Harry thought vacations were highly overrated. He loved his job. He lived for his job. Frankly, his job was all he had. Well, he had his friends, of course, but they had each other, and at the times when they chose to exist in their own little world, Harry could always turn to his work to fill the gap left by their absence. There was always work. Dozens of would-be Dark Lords had stepped into the position left by Voldemort and it was Harry's ongoing job to track them down and stamp them out.
He felt it highly unfair that not only Kingsley Shacklebolt, but also his best friends had turned against him and forced him to take a sabbatical. Just because of one angry outburst. Well, perhaps more than one angry outburst. Possibly closer to twenty. Followed by a few somewhat destructive hexes. All right, some very destructive hexes. But stone walls could be replaced. Harry could not be replaced. He was Head Auror, for fuck's sake! They were so close to tracking down Howell and his band of hired torturers. How the hell could Kingsley justify sending him on vacation now, of all times?
Harry glared balefully at the calming ocean and the boundless blue skies of the Caribbean Sea. A cruise ship. They had sent him off on a cruise ship ringed with Anti-Disapparation Spells to prevent his escape.
"You are going to have a good time, or else," Hermione had warned in that implacable tone that had only grown worse in the eight years since they had departed Hogwarts.
Harry was not having a good time. He was having a miserable time. He hated the cruise ship. He hated the hot weather. He hated the fawning people that roamed the ship, he hated the ocean, he hated the endless monotony of the waves, and he hated the pure blue sky. The only thing he did not hate was the food, because that was exquisite, but there was far too much of it and he feared he would gain so many stone by the time he returned that it would be a month before he could ride his broom without Weight Adjusting Spells.
Two weeks, they had insisted. It had been six only days and Harry was already sick to fucking death of vacationing. He could not stand one more minute of it. With that in mind, he stormed to the radio room and demanded that they contact Kingsley Shacklebolt in London immediately. It did not take much persuading. He was Harry Potter, after all.
Kingsley was not impressed.
"You are staying on the ship and that is final." Kingsley's voice was pitiless. Harry was about to protest when he heard Ron's voice in the background. "Kingsley! We've done it! We finally got a break on the Howell case!"
"Not now, Weasley!" Kingsley yelled and Harry strained his ears to hear through the scratchy wizarding wireless technology.
"No, listen!" Ron cried, but his words were lost in a burst of static. Harry swore.
"Kingsley, you have to let me come back!" he yelled. "That's my case! I spent two months on it! At least let me see it through!"
"No can do, Potter. You're a loose cannon. You need to relax. I'll see you in nine days and not one minute sooner."
"Is that Harry?" Ron called. "Hi, Harry! Wait till you hear—!"
The connection cut off, leaving Harry staring at the dead receiver in growing frustration. By hell, he was an adult and would not be ordered around like some sort of wayward child. He would get off this bloody ship and back to his job whether they liked it or not. He curtly thanked the radio operator and stalked back to his cabin.
Later that night, Harry observed the deck carefully before unwrapping his broom from the cloak that concealed it. Once he was sure no onlookers would spot his departure, he mounted his broom and kicked off. He rose quickly to an undetectable height, checked the compass on his broom, and headed for the closest island. By his reckoning, it was St. Lucia. From there he would be able to Apparate to the American mainland and then back to London.
He did not count on the capricious weather of hurricane season. Within a few hours Harry battled deadly winds that threatened to smash him into the drink and made keeping the broom on course nearly impossible. He could hardly see through the pouring rain and soon began to fear he would not make it to land at all.
Draco paced in his cabin, no easy feat with the waves threatening to send the ship ass over teakettle with every swell. Bloody hurricanes. It always took tremendous spellwork to keep his ship from shaking apart in the extreme conditions. The worst of it had passed, thankfully, leaving them intact, but Draco was exhausted from the effort. He dared not sleep until the full inspection was complete.
"Cap'n Draco?" The voice accompanied a quick hammering on the door.
Jameson, his first mate, poked his grizzled head in the door. "The ship is fine, Cap'n, but we picked up sumpin' on the radar. Ye might want ter have a looksee."
The damned night was not over yet, it seemed. Draco suppressed a sigh and refrained from looking longingly at his bed. He followed Jameson down the hall to the radio room. Parker looked up from his equipment eagerly. It was not true radar, but a bizarre combination of Muggle technology and wizarding magic, used mainly to warn them of approaching vessels.
"It's strange, Cap'n. Something is out there, but it's far too small to be a Muggle aeroplane or chopper. Not sure what it is, actually."
"Devil's Triangle anomaly?" Draco asked dryly, causing his two crew members to share an uneasy look. Natives of the region did not take lightly to jokes about the supernatural. Even wizards believed in the superstitions surrounding the area. He sighed. "Only joking. What do you think it is?"
"Not sure, but it's getting closer. Think we should snag it?"
Draco rolled his eyes. "I'll do it. It's probably some airborne flotsam pulled up by the wind." He left the radio room and took the stairs that led to the deck. The door tore from his grip and banged against the wall when he opened it. The wind still howled like a banshee. Draco cast a spell that magically bound him to the deck and made his way to the railing. The pounding rain made visibility nearly nil, but the radar had given him a direction, at least.
He pointed his wand into the swirling storm and cast a Summoning Charm. He was not certain what would tumble from the sky and land in his arms; what he got was a man on a broom. The force knocked them both to the deck in a winded heap. After a moment, Draco got to his feet and dragged the unconscious form down the stairs and into the waiting arms of his crew.
"Take this idiot to my cabin and make him comfortable, if he's still alive," he ordered. His assorted crew complied. Draco took a few minutes to verify the spells that kept the ship together were holding before going to check on his new guest.
Jameson met him outside the door. "'E's got quite a bump on the 'ead, but other than that and a few scrapes, I think 'e'll be fine."
"Great." Draco found he did not care. "Will he wake before morning?"
Jameson snorted. "Not likely."
"Good, then roll him over. I'm going to sleep."
"Do you have anywhere else for him to sleep? Because I'm sure as hell not giving up my bed."
Jameson shook his head. "Jest keep yer hands to yerself until 'e wakes up. 'E's a fine figure of a lad and I won't have ye molestin' 'im afore 'e can defend 'imself."
Draco scowled at him. "I'm no rapist!"
"Naw, yer just a pirate."
"As are you. Will you bugger off now so that I can get some rest?"
"Aye, Cap'n. But I'm keepin' me eye on ye."
"Fuck off, Herbert."
"It's Hank, damn you! Hank!"
"Fuck off, Hank," Draco amended and slammed the door, muttering to himself. His eyes went to the dark head resting atop Draco's pillow. A fine figure of a lad, eh? Draco would be the judge of that. He yawned hugely. In the morning.
Draco peeled off his clothing, shoved his unwelcome guest to the far side of the bed, and crawled beneath the covers. He was asleep nearly before his head touched the pillow.
Draco awoke in the morning with a pounding headache, the residue of too much spellwork and too little sleep. He lay still for a moment and tuned in to the motion of the ship. Back to gentle rocking, thank Merlin. At the same instant, he became aware of soft breath against his shoulder and a hand splayed over his abdomen. He wrinkled his brow, unable to remember bedding anyone the previous night.
Oh yes, it was the insane fellow who rode a broom into a hurricane.
Draco rolled away from the hand and out of bed. The curtains were askew, spilling a ridiculous amount of sunlight into the room. Draco stumbled to his private alcove and relieved himself before tossing back a headache potion from his stock on hand. It worked almost immediately, although the exhaustion remained. He dragged a comb through his hair and spelled his teeth clean before turning his attention, reluctantly, to his sleeping guest. Whoever the man turned out to be, his presence did not bode well for Draco, whose privateering and smuggling operations did not lend themselves to the scrutiny of outsiders.
He sighed, assuming he would have to Obliviate the poor soul and drop him on the nearest island. Best to determine his identity first, though. Draco stalked back into his sleeping quarters and looked down at the man, who had rolled away to face the wall. A wry grin quirked his lips when he realized why Jameson had warned him away. The man had messy black hair. Not brown, but jet-black, just as Draco preferred. He sat on the edge of the bed and stretched a hand out to touch the man's shoulder.
"Hey, sleepyhead. Time to wake up."
A mumbled complaint was the only response and he smiled, suddenly wanting to see more. A very nice neck and muscular shoulder were attached to the black hair, but the rest was covered by Draco's sheet. His grip tightened and he shook again, gently.
"Come on, lover boy," he purred. This time the man rolled over and blinked at him through dark lashes that slowly slid closed over brilliant green eyes. Draco felt his heart completely stop for a moment. He wondered what he had done in a past life to warrant the eternal torment that was apparently doomed to stalk him until death. That torment's name was Harry James Potter. The man in his bed.
He stared while panic froze his higher brain functions and he waited for the green eyes to open once again. They did so, fixing on his and Draco braced himself for the angry tirade to begin. It did not come.
Instead, Potter's lips curved gently and the emerald gaze turned a warm shade of grass green. "Hello," Potter said in a purring tone. "Do I know you?"
Draco rolled his eyes. "I should say you do."
"Oh, good. I hope we're… close." A hand rose lazily to caress the edge of Draco's jaw, the same jaw that hung open in utter astonishment. "Who are you, by the way? And while I'm asking… who am I?"
Draco found his voice with some effort. "Surely, you're joking."
Confusion crossed Potter's fine features. "Actually, no. I can't remember a bloody thing. But I admit you look familiar. Is this your bed?"
"Yes," Draco replied while searching Potter's face for telltale signs of dissembling. Potter was no actor—and what could he possibly have to gain from this foolish charade? So lost in his suspicion was he that Draco was completely unprepared for Potter's next action, which was to curve his hand into Draco's hair and pull him closer.
"Excellent," Potter said seductively and pressed their lips together. It was mind boggling, to say the least. If he was pretending, Potter had grown into the most amazing actor this side of London's West End. The kiss was thorough—oh so thorough—and quite the hottest thing Draco had felt for… well, he could not remember how long. The Savior of the Wizarding World was not content with one kiss, either. In fact, he seemed quite happy to spend the remainder of the morning snogging the life out of Draco. After Potter's sixth exploration of each nook and cranny of his mouth, Draco had a hard time recalling his own identity.
Potter's hands had also begun to roam into places where they had no business roaming. The slender fingers pulled at the fastening of Draco's trousers while the heel of his hand brushed the head of Draco's far-too-obvious erection. The realization that his nemesis was about to undress him was like a splash of cold water on Draco's libido. He flung himself backward and away from the devouring lips and grasping hands.
"Bloody hell!" he cried and lifted a shaking hand to his lips. Potter lay back against the pillows and pouted. He pouted! Bloody Merlin's necromantic bones, he was actually pouting! And fuck if it wasn't the sexiest thing Draco had ever seen.
"What's wrong?" the hero asked in a petulant tone that matched the sulky expression. The sheet had slipped down to bunch over Potter's hips, exposing far too much lovely tanned—very fit!—flesh and leaving Draco to wonder just how undressed his crew had left Potter the previous night.
"Um… You hit your head pretty hard yesterday. You should… rest. Do you need a headache potion?"
The pout faded, thank Merlin, and Potter raised a hand to touch what had to be a sizeable lump on his head. A wrinkle marred the famous scar. "Do I? Now that you mention it, yes, my head does hurt a bit."
"I'll be right back, then."
Draco escaped into the other room and gaped at himself in the mirror. He looked like a dishevelled, well-snogged mess! Which he supposed he was. He straightened his hair, splashed water on his face, and grabbed a second potion from the rack. His mind whirled with possibilities. Potter could not be faking, not after that performance. And Draco had never even guessed the hero had poncy tendencies. Perhaps something had been jarred loose in his fall?
Draco hurried out and handed the potion to the reclining figure.
"I missed you," Potter purred as he took it, caressing Draco's fingers with his own. Draco shut his eyes and forcibly willed his cock to stand down. It nearly worked, except that Potter kept his eyes locked with Draco's as he drank and then slid his pink tongue over his lips to collect the stray drops. Draco was mesmerized. "It's bitter," Potter complained. "Will you sweeten it for me?" He took Draco's hand and dragged him forward for another kiss. Draco decided he could get used to this Potter very quickly. Definitely not acting, he thought as the tongue played over his once more. Potter had not even paused before swigging Draco's potion, something he never would have done in his right mind. "What's your name?" Potter asked as Draco pulled back, desperate for air.
"Draco," he admitted, panting a bit.
"Draco," Potter repeated. "Dragon of stars. It suits you. What's my name?"
"Harry," Draco replied, trying it on for the first time. Potter's nose wrinkled.
"Harry? That's very unromantic. I was hoping for Pierre or Sebastian."
Draco laughed. "I think I prefer Harry."
"Well, I like it the way you say it."
"Harry," Draco repeated, putting a sexy twist on it. Potter groaned and yanked him back into a kiss. A loud pounding on the door interrupted them, much to Draco's annoyance. He was just starting to accept the idea that Harry Potter wanted him.
"Cap'n? Ye alive?"
"Go away," Draco snapped and trailed his thumbs over Potter's jaw to the corners of his lips.
The door banged open and he cursed himself for not casting Locking Spells on it the night before. Jameson glared at him. "Sorry to interrupt, Cap'n." Sure you are, Draco thought and shot him a venomous look. "But somethin' needs yer attention."
"Yes, something does need my attention," Draco purred and moved a thumb over Potter's kiss-reddened lips. The pink tongue flicked out and touched his digit, sending a jolt of desire pulsing through Draco.
"Now!" Jameson barked.
"Oh, all right!" Draco growled. "Damned uppity minion."
"Come back soon?" Potter asked, but his lids dropped over the brilliant green eyes. The potion was beginning to take effect, easing Potter back to sleep.
"I promise," Draco said, leaning down to press a kiss next to Potter's ear. He detached himself reluctantly and followed Jameson out the door.
Jameson was not amused. He marched up to the deck and stared over the railing until Draco stood next to him. "Ye do know ye've got an Auror in yer bed?"
Draco nodded. "Not merely an Auror, but the Auror," he admitted.
Jameson glared at him and Draco sighed. His bloody damned crew had been in the tropics so long they had never even heard of Harry Potter, or Voldemort, or any of it. At least he did not have to worry about any of them seeing the scar and acting all awestruck.
"The Ministry mark is on the broom," Jameson explained. "The 'ole crew seen it and wants ter know what ye plan to do about it."
"Absolutely nothing," Draco said and laughed at Jameson's thunderous expression. "Look, the prat has amnesia. It must be the lump on his head. I don't even need to Obliviate him."
"Amnesia? Right. 'E's fakin'!"
Draco shook his head. "Not him. We go way back, Potter and I. All the way to the schoolyard, actually. He would rather kill me than look at me in his right mind. I know he's addled."
Jameson frowned. "Then ye don't plan to do nothin'?"
Draco shook his head. "Not unless his memory starts to return. We'll pull in at the next port and do some scouting, of course. Someone is bound to come looking for this one. I'll most likely dump him in some brothel with a Memory Charm or two, but until then I plan to enjoy this new and tantalizing version. In fact, please let the crew know that Harry now thinks he's my boyfriend. Let's all say he took a tumble down the stairs and leave it at that. The first person that hints to him that he's not a member of this crew will answer to me. And the first person that hints to him that he's an Auror will walk the bloody plank."
"We don't 'ave a plank," Jameson muttered.
"I'll make one," Draco said flatly.
Jameson sighed. "All right, but ye had best be damned sure o' yer Memory Charms if ye plan to use 'im like that. 'E'll be right pissed if 'e finds out."
Draco laughed. "Oh yes. He'll be livid beyond reason. That's half the fun."
By nightfall, the crew had been fully informed of Harry's status, the damage done to his ship had been repaired, and Draco was once more exhausted. But Harry was awake.
"You're really tired, aren't you?" Potter asked and drew tiny circles on Draco's abdomen.
"Yes, Po… Harry. I'm really very tired."
"Very very tired?" Potter asked. Draco shut his eyes tightly, because he could hear the pout and if he saw the pout he would be utterly lost.
A sigh came from his bedmate and then soft hair snuggled against his shoulder. Draco felt an odd mingling of relief and disappointment. Despite his cocky words to Jameson, he knew that shagging the Savior of the Wizarding World was a surefire way to earn himself a stint in Azkaban, Memory Charm or no Memory Charm. Unfortunately, this wonderful new Potter seemed to have no such reservations. When Potter made no further comments and his fingers had stopped drawing on him, Draco relaxed and felt sleep tug him into darkness.
Potter spoke again. "Draco?"
"Am I… just a casual fling, or are we in love?"
The question nearly dragged him back to full wakefulness. Trust a Gryffindor to ask such an idiotic question. He thought about it for a moment and decided in for a Knut, in for a Galleon. "We are madly, deeply, passionately in love, Harry. So in love that others find us sickening."
A hard chest banged against Draco's and Harry's lips were on his once more. He thought he might have to hex the eager Auror to get him to go to sleep, but a moment later the dark head burrowed against his shoulder once more and Potter snuggled tightly into him. "I knew it," Potter said quietly in a tone of satisfaction.
For the first time, Draco felt a stabbing of guilt.
Harry felt a moment of almost overwhelming disorientation. Not only did he not know where he was, but he also had no idea who he was. Panic licked at the edges of his mind and he groped for his wand. Instead of cool wood, his hand encountered warm flesh. He peered through the darkness and focused on the pale hair spread out over a nearby pillow. Harry's world steadied itself and he breathed a sigh of relief.
It had been distinctly odd to wake up with no sense of self. He supposed it ought to have frightened him, but his first sight of Draco had calmed him immediately. The blond's presence had induced such a strong emotional response that Harry instinctively trusted it. He obviously knew Draco very well, and he either loved or hated him—there was no room for lesser emotions. Harry had chosen love because really, how could he possibly hate someone as beautiful as Draco?
Judging by their shared kisses, he had made the right choice. Definitely love, he thought and congratulated his unknown instincts. He looked at the blond, who had drawn away from Harry during the night. He's not used to sleeping with anyone, Harry noted and wondered how long they had been together. Or perhaps Harry had a bed of his own elsewhere on the ship.
He wanted nothing more than to wake Draco—preferably through some extraordinarily naughty means—and reacquaint himself with that glorious body, but the memory of Draco's exhaustion halted him. There would hopefully be plenty of time for that later, and it would be ever so much nicer if the blond were awake and fully participating. Harry tamped down the thrill of excitement induced by the idea and slid out of the bed. Draco did not stir a jot, mute evidence that he needed more sleep.
Harry discovered his clothing neatly folded on a nearby chair and his wand on the bedside table. He dressed quickly and padded out, wondering if anyone else on the ship was up and about. He was almost run down by a young lad in the corridor.
"Blimey!" the boy yelped and stared at Harry as though seeing a ghost.
"Hello," Harry said pleasantly. "I'm sorry, but I don't seem to remember your name."
"Chaz," replied the boy "I'll fetch Jameson right away, sir!"
Before Harry could ask, Chaz bolted up the steps and was gone. Harry pondered following the boy or continuing down the hallway, but before he made up his mind the door at the top of the steps banged open again
"Um… Jameson?" Harry ventured.
A huge hand clapped him on the shoulder. "Come, me boy, ye must be starved."
"Starved. Merlin, yes. I think I could eat a whale."
"No whales hereabouts, lad, but methinks the bosun saved ye some pot roast from last night's supper."
Harry found himself salivating at the thought and realized his words had been true. He was famished. Jameson led the way down the hall through another doorway. The room contained two long tables set with benches. Food and drink was quickly located and Harry left off questioning the man until he had sated his appetite.
After mopping the gravy from his second plateful and pouring a fourth cup of tea, Harry sat back with a satisfied sigh. "Excellent meal."
Jameson snorted. "Cap'n Draco don't skimp on 'is creature comforts, that 'e don't. Only the best for the likes o' 'im." The words were gruff, but Harry heard the affection beneath them. Draco's appreciation for the finer things obviously extended itself to his crew.
"How long have I been here, Jameson?"
"Call me Hank."
"Hank." Harry smiled and the first mate looked away.
"Best ask Cap'n Draco abou' that," he muttered.
"Why? Is my tenure here a secret?"
Hank snorted. "Tenure. Ye talk jest like 'im. Fancy words an' all."
Harry smiled. "I'll take that as a compliment. Do you at least know how I lost my memory?"
"Bad fall," Hank muttered. "Stairs."
"I fell down the stairs?" Harry frowned. "That's very ignominious."
"Igno…?" Hank stared at him and then burst out laughing. "Igno what?"
"Never mind. It means I wish it were something more dashing. A pitched battle perhaps, or acquired whilst saving someone's life. Falling down the stairs… It just seems… a bit sad. And idiotic, frankly."
"Aye. That's the way o' life, ain't it, though? Things jest don't seem ter happen the way they should."
Harry rubbed at the lump on his head. "That is certainly true." He thought of Draco. "But sometimes they do, eh?"
As if called by his thoughts, Draco burst into the room, looking like a dishevelled god and wearing nothing but a pair of black trousers. Harry felt his heart flip over at the sight and knew if he hadn't been in love before that he was well on his way to it now.
In the morning, Potter was gone. Draco sat bolt upright.
"Harry?" he called, trying not to panic. Had the Auror recovered his memory and fled? Would the ship soon be surrounded by authorities? Even worse, would he never have another chance to kiss Potter's luscious lips? He levered himself out of bed and dragged on his trousers before yanking open the door. He stalked the two steps to Jameson's door and wrenched it open.
He heard voices from the direction of the galley and hurried down the hall where he sagged against the doorframe in relief. Potter looked up in surprise from his seat across from Jameson. The Auror set his mug down quickly and hurried forward to enfold him in a warm embrace.
"Draco! What's wrong, love?" Potter's worried tone washed over him like a tonic.
"I thought you had gone," he admitted.
Potter chuckled and nuzzled Draco's neck. "Where would I go? We're at sea."
Draco hugged the Auror awkwardly, feeling self-conscious beneath Jameson's disapproving scrutiny. "Bad dream, I guess," he said lamely.
Potter's grip tightened. "Poor baby," he crooned. "I'm here. I thought you might sleep better if I left you alone. I'll come back to bed now, if you'd like."
The seductive tone and nibbling lips made Draco's cock twitch with interest, but Jameson threw a figurative wet blanket over the idea. "The Cap'n should probably eat."
Potter sighed. "Yes, you should eat. Come sit down."
Draco suddenly felt like an idiot, rushing down the hall half-clothed, but he would feel even more foolish returning to his cabin to dress. He decided to act like it was normal for him to wander around clad only in trousers. Potter would not know otherwise and Jameson would only smirk and say nothing.
He allowed Potter to tug him to the table where he slid onto the bench. Potter tucked himself close to Draco's side and wrapped an arm around his waist. For certain he was taking the whole relationship thing seriously.
Regardless of the hour—and it was ridiculous in the extreme, since the sun had barely topped the horizon an hour previous—the meal was exceptional. Draco had snatched the chef from one of the finer eating establishments on one of the islands they frequented. The man cost him a bloody fortune, but was well worth the price. Potter decided to be helpful by picking up morsels from Draco's plate and feeding them to him a bit at a time.
Jameson's amusement quickly faded to a baleful glower, as if he expected Draco to throw the Auror onto the breakfast table and shag the life out of him—a prospect that grew more likely with every touch of Potter's soft fingers against his lips. The situation was only made worse by Potter's other hand trailing up and down his thigh, sliding dangerously close to Draco's cock, which approached near epic levels of hardness.
He finally had to capture Potter's hand and hold it firmly still. "You're killing me, you ruddy tease," he murmured.
"No tease," Potter whispered back. "Prelude of things to come."
Draco had to bite the inside of his cheek to hold his impending orgasm at bay. He could not remember the last time he'd been so turned on. Possibly never. Potter's lips still huffed near his ear and Draco's hand twitched toward his wand. A quick Stunning Spell on Jameson, a few Locking Spells on the doors, and Potter would be naked on the table in moments.
That hope was dashed to pieces when two other crewmen entered and seated themselves. Draco dared not even stand and drag Potter back to his cabin in his current state of arousal. Instead, he made himself focus on their conversation and turned his attention to business. Thankfully, Potter soon excused himself and returned to Draco's cabin. Before long, Draco was able to escape the galley and join him.
Potter was perched on the window seat with his legs drawn up.
"Do I have my own cabin?" he asked.
Draco was taken aback at the question. "No, this is our cabin."
"Then where are my clothes?"
Draco blinked at him, caught completely off-guard and having no ready answer available.
"I looked through the wardrobe and drawers and trunks, but there are no visible lines of delineation. I would like to think I should recognize my own taste in clothing, memory loss or no memory loss, but everything here seems to be things that you would wear. Cashmere, silk, and velvet… it just doesn't seem very me."
"I'm afraid I threw your clothing overboard, Harry," Draco said. Potter's eyes grew round as saucers.
Draco sat on the bed and sighed. "We do have some rather spectacular fights, I must say. I often react without thinking and during our last ridiculous spat I told you I hated every damned item of your clothing. I tossed your wardrobe overboard."
Potter's eyes narrowed and Draco tensed at the familiar expression. Oh yes, that was a more familiar Potter. "You threw out my clothing?"
Draco nodded. "You were enraged, of course, and we actually came to blows, except that… well, whenever we are in such close proximity…"
"You tied my wrists to the bed and tortured me for several hours," Draco breathed. His mouth went dry at the imagined scenario and his erection renewed itself, assisted by Harry sliding from his seat and sauntering across the room.
"Did I?" he asked seductively. "Now that you mention it, I believe I'm still rather upset over that loss. And since I have no memory of this torture you speak of…"
Potter stopped between Draco's legs, nudging his knees apart to stand even nearer. Draco stared up at the Auror and wondered that such an incredibly sexy devil had lurked under Potter's baleful glares and horrifying wardrobe. He wrapped his arms around Potter's hips and nestled his cheek against the hard abdomen. A hand skated through his hair.
"Fuck," Potter murmured. "I didn't stay mad at you very long, did I? How could I when you're so incredibly gorgeous? All I want is to taste every inch of your body."
Draco's arm tightened and he pulled the Auror down onto the bed, rolling Potter over until Draco sprawled atop him and looked into his beautiful green eyes.
"Fuck me, Draco," Potter said throatily.
Draco kissed him, so overcome with emotion he thought something might have sprung itself in his brain. For certain his conscience had gone up in a puff of smoke, because any qualms he had against sleeping with Harry Potter had evaporated. He could not have restrained himself now if his life depended on it.
Hammering sounded on the door. Thrice-damned Jameson. "Cap'n!"
"Go away!" Draco yelled. He fumbled for his wand and cast several Locking Spells at the door, followed by a strong Silencing Charm. Draco knew there would be hell to pay later… probably more than he could handle, but with Potter staring up at him with such a tender expression in his eyes Draco simply didn't care. He kissed him lingeringly and then pressed kisses into Potter's cheekbones, brow, and the tip of his nose, thrilling at the quickening of Potter's breath and the tightening of his hands on Draco's bare back. The hands slid over his skin and pulled lightly at the waistband of Draco's trousers.
"Take them off?"
"Hell, yes," Draco said throatily and sat back to unfasten them before shucking them completely. The green eyes moved over Draco's body and a smile curved Potter's lips, causing the saliva to dry up in Draco's mouth. The look in Potter's eyes turned heated.
"You're absolutely perfect," he said and a rush of unnameable emotion swept through Draco. No one had ever referred to him as perfect before. Not ever. Suddenly, lying to the Auror seemed incredibly wrong.
"No, Harry. No, I'm not. In fact, there is something I need to tell you. It's important, before we go any farther…" His words stuttered to a halt and he lost his train of thought completely when Potter shimmied out of his shirt and trousers. He lay back on Draco's bed and smiled like a satisfied feline, stretching his hands over his head.
"Fuck, um… I need to tell you something. About your amnesia."
"Did you Obliviate me in a fit of rage after you threw my clothes overboard?"
It was so close to something Draco might actually do that he blinked for a moment. "No, actually. You were…"
Potter reached down and slid his boxers off before smirking at Draco and asking, "Can this discussion wait? Because I want you inside of me right now."
Draco decided the ship could have been sinking and it could have waited, because when Harry Potter looked at him with that particular expression and uttered those particular words, it took precedence over everything. Harry stretched a bit and his cock moved slightly—Merlin it was gorgeous. Thick and long and obviously throbbing for Draco's touch. Fuck it. Confession could wait. Draco threw himself atop the Auror and captured Harry's beautiful lips once more. His hand gently stroked Harry's cock and then wrapped around it tightly. Harry moaned against his mouth.
Draco's wand was still in his other hand and he used it to cast preparation spells, causing Harry to moan and twist beneath him. Draco hoped to hell he didn't lose his load just from the thrill of Harry's responses. He had never imagined the Auror to be so fucking hot in the sack. Actually, he had never imagined Potter in the sack at all. Quite foolish of him to have wasted so many years wanting to hit the git rather than shag him senseless.
"Draco," Harry gasped when the head of Draco's cock slowly penetrated him. He wondered if Harry had ever been with a man before. From the incredible tightness, Draco doubted it. He held tightly, wanting to make his first time memorable, even if he later lost it when his usual memories returned. The thought made him slightly sad.
"Harry," he murmured. "Merlin, Harry, you feel amazing."
"Is that normal? It feels like the first time for me," Harry replied in a joking tone. Draco kissed him softly, nearly overwhelmed with guilt.
"Then we'll just have to make it special for you, won't we?" he asked. He pushed himself back and levered his hips beneath Harry's arse, pumping steadily. Warm hands reached out to plant themselves on Draco's thighs as he moved his hand over Harry's cock in time with each stroke. He wanted to watch the expression in Harry's striking green eyes. Harry's lips were wet and partially open, and every so often his white teeth would fasten on his lower lip, worrying it into kissable redness. Draco had to stop after a few moments. He leaned forward to rest his head in the crook of Harry's neck.
"Bloody hell. I'm going to come," he explained.
Harry's hands returned to stroking Draco's back. "That's all right," he said simply.
"No, it is not all right. Just give me a moment. Merlin, you're so fucking hot and so incredibly tight." Merely saying the words made it all the worse and Draco had to bite his own lip to ride through the impending orgasm. He continued to stroke Harry's cock languidly and the Auror whimpered against Draco's hair. Concentrating on Harry's pleasure helped. Draco lifted himself just enough to give his hand freer motion and then he resumed his thrusts.
Harry uttered Draco's name with every upstroke and if that wasn't hotter than fuck he didn't know what was. Just when Draco's climax reached the point of no return, Harry stiffened and shuddered beneath him. The clenching muscles around his cock were too much and Draco marvelled that he'd never had a simultaneous orgasm before. It was astounding. Harry's come was hot and slick between them and covered Draco's hand.
He realized he was crushing Harry like a dead weight, but he was not completely certain he could move. He drew a wet trail over the Auror's ribs and encircled one nipple.
"I love you," Harry murmured quietly.
The bottom dropped out of Draco's world. Oh fuck. Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck. Harry waited expectantly and Draco thought the Auror might be holding his breath.
"I love you, too," Draco said quietly. When he levered himself up and looked into Harry's brilliant green eyes, he supposed he meant the words at that moment.
Harry wondered if he had ever been in love before, because it was brilliant. Draco was amazing. Sometimes Harry wondered how he could ever have been lucky enough to find someone not only gorgeous, but considerate, intelligent, witty, charming, and… He grinned and forced himself to stop. If asked, he probably could have compiled a novel of Draco's good qualities. He found it amusing that Draco and his crew called themselves pirates. The closest Harry had seen them come to a piratical act was to board a foundering vessel. "To look for plunder," Draco had explained. What they had found was a young Muggle couple lost at sea in a broken boat. Draco had brought them aboard, fed them, and towed their boat to the nearest port, asking nothing in return. Some fiendish pirates.
Strangely, Harry remembered the difference between Muggles and wizards. He also had no problem remembering spells. His own wand looked unfamiliar, but when he waved it the words seemed to swim from his unconscious. Spells were nearly effortless. Draco found it highly amusing that Harry could not remember his own name but he knew six different spells to bind Draco's wrists to the headboard.
Just thinking about the last time he had done that made Harry's breath quicken and his body tighten in places it had no business tightening at the moment. He threw Draco a sheepish grin and the blond rolled his eyes.
"All right," Draco said briskly. "We will take that one in blue, green, and that aqua shade that makes Harry's eyes look like tropical pools." The salesman quickly jotted down the order.
"Draco, you don't have to purchase every item in the store. I have more than enough clothing."
"There is no such thing, Harry. Here, try this black tunic. It's too beastly hot for this weather, but you can wear it in our cabin on a cool evening…"
Harry laughed, but Draco seemed to be having such a lovely time dressing him that he couldn't bear to refuse. He had the feeling shopping was something he had not cared for in the past. With Draco, it was almost an adventure. Harry particularly enjoyed the way the silver eyes lit up whenever Harry tried on something Draco especially liked.
Finally, the blond was satisfied and the new clothing was packaged and sent to the ship. They had docked on an island called Martinique, although Harry had no idea where the place was in relation to… well, anything. It looked completely unfamiliar.
"There is a Pirates' Masquerade tonight, Harry," Draco said as they wandered through the marketplace. "Would you like to go?"
Harry leaned close to the blond, who paused to look at a display of trinkets. His attitude was casual, but Harry knew him well enough by now to read the signs. Draco wanted to go and was afraid Harry would refuse him. It made Harry feel strangely humble to know that beneath the surface arrogance, Draco was incongruously insecure.
"Will there be dancing?" Harry asked, pressing nearer so that his breath ghosted over Draco's ear.
"I'm sure of it."
"Then of course I want to go. I haven't yet shown you what a fabulous dancer I am," Harry said and then wrinkled his brow. "Have I?"
Draco laughed. "No, Harry, you have not. I admit to being curious. The last time I saw you dance was unimpressive and I'm hoping you have improved since then."
"I'll do my best," Harry promised.
Harry almost regretted his decision the minute he saw Draco's outfit. Tight leather trousers in midnight blue, a white shirt open to the waist, dashing bell sleeves buttoned tightly around his forearms, and a dark captain's hat adorned with a huge white feather. Shiny dark boots and a swashbuckling sword completed his outfit.
Draco swept off the hat and bowed low. "Pirate Captain Draco, at your service."
Harry forced a grin, although he would like nothing better than to cast a few Locking Spells on the door and kidnap the beautiful pirate for the evening. His gaze slid to the bed in speculation, but Draco waggled a long index finger at him.
"Oh no you don't! You wanted to dance and dance we shall. There will be plenty of time for shagging after the festivities."
Harry stepped forward and wrapped his lover in a hard embrace. "Promise?"
Draco laughed weakly and Harry knew it would not take much to change his mind. "Of course I promise. Even though you look good enough to eat and it is taking all of my considerable willpower to keep from tossing you on the bed this instant."
"Damn your considerable willpower," Harry murmured and nuzzled Draco's exposed collarbone.
"Here. I bought you a trinket."
Harry stopped kissing him in surprise. "You bought me a hundred things already today."
"Those were necessities. This is a present."
Harry looked down at the velvet box and smiled happily. Shy Draco was back, even going so far as to bite his lip nervously. Harry took the box and opened it. He blinked at the black item.
"It looks like a collar."
"It is a collar."
Harry's eyes narrowed, but Draco laughed.
"Don't look at me like that, Harry. You know you're mine. Wear it for me, eh love?"
Harry sighed, but he knew that if Draco wanted him to dress like a bloody Harlequin with bells and ribbons he would do it. He lifted the dark leather from the box and clasped it obediently around his neck. Draco helped him with the buckle and then stepped back. The grey eyes widened until Harry thought Draco might have gone into shock.
"Merlin, Harry," he choked finally. Harry turned his head to look into the full-length mirror that adorned the door of their wardrobe cabinet. He had to admit the collar looked quite stylish. Harry wore a pirate-style white shirt similar to Draco's, except that he had wrapped a red sash around his head instead of wearing a hat. The collar made him look…
"Fuck the masquerade," Draco said thickly and reached for Harry, but he danced out of the blond's reach with a husky laugh.
"Oh no you don't! You had your chance. We're going for certain, now!"
Draco pouted. "That was before you looked like my own personal sex kitten."
"I am your personal sex kitten. I'll prove it to you when we get back," Harry promised. "Now, let's go dance. Maybe I'll even let you snap a leash on this thing when we get home." He looked at Draco speculatively and had to restrain himself from biting his lip in anticipation. Holy shit, who would have thought he would want to wear a collar and leash?
Draco seemed to have slipped into a wide-eyed trance. Harry waved a hand before the grey eyes. "Draco?"
The blond shook himself with effort and then grabbed Harry's hand and towed him out of the cabin. "Let's get this over with," he growled.
Harry refrained from mentioning it had been Draco's idea to begin with.
Draco pounded into Harry, harder and more frantically than he had ever moved in his life. He had thought he would explode several times during the endless evening. Fuck, what had persuaded him to buy a Merlin-forsaken collar and then have the temerity to put it around the neck of the Defeater of Voldemort? Surely a special, special hell awaited Draco when he died. Which probably wouldn't be much longer, because Harry was going to kill him.
But not tonight.
"Faster," Harry breathed, arms straining with effort as he pushed himself backward against Draco with every thrust. Harry's hands were clenched around the headboard slats and Draco knew his knuckles were white. The tendons sang in protest in his legs as he moved faster and deeper, bringing them closer to blissful climax.
Bloody hell, but Harry had been in prime form. It was bad enough he looked like a fucking Draco buffet in his black trousers and loose white shirt. Draco had found himself grabbing the red sash Harry wore as a belt more than once and dragging the Auror closer, dying to kiss him but knowing that once begun he would never stop.
Dancing had been pure torture. If not for a well-placed Concealment Charm Draco would have been forced to hide his condition beneath a table all evening. He had managed to tame his erection long enough to dance with Harry a couple of times, although that had been a brand new torture. The damned minx had found it highly amusing to gyrate against Draco like an Arabian concubine. Ten minutes in and Draco was ready to Apparate them straight back to the ship, but Harry was having fun. Merlin forbid Draco interrupt his fun. Draco had nearly gnawed his lip in two, knowing that he would have died rather than disappoint Harry and wasn't that fucking irony at its best?
Jameson chuckling into his rum had not helped matters. The bloody sot. What did he know? He found it highly amusing that Draco had fallen head over heels in love with the object of his little joke. Draco was so mortified some days he felt positively nauseous.
And then that redheaded wench had dared to come on to Harry. His Harry! What was it with fucking redheads? Draco thought about becoming the next Dark Lord just to exterminate all gingers.
Harry had seemed captivated with her. He had danced with her three times. Three times! Draco had nearly hexed the bint into a sea cucumber. Draco had been livid and drank far too much. After the third dance, Harry had returned to their table, laughing with delight.
"Do you plan to go home with her, Harry?" Draco had snarled, sounding jealous and angry and not even caring.
Surprised green eyes had blinked at him. "What? Of course not. She just seems… familiar somehow."
Familiar. Fuck, Harry might have married the Weasley girl for all he knew. Did he miss her? Draco's guilt had made him look away. He wished the Auror had never dropped from the sky and turned his life upside down. It seemed to be Harry's primary talent.
A hand had grasped Draco's chin and forced him to meet the emerald gaze. "Hey. Hey, you aren't jealous, are you?"
Draco had snorted. "Please. Malfoys are not the jealous type."
Harry had leaned forward and wrapped his arms around Draco's stiff shoulders. "Let's go home. I believe I have a promise to keep."
Draco had not argued. Once in their cabin, Harry had conjured a leash and snapped it onto his collar before handing the end to Draco. After that he had allowed himself to be lashed to the headboard like a prized pet before begging Draco to fuck him. Merlin, Draco thought he might die from the sheer impossibility of it.
"You're mine, damn you, Harry," Draco snarled, slamming so hard he worried that Harry's head would hit the wood. "Mine!"
"Yours, Draco," Harry whimpered simply before a wordless cry exploded from his throat just as the tightness surrounding Draco's cock clenched even more, sending him over the edge. Fuck, why did their encounters seem to be getting more intense instead of less? After ten days, Draco had expected to be tiring of the Auror. Instead he could barely get enough of him. Some days he wanted to lock them in the cabin and do nothing but shag.
"Yours," Harry repeated softly and Draco pressed a kiss at the base of Harry's throat, nuzzling the wet curls above the collar. When he could move his body he carefully untied the leash and unclipped it from Harry's collar. When he tried to unbuckle the collar, Harry pushed his hands away and snuggled closer with a sigh.
Draco held him tightly and listened to Harry's breathing until it became slow and even. "Harry?" he asked, thinking it likely that his lover was already asleep.
"Hmmm?" The response was barely audible.
"If you ever remember who you are…"
"Well, if your memory returns and you somehow forget these last few days… Or if you don't want me when it does… Just try to remember that I love you, all right? Despite everything, this is real."
Harry's tired mumble tickled his chest. "Silly. Of course I'll want you. I love you. Always will."
Draco sighed and pushed away his misgivings. He had Harry right now. It would have to be enough.
Harry towelled his hair dry and glanced at the bed, wondering where Draco had gone. Normally the blond refused to stir until at least midday, especially when they were in port. They had docked in Barbuda the previous night. Harry knew Draco had a cargo of sugar to offload—probably he had gone up to supervise. Harry smiled wryly. He knew Jameson would do most of the work himself, Draco just liked to supervise.
Harry dressed and took the stairs to the deck. He spotted Draco immediately, leaning against the railing and chatting with a dark-skinned man. A very striking dark-skinned man.
Harry wandered over and slipped a possessive arm around Draco's waist while giving the newcomer a warning stare. The fellow seemed to be in a state of shock.
Harry's gaze sharpened. "Apparently you know me. Sorry I can't say the same."
"Harry, this is Blaise Zabini," Draco said. His arm had looped casually around Harry's neck and he toyed lightly with the buttons on Harry's shirt.
Slytherin, Harry thought and drew in a startled breath. What did it mean? He followed the ghost of memory. Draco was Slytherin, also. Harry felt suddenly uneasy; the connotations associated with the word were unpleasant. Sneaky, underhanded, ruthless, wicked… His arm tightened around Draco, who pressed a kiss into Harry's temple. Harry's tension melted away. Ridiculous. Draco was none of those things.
"Draco," Blaise Zabini said through clenched teeth. "May I speak with you alone for a moment? If you'll pardon us, Harry?"
"Absolutely," Harry said and then captured Draco's lips in a molten kiss, just so there would be no question about their relationship. It was possible Zabini had no designs on Draco, but Harry preferred to take no chances. "I'll be in the galley."
His last sight of them before he went below deck was of Zabini gesticulating wildly. Shrugging, Harry left them to their argument.
"Are you out of your fucking mind?" Blaise demanded the minute Harry was out of earshot. "Harry fucking Potter? You do realize the entire bloody wizarding world has been searching for him? What the hell did you do? Imperius? Obliviation?"
"He fell into my lap, actually, I didn't do anything to him. Except possibly offer him a strategic lie or two." Draco watched as Harry paused before going below. His heart ached at the sight. Merlin, but Harry was gorgeous. Draco felt an impending sense of doom he couldn't shake. He had to end it, and soon.
"From the look of it, you've taken him to bed, too. Damn you, Draco, it's Azkaban for certain for you this time."
"Harry would never let me go to Azkaban," he said confidently, but his palms felt suddenly damp. Blaise was right. He had stepped over the line. Hell, he had danced all over the bloody line. He couldn't be sure of anything once Harry's memory returned and there were already signs that it was coming back. Harry was beginning to remember. Two days ago he had turned to Draco in bed and said, "I keep seeing a girl. She has frizzy brown hair and usually has a book in her hand."
Draco had quelled his instinctive urge to lie. "Hermione Granger. She's one of your minions."
Harry had snorted a laugh. "Minions. I don't have minions."
"You have two, actually. Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. You normally have one on each side of you. Like poodles."
Harry's fingers had drawn through the nearly invisible hair on Draco's chest, writing his name. "Surely not poodles. If I have minions they will be more like mastiffs, surely. Or those Russian dogs that take down deer."
"You remember the oddest things," Draco had said, but he could see that Harry was far away, despite his words. It was probable that hearing the names of his underlings had unlocked more memories. Draco had pulled him close and given him some new memories, hoping to keep the old ones buried awhile longer.
"How long do you plan to keep this up?" Blaise asked after Draco divulged the sordid tale of finding the Auror.
"As long as I can," Draco snapped. "What would you have me do? Confess the truth?"
Blaise sighed heavily. "Bloody hell, you've fallen for him."
Draco glared and opened his mouth to deny it, but he knew it was useless. "He's perfect. He's absolutely bloody incredible. I never saw it before, probably because all he wanted to do was hex me or pound my face into a bloody pulp, but he's completely different now that he loves me—"
"He doesn't love you, Draco. That person is not Harry Potter. He's a figment of your imagination created by a crack on the head and a freakish circumstance. You know damned well what he'll do when his memory returns."
"You can't be sure of that," Draco retorted. Blaise shot him a quelling look, but said nothing. Draco sighed. "What are the rumours, anyway?"
"Only that he disappeared from a cruise ship somewhere near St. Lucia. No one saw him leave. Locals are claiming he is another victim of the Bermuda Triangle. Aurors have been crawling through this area likes flies on a carcass. You'd best make your delivery and ship out."
Draco jerked his head toward the crane hoisting the crates from the hold of his ship. "I've already started. It should be finished by noon and then I'm off to Puerto Rico." Of course, he had no intention of going to Puerto Rico and from Blaise's expression he knew it, but Slytherin habits died hard.
"Whatever. I'm better off not knowing. I'll make certain your sugar gets to the proper places and deposit your cut into your Cayman account. Take care of yourself and good luck. You're going to need it."
Blaise left the ship and disappeared into the crowd on the wharf. Draco sighed and went to find Harry. He could hardly wait to leave Barbuda.
Harry was annoyed by Draco's insistence that they leave immediately after the cargo was offloaded. He had been looking forward to touring the island and possibly spending an amorous night on the beach, but Draco had been adamant. Harry had pouted, but given in. However, he wanted to purchase a gift for Draco as well as check on something. After Zabini's visit, Harry had gotten a flash of memory—a bank. He suddenly knew he had money, and quite a lot of it. All he needed to do was get to a bank and access it. Once he got a handle on his funds, he could purchase something spectacular for Draco. A ring, perhaps, or a jewelled cloak clasp. Or some Muggle handcuffs.
He told Jameson his plan and the first mate nodded absently, checking off boxes from a list as the sugar was hoisted from the ship. "I'll be back before we sail," Harry promised.
"See that ye are, or the Cap'n will fly into a right rage and ye know who 'e'll be ragin' at."
Harry had clapped him on the shoulder and told him not to worry.
It was shortly after he left the ship that Harry's world fell completely apart. He had barely left the docks and made his way past a rough-looking tavern when he heard his name. "Harry? Merlin's beard, Harry!"
He turned curiously to see a redheaded man pounding down the wooden sidewalk toward him. He was suddenly enveloped in a crushing embrace. Strangely, it was the scent that triggered a flood of memory. "Ron?"
Ron Weasley pulled back and gripped Harry's shoulders as though he might evaporate into smoke. "Bloody hell, where have you been? Don't you know we've been going completely mental looking for you? Couldn't you have sent a damned owl or something?"
"Ron," Harry said weakly. Memories assaulted him in a barrage. Chocolate frogs, wizard cards, trolls, giant spiders, chess… Running through the streets of London, dodging spells and laughing when Ron tripped over a spilled rubbish bag, perched on the edge of his desk at the Ministry, arguing with Hermione over a broken glass… It was almost too much. On the heels of that was the knowledge that he was an Auror. "Merlin," he choked. "The Howell case."
Ron blinked at him. "That was solved days ago, mate. We don't care about that! What the hell were you thinking, disappearing like that? We'd better get you home before Kingsley resigns. The press has been tearing him a new arsehole, saying he sent you off to dispose of you, just in case you decided to run for Minister."
It was too much to assimilate. Harry staggered back. Home. Merlin, he had a home in London. He had friends, a job, and responsibilities… Panic threatened to overwhelm him. "I need to get to Draco." Harry clutched his suddenly aching temples. "There's so much! He kept saying my memory would return and he was right."
"Draco? Malfoy? Did he have something to do with this? That bastard! I should have known. Where is he? I'll hex his balls off this time!" Ron's venomous words unlocked another avalanche of memories. Draco. Merlin, he had never been Draco to him, but always Malfoy. And they were not in love! Bloody hell, far from it! Harry's knees nearly gave out and he staggered to the nearest wall and leaned against it for support.
Fuck, Draco had lied to him. He had lied and Harry had bought his story like the biggest fucking idiot on the planet. You fell down the stairs. A hysterical laugh threatened to spill from his lips. It was all a lie, all of it. A lie. He felt like vomiting.
"Harry!" Ron caught his arm and hoisted him upright. "Are you sick, mate? Bloody hell, let's get you to the Consulate." Ron looked around carefully and then Harry felt the sickening sensation of Apparition. As soon as they reached their destination he threw up all over Ron's shoes.
Draco paced the deck angrily and cast anxious looks at the wharf every few minutes. Damn it, where could he be? Harry had been gone for three hours and Draco was nearly beside himself with worry. What if he had run afoul of thieves, or worse? These islands had a rough side that was easy to wander into. Even a hero like Harry would have trouble against a group, and Harry did not remember that he was an Auror.
Draco gnawed his lip and walked decisively toward the gangplank. Jameson barred his path. "Step aside, I'm going to look for him."
"Cap'n… Draco. Leave 'im be. Ye know 'e was never yours."
"What if something has happened to him?"
"Don't ye think it's more likely 'e came ter 'is senses?" Jameson shouted. "Bloody 'ell, man, 'ow long did ye think ye could get away wi' it? Ye shoulda told 'im the truth."
Draco sagged and gripped the railing tightly. "I tried. Merlin, don't you think I tried a dozen times? He would always look at me with those damned trusting eyes and I just couldn't do it. I couldn't stand for him to hate me again."
Jameson touched his shoulder in a sympathetic grasp. "Ye had ter know it wouldn't last."
Draco nodded, bereft. Of course it did not mean he wouldn't go looking for the Auror. As it turned out, the matter was taken out of his hands. Ron Weasley and a handful of officials marched up the gangplank. "Permission to come aboard," one of the Barbudan underlings called.
Draco jerked his head curtly in affirmative and Jameson yelled, "Permission granted!"
Weasley stalked up to Draco and glared at him coldly. Draco returned the look.
"You've got thirty minutes to gather your crew, pack your shit and get out of here. I don't know what the fuck you did to Harry, since he's not talking, but I know you're responsible. I also know you're up to something dirty, so if you're not out of here in the allotted time you'll be facing a full investigation."
"I want to see Harry," Draco said.
Weasley sneered. "Well, he doesn't want to see you."
"He said that?"
"Specifically. Now get the hell out of here before I give in to my instincts and haul your arse in for questioning under Veritaserum."
With that, Weasley and his cohorts left Draco's boat. Draco did not look at Jameson; he couldn't bear to see his first mate's expression. "You heard him. Take us out of here. I'll be in my cabin."
Draco went below, telling himself he was not surprised that Harry had left without saying goodbye. He was disappointed, but not surprised.
Harry threw himself into work, much as he had before his disappearance, apparently. Both Hermione and Ron had questioned him mercilessly, but Harry refused to say anything other than the bare minimum. He had flown into a storm, crashed, and ended up on Draco Malfoy's ship. Even such a bland retelling left Harry with a pang that nearly shattered his control. His memories had gradually returned until he recalled almost everything. Oddly, it was now his memories of Draco that were becoming blurred, as if his time on the ship had all been a dream.
Better to think of it as a dream, he told himself. Or a nightmare. Except that it hadn't felt like a nightmare. Harry couldn't even blame Draco. The Slytherin had merely acted according to his nature. Harry had thrown himself on the blond the minute his eyes had opened and the opportunistic bastard had simply followed the path of least resistance. And there had been no resistance at all, had there?
He flushed at the memory. The worst of it was definitely his body's betrayal. His relationship with Ginny had been fundamentally altered. Harry had not even known he preferred men—it had taken a sharp blow to the head to drag his preferences into the light of day. Now that they had left the closet, so to speak, they refused to be stuffed back in there. He had taken Ginny to dinner and spent half the night checking out the cute waiter.
And at night his body ached for Draco.
Malfoy, Harry thought angrily. I must remember to refer to him as Malfoy again. He glared down at the paperwork on his desk. He had spent forty minutes toying with it and not seeing a single word. The edges of the parchment were becoming ragged where his fingertips rubbed.
The door opened and Harry looked up expectantly, stupidly hoping to see Draco come waltzing in with his usual confident stride. Malfoy, Harry corrected himself and swallowed his disappointment when he saw Kingsley.
"Harry. Glad to have you back. I need to ask you some questions about Draco Malfoy."
"I have nothing to say about Malfoy," Harry retorted.
"Come on, Harry, we know he's been conducting business in the Caribbean illegally. Surely you noticed something suspicious while you were aboard his vessel?"
Harry clenched his teeth. First Ron, then Hermione, and now Kingsley. "Look, he saved my damned life, all right? I know he's a right bastard, but I won't sell him out. I owe him." Despite Harry's knowledge of Draco's illegal activities, smuggling sugar and rum to purebloods did not seem that serious a crime. And Harry had seen sides to Draco that no one else had ever seen—or had those been faked?
Kingsley rolled his eyes. "Fine, Harry, but we'll be watching him. If he steps a toe out of line, we'll nail him and I'll expect you to stay the hell out of it."
Harry shrugged. "If he gets caught it will be on his own head."
"Fair enough." Kingsley went out and left Harry alone with his daydreams.
As days passed, it only got worse. Harry couldn't sleep and when he did his dreams were fraught with visions of Draco loving him, touching him, needing him.
Mine, Harry, you're mine.
Harry woke with a start. A single memory had pushed itself into the forefront of his mind, a drowsy memory he barely remembered.
If you ever remember who you are…if your memory returns and you somehow forget these last few days…try to remember that I love you, all right? Despite everything, this is real.
Harry padded to the kitchen and started a pot of tea. His hands were shaking.
This is real.
Draco tried. For the sake of his crew and his ship and the last four years, he tried to throw himself back into his life, but it was useless. The spark had gone and every waking memory was filled with Harry. The ship had become a tortuous memento to Harry Potter. Draco saw him everywhere: leaning on the railing, washing the deck, waving from the port bow, laughing over the galley table, and in Draco's cabin… oh the cabin was the worst. Memories of Harry assaulted him at every turn.
He awoke every night, sweating and hard with need, wanking sharply to hazy recollections of Harry calling his name and begging him for more, harder, faster. The leather leash dug into his fist—he couldn't bear to part with it. Merlin, the time Harry had perched on the bed, innocently reading a book with the damned leash clipped to his collar, the end dangling idly across the bed... Draco had nearly dropped dead at the sight when he'd entered the cabin. He had taken up the leather and pulled Harry slowly but inexorably across the bed for a kiss. And more.
He called Jameson to his cabin.
"I'm giving you the ship. When we dock in Port-au-Prince I'm leaving. I can't do this any longer."
Jameson protested, of course, but in the end he bowed to futility. Draco packed his belongings, said goodbye to his crew, and departed his life of four years for an uncertain future. Strange how he always seemed to be starting over.
"I need to take a few days off," Harry said abruptly. Kingsley stared at him as though he had sprouted Chimera heads. "I have some personal business. Some unfinished business."
In truth, Harry had only stopped in at the Ministry out of courtesy. He was returning to the Caribbean no matter what. He had to find Draco. He had to know the truth, no matter the cost.
"Harry, you just got back. Are you certain this is wise?"
Harry ignored him, searching his desk for the name of the wizard in charge of International Travel. He needed a Portkey to… where? He gnawed his lip, trying to remember where Draco had planned to go after Barbuda. South again, wasn't it? He cursed himself for not paying more attention. He had not cared at the time; he had been content to sail off the ends of the damned earth as long as he was with Draco.
He froze for a moment, realizing with a start that he still felt that way. Despite everything, regardless of the lies and the omissions… Harry needed to know if Draco felt the same. If he even felt a hint of what his words had led Harry to believe, Harry would pay any price to have it back again.
He would search every inch of every goddamn island in the Caribbean and the Atlantic, if necessary. Starting with Trinidad. He would work his way north.
Aha! His Wizardex had finally divulged the name. "I'm going to see Putnam in International Travel and then stop in to see Ron before I go to ascertain my cases are covered. I'll keep in touch."
Harry left a sputtering Kingsley in his office.
Draco was tired when he finally reached the Atrium at the Ministry of Magic. He approached the reception desk feeling like he'd walked every mile across the Atlantic.
"How can I help you, dearie?"
"My name is Draco Malfoy. I'm here to turn myself in. I'm a hardened criminal and I'm sure Ronald Weasley would be only too happy to take my statement."
He presented his wand and the woman took it before handing him a badge that read: Draco Malfoy, Hardened Criminal
"If you'll wait over there, dear, I'll summon Mr. Weasley for you."
Draco shrugged, not much caring one way or another. He could keep breathing and cataloguing his regrets as easily in Azkaban as anywhere else.
Weasley seemed to waffle between being pleased as punch and calculatingly suspicious. "Why are you turning yourself in?"
"My close proximity to the Savior of the Wizarding World infected me with sunshine and happy thoughts. I found my inner Gryffindor and it told me to repent."
"Fuck you, Malfoy. Why are you really here?"
"That's none of your business."
"Expecting Harry to save you?"
Draco kept his face bland with effort. He sneered. "No. I definitely do not expect that. In fact, I would prefer he not know I'm here at all."
"Fat chance of that," Weasley complained. "News of your trial will hit the papers the minute they find out you've turned yourself in."
"Not if I waive my right to a fair trial."
He felt a smug satisfaction that he had managed to shock Weasley. "Why would you do that?"
Draco shrugged. He felt no need to explain himself to the Weasel.
The door opened suddenly and a familiar head poked through the door. "Ron, sorry to interrupt. They told me you were here and I really need to see you before I—" Harry's words trailed off and his eyes widened as he stared at Draco. Time seemed to spin into an endless loop and Draco forgot to breathe. They watched each other in stunned silence.
Harry broke the stasis by stepping into the room. Draco got to his feet. He barely recognized his own voice when he choked, "Harry."
The Auror ran. Not away, but straight into Draco's arms. Right where he belonged. Draco held him tightly, hoping he would never need to let go.
"Draco," Harry breathed. "Merlin, Draco can you ever forgive me?"
"I should ask you that, Harry. I tried to tell you. I tried so many times."
"It doesn't matter. I should have given you a chance when my memory returned, instead of fleeing like a coward."
Draco's hands caressed Harry's back and his lips were on the slender neck, stilling with a gasp when they encountered something beneath the high neck of Harry's robes. He drew back in surprise and met gleaming green eyes. A delicate flush coloured Harry's cheeks.
"I couldn't bear to take it off," he admitted. Draco groaned and tasted Harry's neck again, running his tongue over the edge of the collar. "I'm yours, Draco. I'll always be yours."
"My Harry," Draco said thickly. A horrified squeak from Weasley nearly drew Draco's attention. Nearly, because Harry leaned back enough to give Draco access to his lips and then Draco forgot Weasley and the entire wizarding world. After long minutes of snogging, Harry pulled away for air.
"Ron, I'm quitting my job and moving to the Caribbean to become a pirate."
Draco buried his face in Harry's neck and laughed. He did not need to see Weasley's face to picture the sheer horror it revealed.
"But… but Harry, you can't!"
"No, Harry, you can't," Draco said, surprising them all by agreeing with the Weasel. "You belong here."
"I belong with you," Harry said adamantly.
"I'll be here. I already gave the boat to Jameson. I'll be here until they send me to Azkaban."
The dark head rose and Harry bristled angrily, making Draco laugh again, this time in delight. It was an incredible feeling to have the Hero of the World rise to your defence.
"They had better not even try it! Ron, what is Draco being charged with?"
Draco swivelled his head to look at Weasley, who resembled a very confused owl. "Um… I don't know. He came in to confess, but we hadn't quite made it that far."
Harry's arms drew Draco even closer. "Well, I think he's confessed quite enough for one day. I believe I will take him home now."
With no further adieu, Harry took Draco's hand and led him back to the Atrium to retrieve his wand. From there they Flooed to a modest flat overlooking a manicured park. Draco admired the view—the view of Harry removing his clothes, at any rate. The Auror had taken them straight to the bedroom.
"I thought you would hate me again when your memory returned," Draco admitted, trying to lean nonchalantly against the bedpost and failing miserably when Harry opened his shirt to reveal Draco's band of ownership. Draco missed the post completely and toppled sideways onto the bed.
"Good, that's where I want you, anyway," Harry growled and tossed his shirt on the floor carelessly before toeing off his shoes.
"It's nice to see you are just as demanding," Draco purred and yanked off his boots.
Harry nodded. "Even more so, I believe, now that I know I am not a lowly pirate, but instead I'm some sort of vanquisher of Dark Creatures. Apparently I defeated someone rather nasty. Saved the world and all that. I believe that entitles me to special favours."
Draco licked his lips as Harry's trousers joined the shirt and shoes, leaving him clad only in pants and the black collar. He looked like an expensive rentboy. "What sort of special favours?" Draco asked huskily.
"I made you a list," Harry replied and reached unceremoniously for Draco's belt. The Auror made short work of Draco's clothing and soon straddled his body like a hungry incubus. He kissed Draco with a combination of intensity and tenderness that was mind-blowing.
"Why are you still wearing pants?" Draco asked thickly after the snogging had nearly driven him mad with need. Harry sat up straight and looked down at him haughtily.
"Because you like them," he replied. Draco groaned, almost mortified at how well the Auror knew him. Almost, because Harry was right. The sight of Harry's cock straining at the material was erotic beyond reason. Draco reached out and caressed the length of it through the silk, feeling his heart nearly stop when Harry gasped at the contact. Draco allowed his fingers to slide up and down teasingly until Harry's breathing was ridiculously erratic and his hands were clenched tightly on his thighs.
"Draco," he whimpered, trembling.
Unable to tease any longer, Draco pushed himself forward and pressed Harry backward until Draco lay on top of his lover. He kissed Harry lingeringly and then placed soft kisses over his chest until he reached Harry's navel. He nipped around the indentation and then tugged away the last bit of Harry's clothing. He sat back on his haunches to pull them away from Harry's legs and enjoy the sight of him clad only in a dark collar.
"I missed you so much," Harry murmured and Draco was lost. He buried himself in Harry and was not at all surprised when it felt like coming home.
"Never leave me again," he said thickly. "Never. Leave. Me. Again." He punctuated each word with a harsh thrust.
"Never," Harry repeated. His palms were flat against the headboard as he shoved himself downward to meet Draco's movements, driving him even deeper. Merlin, if that wasn't Harry all over. Submissive and yet not. Draco would have slowed his movements then, moved by a rush of tenderness, but his lover would have none of that. "Faster," he cried on a gasp. "I want… all of you."
The words alone nearly sent Draco over the edge, but he needed to see to Harry. He shifted his weight to one trembling arm and reached down to take Harry's beautiful, throbbing cock. Astonishingly, one stroke did it. Harry arched nearly off the bed with a strangled cry that Draco only vaguely recognized as his name, and then he was coming as well, quaking with the force of it.
Harry pulled him down and he gratefully collapsed atop the Auror, preventing Harry's warm release from cooling. It took them long moments to catch their breaths.
"Was that a special favour?" Draco asked finally, unable to move more than his jaw.
"That was a 'welcome home, Draco, I missed you'," Harry said. "You can start on the special favours later." There was a pause and then Harry asked, "You will stay, won't you?"
Draco forced himself to his elbows in order to look Harry in the eye. "Here in London, or here with you?"
Harry's fingertips caressed the edge of Draco's jaw and he slid his thumb gently over Draco's bruised lips. Draco opened his mouth and took the thumb tip between his teeth to nibble it playfully. "Both. I missed seeing you every day. I missed having our room and our things, and… well I remembered what you said about 'if I ever got my memory back' and I felt like such an idiot. I was coming to find you. Why did you turn yourself in?"
"I was planning to rot in Azkaban because you no longer loved me." He said it lightly, but Harry's arms tightened around his shoulders.
"Merlin, you mean that." Harry pressed a kiss on the tip of Draco's nose. "But I do love you, so no Azkaban and no rotting, all right? Henceforth, you are finished with piracy and smuggling and all types of illegal activity, okay?"
"Well, I was thinking about getting a new boat…" he admitted and grinned when the green eyes narrowed. "Just to take wizards out on romantic tours. You know, I think it would be quite a lucrative business, especially after I steal Andre away from Jameson. I've grown used to his cooking."
Harry's features softened. "And will it have a captain's cabin with a very large bed?"
"A very large bed with iron railings for tying someone's leash," Draco agreed and leaned down for a heady kiss when Harry's cock gave a twitch against Draco's flank.
"Can we go boat shopping this afternoon?"
"If we have the energy, Harry." Draco laughed. "If we have the energy."