Title: A Certain Shade of Grey
Author: thewickednix
Pairing: Harry Potter / Draco Malfoy
Rating: NC-17
Categories: One-Shot, New Year, Post-war
Warnings: Slash, Adult Language, Substance Abuse (alcohol),
Words: 3 700

Summary: New Year's Eve is less fun for some than for others. An annoyed Harry Potter wanders away from the festivities of his house, only to encounter someone who irritates him even more. But Harry might find more than he bargained for.

DISCLAIMER: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Author's notes:
Spin-off in seventh year, after the war.

"It's like this every fucking year!" Harry Potter muttered, mostly to himself, as he sat in the Gryffindor common room and watched Dean Thomas grin wickedly at his new girlfriend before he leaned in to kiss her beneath the mistletoe that still hung from the roof. "Is there anything more depressing than New Year's Eve?"

"Valentine's Day?" Hermione Granger offered from where she sat next to Ron Weasley in the sofa. Ron snorted loudly, quickly trying to disguise his laugh as a cough when he saw Harry's murdering look.

Harry was by no means bitter, no. He just didn't particularly enjoy having to watch every corner of the entire castle fill up with snogging couples. Sure, they were around every other day of the year, but somehow New Year's Eve always seemed to get everyone especially randy. Maybe it was the booze, maybe it was the fact that they all seemed to think that their mistakes would matter no more come January the 1st. In the end, the reasons did not matter. All that mattered was that everywhere he looked, Harry would se people wrapped in each other's arms, and there was no one to share his irritation with. He couldn't even turn to Ron, because he was celebrating the New Year pretending to listen to Hermione read aloud from her new book, looking happy as a clam. Even Neville was getting some, sitting on the windowsill with Hannah Abbot, both of them looking disgustingly awkward and happy.

Sodding lovebirds, the lot of them.

"I'm going for a walk," Harry proclaimed to no one in particular, grabbing his coat and stalking out through the door. The Fat Lady shouted something at him for being so rude, but Harry couldn't really be bothered to care. He wandered down the hall, muttering quietly to himself.

It was all his own fault really, deciding to spend the holidays at Hogwarts. They had decided it would be fun, that all the seventh years who came back to finish school after the war would get together and celebrate Christmas. And it had been fun, spending time with the people they had fought with during the war.

But somehow every student at Hogwarts seemed to have paired up during the war, maybe in the fear of never experiencing love if it all ended badly. And so the Yule holidays changed from a feast of playing games and comparing presents to a big love-fest where people only seemed to compete in which couple could snog most offensively in public without being told off by one of the teachers. Being single in such times felt worse than being constantly Crucioed.

Harry knew that he didn't really have any right to complain about being alone. He had after all had plenty of offers. He had turned down Ginny several times after their initial break-up, and yet she still didn't seem to quite get the message but seemed to think that he was only playing hard to get. Then there was Padma, Lisa, Megan… All of them very pretty, and all of them so bloody annoying that Harry had to bite his tongue not to groan out loud whenever one of them approached him.

Harry wandered aimlessly through the halls of Hogwarts. Where was he even going? The Great Hall? Not bloody likely, that's where the New Year's Ball was held. He had seen enough snogging in the Gyffindor common room without needing to see couples from every other house do it on the dance floor. The Quidditch Pitch? Maybe, if he had taken his broom with him and if it hadn't been snowing for two weeks, the white precipitation covering the ground with a layer thicker than three yards.

Buried in his own thoughts, Harry soon found himself at the foot of the Astronomy Tower. He quickly turned on his heels, desperate to get away from what was considered to be the most romantic place in the school. But moving away, he realised that he hadn't seen a single human being in this part of the castle. Maybe it was too cold outside for all the lovey dovey couples to play tonsil-hockey up there.

Climbing the stairs, Harry's hopes seemed to be confirmed. Not a single voice was heard from above, and the only thing he encountered as he stepped through the door was the chilly wind blowing through the room from an open window. He walked over to shut it, and after doing so remained by the window looking out. Despite his poor mood Harry was amazed by the beauty of the winter night, the stars and moon in the pitch black sky causing the trees in the Forbidden Forest to cast their blue shadows onto the pure white snow. The lake, though while never freezing, stayed still even as the harsh wind blew through the air.

"Admiring the view, Potter?" a snide voice was heard from behind him, and Harry didn't even need to turn around to recognise the owner of it.

"What do you want, Malfoy?" he gritted between clenched teeth, turning around to leer at the blond Slytherin in the doorway. "Why are you here?"

"It's a free country," was the only answer Harry received as he in dismay watched Draco Malfoy prance through the room to another window, a half-empty bottle of Firewhisky in one hand and a pack of cigarettes in the other. Typical his luck, Harry thought, that the one person to find him in his solitude would be the one he least of all wanted to see. He decided to ignore the bastard, turning back towards the window.

The Slytherin managed to keep quiet for almost thirty seconds while he opened his window and lit a cigarette. Then he turned to Harry, sneering mockingly. "What are you doing here, Potter? Shouldn't you be getting royally pissed and ending the night with some lecherous Gryffindor bird in your lap?" the blond asked, as he took a drag from his cigarette.

In spite of himself, Harry snorted. "Yeah, right," he muttered sardonically, flushing slightly when Malfoy cocked a questioning eyebrow at him. Eager to move the topic from his own love life, or lack of one, Harry leered at the blond. "I could ask you the same question. I was under the impression that you Slytherins were all enjoying some kind of New Year-orgy down in the dungeons? Did you lose your way or did you just forget the password to the snake-pad?"

To Harry's surprise, Malfoy actually laughed. "Good one, Potter. Well, it looks like a fucking orgy down there all right, that I'll admit." He scoffed. "Everyone making out with anyone. What are we all, animals?"

"Seems like it," Harry responded, surprising himself with how civil his tone sounded. Malfoy however didn't seem to notice the difference between this and their usual conversations, or maybe the git just didn't care. He kept looking out of the window for a minute or two, completely ignoring Harry as he smoked his cigarette. Harry, also looking out into the night, had almost forgotten the presence of the other boy when he spoke again.

"Fancy a drink?"

"Huh?" Harry uttered dumbly, turning his head to find Malfoy offering him the Firewhisky. At Malfoy's degrading lift of a pale eyebrow, he hurried to accept. "Sure. Uhm, thanks," Harry murmured, trying to amend his clumsiness. Screwing off the cork, he wondered if it was a good idea accept alcohol, or any liquid for that matter, from a Slytherin. And not just any Slytherin, but Malfoy of all people. Decidedly not. But as it were, Harry had already downed a significant amount of both Butterbeer and Firewhisky, and his inhibitions were perhaps not what they ought to have been. Besides, he told himself, he could indeed use something to cheer him up.

Taking a deep breath, Harry lifted the bottle towards the other boy in the resemblance of a salutation. "Cheers!" He put the bottle to his lips and downed several gulps of the liquid, stopping only as he started to feel as if the drink was burning a gap into his throat. Coughing he stopped, offering the bottle back to Malfoy, wheezing a weak "Thanks."

Malfoy only snorted, watching Harry with a humorous sneer. "Boy, Potter, you're not much of a drinker, are you?" He slid down into a sitting position the floor, immediately gulping down several mouthfuls of the liquid, as if to show Harry how it was supposed to be done.

"So tell me Potter, why are you here?" Malfoy asked after he was finished.

Harry pondered for a minute whether to answer at all or not, but in the end he sat down on the floor a couple of yards from Malfoy, looking at the other boy peculiarly. "Why should I tell you?"

Malfoy shrugged, taking a small sip of the bottle before again offering it to Harry. "I don't know. I'm here, you're here. Supposedly we have made peace and are now having a civilized conversation."

Harry moved a bit closer to accept the bottle again. "True," he admitted, though really uncertain if Malfoy's words had actually made any sense at all. In any case, Malfoy was offering him Firewhisky and what could be a more interesting conversation than he'd had all week. What did he have to lose?

"I'm hiding from all the fucking lovebirds in my common room," Harry therefore answered, perhaps more truthfully than he had planned. "What about you?" he hurried to ask, taking a sip of the Firewhisky to give himself a moment to hide the embarrassed flush appearing on his face.

Malfoy snorted, but didn't comment further on Harry's rather pathetic confession. "I'm hiding from Pansy and attempting to get thoroughly pissed in the process," the blond professed, reaching for the bottle from Harry's hand. Harry didn't have the time to move his hand away fast enough, and the Slytherin's cool fingers slid briefly over his. Harry pulled away quickly, his hand still tingling after the short contact. To distract himself from the odd sensation, Harry tried to catch up with the conversation.

"Hiding from Parkinson?" he asked, his eyebrows approaching his hairline. "I thought she was your girlfriend?"

"Hell no!" Malfoy exclaimed, a loud bark of laughter escaping him. "She's my friend, but when she drinks she always seems to forget the amount of times I've told her I'm not interested." He shook his head, huffing sardonically before taking another big sip of Firewhisky.

"What about you, Potter? Weren't you with that Weasley-girl?" Malfoy then asked, quirking an eyebrow and gazing at Harry over the bottle. Harry felt the flush creep back over his nose.

"No, I ended that long ago," he muttered, hoping to conclude the subject as soon as possible. He leaned forward and snatched the Firewhisky from Malfoy.

"Good to hear," Malfoy responded impulsively, chuckling when Harry gave him an strange look. "I was starting to suspect that you had a serious Oedipus Complex, wanting to shag someone who looks remarkably like your own mother. You know, creating the happy Potter family all over again? Creepy."

Harry choked on his drink, and had tears running down his cheeks before he was able to stop coughing. "What the fuck, Malfoy?" he exclaimed, trying to look appalled but unable to hide the humorous smile on his lips.

"Just telling the truth, mate," Malfoy grinned, leaning forward to twist the bottle from Harry's hand. Again, Harry felt the odd jolt go through him, leaving him gawking at the blond with an expression that must have looked completely idiotic. What the hell was going on?

"Since when are we 'mates'?" he asked, trying to push the strange, new sensation somewhere deep into the back of his mind.

Malfoy shrugged offhandedly. "Alcohol tends to diminish my ability to hold grudges. Don't worry though, by morning I'll be back hexing you to next Wednesday." The Slytherin grinned wickedly, his metallic grey eyes seeming to pierce Harry like bullets.

Maybe it was the booze, or maybe the fact that Malfoy actually spoke to him as to a human being for the first time in his life. Maybe it was just that he was lonely, But something in Harry snapped just then. Something about that snide expression of Malfoy's drew him in, and in that moment Harry was too concentrated on the boy in front of him to resist it. Without really thinking about what he was doing, Harry Potter leaned in to kiss Draco Malfoy.

For a second, Malfoy did not move. Harry took this as an encouragement, crawling up on his knees so that he wouldn't lose his balance. But at his movement, Malfoy suddenly pulled back, leaning up against the wall and staring at Harry with wide eyes.

"What the hell do you think you are doing, Potter?" the Slytherin asked, though Harry was, even in his embarrassment glad to notice that Malfoy looked more irritated than horrified.

Harry swallowed loudly, searching his mind for an even mildly reasonable answer. "I- I don't know," he finally stuttered, feeling a horrible blush creep over his nose. He knew he should have moved away, stood up and ran out through the door as fast as his legs would carry him. But something in how Malfoy was looking at him held him still, held him hooked in place, kept him simply gazing breathlessly at the blond.

Malfoy stared at him for a long time, biting his lip in a distraught way that made something inside Harry tingle. Then suddenly the Slytherin breathed in deeply.

"Fuck it!"

And then his lips were upon Harry's again, cool and moist and firm, tasting of cigarettes and whisky, a kiss so powerful it made Harry shudder. This was nothing like the tentative kisses he had shared with Ginny or any other girls, this was rough, controlling and demanding. It was purely Malfoy, and somehow the knowledge of that made the whole ordeal even more exciting.

Malfoy's hand came up to grab Harry by the hairs on his neck, pulling him closer so violently that Harry practically fell into the Slytherin's lap. Without breaking the kiss, Harry manoeuvred himself so that he straddled Malfoy, pushing the other boy up against the wall. Harry felt bold, empowered, in charge as he ravaged the blond's mouth, feeling Malfoy's hands glide down from his neck to his back, tugging at his coat violently. Harry understood the message, quickly pulling the coat off himself before he moved his hands to run them through Malfoy's thick hair. Malfoy let out a sound that sounded almost like a purr, sliding his hands under Harry's sweater and T-shirt and onto his bare skin.

"Oh God!" Harry exclaimed breathily against Malfoy's lips, feeling his arousal grow by the second. Malfoy responded by dragging his nails across Harry's back, sending exquisite sparks of pain and pleasure through his body. He felt his erection growing awfully uncomfortable inside his jeans, and it did not help to look down into Malfoy's eyes and see them overflowing with want. Malfoy smirked at Harry's need, suddenly moving beneath the other boy, bucking his hips up against Harry's. Harry let out a breathless gasp, unable to do much more than manoeuvre himself so that he could move against Malfoy, pressing down on him and gaining as much contact as physically possible.

But it wasn't enough. Harry needed more, to be closer to Malfoy, to know more of Malfoy. Breaking the kiss, he moved his hands down to Malfoy's hips, unclasping his belt with shaky hands and moving to work on his buttons. Malfoy stared up at him with wide eyes, evidently very taken aback by this sudden forwardness. Harry didn't want to look at him in fear of the moment when Malfoy would back away, but he couldn't not look at him. Green eyes meeting grey steadily, Harry finally ripped open Malfoy's trousers and clasped his hand around the other boy's cock.

Malfoy gasped loudly, jolting upwards and hitting his head against the stone wall, but he never broke the eye contact with Harry. As if defying him ad trying to regain the upper hand, the blond moved to tug at Harry's jeans, getting them undone much faster than Harry had managed his. Harry let out a loud whimper as Malfoy's hand closed around his erection, almost biting through his lip in the process. Malfoy smirked wickedly, until Harry gave a particularly strong tug at his cock, causing the blond to moan out loud. And so they continued, sliding their hands on each others cocks in unison, both trying desperately to make the other one moan louder, thrash more, to lose this frantic battle of wills.

When they both were so close that it was almost impossible to continue, Malfoy suddenly sneered at Harry, gazing at him intently.

"Come! Now!" he let out in a single breath of air.

And that was it. Harry let go, being pushed over the edge by the demand, emptying himself in Malfoy's hand with a loud groan. Malfoy grinned, finally letting go himself, hitting his head back against the wall and moaning hoarsely. Harry watched Malfoy's eyelashes flutter in the pale moonlight, and thought that never in his life had he seen anything more entrancing.

Slowly their breaths began to even out, and Harry started to slowly realise what he just had done. He looked down at Malfoy, expecting a enraged rant or perhaps even one or two hexes. Oddly enough, Malfoy looked completely calm. Without a word, the blond wriggled out from under him and cast a cleaning spell on himself, swiftly buttoning his trousers.

"Well, this was… fun," Malfoy sneered, not quite viciously, at Harry who was still busy trying to rise from the floor. "I think it's time for me to go," the blond murmured hurriedly, refusing to meet Harry's eyes as he ran a hand through his disarrayed hair, already on his way to the door. In the doorway however, the Slytherin turned around, cocking an amused eyebrow at Harry.

"Cheers, Potter."

And he continued through the door, leaving Harry wondering if he just made the worst mistake of his entire life.


"Harry, where did you disappear to last night?" Hermione asked her friend the next morning at breakfast. "We thought you went to the Great Hall, but Lavender said she hadn't seen you. Not that I really trust her words, she probably had her tongue so deep down-" Hermione trailed off, which probably was just as well. The bushy-haired girl hadn't been able to stand the sight of Lavender since her relationship with Ron.

"I just walked around," Harry answered nonchalantly, quickly trying to divert his friends attention. "Oh, is that apricot marmalade? Yum!"

Hermione looked a little suspicious, but didn't press the issue. Instead she turned to Ron, whacking him over the head with her book for stealing eggs from her plate. Harry breathed out, pleased that he had side-stepped the landmine.

He could never, ever tell Hermione. He could never tell anyone. In truth, he wasn't even certain himself if it actually had happened. Last night seemed so surreal to him. But naturally, it had happened, as he still had the pack of cigarettes and the near empty bottle of Firewhisky that Malfoy had left behind in his hurry to leave. Harry sighed. He was so royally fucked this time. And here he had though that life would get easier after the war ended. Suddenly at loss of an appetite, Harry pushed his plate back and rouse from his seat.

"Harry?" Ron called, looking up at him. "Aren't you gonna eat anything?"

"Not really hungry," Harry muttered, painting an apologetic smile on his face. "I'll just go for a walk."

Without waiting for Ron's reply, Harry turned on his heels and walked out of the Great Hall. Instead of going for that walk though, he decided to go directly to his dorm. Maybe he could sleep away this terrible nightmare.

"Well, well! If it isn't Potter!" a cold drawl was suddenly heard from down the hall, and Harry looked over with dread. Malfoy was standing by the wall, leaning lazily against the huge stone gargoyle that guarded the Muggle Studies-classroom.

Harry bit his lip, determined to keep walking and not let himself be taunted. "Fuck off, Malfoy!"

The words only provoked a pleased sneer to appear on Malfoy's face. Without warning the blond lifted his wand. "Petrificus Totalus!"

Harry felt himself fall, hitting the floor painfully. Soon, Malfoy was leaning over him, grinning more than ever. The Slytherin grabbed Harry by his leg and dragged him into the empty classroom. After closing the door the blond waived his wand again, this time speaking the spell Harry had least of all expected.

"Finite Incantatem!"

Harry flew to his feet immediately, wand at the ready. But before he had time to throw a single spell, he found himself pushed roughly against the wall, Malfoy kissing him passionately. He pushed the blond away, staring at him furiously.

"What the fuck, Malfoy? Who do you think you are-"

Malfoy only grinned wickedly, approaching Harry anew. "I promised, didn't I?" he purred seductively, wrapping his arms around Harry's shoulders. "I told you I would hex you by morning."

And this time when Malfoy kissed him, Harry didn't pull away.