A/N: This story is inspired by Garbage's song 'Tell Me Where It Hurts'. Well, obviously.
Tell Me Where It Hurts
"Tell me where it hurts
to hell with everybody else
all I care about is you and that's the truth
they don't love me, I can tell
but you do, so they can go to hell."
-Garbage, Tell Me Where It Hurts
Draco plucked at his shirt cuffs over and over, catching his cuff links in his fingers and rolling them round and round. They were his favorite cuff links, little chips of diamond wrapped in strips of unpolished silver, his lucky ones. He needed all the luck he could get tonight.
It had been three months since a chance polite conversation with Harry Potter at a Ministry fundraiser had spiraled out (or in, depending on your perspective) of control and ended up in first a friendship and then, after a drunken incident that led to the most embarrassing morning after he had ever experienced, a hesitant relationship. Harry was so different now from when he'd been in school, and Draco knew that the same could be said of him. Somehow it…worked. They fit together like a pair of socks, and he knew that their blended belongings entwining their separate homes meant that Harry would soon ask him to come live with him.
But now Harry had confessed that he was tired of hiding their relationship as though they were ashamed of each other. They both knew that this thing they had together was not going to go over well in the Wizarding community and that Harry's friends were not liable to be more than civil to him. Hell, there was a chance that they would all attack him in a hoard of red hair and freckles. Harry said he was being ridiculous, but Draco refused to rule it out of the possibilities.
So here he was, heart hammering in his ears and stomach in his shoes, praying to Merlin that some horrific accident would befall the Burrow and that their dinner would be cancelled.
Harry came up behind him and laid his palms on his tense shoulders, digging his thumbs into his pressure points and massaging them until he had no choice but to let out a shaky breath and relax. Harry leaned forward and mouthed his ear affectionately. Draco closed his eyes and forgot, for just a moment, where they were going that night. There was a promise of evening activity once the torture was over, and his body was already letting its anticipation of it peek through.
Harry left his back and grabbed a handful of Floo powder. He threw it into the fire, dragged Draco into it with him, and yelled out, "The Burrow!"
Draco had no choice but to be whirled around in cinders and smoke until they came tumbling out of the Weasley's inadequate fireplace. He could tell it was inadequate because he banged his head on the mantel and Harry landed harshly on his knees on the slate floor.
People rushed them. He couldn't tell them apart for a few seconds until Harry greeted them by name, and he sorted them out as George, Ron, and Ginny Weasley. Granger was sitting on the sofa having a mug of tea and reading the newspaper. While Harry was hugged and welcomed, Granger was the only one to acknowledge him. She gave him a slow nod and a not-quite smile. He nodded back. That was a surprising gesture from her but he was grateful.
The Weasleys began to notice him. Ginny took a few steps back, face white with restrained rage. Ron turned red up to his ears and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. She shuddered with pent-up emotion before getting control over herself and turning to leave the room without a backward glance. Draco had been expecting at least one of them to do that.
He wasn't expecting George to hold out his hand to shake. He took it and gave it a firm, polite grip. George smirked a little and sat across from Granger on the orange sofa while Ron shifted to stand stiffly behind his wife. She didn't look up from the newspaper; she took a muggle pen from her curly bun and underlined something.
Conversation was stilted and strained almost into silence every few minutes when a topic was exhausted. Granger (Weasley now, actually) didn't participate for half an hour. And then she folded up her newspaper and addressed Draco directly, asking how the Ministry's diplomatic ministry to the Djinn of India was going.
Happy to have a safe haven presented to him, he chattered about it and answered all of her insightful questions. She even brought up some new angles he hadn't considered and gave him a few ideas of how to win over the females. Ron spoke quietly with his brother George, and Harry relaxed back on their sofa, laying his arm across Draco's shoulders.
Ron stiffened when he saw that and left the room. George followed him.
They were called to the dinner table shortly afterward, and Harry was seated across from Draco. Draco sat between Granger (Weasley, damn it) and the wall. Ginny sat next to Harry, and spent the entire meal glaring daggers at him.
Mrs. Weasley was an excellent hostess, but she was unusually cold to Draco. Still, she was civil and even offered him a second piece of pudding when the meal was drawing to a close. He declined and desperately met Harry's eyes across the table.
None of the Weasleys were talking about their relationship. They almost seemed to be ignoring it as best as they could.
Harry gave him a tight smile, and then made his excuses to Mrs. Weasley. Hermione hugged Draco before he left, whereas the rest of the family merely gave him nods and murmurs of farewell. Ginny's jaw worked with unspoken insults.
He wanted to be childish and make a face at her, or snap some remark about her freckles, but he was the bigger man and kept his mouth shut. Harry laid his hand on the small of his back, alone in the living room.
"Are you alright?"
He nodded, biting the inside of his cheek.
They took the Floo to Harry's home, and made their way to the study for after-dinner drinks. Seated on the brown leather Chesterton, Draco declared,
"Your friends don't like me. But you know what? They can all go to hell; except for Granger. She's all right."
"And why's that?" Harry asked, toeing off his shoes and taking a swig straight from the neck of their open whiskey bottle. He sat beside Draco, and Draco pulled his socked feet into his laps, rubbing his toes.
"Because you love me, and I love you. I don't care what the rest of the world thinks about us."
End Tell Me Where It Hurts