The end…

"Congratulations, Mr. Malfoy. You are officially a free man now," Percy Weasley said after checking the papers Draco had just signed. They smiled at each other; Draco could not stop smiling today and most people seemed unable to not return the gesture. "May I ask what you plan for your future? If you still have trouble finding an occupation I might be able to arrange something at the Ministry." Quite obviously he adjusted the badge on his chest and Draco had to suppress a chuckle because George had hexed the badge this morning. The 'Minister's Personal Pet' had not noticed the change of his position until now.

"George offered to have me stay," Draco said in a voice he hoped was factual. "And I said yes."

"That is wonderful, Mr. Malfoy." Percy Vanished the parchments and formed a small triangle with his fingers on the table. "Truly, it is wonderful. I haven't seen George this happy since… well, you know. I think he really likes you."

Draco nodded as if he were in slow motion. He actually believed that George did a little more than just "liking" him. And it felt good to believe in that. Whatever had grown between them over the past year did not make just George happy.

"I do like him, too," Draco said quietly. He shook Percy's hand and left him with a frown when he left the office. George was waiting in the hallway for him.

"And?" George took Draco's hand and leant down for a short kiss.

Draco had planned to play a little joke on George, but he could not stop smiling. "Percy said that I'm a free man. Am I free, George?"

"Hmm… nope." George entwined their fingers and walked confidently next to Draco Malfoy through the corridors. "You're forced to go out for dinner with me now."

"Oh…" Full of curiosity, Draco searched fruitlessly for any hints for their destination in George's face. "That sounds really horrible."

George grinned and turned his head as if to kiss Draco. "Did he notice anything?"

Draco's expectantly pursed lips quirked in confusion. When he realised what George meant he started laughing and shook his head.

"Good," George said and finally gave Draco the kiss he had been waiting for. "While you were in there I got a wonderful idea…"

"I'm not wearing a pet-badge," Draco said.

"But everyone should know who you belong to!"

"I said no." Draco walked faster and dragged George after him.

"Oh, that is so mean." George stopped suddenly out of nowhere. With a sudden jerk he pulled Draco against his chest. "Then I'll have to show everyone…"

Draco flushed with a prickling mixture of happiness and embarrassment when George pressed their mouths together. In front of several people, not in a moistly cellar or a place enveloped by thick darkness. This was definitely proof enough that George was actually serious about them. And Draco allowed himself to love him for this.