A/N: Last chapter! Hurrah! Thanks for the numerous reviews and favorites! You guys are simply the best :D
Over the next few months, Harry was plagued with visions of Ryder. Only, he couldn't be certain it was the man because he had only caught a glimpse that night at the hospital. So either his mind was playing tricks on him or Draco was spying on him.
He tried to not let it bother him. He played dumb and carried on with his life, whether it be buying coffee from his favorite vendor or picking up little Rose and Hugo from Ron's place. But it did keep him distracted.
"What are you looking at?" Ginny asked, snapping her fingers in front of Harry's eyes to stop him from gazing out into the distance.
"Huh?" he sighed, returning his attention to her.
"Am I that boring, Harry?" she deadpanned.
"Yes. I'm sorry."
He simply loved to tease her. She ended up throwing her newspaper at him that time.
And when he glanced back towards the park, the vision had disappeared.
He rather liked to see Ryder in the corner of his eye. It meant that Draco was keeping safe now. He hadn't saved that man's life for nothing, after all.
Meanwhile, the rest of Ryder's team saw a marked improvement in him.
His performance was doubling in excellence. Not only was he starting to feel as gung-ho about his job as the rest of his gang, his magic had somehow increased in potency.
One day at training, he was trying to cast a simple defensive charm to stop a wall of rubble from falling down on him. However, instead of simply steadying the teetering wall, he was also blasted back a few steps by a backlash and his shoulder dislocated because of it. The rest of the Unmentionables had blinked in wonder for a moment before rushing over to see why Ryder was on the ground writhing in pain. Tests eventually revealed that he would have to relearn some of the easier spells, which both aggravated and intrigued him. He had to learn to restrain himself now, something he had never had to do before.
The menial conversations in the staff room fell away as the sound of soft stifled laughter started sounding from a corner. The Unmentionables glanced at each other and then at Ryder who was reading the funnies for the first time since… well, ever. And he was laughing behind closed lips.
"What the fuck, Ryder?" Brock asked loudly.
Ryder started and looked up, his eyes roving over his team and his smile disappearing. "What?"
"You're laughing like a bloody loony," Tarver muttered.
A rather impressive scowl graced his partner's face. "I don't laugh."
"Mhm," Marty seceded with a patronizing nod.
"What?" Ryder snapped. "I wasn't laughing!"
After having spoken with Potter about leaving the team, Ryder started to notice how amazing the Unmentionables truly were. He began to understand the state of mind of his teach, which was almost always focused of revenge of some kind. It was unhealthy, but it was a common goal. The de-aging incident had brought them closer together. For the first time, Ryder felt as though he might actually belong there.
Time passed this way until the strange incidents at the hospital was a memory that had little importance in most people's minds. The Ministry had done a good job at hushing rumors, so now all they had to worry about were the people intimately involved with the case. A year later, all the legal documents were signed and the investigation was closed.
Harry often passed Draco's hospital room with some form of acknowledgment, whether it be looking at the door or letting his footsteps falter slightly before picking up again. To date, his was the most interesting case Harry had ever dealt with. Young Malfoy was also one of the only patients who had garnered a large part of Harry's attention. As embarrassed as he was to admit it, he had grown strangely attached to the little boy.
Even Ron was starting to notice his slight moodiness, which usually meant that things weren't so slight after all.
His uneasiness was soon quelled by an unannounced visitor.
Harry was pulled away from his dinner by the doorbell.
Opening the door revealed a man hidden by the shadows. His back was turned and he appeared quite jittery. "Hello?" Harry said hesitantly.
The man jumped and turned around. It was Ryder and he appeared surprised to see Harry even though he had rang the bell in the first place.
Harry blinked for a few seconds before gathering his wits. "Are you hurt?" he asked, alarmed to see the man so plainly in front of him. "Did something happen?" It had been over a year since their last meeting.
Ryder had his hands clasped in front of him, fingers tangled nervously, and he was shifting his weight from foot to foot without opening his mouth to respond to the questions.
"Dr-" Harry caught himself. "Ryder?"
Ryder pushed Harry into the house and stepped inside before slamming the door shut.
Harry had his wand out at the ready and was already whisking assessment charms at the man to make sure nothing was broken or bleeding. "Did you do something stupid again?" he asked.
"Just stop for a bloody second," Ryder muttered after catching hold of Harry's wrist and pushing it down. "I haven't done anything yet."
"Yet?" Harry squeaked.
Ryder sighed while glaring at Harry. "I need a drink. Can you handle that?" he asked caustically.
Harry made a disparaging sound before turning on his heel and stomping to his kitchen. He heard Ryder's footsteps following him in, so he continued talking. "You aren't supposed to be contacting me, you know? If Kingsley finds out, he'll have both our heads."
"I know," Ryder mumbled absently. He accepted the glass that Harry handed him and downed the fiery liquid in one gulp.
"You aren't thinking of quitting again, are you?" Harry asked.
"No," Ryder snapped. "I just can't talk to the other guys like I can talk to you, alright?"
Harry snapped his mouth shut and fidgeted with his fingers. That confession was rather embarrassing. He didn't know what to say.
"I haven't been able to sleep. Just nightmares and all that," Ryder mumbled. "Do you have anything to stop those?"
"You should ask your doctor."
"You are my doctor."
Harry shook his head.
Ryder clicked his tongue but didn't push that topic any further. He leaned against the counter while trying to figure his thoughts out. Harry waited for a minute before sitting down on the barstool and trying to appear as receptive as possible. "How is work?" he asked.
"Fine," Ryder answered.
There was awkward silence for a bit longer, which Ryder broke with another loud sigh. "Sorry to just drop by," he muttered. "Thanks for the drink."
Harry followed him out the kitchen with growing trepidation. He didn't know what to say or what Draco would want him to say. He was glad that he had seen Ryder in the flesh but now he had no idea what to do about that. He pulled the door open to let the man out. "I don't mind, you know," he said hesitantly. "I mean, if you drop by like this. I'm fine with it."
"I know," Ryder said with a curt nod. "Night."
"Yeah." Harry watched him walk down the stairs with a hand gripping the doorknob. Then he threw caution to the wind and ran after him. "Hey, wait."
Ryder paused and turned, arching a brow questioningly.
Harry stuffed his hands into his pockets with a sheepish shrug and asked, "I know this is probably… really stupid, but have you… been spying on me?"
Ryder arched his other brow as well in response.
With a heavy blush, Harry backed up. "Sorry," he stammered. "I must have been imagining things. Bye."
He was jerked around before he could reach his door. He was too mortified to even look at Ryder's face so he kept his eyes on his socked feet. He had never been so caught up in a case before and now he was paying the price for blurting out stuff without thinking thrice.
"I didn't think you noticed."
He whipped his head up to look at Ryder in bewilderment. "Huh?"
"I didn't think you had noticed," Ryder repeated slowly.
Harry's mouth suddenly went dry. "Y-you were?"
"It's not like I could just walk up to you and say hello."
Harry swallowed hard to wet his throat. "You could have," he squeaked. "I wouldn't mind."
"I don't exist, remember?" Ryder remarked with a dry smile.
Harry nodded quickly. "Right. I forgot," he stammered. "So is that all you wanted to talk to me about? The insomnia thing?"
"I'm sorry I can't help you with it."
"It's fine. I won't hold it against you."
Harry nodded again as he turned away and opened the front door. "Just hold off on caffeine after seven and try to de-stress before bed. Maybe you won't need medication, hmm?"
"Potter." Ryder grabbed Harry's wrist and pulled him out of the house. "What are you doing?"
Harry wrenched his hand away but couldn't stop his blush from showing. "Nothing. What are you talking about?" he asked, quickly averting his eyes.
"You always tell me what you're thinking," Ryder murmured, lowering his head so he was on par with the doctor's level. "Why won't you tell me now?"
"You're being weird," Harry rushed. "Try to get some rest, okay?"
"What are you thinking?" Ryder prompted.
Ryder stepped forward and Harry took an even step back, his eyes widening in shock. They moved in unison until they were back inside the house. Ryder blindly pushed the door shut behind him while smiling. "Something wrong, Potter?" he asked.
"What do you think you're doing?" Harry asked, his temper rising steadily. "I don't know what you want me to say!"
Ryder pulled out his wand and asked, "Need me to count to ten?"
Harry started in recognition, then blinked rapidly as Ryder changed to Draco in front of him. His temper deflated until all he could do was gape helplessly.
"I'll get past five this time," Draco said, jerking Harry forward into a firm kiss.
Harry pushed away with a sharp inhale. "You remember that?" he asked incredulously.
"For Merlin's sake," Draco muttered under his breath, silencing Harry with his lips.
Harry didn't even think to resist. He wound his yearning arms around Draco and melted into him, much to both of their surprise. They stumbled backwards, towards the stairs. They staggered into the bedroom and didn't even bother with the door. Harry fell onto the bed and Draco followed him down. Their breaths ran together, hard and impatient. Harry hadn't realized how badly he had needed this until now. Hell, it didn't matter that this was man or that he was Draco Malfoy. He needed to have sex now.
Draco was already undoing the buttons on Harry's shirt by then while kissing him senseless. He was sure that he was leaving bruises but he could care less. He straddled Harry and rolled his hips deliberately, eliciting many gasps and helpless moans out of the man under him. He pulled his lips away to take in some air. Their foreheads pressed against each other as they rutted. He could hear Harry's breath rattling out and he had never felt so aroused in his life. "I want you so bad," he exhaled.
"A-anything," Harry panted. "Anything you want."
Draco slid his hands down Harry's arms, moving them up over the man's head. Their fingers entwined as their lips melded together once again.
Rushed footsteps suddenly sounded in the hallway just as Draco used a knee to part Harry's legs. "Harry, you left your d-oh!" Ginny leapt out of the room and slammed the door shut.
Harry whipped his head forward to stare at Draco in fright.
Draco was Ryder in the blink of an eye.
Just in time too because the door burst open once again to reveal Ginny with bugged eyes and a slack jaw. "Wh-wha-what? What? WHAT? WHAT ARE YOU DOING? YOU AND-" She choked on her words as her eyes roved over Ryder in shock. "B-but I just… I saw… Huh?"
Harry was trying to get out from under Ryder the whole while and Ryder wasn't about to let him. "What?" he drawled. "Never seen two men in bed before?"
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO HIM?"
"Ginny, please?" Harry groaned, now resorting to beating Ryder with his fists.
"Get away from him," Ginny seethed.
Ryder caught Harry's fists in his hands and slammed them against the bed, silencing him with a fierce glare. "Is she your girlfriend?" he asked.
Harry quickly shook his head.
Then Ryder turned that glare towards the woman standing at the doorway. "Leave unless you want to see me fuck him," he snarled.
Ginny gasped theatrically.
Harry cringed and squeezed his eyes shut, not because of mortification but because of the images that suddenly flooded his mind. "Ginny, get out," he said shakily.
"Harry!" she cried in dismay.
"I'm fine," he stammered. "Just get out."
Ryder growled in frustration as he bent down and captured Harry's mouth in his. The kiss was filled with terror and exhilaration. Harry arched into it while vaguely listening to Ginny shout and rant things like 'makes me want to hurl' and 'you're gay and you didn't tell me?' and 'wasted time on women'.
Only when the door slammed shut did Ryder pull away from Harry.
They stared at each other for a breathless second.
Harry's brows knitted together. "Huh?"
"You said you're fine," Ryder whispered.
"Shit," he swore, dropping his head against Harry's shoulder. "I'm not really going to fuck you right now, Potter."
Harry stared up at the ceiling while feeling a surge of disappointment run through him, making him shiver. "I know," he lied. "Sorry about her. She usually calls or-"
"I didn't come here to talk about her," Ryder added, lifting his head up to look at Harry. He pressed a soft kiss against Harry's lips and sighed. "I shouldn't have done this. I'm sorry."
Harry just shook his head.
"I wanted to see you."
Harry tilted his head towards Ryder in astonishment. "What?" he asked. "Like this?"
Ryder couldn't help his smile as he looked down at Harry's flushed skin, mussed hair and naked chest. "Hmm," he murmured to himself. "Like this."
Before Harry could protest half-heartedly, they were right back where they had started – bruising each other's lips and ripping clothes off.
Three hours later, Harry was staring up at the ceiling in a daze and Ryder was on his side, absently drawing patterns on the bed. They hadn't had sex in the strictest sense of the word but… Harry had never done anything like that in his thirty years of existence, that was for sure. He hadn't thought it was possible to reach that sort of an orgasm without actual… penetration.
He sat up abruptly and dragged his fingers through his hair with a loud swear. "What the hell are we doing?" he breathed, quickly scrambling out of bed and dragging the sheets with him, which he wrapped around his naked body. "What did we just do?"
"Don't ruin this, Potter," Ryder groaned as he flipped over and buried his head against the pillows.
"You're my patient! Fuck! Fuck, fuck, fuck!" Harry was hyperventilating by now and he sank to the ground to sit on his haunches and tucked his chin against his chest so he could stave off his nausea.
Ryder scooted over and peeked from over the bed. "I'm not a six-year-old kid anymore," he offered.
"For fuck's sake," Ryder muttered under his breath. He rolled out of bed and quickly stepped into his boxers before kneeling in front of Harry. "Look at me," he ordered. Harry refused with a steadfast shake of his head. "You enjoyed it, didn't you?" Ryder asked. Harry cringed at the thought. "I enjoyed myself too."
Harry looked up. "You did?"
"Yes, Potter. I did," Ryder sighed. "What? Did you think I did all that just to please your highness?"
"We can't," Harry murmured, reaching out to touch Ryder's cheek. "You know we can't do this."
"Why not?" Ryder asked, lifting his chin up in defiance.
"I'm not supposed to know you exist."
Ryder exhaled in frustration as he got up on his feet and searched the bed for his wand. "If I don't exist, then you can just have sex with Malfoy. Is that better?" he snapped, finding his wand and changing his appearance before kneeling down beside Harry. His eyes went wide when he noticed a blush on the doctor's cheeks. "Wh-You would prefer that?"
"No," Harry mumbled while trying to get up.
Draco wouldn't let him. "Wait, this… You won't mind if we do it like this?"
"Of course I mind," Harry sighed. "You're dead! You aren't making this easy on me or yourself, Malfoy."
"So what do you want me to do?"
"I don't know." Harry slumped against the wall and rubbed his tired eyes. "Believe it or not, I don't have the answer to every bloody question you ask."
Draco shifted over to sit beside Harry with his knees pulled up and his arms looped around his legs. "Thanks," he murmured.
Harry glanced up with a perplexed frown. "What for?"
"For not hurting me."
He groaned in dismay and dropped his face in his hands once again. "Why would I hurt you, Draco?" he asked deliberately.
"I sexually assaulted you."
Harry laughed into his palms as the gravity of the situation overwhelmed him. He had just done many unmentionable things and Ginny was going to have his head in a matter of five hours. On top of it all, he was feeling fantastic. And Malfoy was worried about sexual assault?
He looked up when he felt Draco move beside him. He watched the man stand up and hold out a hand. Harry took it and stood up as well, still grinning widely.
Draco slid his fingers down the side of Harry's neck, eliciting a shiver out of him. "Again?" he asked.
"Oh, yes," Draco murmured, pulling the sheet away from Harry's body and pushing him into bed.
Harry awoke to an empty bed a few hours later but his disappointment was quickly shoved over when he smelt coffee. He scrambled onto his feet and staggered about on weak knees while going through his closet for something to wear that wouldn't make him look like a stupid idiot. He dunked his head in water and tried to get his hair to cooperate as he brushed his teeth furiously. He had no idea why he was trying so hard but this was the first time he had had someone stay over at his place since Ginny. That had been ten long years ago.
Once he looked halfway decent and after praying that Malfoy looked as sleep-deprived and nervous as him, he ventured downstairs and into the kitchen.
He met with Ryder instead. The man was staring out the window while sipping on a mug of coffee. He cleared his throat to make his presence known.
Ryder glanced up as he was shaken out of his thoughts. "Oh… Good morning," he murmured. He hadn't expected to see Harry.
"You're leaving?" Harry asked, keeping his tone even. He turned his back to Ryder and poured himself a cup while waiting for an answer.
"Yeah," Ryder said after a moment. "It's already seven."
"Early days, huh?"
"Starts at eight."
Harry turned around and leaned against the counter, silently observing Ryder. The man always looked put together, but that was most likely because of the magic that changed his appearance.
"What?" he asked, tilting his head at Harry.
"Huh?" Harry blinked stupidly.
"Why are you staring?"
"I wasn't staring."
"Mhm." Ryder smiled behind his mug as he took a sip.
"I wasn't," Harry maintained, turning away again to rummage through the cupboards. "Want some breakfast?"
"You don't have much."
Harry exhaled in defeat and hung his head. "Okay, just… What are we going to do now?"
Ryder stared at Harry's back for a few seconds while trying to figure out what Harry was asking of him. "Ball's in my court?"
Ryder stepped forward and turned Harry around so they faced each other again. "I know this all feels crazy and sounds crazy," he said, placing the mug away so he could press both hands to Harry's shoulders. "But can't we just keep doing this?"
"This being what?" Harry wanted to know.
"I don't know." Ryder shook his head. "There's something about you, Potter. And it's not like… I can talk to anyone else. So I like this." He gave Harry a very hesitant kiss.
"You like to kiss?"
He nodded with an amused smile.
How could Harry say no to that? He tipped his head to the side and slid his lips onto Ryder's, kissing him fully.
Before they knew it, Harry was sitting on the counter and Ryder was weaving fingers though damp, raven hair while nibbling on the supple lips that moved against his teeth.
"Gosh, you really do like to kiss, don't you?"
Ryder chuckled quietly when he heard the distant tone in Harry's voice. "I have to go," he whispered, finally stepping back.
Harry nodded and averted his eyes so he was staring down at his feet that were dangling over the counter.
"The last person I contacted died."
He nodded again.
Ryder pressed his hands against Harry's knees and slid his nose against the doctor's neck. "Promise me…"
The door burst open and the men glanced up to find Ginny seething, just as before.
"You are still here?" she growled.
Ryder clicked his tongue in frustration. This woman seemed to be everywhere. He looked away from her and leaned in to press his lips against Harry's ear. "Promise me you won't leave," he whispered.
Harry all but melted. "I won't," he answered. He tilted his head and nuzzled Ryder while his body slowly heated up with emotions. "I'll be right here."
Ryder pressed his lips against Harry's mouth for a fleeting moment, then stepped back. Harry had his hands clasped on his lap and a furious blush on his cheeks. Ryder was quite pleased with himself. He strode towards the doorway where Ginny stood with her hands at her hips.
"Stay away from him," they snarled at each other.
Ryder stormed away while Ginny stomped into the kitchen, marching straight at Harry and then smacking him over the head. That pulled him down from the clouds. "Ow," he whined. "What?"
"WHO WAS THAT?" Ginny screamed.
Ryder could hear them from the foyer and he couldn't help his smirk.
"He's… Ryder," Harry answered, hoping to Merlin that Ginny couldn't remember who Ryder was.
"How did you meet him?" she snapped.
"Work," Harry mumbled. "I'm fine, Ginny. I'm thirty-one, for crying out loud. I can do what I want."
"Did you two have sex?"
Ryder had to bite his lip to keep from sputtering.
"Ginny!" Harry gasped. "What's wrong with you?"
"You're gay! That's what's wrong with me!" she exclaimed. "Why on Earth wouldn't you tell me? I've been trying to set you up with women all this time and no wonder none of those dates worked out. You're so bloody secretive! I'm your best f-"
"I'm not gay!" Harry interrupted urgently. "It's not like that. I just…" he trailed off.
Harry turned away without another word.
Ginny exhaled in exasperation. "Look, he's super hot and all and he's way out of your league! He probably just wants to go out with you because you're Harry Potter. That's not the kind of guy you want!"
"I've known him for a while," Harry tried to reason. But now that he thought of, that was exactly the kind of guy Malfoy was. "Um… I mean, maybe before he would do something like that, but now… hopefully… he isn't like that."
The door swung open to reveal Ryder leaning against the doorjamb with a smile on his lips. "Don't get me wrong," he drawled. "The only reason I'm going out with you is because you are Harry Potter."
Harry dropped his head in his hands while Ginny frantically searched the kitchen for a suitable and preferably lethal projectile.
"Just go away before she kills you," Harry groaned. His life always seemed to go out of control when Draco was around.
He didn't realize that he had been aching for trouble until now. And he had just landed himself in heaps of trouble from all directions.
"He better be worth it," Ginny fumed.
Harry chuckled in defeat. "I think he is…"