: : :
Blaise is beginning to think that this whole thing is extremely unfair.
He's unaware he's even holding his breath until his lungs scream in panic, shouting obscenities at his hormones for putting his life in unnecessary danger. Blaise likes to think he values his life, but right now his brain is in rapt agreement with his hormones, and is prepared to serve as barrister if his lungs decide to press charges.
Blaise thinks his brain has the trial cinched, because what he is witnessing will serve as one hell of a defence.
Draco's hands have always been elegant; long-fingered, manicured, most likely moisturised daily; even the way they move as they unfasten the red and gold silk from around Harry's collar is sublime; fingertips gentle but firm, never applying too much pressure, never too little, as they take their time in loosening and untangling the knot. It's a movement cultivated to perfection by years of training to become a patrician, and Draco slips the tie from Harry's neck with an unsettling amount of inertia, letting the fabric linger as it slides across the thin white fabric of his shirt.
Harry notices the touch, but his reaction is subtle; his eyelids drop slightly as his eyes flicker down, a small hint of a knowing smile appearing leisurely on his lips as Draco slides the strip of fabric down and away. They are sitting opposite Blaise on Draco's bed, Blaise lying on his stomach facing them, Harry with his legs crossed, and Draco perched sideways on the bed just behind him, one leg tucked underneath him and the other hanging carelessly off the edge. Draco rests his chin on Harry's shoulder, tossing the tie between them to join the ever-growing pot beside the deck and looking up to meet Blaise's eyes.
'Your turn to deal,' Draco says.
Blaise gathers the cards, shuffles, cuts and deals. Five-card draw, as usual, something that Harry is having trouble wrapping his poorly-socialised Gryffindor mind around, never having played poker before. Blaise still cannot believe that Harry Potter, epitome of all things Gryffindor, has agreed not only to play strip poker, but to do so with an audience. It's almost as hard to believe as the fact that Draco Malfoy, disciple of the self-serving Slytherin agenda, is willing to share a peek of what he gets his hands on every night.
Harry picks up his cards, and Draco's eyes leave Blaise's to peer at his hand. He smirks. Blaise shuffles through his own cards, and resists the urge to do so himself. Diamond flush. Not too shabby, considering he hasn't modified his hand. Coins are tossed onto the pile; all Galleons, of course, for even in the face of destitution due to being cut out of his father's will, Draco absolutely refuses to gamble like a derelict. Good thing Harry has the entire Black family fortune to his name, Blaise thinks, because these games tend to get expensive. Blaise doesn't care; if he bankrupts his mother, she'll just marry another unfortunate (but wealthy) schmuck and shortly thereafter end up a dowager again.
Blaise raises Harry's two Galleons to four. Draco raises his eyebrows, and whispers something into Harry's ear. Harry's eyes, half closed behind his glasses, glance sideways at him, and Draco smirks again and nods. Harry shrugs, and calls the raise. Draco's uncharacteristically good at calling bluffs in this game, and Blaise knows this, but his hand isn't bad. So he leaves the bet as it is and drops his hand on the duvet.
Harry follows suit. Blaise frowns; full house. Bastards.
Blaise sighs and sits up, dutifully unbuttoning the first few holes of his shirt, and then pulls it over his head. He tosses it in the pile, and sits on his knees. Harry's eyes are open now, curious and unabashed as they rake over the naked torso before them. Blaise is rather proud of his figure, his looks in general even, for like Draco he's a progeny of pure-blooded good breeding, shaped by teenage hyperactivity, Quidditch, and exotic background to boot.
Draco has seen it all before, and is instead watching Harry, silver eyes glittering as Harry's head tilts to the side. He's so close that the tip of his nose is nuzzling under Harry's ear, lips partially open and caressing the soft skin of his neck idly. Blaise hands the deck across to Harry, who is getting better at cutting with every match, while Draco's hand comes to rest on his hip. His fingers splay there as if that is their sole purpose, to connect the two of them with just enough pressure to remind Harry what is on Draco's mind, what's on his mind every minute of every day that they're together. Harry deals, tossing the pile back between them, and the hand not holding his cards comes to rest over Draco's.
Their fingers entwine too naturally, Blaise thinks, for a pair that spent six and a half years loathing one other's existence.
Blaise looks at his cards and feels a smirk coming on, but restrains it. It's a straight flush, aside from that stray spade among the hearts. Well, that's easily remedied—Blaise allows the smirk to appear as he tosses five Galleons in the pot, watching Harry look up from his hand and raise his eyebrows. Draco's reaction is more subtle; his brow contracts a bit, the hand in Harry's tightens slightly, and he murmurs something unintelligible against Harry's earlobe.
Harry shivers, and raises Blaise five more. Blaise meets it, unperturbed, and Draco's smirk falters a little. This does not go unnoticed by Blaise, who tosses in another Galleon. Draco winces a little when Harry calls it and lays down their hand. Blaise looks at their cards; quad tens, Queen kicker. Not bad, but not good enough. He drops his straight flush between his knees.
'Bastard,' he hears Draco murmur against Harry's neck. But he's smiling, and so is Harry. He untangles their fingers and moves both his hands up Harry's sides, slowly, smoothing the fabric over his body, coming to rest with his elbows under Harry's armpits and hands resting along his collarbone. Blaise picks up the deck and begins to shuffle. It's a distraction, mostly, to keep his eyes from falling out of his head as he watches Draco begin to unbutton Harry's shirt, starting at the collar and working his way down. Harry rests his hands on his knees as Draco works, fingers brushing the skin beneath the crisp, white fabric too frequently to be unintentional, while Draco buries his nose in the hair at the back of Harry's neck.
Harry's eyes flutter closed as Draco undoes the last button and his hands slide inside the loose fabric, ghosting Harry's abdomen and chest as they travel to his shoulders and carefully push the shirt off his torso and down his arms. Draco's fingers are caressing the muscles in his upper arms—Harry twitches slightly, and Blaise sees the lines when they tighten. Blaise can hear Draco breathing down the back of Harry's neck as he tugs the shirt past his elbows, his thumbs lingering on the underside of Harry's wrists as he pulls the article of clothing away completely, and tosses it in the pot.
At some point, Blaise reckons he must have bitten his tongue, because now it's throbbing somewhat painfully. He has to admit that, Quidditch and hyperactivity aside, Harry's breeding isn't too shabby, either.
While Blaise's eyes have been on Harry's exposed chest, Draco's chin has come back to rest on his shoulder. 'You planning to deal some time tonight?' he asks. He also smirks, all too knowingly. Fucking show off.
Ugh. Three of a kind? What kind of cunt deal was this? Blaise blinks as he realises that Draco isn't just smirking because he's showing off, but because it's giving him the upper hand—specifically, the advantage of charming the cards while Blaise is busy ogling his boytoy. Fucking bastard of a show off.
Harry throws in four Galleons, and Blaise, already acknowledging defeat, folds. Draco's eyes flicker briefly between his neck and his waist, curious, and Blaise decides this cheating snark of a pillock isn't getting a peek that easily tonight, and undoes the chain around his neck. Blaise can't figure out who looks more disappointed, Draco or his bloody Gryffindor tart.
Draco shifts closer to Harry, bringing his chest against Harry's back, one leg still dangling off the side of the bed. He brings one of his hands to rest on Harry's knee, using the other to brace himself against the mattress by Harry's hips. His chin takes up its favourite spot on that span of lean muscle between Harry's neck and shoulder, tilting to the side to rest against Harry's cheek. It's a possessive pose, an unnecessary, tantalising proclamation that this is his and his alone, a voyeuristic tease that says, you may look all you like, but touch and I'll break your fucking arms off, thanks very much.
It's Harry's turn to deal again, and he does so easily now, the simple shuffle-and-cut quick and fluid, formed from habit. They were both fully dressed in cloaks and school robes when this started. Everything's in the pile now except trousers and briefs, assuming that green-eyed little prat is wearing any. A few weeks ago, Blaise never would have thought even the boldest of Gryffindors would have the bollocks to go commando, but Draco has been having a disturbing influence on some of Harry's more orthodox ways, so Blaise rarely puts anything past the pair of them anymore.
The one advantage Blaise has is that Harry is still a Gryffindor at heart, and deals fair. Blaise has a flush, not straight but with an ace and a king—a fairly high one, and flushes are hard to predict and harder to beat. Draco's eyes study Harry's cards, and he shrugs; Harry drops two Galleons in the pot. Blaise is looking for a bluff to call, but they're giving him nothing. He decides to call, not raise, and Harry drops his cards at the same time Blaise does.
It's also a flush, ace-king high as well. But it's of spades. Blaise's hearts earn him the win, and he smirks.
'Bastard,' Draco mutters again.
Blaise folds his arms behind his head and rests against one of the bedposts. 'I hope your paramour wore his skivvies tonight.'
'Do you?' Draco asks, smirking back.
His arched eyebrow says he knows Blaise is bluffing, and Harry gives a sort of non-committal snort. He never talks much around Blaise, or any of the other Slytherins, for that matter. He's here for Draco's benefit, and his alone, more than likely because his fellow Gryffindors begin whinging if Draco is in their territory for too long, as he takes liberties in their presence that would drive Theodore through the roof, and Harry is too smitten with the bastard to tell him off for it. The only thing that Harry seems to stand up to Draco about nowadays is the treatment of his friends; the word 'mudblood' has all but vanished from Draco's vocabulary, though every once in a while, when Harry's elsewhere, it slips out. But Harry is very seldom elsewhere when Draco has his way, so Blaise knows that soon it will be nothing but a not-so-fond memory.
Draco stands, taking Harry's hands and pulling him up. Blaise reclines against the wooden post as Draco positions himself behind Harry, breathing down his neck, hands resting on his hips and then sliding along the waistband of his trousers, thumbs hooking inside the lip, fingers slowly and deftly undoing the clasp. Grey eyes glitter with mischief as he slides the zip down, looking at Blaise, not Harry. He hardly blinks as he pushes them off Harry's hips, a sexy, foxy little smile on his lips.
What a tosser, Blaise thinks. He's giving me a bloody show.
Harry, it turns out, did wear his skivvies—or in this case, boxers—which are, surprisingly enough, a dark emerald that matches his eyes. Draco is dragging his teeth across Harry's shoulder; Harry hisses, the muscles in his torso tighten, and as his trousers fall to the floor, Draco's hands slide back up the sides of his thighs, palms lingering on his backside, fingers giving the slightest hint of a squeeze.
And I'm fucking loving it.
Guiding Harry back to the bed, using a combination of hands and nose to nudge him down onto the mattress, Draco buries his nose back in the dark, untidy hair and lounges behind him. Harry's eyes flash at Blaise from behind his frames, and he smirks. It's an odd look on him. 'Your deal, Zabini.'
Blaise snaps out of his stupor, sitting up and snatching the deck. He deals quickly, because the faster you deal, the easier it is to rig your hand, and damned if he's losing this game now. He can't give Harry a completely shoddy hand, or Draco will know what he's up to... in fact, the better the deal, the less likely that they'll notice...
Harry looks his cards over, turns his head and says something quiet to Draco which prompts a low laugh into his hair. 'Don't worry about it,' Blaise hears Draco whisper.
Harry looks back at Blaise and, after a moment's hesitation, tosses six Galleons in the pile. Blaise raises him four more.
Frowning, Harry starts to turn his head, but Draco's a step ahead. 'All in,' he breathes. He drags his fingertips along Harry's exposed ribs, drawing a sharp gasp; Harry flushes slightly, unprepared for the touch, and Blaise feels his own neck grow hot.
'This isn't easy with you distracting me,' Harry murmurs.
Draco's eyes flicker from Harry to Blaise, who quickly shuts his mouth. 'Who says I'm doing it to distract you?' he says silkily.
Harry adds his four remaining Galleons. 'That's all for me,' he says to Blaise. 'You're not raping my Gringotts vault for a card game.'
That's fine, Blaise thinks, because he only needs one more round.
Harry drops his cards. Straight flush of diamonds, King-high. Near impossible to beat. Blaise smirks and lays his cards down.
'You cheating little shit,' Draco says, laughing. 'Royal flush, my arse.'
'Don't know what you're on about,' Blaise tells him, shrugging. 'Anyway, it's not like you have to strip.' His eyes flicker to Harry. 'Hop to it, Potter.'
Draco is glaring at Blaise over Harry's shoulder. Harry shrugs, and stands up, and Draco goes with him, pulling Harry's hands away from his waist. 'I'm doing this,' he says firmly, meeting Harry's eyes. Harry looks at him and nods, letting his hands fall away. Draco steps up beside him, resting the length of his body against Harry's side, and his nose tucks under the crook where Harry's jaw meets his ear. It's almost as if they are made to connect there, a perfect fit. One hand is out of sight, resting on the small of Harry's back; the other ghosts down his chest, fingertips caressing the flesh on their way down, down... Draco's hand stops where their hips meet, and he traces two fingers along the definitive line of Harry's hip, before they gracefully slip under the elastic band.
Blaise holds his breath.
And then Draco takes off Harry's glasses with his other hand and tosses them into the pot.
Blaise is going to kill him.
'And you call me a cheating little shit,' he says. 'You do realise I get to keep the pot?'
'You can have 'em,' Draco says lightly, as he kisses Harry's shoulder and removes his fingers. 'He isn't going to need them.'
~ fin ~