IMPORTANT A/N: Hi everyone. This is my first 2nd HP fic - it'll be my first complete one - so yaay! But if you look at the summary, the key word(s) is 'AU.' In short, this mean that Snape doesn't die and that Florean Fortescue's never existed, (big thank you to Victoria Ackles for giving me a nudge and reminding me to mention it). I thought the AU warning in the summary would be enough to stop the whole "you've obviously never read the books!" kind of reviews. I was wrong, so I've amended it by adding this.
I wrote this for a prompt in the LJ comm - Story Lottery - so I had to make it fit my prompt somehow.
Anyways, I hope you can see past the whole AU-ness of it. Enjoy :]
Muggle London; the biggest, busiest place Draco Malfoy has ever seen. Dressed in a pair of inconspicuous black slacks and a loose white shirt, he stands at the bus stop, mouth agape, in awe of his surroundings. He smoothes one side of his hair with his palm and tries to pat down his open collar as it flutters in the breeze.
"So this is London?" he says, raising his voice above the roar of the city.
Harry stuffs his hands into his jeans pockets and shoots Draco a smile. "This is it. Not as historic as Hogwarts and not nearly as clean...but it has character. So, you like it then?"
"Well, it's certainly not what I was expecting, Potter."
"I'll take that as a yes...and stop calling me Potter," Harry says with a hint of amusement on his face.
After Voldemort's demise only a year ago, a change swept across the wizarding world. Despite the devastating losses during battle, people struggled on and soon became less afraid to live. As a child, Draco saw the immense cruelty behind his father's actions as a Death Eater, but always believed it to be a duty – something that needed to be done. His view of the world was jaded from the start, and it's not easy to just throw away childhood beliefs, even when you realise they're wrong.
In his seventh year, he witnessed one of his father's killings. The sickening smile on Lucius Malfoy's face as he tortured a man to death hit Draco like a bludger to the back of the head. He couldn't kill someone with that much satisfaction – sure, he'd wanted to hurt people, even threatened death, but he knew his heart wouldn't allow him to see it through.
The more his father pressured him to take the dark mark, the faster and further he wanted to run. Torture and death were what Death Eater's revelled in – they'd surely have killed him for refusing to participate. So, he turned to the light, if only to save himself.
During the battle, curses glittered through the air like fireworks and the sound of distant screams did nothing to quell the panic coursing through Draco's veins. A flash of blue and a stream of light focused Draco's attention and, in a split second, he'd managed to counter the curse. Only after the flash on his retinas had dissipated, could he identify his attacker.
"...father?" he rasped, swallowing the hurt. The disgust on Lucius' face was tangible.
"You are no son of mine," he spat, and as soon as the words were out, Draco barely had time to flinch before another curse erupted from his father's wand. "Avada Ked –"
Draco stood, wide-eyed and unseeing, as the incantation was spoken – he was oblivious as another body lunged in front of him.
"Protego!" Draco heard a voice shout, but through his shock, it sounded muffled and distant. "Expelliarmus!"
His father's body suddenly straightened, eyes wide with panic, as his wand flew out of his hand. Almost as soon as he was disarmed, Draco heard several loud cracks as many of the Aurors apparated to the scene.
He watched as a myriad of hexes hit his father, finding himself reaching out to him, but quickly drawing his hand back. He kept reminding himself, it's for the greater good. The greater good. But he couldn't just switch off as his father could. Lucius may have been able to disown his own son without a second thought, but Draco couldn't just pretend he didn't have a father.
As the guilt set in, all manner of things dragged their way to the forefront of his mind. Regret, betrayal, what if, what if, what if?
And then he remembered the curse on his father's lips. The killing curse. It was aimed at him. His own father had tried to kill him. His own father had hated him so much that he'd wanted his son dead. That thought alone made Draco feel sick to the stomach. Quickly, the guilt was washed away by hurt and anger. His emotions tumbled over one other leaving his nerves wild and his brain numb.
Then it hit him. Somebody had saved him...he owed that somebody his life.
He watched as his father was dragged away and immediately regretted it as their eyes met. Pure loathing. No remorse. Nothing but hatred flaming in his father's eyes. Draco couldn't remember anything ever hurting as much.
After that, the only thing that registered in his mind was a hand grasping his own and the flash of a lightning bolt scar.
Coming to know the full events from that night, he found it harder to hate his childhood enemy. After all, really he was only hating on behalf of his father and Voldemort, both of whom are now gone.
It struck him as significant that Potter, the boy he'd personally tortured throughout his years at Hogwarts, seemed to care for him more than his own father – cared for him enough to put his own life at risk to rescue him from certain death. That in mind, it seemed senseless to let a petty first-year feud continue to fester...and, at this realisation, the animosity seemed to just fade away.
Harry, forgiving as ever, accepted an apology from Draco and even offered one of his own. It seemed that, without the weight of the world on their shoulders, companionship could blossom with ease. And that it did.
"So you prefer, Potty? Or maybe Potty-head?" Draco retorts, looking all too smug. Sending a mock-glare his way, suddenly Harry is no longer by Draco's side.
All it takes is one step into the street and Harry is whisked off down the sidewalk, walking in time with the hoards of bustling pedestrians. A bolt of panic surges through Draco's bones as his eyes frantically search his surroundings. Spotting the shock of jet black hair, he practically falls into the crowd and bats his way through to get to Harry. Harry knows London, knows how it works and where to walk and what to do – he also knows that Draco hasn't got a clue, and this fact gives him an enormous amount of pleasure.
When Draco sees the shock of black hair duck into a cafe, he sighs with relief and follows on, managing to cut across the pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk, thankfully without being knocked down. Catching his breath, he grabs Harry's arm and looks into his mischievous eyes.
"Don't run off like that! This place is like...like –"
"Sorry, muggle thing." Harry can't help but smirk as Draco glances back out onto the street and looks positively petrified.
"Can I get two skinny, grande, half-caf, caramel lattes, please, no cream, extra caramel," Harry says to the woman behind the counter. Draco is still staring out, eyes widening every so often as a double-decker bus passes by. At this, Harry scoffs.
"That's £4.20, sir."
Harry fiddles in his pocket for some change – the jangling of coins drawing Draco from his reverie.
Harry still has the smirk on his face, even when he hands over his money.
"That's very unbecoming," Draco drawls. His eyes dart back to the street as another bus roars past. "These muggles actually like living here? I need a firewhiskey after all that."
"Uh-uh," Harry says and hands one of the coffees to Draco. "Today is a purely muggle day."
"And what is this?" Draco asks as they slump down at a table.
"A latte. You've never had coffee before?"
"Muggle thing. Why would I?"
"Hmm. Seems I've got a lot to show you." Harry eyes Draco over his glasses whilst slowly blowing over the top of his mug to cool his drink.
You're staring at him again. You need to stop this, or he'll notice. Harry quickly averts his gaze and brings the hot cup to his lips, gasping as he scolds his tongue in the process. "Sorry," he mumbles, "too hot." And with a nervous grin, he stares back down at his cup.
Draco does the same.
"My feet hurt."
"Stop whining. There's just one more place to go."
"I feel like someone's hexed my shins..."
"Oh, stop being so melodramatic! I'll just grab what I need and we can go home, okay?"
As Harry spots the quaint little shop on the corner of Trafalgar Square, he picks up the pace, smiling as Draco struggles to keep up.
"That's one thing I noticed about Hogwarts..." he says, as they cross the square. At Draco's prompting look, he carries on. "Ice cream."
"Yeah. Hogwarts has never had any ice cream. Merlin, you can get everything else! But never ice cream."
Draco's face twists into an expression of vague confusion.
"What?" Harry asks.
"What the bloody hell is ice cream?" he says, stringing out the last words as though he's not sure he's heard them correctly.
"Wait a minute...you've never had ice cream before?"
"Well, I've never heard of the stuff, so what do you think?" Draco answers smartly, earning himself a glare from Harry. "Don't look at me like that; you're the one asking stupid questions."
"...I can't believe you've never tried it...that's like going through life without having eaten a chocolate frog."
"Forgive me, Potter, for never having eaten creamed ice before."
"It's not creamed ice...exactly." As they approach the doorway to the shop, Harry grins and points to the poster in the shop window. "That is ice cream."
Draco, having been paying more attention to his aching feet than anything else, looks up – he can barely keep his mouth from dropping open.
The swirled cream, the brilliant colours of the sprinkles...and marshmallows! Tiny, dainty little marshmallows decorating the white – like a snow covered mountain peak, littered with colourful mountaineers. And it looks sweet. So sickeningly sweet.
Draco's mind quickly draws him back to his senses.
Salivating, Draco? Really, he thinks to himself. And this is only a picture.
His eyes widen as Harry goes into the shop.
"Go and sit down for a minute. I'll order something good." Harry waves his hand towards a seat and watches Draco sit down before turning back to the man at the counter and asking for two of the ice creams on the poster.
"D'you want sauce?"
"Chocolate on both please. No, wait – bubblegum. No, uh..."
"How about one with chocolate and one with bubblegum?" the man chuckles.
"Sure," Harry says, blushing.
As he turns around, cones in hand, he notices Draco is watching him from the table, eyes a little out of focus. He finds himself blushing some more.
"Er...Draco?" he says across the shop floor, and Draco's head shoots up like a startled deer. Harry nods towards the door, telling Draco it's time to go. Getting up from his seat, Draco looks down and lets his hair fall over his face for a moment. He can just feel the warmth bleeding through his cheeks – and for someone as pale as himself, it won't be too hard to notice. Licking his dry lips, he slowly tucks in his chair, silently willing the colour to drain from his face.
You've got to stop looking at Potter like that, his mind admonishes. Deep breath and smile!
Strolling up beside Harry, a forced smile tugging on his lips, he takes one of the ice cream cones and they both step back out into the bustling square. As they walk along, Harry gazes expectantly at Draco, but Draco's too busy surveying the crowd and trying not to get lost.
"...Well?" Harry says, licking his own ice cream and then pointing it at Draco's. "Go on, try it."
"Oh." For a moment, Draco looks hesitant, but he eventually closes his lips over his ice cream, taking a small, but ample mouthful of sprinkles and chocolate sauce. As they hit his tongue, he breaks into a gaping smile and looks at Harry as if to say, this is bloody amazing!
One long lick, twisting through, tongue curling up into his mouth...and then another. Harry is enraptured and when he tries to look away, his eyes just move back of their own accord. For now, he thanks Merlin that Draco is too amazed by this new, exciting dessert experience to notice he's being watched.
As they apparate back into Diagon Alley, a cold, sticky drip on his hand brings Harry back to his senses, only to realise he's been neglecting his own ice cream.
Heading towards the Leaky Cauldron, Draco glances over at Harry's cone and notices the copious amount of blue sauce.
"What sauce is that?" he asks.
Harry clears his throat. "Bubblegum."
"Bubblegum sauce? Potter, you've been holding out on me," he says, grinning. Harry's face is the picture of shock until Draco reiterates. "Let me try some?"
Harry fidgets as they walk. "Oh, um, sure! Here." But as he hands it over, he can do nothing but watch as the melting ice cream slides away from the cone, and Draco instead gets a shirt full of it. "Oh Merlin! I'm sorry! The shirt wasn't expensive was it?" Harry blurts out, looking on as the sauce dribbles down Draco's front. Draco barely has the chance to get a word out before Harry's hands come at him wielding wads of tissue that he must have conjured up.
Draco stiffens slightly as Harry carefully scrubs at his shirt, effectively rubbing him up and down...up...and down.
Just the feel of someone so close to him – never mind it being Harry – is enough to wake him like it's morning. He closes his eyes, trying to think of something to calm himself down, whilst Harry continues mumbling to himself, "Sorry, it won't come out. This is going to stain..." None-the-wiser, Harry continues mopping at Draco's shirt, his hand occasionally coming into contact with the bare skin of Draco's chest. Every little touch makes Draco's reaction even harder to conceal – the motion stirring something that really shouldn't be stirred in public.
Oh, not now. Please, not now!
Part of himself is telling him to run, get away from this situation before you embarrass yourself! But the overwhelming truth of the matter is...he doesn't want to run. He doesn't want to get out of the situation. He certainly doesn't want Harry to stop, but at the moment, he's more worried about scaring Harry away.
Harry continues babbling to himself as he clumsily wipes at Draco's chest, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the blue stain is now barely visible. Still, he keeps working his fingertips...until, for Draco, those tiny, soft touches that bump against his skin feel too much – he has to stop this, if only to retain a modicum of dignity and spare himself some humiliation.
"Harry," he croaks out, but Harry doesn't stop, doesn't even look up.
"Harry. H –" Draco takes a firm hold of his wrist. "Harry," he says and looks down at his spotless shirt. "I think it's okay," he laughs out, but stops mid-breath.
As Harry looks up, they're eyes don't just meet, they crash together with a force akin to two meteors colliding in the sky. Ablaze with wild intensity, their gazes do not waver. Draco can feel Harry's warm breath on his face; he can almost feel the rush of magic through the pulse in Harry's his wrist.
Keeping their eyes locked together, Draco subconsciously slides his hand from Harry's wrist until their palms meet and their fingers gently entwine. He's surprised when Harry doesn't pull away.
Neither of them are imagining it anymore. This is real. It's real and intense and terrifying, but letting go isn't an option now. As time seems to slow to a snail's pace, Draco finds himself panicking, thinking, what if he doesn't want this? What if I'm reading this wrong? What if he...what if he does let go? What then?
It's at that moment that Harry looks about to say something, but his voice seems to stick in his throat; unwilling to budge. Draco squeezes Harry's hand just that little bit tighter, hoping the slight shake in his bones isn't noticeable.
But just as time slowed down those seconds ago, everything turns. There's movement. Neither is sure who initiated it, but their bodies fall into one another.
Hands still clasped together.
Fingers still wrapped comfortably around each others.
The kiss deepens until they both run out of air and reluctantly have to break apart. They stand there, panting slight; Draco's fringe in disarray.
Fixing up his glass, Harry lets out a nervous laugh and looks down to the wet patch on his chest.
"My shirt's damp now," he says, his face still flushing furiously.
Draco smiles a smile he hasn't shown in a long time – before this, he's had very little reason to.
"Serves you right for ruining mine," he says and they look at each other for a long moment; neither thinking, both just admiring one another openly – somehow it feels comfortable now. It feels right.
From the window of The Leaky Cauldron, an unsurprised Severus Snape looks upon his wards. As he watches, he's not in the least bit surprised.
It was only a matter of time, he thinks.
One of the benefits of being a spy; you're always the first to notice these things.
Always staring at each other; neither noticing. Oblivious to it all. Typical teenagers...
Sipping slowly from his glass of wine, his lips quirk upwards into a glimmer of a smile, but quickly fall again realising he is in public and not wanting to ruin his reputation.
For a moment, he thinks back to his youth. The bad days outweighed the good, but one person always made it bearable. Young Lily Potter. He remembers how they kissed – just the once – but, though nothing ever came of it, it was the most wonderful feeling, like being levitated ten feet off the ground. Free.
He looks back out at the boys – his boys – and can barely suppress grin. Shaking his head, he turns away from the window, allowing them their privacy.
Two hormonal teenagers, involved and living under my roof...what have you got yourself into, Severus?
But, in truth, he cannot bring himself to regret it having become accustomed to their presence in his home.
Things feel comfortable now. Everything feels right.
A/N: I feel a bit disconnected to this fic for some reason. I hope it didn't show too much. I do generally have a very short and punchy writing style anyway...but anyways. This was my first Harry/Draco story. Did I succeed? x