Uncertain Part 1 of 3
Harry Potter stood at the bar located at one end of the massive ballroom. The scene was set for the Ministry's Halloween function, which was doubled with the anniversary of Voldemort's first and second downfall by Harry's hand. Many had mused about the irony of this day, on which Voldemort had twice wished to claim as his victory day and twice been vanquished in his attempt. He was gone forever. Harry supposed the room was meant to show some of this irony, as it was decorated in gold and red and supplemented with symbols of All Hallows Eve. Somewhere in the entrance hall stood a wall carved with the names of the Wars' victims, Harry's parents highlighted. It was the only function Harry attended regularly, as it was only proper to. And frankly, he didn't mind. He generally liked them, especially the period after the boring ceremony when the party really got started.
Right now, however, Harry was fuming. The night had started out as usual, as he had thought it would. Hermione and Ron had left early because of their newborn, and the festivities had slowly loosened with the help of the peoples' best friends, Mr. Whiskey and Mrs. Liqueur. Everyone was either dancing – albeit with no real talent – or talking loudly with each other. Annoying fan girls were throwing themselves at Harry, but that was taken for granted.
Draco Malfoy was there too, as Harry had anticipated. Besides a friend who had been flirting constantly with one of the waiters, he also was here alone. His lonely state might be due to his delicate status as a gay – and bottom if rumours were to be believed – aristocrat with a tainted reputation. Thanks to their acquaintance, resulting from an amicable truce they made in seventh year and their political involvement ever since, they talked and drank at the bar, as Harry had thought they would.
And then Malfoy had departed and left Harry standing there, looking stupid and very much alone. As Harry had not thought he would.
Draco couldn't help but feel a little – ok, a lot – smug. He waited for his friend in front of the robe-check. Potter didn't seem to recognize Noel, even though the banquet in France couldn't have been more than a few months ago. Well, his bad.
/flashback: earlier at the ball/
"Malfoy," Harry greeted casually leaning against the counter. "Nice seeing you here."
"You really must be bored then," Draco drawled, as per usual.
He sat alone on a bar stool, an almost-empty martini in front of him. He looked up lazily when Harry laughed.
"Maybe. Well, how is it going for you? You don't look so enthusiastic yourself."
"I'm fine with not being one of these idiotic fools who drink way too much so that they can stir up the courage to talk up some cow and ask them for a dance even though they clearly possess no talent for it, whatsoever." Draco threw the couples on the dance floor a disgusted look and downed the rest of his drink.
"Two more of those, please," Harry ordered immediately, earning a raised eyebrow from Draco. He just shrugged. "We're both stuck here and I have nothing better to do," he gave by way of an explanation.
Harry smiled wryly at Draco's comment.
They sat in silence for a while. It stretched out and soon became uncomfortable.
"So, how -"
"Please, do not ask me about business. We are both not interested in talking about it and if I were, I would be sitting with one of those monkeys over there discussing the latest market crash. As you can see, I'm not."
Again, Harry smiled at Draco.
"Yeah, I guess you're right. Though hardly anyone's come to…" you and tried to talk, Harry was about to say, but he stopped himself before mentioning it aloud. It was hardly any business of his. He began stuttering around, his look darting about the room while he felt Draco's gaze heavy on him.
"Oh, just shoot, Potter. It's obvious you want to."
Harry suddenly froze and stared at Draco, gaping. Again, a pale eyebrow rose until understanding dawned on Draco, and he instead regarded Harry with a wide smirk.
"It's obvious you want to ask something, so ask."
Draco drew the sentence out, still smirking at the blushing hero, though he surprisingly didn't taunt him for his awkwardness.
"I'm, well, I heard these rumours about..."
"... me being gay?" Draco ended the sentence when Harry's mouth didn't seem to work anymore. "I fear for once the dreadful gossip papers have actually published some true pieces."
He said no more; nor did he do anything else for that matter. He was obviously content with just sitting there, hand around his glass without drinking, and looking closely at his companion. As always, Harry started to become nervous under the stare, squirming from one foot to the other. He felt weary, but he didn't know why.
"So, you're gay," Harry finally concluded unnecessarily.
He'd hoped to draw a witty remark out of his companion or at least a raised eyebrow – even a sneer would have been good enough for Harry – but there was nothing. Draco didn't even blink an eye.
"And…" Harry cleared his throat and met Draco's gaze not entirely steady. "Is it true you're also the – how, err… the sub?"
This time there was a raised eyebrow, though Harry had also expected a smirk. He had the feeling that he was wrong with his expectations a lot this evening.
"If you want to call it that."
Draco took a swing of his glass but never broke their staring contest. When had it become a contest in the first place?
"How you call it then? Bottom?" Harry asked hesitantly, aware that Draco hadn't actually answered the question. And finally he found himself confronted with the patented Malfoy smirk.
"You mean how we call someone who prefers to have a prick stuck up his arse rather than the other way around?"
Harry was generally used to blushing, as he did it often, but heck, he was sure that this time he was positively burning. Draco had caught him off guard with the blunt reply; he had to give him that. Harry would have given free kisses to fan girls for just one witty retort to that, but all that came out of his mouth was an undignified splutter.
"Really, that is the only description for my preference. Because I assure you Potter," and at that Draco leaned closer until their noses were almost touching. "I never submit and I'm not always at the bottom either."
When Draco leaned back again, the satisfied smirk back in full force, Harry was left panting and stuttering and wondering why he was panting and stuttering. With pure willpower he clamped his mouth shut, only to gulp down his drink at once. It was probably not such a good idea, as alcohol is not exactly known for increasing one's way with words, but he wasn't a lightweight, he could take it. For sure.
He forced his breathing back to normal, determined to get back into the game. A game, he wasn't at all sure if they were playing the same anymore.
"Right. Excuse my limited knowledge about those kinds of things. I'm not familiar with them," Harry tried to say in a mock sophisticated voice, though once again, Draco didn't rise to the bait.
There was an unidentifiable tone in Draco's voice that made Harry's senses sharpen. At the same time, he wondered if it had really been there.
"Of course not," he abruptly burst out, only to recline instantly in a blush. "No. I'm not… As you know, I'm straight," Harry emphasized, striving for a casual tone, then stared at his empty glass.
That wasn't the reply Harry had expected either. He noticed that Draco was watching him again, the way he'd done before. As if he was waiting for something. He seemed almost weary about it.
"I… yes, of course. I mean... how did you know, you were gay?"
The question was not even fully out when Harry bit down on his tongue for saying it. It sounded like it had come from nowhere.
Draco still stared in that strange manner, which didn't help Harry's nerves in the slightest. But the look in those grey eyes had changed. Something had slipped into them, something sharp and wakeful, Harry thought. It was as if he had done what Draco had been waiting for. His lips were curled almost in a leer and he slowly leaned forward, humming mockingly. He angled his head so that he could whisper directly into Harry's ear, his breath ghosting over the sensitive skin there. This time Harry knew exactly why he was panting.
"Hmm, you know, if you're uncertain about your sexuality, I could help you out."
Every muscle in Harry's body tensed. His tongue slipped through his lips and darted over them to hide his smile.
"Really," he breathed out. It wasn't really a question.
All of a sudden the comfortable nearness and the warmth of Draco's body were gone completely. The man had withdrawn and was taking a sip of his half empty martini. This time he wasn't looking at Harry.
When his eyes came up again to meet intense green ones, they were appraising, but in a somewhat negative way, or so Harry felt. Then another sort of smirk grazed Draco's face, one Harry couldn't place immediately.
"Of course, I could let you fuck me through the night, showing you all the pleasures gay sex can offer, with no effort from your part and no strings attached."
And in the moment Draco said this, Harry knew the smirk and the accompanied tone. Draco was mocking him with pure sarcasm.
"Unfortunately," Draco continued in the same mocking fashion. "I neither do sexual favours for poor little war heroes nor do I one-night stands. I'm no slut or a stupid bint, Potter." Draco spat the name out, like only he could.
And here, Harry had thought Draco had caught him off guard before. He'd been wrong. His mouth was hanging open and he didn't find anything to say. In a blur he registered Draco getting up, downing the rest of his drink and leaving with a last smirk at Harry, but nothing more. It was that smirk again, unsettling and level, the one Harry hadn't encountered since school.
Harry had lost the game. Completely.
/end of flashback/
"Would you hurry up already?"
Draco had never been known for his patience. He didn't understand why the Ministry couldn't have gotten some house elves, at least for the robe-check. This incapable bint, who was in charge of the clothes, couldn't even make out the difference between a coat and a robe. It'd taken hours – in reality, it had only been 10 minutes – until she'd retrieved Draco's expensive satin gown and now he had to wait until she found his friend's. That was probably going to take another hour, if she found it at all. Stupid Muggleborn.
"You're still here?"
Oh great, Mr. I'm-so-uncertain-of-my-sexuality-give-me-a-blow-jo b found me, Draco thought sarcastically to himself. He snickered at his own joke.
Actually, Potter came at just the right moment to help Draco pass some of the time he would otherwise have spent waiting.
"What are you laughing at?" Potter almost – but not quite – slurred.
"At you," Draco simply returned with a triumphant smirk.
The grin widened when he saw the displeased frown appear on the Saviour's face.
"Listen, I think something got out the wrong way. I mean, there's a misunderstanding... between us."
Smirk still in place, Draco indulged in his favourite move – raising an eyebrow.
"Really? Do tell," he drawled, amused.
He was a little startled when the confused and drunken haze in Potter's mime disappeared slowly, seemingly by sheer determination.
"Yes. Look, I didn't had – eh, have – no hidden intentions when I spoke to you. I… I'm not sure about… you know and I was hoping somebody who may have gone through the same could help me out. Not by showing or doing, really, I haven't thought that," Potter hurriedly added the last part even before Draco could think anything about the babble that was coming out the other's mouth. "Just by talking and so on. Giving advice, you know."
Potter at last finished the ramble with a hopeful look on his face. Draco almost – almost – felt like believing that look, almost pitied Harry, but the only thing that really stood out to him was the double negation at the beginning of Potter's rant. He didn't think it was meaningless, it rather sounded like a Freudian slip.
Before Draco could make any of his fancy remarks about that, the door leading to the robe-check was opened, and his friend stepped out into the corridor Draco and Potter currently stood in.
"Draco! I finally got my coat!" the newcomer announced in a light French accent, grinning broadly.
He stopped short when his gaze fell on Potter, and he raised both eyebrows in a startled frown – he couldn't do Draco's patterned move using only one.
Draco looked to and fro between his friend and Potter. He especially watched the latter's face for any sign of realisation with a childish anticipation. Well, he had always been partial to the simple and innocent pleasures, aside of course from the very adult and not at all innocent ones.
It took quite a while, proving a certain thick-headedness on Potter's part. Said man blinked several times when he saw Draco's friend, then narrowed his eyes as if he was trying to remember the first few years of his life, instead of the last few months. When the green eyes widened comically in recognition, Draco knew it had dawned on Potter.
/flashback: at a summer banquet in Paris a few months ago/
"Et voila, c'est Noel de Varignon."
Harry wore his perfectly plastered and perfectly fake smile as he greeted the introduced man, shaking the offered hand.
"'e is very… different," Priscilla stretched the word out.
Abruptly Harry let go of the hand like it had burnt him and his cheeks reddened just the slightest bit – not enough to draw unwelcome attention but enough to ease Noel's clenched jaw into a confused and calculating frown. Harry laughed awkwardly.
The man's eyes met his for a brief moment before Harry was pulled away by Priscilla to greet yet more other guests he was not particularly interested in. Again and again during this evening, his gaze flew back to that man and was averted quickly whenever he was in danger of being caught. Gradually, the other's eyes shifted to him as well until it was unavoidable that their eyes would meet and lock.
Noel smiled and nodded. Harry swallowed and concentrated again on the rambling woman in front of him.
"You look like you could use a drink."
Noel didn't wait for an answer, but ordered two drinks from a servant.
"I don't know," Harry stuttered, only earning himself an amused smile.
"Hey, no reason to be nervous, English man. I don't bite. Not much at least," he added with a wink, alighting a beautiful blush on Harry's face.
"I'm surely not worse than You-know-Who."
Noel chuckled and Harry gave a small laugh himself, though it sounded fake and edgy.
"Why are you so awfully stiff around me? You don't seem to be that way around the other guests," Noel inquired at last with raised eyebrows. The waiter brought their drinks at that moment and Noel took them, holding one out to Harry.
"I… am not." Harry very well knew how horrible a lie that was and he let it show on his face.
"Oh yes, I have the feeling you are. So Harry Potter, is it because what Priscilla told you? Because I'm gay?"
Harry shifted from one leg to the other and darted his look about the room to avoid the other man's blue eyes.
"I'm really sorry about before and… I don't have anything against… you know…"
He gesticulated with his hands, spilling some of his champagne and looked at the man in front of him as if willing him to understand and just let it be. Again, Noel chuckled, his eyes shining predatorily.
"It's alright. You don't seem generally against the idea."
"What? No, I guess not. I don't…"
Like before Harry let his eyes dart to the side, so he only saw the widening grin out of the corner of his eye.
"Nor do you seem disgusted by it. And I 'ave noticed you staring at me a lot."
It was the first time that something French slipped in Noel's talking. Harry swallowed at this and blinked at the man. The next moment he let himself blush furiously when Noel's words dawned on him. He mumbled something inaudible in his glass before he took a swing of it.
"Excusez-moi? I didn't understand. But you don't 'ave to worry. I am not angry at you. Contrary, I am delighted. You don't 'ave a 'ero staring at you every day."
Noel smiled broadly again, almost wiggling his eyebrows at Harry. This time he did hear Harry's mumbled 'Of course' and took it as a positive sign.
"Say, Harry," Noel leaned forward, invading Harry's personal space. "Are you curious?"
"Oui, 'arry." It seemed the French accent became worse with every inch Noel leaned closer. Harry swallowed visibly again.
"Curious about things. You know about making experiences. 'ave you ever made experiences, 'arry?"
They were so close by now that their breaths mingled and mixed.
"What kind?" Harry all but spluttered breathlessly. Noel's grin became feral.
"The kind you can only make with a man."
Again Harry swallowed hard. His eyes were wide open, fixed on the face in front of his, his breath became shallow and his lips were red from biting. He only shook his head but could not speak.
"Do you want to?" The question was spoken seductively.
"I… I can't," Harry stuttered frantically looking around them as if suddenly remembering where they were.
Nobody really noticed that they were standing so close together; the night was too far gone. The people still there were either too drunk or preoccupied with their own wooing.
"Don't worry, I won't tell. We 'ave a nice evening and no one will know. I promise. Nobody wants to hear from gays anyway," Noel spoke enticingly in a smooth voice intended to break any restraints and sound trustworthy.
"We just leave separately and I'll give you a portkey to my 'ome. And if you don't like it, I will stop immediately."
Slowly, Harry gave in and it showed on his face. Noel smiled triumphantly.
A few minutes later, Harry received a blowjob on the man's loo. Noel left afterwards, and when Harry appeared right in his bedroom through the portkey sometime later, Noel lay on the bed already prepared. Harry was a little disappointed; he enjoyed leaning back and watching while they made themselves ready for him.
Harry liked those banquets and ministry functions; he never went home alone.
/end of flashback/