Disclaimer: I am only writing for fun. Absolutely no profit involved, cross my heart.
Summary: All it took him to learn how to dream was a glimpse of blonde hair and an enigmatic smile.
Author's notes: Hello. First off, am extremely sorry for the rather late update. I was out of town for two weeks and couldn't take my laptop and then it decided to die on me. So I have been running back and forth trying to get it repaired. Fortunately, all my documents were unharmed.
Thanks to all my readers and to all those who reviewed and stuck with me this far. The earth spins because of you. Well, enough rambling I suppose. Enjoy.
Sense of Taste
I got back to work the next day and it seemed like I had been shown the light. At least now, there was something to occupy my time and I didn't automatically keep my ears and eyes peeled for him all the time.
Ginny had settled too, all her anxieties of me straying were being kept at bay by the fact that I could actually speak to people without sounding like the world was coming to an end and kiss her without gagging and feeling as if someone had cast a burning hex at my chest. Life had settled, I could almost say, to its mundane existence before Draco. I always thought of life that way since then, Before Draco and After Draco. Before him, it had been before Voldemort and after Voldemort; but Voldemort wasn't the most important part of my life anymore. After Draco, I doubt anyone would ever be as important.
I found myself often wondering often what Draco was doing to keep himself occupied when his team wasn't practicing now. The previous week, he had spent all his free time with me. The evening I joined back at work, I discovered the answer to that mental question.
"So you know he is our man but do not have enough evidence to pull an arrest without repercussions?" Harry asked, his eyes scanning the reports he held in his hands. Seamus nodded. "The man's got pretty useful contacts." He told Harry, lightly. Harry acknowledged the comment and closed the file, "Useful contacts in the Ministry?" He questioned, a slight smirk pulling at his lips. Seamus grinned. "Kingsley's already working on them." He assured. "So we go after the henchman?" Harry grinned in anticipation, leading the way out of the office. Seamus followed him, slipping his wand into the wand hostler tied firmly to his bicep. "Yes, mate, Marcus Flint is our man." Marcus Flint, the first Slytherin Quidditch Captain Harry had ever played against.
Harry's eyes glinted. He would definitely enjoy this.
Seamus and Harry apparated with the lag of a whole minute between each other into Knockturn Alley from the Ministry Atrium, knowing it from reliable sources to be the former Slytherin's most preferred haunt. Seamus gestured with his head towards a dingy corner, at the sign that announced 'Coven' in sleazy crimson writing, bold and thick at the bottom; narrow, pointed at the top. Harry wondered if someone had clawed the writing. Nodding to Seamus, he made his way towards the door of the seedy pub.
He pushed open the door and walked in, his hand on his wand under his robes and Seamus so close behind him that he could feel his partner's anxious breath on the nape of his neck. The bar was thick with the scent of sweat and smoke, hot and uncomfortable. Seamus's nose wrinkled in distaste. Harry glanced around, a quick cursory look, noticing possibly hostile people and all plausibly obscure escape routes. "The bar, mate?" Seamus hissed into his ear. Harry agreed and made his way towards the bar. Seamus followed without a moment's hesitation.
Harry smiled benignly at the bar-keeper. The bear-like man stared back, not even the hint of a smile on his face, his hand motions, wiping the snifter he held, not stilling. Harry wasn't discouraged. He leant forward, "Can you tell me where I can find Marcus Flint?" The man's expression did not alter and he put the snifter down, his motions strangely gentle for such a huge man. Seamus tensed behind Harry.
"I don't know what you're talking about." He said after a few moments of silent contemplation. Harry's smile sharpened, his eyes glinted dangerously. Moving very slowly, he pulled out his Auror Badge and placed it on the bar table, his grip tight on it. "I am aware from a very reliable source Mr. Pasterelli that the legal license of your little place expired a few months ago." He said, softly, his smile in place.
The man trembled and his eyes darkened. He stretched out his hand for his wand. Harry was over the table before anyone could see that he had moved the man's arms in his tight grip. "I am trying to play nice, Mister Pasterelli." He hissed, his voice bordering on menacing. The man's eyes widened when he saw Harry's wand trained on his chest and Seamus's own pointed at his back. He cautiously took in Harry's fringe and the scar that lay proudly beneath. He deflated. "Try the table at the left most corner." He grunted. Harry's grin was quick and all teeth. "Thank you." He swung himself over the bar and nodded to Seamus.
Seamus turned abruptly and walked in the direction the bar-keeper had pointed them to. Harry disappeared into the crowd his eyes trained on Seamus. The crowd of people who sat at the table where they were told they'd find Flint were a boisterous lot. Flint sat at the centre, holding court, looking as smug and sneering as he had at Hogwarts. Seamus stopped close to the person who sat outer-most in the circle and nodded sharply to Flint when he looked up.
Flint smirked, his eyes shining in challenge and in a sudden move, he twisted and apparated out of the dingy little pub.
Seamus sighed and relaxed his grip on his wand. Harry appeared at his elbow, chuckling. "Why they think that's going to work, I will never understand." Seamus said, his lips curling into a smile in the face of Harry's laughter.
"Let's go, mate." Harry said, his voice peppered with amusement. They left the bar side by side, not in any great hurry. Harry pulled out his wand as they turned the bend into Diagon Alley. He whispered an incantation and the wand sparked and remained still in his hand for a moment. They waited. Then it spun and pointed south of where they were standing. Harry smiled grimly.
What he had just used was a more complex version of the 'Point-Me' spell designed precisely for the use of situations like these. The spell could trace the signature of the person the caster bid it to and point them in the direction from where it sensed the perpetrator's magical signature. Harry felt a kind of tug, as the wand led him and Seamus to Flint. "What they wouldn't do to be able to find an anti Point-Me spell of sorts." Seamus commented, laughingly, jogging after Harry. Harry grinned.
His wand led them straight to the alcove where the Auror Headquarters were located. Harry frowned as they slowed to a stop. "Rather stupid of him to make this easier for us, Harry." Seamus observed, wearily. Harry shook his head, his eyes roving slowly over the little lane, looking for some sign of Flint's presence. The bell above the quaint little café Harry had been in many times with Draco rang noisily and Harry started. Before he had made any conscious decisions, he was moving towards the café, his grip almost clenching on his wand.
"Mate?" Seamus hollered, urgently, as Harry opened the door to the café and a jet of red light shot straight at his head. Harry ducked, unconsciously and Seamus's warm presence by his side grounded him and reassured him that his partner was uninjured. He raised his eyes to Flint's glinting ones, his own fierce. "It's over, mate." He said, his voice quite, hissing. Flint stepped back, the café was eerily silent; the smattering of people in the café frozen. He spun away from the focus of Harry's wand and roughly grabbed a little girl seated just beside where he stood from her mother's arms. The woman cried out, fearing for her daughter. The child screamed as Flint put his wand to her throat.
Harry froze and Flint laughed, cruelly. "I'm not squeamish, Potter." He sneered. "I am not the kind of person who uses a disarming spell on the Dark Lord, himself." His eyes burned with hate. "I can utter the killing curse." He promised, darkly. Harry smirked, suddenly. "Disarming spell or not, Flint, Voldemort is dead." He raised his hands and made a crude gesture. "Ashes and six feet under the ground." He smiled slowly and held out his arms. "I'm still here."
Flint's eyes darkened in rage and he raised his wand and held it pointed at Harry. "Marcus, mate, been very long." Someone called and Harry's heart jumped into his throat. Stay out of this, he thought tensely. Draco swaggered into Flint's line of sight, Pansy Parkinson close behind him. Harry's eyes narrowed at her. She stared coolly back. "Draco." Flint said, by way of greeting, his wand still trained on Harry. Draco held out as hand for Flint to shake. He turned to look at the blonde, incredulously. "Are you purposely misunderstanding the situation or are you just plain stupid?" He asked, turning his head away from Harry, his voice higher than usual. Harry pounced.
He pulled the girl easily out of Flint's slipping grip and rolled to the side, holding her protectively to his chest. Flint cursed and wildly cast the killing curse at Harry's crouching body. Draco stepped smoothly into the line of fire and someone cried out in anguish. It took Harry a moment to realize that it had been himself. Draco dropped almost tragically slow to the ground and Harry's magic went wild. It hissed around his head and lashed out surrounding Flint and lifting him high above the ground. Bleeding cuts appeared in precise slashes all over his arm and Flint yelled in pain. Harry clenched his teeth, his eyes wild. Seamus moved closer to Harry and put his arms around his trembling body, gently pulling the girl out of his shaking arms. "It's okay, mate." He whispered, calmly. "No, it's not." Harry snapped, his voice quivering with the need to cry. "No one's hurt." Seamus said, loudly, more forcefully.
Harry turned to look around him, his eyes searching for Draco wildly. Draco was sitting up, Pansy's arms supporting his body, his eyes unnervingly intense, watching Harry. Relief coursed through Harry's body, suddenly. And like someone had poured cold water over him, he came to his senses, abruptly. Harry pulled the wild magic back forcefully into his core. Flint dropped to the ground, groaning. Harry spun after a cursory glance to make sure he was not dead and took a deep breath, making a conscious effort to control himself. He nodded to Seamus, asking him to go ahead and make the arrest. Seamus moved to do as he had been instructed to and Harry strode purposefully over to the blonde and knelt beside him.
His hand glowed green as Harry held it gently over Draco's abdomen. Draco watched, his eyes passionately focused on Harry's lowered head, his face blank. Pansy moved away and stood, her eyes coolly assessing, her lips curved into a small smile. When Harry did not detect any lasting damage, he sat back on his haunches, pulling his hands back to rest at his side. Unexpectedly, anger took the place of blissful relief. "What were you thinking, you bastard?" Harry snarled at Draco, his fists clenching with the urge to punch the git on his blank face. "I was thinking, that little girl's mum would hurt if something happened to her, Potter." Harry refused to admit that the use of his last name hurt. "We had it under control." He bit out. Draco sneered, with only quarter a portion of the malice of his old sneers. "Yes, that was rather obvious, wouldn't you say Pansy?" He drawled, not taking his eyes off Potter's face. Pansy did not reply, though her smile widened a fraction and her dark eyes danced.
Harry stood, aching all over. "Well, alright then." He turned without so much as a goodbye, not knowing if he could handle speaking to Draco for a moment without blurting out his feelings for the man. He turned to the waitress, who stood stunned and scared beside him. "The Auror Department will compensate for all the collateral damage, of course." He promised with a bland smile and she nodded, placated. "Come Seamus." He directed and walked out of the café, Flint tied up and unconscious, floating behind him as he walked. Flashing a bemused smile at Draco as he stood slowly and dusted himself off, Seamus stepped closer. "How come you're still alive, mate?" He asked in a whisper. "Pansy deflected the curse." Draco told him, amicably.
Nodding and flashing another smile at him and Pansy, Seamus retraced Harry's footsteps out of the café.
Pansy Parkinson, who would have thought really? In actual fact though, I should have wondered what happened to her. She and Blaise Zabini, they had always been Malfoy's Hermione and Ron. Perhaps, he was in touch with Zabini as well. Yet, it didn't strike me till I saw her with him. And somehow knowing he wasn't alone, without any sympathizers in England, like he had told me what seemed like eons ago, made me feel a lot better about not standing guard over him every moment of every day.
I felt chills for a day or two after that incident. Mostly when I was alone at home after work, as Kingsley had dumped all the cases they couldn't solve the past two weeks on my head as soon as I had walked in on Monday. I was kept busy enough that I didn't floo-call him and enquire after his health every time I got a breather. Instead I took the time to actually breathe. Hermione and Ron left me alone for the most parts except for a few floo calls to enquire after my health. I hadn't had the heart to see Ginny mostly, so I did my best to avoid all meetings with her and ten felt terribly guilty after that. But because of that, evenings, I spent mostly alone at home.
But, the third evening back home, after I had rejoined, I had an unexpected visitor.
Harry sunk into the couch in front of the fire with a groan, his cup of hot chocolate burning through his cold fingers, the warmth stealing slowly over his body. Who would have expected Kingsley to dump all the cases he could dig up on Harry to punish him for the vacations Kingsley himself that insisted that Harry take?
Harry had been told by Seamus that an illegal potions operation was in play and apparently, they messed with the constitution of the Dreamless Sleep Draught, which was singularly the most popular potion in the wizarding after the war, no questions asked. The reports had filled Harry with an almost burning desire to have these people out of the picture as soon as was humanly possible. Hence, the ring folders on my coffee table and hence, no sleep for me; he thought to himself, smiling tiredly. He twisted on the couch to give his throbbing back some relief, as pain crept in tendrils along his lower back and shoulder blades and reached for the first file.
The floo flared to life.
He jumped back upsetting the mug he had placed on the coffee table and spilling the burning liquid all over his hand. Cursing, he pulled his hand back to his chest, cradling it tenderly, willing the burn away. Someone cleared their throat and he glanced up crossly, wondering what anyone would want with him at this time in the night. He couldn't keep the surprise off his face when he saw the woman in the flames. Short black hair bobbed when she nodded to him and he stood still, frozen and wondering at the reason of her presence in his floo.
"What, Potter?" She snapped irritated. "Hasn't anybody flooed you anytime in your life before?" Harry frowned, "Are you calling this time of the night because you couldn't sleep and wanted to find me and get your daily does of insulting Harry Potter out of the way?" He retorted. She smirked. "There is something you need to know. Now would be the best time." Harry raised an eyebrow, waiting. "Step back, Potter, I'm coming through." Her head disappeared from the flames. "Of course, you can come through, I don't mind. Make yourself right at home." He mumbled, sarcastically, moving out of the way and lifting a few of his more intrinsic wards to allow her through, unhurt.
Then he wondered why he was bothering. He sat back on the couch with a sigh.
She stepped gracefully out of the floo a scant moment later, her silky emerald green robes, perfectly creaseless, not a hint of soot on them. Harry stood, raising an eyebrow, flinching inwardly in distaste, her robes reminding him of his own flamboyant wedding robes. "Parkinson, I would say, this is a pleasure, but you wouldn't believe me." He said, by way of greeting. She smiled, unpleasantly, her pretty eyes sharp and intelligent. They reminded Harry for some obscure reason of Draco's gunmetal grey eyes. "Likewise." Pansy said, her tone sibilant. Harry held out his hand for her to shake. She stared at him, for an intense moment, not moving to take the hand. Feeling awkward, Harry made to drop his hand. She slid forward then, moving fluently, almost like water, and took his hand in her dainty one, giving it a sharp shake.
Harry's lips slid into an easy smile as he offered her a seat. She lowered herself into his wing-backed chair. Harry took a moment to wonder if wing-backed chairs were the first preference of all pure-bloods and sank into the couch opposite to her. He gestured forward when her eyes sharpened. "Talk." He said, simply.
She smiled, a gentle, contemplative smile and Harry was taken aback.
"I wondered if I should come to you with this Potter. I have been thinking about this since Draco's arrival back in England." Harry stiffened when she paused. "So this is about Draco?" He took the present Lord Malfoy's name unconsciously, like it was natural, like he had been using his christened name his entire life. Pansy's smile grew sharper, more shark-like. She observed him, quietly, for a still moment. "I think..." she said, slowly, drawing out the syllables, "that perhaps, you already knew that, Potter." She settled back into the chair, her eyes on his face. "What other reason would I have for meeting you?" Harry nodded, easing back into the couch.
"Go ahead, then." Harry smiled, almost bitterly. "Say your piece; you're the only one left." Again Pansy watched him carefully for a few moments. "I don't think I understand, Potter." Pansy drawled, leaning forward in her chair, her eyes intense. "It certainly looks to me like you've admitted to yourself at least, that Draco's who you want." She said, bluntly. Harry started on the couch and flushed. Pansy smirked. "Why won't you go after him?"
"Is that any of your business, Parkinson?" Harry snapped, uncomfortable.
"Tell me why it's not, Potter." Pansy challenged, her smile becoming dangerous. "Tell me why it's not my business when Draco's involved." Harry shook his head and stood. "Would you perhaps like something to drink?" He asked, almost desperately. Pansy stood as well. "No, what I would like is to know why you're running away from what you want." Harry whirled on his way to the kitchen, his eyes accusing. "You wouldn't understand if I told you." He hissed.
"Try me." Pansy dared, her lips turned up in an ugly sneer. Harry glared; his eyes uncomfortable in their intensity. "I think I know what you're going to tell me, Potter." Pansy walked forward till she was looking up into Harry's eyes, her finger prodding at his chest. "I want you to see how plebian and just lame, for the lack of a better word, it sounds."
To Harry's sudden amusement, she widened her eyes comically and said earnestly, "It would hurt Ginny if I made you mine, Draco." Her choice of words made Harry blush, even as he couldn't stop the smile that lit his face. "Ginny would be heart-broken, Draco. I can't hurt the Weasleys that way." She mocked, looking for all the world like she was in horrible pain. "I do not look or speak like that." Harry said, affronted, yet chuckling quietly.
"It's all a matter of perspective, Potter." Pansy retorted, a perfect replica of Draco's sneer on her face. It had irritated Harry before, but now all it did was amuse him. "It's not like that." Harry tried, again. "If I were actually hurting Draco or causing him some horrible worry by acting this way, then it would be definitely different. But why would what I do matter when Draco does not even know that I feel that way about him or feel that way about me in return?"
"Oh, Potter, how are you surviving in this world when you're so very blasé?" Pansy moaned with a pitying expression on her face, raising a hand to rub at her temple. Harry raised an eyebrow, confused. "Precious Potter, Draco has been- what's the word I'm looking for- enamored with you for years." Pansy cooed, her voice sugary sweet. Harry was stunned into stillness. "E-enamored? Draco? With-with me?" He stammered, embarrassingly. Pansy smiled. She absolutely refused to think of Potter as endearing in any light. "You were so charmingly oblivious, Potter, you daft prat." She used the word 'charming' as if it were a heinous crime to be so. "But please tell me, it's finally, finally sunk in?"
"Draco and me?" Harry repeated, enraptured by the possibility that the idea wasn't an impossibility.
"Yes, yes, Draco and you, if..." She paused, Harry turned to look at her, his eyes glinting. "If you set your idiotic Gryffindor hero tendencies aside and dump the Weaslette." Harry's face closed up like a shut door. Pansy sighed, irritated. "Don't be a martyr, Potter. Please, don't hurt Draco anymore." Harry started. "You hurt him enough when you refused his hand in the first year." Harry blinked, surprised. "And then you hurt him throughout every time he spoke to you, even though he was always biting. It took a lot of effort for him to hate you, you know and it hurt him to hurt you." "I didn't know." Harry confessed, a bit confused.
"Draco's always been a bit enamored with you, Potter." Pansy said reminiscently. "Always wanted to be a part of your life, always wanted to be the reason you smiled, the person you spoke to when your problems got too hard for you to shoulder." Pansy smiled, fondly. "He never realized that he wanted to be a part of your life so very much that he did not mind being the antogonizer, if even that role was granted to him."
Harry listened, wondering doubtfully at the truth of her words. It had never seemed that way to him. "You and Draco, Potter, is something that was just waiting to happen." Pansy said, conclusively, standing up, rather abruptly. "The day after tomorrow is Draco's game and after that Potter, he'll leave, he'll go back to Bulgaria and he will in all possibility not come back." She paused and looked almost pleadingly at Harry. "You are the only one who can give him reason enough to stay."
Harry took a deep breath telling himself almost desperately not to full out panic. To be as important as all that to one person was rather a terrifying thought. But then, he thought reasonably, Draco was as important to him as well.
"Don't be a martyr, Potter." Pansy warned again, stepping into the floo. "Doing what you're doing now is making a lot of people unhappy. Breaking up with the Weaslette is hurting only her and making almost a dozen other people happy, not to mention yourself which is possibly your biggest incentive for doing thus."
"Decide wisely." She bid as farewell and then flooed out. Harry collapsed onto the couch, his head swimming.
I had made a mistake. Marrying Ginny was in all actuality never part of my plan. It shouldn't have been either, because I did not love her. Faced with all the reasons why I should not marry her, the conclusion I was supposed to draw was undeniable. And for the most part, I was done hesitating. I only had one thing left to do. I flooed 'Mione and Ron though, the next day, before I spoke to Ginny, and told them that knowing that Draco was being hurt too, was not something I was going to ignore. I told Ron I hoped that he could forgive me.
He had guffawed and stared at me like I was barmy, "Aren't you getting it, mate?" He had asked. "This was what you were supposed to do all along." I had smiled and closing the floo connection, apparated to the Burrow.
Harry knocked on the doorand waited, trying not to fidget. He heard shuffling inside and forced his hands to his side to keep from wringing them. Arthur pulled open the door and smiled when he saw the visitor. Harry smiled back, a slightly edged smile from the nervousness. "You wish to speak with Ginny." Arthur said, knowingly, his eyes gentle. Harry nodded, guiltily. Arthur called for Ginny and then turned back to Harry. "No one here will begrudge you your happiness, Harry. You are as much ours as Ron is." Harry smiled gratefully, squeezing the man's hand. "Thank you, sir." He said, moving a few steps backward when Ginny came hurtling out of the door and threw herself into his arms. Arthur nodded, encouragingly almost and turned and walked back into the house shutting the door gently behind him.
Harry squeezed her slight frame one last time, savoring the closeness of a dear friend. Then he pushed her away and glanced into her confused blue eyes, so much like Ron's, but so different. "We need to talk, Ginny." He said, hoping his voice didn't shake. She smiled grimly, unpleasantly. "I don't like the sound of that, Harry." Her frame was tense, her voice saturated with an emotion Harry didn't think he could name. "Do you think this is going anywhere, Gin?" Harry asked, softly, trying his best not to unnecessarily hurt her feelings. "This thing between us?" Ginny walked forward slowly and leaned against the stile. Harry squatted on the stile beside her.
"We are meant to be, Harry." She whispered, her voice drenched in hurt. "From the first day, I knew I would marry you." Harry stayed silent, wondering what he could do to take away her pain. "It has always been you, Harry." She turned to look at him, her eyes wet. "Always you." Harry sighed, his chest aching and jumped off the stile. "You can't help whom you fall in love with, Gin." He said, after a moment's pause, wondering for the umpteenth time if he was doing the right thing. The crickets chirped ardently all around them and the fresh scent of rose and thyme soaked through the air of the small, well-maintained garden. "The heart wants what the heart wants."
"Who are you throwing me away for?" Her voice was bordering on angry now and Harry had learned long ago to read the danger signs. "Which slut are you dumping me for Harry Potter?" She barked, her fingers clenched around the stile. Harry turned to face her, his face blank, eyes flashing in subtle warning. "Draco Malfoy, if you must know." He answered, his hand clenched around his wand in his jean pocket in event that Ginny went wild. "Malfoy?" She whispered and she sounded so hurt and it was all Harry could do to not hug her to him and tell her he didn't mean for what happened to happen, assure that if it was up to him, he would love Ginny all his natural life.
"Have you ever loved me, Harry?" She asked, finally. "Once, even for a little while?" She raised her eyes to look into his wet green ones. "Or where you indulging me all this while?" Harry was shaking his head before she had completed her sentence. "Once, I did." He promised. "Once, you were the most important person to me, Ginny." She turned, "I don't want to hear it." She yelled. "You are a bastard, Potter." She snarled, stomping back into the house. "You cheated me, you led me on and then killed my heart by falling for the man I couldn't possibly hate anymore than I do."
She pointed a finger at him, her eyes blazing. "I hope your evil Death-Eater lover dies and you live miserably all the rest of your life." She sneered. "Faggot." She threw. Harry's magic hissed around his head and he held on with all his might, knowing that she needed to get it off her chest. "I don't want to see your dirty fairy face in my life every again." She yelled, tears streaming down her face. "Fuck off and don't come back." She slammed the door in his face.
Harry stood still for long moments, feeling numb. Then he wondered if he was ill because all he felt at that point was relief that it was over. Finally.
Ron had called on me that evening with Hermione. "A toast to the bachelor!" he had said, laughingly and clinked his wine-glass with mine and Hermione's. I had smiled uncomfortably and Ron had smiled gently at me. "This is something you should have done soon after the war, mate. For your good and Ginny's." Hermione nodded, "Well, better late than never, Harry, love." She took my hand in hers. "Ginny is young still, she will get over you and fall in love with someone who can return her attentions."
I nodded, feeling marginally better. "Don't let this stop you from taking what you want when you still can, mate." Ron said, his eyes twinkling. I was pretty sure I had gone red then. Hermione cooed, "Aww, he's blushing, Ron." Ron had chuckled. "At least, now, we know who is on top." Hermione had snickered and I had protested loudly.
All round, when Hermione and Ron had left, I was happy, confident and when I smiled at my reflection in the mirror that night, it had been the smug smile of a man in love and aware and proud of it.
"All the best, Harry." Hermione said, placing a quick kiss on his cheek. "Don't fuck this up, mate." Seamus said, laughingly, handing Harry the Locker-Room pass. Harry smiled gratefully at Seamus. "Thanks for this, Seamus." Seamus winked, "I'll call in the favor when we have paperwork on week-ends." He waved and followed Ron up to the stands. Hermione made a final attempt at flattening his hair and straightening his cloths. "Go for it, love." She said as farewell and then left to find her seat in the Gallery. Harry took a deep breath and made his way to the locker-room.
He pushed open the wire-mesh door and walked in, his heart beating in his throat.
"Mr. Potter." The Bulgarian coach, a man who reminded him almost painfully of Sirius stood with a welcoming smile from his seat close to the changing rooms. "This is a pleasure, young man." He pumped Harry's hand vigorously. "Likewise, sir." Harry smiled. "I'm just here to wish your team the best." And seduce your Seeker, if he's willing, He added wordlessly. "They will be honored, I'm sure." The coach replied, his eyes twinkling. He turned and called for the Captain. All the members of the Bulgarian team, with the exception of their Seeker were clothed in their Quidditch robes and had their brooms in their hands. Harry shook their hands one by one recognizing one of the Chasers as the man whom he had seen with Draco days ago in the Leaky Cauldron.
"You must excuse our Seeker. His friend was with him the whole morning and she just left to the Gallery. He's only just gone to change into his robes." The Coach told Harry, almost apologetically after his team had left the Locker-Room. "Of course, I don't mind waiting." The Coach smiled. "Very well, you don't mind if I head out as well? Nobody needs to give Draco any confidence before a game, he's well aware of his prowess." The man shrugged. "But I can't very well say the same about the rest of my team." Harry grinned in triumph and held the door open for the man. "Please." He told him.
After a last-handshake, the Coach left, leaving Harry alone in the Locker-Room with Draco. It was too quiet and Harry found himself staring hard at each of the changing room doors wondering which one Draco was in. He caught himself and flushed.
"Can someone hand me my gloves?" Draco hollered suddenly his voice coming from some room on left-row of cubicles. Harry looked around for the gloves that Draco was missing and saw them lying on one of the benches. He grabbed them and hollered back, "Which room are you in?" There was a pause. "Harry?" Draco wondered, out loud. Harry smiled, suddenly. "No, it's the ghost of Christmas Past." He chuckled. "Of course, it's me, prat." He added, affectionately. "Now which room are you in?" The last door on the left side was thrown open and Draco strode out, looking almost majestic in his black and silver quidditch robes. Harry reminded himself to breathe. Without pausing, he pulled Harry into a tight hug, burying his face in the crook of Harry's neck. Harry smiled against Draco's shoulder, finally- finally! -honestly happy.
"You came." Draco breathed into Harry's neck. "I didn't think you would." Harry pulled away and whacked Draco around his head. Draco stepped back looking shocked. Harry smirked, "That was something I wanted to do that day. I'm glad I finally got the opportunity, what with the amount of shit you were spouting. Death Eater, indeed!" He snorted. Draco smirked and punched Harry on his bicep. Harry glared, hissing. "That was for not stopping me, git." He said, smugly. Harry smiled, rather shyly and held out Draco's gloves. Slowly, without taking his eyes of Harry's, he took them and slipped them on.
Without warning, he spun Harry and pushed him against the wall. "I've wanted to do this for a very very long time, Hero." He said his voice barely above a whisper. "Stop me now and you can walk out of here unmolested." Harry smirked. "Who says I want to walk out unmolested?" He leant closer and felt Draco stiffen against him. "What would you do if I said that I had walked in here to be molested?" Draco groaned and leant forward, capturing Harry's lips in a powerful kiss. Someone gasped and Harry wondered if it had been him. Draco pulled back almost immediately, breathing harshly. Harry wondered if he was expected to stay conscious after something like that.
"I'm in love with you, Harry." Draco said, a moment later.
Harry looked up, his heart pumping like a piston, all the blood draining out of his face. "I…" he tried to return the sentiment; Merlin knew it was true, but he could not find his voice. Draco smiled and shook his head. "Never mind. Just….don't push me away, again, Simply Harry." Draco breathed, his gloved hand resting beside Harry's head on the wall. Harry shook his head, unable to form any words. Draco leaned closer still, his lips now curved slightly. "Be with me, Harry." He said, nuzzling Harry's stubbled cheek. "Be mine." Harry's breath hitched as the thyme and pine scent assaulted his senses again. "Draco…" He moaned, his eyes closing and his hands rising and curling around Draco's neck. "I'm here." He said, placing butterfly kisses on Harry's closed lids, "I'm not going anywhere, love." Harry opened his eyes as Draco moved closer and placed another kiss on Harry's nose. "I'm not going anywhere for a very long time." He promised, moving back and watching Harry.
Fisting his hands in Draco's quidditch robes, Harry pulled him forward and touched their mouths together in the sweetest, slowest possible kiss. It was nothing but a gentle slide of skin on skin, but Harry's breath stuttered in his throat and gasping, his gut clenching in pleasure; he deepened the kiss. His hands moved to cup Draco's face, holding it gently between his palms, enjoying the feel of the smooth skin.
Draco's lips were smooth and warm under Harry's and he tasted lingeringly of mint. Harry felt drunk on the taste and his scent was causing some sort of meltdown inside Harry's head. Their kisses were wet, lingering and languid and Harry wondered if he could ever bring himself to stop kissing Draco.
Draco's right arm slid around Harry, slipping downwards and curling contently, snugly around his waist. His left rose and slipped behind Harry's head, cushioning it. Their lips clung together, almost desperately and when Harry shifted, even slightly, Draco followed; as if he would die if he lost contact with Harry for even that fraction of a second. Harry pulled away slightly, his eyes sparkling at the dazed look in Draco's.
"This alright?" He asked Draco, smiling rather mischievously. Draco grinned and leaned back in again. They kissed lazily for long moments, aware only of each other; their hearts beating in sync and the blood rushing through their veins a glorious crescendo in the background. Draco slipped out his tongue and ran it gently, coaxingly along the seam of Harry's lips. Harry opened his mouth immediately, moaning softly at the silken feel of the warm muscle as Draco's tongue slid gently, playfully over Harry's front teeth. Then he pulled back slightly, laying feather soft kisses at the corner of Harry's mouth and then a gentle press over the full swell of his lips.
Draco pulled back completely, breathing heavily and smirking at Harry's thoroughly debauched look before leaning back in and nipping playfully at Harry's bottom lip. He sucked with gentle pressure on the top lip for a few moments and then reluctantly walked back a few steps, retracting his hands gently from around Harry, smiling softly when Harry reached out to him, unconsciously.
"Loathe as I am to leave you, sweetheart…" He drawled and then smiled, delighted when Harry blushed, his eyes lingering over Harry's kiss-swollen lips. "They can't play the game without a seeker."
And that was that really. One glance at my face after I had found my way into the gallery told Ron, Hermione and Seamus everything they wanted to know. As Draco flew in, slightly late, but in top form and almost glowing, Ron and Seamus congratulated me at the top of their voices and Hermione smiled a soft, proud smile at me.
Draco caught the snitch that day, taking his team to victory in the finals. When the Captain was handed the trophy, the Bulgarians lifted Draco high into the air and as I stood up to cheer, his eyes connected with mine. He had smiled smugly, his eyes glowing triumphantly and bowed his head. I had laughed giddily, feeling a euphoric sense of déjà vu.
Harry frowned when the bell rang, rubbing at his eyes that were aching from his intense perusal of some old case-reports. He stood slowly, tapping into his wards to find out who was at the door. Draco's magical signature surrounded him and left the blood singing in his veins. Smiling happily, he left the reports on the table and told himself not to run to the door. Instead, breathing deeply, he walked slowly and resisted the horrifying urge to run to the bathroom and make sure his hair looked fine. He pulled open the door just as Draco raised his hand to knock on the door.
He smiled beautifully when he saw Harry. "I thought you weren't home." He was dressed in pressed black slacks and a wine-colored shirt with an intricate black design over his heart. Harry raised an eyebrow, curiously, leaning against the door frame. "Going somewhere?" Draco shook his head. "Coming from somewhere, actually." He looked at Harry from under his lashes. "Aren't you going to let me in?" Harry stepped aside, wordlessly, his heart thudding in his chest, shivering as Draco's warmth brushed past him on his way inside. "Coming from where, exactly?" Harry followed him into the kitchen. Draco turned, his eyes twinkling. "Victory party of sorts." He smirked. "I escaped to spend time with you." He moved closer and Harry took a step back, unconsciously. "You better be grateful, Potter." Draco whispered, his eyes hooded, wrapping his arms around Harry. "Is that right?" Harry asked, impishly, his arms creeping around Draco's neck. "Mm-hmm, missed you." Draco murmured, pulling Harry flush against him and claiming his lips.
His hands curled around Harry's waist and Harry's crept slowly down and rested snugly at the small of Draco's back. Draco nipped urgently at Harry's lips and Harry opened his mouth immediately, letting Draco in. He kissed Harry ardently, like he had been waiting his whole life for a taste. Draco tasted the same as he had that afternoon, slightly minty with the undertones of thyme. Harry wondered why he smelt and tasted the same. Then the scent of thyme assaulted his senses and he realized he was confusing Draco's scent with his taste. Disoriented, Harry pulled away. He breathed hard, his pupils wide and lust blown.
Draco drew him back into his arms. "Having doubts, Potter?" He asked, quietly, his eyes focused intensely on Harry's face. Harry shook his head, almost desperately and kissed Draco again, drinking in his flavor, shifting so that Draco could feel the evidence of Harry's excitement against his thigh. Harry felt Draco's answering hard-on and deepened the kiss, his hands curling into Draco's feather soft hair and tugging once. In retaliation, Draco's nimble fingers crept under Harry's shirt and he tweaked a dusky nipple harshly. Harry broke away from his lips, gasping sharply, his head thrown back.
Draco's hands were quidditch roughened and the subsequent gentleness with which he used them was a huge turn-on. Draco claimed Harry's lips again, hot, needy and wet, lapping urgently at his mouth. Draco's hands trailed downwards slipping open button after button on Harry's shirt and when his hand crept into Harry's boxers, Harry pulled back, arching and panting, his lips swollen. "Ung…bed…bedroom…" He moaned when Draco's head lowered and his teeth latched on a nipple. Draco raised his head, his pupils lust-blown, his eyes a dark turbulent grey, almost black color. "Where?" was all he could get out, coherently. Harry raised a hand and pointed at the ceiling, "Somewhere there." He bit out, arching into Draco's hand when his hand curled unexpectedly around Harry's cock.
"Dra…-ah!...co…bedroom…" Harry panted again. Draco smirked. "So beautiful, Harry, so beautiful, flushed and incoherent all for me." He whispered against Harry's ear, tongue tracing the shell of Harry's ear. Harry groaned and threw his head back, crying out when it thumped hard against the wall.
Tripping over their feet and stopping every few paces to kiss desperately, they finally tumbled into Harry's bedroom. They fell back on the bed and Draco immediately trapped Harry between his arms and raised himself above him, pulling off Harry's glasses and looking longingly into Harry's eyes. Harry smiled softly and leaned up, kissing Draco, gently, nipping and sucking at his mouth. Draco moved down Harry's prone body and when he swirled his tongue around one of his pebbled nipples, Harry realized that he had lost his shirt somewhere as they made their way to the bedroom. He felt a sharp nip on the inside of his thigh and that sent all thoughts of lost shirts out of his mind. His body bowed off the bed and he groaned Draco's name.
"Please…" He cried as Draco teased his tip. Draco paused, grinning at Harry. "What do you want, Hero?" He asked. "Want to…cum…inside me, please…" He cried as Draco pressed down, smearing the pre-come over the tip of Harry's cock. Draco's eyes darkened and he moved almost like a feline up Harry's body. "Sure?" He asked, looking intently into Harry's eyes for any sign of foolish bravado. Harry nodded, impatiently. "Move it." He hissed. "What can I use?" Draco asked, his voice hoarse, his eyes smoky. "Lotion…" Harry pointed to the night stand. Draco reached over Harry and extracted a bottle of greenish blue liquid. Harry watched his mouth partially open and eyes glazed as Draco dipped his fingers into the bottle.
And then, he lost almost everything in the kaleidoscope of sensations as Draco stretched him open, whispering silkily in his ears. "Yes, open up for me, my love, so perfect….so beautiful…" Harry arched and whimpered, begging, pleading and Draco gave. Harry's vision swam dizzyingly when Draco entered. He reached up and clutched at Draco's pale shoulders whimpering almost helplessly, dots of different colors dancing behind his closed lids. Draco gripped Harry's ankles and moved them up to place them on his shoulders. "Open your eyes, Harry." He whispered his voice breaking as he thrust. "I want…fuck…to see your beautiful green eyes."
Harry opened his eyes and arched off the bed as Draco sank deeper into him. "Cum for me, love." Draco said, his teeth clenched and Harry's body bent backwards like a bow; as he and Draco transcend the cliff together and fell and fell and fell. Draco collapsed on top of Harry pulling out, panting softly in his ears. "I think you killed me." Harry muttered, murmuring a wandless cleaning spell. Draco huffed out a chuckle and drew the blanket over them. "Draco…" Harry whispered, his eyes drooping. "I love you too." Draco laughed. "Rather a delayed reaction, but very much appreciated, nonetheless." He spooned Harry as he heard the man's breathing deepen and closed his eyes himself, gently getting lulled by Harry's breathing into sleep.
When I woke the next morning, I was so pleasantly sore and more rested than I had ever been in my life. I heard the pitter-patter of rain on my window and stretched; content. But Draco wasn't on the bed beside me. It didn't worry me though. I cuddled my pillow and tried to drift off.
I thought maybe things couldn't get better than they were, but Draco proved me wrong, yet again.
Harry groaned when he heard the tapping on his window. If it was an owl, it could bloody die. The taping was insistent though and Harry sat up, looking curiously over to the huge window a few paces from his bed. It was pouring outside and he saw the blurry outline of a form on the broom. Incredulous he got out of bed and crossed over to the window. He pushed it open and he got drenched almost at once. He realized he was missing his shirt. He glanced up at the man on the hovering broom. Draco grinned at him.
"Harry Potter." He said, in a perfectly serious voice. "Would you elope to the Caribbean's with me?" Harry stared at him incredulously. "What?" Draco asked, innocently. "We have a broom, rain…" he paused and gestured at himself, "…old sweats and tattered jeans and each other." He winked at Harry. "What are we missing?" Abruptly, Harry recalled the time he had told Draco of his wedding fantasy. Harry grinned back and grabbed his sweatshirt from the cloth rack.
Leaning out of the window, he threw his leg over the broom behind Draco and swung himself on it. Draco turned his head and gave Harry a wet, longing kiss. Harry pulled his window shut from outside. Draco grinned. "Hang on…." He yelled over the rain. Harry slid closer and held him tight. Draco hollered and they shot sharply up into the sky, Harry laughing all the way.
It might not have been the fairy tale ending of my dreams, where I ride away into the sunset, the girl I loved in my arms. But as I held on tight to Draco and we flew yelling through the heavy rain on a broom stick that would in all possibility not survive all the way to the Caribbean, I thought it came pretty damn close.
Life was, for a change, pretty fucking good….!