Notes: I'm not really sure where this came from, except that I really really wanted fluff. So, um. Hope it brings out a couple smiles.
It was Harry who had shown him how to blow dandelions.
Draco had come from a manor where the gardens had been manicured to perfection, and there had never been any dandelions. And even if he had seen one, as a Malfoy, he was much too dignified to blow on them.
Harry had found this tidbit dreadfully amusing of a sunny June afternoon, while they were prowling about a dandelion-covered field, in the middle of a mock-mission for Auror training.
"We're supposed to be disabling the traps," Draco told him crossly as Harry picked out a few white puffy dandelions, plump with seeds.
"They're all going to be on the same side of the field, anyway, and you know it," scoffed Harry. "We can do it later, and still have time for tea."
"Can't we disable the traps before playing with weeds?"
Harry rolled his eyes like Draco had just asked the dumbest question he ever heard. "Once we disable all of them, the mission will end, and they'll come to collect us. Enjoy the free time while you can, you berk." Draco sighed dramatically.
"What's so good about puffing about at weeds anyway?"
Harry grinned, holding up a single dandelion in his left hand, while still clutching his cottony nosegay in his right. "Just watch, you," he answered, forming an o-shape with his lips and blowing a bit of a squall over the poor plant. The white seedlings came whirling off the stem, flying off into the air like fluttery snowflakes.
Draco wrinkled his nose. "What's so great about that?"
"Well," shrugged Harry happily, "It's fun. And you get to make a wish, and if you blow off all the seeds, it'll come true." The look Draco gave him was scornful, even by Draco-to-Harry standards.
"You seriously believe a plant can do magic?"
"That's what Potions is all about, isn't it? And, anyway, it's just for fun. Here, you try." Harry handed his grumpy partner one of the flowers, which was drooping slightly from being clutched in the warmth of Harry's palm. Draco took it skeptically, stared it up and down, and finally blew tentatively at the fragile-looking sphere. A few seeds came floating off gently, dancing prettily away into the sun-kissed grass. He had to concede that it was quite nice-looking.
He blew again, and a few more came off and drifted away. "You have to blow harder if you want your wish," said Harry, "Watch." And blew another super-strong gust at a dandelion puff, which broke into chaos and rushed madly to pieces.
"What did you wish for?" asked Draco curiously.
"Now, now, Malfoy. You're not supposed to tell your wishes, or they won't come true."
Draco rolled his eyes and gave a "right, that made no sense at all, as usual" smile. His attitude towards Harry had quite changed in the time they had partnered as trainees. Harry was still an obnoxious git, but he was Draco's partner, by choice or not, and that meant Draco made sure Harry was doing perfectly at all times. Harry figured he ought to be a bit insulted that Draco only cared about him because it made Draco look bad if his partner was hurt, but somehow Harry could never bring himself to feel anything but somewhat flattered about it.
Once, Draco had asked why they were partners. Obviously, Draco had declared, the Ministry and all other normal people thought he was an evil horrible Death Eater and liked it when he was miserable, but he figured Harry would at least be liked enough to be given someone he actually could stand as a partner. Harry told him it was because he had asked not to be treated differently, and one of the few people who had adhered to this was the head trainer, who did what he always did and partnered people that usually got along badly. Apparently the trainer thought it helped the students get along better, and that, in turn, helped the program by having Aurors who spent less time trying to kill each other and more time working.
So they had been partners, and Draco and Harry had each obtained a certain degree of respect and care for each other, of the kind made necessary by being constantly responsible for each other. If Draco thought it was a rough job keeping an eye on the Boy-Who-Lived-But-Keeps-Almost-Dying, Harry realized Draco was no easier to watch over. Somehow most of the people they met either wanted to kill Draco or kiss him, neither of which Draco himself was terribly keen on. Although, Harry sometimes reflected, he could understand their urges.
Therefore, as their strange partnership grew and matured, Draco sometimes gave in to Harry's little whims, and Harry liked to drag Draco to nice restaurants for celebratory dinners once in a while. There had been the Harry-passed-basic-Potions dinner, the Draco-didn't-cast-Dark-spells-for-his-DADA-exam dinner, the we-somehow-passed-the-Concealment-exam-on-hangovers dinner, the we-both-got-dumped-but-won-top-marks-in-mock-practice dinner, the we-haven't-had-a-celebratory-dinner-for-a-week dinner, and so on.
Two months after the dandelion exam—which, of course, they had passed with flying colors with time for tea—they had both graduated into the Auror program, still partners, mainly because nobody in the department could bring themselves to tear apart their best team.
Five months after their graduation, they became roommates, when Draco was suggested out of the Manor by his parents, who wanted some time to themselves. Needless to say, Draco found himself on Harry's doorstep on a Saturday night, which was followed by much Firewhisky to erase any and all mental images from Narcissa saying "private time" and winking at a smirking Lucius. Draco supposed he ought to have been glad his parents were doing something nicer than Dark magic, but—eugh, the idea of that was simply sick-making.
And then, three months after that, they got drunker than usual at a we-finally-found-the-serial-killing-Dark-wizard-and-his-house-was-full-of-dead-people-but-we're-still-alive dinner, which was closely followed by snogging and sluggish but inappropriate touching.
A week after that, they got in to bed and seemingly never came back out, or so Hermione accused them.
A month after that, and, just to be rid of the annoying press, Harry told Skeeter he and Draco were a thing. The uproar was much less outraged than they ever expected, mostly because Draco's pretty face and newfound nice-boy image had won his way back into the good graces of most of England's witches.
Four months after that, and much shagging later, they were given The Stupid Mission.
Stupid, in that Draco hated how they were to go about it. Essentially, there was a Dark Wizard who was looking for some powerful device located somewhere on the other side of the planet, but Portkeyed back and forth between there and England regularly, killing people on both sides. Therefore, the obvious solution to this problem was to assign England's best Auror team to split up on either side and try to trap him somewhere in the middle. Of course, Draco had wanted to call it the Ridiculous and Imbecilic Mission, but then Harry had pointed out that the wizarding acronym for it would be RIM.
Harry had promised before he left, after talking Draco out of a fit ("I hate you! You're going to bang cocks!" "Draco…I'm going to Bangkok. There's a difference." "What, one's plural?"), that he would be back as soon as the mission was over. He told Draco to be careful on the England side, and Harry would try to contact him if possible, though it would be difficult with Harry going undercover.
Draco refused to admit it bothered him to watch Harry disappear next to the Portkey.
Days, weeks, months passed, and there was no word from Harry. Draco tried to pretend not to worry, but it was worrisome. This was his partner. In…more than one sense. Even if Draco was leery about admitting anything with regards to Harry. And the dumbest part was—the mission was confidential. Which meant Draco was not allowed to talk to Harry's friends about it and make them feel miserable with him.
Three months after the start of the assignment, Draco found the Dark Wizard's Britain lair, to which he surreptitiously added several tracking spells. Then he set about waiting for some sort of signal from Harry to move. It never came.
Another three months later, a message finally arrived, but all it said was to take the Portkey and destroy it. Draco, whose tracking had easily discovered where and what the Portkey was, did as his partner requested, then submitted for vacation. But the application was denied, and when he asked, the administration told him Harry had asked that Draco stay at the Ministry until the Dark Wizard was caught.
On the way home that day, as Draco walked to their place from the Apparition point, he saw a cluster of fresh dandelion puffs, and impulsively picked one. It was still in his hand when he reached the door, so he turned back and blew at the dandelion until all the puffs had waltzed away. Dropping the stem, he stepped inside.
For two months, he waited, silently, doing administrative work and obsessively cleaning and re-cleaning the office. If he saw dandelions on his way home, he plucked one and blew it outside the door before going in. And every night, he fingered the now-deactivated Portkey and wondered.
Then, on a lovely sunny morning in June, he was reading a book in the sitting room when a crack announced Harry's arrival by Apparition.
They stared at each other for several moments in silence, both their mouths opening and closing as they struggled to find the right words.
"I'm back," Harry said finally.
"Yes, I see that, you great prat," Draco snapped back, suddenly feeling incredibly annoyed. Harry raised an eyebrow.
"Draco. You know what the mission parameters were."
"I don't care what the mission parameters were. I'm still unbelievably irritated with you, git."
Harry's face fell a little, and Draco almost felt bad, except obviously Harry should have expected this when he failed to send even a "still alive" memo for eight months. And even if it was probably because of the pesky undercover thing, well, Draco was just not in a forgiving mood right now. If it were a weekday, he would probably be ready to slaughter the entire Ministry. "I'm sorry," said Harry, sneering. It would never do for him to be the only one who had looked forward to his homecoming. "I'll leave you alone for a while, then, if the sight of me annoys you so much." And he stomped away, slamming the sitting room door.
After remaining completely still for a minute, Draco suddenly leapt up from his chair, yanking open the door and rushing to the front hall after Harry, because Harry was back, and he was not allowed to leave again so soon, or really, ever again.
When he reached the front door, he saw that Harry was standing stock-still in the doorway, staring at something on the other side. Draco approached him tentatively from behind.
Harry turned back, and smiled weakly. "Draco…I'm…I'm sorry."
"Draco…" Unable to think of what to say, Harry simply moved away from the door and into Draco's arms. "How many wishes did you make?" Harry asked quietly, tightening his grip.
"Only one," Draco replied.
"What…what did you wish for?"
"I…" Draco only hesitated for a moment, because he really wanted to say it. "You."
And then Harry kissed him, and it had been so, so, so long, and neither of them wanted to move from the position ever again.
Behind them, the wide green space in front of the house was overgrown with dandelions.