"Harry, we need to talk to you." His friends caught him in the hallway, just as he was about to head upstairs to put back the book he'd been reading. Ron looks worried and Hermione, resolute, and he's glad that for once, the three of them are alone.
"Sure thing," he says and leads the way upstairs.
They're at the Burrow for the holidays. He likes it here, always has, but it's hard staying here sometimes. It always reminds him of what a family's supposed to be like. He could have been raised like this, if the world had gone a little different, with loving parents and a home that made him feel safe and maybe even siblings. Even with Sirius, it could have been like this. Not exactly like it but close. After all, Sirius was no mother, but he'd been a friend when Harry needed one. Sometimes, when his mind wanders into "what if", he thinks of the kind of life he could have had if Sirius hadn't been charged with his parents' murder. Would he still have been sent away or would a godfather have been a good enough guardian? Would Harry have turned out more like his father under Sirius' guidance? He wasn't sure he wanted that, but at least Sirius would have cared for him.
The three of them file into Ron's bedroom. Hermione shuts the door while Harry puts the book, a history book that Hermione swore covered all the same topics as their assigned textbook and made far more sense, back in his bag. He can tell by both their faces that he isn't going to like what they have to say, and yet it has to be important if they're confronting him about it over the holidays, in a house where you never know who might overhear.
"It's about Draco," Hermione begins.
He's not surprised. If anything, he'd expected to have this conversation sooner. Harry raises a hand to cut Hermione off. "Stop. I know what you're going to say, and you can't talk me out of it."
Harry doesn't remember quite how it started, or which one of them first instigated it. He doesn't even remember what their first kiss was like or where it'd happened, he just knows that he liked the feeling of Draco's tongue down his throat and Draco's hands on his hips, and he's liked most of the other things Draco's done to him or with him since. It doesn't matter that they're both boys, that they're in rival houses, or even that they're technically on opposing sides of the war that's brewing around them. Their relationship is wrong on so many levels that it's hard to count, but it feels good and that's what keeps him coming back.
He has no idea what Draco gets out of it.
"You can't possibly like him!" Ron is outraged, as expected, his face almost as red as his hair.
Harry knows what he should say to calm his friend down, but he doesn't want to. He'd been waiting for this confrontation, for someone to tell him why he shouldn't be with Draco, but that doesn't mean he intends to give in. "I certainly wouldn't be shagging him if I didn't."
That's not exactly the truth. They'd started shagging long before there was true affection, at least on Harry's side. Lust had been their driving factor at first, but it wasn't all of it. Maybe it was love, wrapped up in a myriad of confusing emotions. Maybe he just likes feeling like he belongs, like someone cares for him, not because they're supposed to but because they want to.
It was obvious that Draco wants to be with him. He wouldn't be risking his parents' ire otherwise. They'd talked about it once, after Draco had nearly pounded him into the mattress that had appeared for them in the Room of Requirement. Draco had lined out exactly what his parents would do if they found out. He'd be disinherited, or sent to another school.
"Why are you shagging him?" Hermione asks. There's no censure in her tone, as far as Harry can tell, just curiosity and maybe a bit of concern. "I thought you two hated each other."
He didn't have a ready answer. The whole 'why' of it all had never really crossed his mind. Harry was just glad he had someone, anyone, that he hadn't questioned it.
"I don't know," he answered honestly. "It just happened, and I like it. I like him, Draco, and I know you don't approve Ron, but being with him really does make me happy."
"How long has this been going on? I mean, you two still seem to fight like cats and dogs."
That had been Draco's idea, and at first, Harry had felt a little hurt and confused that Draco wasn't acting the slightest bit different around him after they'd started shagging. Then he'd started fighting back, and in a way, it was kind of fun. They'd work up a good row between them, in front of the rest of the school, made it seem like they were still at odds, and then, when they finally managed to slip off, they'd finish the fight on their backs, with tongues and cocks. No one had been the wiser, until now.
"I guess you could say the fighting is a cover," he reasoned out loud, letting his thoughts slip directly out his mouth. "It's easier to have a relationship when no one knows you're in one, and it is kind of fun teasing each other. As for how long it's been... I really don't know. Since late fall, at least, so a couple months, maybe."
"Months?" Ron looked ready to start foaming at the mouth. "You've been shagging Malfoy for months and you didn't think to tell us?"
"Technically, Malfoy is shagging me, and I really just didn't want to fight over it."
Hermione was quick to play the peacekeeper. "We're not fighting. Right, Ron?"
Caught between his best friend and his girlfriend, Ron was quick to give in. "No, we're not. But that doesn't mean I approve."
The look Hermione shot him meant that she'd be having a few words with Ron later. Harry honestly hadn't expected either of them to take it this well. He was sure Ron would make him choose between Draco and his friends.
"I'm okay with the whole 'gay' thing," Ron continued, "but couldn't you have picked someone less... Malfoy? I mean, even Blaise would have been a better choice. Or, how about someone not in Slytherin? Like, anyone not in Slytherin?"
He knew that they were the worst possible match out of all the Hogwarts students. Malfoy could do so much better with anyone besides Harry, someone he didn't have to hide his relationship with. It's not like he'd planned to fall in love, it'd just happened, and now that he was here, he didn't want to give it up.
"I don't want anyone else." That was the only excuse he could think to give.
"Ron and Hermione know."
Draco froze halfway to Harry's mouth. "What?"
In retrospect, that was probably not the best thing to blurt out during foreplay, particularly not when they'd finally gotten rid of all their clothing and were moving towards the good part.
Draco pulled away, looking somewhat like he'd just swallowed a bad prune. "You told them?"
"No, of course not. They figured it out on their own." Would it have been so bad if he had? He felt relieved now that they knew. He'd never been particularly good at keeping secrets from his friends, and while it was still secret from the rest of the school, he at least had someone he could talk about it with. Not that Ron would be much help. Ever since they'd gotten back to school he'd been pointing out guys to Harry.
A dark look crossed Draco's face. "Is that why Weasley keeps trying to set you up with other guys?"
There was no mistaking that tone. Harry was momentarily stunned. Draco Malfoy was jealous. He wasn't sure quite what to say.
Draco leaned down until they were almost nose-to-nose. The other boy's hands settled possessively over Harry's hips, his fingers digging slightly into Harry's flesh. "Tell that weasel that you're taken."
"I did," Harry answered quick. He kind of liked this new, possessive Draco, but he didn't want Draco getting the wrong idea. "He's just being obstinate. I made it clear that I didn't want to date anyone else."
Draco snorted, his lips curving into a familiar smirk. "Since when were we dating?" His hands slid firmly down Harry's thighs in an almost-caress.
Harry just rolled his eyes and spread his legs wider, giving Draco room to kneel between them. "Fine. Shagging, then."
"Is that what you want, Harry?" Slick fingers slid inside of him as Draco spoke and he forgot the question.
"What?" It was hard to think when Draco was touching him.
Draco removed his hand and leaned back, his expression serious. "Do you want to go on a date? Is that what you want? Flowers and chocolates and all that romantic nonsense?"
He thought about it for the briefest of moments. It was hard to imagine Draco actually being romantic.
"Would you? If I said yes, would you actually go through with all of that?"
Harry relaxed back into the mattress and hooked one of his legs over Draco's hips. "You don't have to. I can't really picture either of us doing any of that mushy stuff."
"Fine with me."
Draco lifted his hips and then suddenly he was inside, sliding into Harry with the ease of much practice. Harry sighed in contentment. All of break, he'd been missing this – the feel of Draco's hands on him, the warm slide of skin on skin, the delicious heat their bodies made.
"I guess you could say we were dating, sort of," Draco continued as if he'd never stopped talking in the first place. Hot breath traced the line of Harry's jaw, moving down along his neck until Draco finally stopped over Harry's shoulder, first placing a tender kiss on the bare flesh, and then biting down sharply.
Harry moaned and titled his head to the side, silently asking Draco for more of the same.
"It's kind of like," Draco paused to make a dark hickie at the junction of Harry's shoulder and neck, "us getting together like this and shagging," Draco punctuated his words with a sharp thrust of his hips, "it's kind of like dating."
Harry lifted his arms around Draco's shoulders, scratching lightly every time Draco hit inside of him just right. His heavy breaths almost drowned out Draco's words, making it twice as hard to stay focused on what Draco was saying. He couldn't have answered back if he'd wanted to.
"Our kind of dates just involve shagging. But you don't mind that do you, Harry?"
He was getting close. Draco knew all the right buttons to push to get Harry going, just like Harry knew exactly how to get Draco excited. Teeth, nails, hard thrust, gripping hands. It was too much for Harry to keep up with and try to hold a conversation.
"Harry?" Draco practically purred in his ear, knowing full-well how incoherent he was making Harry, and loving every damn minute of it.
Teeth pressed into his skin hard enough to leave bruises and that was all Harry needed to push him over. "Oh, fuck." His body tightened around Draco as he came, forcing Draco even deeper inside. He floated on waves of pleasure, trembling as Draco still moved, waiting the last few minutes until Draco finally spent himself inside of Harry.
"You never answered the questions."
Harry groaned. Draco knew better than to ask him anything during sex. "What question?"
"You don't mind if our dates only involve shagging, do you?"
He didn't want to get out of bed any time soon. He wondered if anyone in the dorms would notice if he didn't sleep there tonight. "Dating, shagging, it's all the same to me."
Draco laughed, the sound reminding Harry of why he'd fallen in love with Draco in the first place. "Good. That's good."
It didn't really matter what they called their relationship. It was enough. Any little scrap of affection Draco wanted to give him was enough. He could live with that.