Harry sat on the couch with both feet propped on the tea table and a bottle of Firewhiskey between his legs. Winky fidgeted next to him.

"Is Master Harry being hungry? Winky can be preparing Master Harry's dinner."

"Master Harry has dinner," he replied and patted the side of the bottle. He had consumed over half the contents already and he was starting to feel pleasantly numb.

"Firewhiskey is not to be making a good dinner," Winky said disapprovingly.

"Yes, Winky, I know. But Master Harry has a very large hole in his heart. A hole that he dug himself by being stupid and blind. And heart holes cannot be filled with food, Winky, they can only be filled with precious alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol. Enough to drown in, probably. So why don't you be a good girl and bring me another bottle, yes? Perhaps two."

Winky hesitated, but said nothing and popped out. After a few moments, she returned with two bottles of Firewhiskey and a tray full of sandwiches. The centre of the tray was piled high with fruit.

"Master Harry might be getting hungry later," she explained and disappeared before Harry could protest. He shrugged and set both bottles on the couch within reach before taking another swig from the open one.

Draco's words played through his head, over and over. He had been unable to silence them and hoped the second bottle would do the trick. I feel nothing for you. A bitter smirk twisted his lips and he raised the bottle in a mock toast.

"To you, Draco. May you find happiness with someone who is not me," he said aloud. He took another drink, feeling pleased with his magnanimous toast. He thought it was very generous of him to wish the best for someone who had stomped his heart flat. Of course, it was Harry's own fault for believing in something that apparently did not exist. Draco had been an astounding actor.

He debated making another toast and possibly sending Draco a note suggesting that he join a theatre group rather than waste his considerable talent. After all, he had fooled the Chosen One into believing they had something special.

Harry snorted. "Something special," he muttered and then frowned. Truth be told, he still thought Draco was special.

The front door opened and Harry threw his head back against the couch with a groan. It had to be Hermione, no doubt coming to nag him again about getting proper sleep and adequate food, as she had been for the past three days. At least she had not come flat out and said, "I told you so."

"Plan on drinking yourself to death, then?"

Harry's eyes snapped open and he stared into Draco's face, which was curiously smirk-free despite the sardonic tone of his words. Harry's brow wrinkled and he wondered if he had slipped into an alcoholic coma before concocting the blond vision.

"I'll most likely pass out before then," Harry said reasonably, deciding that even a figment-of-his-imagination Draco was better than no Draco at all. He patted the couch next to him. "Come have a sit down and a drink. Or are you just here to twist the knife a bit deeper before you leave me for good?"

Draco hesitated and then strode forward to sit next to Harry, distant enough that Harry would have to reach out to touch him. Harry held out the partially full bottle. "I'd pour it into a glass, but I can't be arsed to fetch one right now. I'd most likely fall down on my way to the sideboard, and you know where they are, anyway."

Draco took the bottle and Harry wrapped his fingers around the neck of a fresh one before twisting off the cap. He watched approvingly as Draco took a swig from Harry's former bottle. A trickle of amber liquid dribbled from the corner of his mouth and down the side of his throat.

A fresh wave of want swept through Harry and he looked away morosely. That ship had sailed, apparently. He sighed heavily and tipped his head back against the sofa once more. He closed his eyes and took a gulp of Firewhiskey. It burned its way down his oesophagus and settled in his stomach with a warm glow.

He wondered vaguely why Draco had returned. To pick up his favourite comb, most likely.

"Are you going to eat those?" Draco asked and Harry cracked open an eye to see Draco motion towards the tray of sandwiches.

He wrinkled his nose. "I don't think so."

Draco reached for a sandwich and Harry shut his eyes again. He took another long gulp of mind-numbing alcohol, wishing it would do something to deaden the frisson of longing he could not seem to suppress at Draco's nearness.

Harry drank steadily while Draco ate and neither of them spoke. Everything was beginning to blur around the edges and Harry shifted sideways to prop an elbow on the back of the couch and provide a brace for his head. He stared at Draco with a bemused smile. Winky had lit the fire and it backlit Draco, making the tips of his hair gleam.

"I've been an arse to you, haven't I?" Harry asked finally.

Draco sighed. "Look, Harry—"

"Did I say I'm sorry?" His brow wrinkled and he struggled to remember, but merely focussing on Draco took effort. "I meant to, but it seems everything I say to you comes out wrong. I go over it and over it in my head, and then when I see you it all flies out the window. I can't seem to think clearly when you're around." He snorted. "Good job you won't be around, yeah? Maybe I'll get smarter."

"Harry, I'm sorry for what I said at Matilda's."

"No need to apologize," Harry replied. "If you hadn't been so brutally honest, I would probably have kept following you around like a pathetic puppy for the rest of your life."

"About that—"

"I've been going out of my mind for the past three days, searching for you. I have to hand it to you, when you disappear you do it completely. Your mother will probably hunt me down and destroy me when she sees her house."

Draco grimaced. "I know. Luckily, she isn't planning to come back for a while."

"I'll set it to rights," Harry promised. "I was just… desperate. I didn't mean to accuse you of using a Memory Charm on me; I think I went a bit mad when I saw Maggie Robins' memory of you in a Pensieve. At the time I didn't know it was false. I felt like the world's biggest bastard when I discovered you didn't actually sleep with your clients."

Draco stared at him. "You know about that?"

Harry nodded. "Peasegood's brilliant assistant figured it out. They want you to teach them the spell." Harry laughed. "First they wanted me to arrest you and now they want to hire you as a consultant."

"You knew it was me all along and yet you never arrested me. Why not?"

Harry smiled sadly, amazed that the answer to the question wasn't visible in his face and in the way his eyes drank in the sight of the man next to him. Maybe it was visible and Draco just didn't want to see it. "I feel stupid enough without revealing that."

"You've never been stupid, Harry."

He laughed shortly and took another swig from his bottle, trying to ignore the way his heart fluttered at the offhand compliment. Merlin, he was such a loser. "Oh yes, I have. As you said, I was stupid to… how did you put it? Play pretend? The pathetic thing is that I really wish I had it all back, even if none of it was real. It was real for me."

With that, Harry closed his eyes, sighed once, and drifted away.


Draco swore inwardly when Harry's eyes shut and the bottle tipped dangerously.

"Harry?" he asked gently. He took the Firewhiskey bottle from Harry's limp hand and set it on the table with his own. Harry's jaw was still propped on his hand, but he was beginning to list forward. Draco slid closer and wrapped an arm around Harry to pull him into an embrace.

"I'm the stupid one, Harry," he admitted as he nuzzled the black hair. The moment Harry had Disapparated from Matilda Hopkirk's, Draco knew he had made a huge mistake. Despite three long days of listing the reasons why a relationship between them would never work, Draco had kept coming back to the fact that for several weeks they had been happy. Not just content or satisfied, but ludicrously, ridiculously happy.

Draco sighed and pulled out his wand. He cast a Lightening Charm on Harry and then picked him up. He carried his burden up to their room and set about undressing Harry. He was already barefoot and it was a simple matter to remove his trousers. The jumper was a bit trickier, as its tight neckline had to be gently navigated over Harry's head. He stirred as Draco pulled the material away.

"Sex now?" Harry mumbled.

Draco smiled. "I don't think that would be a very good idea at the moment. You need to sleep. You'll definitely feel all of that Firewhiskey in the morning."

He pulled back the blankets and then manoeuvred Harry beneath them. As he tucked them around the prone man, he heard Harry mumble once more. Draco's brow furrowed and he leaned closer.

"Love you," Harry breathed and his fingers touched Draco's in a barely-there caress. "I love you, Draco."

Then he rolled over and went to sleep, oblivious to Draco's shock.

Merlin. The words were not just alcohol-induced babbling; Draco was sure of it. They sounded far too natural to be anything but the truth. And Harry was a Gryffindor.

Draco walked to the window and opened it for a moment to drink in the night air, hoping it would steady his quaking nerves. He had told Harry the exact opposite. I care nothing for you. Fuck, the words felt like acid eating through his soul. Yes, he had been angry and yes, he had been so certain that leaving Harry was the intelligent thing to do, but he had never intended to hurt him so deeply.

He leaned his head against the glass and wished he had consumed more Firewhiskey. Maybe it would make everything easier to bear. A cool gust of air ruffled his hair and he looked back at Harry before closing the window. He didn't want Harry to catch a chill during the night.

I should leave, he thought as he turned back to look at the sleeping man, he deserves better than me.


Harry woke up and immediately wished he hadn't. Dear Godric, it felt like a flock of Cornish Pixies had taken up residence in his skull and started a band using pots and pans. He kept his eyes closed and tried to take in his surroundings by feel alone. Softness beneath his cheek was his first clue. A pillow; therefore he must be in bed. It was quite comfortable, so it was probably his own bed, although he did not remember pouring himself into it. What did he remember?

Firewhiskey. Quite a lot of it... and Draco. Harry's eyes flew open. It was thankfully dim in the room, so the muted brightness did not increase his headache exponentially. An unoccupied pillow met his gaze and he felt a crushing weight settle back onto his chest, familiar now. Draco must have left for good during the night. Harry's brow wrinkled and he tried to remember what he had said the night before. He regretted drowning himself in alcohol—perhaps he would have been able to sway Draco into staying if he had been more coherent.

Who am I trying to fool? he thought bitterly.

He sat up and only then noticed Draco asleep in a chair next to the bed. Harry froze, afraid to move or even breathe lest Draco was only a dream.

Draco stirred as if the weight of Harry's stare alone was enough to awaken him. His grey eyes slowly opened and then locked with Harry's, who realized at that moment that he would do anything to keep Draco from leaving again. Slowly, Harry pushed back the blankets and held out his hand, begging without words.

Draco pushed himself out of the chair, walked straight to the bed, and slid into Harry's arms. Harry held him so tightly he feared his limbs would never unlock.

"Draco," he whispered brokenly. "Don't ever leave me."

"I tried," Draco said quietly. "I tried to leave and I only made it halfway across the room."

Harry felt tears stinging his eyes and he didn't care. "Please stay with me," he begged.

"I'll be here," Draco said, "until you send me away." It sounded like a promise.

Harry pulled him into a kiss, struggling to breathe against the ache in his heart; he could not quite believe Draco's words. Despite the urgency, his kiss was gentle; he searched for the truth in Draco's lips. "Then you'll be here forever," Harry whispered against his mouth and then they were devouring each other, kissing desperately, as though they had spent years apart instead of mere days. Harry felt like he had come home—that Draco had come home—and he wanted to make damned sure Draco believed it, too. He sucked hard on Draco's lower lip and then released it to sink his teeth into Draco's shoulder; Draco hissed.

"Harry! What are you doing?"

"You're mine," Harry growled, happier than he could imagine at not being referred to as "Potter."

"Possessive much?" Draco asked and then gasped when Harry's hands tore at the shirt he wore.

"I want you to admit it," Harry said with determination. "I want you to admit that you're mine, only mine."

Draco raised his arms, allowing Harry to yank the shirt over his head. He tossed it haphazardly next to the bed. "What about you, Harry?"

Harry pounced on him and pinned him to the mattress before snogging him until neither of them could breathe. When they both panted for air, Harry said, "I'll always be only yours, Draco. Don't you know that?"

"Yes." Draco moaned when Harry's hand found a hard spot and cupped it with his palm. "Merlin, yes."

Harry rubbed with just the right amount of friction and Draco whimpered, pushing upward into Harry's touch. "I think something needs freeing," Harry suggested seductively.

"Yes. Yes, yes, yes."

Harry pulled his hand away. "Except…"

Draco growled and twisted a hand in Harry's hair to drag him in for a kiss. He bruised Harry's lips in a pleasant way and then hissed, "Yours, damn you. Completely, utterly yours."

Harry kissed him, intending to be greedy and possessive, but it changed quickly. He nibbled softly at Draco's panting lips, wondering if he would ever get enough of kissing Draco.

"Mine," he whispered against Draco's hot mouth. He forced himself to leave Draco's swollen lips and pressed soft kisses along his throat. "Mine, too." Draco's collarbone was also claimed before Harry moved lower. He licked one peaked nipple and worried it gently with his teeth, and then did the same to the other. "Mine," he murmured over each one.

Draco's breathing was ragged and his hands were tangled so firmly in Harry's hair he knew it would hurt to remove them. He declared ownership of Draco's lovely navel and then rubbed his cheek over Draco's erection, still trapped inside of the constricting trousers.

Harry used both hands and teeth to open the material and free his prize. "Definitely mine," he said and blew on it softly before placing a light, sucking kiss just beneath the head. Draco arched and cried out, obviously pushed to the edge of endurance. Harry knew how he felt—three days without had him on the brink himself.

"Yours," Draco said with a needy gasp. "I want to be yours, Harry."

With his heart pounding in his ears, Harry dragged the trousers away, leaving Draco exposed to his appreciative gaze. He only allowed himself a moment to drink in the sight. Draco's hands hovered in midair, having pulled free of Harry's locks during the manoeuvre. Harry quickly moved back into position, leaning over Draco and waiting for the fingers to slide back into his hair. He loved it when Draco touched his hair—even the painful pulling felt brilliant.

Draco's fingers were gentle, however. One palm pressed against Harry's jaw and his fingertips brushed over Harry's ear, barely touching his hair. The other curled around the back of Harry's neck, caressing lightly. His eyes were soft, but glowing with emotion. Harry swallowed hard and cast a wandless spell to prepare Draco, who made a guttural sound and arched his back. He suspected the sensation was always a bit of a surprise.

"Sorry," Harry murmured.

"Now," Draco ordered. "I'm ready now. Don't go slow."

Harry obediently pushed into Draco with no further preparation. There was little resistance and Draco only sighed breathily while his hands tightened on Harry's skin. Harry felt a moment of disorientation, slightly overwhelmed that Draco was so relaxed and ready for him. He tried to regain control, knowing he would only last a few strokes at this rate.

Draco pulled him down for another kiss and Harry thrust deeply, joying in the exquisite tingle that traveled all the way to his toes. Draco felt so amazingly good—Harry groped for and located Draco's stiff cock. It twitched in his hand and he began to move, pulling it in rhythm with each upstroke, gripping tightly and then loosening his hand to let it slide down to the base. The motion drew his attention from his own impending orgasm, but only until Draco's breath came in hitching gasps and he began to tighten around Harry's cock.

"Harry." Draco's fingers dug into his skin almost painfully. Harry barely noticed. One more deep thrust and Draco's cock shivered in his hand before expelling a wash of white heat, splashing their torso's and Harry's fingers. Harry drank in the sight of Draco's orgasm—fuck, it was always incredible. His own release rushed through him in a rolling wave, curling his toes and causing him to nearly bite his lip in half.

Harry thrust a few more times, milking every drop with Draco's heat clenched around him, wishing it would never end. He stopped moving and opened his eyes to find Draco watching him, looking as dazed as Harry felt. He let go of Draco's cock and slid his hand over the mess on Draco's abdomen, smearing it with a wicked grin.

"Look, I've made you all dirty," he said seductively. "Now I'll have to give you a bath."

"I'm not your pet any more, Harry," Draco said, but his hands moved over Harry's back, pulling him closer until Harry lay fully upon him.

"I know. But I'm hoping you'll agree to be my boyfriend, partner, lover… whatever you choose to call it. Mine. For everyone to see."

Draco frowned. "People won't like it."

"People don't matter and those that do will come round. Ron is already on my side and Hermione will accept it once she sees how happy I am."

"What? Weasley? You told Weasley about us?"

Harry grinned and nodded. Draco groaned. "Well, I supposed those two would be the worst, next to my mother. And your public."

"It's not my public and they have been surprisingly quiet lately. I don't suppose you had anything to do with that?"

Draco's hands moved lower and gave Harry's buttocks a squeeze. "I have no idea what you're talking about."

"Yes, well, I love you for it, anyway," Harry said and Draco's eyes flew to his. Harry smiled softly. "I do, you know. Love you, I mean. I have for a very long time, although it took you leaving for me to admit it." Draco opened his mouth and Harry quickly put two fingers over his lips. "Don't say anything; it's just silly Gryffindor sentiment and I don't mind that you don't love me back. You were brutally clear on that matter."

Draco winced. "Harry, I—" he mumbled around Harry's fingers.

"Shhh, it's all right. Just please don't leave until I have a chance to show you how much I care about you. Maybe you'll change your mind. All right?"

Draco released Harry's arse with one hand and forcibly removed the fingers blocking his lips. He scowled. "You are an idiot. How long do you propose that will take?"

Harry flushed, but plunged onward. "No more than a decade. Perhaps two."

The comment drew a surprised laugh from Draco. "Shut up and kiss me, Potter. We'll talk about this later. Much later."

Harry shut up and set about proving his words.


Harry looked through the grime-caked window and shifted his stance for the fifteenth time. The warehouse across the street remained as it had for the past six hours—seemingly deserted. It was, without a doubt, one of the most boring stakeouts of his life. Still, the Ministry had received a very plausible tip about a potential shipment of dragon hide arriving today. They were hoping to track the shipment back to the bastards callously killing dragons in the Swiss Alps. Even though wild dragon hide was globally banned, there was still a huge underground market for it.

Beside him, Ron yawned hugely and nibbled at the chocolate bar he had been nursing for the past twenty minutes. "The exciting life of an Auror," Ron muttered.

Harry grinned, but started when a tingling heat warmed his side. He fished in a pocket until he located the reason. Ron looked at him curiously when he pulled out the silver mirror.

"Checking your appearance? Honestly, mate, we don't care how you look. You only need to worry about that when you get home." Ron snickered at his own comment and took a bite of chocolate before returning his attention to the window and ignoring Harry, who moved a short distance away and concentrated on the mirror.

Draco's face appeared in the glass and a smile softened his features; he held up a pale finger and then the scene shifted dizzyingly. When it steadied, Harry suppressed a gasp with effort. Somehow, Draco must have fastened the mirror to the bedpost, allowing Harry a view of the bed upon which Draco now lay. He wore only a pair of Harry's patterned briefs. Harry coughed to cover a laugh. The pants were red with Gryffindor lions scattered over the surface. It nearly seemed a sacrilege on his Slytherin boyfriend.

Harry swallowed hard, amusement forgotten when Draco's hand trailed over his abdomen and then lightly stroked his cock through the material. It began to swell almost immediately. Harry's cock twitched in response and he drew in a shaking breath before shooting Ron a glance. The other two bored Aurors continued their card game in the corner near the window. Harry edged back another few steps and switched his attention back to the mirror.

Draco wriggled on the bed and then pushed the briefs down a bit to expose his hipbones. Harry nearly whimpered aloud. His trousers were now uncomfortably tight. Draco pouted prettily and put his hands up to his throat. His fingertips teased his collarbones before sliding downward to brush over the peaks of his nipples. Harry's throat went dry, remembering the feel and taste of those with crystal clarity.

A scraping sound startled him and his attention snapped back to the room where Savage had got to his feet to peer out the window, even though Ron hadn't moved from his listless pose.

"Thought I heard something," Savage said and they all waited tensely for a moment. Harry's eyes flicked between the window and the mirror, torn between duty and desire. Merlin, Draco's hands were sliding over his abdomen and teasing at the waistband of his pants, pushing them down in agonizing increments. The fabric was tightly stretched, outlining his erection in red and gold.

Harry decided he was going to throttle Draco when he got home. It was unforgiveable for him to torment Harry this way when he knew how important the bloody stakeout was. Harry knew he should just put the mirror away and get back to work, but he would sooner have tucked his own lungs into the pouch rather than the mirror. His life was certainly no longer boring. It had been rough for a while, especially right after Harry had appeared in public for the first time with Draco on his arm. He had expected a media furore, but the Daily Prophet had been astonishingly silent. Several supportive articles had followed and Harry had even granted an interview to Beatrice Smirch. Draco had joined him and the woman had cast many fearful glances towards Draco, but Draco had only smiled and calmly answered all questions put before him.

Even after several witches and wizards had come forth with stories from Draco's rentboy days, the press had remained firmly in Harry's corner and had countered the tales with articles questioning the morality of the finger-pointers. Draco had laughed uproariously for days. Harry privately wondered if Draco had Memory Charmed the entire staff of the Daily Prophet, but he didn't quite dare to ask him. Besides, he could not complain about the outcome.

Hermione had been another obstacle that had never quite materialized, thanks to Ron's steadfast support. Ron could barely stand to be in the same room with Draco, but he had announced—to Hermione, no less—that "if Harry wanted to shack up with an Inferius troll, then it was none of their bloody business." Hermione had been shocked, but her features had quickly softened and she had thrown her arms around Ron and kissed him soundly before politely inviting Draco over to their house for the next Friday dinner. Wisely, Draco had yet to accept.

The Carversham trial had come and gone. Peasegood's assistant had recognized Draco immediately from the Pensieve memories, but none of the other Ministry employees had seemed able to connect Harry's love interest with the mysterious rentboy they had sought so diligently. The clever assistant had, however, nearly blackmailed Harry until Draco had agreed to teach her his Memory Modification Charm. Harry thought the girl was well on her way to becoming the next Minister for Magic.

Draco's design business was booming, thanks to Matilda Hopkirk and her circle of cronies. Harry thought the old girls simply liked having the gorgeous blond around, and therefore kept making up jobs to keep him busy. Harry could hardly fault them; he rather liked having Draco around himself.

The mirror drew Harry's full attention once more. Draco had reached for something out of Harry's line of sight and Harry was almost afraid to see what it was. He nearly sighed with relief when a small jar was revealed in Draco's palm. Draco unscrewed the lid and dipped a finger into what looked to be red paint. He held up a single red-tipped digit and grinned.

Draco took the red paint and drew a circle around his navel. Harry watched, perplexed, and wondering if there was some sort of magic involved. Draco dipped the finger once more and drew a straight line down the middle of his sternum before adding top and bottom cross lines. Was it Runic? It resembled the letter I.

Draco held up his finger imperiously as though bidding Harry to wait.

"The door is opening!" Ron said and banged his head on the glass. Harry glanced up to see Ron rubbing his forehead.

Harry swore inwardly. Not now, he begged silently and switched his attention back to Draco, who had one arm across his abdomen, covering more sigils while he drew another close to his red and gold undergarments. Harry's brow wrinkled.

"This is it!" Savage crowed. "Let's go!"

Savage pelted from the room, followed by the rookie Auror. Ron raced after them and Harry heard him pause by the door.

"Harry?" Ron asked in puzzlement, but Harry could not move. His eyes were fixed to the mirror as Draco finished drawing and raised both arms to reveal his handiwork. A broad smile lit Draco's features.

"I have to go, Ron," Harry choked.

"What? Now?"


I love you had been written across Draco's torso in gleaming red paint.

"Well… all right, we can handle this. I'll cover for you. Somehow." Ron's voice was uncertain.

"Thanks, Ron. I owe you one," Harry promised. Frankly, his job could go join Voldemort in the grave—Harry was going home to shag his former rentboy into the mattress and make him prove every letter of those words.

Best 500,000 Galleons I never spent, he thought and Disapparated.


:D :D :D :D