Word Count: ~13 700
Beta Acknowledgement: Huge, massive thanks to kazfeist, rainien, and Krystle Lynne for their hard work on this!
Harry wasn't unaware that people had tended to take unusual jobs after the war.
In fact, he sometimes suspected he held the only normal career out of all his friends. As an Auror, he was what everyone expected—no more, no less. Though that didn't stop people from changing their expectations as often as their socks. As it stood, however, he was fitted into a nice little niche in which he felt comfortable and secure.
How Hermione could say the same writing her new knitting books, or Ron, with his broom-prototype-testing, Harry hadn't a clue.
He was thankful, though, that they lived in a world where his friends were free to pursue such odd careers. It meant they knew they were safe, and Harry had given them that. All of them. He wasn't arrogant. It was the truth.
But when he'd heard from his assistant, Dennis Creevey, who moonlighted as a one-man band in Diagon Alley, that Draco Malfoy had quit the Auror Corps to follow his own passion, Harry started to feel a little left behind.
If even Draco was following this pipe-dream trend, it was time Harry took notice.
But being an Auror was his dream. Maybe there was no problem. So he didn't want to teach Ancient Runes to Devil's Snare or invent a potion to turn fronds into frogs. He was happy.
"…but apparently, he can't get any business, Mr. Potter, thanks to, you know… the Dark Mark," Dennis finished in a hushed voice, the final words snapping Harry's attention back.
"Who are you talking about?" he asked, shuffling his papers as though he'd been immersed in them instead of taking a leisurely jaunt down reminiscence road.
"Draco Malfoy, sir," said Dennis conspiratorially.
"Malfoy can't find work?" That was a concern. Not because Harry had feelings for the prick. Though the way he'd immediately mentally defended himself gave Harry a moment's pause. No, it was bad news about Draco because the blond was close to destitute these days.
Death Eater reparation had taken a toll on many coffers. There weren't many rich pure-bloods anymore. Even the so-called blood-traitor families like the Weasleys had a few bad apples somewhere in the barrel, and restitution grew exponentially depending on how many members of the family had taken the Mark.
The Malfoys had little left but the entailed Manor. And their pride. Always that.
"No, sir, they won't even let him take out ads in the Daily Prophet. I heard him talking about it with Jestlin from the law department."
"That's discrimination," Harry said, affronted on Draco's behalf. But he shook his head. Most companies reserved the right to refuse service to anyone. The Prophet could easily claim that their ad space was spoken for. Still.
"What's he taking an ad out for?"
Dennis looked confused. "To advertise, sir."
The sad thing was, Dennis wasn't very good at being a one-man band, either.
"I meant what is he advertising? What's he do now?"
"Oh!" Dennis said, blushing a little. "He's decorating houses. Interior design, he calls it."
Interesting. Harry happened to have a house in desperate need of a little… design.
Draco whistled. "You weren't kidding, were you, Potter?"
Harry's grin wanted to be triumphant, but he wrangled it into chagrined. "Nope."
Rubbing his arm after Draco's wayward clipboard smacked him for the seventh time—officially too many to be deemed accidental—Harry led Draco up the stairs.
The blond stopped halfway up, biting his pale pink lower lip and crooking a finger at the clipboard, which sailed to him, knocking Harry on the hip in its journey. Harry glared at the inanimate object, the smugness rolling off the thing in waves. Trust Draco to have a snooty clipboard.
Draco tapped the banister with a perfectly manicured fingernail and tsked, shaking his head. As he made notes, so did Harry.
Working with Draco in the Corps had been probably the most eye-opening experience of Harry's post-war life. It was one thing to be a little unclear as to which naughty bits he'd rather have his hands and mouth on; it was another to want Draco's bits to the exclusivity to all others. Pussy no longer appealed. Cock no longer appealed. Draco appealed, and wasn't that a kick to the face? It had certainly felt like it when Harry'd realised he no longer needed to follow Draco around because they were both obviously the good guys… but he did it anyway.
"Well?" Draco said in a tone that suggested it wasn't the first time the word had passed those lightly bitten lips.
Harry cleared his throat and gave his best clueless look. It wasn't appreciated.
"I asked you what you thought about wrought iron accents, including the railing."
"Sounds fine," he said honestly. "What you think is best, really. I'm pants at all this."
"Yes, apparently you've a head for the clouds and not much more," Draco mumbled, passing Harry on the landing, who was quick to sidestep the clipboard as it sailed malevolently past his head.
"So, did you do any training for this? I can't imagine you'd have had the time—you only just left the Corps three weeks ago." Draco gave him an appraising look. "Didn't you?" he added meekly, trying to hide the fact that he knew the exact date.
Draco hummed noncommittally, poking the rotting wainscoting before wiping his finger on his robes. "No training. I've always had an eye for colour and design. I must have changed my own room every year, and most others in the Manor, once I'd proven myself to—" Draco cut himself off and frowned a little. He didn't say anything else until they reached Harry's room.
Harry'd even cleaned it, but that didn't seem to impress Draco, whose discerning eye cast over the old-fashioned, haphazard, and eclectic furniture. Harry didn't do anything but sleep in this room, so he had never seen the point of changing it to his liking.
Draco's eyes widened and he shook his head as he took rapid-fire notes. Harry very much wanted to see what he was writing, especially as Draco was casting clandestine glances at Harry from time to time.
"Did you have any colours in mind for this room?" Draco asked. "I've no problem with your… lack of instruction with the rest of the house, but I imagine even you might have an opinion or two on your master bedroom."
Harry looked around as if his battered bureau or ancient armoire might give him the answers. "Um… no pink?"
Draco's quill moved ostentatiously across his page, and Harry couldn't help but feel that it was a sarcastic note.
"Look," Harry said a little wearily, "I just want a house I can come home to and not remember all the horrible things that happened here or because of here. I want to be able to relax and be calm. I don't want to see anger and death around every fucking corner, and I don't want to be reminded of how much this house was hated and still is."
Draco's eyebrows rose at the end of the speech. He looked as though he wanted to say something, but only nodded slowly and made more notes. Harry didn't care anymore what they said. He hadn't realised he felt so strongly about Grimmauld Place. He'd been sure he'd hired Draco just to get closer to the man and possibly seduce him, or more likely, badger him into capitulation. But now it seemed they would both be getting something out of his arrangement, even if Draco didn't fall for his dubious charms.
Almost two hours later, Draco had seen the entire house. He had at least fifteen pages worth of notes, and he'd taken photographs of certain rooms. A few instruments flew around and took measurements—room size, air flow, light gradient… Draco definitely had the tools of the trade at his disposal.
"Care for a cuppa?" Harry asked when it looked as though things were wrapping up. He had never spent so much time alone with Draco, and he didn't quite want to give that up just yet.
Draco opened his mouth immediately, but then he sort of winced and tilted his head. "Sure."
Turning his back, Harry grinned as he led Draco into the kitchen. A few spells would have had the tea ready in moments, but Harry said it was better to do it the old fashioned way, and Draco didn't disagree, though a silver eyebrow arched a little.
"So can I ask why you left the Corps?"
"I'd assume so," Draco drawled. He seemed to notice something he'd missed before, and flipped through the pages on his clipboard to make an additional note.
Harry frowned. Oh. "May I ask?"
"You may. I, of course, might not answer."
"Of course," Harry said, rolling his eyes. Fucking Slytherins and their games. "So, Malfoy, why did you leave the Corps?"
"It wasn't what I wanted," Draco said slowly, and he looked almost surprised at his own answer. "It was a means to an end. I wanted to do something about the state of our name. It didn't take long to figure out that the tarnish wouldn't be rubbed away with the pretty silver polish of a new job."
"You didn't give it very long," Harry said, his voice questioning and not admonishing. He more than understood what Draco had wanted to do. Many, many former Death Eaters and children of Death Eaters had suddenly expressed urges to become Aurors or Healers. It was no coincidence. Many went the way of Draco, giving up after public opinion had not shifted in the slightest. Pure-bloods would always suffer for the sins of the past, long after the ones who had actually caused the damage had died. That was just the nature of war.
"I didn't need to. I couldn't do my job properly because people didn't trust me. Not the public, not my partners, not my bosses. There was no point. I was fighting a losing battle, a battle whose outcome had been determined long before I'd decided I wanted to try to turn things around."
Draco gave that strange little wince again and straightened his shoulders. "I should go," he said, making as if to rise.
"I haven't even finished with the tea," Harry protested, thinking that his plan to keep Draco longer by taking forever with the tea had backfired.
"Maybe another time," Draco said, gathering his notes.
"How about tomorrow?" Harry asked with a lamentable lack of suavity.
Pausing in his movements, Draco eyed Harry sharply. Harry made sure to look as innocent as possible, though he suspected it came across as hiding something. It usually did.
"I owe you tea," Harry interrupted.
"Just tea, then? And we'll talk about the changes I'll be implementing?"
"Sure, if you want," Harry said easily.
"Because it wouldn't make sense for me to… for me to be here otherwise," Draco said slowly, as if he were working out an Arithmancy problem.
Shrugging one shoulder, Harry said, "'Bout as much sense as anything else, I reckon."
"Are you—" Draco began, but he cut himself off. He looked very wary, so Harry doubled up on his innocent face, which Draco eyed with scorn.
"So I'll see you tomorrow," Harry said, not wanting Draco to finish his sentence or the thought that was undoubtedly accompanying it. Harry wished he'd taken Ginny up on her offer to teach him to flirt. There was a reason he'd barely gotten any sex in the last few years after the war, and it wasn't for lack of interest on his part. He just had no idea how to convey his thoughts without sounding like a complete prat. And a bloke like Draco probably had blokes like Harry coming on to him all the time—
But Harry didn't much like to think about that.
Walking Draco to the door was a Herculean feat, but he did it with, he thought, aplomb.
"…And Ginny is a mascot for the Harpies, and Luna Lovegood has her own nudist colony out in the Forbidden Forest. So far it's just her and her husband, I think."
Draco laughed, and Harry tried not to stare. The blond man laughed more often than Harry would have thought possible, though that wasn't to say he didn't think Draco should be able to. He very much wanted to hear that sound as often as possible. Actually, Harry had a list of sounds he'd like to hear from Draco's lips. Contented sounds, pleasantly surprised sounds, intrigued sounds…
Actually, Draco was making such a noise at that very moment. Unfortunately, it was over the tea.
"You're right," he said, giving Harry a smile that was genuine and a little amazed. "The tea is so much better when you do it by hand."
"Told you," Harry said good-naturedly, taking a sip of his own tea. He licked his lips clean of the liquid, and he noted with interest that Draco's eyes followed the movement before he made the increasingly familiar grimace and looked away.
If Draco were attracted to men, Harry's battle could at least be fought with weapons with which he was familiar. If Draco were attracted to Harry, well, Harry just had to not mess up long enough to get Draco addicted to him. After that, it wouldn't matter that Harry was messy and confused and sometimes didn't recognise himself in the mirror. Draco would already be hooked, and they'd figure all that stuff out together.
"So, I didn't have much time to work on the sketches as you insisted on meeting again so quickly," Draco said, and Harry frowned a little. Surely Draco didn't think this was all business? Would Harry have to be more obvious in his intentions? He thought he had been. "But I did manage to throw a few things together to give you an idea. I also need to know exactly how far you're willing to go with this."
"All the way," Harry said immediately. Then he flushed at his words and looked away. Draco looked amused as he gestured for Harry to scoot his chair closer.
"I mean, do you want me to work with your existing furniture and… accessories?" Harry thought Draco was probably referring to the troll's leg umbrella stand and the mounted house-elves' heads, still fully equipped with rabbits' ears from Easter.
Harry considered the house. "I think there might be a few pieces that would be worth saving, but I'll leave that to your discretion. If you see something that you can work with, go ahead. If you think it'd be better to just start totally fresh, that's what we should do."
Draco's quill was moving quickly, and Harry saw him write Full discretion before angling the page away.
"You're the expert," Harry finished softly, touching Draco's arm softly. He bit his lower lip and worried it as Draco's expression flitted from shocked to curious to just this side of aghast.
Which didn't really bode well for Harry.
Draco stood quickly, staring at him and once again, he had the distinct feeling that Draco very much wanted to say something.
"I'm here in a professional capacity, Potter," he bit out.
Harry wasn't schooled enough to adequately hide the disappointment on his face, but Draco's expression didn't soften. "I just thought—"
"Well, you were wrong," Draco said haughtily, and Harry's lip tried to sneer at the all-too-familiar tone that Draco had used through their years at Hogwarts.
"I think you're really quite—"
Again, Draco cut him off, which Harry was a little grateful for, because he'd no idea what foolish and revealing thing he'd been about to say.
"I don't date."
And that wasn't quite what Harry'd been expecting to hear. "At… all?" he said lamely, trying to wrap his head around it. Even Harry, in all his admitted fumbling, had a few dates a year.
Draco looked uncertain for a long moment. Then he shook his head. "And I especially don't date clients," he added, his face scrunching.
Harry suddenly realised that the whole wincing thing actually meant something. It wasn't just an affectation or a quirk. Draco did it when he was lying or hiding something!
"So if you didn't work for me, you might be willing to go out with me?"
Harry didn't get to test his new hypothesis because Draco Slytherined out of answering the question. "If you plan on firing me, I don't think I'd be amenable to a date after that."
Laughing, Harry shook his head. "I wouldn't fire you," he said honestly. "But maybe I could… wait?"
Draco huffed. "Harry, I think this is a bad idea. I'm going to do my job—nothing more. If you hired me just to get me into bed—"
"No!" Harry immediately interjected.
"Good. Then let's both be adults. I'll owl you with my thoughts, and you can approve or reject them."
Harry rather thought there'd been enough rejection for one day, but he didn't say as much. "I approve," he said with a sweeping gesture. "I have absolute confidence in your abilities."
Draco sighed. "I appreciate that. I'll work on the plans, and I should be able to start in about a week. Would you prefer I used magical means for the basic things—wall colour, permanent furniture Transfiguration, things like that—or the Muggle way, which still involves a bit of magic for expediency's sake."
Harry wanted to ask which method would take longer, but he suspected Draco wouldn't take that the way it would be intended. Or maybe he would, and that was the problem. So instead, he asked, "Which way do you recommend?"
"The Muggle way will last longer. It is more time-consuming and the results might seem a little uneven at first, but it truly is the better way in the long run. It's also a little more expensive—"
Harry waved his hand. His vault was undented. He lived spartanly and barely spent his own money, let alone the fortunes bequeathed to him.
"Buy whatever you need and send me the bill," Harry said, unconcerned.
Draco opened his mouth to say something, but he swallowed hard and looked down, eyebrows drawn. Harry thought he was making a note, but when he looked, Draco was only pretending to be writing something.
And then Harry clued in. "Actually, I have a better idea," he said, thinking quickly. "I'll give you access to my vault, temporarily, of course, and you just take whatever you need. Don't go mad, though; I don't want eight hundred Galleon wall fixtures or anything like that." Harry laughed.
Draco looked relieved, and Harry wondered when the blond had become so easy to read. It was obvious to Harry that Draco didn't have the capital to make large purchases and then wait for payment. Harry was his first client, and Draco certainly wouldn't have the clout with businesses to put anything on credit.
"Harry, you don't have to do that," Draco said softly. His words sounded forced and as though they hurt him to say.
"It's easier for me, actually," Harry lied. "This way I don't have to keep getting more and more gold. You'll have to do the dirty work." Harry laughed convincingly, and Draco smiled a little. "I'll have a key for you next time you're here," Harry added.
"I'll see you in a week, then."
"A week," confirmed Harry, and it was a promise.
If not a date.
Every time Harry came home from work, another room seemed to be finished. Draco worked quickly, quietly, and efficiently.
His eye really was impeccable. Harry would admit to being a little nervous, not wanting Sirius' old home to end up looking like the Malfoy Manor in all its moneyed gaudiness, but he needn't have worried.
The bedrooms were done in calming earth tones with subtle themes. If asked, Harry couldn't really describe the motifs, except with words like 'butterbeer,' 'evening,' or 'vacation.' The rooms left an impression, subtle but definite. None were outrageous, but none really blurred into the next.
Harry's bedroom hadn't been finished yet, but Harry didn't mind. There was still a lot of work to be done; Harry only wished he could take a week off to annoy—or rather, seduce—Draco.
Walking in through the front door, Harry immediately set off to see which room had been made over that day.
Ah, the study. One of Harry's favourite rooms so far. His old, massive desk had been refurbished and now its wood gleamed with promises of a job well done. The walls were a gentle tan, the crown moulding mahogany, which matched the rest of the furniture in the room. Harry sat back in the new leather office chair, feeling like a king.
He jumped straight up like a cat when Draco ran into the room.
"Oh!" he shouted, not used to being surprised, especially in his own home. "I didn't realise you were still here."
Draco looked just as startled. "I was in the basement, looking for another bookshelf. I thought I'd seen one down there when you gave me the tour, but I couldn't find it."
Harry stood, carding his fingers through his hair. "Er, I really like what you did with the room, Draco."
"Good," Draco said, half-turning as if to leave.
"Why don't we both go down to the basement and see if we can't find that bookshelf?" Harry suggested, immediately noticing that Draco was going to bolt.
"It's not really… important," Draco said, his nose wrinkling a little in his now-familiar lying tell.
"Nonsense, the artist wants a shelf, and the artist should have a shelf," said Harry, leaving the room and giving Draco little choice but to follow.
The basement was dimly lit, but Harry increased the light with a simple spell. Like many storage spaces in Grimmauld Place, the basement was just about packed floor to ceiling with junk, artefacts, furniture, and boxes. There were narrow aisles between all the stacked boxes, wide enough for one person to traverse safely.
"How about back here?" Harry pointed down one of the aisles that led further into the morass. Draco seemed sceptical, but he weaved his way through, looking a little nervous at the heaping jumbles.
Waiting until Draco was almost at the end of the narrow pathway, Harry followed him. Draco would have no way back out until Harry decided to turn around and leave. Which Harry had no intentions of doing until he made it perfectly clear that he had Draco in his sights.
"Shit!" Draco cried when he turned to come back down the aisle, only to find Harry in his way.
"Sure it's not back there?" Harry asked softly, pretending to look past Draco into the mess.
"It's not back there, Potter," Draco snapped, crossing his arms over his chest.
Harry took a step forward, and another when Draco equally retreated. Eventually there was nowhere left for Draco to go; an immovable stack of boxes was behind him, and on either side, boxes and furniture were piled high.
"You know, Draco, I'm really glad you accepted my offer… to work for me, I mean." Harry bit his lip. Draco looked pretty pissed, and Harry knew he was capable of some pretty impressive magic. Luckily for Harry, he wasn't going for his wand, but that could change any moment.
"Starting to regret that, myself," Draco snapped.
"Look," Harry said, putting his hand on Draco's wrist and ignoring the glare that followed. "I really like you. I have for a while. I know that must seem strange—" Draco snorted, and Harry took that to mean he found it very strange, but no matter. "—But I do. You're different than what I expected, in a good way. If you would just give me a chance—"
"Merlin's scrotum, Potter, I told you in no uncertain terms: I don't date. Period. Full stop. End of story. I don't. And I won't. And if I did, it wouldn't be with you."
Harry was pretty sure that he understood what Draco was saying, but he wasn't really used to taking no for an answer, especially when Draco's body language was singing a different tune. He was doing that little squinty tick, and Harry knew, just knew that Draco wanted to kiss him.
So it seemed the most reasonable thing in the world to lean forward and let Draco do what he really wanted.
A muffled 'mmph!' and Harry had Draco's back against the boxes behind him. Despite Draco's fairly absolute denial, he didn't try to push Harry away at all, and when their lips finally met, Draco's mouth opened under Harry's almost immediately.
Kissing Draco was like playing with matches. It was warm and interesting and a little dangerous, because you never knew how fast or how hot it would burn.
"Yes…" Harry hissed, pulling back to nip at Draco's full lower lip. Draco's warm breath was sweet against Harry's mouth, little panting puffs that told Harry exactly how exciting Draco was finding the kiss.
Harry dropped the match and lit another one, and this kiss burned slower. Harry's mouth moved against Draco's in a reverent slide, showing him that Harry wasn't all bumbling insistence. Draco's tongue darted out, slick and hot, and Harry enticed it into his own mouth, where he sucked on it lightly before following it back out.
Kissing and kissing because he knew any moment it would be over, Harry employed all his little tricks. Flicking his tongue against Draco's palate, making him give a little 'Ah!' of surprise, which Harry quickly muffled with a hard and fast press of lips.
Draco didn't seem to mind the half-ferocious, half-sentimental kiss, so Harry kept it up as long as possible. He badly wanted to throw his hips against Draco's and frot them both to a lovely completion, but the kissing was too good to ever end, even if his cock was straining to connect with something, anything.
And all too soon, Draco's hands were pushing at him, and his mouth wasn't quite the nicest place to be anymore.
Harry regretfully pulled out of the kiss and took a half-step back, giving Draco room. "That wasn't okay?" he asked softly, his mind switching out the boxes behind Draco and replacing them his own bed sheets. Draco looked ravished, and it was a good look for him. His cheeks were suffused with blood, his eyes dark and slightly wild, his hair mussed—Harry hadn't realised his hands had been there, but he knew now they had been.
"No, Potter, that was not okay! What kind of arsehole forces himself on someone who just, very explicitly, said that this type of this is not wanted!"
"But it seemed like you liked it," Harry said defensively, hating the guilt that was flooding him now that the blood was travelling back to his brain. "Shite. I'm so sorry, Draco. I really shouldn't have—you're just so…" Harry scrubbed his face. "Fuck."
"What?" Harry asked, lifting his face from his hands.
"Are you completely daft? Move!"
Harry noted an almost panicky nuance in Draco's voice. He turned and quickly walked up the pathway, Draco following him at a healthy distance.
Harry wanted to die. He'd definitely fucked up beyond any and all chance of fixing this.
"Draco, I'm sorry about—"
"Doesn't matter. I'm leaving now. I'll be back tomorrow morning and gone before you get home."
Stunned and a little stung, Harry remained in the basement while Draco quickly ran up the stairs. The Floo, which had been opened to Draco, sounded, and Harry was alone.
A vicious kick sent a stack of boxes tumbling, but it gave Harry no real satisfaction.
"I can't believe you're still after him."
Harry sighed and dropped his head into his hands. He seemed to be doing that a lot lately. He shot a baleful glance across the table at Ron, who stared back, unmoved.
"It's different," Harry insisted. He lifted his hand for another round, and Rosmerta brought their drinks over with a speed that belied the busyness of the pub. He sipped his Firewhisky slowly this time, trying to savour the hot, tart taste.
"Yeah, and it was different in school, too, wasn't it? Always following him around, practically stalking him, you were."
"Shut up, Ron. I was right, wasn't I?" But Harry wasn't in the mood to argue over the past. He'd moved on. He was a different person now.
"Listen, I think you might be coming on too strong. No means no, and all that."
"Argh!" Harry growled in frustration, glaring at all and sundry who dared to eye him curiously. "He makes me crazy."
"And you love it," Ron quipped, downing his drink.
"You know, this was almost easier when you were angry at me and yelling about how evil Draco is," Harry observed.
"But now I'm having fun. And I'll be the first to admit—well, maybe not the first. But now I'll admit that he's not the bloke he was in school."
Draco had been a year behind the two of them in Auror training, and while Ron had never actually spoken to Draco, to Harry's knowledge, it was clear to anyone who cared to see—and some who didn't—that Draco Malfoy was at least trying to make amends.
"He's even more infuriating," Harry opined. A breeze across his back made him look toward the door.
"Well," said Ron, eyes gleaming unnaturally, "if it isn't the man himself."
Ron was right. Draco Malfoy had passed through the door to the Three Broomsticks and was now taking a seat at the bar. Harry narrowed his eyes. The only people who sat at the bar on weekend evenings were those wishing to take someone home.
So much for 'I don't date,' Harry thought viciously. A tall brunet immediately sauntered up to Draco as Harry watched carefully, but Draco only looked him up and down and turned back to his drink. The brunet walked away, a bitter look on his face. But that didn't seem to deter anyone, if the way Draco was being eyed by both men and women was any indication.
"I can't believe this," Harry muttered, unaccountably hurt.
"What? That Malfoy wants to get laid as much as the rest of us?"
Harry looked pointedly at Ron's wedding ring, and Ron rolled his eyes. "Of course I meant by my wife, you git," he said, shaking his head. He got a wistful look in his eyes and Harry sneered. No one should be that happy once married.
Another bloke approached Draco, and Harry watched with trepidation as the new meat was considered and passed over. A sigh of relief ripped his Firewhisky, and he took another drink.
"Are you going to go talk to him?" Ron asked, and Harry was uncannily reminded of awkwardly and clumsily asking Cho to go to Hogsmeade with him in fifth year.
"Erm, I don't think so," Harry said slowly, not taking his eyes off Draco. A young woman approached this time, and Draco didn't even bother give her the once-over. A few days ago that would have thrilled Harry, but now it just hurt more because it meant Draco might have, eventually, become interested. If Harry hadn't been such a pushing prat.
"Why not? Harry, you're a good catch. Don't sell yourself short! Malfoy would be the luckiest guy on Earth if he could land you."
Harry smiled gratefully at his mate. "Thanks, Ron. But I don't think he'd agree." He twitched his head in Draco's direction. And to Harry's horror, someone had finally passed the initial inspection. Draco was gesturing for a tall, sandy-blond man to have a seat beside him. Harry didn't recognise the fellow; he could be an axe murderer for all Draco knew!
Really, Harry was honour-bound to protect him.
And with that thought in mind, he didn't let Draco out of his sight for the rest of the evening, ordering drink after drink and trying to be stealthy in his observation. Really, Draco needed Harry to protect him—he was inviting disaster, talking to a stranger like that. Honestly.
"Use the loo," Harry eventually mumbled, getting up from his chair and grabbing the back of it for support. Perhaps he'd had a few too many refills on his stakeout. "Don't let 'im leave," Harry whispered conspiratorially. Ron's eyes widened and he nodded, lips twitching.
Harry nodded once and made his way to the restroom.
Upon washing his hands, the door opened and Malfoy walked in, all arrogance and lemon scent. Fucking irresistible.
"Malfoy," he greeted in a low voice, drying his hands with a spell.
Draco didn't seem shocked to see Harry. "Potter. What are you doing here?"
"What am I doing here? Not picking up tricks, that's for sure!"
"Oh, that's real nice."
"What are you doing here?" Harry countered, dreading the answer.
"Having a few drinks," Draco said as if Harry was daft and it was completely obvious.
"Oh? And who's your friend?'
"I'm here alone, Potter, which you know, as you've been watching me all night."
"I thought you'd started to call me Harry," said Harry, conveniently forgetting that Draco had stopped when Harry had rather rudely forced himself on the man.
Draco's glare showed that he certainly hadn't forgotten. He turned on his heel to leave the loo, and Harry raced to think of something to make him stay.
"I like your grey robes better!" he said loudly. He resisted the urge to smack himself across the face at his random and useless comment.
Draco stilled. "What's wrong with these robes?" he asked stiffly, running a hand down the front.
Shit. That was supposed to have been a compliment, not an insult.
"Nothing," Harry said quickly, crossing the distance between them but still giving Draco enough room to feel comfortable. "I like these, too." And he did. They were black with ivory accents, making Draco's skin look paler and his hair gleam like moonlight on snow. "It's just that the grey ones make your eyes look amazing, like glittering gemstones… or something." Harry laughed nervously.
Draco took a step forward, though he didn't seem to realise what he was doing. Harry froze.
"People don't say no to you very often, do they… Harry?" he asked quietly, his eyes keeping almost uncomfortable contact with Harry's.
Thinking about it, Harry realised that was true. "They don't to you, either."
"No," Draco said musingly. "They don't. But they do listen when I say it."
"I will, too," Harry promised blindly.
"Hmm," Draco hummed, running a finger over his lower lip slowly. His eyes—like gemstones now even without the grey robes—took in Harry very carefully, and Harry got the feeling he was getting the same scrutiny that the men at the bar had been given. He had the feeling, though, that he wouldn't be found wanting.
"I have some ideas I'd like to talk to you about," Harry said, wishing he'd mastered the habit of thinking before he spoke, especially in situations with Draco Malfoy.
"Oh?" Draco asked, stepping even closer.
"About the… the rooms, you know. In my house."
"The rooms in your house," Draco repeated, his eyes smiling.
Harry nodded quickly.
"All right," Draco announced, his back straightening. He took a step backward, and Harry followed as though affected by a gravitational pull. "On Monday, I'll stay until you get home from work and we'll have a talk about the rooms. In your house."
"Great," Harry said, smiling like a loon and not caring.
Draco turned and left the loo, and Harry realised the man hadn't even used the facilities. He followed, thinking that maybe Draco had just been so affected by him that he'd forgotten, and that he would appreciate Harry reminding him.
But Draco was at the bar, talking to that sandy-haired man, their heads close together. The man's mousy hair looked ridiculous next to Draco's gleaming white-blond silk, and Harry felt the urge to tell him as much.
However, the man left his barstool and followed Draco out of the Three Broomsticks. Harry frowned. That wasn't right. Draco didn't date. And Draco had a date with him the day after tomorrow!
Harry ran toward the door, seeing Ron jump up from his seat to follow. Once outside, he immediately spotted the couple, the stranger wrapping his arms around Draco's waist. Draco's arms were moving to encircle his neck, and Harry's stomach pitched.
"You don't date!" he shouted, stalking toward them.
Draco stared at Harry in disbelief before saying, "This isn't exactly a date, Potter."
Then they Disapparated, and only Ron's intervention stopped Harry from trying to go after them.
Harry groaned and shifted onto his stomach. He groaned again and rearranged his cock. Stupid cock. Always making decisions for him.
The rustling of his duvet make his head throb. Stupid sheets, being so noisy.
And then memories of the night before crashed around him.
Stupid Harry. Stupid, stupid, stupid Harry!
Draco must think him psychotic.
Harry showered begrudgingly, though he felt better after. This was all Ron's fault. The prat had been egging him on all night, trying to get him to act on his feelings for Draco, which was apparently Ron's favourite game these days.
Walking down the hallway, Harry noticed the door to Sirius' old room was open. He closed it without thinking but then stopped a moment later. Opening the door, Harry's heart fell as he saw the new décor. He hadn't realised this room had even been done.
Harry hated it.
Actually, Harry didn't much mind it at all, and had it been any other room, he never would have thought twice about the classy icy sage walls and oak furniture. The dark grey accents made the room masculine without being overbearing. It was something he wouldn't mind in his own bedroom.
But this was Sirius' room, and Sirius would absolutely abhor it.
Shaking his head, Harry left the room and went to make himself tea. The image of the room seemed to burn his mind's eye. After a while, he couldn't take it anymore.
He jotted a note to Draco and sent it with Meadlin, his owl. Meadlin looked at Harry reproachfully as if to ask if he really wanted to send that. Harry glared at the owl, muttering under his breath about snarky birds and snooty clipboards before going back to his tea.
Almost an hour later, his Floo sounded. Harry put down the Daily Prophet and went to greet his guest.
Draco looked out of breath and out of sorts. "What's the problem?" he asked quickly, looking around.
"It's Sirius' room," Harry said, running his fingers through his hair. He wasn't sure what the protocol was for something like this. He'd given Draco permission to do whatever he wanted, but Harry just couldn't let the room stay as it was.
"Which room is that, Harry?" Draco asked slowly.
"I'll show you." Harry led Draco up the stairs to Sirius' room. They both stood in the entrance.
"I don't understand," Draco said. "This room's been finished."
"It's just that… it isn't right."
"Okay," Draco said slowly. "Potter, I am trying very hard to keep from hexing you, so please appreciate my restraint. You pulled me away from my… home—" He winced, and Harry wanted to snarl at the implication that Draco been about to say something more like my bed which is occupied by one bar slut with ugly hair. "—On one of the only days I have had off since I started working for you because you don't like the way the room looks? Your owl said it was an emergency!"
"It is," Harry insisted. He gestured into the room—how could Draco not see the problem here?
"Sirius hated Slytherins. This room is done in green and grey. He would never, ever spend a night in such a room!"
Draco faced Harry slowly, with an uncertain look on his face. "Harry…"
Harry was getting really tired of the way Draco switched back and forth on his name. It was confusing.
"You know that Sirius is… gone, right?"
Harry rolled his eyes. "Don't be so fucking daft. Of course I know that."
"Then why would it matter if Sirius would like the room since he'll never be staying in it?"
Hearing Draco say it like that made him simultaneously sad and angry. "It's the principle of the thing. I'd like to keep this room more… like Sirius. Something he would have liked. In his honour, you know?"
Draco crossed his arms over his chest and cupped his elbows. "No problem. Really. So you just want me to fix Sirius' old room, then?"
"Yeah, that'd be great," Harry said, relieved.
"And this so-called emergency had nothing to do with the fact that you knew I had company?"
"I'd forgotten," he said meekly, knowing there was no chance in hell he'd be believed.
"Right," Draco said sceptically.
"Listen, about last night, I'd had too much to drink, and…"
Draco raised an eyebrow and waited.
"…I shouldn't have been so… rude."
Sighing, Draco left the room and Harry quickly followed. "Make some tea, Harry."
Harry did, the wizarding way. He wanted to make sure Draco at least stayed that long.
"When I said I don't date," Draco began, adding copious amounts of honey to his tea, making Harry bite his lip in order to not protest the abomination. "I meant it. I haven't been on a date in years. Since before the war, actually. But I'm not celibate."
Harry stirred his tea and tried to seem worldly. "So you just…?"
"Oh," Harry said. He didn't know what to say. Harry didn't just fuck. He'd never had a one-night stand in his life, nor did he want one, especially with Draco. He'd had sex on the first date, sure, but that hadn't been the intention, and there'd always been contact afterward.
"So you see, it's best if we just keep this arrangement strictly business."
"Or," Harry said, heart racing, "we could do it your way."
"My way," Draco said flatly.
"You know, just a one-off."
"What in Merlin's name makes you think I would want that with you?" Draco asked, eyebrow arched.
"The way you kissed me, for one," said Harry simply. He didn't much like the idea of just having sex with Draco… he wanted a lot more than that from the man. But it seemed like a 'take what you can get' scenario, and Harry didn't want to be empty-handed.
"You kissed me!"
"You kissed me back, Draco, and it was good. Don't bother trying to deny it. Your mouth on mine, our tongues together, it was amazing. Try and tell me it wasn't," Harry challenged, flushing a little at his forward words and the memory of their kiss.
Draco didn't say anything, and that was answer enough for Harry. He stood and walked up to where Draco was sitting; the blond watched him approach with wary eyes, but he didn't move away.
Cupping Draco's cheek and bending, Harry pressed his lips against Draco's and held them, softly, waiting for any sort of reciprocation.
And just as Harry was thinking he'd have to pull away, Draco's mouth moved against his. Harry moaned and kissed harder, needing to get as much as possible from this elusive creature. Yes, Harry thought, I'll take whatever he offers but I'll make sure he wants more.
Then Draco was standing and twining his arms around Harry's neck. They tugged at each other's mouths, each wanting to rule the kiss and neither backing down. Draco tasted like too much honey, but Harry knew that there would never again be such a thing as too much.
Harry's hands slid over Draco's back, hesitating at the curve just above his arse before moving down and gripping him firmly, pulling him hard against his erection.
The moan that came from Draco's mouth was sin itself. Harry'd never felt so out of control. And yet…
Draco had come from a bed shared with another man. It was possible he hadn't even showered.
Harry broke the kiss regretfully. "I want this," he said, "just not today, okay?"
Draco bit his plumped lower lip, looking confused and a little put out. "Whatever."
Unable to bear the almost-pout Draco was giving, Harry took him into his arms again, and the way Draco folded himself into the embrace made Harry's cock twitch. He was desperate to have this man beneath him. Above him. However he could get him. Placing soft kisses over Draco's flushed face, Harry thought about all the depraved things he wanted to do to this body; though the list wasn't quite as long as the one containing all the sweet things he wanted to do for Draco himself, if he'd let him.
"So can we make a date to fuck, or is that against the rules?" Harry asked. He was too euphoric to think about how clueless he sounded.
"I'll be here tomorrow, like I said. I'll have to return home after I finish working here, though. I'll come back in the evening," Draco responded, looking a little like he wanted to take back the words.
But Harry had no intentions of letting him do such a thing.
"Tomorrow, then. Now, can we talk about Sirius' room? Unless you've something better to do?" It was a clear challenge. Harry knew Draco had someone waiting for him.
Rolling his eyes, Draco said, "Talk."
Harry was nervous.
He was not entirely inexperienced when it came to sex. He'd had it. He enjoyed it. But he'd never really planned for it like this.
He wondered if Draco felt like this every time he went out with the intention to get laid. Harry imagined it would get easier over time, but he just had the gut feeling that this was one of the things that should not get easier. If it got easier, that meant you were doing it too much.
Harry definitely didn't like to think about that.
After a shower that lasted nearly forty-five minutes, Harry shaved the Muggle way, enjoying the absolute smoothness of a perfect close shave.
Donning dark blue jeans and an almost snug green tee shirt, Harry gave his hair the traditional threat-curse-give-up treatment and brushed his teeth. Again.
Merlin, Draco must be a pro at this by now.
And those were bad thoughts. Better think about something else. Like how Draco had listened almost sympathetically when Harry had given him new instructions for Sirius' room. Harry'd made sure to tell Draco how much he'd personally liked the design, and Draco had seemed much more agreeable after that. Harry suspected he didn't take criticism well; it was lucky he was so good at what he did, because Harry'd had no other cause for complaint. The house was looking absolutely perfect, and he sometimes found it hard to believe that it was Grimmauld Place at all.
When the Floo sounded, Harry's heart threatened to run for the door without him. He took a deep breath and went to welcome Draco. Though the blond had been there many times, that night was different, and felt different.
"You look nice," he blurted upon seeing Draco, apparently forgoing traditional greetings for awkward compliments.
Draco almost smoothed his hand over his robes—the grey ones—but he caught himself in time. "You looked… underdressed."
Harry looked down at himself. It did seem a little casual. Still… "It's not like this is a date, right?"
A light flush crawled over Draco's face, and Harry wondered yet again what had put Draco off dating. It almost seemed as though he wished it were a date.
"But," Harry continued, "that doesn't mean we can't eat, right? That's just good sense."
Draco studied him a little before nodding sharply. "We wouldn't want to starve."
Unfortunately, his proposal for dinner had been completely impromptu. "I'll just tell Kreacher," Harry said. "Have a seat."
Kreacher acted as though he didn't even know who Harry was at first, but then the wizened old elf nosily peaked into the sitting room. Upon seeing Draco, Kreacher immediately brightened and set about preparing dinner.
Harry rolled his eyes. As the owner of the house he really should get a little more respect, but Draco was of Black stock, and Kreacher was a bloody purist, among other things.
"So," Harry said, sitting beside Draco on the sofa and holding his hands together between his knees. "How are you?"
"Listen, Potter, it's obvious this sort of thing isn't your style. I've no problem if you want to call this whole thing off."
"No!" Harry said, putting his hand over Draco's. The touch surprised him; he hadn't expected to do that. But Draco's hand was warm and lightly veined, his near-translucent skin making him seem deceptively fragile. "I definitely want this. I think you're… you know. Great."
"Right," Draco said slowly, a small smile on his lips. "Well, I think you're hot, and maybe between the two of us, we can manage a decent fuck."
Harry choked on absolutely nothing while Draco looked on, amused. "Sorry," he croaked once he got his wind back. "I just didn't expect—"
"Me to be so blunt?" Draco finished, raising an eyebrow.
"So, when you do this, do you usually, you know… I mean, are you the…" Harry cleared his throat and looked away, wincing. He was fucking pants at this. He was trying (and failing quite impressively) to ask if Draco wanted to fuck or be fucked.
Personally, Harry wanted to see Draco beneath him, wanted to feel his heat surround him, draw him in, steal him. But he would be amenable to Draco's cock up his arse, if that was what Draco would prefer.
But Draco just laughed. "Let's just wait for dinner, yeah? That kind of discussion can wait a bit, I think."
Harry nodded, a little relieved.
Then Draco was shifting closer, his hand pushing Harry's fringe away from his eyes, though it fell right back into place. "Harry," he whispered. "Don't be so nervous."
"I'm not!" Harry protested, his eyes falling shut at the feel of Draco's hand over the nape of his neck. "I just don't want to bollocks this up."
"There's nothing to bollocks up," Draco said in a way that was probably supposed to be reassuring, but just depressed Harry. "It's just sex, remember? And then everything goes back to normal."
"Okay," Harry whispered. He stroked the side of Draco's face softly, marvelling at the coolness of Draco's skin. He was like artwork. "So, do you have any rules, or anything?" Harry asked, eyes still closed.
"Like what?" Draco asked, and Harry could feel the warmth of his breath against his cheek.
"Like, I dunno, no kissing or something like that?"
Draco's hand froze and Harry gamely contained his whimper. He opened his eyes to see what was wrong. Draco's face was red and he looked upset. Harry groaned. "What did I say?"
"You idiot," Draco snapped, pulling away. "You know what kind of people have rules like that, don't you?"
Harry didn't know. He's only asked because Draco seemed to want to keep his distance, and Harry'd always thought kissing could be more intimate than fucking. He shook his head.
"Whores, Potter. Whores have rules."
Harry's face fell. "Merlin, Draco, you know I didn't mean—"
"Just shut up," Draco snapped, his cheeks still flushed. Harry bit his lip.
Kreacher appeared in the doorway. "Master, dinner is served." Harry pretended not to notice that he looked at Draco when he spoke. Fucking house-elf.
"Back to Hogwarts with you, then," Harry said. He used to thank the elf, but he didn't seem to appreciate the gratitude.
Kreacher glared for a moment before disappearing.
"I'm a total arse," he said to Draco, who nodded. "I didn't mean that at all. I just didn't want to push you…" Harry sighed. Might as well tell the truth. "It's just that you push me away, whether you know it or not. Even after we decided to… do this, it's like you're not really with me, I guess."
Draco's finger twitched over his knees. He looked like he very much wanted to fidget. But he didn't, of course. "Let's just eat."
"Wait," Harry said. He put his hand on Draco's neck and leaned in. "You know I'm a prat, I always say the wrong thing. You've always known that." He kissed Draco's cheek.
"Yes, but it never—" Hurt before.
Harry could hear his words as if he'd said them aloud. "Let me make it up to you," he whispered. Draco nodded a little, and Harry kissed him.
It was different—much different—from the kiss they'd shared in the basement. That had been all about mixed signals and misunderstandings, Harry demanding more than he had a right to ask for, and Draco shying away from what they both wanted. But this kiss was different. Draco responded lightly at first, and then more eagerly as the kiss progressed.
The taste of Draco was something Harry knew he'd never forget. He wanted more. Draco's mouth opened wider beneath Harry's, and before either really knew what was happening, Harry had Draco pinned against the arm of the sofa, his hands smoothing over Draco's chest, coaxing a gasp when Harry's fingernail caught a taut nipple.
"Dinner," Harry said, gasping as he pulled back. He straightened Draco's shirt before he was pushed away.
Draco stood and led the way as if Grimmauld Place were his, but Harry didn't mind. He was happy that Draco felt comfortable with him. That meant he hadn't fucked things up permanently.
Harry sat at the head of the table and Draco to the right. Kreacher had prepared carbonara with a Caesar salad to start, breadsticks, and a dry white wine. It was more casual than Harry had expected Kreacher to whip up, especially since he'd probably wanted to try to impress Draco, but apparently Harry's insistence that meals have only one true course had finally gotten through. There had been times when Harry had left the table, stuffed, after the fish course only to return a few hours later to see three or four more plates waiting for him.
The elf was ridiculous.
"So, have you thought about what you want to do in my bedroom?" Harry asked, taking a sip of wine.
Draco chuckled and raised an eyebrow.
"Oh." Harry blushed and chewed on his lip. "No, I meant for the design changes…"
Laughing, Draco nodded. "I've a few ideas, sure. Did you want to see them, or should I just surprise you?"
"I hate surprises," Harry admitted. At Draco's disbelieving look, he smiled sheepishly. "I've just never really had any good ones, you know?"
"Well, if you don't like what I've done, I can always change it, Harry. But if it'd make you more comfortable, I can just show you my ideas beforehand." Draco expertly twirled the spaghetti onto his fork and took a bite.
"No, no. I trust you." Harry cut his pasta in small pieces to save himself the agony of slurping it off his fork. He had never quite gotten the handle of eating it with the same ease Draco was showing, and he didn't want to embarrass himself.
More than he already had, of course.
Despite his intentions to not make himself look like a fool, Draco leaned over halfway through the dinner to swipe a bit of white sauce off Harry's lower lip. Harry watched with wide eyes as Draco licked his thumb and hummed a little, meeting Harry's eyes with darkened grey ones.
"I think I'm finished eating." Harry cleared his throat and looked hopefully at Draco, whose lips quirked just so in the corners.
Draco stood and held out his hand. Noisily pushing back his chair, Harry got to his feet and took his hand. Draco's skin was smooth and impossibly soft, and it made him a little embarrassed about his own calloused and rough flesh. But Draco didn't seem to mind.
Harry touched the tips of Draco's hair, shivering a little as the light, silken strands fell over his fingertips. Draco leaned into the touch, closing the space between them.
"Kiss me," Draco whispered, lips parted and waiting.
Unable to do anything else, Harry crashed their mouths together so hard their teeth clinked, but Draco didn't pull away. He threw himself into the kiss, and Harry was sure he'd never felt anything so intense. Draco kissed like there was no other choice, his entire body was involved, and Harry felt swept away.
When Draco slipped a leg between Harry's thighs, he gasped, breaking the kiss to pull back only minutely. "Upstairs?" he murmured, unable to stop running his fingers over Draco's cheek and neck. Draco nodded.
Pulling him almost abruptly behind, Harry took the stairs at a desperate pace. He didn't care that Draco knew how much he wanted him. He wanted Draco to know.
Once in Harry's bedroom, the two stared at one another.
"You really want this, then?" Draco asked, unbuttoning his robes and letting them fall from his body. In traditional wizarding fashion, he wore only pants beneath. His body was absolutely perfect. Long, lean and pale with ropy muscles and an enticing bulge in his boxers. Harry stepped closer.
"I really want this," Harry assured him, running his fingertips from Draco's throat, down his chest, past his belly to graze along a hip and continue down his thigh. Draco's breath caught and his cock twitched, and Harry knew he wasn't the only one who wanted this.
Then Draco was kissing him and tugging off his jumper. "Fuck, Harry," he groaned, grabbing Harry's arse and pressing their hips together. "Why do you have to be so fucking—"
But Harry never found out what Draco meant to say, because the blond turned and crawled onto the bed, a leonine movement that made Draco seem more animal than man. Harry watched eagerly as Draco reclined on his back, one hand behind his head, the other sliding down his body and into his pants.
Harry exhaled sharply as he watched Draco touch himself, but then a teasing voice broke through his racing thoughts.
"It won't be as much fun if you just watch."
Yanking both his jeans and pants down quickly, Harry scrambled onto the bed, uncaring that his movement more resembled a troll than a graceful feline. Draco didn't seem to mind either, especially when Harry settled between his thighs.
"Yes, Harry… I've wanted this…" He arched up against Harry's body, his arousal unyielding as it ground against Harry's.
Kneeling, Harry tore off Draco's pants and lay back down atop him. They both gasped as their cocks came into contact, the hot flesh searing and branding.
Draco's lithe and pale thighs hugged Harry's body as he planted his feet on the bed, leveraging himself against Harry's hips.
Entranced by Draco's slick and parted lips, Harry leaned in for another kiss. He never would have believed this would feel so good, so right, especially with Draco. He'd imagined, of course, but his thoughts certainly fell short of the real thing. There was nothing like Draco Malfoy squirming beneath him, all cock and angles and second chances.
Draco's back made an impossible arch when Harry's mouth surrounded his nipple. Harry almost wanted to be jealous of the smooth and sensuous way Draco moved in bed, but he couldn't be upset when Draco was moving like that for him. He'd never seen anything so beautiful.
Moving down, Harry couldn't resist nipping at Draco's navel, which was a mere slash on his slender waist. He dipped his tongue in, smiling at the surprised noise Draco made. Licking and nibbling at the edges, Harry thought that maybe this was one of his favourite places on Draco's body, mostly because Draco seemed to enjoy his attentions so much. He was wriggling enough that Harry gripped his hips to steady him, which turned out to be a good idea once Harry arrived at his next destination.
Tracing his fingers gently through Draco's crisp blond pubic hair, Harry gently nuzzled the crease of his body and thigh, inhaling the sweet musk of Draco's natural scent. It was intoxicating.
"Please, Harry, please," Draco begged, his hips gently thrusting into the air, searching.
Harry found that he could deny Draco nothing. With only one teasing flick of his tongue, Harry took Draco's head into his mouth, slicking his lips and pressing firmly with his tongue. Draco cried out and arched again, his body taut like a bowstring.
Draco's cock was lovely and slender, perfectly proportioned to his tall and narrow body. Harry slowly worshipped it, tracing his tongue along the vein, teasing the foreskin and pulling it lightly with his lips until Draco's pink head was revealed to his gaze.
Hands were tangling in his hair, encouraging more and more movement. Harry took Draco fully into his mouth, letting Draco guide the movements, and just listening to his lover's frantic and grateful noises. There was no feeling like the satisfaction of getting Draco off. Harry knew with absolutely certainty there was no way he'd ever give this up.
When Draco's sounds began to get a little frenzied, Harry pulled away reluctantly.
"Harry, fuck me, yeah? Please, I want you to…" Draco moaned, rising up on his elbows to look at Harry.
But Harry shook his head. He had other plans for right now, though fucking Draco was certainly next on the list. Pulling on Draco's hip, he encouraged the blond to roll over, which Draco did with a throaty groan.
Settling again between Draco's spread legs, Harry planted kisses all along Draco's shoulders and back. His skin was hot now, unbelievably so, and slightly damp with sweat. Harry didn't mind; Draco tasted perfect.
He placed a last kiss on Draco's tailbone. Then the kisses turned to licks. Little licks on Draco's cheeks, on his vertebra, the backs of his thighs.
"For fuck's sakes, Harry, do it already!" Draco whined, looking over his shoulder to glare at Harry, who only raised his eyebrows. Draco dropped his head onto the bed and begged, "Please."
Harry parted Draco's cheeks and trailed a long lick up his crack. Draco moaned, long and low, and Harry had to chuckle. Draco was so responsive. Every little move on Harry's part brought a sweet noise or eager movement from his lover. He'd admit he'd been a little nervous that Draco might be as cool and precise in bed as he was in his day-to-day life, but there was no evidence of that. Draco was a study in perfect abandon.
He teased Draco's hole with sharp little strokes and long, flat passes of his tongue. Draco's arse tasted just like the rest of him only stronger. Harry knew he would become addicted to the musky taste, not to mention the reactions.
Draco slowly loosened under Harry's eager mouth, and he was able to worm his tongue inside, making Draco shiver and near-convulse beneath him.
"Harry!" Draco was almost wailing his name, but Harry didn't stop. "I'll come… please, stop… fuck me. Gods, you have to fuck me!"
And only because Harry knew how much it cost Draco to admit to such need did he stop. Draco immediately rose to his knees, his reddened and slick hole begging to be filled.
"Not like this," he whispered, turning Draco again. "I need to see your face."
Draco looked up at him with shining eyes, huge and open, and Harry thanked the gods for such a boon.
He reached for the lubrication in his bedside table and liberally slicked his fingers. Two easily slid inside Draco, who gasped and rode his fingers eagerly. Harry leaned down to kiss him, fingering his tight hole and searching… Draco jerked a little and moaned, and Harry stroked his prostate again, so lightly it must have been infuriating.
A third finger made Draco still a little as his body adjusted, but their kiss didn't slow.
"Harry…" The word was a breath against Harry's lips, and he knew he couldn't wait any longer.
Slicking his cock, which was straining and dark red even though it hadn't been touched, Harry gripped Draco's arse cheek with one hand and guided himself inside. Draco held his breath as Harry breached him, and they both gasped a little as the head of Harry's cock pushed through the tight ring of muscle.
"Fuck, fuck, so tight, Draco," Harry panted, pressing in. Draco's body was so hot he was sure he'd just melt away, and he wouldn't even mind.
Sitting up, Harry grabbed Draco's calves and pulled those pale legs over his shoulders, leaning forward and going even deeper. Draco's breath was quick and short at the change of angle, and from the way his body tightened around Harry's gently thrusting cock, he knew Draco's prostate was getting due attention.
All Harry could see was Draco's lightness. His white-blond hair, his gleaming skin, his pale grey eyes holding Harry's gaze. His lips were red and swollen, teeth marks indenting them, proof of his need.
Harry's eyes were drawn to his cock, straining and bobbing as Harry pounded into Draco's body. He reached for it, gripping it tightly and stroking in time with his brutal thrusts. Draco keened, arms reaching up to grip the headboard as Harry took them both to completion.
Pre-come eased the way for Harry's hand, but he still stroked viciously, ripping Draco's orgasm from him. Harry felt pure triumph as Draco stiffened and strained beneath him, thick white come splashing their bodies.
Slowing his thrusts a little, Harry let Draco's legs fall, though they encircled his waist. Draco moved beneath him, rocking them both, his arse clenching around Harry as he bottomed out on every stroke. Trailing a finger through the mess on his stomach, Draco painted Harry's lower lip with it, a wicked smile on his lips. Harry grabbed the finger with his mouth and sucked on it, making Draco moan and his eyes go dark again. The sound and sight tugged on something inside Harry, and suddenly he was coming, crying out and trembling with the effort to fill Draco, mark him, make him want to stay.
"Gods, Draco, you're… amazing," Harry gasped, collapsing forward. Draco laughed softly and shifted until Harry moved to the side and off of him, though he didn't let the blond go—he pulled Draco into his arms and held him snugly, kissing the satin skin of his cheek and rubbing their noses together. Harry felt a little silly to be so affectionate, but something in Draco brought out the protector in Harry, a part of himself he hadn't really been able to share much of late.
"You're not bad yourself, Potter. Harry." Draco smiled, biting at Harry's lip when Harry went to kiss him again.
"I used to think about this all the time," Harry confessed quietly. The room was dim, lit only by a wall sconce, which cast flickering shadows over Draco's sharp features.
"What did you think about?" Draco turned onto his side facing the wall, and Harry immediately curled up around him, pressing his spent cock against Draco's arse and wrapping his arms around his torso. Draco wouldn't be making any great escape tonight.
"This." Harry squeezed him. "Us."
Draco didn't say anything, but Harry didn't need him to. He'd never felt so much like everything was finally going the way it was supposed to.
"We should get to sleep," Draco finally said, his voice a little stiff.
Harry kissed the back of his neck. "Yes, we should. I have to work in the morning. Will you be here when I get home? I want to take you out for dinner." Harry yawned. "I know this great place…"
The next morning found Harry unsurprised. Draco wasn't in his bed. Harry stretched and ran his fingers over Draco's pillow; it was cool.
He quickly donned his Auror robes and made a critical pose in front of the mirror, which was mercifully silent. He knew he looked ridiculously happy and well-shagged.
He rather liked the look. He wished Draco were here to see it, to know that he did this to Harry. But they'd see each other tonight, and that would be soon enough.
But Draco wasn't waiting for Harry at Grimmauld Place after work. He checked all the rooms—empty. It didn't even look as though Draco had been there that day. There was no evidence of any new changes.
Frowning, Harry poured himself a cup of tea and thought about the night before. Had he done something wrong? Had the sex not been as good as he'd thought? No, that was impossible. No one was that good an actor; Draco had come as hard as Harry.
Maybe he'd snored… or drooled.
A tapping on his window drew him away from the contemplation of his faults. A stiff and regal owl was sitting patiently on his sill. Must be Draco's, Harry thought eagerly, opening up the window to take the missive.
Harry crumpled the note and gritted his teeth. He needed a drink. Now.
"He dropped you as a client?"
Harry sneered bitterly and raised his glass. "He did."
"Why?" Ron's tone was surprised, as if anyone would be mad to find Harry wanting. His loyalty made Harry warm inside, but he still felt cold all over.
"The letter didn't say. It was from his lawyers. He says he won't ask for any payment, and that I'm free to sue for breech of contract."
"Are you going to?" Ron waved his arm for another round, and Rosmerta was over in moments, clearing away their used glasses and exchanging them with filled ones.
"Of course not." Harry sighed. "It was my fault. I made him so uncomfortable that he couldn't even face me anymore. D'you think I… made him think that I was trying to, you know, get his work for free or something?"
Ron scoffed. "Don't be ridiculous. Malfoy knows you've more than enough money to pay for his services—professionally, of course—a thousand times over and then some." Ron looked thoughtful. "Harry, did you… get all intense on him?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, did you tell him to move in or ask him to bond with you or anything?"
Harry looked incredulously at his friend. "I like him, Ron, but I'm not about to marry the bloke!"
"I just mean that you move a little fast, sometimes. And from what you've said… Malfoy doesn't want to move at any speed at all, you know?"
"He said he doesn't date. Did you say anything to make him think you wanted that from him?"
Harry thought hard. He couldn't remember saying anything like that—he'd pretty much fallen asleep right after…
"I said I wanted to talk him out for dinner," Harry said slowly.
"And that would be a…?" Ron asked leadingly.
"Date. Shit." Harry groaned. "But I want to date him! And I think he wants that, too. He's just too scared or something. But I can tell he's not happy with the way things are going for him, you know, romantically."
"Maybe he's had bad experiences or something."
"Maybe…" Harry took a sip of his Firewhisky, swallowing before it sizzled on his tongue. "So what do I do?"
Ron sat back in his chair, looking pleased to be the one getting asked for relationship advice. Harry wished Hermione wasn't working late. "You've got two choices, Harry. You can give him his space, make your intentions known without pressing him, and wait for him to realise he's madly in love with you…"
That sounded like it would take a while. "Or?"
"Or you could force him to see the truth, show him how you feel in no uncertain terms, and don't take no for an answer."
Harry nodded slowly. That sounded like a good plan. "What if he still says no?"
At length, Ron answered, "Then we'll have another drink and figure it out from there."
"Fucking hell," Harry growled, narrowing his eyes at the bar.
Draco had just come in, immediately bee lining for a slender brunet who was nursing a mead.
Ron turned his head to see where Harry was looking. "Who is that?" he asked, squinting a little.
"I don't know, and I don't fucking care."
Eyes wide, Ron turned back to Harry, who was starting to stand. "Wait!" he said in a stage whisper, tugging on Harry's crimson Auror robe until he sat. "It could just be a friend, and you'll be making an arse out of yourself for nothing."
Glowering, Harry clenched his fingers around his wand and watched Draco talk to the little slut.
It wasn't long before Draco's hand was on the bloke's thigh, apparently very welcomed. When the brunet got up to follow Draco out of the tavern, Harry immediately rose and trailed them, Ron on his heels.
Draco was not taking anyone else home.
"Draco!" he shouted as the couple turned down an alleyway. Draco turned and paled when he saw Harry. Harry was immediately reminded of the last time this exact scene had played out. "This isn't exactly a date, Potter," Draco had said before Disapparating.
Fucking right it's not.
Harry watched as Draco grabbed the man's arm and Disapparated. He roared in frustration. Just like last time, Draco had gotten away, gone to go have anonymous sex while Harry was here, alone, in love with him.
Not this time.
"I'll owl you tomorrow," he said quickly to Ron, who was standing nearby—not close enough to stop Harry as he Apparated to Malfoy Manor. It was the only place Harry thought Draco might be. He was broke now; he likely couldn't afford his own flat.
It was a good assumption. Draco and the other man stood at the Manor's front door, eating each other's faces.
"Draco fucking Malfoy," Harry hissed, approaching them.
"Potter," Draco snapped, breaking the kiss. "What the fuck are you doing here?"
"Saving you from yourself," Harry retorted. He turned to the brunet, who looked a little stunned but thankfully not drunk. "Get out of here."
The brunet looked to Draco uncertainly, but Harry stepped in his way. "Do you know who I am? Get the fuck out of here!"
With a half-apologetic look in Draco's direction, the young man Disapparated.
"Who do you think you are?" Draco said lowly, and Harry rather thought his furious tone and sneer shouldn't make his cock so needy.
"Invite me in," Harry demanded in a soft voice.
Draco's eyes widened and he looked ready to lose it. Harry only stared back. He wasn't going to lose Draco, not to some barfly, not to anyone.
"Draco, please. I just want to talk. I'm sorry I scared you last night."
"You didn't scare me," Draco said too quickly. He winced a little, and Harry's theory about the tell was finally proven true.
Interminable moments passed, Draco searching Harry's face and Harry letting his emotions walk across his features. Finally, Draco opened his front door and gestured for Harry to precede him.
When Draco closed the door, Harry immediately had him up against it.
"You've no fucking idea what it does to me to see you with other guys, do you?" he growled, pressing Draco's shoulders against the wood, his body pinning him.
When Draco smiled a little, Harry laughed. "Or maybe you do." He pressed his knee between Draco's thighs, hardness greeting him. Draco moaned.
"You want to be my fucking boyfriend," Draco scoffed, shaking his head. "I don't do that."
"Tell me why."
Draco glared at him.
"Tell me why, Draco." Harry's voice was softer now, but no less insistent. He pressed his mouth against Draco's neck and inhaled deeply. The scent would haunt him forever, he was sure.
"It's none of your fucking business, Potter." But Draco didn't try to break Harry's hold. His hands were fisted at his sides, but he didn't use them to push Harry away.
"You've made it my business." Harry moved one hand to Draco's waist, holding him firmly. Draco felt almost frail beneath his greedy fingers, and he had to remind himself not to hold too tightly. "You are my business." His other hand cupped Draco's cheek. "Tell me."
"Because I can't lose—" Draco shouted, but cut himself off with a frustrated cry. "Because I can't lose anyone else."
"Oh, Draco," Harry sighed, pressing his lips against Draco's cheek, rubbing them softly. Draco's skin made his lips tingle, only a little stubble over the warm silk. "I won't leave you."
Draco laughed, and it almost sounded hysterical. "You can't know that. You can't make that promise."
Harry dropped his head to Draco's shoulder. He was right, of course. He wasn't foolish enough to make a promise like that. He wished he were.
"Give me a chance to prove that I don't want to hurt you. You can't live your life never putting yourself on the line. Half the things we learn come from getting hurt."
"Those aren't the kinds of lessons I can stand," Draco whispered.
"Let me show you it's worth it." Harry pulled back to look into Draco's wide, uncertain eyes.
Unable to wait for an answer, Harry kissed him. Softly at first, just to show what he intended. Draco's returning kiss was quick and fluttering, a hummingbird uncertain if the sugar-water in the feeder was worth the risk in slowing down a moment to taste it.
But Harry didn't have the heart to wait—the kissed turned desperate and hard, Harry showing him exactly how much he intended to give, if allowed the chance.
"Draco," he whispered, lips still pressed together. "It's okay."
With a broken sob, Draco was tearing at Harry's robes, pushing them to the floor unceremoniously. Draco's followed, hands tearing impatiently until both men were naked.
"Never done it here," Draco said, laughing softly.
"Me, either," Harry quipped, loving the way Draco rolled his eyes at his bad joke. It was easy to love Draco Malfoy sometimes.
Harry's hand gripped Draco's cock with a sure movement, lightly stroking as he pressed their bodies together. Draco felt hot, impossibly so. Harry didn't care if it burned, not when he had what he wanted.
"Harry." Draco kissed him again, a short, fiery crush of lips and tongue. "Harry."
"Do you want me?" Harry asked, squeezing Draco's cock and nipping his lower lip.
"Yes." It was more a moan than words.
"Draco," he said, forcing his lover to look at him. "Do you want me?"
Draco shivered all over, and for a long moment, Harry was sure he'd say no. Harry couldn't just fuck Draco and leave. He needed to have everything. And he knew Draco wanted it just as badly; he just didn't know how to ask, didn't know how to say yes.
And then Draco turned around and braced his hands on the door. As Harry watched, salivating, Draco spread his legs and arched his back. His arse was perfectly displayed, and Harry reverently ran his hand over it.
Harry had to take that as a yes.
A quick lubrication spell had Draco's hole slickened. Harry's pressed two fingers inside immediately, making Draco moan at the stretch. "You want this so bad," Harry whispered, lips against Draco's shoulder. He bit him.
Another finger, slowly turning and teasing, brushing over Draco's prostate with the sole intent of hearing him cry out. He did. "You've denied yourself so long," Harry continued, spreading his fingers. Draco was writhing and squirming, one hand gripping the base of his cock tightly. "You'll never have to deny yourself again."
Harry pulled his fingers out and lined his cock up to Draco's entrance. "Say it," Harry demanded.
"What?" Draco moaned, pushing his arse back as if to impale himself.
"Say this is what you want."
Looking over his shoulder at Harry, Draco bit his lip. His eyes were dark with lust, but there was fear there as well. Then he dropped his chin to his chest and took a deep breath. "I want this."
And as Harry sank his cock into Draco's snug, hot hole, he knew his life was finally complete. Somehow, he had everything he wanted, and he'd make sure Draco always had the same.
"No more other men," Harry said, thrusting inside.
Draco cried out, his nails digging into the ancient wood door. "No more."
"Just me." Another thrust. Punishing, forgiving.
"Just you, just you," Draco chanted, rolling his hips and encouraging Harry to move faster, which he did. Harry's hands covered Draco's on the door, their bodies pressed tight, shin to calf, groin to arse, chest to back… heart to heart.
"Just us." Harry's arms snaked around Draco, one across his chest, one down to fist his cock.
Draco shouted and began to rock his cock through Harry's grip, fucking himself on Harry's cock. Moaning, Harry let him take over. He'd never seen anything as beautiful as Draco impassioned.
"Us!" Draco cried, his cock thickening before he came, shouting, covering Harry's hand in warm stickiness.
"Us," Harry whispered, teeth clamping down on Draco's neck as his cock was squeezed mercilessly within Draco. He came, holding Draco, vision greying for a moment before he caught himself.
Pulling away, Harry immediately missed Draco's warmth. He barely had time to gather his robes before Draco Apparated them both to his bedroom. All Harry noticed was that it wasn't green. That somehow didn't surprise him. They collapsed on the bed together, Harry curled around his lover, Draco's limbs entwined with his.
"You're my boyfriend now," Harry told him sternly but with a soft smile on his face. He pushed the white-blond hair away from Draco's face and nuzzled his cheek.
"If you insist," Draco drawled, catching his lips for a kiss.
"You know, for your bedroom, I was thinking… terracotta."
Harry frowned. That didn't really sound like a colour, but what did he know?
"For our bedroom, you mean?"
Draco's eyes widened and Harry laughed. That would come in time.
And now that he had Draco, everything else would fall into place. He just knew it.