Inspired by a little drabble on Hex Files called "No Matter How Old You Are" by Laylee.
Here's a little one-shot for you all while I work out the next chapter of CL. Hope you enjoy!
Harry sighed as he was once again hailed by his long-time lover and husband in that petulantly whiney and disgruntled voice. Not that he always had that voice, but recently the man seemed to have fallen into some sort of funk that caused him to digress back to the bratty Slytherin he had been in their school years, and for the life of him, Harry could not figure out why.
"Draco!" he whined back in a distorted imitation of the other's voice.
Without even seeing him, he could see the man's pouting glare, and resisted the urge to smirk as he checked on the pot roast cooking in the kitchen. He placed the lid back over the crock-pot, and walked into the living room of their flat, where Draco was on the couch and staring at the TV. Draco had resisted any and all muggle things when they first got together, but in a few years, and with much persuasion, Harry had gotten him to open up to the non-magic world and now their flat was a nice blend of both magic and muggle.
Harry was brought back to the present when Draco turned to glare at him, the silver-grey eyes just as piercing as the day they first met in Madam Malkin's. "Are you mocking me?" he asked with a raised brow, and Harry smiled indulgently.
Walking up to Draco, Harry draped himself over the back of the couch, and rested his hands on Draco's shoulders, sliding them down his chest and crossing them over his stomach. He rested his head on Draco's shoulder, and kissed his ear playfully. "Now why would I do that, love?"
Draco frowned and pulled away from the hold, standing and pacing impatiently in front of the couch before stating suddenly, "I'm going out."
Harry, still half bent over the couch, blinked in surprise. He watched as Draco, in irritated, jerky movements, grabbed his cloak, put on his shoes, and apparated straight from the living room.
Letting out an explosive sigh of frustration, Harry flopped on the couch, which was still warm from where Draco sat before him. "What's his problem?" he asked the empty room, running a hand over his face and through his hair. He thought Draco would be happier, considering his birthday was in two days, and Draco Malfoy's birthday was never a small affair. Well, it was Malfoy-Potter now, Harry thought, amused that the thought still made him smile, but when Draco went into one of his spoiled or selfish modes, he tended to subtract Potter from the name until Draco decided to behave again.
Suddenly a thought struck Harry: one that scared him more than he cared to admit. What if Draco had tired of him? What if he was detached because he'd found another? Swallowing a sudden lump in his throat, Harry stood and paced an absent path from the living room, to the kitchen, and back again. He stopped and grasped his hair in clumps, taking a deep breath. "Merlin, get a grip, Harry. He's only gone out…he's a grown man…he doesn't have to run everything he does by me." Sighing again, Harry slumped back on the couch. It wasn't like him to worry so much, but then again, Draco was the only one who had ever been able to get such a high rise from his emotions, no matter what emotion that may be.
Through sheer force of will, he pushed the thoughts from his mind and the fear from his heart, grabbing the remote and changing the TV channel to some movie he didn't even bother to pay attention to. He folded his hands together and rested his chin atop his knuckles, staring blankly out the window, and at the TV when it occasionally caught his attention.
He wasn't even aware of how long he sat there. When Harry was pulled back into the world around him, Draco was walking through the front door, and the sun was setting, casting twilight rays throughout the room and spreading a golden glow over everything.
Draco paused in the process of taking off his cloak and raised an eyebrow at the man on the couch. Harry looked up at the movement, and blinked several times to bring himself back to the present. How had he managed to get lost in thought for so long? He gave Draco a slight smile. "Feel better now?" he asked softly, praying to any god that would listen that his earlier assumptions were just stupid and irrational fears.
The former Slytherin's entire demeanor changed, and his lips formed a pout as he dropped his cloak the rest of the way to the floor, causing Harry to raise his eyebrows in surprise. Draco never left clothing on the floor. He toed off his shoes and walked over, flopping next to Harry on the couch in the most dejected way. "No, I don't," he grumbled, crossing his arms over his chest and glaring at the muted TV.
Immediately, Harry became concerned, and he turned so that he had one leg folded in front of him on the couch, facing Draco. "What's wrong? Are you okay?"
Draco whirled to face him, looking fairly distraught. "I've got wrinkles, Harry!"
Of all the things Harry had braced himself to hear from those lips…that had not been it. "Yeah…?" he responded, rather stupidly he realized a moment later. He'd forgotten, somehow, about Draco's vanity.
"Wrinkles, Harry! Look at them! I'm getting old!"
Harry simply sat for a moment, allowing the relief of the assuaging of his fears to mingle with disbelief that Draco was so upset over this. "Of course you have wrinkles, Draco, you're turning 49 in two days. Besides, those really can't even be called wrinkles…more like lines."
Draco's pout became more defined, and Harry was quite convinced his husband was going to cry if he didn't calm down soon. "But Harry…I'm ugly…"
Harry's features melted into an exasperatedly amused expression, something he realized was unusually common when dealing with this man, and said softly, "Draco, darling."
Draco sniffed and looked up, and Harry was surprised to see even a little bit of anger underneath Draco's expression. The slightly older man turned to face him, mimicking Harry's position, and Harry scooted forward until their legs were aligned. He reached forward and took Draco's face in his hands, merely stroking the man's cheeks softly with his thumbs until Draco started to relax, and closed his eyes. Then Harry moved one hand, and ran his thumb horizontally across the other's forehead.
"I see one here. Just one. A worry line."
Draco opened his eyes again, and looked at Harry as if he had suddenly gone mad. What was he doing?
Noticing the expression, Harry smiled, and let his hands fall until they were resting on each of Draco's forearms, which were still folded across his chest. He pushed gently until the man lowered them, and proceeded to slip his hands into Draco's, squeezing them gently in a loving gesture. "Do you know why you have that worry line, Draco?"
Hesitantly, Draco shook his head once, slowly, still giving Harry a very confused stare.
"Because you care about people." Harry almost laughed at Draco's lost expression, but instead just smiled softly as he continued to speak. "Do you remember the final battle? We had just become tentative friends after the truce called a month before, when we were both thrown headfirst into the battlefield. You weren't used to situations like that. I remember…I remember that look on your face. You were truly afraid we were both going to die."
Draco's head snapped up, and he looked at Harry with eyes almost feral with a combination of fear, anger, and adrenaline.
"Pay attention, we're in the middle of a battle here! I won't be blamed for your death because you lost focus around me!"
"Well excuse me for being just a little bit scared! Not all of us can be fearless heroes, Wonder Boy!" Draco shouted back, the grip on his wand turning his knuckles white.
Harry's expression softened in understanding. He knew exactly what Draco was feeling, but he was forced to hide it, and quell the fear until he became the brave savior everybody expected him to be. He was the core morale of the light, and he knew it. It was more pressure than he cared to be under, but in the heat of battle, he found the ability to unlock a side of him that was usually buried, and was able to stand stronger than he would have guessed of himself.
"We're going to die here, Harry," Draco continued in a much softer, and slightly shaky voice.
Harry's attention snapped back to the situation at hand, and he walked up to Draco, placing his hands firmly but comfortingly on the boy's shoulders. They were hidden behind a few trees, having not fully entered the fray of battle yet. "Listen to me, Draco. We are not going to die, got it?" He paused for just a moment, making sure Draco's eyes were focused on his - and they were, with almost frightening intensity. "A great man once told me that our choices define who we are. Right now, I need you to choose to throw this fear aside. We have the advantage, our morale is high, and Voldemort dies today, got it?"
Draco swallowed, but nodded hesitantly. "How do you do it, Potter?" he asked in a whisper, as if he wasn't sure whether or not he wanted the question to be heard.
In answer, Harry smiled and tightened his grip on Draco's shoulders. "I don't think about 'what if.' I go in and do what I need to do without thinking about it."
With a light huff and a slight roll of his eyes, Draco retorted, "You are such a Gryffindor." Harry only smiled in response. If Draco could tease him now, then he would be okay.
"Well that's why we were put together, isn't it? You can come up with the plans, and make sure I don't run out into anything too dangerous."
Draco gave him a deadpan stare. "Too late for that."
Harry chuckled, squeezed Draco's shoulders once more for assurance, and pulled away, turning back towards the battle. "Well then we'd better end this quickly. I heard promise of a huge party and lots of food if we win this. Are you with me?"
Draco stepped up beside Harry, hand still tense around his wand, but not the panicked, white-knuckled grip he had on it earlier. "Until the end, Potter. Until the end."
"I didn't know at that point that you actually liked me," Harry said with a fond smile. "I kept wondering about the way you'd said 'until the end' to the point that I started hearing it in my dreams!"
A very small smile tugged at one corner of Draco's lips. "Yes, well, you always were quite clueless. Then again, that was probably a good thing during that battle. Watching you fight was probably what gave me this stupid worry line. You fight with such careless abandon, I never have been able to figure out how you survived."
Harry's shoulders lifted in a half shrug. "I've always been lucky. Ironically I've always been lucky in seemingly unlucky situations in that most people don't have to worry about that sort of shit."
"You are the epitome of irony, Potter," Draco said flatly.
Harry chuckled, but it died pretty quickly. Draco rarely called him Potter anymore: more often than not it was a sign that the man was irritated with something. So he lifted his right hand, and rested it against the side of Draco's face so that his fingers brushed his temple, before trailing them downward, stopping at the corner of his mouth. "And here," he said, tracing Draco's lips before moving his hand back to its original position. "This one is from smiling." He paused for a moment in thought, and laughed suddenly. "Do you remember how we got together, Draco?"
"What, you mean when you threw me into the lake?" Draco responded with a raised brow.
"Okay, for the record, I did not throw you."
Harry, his two best friends and Draco were standing outside by the lake. It was a chilly winter day, but none of them had really wanted to go inside yet. They had just arrived back at the school after a trip to Hogsmeade, which Harry had convinced Draco to join them on. He said he wanted to get to know his newest friend better, and Draco agreed with a shrug, saying he really had nothing better to do.
"Ron!" Harry shouted with a barely concealed laugh. "What are you doing way over there?"
Ron, standing a good thirty or forty feet away, shouted back, "What do you think? I'm staying away from him!" He pointed an accusing finger at Draco, who was standing behind Harry and whistling innocently, before crossing his arms over his chest and glaring.
Harry rolled his eyes, smiling slightly as he looked to Hermione, who was leaning against a tree and looking just as amused as he felt. Turning back to his stubborn best friend, Harry said, "You were near him all of today and didn't say anything. Besides, he doesn't bite, Ron."
Draco walked up so that he was standing beside Harry and grinned, showing a row of straight, white teeth. "Says who?" he questioned with an expression that wouldn't be out of place on a vampire, Harry thought.
Harry reached over and gave Draco a small shove in the shoulder. "Not helping," he commented.
Draco frowned at being shoved, and discreetly pulled out his wand, sending a stinging hex to Harry's bum.
When the spell hit, Harry yelped and grabbed the spot protectively, turning a glare to the Slytherin, who had thrown his head back in laughter.
Ron and Hermione watched in amusement as Harry growled and bodily tackled Draco, taking them both to the ground. They rolled for a bit, each fighting to be the one triumphant. As Harry was once again thrown to the ground on his back, he gathered his strength, and shoved Draco hard to the side. With a short shout of surprise, Draco tumbled down a small hill, and fell with a splash into the lake.
Harry immediately sat up, panting but grinning in victory. Ron and Hermione walked up to stand beside him, and they all three peered into the lake, watching for when Draco would break sputtering through the surface. But it didn't happen. Harry's hands started twisting in his shirt in a nervous fidget. "Erm…shouldn't he be up by now?" he asked, slowly standing up.
"Probably," Hermione answered.
Ron grinned and punched a fist in the air. "Yeah! The git went and offed himself for us!"
Harry turned a glare on the redhead, even as he shed his cloak. "Ron! Draco…friend. Draco dying…bad."
The grin immediately faded, and Ron looked torn between being insulted and indignant, which really weren't that far from each other anyway. Hermione hid a giggle behind her hand.
Harry removed his shirt as well, and wasted no time diving into the lake. He felt the bite of the cooling water immediately as goose bumps spread across his flesh, but the feeling was easily ignored as he focused on finding Draco.
He opened his eyes, squinting as the murky water irritated them, but pressed on determinedly. It wasn't long at all before he saw the lithe figure of Malfoy floating before him, perfectly alive and unharmed, and in fact looking quite relaxed. And so Harry, as oft seemed to happen when in the presence of the Malfoy heir, decided to throw thought to the wind and make an idiot of himself. He smiled and opened his mouth to shout 'Draco!' but only a stream of bubbles and an unintelligible noise escaped. Momentarily surprised and wondering how on earth he had forgotten he was underwater, Harry choked, and soon found himself coughing and spluttering. And just as suddenly he was wondering at how he was coughing, because now he was able to breathe again. Opening his eyes, he realized there was no more water getting into them, and he could clearly see Draco in front of him, smirk in place.
"Honestly, Potter: bubble-head charm. Trust you to botch up a rescue mission." He laughed as Harry pouted, and pulled out his wand, waving it as he muttered something Harry didn't catch. And then suddenly they were in the same space of air from the shoulders up.
Harry looked around in confusion for a moment before his gaze turned to Draco again. "Wha- what is this?" he finally asked the blond, who was watching him interestedly.
"A little modification of the simple bubble-head. Charms are so much fun, aren't they?" he asked sweetly, and Harry's brow furrowed at the tone. "How long do you think it will take the other two to attempt a rescue of their own?" Draco sounded very amused about the whole thing, Harry realized.
He answered with a shrug, looking back towards the surface of the lake. They were probably about ten feet beneath the surface, if Harry were to guess, and he could still make out the sun's rays as they were distorted through the surface of the water. When he looked down again, he blinked and swallowed convulsively as he realized Draco was quite a bit closer than he had been before. There was an intent look to the grey eyes that put Harry slightly on edge. "Wh-what are you doing?" he stuttered nervously when Draco closed most of the space between them, and removed Harry's glasses.
"I've always wondered how you would look without these god-awful lenses," Draco said absently, tilting his head slightly to the side as if appraising Harry's 'new look.' "Oh yes, that's much better." He folded the glasses and put them into his pocket, making sure they wouldn't fall to the bottom of the lake. "As for your question…I'm doing something I've wanted to do for quite some time now." And without giving Harry any time to respond, he tilted Harry's chin upwards, and pressed their lips together.
Harry's eyes flew wide open in surprise, and he gasped into the kiss. Draco's touch was light, inquisitive, waiting for Harry's permission to continue. And as soon as he got over the shock, Harry was more than happy to show his approval. Nibbling lightly on Draco's lower lip, Harry reached forward with his arms, and wrapped them around the blonde's waist, bringing them closer. It was a very strange feeling, he decided, to kiss in an air bubble under water like this, but he knew it was a first he would never forget.
Draco pulled away for a moment, running his hands through Harry's dark, still damp hair, and gave him a smile that Harry had never seen before. Harry was momentarily breathless, and slowly smiled back.
"You hadn't even thought about me like that, had you, Harry?" Draco asked, draping his arms over Harry's shoulders.
Taking a moment to step back into the reality that wasn't Draco's lips and tongue and oh-so-wonderful kiss, Harry blinked, and thought about that question. Very quickly he realized that no, no he hadn't. In fact, he had been so involved in the war, that no thoughts at all had really been spared to relationships of any kind. So why was he not surprised to now find himself attracted to Draco? Taking another look at the Slytherin, Harry found he could easily pin it to the boy's smile. And yet there was more to it than that. More, in fact, than he was going to try to figure out right now. "You're right," he finally answered, "I hadn't. I'm…actually surprised that you did."
Draco laughed, and moved his hands down to Harry's shoulders, smoothing them over his arms and wrapping them around his waist. "Honestly? So am I." Grinning at Harry's expression, Draco leaned in for another kiss, but pulled back almost immediately. "Harry, you're shivering."
Harry was surprised to note that he was. "Well what do you expect?" he replied, teeth chattering as the cold worsened once he acknowledged its presence. "We're in the middle of the lake in the winter!"
"And let me guess, you didn't bother with a warming charm when you jumped in here after me, did you?"
Harry responded with a deadpan stare that stated no, he most certainly did not bother with such a thing when he was too busy trying to save Draco. Draco just chuckled, and kicked against the water towards the surface of the lake. "Come on then, you idiot, let's get you out of the water."
A pout pulled at Harry's lips, but he allowed the other boy to lead him to the surface of the water anyway, absently admiring the way Draco's hair looked as it dried: the strands slowly turning from dark blonde to its normal platinum, and curling over his ears. So distracted was he by the events under the water, that he barely noticed when they reached the surface, and Ron and Hermione began firing questions at them. Draco ended up answering all of them, and quelling their panic while wrapping an arm around Harry's waist and leading him to the castle.
"Merlin, you were sick for days after that," Draco said with a slight laugh.
"It was worth it," Harry returned easily. "That was the first time I'd ever seen you smile like that. You've always had a beautiful smile." He looked up flirtatiously through his bangs in a way he knew Draco found adorable, watching happily as Draco smiled softly at the compliment. "That's the one," Harry whispered, leaning forward and pressing a light kiss against Draco's lips before pulling back again.
Silver-grey eyes stared into bright green cautiously, expressing Draco's inadvertent attempts to not be patronized. "I still think you're crazy, you know that?"
Harry laughed and switched positions, so that his head now rested in Draco's lap. In what Harry was sure was more habit or reflex than an actual conscious effort on Draco's part, still-slender hands came up to tangle in Harry's hair, and toy with Harry's ears. It was an odd quirk of Harry's that he found that very pleasing in a sort of hypnotically relaxing way, and Draco had teased him about it for a while, but had never passed the opportunity to take advantage of that 'weakness,' as he liked to call it. Harry smiled and closed his eyes. "Yeah I remember the first time you declared me as such, too."
"What on earth has possessed that man to think that we could ever work together!" Hermione huffed before twirling around and stomping back down the corridor they had just come from.
Pansy Parkinson puffed her cheeks slightly, infuriated by the bushy-haired girl walking away. "I say he's finally gone off the deep end: this is never going to work!" And she, too, stormed away, careful to take a different direction entirely.
The two girls had gotten into a very heated argument about the values of family not long after they had left Dumbledore's office, accompanied by Harry, Ron, Zabini and Malfoy. It had been agreed upon by the staff – or more likely imposed upon the staff by Dumbledore – that the best team to stand against Voldemort would arise by combining the unofficial leaders of Gryffindor and Slytherin houses. And now they were being moved into the same living quarters, told to get over their differences and make nice so they could go beat the bad guy.
Harry snorted in bitter amusement. "Just when I think my life can't possibly be screwed over again, now this."
"Oh shut your trap, Potter, and quit whining. You're not the only one involved in this so stop with your incessant complaining: you're starting to give me a headache."
Harry's eyes narrowed and his glare snapped towards the blond, who was walking even with him, but several feet away as neither wished to be any closer. "Oh I'm sorry Malfoy. Why don't you just let me rub your poor head for you and make it all better."
His voice was obviously mocking, but Draco still couldn't stop the look of disgust crossed with a morbid curiosity that settled over his features as he turned his sharp gaze on the other boy. He was saved from further contemplation and the fleeting images of Potter as his personal servant when the redheaded one spoke.
"Ugh, Harry! Don't give me images like that, you'll scar me for life!"
Harry laughed, brushing a hand through his hair and over his scar – a subconscious reaction to the mention of the word. He looked over his shoulder at Ron, who was walking just ahead of Zabini, and said, "Sorry, Ron," not sounding sincerely apologetic at all.
"Oh don't apologize for going off the deep end, Potter. After all, it's not your fault if you've finally gone mad; we all knew it would happen sooner or later, anyway."
The glare quickly returned to Harry's face, and in a self-indulgently childish move, he stuck his tongue out at his archrival. Then he shoved his hands in his pockets, and continued towards their newly assigned rooms at a much faster pace.
"I guess that arrangement ended up for the best after all," Draco mused, tracing the shell of Harry's ear absently.
Harry hummed his agreement, and searched his thoughts for another pleasant moment of their past. He chuckled when one came to him. "Do you remember our first Christmas?"
There was a slight pause before Draco said, "Are you serious, Harry? That day was a disaster!"
Harry laughed, then, and opened his eyes, which were sparkling with amusement as he met Draco's gaze. "I still think it was one of the best Christmases ever."
Draco rolled his eyes. "You would," he muttered, but smiled anyway as he recalled that particularly memorable day.
"Harry, dear! Come down for breakfast!"
A slight smile crossed Harry's lips as Mrs. Weasley's voice called up to him. Even after the years that had passed, he appreciated every motherly moment the woman gave to him. Add to that that it was Christmas morning, and Harry quickly found himself in a very good mood. He yawned widely, and stretched before sliding out from under the covers. Slipping on his robe and slippers, Harry made his way down the stairs to join the family for breakfast. He knew they let him sleep in later because of how haggard he had been looking lately. But with the war at its peak, and being the center of it to boot, it was a bit hard to relax. He found himself very thankful that they were able to celebrate Christmas at all.
"'morning Harry!" chorused the Weasley family once he entered the kitchen. Harry smiled and greeted them all, and quickly found himself pulled into the excitable atmosphere that always seemed to surround this family. The twins had set up the most interesting decorations that would, on occasion, explode into a small firework, usually leaving behind something like a flower, or ornament, or even mistletoe. It provided for great entertainment when the 'pop' of the decorations would catch someone by surprise, causing them to jump at the spontaneous display.
As they were all finishing breakfast, Harry looked around, feeling uncharacteristically nervous around the cheerful family. He had grown increasingly quiet as he wondered whether his plans were really the best decision. He cleared his throat, and when he had the Weasleys' attention, he asked, "You're sure you don't mind Draco coming over here today?" After all, the Weasleys and Malfoys did not have a history of getting along.
Molly smiled and walked over to Harry, placing her hands on each side of his face. "Harry, dear, if you care about him, then of course he is welcome here."
Harry smiled, amazed by the woman's ability to forgive, and nodded. "Thank you," he said sincerely, and she nodded back. "I'll go get him then?" Molly stood back and indicated for him to get going.
When Harry tumbled from the fireplace in Malfoy Manor, he nearly jumped when he found himself at Draco's feet, and being subjected to a very amused smirk.
"Too bad your grace on the broom doesn't extend to floo, eh Potter?" Draco said by way of greeting, even as he extended his hand to help Harry up.
Harry rolled his eyes, and grumbled as he accepted the hand, then dusted himself off. Their relationship was still quite new – it had only been a few weeks, in fact – and Harry sometimes found himself simultaneously amused and annoyed at the Slytherin's constant snide remarks and dry wit. But at the same time, he could call it endearing too. After all, Draco was the one he had developed feelings for, and that was just part of who Draco was. "My grace on the broom is more than enough," Harry quipped, and reached up to peck Draco on the lips.
Draco chuckled, and took Harry's hand in his own. "We'll see about that," he muttered, even as he took some of the floo powder off the mantle. "Shall we?" he asked, offering the powder to Harry, who took it with a nod.
Harry paused before tossing the powder in, and stared straight at Draco, who seemed slightly surprised by the sudden scrutiny. Harry searched the gray depths, trying to decipher the blonde's feelings about going to the Weasleys'. He'd gotten better at reading what Draco was feeling by searching his eyes, but sometimes it was still very hard. The Slytherin had a very well-built lock on his emotions, and even to Harry he had not opened up completely yet.
"Is there something on my face?" Draco asked finally, lifting one eyebrow in a sort of amused curiosity.
Harry shook his head and instead of answering, said, "You sure this is okay? We could spend Christmas here, or somewhere else, if you like."
Now it was Draco's turn to roll his eyes, but he smiled softly anyway. He reached his hand to the back of Harry's head, bringing him closer until he could rest his lips against the smaller boy's forehead, just over his scar. "Harry…you try so hard to please everyone, and as sweet as that is, you have to know that it's simply not possible. I'm not saying it's my ideal Christmas, but this isn't about me, and I suppose I can manage being around them for a day. They're your family. Who am I to say you can't see them?"
Grinning, Harry ducked his head under Draco's chin, and wrapped his arms around the small waist, carefully keeping the powder in his fist. "You're a sweetheart under that snakeskin," he murmured, allowing this moment before they joined the chaos of the burrow.
Draco snorted as he wrapped his own arms around Harry's shoulders. "Mm, and you better not tell anybody I let you call me that."
Harry chuckled. "Of course not, oh wicked one."
"That's more like it."
They stood that way for a few more moments before Harry pulled back and indicated the fireplace. Draco sighed, but followed without complaint.
As soon as they arrived back at the burrow, the twins were ready with two exploding ornaments, and caused them to go off right in front of Draco and Harry. Draco yelped and jumped backwards on reflex. Harry, who was behind him and off balance to begin with, fell backwards into the fireplace, and soon had a lapful of Draco as well.
The twins burst out laughing as Draco sputtered at the soot they had stirred up. Harry sneezed and coughed at the soot up his nose, but after a moment, he was laughing just as hard as the twins. Draco tried to get up, but Harry held tight, afraid the blonde would leave before they'd really even got there. When he finally calmed down, Harry managed to muster a glare at the twins, but it was more playful than anything. "That could have hurt, you know," he grumbled good-naturedly, as he pushed at Draco to get him to stand up. Surprised that Draco hadn't said anything yet, he looked to his face when they were standing again, noticing Draco's lips were pursed into a fine line.
With a sigh, Harry pulled out his wand and cast a cleaning charm over Draco, surprising the Slytherin. Unfortunately, Draco did not have the same sense of humor as the twins, and Harry hoped it wouldn't cause too many problems. He slipped his hand into his boyfriend's, and laid a light kiss on his cheek. "They only meant it in good fun," he whispered, watching from the corner of his eye as Fred and George tried to get Ron next. "See?" Harry said with a chuckle, directing Draco's gaze to where Ron was yelling obscenities at his brothers, and chasing them in circles around the furniture. The corner of Draco's lips twitched, and Harry smiled, tugging Draco into the kitchen.
The rest of the morning passed well enough, if not a bit awkward at some moments. They all exchanged gifts, and everyone was surprised when Draco pulled out a gift and offered it to Arthur and Molly. The matriarch of the family was near tears when Draco said it was part apology for his family, and part gift for the 'parents' of his boyfriend.
Harry had smiled at the gesture, and the shock on the Weasleys' faces at receiving such a nice gift from a once enemy of the family. He took Draco's hand in his own and scooted just a slight bit closer, watching happily as the family ripped through gift after gift until the floor was a sea of colorful paper and discarded boxes.
They had a grand feast for lunch after that, and when they were walking back into the living room with cups of cocoa, one of the ornaments popped near Charlie. Out of reflexes born from working with dragons, he immediately batted at the offending object, and it flew a few feet before the shell fell away and it stopped over Harry and Draco, revealing a small bough of mistletoe. Draco raised his brows, and Harry blushed. They glanced over to the twins, who began catcalling them and demanding a kiss. By that time the whole family had gathered around, and most were cheering them on, in general holiday spirits.
Harry didn't think his face could turn any more red when Draco stepped up to him. He leant down, but instead of the kiss Harry expected, he moved towards his ear first. "Out of all the friends, and all the families you could have picked…it just had to be the Weasleys, didn't it?"
Harry gave a choked sort of laugh, and then Draco pulled his head back. He said just loud enough for Harry to hear, "Since they want a show so bad, we might as well give it to them, don't you think?" And before Harry could answer either way, Draco's lips crashed onto his, and Harry decided the answer wasn't important anyway.
"Fred, get the camera!" George cried, elbowing his brother in the ribs. Fred laughed and darted off to get a camera stored in their room. When he came back, he snapped a few pictures, then started backing up to get a better view. But he didn't watch where he was going, and bumped into the Christmas tree. He turned in surprise, and tripped over a box on the floor. Seeing that the tree was on its way down with him, he pushed at it, causing it to overbalance the other way. Ginny yelped and jumped out of the way, George was laughing at his brother, and Ron looked torn between laughter and horror.
Harry, very involved in one of the hottest kisses Draco had ever given him – in front of the Weasleys, no less! – barely caught the movement as the tree fell. But when he did, he immediately pulled back, and pushed Draco to the other side so that they were both out of harm's way. There was a loud crash as it fell to the ground, and a slightly amazed silence followed the noise.
Draco stared aghast at the tree, while Harry tried to calm the battle instinct that had risen in him. Ginny was the first to break the silence with a giggle. Then the twins joined in, and Ron, and Harry, and soon everybody was laughing so hard, one might have thought they had all fallen under a spell. Even Draco joined in with a chuckle. At least no one could say their Christmas had been uneventful.
Draco found himself smiling even at the memory, and Harry grinned too, reaching his hands up so that his fingertips rested at the corners of Draco's eyes. "And these, Draco," he said, "are beautiful." At Draco's slightly astonished look, he continued. "And do you know why?" Draco slowly shook his head, and Harry sat up, readjusting their positions so that he settled comfortably in Draco's lap.
"Because they mean you've been happy. You've been able to live the life you deserve, and find joy in a life we all once thought would be bleak." Harry kissed the corners of each of Draco's eyes. "These are there because you laugh," he said before kissing Draco fully, encountering no resistance as his husband eagerly kissed him back. After a few moments, Harry pulled away, and rested their foreheads together.
"That's why they're called laugh lines."
Draco smiled back, thinking about how happy he had been since Harry came into his life. His eyes darted to the mantle, where a picture stood proudly, surrounded by a gold and silver frame. In that picture were two boys, lost in their own world as they kissed under the mistletoe on their first Christmas together, and Draco took a moment to appreciate just how lucky he was to have Harry here, and so inexorably entwined in his life.