"Oh-kay, Malfoy, I think you've had a leetle too much." Harry gently tugged at the bottle of Firewhiskey Malfoy was holding.

Malfoy tugged back, scowling ferociously. "Iss mine. Get yur own."

Harry rolled his eyes and pulled, which resulted in his having the bottle in his hand and Malfoy in his arms.

Normally, a beautiful blond's overheated body half-collapsing straight into Harry's embrace would have been a wonderful gift, and a sign that perhaps God was attempting to apologise for all the crap he'd put Harry through in the first eighteen years of his life. The fact that the blond was a plastered Malfoy, currently smelling of Firewhiskey and smoke, suggested that God was in fact still laughing at him from beyond the pearly gates, the coward.

"Come on, Malfoy," Harry grunted. "Stand up." He nudged Malfoy, but the other boy remained almost dead weight in his arms. Of course, Harry thought with a snort. Malfoy's never stood on his own two feet in his life, why start now?

Neville had given him a hard stare when Harry questioned his inviting Malfoy to Neville's birthday party, and Harry didn't think Neville would appreciate him just shoving the drunken idiot away to land where he would. Even if Harry really wanted to, because Malfoy was snuffling into his jumper and Harry could feel him breathing on his collarbone and it was all rather confusing. Particularly since Harry wasn't all that sober himself.

"Mmm, nice," Malfoy mumbled into his chest. Harry could vaguely feel his mouth moving. "Must admit your jumper smells nice, e'en iffit looks like... like... like a crap jumper."

"Thanks, that's great Malfoy." Harry resisted the urge to make corresponding observations about Malfoy's hair, and the way it was nestled right under his chin and how delicious his no doubt obscenely expensive shampoo smelt.

"Can we go home now? I'm tired."

"Can we – what?" Harry spluttered. "We're not going anywhere!" He seized Malfoy's shoulders and pulled them away, so that the other boy was forced to stand back a bit, even if he wasn't entirely supporting his own weight. Malfoy just blinked at him with heavy eyes, looking mildly surprised, but mainly drunk and sleepy.


It was a small noise, barely more than an exhale, and the pang of guilt it sent through Harry was totally disproportionate and illogical.


"Fine. I'll Apparate you back to your flat and you can sleep this off. All right, Malfoy?"

Malfoy blinked at him vaguely for a few seconds, as if it took time for Harry's words to penetrate his whiskey-soaked brain. But then he smiled and nodded.

The smile was rather nice, actually. It lit up his face, glazed eyes brightening, in a way Harry found unexpectedly charming.

...He really was rather drunk himself. Far too drunk to be thinking logically.

"Wait!" Malfoy said suddenly, jerking Harry from his contemplation of the faint dimple in Malfoy's right cheek. "I got wards on my... my house."

"Your flat."

"Yeah," he agreed, with a mulish twist to his mouth. "My flat. Cos of the people comin' looking for me."

"Right. The many people looking for the oh so important Draco Malfoy. It must be difficult, really."

Malfoy frowned, and his glistening lower lip slid out in a pout. "You don't know."

"Know what?"

"I did things! In the war, I mean. You... you got no idea."

"Like what?" Harry felt irritation rising, and grasped at in relief, letting it drown the other emotions evoked by that pout. "Cringing in a corner from everyone with a wand?"

Malfoy flinched – physically, so Harry felt it through his grip on his shoulders. He looked down, his blond fringe falling into his eyes.

"You don't know," he whispered at the floor. "Why'd you think Longbottom invited me to this thing, eh?"

"I don't know, Malfoy," Harry said tiredly. "Clerical error? He wouldn't tell me."

"I... nothing important. Nothing heroic. I know. I do know that." He sniffed, and Harry wondered if Malfoy had drunk so much for the same reason that Harry hadn't wanted a birthday party of his own. Avoiding their respective ghosts.

"But I did things. Me an' Pansy, we distracted the Carrows, or let the DA sentries get us before we soundeded the alarm. Got all mean so the others would keep wanting to fight the Dark Lord. That sort of stuff."

"You... what?"

"We said we were the Slytherins' Auxiliary." Malfoy laughed, only the sound was so battered and exhausted that it emerged from his mouth as a wheeze. "Only the two of us wasn't really an Auxiliary."

Enough of an Auxiliary for Neville to be aware of what they were doing. The question of the Neville-Pansy romance was suddenly answered in Harry's head.

"Sounds like you did something, though." Harry tried to sound encouraging. He'd had enough experience of thanklessly trying to help, when it wasn't much of anything and the school despised him, to know how hard and exhausting it was. He felt something realign itself in his head, as though he were looking at the world from a new angle, at the thought that spoilt-brat Malfoy had made himself do that. "You helped."

A smile slowly brought itself into existence on Malfoy's pale face, and he finally looked up again, meeting Harry's eyes. His grey ones were still glazed with alcohol, but they looked happy, and Harry found himself grinning as he looked back. "You think so?"

"I'm sure of it."

"Thanks, Potter." Malfoy beamed up at him, his cheeks flushed. Harry resisted the urge to fix Malfoy's rumpled collar; he didn't want to get told off for taking advantage of a drunken blond, even if the blond himself would hate to be seen ruffled at a party. "You helped too," Malfoy said seriously. "I'm sure."

"Thanks, Malfoy," Harry said, mouth twitching. That was the most unexpected – and endearing – vote of confidence he'd had, in the month since he'd defeated Voldemort.

"Very heroic all round. Saved my life!" Malfoy tried to raise a toast to him, then blinked in bemusement at his empty hand. "I should thank you," he rambled on, while Harry listened with great amusement. "Not sure how, though. Nothing 'spensive, cos then you could point to it and say 'Malfoy gave me that!' and I'd never live it down.

"Oh! I know." He brightened. Then he rocked forward into Harry's arms, leant up, and kissed him.

As first kisses go, it was not the stuff dreams are made of. It was somewhat slobbery and very unexpected and Malfoy's breath was sour from whiskey. On the other hand, Malfoy's lips were soft and his body was warm and pressed up against him, and it was rather sweet to feel him clinging to Harry so he wouldn't fall.

They kept kissing, and then Harry pressed his tongue into Draco's mouth and he felt Draco's tongue flicker against his and it all got a whole lot better.

He fell into the feeling, all logical thought lost. After a while he blearily had a thought, which was that he had one hand on Draco's arse, kneading the flesh and pressing Draco's body against his. The other hand was threaded through Draco's silky hair, his grip hard enough to stop Draco moving away. Not that Draco was trying: his hands were clenched on Harry's shoulders. Harry pressed his erection against Draco's warm body, unable for a moment to stop himself seeking friction, and Draco's returning push made his eyes roll back. He was about two seconds from taking advantage of Draco's drunken state by taking Draco – enthusiastically, and probably on the sofa if they couldn't find a bed quickly enough.

Swallowing, he made himself pull back a little. Draco whined, his eyes still closed, and tried pushing forward to find Harry's mouth again. "Hey," Harry whispered. He tried to make his voice tender, but it was still hoarse with arousal, and he could hear the slight edge that came from forcing himself away from that willing body. "I'm going to Apparate you back home, okay? And you can sleep this off, and I'll Floo you and see if you still want me in the morning."

"We can't go back to mine, though! Wards."

"Can't you get us through them?"

"Drunk," Draco explained.

"All right," Harry sighed. "I'll take you home with me." He worried for a moment that he was being horribly condescending, treating Draco like a stray animal – but Draco was still staring at him with puppy-dog grey eyes, and the mental comparison was unavoidable.

Besides, if Harry wanted a creature to sit at his feet and be stroked, he thought he could do a lot worse. And he'd be happy to make sure Draco got his exercise –

Be strong, Potter!

"Is that all right, Draco?" he asked. Draco was still staring at him, his eyes a little glazed now. Drunken little idiot.

"Yes!" Draco said brightly, smiling up at him, and snuggled close, ready to be Apparated. His pointy nose brushed against Harry's jawline, and then his mouth was against Harry's neck. Harry muttered to himself, "I'm sleeping on the SOFA, damn it," and Disapparated.

They appeared with a pop in Harry's bedroom. Draco stumbled a little as they landed, his reflexes not at the height of efficiency. Harry managed to twist with him as he moved, and half-threw him onto the bed. Draco lay where he'd landed for a moment, before wriggling onto his back on the rumpled sheets and pulling his feet onto the bed. His shirt had ruffled up under him, exposing a lot of flat, pale stomach.

Harry tried not to think sexy thoughts.

"Throwing me onto the bed, Harry? Such a caveman." Draco smirked lasciviously, then yawned.

"Sleep," Harry said sternly. "I'll see you in the morning, when you'll no doubt be crying for a hangover remedy and ecstatic that we didn't shag."

He started to leave the room, but Draco's voice followed him. It was small and self-pitying, and Harry knew it was completely manipulative, but he fell for it anyway.

"You're leaving?"

"No," he said quickly, turning. "I'll be in the sitting room if you need anything."

Draco lay flat on his back, rumpled and vulnerable. He'd kicked off his shoes, but his socks were still on.

"Don't leave me alone, Harry. I hate sleeping on my own." The voice was surprisingly unslurred; but Draco was clearly still drunk, because his voice was tiny, and warm, and serious, and it was never any of those things when he was talking to Harry.

Harry winced. "Draco, I..."

"C'mon and cuddle me, Potter!" Draco said, narrowing his eyes imperiously from his sprawled position on the bed. "Where're all your hero credenshuls now?"

Harry blinked in surprise, and with an almost audible splintering of his moral fibre, gave in. He slid off his jumper and got into bed, managing to actually pull the top sheet over them, unlike Draco.

He got himself comfortable, and instantly had a Draco cuddled up to him. Draco pressed close, a hand on his stomach, his face nestled into Harry's shoulder. Harry stared at the shadowed ceiling, and slipped a hand around Draco's shoulders.

Draco began rocking against him. Harry could feel his erection pressing against his thigh. He mouthed messily at Harry's shoulder, tongue working slickly against the muscle. "I want you. Wanna shag, Harry..." He whimpered, sounding like he was in pain.

A hot hand fumbled for Harry's cock, and Harry gave in with a groan. "Yes, Draco, fine, yes, let's..."

He realised Draco had fallen still. He sat up in sudden alarm, brushed back the sweaty hair from Draco's face...

And heard a soft snore.