Harry stood on the pitch, bathing in a wave of nostalgia. This year, he was the captain of the Gryffindor Quiddich team. Pride swelled in his chest and he had to keep a whisper of a smile off his face. He wanted to look professional for his team.
It was awfully hard to look professional when all he could think of is the pale haired devil named Draco.
Right now, he was waiting for some students to arrive for tryouts. All of his teammates from his first year on the team had already graduated. Right now he had Ginny as Chaser and a backup Seeker, Delmelza Robins as a Chaser, RitchieCoote as Beater, and Ron as Keeper. Currently, He needed another Chaser, another Beater, and a backup for Chaser, Beater, and Keeper. What a headache. He had counted on Jimmy Peakes being a beater for this year, but his parents told him he needed to score better and forbade him from extracurricular sports.
Harry sighed and rubbed his temples. With that many new players to train, it would be hard to pull off the Quiddich Cup. But, since it was his one year as Captain, he would make it work. He wasn't the genius Seeker for nothing. This year was proving to be more and more stressful as time went on.
A hand landed on his shoulder lightly and Harry jumped. He was here really early, so no one should be here yet. Reflex demanded him to pivot around quickly while reaching for his wand, but his muscles relaxed when he saw who it was. When he realized who it was, however, they tensed again.
"Draco," He hissed with panic. "What are you doing here?"
Despite the fact that he didn't want Draco to be caught with him on the pitch Gryffindor had reserved, he couldn't stop his open admiration of the boy. Draco had his arms crossed over his chest, his thin frame perfectly accented by the flow of his robes. The silky platinum tendrils of his hair ruffled in the wind slightly as he regarded Harry with his silver eyes. Curiously, his tie was loosened and the front of his robe draped open to reveal his uniform. The Malfoy he knew before would always look pristine at all times. This Malfoy… no Draco… he looked relaxed. And the look did wonders for him.
A corner of his pink lips tugged up in a smirk that held none of the smugness it used to. Only… fondness? "It's alright, Harry. No one is here yet, I checked. I just wanted to stop by to say hello. I miss Quiddich a lot so I thought I could watch in the stands. Discreetly, of course."
It took Harry a moment to process what Draco had said, a frown playing on his mouth. Why did he miss Quiddich? As difficult as it would be this year to compete with Draco in a violent game such as Quiddich, he was his rival Seeker. So shouldn't he be starting practice soon?
The answer clicked. In Quiddich, people could get hurt. They could even die. If Draco were to go up into the air with his fellow Slytherins, they could easily hit him with a bludger and make it seem like an accident. Hex his broom. They could even "accidentally" knock him from his broom. If Draco dared to play Quiddich, he would die.
"Oh…" Harry swallowed, trying to push the pity he felt away. Draco was a proud man and he would hate pity. But he couldn't imagine not being able to play Quiddich. It would be tough since he relished the feel of air on his face and the adrenaline of the game.
Draco laughed, the sound warm. A warmth that grinded against any conception of Malfoy he had ever made. Harry felt his heart flutter in his chest at the sound and held his breath, if only briefly. How… beautiful. This new reformed Draco was like a god on Earth. A magical drug that ignited a pleasant fire within you and spread tingles of happiness and awareness around.
"Harry," Draco said, drawing him from his thoughts. Harry silently willed his pulse to slow as he focused on the swirling silver depths of Draco's eyes. "You don't need to look so dejected. You'll do fine."
Draco put a hand on Harry's arm for comfort, and Harry was distracted by those beautiful thin fingers of his. Draco's skin was so soft, and he felt the desire thicken. Draco thought that he was nervous about the try-outs? Silly. His reactions were based purely off of concern and longing.
But he still liked the fact that Draco tried to comfort him. Darling man.
"Draco…" Harry blurted. "After the try-outs, do you want to have a spar match?"
The suddenness of the request caused Draco to blink in shock. "What do you mean?"
"I…" Harry blushed, thinking that this sounded like he was asking Draco on a date. But if he missed Quiddich… "I was just thinking that maybe you would like to have a little match with me, for old time's sake. I'll release the snitch, and whoever finds it first wins."
"Well…" Draco seemed to be pondering this request. "What do we win?" He finally asked, a mischievous smile lighting his features. THAT was more like the Malfoy he was used to.
"U-uh…" Since Harry had just blurted out the thought as soon as it formed, he really hadn't thought it through. "Winner… gets… to choose the topic of conversation in our room."
"You've got a deal, Potter." He drawled in an imitation of his old self and held out his hand to shake on it. Draco's grin spread wider and Harry had a sinking feeling that he would regret this. Never the less, Harry shook with Draco. He would at least accomplish his goal of making Draco feel better.
Draco's eyes widened and released Harry's hand like it burned him. "Bullocks. I hear some people coming." He started to back away. "I'll see you after the try-outs." He assured Harry before hurrying under the bleachers where he could remain concealed.
Harry scowled, not happy for his time with Draco to be cut short. A year ago he would have been looking for a way to escape his company. Now spending time without him was just downright irritating. Sure enough the cause of his lover's disappearance rounded the corner and Harry sent a molten green glare at them.
The group faltered in their step at seeing his grumpy disposition, but continued forward. There was a group of five, and he had eleven signed up to try out. He sighed.
"Make a straight line in front of the box containing the balls, facing me. We are still waiting on six more people." He didn't miss the rumble of annoyance in his voice as they scurried to obey. This might be a good thing. They might give it their all to please him.
As he stood with his arms crossed over his chest, acutely aware of a silver gaze watching him from the shadows, he tapped his foot impatiently. The sooner the try-outs are over, the sooner he can play with Draco. The phrasing of his thoughts caused his mind to go south and he cursed under his breath. He definitely did not need to sport wood in front of the newbies.
As the rest of the students showed up one by one, Harry did a mental perusal of the candidates. Some were as young as second years, their young bright eyes eager to please as they practically bounced with nerves and anticipation. The oldest he allowed for try-outs were fifth years, and there were a few of those too. There were primarily males, as he had expected, but the females of the group seemed to be sporting more confidence. Good.
"Good Morning. My name is Harry Potter, and I am the Captain of the Gryffindor Quiddich Team." He began, not shifting his annoyed stance.
"Good Morning, Harry!" They all answered in unison and he wanted to grimace. He had to remind himself that enthusiasm was good. The younger students gazed at him with wide sparkling eyes full of admiration. Great. They viewed him as a hero.
"I'm sure you all have positions you would like to try out for, and I respect your wishes. However, to begin, I would like for you all to take to the air and show me that you can fly well while I analyze which position I feel your flight pattern suits the best. This way I can try to find your best fit." His annoyance had spiked with the fact that he had fans in the arena so he made a point of having eye contact with every single student and staring them down.
"Please mount your brooms and kick off when I blow my whistle." Harry instructed, lifting said whistle to his mouth. "When you hear my whistle again, I would like for you to land."
The newbies rushed to obey his orders, some looking rather clumsy as they slung a leg over the shaft of the broom. When they had all settled, Harry blew his whistle. They kicked off at once, soaring up. Harry watched them for a minute to take in their technique.
He looked up to the heavens in a 'why me?' gesture before mounting his broom and taking to the skies. Harry continued climbing altitude until he was about 20 feet about the students so that he could see well. He allowed his eyes to lock on to certain students and follow them while judging their posture and turning radius.
When he felt he had been sufficiently tortured by awfulness, he returned to the ground and blew his whistle. Luckily their landing skills were better than their take off skills because no one was injured when they landed. He almost feared that they would run into each other.
"Alright. I'll start with one of you at a time. Evolutions per position should take no more than 5 minutes. Until it is your turn, please wait in the stands. I will call your name when I am ready for you. You may leave when you are finished, and I will post the results tomorrow." He pulled a list out from his pocket, the very same list that every student here had signed showing their interest in joining the team. He read off the first name. "I'll start with Heather Tremain."
Everyone except the girl he assumed to be Heather left the pitch to sit in the bleachers. She was one of the group's better flyers, so he had a little bit of hope put on this one. She looked like she would make a good Chaser, especially since she flew with speed.
"What position would you like to try out for? We are accepting a Chaser, Beater, and a backup Keeper, Beater, and Keeper."
"Beater, sir." She said with a grin. He fought the urge to grimace. She definitely did not have the muscles to be a beater, nor the accuracy. Nothing could ever be easy for him, could it?
Ten more hopefuls later, and about twenty different evaluations, he was watching the last of them leave the pitch. He had it all sorted out in his mind, with notes on the list to match. He had come to one conclusion: he was DOOMED. It was going to take some serious training to get them in line.
He plopped down on the box that contained the balls necessary to play Quiddich and took off his glasses to rub his eyes with stress. At least he could look forward to Ron helping him. Not to mention Ginny. Both of them were quite skilled and could aide him greatly.
The thought made him frown. He would have to deal with Ginny this entire school year during Quiddich. The same girl who was his number one fan/stalker. He only put up with it because she was his best friend's sister. What a mess.
Harry felt a gentle hand slide over the curve of the back of his neck and knead slightly. The electricity the touch sparked left him no doubt that it was Draco. He sighed and tilted his head back into the touch, the soft skin of Draco's hand like ecstasy and amrbosia to his senses.
"Where did you learn to do that so well?" Harry murmured, the sound rough with his relaxation.
"Well, if you are thinking it's because I have lots of practice, I don't." Draco snapped. "A Malfoy never massages someone else. I learned from my personal masseuse Karen."
"Hate to break it to you…" Harry mumbled, his eyes still closed in surrender, "but you are massaging someone else right now."
"I know, Potter!" Draco snapped, and Harry noted that Draco only used his last name now when he was being annoying. "But if you don't remember, I'm not exactly a Malfoy anymore, and you are sort of an exception."
Draco began to pull away, but Harry moaned with obvious disappointment. "No… don't stop…" He whispered, the words almost erotic.
Draco seemed to hesitate but then returned his hand to its task.
"So you noticed I was getting stressed, huh?" Harry offered, nibbling on his lip as he enjoyed his free massage.
"Anyone would be." He acknowledged, working his hand lower to massage at Harry's shoulder blades.
"They weren't too bad, though…" Harry lied, trying to see it optimistically.
"You are so screwed." Draco said, ever the pessimist. The blunt way Draco said it made Harry burst out laughing, finally opening his eyes to look at Draco. He sucked in a breath as he took him in.
Fall was just starting to kick in, so it was a little nippy in the mornings. Draco's rosy cheeks expressed that. His usually cold eyes were soft and warm, like molten silver. His luscious lips were curved ever so slightly into a fond smile as stray light hair fell into his eyes.
Harry couldn't stop himself from reaching out and tucking the naughty strand away from Draco's magnificent face. Draco's eyes widened with the contact, but he leaned into the caress almost instinctually. Harry's heart felt like it was going wild, beating so fast he felt like it would burst through his ribs at any moment.
The urge to lean in and kiss the other boy was immediately tossed aside as he considered what would happen to Draco if someone were to see. This wasn't their private room. He could keep his desires in check until their meeting later.
Clearing his throat to break the moment, Harry stood up and held his hand out to Draco. Question lit up Draco's eyes, but he took Harry's hand and stood up. Harry dropped the hand, severing contact, before grabbing his Firebolt and facing Draco wearing a smug, self-confident smile.
"I bet you I can get the snitch first, and then I will make you talk about how awesome I am for hours as my reward."
Draco could obviously see a challenge when it was issued. He stood and drew his wand. "Accio Nimbus 2001." His voice was throaty, so perhaps he was as affected by their encounter as Harry was. It took a minute or so, but soon the broom appeared on the horizon and flew into Draco's waiting hand.
"Sorry about the wait, Potter, but Malfoy's always use the best. Therefore your shabby practice brooms would simply not do." He sounded just like he used to, his competitive spirit at its peak. Except instead of that infuriating sneer that he always wore when making such statements, he wore a soft smirk. Harry knew that when he said things like that now, he was only teasing to amuse him.
Harry reached into his pocket and curled his fingers around a snitch. When Professor McGonagall declared Harry the Captian, she gave him his own snitch as a gift. More a trinket than anything, to remind him of how he began his passion, but it was still fully functional.
Sensing Harry's wish to use it, the snitch unfurled its wings then worked them into the speed of a hummingbird's. He released it and watched it fly away and disappear, its tiny size hard to spot within such a large arena. They waited a few moments, allowing the snitch to become good and lost, before they looked to each other.
"Ready, Harry?" Draco taunted.
"I'm always ready to kick your tail." Harry grinned.
Both of the boys kicked off the ground and soared up, up, up. When they reached a decent height they slowed and leveled, then circled around each other. Both of the boys wore an air of exhilaration, adrenaline and excitement being showcased in their eyes as the wind whipped their hair around.
Once more, Harry had to admire Draco. He looked beautiful as the sun gently kissed his pale skin and the wind wrapped him in a tight embrace. His platinum hair glinted in the sun, almost making it sparkle.
Harry was almost too distracted to notice that Draco had lifted an eyebrow and the corner of his mouth mischievously. Draco leaned into his broom slightly and zoomed towards the other boy before he could react. He leaned forward and placed a feather light and extremely teasing kiss on Harry's nose before pulling his hood over his head and face.
"Hey!" Harry sputtered, indignant. When he pulled the hood from his face, Draco was gone. He frowned with confusion and looked around, then felt slender fingers tickle his ankle playfully. His head whipped down to see Draco underneath him and grinning.
Harry couldn't help but grinning back. "You…" He began before cutting himself off and grabbing Draco's arm to prevent escape. He willed his broom to descend a little so they were level before he wickedly added "You're gonna get it…"
Cold fingers shot forward and nuzzled into Draco's side, tickling him. Draco started laughing unwillingly at the sensation, wiggling on the broom and trying to maneuver it to escape. However Harry followed and administered his torture while laughing along with his victim.
Sensing a brief opening, Draco dove and then zoomed off. "Catch me if you can!" He called. Oh, he could.
Harry dove after Draco, who was doing leisurely loops in the air. When Harry came near he corkscrewed out of reach with a chuckle of amusement. They played like that for a while, Harry coming near and Draco easily evading him.
Finally Draco seemed to have decided enough was enough. He accelerated until he was zipping through the air at untold speed, then flung his arms out as if he were flying. His platinum hair whipped around his face as his eyelids fluttered closed peacefully. He looked free, like a bird.
Harry would be damned if he didn't have his eyes on the most beautiful bird in existence.
He would also be damned if he wasn't going to catch it.
Leaning forward, he sped to Draco then wrapped his arms around him in an embrace. Except Draco didn't tease him and try to escape like before. Instead, he turned to Harry with a huge smile and held up the snitch.