Authors note: Okay, so this is just – I don't even know what this is. I don't know if this is even realistic but oh well, its fiction hahaha. It's probably awfully out of character too but oh well. I tried! Haha. I apologise in advance for any mistakes that are bound to be in here somewhere.
Harry sat on his stool behind the till and groaned. He debated whether now would be a good time to dive under the counter and pretend he wasn't there. Of course, that would not work. He thought about diving out the back of the shop and not returning for several hours until he deemed it safe to return. But he couldn't do that either, Hermione was on her lunch break and that meant it was only him there. He couldn't just jump up and run and leave the shop unattended.
He could see the one person he did not want to see out of the shop window, walking towards the shop. He knew instantly that this was going to be one of those conversations that he would rather not have, but he knew there was nothing he could do about it.
The bell above the door sounded and she walked in as if she owned the place, stopping when she reached Harry. He really did have to suppress the urge to growl at her to piss off. It was becoming quite ridiculous now, and he was running out of ideas of how to get her to leave him alone.
"Harry," Ginny said with a large smile. "What a surprise to see you here." Oh yes, such a massive surprise considering you know I own the bloody shop, is what he wanted to say, but he knew that would earn him a glare and possibly a slap in the face.
"Yes, such a surprise," he settled for instead. "What can I do for you? Need a new book to read?"
Ginny fiddled with her hair before answering, "Well, actually, now that I'm here, I was wondering if we could have a chat." Once again Harry was fighting very hard not to tell her to piss off.
"I'm a little busy at the moment."
"Harry, please. It has been two years and you haven't dated anyone else, or even so much as looked at someone else. I think it's time we get back together!"
Harry had told Ginny that he wasn't interested in her god knows how many times and yet she still didn't seem to understand that when he said no, he meant no. After the war, he just wasn't as attracted to Ginny as he once was. Things changed, and yet she just didn't seem to see it herself. He had told her that he way gay thousands of times and each time she refused to believe him.
Harry didn't even really want to be her friend. He knew that was cruel but he did really just want to be left alone. Ginny had made it perfectly clear what she thought about him being gay and he didn't really want to be around someone like that. The only person he could really be bothered to see these days was Hermione, and that was only because she worked for him. Therefore he had no interest in dating Ginny what so ever, and in fact, he had no interest to date anyone at all.
"Ginny, please stop asking me this. I have told you countless times; I don't want to get back together. I'm tired of you trying to manipulating me into it, and I'm just out of ideas to make you see it. Find someone who will love you more than I ever could."
Most girls would most likely cry in this situation, but not Ginny Weasley. Harry had learned years ago that she wasn't quite the sweet girl everyone saw her as. The amount of times she had come crying to his front door saying some guy had tried to take advantage of her was astonishing. Obviously it was complete rubbish and was all designed to manipulate him into dating her.
She glared at him so hard that Harry was sure it would scare off an awful lot of children. "Fine! That was your last chance Harry Potter! You will never find a girl who will want you after this. The way you have treated me is awful and I will make sure everyone knows it!"
Good job I don't want a girl then.
"We haven't been together for two years. I haven't treated you badly at all. I have been honest with you. Now, if you don't want to buy a book then please leave my shop." He was not going to have her threatening him in his own bloody book shop. She huffed once and then turned sharply on her heel and exited the shop. Harry exhaled loudly and rubbed his eyes under his thick glasses. He hoped Hermione got back from her lunch break quickly because he was seriously in need of a break.
A loud laugh made him snap his head up, and he was greeted with a person he had not spoken to for a few years. Draco Malfoy came out from behind a book shelf and Harry had no idea how long he had been there as he had no clue he had even entered the shop. He walked all the way to where Ginny had previously stood and smirked at him.
"Women, hey Potter?" Malfoy said.
"Bloody hell!" Harry shouted when he looked at him and took in what he looked like. Malfoy looked like shit and that was putting it nicely. There was no other way to describe him. He had black circles under his eyes, his nose was red and running, his lips were dried and cracked and his hair looked like it was thinning un-naturally. He was thinner than he ever was at school and Harry couldn't help but feel sorry for him. He looked seriously ill.
"What?" Malfoy asked as he swirled around obviously looking for whatever he thought Harry was looking at. Harry was wondering why on earth Malfoy couldn't see that he was looking at the state of him. He didn't look like the fit, gorgeous, beautiful Malfoy he was used to seeing walking about like he owned everyone.
This would probably be a good time to admit that Harry does have a small, tiny, almost not there, crush on Malfoy. But only a small one of course. Tiny one.
"Are you okay?" he asked, still supporting a wide eyed look. How long had he been ill to let himself get so bad? Harry wasn't sure what the swirling in his stomach was but he didn't like it.
"What? Of course I'm okay, what on earth are you talking about?" Malfoy looked genuinely confused and now Harry was confused. Surely it was bloody obvious what he was talking about, Malfoy looked like the walking dead for Christ sake.
"I'm talking about you. You look awful." He realised how that sounded and tried to back pedal. "I mean, you are clearly ill. You need to go home and rest."
"I need to do no such thing Potter. I'm like this all the while, if I were to go home and rest every time I got like this then I would never get anything done." Oh Christ, Harry thought. Was Malfoy terminally ill? Did he have a serious terminal illness? His stomach dropped at the thought. He didn't deserve that, no matter what people say about him. Malfoy changed towards the end of the war and Harry would have been an idiot not to see it. Malfoy wasn't such a bad bloke these days, he mostly kept to himself and Harry seriously was finding it difficult to find a small amount of hatred that he was sure he felt for him. They had both apologised for their actions as children and each said thank you for their actions during the war that practically saved their lives. The thought that Malfoy was terminally ill made Harry feel, well, for lack of a better word, ill.
"Oh, well," he really had no idea what to say. "Christ I'm sorry Malfoy. I can't imagine how hard this must be. Here, take whatever books you want for free."
Harry wasn't sure it was possible for Malfoy to look more confused, but apparently it was. "What on earth are you going on about?"
"Well, I didn't know you were terminally ill or anything. It must be hard," he whispered.
They stared at each other for no more than ten seconds before Malfoy started to laugh. "Oh- oh you thought- no! No, I'm not terminally ill." Malfoy looked like he was going to fall over from laughing. He clutched onto the counter with one hand and his stomach with the other. "Oh god, it hurts to laugh but bloody hell that is funny!"
"I fail to see how it is funny." Harry scowled and blushed slightly at the thought that he had just shown that he was genuinely concerned about the welfare of bloody Malfoy. Hopefully he wouldn't have picked up on that. God, how embarrassing.
"Oh, how touching that you are so concerned for me." Oh well there goes hoping. "Well, thank you so much for the offer. I will just take these ones for free then." He straightened up and placed the books on the counter for Harry to look at.
"Uh, right, sure." Malfoy's laughter died down with those words.
"What? You mean you really will let me have them for free even though I'm not terminally ill?"
Harry laughed and started to pick up the books and put them in a bag for him to carry. "Well, whether you are terminally ill or not, you are actually ill. So you can have these for free as long as you go home and rest the instant you leave my shop, and for the love of god, try not to get ill again." Harry was quite concerned that Malfoy had insinuated that he gets ill all the time. That can't be healthy.
"Oh, well, uh, thanks." Malfoy looked completely flustered and Harry had to laugh. He handed over the bag with a smile.
"Well, if you do get ill again and are able to roll out of bed then you can always come and get some more. For free of course. But only when you are ill – and don't try and trick me, you have to look awful for me to feel sorry enough for you."
"Well Potter, I shall hold you to that. See you next time when I'm on deaths door." He gave Harry a mock salute and walked out of the shop laughing.
Harry gave a sigh and sat back on the stool behind the counter. What a bloody day.
Harry fumbled with the keys to the shop trying to get it into the key hole. It was a bloody cold morning and he was shivering beyond belief. His hands didn't seem to want to stay still long enough for him to open the damn door. Finally, he managed to get the key in the key hole and opened the door. He shoved his things into his office in the back and started opening the shop. He then took his usual seat on the stool behind the counter and waited for the customers to roll in.
The sign had been turned to open for almost an hour before Hermione came bustling in. she looked tired and Harry couldn't really blame her for being late, again. She was pregnant and was due to have her baby in a few months, and she probably should be at home resting anyway. He wasn't sure what on earth he was going to do without her.
He had opened up the shop as soon as he left school. He just wanted a quiet life and he didn't think he was going to get that being an Auror. So he opened up his shop and hired Hermione. She was absolutely over joyed to be working in a book shop. She spent most days just sat at the counter reading or talking to Harry.
"I'm so sorry I'm late Harry. I over slept. I hardly ever do that. I'm just so tired." She plonked herself down on the stool next to Harry and sighed heavily. He couldn't deny that he felt guilty about not making her go home, but she would always refuse. Never the less, he is Harry Potter and what he says goes.
"Hermione, go home, put your feet up. I can handle the shop by myself." Well, he couldn't, not really but she didn't need to know that. He couldn't exactly leave to go to the loo quickly in case someone saw it as the perfect chance to steal all his good books. He couldn't have his lunch, or leave the shop at all.
Hermione sighed again and gave Harry a pitying look. Harry just rolled his eyes. "I can't leave you to look after the shop on your own Harry. I am not leaving until I'm in labour." Ok, so what he says doesn't go, but it was worth a try.
"You are being ridiculous."
The bell above the shop rang, signalling a new customer so all conversation halted at that point, but Harry was determined to make Hermione see sense.
The day went on pretty quickly and nothing Harry could say convinced Hermione to go home. She did however, agree to sit in the back room in one of Harry's comfortable chairs and read the day away. The only time she stopped was when Harry needed the toilet or had to leave for his lunch.
Harry was getting ready to close for the day when the bell rang again. He looked up and smiled as a sniffling Malfoy walked up to the counter. It had been a week and a half since the time Malfoy came in ill, and Harry could see instantly that this was a different illness to the one he had before. His nose was still red and running, but this time he was bright red instead of pale and kept swaying on his feet as he walked closer. Harry was completely shocked that he could be ill so soon again, and actually be able to get out of his bed. He looked like he was having trouble walking.
"For god sake Malfoy," he said as he jumped off the stool and went to Malfoy. He put an arm around his waist and pulled him over to the stool and pushed him down on it. Malfoy let out an appreciative sigh as he settled on the stool. "What on earth are you doing? Go home and get in bed for goodness sake." Malfoy looked like he was on the verge of collapsing.
"I'm fine," he rasped. Yeah, well he didn't look fine at all and Harry would be lying if he said he wasn't concerned.
"Malfoy, is this the same illness or did you get better then ill again?" Harry already knew the answer of course, but it didn't hurt to make sure.
"No, this is the second illness."
"Have you been to see anyone about getting ill so often?" he already knew the answer to that one too. Malfoy was all about pride and he was sure that Malfoy would not seek the help of someone else. He wasn't mistaken; Malfoy gave a slight shake of the head.
"Hermione!" he bellowed. "Get out here!" he could hear her huff at his rudeness, but he couldn't help it. Just what the hell was Malfoy doing out of his house? Wherever the hell that was anyway. Did he still live in the Manor? He looked up when she came out of the back and he heard her let out a little gasp.
"Oh dear," she said as she walked over and put the back of her hand to Malfoy's head. "Good god Malfoy, what on earth are you doing out and about?"
"Well, I'm ill. So that means I qualify for more free books right? Right Potter? That's what you said." he looked between Harry and Hermione expectantly and Harry rolled his eyes.
"Fine, but stay where you are. Tell me what you want and I will see if we have it, then I'm taking you home."
Malfoy rattled off a list of the books he wanted and Harry had to stop him after the fifth for the pure fact that Malfoy would be taking the piss if he thought Harry would let him have more than that. He put them in a bag and handed them to Malfoy, who was still looking like he should be in bed.
Half an hour later, Malfoy was refusing to tell Harry where he lived, and Harry was refusing to let him leave on his own. What if he collapsed in the street? Hermione stood back and watched with concern. Harry would turn around and catch her watching with a calculating look that Harry did not care to see.
"Just tell me where you bloody live!"
"Just let me bloody leave!"
"No! Now where do you live?"
Malfoy growled and then crossed his arms over his chest. "You will laugh."
"I most certainly will not laugh. I just want you to go home and rest so you hopefully won't get ill again before you bleed me dry of all my books. Maybe you are working too hard. What is it you do anyway?"
Malfoy paled slightly and looked away. "Fine, I will tell you where I live." Harry did notice that Malfoy completely by passed his question but thought better than to push him.
Malfoy gave him the address and he used the Floo in his office in the back to make sure they got there safely. With a whirl of green, Harry stepped out and looked at the surroundings. He couldn't quite understand what he saw. The flat was tiny and not at all what he expected. Where were all the flashy things that he was sure Malfoy would own? Why did it look like Malfoy was poor? He turned around as Malfoy came out after him and he could plainly see that Malfoy was nervous. Harry asked him where his room was and helped him get into bed. It was a strange situation he found himself in, but he couldn't bring himself to care. Malfoy was ill and needed the help.
He brought him water and heated up some soup that he found in the cupboard. Malfoy was grateful, Harry could tell. But other than that, he didn't really speak much and looked a little lost. He sat on the end of Malfoy's bed and watched him eat. Once Malfoy was nearing the end of his soup, Harry plucked up the courage to ask him some questions. He needed to know what on earth happened to him and why he was living in such a small place after living in Malfoy Manor.
"Malfoy, are you sure you are alright?" Harry bit his bottom lip and hoped that Malfoy would open up to him. The man looked like he could use a friend.
"I'm fine Potter. I promise."
Harry sighed, that wasn't really the answer he was looking for. "Is there someone I can get to look after you?" he asked. A friend, girlfriend, his mum? He knew Lucius was in Azkaban, hopefully rotting away.
"No," Malfoy sighed heavily and looked away. "I don't have friends Potter and that is just the way I like it." Harry didn't know why he felt his stomach drop at that, but he did.
"Oh, so you don't want to be my friend then?" Harry was trying for a teasing tone but he knew full well that he did not succeed in doing so. He let out a nervous sounding laugh hoping to defuse the situation but only ended up making himself look like more of a twat.
"Well, I didn't quite say that. You did bring me home and look after me like a wife so I suppose we could be friends." Harry blushed instantly and looked away. Saying he was like a wife? There was no need for that. So what if he was looking after him? It was the decent thing to do of course. Anyone would have done it obviously. He clearly voiced that last opinion by accident because Malfoy replied. "No, I don't think anyone would have."
Harry nodded and then stood. "Well, I will leave you too it then. Send me an owl if you need anything and seriously, try and stay healthy." Malfoy just rolled his eyes, but Harry could see the small smile playing at his lips.
Harry walked towards the door but was stopped by Malfoy calling his name.
"Thanks," he said. Harry just nodded and walked out of the room towards the fireplace ready to Floo back to the shop to close up. Once he got there, Hermione had already gone and had locked up for him. With a heavy sigh, he went straight home.
Over the next few weeks Harry had learnt a great deal about Malfoy. Granted, most of it was through snooping and gaining information wherever he could and not directly from Malfoy himself, but still, he learnt a lot. Most of it actually came from the mouth of Hermione. He had learnt that Malfoy and his mother had only narrowly escaped Azkaban on the condition that the ministry took over most of their vaults and Manor. Harry was disgusted that they had been left with practically nothing in a society where most wouldn't give them the time of day let alone a chance in life.
He already knew what had happened to Lucius Malfoy, but finding out what had happened to Narcissa Malfoy was more difficult. Eventually, he had managed to track her down in France with the help of Ron at the ministry. That conversation did not go well at all. He had owled her beforehand asking nicely if it was alright to have a chat with her. She had agreed and Harry went to her straight away. It turned out that Narcissa took all the family money that they were left with (which was hardly anything at all) and fled to France. She had wanted Malfoy to go with her but he refused to run away from their problems.
As pointed out before, the conversation after that went rapidly downhill. Harry had got angry and accused her of abandoning her son when he needed her, and she had chucked him out on his arse telling him to never visit her again. He supposed it was a bit harsh to accuse her of something that probably had been a hard decision for her. Other than that, he thought that it was great progress. He at least knew what had happened to them all.
The one thing that he still hadn't managed to learn about was what Malfoy actually did for a living. Harry had absolutely no idea how on earth he could even work with the amount of times he was ill.
Over the few weeks that had past, Malfoy would visit the book store regularly. Sometimes he would be perfectly healthy and would actually purchase some books to read, other times he would look absolutely retched and Harry would sit him down in the back office on some of his comfortable chairs and fetch him some books he could have for free. On those days, Malfoy would stay at the book shop with Harry while Harry took care of him. Malfoy protested to start with, stating that he didn't need to be looked after, but after a few times Harry could see that Malfoy loved having Harry look after him. He was ill an awful lot and it must have been nice to know he had somewhere to go and someone to go to who would look after him and make sure he was healthy again in not time.
He knew that it wasn't exactly practical to have Malfoy in his shop when he was ill as he didn't want all his customers or himself to get ill, but Malfoy had assured him that they were not contagious. He had no idea how the hell Malfoy knew that it wasn't and it made him very suspicious. Harry would always ask him to go and see someone about getting ill so often but Malfoy would always refuse and Harry and Hermione were at a complete loss as to what on earth they could do. It was beginning to trouble Harry more than he would like to let on.
The illnesses always varied. Some days he was just tired, other days he would complain of headaches and pains all over his body. Sometimes his nose would be running and on one memorable occasion, he was covered from head to toe in a nasty looking rash. All Harry could do was take care of him when he was ill and hope that sooner or later he would open up and tell him what was going on.
Harry had just finished stocking up some of the shelves when Malfoy came in on one of his bad days. He looked the worst that Harry had ever seen him. Sometimes he would go a couple of weeks without being ill and then sometimes he would come back with something different every day. Today looked like it was another rash day. He looked like he had a pretty high fever too.
Hermione instantly came out of the back (still heavily pregnant) and took over. Harry picked up some of the books he had set aside for Malfoy and led him to the back. He laid him down on the sofa and covered him with a warm blanket. He handed over the books and was about to leave when Malfoy tugged on his sleeve.
"I just want to tell you Harry, that I really appreciate everything you do for me," he said and then turned back to his book. Harry was a bit startled at the use of his given name, but then decided that he liked it. He pushed back the damp hair from Malfoy's- no, Draco's forehead and planted a small kiss there. He knew that it wasn't entirely appropriate but he couldn't care less. Draco just smiled a small smile that did horrible things to Harry's stomach.
"You're not my father, you don't have to kiss me good night, Potter," Draco said and Harry knew that he actually liked it, but hell, he wasn't going to say anything. He was also a bit disappointed with the name going back to Harry, bur what could he do?
That was when he knew that he was absolutely in love with the stupid blonde git.
Harry was stacking some new books on the shelves when the bell above the door sounded. Usually, he would stop what he was doing and greet the customer, but today, he was not going to do that. Hermione was sat behind the counter so she could easily deal with the customer. He carried on stacking the books when he heard a loud thump and a sound that sounded suspiciously like a groan. Harry had to supress his own groan when he realised who the customer most likely was.
He came out from behind the bookshelf and sure enough, Draco was there. He was clinging onto a book shelf and looked like he was going to throw up any moment. Harry instantly rolled his eyes in frustration. As much as he really had fallen in love with the bloke, he was getting fed up of having the man constantly in his shop ill. It wasn't the fact that it was actually a tad bit inconvenient; it was the fact that he hated seeing Draco like that more than anything in the world. It was so abnormal, no one should be ill that many times and he knew for a fact that Draco knew something about it. Harry decided enough was enough.
He marched up to him wearing his best 'I'm-Not-Backing-Down' face and hoped it looked convincing. He put his arm around Draco's shoulders and helped him through to the back office. He pushed him down onto the sofa and gave him the empty bin, just in case he decided to throw up his insides. He sat down beside him on the sofa and got himself ready to finally have it out with the man and make him tell him what was going on, or make him go to St. Mungo's and find out.
"Don't look at me like that," Draco said as he looked away from Harry's disapproving glare.
"Like what?" he asked. He knew full well what he looked like, but he wanted to make sure Draco knew how exhausted he was, both physically and mentally. Looking after Draco for days on end when he got ill was tiring and his mental state was all over the place after seeing Draco ill so often. He knew it wasn't Draco's fault, it's not like he was doing it to himself and making himself ill.
"You are looking at me like I have disappointed you." he looked back at Harry then, and Harry instantly threw his anger away. He knew Draco was hiding something from him and he was seriously starting to panic.
Harry sighed. "I'm just slightly disappointed that after everything I have done for you when you are ill, you still refuse to tell me what on earth is going on. No one can get that ill so often and not have something seriously wrong with them. There must be something you are not telling me."
"I'm not telling you anything because there is nothing to tell. I obviously just have a weak immune system or something."
"Or something? Have you even been to see someone about this Draco? It could be a serious illness that could easily be cured. Or maybe it is just getting worse to the point where it will not be able to be cured."
Draco rubbed his hand over his face in a motion that told Harry he was agitated. "You are just being overdramatic about this, Potter." Ah, do he was still Potter after he had called Draco by his given name plenty of times? He hoped that subtly saying Draco would mean that Draco would call him Harry too. Obviously not.
"Overdramatic?" Harry snorts, "Yeah, you come stumbling into my shop nearly every week with some new illness and you think I'm being overdramatic? I don't know whether one day you will walk in well, ready to help me out and spend the day with me, or if you are going to walk in and I have to nanny you all day because there is no one else left to help you!" Harry stopped instantly, knowing he had said the wrong thing. He didn't miss the hurt that flashed across Draco's face. "I didn't mean it like that."
Draco shifted away on the sofa, obviously trying to put as much distance between them as possible. "I understand. I didn't realise I was being such a burden," he snarled and went to get up, but the sudden movement clearly did something to him because then next thing Harry knew, Draco was throwing up in the bin and Harry was rubbing his back in soothing circles.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean that at all," Harry said, resting his forehead on Draco's back. "Please Draco," he begged hoping that Draco would listen to him. "Please."
Draco lifted his head and Harry sat up. Draco put the bin down and turned to Harry. "I'm fine. Please don't worry about me."
"How can I not? This could be something serious Draco. You could – you could, Christ Draco, you could be dying right in front of my eyes and I wouldn't know any different! Please go and see someone." Draco looked like he wanted to argue but he nodded all the same. Harry let out a sigh of relief and then helped Draco lie down on the sofa.
"Good. I can come with you if you want," he said as he knelt on the floor in front of Draco's face. Draco just shook his head hard and then winced in obvious pain.
"No, no need to do that. You have done enough. I will be fine."
Harry nodded. "Ok, that's fine. Please come and tell me when you find out if anything is wrong."
Draco's eyelids were dropping and he nodded in answer to Harry's question. Harry forgot all about personal boundaries yet again and kissed Draco on the forehead again.
"So come on, what did they say? Are you ok? Are you dying?" Draco was sat on the stool behind the counter next to Harry. He didn't reply and Harry instantly feared the worst. "Oh god, you are, aren't you? Oh Christ!" Harry instantly grabbed his hair in despair and started panicking. What would he do if he does die? He didn't want to think about that.
"Potter, calm the hell down. I went like you asked and they told me I was fine, nothing to worry about. I'm not dying." He chuckled lightly and Harry felt like a bit of an idiot.
"Oh," he said as last. "Oh, good." he scratched his head in embarrassment. "Uh, sorry about that little melt down moment."
Draco clapped Harry on the back still laughing. "It's fine, shows you care. I don't have a lot of that in my life." Draco looked away and started pulling at his robes. Harry just smiled at him.
"Right come on then, since you are here and actually healthy for once, you can help me rearrange that shelf over there. People have no bloody respect for my system at all, they just pick up the books and shove them back in any old place, after I have spent ages organising everything. It is so damned annoying." Draco just laughed and walked over to the shelf with Harry to help him re-organise it.
A few weeks later, Draco walked into the shop whistling a tune and carrying a tub of chocolate ice cream. He sat down on the stool next to Harry like he had every day since he went to St. Mungo's.
"Hey, where the hell is mine?" Harry asked trying to hide his grin.
"Still in the shop I reckon." Draco shoved the plastic spoon into the ice cream and then put it in his mouth pulling it out slowly and grinning. Harry glared and the grabbed the plastic spoon. He licked it all over and grinned. "Oh Potter, for god sake. I don't want all your germs on the spoon." Draco handed over the tub of ice cream reluctantly. Harry knew that Draco hated other people spreading their germs, so he licked the spoon deliberately to get the ice cream off Draco. He can't eat without a spoon can he? "You are disgusting, you know that right?" Draco eyed the tub of ice cream longingly and Harry felt bad for almost two seconds.
Draco huffed out of his chair and loomed over Harry. Harry thought he was about to go find a book. What he didn't expect was for Draco to soak him with water that came spraying out the tip of his wand. He didn't even have the decency to make the water warm!
Draco just grinned and lowered his wand. "Actually, my parents were married when I was born. Just so you know, so you can come up with a better insult in the future."
Harry tackled Draco to the ground, hoping that Draco was getting wet from his soaked clothing. Draco yelped and tried to push him off. It wasn't working. Harry finally became tired of the fight and collapsed on top of Draco. Draco's arms came around him to hold him in place and they sat there for a while, with Harry lying on top of Draco, with Draco's arms around him like a protective blanket. Harry lifted his head and looked down at Draco beneath him.
Harry couldn't think about it for long, the next thing he knew, his lips had crashed down on Draco's and they were snogging the breath out of each other. Harry lifted his hands and cupped Draco's face and deepened the kiss, swirling his tongue along Draco's bottom lip. Draco groaned and pushed up against Harry. They hadn't been kissing for long before they heard a delicate clearing of a throat and they both stopped to glare at Hermione who was standing over the two of them heaped on the floor.
"Could you not do that in the shop, you are scaring the customers away." They both got up and looked over the counter to see an old man looking on with disgust and a young teenage girl who looked slightly flushed.
"Don't mind me," she said fanning herself. "You carry right on."
Hermione laughed and then ushered the girl away. Harry and Draco managed to right their scruffy clothing and blush like virgin girls.
"Right so, um, do you –" Harry was cut up off by the kiss that Draco pressed to his lips.
"Could you pass me that pen?" Harry asked Draco as they sat behind the counter. Today was a good day for Draco; he was healthy and looked genuinely happy. Harry didn't get to see him looking happy very often so it was very nice to see. It was two weeks after their first kiss, and Harry couldn't get rid of him, not that he wanted to.
Draco handed the pen over (after giving it a disgusted look, as if just purely touching the muggle item was giving him a disease) and then leant his head on Harry's shoulder. Harry just chuckled and started writing down a list of books that he wanted to order in.
Draco had become a lot more touchy feely over the past week and Harry was over the bloody moon. Draco would sit on the stool next to him with his head on his shoulder quite often and Harry absolutely loved it.
Harry wrapped his left arm around Draco's waist to hold him still and chuckled when Draco snuggled closer. The next thing he knew, the shop door was smacked open and an angry Ginny was walking up to the counter shooting daggers at both him and Draco. Harry was worried that Draco would move now and lift his head, but he didn't. Harry kept a firm grip around his waist.
"What in the name of Merlin is going on here?" she shrieked. Her eyes darted from Harry to Draco and back again.
"What on earth are you going on about?" he asked exasperated.
Ginny balled her hands into fists at her side and she looked like she was actually shaking with rage. "Why are you dating Malfoy?" she spat, "He is an ex-Death Eater Harry, or did that escape your notice?" Harry gaped at her, completely at a loss as what to say. "When you said that you thought you were gay Harry, I gave you space to come to terms with the fact that you are not gay, I did not give you space to shack up with bloody Malfoy."
"Well, bugger me; gossip gets around quickly doesn't it?"
"No actually, I have just been following –" she stopped abruptly and blushed, looking away.
"I'm gay Ginny. I'm as gay as they bloody come. I like cock, and I really don't know what else I can say to make you understand that we are no longer together and haven't been for an awful long time. Please move on." He stood up sharply, forgetting that Draco was perching on his shoulder. His head fell slightly before he caught himself and glared at Harry. "And as for the things you said about Draco, well those are just unacceptable, so I really think you should apologise or leave."
She huffed and glared at Harry, clearly not about to move anywhere or apologise. "Well, I hope you and Malfoy are very happy together," she said bitterly.
"Why, thank you Weasley, we really, really are."
Before Harry could even give Draco a startled look, Draco had cupped Harry's face in his hands and pulled him close, he stopped just a breath away from Harry's lips and smiled. The next thing Harry knew, his lips were on Draco's. It was tentative at first, just a small kiss, but then Draco opened his mouth and Harry followed suit. Harry nearly groaned with pleasure as his tongue twisted around Draco's. Draco nibbled on his bottom lip and Harry thought he was about to fall over at any given moment.
"Oh bloody hell, not again. Do that somewhere else." it was Hermione's voice that brought them both apart, both looking rather flushed. Harry looked over at her, but he was pleased to see she was smirking. Ginny on the other hand looked absolutely livid and disgusted at the same time. "I think you should probably leave Ginny, the happy couple do not need a homophobe ruining their day."
Ginny just glared at them all and swiftly left the building. Harry instantly rounded on Draco, ready to ask him if he was alright but it all died on his lips when Draco kissed him again. It was slower this time and was over in no time at all.
"I think we are happy, don't you Harry?" he breathed.
"Ye- yeah I would say so." He swallowed and then glared. "You bastard, you knew full well that I have been calling you Draco so often for you to pick up and call me Harry, you have been calling me Potter on purpose haven't you?" Draco laughed and looked like he was about to reply, but Hermione cut him off.
"I will be on my way then, see you two tomorrow. I take it you will be here tomorrow Draco?" she asked with a sly grin. At Draco's nod, she walked out of the shop humming a tune.
Draco sighed. "I had best go too then, see you tomorrow, Potter." He gave Harry a winning smile and Harry wanted to smack him in the face
Draco walked over to the door and suddenly Harry felt like he needed to say something. They hadn't been actively hiding being together, but they hadn't really been making a massive announcement either. In the end, he didn't have to say a thing because everyone had move on out and left him on his own.
Being with Draco Malfoy all the time was bloody amazing. They had only been on a few dates because Draco had been too ill to go on many. They spent most of their time together, at the shop, or at one another's flat in bed. Draco would always disappear somewhere doing something that Harry didn't know of. He had tried asking him what it was he was doing but Draco said he didn't feel like telling him just yet.
It was another one of Draco's ill days, but today he wasn't so bad. He just had a small head ache and his back ached a bit. Draco rested his head on his folded arms that were on the top of the counter. Harry rubbed soothing circles on his back hoping that it was doing something for him, but he knew that it wasn't. He thought Draco appreciated it anyway.
"When are you going to tell me what it is your do?" Harry still rubbed Draco's back.
Draco groaned into his arms. "I can't tell you."
"Why? Do you- do you not trust me or something?"
"No, I mean yes, of course I trust you, that isn't why."
Harry sighed; he knew he wasn't going to get it out of Draco until he was ready. "Fine, I will drop it." he paused for a moment and then said, "For now."
He stopped rubbing Draco's back for only a few seconds to turn a page in the book, but Draco was already on him. "Don't bloody stop. That was helping."
Harry bit his lip to stop himself from laughing and continued to rub circles on Draco's back while he put his book down and started to create another list, but this time he was creating a list of books he was going to get in for Draco to read.
It turned out that Harry didn't have to wait long to find out what Draco did, because it was on that day, with Draco sat on the stool beside him, that he found out what it was that Draco did for a living, and he was not happy about it one bit.
The bell chimed and they both looked up and saw a short, chubby man come in and browse the shelves. He felt Draco tense next to him and Harry was sure he was trying to make a break for it and get into the back office. Harry was not going to let that happen. Clearly Draco knew this man and he was going to find out how. He kept a firm grip on Draco and gave him a death stare that clearly told him to keep his bloody arse parked on the stool. He saw Draco swallow thickly and look away.
The man came up to the counter with a book and placed it down carefully. Harry accepted the money the man held out and put it in the till, and then gave him his change. The man hadn't even noticed that Draco was sat right there, but when he went to pick up the book, he did notice.
"Draco!" he beamed. "How nice to see you here. Not feeling too groggy I hope?" he winked at Draco and Harry instantly hated the man.
"Just a slight headache today sir," Draco replied. Sir? Why was he calling him sir if they were on such friendly terms?
"Ah, make sure you come by as soon as you can and tell all my researchers that won't you?" he looked very serious. "Anyway, what on earth are you doing here?"
"This is my Partner in Crime, Potter. He owns the shop and I stay and bug him 'till he kicks me out." Harry felt a stab of pride at being referred to as Draco's 'Partner in Crime'. Neither of them had really talked about what they were to each other, they both just assumed they were together. Harry could see that Draco was very nervous, and he was wondering why on earth that was the case. It was making him feel nervous.
"Oh, how lovely to meet you. I'm John, Draco's boss I suppose," he held out his hand and Harry grasped it in a firm hand shake. Ah, so this was Draco's boss? Wonderful. It was about time he found out what on earth it was that Draco did. He was still refusing to tell him and he would be lying if he said it didn't bother him.
"Nice to meet you too. I have to admit that Draco hasn't really told me much about what it is he does."
"Oh, really? Well let me tell you all about it. My company invents and makes lots of new potions for witches and wizards that are looking to make themselves look good. We make cosmetic potions and I have to say that they really do work wonders for people."
Harry smiled, he couldn't help it. So that's what Draco did? He made cosmetic potions? He couldn't really see anything wrong with that and he didn't really understand why he didn't want to tell him.
"Oh, that sounds fun." He turned to Draco, "Are they difficult to make?" he asked. Draco paled instantly and looked like he was about to throw up. Harry quickly put his hand on his shoulder to support him, even though he was still sitting down.
"Oh Mr Potter, Draco doesn't make the potions," John said with a laugh.
"He doesn't? What does he do then?" Harry darted looks between John and Draco and wondered why Draco suddenly found his shoes to interesting. It couldn't be that bad could it?
"Oh no dear boy, not at all. We test them on him and see if they have any negative after effects."
"YOU DO WHAT?" he shouted, absolutely horrified. Draco winced and Harry instantly put his arm around the man. It was mainly comforting Harry more than anyone else.
John started a bit and then looked a bit sheepish. "We test them on him and lots of other people to make sure that they are safe, if they are not, which they usually aren't, we then modify them so that they are and then test them again and so forth."
"That is highly un-ethical and not to mention completely dangerous! You do realise that is illegal as well? There are certain ethical guidelines you have to bloody stay too and I'm pretty sure you are not sticking to them! You cannot test on human beings like that without testing on animals first. Draco isn't your test subject where you can give him potentially dangerous things. You have to be pretty sure that nothing will happen to him before giving it to him. Christ! " Harry protested grabbing at his hair in distress. All this time, all this bloody time Draco had been taking these potions and making himself ill! He didn't agree with testing things on animals either, but hell, he would rather they test them on animals than Draco for Christ sake. He knew that he couldn't really do much about it if they were testing the potions on animals first, and they were sure they were relatively safe before giving them to humans, but what they were doing was terrible. They were giving the potions to humans with the knowledge that the potion most likely were not safe at all!
"Well, it's not like they don't get anything out of it. We do pay them for it after all."
Harry just gave a bitter laugh, "Oh well, that makes it all alright then doesn't it? I don't care if they get paid for it, it's still terrible! You are taking advantage of people who are desperate for money and testing your stupid pointless potions on them and making them ill all the time. It's disgusting and you should be ashamed of yourselves. You are not the one who has seen what Draco is like when he is ill, it's horrible to watch and I can't believe you are letting him be put through it so often."
"Well, who else are we meant to test them on other than people like Draco here who can't get a job anywhere else?"
"Get out." John looked horrified for a moment and then picked up his book and quickly walked out of the shop.
Harry looked back to Draco and could see that he was trying hard not to bolt for the door. How long had Draco been doing that? Making himself ill just for some bloody cosmetic potions. Why on earth were they testing them on him before they were sure they would work? Evidently most of the time they didn't work first time, if the amount of times Draco had been ill was anything to go by.
Draco looked up at him and swallowed thickly. "I know, I'm leaving," he said as he started to get up.
"No you bloody well are not." He pushed him back down on the stool so that he could not make a quick getaway. "Why didn't you tell me? Bloody hell Draco! I don't even know what to say. You lied to me; you told me you went to St. Mungo's. All this time I have been caring for you when you are ill and you have been doing it to your bloody self! No wonder you were so certain that it wasn't contagious, it was all potion induced! Why would you do that to yourself? Why would you do that to me? Do you think I liked seeing you looking so distressed and ill? Fuck, I thought you were dying Draco!" Harry collapsed onto the stool and rested his elbows on the counter and shoved his face in his hands.
Draco didn't move. "I'm sorry," he whispered.
"Bloody hell, Draco. Why?"
"I had to Pott – Harry, I had no other job. No one will employ an ex-Death Eater. Don't you think I tried everywhere? I went to John first of all to try and get a job working on his potions, but he refused to hire me for anything more than his test subject."
"If you think calling me Harry is going to fix this then you are sorely mistaken. It's illegal Draco."
"I know it is, I really needed the money." Harry could hear Draco get up off the stool and sigh. "I was too embarrassed to tell you, and I thought that if you knew, you would stop looking after me when I got ill, saying it was my own fault. Which of course, it was. You made everything alright when I was ill, I just couldn't bring myself to tell you because I was sure you would just kick me out. I really needed you and I couldn't bring myself to push you away."
Harry rubbed his hands up and down his face. "You are a bloody idiot, do you know that Draco?"
"So what? Is that it? Do you want me to stop coming here? I will if you want."
"No, of course not you bloody prick. But I am pissed off with you." Harry lifted his hands away from his face and looked Draco in the eye. "Just – I need a moment to process the fact that I am in love with a bloody idiot." Draco's eyes widened comically and then a faint blush dusted his cheeks.
"Uh- wha- what did you say?"
"You heard." Harry couldn't help but glare at the dumbfounded expression Draco was supporting. "Not that you feel the same of course. If you did you would have trusted me to help you. Now go away."
Draco nodded and made his way to the door. Harry didn't really want him to go, but he knew that he needed to or he might whip out his wand and cast some nasty spells on him.
When he was sure that Draco was out of the shop, he groaned and mumbled "What a fucking idiot," under his breath and wondered when Hermione was going to get off her bloody lunch break.
"I'm sorry, I don't think I heard you correctly there Harry," Hermione said as she rubbed her pregnant belly. She was due any time now and she really did look like she was going to pop at any moment. Although, Harry knew better than to tell her that.
"I think you did hear me correctly."
"Oh blimey," she said as she lowered herself onto the stool that Draco had just been sat in. "What sort of idiot volunteers to be a test subject like that?"
"Exactly," Harry exclaimed. "Why didn't he tell me? I mean, I don't like to use my fame for stuff but Christ, I would use it to get him a decent job ten times over."
Hermione chuckled and then rolled her eyes. "To start with, that is probably why Draco didn't tell you, he probably didn't want you to do that. And Harry, are you that stupid? You don't need to throw your weight around to get Draco a job. I think you are forgetting that I'm heavily pregnant and that you are, in fact, in need of someone to take my place. I take it you haven't even thought about finding me a replacement yet?"
Harry blushed slightly and then turned away. The truth was that he hadn't thought about replacing her. It had completely slipped his mind. "No, what's that got to do with anything?"
Hermione rolled her eyes again and Harry could tell she was trying to be patient. "Do I have to spell everything out to you? Forgive him for being a stupid prat and give him my job. I really should be resting by now anyway. I'm sure he would snap up the job in an instant. Anything to get away from being an illegal test subject. Don't worry about that bloody company though; I will most defiantly be sorting that out." Harry raised an eyebrow at her. "What? If I have to stay at home, I might as well get something done."
"You are truly amazing Hermione."
The bell sounded again the next day and Draco walked in holding a tub of ice cream in one hand and the other hand was jammed into his trouser pocket. He stopped in front of the counter and gingerly placed the ice cream tub on the counter. Harry raised his eyebrow in question at it and Draco looked away nervously.
Finally he turned back around defensively. "What? Am I not allowed to bring my Partner in Crime ice cream?"
Harry chuckled and picked up the plastic spoon that rested inside the tub. He scooped up a large spoonful and shoved it in his mouth. "No, not when you never have done before."
"Well, I couldn't exactly walk in here empty handed could I? Not if I want to keep my bollocks."
"Draco, I would never get rid of your balls. I would probably do something to disfigure your face. That means much more to you." Draco laughed nervously and then eyed the stool next to Harry that had rapidly become his. "Go on then, park your bum down." Draco did, and then glanced sideways at Harry.
"Uhh, are you going to kick off at me?" He asked as he stared hard at the pen on the counter.
"No," Harry said. "The anger has ebbed away and now all I feel is upset, and that's because I can't bare to think of you being in all that pain over something so silly. God, you are so stupid!" Harry propelled himself off his stool and dived at Draco, hugging him so hard he thought he might break him.
They stayed that way for several minutes until Draco broke the silence. "What you said wasn't true by the way. I do feel the same, but that's all you are getting and don't expect me to ever say it again." He pulled back and Harry could see the small smirk playing at his lips.
"Work for me."
Draco laughed and shook his head. "This is a rather small shop. You can't possibly afford to employ both me and Granger. Don't be stupid." Actually, Harry could afford to employ both Hermione and Draco and about a hundred others too. In fact, he had enough money not to work at all. He only worked out of pure boredom.
"No, you don't understand, Hermione is leaving soon to have her baby and then she isn't coming back. I have been meaning to find someone else to replace her once she is gone, and I think I have just found my person."
Draco lifted his head and looked at Harry. "Are you serious? Because once I say yes there is no going back and I will forever be working here and I will never ever leave and go back to being a blasted test subject. Just so you know."
Harry laughed and kissed Draco soundly on the mouth. "I'm serious, I want you to move out of your flat too. It's terrible. Move into mine with me." he whispered.
Draco let out a choked sob and clutched at Harry until they were hugging again. Harry rested his cheek on top of Draco's hair. They stayed that way for quite some time until they pulled apart.
"Don't think you can just give me ice cream every time you fuck up." Harry shoved another mouthful in and then groaned at the taste. "God, I take it back. Yeah, you probably can."
Draco laughed and punched him lightly on the arm. The next thing Harry knew, the spoon had been taken out of his hand and Draco was scooping ice cream into his mouth. Harry gaped for all of two seconds before he let out a sound in protest.
"Hey! I thought you didn't like sharing my germs."
"That was before I snogged slash shagged you several times Harry, I think it's a bit late to worry about that."
That night, Draco lounged butt-naked over Harry in bed. Harry was so bloody glad that Draco had agreed to work for him. He practically worked there beforehand anyway, and at least now he was getting paid for it.
He was almost slipping off to sleep when he heard a quiet sleepy voice say something he didn't think he would ever hear.
"I do actually bloody lo – lov –love you," Draco whispered. It was so quiet that Harry wasn't sure if he even heard it. They had been quiet for so long that Harry was sure that Draco thought he was fast asleep and wouldn't hear it. It was as if Draco was just testing the words out on his mouth, not having ever said them before.
"What did you say?" he asked as he lifted his head to get a better look at Draco. Draco's eyes instantly went as wide as sources and then he closed them tight as if he was wishing away what he just said.
"Nothing!" he said quickly.
"No, come on, what did you just say?" he laughed.
"I didn't say anything."
"Yes you did, I heard you."
"I really didn't say anything."
Harry hummed in a way that clearly showed that he wasn't buying any of it. He settled back down and Draco soon draped himself over him again and wrapped his arm around Harry's waist. Harry waited a few minutes, letting Draco calm back down before he spoke.
"I really bloody love you too, Draco," he whispered. He felt Draco tighten his arms around him and felt the smile against his shoulder.
"Draco!" Harry shouted two weeks later as he came running out of the back office. Draco had just finished serving a customer and was staring at Harry in shock. He wore an expression that clearly said 'What-Have-I-Done-Now?'
"Hermione has had her baby, it's a little girl!" Draco gave a sigh of relief. "Ron just fire called me to tell me. How exciting is that? Ron also said that Hermione wanted us to know that John's cosmetic company has been shut down. Can you believe it?"
Harry was so caught up in the excitement that he didn't hesitate to engulf Draco in a bone crushing hug, nor did he hesitate to crash his lips against Draco's.
"Great news Harry, really. But all I'm thinking about is whose turn it is to go and get the ice cream and I know for a fact that it's yours. And for the love of god do not get that bloody nut flavour again – that was the most awful flavour ever. I have no idea what possessed you to buy –"
"I'm starting to wish I never offered to give you free books when you first came here ill. You probably wouldn't be sat here right now being a right pain in the backside."
Draco rolled his eyes. "Don't try and act like that wasn't one of the most important decisions you ever made." he plonked himself down on the stool and pulled out the latest book Harry had gotten for him. When Harry didn't make a swift exit Draco looked up from his book. "Ice cream, Harry." Draco had finally caved in and started calling him Harry.
Harry sighed and dragged his feet as he walked to the door. He was surprised he managed to get to the door without Draco making some last minute comment when: "Remember, not that blasted nut flavour!"
Harry smiled to himself as he shut his shop door.
What a bloody life I have ahead of me, he thought as he strolled down the street to the local ice cream shop.