Title: Divided We Stand

Disclaimer: J. K. Rowling and associates own these characters. I am writing this story for fun and not profit.

Pairings: Harry/Draco, Harry/Ginny

Rating: R

Warnings: Angst, sex, infidelity, ambiguous ending. EWE.

Wordcount: 6400

Summary: Harry knows what Draco is like. He thinks he can live with it. He may be wrong.

Author's Notes: This is being written for teapostal, who made a very generous donation for help_japan, and requested a fic based on lyrics of a song called "Awake My Soul" by Mumford & Sons. The stanza I chose to focus on was "Lend me your hand and we'll conquer them all/ But lend me your heart and I'll just let you fall/ Lend me your eyes I can change what you see/ But your soul you must keep, totally free."

Divided We Stand

Harry drew his hand back from the door of their office and spent a moment staring at the polished wooden panel. A new brass sign twinkled from the top of it. HARRY POTTER & DRACO MALFOY, AURORS.

There was nothing more than that, not even the elegant curly writing on the sign that Draco had pouted about not having. There didn't need to be more than that, not when anyone who would see the sign knew exactly what the sign meant and why it was unusual for Harry and Draco to have earned it this fast, six months into their partnership.

Partnership. Harry let his mouth twist. He'd learned a lot of new meanings to that word, in the past month.

Six months. One month. Twenty-four years. There were a lot of different ways to define a lifetime. Harry shook his head, told himself he was being stupid, and opened the door.

The office beyond had an enchanted window that usually looked out on a forest in the depths of winter. Harry had asked Draco several times why he liked the glitter of the branches in the frost under a full moon so much, and never received a coherent answer. He had told himself that Draco had the right to keep something that personal private if he wanted, but he had ceased to believe the excuse over time.

Draco was standing next to the desk closest to the window, an enormous mahogany thing he'd had imported from the Manor. He looked up when he heard Harry, and his eyes gave the frost a run for their money in sheer glitter.

"Look what I found," he said, and touched, one by one, the six emeralds that lay scattered there, shining. The dark wooden coffer that had contained them was only an inch or so away, the impressions the jewels had created in the red velvet still visible.

Harry jerked to a stop. He stared at the jewels, and tried to make his tongue work. Unfortunately, it had frozen the way it tended to do when Draco touched him, or kissed him, or looked at him. He shook his head, and this time, his tongue stuttered out a few words. "Draco. You said that you couldn't find them, that Eben must have already thrown them off a cliff."

"Oh, he did, as far as I could tell," Draco said carelessly, and then picked up the biggest emerald and held it under a jeweler's glass. Harry watched his eye blink through it and wondered where he'd got it. He couldn't remember seeing him buy it, but, as these gems proved, that didn't mean anything. "But I found them later."

"They're—they're heirlooms," Harry said. He was almost stammering. He moved closer. Draco smiled at him, restive and sharp, and said nothing. "Madam Olwen's family. She needs them back."

"She thinks they were lost forever," Draco said, laying down the glass. "She won't look for them. And I already have buyers lined up who won't be so foolish as to display them for more than a few select viewers."

"Draco, you took them."

Draco spread his hands, his eyes fastened on Harry and his cheeks bright. "What can I say? You knew what I was from the moment you met me. A sneaky, untrustworthy Slytherin. Someone you can't trust to return property that someone has need of. But someone you can trust to climb to the heights of power, and take you with him. And someone with a fine eye for beauty." Now his smile was urgent, and he moved around the desk and cradled Harry's face, bringing his chin up.

Harry shook his head. His pulse was climbing, but he had to fight that off. "Please, Draco," he whispered. "Please take them back."

Draco shook his head. "Like I said. Madam Olwen isn't expecting them back. We wouldn't have been on the case at all if Eben hadn't used that one Dark Arts spell. Aurors, chasing down a common thief? Unworthy of us. Beneath us." The hand he had behind Harry's head began to rub roughly, his fingers digging into Harry's neck. "We should have refused the case, or at least been allowed to refuse," he breathed, and suddenly jerked, and Harry's mouth was right there, inches from his lips, then an inch, then a breath. "We only got the case in the first place because Madam Olwen is on the Wizengamot," he whispered into Harry's mouth. "She's rich. She has other jewels."

"Who are you trying to convince, me or yourself?" Harry asked angrily, reaching up to pry at Draco's fingers.

"You, of course," Draco said. "I'd already convinced myself, long ago."

He slammed his mouth home, and Harry was caught, dizzied, drained, bound, the way he had been the first time Draco kissed him, a month ago. He moaned and went down under it, flailing weakly at the desk as Draco laid him back—on the emeralds, so that they clicked and shone and dug into his spine—and wrenching his mouth free for one second. "Draco, we can't," he said.

"I'm tired of can't," Draco said, and he had Harry's trousers parted and his mouth down on his cock in one smooth second.

Harry came hung on emeralds, hanged on chains of his own making, hung over the heat of Draco's throat.

"How was work?"

Harry closed his eyes. Ginny's voice was too bright and too sharp, a knife that he always turned around to find at his throat or his ribs.

And didn't he deserve that? He and Ginny weren't married, no, but the ring shone from her finger, and everyone passed them with secret smiles which meant "any day now." He and Ginny were the only ones who knew differently, and Ginny didn't know what was wrong. Her suspicions had progressed from thinking that Harry had someone on the side to thinking that he didn't love her anymore and was too much of a coward to tell her to thinking that he had only ever liked her because she was someone else for him to rescue. And yet, she didn't leave him.

Harry wished she would, if only because he thought she deserved better. He deserved whatever she wanted to hand him.

Why couldn't he tear himself free from his obsession with Draco? He didn't know. Every other time he had been tempted by something he knew was wrong, like when Voldemort offered him power, he had had no trouble rejecting it.

"The same as always," Harry answered her, and hung up his cloak next to the door, then advanced cautiously further into the house. They had bought a place that was a cozy circle of rooms, and all one floor. Ginny had said that she wanted something as different as possible from the Burrow, with its rambling staircases and bedrooms opening off in all possible directions. He knew already that her voice was coming from what she called the Fire Room.

Sure enough, Ginny stood there, in the middle of the large, wood-paneled, almost oval floor, with her hands extended to the hearth, the largest in the house. She turned her head and gave him one poisoned smile over her shoulder, then faced the flames again.

Harry stood there, helpless to move towards her, keeping his hands at his sides. It seemed impossible to him that they could marry and raise children like this. He wouldn't want to bring children into a relationship so windy and cold.

And yet, what else could he do? He didn't have the courage to break off the relationship, he knew, to give up all traces of what he used to be for the sake of whatever Malfoy was trying to turn him into. Not to mention the disappointed and angry questions he would have to face from Ron, who already considered Harry a brother, and Hermione, who was planning a double wedding.

No good answers, and no way to get them. His hands chilling as he stood there, and Ginny's reluctance to do anything other than waste away surrounding him in a palpable cloud, and God, all he could think of was wanting Draco's skin against his and the longing that stuck in his throat.

"Right, then," Ginny said at last, and moved away. Harry stepped up to the fire and stared unseeingly at the patterns in the flames.

Draco had warned him. Right from the beginning. The first time Harry had kissed him, driven by a lust so great it was like dying of dehydration not to quench it, he'd put his hand on Harry's shoulder and given him a scalpel-like smile.

"Fall in love with me," he said, "and nothing can save you. I'll be your Auror partner, and we'll catch more criminals than anyone else ever did. But you ought to think of the way that we have sex as fun only. I'm not capable of loving anyone who's not Malfoy by blood." For a moment, his face had seemed to age. "I tried, before. But it didn't work. And if I could love anyone like that, I think it would be you. But I can't. So don't expect it."

Harry had tried to give only as much as Draco could give in return. They could work side by side. Draco taught him new spells, new ways of looking at the world, the way that pure-bloods were right and strong—and wrong and limited. Harry had walked new mental worlds since he had become partners with Draco.

But he ought never to have become a lover. Draco had been right, naked and honest as a blade, and Harry was the one who paid the price.

But not alone.


"Look out!"

Draco's voice came from behind him. Harry dropped to one knee and then whipped around to cast a web spell that bound the attacking wizard to the wall. Of course, that left one wizard on the offensive, and he was after Draco, his shadow turning into dark hounds the size of ponies that stalked forwards with glowing red eyes.

Retreating in front of them, Draco didn't look afraid. He never looked anything but smug, Harry thought, or sly, or angry, or the proud, wild, free look that Harry knew meant he was thinking about some plan. He had told Harry that he found other emotions a waste of time since the war, since he had really learned to know himself.

Harry scrambled to his feet. One of the hounds turned towards him, and slaver dripped from its jaws. Harry was already running almost on empty. He knew that he had nothing left for most of the spells that he could cast, and since the hounds had been formed out of shadow, they could probably dodge the hexes and binding spells that were his most common weapons.

"Expelliarmus!" he tried, and his enemy laughed and kept hold of his wand without effort. The hound crouched as though it would leap at Harry.

He caught a glimpse of Draco's face over the wizard's shoulder, bright and unafraid, eyes locked on the dogs that would destroy him, refusing to grant his enemy the dignity of paying attention to him just then.

Fury welled through Harry, drawing darkness in its wake.

"Avada Kedavra!"

He'd thought he had no magic, but he had the anger and the hatred, and someone had once told him that that was what you really needed, to cast the Unforgivables. It ripped itself out of him in a long, hot flow, like lava, like blood, and the beam of green light struck the wizard in the back. He wavered, he had no defense against it, he fell.

The black hounds vanished in the same moment, as though they had been connected to him. Of course they had, Harry thought, wavering and hysterical. He fell to one knee. The wizard had woven them of his own shadow, and when he had no more will to move his body about and change the way his shadow pointed, then they would go.

Someone touched his shoulder. Harry looked up to see Draco nodding to him as though he had expected, all along, that Harry would turn to Unforgivables rather than let him die. He had no smile on his face, but an expression that might be one when it grew up, small and secret.

"Thank you," he said. "I knew you could do it. Now, I think we have someone else to take care of." He turned to the wizard Harry had cast the web on.

Harry sat there, his mind sluggish and sludgy, and didn't know what was going on until long after Draco had cast the Diffindo across the other man's throat and let him bleed to death. His eyes were still staring at nothing when Harry looked up.

"Why?" he whispered.

"Because he saw you cast an Unforgivable," Draco said, and touched him on the shoulder again. This time, it was more like a push that was meant—perhaps—to help him to his feet. "We're the only witnesses otherwise." He paused. "I told you once that I wouldn't save your soul, but I do intend to save your body. It's for my use as well, after all."

The Dark wizards were both dead, and according to wizard law, Harry had done something worse than Draco had in causing those deaths. He stood up and gave in.

Later, he remembered. The one who had told him that Unforgivables drew on hatred and taunted him for not having enough to cast them was Bellatrix Lestrange.

"I don't know you anymore, mate."

Harry winced and stared down into the depths of his mug. He and Ron still tried to meet once a week—though that had somehow, imperceptibly, become once a month—for drinks and to talk to each other like best friends should. Ron had plenty to tell him, with his growing plans for marrying Hermione and his new job working at Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. He wasn't much interested in Harry's Auror stories, since he had lived through most of the same things himself before he left the Ministry and Harry got partnered with Malfoy. Harry had thought that meant they were drifting apart naturally.

But now Ron reached across the table and took his wrist in a grip as firm as a manacle, and Harry squirmed under it. He had never done that before, not when the person touching him was his best friend. He wanted to close his eyes and turn his head away, but that would just confirm for Ron that something was wrong, and then suspicion would fall on Malfoy. Harry kept his eyes fixed on Ron's face, and Ron sighed.

"I know how unhappy Ginny is," he said. "I see how unhappy you are, when we meet like this. You can't convince me that—that the way your life is going is the way you want it to go." His face was red, as though even talking that much about feelings upset him or might make someone question his masculinity.

You can question your masculinity when you've let someone blow you, Harry told himself, and then winced again.

"Yeah, we're both unhappy," he said. "Sometimes I think that—Ron, I don't think I want to marry her at all." He cleared his throat hard when Ron's hand clamped down in shock and bound tendon to bone. "I know, it sounds horrible to say. But I think it might be better for both of us if we went our separate ways."

There. He's said it, and it hadn't been as hard as he'd thought it would be after all. He blinked mildly at the fire, astonished.

"But you were happy," Ron whispered. He took his hand away from Harry's and leaned back in his seat, eyes wide and anxious, as if he was already putting the distance between them that Harry had feared opening in the first place. "I know you were. What changed? Do you think you could recover if you left the Aurors?"

Harry gave him a pitying glance before he could stop himself. "Ron. This isn't—this isn't the disease that you're looking as if you think it is. This is something that's been coming for a long time. I don't know if I can change it. I don't think I want to. I want her to have what she needs and deserves, a happy home and someone who loves her more than he loves his life. I can't be that for her."

"But why?" Ron demanded. "You thought you could. What's changed?"

And then, looking at his best friend, Harry remembered why he couldn't do this, after all.

His friends would ask questions. They were never content to let mysteries rest. They would come, and watch him with Malfoy, and they would see the truth, and they would try to drive him away from Malfoy or from Ginny—Harry wasn't actually sure which one was more likely—and everything would explode.

Harry didn't want to go on as he was, but he didn't know how to change things without causing more pain. To himself, to his friends, to Ginny.

To Draco, who had expressed no unhappiness with the status quo.

He sighed and looked down at the table. "I don't know, Ron. Maybe we'll be happier if we just talk to someone."

Ron seized eagerly on that line of talk, and the evening ended with Harry promising to go to a Mind-Healer and his guilty secret still squirming inside him, as uncrushable as a grave-worm.

"I know that you've thought about it." Draco's mouth was hot and greedy against his neck, and his fingers gripped the back of it, toying with Harry's hair as they rocked. They were in the Muggle swivel chair that Harry had bought for himself but Draco had immediately claimed as his own. Their legs were spread so wide that Harry no longer felt the pain of spreading them like that, and their erections rubbed together through cloth. At Draco's insistence, the door wasn't locked.

Harry moaned and closed his eyes. Draco's fingers tightened in his hair for a minute. "Shhh," he breathed. "I didn't cast the Silencing Charms, either."

Harry whined under his breath, but gave Draco what he wanted, clamping his lips together. Then Draco tugged on his hair, and Harry's eyes flew open. He had forgotten that what Draco most wanted wasn't his silence, but his gaze always fastened on him, making Draco the center of Harry's attention the way he already felt he was the center of the universe.

"That's right," Draco said, and then returned to their previous subject of conversation. "I know that you've thought about forsaking all the rules and just going on a rampage, hurting who you like, getting revenge on you who like."

Harry let his forehead fall against Draco's shoulder. "Draco," he whispered, mouthing it into his skin, "shut up."

"No." Draco tugged on his hair to the point that Harry thought he would pull it out. "I won't, not when it makes so much sense to make you admit this. They took Henderson away from us, didn't they? I said they would. He has too many contacts, and the crimes he committed skirted this side of the Unforgivable Curses. But we both know what he really did." Draco's hand scraped skin now. "You wanted to destroy him."

And of course that was right, of course Harry had, when he thought of the way that the eyes of Henderson's victim stared at the wall. They had removed his mental control and restored her to her proper frame of mind, but they couldn't promise that Henderson would go to prison, because that spell was legal between consenting adults—and Henderson had claimed that he had her consent. The woman had shivered and closed her eyes.

That was all. It was enough to make Harry want to get drunk when he got back to the office, and be restrained only by Draco's insistent mouth, hands, eager legs wrapping around his waist.

"That's what I can do," Draco whispered. "I don't always do it, because I know that practicality has to rule the day sometimes. But I don't live by the same strangling rules that you do, and I'm happy. Can you say the same?"

Harry just shook his head and closed his eyes again, which was answer and refusal all at once. They continued rocking. Draco's back muscles flexed beneath Harry's touch, the way they bulged and rippled. Harry thought of the times he'd seen them bared, by a torn-away shirt or by the Healers as they worked on him after a case that had resulted in injury, and the times that he'd watched Draco turn around with a grin as bright as quicksilver, and the times that he'd seen Draco's back bared because Draco was bent and blowing him.

Orgasm was sudden, making Harry arch back in the chair as he came. Draco kissed his mouth quiet and followed him, his eyes closed. The expression on his face, Harry thought, was that of a man utterly at peace with himself. It was one he couldn't remember seeing on Ron's face, or his in the mirror, or anyone else's.

Other than Draco, who had no rules other than what the situation dictated at the moment.

He was corrupt. Harry knew he was corrupt. But he himself was corrupt too, because he knew what Draco had done and he hadn't reported it, and he was betraying his personal honor and integrity to consort with someone most people would say was still a Death Eater, or no better than.

Draco mouthed his shoulder, and opened eyes that shone like polished pewter.

It was stupid, it was unheroic, it was the opposite of everything he knew about himself, but Harry knew he could lose himself in those eyes. He reached out and pushed a strand of sweaty hair back from Draco's forehead.

"You've thought about it," Draco whispered to him, soft as a lover. "And someday you'll do more than think about it."

Harry avoided his eyes, and he couldn't say if that was simple shame, or simple fear, or something more complex than either.

"How do you feel when you think about marriage?"

Harry sighed and stared at his hands. He had told Ron he would feel better for talking to someone, so Ron had set it up. This was the kind of counselor the Ministry retained for their Aurors, the ones who were supposed to talk to them about cases where they killed someone or came close to the edge of torture. The man was nice enough, Harry supposed, in the same way that anyone could be nice when they hadn't had to kill to preserve their own lives. They'd talked a bit about Quidditch before they got down to exchanging questions. He seemed a decent bloke.

But his first question was so complex that Harry had no idea how he could answer it. He shook his head, wordless, instead.

The man, Fasoltsen, sighed in return and obviously cast around for something else to say. "Do you want to marry Ginevra Weasley?" he asked at last, his voice shaping the syllables of the name carefully, as if they would cut him if they were mishandled.

Harry swallowed. It would have been easy to talk to this man about Malfoy if it was easy to talk to anyone. He was disinterested, a neutral observer. And he was here to help with this particular kind of problem, to help Harry figure out what to do about Ginny. At least, that was supposedly the reason he was there.

But no matter how much the man promised to keep it secret, Harry knew that word would get back to Ron and Hermione. And what would happen if Ginny came in and said something completely the opposite, or agreeing with Harry to the extent that she also didn't want to marry him anymore? Someone besides Fasoltsen would find out his secret. It was inevitable, with Fasoltsen supposedly helping them to be honest with each other.

"Auror Potter, this won't work if you say nothing."

Harry gave Fasoltsen a quick smile that he hadn't planned on. The man sounded so frustrated, and Harry knew exactly what that was like. "I know," he said. "But I don't really know what to say."

"If you don't want to marry your fiancée, then what has changed since you became engaged?" Fasoltsen, after a moment of staring at Harry, seemed to decide that was the safer question to ask. He leaned back and brushed a lock of blond hair from his eyes, then brought his hand down sharply. A counselor probably wasn't supposed to look nervous in front of his patients, Harry thought.

"My life," Harry whispered. "And she's not a part of it anymore." The lump was building up in his throat, swelling as if it would break through his skin. Surely it couldn't do much harm to give Fasoltsen that much, Harry reasoned. It would ease his own pain and convince the counselor they were getting somewhere.

"Then what is your life like?" Fasoltsen leaned demandingly forwards. "Auror Potter, I have spoken to numerous Aurors and treated them for mental wounds as well as the consequences of their cases," he added, when Harry hesitated. "You will not shock me, whatever you can tell me."

Harry licked dry lips. He wondered if that was true, if Fasoltsen had perhaps heard the confessions of Aurors falling in love with their partners before, and would tell Harry what he should do to shake himself free of it.

But he couldn't bring himself to betray Draco's confidence that way. Draco didn't even know that Harry was seeing this bloke. He hadn't said whether he wanted Harry to speak of their affair, and Harry would keep it secret on the off-chance that Draco didn't want him to, even though he most strongly suspected that Draco wouldn't care.

That's how bad it is, he realized a minute later. I thought first of betraying Draco, before I thought about Ginny, or Ron and Hermione.

"What has changed?" Fasoltsen said. His face was set now like a dentist getting ready to dig into a badly cracked tooth.

"Everything," Harry said, but knew even before he saw the counselor shake his head that it wasn't going to be enough.

"Have your cases got more dangerous?" Fasoltsen asked. "Has your fiancée spoken about leaving you? It happens sometimes, when the betrothed realizes that she—or he—had no idea how dangerous an Auror's career really was."

"Not that," Harry said. "She fully supports me in my work." Just not in the fucking that goes on during it. Harry bit his lip down on a hysterical giggle when he thought about that, and shook his head. "But I feel as if I don't know her anymore. I've grown closer to my partner, and she doesn't like him."

Fasoltsen nodded. "That would be Draco Malfoy?" He didn't have to consult a file, Harry thought, a bit ruefully, but then, he didn't think there was anyone in the Ministry who had missed the news of Harry and Draco starting a partnership. "Because of the blood feud between their families?"

"Yes," Harry said. "That, and what happened during the war." And it did help him, in a way, to speak of it like this, even if it was indirectly and glancingly and Fasoltsen couldn't have the least idea of what he was really helping with. The split between Ginny and Draco was at the center of his life. Ginny had no idea that she had a rival in Draco, and Draco didn't care, but Harry felt the pull, and it was destroying him.

"Hmm." Fasoltsen nodded. "Have you spoken to the Head Auror about having another partner?"

"I don't want another partner."

Fasoltsen reared back, making patting motions in the air to calm Harry down. Harry blinked, and only then realized that he was leaning into the counselor's face, his magic visible as small, sharp spikes of power on his hands. He coughed and leaned back in his chair, trying to soothe his magic. "Sorry," he said.

"It's an intense reaction," Fasoltsen said, watching him with some worry. "That means that this must be troubling you more than you realize. Have you…have you thought about requesting another partner? It might be for the best that you get away from Malfoy, even if you work well together, if he's troubling you this much."

"Everyone always thinks that Draco is the problem." Harry made some effort to speak rationally. Get too upset about this, and Fasoltsen might guess at the truth, and that would probably have the same effects that telling him deliberately about the push-and-pull Harry felt between Ginny and Draco did. "They don't suggest that I leave Ginny." He raised an eyebrow at Fasoltsen. "Even you aren't suggesting that. Why?"

"Because you can presumably do your work without him, but not get married without her," Fasoltsen said simply.

Harry blinked. That was true enough.

And he could perhaps break away now. If he had the courage, if he chose to confess the real reason to Fasoltsen and see what happened…

And he already knew that he didn't have the courage, not when that would mean exposing Draco and hearing the condemnations of his friends.

I think that's the worst thing Draco's done to me, Harry realized, pushing his hands through his hair and staring at the floor. Not convinced me to look away while he's stolen things, not convinced me to betray my wife, not made me use Unforgivable Curses. But he's convinced me that I'm a coward, and I might as well go along with falling apart because there's nothing I can do to make things better.

"I don't see how I can help you if you won't answer some more of my questions," Fasoltsen said, interrupting Harry's tortured musings to himself. "Unless you wish to talk to someone else?" His voice was bright with hope.

Harry sighed and stared at him. He didn't remember now why he had even agreed to this—

Oh, yeah. To placate Ron. Because this thing with Draco was sapping his courage, and he couldn't bring himself to tell the truth.

"I don't think that would help," he said. "Not that this helps either." Then he looked up and found that Fasoltsen was staring at him with unimpressed, flat eyes. "Um," Harry said. "I didn't really mean that the way it sounded."

"I hope not." Fasoltsen studied him for one more pensive moment, then shook his head. "All right. I'm convinced I can't help you without more honesty, and I'll tell anyone who likes to ask that. In the meantime, I suggest that you find some means of balancing your fiancée and your partner. I think it'll destroy you if you don't."

I know it will, Harry thought, and left the office, feeling like a coward and an idiot and someone who really did deserve everything that would happen to him once people found out his secret.

But it would be a relief, too, in a way, because Harry knew that his friends would force him to stop the slide that he wasn't strong enough to resist. They would either drive him away from Ginny with much trumpet and fanfare—sometimes Harry thought that was more likely—or they would blame Draco and ensure that Harry couldn't see him anymore.

And while the thought of that last option burned in his chest like a firecracker, Harry was conscious that it really was the best plan. He just wasn't capable of following it on his own.

"You think you could stop this?"

Harry's shoulders hunched, and he kept his head bowed over the paperwork on the desk. "I haven't said anything about stopping this," he finally muttered, because Draco's stare was like an icepick against his neck.

"You went to a counselor. Specifically, someone who's supposed to help people repair mental wounds." Thump, thump of Draco taking off his boots, and he didn't even seem to consider that someone could come into the office and see that happening and think it was strange. Harry kept his head down, because he would betray himself by licking his lips if he looked up now. "You wouldn't do that if you thought it wasn't necessary." Then he paused, and his voice was slow and rich and amused when he spoke again. "No, wait. You wouldn't do that even if you thought it was necessary. I know that you hated all the people they tried to make you talk to after the war."

"Stop it," Harry muttered feebly. Draco knew far too much about him.

"Your friends made you do it," Draco said. "And as I can surmise from the lack of people trying to burn down my house, the counselor didn't persuade you to talk about what we have." His bare feet crossed the floor softly as he walked over to Harry, but Harry would have heard them coming through a Muggle concert. Draco leaned his hip on the desk and waited until Harry looked up at him—which of course he did, helplessly.

Draco's pale hair shimmered in a corona around his face, and his eyes were wide and pleased. He reached out and drew his fingers gently down Harry's cheek, stroking the skin now and then as if he wanted to find the softest places to bite.

"I know that you don't care," Harry whispered, as calmly as he could with the fire of Draco's touch cutting through him. It came out jagged as broken teeth, in fact, and Harry screwed his eyes shut. One part of him really did hate this, but it was so small, compared to the ones that liked it. "I know that you don't care about our partnership, and you don't care whether I cheat on Ginny or not, and I don't—I know that you don't care about me. But I do, okay? And that's why I went."

Draco laughed softly. "You're wrong," he said.

Harry stared at him. "About what part?"

"The part where you think not caring about the consequences means indifference." Draco pushed Harry's chair back from the desk and slung a leg over his hips. As always, Harry's response was instant, his own hips riding up, his erection so suddenly present that it made him dizzy. Draco licked his ear and then licked his scar. Harry writhed in the chair, never sure whether he liked that particular touch or not. "I'm free of worry," Draco whispered into his ear. "No matter what, they can't touch me. I don't care about your friends or your fiancée. They can't touch me."

"They could get you sacked." Harry's hands were beneath Draco's arse, although he didn't remember telling them to go there.

Draco shook his head. "They don't have enough influence in the Ministry to do that, not when I'm a good Auror and have the right connections." He settled down, hard, and sighed in satisfaction as Harry squirmed beneath him. "The point is, Harry, I've always been honest with you about who and what I am, and you chose to get involved with me anyway."

"I know that," Harry whispered. "I did this to myself. But I'm not like you. I can't just let go and give myself over to not caring the way you do."

Draco huffed a gentle laugh into his ear and gave him that raptor-look, the one that said he was diving through space, dizzy and free, and the only reason Harry didn't do the same thing was his fear. Harry knew that, and he didn't know how to change it. He didn't know how to change anything these days—his fear, his relationships, his response to Draco's body.

"I think you could be if you let yourself," Draco said. "You know that. And that's what scares you most of all."

Harry shut his eyes and shook his head. "I'll always care. I'll always be tormented, and weak, and stupid. Wanting to be strong, but not strong enough to stop this."

Draco's hand came to rest in the middle of his chest, holding him back from his grinding. Harry stared at him. It wasn't like Draco to use restraints, ever.

Draco smiled at him, and oh yes, hawks smiled like that at mice, owls smiled like that at rabbits, eagles smiled like that at the distance they were going to conquer.

"You can be," he said. "You can stop caring. Someday, you will. That you've come this far means that your morals have already weakened. I'm corrupting you, Harry Potter, the way that your friends always feared, and you're falling."

Harry shut his eyes, but he couldn't shut out the words. Yes, he had never thought he would be someone who betrayed his wife, who gave up his dreams of a family, who surrendered everything for the hot, close clutch of another body, for the pleasures of the moment. Especially when he never knew if someday his lover would get bored and decide not to stay with him.

But that was what he had done. Draco had found his weakness, and pinned it, and since then, Harry had been all weakness, all torn places.

Draco thought he couldn't endure. Harry thought he might. He had no idea if, even if he fell, he would become what Draco was.

Draco moved against him, rolling his hips, tempting. Harry knocked him back over the desk and bent down to kiss his wickedly laughing mouth.

He didn't know anything, at the moment, and would allow himself to know nothing, but this.

The End.