Stress, Draco thought. That's what it is. I'm having a stress-induced hallucination. Or maybe I've been struck by lightning and this is some kind of life after death experience.
Draco frowned down at his lap. Shouldn't he be wearing a long white robe? How could he possibly have a meaningful after-death experience while soaked?
"Draco?" Harry squeezed his hands, and he struggled to force his rambling thoughts to focus. At least it was a pleasant hallucination. He could have been fighting with Potter or watching Goyle eat candy. Having Harry ask him to marry him was certainly better than anything he could think of.
"I know this sounds a little crazy," Harry was saying.
"A little crazy?" Draco's laugh held traces of hysteria. He tugged his hands free and ran them through his damp hair, tousling it into an even wilder tumble of curls. "Try insane, bonkers, utterly mad, ridiculous-" Draco broke off and looked at Harry, his heartbeat accelerating as it sank in that Harry Potter had actually just asked him, Draco Malfoy, to marry him.
"You're serious, aren't you?" Draco whispered.
"I'm serious" Harry's grin was rueful, but his gaze was steady. He didn't look like a man who had just lost his mind.
"I don't-we can't-it's-" Aware that he was sounding like an idiot, Draco stopped and took a deep breath. "Why?"
Good question, Harry thought. It would be nice if he could give him a logical, rational response. He didn't even know where the idea had come from. Suddenly it had been there, and it had –inexplicably- made sense. He was going on nothing but gut instinct- and maybe just a touch of insanity, he admitted. Besides they would solve his problem with the government, he realized. But did he want to admit that to Draco? Better not, he might hex me if he heard my reason.
Buying time, he grabbed for the hand that lay on Draco's lap. Toying with his fingers, he waited for inspiration, and, when it didn't come, he took the coward's way out and turned the question back on Draco. "Why not?"
"Why not?" Draco sputtered. "Because up until yesterday we were enemies. The only contact we ever had was insulting and hurting each other. Because normal people don't just go off to Canada and get married on an impulse. And what about the fact that my father will kill me."
"It happens all the time," Harry argued.
"Yes, but not in the wizarding world, what about tradition? Divorce is frowned upon." Draco thought about taking his hand back. He was nearly sure you weren't supposed to hold hands with someone when you were turning down their marriage proposal. But his fingers felt warm and strong around Draco's-just the opposite of the way he felt inside, which was cold and a little weak. The cold he could attribute to the rain that was still drumming around them, but the weakness came straight from his heart.
Harry Potter had asked him to marry him. He was sitting right there in front of him, all six-feet-two and emerald eyes, asking him to be his husband/bond mate. And he was turning him down?
"We've never even been on a date," Draco said weakly.
"I just asked you to go to Canada, didn't I? We could have dinner first; even catch a movie, if you want." Harry made his expression hopeful and was rewarded by a chocked snicker.
"Dinner, a movie and a wedding. That's certainly a unique first date."
"Probably not as unique as you think." Harry looked down at Draco's hand, vaguely startled by the delicacy of it. "Not every marriage ends in divorce, Draco."
"Not everyone who's exposed to dragon pox catches it, but the odd aren't in your favour either way," Draco replied cynically.
Harry grinned at the comparison. "Are you suggesting marriage is a disease?"
"No" Draco shook his head and tried to order his thoughts. The absentminded stroking of Harry's thumb across his palm made it difficult to think. "I'm not saying anything against marriage. I want to get married, have children and a home, but who would want to bind themselves to a Malfoy?" Harry was suddenly aware of how much he wanted just those things himself.
"Someone like me," Harry said smiling.
"Well, you don't count you're and idiot." Draco deadpanned.
Sirius was right, Harry thought. He needed to settle down, after all the trauma of the war. But he wasn't going to tie himself down with someone the Ministry chose for him., it left him cold. Looking at Draco, with his hair tousled into layers of damp pale curls around his face and his nose pink from the cold and that ridiculously aristocratic body structure, he felt something stir in the pit of his stomach- a hunger, a need. Something he couldn't –wouldn't-put a name to. Not just yet, anyway. Whatever it was Harry was willing to take a chance on it. And determined to persuade Draco to take the same chance.
Harry slid his finger up Draco's wrist, felt his pulse scramble under his touch. "We can live at Grimmuald Place, or if you don't feel comfortable we can use one of the other Potter properties. And you can decorate however you want."
"Harry-" Draco stopped and grabbed hold of his wavering store of common sense. He couldn't possibly be tempted to say yes. Could he? "I can't believe you're serious," Draco said finally. "You haven't given me a single reason you'd want to…why you're suggesting that we should-"
"Get married," Harry supplied, when Draco had trouble with the words.
"It isn't as if we're in love with each other," Draco said, careful to keep any hint of question out of his tone.
"There's… something between us. That's a start."
So much for any fantasy Draco might have harboured that Harry was madly in love with him, Draco thought ruefully. It was hard to think with Harry stroking his thumb over the inside of his wrist. Draco tugged half-heartedly on his hand but didn't insist when Harry's fingers tightened.
"That's not a reason to get married." Draco said crossly.
"Isn't it?" Harry's free hand came up, sliding under the thick tangle of Draco's hair, his fingers cupping the back of Draco's neck, holding him still as he leaned closer. Not that he was going anywhere, Draco thought, closing his eyes as his mouth brushed lightly against Draco's. Draco had always thought a kiss between them would be rough and passionate, not sweet and slow.
Harry kissed him once, and then again. And again. Brief, fleeting touches that promised and teased them both.