Warning: Original Characters with minor roles.
Draco sat quietly in a newly upholstered arm chair and watched the scene unfold. It was quite entertaining, when you were fortunate enough to not be the object of Hermione's current fixation. The recently engaged woman absolutely refused to relax until every last one of her single friends was happily attached. And now she was after Harry. Poor Harry, the last of the group to still be single.
He'd been in Harry's shoes before and it was the most uncomfortable period of his life. He thought it would never end. She'd sent him on date after date after date and he'd hated it with a fiery passion. At least he hated it for a while until he'd met his current girlfriend, Elizabeth, through one of Hermione's set up dates. A wonderful match for Draco in every way. And they all knew it. All of their friends thought so, Elizabeth thought so. In fact, the only person that didn't believe Draco and Elizabeth made a perfect couple was Harry. He and Liz had yet to forge a friendship, they hadn't warmed to each other yet and Draco couldn't for the life of him figure out why.
Draco shook himself out of his mental wanderings when he heard Harry's voice truly become pathetic.
"I don't really want to go on a blind date." Harry stated for the eighth time that evening.
"Harry, honestly! Stop complaining. It'll be fun, you'll see." Hermione said forcefully.
Harry rolled his eyes and crossed his arms over his chest as he mumbled "doubtful" under his breath.
The bushy haired beauty threw up her arms in exasperation before plopping down on the nearest couch.
"You're going. He might be the one, Harry." Hermione rubbed her right arm along the ugliest couch Draco had ever seen. He'd hated on sight. It was the color of mud. And it felt even worse than it looked. It was impossible to sit comfortably, it retained heat like a furnace. Draco had told Harry this at the store but Harry had bought it anyway. Draco refused to sit on it when he visited Harry and Hermione's apartment. There wasn't enough money in the world.
Hermione turned to Draco, coercing him out of his thoughts. "Please, say something to him!"
Draco's eyes widened and he shook his head forcefully. "No way. I'm not in this."
Harry laughed and nodded, obviously appreciating Draco's support or at least, lack of support for Hermione.
"You're impossible, both of you!" Hermione huffed before storming from the room.
Harry sighed in relief and Draco couldn't help but to laugh. "It's not over, Harry."
"But--" Harry began but Draco shushed him by applying a finger to his own lips. "Just wait for it." He whispered and Harry frowned in confusion.
"Harry James Potter!" Hermione's voice sounded in the hallway. She was coming back, Draco knew she would be back.
"Here's the name of the pub, he picked it. I've decided on the most appropriate outfit and put it on your bed." Hermione shoved a piece of parchment at Harry, which he grudgingly accepted. She crossed the living room and gathered her purse and keys from the end table. "I'm going to Ron's tonight just in case your date goes well and you bring him home." Hermione began and then smiled softly at the look of sheer horror on Harry's face before bouncing out the front door. Harry was extremely discreet about his personal life and he never joined his friends when conversations turned to sex. Ron, Hermione's fiancé, had once mentioned that he thought it was because Harry was gay in a sea of straight people. It just made sense that Harry wouldn't want to talk about heterosexuality and felt uncomfortable being the only one to really understand homosexuality. Draco had felt inclined to agree at the time.
"Oh and don't forget to be safe!" Hermione chimed through the open window as she walked past. Harry groaned and buried his face in his hands.
Draco had to turn his head to hide his laughter. Poor Harry indeed.
"This is a great place." Harry's date, Patrick, commented as they took their seats at the last remaining table in the crowded pub.
"Yeah, it is. We come here a lot." Harry said and took a sip of his muggle beer.
"Who's we? You and her Hermione?"
"Rarely. I was mainly referring to Draco, another mate."
"Ah, Hermione's mentioned him before maybe, I think recognize the name but can't really pinpoint why." Patrick said and Harry nodded.
This bloke was short with flaming red hair. Harry dated Ginny for a few months and Hermione assumed he was a fan of the carrot top. He much preferred blonde hair. The thought made Harry wince slightly. He frantically searched for something to say to avoid the path his thoughts were heading.
"We were all at Hogwarts together."
"I remember your first year, the sorting. I was a seventh year at the time."
"And you left early, right? To take an internship abroad?" Harry inquired, thankfully remembering some details that Hermione had supplied.
Patrick smiled and nodded. "I did. Spent a few years in Asia before coming back and completing my NEWTS."
"I'm sure it was a great experience." Harry commented.
"Yeah, but as it turns out…I missed it here. Had to come back to England. But I travel when I can." Patrick laughed lightly and Harry smiled.
"Sounds like Draco. He's been to three other continents so far."
"I have as well. Although, I must admit that I wasn't really fond of the United States. Americans are too loud and boisterous. You ask one how they are and they actually tell you. I mean, they'll spend ten minutes telling you what ails them and all their troubles. It's annoying."
Harry smiled and nodded but he didn't agree. Actually, he found Americans entertaining. They were loud but they had fun. He secretly thought his countrymen could do with a little bit more excitement. Granted, he had only met two Americans in his entire life, but still.
"Have you been out of the country?" Patrick asked.
"You should…someday." Harry offered a small smile. Patrick's tone sounded like pity. Harry had ample opportunity to travel abroad. Draco was always hassling him to accompany him. But Harry had a very strict policy when it came to traveling. If he couldn't physically walk home, no matter how many days, weeks, or months it took, he wasn't going. And since his country was an island, that left few options for travel. He knew that everybody made fun of him for it but he couldn't care less. He wasn't about to be overseas and have apparition cease to work as well as a complete breakdown of all muggle transportation, like ships and airplanes, and not be able to get home to London. It just wasn't going to happen.
"It really is exciting." Patrick elaborated.
"Experiencing different cultures can really give you some perspective on your own. It enables you to see what is better in your own culture. The different people, the exotic food, the entertainment. It really is exciting. You know?" Patrick rambled, waving a thin arm back and forth in a sweeping gesture.
"I would imagine so, yes." Harry said and Jonathon grinned.
"You should do it someday." Jonathon repeated and Harry couldn't think of anything else to say. They sipped their drinks in awkward first date silence for a few minutes before Patrick spoke again. It was about the weather. Harry mentally noted that it was going to be a very long and boring night.
"So, how was your date last night?" Hermione pried the second she entered their apartment the next afternoon and found Harry watching television and eating his weight in greasy crisps.
"I don't really want to talk about it." Harry glanced at her as she situated herself next to him on the couch.
"That bad, huh?" She frowned and reached for the crisp bag.
"In a manner of speaking." Harry replied before making his way into the kitchen only to return with an unopened package of biscuits.
"Why?" Hermione questioned innocently, her way of trying to gently coax him into talking about it. Harry shrugged and ripped open the white paper, failing to care when several chocolate covered butter biscuits found their way to his lap.
"Harry, come on. Talk to me."
"He's just not my type. We didn't…click." Harry said before shoving an entire biscuit into his mouth.
"You mean because he's not blonde, devilishly handsome, arrogant, sarcastic, and currently dating a woman?"
Harry ignored her, preferring to scowl in the direction of his new plasma television. Before she'd gotten home, he had truly been enjoying the previously recorded episode of a popular German soap opera that featured two ridiculously attractive gay men.
"Harry!" Hermione was aggravated with him again. Great.
"What?" He snapped without meaning to do so.
Hermione took a deep breath and smiled slightly. The way a young mother smiles at a confused child who'd done something wrong. She was preparing to lecture him, he could tell. "He's straight, Harry. And one of our closest friends, I might add. You've got to get over this thing you have for Draco. And allow yourself to be with somebody."
Harry remained quite, choosing to eat another biscuit instead. He hoped that she'd give up if he didn't respond, which she did. With a quick kiss to his temple, she fled the lounge in favor of her bedroom. He thought about what she'd said for several moments. It wasn't the first time she'd said it. Or Ron, for that matter. He wasn't a complete idiot. He knew that nothing could or would ever come of his romantic feelings for Draco. But it wasn't a light switch, he simply couldn't just turn it off.
Harry had been hopelessly in love with Draco for twelve years, since they were teenagers. When Draco and his mother arrived at the Burrow, shortly after Dumbledore's funeral, asking for redemption and the opportunity to help defeat Voldemort, everyone had been nervous but Harry. He convinced the order that it was worth their effort to take them in. And after numerous tests to prove their loyalty, Harry was proved right. Narcissa had been inspirational with defense techniques. A fact that surprised them all. There had been nothing spectacular about Draco, however, other than his determination and hunger to do the right thing for once.
Draco had grown close to Harry, Ron, and Hermione in his quest to prove himself during the war. They became inseparable and even went to work for the ministry together, albeit different departments. And chose to all live in the same London burrow as muggles, to keep some perspective on something they fought so hard to save.
After the war, Ron and Hermione had tried to get Ginny and Draco together. They dated for less than a month, the constant bickering was too much. Even now, Harry could still fill the jealously and taste the bitterness he'd held toward Ginny during that period. Everyone in the Wesley family assumed that he was so upset because he wanted to re-instate his relationship with Ginny. They shrugged it off and forgot about it when Harry vanquished those rumors and announced his preference for the male gender. Hermione and Ron, however, were the only two to realize the truth. He'd been forced to confess his feelings to them a year later when Draco met someone new and his volatile and hateful attitude emerged once again.
His friends had calmed him and encouraged him to be more discreet, a piece of advice he followed for the three years that Draco was with her. Harry had even befriended Draco's girlfriend somewhat, enough to not arouse any suspicions.
Draco had now been single since, much to Harry's personal enjoyment. The only exceptions were a few stray dates here and there, Hermione's matchmaking antics, and relationships that lasted a few weeks but never anything serious.
Until Draco met Elizabeth, one of Hermione's friends she'd met at a work luncheon. Harry hated her. He hated everything about her from her glorious hair that never seemed to move and stylish fashion sense to her prim and proper attitude. She was an ideal counterpart for Draco. Everyone said that they were perfect together and for that more than anything else, Harry hated her.
"Harry, I forgot to tell you." Hermione's voice rang down the hallway.
"Yeah?" He responded, relieved for once to be distracted.
"Ron and I are making dinner here tomorrow tonight."
"Alright." It wasn't exactly a big deal, they had dinner all the time. He wondered why she felt the need to announce it. Maybe he'd invite Draco.
"I've asked Ron to invite one of his co-workers. He's really cute, Harry. I'll find you something nice to wear." Or maybe he wouldn't.