Draco felt like seven kinds of an idiot as he quickly passed through the grubby barroom of the Leaky Cauldron, hoping to hell no one recognized him. He plucked at the waistband of the unfamiliar denim trousers—the Muggle trousers—he had been instructed to wear.
He stepped out onto the sidewalk, and part of him wished desperately that Potter would not show. His eyes scanned the Muggle-infested street hopefully, a hope that fluttered and died, because Potter was there. Draco stopped short, barely recognizing him.
Potter lounged on a black motorcycle across the street. His eyes were fixed on Draco with an intensity that nearly took Draco's breath away. Bloody hell, Potter had changed. He wore a dark green shirt similar to the Muggle t-shirt Draco wore. It pulled tight across the corded muscles of Potter's shoulders and accented his biceps.
Potter's Muggle jeans were dark blue, and hugged his lean thighs where they straddled the bike. Brown leather gloves adorned his hands. His hair, thank Merlin, was still a snarled mass, but his spectacles were missing. Draco brightened. Perhaps Potter couldn't see him.
One gloved hand rose and a finger crooked at Draco beckoningly, destroying that vague wish. Draco sighed and looked carefully up and down the street, alert for horrifying metal contraptions intent on mowing him down. When the coast was clear, he walked briskly across the street with his head held high. Even though he walked to his doom, he was a Malfoy, and would do so with as much dignity as he could muster.
"Get on," Potter said brusquely when Draco reached the bike. For a moment, Draco tried to pretend he did not know what Potter meant, but it was rather obvious, so Draco set his jaw and threw a leg over the back of the motorcycle.
He sat gingerly and wondered what the fuck he was supposed to hold on to.
"Hold on to me," Potter instructed, "And put your feet there." He pointed to some metal bars that jutted out and Draco obligingly planted his boots. He touched Potter's shoulders tentatively.
The Auror reached up and took Draco's wrists. He relocated Draco's hands to his waist. Draco held Potter's hips even more cautiously as the Auror started the bike. Draco winced at the noise. How could Muggles stand it? Brooms were so much quieter.
Potter gunned the engine and the bike jolted forward; Draco tightened his grip reflexively. Potter threaded through traffic, starting and stopping repeatedly. Draco vaguely wondered where the hell they were going.
After a time, Draco noticed he was pressed quite firmly against Potter—their thighs were practically moulded together, and Potter's arse rested neatly against Draco's crotch. He tried to move back, but a sudden braking motion slammed him back into Potter again. He gave up. It wouldn't matter soon, anyway.
They left London and drove for what seemed forever, traveling through picturesque countryside that Draco was in no mood to enjoy. Just when he was about to poke the Auror in the side and demand to know their destination, the motorcycle slowed.
Potter pulled off the winding road they had followed and stopped at a pull-out that overlooked the sea. Draco gratefully hopped off the machine, wincing at the tension in his legs, and strode to the short wooden barrier. He looked over the edge at the waves that crashed against the rocks far below. He wondered if Potter planned to throw him over and watch his body smash against the jagged wet stones. Draco thought it might be preferable to the alternative, but then he would be of no use to his family.
Draco sighed and looked over his shoulder. Potter was leaning against the bike with his booted feet crossed at the ankles. The gloves were off, and he had produced a bottle of water from somewhere. His throat moved rhythmically as he drank.
"Water?" the Auror asked and waggled the bottle in Draco's direction. Draco shook his head, uncertain if he could keep even water down at the moment. Potter shrugged and capped the bottle before propping it against the handlebars. He pushed himself away from the bike and walked toward Draco, who tensed, but Potter bypassed him and went to the rail. He looked out over the sparkling water.
"I've always liked this view," Potter said. Draco watched him curiously. The sun was setting to Potter's right, limning half the Auror in gold. The tips of his hair glinted silver.
He turned suddenly, and fixed Draco with an enigmatic look. Draco swallowed hard and was horrified to find that his palms were sweating. He wanted to wipe them on his trousers, but he did not dare indulge in that weakness.
"Come here," Potter said. Draco steeled himself and approached Potter, keeping his face blank with determination. Potter's hand reached out and touched Draco's waist on either side; he managed to keep from flinching. "I'd like to see what I'm buying," Potter added. He tugged the shirt fabric from Draco's jeans.
Draco nearly forgot to breathe and his fists clenched, but he allowed Potter to slide the black t-shirt up and over his head. Potter stepped back and Draco felt his cheeks flame as the Auror's gaze slid over his bare torso. Potter actually walked around him in a slow circle, as though evaluating a prized animal.
Potter stopped before him and a slow smile touched his lips, making him look surprisingly handsome.
"You are gorgeous," Potter admitted and Draco felt a small knot loosen in his chest. Potter would accept the deal, then. Draco was both relieved and mortified. "Just for the record," Potter said conversationally, "Let me verify the facts. Since your father is still in Azkaban, the Ministry is threatening to seize your funds and Malfoy Manor. Your mother's petitions have gone unheard due to the current anti-Voldemort-supporter sentiment abounding at the Ministry."
Draco nodded sharply.
"When you heard about my… unnatural sexual proclivities, as it were—the fact that I'm a flaming ponce, that is—your family decided it would be a good idea to sell your services to me with the vague hope that I will use my influence to spare the Manor and your fortune. Correct?"
Draco's jaw clenched at hearing the situation in such blatant terms. Potter was correct, except that it had been Draco's idea completely. His parents knew nothing about the arrangement he had suggested to Potter. "For six months only," he gritted.
"For six months," Potter repeated. "You are willing to be my bed partner for six long months?"
"To save my family and my home, yes," Draco replied. "I'll do whatever it takes. Even that." It was beyond humiliating, but the thought of losing the Manor induced such a vortex of panic that even the thought of touching Potter paled to insignificance.
Potter nodded and turned away to toss Draco's shirt on the back of the motorcycle. Draco looked at the faint sliver of the sun, and watched until it disappeared. He barely noticed Potter tinkering with something on the motorcycle, but he turned when the sound of music came to his ears. Potter had propped a strange box on the seat of the bike.
"Portable CD player," Potter said. "Sometimes Muggle technology beats magic."
Draco ignored him. He tried to ignore the music, but the soft tones had a catchy beat and a sensual undertone that Draco liked more than he would have expected. The last dim vestiges of sunlight faded from the sky and gravel crunched beneath Potter's feet as he returned to stand next to Draco.
"Cold?" Potter asked. Draco shook his head. It was a warm night and he was comfortable even without a shirt, but he would have frozen to death before admitting to a chill. Potter suddenly pulled off his own shirt and tossed it back on the bike. Draco refused to look at him, though he wondered what Potter had in mind, dragging him out to some lonely promontory to listen to music in the dark, half-naked. He refused to ask, and it grew darker while they waited for something known only to Potter.
"There," Potter said suddenly in a satisfied tone. Draco glanced at him, but Potter was gazing out at the water. A yellow sliver had crested the horizon. The moon. It rose, full and golden, brightening the sky and gleaming on the water. Draco looked at Potter, and found the Auror watching the pale orb intently, as if mourning the moment when the orange-yellow globe would rise high enough to turn silver.
Potter's face was achingly handsome. Draco looked away, confused and annoyed. The last thing he needed was to find Potter attractive.
"Dance with me," Potter said suddenly and held out his hand to Draco, whose pulse lurched. If this was Potter's idea of foreplay, it left much to be desired. Draco reluctantly took the Auror's hand and allowed himself to be pulled into a minimal embrace. There was a moment of awkwardness when they both tried to lead, and then Potter laughed. "You lead this time," he said, as though he planned for them to dance another thousand times in the future.
It was surprisingly pleasant. Draco loved to dance, and Potter turned out to be far more graceful than he had appeared during the Yule Ball so many years prior. Draco supposed the countless Ministry functions were partially responsible.
The song ended and Draco tried to step away, but Potter held tightly, one hand gripped around Draco's palm, and the other resting on his shoulder. Draco tried not to think about how the warmth of Potter's hand burned into his flesh. He kept the hand that was not in Potter's firmly on the waistband of Potter's jeans, careful not to allow it to stray to the bare skin.
"Wait, I like the next one."
The next song turned out to be a slow ballad, and Draco slipped on a stone and stumbled into Potter a mere two steps into it. Potter grabbed him tightly to keep them from falling, and then refused to let go. Both arms wrapped around Draco's neck, and Potter draped over him like a blanket. The Auror's cheek pressed against Draco's ear and his chin rested on Draco's shoulder. Their torsos were molded together, and the skin-on-skin contact was nearly too much for Draco.
They swayed slowly on the gravel in the moonlight, and Draco gradually relaxed when Potter made no move to touch him, other than where his hands already lay against Draco's shoulders. The song was beautiful, filled with longing and the pain of unrequited love. He knew the melody would stay with him for days.
He nearly gasped aloud when he felt Potter's lips against his neck, pressing a gentle kiss there. Draco's footsteps faltered. Potter stopped and pulled his head back, only far enough to fasten his mouth to Draco's. The kiss was sweet at first, a tentative exploration of lips on lips, following by more insistent pressure, urging Draco to allow Potter ingress. The Auror's hands moved up into Draco's hair, guiding his head back and to the side as his tongue slipped through Draco's unwillingly parted lips.
Merlin, but there was nothing gentle about the kiss after that. Potter plundered Draco's mouth with the same determination he had used to destroy the Dark Lord. Draco felt heat blazing through every cell and igniting a pool of lust in his groin. Potter kissed him for what seemed like hours, and when he finally stopped and pulled away, Draco thought he might have staggered if not for the Auror's hands in his hair. Potter pressed one more hard kiss against Draco's lips and then stepped back.
He turned and walked quickly to the motorcycle, leaving Draco panting and shaken in his wake. The music silenced abruptly, and Potter tucked away the music box and the water bottle into whatever motorbike nook they had formerly occupied. We're going then, Draco thought, and wondered how he could feel such a bizarre combination of terror and anticipation.
Potter finished and walked back to Draco. He held out both the t-shirt and Draco's wand, which Draco had forfeited as the first condition of his meeting with Potter. He looked at his wand in surprise as he took the items. It seemed early for Potter to trust him with it.
"Well, then," Potter said briskly. "I think our business is concluded. I don't want you. I'll still help your family, of course, but only because I'm a nice guy. Goodbye, Malfoy."
With that, Potter went back to the motorcycle, hopped on, gunned the engine and roared back onto the road in a shower of gravel. Draco's shock lasted until the red taillights disappeared around a corner, and then rage annihilated his astonishment.
I don't want you.
Draco had been rejected a second time by the Savior of the Wizarding World.
Draco Apparated home and began to systematically destroy every item in his room, until one of the more tenacious house-elves begged him to stop. He then paced across the expensive carpet and thought up every loathsome curse he could possibly use on the Auror. I don't want you.
Draco stopped before the full-length mirror and looked at himself, trying to understand. Potter had admitted Draco was gorgeous, a statement confirmed by the mirror. The Muggle jeans looked stunning, and Draco ran a hand over his bare abdomen. He was pale, but definitely not sickly-looking. He was well-toned, certainly fit enough for Potter's taste, if Draco's research into the Auror's habits had been accurate. Potter leaned toward lean blonds, by all accounts.
Had it been the kiss? Had Draco been lacking somehow? He sat heavily on the edge of his bed and noticed the Muggle shirt lying where he had tossed it. He picked it up, intending to cast Incendio, but he froze when he noted the color. It was green. Potter must have grabbed the wrong shirt in the dark. Draco held it to his face and breathed in the musky scent of Potter. He was immediately assaulted with the memory of the molten kiss and flung the shirt away with an oath. Fucking Potter!
Draco sulked for nearly a week, until the day his mother waltzed into the dining room practically glowing with excitement.
"Draco, look!" she cried. "It's a letter from the Ministry! Listen to this! 'It has recently been brought to the attention of the Ministry of Magic that the actions of Madam Narcissa Malfoy and Mister Draco Malfoy were instrumental in ending the war against He Who Must Not Be Named. Inquiry into the matter has satisfied the Ministry as to the veracity of the claims. Therefore the investigation into the Malfoy family has hereby been dropped, and all assets previously frozen are now released. We apologize for any inconvenience.' Oh Draco! I can hardly believe it!"
She gave him an exuberant hug and Draco could not remember the last time he had seen her so happy. Potter had apparently been true to his word. Because I'm a nice guy, he had said. Draco could hardly stand it. Not only did he owe Potter a fucking life-debt, but now he owed him for the Manor and everything in it, including his mother's happiness and possibly her sanity.
Draco finished his tea morosely.
I don't want you.
Draco hammered on the door so long and loudly without a response that he began to wonder if the address he had been given was incorrect.
"Come in!" someone finally bellowed.
Draco felt the wards prickle as they fell. He wrenched open the portal angrily. Standing on the stoop had merely fueled his rage.
"What the fuck do you mean you don't want me?" Draco demanded, though he had been determined not to ask that question under any circumstances. His eyes widened and his anger deflated on a breath as the ability to inhale deserted him. Potter stood in the hallway, dripping wet and clad only in a white towel that was slung about his hips. Another towel was clapped to his head, and he peered beneath it as both hands scrubbed at his wet hair.
"Malfoy." Potter sounded both perplexed and amused. "What brings you here to pound on my door so politely?"
Draco could not reply. Shirtless Potter in muted moonlight was one thing. Shirtless, nearly naked Potter in bright daylight was quite another. The Auror had been attractive leaning against a motorcycle. That sight paled in comparison to the vision before him now. Droplets trickled down Potter's lightly-furred chest and muscular legs.
The Auror stopped torturing his hair and looked at Draco, who shook himself free of his stasis with effort. "No wonder your hair always looked like vipers live in it," Draco said derisively. "Do you want me to fix it?"
Potter cocked a brow at him and lowered the towel from his tangled mop. He shrugged. "If you think you can."
Draco rose to the challenge. He conjured his favorite silver comb—an action he had performed since he was five and no longer required wand or words. He approached Potter and combed through the Auror's hair carefully. He avoided Potter's eyes completely and focused on his task.
He methodically sorted out Potter's hair and even managed to get it to lie flat. He stepped back and looked critically at his handiwork.
Potter looked so strange and un-Potterlike that Draco laughed aloud. "Merlin, I never thought it would look better in chaos." He banished the comb and moved forward to drag his fingers through the black hair, mussing it with a grin.
Potter suddenly grabbed both of Draco's wrists and pressed him hard against the wall of the hallway. The Auror's eyes were huge and dark. Potter groaned and slid his open mouth over Draco's throat, panting hotly and sending shivers through Draco with every breath.
"You don't want me," Draco said bitterly, fighting the overwhelming urge to succumb to Potter's amorous assault.
"I didn't want youlike that," Potter said against Draco's ear. His torso nearly crushed Draco into the wall, making it even harder to breathe. "As payment for services rendered, like some sort of high-priced rentboy? In six months I would have fallen in love with you, and you would have despised me."
Potter's teeth were doing lovely things to Draco's earlobe, and his words were turning Draco's willpower to liquid.
"In love—?" Draco breathed.
"Merlin, I'm half in love with you already," Potter said and kissed him.
Potter captured his lips before he could speak, and his hands caressed Draco's scalp through his hair. Hell, who would have guessed that would feel incredible? Meanwhile, Potter's mouth was doing amazing things. He sucked on Draco's tongue, making his traitorous mind conjure images of Potter sucking something else. That something else was hard as marble, and drew a sound from Potter that thrummed through Draco's blood like a primitive howl.
"Bedroom," Potter growled, and then added, "Please?"
"If you're begging," Draco replied on a breath, although in truth he wasn't quite certain he could walk. Luckily, walking turned out to be unnecessary. Potter simply rotated Draco a few steps and fixed him to the opposite wall before repeating the snogging and caressing procedure, as if the Auror could not go more than a few paces without tasting Draco again. And each time, just as Draco thought he might explode with need, Potter would draw back and repeat the process until Draco's back was hard against the doorjamb.
"Couple more steps," Potter said, taking a welcome breather with his forehead resting on Draco's shoulder. Potter shifted his hips upward slowly, rubbing his erection against Draco's and teasing identical moans from them both. Draco absently noted that Potter's towels had been abandoned a few steps back. The knowledge that Potter was naked and pressed up against him made him wonder if they could make it to the bedroom.
Draco's shirt was completely unbuttoned, although he could not remember Potter doing that, and Potter's hands drew tingling whorls over Draco's ribs and chest. One hand slid around to Draco's back and held on tightly.
"Six steps," Potter said. "We can do it. Just like dancing."
It was, too. They crossed the space in a twirling motion and collapsed on the bed with Draco on top. His grin was decidedly predatory.
"At my mercy now, aren't you, Potter?" Draco asked and kissed the Auror to stop him speaking. Potter's hips shifted as though he prepared to roll them over, so Draco reached down and wrapped a hand around Potter's cock, halting that nonsense immediately.
Draco's hand explored the velvety hardness, drawing a trembling shudder from Potter. Draco's smile widened and Potter dragged him down into another kiss.
"Get your fucking clothes off," Potter said raggedly when they unlocked their lips to catch a breath.
Draco tsked. "Such a filthy mouth for a pristine hero."
Potter wrestled him over with a movement that Draco would have paid to learn. The Auror straddled his hips, but Draco had not lost his grip on Potter's cock. He twisted his hand and squeezed. Potter hissed.
"Merlin, you're a devil," the Auror said, but he leaned down to kiss Draco again.
Draco's other hand tangled in Potter's thick hair. Suddenly there were too many clothes between them. Draco released Potter's cock and fumbled at his trousers. Potter helped without breaking the kiss—talented Auror, he was. Potter had to leave Draco's raw lips to drag the trousers off. Potter made a soft, "Oh," as his face neared Draco's cock, and then he nuzzled it gently, working from base to tip with his mouth.
Draco's back arched and his hands tore the blankets partly off the bed as he fought not to come. Fuck, if he had known sex with Potter would be this intense, he would have taken up with the prat back at Hogwarts.
Potter's tongue swirled over the head of Draco's cock.
"Can't—!" Draco cried and came, spurting over Potter's lips and his own abdomen in an explosive stream. The tremors seemed to go on forever, leaving Draco utterly sated and nearly unable to move. He levered himself up slightly with an apology on his lips, only to find Potter hovering over his cock with an amazing smile.
"Fuck, that was hot," the Auror said.
Draco curled a hand in the messy black hair and hauled the Auror into another kiss. Potter's hard cock dug into Draco's flank—he could do something about that, at any rate.
"You can…" Draco murmured, "you know." He swallowed hard, uncertain of his offer, but the look in Potter's eyes was worth it. The Auror licked his lips—red from Draco's kisses.
"Are you sure?"
Draco nodded. Potter Summoned his wand from wherever it had dropped and cast a few vaguely unpleasant spells that left Draco with a sense of unease.
"Don't worry, I won't hurt you," Potter said. Draco had to smile. He had no doubt Potter would rather carve himself open than hurt Draco—and the certainty of that knowledge helped him relax.
Potter's fingers came first, one by one, easing in with a liberal dose of something slick. The Auror was painstakingly gentle, to the point where Draco nearly told him to get a move on, but he thought a patient Potter was likely preferable to the alternative.
Potter finally pressed his cock into Draco, who felt nearly awed at the strange sensation. Draco would not have believed it, but he found himself growing hard again. Potter stilled and took several moments to do nothing more than kiss Draco. He finally chuckled against the Auror's lips.
"Are you planning to set up camp?"
Potter groaned. "If I move, I'll come."
"Isn't that the point?"
"I want you to enjoy this, too."
"Never mind that. I'm sure I'll enjoy it next time."
Potter's head jerked up and his wide eyes met Draco's. "Next time? You'll see me again, then? This isn't just a one-off?"
"Do you want it to be?" Draco asked carefully.
"Are you kidding? If I had my way, I'd tie you to this bed for… a very long time," Potter said. "When I got your letter, I felt like I'd been handed everything I always wanted. It nearly killed me when I realized I couldn't accept your offer."
"You could have told me that instead of rejecting me like an evil git," Draco complained.
"Well, then you wouldn't be here, would you?" Potter pulled his cock out a bit and thrust forward, brushing something inside that made Draco gasp. "At my mercy," Potter continued. He repeated the motion and Draco was definitely hard now.
"Draco," Potter said with a moan. "You never answered my question." He punctuated every few words with another thrust, and Draco angled up to meet him with a moan.
"Next time," Draco panted. "Yes, Merlin yes, next time. Oh Merlin, Potter—"
"Harry," the Auror corrected.
"Harry," Draco said.
"Oh fuck, that did it," Potter groaned and near collapsed on Draco, shuddering. His breath was hot and rapid against Draco's neck. "Bloody hell, sorry, Draco."
"Next time, remember?" Draco replied. "Which will probably be in about… fifteen minutes, if your stamina is a match for mine."
"I'll match my stamina against yours any day, Malfoy," Potter said and chuckled. He rolled over and looked at Draco with quite a sappy expression before casting a Cleaning Charm on them both.
Potter could not seem to keep his hands away from Draco. One tangled in Draco's hair and the other drew circles over his chest.
"I'm really glad you're here," Potter said.
"Hufflepuff," Draco said with a snort. Potter guffawed. Draco thought he looked terribly cute when he gazed at Draco in adoration.
"I have a confession, Potter."
The Auror's dark brow rose. Draco flushed and looked away. "I've been sleeping with your Muggle shirt. Because it smells like you." Draco wondered why the hell he had admitted that.
Potter raised Draco's chin with a hand and smiled softly when their eyes met.
"Now who's the Hufflepuff?" Before Draco could speak, Potter reached beneath the pillow and pulled out Draco's black Muggle shirt. "Me too," Potter said.