Dedicated to Fardareismai and Zigster. They are the Mo to my Jo, and the reason I ever post anything I write.
What Asking Gets You
Draco leans against the buffet, the Pensieve hidden behind him. His fingers itched for a fag, but he'd given the habit up years ago and he'd be damned if Harry Potter was going to drive him back to it now.
At first, he hadn't understood what he was seeing. At first, he thought it might be a memory. Then he saw dark-skinned fingers sliding over the still pink scar on Harry's shoulder and Draco understood everything. The fingers twisted a nipple and Harry jerked, a soft, booze-slurred fuck issuing from his mouth.
Draco hadn't known that you could force yourself from a memory early, but a moment later, he was on his hands and knees on the floor, the memory still swirling in the pensieve above him. His stomach clutched as if to retch, but retching always made him cry, and crying was too obvious, too common. Draco pushed the sensation away, then stood, and brushed off his hands and knees.
His first thought had been to pack his things, shrink them, and leave. But shrunken clothes never came back quite the same, at least not the tailored ones, and Draco really couldn't see any reason why he should be inconvenienced by Potter's actions. Instead, he sent for Hurkey, one of his mother's house-elves, and had him take a few trunks back to Malfoy Manor. Draco would return for the rest of his things later. If it felt a bit like going to ground, well, perhaps he was. More the fool he, for getting involved with Potter in the first place.
The door to their flat rattles and Draco stiffens. A quick Alohamora, and Potter is standing in front of him.
"Christ, what a day. Kingsley's being a right beast – you'd think he was still Head Auror the way he's running us around. Why's the front door locked?"
Draco takes in the other man. The dark thicket of hair, the silver rim of his glasses, the Auror robe that's halfway down his shoulders, and that will, in a moment, be draped across the back of the sofa. Fingers with nails bitten to the quick. Heathen.
Potter stares back at him, and Draco wonders for a moment, what he sees. What he's ever seen, for that matter.
"Tell me, Potter. Have you always had a taste for Slytherin cock, or is it just me and Blaise?"
Potter doesn't move, just keeps staring. Then his mouth opens and his shoulders slump and his eyes fall to the floor. "Shite."
"Indeed." Draco launches himself from the buffet and moves toward the dining table. He picks up his leather satchel and slips the strap over his head so that the satchel rests against his hip. Harry's often professed a weakness for Draco this way: dressed for travel, and Draco wants Harry to want him. Want and know that he can't have.
"Draco, please. Christ, I'm sorry. I'm so fucking – please."
Harry reaches out and grabs Draco's arm, just over the mark. His hand slides to Draco's wrist and his fingers circle it, closing tight around the fine bones.
"Don't leave like this." His low words scream in Draco's ears and for an instant, an instant, he considers the plea. He wants to stay. He wants, he realizes, to sit and talk this out and he wants, more than anything, for there to be an explanation that is believable. One that doesn't make a fool of him, but he knows that such an explanation is an impossibility.
His pride may be a shattered thing, but his dignity holds true.
He yanks his wrist from Potter's grasp. "Don't try to reach me, Potter. Just…leave it."
As the front door closes behind him, he Apparates to the manor. He finds that desire, destination and determination have never been so easy to come by.
His bedroom is cold and quiet. He's not allowed the elves to light the fire, and so they fret over him, bringing him cups of tea and mulled wine, and hot porridge that goes untouched. They brought a note from Blaise, a simple "Sorry mate," in Blaise's precise script, but there'd been no need it.
Draco had understood, almost before he'd dipped his face into the pensieve, Blaise's purpose. If Potter's friends had grudgingly accepted the union, Draco's friend's had remained suspicious and circumspect. Ever Slytherin, they were on guard for a trap or a ruse. This was simply Blaise's way of showing Draco the truth: that even as Potter shared an address with Draco, he was still sharing his body with others.
He'd not accepted visitors, but Pansy's owl came daily with invitations for this or that, or funny bits of gossip that she knew would bring a smile to Draco's face, in spite of himself.
And if Draco sobbed at night, curled into cold satin sheets under the cover of darkness, well, no one would ever need to know. Everyone loves Harry Potter. He'd only been the fool that believed Potter could love him.
Narcissa Malfoy is as beautiful at fifty-something as she'd been at fifteen. Her silvery-blonde hair is more silver than blonde, and her features have softened with the tiny bit of extra weight that she's allowed herself in her dotage. Each change that time has stamped on her soft, perfumed flesh has her well.
Draco takes comfort in her beauty. Already he is showing signs of aging as she has – a slight softening of his features. If as a child he was all Lucious, as an adult, he is all Narcissa. Her soft laughter greets him as he descends the main stairs for breakfast.
"Oh, Pansy! He sounds so droll!"
Draco allows himself an internal groan, then straightens his spine and enters the parlor.
"Draco, love, look who's come to visit."
"Good morning, Mother," he says, crossing to kiss Narcissa on the cheek. "Morning, Pans." He gives the dark-haired woman a look that says you've got some cheek. Her responding look tells him that he's no idea.
"Good morning, Draco. I was just telling your mother about Ollie's latest scheme – he wants to give each new Hogwart's student their own pygmy puff, something about easing separation anxiety. I swear, he is such a Hufflepuff!"
Draco smiles. After Theo had broken her heart with a string of witches, Pansy swore that it was Hufflepuffs only for her. "It is a little-known fact," she'd whispered, "that Hufflepuffs make the spouses."
She'd picked up Oliver Rivers at a bar, and when he'd later confessed that he'd been there precisely because he'd heard of her new rule, the wall that Theo Nott had built around her heart sprang a crack the width of a strand of hair. Within six months, the wall had been decimated, and one year later they were wed. He'd not seen Pansy more beautiful than the day she'd said "I do," and by all reports, Oliver strove to bring laughter to his bride's life each day. Pansy'd confided that it was more than she deserved, but from the way she tended to Oliver, Draco somehow doubted it.
Pansy had said that this was how it was meant to work: Someone tries for you, and you try for them, and before you know it, it's not even trying anymore. Draco thought he'd found that, against all odds and beyond all reason, with Harry. Daft git.
Narcissa stands and pats Draco on the shoulder.
"Pansy, dear, I'm so sorry. It seems I've forgotten an appointment with Andre, my dresser. You do understand? I'm sure Draco will keep you company."
Pansy nods. "Certainly. So kind of you to invite me. I'm sure Draco and I can find something to discuss."
Narcissa hums and leaves the room, and Pansy turns on Draco.
"It's been four days, darling. Enough of this sulking. You'll get lines on that pretty face of yours."
Draco sprawls against the chaise and casts an arm over his eyes.
"Oh dear," Pansy says. "Must be serious."
She sits on the table next across from Draco and reaches out to hold his hand. The simple touch of affection is almost his undoing. Tears rush to his eyes as he allows himself to feel, for the first time, the pain of Harry's betrayal. He breathes deeply for a moment and tamps down the emotion. Pansy looks away while he gathers himself, but presses his hand hard in hers.
"He's a right bastard," she says. "And so is Blaise, for that matter."
Draco sits up and shakes his head. "Not his fault," he says, because it's not. Blaise owes him nothing other than house loyalty, which in Slytherin, isn't much at all. But Potter…he'd thought Potter owed him a bit more.
Pansy nods, understanding exactly what Draco means.
"Right then. Shall we hex the daft bastard? Maybe fill his pants drawer with blast-ended skrewts? We could infest his bedding with itching pixies." Pansy's eyes show both mirth and concern.
"What am I going to do, Pans?"
"Well you can't hide out in the manor forever. Either a one-off with Blaise Zabini is worth ending things or it isn't. Either way, you've got to get out of here. Narcissa says you're terrorizing the house-elves. Hurkey's begun to pull out his hair again."
"My mother has all the subtlety of a hippogriff."
"She's worried, darling. We both are."
Draco leans over his knees, clasping his hands behind his neck, and does the math of his life with Harry. It was eighteen months, give or take. One month of owls and late dinners and shy kisses. One week of saying no when all he wanted was yes. Two months of the most brilliant shagging he'd ever known, ever heard about. Seven stuttering conversations about the war, and twenty-two days without seeing the inside of his flat. It was ninety-eight before he'd given it up entirely. Seventeen awkward dinners with Gryffindors or Slytherins and five with some of each, to everyone's mortification. And the last, ten months of routine that was never boring, but that were made fresh with bursts of laughter, gentle with warm hands and hot with wet mouths and the occasional surprised shout because they'd never done that before.
He wants to hate Potter with his whole heart. With laughing words and cruel eyes, he wants to make Potter feel every ounce of pain, insecurity, each bit of betrayal that Draco feels. Disappointment.
But doing that means cutting him off. No more Harry. No more quiet glasses of wine at the end of a long day, no more kitchen disasters when Harry tries to cook and no more waking late in the morning, with his body deliciously sore and the smell of Harry in his nose.
"I don't think I can leave him."
"Alright then. I'll have Hurkey pack your things and send them back over in the morning. Meanwhile, you and I are going out. There's a new shop in Diagon Alley selling Dragon-hide boots. I promised Ollie I'd have a look – he's got a bit of a fetish, that one."
Pansy takes his hand as he stands and looks him in the eye. There is sympathy, but not pity. Draco knows the difference and he loves her for it.
Harry looks up from his spot on the couch. There's a tumbler of firewhiskey balanced on his stomach, and two empty bottles on the floor. He looks like something Hagrid would keep and smells even worse.
"Well this is charming," Draco says. He feels the classic Malfoy mask contort into a sneer. "What's the matter, Potter? Don't tell me you're feeling ashamed."
Harry lurches and the firewhiskey spills. Draco Spells it away with a swipe of his wand.
"I didn't-" Potter stops and sways.
"Didn't think you'd get caught?"
"Didn't think you'd be back." When Harry looks him in the eye, Draco's sneer falters. There is genuine misery there, but for what, Draco is unsure.
Draco won't ask the obvious question. He is a Malfoy, and whatever else they may be, Malfoys are not trite.
Draco turns back toward the door. Harry gasps and rises, then stumbles and half-crawls to where Draco stands.
"Don't – I know I can't ask you this, but don't leave. Please?"
Draco studies him for a moment. He is strong, stronger than iron, but Harry has always been a fire and Draco can't resist the burn. But Harry doesn't know that, and Draco's not about to tell him.
"I'm going to bed," he says, and hangs his coat in the closet next to the front door. He's halfway up the stairs before he stops. "You're not invited," he says, over his shoulder. At the doorway to their bedroom, Draco pauses. Fear and grief wind up like an animal inside of him. He can't – cannot – go in there and smell all those delicious Harry smells, not a stay whole.
Instead, he Accio's a pair of pyjamas and settles in the guest room. The bed is small – Teddy sleeps there when he visits – so Draco transfigures it into something a bit more comfortable. He takes three drops of dreamless sleep on his tongue and lies in the bed, staring at the ceiling, waiting for it to kick in.
In the morning, Potter is like a beaten puppy. He is cautious of Draco but eager to please, and laps up any drop of affection in a way that would make Draco pity him if he could get past the anger. The act goes on for days, until Draco is so worn by the attentiveness that he invites Potter to bed in an effort to just go back to the way things were.
It works for a while. They shag and go to work and come home and have late breakfasts at Muggle restaurants on Sunday mornings. Draco cooks dinner and Harry does the washing up and after a couple of months, they accept Hermione's invitation for dinner at her flat. Weasley is there and everyone's nervous and no one talks about anything until after the third bottle of wine is opened.
When they finally Floo home, Draco turns to Harry and means to say that it was a lovely night but instead asks how many others. Harry looks more alive than he has in weeks – almost excited – as he swears that there were no others, none, it was just that one time and he's so fucking sorry.
Draco nods, and then locks himself in the bath and runs the water, claiming his muscles could use a soak. In reality, it's his ego that's off. Knowing that Potter's friends know, they must, and that they're willing to keep up the charade. There're never any consequences for the Savior of the wizarding world though, are there?
Harry still looks at Draco with cautious eyes, and Draco still can't come without stroking himself off, and neither of them says a word about it. Their house is filling up with the words they don't say to one another, and more often than not, either Harry or Draco pretends to sleep on the couch while the other pretends to sleep in their bed. The weight of it is like ash in Draco's mouth, astringent and gritty, like a lot of things in his world.
The first time Harry is called out of town on a case, Draco tries very hard not to Freak Out. He helps Harry pack and gives him a kiss on the cheek and is very proud of himself until the moment when, embracing next to the Floo, Draco says Don't fuck anyone else.
Harry clutches him tighter and promises that he won't. Draco doesn't know if that means that he won't, or that he doesn't intend to. If Harry is unfaithful again, then Draco can – and will – walk away. But Harry's earnest contrition leaves Draco no reasonable option other than to stay the course. Worse than not knowing what to believe is not knowing what he wants.
Still, when Harry returns, Draco takes him with a ferocity he's never shown before. He sucks Harry against the entry table and rims him on the stairs and fucks him hard, standing, against the bedpost. He feeds Harry his fingers and Harry's cries are like sobs and maybe some of them are. Harry almost never bottoms and normally that's just fine, but tonight, Draco needs – needs – to reclaim the body of the man who's claimed his heart.
In the morning, they wake wrapped around each other for the first time in a long time. Draco feels at peace for a single moment before his mind wonders if Harry did or didn't. As if Harry can read his mind (which he can't, because Draco's skill at Occlumency is quite possibly the best in the world) he nuzzles Draco's neck and then whispers just you. Baby, just you.
Draco doesn't mean to tighten his grip on his lover, but he does, and when Harry slides down to mouth his still soft cock, Draco moans and lies back and lets him. It's a replay of last night in reverse, and in slow motion, and for the first time in a long time, Draco comes just from fucking, and the rub of his cock between their stomachs. Harry's answering smile eclipses everything else in the world, and Draco's heart squirms in his chest, threatening to burst open again.
Draco wishes he could be rid of the emotion. Love without trust hurts, and Draco's always been a hedonist at heart. Masochism holds nothing for him.
Six months after the Incident, Draco marvels at just how normal everything has become. Teddy came for a last visit before his first term at Hogwarts. The three of them had laughed when Draco recounted his terrors with the fire crabs, and Harry revealed that he'd used a very mild stunner on his in order to prove competency. Draco and Harry both promised that the Sorting Hat was not to be feared, and promised that Teddy would be a perfect fit, no matter which house he was sorted into. The three shuddered in unison at the mention of Flobberwork Fritters, and Harry promised frequent care packages from Honeydukes as an alternative.
As Andromeda waited near the Floo to take Teddy home, they'd each taken a turn with the boy, cousin and godfather, to reassure him that Hogwarts was nothing to fear. After all, Draco thought, hadn't they banished those demons 7th year?
Draco wonders if they still have things to talk about there, he and Harry, but decides to leave it on the heels of such a restive weekend.
That evening, in bed, Harry makes a tentative overture and Draco acquiesces. Their couplings no longer feel like fire in Draco's veins, and kissing Harry doesn't feel like not enough and too much all at once. Instead, Draco is aware of every movement, each breath taken, each sigh, each pant. He's no longer lost in Harry's embrace and he feels bereft and alone, even when Harry is right on top of him, even when Harry is inside of him. Draco doesn't know how to change that, doesn't know how even to start.
After, he lays on his side with Harry pressed to his back. He wants to feel comfort from this, like he used to. Instead, words blurt out of his mouth. He wants to take them back but saying them feels like pulling shards of glass from his skin: hot and sharp and painful, but filled with relief.
"I haven't forgiven you, you know."
Harry clutches Draco so firmly that he wonders for a moment if Harry is trying to climb inside. "I know."
"That's more than I deserve." Harry places a kiss at the back of Draco's neck and neither sleeps for a very long time.
Draco folds the tea towel in half, then hangs it over the oven handle. He is waiting, waiting.
When Harry walks in, he is a hurricane of movement. Robes tossed onto the sofa, tie over the back of a kitchen chair, and shoes shucked off somewhere in between. There's a finger of firewhiskey in a crystal tumbler before Draco can even say hello, and by the time it's swallowed, Harry's cheeks are flush with the sting of the liquor.
"How was your day, dear?" Draco arches an eyebrow, a sardonic smile tilting one corner of his mouth.
"Fucking Kingsley," he says, setting the tumbler down with a thunk that makes Draco wince. Harry turns to Draco and takes a single prowling step toward him.
Draco rests his fingertips against the cold tile of the kitchen counter. By the light in Harry's eyes, they won't make it to bedroom, not even to the stairs. With a sigh of regret for the roast in the oven, Draco opens his arms. "Come and tell me all about it."
Draco stretches, long and languid, then turns onto his side. His body feels exquisite – all used muscles and small aches, and a delicious tenderness that speaks of being used roughly and loving it.
"Sorry about dinner," Harry says, then places a kiss between his shoulder blades.
"S'alright." Draco yawns. "I spelled the oven to warm, it should be fine."
"Can't stay," Harry says, and kisses the edge of Draco's shoulder. "Kingsley's got us on surveillance in – well, out of town."
Draco had been walking the fine line between sleep and wakefulness, but with Harry's words, the easy peace shatters.
"Mmmm." Shifting, he swings his legs over the side of the bed and stands. He'd been right, of course. Harry'd taken him first against the kitchen counter, and while Draco was catching his breath, Harry Apparated them to bed, where they'd spent the last hour in a crush of hot breath and tense muscles, quiet groans and hoarse cries.
"Might be gone a couple of days. Okay, that?"
"Of course, Harry," Draco says.
Harry packs a duffel and kisses Draco on the cheek before he Floos back to the Ministry. Draco tries to meet his eyes as Harry says goodbye, but he finds they skitter away to the spot just left of Harry's head.
"Love you," Harry says, and it feels like a vice around Draco's heart, something smothering.
"You, too, Harry. Be safe."
Draco does the washing up by hand, despite the fact that his cleaning spells are quite good. Good and…fast. And what Draco needs now is a way to murder time, because killing it just won't do.
So he does the washing up by hand. He bins the roast, which had gone dry, and settles into his favorite chair with a novel. From his vantage point, he can just see the fireplace. He doesn't want to miss Harry if he calls, and at the same time, doesn't want to look as though he's waiting, which is foolish, because they both know that's just what he'll be doing.
Several hours later, when the bottle of Malbec is nothing but a warm memory in Draco's veins, he stumbles up to bed. He wards the Floo and closes his eyes. Sleep comes quickly, but the dreams are vivid and lush and when he wakes in the early morning hours, his grip on Harry's pillow is fierce and if it's a bit damp with sweat and tears, well, no one will know but Draco.
The next day Pansy insists on taking lunch together. Draco is reluctant; if Harry calls while he's away…. And then Draco realizes that he can't live that way any longer. He can't pine by the fire in case Harry decides to pay him attention. He can't keep taking Harry's absence as a punishment or a test, and one Draco hasn't earned, at that. He's furious with Harry, because now everything is so hard, and because falling for him had been so damned easy.
The next day, Pansy takes him to a new restaurant and they have a proper meal. After the soup and before the lamb, he realizes that he's missed this – the niceties of dining well. The subtleties of good manners. Harry is always uncomfortable at restaurants like this, where they have three different people seeing after them and actually crumb the table between courses.
"Alright then, darling?" Pansy asks, buttering a bite of bread. "Things are better?"
He can't say yes because it will be a lie, and he can't say no for the same reason.
"At least getting there?"
Draco smiles at her, and nods. She'd been through it herself with Theo, and after a lengthy cost-benefits analysis, she'd determined that retaining the relationship offered little by way of benefit but much by way of cost.
"You know, it's not too late to change over. You could get yourself a Hufflepuff, they're delightful. I'm sure Ollie would love to make an introduction."
"Pans, love, just because you went a married one doesn't mean we have to fall in line."
Pansy sets her tea cup down and takes Draco's hand in hers. The smile falls from her eyes but not her mouth.
"I mean it, Draco. You don't owe him anything."
Draco's face follows suit – his eyes are earnest yet his mouth is still twisted into his trademark smirk.
"I know that. I'm - I don't want to give up."
"Yes, well, he'd best mind himself. I've not forgiven him, even if you have."
Draco can lie beautifully when he wants to; it's one of the things he likes best about himself. But he'll not lie to Pansy, not after all they've been through, so instead, he looks away.
Pansy reads his downcast eyes and the soft slump to his shoulders with the practiced eye of an old friend. She gives his hand a squeeze. "Oh, darling."
After a moment, she releases his hand with a soft pat. "Share the trifle with me, love? Ollie's taking me to Milan next week, but I can never resist afters."
Leaving the restaurant, Draco decides it's a beautiful day and he'll not waste it. Foregoing Apparition, he walks through Muggle London and window shops along the way. He finds a jumper in Gryffindor colors and buys it for Harry, along with a new scarf for himself, and a brooch that he's certain Pansy will love. Her Hufflepuff may spoil her, but he'll never know her the way Draco does, and his small gifts are both his reminder and his thanks.
After an evening spent by the fire with a glass – not a bottle – of wine and a book, Draco retires to the bedroom. Showering before bed, his hands find his cock, and he strokes himself with languid, sure movements, touching himself the way that only he can. His thoughts are jumble of Harry, and when he comes, his whispered "Harry" sounds like a shout in the wet air. He finishes up and, after a quick drying charm, lies down in bed and tries not to wonder when Harry will come home.
The pounding on the door startles Draco and he almost upsets his glass of port. When he answers, Blaise Zabini, looking like sin and Savile Row, stands before him.
"Bollocks," Draco says.
"Yes, the size of an elephants. Invite me in, you prat."
Draco stands back and allows Blaise's entry, though he's not sure why. Maybe he wants to ask him the trite things that he won't ask Harry, things like why and how come and how could you? Instead, he asks the obvious.
"What do you want?"
"To set you straight, you daft bastard. Merlin, I can't believe you're still moping about this shite."
Blaise rolls his eyes. "Who else? Hit me with a Flobberwand jinx. I had to take Muggle transit to Diagon Alley in order to have it mended. Do you know what a bleeding cab costs these days?"
Draco snickers. "You poor thing."
The mock smile falls from Blaise's face. "Didn't watch the memory, did you?"
"I saw enough."
"No, you didn't. If you had, you wouldn't be joining Pansy for mopey brunches and she wouldn't be jinxing me because ickle Draco is still upset."
Draco shrugs and sits down on the sofa.
"Christ. You're meant to be a dragon but you're not, are you? You're barely more than a boy. I don't even know why I'm trying, here. You seem perfectly cozy in your misery. You are, aren't you? Just wallowing around in it, yeah?"
"Blaise, is there a point to this?"
"The point, you daft git, is that the man that you're making yourself miserable over loves you. He loves you and you're too stupid and stuck up and too Malfoy to see it!" Blaise sighs and sits down opposite Draco.
"Why'd you do it, Blaise?"
The dark-eyed man shrugs. "He's the Chosen One. I thought maybe he was having you on, for a laugh. I don't know, I'm a prick."
"You should go."
"Right." Blaise stands and Draco stays put, though he has to fight every inch of his breeding to do so. "I am sorry, mate."
Draco nods, but doesn't look his way. His eyes are trained on the fire. What would Harry say if he Floo'd home right now?
He hears the front door open "He was thoroughly pissed and kept saying your name. You should know that."
Later that night, in bed, Draco's mind won't let the words go. …kept saying your name. Your name, your name. Over and over, Draco hears Blaise saying the words and he imagines Harry, the curve of his shoulders and the arch of his spine, as he pushes deeper into Blaise, and pushes Blaise deeper into the mattress. In his mind's eye, he sees the muscles of Harry's ass flex, the small snap at the end, when he tries to take it slow and can't. The way that when he comes, he pushes all the way in, so deep Draco can practically feel it in his throat, the way he lifts up with his cock, stretching Draco even wider, making him pant and sweat because nothing, nothing, is sweeter than Harry coming with a hand around Draco's cock and his teeth in Draco's skin. Nothing.
In the morning when he wakes, Harry is curled around him, still wearing his denims and t-shirt. His hair is a rumpled mess and there's crusted bits of sleep in his lashes. It's endearing, so childlike, and Draco can't help the smile on his face as he tugs down the denims, leaving Harry to sleep in his pants and socks like a boy. Harry moans and reaches across the bed, sighing when Draco takes his hand. Harry rubs his stubbled chin against Draco's hand.
"Love you, baby," he whispers.
Draco swallows and takes his hand away. "Shh," he whispers. "Get some sleep and I'll see you tonight."
That evening, Draco arrives home before Harry. He's not surprised; Harry usually spends long hours at the office when he's been away on a case, filing reports and the like. For a moment, suspicion creeps into Draco's mind, and he wants to shut it down, scream it away, take it out and bury it forever. Instead, he breathes deep and remembers that Harry woke up in their bed that morning, and that Harry chose to come home to Draco the night before, and that really, that is the best he can hope for on any given day.
Upstairs, Draco exchanges his work robes for a soft t-shirt and a pair of denims. He hasn't been flying in weeks, and since Harry will be out late, Draco sees no reason not to take advantage of the unexpectedly warm evening. As an afterthought, he places the jumper that he purchased for Harry on the brunet's pillow.
Draco Apparates to his favorite field and takes to the air thinking of the first time Harry had kissed him. It was tentative and unsteady, hot, dry lips and a sweaty hand holding Draco's wrist. Draco's heart beat madly, terrified and exultant while his brain simply repeated, over and over again, Harry Potter is kissing me, Harry Potter is kissing me before he realized all at once that his entire body was stretching, leaning, arching, trying to get closer to the man who'd borne Draco's enmity and admiration for years.
His thoughts continue along that path as he flies through the trees and then crests them, coming almost level with the sinking sun. The cooling air feels splendid against his hot skin, and by the time he Apparates home, there's a happiness inside of him, in his belly, that he'd forgotten he could feel.
Which is why the sight of Harry, sitting on their bed, holding his new jumper, with tears streaking his face and splashing the lenses of his glasses stops Draco cold.
"Harry?" His uncertainty of the other man is in his voice, and Draco hates himself both for the weakness and for showing it.
"I…don't understand you," Harry says, his thumb caressing the jumper.
Harry is not what Draco would call an emotional man, and the wet marks on his face trigger panic in Draco.
"It's just a jumper," Draco says. "I can take it back." The words are inane to Draco's ears, but it's the only thing he can think of to say, other than no, please and stop, none of which quite seem to fit the bill.
"I thought I had it sussed, what you think, but now…" When Harry looks at Draco, the silver-eyed man feels something inside of him crumble. He doesn't understand Harry's pain, only that he would do anything, give up anything to take it away. "Why would you do this?" Harry holds the offending piece of clothing up, and Draco crosses to take it from him.
"Give it here," he says, and steps away in surprise when Harry clutches it to his chest.
"You don't care," Harry says. "You don't – I don't matter to you. I don't know why, why you keep on, but I know – I know that you don't feel-"
"What? What don't I feel?" There's anger and sadness blooming in his chest and Draco sinks to his knees, one hand on the post at the foot of the bed. His lover's going 'round the twist and all Draco can do is sit and watch and feel helpless, like a child.
"Pansy said, but you don't – you never talk to me, Draco. You never talk to me about anything and then you do this, and – and – and-" Harry sighs and balls the sweater in his fists again. There's devastation in his eyes when he looks at Draco again.
"You never even asked why."
And Draco can't say anything to that because it's true, he didn't. He'd wanted to box the whole thing up and pack it away and until this very moment, he didn't realize that in the months since, it's only grown bigger, and Draco's afraid that there isn't a box in the world that would fit it, now.
They sit then, in the silent, dying light of the day as the room fills with shadows around them.
Harry worries the fabric of the jumper between his fingers, and Draco watches from his knees. Finally, Harry sets the jumper aside with a sigh. Something in Draco lurches, panics all over again.
"I'm sorry, I guess I should-"
"What did Pansy-"
Harry swallows and gestures for Draco to speak. There's something on his face, naked and raw, and Draco wonders what exactly he can say to take that look away, and, barring that, what he can say to make Harry stay. He's not stupid; he knows good-bye when he sees it.
"What did Pansy say? A minute ago, you said…"
Sighing and fisting the coverlet, Harry doesn't meet Draco's eyes. "About a year ago, she said you would want children. A family."
"I don't – I mean, yeah, I always figured someday. But, you never said, Draco. I waited, I thought one day you might, that we might, but you've never said anything."
"So you thought…?" The realization comes slow, but it does come, and it tastes like blood and bile at the back of Draco's mouth and brings hot tension to the backs of his eyes. All this time, he's been afraid. Afraid to say I love you, afraid to be too clingy, to show his fears, his heart, his dreams. And all that time, Harry's been waiting.
He crawls to Harry, taking the younger man's hands in his.
"You didn't even ask me why. You should have booted me out, you know. I would have fought for you. I was ready to fight. But you, you didn't." One of Harry's hot tears hits Draco on the back of his hand.
"Harry, no. Harry."
Draco presses his mouth to Harry's hands, presses his lips to Harry's knees. With his cheek against Harry's thigh, he starts to whisper.
"Don't you know it's too much to ask? Don't you know that anyone in the world would die to have you, they'd be so lucky, but you're here with me? I can't ask you for anything more than that, can I? You saved my life, and you – you saved us all. No one can ask you for anything more."
"But I want you to, Draco! I want-" Harry's shout startles Draco, makes his heart pound, but not as much as Harry's next words, words he doesn't shout, but whispers. "Ask me."
Draco thinks for a long moment. He thinks about all the things he's wanted to ask, and hasn't. Like what it was really like for Harry after the war. Whether he still misses Fred Weasley and does he hold Draco accountable. Has he forgiven Draco, really, and why does he lick and bite at the Mark on Draco's arm when they fuck. Is he only with Draco out of some displaced fealty, because he thinks he owes Narcissa Malfoy his life?
Does Harry mean it when he says "I love you," or does he say it because he's meant to. And amidst all of those questions, the whys, Draco finds that the one why, which has tormented him for days and months now, is the one which matters the least. Because looking at the man in front of him, it dawns on him that he has all of those answers, and that the answers he thought he'd had before – that everything he thought he knew before this moment – was…wrong.
And so Draco asks his question.
"Would you like to have a family, Harry? With me?" Draco feels as though his chest is open and raw, his heart beating out in the open, and he waits for Harry to either sew him back up or pull the damned thing out and be done with it.
Harry takes a breath that sounds like a sob, and slides off of the bed and onto Draco's lap. He clutches at Draco so hard that it hurts, and it feels so good. So good.
"I love you, Draco. I love, oh, fuck." And then Harry's mouth is on his, hot and wet and his tongue is pushing in and Draco doesn't fall back but meets him there, pushes back until they are climbing all over each other, twisting fingers beneath clothes and then Harry has him, is pushing him up onto the bed and covering Draco's body with his own.
"I love you, Draco, fuck." And Draco's soft shirt rises up under Harry's hands, the calluses against Draco's skin feeling anticipation and promise. Harry's mouth is on him, his throat, his ears, his teeth scrape against Draco's Adam's apple.
"Harry, yes. I love you." Draco says the words, even though they're frightening, because how can he not? His mouth, it seems, is no longer his own to control. It has followed, bag and baggage, with his heart and the rest of him, and set up shop somewhere under Harry's control.
Draco wants to slow things down, wants to sit and think and ponder what it means, that Harry loves him back, that he's not just saying it. He wonders if it's true, if Harry actually does want a family, with Draco. He knows it's an impossibility, but Draco wants a black-haired, silver-eyed Malfoy heir, and then he stops thinking altogether because, Harry's Evanesco'd their clothes and, Merlin, Harry's got Draco's cock in his mouth and he's doing that thing, that thing with his tongue and Draco arches off the bed at the same time he fists Harry's hair, pushing him back down to take his prick deeper.
Harry moans around his mouthful and it sends delicious shivers across Draco's skin. Draco's fingers find his nipples and he begins to pull and twist, dosing the pleasure with just enough pain, and when Harry's mouth first suckles, then engulfs his balls, Draco lets out a groan of such wonton satisfaction that he feels whorish and doesn't care. He's one foot on Harry's back and the other on the bed, and he arches and pushes and whimpers his pleasure, his mouth full of sweet and dirty pleading words, like love and fuck and Merlin, Harry, please.
But he can't come, because Harry won't let him. Instead, Harry teases Draco's arse with soft blowing and flicks of hot tongue until Draco is a writhing, babbling mess. His hand reaches for his cock but Harry bats it away and whispers the Spell to bind them above Draco's head. The he begins to ease his fingers inside of Draco. He goes slow, and it's not foreplay, it's not an means to an end, it's feeling. Harry touches Draco like he's trying to memorize the feel of him, exploring and soft and sometimes not soft, but probing and twisting and when Draco cries out at the jolt of pleasure that shoots through him, Harry gasps and groans low in the back of his throat, a sound that turns Draco on further.
It's always been like this with Harry, and it's never been better. Harry likes his sex dirty. He likes felching and snowballing and rimming, and spunk on his face and on his skin. He likes to rub it in, lick it up, he likes fingers up his arse and in his mouth and overstimulation and he talks, Merlin, the things he says, and when Draco talks back, when he whispers and whimpers and begs or demands, Harry gets so hot and so hard and so fucking good, that Draco sometimes thinks he can come, just from the talking alone.
So when Draco feels Harry's tongue replace his fingers, he does what he knows Harry wants: he moans and he begs, and he opens his legs wider and he knows that the moment Harry slides his prick up into him that Draco will come, because he's already shaking for it.
Which is why, he supposes, Harry pulls him back. He licks at Draco, soft, teasing swipes of tongue, and slides his way up, fingers pinching and pulling, teasing and stroking, but never giving Draco anywhere near what he wants, what he needs.
"So fucking hot when you're like this, baby," Harry whispers into Draco's ear. He lies next to Draco, his fingers still dancing over Draco's flesh, teasing his cock, tugging at his balls, sliding inside until Draco cries out, then slipping his fingers into Draco's mouth.
Draco whispers the words that unbind his hands and reaches for Harry's cock. It takes him a second to find the slippery spot at the tip, and he gathers the pre-come on his thumb before he sucks it into his mouth. Harry's eyes grow larger, darker, before his mouth is on Draco's sucking at his tongue and the thumb, his teeth scraping across Draco's fingerprints, and pushing his cock into Draco's hip.
Harry whispers "fucking tease," and then settles his hips between Draco's legs. Draco's anticipation is at a fever pitch as he arches and pulls up on his knees, spreading himself wider for Harry. Harry presses his prick up against Draco's, and grunts the charm that makes them both slick, sliding against each other in a sensation of too much and not enough. Harry's got his fingers back inside of Draco again, and Draco is thrashing, moaning, and begging, begging Harry to fuck him.
"This way," Harry says, and rolls them over. Draco braces his hands against Harry's chest and watches his face. He positions himself and as he slides down, taking Harry all of the way inside, and Harry's eyes roll back in his head as his hands grab for Draco's.
Linked that way, Draco begins to rise and fall, until he's aware of nothing else, nothing but the feel of it, Harry inside of him, and the spread of his thighs and the thrust of his hips, the way that the entire universe is slowing down, narrowing, to the sensation of being filled, the idea that he's being torn into pieces but that Harry, Harry, always Harry, will know just how to put him back together again.
When he looks down, he sees Harry's hand on his cock, pulling him off as he fucks himself on Harry's prick, and Harry watching him, his green eyes glued to Draco and his mouth spilling almost silent words, coaxing Draco on, begging for his spunk.
"Fuck, yes, baby, just like that. Come for baby, come on me, all over me, I want it, I want you." The words and the feelings, they make him drunk, like excellent champagne in his veins and Draco groans and presses down, his orgasm rushing up and out of him, spreading through his limbs until he topples over, gasping and panting over Harry, who is holding him and stroking him and showing him his love in every touch, every whisper.
When Harry rolls them over again, it isn't about getting deeper or faster, it's about the slow press and getting closer, closer, until he is all the way inside, his weight on Draco and Draco's legs wrapped around him, pulling Harry closer in every possible way. Draco whispers all the things that he knows Harry likes to hear, and he moves his hips the way that Harry loves best, and he does it because he loves Harry, loves it when Harry comes and he wants it, wants it so bad that he's hard again, his cock trapped between them, so he whispers and begs and clenches tight around Harry.
Harry groans and says "fuck, again, baby?" because he's noticed the hard cock between them, and that's when it happens: Harry's entire body tightens. The pitch of his moans become higher and higher, desperate and begging, and then his mouth latches onto Draco's shoulder, and he bites down and cries out and shudders and thrashes and Draco can feel it, can feel Harry's prick pulsing inside of him, but he can also feel something like fire and ice on his skin, like hot mouths on his cock and the curtains flutter and the bed trembles, and the feel of it, of every inch of his skin being touched and mouthed and sucked is too much and Draco goes over too, panting and thrashing and crying Harry's name.
As they catch their breath, the sensations disappear, and Draco is left with just one mouth on his skin – Harry's, who is licking at the sweat at Draco's hairline, smiling into the crook of his neck, and giggling against Draco's ear.
"Circe's tits, what was that?" Draco asks. His breath is still coming in long pants, but he loves the feel of Harry's weight on top of him, the way his body curves and vibrates with his laughter.
"I've no idea," Harry says, and chuckles.
"You haven't had wild magic like that since…"
"Since Hogwarts, I know."
"It was bloody brilliant." Draco still can't catch his breath, because every time he comes close, he remembers the sensation of mouths and hands and strokinglickingsucking and his breath catches all over again.
"Could you do it again?"
Harry pulls back and arches an eyebrow. "What, now?"
Now sounds excellent to Draco, but he thinks that maybe he ought to give his body a rest. He's not seventeen anymore.
"Oh, shut it, you," he says, but the small laugh that follows the words takes any sting they might have held.
And so they lie like that, for long minutes, Harry smothering Draco and Draco loving it, each of them smiling and touching and kissing, each feeling for all the world that this wasn't just the best time, but the first time, and they're giddy with it, with the love they both feel and have finally revealed.
10 Months Later…
Draco straightens his tie and casts a critical eye at his reflection. Being well dressed is a form of armor, and Draco likes to be prepared.
Harry peeks his head around the corner. "Would you come on? It's tossing off into a cup, not a job interview."
Glaring at Harry through the mirror, he's about to say something snarky when his eye catches the ring on Harry's left hand, and the enormity of what they're doing hits Draco all over again.
Harry sees the change in partner's stance and is behind him in a moment, strong arms wrapped around Draco and Harry's head on his shoulder.
"It'll be fine, you know," he says, pausing to kiss the back of Draco's neck, just above his collar. "People do this every day. Even Muggles."
Draco closes his eyes and leans his head back against Harry. The decision to seek a surrogate witch was something they'd talked about for months. It began the night that Harry presented Draco with a pair of goblin-made rings, one for each of them. There was no ceremony, not even a gathering of friends. Just a quiet exchange of rings and promises over an excellent bottle of wine, beside a well-warded fire. It was exactly what Draco had wanted, and it thrilled him to no end that Harry gave it to him.
"But what if it doesn't-"
The sigh that Harry releases makes Draco shiver. "If it doesn't work this month, it will next month. And then in nine months, we're going to have a tiny little Malfoy-Potter-Black heir."
"Mother's going to spoil him."
"Or her," Harry says, with mild insistence in his voice. "And I'm already telling you, we are not having a house-elf. 'Mione'd have our balls and you know it."
Draco smiles and turns in Harry's embrace. "I love you," he says.
Harry's green eyes spark and darken, they always do when Draco says that particular combination of words, and Draco loves seeing his reaction so much that he finds himself saying them all the time.
Harry presses a soft, sweet kiss against Draco's mouth and Draco sighs, wishing there was time for more.
"Hurry up," Harry whispers. "If we get home early enough, I might just do that thing you like."
"Ooh, promise?" In the months since, Harry's learned to control his Sex Magic, and there are times when he brings Draco off with nothing more than his desire and his magic combined.
Harry nods and kisses Draco's jaw, and the spot just under his ear that makes Draco shiver.
"Promise this is going to be alright?" Draco whispers the words in Harry's neck.
"I promise you. We'll be brilliant fathers, you know."
Draco smiles and turns and tugs at his tie once more. It's amazing, he thinks, what you can get if you just ask.
Wild magical thanks to Venis_Envy, who was good enough to look this over for me and give me feedback. She is truly beautiful, inside and out.