit Draco's eyes. "Don't you dare tease me."

"I wasn't planning on it." And he leaned over, brushing his lips against Draco's.

His heartbeat quickened, thunder in his quiet chest. "Harry--" He licked his lips. "D'you think anyone will come up here?"

In response, Harry drew the curtains and pulled Draco down onto the soft down-filled mattress with him.

They lay facing each other as their eyes adjusted to the darkness, so close that Draco could feel Harry's heat radiating from his skin. He concentrated on his breathing; he felt that if he had to hold back from touching him a second longer, he might just jump out of his bones--

"What would you like?" Harry asked awkwardly. He might have been a bartender.

Draco smiled and took his hands. "More. Always more." And he pressed his lips to Harry's, inhaling the scent of pine and fresh water mingled with dried blood and sweat.

Harry's hands blazed an involuntary trail up the sides of Draco's torso, over well-made fabric, smooth, translucent skin, and finally into his feather-soft hair. It's like sunlight, Harry thought as he nuzzled into it, like tangible sunlight.

"Did you ever wonder," Draco mused, winding his way around to nibble softly on Harry's earlobe, "what this would be like?"

There were no secrets anymore. "Yes," he sighed. "God, yes." His lower lip caught on his teeth and he moaned softly into the pillow as Draco ran his tongue over the shell of his ear.

As Harry pulled him closer, Draco slid an arm between them and caught the top button of Harry's shirt. Deftly, he undid the long row and pushed the linen from his torso, gasping a little as he did so; Harry's arms and stomach were toned from years of Quidditch and roughing it in the forest for nearly a half-year. He ran his fingertips over the perfect stomach, the broad chest; the cold metal of his ring grazed Harry's warm skin and made the hair on the back of his neck stand up.

I need to see you. Harry ached with curiosity, and easily unfastened his robes. Draco shed them and let Harry pull the green sweater from over his head.

If Harry was toned, Draco was sculpted like a Greek god. He had the body of a Seeker; lean and fit, quick and agile. "God--" Harry's breath caught in his throat and he tugged desperately at the buttons on Draco's jeans, aching to touch him.

"You're a wizard," Draco reminded him gently, a smile playing on his lips.

Immediately, Harry reached for his wand. "How are you going to get them back?"

"Worry about that later."

One simple incantation, and Draco's jeans vanished into the air. And there they were: black silk boxers, the fine fabric clinging to his shape like dew to a spiderweb, delicate and defined. His fingers hovered over them for a moment, fluttering in a tentative pause.
"Harry..." There it was again, that pleading, and he bent his knuckles over the band, pulling the fabric from his loins.

Draco stood erect, poised to meet him, and Harry curled calloused fingers around his thick warmth. He throbbed with need, pulsing in Harry's grip.

"I'm the weakest I've ever been," he whispered, and Harry saw a flicker of warmth in the cold blue-gray eyes. "You make me vulnerable, and I've always hated myself for it."

"Do you hate it now?" He felt as though someone was talking through him; it felt surreal.

He smiled, and there was no sarcasm nor spite. "No." He picked up Harry's wand-- which is really my wand, isn't it, he thought-- but none of that mattered now. He repeated the incantation, and the rest of Harry's clothes disappeared into the unknown.

Harry flushed a brilliant shade of scarlet as he realized how hard he was, poking forcefully into Draco's leg.

Draco understood at once. "Don't be shy," he whispered. He reached down and slipped his length between his thighs, enveloping him like a cocoon.

"I honestly can't believe... all this time..."

"We're wasted on talk," breathed Draco, and tilted his face toward him for a kiss. Their tongues twisted together, a ballet of emotion, affection being released like caged birds. With every collision of lips, Harry felt more comfortable, more free. Safety was being born in the hollow of Draco's arms, the last place he ever thought he'd find refuge.

Overwhelmed by the suddenness, the shock, the beauty, Draco lost himself in the steady rhythm of Harry's heartbeat, a thump against his ribs, urgent and alive. He wanted so desperately to use the words he'd been practicing, reciting in his head for years, but it wasn't time. Not yet, Draco. Just feel. He hadn't given himself permission to feel in years, and it was all coming on like an avalanche now, burying him, but giving him wings in the process. Where was he? What was going to happen to his family? His friends? None of it mattered.

And Harry had found it was possible to clear his mind, rid himself of Voldemort's echoes and concentrate solely on the fullness of Draco's lips against his own. Part of him was still suspended in disbelief, I can't be kissing Draco-- this is ridiculous-- and yet his mind said Draco, not Malfoy. Nothing about him was an enemy anymore. But he needed to train his eyes. He reached for his wand and drew a gentle thread of soft light around the canopy.

Draco paid no heed; he was too caught up in their kiss to notice anything so trivial. For Harry, it served as an affirmation. This was real; he was tangled up in bed with Draco Malfoy, and not a single part of him wanted to be elsewhere.

Not true, he thought with an inward smile, painfully aware of the desire churning within his body. "Draco--"
"I know." His breath fell soft on Harry's lips. "Where do you want to be?"

"You're the one who's wanted me for all this time," Harry said with a hint of a grin. "You decide."

Draco grinned back. "That could be dangerous."

"I trust you," Harry said, feeling a flutter as he realized-- and I mean that.

One kiss, then another-- Draco couldn't pull himself away from Harry's lips-- and Harry relaxed facedown into the pillows as Draco straddled him.

"I won't hurt you," Draco whispered, bent over, his breath ghosting across Harry's cheek. He shivered and nodded.

"I trust you." It felt good to say.

"Tell me if you want me to stop."

"I will."

Draco sat up again and traced his fingertips lightly across Harry's back. He dissolved under his caress, sinking into beautiful oblivion. He felt a warmth nudging him, one hand moving to separate the hills of flesh, and Draco's length, edging toward his opening.

"Ready?" His voice was full of quiet care.

Harry nodded, filling his lungs with air, preparing--

And Draco slid slowly inside, continuing to stroke Harry's back, willing him to relax and enjoy the sensation.

Harry's eyes were wide open; he was staring at his headboard, yet saw nothing. Every bit of his consciousness was concentrated on the ebb and flow of Draco's motion inside of him, strong and gentle as the tides.

Oh, God, this is happening-- Draco was beyond himself with rapture, continuously reminding himself, reassuring himself, I'm not dreaming, I'm here, I'm here... He let his hands trail over Harry's strong shoulders, down the curve of his torso; let them settle on his hips, fingertips resting on the pelvic bone.

Urgency washed over him; his thrusts became more pronounced, less controlled, and Harry fell into ecstasy. Draco bent over him, laboring, his spider-silk hair brushing Harry's back. He reached behind himself, grasping blindly at Draco with one hand, desperately trying to guide him closer; Draco understood, laying his body over Harry's, letting them fuse, connect, blend.

Harry was rendered speechless, save for the soft moans that escaped his lips every time Draco slid deeper inside. Their skin melted together in the heat of the enclosed bed, beads of sweat glistening in Harry's halo of light.

"Draco..." The whisper came with a rush of air as he emptied his lungs, his lip catching on his teeth. "God, yes... yes..." Involuntarily, he felt his muscles tense, and Draco twitched, quickening.

"I'm so close," Harry panted, thoughts racing through his brain in a tangled grid. Was it possible to even come this way? Draco would make it—oh God, I'm with Draco, I'm with—please, Draco, faster—the rain fell, thunder shaking the castle, would anyone be able to hear him if he made noise?

It didn't matter.

"Get me there," he begged, his voice muffled against the down pillow. "Please."

Draco obliged, holding him firmly at the waist and, as if he could read his mind, began moving swiftly, tilting his hips to plunge as deep as he could. Harry cried out in response, clawing at the bedclothes, on the edge of rapture.

Deftly, Draco reached around and wrapped his fingers around Harry, stroking him. "C'mon, love, I can't hold off forever."

A smile crossed Harry's face, quickly overtaken by rounded lips as Draco reached even deeper. "Oh, yes... God, yes... Draco... Draco!" His eyes fluttered and waves of intense pleasure crashed through his veins, making him tingle from head to toe.

Intoxicated by Harry's screams, Draco let himself go, digging into Harry's flesh, hammering away at a breakneck pace. "Harry..." It was a warning, a plea, a request for permission.

He was hungry to feel it. "Come, Draco."

That was all he needed. With a groan of satisfaction, he released into Harry, slowing with every stream, until finally, he collapsed onto the bed.

Harry pulled the thick maroon comforter over them with a smile.

"It's hot," complained Draco. "I need some water. And why do you damn Gryffindors have more comfortable beds than we do in Slytherin? I mean, this is heaven right here."

He smiled. His heart raced and his hands shook, but he felt completely relaxed as he watched Draco stretch out next to him and close his eyes. "Yeah," he agreed. "You're right. It is."