Harry was nineteen before he had sex. The war, Ginny's beliefs about sex before marriage, and the complication of realising he was bi had all got in the way. But finally, finally he was there: twining round the solid heat of another body, crying out as he was breached.
He smiled into brown eyes, and kissed Blaise again.
Two days later, the Prophet's headline read: I Took Harry Potter's Virginity: Ask Me How! Draco threw the newspaper at his house-elf's head and Apparated to Blaise's house, where he greeted his smirking friend with a punch.
"You bastard!" he bellowed.
"His first time, and you did this?" Draco yelled at the groaning heap. "How could you?" His brain was fizzing with fury, his hand clenched around his wand. He couldn't hex Blaise, they'd been friends for years; but Draco's pureblood beliefs were outraged by Blaise's betrayal of Potter's trust. It didn't matter who the victim was – the image of hurt green eyes was irrelevant, since Draco hated Potter. But he'd been a virgin and Blaise was a cad. Someone had to defend Potter's honour.
Draco smiled his father's smile, and Apparated to the Daily Prophet's offices. Time for vengeance.
Harry didn't go out that day. He couldn't bear to. Hermione and Ron came by: her eyes soft with sympathy, him red-faced and awkwardly patting Harry on the back. Hermione swore that the public were sympathetic, not mocking – "everyone knows that he's just like his mother, except he just about stops short of murder." Her mouth thinned into a scythe as she spoke.
Even if that was true, Harry didn't want people's sympathy; he was curled protectively round his pain and betrayal. He felt that if some stranger spoke kindly to him, he'd scream as if they'd jarred a wound.
When Harry woke the next morning, he was bleary and headachey. It took him a moment to remember why he felt miserable. Then he remembered, and the weight in his stomach grew heavier.
Maybe he should have predicted it; Blaise had spent his childhood watching foolish men falling for beauty and being taken for everything they had. Blaise was handsome, was clever, was callous; Harry had been a prime target. The Prophet would certainly have paid well for the details of his sex life.
But Blaise had been sympathetic, understanding, admiring. Harry had trusted him. He'd never seen it coming.
Harry hauled himself out of bed only when he heard the tap of an owl's beak on the window downstairs. Sick at heart, he plodded down the stairs and let the owl into the kitchen. He was tempted to shout at the bloody thing, but it wasn't the bird's fault; so he handed over a few owl treats and accepted his newspaper.
Harry was breathing fast, his stomach churning. He didn't want to see what was being said now, on the second day of scandal. Maybe something else dramatic had happened, and everyone had moved on?
It was even better.
On the front page were two photos. One was an old image of Draco Malfoy and Blaise at Malfoy Manor, teenagers with big hands and skinny limbs who hadn't quite grown into their bodies yet; they were smiling, hands touching shyly. The other was of an entirely grown-up Draco Malfoy, dressed impeccably and smirking like the devil.
He'd gone to the Daily Prophet and told them what Blaise was like in bed.
Harry felt a blissful smile break out as he read the article. Malfoy had spoken at length about Blaise's bad breath; he was witheringly sarcastic about his blowjobs.
The last line was the best, though.
It's Harry's loss that Blaise was his first; not only because Blaise is a cad and unworthy of him, but because his first lover should have been more accomplished than Blaise Slobber Mouth Zabini.
He sat smiling at the paper for a long time, while the sun moved in the sky and warmed him. Then he sent a letter.
Draco was sitting with Pansy, laughing himself sick at her account of Blaise's reaction to the article, when an owl appeared outside the window. It was carrying a letter written in splotchy black scrawl.
Would you let me take you to dinner, as a thank you for defending my honour?
Perhaps you could show me what it's meant to be like.
Draco blinked. Then a smile bloomed on his face unbidden, and he turned to Pansy.
"I need new dress robes."
When Draco opened the door at eight that night, resplendent in burgundy velvet, he was met with a Harry Potter in both a very nice black suit and a state of some nervousness.
He'd bought flowers.
Draco smiled at him, and Harry's face creased into a returning smile.
The walk to the restaurant should have been awkward; but it wasn't the silence of two people with nothing to say to each other. The air between them was alive.
They sent each other sideways glances; Draco caught Harry's flushed cheeks, and gasped at an accidental touch.
Dinner was delicious. Draco flirted and made Harry squirm, then hid his smile in his wineglass. Afterwards, he invited Harry back to his flat, and showed him the difference between an amateur and a virtuoso.
Harry very much enjoyed the second time he had sex. And the third, and the fourth, and the...