When Draco had calmed down, he went back into the bedroom. He had wanted desperately to pull himself off – it would just take a few strokes, he knew it, but he couldn't do it. Not when Potter was just a wall away, not after that story. Potter must have seen how hard he'd been; he'd certainly seen Potter's arousal. But if he came now, it would be like admitting defeat. Potter would win. And Potter couldn't win.

"More whiskey?" Harry asked innocently when Draco re-entered the room. Draco held out his glass without a word, and made himself comfortable on his bed once more.

"So, my turn to ask a question. Hmmmm, so many choices." Harry looked at Draco carefully; should he keep up their game, or should he ask a question he was really curious about? Deciding to put away the dirty questions for the moment, he asked, "Why didn't you tell them it was me? At the Manor, you knew, and you risked everything by not telling."

Draco was quiet, pondering his reply. He knew his reasons, but they were hard to articulate. "I... listen, Potter. I haven't liked you for a long time, but I never really thought you were lying. I knew the Dark Lord had come back fourth year, and I had a good feeling that my father had a hand in it. No matter how much I resented you, I suppose I always thought you would be the one to save us all. I got that stupid mark not out of obedience, but fear. After Father was sent to Azkaban, I was forced to take his place. When you saw me in the girl's bathroom..." Draco paused, remembering that debacle, "I was ashamed. I felt weak. But I remember wishing, somehow, that you would save me too. You were supposed to kill You-Know-Who. You were the Chosen One. But you never chose me. Not first year, not ever. So when you came into my house that night, all swollen and in pain, I guess I chose you. I knew that if I told them it was you, that could be the end of it. But I didn't want Him to win. I didn't want to be afraid any more. Do you have any idea what it was like, having him there with us? In my own home? The things I saw, the things they made me do..." To his utter embarrassment, Draco let out a short whimper. "You had to be the one to end it, because if that monster won, I'd have killed myself. I would have never served him. So I chose to lie, and pretend I wasn't sure it was you. Really, it was the coward's way out, again. I could have said no outright, but then if they found out..."

"There was nothing cowardly about it."

Draco looked into Harry's eyes and was surprised at the intensity there. "Well."

"Can I see it?" asked Harry softly. "The Mark?"

"No," Draco sputtered. "No. Why would you want to see that? It's hideous."

"Please?" Harry asked, and he moved to sit next to Draco. "Please," he whispered once more, and sensing Draco's diminishing refusal, he unbuttoned the blonde boy's sleeve. Slowly he folded the cuff up, keeping it neat and orderly. The Dark Mark appeared inch by inch, and Draco had to look away. It really was hideous – he knew that. The ink was like tar against his pale flesh, and although it would never hurt again, he remembered the burning pain associated with it. It was evil.

Harry stared at the tattoo, studying it closely. It no longer had any sort of magic to it – it couldn't move, couldn't burn, couldn't summon. It was just a mark, just a nasty-looking tattoo any sort of rebellious teenager would get. In fact, it would almost look common in the Muggle world. A snake. A skull. A sign of bad judgment, nothing more. Carefully he traced it with his finger; he had expected the skin to feel different, there. Rougher, or raised. But it appeared to be the same as the rest of Draco – smooth, soft, delicate. There was no evil left there. It was just ink and flesh.

"I think I'd get something really scary," Harry said casually, trying to break Draco's somberness. "I mean, a snake may scare some people, but I can chat with them, so they lack a certain amount of intimidation. And a skull? That's just body part. May as well be a femur or something. No, I think I'd get something really dark, if I were to get a tattoo. Like a screeching mermaid; those things are awful. Or one of Umbridge's cat plates – you know, those disgusting, meowing pink things she had in her office? I'm not sure one can get more evil than that."

Draco looked up at him in amazement, and then he looked down at his arm. Harry was still softly touching the skin with his thumb, worrying small circles into his flesh. "I think you'd look very badass with a cat plate tattoo, Potter," he said softly. "It could match that Hungarian Horntail one you've got."

"You don't really believe I have a Horntail tattoo, do you?" Harry asked in surprise.

"Dunno. The Weaselette said so, and unless you've been more discrete than I realized with your dalliances, she'd be the one to know."

"Wanna check?" Harry said suddenly with a suggestive grin. Draco blushed slightly, which was just the reaction Harry was looking for; it was really too easy.

"Uh, I think it's my turn to ask a question now," Draco said, pulling himself together once more. He straightened up on the bed and rolled down his sleeve, moving slightly away from Harry as he did so. "Why do you suddenly want to be friends? Is it because the rest of the Golden Trio is coupling on holiday?"

Harry frowned. "No. I mean, I didn't want to spend the night by myself in my dorm, but that's not the real reason."

"Then what is it, Potter? It's not like you're lacking in friendships. The Savior of the Wizarding world seems to be fairly well-liked."

"It's not that at all!" Harry said, frustrated. He turned on the bed until he was facing Draco head on. "Look, I just want to be friends with you, alright? Why does there have to be a reason?"

"Because!" exploded Draco. "Because it's completely nonsensical. Illogical. Irrational, even! You don't have to be friends with me out of guilt, or to keep the peace, or whatever. We can just decide not to hex each other's balls off and be done with it. Why the farce? Why the need to make something more out of it when it's not necessary?"

Harry looked as if he'd been slapped. "Because I want to, okay? Can't that be good enough? I hated you for years, Malfoy, but I never could just ignore you. In fact, the older we got, the more obsessed I became about you! I had my bloody house-elf follow you sixth year because I knew you were up to something!"

"That Kreacher? He followed me? Here, at school?" Draco asked, disbelieving.

"Yes! Not just him either, but Dobby, too! And I have this map, this map that shows where everyone in the school is at all times. And I stared at it, night after night, trying to figure out what was happening to you. I knew you were caught in the middle of something, I just didn't know what! Merlin, for years I've watched you, followed you. And so no, I can't just be done with it. I don't know what my problem is. I tried all year to ignore you, and then it took me forever to pluck up the courage to give you your wand back, and to apologize. I thought my Malfoy-issues would go away after the war; you weren't one of the bad guys, I no longer had to keep an eye on you. But you're everywhere, do you know that? I feel like I can't get away from you, no matter how big this bloody castle is. And then you're in my dreams, and I can't exactly make myself just stop dreaming, unless I take a bloody potion every night –"

"You dream about me?" Draco asked, keeping completely still.

"Yes! Yes, I dream about you. All the time. It's a compulsion, and I can't stop it. And I'm sick of trying."

"What happens, in your dreams?"

Harry gulped, but moved closer. "This," he said, and then he closed the distance and touched his lips to Draco's. They were soft, and smooth, and warm. "This," he said again, kissing the other boy deeper, coaxing a reaction of him. Softly, slowly, the Slytherin responded, matching Harry's kiss perfectly. It was so sweet and innocent, so very much unlike any of Harry's dreams.

Draco pulled away reluctantly. "We shouldn't. We're drunk. This is a bad idea."

"Not drunk," said Harry, daring to run a hand through silver-blonde fringe. "Put a sobering charm on the whiskey. Sort of counter-intuitive, but it seemed like a good idea at the time."

"So this... this is real? This is what you want?" asked Draco.

"Yes," said Harry, pulling Draco toward him. "This is definitely what I want."

When they kissed again, it was with more intensity, and more heat. Harry fell onto the other boy, pinning him down with legs and chest and hands. "Want you," he said, his mouth and tongue moving down to Draco's neck. "Want this."

Draco moaned and arched into the kisses littering his neck and collarbone. When Harry's fingers began to work the button on his shirt, however, he pulled at the Gryffindor's hands, and flipped them, to Harry's surprise. Draco pinned Harry's hands to the mattress and playfully bit at his bottom lip. "I believe I'm to look for a Hungarian Horntail," he said with a smirk. His pale hands played at the bottom of Harry's jumper and t-shirt. He slowly pushed up both, raking his nails down the Chosen One's stomach, teasing him. "No dragon there," he said, and he lifted the shirt higher. He placed gentle kisses on each inch of exposed skin. "Hmmm, none there, either." He continued his torture until at last he pulled the tops completely off. He dug his thumbs into the green-eyed boy's hipbones, loving the sounds Harry was making.

"I think your girlfriend is a dirty liar," Draco said with a hiss.

"Not my girlfriend. Definitely not my girlfriend," Harry said with a laugh. He reached up and began to undo the buttons on Draco's shirt. It eventually took both of them, since neither seemed to have very much patience. When they were both shirtless, Harry pulled Draco to him, marveling in the simple feel of skin on skin. Tongue met tongue, hips met hips, and they started a slow, teasing rhythm. When it got to be too much, but still not enough, Harry reached down and undid the fastenings on Draco's trousers. He pushed the offending garments down his legs, and Draco moved to help facilitate the action. Harry cupped Draco though his pants, and his breath hitched when the felt the wetness of arousal there. In seconds Harry was down to his underwear as well, and both boys moaned as they dragged their cocks over one another.

After Harry's rather explicit story, Draco knew he wouldn't last very long. Gasping for air, he moved off of Harry and curled up on the bed to face him. "I just want you to know that I haven't... I mean, I tried, once, with Pansy, but she knew I liked blokes before I did, and it just didn't... So, this would be..."

"Me too. I mean, I haven't. With anyone," Harry said. "I've practiced. A lot. But even in the Quidditch fantasy, you were never this good a kisser."

"Me? I was the guy in the locker room?" Draco asked incredulously, a huge smile working its way across his face.

"Mmmhmmm. Wet blonde hair, soft lips, and a tight grip," he said, reaching for Draco's dick. "But reality is so much better." He began to stroke the other boy through his pants, and Draco quickly followed suit.

"Mmm, Harry?" Draco said between kisses. "I want... can I try something?"

"Yes," said Harry, simply. "You could set me on fire right now and I don't think I'd complain."

Draco pushed Harry onto his back and positioned himself between the other boy's legs. He hooked his thumbs in the Gryffindor's pants, and pulled down slowly. "Green briefs, Potter? Really?"

"Is that a problem, Malfoy?"

"Not at all."

When Harry was fully naked, Draco sat back and looked at him. He let his hands trail the soft patch of hair down to the base of Harry's cock, and he took the hardened member in hand. He gave it a few strokes before leaning over and licking the tip of it hesitantly. When the taste was much less bothersome than he'd imagined, he kissed it softly, running his tongue along the head. Harry seemed to like that, so he continued in his ministrations, finally taking the whole thing in his mouth and running his tongue experimentally up and down the underside of the shaft. It didn't take long at all before Harry's hips thrust up uncontrollably, and he tapped Draco quickly on the head. Draco ignored the warning and sucked deeply, drawing out the salty-bitter liquid that Harry released with a groan. Draco let it collect in his mouth, which may have been a mistake, but he breathed in deeply through his nose and swallowed the liquid.

Harry pulled Draco up his body and kissed him fiercely, tasting himself on the other boy's tongue. "Fuck, Draco, that was... that was the most intense, amazing, magical thing that ever happened to me. Here, let me show you," he said, and pulled away from Draco's mouth and began to move down his body.

"Uh, maybe later," said Draco, blushing through his laughter. Harry looked down and saw the splattered cum streaking Draco's pants and the bottom of his stomach.

"Did you? I mean, when you were?"

"You're hot, Potter," Draco said, embarrassed.

"You're going to be the death of me, Malfoy, but it's going to be a very, very good death." He uttered a wandless cleaning spell on the boy of them, and then Harry pulled Draco back towards him for a kiss and settled the boy into his side. He brushed fine white-blonde hair out of gray eyes and softly kissed Draco's forehead. "Is it okay if I sleep here tonight?"

Draco smirked widely. "If you must."

Harry felt on the bedside table for his wand and whispered a quiet, "Nox." In the darkness of the Slytherin dormitories, Harry pulled blankets over both him and Draco. He moved them both until Draco was spooned against him, and he bit down lightly on the Slytherin's shoulder. "Tomorrow I'm going to return the favor. And then, maybe we can try a few more new things together."

"Yes," yawned Draco, "but it's quiet time now, Potter, so kindly shut up." He pulled the Gryffindor's arms tightly around him and intertwined their fingers. "Merry Christmas, Scarhead."

"Merry Christmas, Ferret."