Author's Note: So, here is another one-shot I was working on while Madame Scarlet's is giving me the run around. A little angsty, a little smutty, just how I like it. It wasn't beta read, so please forgive any errors.
For the Best
I hate him.
I hate the way his metallic eyes sparkle victoriously when I agree to meet him again. I hate the way his seductive voice causes my knees to buckle and my resolve to waver. I hate that he makes it impossible to stay faithful to my wife and our vows. I hate the way he can fall asleep so easily in the crisp white hotel sheets, as if his own conscience is completely unmarred by our affair.
As I lie there and watch his stunning chest rise and fall with even breathing, I can't help but feel a twinge of guilt. Somewhere out there - in the real world, the one I leave behind every time I meet Draco here - Ginny's putting Lily to bed and wondering where I am. Another late night at the office – at least that's what I will tell her, not that she'll believe me. I want my marriage to work, I want my kinds to have a healthy and unbroken family, but I want Draco more.
It's selfish I know, a horrid thing to even consider when I risk losing so much, but Draco Malfoy stole my heart a long time ago, and no matter how much I beg and plead, he refuses to give it back.
Sometimes I don't want it back, and to be honest, I don't usually put up a very good fight to try and retrieve it.
Occasionally I'll allow myself to imagine getting to spend my life with him without the guilt of cheating looming over my head.
But then I wake up, and the world is black and white again, no longer the piercing gray of my lover's eyes.
With heavyhearted reluctance, I place a lingering kiss against his swollen lips and slip quietly out of bed, making sure I make the least amount of noise possible as I redress and head for the door. I should probably wake him so that he can go back to his own wife, but I don't want to. Not only would that delay my own departure when his delicious lips seek mine out again, but I don't want to share him and I don't care if that makes me a hypocrite. I dream of the day Draco shows up on my doorstep with the announcement that he's left Astoria, but that day never comes. So in the end I'm always leaving his side in terrible shame, a shame that sullies my love for him.
It's easier this way. That's what I keep telling myself as I wander through the barren hotel corridors toward the lift, wondering if this will be the time Draco will stop me and pull me back into his arms. It isn't, of course, and my heart breaks a little more.
I hate him. I love him.
The platform is bustling with eager children waiting to board the Hogwarts Express. My Albus is amongst them for the first time, nearly bouncing with the effort to contain his excitement and nerves. Ginny and I assure him, despite his older brother's teasing, that he'll get into Gryffindor, and that we'd love him even if he didn't, but I know it's of little help to assuage his fears. James got into Gryffindor, and he would feel ostracized if somehow he were sorted differently.
I felt his worry as if it were my own, having nearly had my entire life altered with a simple Sorting Hat's declaration. At the thought of being thrown into the wrong House, my eyes drifted up without my permission, scanning the gathered crowd for some sign of my own dirty Slytherin, only when I spotted the shock of white-blond hair did my gaze halt. It was Draco of course, no one else had hair as beautiful and silky as his, or flesh as soft and pale. I could almost remember its taste, salty and clean on my tongue, even though it had been almost a year since I'd been in his bed. He stood there beside the waiting train in dove gray robes; his hair longer than it was last I saw him. One arm was around his wife's waist - Astoria looked unfortunately lovely - and one hand clamped his son's shoulder as he guided him to the landing.
Part of me wanted to call out, tell the entire station that I had carried on an affair with this hauntingly beautiful man and that I wanted to claim him as my own. I felt like a doltish Neanderthal at the thought, as if I could drag Draco away by his luscious hair to my cave, keeping him bound there to use at my pleasure. A slow smile curled my lips at the edges from the image I'd conjured, and Draco tensed, as if he could hear my thoughts, and looked in my direction.
Our eyes locked for the first time in months of careful avoidance and we stared, pulled inexorably toward one another. Draco broke the trance first, nodding curtly in my direction, his gaze leaving mine to settle on Ginny and my three beautiful children before returning to his own son.
The loss of his stare pained me, but I shoved the emotion away, knowing it was for the best as I ushered Albus on to the train behind his older brother and cousin Rose. Ginny, Lily, Hermione, Ron and I stood and watched the train depart, waving just in case Albus or James were looking for us. As I turned to leave, I almost ran into Draco, his face set into a common sneer as his smoldering gaze lingered on my surprised features. I saw a ghost of a smile on those lips, a smile that I was confident was a rare thing that only I, and maybe his wife and child had ever seen.
"Potter," he greeted coolly, extending his hand for me to shake. I took it at once, without hesitation, just to feel the soft caress of his fingertips. Instead I felt the scratch of parchment and quickly extracted the note he was trying to discreetly pass, shoving it in my pocket when I pulled away. "It seems the halls of Hogwarts will be riddled with the Potter-Weasley brood before long."
"Malfoy," I replied in turn with a subtle tilt of my head. "At least we're not adding to the number of Slytherins in the world. Merlin knows we have enough of them scheming their way through wizarding society."
It was our own little game to mock and condescend one another in public, foreplay if you will. It always gave me a thrill to see Draco's eyes alight with challenge and we certainly couldn't let on to the rest of the world what went on behind closed doors. It was part of our arrangement. No one would know. No one would even have cause to suspect.
"Indeed." His sneer amplified for a moment before slipping back into a customary smirk, his shining eyes never leaving my face for even an instant. "Although, I do fancy a bit of competition every now and again, and I can hardly get that from a Gryffindor."
"Don't you think you're a bit too old to be seeking out challenges anyway?" I asked, my face alight with mirth. Ron snorted behind me, and Ginny tensed at my side, her arm slipping to encompass my waist possessively. I backed down; I could almost feel her hurt like a palpable force against my side. I'd promised to stay away from him, promised to put our marriage first. I'd swore to her that the last time I came home reeking of sex and his cologne that it would be just that - the last time. And it had been.
But now, seeing his defiant features and his seductive gaze, I wanted nothing more than to break my promise to Ginny and ravish him right there in front of everyone.
My words, or Ginny's protective grip seemed to cause him to falter, and he bowed mockingly, throwing his sheet of long flaxen hair behind his shoulder as he righted himself. "Well, I'd like to say that it was nice to see you, Potter, but I'm afraid the pleasure was all yours. I do hope we refrain from bumping into one another any time in the near future. Good day."
With that, he spun elegantly on his heel and guided Astoria away with a hand placed at the small of her back. That simple touch made the flames of jealousy grow within me and they couldn't be squelched.
"You promised," Ginny whispered harshly next to my ear, reminding me of my duty to her. I wasn't allowed to be jealous of Astoria Malfoy, not when I had a family of my own to consider.
"I haven't broken that promise," I replied quietly, though I wanted to. Merlin how I wanted to.
Ginny glanced up at me, her dark eyes penetrating through the depths of my soul and after she seemed to discover what she wanted, her stare dropped and she shifted Lily from her hip to my arms. Ginny was never a subtle woman, and her message spoke loud and clear. 'Hold onto our daughter instead of your lust for Malfoy.' That would have been an easy thing to do if it were merely lust that fueled my want for Draco.
Back at home I hung my robes in the closet while Ginny prepared lunch. I would have to go into the office later to catch up on the hours I had missed that morning, but it would be futile. My mind was befuddled with images of Draco's long lashes blinking up at me, the way his hand had felt in my palm when we greeted one another.
With a jolt I remembered the note and I scrambled to retrieve it, my hands shaking with the sudden anticipation it had caused within me. Was it a goodbye letter? We'd never really had a proper one. Or was it the letter I'd been hoping for all along, the one pronouncing his undying love and affection for me?
It was neither of course, and I should know better by now not to get my hopes up where the blond is concerned, but alas, I haven't learned much in my thirty-six years. The note was brief, unsigned and impersonal, its meaning would have no significance to anyone but me.
'Tonight, Seven o'clock, you know where.'
"Very discreet," I muttered quietly and cast a quick Incendio on the scrap of parchment. I thought about it all through lunch, what would I do? Should I go? I wanted to but I'd made a promise to my wife that I wouldn't see him again. Perhaps if I went, I could give myself closure, tell him goodbye and feel content in the finality of it.
That's what I would do. I could tell him how I felt, tell him that I'm moving on and give him one last goodbye kiss. Just one wouldn't be breaking my promise too badly.
I'm sure Ginny could tell that I was distracted through lunch, but she didn't mention it again as she kissed my cheek and sent me on my way. The Ministry sucked the life out of me every day, but it somehow felt worsened by my impending infidelity. "One last kiss," I told myself, shaking my head as I realized Draco might not even want that. He might be summoning me to our old hotel room for another reason altogether. I nearly laughed aloud at how preposterous that idea was. There was no need to meet me there if all he wanted was to have a discussion about something inane. Our arrangement was based around intimate exchanges, not friendship.
When the time of my descent into heavenly hell approached, I made the fire call to Ginny, telling her I'd be late tonight because of missing so much that morning. She just nodded and told me to be home as soon as I could but I could almost feel her disbelief rushing at me through the cold, green flames. It might have been my own guilt spurring that hunch, but I doubted it. She was too clever not to see the signs written all over my face.
The hotel was posh, expensive. Some seedy motel would never do for someone like Draco Malfoy, but it didn't matter to me either way. The sheets could be nine hundred count Egyptian cotton or bargain basement rejects for all I cared. I felt just as dirty and just as wrong either way. Even my trainers seemed to scream 'cheat' against the marble floor as I made my way up to our usual suite.
The sight of Draco standing in the window, his silhouette blazing in the setting sun, made all of my guilt melt away in an instant. I shut the door behind me and stepped further into the dark room, waiting for him to acknowledge me in some way, but perhaps it was better if he didn't. Maybe if I could just stand here and gaze upon him that might be enough.
"You came." It was a statement, not a question, so I didn't bother with an obvious answer. "I wasn't sure if you would."
"I wasn't sure either," I told him honestly. "What do you want?"
Draco turned then, one side of his face in shadow the other lit up in amber fire, his hair falling like burning silk against his back and shoulders. Oh, how I wanted to run my fingers through that hair, feel it whisper over my naked skin, pull it tight within my fists as I came screaming his name.
"You know very well what I want," he stated clearly and crossed the room to me in long quick strides, cupping my jaw roughly in his palm as he crashed his lips into mine. I hadn't gotten to tell him that this would be our last encounter, that it was over between us when I walked out that door, and suddenly I was glad the words had never left my lips. I couldn't stand to part with him now, and I let him feel my want as I clung to him, my hands twining around his slim waist and my tongue delving into the depths of his familiar mouth.
His lips were urgent, as if trying to make up for all the time we'd spent apart. I felt his tongue vibrate as he hummed appreciatively into my mouth, his fingers wandering to the buttons of my shirt, making quick work of them in his haste to get me disrobed. I shrugged out of my restrictive garments, my hands automatically seeking out the buttons on his own shirt, but he had none. He pulled away for a moment, somehow managing to smirk through his ragged breathing, and pulled his black jumper over his fit abdomen and muscled arms, casting it in the pile with my own discarded clothing. "You're just as stunning as I remembered," he purred against the shell of my ear. "I've missed you."
The words drilled a whole straight through my core, tugging at my groin and filling me with need, the need to hold him, the need to fill him, the need to be all he ever wanted. "You're a wonderful liar," I whispered, claiming his mouth so that he couldn't reply. When we broke apart, his eyes flashed with teasing menace as he grabbed my upper arms and guided me toward the bed.
"Apparently I'm also too old," he quipped, echoing my words from that morning on the platform.
I shot him a crooked grin and reached for the lacing on his trousers, shivering at the noise they made hitting the floor. "Care to prove me wrong?" I teased, laughing as he growled at the challenged and flipped me onto the bed.
"It's my life's mission to prove you wrong, Potter," he snarled, removing my trousers and underpants with a fastidious spell. I gasped and barely resisted the urge to shield myself from his probing gaze. He'd seen me less than dressed a hundred times before, but somehow I was just as nervous now as I was the first time.
I didn't have a moment to be modest though, because his hot, wet mouth was exploring my body with interest, lingering at my neck, then one nipple, then another, taking every bit of sensitive flesh into his mouth and licking, sucking, biting, whatever he could do to make me cry out. When he reached the small area just above my hip he gazed up the long line of my body and smiled lasciviously. He still remembered all the spots that would make me scream for him, and he enjoyed marking me and sending me back to Ginny with his love bites carefully masked beneath glamours and vanishing creams.
I clawed at the sheets as he bit me, sucking the soft skin beneath his teeth further into his mouth as I hissed and squirmed below him. I didn't even realize I'd slipped into Parseltongue until he gasped and pulled away, only to slam our bodies back together as he climbed up to devour my mouth once more.
"Again," he demanded, his voice breathy and full of need.
"I love you, Draco," I told him, pouring the words I could never say aloud into his ear in a string of ancient sounds he'd never understand. "I love you more than anything in this world and I never want to give you up."
"Mmm, I love the sound of that," he groaned, rubbing our erections together. My heart floated in my chest for a moment until I remembered he was talking about the sibilant tone, not the words themselves. We'd agreed from the start that our relationship would never progress past this point of carnal gratification. He loved his wife and I loved mine. He and I would never be.
My body practically shook with need and I fought him for dominance, maneuvering his lithe form until I was straddling his lap. His eyes darkened with lust and he gasped as I crawled lower, my fingertips scraping into his luminescent skin as I trailed them down his stomach and thighs.
Teasingly, I let my mouth hover over his glorious cock. The tip was already glistening from his arousal, leaking into a sticky pool on his flat stomach. I wanted to rub my thumb through it and spread it around, making him squirm at my touch, but I preferred my tongue to be the first thing that he felt on his cock, the wet heat of my mouth the thing that sent him into a moaning frenzy.
His lovely erection bounced, seeking contact with me in whatever way it could find and I blinked up at him through thick black lashes. I loved that he enjoyed watching, that no matter how intense his building orgasm became, his eyes would never waver from my face.
Draco's smoldering gaze practically begged me to suck him, but it wasn't enough. I wanted to hear him plead for my mouth, beg me to give him the earth shattering pleasure that only I could provide. "What do you want?" I asked innocently, running the tip of my tongue along my lips in anticipation. The movement caught his piercing stare and he shivered, fixated on the course of my tongue and the proximity of his throbbing erection.
"Suck me, Potter." The words were stunted between gasps of ragged breathing, but I shook my head, letting my breath ghost along his velvet skin, watching as his cock bobbed just out of reach of my mouth.
"I didn't hear the magic word," I whispered, licking a shallow stripe along the shaft. He hissed and cursed, pulling the word 'please' from his mouth was like pulling a brick through a funnel. I was successful though, as I knew I would be, and he moaned his 'please' into the air in the most seductive way that it hardly seemed unnatural on his lips at all.
As a reward I swallowed him whole, relishing in the feeling of Draco filling my mouth and throat, the velvety soft skin of his cock caressing my tongue as I licked and sucked at his length. He cried out for me, a strangled, beautiful sound that goaded me forward, increasing my pace as I slicked my fingers in his own sticky release and focused their attention on his puckered entrance.
The intrusion made him arch from the bed with a muttered curse, only falling back again when I hooked the digit inside his tight cavity, brushing against his prostate. "Fuck, Harry," he groaned, and I loved it when he slipped and called me by my given name. "So fucking good, faster," he ordered and I obeyed, speeding up the movement of my finger to match that of my bobbing mouth.
When I added a second finger he bucked against me, and I had to use my free had to pin him to the mattress. I wanted full control of Draco's orgasm, so that he would know for a fact that I was responsible for the shuddering pleasure that coursed through him. It was my prize for being his beckoned whore. Astoria could never provide this, could never reduce him to a pile of shuddering flesh like I could.
I wasn't usually so forceful, but this was our last time together and I needed some kind of reassurance, some kind of guarantee that he would crave me when I was gone. I retreated from him, smiling at the whimpers of loss he uttered into the air. Roughly I grabbed him, lifting him slightly so I could better angle my straining cock against his entrance.
He tried hard to shove me inside of him, squirming and pushing against me, but I had the better leverage, and I held his hips still as I teased him with just the head of my slicked prick. My fingertips fondled the sensitive skin of his inner thigh and trailed up the back of his knee and back down again, all the while he growled and cursed at me to get on with it. But I wanted this to last. I wanted to take him slowly and leisurely, so I slid carefully inside of him, filling the tight channel only an inch at a time, watching as expressions of bliss and frustration mingled on his usually stony façade.
"Who do you belong to?" I asked, my gaze heavy against his. Those stormy eyes cleared for a moment, the lust stripped away as he seemed to realize the weight of my question. This was no longer a game or a way to taunt one another into salacious actions. This was more.
He clenched around me, trying to distract me from serious things but I would not falter on this aspect. I needed to know that he wanted me on a deeper level than brilliant release. "Who, Draco?" I pressed, inching out of him slowly, warning him of the consequences of ignoring the question. "Who owns this?" I asked, wrapping my fingers around his cock.
"You do," he answered, because it was an easier question than the all-encompassing one I'd asked a moment ago.
"And this?" I asked, letting my hands drift along his body, worshipping his flesh with my fingertips.
"You," he rasped, letting his head fall back for only an instant before his gaze was rooted on me once more.
"And this?" The question was softer this time, almost whispered, as I placed both of my hands on his chest, over the thrumming beat of his heart.
"Harry." His voice was broken, caught somewhere between caution and pleading, his face wincing as he said my name, as if he knew even that was a betrayal of our agreement, of our marriage vows. "Please don't do this."
"I have to know," I told him, "I have to know how much I affect you."
He closed his eyes, effectively blocking me out and shook his head. "This isn't fair."
"No," I replied. "It's not." But I didn't relent and even without looking at me he knew I wouldn't.
"You do," he whispered at last, folding his own hands over mine so that I could feel his pulse on either side. "I belong to you, Harry. All of me. I'm yours."
I gave him the smile he deserved, soft, sweet and full of love. It was a beautiful lie, Draco was the master of his wicked tongue, and he was able to wield it however he thought it would best help his cause. Right now he wanted me to bury myself inside of him, fill him with pleasure that would leave him sated for hours, so he told me the pretty things that he thought I wanted to hear.
I both loved and hated him for that, but I couldn't hold my passion back any longer, so I thrust forward into him, closing my eyes and letting Draco's cries of pleasure wash over me. Those at least were honest and true.
We didn't last as long as I would have liked; our mutual arousal sent us both screaming in release as he emptied his seed into my hand and mine filled his willing arse. With practiced ease I shifted away from him, falling limply to the bed beside where he sprawled panting and spent. Silence stretched for miles between us, and I thought the blond had fallen asleep until I heard the rasp of his voice in the air. "Harry?" he asked and I let my head fall to the side, looking at him with intent eyes, urging him to continue.
"This was the last time, wasn't it?"
The question hung there for what felt like hours, I neither wanted to acknowledge or deny its truth just yet. I still had a little bit of time before Ginny would grow too suspicious and I wanted to live in the lie a little while longer.
"I can't cheat on Ginny any more," I told him, and that was the truth. I would give it all up if he asked me to, but he hadn't, so I needed to keep my word to my wife. "I promised her I wouldn't come to your bed again."
"She knows?" he asked, clearly surprised.
"She suspects," I corrected.
"What if I made you promise me that you'd return?" he asked. His hand roamed down my hip and pulled me near, pressing our groins together again.
"She'll divorce me."
"Is that so bad?" he asked, running the tip of his tongue along my bottom lip.
I narrowed my eyes and pulled away, not answering his question. "Astoria will divorce you."
"She can't," he replied easily, moving to press against me again. He wouldn't let me slip away so easily this time.
"Malfoys don't divorce, I suppose?" I speculated, but he shook his head.
"They typically don't, no, but she can't divorce me because I divorced her eleven years ago," he stated plainly.
"What?" My tone was dull and unbelieving but I knew my mouth was gaping wide at his admission. "But I just saw you with her today."
"And?" he asked, his brow knit into a confused frown.
"And you were touching her," I pressed, willing him to understand my unarticulated reasoning.
His mouth widened into a smug grin. "Jealous?"
I wanted to deny it, tell him 'not on your life', but he'd already seen the truth in my eyes, so what was the point? "Of course I was jealous."
"Astoria has always known about us," Draco whispered, pushing a lock of my sweaty hair behind my ear. "We had an amicable split because we were each able to provide what the other wanted. I wanted an heir, and she wanted money, outside of that she cared very little what I did, so a divorce and rights to a third of my estate suited her perfectly."
"I don't understand. Why didn't you tell me this before?" I asked.
"I had no intention of trying to pressure you into the same arrangement with your wife. You still have Lily who is not due to attend Hogwarts until next year. What would you have done? Left Ginevra to be with me? Even if you had, you would have eventually resented me for ruining your marriage. Besides, we had an arrangement," he sighed.
"Damn the arrangement," I growled. "You mean to tell me that I've been in love with you for the last decade and you've been available?! You fucking prat!" I nearly shouted as I shoved him away from me, standing up and furiously pacing the floor beside the bed.
"In lov…Harry?" he asked, pulling himself away from the comfortable bed to tentatively approach me. "You never said…." he began and shook his head, clearing that line of thought away. "It's always been all business with you. You even sneak out when I'm asleep."
"You were the one who made the 'sex only' arrangement in the first place," I countered. "If you wanted things to be different between us, you should have told me."
"I thought it was a good idea at the time," he scoffed. "Merlin, Harry. I'd just had Scorpius and you'd just had Albus."
"We made this arrangement long before that and you know it, even before either of us got married," I huffed.
"The wizarding world frowns on same sex unions, Harry. You know that. It's all about propagating our race; even the Muggle-borns understand that much. It would have been too hard for us."
His face was heating up to match mine, and we were so close, both ignoring the fact that we were still nude in our mutual fury. "Fuck the rest of them, I only ever wanted you!" I shouted and got to say nothing else before his mouth closed on mine and we were sinking back into the bed again, hands grappling for purchase on one another's exposed flesh.
"Stay with me," he asked, his fingers pressing into my hips, grinding our renewed erections together.
"I shouldn't tonight," I told him regretfully, I wanted nothing more than to hold him and sleep with him and wake up in his arms but I had to confront Ginny, had to tell her that our marriage was over.
"Please," he whispered, this time with no prodding or promise of silken touches making him say the words. How could I refuse?
Instead I kissed him and nodded, falling desperately in love with him all over again.
The house was cold and dark when I got home the next morning, though honestly, it was more like afternoon. Draco woke me up with the most amazing blowjob and then I returned the favor in the shower, making us both dirty again. I felt a twinge of lust sneaking up on me just thinking about it and I smiled to myself as I turned on the light.
Ginny was there, it seemed she'd fallen asleep on the sofa waiting up for me and I quickly flicked the light back off, hoping I hadn't disturbed her. Silently I crept upstairs to pack a bag, Draco was making arrangements for me to stay in the Manor with him. I had to admit; it would be awkward living in a house with Draco and Astoria, but he assured me that she resides in a completely separate wing and they rarely see one another except when necessary.
My foot made a creaking noise on the stair and I heard Ginny stir, I paused, hoping she would go back to sleep, but she didn't and I heard her call out my name. "Are you just getting home?" she asked.
"Er, yeah," I mumbled. There was no reason to lie to her, to continue to string her along, but I felt ill for what I was going to have to say nonetheless.
She was silent for a while, but then I heard her wand swish through the air and I prepared myself for a vicious Hex. All that came however was light and the room brightened to reveal her sleepy form still sitting on the sofa. She looked me over and nodded, as if confirming something for herself. "The promise?"
"I'm sorry, Gin," I told her honestly; there was nothing more I could say. She knew the rest of course.
"Harry, I want a divorce," she stated evenly, as if she'd been saving those words up for a long time, never hoping to utter them. I couldn't blame her, not at all. She deserved better than a washed up hero who loved someone else.
"I understand." I did, and it was for the best I knew, perhaps it could even grow into something amicable like Draco had with Astoria, but there was one thing I needed to know if she'd fight me on. "And the kids?" I asked, the only concession I was not willing to budge on.
"That's a non-issue, Harry. You've always been a perfect father. I wouldn't take that away from them," she replied, her tone turning haughty and defensive. "I want you to leave."
I let her have her dignity, let her cast the final stone, let her say that it was over. I didn't care who said it, especially since we'd both known the truth for some time. "I tried to be good for you," I told her, but she shook her head.
"You didn't try hard enough," she replied, and she was right. I had been in love with Draco before I even slipped that ring on her finger. She'd always known that she was going to have to share me with the world, I was too sought after by the media and the Ministry and every witch or wizard who still considered me their hero, but I don't think she ever realized to what extent she would have to be willing to share me, and she'd reached her breaking point with Draco Malfoy sharing my bed.
But I'd always belonged to Draco. I loved him, and I hated him and I think from that first day, that first argument, long before our first kiss, I belonged to him. And now he was done sharing what was rightfully his, and I was returning to his waiting arms for good.
It was for the best.
Author's Note: So, this was supposed to be an angst ridden ending, but the story didn't want that. I don't think it suffered any from the change.