Disclaimer: Harry Potter is owned by J.K. Rowling and Warner Brothers. No copyright infringement intended.
Pairing: Harry/Draco, Draco/OFCs and Draco/OMCs (mentioned but completely non-explicit)
Word Count: 3000
Summary: Draco struggles to find his place in the new world, but in order to succeed, he must open his eyes.
Warnings: Flangst. Slut!Draco? An attempt to do a character study of a slut!Draco?
Warm fingers caressed his hair, slowly and gently, from his forehead to the top of his head. Draco was lost in the warmth and feeling, and a chance not to think but just be. Comfortable and safe and alive.
Funny how that happened.
The problem had been that Draco was, for the lack of the better word, a slut. He was aware of it and he was okay with it. It wasn't like he got paid to have sex, or made to have sex. No, it was a personal choice. Though perhaps the circumstances caused it, but it seemed wrong to blame the circumstances. Everybody was controlled by circumstances.
He wasn't sure how it began exactly. But he had an idea.
It happened just after the war. When Draco was depressed and lost in this new world where there was no place for him. Everybody said that this new world was better, and maybe it was, but not for Draco. Just for the good people.
Actually, it wasn't about being good or bad. It was never about that for Draco. It was about having influence and respect. But now that Draco looked back on it, it was better to be good and not have influence and respect, than being bad and be rejected and scorned.
Because if you were good, then you could happily climb on your high moral ground and when people scorn you, you scorn them right back. And you feel better.
But if you were bad then you have nothing to fight back with.
It was all a matter of perspective. Draco could have chosen to believe that he was on the good side of things, the right side, and then he would be happy, no matter what everyone else thought. But that was the main problem. For some reason he was struck with the knowledge that he was wrong all along. That was the worst thing that ever happened to him. He could have been happy if he had continued believing every word his mother and father said.
So yes. That was the trigger. That was what made him realize that people were right for avoiding him. That it wasn't their fault but his.
And avoid they did.
Everyone knew who had fought against the Dark Lord in the final battle and who had tried to capture the Wizarding World's only hope so they could save themselves. It was a strange, unsettling feeling to be shunned like that, and Draco didn't know how to deal with it.
But oddly enough, he had soon discovered that a lot of people, though they disliked him, didn't actually mind having sex with him. That was quite a revelation.
Though the first time it happened it was just confusing.
He went home with a pretty girl that had claimed she went with him to Hogwarts. Draco couldn't remember her, but he wasn't about to argue the point, since she was all smiles and softness and willingness. It was a nice evening, right until she stood up and put her clothes on.
"I should go," she said, and kissed him goodbye.
Draco never saw her again.
The second time, he was expecting it. The girl was a Gryffindor. Parvati something or other. She had never liked him as far as Draco could recall. So when she ended up in his lap, whispering lewd suggestions in his ear, Draco led her outside and fucked her against the wall in the back alley.
She pulled her knickers up and gave him an awkward smile before she left.
Draco was glad to see her go.
He became accustomed to it soon enough. Much too soon.
Go into the club, pick up a girl, and after frantic and fast sex, watch her leave.
It wasn't as if every girl was willing, but Draco had learned to recognise the look. They watched him like he was something forbidden and exciting, and it wasn't hard to guess they just wanted a one off.
He was in his second year of healer training when he met Ethan.
Ethan was a fellow healer, but a gifted one, with good grades and a list of healer ancestors. He had an air of I-was-made-to-do-this-job around him. Not like Draco. Who had only chosen this profession hoping to garner some respect. Not that it worked. All he got was snickering.
And sex. Lots and lots of sex. Because there were many young witches studying with him, and neither was interested in a long standing relationship. Well, with him anyway.
But Ethan was a friend. The person Draco could study with and go into the pub and talk about nothing. He was just a friend until, during one of their study sessions, he pressed Draco against the bookshelves in the public library and kissed him. If it was anyone else, Draco would have flipped. Perhaps throw a punch or a curse. But Ethan was a friend, his only friend, the only person who was always there. So it seemed rude.
Besides, Ethan was a good kisser.
So Draco kissed him back, and later, when they arrived to his room, he let Ethan push him on the bed and fuck him.
It wasn't nice. Not the first time. Nor the second time. But at that point Draco was too amazed that there was a second time to complain much.
It got better though, once he adjusted to the odd feeling of being filled like that. He was even more pleased when he bent Ethan over the table and found himself buried inside him. Ethan had told him to thrust as hard as he wished so Draco did. And that was amazing.
Draco wasn't sure whether what Ethan and he had was a relationship or not. Nothing else changed between them. They were still friends, except sometimes, they fucked.
But it was nice. So Draco had stopped sleeping around and that was easier than he thought it would be.
But then, when their final exams had finished for that year, and a long summer awaited them, Ethan had burst into Draco's room, ecstatic and smiling. He explained he was leaving in some remote place Draco had never even heard of. It was a once in a life opportunity, apparently. A chance to study advance healing techniques from extremely gifted people. A chance to do something worthwhile and important.
Draco pretended he was pleased and treated Ethan with a blow job and some spectacular sex, but he wondered what it meant for them.
He didn't dare to ask, and Ethan hadn't said anything. He just left.
It was only after, when he was left alone, that Draco thought that maybe, just maybe, he had been in love with Ethan.
Then he got drunk and shagged random guys whose names he couldn't remember. It didn't make him feel better, not right away, but eventually, the pain dulled.
Ethan did something for him though. He had broadened Draco's perspective. Apparently, it didn't matter to him who he took home — a girl, a guy or both.
He finished his schooling, but made no new friends. He got a job as a junior healer at St Mungo's, dealing with spell-damage. He kept his distance at work. Well, he had slept with a lot of his co-workers and even patients, but it never went beyond that. He wasn't happy, and he wasn't miserable. He just tried not to think too much.
It was just an ordinary day when Potter walked into the emergency room. His hand was bleeding, and he had asked, very politely, if someone could please heal that for him. It was a strange fate that Draco had been the one available.
He decided that pretending that he didn't know Potter would be the best idea. It didn't work, of course, because Potter smiled at him and asked about his career and life, as though they were old friends not enemies. Draco had answered, inwardly scoffing at this display of typical Gryffindor-like behaviour. He had no idea what Potter meant to accomplish.
Until he met Potter's eyes and saw what this was all about — the green depths were filled with desire.
"Would you like to go to dinner with me?" Potter asked, looking nervous and biting his lip.
Draco shrugged. "Sure." If Potter wanted sex, who was Draco to complain? It hardly mattered.
They missed dinner and instead ended up in Potter's bed. And Draco learned that Potter had filled out and gained some muscles, and his lean body had more strength than one could guess at first glance. Draco had also found out that Potter made low mmm-sounds when he kissed and his hands moved constantly, caressing every bit of skin they could reach.
Potter kissed as passionately and as forcefully as Draco expected he would, and he demanded constant lip on lip contact during sex. Potter also liked to top, easily asserting control with gentleness and quiet intensity that had no more give than a steel door.
Draco had a chance to see that Potter's dark hair contrasted beautifully with the white pillows. So beautifully, Draco had trouble leaving. But when Potter began to breathe deeply and Draco stared his fill, he got up and left.
He had to work a double shift that day, and by the time he came home, the fire in his fireplace was flaming red, indicating that there were recorded floo-calls waiting for him.
It had been a surprise to discover that they were all from Potter.
"Hi! Um, you left early. I didn't hear you. I thought I'd make you breakfast. Well, I guess you had to work? So, could you call me when you get home?"
"Hi, again. Maybe you don't want to call me? I mean. I thought. We never had that dinner, you know. Maybe we should."
"Hey, it's me again... I just ... I would really like to see you. If you don't want to then ... okay. I won't call again. I promise." There was a long pause. "Bye."
Draco sat on the couch, unable to tear his gaze away from the red fire. He waved his wand three more times, replaying the messages, not sure what to make of them, but he did like the sound of Potter's voice.
Potter wanted more. Last night was nice, and apparently Draco wasn't the only one who thought so. But more meant ... it meant Draco might fall again and that would just hurt in the long run. He shouldn't go. Potter could find himself someone else to shag.
Draco ended up on Potter's doorstep anyway. They missed dinner that time as well.
"Do you have to leave early?" Potter asked, leaning on his elbow and looking down at Draco.
"Yes," Draco lied.
Potter pursed his lips. "When will I see you again? I'd like to take you out to dinner." Potter smiled, and something pressed on Draco's chest, almost suffocating him. "Maybe tomorrow? But this time we really should make it to the restaurant at least."
No. No. No. "Okay." Draco heard himself say.
The next day they did make it to the restaurant, where Draco learned that Potter could talk and talk, but not be boring.
"You're not listening to me," Potter accused.
"What are you thinking about?" Potter narrowed his eyes, making Draco notice how long Potter's dark lashes were.
Draco raised his eyebrows and grinned widely, knowing that his message came through when Potter's eyes darkened.
They didn't stay long in the restaurant after that.
Draco didn't have any illusions about them. Not this time. This was just extended fucking. One day, Potter would leave to do something important. Draco didn't plan to wait for that moment.
So, one night, Draco left to the pub and picked up a guy. They shagged in the bathroom, and when the guy left, Draco felt sick and he vomited all over the floor.
It took him a while to realize that the horrible feeling that assaulted him and made him retch was guilt.
He couldn't face Potter after that.
He took an extended holiday and left to his parents' estate in Scotland. He spent a month there, alone with house elves, and it was probably the longest time he had without sex. It wasn't that bad, but he thought about Harry too much. Wondering whether he was angry, or he had already forgotten all about Draco. It was probably the latter.
His flat looked dull and dusty when he returned and Draco tossed his luggage and collapsed on the couch. He felt tired, tired of thinking and tired of his life. He might have fallen asleep, but he wasn't sure.
A knock on the door startled him and, after he opened the door and saw Potter standing in the hallway, he was unsure whether to feel happy or scared
"How did you know I was back?" Draco asked, although he really wanted to ask Potter why he was here.
No, he really wanted to kiss him.
Potter didn't answer but instead, he pushed his way inside.
Draco wondered whether Potter would curse him, furious that Draco had left him instead of waiting for being rejected when Potter decided he had enough. But Potter's anger was waning by the second, and by the time he spoke, he just looked distressed. "Don't I even get an explanation?" he asked, his voice soft and sad. Draco could see the hurt in his eyes.
"I don't ..." Draco began, but his throat constricted. He took a deep breath and tried again. "I wasn't aware that I owed you an explanation."
Potter's eyes widened and then turned too bright. "I thought we ... Why would you say that? I thought we were doing okay. I ... did I do something wrong?" Potter almost whispered, sounding desperate. "I can fix it."
Draco's brain was processing things slowly. Potter really wanted a relationship. He wanted Draco. That thought made him light-headed, and for a moment he almost gave in. Almost begged Potter to take him back.
But then he crashed back to the cruel reality. Potter wanted him — for now. But he would leave Draco sooner or latter. And sooner seemed less painful.
"I don't have relationships, Potter. I fuck around. It's what I do." He meant to say this stoically. He wanted to appear resolved and disinterested, but the words sounded bitter and angry to his own ears.
Potter was still staring at him with a look that Draco saw once before — in the mirror when Ethan left.
"Can't we ..." Potter began but Draco cut him off.
"No we can't, Potter. Don't you get it?" Suddenly, words were spilling out of his mouth and his stomach was clenching painfully. "You'll just leave me anyway. Everybody leaves. I know what I'm good for. You don't want a relationship with a worthless slut!"
Potter looked as though Draco had slapped him. "A worthless slut?" he repeated. And then Harry's hands were on Draco's shoulders and green eyes stared at him in shock and worry. "Is that how you see yourself?" Potter whispered.
"It's just the truth." Draco sniffed, his nose clogged and his vision blurry.
"How can you think you're worthless? What about your work? You're so dedicated. People admire and respect you. They told me so many good things about you ..." Potter paused as Draco frowned, and then shook his head in denial. "You have absolutely no idea, do you?" Potter asked, amazed. "Draco, they're all amazed by how much you changed and how much you accomplished. I am too."
"That can't be true. I don't even know them."
"They know you. Apparently, better than you know yourself. You're not worthless, Draco, but are you blind?"
Draco stared not knowing what to say, not daring to believe Potter's words. Confusion and exhaustion overwhelmed him and Draco's whole body shook. Somehow, he ended up in Potter's arms, with his head buried in the crook of Harry's neck, and his tears pouring into Harry's shirt. He wasn't sure why he was crying, but it felt good to cry, especially with one of Harry's arms around him, gentle fingers in his hair, and soft words continually whispered in his ear. Harry murmured things like Not true, and Worth so much and I'll show you and every word he said soothed Draco's very soul.
When Draco's sobs quietened, Harry gave Draco a tissue and then made some tea while Draco dried his tears. They ended up on the sofa, surprisingly, not having sex. They talked for a long time, and Draco remembered crying some more and eventually falling asleep in Potter's arms.
Draco woke up in his bed in the morning. Potter was beside him, sleeping on the top of the covers, as though sleeping with Draco beneath the sheets would compromise their virtue.
When Potter opened his eyes and gave him a sleepy but happy smile, Draco found himself thinking that perhaps he wasn't as worthless as he thought. Making Harry smile like that was surely worth something. Then Harry murmured Good morning and pulled Draco in for a slow kiss, humming contently, his hands cupping Draco's head, thumbs caressing his cheeks, and suddenly, Draco felt invaluable.
But that was a year ago. Since then Draco had made some revelations.
Apparently, it all was just a matter of perspective. Draco had thought himself worthless and, in his mind, so did everyone else. It made sense now that he thought about it.
He had friends these days. Actual people, who liked his company but didn't want to sleep with him. They just liked to be around him, because, they said, he made them feel like they mattered. And to Draco they did, though it wasn't like he turned all soppy about it. Outwardly.
And ... he had this. Quiet afternoons, when he could lie down on the sofa, place his head on strong thighs, and demand to be petted. Harry would comply, with a patient smile and an exasperated shake of his head. He would caress Draco's hair and talk about his day. And Draco felt happy.
"You're not listening," Harry accused.
"What did I say?"
Draco opened his eyes, to see a green gaze that tried but failed to appear annoyed.
When Draco didn't answer, Harry sighed. "See?"
Yes, Draco had no idea what Harry had said, but he knew he would be forgiven. Because Harry always forgave him, with a look in his eyes that suggested that Draco deserved forgiveness.
A look that promised Draco was worth the bother.
A look that made Draco feel loved.
Draco stared up at Harry, drinking in the sight of him, warm and loving, and always there, showing no intention of ever leaving.
Because he thought that Draco was important and worthy and good.
Draco cleared his throat and murmured, "I see."
And it was true.