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"I never thought it'd be like this. It was never meant to end this way… I thought, hoped really that somehow all the hardships would somehow mean something, add up to something… something good, y'know? Something worthwhile, something that would make the sacrifice, the constant struggle against fate seem not quite so… so… final. Like shouting a big 'Yeah? That all you got?' to the skies, getting on with it, proving not just to everyone else but to me as well that I'm not just a survivor, not the constantly war-wounded staggering symbol, the face you see splashed all across the papers saying that yes you can fight, you can survive and you can then shake it off, go on and live your life without the shackles of heroism holding you back and I've tried, tried so hard to not let it get to me, I really have but now this? This on top of everything else? To have this when I've fought so hard to…."

"Malfoy! Shut UP!"

Draco Malfoy folded his arms against his stubbornly still slender chest and slumped further down the wall, hunching against his own knees and glowering into the darkness as (finally) bloody St. Perfect Bloody Potter deigned to speak to him.

"No, no I won't shut up you mangy bastard! It's New Years Eve, my last sodding chance to ensure the next year begins how I want it to and you're fucking well fucking it up for me!"

The darkness next to Draco didn't seem to shift so much as swell with irritation as the sullen boy next to him snorted scornfully.

"Yes, you're absolutely right of course… not only are you an unmitigated hero whom the 'entire' wizarding world looks up to and adores but I, in my jealous 'mangy bastard-ness', have conspired to ruin your life by forcing you into this tiny dark cupboard with me."

Draco smirked half-heartedly, knowing the impact was lost to the surrounding gloom. "Its good that you can admit it Potter. Big of you, really."

A heavy sigh came somewhere in the vicinity of the black just above and away from Draco's right temple. "Malfoy, even if it 'had' been my idea to set up forfeits for these fucked up party games, I never would have been stupid enough to come in here with you. If I'd had it my way, I'd be out there celebrating the end of the war and the years of freedom yet to come along with everyone else… NOT trapped in here with a whiny git like you."

Draco sneered, uncaring of how ineffectual it might seem.

"Oh, I'm 'so' sorry I was unfortunate enough to pick your name out of a sodding hat Potter, of course I planned it 'days' ahead of time so that this way we could both be in here and miserable instead of out there drinking and kissing and partying our way into the new year and…"

"Kissing?"

Draco went quiet, pink and loathing it despite the suddenly welcomed darkness, ignoring Potter as best he could as the Saviour continued on in the same strangled and squeaky, surprised tone.

"Kissing? KISSING? Malfoy, I don't care how many times we shake hands for the bloody cameras or how much alcohol I may or may not consume tonight because there is NO WAY you and I would EVER…"

"Potter shut UP!" Draco yelled, turning to shove the other hunched up and shrill teenager beside him in the cramped confines of the cupboard "I didn't mean that WE would be kissing you moron! I only meant that if WE were out there we could do as we pleased which for me would be getting my face snogged off me at the very least ALRIGHT?"

Silence reigned for a moment before Draco swivelled to shove the Gryffindor once more, "And fuck you! You think I 'like' having to shake your hand every time a camera pops up? I worked damn hard to get myself clear of that fucking maniac, I bloody nearly died in the last battle and 'still' people only believe I'm good if they see me clutching your dry, calloused palm. I'm a fucking hero too y'know!"

Another sigh came from the direction Potter had toppled in after the second and unexpected shove. "I know that Malfoy and not only 'cos you tell people every 5 minutes, alright? It's just… I wanted to see in the New Year too. One without the threat of impending death and destruction."

An odd sort of peace and camaraderie washed over Draco briefly as the horrors of years gone by and sacrifices made momentarily fell away and the long stretch of a life unmarred by servitude or dishonour lay before him.

"Yeah." He said quietly.

"Yeah," Potter agreed, a tad nonsensically, before attempting to lighten the mood "And, y'know, dark or not I can still do that in here, right? Just because we can't see the clocks change or watch the fireworks it doesn't change the fact that it's a whole new year, a new start. We don't have to be out there for that."

"No," Draco agreed dully, slumping again, the tone of self sacrifice and hopelessness creeping back into his voice, "I guess not."

A sharp elbow knocked lightly into his ribs.

"Hey," Potter attempted consolingly, "they said they'd let us out by ten past so we could still join in the fun, it's only an hour we're locked in for and it's got to've been half that already."

Draco felt absurdly emotional, wanting to blurt his troubles out to have them receive the sympathy due to him in his heart-bruised state, but found himself reluctant to give voice to such woes in the presence of the one person who may (possibly) have known more hardship than he.

"It's just…" he began falteringly.

"What?" Potter's tone was soft, understanding and rather horrifically reminiscent of the way Dumbledore had been his first homesick term at school, all lemon drops, caring and twinkles.

"I really wanted to kiss someone. All the gir… others in the dorms say that if you don't kiss anyone at the turn of the year then you won't get kissed all year and I just wanted to start this year the right way and yeah fine you can mock me all you want Potter but I don't care what you think, I just wanted to start this year out with hope and if the only way to guarantee it is to randomly snog someone whilst getting tanked on tequila then fine. Just don't sit there and fucking judge me for what you obviously want to or had you thought no one would notice that you've actually attempted to put effort into your appearance tonight?"

Potter let out a long slow breath at his side and a voice very, very close to Draco's ear said, "Malfoy?"

"Yeah?" Draco said, semi crossly having expected a little more reaction, turning his head from sheer force of habit and not really noting the press of warm breath on his face until…

"OH MY GOD!" Draco shoved Potter away with all his might, immediately pulling back a hand to rub furiously at his lips. "Potter what THE FUCK?"

"Jesus, calm down will you?" Came a highly irate voice from the floor, "I know the tradition, get a kiss or you won't get kissed blah, blah and you sounded like you were about to start sobbing like a bloody girl so I thought…"

"You THOUGHT? You thought WHAT? That it'd be ok to attempt to lay one on me? That you could abruptly molest my person with your scummy McGonagall arse-licking lips? That my poor fucking broken heroic heart…"

"Heroic? Heroic that you finally chose to do the right thing and fight with us? Oh yeah Malfoy, I was just DYING to kiss you, out of gratitude for gracing us with your presence during the final battle!"

Draco shot to his feet, rigid with outrage, arms tight, fists clenched along his sides. "FUCK. YOU." He spat, "I'm just as damn heroic as the rest of you, I gave up everything I had, I nearly lost it all, I nearly fucking died and all I want is one piffling tiny bastard kiss just to show the next year will be better and…."

A finger prodded him bruisingly in the chest, Potter's voice and breath back at head height with Draco's. "I know that!" Harry spat back, "That's why I was TRYING to do the nice thing and fucking help you out even though I sure as hell didn't wan…"

"HELP ME OUT?" Draco's voice had abruptly reached dog summoning pitch, "Help ME out? With that fucking peck? What the fuck is wrong with you Potter? Not happy now your hero-ing days are done? Have to go around 'rescuing' poor defenceless guys like me who certainly do NOT want snogged by you only to force your disgusting excuse for a kiss on them…"

"Disgusting?" Potter seemed to eject through gritted teeth.

"Yes disgusting! Not only are you the LAST person I'd ever want to touch me with those blatantly lip-sticked monstrosities (and don't you deny it Potter we've all known since second year) but to even ATTEMPT to help me with such a poor spirited, pathetic attempt at something that's meant to…"

"PATHETIC? Wait…. Meant to?"

"Yeah…" Draco snarled, slightly thrown off course by Potter's abruptly non-shouted interruption, " it's 'meant to' be something good, something worthwhile, not something a filthy bastard like you just slams on person without so much as a by your leave and with more force than a bloody punch to the face! Its meant to be…"

"It's not just tonight. You've never been kissed at all, have you?"

There was silence as Draco vibrated quietly with outrage and humiliation warring for dominance in his head and then,

".YOU?" He seethed at the very top of his lungs. "How DARE you imply that I have never kissed or been kissed by anyone! You're just saying that so you can feel better about that disgusting excuse for…. I don't know what for, I don't even know what that WAS it was so fucking disgusting and I…"

"You don't know 'what that was' because you've never had it, never done it before. No one has kissed you and you've not kissed anyone right?"

"No." Draco insisted sullenly.

"So who then? Who've you kissed?"

Draco crossed his arms and stood rigid against the wall, chewing his lower lip in fury.

"Who?" Potter persisted and Draco clamped down on his tongue at the quietly smug tone. "Who was it?"

Draco swallowed and closed his eyes, thinking desperately for a snappy, witty comeback, anything that would shut the bespectacled bastard up.

"There isn't anyone, is there? It's ok, you can say."

Draco ground his teeth further. "No. I've been kissed. Fuck off."

"I know you've been kissed… horrifyingly it was me, right?"

"No!"

Potter laughed softly and Draco felt all those years of hatred surging back to the surface, pushing the hard won respect of battles fought together aside and his fists clenched and re-clenched in fury.

"So, ok then," Potter smirked (Draco could hear it in his voice) "aside from pity kisses, who else?"

A beat… then,

"Pity. Kisses."

"Yeah."

"You kissed me out of 'pity'?"

"Well obviously…. Oh no, don't start acting like you give a damn about that Malfoy, you don't want me to kiss you, you keep saying how disgusting it was despite the fact you've got nothing to judge it by and please, its not like I put any effort in so…"

"PITY KISSES? FUCK YOU!"

And Draco punched Potter in the stomach.

Bent double with pain, the brunet was unable to resist the blond shoving a fist into his hair and yowling almost directly into his face.

"How dare you? Pity fucking kisses? Ok, FINE so I've never kissed anyone and no ones ever wanted to kiss me but I never asked you to kiss me I never WANTED you to kiss me and it WAS disgusting but don't fucking say it was a pity goddamn kiss because you wouldn't have done it if you didn't want to so you fucking DID want to kiss me and yeah, alright it probably WAS out of pity in some way but you don't kiss people you find repulsive so while I might never EVER have kissed you, YOU kissed ME so quit making fucking excuses and blaming it on the fact I'm… I'm… inexperienced because its YOU who's disgusting and… OOF…"

Draco's back met the wall smartly, fingers suddenly tight in his hair as he felt rather then heard Potter's teeth clenching immediately before him.

"Disgusting? Fine… you don't want pity? Then lets see how you do with a real fucking kiss cos it looks like the only way to SHUT YOUR FUCKING MOUTH!"

And then Potter's mouth was back on Draco's, hard.

Draco jerked his knee up, aiming blindly for the spot he knew would free him only to find he'd misjudged, his knee shoved roughly to the side by a long, lean thigh as Potter pressed forward, turning his head roughly from side to side to try and dislodge the firm lips crushing his own, squeaking and scrabbling ineffectually at Potters chest.

"Disgusting?" Potter snarled again abruptly, pulling back to cruelly nip at Draco's lower lip then flickering his tongue over and through the gap at the shocked blonds gasp. "We'll just fucking see."

"Mmmffff stop!" Draco yelped as he felt Potter's tongue dart inside and over his own once more, "This… this is so…." He felt Potter stiffen, waiting and didn't quite dare to say disgusting again, "…Gay." He finished lamely.

"Not gay." Potter growled, pressing harder against Draco's body and using his soft exclamation of (not) enjoyment to deftly taste the roof of Draco's mouth with just the tip of his tongue, the hand in his hair slipping down to squeeze at his jaw, holding it open so that he could continue to leisurely lap and suckle at the blond's mouth. "Just… proving… a point."

"Yeah," Draco sneered gently, ignoring how his hands were clutching at the slightly taller, skinnier boys frame, "I can feel 'your point' alright."

Potter ground his entire body hard into Draco's and laughed mockingly at the small yelp of pleasure that the blond couldn't quite hold back when certain parts of his anatomy pressed intriguingly into Potter's.

"And, let's see, you must be feeling pretty disgusted by this… right?"

Draco blushed and went to bite his lip in vague consternation, only to find himself exulting in the biting of Potter's lip instead.

"Totally disgusted… and you're only doing this out of pity… yeah?"

"Totally." Potter almost whimpered back and bizarrely Draco seemed to find himself hexed, his hands creeping up to anchor themselves in Potter's hair, arms slung round Potter's neck and (perhaps most worryingly) his thigh creeping up to rub back and forth along Potter's own as soft, slippery noises seemed to pour from where their tongues slid over and about each others.

Trembling thighs segued into heaving chests and just as Draco seemed to find a satisfying rhythm between imminent suffocation and a quick gulp of air when Potter pulled back to suck his neck, he heard the chimes start.

"Potter," he breathed, "Listen…"

They paused and, over the gentle swinging bells they heard choruses of 'Auld Lang Syne' break out all across the castle, cheers and congratulatory yells shattering the almost too serene sensation of the bad years gone past just slipping away.

"Happy New Year." Potter said softly and Draco could almost see those obscenely sincere green eyes blinking at him.

"Happy New Year," He answered softly, letting the darkness cushion him from any embarrassment as he gently pressed a soft kiss against Potter's now immobile mouth.

"Thanks" He whispered gruffly and felt Potter smile.

"Not so disgusting then?"

"Nah," he grinned back, content in their bubble of denial or convenient bi-curiosity for the moment, "Not at all gay either."

"No, absolutely not." Potter sniggered back and Draco let his head rest briefly against his, temple to temple, eyes closed and just drinking in the possibilities, the hope as they filtered to him through the ridiculously locked cupboard doors and the unlikely embrace of the boy holding him.

"And… not just from pity?" He heard himself whisper, appalled by the tremor until the arms about him tightened.

"No… not just." Harry said back in an admittedly strangled and blushing tone.

"Good." He said quietly, turning his face to rest in the warm crook of the Gryffindor's throat, letting the sudden happiness just wash over him. And then, smiling broadly,

"Potter, how do you feel about pity blowjobs?"

Fin.