"Potter! A visitor for you."
Harry looked up and blinked. He'd been patrolling the Manor gardens for some break in the wards that might allow anyone to get through. He couldn't necessarily repair breaches he found, since so many of the wards were linked to Malfoy as the caster, but he was good at recognizing them.
If it's Ron again, I'm going to kill him, he decided, and trotted back through the open French window that led into the rose garden, then through the twisting maze of corridors to the front door. He was lucky the Auror Department had become its own smaller, nested labyrinth, or he'd have trouble navigating Malfoy Manor. Malfoy, of course, had offered him no guidance; he seemed to think that Harry should take more interest in the new wing he spent all his time in.
"I decided I could help you," Hermione said, stepping through the front door and rudely ignoring Malfoy's existence. Harry stifled a groan. That meant she'd found a new theory. "So I contacted Robards, and he agreed to it."
Well, shit. That omitted the simplest way to get rid of the problem, which was to tell Hermione that she wasn't welcome at the scene of a case without permission from the Head Auror. Harry sighed, rolled his eyes—Hermione was immune to that, having seen it so many times—and looked apologetically at Malfoy. "She'll want to talk about psychoanalysis," he murmured. "Sorry. You probably won't want to listen to this."
Malfoy shook his head slowly, his eyes gleaming, and Harry's heart sank. No doubt the bastard had picked up on Harry's discomfort and had decided that this was his way to get revenge for Harry having seen his cock yesterday.
"Psychoanalysis?" he said thoughtfully, rolling the word around in his mouth. "That's a Muggle theory of understanding the mind, isn't it?"
"Yes, it is." Hermione focused on a seemingly interested—and new—audience with the speed of Ron hiding his plans of Malfoy Manor under the desk when Robards walked by. "It focuses on the subconscious, on symbolism and on dreams." She gave Harry a triumphant look. "I keep telling Harry that his dreams are symbolic, but he won't listen to me. And he won't acknowledge the brilliance of Freud. The Muggle who founded the theory," she added, perhaps because Malfoy's face had become blank.
"Hermione," Harry said, exasperated as he rarely was by her because she had shown up whilst he was on an investigation, "Freud thought that women had discovered weaving by studying the fabric of their pubic hair." He'd glanced into one of Hermione's books once the last time he'd visited her flat. He thought the experience had scarred him for life.
"One false step doesn't mean he wasn't brilliant otherwise." Hermione waved her hand, and then drew a small, folded piece of paper out of her robe pocket. "And I'm going to prove that I know what I'm talking about by using something you can't deny."
Harry blinked. She'd unfolded the Daily Prophet, which he hadn't had time to read that morning because he was intent on keeping his breakfast with Malfoy short.
"Hermione," he said, "how can lies printed about me dating some witch or other help you psychoanalyze me?" Especially because it's really two lies in one at this point, with the implication that I'm straight.
"I'm not relying on the lies. Well, they're lies," Hermione added, after a moment of conscientious consideration, "but you don't think they are." She flipped back the paper and pointed at the horoscope section with a vindicated smile.
Harry peered closely at it, and didn't manage to hold back his groan this time. The Leo horoscope was even more specific and suggestive this time. Are you a brave lion, ready to roar, or a coward who runs away with his tail tucked between his legs? Maybe you should face the man you love, take a deep breath, and tell him what else you'd like to have tucked between your legs.
"Helser must assume that everyone who reads the column's female," he muttered.
"Oh, really?" Malfoy asked, in a soft, breathy voice.
Harry cast him an alarmed glance. He'd drawn nearer, and reached out with one hand as though he was about to stroke Harry's shoulder or something else equally ridiculous. His eyes were blazing now, not simply gleaming.
"Look, Malfoy, if you're gay, that's fine," Harry said. He hesitated a moment, then said, "Wait, that doesn't even apply to you, does it? Your birthday's in June, so you must be some other sign. Um, let's see—"
"Gemini," Malfoy said, with the same sort of breathlessness. "I'm Gemini. The sign of the twins. I might be divided in my mind, or I might be more than you imagine. You never know." He was still stepping closer to Harry, his eyes still bright, still wide.
"I'll psychoanalyze you later," Hermione told him, and seized Harry's hand. "Now, Harry," she said, and hauled him across the corridor into one of the furnished sitting rooms, neat as you please. Harry was aware of the dirt dropping from his boots and robe all the way. But Malfoy followed them, looking amused instead of indignant about the mess on his carpets. Well, he has house-elves to clean it up, Harry thought.
But the house-elves were no reason for Malfoy to sit down on the same couch Harry chose, and so close to him, too. Harry gave him a piercing stare as a silent suggestion to back off. Malfoy was apparently rather good at being blind to celebrity body language when he chose to, though. He beamed at Harry and sank back against the couch, resting his shoulder firmly against his.
"Now," Hermione said, and snapped the paper again. "I think it's very interesting that you looked at this horoscope and immediately assumed that it must refer to a female reader, Harry. That suggests some problematic aspects of your own comfort with your sexuality."
"I am perfectly comfortable with my sexuality," Harry said between gritted teeth. Unless you think of my sexuality as sitting right next to me and touching me inappropriately.
Hermione paid no attention whatsoever. "Freud would suggest that you had homosexual fantasies by your very vehemence to deny any such thing," she said. "I don't know that I would go quite that far, but it's suggestive." She looked up at him. "When was the last time you had anal sex, Harry?"
Harry's brain froze. "What?" was all he could get out, and that in a strangled squawk.
"Yes," Malfoy murmured into his ear, with the voice of an incubus. "Do tell us, Harry."
Hermione rattled on, seeming not to care that Harry had Malfoy's breath on the side of his face and that Malfoy's hand was now creeping down to rest on his thigh. Harry held his breath and shifted sideways as much as possible. Merlin, you'd think he'd have had enough of revenge by now. "I can see that you're reluctant to answer the question. That involves a level of deep thought about anal sex that doesn't fit the position it would hold in the minds of most people as a normal sexual practice."
Harry finally found his tongue. "No one would have a prompt answer to that question if you just blurted it out at them, Hermione," he snapped.
"I would," Malfoy whispered.
"No one normal, I mean," Harry said loudly. "And I've never had anal sex. There. Are you happy?"
Malfoy's breath stuttered beside him. Harry rolled his eyes, not caring at the moment if Malfoy saw and said something to Robards. Pervert. He's probably remembering the last time he did.
Hermione gave him a knowing smile. "The question wasn't limited to men, Harry," she said. "After all, men can have anal sex with women, too, and we're pretending that you're straight. For the moment." Her smile turned deeply amused.
"The answer is still the same no matter what the combination of sexes is." Harry stiffened for a moment, and in more than one way, as Malfoy's hand fluttered towards his groin. Then Malfoy pulled it back, and Harry sighed with relief. Totally with relief, not with disappointment. "I've never had anal sex."
Hermione nodded. "But the idea must have been put into your mind by reading the horoscope," she said.
Harry wiped his mouth. Malfoy sat so closely pressed to him that his skin was heating up, and he was thirsty. Because he was hot and wanted something to drink, of course, not because his mouth was dry. "I didn't read it this morning."
Hermione laid down the paper and stared at him incredulously. "Of all the reasons you could come up with to avoid psychoanalysis, that's a weak one, Harry," she said. "You read it every morning. You have as long as I've been interested in psychoanalysis, at least, which is why I can't believe that I never thought of it as a tool to analyze you with before." She paused. "Unless you glanced at it this morning, saw what it was about, and used your subconscious to construct a defense that would give you an excuse not to read it. And that is called an avoidance mechanism."
"It's not—" Harry had to close his eyes with sheer frustration and wonder what the fuck had happened to his friends after the final battle. Maybe their respective obsessions were their way of coping with the stress of the war.
Or maybe it's all down to sexual repression and frustration, the way that Robards suggests.
"Or transference," Hermione suggested, and from the tone of her voice, Harry knew she was going to launch into a titanic explanation of transference.
"Granger." Malfoy's voice was uncommonly polite, but from the way his fingers tightened on Harry's thigh—since when did his revenge involve putting his hand back there?—he was annoyed. "Have you actually come to contribute anything to the investigation into my stalker, or have you only come to pester Harry?"
Harry? That made Harry uncover his eyes and stare at Malfoy. Malfoy was looking at Hermione, though, who blinked at him as if she thought he had ceased to exist whilst she talked to Harry.
"You have a stalker?" she asked. "Is that true? Or is it a numinous psychodrama where the stalker represents the repressed trauma of your childhood?"
Malfoy gritted his teeth, the first time Harry remembered seeing a gesture like that directed at someone who wasn't him. He wondered idly why Malfoy could be so patient with Celestina Warbeck and not with Hermione.
Well, he isn't being paid for this part of it.
"It's true," Malfoy said. "And I'll thank you to leave my house now, before you upset my Auror protection any further."
A fat lot of protection I'm turning out to be, when I can't find any breach in the wards or any Dark spells, Harry thought, but he felt grateful, although he knew he would probably have to get rid of Hermione by himself.
When he turned around and opened his mouth, though, Hermione was staring in fascination at Malfoy. "I should have known," she whispered. "Repression. This house practically screams of it. Clean lines everywhere, except in the new wing you're building, and not a speck of dust."
"That's the house-elves," Malfoy began.
Hermione shook her head, and this time her knowing smile was turned on Malfoy. "It's the return of the repressed," she said. "Paranoid fantasies. Delusions that place you at the center of the universe. And you've tried so hard to make it go away, and it won't. I wonder how many of your cruel words over the years were motivated by desires that you thought were unacceptable. Poor Malfoy." She gave him a pitying glance and stood up. "I'll see if I can't find a book that will help you."
And she practically skipped out of the room before Malfoy could say something one way or the other—the skip Harry recognized as entering her walk when she had a new research subject.
Malfoy stared after her in silence for so long that Harry began to fear some sort of explosion. He quietly prepared to rise to his feet and pull away from Malfoy. He must have forgotten that he had his shoulder leaning against Harry's and his hand on his thigh. It was the only explanation Harry could see for his stillness.
"I wish there were still Time-Turners about," Malfoy muttered in a dire voice, "so that I could take one and go back in time to prevent Granger from becoming—" He paused and glanced sideways at Harry, then sighed. When he went on, Harry had the distinct idea that he'd decided on something different from what he would have originally said. "From becoming interested in psychoanalysis."
"That's gone on for three months now." Harry decided there was no being diplomatic or subtle about this, and yanked himself free from Malfoy's grip with a mighty pull. A normal person would have fallen sideways onto the couch, but Malfoy recovered himself and raised one eyebrow at Harry as if to ask what he was doing. Harry ignored this. "I hope she gets interested in something else soon."
"Three months?" Malfoy asked. "And you're still sane?" He paused. "As much as you ever were, I mean."
Harry smiled in spite of himself. No use pretending that he didn't mind remarks like that from Malfoy as much as he would have from anyone else. Not that it would ever come to anything, with what Malfoy having a lover—a boyfriend?—and Harry admiring from a distance. "I'll go back to investigating the wards."
Malfoy stooped and gathered up the Daily Prophet from the floor, where Hermione had left it in her excitement. Harry told himself there was absolutely no use in trying to peer at Malfoy's arse, since he was sitting down and wouldn't show it off anyway. "I think you should read the horoscope again," he said, and solemnly extended the paper.
Harry groaned. "Not you, too. I only do it as a diversion, something to laugh at, all right? I have no idea why everyone takes it more seriously than I do. None of you are Leos." He crossly snatched the paper from Malfoy.
Malfoy looked up and into his eyes, his smile once again teasing, his gaze deep. Harry stared back—
And then flinched as a spark of pain seemed to explode behind his eyes. What was it with these painful looks from Malfoy?
Maybe your own brain is trying to save you from a hopeless entanglement, he told himself, and then bobbed his head at Malfoy. "I'll see you later. I should finish patrolling the gardens for intruders."
"Read the horoscope." Malfoy unfolded to his feet, so quickly that Harry took a step back and put a hand on his wand. Auror instincts. He would have apologized, but Malfoy didn't even seem to notice. He reached out towards Harry as if he would grip his wrist, his voice sinking to the same hypnotic murmur he'd used to ask Harry about anal sex. "Please."
Harry gritted his teeth. "Maybe you think this is funny," he said, deciding that he would have to address this head-on, "but I don't."
"I have no idea what you mean."
And how many celebrities had fallen for the mask of blinking innocence Malfoy was presenting now, his eyes blinking and his forehead wrinkled up? Harry shook his head, keeping his eyes fastened on Malfoy's face despite the temptation to flinch in case more pain came along at any moment. "You're angry at me for interrupting your wank and maybe your love-letter writing yesterday," he said. "I understand that. But I'm also here to do a job, and obstructing me, teasing me, because you know that I—I'm attracted to you—doesn't help."
"I'm glad you can admit it," Malfoy said, and his voice was soft and warm. Once again, he reached out as if he wanted to touch Harry.
Harry dodged him, disgusted. "Teasing me like this is beneath you," he said bluntly. "Or it ought to be. And I'm going to tell Robards to make sure I don't have any more contact with you from the moment we catch the stalker."
He turned his back and marched, with dignity that he thought couldn't be denied, in the direction of the garden. A glance over his shoulder—one he told himself he could permit because it was a small glance—showed Malfoy standing stock-still, his face looking as if he'd been slapped.
So I can make an impression on him after all. I just have to be firm.
Harry stepped out into the garden and applied himself vigorously to the wards. They were simple. They were understandable. They didn't make him want to hurl himself against the wall and bang his head into a bloody pulp as Malfoy was doing.
And he was not disappointed that Malfoy didn't follow him and try to apologize or explain.
He just wasn't.
Harry gave an exhausted sigh and sat down at the dining room table, shaking his head. Then he decided that wasn't enough and buried his head in his arms, giving a tiny moan of exhaustion.
The case had been solved, and by nothing more than sheer chance, rather than the skilled investigation Harry would have liked to be able to say that he conducted. It was luck that Harry had glanced around as they left the home of Nathan Audley, three-time winner of the All-England Racing Broom Championship, and seen the dark-haired woman playing with a knife and staring at Malfoy with an expression of open longing on her face. If she had been paying attention to Harry instead, she could have ducked out of sight before he looked in her direction. But she hadn't.
Probably entranced by the nearness of the object of her affections, Harry thought wryly, and swiped his hair out of his eyes. I know what that feels like.
The woman had turned out to be Pansy Parkinson, of all people, who had admitted without much prompting that she'd sent the letters to Malfoy. "I didn't want to frighten him," she told Harry, her eyes wide with apparent sincerity. "I just wanted to let him know how much I love him, and how much he owes me."
Malfoy had given her an extremely long stare when she said those last words, which convinced Harry that any debt he owed Parkinson was another product of her deluded brain. Harry had sighed and taken her into the Auror Department and to Robards, who appeared pleased to have such a straightforward arrest.
Then Harry had gone back to the Manor to get his belongings, only to find his bedroom door locked and Malfoy vanished with the key.
So he'd taken a moment to relax at the table and try to come to terms with what had happened to him over the past few days.
He was attracted to Malfoy. Fine. But it wouldn't make anything happen, because Malfoy saw his attraction as a matter for teasing and because they belonged to different worlds. Harry couldn't see himself ever feeling easy with someone who used a spell that caused pain when he looked at people and who interviewed celebrities by choice.
And then there was the obvious fact that Malfoy appeared to have a lover already, as well as more commitments competing for his attention than Harry was comfortable navigating among. His Auror job was demanding, too. How in the world would they be able to spend time with each other outside the confines of an investigation, even if they wanted to?
Something landed on the table in front of him with a slap. Harry lifted his hand from one eye, and groaned when he saw the Daily Prophet. "Take it away," he begged Malfoy, who must be the one who'd dropped it. "I don't want to read the stupid horoscope."
"Yes, you do," Malfoy said, with a weirdly intense voice. "Because you didn't read it this morning, and it isn't stupid."
Harry leaned back in his chair to look up at him. Malfoy had his hands on his hips and was staring at Harry. Once again, he wore the pale, almost translucent robe he'd worn the day Pansy's letter arrived. Harry sighed. "Go meet your boyfriend. Or your girlfriend. Or both at once. After you give me the key for my rooms," he added belatedly. "The case is done."
"But my interest in you is by no means over with," Malfoy said. His words could have bored holes in rock. He nodded to the paper. "Read the horoscope."
"No," Harry said, feeling anger stir in him at last. He didn't need to put up with the vagaries of someone whose life wasn't in danger. He started to stand. "I don't—"
"Please," Malfoy whispered.
Harry blinked. If someone had asked him whether that word was in Malfoy's vocabulary, he would have said no. But the yearning voice Malfoy spoke in, combined with the intense stare, made him reach out for the paper. Malfoy gave it to him with a brief touch of fingers in the middle of Harry's palm that sparked all sorts of impossible fantasies.
He looked at the horoscope for Leo.
What you want is right in front of you. And he wants you back. His nature might be symbolized by a dragon, and his last name by good faith gone bad.
Harry felt as though it took forever to lift his eyes from the page and direct them at Malfoy. Malfoy, who was looking nervous for the first time. Malfoy, who met his gaze directly but fidgeted whilst he did it.
"You've been controlling what horoscopes they printed for me?" Harry whispered. "Or you're involved in it. What—why?"
"I was paying Bethany to put specific things in her column, yes," Malfoy admitted. The fidgeting grew worse, until he was dancing from foot to foot. But Harry didn't feel much urge to laugh at the moment. "Most of the people who read it are like you, doing it for a laugh anyway. Or they'll roll their eyes and assume she's just off for once. Or they'll gasp and apply it to their own lives. I knew from the time you visited my office with Weasley that you read the horoscopes. I thought it would be a good, subtle way to slowly hint at my interest in you."
"I didn't say anything about horoscopes when I visited your office with Ron," Harry said suspiciously.
Malfoy gave him an embarrassed smile. "Legilimency. I'm afraid you felt it. I'm not as good at it as Snape was."
Harry licked his lips. "So you found out that I read the horoscopes. And that I was attracted to you. And?"
"And I decided that I needed to get in contact with you," Malfoy said. "But without exposing too much of my own interest, because—" He winced. "I've always had problems with pride, Harry, I admit that. And writing this column, I've seen any number of people who let attention go to their heads and make them into petulant children. I thought you might be one of them, even though I didn't think you were. So I tried the horoscopes. And the threatening letters, which I convinced Pansy to write, so that I would have a chance to get you in my house and use Legilimency more."
Harry surged to his feet. "Wasting Auror time is—"
"I didn't care," Malfoy said, and his voice had become sharp. "I don't care. It was you I wanted, not the entire Auror Department."
Harry caught his breath. The statement was immensely flattering, and so was the frustration on Malfoy's face. He'd done what he could to get a more accurate look at Harry, and Harry had flung obstacles in his way without even knowing what he was doing. And he'd gone on trying, instead of giving up in disgust as he'd have every reason to do.
"So," Harry said, voice low, "you weren't wanking at all when Parkinson's letter arrived."
"No." Malfoy examined him closely, as if he was trying to decide what Harry was feeling, and then smiled. The smile was small, but it was a beginning. "I was trying to make the horoscope come true that I sent to the paper that morning, about your sprawling in front of your most desired object and seeing him from a new angle. But I reckon horoscopes aren't prophecies."
Harry shook his head. He had to bite his lip to keep from smiling. On one hand, what Malfoy had done was still underhanded and unnecessary. He could have asked Harry out, like a rational person.
But his pride was a persuasive reason, and…
It was a long time since Harry had had the sense that someone was paying attention to him, rather than to his solve rate on cases, or his scar, or the part that he played in their various obsessions.
He moved closer to Malfoy, tentatively reaching out. Malfoy linked his fingers through Harry's and tugged him so that they stood chest to chest with a force that made Harry pant.
He tried to stop panting. I shouldn't be doing this so soon after he admitted to trying to manipulate me.
His body didn't want to listen to him.
"I've wanted you for—a while," Malfoy murmured against his lips. Harry stretched his neck, then thought that looked like begging for a kiss. Malfoy didn't seem to have noticed it, however. He reached out and ran the back of his hand down Harry's cheek, his eyes as bright and deep as they'd been when he was flirting with Harry during the case. "But I was afraid to move. I wondered how serious my feelings could be, if I never tried to approach you. I knew that you would remember what we were like to each other in Hogwarts, and that made me hesitate, too." He shook his head, wonder and pride mingled in his eyes. "I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't learned of your attraction to me with the Legilimency."
"What made you want me?" This time, Harry did not care if it sounded like he was begging for compliments.
"A thousand instances," Malfoy answered. "Seeing your photographs in the paper and how you kept trying to duck out of the frame. The way you got good at tasks that I used to think you'd decide were beneath you, like recognizing breaches in wards. The way your eyes flash when you're angry." He caught his breath and smiled. If that was intended to distract Harry from the way his cock was hardening against Harry's leg, it failed. "And you?"
"Because you stayed alive, and you changed," Harry answered quietly, lifting his free hand to stroke his fingers through Malfoy's hair, letting them rest briefly against the scalp and then moving them on. "I expected you to curl up after the war and die like an insect someone stepped on, you know."
Malfoy's eyebrows rose, and his expression wavered between amused and insulted.
"A lot of the pure-bloods did," Harry reminded him. "They couldn't deal with their beliefs being overturned, or with the fact that they'd backed the wrong side of the war. Remember that rash of suicides, and murder-suicides, that were reported five years ago?"
Malfoy shuddered. "This is destroying the mood," he murmured. "You were telling me why you came to desire me."
Harry smiled. There were some ways in which Malfoy hadn't changed, and was still the schoolboy who expected to be pampered and indulged and amused. Harry could live with that, and with the exasperating behavior that Malfoy had shown him over the last few days. It was a nice continuity between past and present, if nothing else.
"That was the beginning," he said. "That you made a new career for yourself. Then I saw you were good at it."
"At something you must have hated," Malfoy broke in. "Thank Merlin I had better sense than to try and interview you."
Harry shook his head. "No. You were better at it than Rita Skeeter, because you had a way of making the truth interesting, instead of spinning lies out of malice like she did. It was when I started thinking that I wouldn't mind if you interviewed me that I knew I was falling hard."
"You wouldn't mind if I interviewed you." Malfoy's fingers closed harder around his wrist. "An admirable sentiment, but too mild for my taste."
Harry looked up at him for a moment. Then he said, "I can't vow undying love yet, and I'm still a bit angry about what you did .But I think I can say that you're different than I thought you were—I like you better a little insecure—and that I'd very much like to go to bed with you." This time, he moved forwards so that Malfoy could feel his own erection.
Malfoy blinked, but luckily he did act on the suggestion Harry had made before Harry had to make it again. His hand slid from Harry's wrist to the back of his head, touching skin all the way, and pulled him into a kiss as forceful and abrupt as that initial jerk.
Harry gasped soundlessly with pleasure, then opened his mouth and sent his tongue sliding pointedly into Malfoy's. "Malf—" he managed to say.
Malfoy made an amused sound and lowered his mouth to Harry's throat. "Is that really the way you think of me in your fantasies?" he murmured. "Call me Draco, Harry."
"Draco," Harry whispered. It sounded natural when he tried it out, or at any rate more natural than he thought it might have—
Then Draco's mouth fastened in place, and he could gasp, "Draco," in all sincerity and dig his fingers into the other man's arms.
Draco went on kissing and nipping him for a few moments longer. Harry managed to look at him without his eyelids fluttering, and saw that his eyes were closed, as if he needed that much concentration for his task. One hand still clasped the back of Harry's head; the other curled around his shoulders and drew him closer.
Harry moved so that their cocks angled against each other, more than happy to rut right here. Draco tilted his head back, his lips parted, and gasped. His eyes were cloudy. Harry smiled and rocked faster.
"Not like this," Draco said thickly. "Not here," he added, and stepped away, though his hands still wandered restlessly across Harry's skin, so Harry didn't have to think he'd lost interest. "I want to do this for the first time in a special place."
"What's this?" Harry asked, gripping Draco's cock and rubbing his thumb along the head, whilst trying not to show how thrilled he was about the words "the first time." That implied there would be many more.
"Fucking you," Draco said. "I'm going to put you in a very large bed decorated with your favorite colors and fuck you." He spoke with the same intent seriousness he'd used to ask Warbeck about her new song, or Audley about how it felt to know he was winning the race.
"My favorite colors." Harry narrowed his eyes. "Exactly how many times did you use Legilimency on me?" Draco's smile said he wouldn't answer that. "And where is this bed?"
"This is your wing."
Harry found it hard to speak as he stepped into the room that had been a wizarding architect's blank less than a week ago. The glaring, blinding white was gone now. Instead, muted shades of blue and green on the walls made him feel as if he were entering a sunken palace in Atlantis. The floor was blue tile, giving back dim reflections of both Harry and Draco. The room was green to complement it, but a duller shade of green, so that Harry wouldn't get a headache when he looked at it. Large windows looked out on one garden and one enchanted scene of the rose garden, since that wasn't visible from this angle of the Manor.
And they were exactly the shades of the colors he liked.
"How did you know?" he whispered, turning around to stare at Draco. "To make this an entrance hall—and you asked my favorite colors, but—"
"More Legilimency." Draco stepped forwards, his hands shaking slightly as he reached out to caress Harry's shoulders. The shakiness endeared him to Harry more. It would have been obnoxious to have a lover who was completely confident about his every move, whilst Harry stumbled and fumbled along behind. "As for the entrance hall, I asked you when this was a blank what kind of room you would make it if you lived here. You said that it should be public, because you don't like people walking through your private rooms." He smiled down at Harry. "I started building this wing not knowing who it was for, but of course, once I realized I had a chance with you, I thought it would make a suitable lover's gift. It had to be perfect, since it was going to be yours."
Harry swallowed. He really couldn't speak now, and had to settle for pulling Draco hard against him, kissing him until Draco had clutched his shoulders hard enough to leave bruises and then half-sunk onto the tiles, his arms around Harry's hips. He seemed willing to forget all about the bed.
"I thought we were going to do this properly, the first time?" Harry murmured, and closed his hands into circles around Draco's wrists, thrilled by the sense of his power. He'd dated only Ginny and a few other women. None of them had acted as if he had the power to bring them literally to their knees. When he imagined being with a man, it didn't happen, either; he thought he would be the inexperienced one, having to lie back and accept guidance.
Experience doesn't mean perfect control, he thought smugly as he watched Draco's brain take a full minute to catch up with the words.
"Properly," Draco gasped. "Yes." He stood up, sliding his hands from Harry's hips and up his flanks to his shoulders again. By the time he was fully on his feet, Harry panted too hard to maintain the smile. Draco grinned at him, but lost the grin a moment later, as if he needed the energy for other things. He gulped and dragged Harry towards a door visible on the far side of the entrance hall. "You need a tour of your wing."
"Later," Harry said. He seized Draco's wrists again. Then he had to stand there and make an effort to catch his breath whilst Draco gave him a sidelong smile, but that changed when Harry licked the side of Draco's throat. "There's only one room I want to see right now, and that's the bedroom."
"Yes, sir," Draco said. Harry blushed as he realized that he'd automatically adopted the voice that he used when ordering Ron to back away from a suspect who'd killed several children. Harry had never thought he'd be the level-headed one in any situation—until he saw how seriously Ron took the murder of children.
But Draco was licking his lips and looked turned on by it if anything, so Harry let him half-lead, half-wrestle Harry through the door and to the foot of a staircase. Harry groaned as he looked up them.
"We have to go up before we can lie down?" he whined.
"Oh, yes," Draco said, and fastened his teeth back in the bite he'd made before, sucking so strongly that Harry sagged bonelessly in his arms a moment later. "But I promise it will be worth it."
Gazing up at the half-crazed look in Draco's eyes, giving up control of his own breath as a bad job, feeling the tingling smart from his neck that joined with the throb spreading up from his groin, Harry could only agree.
The bed was more than large enough, with more than enough fluffy white pillows and bright green sheets. But it had no curtains, or posts either, as if Draco thought everything they did on it should be free and open to the world. At least the windows had an Occluding Spell on them, which Harry promptly activated before Draco took his wand away from him, threw it on the table, and pressed him into the bed, smiling expectantly.
"Shy?" Draco's voice had deepened to a level Harry had thought he would never hear in real life, and that made him press his erection against Draco's knee, rocking mindlessly for a moment. "You don't need to be. You never need to be."
He pulled down Harry's collar, chuckled appreciatively at the sight of bare skin, and then began to unbutton him. Harry leaned back on the pillows and let him do it. That let him appreciate the way Draco's neat hair frizzed at the ends now. His cheeks had gone slack with want, too, as if it were once again too much effort to maintain the smile.
That was nice.
But Harry wanted more than nice, and as Draco pulled off his trousers and pants at last, he claimed it, rolling around on top of Draco and pinning him to the bed with a single forceful push. Then he snapped his fingers, concentrating hard. The one time he had used this spell wandlessly in the past, to distract a fleeing suspect, had gone rather badly; the suspect had been hopping on one sprained ankle and one good one when Harry and Ron took him into custody.
This time it functioned perfectly, maybe thanks to Harry's ruthless desire, which made his hips buck every few seconds now. Draco was suddenly naked. He blinked, then blinked again, and the smile came back. But this was a different smile, sliding slowly and relentlessly up his face, and Harry shivered.
"I think," Draco said in a whisper, "that having a lover with that much power is going to be very pleasant." He stretched his hands out along the pillow and arched a brow. "Can you do the same thing with the lubricant?"
It took Harry two tries to whisper, "Accio lubricant," his mouth was so dry. A small tube soared out of the door on the far wall, which probably led to a bathroom, and landed on the bed beside them. Harry tried to be annoyed that Draco had been confident enough to leave it there before he'd even shown Harry the bed. With Draco staring up at him, his eyes half-lidded, his own hips rocking back against Harry's, trying to be annoyed didn't work very well.
"I actually meant, 'Can you conjure lubricant wandlessly and slick my cock?', but this way works, too," Draco said. He picked up the tube of oil whilst Harry was still spluttering and slid a coated finger into him.
Harry gasped and contracted his muscles reflexively. Then he said, "You don't—you don't —you don't—"
"That's three times you've claimed a lack of ability on my part, Harry," Draco whispered. "Should I be offended?" And, keeping his finger in Harry's arse and bracing his other hand on the pillow, he flipped them so that Harry lay beneath him again.
"You have no right to possess coordination like that when you probably haven't played Quidditch for ages," Harry said, startled back into his right mind.
"I play Quidditch every weekend," Draco said.
"Is that for me, too?" Harry fluttered his eyelashes at Draco, and grinned. It was easier now that he was getting used to the finger in his arse. "Were you afraid that you wouldn't be able to keep up with me, and had to impress me somehow?"
Draco twisted his finger, and added a second one, which he'd managed to slick without Harry noticing it. "Prat," he said. "I'll have you know that I started that years ago, long before I ever thought I'd have a chance with you."
"I notice," Harry said, concentrating furiously so that he could get his words out around the urge to be quiet and let Draco's fingers do whatever they wanted, "that you didn't say 'before I started wanting you.'"
"Shut up," Draco said. His voice was concentrated, too, not angry, but Harry shut up with a long moan, seeing the way Draco was looking at his arse. The fingers twisted, then retreated, and returned with a third companion. Draco licked his lips and shook his head, his hair swaying in front of his face. His forehead was slick with sweat, which at least indicated that his acrobatics hadn't been effortless.
Harry had wondered if Draco would be gentle with him, since he knew Harry hadn't had anal sex before. It didn't look that way. He was glad.
Because, whilst he might not know a lot about how many fingers he wanted up his arse or how rough he wanted it, he knew already that he preferred having sex like this: with Draco, and with Draco so lost to passion that he didn't ask before he dragged his fingers out and slid the head of his cock in.
He did go slowly enough after that that Harry could have stopped him if he wanted. But Harry didn't want to, and in fact, he squeezed down with his arse a few times to hurry Draco along. Draco snarled and shoved suddenly, which made Harry tilt his head back and swear between clenched teeth.
"Did I hurt you?" Draco was breathing harshly.
He would have heard only arrogance in the tone a few hours ago. Now he could note the gentleness beneath it.
Harry smiled and opened his eyes. Draco stared down at him, eyes cloudy again, but seeing him perfectly.
And that's the way I like Draco. Fighting to protect the tender parts of himself, whilst letting me know they're there.
"Are you going to ride me or not?" he asked.
Draco dug his fingers into his hips in answer, and pumped forwards. "Going to make you come without touching your cock," he explained, and pushed again, before settling into a steady thrusting rhythm.
All the time, his eyes remained open. All the time, his eyes remained on Harry.
Harry felt as though he had separated into two people. One was in his body, enjoying the new sensation of fullness and the way Draco shoved him up the pillow as he fucked him, the squelching of the lubricant and the slap of skin like wet towels hitting together. The other was in some distant aesthetic part of his mind, and could admire the light of the lamps on the walls shining through Draco's hair, the softness of his skin when Harry reached up to his face, the curve of his lips as Harry's finger traced them.
And always, always, his eyes, brilliant and threaded with gold from the lamplight and open and looking.
Then the two halves of himself slammed together again, and Harry grabbed onto Draco, as Draco nudged something that must be his prostate. Draco was all soft skin and softly malevolent chuckle and soft teasing thrusts then, only speeding up when Harry issued some sort of incoherent threat against his firstborn.
"Oh, the firstborn son I'm never going to have, unless I adopt," Draco said mockingly as he sped up his thrusts.
Harry appreciated the declaration of intent for what it was, but still thought it utterly unfair that Draco could talk in coherent sentences at the moment.
"Shut up, shut up, shut up," he chanted, and then the pleasure burned through him and gripped his cock and left him all at once in a thundering orgasm that was rather like standing under a waterfall in reverse.
"Told you," Draco whispered, and at least he was back to monosyllables as Harry clamped down on him and he came, too, his mouth falling open and his eyes half-shutting until he forced them wide again.
When he was lying on Harry and kissing his face, he whispered, "I'm sorry I didn't just have the courage to approach you in the first place." He kissed Harry's eyelids. "I'm sorry for acting like a prick at Warbeck's." And he nuzzled his cheek into Harry's. "And the morning I received Pansy's letter. But I'll have you know that I was preparing to go to your room at midnight, just like the horoscope said, and I was most irritated when you weren't there."
Harry laid a hand on his cheek. "Thanks," he said. He was willing to wager that Draco didn't apologize a lot, either. "Think I should tell Hermione that horoscopes aren't as dubious in value as she thinks they are?"
"Depends," Draco said, rolling off him to land next to him on the bed. His eyes were still open; Harry wondered if he ever intended to blink again. He ran a possessive, happy hand across Harry's shoulder. "Would doing that get her over her own sexual repression and into Weasley's arms faster, or not?"
Harry blinked. "You sensed her repression?"
"Small beings on the further moons of Jupiter can sense her repression," Draco said. "But don't worry." His smile was pure humor. "Tell her that horoscopes are dubious in a way that'll make her pay more attention to them. I can have Bethany insert some interesting things among them. What is she? A Virgo?" He paused meditatively. "Maybe that's her problem."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Whatever you need to do," he said. "When I go into work with an enormous smile on my face tomorrow, Ron will be sure that you're guilty of something. If only Confounding me."
"Then invite Weasley to observe the midnight orgies in Draco Malfoy's mysterious new wing," Draco suggested, wrapping his arms around Harry. "Don't tell him beforehand who the participants will be. If we can't get Granger to admit her repression, then maybe we can give Weasley a few bright ideas."
Harry laughed and let his head fall on Draco's shoulder. He knew that he'd have to do a bit of fast explaining with both Ron and Hermione. And there was Robards, who would not be pleased to know there had never been a real case requiring Auror attention at all.
But that was for the morning.
As he started to yawn, he looked up and saw Draco's burning gaze still fixed on him. "Are you ever going to close your eyes?" he asked.
"When I'm sure that you're here beside me," Draco whispered back, "and that you're safe and sound. That might take a few years." His arms tightened around Harry.
Harry smiled and closed his own eyes, tightening his grip on Draco in return. He tried to imagine what kind of horoscope Bethany Helser would write to describe this moment.
And tonight you'll be safe in the arms of someone who might just turn out to be your true love.
That would sum up the matter nicely.