Author's Note: Many thanks to Kasey and Shannon for their beta work of this chapter and the rest of the story. Your input has been invaluable. Also, many thanks to those of you who have reviewed the story along the way. Your reviews leave me warm and fuzzy.
Chapter 25 Broken Hearts, Healed Souls
"Oh, Harry. I'm so glad to see you," Oliver greeted, pulling Harry into a bone-crushing hug. Harry just stood there limply, unable to respond when he knew deep down what he had to do, what he should have done weeks ago when the doubts had started plaguing him.
Oliver didn't seem to notice at first; no doubt assuming Harry's presence there would equal reconciliation from their fight during their impromptu vacation. Eventually he seemed to catch on that Harry wasn't reciprocating the embrace and he pulled back, a soft frown marring his normally lovely face. "Harry," he asked tentatively, as if he was afraid any sound would trigger the floor to break away underneath his feet.
He wasn't entirely wrong.
"We need to talk," Harry said, determined to make this as quick and painless as possible.
Oliver swallowed thickly. "I don't think I like the sound of that." The tone he used was teasing, but the quiver of his voice betrayed him and made the already acidic pit in Harry's stomach grow.
"You shouldn't," Harry admitted, trying to smile but completely unable to muster the energy.
"Harry, before you say anything, I'm sorry. I promise to never bail on you like that ever again," he swore, pulling Harry into his sparsely decorated flat. Harry followed him reluctantly into the living room, only because he didn't want to cause a scene out front.
"This isn't about the trip, Olli," Harry explained. "This is about so much more than that."
"What is it?" Oliver asked. "The media, the long hours, tell me."
"It's all of it, and none of it," Harry sighed, raking a hand through his wild hair. He hadn't slept a wink the night before after leaving Draco's flat. He'd waited until the sun came up to rush over to Oliver's house, unable to wait any longer to free Draco of the vows. Even if things didn't fall into place for him and Draco, Harry couldn't stand the idea of the blond in pain because of the magicks he'd used to help him. "This just isn't working."
"Harry, you can't say that. I know we've been arguing a lot more lately, but that's natural," he challenged, but Harry just closed his eyes and nodded.
"I know," he whispered. "It was step number six in Draco's program, but the problem isn't our arguing, or our jobs, or our different opinions. It's that I'm in love with someone else."
"What do you mean different opin- wait, what?" he balked, his dark eyes flaring wide.
Harry took a deep breath and huffed it out quickly, thinking it was best to yank it off like a bandage. "I'm in love with Draco."
"This is a joke, right?" Oliver asked, forcing a laugh. "This is your revenge for my walking out on the holiday you'd planned for us?"
"I'm afraid not," Harry replied, no laughter threatening to join with Oliver's, forced or otherwise. "It was your accusation that night that made me realize that you were right. I feel connected to him and I spent weeks trying to rationalize it, but it's not rational."
"So what?" Oliver scoffed. "You spend a lot of time with him, of course you feel connected. Maybe if you stopped seeing him-"
"But I don't want to stop seeing him," Harry interrupted. "Which is why I'm here to tell you goodbye. I never intended to lead you on, Oliver. I just had no idea the depth of my feelings for him until recently."
Oliver seemed torn between screaming, crying or punching something – or someone – but eventually just sunk down into the uncomfortable looking sofa and put his head in his hands. Harry chewed on his bottom lip, worrying it until it bled. He had no idea what to do here. Usually when he broke up with someone, there was a clear-cut reason why. 'Sorry, I can't date you anymore because you stole from me.' 'Sorry, this isn't working because you feel more like a brother.' 'My apologies, but you're sort of a prat and I hadn't realized how much I hate you until now.'
The problem here was that Oliver was perfect. He was kind, considerate, passionate, driven; all great things that Harry admired and that others would admire as well. But all that perfection meant nothing to Harry anymore, because all Harry could see were smirking lips and smoldering gray eyes and the man he wanted to spend the rest of his life arguing with and snogging with and raising a family with. Draco was his perfect, even if he was no one else's.
Harry rocked back and forth on the balls of his feet, completely out of his element. Should he stay and try to comfort Oliver, or would the Quidditch star be more comforted by Harry's departure? He had no idea. "Oliver, what do you need?" he whispered when he could no longer stand the silence.
"I need time away from you, Harry," he replied without looking up. "I wasn't lying when I said I loved you."
"I know," Harry rasped, feeling his heart wrench in two. He understood Draco's magic now, and he knew that this had been so real for Oliver. If not for Draco's presence in Harry's life, he and Oliver could have lived a long and happy life, but it wasn't meant to be. Whether Draco realized it or not, something had been working against them all along, as if part of the magic was confused and wanted Harry to be with Draco regardless of the vows they'd both made.
Or maybe it had nothing to do with the magic at all. Maybe Harry had just known, deep down, that Draco was his one and only, despite the fact that his infuriating brain seemed to interfere and tell him otherwise.
Harry turned to leave Oliver alone with his broken heart, wishing he could do something to repair it, and then realized with a start that perhaps he could. "I know it's probably too soon to think of it," he told the sullen man, "but you might want to pay a little more attention to Logan. I think he's crushing on you pretty hard."
Oliver glanced up from his hands, offering Harry a weak smile. "He's been increasingly less subtle about it since I started dating you. I'll think about it," he promised and Harry gave his ex a genuine smile before leaving the stark flat in lieu of someplace more comfortable. Preferably someplace that contained a snarky blond.
Draco hadn't slept a wink last night as his mind ran through his conversation with Harry over and over, wondering what he'd done wrong. He was desperate to figure out what had made the man flee back to Wood's arms. When he heard the knock on the door and noticed it still wasn't quite eight in the morning, Draco knew it had to be Harry. No one else would call on him at that hour, unless it was perhaps Oliver trying to seek vengeance on Draco's face for trying to steal Harry away from him. But then, how can one steal something that already belongs to them?
If anyone was doing the thievery, it was Oliver Wood.
He had himself quite worked up by the time he made it to the door, his wand brandished and leveled to hex the Quidditch star in the chest, but it dropped from his hand and clattered to the ground the moment he spied a dejected looking Harry Potter on his stoop instead. The man looked tired and depressed yet somehow lovelier than he'd ever been. It would be Draco's luck that Harry would come over here to break things off officially and still manage to seem perfect in Draco's eyes.
Bloody soul mates.
Harry opened his mouth, no doubt planning to crush Draco's heart beneath his heel as gently as possible, but Draco wouldn't allow it. He pressed a finger to Harry's lips and pulled him into his dining room. "Don't you dare make a peep until I've had my turn," Draco demanded, his stoic persona only wavering slightly as he hoped he could make Harry change his mind. He was determined to ignore the magicks and tell Harry what he'd wanted to tell him all along.
"You still have two steps left," he reminded the Gryffindor.
"Draco, I'm not here for dating lessons," Harry sighed, shaking his head in dismay.
"I said, not a peep," Draco warned again, wagging his finger in earnest. "Step nine is the confession of love," he told him, gulping down all the air he could get, hoping it would help him finish baring his soul before the magicks had their way with him. "Harry, I'm arse over heels in love with you. I can't possibly explain it, nor do I want to. I just know that I can't possibly imagine spending another day without you, and that you're more than just my soul mate. You're a brilliant Auror, a handsome hero and a fantastic kisser. I can only hope that you might choose to share yourself with me one day, but I'll take what I can get. Just please don't leave my life forever," he pleaded, despite his strict Malfoy upbringing. He knew he father was likely turning in his grave, but he couldn't muster the energy to care.
He waited for the Magicks to steal through him, searing off the last of his chances at life with such a bold admission and breakage of the vows he'd made, but it never came. And Harry was grinning. And then Harry was kissing him.
Draco said silent goodbyes to the world as he lost himself in the feel or Harry's lips, the stroke of Harry's tongue and the intoxicating flavor of Harry's mouth. Draco's fingers ended up lodged somewhere in the man's raven locks while Harry somehow managed to finagle his own fingertips beneath the edge of Draco's jumper, caressing the smooth expanse of flesh underneath.
Draco's entire body shuddered at the touch and the kiss turned hungry. He forgot to feel grateful that the Magicks had thought to give him this final pleasure; he was so enamored of the feel of Harry's mouth devouring him like a sticky sweet. Then a thought occurred to him, that perhaps the Magicks had already taken his life and that this was his eternal reward for the good he'd done in his life. In the end, it didn't matter, so long as Harry kept kissing him.
When Harry broke off the kiss, Draco nearly whimpered in protest, and only Harry's parted, swollen lips and lusty green stare turned that whimper into a moan. He dove for the beautiful hero, intent on capturing those lips once more, greedily wanting to take all he could before the punishment sunk in.
But Harry, it seemed, had other plans, and backed up just out of reach. "Before we start snogging again, I have something I need to tell you," Harry whispered, and though Draco was listening intently, anything said after the words 'snog again' seemed to have melted away in Draco's excitement. "I love you, too."
That, however, brought him crashing back down to Earth. "Pardon?" he asked, not sure he'd understood Harry correctly.
"It's been bludgeoning me over the head for weeks now and I'm sorry I didn't see it before," Harry explained, "But I'm hopelessly smitten with this perfect Slytherin," he whispered, trailing his fingertips along Draco's jaw. "I love you, Draco. I always have and I always will."
It took Draco's mind a moment to reconnect and stutter back to life, but when it did, all he could do was offer a wide grin.
"So, Oliver?" Draco asked, his eyes wide with hope.
"Over," Harry replied.
"You're sure?" Draco asked, but he was already stalking closer, filling the distance between them with his body.
"I've never been more sure of anything in my entire life," Harry confessed and seconds later, the pair were latched together again like a completed puzzle. Hands scrambled to free flesh from the unfortunate confines of clothing while teeth scraped along jaws and earlobes and the tender skin between.
Somehow they managed to navigate the stairs, leaving a trail of trousers and undergarments in their wake. Draco's bed was soft, but Harry hardly noticed because his soul mate was pressed into him, his smooth length grinding into Harry's thigh. This was how it was supposed to feel. Harry had no reservations, no doubts, and no questions as to whether it was right to give himself completely to the man in his arms. Harry shifted, bringing their erections together in delicious friction, eliciting a wanton hiss from his lover's perfect lips.
Harry hadn't even realized how much he wanted this, needed it, until the reality of Draco's gloriously naked body was pressed against his own. "Perfect," he whispered, and he wasn't only speaking of the pale man's form. Everything about Draco felt perfect to him. His hot breath against his neck, the lingering scent of wild vanilla bean that made Harry want to lick him up like a rich dessert, the way their hearts seemed to thud in rapid unison, it all whispered to Harry that he'd made the right choice.
Draco's fingers pinched at the hard nubs of Harry's nipples and made the brunet arch beneath him with a cry. "Mmm, I suspected you might like a dash of pain with your pleasure," Draco purred against the shell of Harry's ear.
Harry's eyes fluttered to half-mast at the sultry sound, made even more intoxicating when that wicked tongue flicked out to caress his skin, licking a hot path from Harry's nipples to his groin. "Fuck," he gasped, trying to angle himself into that perfect mouth.
"Not just yet," Draco teased, but before Harry had time to question or protest, nimble fingers wrapped around his cock and squeezed.
Incomprehensible mutterings flew from Harry's lips when the blond's mouth lowered onto his weeping prick. He began to suspect that when people referred to Slytherins as cunning, they weren't talking about a keen intellect, but rather their devious tongues. He found threading and tugging his fingers in Draco's silken hair only did so much to anchor him. His body craved more and more until he feared it would be too late. As much as he wanted this, their first time together, to last, Harry didn't think he'd be able to.
Luckily he had an eternity to make it up to Draco.
He muttered a wandless spell, hoping he got it right because he could scarcely breathe from moaning. When he felt his muscles begin to loosen and a slick substance coated his arse, he knew he couldn't have been too far off from the right incantation. Draco paused, surprised by this new development, and Harry took the opportunity to flip their positions.
With a startled 'oof', Draco found himself on his back, staring up at Harry as the ebony-haired man lowered himself onto his cock. "Sweet fucking Salazar," Draco hissed, gripping Harry's hips with all his might. "You're so…uhng."
Harry chuckled darkly at seeing Draco's praise lost in a carnal groan. With excruciatingly slow movements, Harry began to slide down Draco's prick, relishing in the feeling of being so filled. Having Draco inside of him was pure unadulterated bliss, and he nearly cursed himself when he realized they could have been doing this for weeks or even years.
Draco was clearly fighting to keep his eyes open, but Harry could feel both of their orgasms approaching as Draco thrust up into him with frantic snaps of his hips. Harry raised and lowered his body over and over, loving the effect it had on Draco, his lips parted and swollen as he cried out. Harry, too, tried to keep his eyes open, because he desperately wanted to watch the Slytherin come undone, but it was not to be.
One final thrust pushed Harry over the edge and he came violently, screaming Draco's name into the sex-warmed air of the bedroom, vaguely registering the feel of Draco's own release coating his arse. He collapsed on top of the blond, unable to move even if Draco had protested, which he didn't, and sighed against his neck. "I'm sorry for being so thick," he muttered when air didn't seem as hard to gulp down.
Draco chuckled, the sound vibrating through their joined chests. "I have plenty of time to get used to it," he whispered.
"So, what's the tenth step?" Harry asked, using the last vestiges of energy to raise himself up on his elbows and stare down at his lovely soul mate.
"Mmm, ten is the most important," Draco replied, nibbling along Harry's jaw. Apparently Harry's skin was quite distracting, because Draco had to be prompted once more to answer. "Oh, right," he muttered, flushing slightly. "Step ten is to repeat steps one through nine until we die."
"I like step ten," he whispered and Harry's grin soon turned to laughter as he placed a tender kiss on his soul mate's lips – the first of many millions that would follow.
The smell of fresh blueberries wafted into the bedroom, coupled with Draco's favorite Earl Grey tea, causing the man to reluctantly stir awake. "Harry?" he murmured, pouting as he noticed the bed was empty of his lover's delicious body.
"Right here, love," he called back, and Draco turned over to see Harry levitating a tray into their bedroom. As it grew closer, he saw that it was laden with food, enough to feed a small Weasley army, but it all looked delicious and smelled spectacular. A pile of toast – white, whole wheat and seven grain varieties – slabs of butter and jam, blueberry pancakes, French toast, scones, pumpkin juice and a small silver dome covered the surface of the tray, stacked so precariously that Draco was nervous for the safety of his duvet.
Once in place over Draco's lap, Harry came to stand beside the bed, placing a lingering kiss on the blond's eager lips. He never tired of kissing this man. Never. "For the Pièce de résistance," Harry announced in a terrible accent before removing the silver dome to reveal a thick, juicy sausage.
Draco couldn't help but chuckle warmly at the gesture, especially when Harry was grinning cheekily beside him. "Get into bed, you," Draco growled lovingly, patting the empty spot beside him.
"Happy birthday," Harry whispered as he climbed into his usual place in their enormous bed.
"You've outdone yourself, Harry," Draco admitted, staring at the pile of food, unable to decide what to start with.
"Well, I thought you might like to have something to eat before the game, but I didn't know what you'd want, so I made a bit of all your favorites," Harry replied with a blush.
"A bit?" Draco asked, his eyebrow arched in jest. "I hope you're planning on sharing, because if I eat all of this I won't be able to move for a week."
Harry chuckled and plucked a slice of sausage from the plate and took a bite. He winked as he swallowed it down; reminding Draco of what the naughty Gryffindor had been swallowing the night before, especially the way the grease made Harry's lips shine.
"It seems I'm not hungry for any of this," Draco purred, gesturing to the cluttered tray before grabbing Harry's jaw and tilting him up for a devouring kiss. "Mmmm," he groaned when they pulled apart. "That's much better."
Harry blinked lazily at his lover, a slow smile curling on his lips. "If you keep that up, you're not going to get a chance to eat. I'll be occupying your day in other ways."
"That's a pretty half-hearted threat to get me to eat. In fact, if you really wanted me to have breakfast, you would have threatened the opposite," Draco explained, a wicked smirk on his face. "Besides," he added, casting a stasis spell on the meal and maneuvering it over to the nightstand, "we have all morning to eat."
With that, Draco launched himself at Harry, capturing the man's lips and pinning him to the mattress. "We don't actually," Harry noted when Draco released his lips to suck at a quivering spot on Harry's throat. "Ung, it's already…oh fuck…noon," he gasped out.
It took Draco a moment to process Harry's words through the pleasure he was offering, but as soon as he did, Draco paused and sat up, straddling Harry's lap. "What?"
"You were up late last night, and I didn't want to disturb you," Harry reasoned.
"So you let me sleep until noon?" Draco balked, turning around to stare at the window. Sure enough, Harry had placed a darkening charm on the glass so that no sunlight filtered through.
"Technically, it was half past eleven," Harry pointed out. "You were up well past four!" he added when Draco shot him a withering glance.
Eventually Draco sighed and covered Harry with his body once more, placing sweet kisses along his jaw. It was unfortunate, because he really wanted to return the favor from last night – Harry had taken him to a popular new nightclub where they'd danced for hours and then Harry took him home and shagged him senseless. Draco couldn't think of a better birthday than that, but they had tickets to the Quidditch World Cup and probably should have been there already.
"You'll have to promise to make it up to me tonight," Draco breathed against the shell of Harry's ear.
"But we'll be staying in the Weasley tent tonight," Harry replied with a frown.
"I know. We'll have to be very, very quiet." Draco winked at Harry, sending a shiver through the man's body as he thought of all the wicked things Draco was likely planning. He would work doubly hard to make Harry moan and get them caught.
"Have I mentioned lately that I find your Slytherin cunning to be quite the turn on?" he asked, kissing Draco greedily before hesitantly releasing him so they could eat.
"Orange really isn't a good color on you," Draco muttered as Harry showed off his outfit.
Harry's pout quickly turned into a frown and he crossed his arms across his pumpkin-orange chest. "I don't think it looks good on anyone," he quipped. "Try it and see how you look," he challenged.
"Malfoys look great in everything," Draco muttered haughtily and cast a quick Charm that turned his navy robes into the garish color Harry was wearing. He waltzed over to the mirror, intent on proving his point, but the sight only made him curl his lip in disgust.
"But orange?" Harry chirped, finishing his husband's statement.
"Apparently," Draco muttered. "But it's still less unsightly with my pallor than yours."
"Good," Harry announced and waved his wand over his own attire, changing it to a deep blue. "Then you can be the one to root for the Cannons!"
Harry turned around and pretended to busy himself with the lacing on his trousers to better hide his smirk. The unthinkable had occurred, the Cannons and Puddlemere United would be battling for the World Cup, so Harry and Draco had agreed to each root for one of the teams, so that as a couple, they could show support for both. It had seemed a splendid idea at the time until a coin toss gave him the Cannons and the bright orange robes to wear.
"This was your intention all along, wasn't it, you little sneak," Draco grumbled, moving so that he could see Harry's snickering face.
"A dragon always rises to a challenge, and you, my love, are every bit your namesake," Harry pointed out; stealing a kiss before Draco playfully batted him away.
"Gryffindor, my arse," Draco pouted. "I think sometimes you're more Slytherin than I am."
"Blasphemer," Harry gasped and stole another kiss and this time he wasn't rebuked.
The game lasted well into the evening hours, both teams putting up an excellent fight, but in the end, Logan snatched the Snitch and Puddlemere won the Cup. Ron was pouting a bit, but he was too exhausted to do too much complaining and the mood in the Weasley tent was just as upbeat as it would have been had the Cannons won.
"I love what you've done here, Malfoy," Ginny cooed, running her fingers along Draco's cheek. Harry had managed to talk him into wearing matching face paint for the game – or perhaps, bribed him into, would be more appropriate. The sexual favors he'd be offering up over the coming weeks would be completely worth it though.
"Uhg, I nearly forgot about it," Draco balked, rushing off to the loo so he could scrub his face.
Ginny giggled and sidled up next to Harry. "You two seem happy," she noted.
Harry couldn't stop the grin that formed on his face. "We are," he confirmed. "Things have never been better."
"He told Clive that you cut back on your hours at the Ministry," she said.
"I did," Harry confirmed. "I want to spend more time with Draco, and now that the wedding hubbub is behind us, we plan to start looking for a surrogate soon."
"Oh, Harry! That's brilliant," she cooed. "You two will make great parents."
"I hope so," Harry sighed and smiled brightly as his lover emerged from the bathroom, his face tinged red from the numerous Scourgify spells he'd likely used.
"Well, well, well, what do we have here?" Draco asked as he slinked back to his place at his husband's side. He reached out and grasped Ginny's wrist, pulling the sleeve of her robe up to reveal a sterling charm bracelet. "Clive never mentioned buying you a bauble. It's not your anniversary, or your birthday. Gin, are you having an affair?" he asked in a conspiratorial whisper.
"No," she hissed, jerking her arm back and smoothing the fabric back into place. "It's something I bought for myself with a little wager money I won from Luna," she explained.
"What were you two betting on?" Harry asked, his eyes widening. "That looks like a pretty expensive piece of jewelry."
"No matter," Ginny replied with a wink and slipped away to Hermione's side, where they shared a whispered conversation and a laugh.
"Why do I get the feeling that they're talking about us?" Harry asked with a frown.
"Because I didn't marry an imbecile," Draco replied, pursing his lips as he watched the catty females gossip.
Their attention was quickly drawn to the flap of the tent, however, when a new couple arrived. Oliver Wood strolled into the celebratory melee of the Weasley tent with Logan on his arm. The man had taken Harry's advice, and after some delicate nudging from Draco and Harry, agreed to have their profiles matched through Draco's magic.
They weren't soul mates, but none of them had been expecting that. The pure match was rare, and Draco was rather fond of the fact that he and Harry's relationship was so unique. Still, Oliver and Logan seemed perfect for one another, and the magicks seemed to agree when a golden match was bestowed upon them. It came as a surprising relief to both men, because as selfish and greedy as Draco was with his Harry, he'd still felt a smidge guilty for being the reason Oliver was suddenly alone.
"Good game," Harry cheered, clapping both men on the back. "That last dive for the Snitch was impressive," he praised Logan. "Almost as steep as the dive we entered in our one-on-one," he added in a teasing tone. Logan flushed and ducked his head, making Harry laugh. "I knew it!" he goaded, unable to stop chuckling.
"Apparently he was trying pretty hard to get my attention for months," Oliver quipped, lacing his arm around Logan's waist.
"Well, we Gryffindors excel at ignoring what's right in front of our faces," Harry admitted, pressing an apologetic kiss into Draco's cheek.
"Why I ever fell in love with a Gryffindor is beyond me," Draco sighed melodramatically. "You're a bloody nuisance!"
"A nuisance that you loooovveee," Harry cooed in a sickeningly sweet voice.
"Prat," Draco muttered, tugging Harry into a deep kiss that was thoroughly inappropriate for such a public venue – a fact proven when whoops and catcalls filled the tent from every direction. Oliver and Logan clapped and whistled as Draco and Harry continued to snog, completely oblivious of all the attention they were getting.
The world was a perfect, shining place when the magicks were appeased.
Author's Note: Well, that's the end. I told you I was going to milk it. I hope you enjoyed it and if you're craving more, there will be plenty of stories to come. Thanks again to everyone who has reviewed this story. It's been my pleasure to entertain you all.