IV.

He hadn't expected to run into Draco, walking out of a Prefect's meeting looking fatigued and annoyed, but there he is, easily identifiable even at this distance that renders all discernible details invisible - there's a stiffness in his body that makes him stand out in the crowd of other, more carefree, teenagers. Harry sees a vague orange blur rise up like a buoy bobbing atop a sea of black robes; Ron waves, breaks off from the pack to stroll towards him, but is snagged by the prim hummingbird of bustling efficiency that is Hermione Granger. "Oh no you don't, Ronald Bilius Weasley. You're not leaving me with all these forms to finish alone." Mugging caricaturishly, Ron shrugs, waves now in farewell, and submits himself meekly to the brisk towing of the tiny brunette tornado.

Smiling, Harry turns his eyes back to the strong, slender frame of the Slytherin prefect - "like a reed," he thinks idly - takes one last longing look before cautiously advancing. Still staring sternly down at paperwork, Draco doesn't see him until he's nearly reached him, and Harry tries a small smile. "Bloody awful in there today?" Draco only nods curtly in assent, but his eyes aren't closed off and cold, so Harry steps further out onto the limb: "Take a walk, maybe? Down to the lake?" Draco doesn't look averse, just tired and stressed, so Harry adds quickly, "You could– rest."

The second nod isn't curt, and although it is austere, it still fills Harry with a fluttery warmth.

lll

The light spring drizzle that sent them into the boathouse for shelter is making the air smell fresh and washed, scrubbed clean of everything, and maybe that's what put the idea in his head, he's not sure. But there it is, and it seems exactly right, it seems precisely what he's been trying to clarify in his mind: He wants Draco to feel the way the lake air smells at this moment. Clean. Pure. Perfect.

As if in telepathic answer, Draco sighs, tugging his tie out of knot and unclasping his robe. Finding a useful hook between oars, he hangs it and when he turns back, Harry's so close he nearly trips over him, causing him to almost laugh a little, for the first time in a long time, some of the fatigue slipping away from his angular face. Clean. Pure. Perfect. Harry runs the adjectives through his mind as if they were a spell, some kind of protection, because he's about to leap.

It's dangerous, it's desperate, and if he stops to think too much about the risk, he won't do it, so Harry stops thinking and falls hard to his knees, flinching as iron enthusiastically meets bone. Draco's eyes glaze over, and he reaches for his fly, assuming the obvious. Unaware that he's biting his lower lip, Harry timidly lays his hand on Draco's, stopping him. An arched aristocratic eyebrow is the silent query, and Harry reaches for an answer, for the explanation, but only manages to stammer "No- I. I-" Suddenly aware that it's not a prelude or a tease, Draco shifts slightly, and genuine confusion starts to creep around the edges of his face.

Brave or stupid or both at once, Harry doesn't know, but he knows he's going to do it, he's not turning back, so he puts one firm hand on Draco's hip, pushing, simultaneously asking and telling, pressing him back toward the raftered wall. He can smell Draco's cock through the fine black fabric, and he nudges his lips hungrily against it as he drags his face slowly up and across his lower body. Draco closes his eyes and makes that sound, that sound that makes Harry's world light up like Weasley twin fireworks, and it grabs him so hard in his gut that he almost stops where he is, almost abandons his plan in favor of just greedily sucking and swallowing and watching in awe Draco's contorting face as he comes, growling and cursing, down Harry's throat. Almost.

Which is the same as saying he doesn't, and he's not. What he is doing, bravely, stupidly, is reaching for Draco's left arm - now, while the dangerous eyes are still closed on the wake of the wave of lust. He's reaching for the slim white hand, and he takes it, thinking with an internal laugh so nervous it borders on hysteria, that this probably looks like a very strange marriage proposal from a distance. "Maybe, in a way, it is" is the unexpected thought in his head as he turns Draco's arm, gently, the way one would handle a wild animal, and pushes the sleeve up tentatively.

He knows that Draco's eyes have flown open.

His own are closed, squeezed tightly as he can, protectively, as though a cauldron were about to explode right in front of him, but he can actually hear Draco's eyes, open and angry. The sharp hipbone under his other hand jerks and he pushes back what he hopes is hard enough to keep him from pulling away but lightly enough to not rouse fury. He tries to make his hand say "Please. Please stay.", but he can't tell if the sudden stillness in Draco's body is the answer to that silent plea or its dangerous opposite: The eerie stillness before a storm breaks open. The deceptive stillness of a coiled snake the moment before it fatally strikes. Whatever the stillness is, he can't stop now, this is his only opportunity so he leans in for Draco's forearm, the muscles coiled beneath white skin now rippling with tension as he bends his mouth towards the grim tableau. Registering almost subconsciously that neither of them are breathing, Harry touches his lips softly, nearly imperceptibly, against the inked skin as if it were something holy, and Harry a pilgrim. Draco breathes. One small hitched breath, then another. Harry dares the same. Opens his eyes. He's never seen it this closely; Draco's careful to keep it hidden, even when they're fucking. Only when Draco's asleep has he ever gotten more than a quick glimpse. Seeing it this close, he knows he was right, knows that it hurts him, some kind of heavy ache, or a muted burning, perhaps. Nothing like the way his own scar flares when– no. Something much, much worse, a kind of pain that seeps far past Draco's skin, into his bloodstream. Into his heart–

It's only Draco's sharp inhale that makes Harry realize a tear has, at that thought, escaped his eye, landing salty and wet against the mark. He looks up to see Draco looking down at him with an expression he's never seen before. Something shifts, aligns. Harry kisses the salty wet spot. Once. And again. Draco trembles, but doesn't pull away. Experimentally, he licks this time, a nervous but determined swath the whole length of the skull-crested snake, and is emboldened by the response: a groan out of the throat above him that sounds like agony but isn't agony at all. The hip under his other hand rises, begs, and he sees the tiny circle of wet sheen blooming on black wool. His own cock jumps in the cradle of his kneeling thighs and he doesn't hesitate, sending his tongue out again across the plane of marred skin, licking and sucking with the same intoxicating abandon and reverential lust he's so many times laved Draco's cock, his balls, his taut thighs, his arsehole. They're both caught off guard by the power of it, and they're suddenly shivering and gasping in synchrony, Harry licking, sucking, moaning wetly and desperately against the inked forearm, Draco's groans sounding more like actual agony now, terrible strangled sounds of urgency. Harry wants to soothe them, so he turns his head and softly slides his cheek against the tattoo, and that was the best idea he's ever had, bloody brilliant really, because from this angle, he can gaze steadily into Draco's eyes as he smoothes away the pain, the shame, with his own skin.

His right hand still firmly interlaced with Draco's left, Harry moves the other from sharp hipbone to fly, eases Draco, nail-hard and leaking, out of the silky cloth. Holds him, gently. Strokes him, gently. Cheek tenderly strokes forearm, fingers tenderly stroke cock, in a calm unified rhythm, and Draco gasps and gasps but doesn't look away until the very end. He's never shuddered this way before, not making any sound whatsoever, but shaking, everywhere, all at once, and it goes on for so long that when it finally stops, Harry's afraid for a moment, that Draco's hurt, or–. Then in the quiet, Harry hears him name, whispered. It sounds less like a statement than it does an answer to a question. The hand in his squeezes, and silently says something too, before tugging him up into his arms.

You've marked me. I'm yours.