The Significance of Draco Malfoy - by Sara's Girl

Disclaimer: I own nothing and ask only that I be allowed to borrow Draco and Harry for my own nefarious ends. I promise to return them in (almost) pristine condition.

Warnings: Foundations!verse, chapter five and six spoilers. A little stream-of-consciousnessy.

AN - set during chapter six of Foundations, post-Christmas. [I have not forgotten the rimming fic, but this is not it. That one is still a work in very smutty progress]

For the very sweet fiercedragon13, who works too hard and writes lovely messages :D

As always, limitless love to Marie for making me believe that my writing does not suck.


The sensation of a mis-Apparation isn't one he's accustomed to, but as Draco is dumped unceremoniously onto his arse on the pavement of a darkened street, he recognises the push of the repelling magic instantly and scowls. The problem is, he can't remember his intended destination or the reason for the urgency, which can be the only reason for such an amateur mistake—after all, misjudging anti-Apparation wards is for learners and idiots.

Disoriented, he ignores the rising tide of panic in his chest and picks himself up before anyone sees him sitting on the ground. The sky is pitch black and strewn with stars and as he breathes in air that should feel cold, he glances down at his thin shirtsleeves in confusion. Frowning, he catches sight of the crumpled parchment in his hand and the panic becomes dread as he remembers. That's why he's here—the owl from Eloise.

He swallows hard and turns on the spot, looking around wildly. He's here, of course he is, at the hospital. The familiar red brick building looms over him, seeming far bigger than it ever has before. He's here because something has happened to Harry, and oh, fuck, he feels like he might be sick. But he won't. Not here, anyway. Clutching the letter tightly, he closes his eyes for a moment. His head is swimming and he can no longer remember Eloise's frantically-written words, only that something very bad has happened, and he can't bring himself to read them again.

"Something very bad," he repeats out loud, and his voice sounds strange, as though he's forgotten how to use it.

An elderly witch dressed in obnoxiously bright purple steps out onto the street from the main doors and glares at Draco. It's oddly reassuring, and he glares back, correcting his posture and lifting his chin just enough to convey the utter indifference that he never really feels; it doesn't matter, though, because he's just that good at faking it.

She walks away and he watches for a moment, knowing that even though he's been so desperate to get here that he fucked up a jump he's made hundreds of times before, he now can't stand the thought of finding out what lies within that building. What has happened to the man he... fuck, this is ludicrously beyond not good. Draco sighs raggedly and raises a hand to rub at his face.

He's been called a coward before. Plenty of times. And the thing is... he grips the parchment harder, wanting to feel the roughness and the sharp edges against his skin. The thing is, he knows that if one person says you're a horse, then that's their opinion; if ten people say you're a horse then you ought to buy a saddle.

Sev used to say that, and he was probably the most sensible person ever to have given Draco advice. And even though Draco knows that he certainly had room to talk, because people said all sorts of things about Sev and he never listened to any of them, he also knows that he's a horse. And a coward. And he misses Sev sometimes.

Draco doesn't want to be a horse any more; he wants to be... well, whatever is the opposite of a horse. His heart is racing out of control and he's staring at the imposing main entrance of the building in which he used to work, and he thinks perhaps he's never cared so much for another person in his life. Which is frightening. And ridiculous. And frightening.

Taking a deep breath, he sets his features into the usual defiant mask and strides into the hospital, pre-emptively narrowing his eyes against the onslaught of loud colours and attempting to breathe through his mouth. He walks quickly but the blur of bright shades and detestable odours slams him all the same and it's all he can do to keep moving, avoiding eye contact and trying to ignore both the external irritation and the lurch of his stomach as he approaches his destination.

"Is that Draco Malfoy?" one passing nurse says loudly to another.

"What's he doing here? I thought he got fired," says the second.

"He looks terrible," says the first, and the malicious pleasure in her voice only serves to deepen Draco's scowl.

Everyone hates you, whispers a traitorous little voice inside his head. Everyone hates you, and no one wants you here. Probably not even Harry.

Draco shakes his head, hoping to dislodge both the little voice from his head and the hair from his eyes, with limited success. All he seems to do is cloud his vision and his legs just aren't working properly; each step is laboured and heavy, as though he's walking through treacle.

He hears the unpleasantly familiar voice as he reaches the end of a long corridor.

"Hold, Nurse Midgen! Do we need to review the meaning of the word?"

"No, Healer Tremellen," comes the weary response, and a thrill of panic skitters through Draco as he forces his uncooperative limbs to pick up the pace.

He skids to a stop in front of a large window lined with sparkling Christmas lights that cast gentle, flickering shadows over his skin as he lifts his hands to rest fingertips against the glass. He doesn't breathe as he stares into the room and watches Eloise and that utter shit Tremellen as they stand side by side, blocking his view of the bed and casting between them a colourful and complex web of Healing spells that Draco hasn't a hope of understanding.

Tremellen murmurs a collection of syllables Draco cannot make out, and then, "Confringo! Colloportus! Relashio!"

Draco frowns, bites his lip. His fingers slide on the glass and the sick feeling in his stomach washes back and forth with growing intensity as he realises anew just how powerless he is. He can't do anything. Harry is hurt somehow and he's useless. Staring at his fingers, splayed across the window, he wonders when he dropped that piece of parchment. Sighs. It's the middle of the night and he's quite frankly fucking terrified; it's not his fault his mind isn't working properly.

Time passes in an uncertain blur of tense, short, undeserving breaths, the squeak of shoes against the floor and the scream/flood of pure panic inside when both voices—harsh and soft—rise inside the room. Draco breathes on the glass until he has to wipe away condensation with his fingers and he doesn't know what stops him reaching for the door handle, but when the Healer and the nurse finally step away and he can stop squinting against the lime green and blue, what he sees wrenches his heart so painfully that his composure all but dissolves.

Harry's right there on the bed but everything's wrong. He's completely motionless, and Harry is never that, even when he's sleeping. Eyes closed, skin a sickening shade of grey, almost like... well, he's breathing, he definitely is, but Draco has seen enough people just before, during and after death to know that what he's looking at is very serious indeed.

There's not a scratch on him, he finds himself thinking, and he only shuts his eyes for a moment, but suddenly he's in a warm, steam-filled bathroom that smells like menthol, staring at a wet, heat-pinked Harry and saying, " you know, there are rakes of hexes and curses that cause enough pain to get a point across without ever leaving a mark," and those green eyes are narrowing in understanding.

Draco recalls exactly what had followed that conversation and winces, because the memory of comfort, closeness, utter trust and submission is struck away from him by the abrupt sound of Tremellen's voice, now raised in argument, and Draco's eyes snap open. Harry, lifeless under a glowing web of blue light, doesn't even flicker, and Draco aches. He hesitates, fingers on the glass, watching and pretending he doesn't notice the stares and whispers of nurses and Healers and porters licking around him.

Something snaps inside him. He's stronger than this and Harry needs him, even if the idea of that is completely laughable. The door is stubborn—fitting, he thinks—and he has it halfway open before he tunes back in to Eloise and Tremellen's disagreement. It takes him a moment longer to realise that he is the subject, and Eloise, for whatever reason, is fighting hard on his behalf. He watches the tiny little nurse arguing fiercely with the huge, intimidating Healer, and wonders just what he's done to deserve such loyalty.

"...stable for the moment, he needs to be allowed to say—"

"He is not a spouse or family member and he needs to leave. I will not say it again, Nurse."

Draco yanks the door fully open and crosses his arms, readying his coldest glare for when the bastard turns around, even though all he's really thinking about is the unspoken end of Eloise's sentence and the way it makes him wonder how long he can keep his legs underneath him.

"That's not how it works, Healer Tremellen! Draco is Harry's—"

"I know what he is, Nurse Midgen; I read the papers," Tremellen interrupts once more and Eloise looks as though she's about to cry with frustration. "Now, if you could keep your pretty little head out of the gossip columns and do your bloody job, that would be marvellous." He turns to glare at Draco as though he's something very unpleasant that needs to be neutralised as swiftly as possible.

"Is he dying?" Draco demands, hating the sudden weakness of his voice and his inability to stop his eyes from flitting to the almost unrecognisable body of the man who has always inspired his very strongest emotions. Hatred. Passion. Need. Loyalty. Confusion. Desire. The others that he won't name, but that are strong enough to make him meet the malevolent gaze of Augustus fucking Tremellen when he least wants to.

"Draco, he's—"

"I won't tell you again, Nurse Midgen," Tremellen interrupts yet again, coal-dark eyes dropping to Draco's bare forearm, briefly but for long enough to convey the expected message.

You are scum.

"But Healer Tremellen," she tries again in desperation, "you have to at least let him—"

"Out!" he bellows, and Draco has to stop himself from taking a step back; hatred is rolling off the man in waves and Eloise crumbles.

"Draco, I'm so sorry," she whispers, and there's a light touch to his elbow as she slips around the door.

"Malfoy, when I said 'out', I wasn't just referring to my insubordinate nurse," Tremellen says, moustache twitching so violently that Draco wants to slap it right off his face.

"Listen..." Draco attempts as his eyes flick to Harry once more. He's suddenly seized by the urge to touch and he's never been a tactile person, but Harry is. Harry is one, and perhaps if Draco touches him he can make sense of this, because none of it seems right at all.

His glasses are missing and his usually ridiculous hair flattens darkly against his forehead, hiding the distinctive scar. Briefly and pointlessly, Draco pretends that this isn't his Harry at all; this is someone else's injured son or husband or brother or special kind of pain in the arse. And were it not for the ragged string bracelet around his wrist that he put there himself, Draco might continue to do so. He swallows down the dull ache, trying to remember what he's attempting to say.

"Listen, you self-important arse, I'm not going anywhere," he insists, drawing himself to a height that, whilst not inconsiderable, is no match for Tremellen's towering stature. Still, it will have to do. "You're going to tell me exactly what's going on here and then you're going to tell me what you're going to do to help him."

Tremellen's mouth curls into a sneer and he draws his wand casually from his belt. "I'll do nothing of the sort, Malfoy. That information is confidential. I don't know who told you to come here, but believe me, when I find out, there shall be worlds of trouble. This hospital does not want nor need people like you, and seeing as you no longer work here, and you are neither Healer Potter's blood relative nor significant other," he says, dragging out the word with a relish that makes Draco's fingers dig into his upper arms. "As such, you will leave, or I will have you removed."

The involuntary laughter that bubbles up in Draco's chest is caught somewhere between disdain and horror, and it escapes as an uncomfortable bark into the ensuing silence.

"Is he dying?" he repeats, the words slipping out entirely without his permission.

Over not-quite-Harry's unmoving body, the blue lights flicker ominously.

"That is not your concern," Tremellen says, and Draco reaches for his wand a moment too late.

Repelling magic again, he thinks, still searching his pockets in vain as he backs away from the room involuntarily, fighting the push of magic and hanging grimly onto the eye contact until he's forced to turn around and walk away from the vile bastard and his disturbingly satisfied expression. Away from Harry.

Oh, fuck. Curling his hands into fists, Draco grabs onto the rush of panic and turns once more into the invisible force of Tremellen's repelling field. Strengthened by the raw, new need to protect, to stand by, to comfort, he manages three shaky steps against the push before it reverberates and shunts him several feet back toward the exit. He swears he hears laughter as he breathes in the stupid lavender and defiantly doesn't rub his eyes and stalks out into the night.

It's eerily silent, and for the first time he wonders where Harry's other friends are. Mackenzie, and the Ravenclaw. Boot. Harry wasn't even supposed to be working the night shift tonight; he was doing it as a favour for someone or other.

"Fucking idiot," Draco mutters, sinking onto a familiar wrought-iron bench and dropping his head into his hands. "Fucking helpful, accommodating, kind-hearted fucking idiot."

Eyes stinging, he gulps at the night air and attempts to fight down the spiralling panic, but it's going nowhere while he still has the image of the barely-there body in that bed swimming around in his head. Not even his righteous fury at Tremellen can expunge it.

"Significant other," he whispers into his hands and laughs again, though this time he thinks the sound is slightly hysterical. It certainly feels it. He doesn't know what they are, though the papers certainly aren't short of lurid ideas.

He blinks and gazes through the gaps in his fingers at the glittering white Christmas lights looped around the railings and just for a moment, the image in his head is very different indeed. It's a recent memory, and the expression of weary, open gratitude on Harry's face is burned cleanly into his mind.

The spark in exhausted eyes as he accepts a steaming cup of real coffee and a sandwich, the way he devours Draco with a glance and the way he clings to him—the way the 'Saviour of the wizarding world', qualified Healer and all-round hero, clings to him as though he's drowning. Harry always kisses like he might be drowning, too, like he'd expire without it. Without Draco.

And he might, Draco's subconscious reminds him abruptly, and he really thinks he might be sick this time.

Sensing movement beside him, he drops his hands into his lap and looks up to find Ginevra Weasley, of all people, sitting next to him on the bench.

"Where did you come from?" he snaps.

"I came to see Harry," she says, wrapping her heavy coat more tightly around herself.

"Did they let you in?"

She nods. "Of course. I sat with him for a little while and then I came to see if you were alright."

It's not unexpected but it still hurts, and Draco folds his arms against the flood of painful injustice, looking away from Ginevra's sympathetic eyes to gaze at the lights until his vision blurs.

"Of course I'm not fucking alright. I don't even know what's happened to him and they won't even let me in the room! Why on earth would you think for even a second that I was alright?"

"This isn't about you, Draco," she says reprovingly, and he snorts.

"I know that, Ginevra."

"Look, I'll tell you what I know," she offers, and suddenly there's a comforting hand on his knee.

Startled, Draco glances at her. She smiles at him, and before he can open his mouth to protest the attempt at reassurance, the pop of a flashbulb takes them both by surprise. Snapping his head around so quickly it hurts, he finds himself staring straight into the delighted eyes of a scarlet-clad Rita Skeeter. She beams, cradling the camera to her chest.

"Well, well, this'll be sure to interest our readers," she says, glancing slowly between the pair of them and all but licking her lips. She tilts her head on one side as though in deep contemplation. "I'm thinking, 'Draco Malfoy's indecision: his bit on the side is his lover's ex-girlfriend'."

Beside him, Ginevra says nothing but her eyes are narrowed in contempt.

"What on earth is she fucking doing here? It's the middle of the night!" Draco hisses, finding his wand at last and scrambling to his feet to relieve her of her camera before she Disapparates.

"The people have a right to know the truth," Skeeter offers, red lips curving into a smile as she turns on the spot.


"Draco?" interrupts another voice, and he turns around to see Mackenzie standing by the main doors.

"There she is," he mumbles to no one in particular, barely hearing the soft pop as Skeeter escapes. "Do you know what happened to Harry? Can you get me back in?"

"Draco?" she repeats, and there's something wrong, something beside the uncharacteristically uncertain tone to her voice.

"Draco!" she insists, and that's it—she always calls him 'Malfoy'. Always.

The voice is wrong now, too, and he grips his wand tightly as his vision begins to swim. "Ginevra, what's going on? Is it—"

"Draco, for fuck's sake... wake up... please!"

Draco's eyes fly open abruptly and it takes him a good few seconds to realise that he's stretched out on his sofa at Grimmauld Place; he's not outside the hospital, and the hands wrapped around his shoulders and the anxious green eyes staring down into his belong to Harry.


"Oh, fuck... Harry," he rasps, eyes stinging as he's flooded with acute relief and confusion so sweet that he wants to laugh, for real this time. You're not dying, he wants to add, but bites down on the words, instead dragging air into his lungs and blinking painfully. He suspects he's being ridiculous, but... it was so real.

"You wouldn't wake up," Harry says softly, barely loosening his grip on Draco's shoulders and exhaling hard enough to lift his sweat-damp, post-night shift fringe from his forehead. "You usually wake up the second I touch you. Don't you ever fucking dare scare me like that again," he adds, eyes fierce, and Draco barely refrains from adding, 'Likewise!' "You wouldn't wake up," Harry repeats, and something twists sharply inside Draco.

He nods distractedly, offering a mumbled "sorry" for free into the silence without really thinking about it, and struggles into a sprawled but seated position on the sofa, where he stares at Harry, heart racing out of control, drinking him in and letting the warm relief of reality chase his bitter panic away.

Harry's still wearing his disgusting green work robes; he's twelve-hour-shift-dishevelled and smells like sweat and lavender and other people's vomit, but his eyes are sharply green and flooded with concern; he's chewing on his lip and his hands are still fisted into Draco's sweater as though he's afraid to let go.

Draco's sharpened senses are overwhelmed, irritated, but for once they don't make the decision for him; something else does, something that makes him reach out for Harry, makes him twist his fingers into damp hair and sticky robes and tug him closer, searching out that warm, rich scent that's underneath it all; he knows it is.

"Draco, are you—"

"Shush," Draco whispers and pulls hard at the front of Harry's robes until he relinquishes his upright position on the floor and collapses against Draco, pressing chest to chest and leaning down between his thighs to allow the hungry, messy kiss that Draco demands.

He must be exhausted—Draco doesn't even want to think about what time it is—but he doesn't resist, and somewhere amongst the miasma of relief and thrill and disorientation is the appreciation of Harry's propensity for just jumping in and going with things, however random they might at first seem.

The kiss is a frantic, hot meeting of mouths, all sliding, soft heat and caught breath and Harry's fingers at last abandoning Draco's shoulders to thread firmly into his hair. Approving, he urges Harry closer with a hand splayed across his back, drawing back from the kiss to pull at Harry's bottom lip with his teeth, and is instantly rewarded with a low, uninhibited whimper that undoes him completely.

Need you, he thinks, meeting eyes that are lust-hazed and still slightly anxious. Real or not, it doesn't seem to matter; everything's pounding and tingling and there's only one way to fix that. Only one way to assure himself that the whole night has been, quite literally, a bad dream.

Right here. Now.

Leaning forward, lips against the salty skin of Harry's neck, he yanks at the rough fabric, murmuring approval through a half-smile as he feels Harry shift, rise up on his knees and arch into his hands.

"Want me to take these off or something?" comes the amused voice very close to his ear.

"Yes, they're disgusting." And they are; everything about them is repulsive, but all he's really focused on is the need to see, feel, taste Harry's skin, to touch him everywhere, and when the offending robes are finally pulled roughly over his head, further tousling his hair and dislodging his glasses, Draco barely hesitates for a second before dragging his mouth along Harry's bare shoulder, inhaling salt-cedar-warm rain and scraping teeth over the warm flesh.


Harry's hands drop to his thighs and grip hard and all Draco can do is watch him. Harry's is more of a chaotic, powerful, messy beauty—he's rarely graceful, but sometimes... just sometimes. It shouldn't work, but it does. Kneeling up between Draco's thighs, back arched, head tipped back and eyes closed, he's staggeringly beautiful. Every fucking line of him.

His bare skin is flawless and slightly sticky-shiny in the soft flickering light from the fireplace, and Draco's hands are everywhere, relishing the warmth and the rapid, steady heartbeat and the shallow lifting of ribs under his fingers. The scruffy, threadbare jeans that Draco's certain he tried to throw out some time ago hang low on angular hips and do nothing to conceal the straining erection that jumps against his palm and tells him that, however weary and confused he might be, Harry needs this as much as he does.

It's no work at all to slide the soft denim away, but intense green eyes blink open to watch him and his fingers shake like the weak person he knows he sometimes is. But it doesn't matter, because there's no way he's waiting for this, not for another second, and he's insistent, pulling Harry back to him and claiming his mouth in a fierce kiss as he fumbles with his own zips and buttons and kicks his trousers and underwear away, wrapping his legs around Harry and groaning softly as hot, hard flesh slides together and Harry's tongue curls against his over and over.

The sofa cushions are soft and strangely rough against his bare skin and he lifts into the friction of Harry's cock against his, knowing exactly what he needs and for once in his life, lacking the words to ask for it. Demand it. Beg for it, whatever, it doesn't really matter any more; all that matters is this and the almost certain knowledge that he's going to fall apart if he doesn't have Harry inside him, showing him and claiming him and offering indisputable proof of what's real.

What's significant.

"Now," he whispers into Harry's mouth, and that's a start. Leaning back against the sofa cushions, he pulls Harry with him, hot sticky skin sliding together all over, and meets his eyes, needing, drawing one foot up onto the sofa and reaching for what he wants.

And what he doesn't want is waiting, but Harry's breathing hard and swallowing and looking around the room wildly, Draco suspects for something slippery or for his wand, which he always seems to forget at times like this.

"Harry, just..." he attempts, knowing that this desperation is neither characteristic nor attractive, but this burns, it hurts, it aches; he's still a little afraid and he needs this to take it away. Reaching down between them, he wraps his fingers around Harry's cock and caresses him with long, slow strokes and infinitely more patience than he actually feels. "It doesn't matter, it's fine, just now."

Harry bites his lip, breathless and full of soft little sighs he looks like he wants to suppress, and those expressive eyes are frustrated and aroused and all kinds of things Draco can't even name, simmering under the surface.

"I don't want to hurt you, Draco. I'm not prepared to fucking hurt you." He jerks uncontrollably into Draco's fist and lets out a soft whimper, but the focus remains impressive. "That's... ah, god... what's wrong?" he demands.

Draco stares up at him through the strands of hair that have fallen into his eyes. Pressed up against Harry's hip, his cock aches and leaks and he needs this. Needs the connection. The power struggle is nothing new, but the frustration inside him burns intolerably now and he's never hated Harry's infamous stubbornness so much.

He exhales hard and hunts for simple words that aren't going to trip him up.

"Look at me. I need you now. You're not going to break me. Potter," he adds impulsively, and it's been a long time; the almost-spit of the name tastes foreign in his mouth.

Harry's breath catches and, sensing victory, Draco tightens his fingers around the hard, hot flesh that jerks in his hand. Feels so perfect in his hand, like it fits there.

Eyes falling closed, Harry's lips curve into a breathless almost-smile. "Don't push me, Malfoy."

Draco slips his thumb over the sticky-slippery head of Harry's cock and watches him bite his lip, so illogically beautiful in the low light, and he knows he's won. He suspects he's playing slightly dirty, but that goes without saying.

There's something oddly satisfying about sprawling here, open and desperate but still half dressed, whilst Harry is completely exposed, and Draco doesn't take his eyes off Harry for a second as he sucks on his fingers and slides them inside himself hurriedly, feeling the hot, vicelike grip around them and relishing the familiar impatient burn. Watching Harry watching him with rapidly darkening eyes and his bottom lip caught between his teeth.

Harry watches; he watches everything, and there's so much power and intensity behind that gaze. There always has been, and it has always been intoxicating. Draco twists his fingers, raking over nerve endings that curl hot pleasure around the base of his spine and when he cries out, Harry's spike of arousal is obvious in the familiar subtle scent and the sticky leak against his palm.

Before he knows it, strong hands are gripping his hips and dragging him right to the edge of the sofa, and yes, that's exactly where he wants to be. He doesn't realise he's allowed his eyes to close until he feels the warm, teasing nudge of Harry's cock against his saliva-slick entrance and the word is out of his mouth before he can stop it, eyes flying open seconds too late. "Please."

There's no manipulation any more, no competition, just a request that he can't control. And Harry complies. Eyes open. Watching. Unashamed.

"Yes," Harry replies, pushing inside in one long stroke that burns and stretches and feels so ridiculously good that Draco can do nothing but stare back and swallow dryly and hold on tight.

For long seconds they hang, motionless and joined, and then Draco wraps a possessive leg around Harry's back, reaches for his mouth in a messy kiss, and Harry moves, stealing his breath away and dragging muffled groans from both of them.

And it's fast and rough and hard; Draco claims him silently, nails digging into his skin at arse and shoulder, hard enough to cut. To mark, perhaps. Mine, mine, mine, see? chants his subconscious, and he doesn't really know who it's arguing with; he for one knows he lost that battle long before any of this.

Harry's eyes pin him as they slow their kisses, struggling for oxygen, until each is just a slow, wet brush of mouths, all out of rhythm with the furious snap of Harry's hips but it doesn't matter. Draco's existence closes down to nothing more than shared hot breath, the slide of slick skin and the thrust of Harry's cock inside him. Filthy slapping sounds, the light creak of the protesting sofa beneath him, the lick of flames in the grate—the crackling sound and the smell of burning. The sweat and the countless horrible things stuck to Harry's hair and skin after his shift, he can smell those too, but it's OK, because there's also Harry and his intense arousal and the hard, desperate slam of his strokes, as though Harry has caught onto his anxiety, his need, and for whatever reason is claiming Draco right back.

"Draco... fuck... oh, fuck," Harry mumbles against his mouth, pressing closer, deeper, and releasing one of Draco's hips to press a firm, damp palm against his cock.

"Yes, that as well," he says, or at least he thinks he does, because that feels far too good to be allowed, and anyway, he's not sure it makes any sense.

But Harry doesn't notice; he just nods breathlessly and kisses him again. Like oxygen.

And he's alright; he's fine. He's not lying on his back, pale and motionless under creepy blue light; he's vital and warm and breathing hard, kneeling on the cold floor and fucking Draco into the sofa whilst holding onto him with strong, skilled hands and pulling him closerdeeperopen. His skin is sweat-sheened and his cheeks are flushed with exertion, eyes ridiculously green without his glasses, which are on the floor somewhere, and his hair is damp and stuck to his forehead and sticking up all over the place.

He's not expressionless and damaged behind glass; he's smiling against Draco's lips and tracing his fingers over the Marked skin of Draco's forearm in a familiar gesture that he seems to think Draco hasn't noticed. Amused and puzzled and barely hanging on, Draco urges him deeper with a palm flat to his arse and knows that he loves the stupid bastard. Stupid twisted Gryffindor bastard.

So close now, the white heat coiling inside and it's all so messy and sticky and lavender-sweaty-horrible but all of a sudden he wants to make it last.

Blinking slowly, he tries to ignore the ache in his chest and throat as he stares into eyes that are just glossy black ringed with green now, and thinks about what Granger told him last week. About a breed of Muggles somewhere overseas who don't like you to take their photograph because they think it steals a part of their soul.

Draco's not sure about that, but it reminds him of this somehow. Of this feeling... of being fucked while the other person stares right at you, and you stare right back. You're exposed and open and utterly breakable; they're making you ache and writhe and cry out, sliding in and out of your body, and you just never stop looking. Draco's never been with someone who insisted on looking before, and he wonders blurrily if they have a point, those Muggles. Because while he doesn't think his soul is broken as such, there may be a part of it that no longer belongs to him.

Or maybe, he reasons, biting his lip and failing almost completely to suppress a low, broken cry, maybe the point about a photograph is that it shows you exactly as you are. There's nowhere to hide. Just like this. He is just as he is... marked and scarred and incoherent and messy. Submitting and not submitting and demanding, needing the proof that everything's OK, and yes, they still belong to each other, and so many things that he has never said to Harry out loud, and maybe never will.

"Really close," Harry half-whispers, half-pants against his mouth, and his rough, needy tone sends all of Draco's thoughts and attempts to delay spinning out of his head.

"Yeah? Don't stop," he manages, pushing back helplessly into each frantic stroke as he begins to fall.

"Won't. God. Fuck—"

"—There... pl—there," Draco whispers, barely managing to avoid pleading for it, for that perfect angle that feels so... oh, god, because he doesn't need to anyway. Harry gives it to him.

Harry smiles, kisses him. Circles his hips, sending sparks through him, and he's lost, hanging onto that eye contact now, even if he does feel desperately exposed, even after all this time. He bites his lip and stares back and comes all over his stomach and Harry's hand with a low groan and a rush of warm, delicious relief that wraps around him.

Tingling all over and suddenly feeling disgustingly hot and sticky in his thin sweater, he shakes the hair from his eyes and attempts to catch his breath, pulling Harry into him in a slower rhythm now, hands resting on his hips and encouraging long, deep strokes, deliberately gripping around his cock and silently demanding his release from him.

When Harry's sticky hand comes up to cover his, Draco slides his fingers under the worn string that Harry has never taken off and suppresses a smile even as the sticky fingers tangle with his. He really is disgusting. And an absolute sap.

Harry, that is.

"Come for me," he requests softly, and Harry groans. All he can smell now is arousal, need, completion; the air is thick with it. "Come for me," he repeats.

Gripping his hand hard, Harry releases a sound that's half a laugh, half a moan, and sounds a lot like his name, pushing hard one last time, stiffening and spilling himself inside Draco with a rough cry that sends a ripple of interest through his groin in spite of his recent release.

Harry collapses with characteristic inelegance until he's sprawled on the floor with his head resting on Draco's belly. Without thinking, Draco lifts a hand to sift through his damp hair and absently wraps his bare legs around Harry's back. The Cleaning Spells are cast wandlessly and without the need for Harry to even lift his head, and Draco is, as always, quietly and grudgingly impressed.

"Fucking show off," he says out loud, but there's no edge to his tone.

Harry snorts and rubs the flat of his hand over Draco's thigh. "Why are you wearing a sweater?"

Draco lifts an eyebrow and glances down at his once-immaculate grey cashmere sweater, now rumpled and stained despite Harry's efforts. He sighs. "Because you forgot to take it off?"

"I didn't," Harry mumbles, indignant, and presses his mouth against Draco's hipbone.

Draco says nothing, instead directing his content little smile toward the ceiling where no one can see it. The events of his nightmare now seem very far away, and instead it's his mother's voice that is occupying his head.

'Draco,' she'd said not a week ago, in that tone of voice that never fails to alarm him. 'Draco, say what you will, but you have utterly lost yourself for that naive, unrefined fool.'

'I have not,' he had, of course, insisted, and he'll insist it now to anyone who'll listen.

'You have, Draco, it's obvious,' she had insisted. 'It is written all over your face. And no, of course he doesn't know. He has no mask to wear for the world, so he cannot see through yours.'

Harry shifts slightly on the floor, startling Draco, but doesn't look at him.

"Are you going to tell me what you're frightened of now?" he asks, and Draco suspects that his mother doesn't know quite as much as she thinks she does. At least on this occasion.

"I don't know," Draco says, almost too quietly to be heard. "What's it worth?"

Harry sighs heavily against his abdomen. "I've just spent thirteen hours being thrown up on by patients, yelled at by their relatives and psychologically tortured by Tremellen—who, by the way, sends his love," Harry says and Draco scowls. "And then... this..." Harry waves his hand vaguely over their tangled limbs and the scowl softens. "Not that I'm complaining, but if you think I have the energy to bargain with you then you're sorely mistaken."

"And you are completely exasperating," Draco points out, more out of habit than anything else. He's warm and sated and he's not sure he wants to revisit Tremellen and Ginevra and his own ridiculous but very real insecurities.

"Draco," Harry sighs, lifting his head and digging one bony elbow into Draco's thigh. His eyes are soft, replete, warm rich green, and yet the expression is still one of pure challenge. Harry's gaze is unwavering, and it pins Draco to the spot far more effectively than the weight draped over him.

He blinks and stares back, suddenly feeling very significant indeed. Harry Potter wants to know what he's afraid of, and he won't let go until he knows. Draco hasn't a hope. He supposes that Harry, more than most, understands about nightmares, perhaps even the ones that aren't about the Dark bastard Lord, but about things that are far more important.

Draco smiles faintly. Combs his fingers through Harry's chaotic hair and flattens it carefully to his forehead. Harry's mouth twitches at one corner and as Draco gazes down at him in the flickering light from the fireplace, he knows for certain that dream-Tremellen knows nothing at all about the way things really are.

"I should've known it was a dream," Draco muses. "I never mis-Apparate."

Harry sighs gently and just looks at him. "Of course you don't," he murmurs, weary but indulgent. "Tell me," he insists.

And Draco does.