Draco Apparates into the cottage kitchen, looking around appreciatively. It looks very different from when they were here working, but despite all appliances being state of the art it still looks cosy and cottage-y and lived in. Harry must have hired someone really good to fix the place up for him.

It's New Year's Eve; the old year has six hours left to live. When Harry asked whether Draco would prefer a party or just the two of them, there was no doubt in Draco's mind. They'll have time for parties later. Spending time with Harry in their first, besotted phase of being in love is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Draco shakes his head a little at Harry buying the place because it "speaks to him" – Draco wonders what it says. For his part, he can't quite shake off the memories of their work here, but Harry doesn't seem bothered.

Harry hasn't arrived yet, and while Draco waits, he arranges vegetables and fresh herbs on the counter for later and puts wine in the fridge to chill before he goes to sit on the bench by the back door. He'll be doing the cooking tonight.

He smiles a little at the memory of their first morning here, with Harry edgy and in defence mode and Draco aware that he's been on the verge of being in love with Harry for years already, and that he's falling now, predictably and hard.

"I thought I'd find you here," Harry says from the doorway.

They sit in the dark in silence with Harry's head on Draco's shoulder and the stars cold and clear over the sea.

"I didn't know you could cook," Harry says a little later, sitting on the kitchen table dangling his legs, watching Draco prepare dinner. "I mean, really cook. Not just toast or spaghetti, like when we were here before."

"What's wrong with spaghetti?" Draco says lightly. "And I don't know about really cook. Oysters don't need much cooking."

Harry blanches a little, looking at the small crate packed with seaweed and ice on the counter. "We are having other things too, aren't we?"

Draco smirks. "We'll see. You don't cook? Ever?"

"I hate cooking," Harry replies with feeling.

"Any particular reason or just not your thing?"

"Well, I like food, but cooking reminds me too much of living with the Dursleys. My Muggle relatives. Cooking for them and watching them eat while my own tummy was growling…"

The knife slips and cuts Draco's forefinger instead of the shallots. He heals the cut, frowning. "They starved you?"

Harry shrugs uneasily, obviously feeling he's said too much, and begins to fidget. He rubs at the table with a fingertip, whistles, juggles a couple of apples, until Draco wedges himself in between Harry's knees and pulls him close.

"There's so much I don't know," he says. "Everyone knows your story in general, but hardly anyone knows details like that. I want to know everything about you."

Harry's breath is warm against Draco's neck, his hands sliding up under Draco's shirt. "I don't want you to know everything."

"Afraid the glory will fade?"


Draco laughs before realising Harry is serious. "Harry. You don't really believe that I'd stop… that I'd think less of you for something that happened when you were just a kid? Something that wasn't your fault?"

"Not just that," Harry mumbles against Draco's skin, sending shivers down his back. "But once you know everything, you'll have no reason to stay."

It takes a second for that to process. Then Draco pulls away to see Harry's face, but his eyes are closed behind the glasses. Draco stares at him. It's hard to believe that this man, dressed in Muggle jeans and t-shirt and blushing a little, is the wizard who defeated the Dark Lord. Then Draco remembers Harry throwing himself in front of the glass daggers at the Manor, and it's not remotely difficult to believe any more. He can't even imagine the kind of courage it must have taken for Harry to walk to his death in the Forest, back then when they were only seventeen. And he knows that if he asks, Harry will say there was only one thing to do, so he did it.

"Your history is part of who you are," Draco says softly, "but it's not all you are."

Harry opens his eyes and smiles a little. "You should know that better than anyone."

Draco is shaken by the strength of his own emotion. "I'll never know everything about you. Or you about me. There'll always be new things to find."

Harry reaches up to kiss him.

Hours later, when they sit on the bench by the wall again, Harry says: "When I was a kid, I always thought that if you looked hard enough, you would see the New Year arrive. Like a big bat or something."

Draco smiles, warm and dizzy with wine and love. "Let's catch it when it comes."

"When it's all new and all ours. To do whatever we want with."

They sit together under Draco's heating charm, listening to the waves and the noise of fireworks from the village, watching for the brand new year to come in from over the sea.