Draco Malfoy versus the Knitting by Sara's Girl
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry or Draco. I do, however, own several unique and fabulous hats made by my own knitting addict, Marie, for whom this wee story was written.
AN - Yes, I promise to get on with 'Turn' this weekend! This is just a bit of Foundations!verse fluff. I was missing it.
Click click click.
Draco narrows his eyes and concentrates harder on his work, the second of fifteen care-plans to which he has to add his comments. He shifts, tucking his legs more securely beneath himself on the sofa and taps his quill against his makeshift desk, a heavy leather-bound file.
Click click click click click. A pause. Click.
He sighs. Fiddles with his quill some more. Writes, 'Saleema is progressing well since the last care-plan. She has...'
Click click click click.
Restless, Draco swipes his hair from his eyes with his quill and covertly observes Harry, who is sitting at the other end of the sofa, humming tunelessly to himself and clicking away at that bloody thing, apparently floating in his own little world. One leg crossed comfortably over the other, he's reclining, needles flashing, eyes focused loosely on the roaring fire in the grate. And he's been there, right in that spot, looking utterly relaxed and as though he has completely forgotten Draco's existence, ever since he arrived home from work four hours ago.
And, alright, there was a short break for dinner, during which Harry had announced he was exhausted and had eaten his spaghetti with one elbow on the table, rubbing sporadically at his dark-ringed eyes.
Those eyes are still weary, Draco thinks, but he somehow manages to look serene.
More humming. Clickety-click click click.
Envious, Draco glances at him one more time before tearing his eyes back to his work. It's no use. He stares at the comments written by his colleagues, at the words he has just written, but they might as well be a series of squiggles for the amount of sense they're making at the moment. And, more terrifyingly, for a second or two, he can't remember anything at all about Saleema.
Click click click click click.
He tips his head back against the cool leather of the sofa and drops his quill, defeated. It's too late and his head is too tired, Harry is far too calm and paying far too little attention to him. Draco's weary conscience prickles at his own selfishness, but he silences it with a promise to be more self-sacrificing tomorrow, and gathers his parchments to his chest so that he can draw his knees up and poke Harry with his foot.
"Hm?" Harry murmurs vaguely without moving an inch.
Draco watches him loop silver-grey wool around bitten fingers, lips moving almost imperceptibly around the words of an unknown song. And then the clicking starts up again.
Click click click click fucking click.
Nostrils flaring with irritation, Draco kicks him again, this time with a little more vigour, driving his foot into the inside of Harry's thigh.
"Draco... oh, fuck it, I've dropped a stitch now," Harry grumbles, dropping his eyes to his knitting.
"Oh, no," he mutters, abandoning his work to a side table and crossing his arms, feeling thoroughly out of sorts. "When shall we expect the first horseman?"
"What have horses got to do with knitting?" Harry asks, frowning as he holds the needles up to his face, presumably looking for the lost stitch.
"Nothing," Draco says heavily.
Of course, Harry would know that if he paid any attention to what Draco was saying, and realising that fact only serves to fuel his frustration. Hot and fidgety with it, he exhales roughly through his nose and picks at the slightly worn sleeve of his sweater.
He just really doesn't understand this bizarre new hobby of Harry's. Knitting, surely, is for shrivelled old witches with nothing better to do. Or perhaps, he concedes, people who cannot afford to buy their clothes... whole. Harry is neither of these things; he's a Healer, for crying out loud.
"Aha, there it is!" Harry cries triumphantly.
If it was only tonight, that'd be one thing. But it's all the time. Every evening Harry isn't at work, he's sitting there and doing that. And when he's doing that, he's no longer available for his role as Draco's favourite post-work-nap pillow. No wonder he's tired. It's been almost two weeks now, and to Draco's astonishment, the needles appear to be here to stay. And he hates them. It's ridiculous, he knows that, but he really fucking hates them.
Click click click click click.
"Will you... desist?"
The clicking ceases immediately. It takes a moment for Draco to realise how loudly he has spoken, but when he does, Harry is staring at him, green eyes wide and eyebrows lifted in inquiry.
"That," Draco hisses, lowering his voice slightly. "The infernal clicking."
"Oh. Sorry." Harry looks down at his project for a moment and then brightens. "I'll put a Silencing Charm on the needles if you want."
Draco sighs, reaching for his care-plans once more. "Never mind."
For a long few seconds, there is silence in the room, but for the crackling of the fire and the sound of Draco's own breathing inside his head, but as he stares down at the pages, he can feel Harry's frown all over him.
"So... you're not really upset about the... er, infernal clicking?"
Draco is consumed with a sudden and irrational longing for the clicking to return. Swallowing his silly crossness with some effort, he resumes his quill tapping and affects a light shrug.
"I'm not upset."
"Draco. You've been in a disgusting mood all night. Talk to me," Harry demands, and Draco feels the sofa shift beneath him as Harry swivels around to face him and shuffles closer. He stares down at Ginevra's neat handwriting and plum-coloured ink and attempts to ignore the sinking feeling that Harry can see right through him.
"I'm surprised you noticed," he says airily, petulance stealing his self control.
"Of course I noticed. This doesn't exactly tax me mentally, you know," Harry says drily, holding up his knitting.
Draco snorts. "No, it's just a pretext for ignoring me. Knit, knit, knit," he mumbles, glancing at Harry and folding his arms. "Knit knit."
Harry laughs softly, and then there are pointy needles jabbing at Draco's arm. "Hang on, you're serious, aren't you? Draco, for fuck's sake." He sighs and stretches, dropping his feet into Draco's lap.
Crackling with irritation, he holds firm for a moment or two, but is quickly turned over by the ridiculous soft spot in his chest occupied by Harry, and untwists himself to stroke his fingers over Harry's soft, fleecy pyjama bottoms and warm ankles.
"Yes, I'm serious," he mumbles, beginning to feel silly. "All you do is knit. Cecile told me that you even knit when you're supposed to be working."
"Cecile says a lot of things," Harry says darkly, stretching into his touch. "And anyway, that was once, and it was in the canteen on my lunch break."
Head suddenly full of that image, Draco finds himself wanting to smile, and it takes some effort to keep his mouth set in a hard line. He manages it, though, and feels oddly proud of himself. It's reassuring to know that, even after all this time, he has retained at least a shred of resistance to Harry's guileless charms.
"She says you're obsessed, and I'm inclined to agree with her," he says, narrowing his eyes and rubbing the tension out of Harry's calf muscles with long strokes of his thumbs.
Harry hums contentedly and then falls silent, apparently considering something. When he speaks again, there's a tone of carefully-suppressed amusement in his voice.
"Draco... are you jealous of my knitting?"
"Don't be ridiculous," Draco huffs, even as he does so, betrayed by the flip of his stomach and the flush creeping up the side of his neck.
"You are," Harry insists, catching his eye and conveying an odd mixture of incredulity and childish glee. "You strange, strange man."
"Pot," Draco mumbles, rubbing at his heated face. "Kettle. You're the one who owns the clicky fucking needles."
Harry does laugh this time, and the sound dissolves some of Draco's irritation. "Actually, these are your mother's. She lent them to me so I could learn."
Startled, Draco glances sidelong at Harry. It's a ludicrous idea, of course, but Harry's always been easy to read and there is nothing on his face that suggests deception. "My mother doesn't know how to knit," he insists. "Only old ladies knit."
Harry makes an odd little sound and looks at the ceiling, smiling. "Your mother is an excellent knitter, actually, and... well, I don't know if this has escaped your notice but she sort of is an old lady."
"She is not," Draco says hotly. "She's not even fifty!"
Harry shifts and creaks against the worn leather. "I said sort of," he says, sliding a repentant foot against Draco's thigh. "And the point is, you don't have to be an old biddy. Ginny can knit, you know."
Surprised, Draco looks up. "Really? I wonder if Neville is a knitting widower, too. Perhaps we can get together and compare notes."
"Look... I'm making this for you, you idiot," Harry says, smoothing out his piece of knitting on his knees.
Draco looks, tilting his head this way and that until he recognises, for the first time, the shape of the front section of a sweater. It occurs to him that he has never bothered to wonder what Harry is knitting before, and he feels slightly ashamed.
"It's like the one that got ruined when Marley spilt the colour-changing ink," he says softly.
Harry grins. "Ah, but it's better than that one. This one is made from extremely fancy stain-repellent wool."
"Oh," Draco manages, sliding his fingertips over Harry's knees to touch the neat rows of knitting, soft to the touch and almost glowing under the low light from the lamps. "I didn't realise... I didn't know you were doing that... for me."
"No, because you don't ask," Harry sighs, gathering up his needles again and staring at Draco with what Draco thinks of as his 'exasperated professor' expression. "You just seethe and speculate and come up with weird little theories. It must be an odd place."
"What must be?" Draco asks, slightly wounded.
"Your little mind," Harry says, lips curving into a wicked grin.
"My mind is dangerous and sharp and full of highly intellectual... things," Draco finishes, weariness getting the better of him.
"Of course it is," Harry says, eyes bright as he catches Draco's wrist and attempts to yank him across the sofa. As Draco gives in, lets go of his prickly mood and pins Harry flat on his back, fifteen rolls of parchment, a quill, and Harry's knitting slide to the floor in a heap. And stay there.