The Art of Slytherin Napping - by Sara's Girl
Disclaimer: JKR owns Harry Potter and friends. Foundations!verse and my original characters belong to me. As does this cup of tea, so stay well back! :)
I wrote a ficlet! I want to call it a drabble but I know it's not really.
This is not a) the Foundations!porn b) the Rainfall sequel or c) the H/C fluff. All of which are in the works.
It is without point. It is fluffy as fuck. I wrote it just now from under my duvet to cheer myself up because I am still fucking sick.
Foundations!verse, post chapter twelve. For groolover, in the hope she's having a better week.
Draco Malfoy is a multi-talented individual.
Harry knows this, and he knows better by now than to suggest otherwise, but he also knows that no person is good at everything and Draco is no exception: he is rubbish at sleeping.
Draco is the strangest sleeper Harry has ever encountered. He sleeps for only three or four hours at a time in an erratic pattern; he wakes up and wanders around the house half-dressed and muttering to himself at odd, hushed hours of the morning. Harry sleeps soundly these days and he only knows Draco's first-floor-ground-floor-kitchen routine because he has observed it for himself during the preparation for early shifts and the aftermath of the dreaded nights.
Sometimes, then, he sits down at the kitchen table with Draco; they don't look at one another in the dim light, and they don't speak, but if Harry stretches a hand across the worn table top he knows that strong fingers, warmed from Draco's ever-present coffee cup, will wrap around his and hold tight.
Harry usually leaves him to it, departing either for the hospital or for their bed, and when it's the latter, Draco always joins him in the end, slipping back under the sheets and tucking himself neatly around Harry, leeching warmth and breathing softly as though he's been there the whole time.
He always drapes the appropriated white shirt neatly over the end of the bed and empties a long, soft sigh against Harry's chest as he relaxes. It's the same sigh every time, and Harry's pretty convinced that Draco doesn't know he hears it. Either way, it's a beautiful sound, and that split second following it is perhaps the calmest that Harry feels at any point during the day or night. He waits until the breathing slows again, slides his arms around Draco, and floats away effortlessly into sleep.
And the thing is, Draco's limited and interrupted rest time during the night means that he often drifts off as soon as he's comfortable in the evening. Like now. It's only just after nine, but things are hard-going over at the Manor at the moment—Harry knows this because Draco has just spent a good twenty minutes ranting about the five new residents and Ginny being off sick and yet another visit from the Ministry inspector—and now he's flopped out across Harry's chest on the sofa, curled silently into his side with one hand twisted gently into Harry's t-shirt.
"How fucking dare they, indeed," Harry murmurs, amused, echoing Draco's last muttered complaint.
He knows the peace will last ten or fifteen minutes at best and just wants to let Draco sleep. It's easier said than done—the man is such a ridiculously light sleeper that Harry barely dares to breathe; the smallest movement rouses him and Harry is caught between utter exasperation and the achy, twisty warm feeling that he calls 'yes' and the rest of the world would call 'loving Draco Malfoy'.
Harry's always hated staying still for any period of time; he likes to think of it as a preference for activity rather than Draco's assessment that he's 'a bloody fidget', but the point remains. Here, though, he finds he doesn't mind too much. Sprawled on his back and pinned by quite a bit of Draco's unconscious dead-weight, he knows that in theory, he should feel trapped, should feel panicky. But he doesn't.
They're wrapped and tangled and fitted together with the practised ease that comes only with time and many, many occasions just like this, Harry's arms tight around his insomniac idiot with one hand flattened against soft cashmere and the other threaded through rant-tousled blond hair. Harry inhales deeply, breathing in the familiar scent of lemons that's all Draco and the accompanying drift of stale coffee and Fyzal's cigarette smoke that's his work day, and he closes his eyes, fucking drowning in contentment.
Draco sighs in his fragile sleep and Harry smiles without opening his eyes as those fingers uncurl slightly from his shirt. The funny thing about this particular kind of contact—the 'spontaneous' napping— is that it is always Draco who initiates it. Demands it. Unbelievable as it still seems sometimes, Draco is warm, tactile, responsive... he just doesn't want anyone to know about it. Harry suspects, though, that Rita Skeeter's article put paid to Draco's scary image some months ago.
"You are such an idiot," Harry whispers, slipping his fingers from Draco's hair to lightly run his thumb over the soft strip of leather around his wrist. And Draco is, too, but Harry supposes he's known that for long enough.
"Harry!" comes the stage-whisper from the fireplace, and he opens his eyes but does not move. "It's Cecile!"
Glancing at Draco, who is still sleeping peacefully all over him, Harry sighs. He knows better than to hope Cecile will give up and go away if he ignores her, and in all likelihood she'll just start yelling. So, very, very carefully, he raises a hand and waves his fingers over the back of the sofa so she can see them.
She's a loud bugger but she's very observant, and sure enough, after a moment there's a huff of soft laughter from the fireplace.
"Well, good evening, Harry's left hand. Should I expect to see any more of him?"
Harry gives her the finger and she laughs again.
"Can I come through? I want to ask your advice about a patient and it's a bit disconcerting conducting a consult with your fingers." Cecile pauses. Harry cringes in anticipation. "You're not doing anything weird, are you? Because honestly, if you're naked and Malfoy is covered in custard then I'm going to be—"
She falls silent when Harry holds his hand up in what he hopes is a stern manner. Custard-related insinuations aside, the fact that fiercely-independent Cecile is seeking his advice is enough to intrigue him, plus, he's never been able to say no when someone asks him for help. He glances at Draco, who is still sleeping, hair falling into his eyes and fanning out messily against Harry's wine-coloured shirt.
He gives Cecile the thumbs up over the back of the sofa and seconds later there's a whoosh of flames. She looms into view and stares down at Harry with amused green eyes and arched eyebrows.
"Harry, you fucking sap," she says after a moment, wrapping skinny arms around a fat brown file. Her voice is pitched at an unprecedented decorous volume but she's still dressed in her bright green work robes and Harry thinks it's a good job that Draco is sleeping.
"I don't want to wake him up, that's all," Harry almost-whispers, pulling a face at her and definitely, absolutely, categorically not flushing pink with embarrassment.
Cecile snorts. She walks around the sofa and sinks to the floor, settling near Harry's head with her feet tucked underneath her and her file resting on her thighs.
"Look at the state of you two. What have you done to him?"
"Nothing!" Harry whispers, affronted. Draco shifts lightly closer and Harry slides his fingers back through the pale hair. "He's tired."
"He's snuggling," Cecile corrects with a smirk.
Harry snorts. "Shut up, Cecile. He's sleeping."
Muddy green eyes glow with mischievous delight. "He is snuggling. Cuddling. Nuzzling. Et cetera. Look at him, he's wrapped all around you. Slytherins don't snuggle," she says, waving a demonstrative hand.
Harry glances at the man curled up against him and bites down on a smile, chest awash with warmth.
Harry shakes his head and holds out his hand for the file. Carefully, he opens it, becoming bold at Draco's continued unconsciousness and balancing it carefully on Draco's back so he can scan Cecile's small, sloping handwriting.
"This one does," he says softly, letting the daft smile bloom on his face. "Have you tried a Contineo?"
"Yeah, but—" Cecile falls silent and her eyes widen, and Harry thinks he knows why.
He glances down at his chest and can just about see one open grey eye through the swathes of blond hair. Draco doesn't bother to lift his head.
"Two things, Mackenzie. One, you smell like vomit. Two, if using the Saviour of the Wizarding World—" One hand lifts a fraction of an inch to affect a lazy air quote, "—as my own personal pillow isn't Slytherin, then I don't know what is."
Harry snorts and absently strokes Draco's lower back. So much for not waking him.
Cecile sniffs the sleeve of her lime green robe and grimaces. Nose wrinkling, she folds her arms and rolls her eyes good-naturedly. "Alright, Malfoy. You'll out-Slytherin us all."
Silence. She frowns and stares at Draco, and Harry follows her gaze. "Draco?" he whispers, but there's nothing but soft breathing. He's asleep again.
Harry points at the bookcase across the room. "You can borrow my book on Combination Therapy if you want, there might be something in there," he whispers, at her expression of disbelief adding, "Well, I can't move, can I?"
Cecile gets to her feet without grace and goes for the bookcase, muttering darkly to herself all the way.
"I hope he's really fucking good in bed," she whispers loudly over her shoulder.
Harry just tightens his arms around a hopefully-sleeping Draco and smiles.
"No custard," mumbles Draco.